Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fav Song

One of the catch-up posts I did recently was about a favorite or important band.  I talked about the Moody Blues.  Since I've neglected today's post until just this very second I thought I'd share my absolute favorite Mood Blues song.  Enjoy :D

~Nikkie

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Check in :)

I'm trying to get caught up- it is more difficult then I thought it would be since I've missed practically all of January.  I'm trying to get into a grove where I make time to post every day- it's just hard- as I discovered last year.
So for catching up I'm going through a generic blog challenge and answering several of the prompts on it.

I'm not asnwering all of the questions on it- just the ones that interest me.  At the end of this month I'll post a list with all of the questions I listed and corresponding blog posts- that way if there is something on the list that you particuarly care about reading you can without sifting through the entire blog.  This will save you time as I'm the worst at remembering to label my posts.

I'm only 11 days behind (as of this exact moment) So with consistent posting over the next few days I should be able to catch up no problem.

I still want to try the photography thing- but right after I made that declaration I really didn't take many pictures- outside of the ones of my daughter for a recent assignment. Go Figure.

I've been having the most difficult time managing my time this semester.  Because I'm both WAY busy and not busy- simultaneously.  I think more than anything I'm being thrown by how much of my time is mine right now.  I still spend 2 days a week on campus and I try to get homework done while I'm there- not that there isn't still plenty to do when I get home... But when I get home I'm in a weird sort of twilight universe- the last few semesters I've had a project due every 3-5 days it seemed (seriously that frequently) Sometimes I'd have 3 assignements due on the same day.  (last semester I literally did 42 different pieces of art)  I already know I'm going to have a grand total of 20 assignements for the semester; and the time requirements on most of them is a lot less then what I'm used to spending.  

Basically I have time to really work on my own projects (portfolio, websites, blogs, graphic novel... etc.) and can actually keep up with housework now (really I'm still playing catch up- not sure if I'm truely going to feel like I'm 'on top' of housework for at least another month or so).

So I'm kinda in lost puppy mode.  I need to schedule out my days better 'cause right now I'm wating a LOT of time.   And not even in a good way- like by playing a video game, reading or playing with my kids... I'm like sitting and stairing- confused as to what to do with myself; which is dumb- I have a LOT of things that I need to do...

So this is a new challenge.  

One of the things I'm doing to combat that is forcing myself to spend time cleaning my office.  SO it is a more functional room- I have it laid out a lot better now then I ever have before.  It's just a process of finding where everything goes.  Harder then it sounds. I have a rough idea of where everything goes; but there are a few odds and ends that I need to put away.  (I'm writing this on my ipad- and just now blogger has decided that it would be funny to pop the screen between the top of this entry and where I'm typing at every third letter.  I type fast- and am getting nausiated... switched from the actual Blogger to the Blogger app... stopped jumping now; but it has other annoyances. :P)

ANyway- what was Italking about? Oh yea- being lost and unproductive.

Not much more to say on it- but I need to be better about time management.  It is just a matter of *doing* something every day... The problem is my mornings- when I don't have somewhere to get to first thing I tend to be very lazy.  So I need to come up with SOMETHING to do first thing (not exercise; that can be second thing- for some reason the idea of popping out of bed and working out makes me want to snuggle in my blankets more.)  

I'm just thinking outloud right now.  This is definitly more of a journal entry today and less of a blog post.  It's cool when people are able to just write a rant that sounds more like an article- I feel like I need a lot of preparation to do that.  Of course they aren't writing every day (usually)

Well I'm off to do something else.

~Nikkie


Friday, January 23, 2015

Blurb about Photography... and my frustrations with my skillz.

After the past 3 days my dream house that I'm designing will now have a photo studio in it.  Like my office will have an area dedicated in it for setting up photo shoots.  It is just to frustrating to take good pictures in a home.  Controlling the lighting is awful.  I need to get to Lowes or Home Depot and get some lights... but in the mean time- I'm rigging up lamps and covering white surfaces with blankets (to minimize light bouncing back into the photo)

My daughter was the subject for the recent photo shoots; and she helped as much as any 2 year old girl can help.  

From the first shoot this: 

Was really the only good shot I got.  It's pretty and a nice portrait; not helpful though as my assignment is to do a full figure study.  

The thing I learned that night was that I really need to brush up on photography.  I've gotten lazy about practicing and learning and I've lost a LOT of knowledge that I used to have about taking pictures.  This actually channels the focus of my blog a little bit more- now I have a really good reason to take photos every day :D.

The photos from the first session were unusable- so we tried again.  With better results!! She was a lot more cooperative and I had brushed up on some camera terms so I was able to adjust lighting better.

I'm not posting any of that to this blog right now- once I'm finished with the drawing I'm going to write a long entry on my art blog talking about the process of going from thumbnail to finished drawing.  Or at least the process for this piece.

~Nikkie

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rocky Start

Honestly I'm little concerned about this 365 post thingy when I'm off to such a bad start.  Deep
Breath; ok- I'm going to make time for this!!
I love writing so I don't have an excuse in that way.
My biggest excuse is what I mentioned last time I wrote- I've been re-arranging furniture.  Things are settling in and starting to be more organized- so I won't have that time sink anymore.
Also I'm looking for blog challenges- if anyone knows of any (I think I've asked this before- for sure on facebook not sure if I have on the blog) let me know! I know of the A-Z challenge for April; and I know there are others- but I'm having a hard time really finding any.  Let me know in the comments if you know of any fun ones.

In the mean time- over the next few days I'm going to take more photos- I've been neglecting this because of organizing- and am going to do a 2 week 'get to know you' challenge.  Since even my family might not know everything about me.  Some of the questions I'm going to be going over I've answered last year- but I think I'm going to go ahead and answer them again- sometimes things change over time :D

~Nikkie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Re-arranging home again

First off- forgive the blurry pictures; my phone's camera has a damaged lens- and I haven't figured out how to fix it.  





So that dresser I was so proud of moving into my office- I moved it out; and up to my sisters bedroom.  Now I have a big hole where the dresser used to be and am puzzling as to how to organize my office from here.

That is really all I have to say about today.

peace

~Nikkie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Random Thoughts

I don't see how this post can be anything but random- I don't have anything really organized in my head right now.

So it's the first month of my 365 challenge and already I'm a week behind- so I'm posting today so I do not get more behind.  My goal for this weekend: not to get further behind and to catch up (I'll post date the entries- so it'll LOOK like I stayed caught up.  Bwa ha ha ha ha.... seriously I'm only doing it for my own organizational purposes.)

SO MUCH IS HAPPENING IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.
Honestly it's hard to keep up with everything so I got this:

Isn't it cute?

At the moment it is my life journal.  You can kinda read the flimsy tags sticking out of it (soon to be replaced with higher quality platic post its) But I track my schedule, assignments, sketchbook, my husbands schedule, my kids schedule, my blogs (that is a recent addition), etc.

All so I can stay on track with everything going on right now.

So this month I'm frantically trying to get 2 pieces together to enter the Society of Illustrators Student competition and the Spectrum Annual.  Honetly I'm not sure I have a prayer of getting in to either- also not sure if I'm going to get my pieces finished- but I'm trying!!! Next year I'm not going to be so last minute in my decision to apply... it is what it is I guess- at this point all I can really do is work for it.  

I'm also freaking out a little bit about my pending application to the BFA program at my school.  I don't know why I'm worrying about it- I'm not applying to get in this semester.  Well I'm applying to get in- but I won't be heart broken if I don't get in this semester.  The biggest reason I'm applying is so that I can apply in the fall (you can only apply in the fall if you've put in an application in the spring).  That will give me the summer to refine things.  It would be nice to get in on the first application- but I'm not holding my breath for it.  I've gotten a lot better over the last few years- but I'd hardly say I'm at the level I need to be in order to qualify for the BFA.  At least not in my paintings skills.  In my drawing skills I'm probably at the low end of what they are looking for.

SO I CAME UP WITH A BRILLIANT IDEA WHILE TYPING ALL OF THIS.  I take a lot of photos anyway- so I think I'm going to post a photo a day with a small blurb.  At the very least that is- that way I'll always have *something* I can post about- and post quickly about as well in most cases.  

So this year I'm looking for blog challenges- if you know of any please let me know in the comments.  I'm going to be participating for sure in the A-Z challenge.  It'll be art related; I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to be doing on this blog- but on my Art Blog I'm going to be creating an Alphabet Book and posting one page a day- at the end of April I'll be publishing it to amazon e-books if anyone wants to purchase it.  If I can make enough money that way I'll look into what it takes to publish it physically.  I'm still playing with ideas for a theme- but since my kids and I are fantasy nuts it'll probably be fairy-tale-ish.  We'll see.  That also is going to have a section in my notebook pretty soon.  

That concludes my random assortment of thoughts.  

~Nikkie

Monday, January 12, 2015

Favorite books?

Tricky…
I love JRR Tolkien- and for some reason have never really found his books that dry.  I love pretty
much anything fantasy and have been devouring all of the Brandan Sanderson books.  My husband finally got me to read the Wheel of Time.  Of course Chronicles of Narnia as well… I also like reading classics- Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Little Women, Jane Austin, etc. 
When it comes to reading I’m kinda like I am with music- I love just about everything so it’s hard to choose a real favorite book.  Or favorite books.  I can narrow down a favorite genre easier- that would be Fantasy.  Science Fiction would be a close second and historical fiction…
I’m a book worm.  Though I don’t have as much time to read anymore- I do listen to a LOT of audio books.

~Nikkie

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What band or musician is most important to you?

Probably the Moody Blues- I discovered their music when I was 12 or so and quickly became obsessed.  I love the combination of orchestrated and traditional rock band that they use for a lot of their music.  Also just the sheer variety within their music.
When I was 19 and first on my own I had a hard time. Not being away from my family or anything- but I was struggling with my depression and my roommates were very stressful people to live with.  So life was unpleasant.
Then one day out of the blue 3 of my best friends showed up on my doorway- It was really cute.  I was so happy to see them; and they announced that they were taking me to a Moody Blues concert the next day.  It was amazing- I think we were the youngest people there.  I don’t think I have an
found this photo online- it probably wasn't the concert I was at;
but the stage is set up similarly
photos from this event- cameras were still primarily film at the time and I don’t know that any of us thought to bring one… I’ll have to check with them.
They drove me down to Vegas and we got to see the show.  I was in heaven!!! It was really really amazing.  I know I still have the ticket around here somewhere- maybe I can find it and scan it in.
The band has continued to be one of my favorites of all time. 

~Nikkie

Saturday, January 10, 2015

5 places I want to visit

I wonder if the world could count as a place?
Let’s see…

1- Italy
The architecture and the art there- I’ve always wanted to visit and just explore and draw.

2- France
For pretty much the same reasons I want to go to Italy

3- Ireland
My heart has always been drawn to Ireland- someday I’ll visit there

4- Germany
I want to see the old castles and structures

5- UK
Again for writing, photographing, drawing, visiting runes… castles… etc

~Nikkie

Friday, January 9, 2015

10 Likes and 10 Dislikes

I’ve certainly posted about this before- but here we go…

We’ll start with the positive things (in no particular order)

1- Strawberries
2- Reading
3- Dancing
4- Hiking
5- Drawing/Painting- ART
6- Cross-stitching
7- Singing
8- Having a clean home (though I’m not the best at keeping it clean)
9- Music- of nearly any variety
10- Writing

Now for the dislikes

1- Being told what to do
2- Cleaning/Chores
3- Being sad…
4- Mean people (also rude people)
5- Driving on the freeway
6- Trying new foods- but I do force myself to do that one
7- Being sick (yea this is true for everyone; but I get sick a lot it seems…)
8- Feeling useless
9- Mangos
10- Cooking….

My dislikes are a little more abstract- go figure lol.

~Nikkie

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Things about ME!

Yes I know I’ve done this before- but here I go again.
I need to draw a new doodle of myself lol
The writing prompt was ‘Write some basic things about yourself’
I am 31 years old (as of yesterday) I have amazing blue eyes and dark blond hair.  Yes it is blond not brown :D This was actually the subject of much debate for awhile… but it turns out I’m just a very dark blond and not a brunette.  Explains a lot I think ;D
I have 2 beautiful kids; Evan who is 5 and Avi who is 2.5 (the .5 makes a big difference!!)  They are fantastic children.  Difficult children- but fantastic all the same.  I feel lucky to be their mommy and have them in my life.
I’m in college working on a BFA in Illustration.  There is a story behind this- which I’ll write about later :D. 
I married my best friend- which has been wonderful and been very helpful in getting us through some really tough parts of life. 
I am also a member of the LDS church- another thing I love about my life.
Keeping the post basic- I feel like I’ve covered pretty much everything.

~Nikkie

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

I had more to say until I sat down to say it- it's been long wonderful day.  I got to draw, got to see friends, got to eat dinner with my husband, got to see Into The Woods...

Seriously just a fantastic day.

Now it is late- and I'm going to bed.  I'll do a more satisfying entry sometime this weekend.

~Nikkie

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cool Moms

Only 6 days into the new year and I'd already fallen 5 days behind on my blog.  So I played catch up today.  Hopefully I can stay on top of it... for at least the next week anyway :D

So this showed up in my facebook feed today:

and I watched it.

I have to say this was one of the most amazing silly music videos I've ever seen.  The thing I liked the best about it was how different each of the moms was in the video, I loved how each took a turn lip syncing to the song.  This is why:

The video was really honest about each woman's strengths and weaknesses- It was a perfect example to me of what makes all of us unique.  For me I read mom blogs and get to see all of the glowing amazing things about the women that I'm reading about and am just floored.

I'll have all sorts of thoughts running through my head:

"I wish I could make an amazing meal like that... I think we're having marie calendars instant dinner again..."
"she made that outfit for her kids? That is amazing... have I done laundry today?"
"every picture on here makes her family look so well groomed... hmmm... wonder when I last gave my kids a bath."

After awhile of reading through all of these different blogs I start to create this super mom and then impose this image of amazingness over all of my friends, acquaintances and random women that I read about online.  Of course this makes me feel inadequate and a bit resentful to all of the 'perfect' women that I'm surrounded with.  'specially since I'm anything but perfect- and I let my my imperfections wave in the wind for everyone to see.

I'm hate cleaning- but I want a clean home.
I'm hate cooking- but want healthy homemade meals.
I haven't sewn anything in forever (not totally true... but true enough)- but I want to have nice homemade things
The walls in my home are currently unadorned- I have a plan to fix this but haven't gotten to it.
I'm lucky if I get a shower in during the day- and I haven't worn makeup in years...
Every now and then I fight with my kids... (not physically- but we have wars of wills constantly)

It's life- and it is normal.  There are also things I'm really good at.

The women in this video all have different 'cool' things that they do and bring to the table- and if they just compare there weaknesses to the other moms strengths- then yea; you'll never feel like a 'cool mom' but if you can remember there are things that you are good at as well then you can appreciate the strengths in others.

~Nikkie

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Day of School

Quick blurb right now

Advanced Figure Drawing is going to be awesome- I'm extra excited for it after going to class.  I've taken the class before (this is one that you can take 2 times for credit) I spent most of the time I wasn't in class today working on a sketch for that class.  It is kind of embarrassing how long it has been since I've seriously studied the human figure.  Thankfully it seems to be coming back to me.

Drawing 1 will be pretty great- we're going over a bunch of basic techniques- but the way the instructor is teaching the class he can tailor it to each student easily- so people like me who have been drawing for awhile will still be challenged while the people who haven't been drawing forever will be challenged on their level.

~Nikkie

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Spring Semester 2015

As I've mentioned- this last fall I took 15 credits.  And while I did pretty well in my classes ('specially considering I didn't finish any paintings that I turned in...) I've decided that I'm NEVER doing 15 credits again.  So this semester I cut down my classes to 6 credits.

My schedule is kind of funny- I'm taking Advanced Figure Drawing (which is a senior level class) and I'm taking Drawing 1 (most decidedly a freshman class) why am I doing this? I got a C many years ago in drawing 1- this did matter until recent catalog changes.  Also when I took it before I was a non-major; so the class I took way back- while cool, ultimately was useless.  I  have a lot of credits like that on my transcript unfortunately.  I really don't regret my life or the amount of majors I've dipped my toes into; but I do wish I'd figured out what I wanted to do sooner.  I'd be both (1) done or closer to being done and (2)  still covered by financial aid.  (from here on out I need to start paying out of pocket; I could file for an extension, but my husband and I discussed it and decided that not getting further debt would be better than applying for the extension.)  So over the next year I'm going to find creative ways to pay for school.  More on that later.

So just the 2 classes- I'm very excited because I can dedicate more time to individual projects and also have more time in my life to do other things.

LIKE: get my portfolio ready and submitted to officially apply for the Illustration program.  I'm actually really excited about this.  I'm not anticipating getting in this time- I'm mostly applying so that I can re-apply in the fall.  That will give me the summer to truly get my portfolio ready.  It'll be awesome.

I'm also going to be going to comic con this fall- so I'm doing a lot of prep for that.  This year I'm going to put a pay pal button on this blog and my art blog in case anyone would like to donate some money to help me cover expenses- no pressure; but I've had some family offer in the past and figure I might as well put something out there so they can help if they really want to.

So yea- that is what I'm looking forward to :D

~Nikkie

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Goals

This was hard for me- not that goals are hard for me to write; I have about 4 journal pages full of goals for this year split by what category of life they fall into and further subdivided into smaller goals so that I can create monthly/weekly/daily goals... I'm still going to do my best on those- but I wanted to set 5 main goals for myself for the new year- and I had a hard time deciding on how to do this.  After much thought- here is what I came up with.

#1 Not to lose Weight.
I'm not saying that I don't want to lose weight this year- but that I don't want to focus on losing weight this year.  Instead I'm going to work on general fitness, making sure I get at least 120 minutes of exercise in per week and watching the amount that eat at each meal.  My rule for food this year is this: I'm only eating when I'm actually hungry and the amount I eat at one time can be no bigger than my fist.  Sounds redundant- but honestly how often have you sat down to a meal to eat because it was time to eat; but you weren't actually hungry... you were just eating 'cause it was lunch or dinner or whatever.  Hopefully it isn't a common issue- but it is a problem for me.

#2 Be more confident in my art
I'm going to post more on this on my art blog- but a few bullet points on this.  I'm going to post my art more on my facebook page and instagram.  I'm also doing my big Birthday project- I've posted a link to the form on both my facebook page and my personal timeline- but here it is again if you haven't seen it yet.  Even if I don't personally know you- if you want me to send you a 5x7 piece of art for your birthday, feel free to fill it out.  You don't have to give me your address- unless you want a copy of the art- just post that you found the link through my blog and I'll post a drawing here on your birthday :D

#3 Be more positive
I'm going to stop dwelling on the negative things around me- be it circumstance or the way someone treated me; I'm done being gloomy because of outside forces.  So I'm going to do my best to be a positive light in the world.

#4 Keep up on chores
truth be told- I'm still cleaning up from my insane semester this past fall.  It'll probably take me a few weeks more to fully recover from that.  However as I get things cleaner in each room I'm going to do my absolute best to maintain what I have cleaned.  I know that my whole little family is happier when the home is cleaner- so I'm making that a priority this year.

#5 Develop Hobbies outside of Art
I've decided to start playing my clarinet again- 30 minutes daily, also the piano- the second mostly so I can start teaching my kids to play.  I'm also going to start sewing and cross-stitching again.  :D

So those are my 5 goals.  They are big goals- and I should probably simplify them down a bit more; but I think I'm going to leave them where they are for now.

~Nikkie

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 theme song

I love music- and I tend to choose theme songs for myself every now and then.  So for this year I decided I would chose a 2015 theme song.

I had a hard time with this and narrowed it down to 3 songs.  Unwritten, Pocketful of Sunshine and Soak up the Sun.

Unwritten will be my official theme song because it is such a positive song about how you have your whole life in front of you and that you can choose to make of it whatever you want.  The other two support that concept- Pocketful Of Sunshine referring to how you won't let the dark things of the world get you down and Soak up the Sun further reinforces that thought but illustrating how no matter how much or how little you have you can still be positive and see the brighter things in life.

I hadn't seen the videos for any of these songs before today; so I was a little nervous that I might hate the songs after I saw them (you never know what you'll get from a music video!) THANKFULLY I quite enjoyed the videos and they supported the messages of the songs (for the most part)





~Nikkie

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm back! First off HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
and if you aren't a friend of mine on facebook- here is the uncut video of my kids celebrating the new year:
video

 Ok very quick end of 2014 recap:
*I passed all of my classes (YAY!)
*I'm never taking 15 credits at once again...
*I finally got all of our stuff unpacked- now to empty the storage unit....

My life has literally been nothing but school and unpacking/cleaning for a long time... I'm going to try to get some of my other hobbies back into my life again.

I'm going to be trying the 365 challenge again on this blog.  Also on my art blog- but I'm starting that tomorrow with a double post... it's just the way today has worked out.  For this blog I'm going to post *something* every day- more then anything I want to get myself in the habit of doing something daily; last year I think my ambition was to great- I wanted to write these long article posts daily; and that was just silly.  So it might be a quick blurb it might be a short novel- it will depend upon time mostly.
On my art blog I'm going to be posting a sketch a day at the very least. Again the idea is to be doing something every day.  I think this year will be even more awesome then last year!!

I gave this blog a face lift- it really needed it.  If I have time maybe I'll make it look more original and less generic- but at least it's brighter.

Well- I'm getting to this rather late- so I'll see you tomorrow.

~Nikkie