Internet Travel Guide: 4/24/2014

“Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
-Thoreau

Recently Pinned:

17 Shades of Purple | Honestly WTF (via Pinterest)

I am loving this rainbow hair trend that I keep seeing on Pinterest. If the time ever comes when I don’t have a desk job my hair will absolutely be a super-unnatural color for a little bit. I had a pink streak in college and it was AWESOME and I want MOAR COLOR and I don’t care if it is ridiculous. Although hey, I could totally get away with this right now:

Hidden Hues | The Beauty Department (via Pinterest)

I’ve also been thinking about giving henna hair dye a try for a while; I like being a redhead, and I might as well go Full Hippie since I’ve got such a good start. This lady’s got basically my hair color….

DIY Dyeing with Henna | Two Bobbins Later (via Pinterest)

 

Around the Interwebs:

I like this description for people who have a hard time getting their thoughts from their brains to their mouths (like yours truly) – we’ve got a long runway!

How did humans evolve to deal with city crowds? Apparently by creating tiny rural villages with the **Power of Imagination** (we tune out everyone except for an “inner circle” of 150-ish people).

Somebody had to invent cartography, and it was probably a couple of monks, and it probably went down exactly like this. (From – you guessed it – The Toast)

Vid o’ the Week:

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

So if you* have great taste, that’s probably why your work is disappointing – because you can tell it’s not great, even if other people like it. That’s discouraging, but if you have the discipline to keep going and push your skills and produce a bunch of art or words or video or whatnot, your skills will start catching up to your taste. From what I’ve heard from professionals… your skills never actually catch up all the way. You still can’t look too closely at your work without finding flaws. But maybe you can glance at the things you’ve made and feel proud of them? You can at least feel proud of your quantity of work. That’s encouraging.

*I don’t know about you, you. “You” in this case is definitely me, though. As far as the disappointing/frustrating part. I don’t know if I actually have “killer” taste or just terrible self-esteem.

Internet Travel Guide: 4/11/2014

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
– Jack Canfield

This week was weird. Were the planets out of alignment, or was the moon in a weird phase, or was it just me? Monday – Wednesday felt like an eternity, but then somehow I woke up this morning 100% sure that today was Thursday. I have no idea what happened to that extra day, but apparently I went to work and gave a passable impression of doing my job? So that was a fun surprise. Yay Friday!

I’ve been brainstorming a small flying familiar for my girl wizard, so today was Bat Day. Turns out bats are really hard. Like, their little faces are pretty cute, but I would probably be a little crazy to try drawing those weird, stretchy, semi-transparent wings on a regular basis. Then again, I have been known to be a little crazy.

Remember The Velveteen Rabbit? The heartwarming tale about a humble toy rabbit, full of only sawdust, who dreamed of becoming Real? I… I didn’t remember it being quite so dark, but somehow… somehow this version feels right. Real, even. Yes… This is the Real Velveteen Rabbit. (Yeah, I’m obsessively in love with The Toast. Yeah, I retweet Toast articles pretty much constantly. WHAT OF IT.)*

Do you know the difference between Chekhov’s Gun and a MacGuffin? Here are 5 common movie terms explained. You’re already discussing movies and TV shows in obsessive, completely unnecessary depth; might as well use authentic vocabulary. (Just me, again?)

I found this recipe for a microwave mug brownie on Pinterest today:

Mug Brownie | Pinterest

Now you are about to have a very unique experience, because I whipped up my very own mug brownie, which is in the microwave RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS. That’s right, folks – I am live-blogging my microwave mug brownie attempt. *the sound of gasps and pearl-clutching is heard*

Okay hold that thought, it has been 1 minute and 40 seconds. FINALLY. Looks pretty good (see photographic evidence below). I’mma put this in my mouth real quick.

photo

 

The verdict? Definitely has a different texture than a normal brownie, but it’s tasty. I think I’ll keep this on my Pinterest board to satisfy the odd emergency chocolate craving without making an entire batch of brownies… because when you do that, you have to eat that entire batch of brownies. And I do not need to do that. Also, my picture above shows ALL OF THE DIRTY DISHES that resulted from this 3-minute experiment. Mug brownie = definitely worthy of the Layabout’s Guide.

*Note: I’m not saying this story is an account of true events, but I personally own a pet rabbit. Her claws are sharp, and her eyes are full of hate, and I would totally believe that she stole the living soul from a child. Just saying.

Return of #Rebranding

So as of today, I’ve published a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 30 consecutive posts. Go me!  Rebooting this blog on a schedule was a conscious choice, because I wanted to challenge myself to create content on a schedule. I’d like to do that for a living someday, so it’s reassuring to have a couple of months under my belt. Largely very short posts, especially on busy days, but I tend to have trouble sticking to commitments so that was my focus. I think it’s been very helpful.

That said, posting random little blogs just because they’re scheduled hasn’t been creatively fulfilling, so I’m going to shift my focus a bit towards just doing some sort of work on a regular basis. This may not always be posts on the blog, but I’ll share when possible. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest if you don’t want to miss a thing  🙂

Internet Travel Guide: 4/4/2014

“Pay special attention to anything you try to hide.”
– Gretchen Rubin

We’ve always suspected it was true, but The Toast confirms: Hairstyles are impossible to do. All those Pinterest tutorials are false promises. Always remember: “Hairstyles are just lies your head tells other people.”

In the spirit of The Layabout’s Guide to Life, here are 6 “bad habits” that are actually good for you. Pass the booze & butter, please! I am going to live forever.

This week on Pinterest… Look at this yarn chandelier! Wouldn’t this be super cute to hang above your cozy knitting chair in your knitting corner?! You… You don’t dream of having a dedicated knitting corner with a special (preferably wingbacked) knitting chair? …Just me? Really?

Hanging Around: DIY Yarn Chandelier | Pinterest

DIY Yarn Chandelier | HGTV Blog

Finally, enjoy this Go Pro vid of a baby pelican learning to fly!

Happy weekend, everybody!

Houses and Wizards

We looked at two houses after work today with a Realtor, like Adults. The first one was pretty nice. The second one was like if someone cut a pretty crappy apartment out of the third floor of an apartment building and stuck it on the ground and gave it a really small backyard. Then we went to dinner at a restaurant like Adults in a Relationship which was wonderful.

Then we got home pretty late and then I showered and putzed around and so there will not be a real post tonight.

But here’s a little wizard on an adventure that I drew yesterday:

Lil' Wizard Girl

 

You know how I was saying the other day that sometimes I doodle things on a whim that I end up loving and wanting to tell their stories? This is one of those, except it’s on actual Art Paper, which is a bonus. I think this is a little wizard who just made it through Wizard School or whatever, and was like “Okay I’m a wizard now! So what do I do?” And then she found out her job as a wizard was to wander around doing magic to things, and maybe she’ll stumble across an Epic Quest for the Fate of the Realm that she can help with. So now she’s doing that.

(This is what I’ve always wondered about Gandalf. He’s basically immortal, right? I’m pretty sure he was around in the time of Isildur. And Sauron was taking a little nap for like thousands of years between his defeat by Isildur and his return in glowy-eye form. So… what was Gandalf doing that whole time? Apart from Bilbo’s journey, of course. Gandalf doesn’t seem to have a home, or a job, or anything like that. Was he literally like, crashing on his friends couches, practicing fireworks, smoking a ton of “pipe-weed” and blowing really good smoke rings? What a life, man. No wonder all the hobbit kids think he’s awesome.)

Edit: I gotta do something with this wizard kid, she is burning a hole in my brain. Possibly a good choice for an ongoing webcomic? I’ve been planning a sci-fi comic for a while but it’s a complete story with an end, so I think I’ve decided it should really be a graphic novel/word-novel because I don’t want to plan something all out beforehand and then release it serially for my first foray into Big-Girl Storytelling. But I could do The Ongoing Adventures of Adorable Little Wizard Girl* and plan out open-ended arcs very generally but make up the details & introduce characters as I go, like they do with TV series.

Stay tuned for a lot of character design, worldbuilding, and plot outlines that may or may not eventually turn into something.

*Working title.