My current happy lifestyles

Hello world. I’m sorry I’ve been so out of touch with this blog of recent. Last year I was working on and achieved my Look Wider & Commonwealth Challenges through Girlguiding, and due to the amount of time it took this blog took a backseat. Unfortunately, as a result I haven’t picked it up again as regular as I would like. So I thought I would check in today with a life update and how well things are going at the moment.

I was inspired to write this post as I was watching a lot of journal advice videos on YouTube. I wanted to start my own, but felt very strange about it. That led me to think I should just input all my feelings right now onto here instead! This post may be more of interest to future me than those of you who aren’t me that read this, but maybe you’ll find something of interest here.

Since February of this year I have been running regularly, which has been fantastic for me. I know now that I NEED exercise to live a happy existence. It is very noticeable when I don’t exercise how rubbish I become. I really started working on my fitness when I checked my BMI and I was 1 pound away from being considered overweight. And now, since May, I have lost over a stone. I’m loving running (hatching Pokemon eggs is an additional motivation) and I had an awesome run this morning! Smashing PBs.

I also realised a few months ago that overeating bad food is another thing that triggers me being rubbish. I had a huge pizza takeaway (I’m talking stuffed crusts, mozzarella dippers, wedges and all sorts of dips) and the next day was very difficult. It actually put me off my favourite takeaway for a while, and last time we had pizza we were both very careful with what we ordered. I also started eating salads for lunch at work, which I think has had a major impact considering I used to eat cheese sandwiches everyday. Our bread goes mouldy every week now. (Put it in the freezer!)

Another positive impact in my life is using a Bullet Journal. I started one in May as I felt my current day to view diary wasn’t working for me. I love my bullet journal. If you don’t know what that is please Google it, there is so much info online I’m not going to go into details here (but plan a post about how I use it in the future). I write daily lists of what I need to get done, check my daily intake of water, everyone’s birthday and special dates are there, and I use it to show gratitude, log my planking and make sure I keep up with my comic drafting. It takes a little time each week to draw up my weekly log but it is good to review where I’m at and ensure I’m not missing things.

I’ve also been meditating. I love to meditate for 5 minutes after exercising. I think it is having a positive effect on my outlook. I do struggle to find 5 minutes (yeah I know, right) on the few days I don’t exercise, but this is what I’m hoping to improve on. Then I can extend some sessions to 10 minutes. Just need to avoid being late for work!

In the last week or so I am starting to draw more. I am in the process if drafting my graphic novel, something I started in January, and I upped the number of pages I’m drafting per week from 6 to 12 and it is pushing me to draw more regularly. Some days I am just drawing very rough outlines but it is getting me closer to drawing the final pages. My other motivation is to post on Instagram every other day, so I need quality drawings for that.

I’m loving collecting and reading graphic novels. I picked up two today, Andre the Giant (I loved WWF as a kid) and Paper Girls. The first was something I wanted to buy earlier and didn’t, the second was an impulse buy following watching the awesome Stranger Things. I’m in the middle of reading Maus (I know, it has gone unread on my bookshelf for years) and it is an intense read but I’m breathing in anything comic right now. (That includes my 1996 Rugrats comics my Mum found in the loft.)

Brownies starts back this week. We had an awesome trip to the Science Museum this summer. Perhaps something I should’ve written about. And I’m going into this term determined to run a better programme. The plan is to run this term around taster activities from interest badges that the Brownies are interested in (while following You, Community, World and Promise activities) but I’m starting with a discussion on badges to get all questions answered, and then some pulse raising Healthy Heart activities for the first week back.

James and I have some adventures in the pipeline, both Paris and Reykjavik before Christmas so I should have some more inspired posts over the next few months. Plus my bullet journal and camp blanket are other topics to cover. I want to post about my favourite graphic novels too.

So there we have it. My September check in and everything is currently running smoothly, who knows what tomorrow will bring though!

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April Highlights!

So I’m not updating the blog regularly, I wish I could but I also really wish I had time for a lot of things! I’m spending more time writing and drawing; even running Brownies has taken a hit the last 6 months. I will continue updating everything I did to complete Look Wider.

I opened up this new blog post though to discuss the month we’ve just finished. I’ve recently been following the work of Frannerd: http://frannerdsblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and I enjoy her monthly favourite things.

I like the idea of recapping the month, in the future I can look back on what I was up to at a certain time in my life. It is also a great opportunity to draw different things.

So no more introduction, here is my monthly highlights:

AprilHighlights

  1. Finally read The Walking Dead book twelve. James bought me this for Christmas (along with a volume every preceding Christmas for about 6 years). We didn’t realise 2 books came out last year so this was the wrong one! We waiting until we had the money then bought book eleven, and now I’ve read them both I’m so excited for the next one. The story is just so unexpected at times!
  2. I received my Commonwealth Award and Chief Guide Challenge badges! We had a district fun day this month and the county commissioner presented me with my sparkly badges. I’m so proud to wear them on my badge tab. (I know I should only wear one as an adult member, but I’ve never had the opportunity to wear both).
  3. I discovered a secret. One of the motivational speakers I listen to one YouTube suggested listening to motivational audio books in the car, I spend at least an hour and a half on the road on my commute so thought it was a good idea. This Secret though, it works wonders for me. Please check it out.
  4. I saw the Jungle Book this month, I really loved it. I love going to the cinema, it makes watching a film an event, and we spend a lot more time discussing it afterwards. I liked the hint of Bare Necessities but I didn’t think I Want To Be Like You fitted with the way King Louie was portrayed (and I LOVE that song!)
  5. I met a brand new human this month, baby Aaron! My friend Amy had a little boy and we went to meet him, he is such a cute little baby with so much awesome hair.
  6. I’m running again on a regular basis, it feels great. I hate myself when I stop, it is a struggle in the morning but 3 times a week is fair.

So that is my April in a nutshell (the good stuff at least!) I hope to create one of these posts once a month with the fun things going on with my life. The next one should include some Thorpe Park and Comic Con!

Drawing the Marvel way

My art style is a little more cutesy than the standard Marvel style, but I love trying new things so when I saw this magazine while food shopping I thought it was worth a try for 99p!

I’ll admit the free metal ruler was the clincher in my buying this magazine, I needed one anyway for when I start drawing my graphic novel, so why not have a browse. It also came with a 2h pencil, fineliner and a putty rubber so is well worth the price.

20160131_150224_resizedIt is a nice magazine, it is aimed at those new to drawing and goes into the basics of cartoon anatomy, faces and discusses the changes in style over the decades. My favourite things about it though was the pull out sketch paper in the middle, very clever addition.

I was very keen to get this out and attempt drawing Spidey. The paper is ruled to match the sizes of the drawings in the magazine, plus a couple of character outlines so you can grasp the proportions from the start. I grabbed out the pencil and rubber, lay the paper down on my fancy new living room floor in front of the french doors, and put on the first beingboss podcast, then I was ready to start!

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There is little text to consider so a lot is mainly copy what you see. I have a lot of experience drawing people (though not bulky Marvel types) so I think the drawing started out okay. It was helpful to draw the shapes of the muscles, to consider where the lumps and bumps of the human body are.

The pencil is fine, the putty rubber is nice, and I was surprised at how nice the fineliner was (as a cheap magazine I wasn’t expecting much).

This issue doesn’t go into inking, it mentions it will go into this later and advices the reader to outline what they’ve done for a more professional look. I liked the final drawing, I think it looked like the original image. It was a lot of fun actually, considering it was a boring pose and not something I’m likely to replicate in my book.

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I’m unsure whether I’ll be purchasing the rest of the series. For those new to drawing I think it is a great resource for learning to draw people, and I imagine the rest of the series will continue this.