Saturday, December 31, 2016

Are You An Artist? January Will Be Your Month!

This January I have decided to do something special for artists. You see, as I'm going through a re-decorating of some rooms in my house, I'm needing to find some art (whether it be paintings, sculptures, etc). So, every week I will highlight one artist. Not only will this give you some exposure, but also give me some very good ideas!

Would ya like to be part of this? It's easy-peasy! (Why do I sound like a car salesman??)

You can e-mail or you can tweet me! Now, it doesn't matter what medium it is. I love all kinds of art- whether it be clay, paint, or that ever-so-useful pencil. 

Luckily, the only art I've created was with Photoshop, and those are never going to be seen. Actually... I don't know if I even have copies of those anymore. They were cartoons of some kind. Unfortunately, they've been wiped clean from the interwebz and from any computer we've had. If I ever come across them, I'll be sure to share... although it has been a few years.

I've gotten off track once again. Darn you, nostalgia.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Overcoming Anxiety: My Story

As the new year comes closer, I'm constantly thinking back to this year and past years of when my anxiety took over my life. It's hard to remember some of those memories because of how much they took a toll. I wanted to share my story- not only to help move on, but also to help others. Remember, you are NOT alone. There are people who have dealt and are currently dealing with an anxiety disorder. If you need help, check out the Helpful Anxiety Links page at the top!

I don't know when my anxiety truly started. It could have began in high school, where I was pretty much anti-social, except for the few close friends I had. Perhaps it all started a few years ago when I had a stalker, and it would be the time when I was too scared to leave the house alone. He would show up where I would be. He even drove by the house a few times. I never left the house without someone with me. I didn't know what this man was capable of. I worried every second of every day about it. The dreams I had would only exacerbate that... Yes, I was scared. Needless to say, I avoided the places I frequented so that I wouldn't always have to look over my shoulder. This did go on for a few years, but luckily I had family and friends who would be the support I needed.

What happened to the stalker? I don't know. One day he just stopped, and that was a day I was both nervous and elated. It took me a while to come down from it, and I still had dreams- but those slowly went away. I was eventually able to get out of the house again and live.

For years I labored under the fact that anxiety was going to be "forever," that it was the one thing I could not shake. Day in and day out was filled with anxiety attacks, worries, and even insomnia. I think my family would have called me a "human zombie;" human enough to talk, but zombie enough to need caffeine to survive the day. I didn't sleep. I was up until 4 in the morning going over things I could not control. That had become my life, and while I had gotten use to it, I couldn't keep going on like that. The anxiety attacks were becoming much more numerous, and it was taking its toll on my mind, body, and spirit. I had become a shell of a person, which also brought on some depression. How is it that the mind can fire back on a person, leaving them unable to cope with things thrown their way?? It's hell on Earth, and something I would NEVER wish on my enemies.

Every day I went through this, my family was the biggest support system I had ever had. My sister felt helpless anytime during an attack, but stood by me. My mother gave me the shoulder to cry on. My father pushed me to overcome a lot of obstacles that stood in my way. They never pushed me to do something I wasn't comfortable with. They were patient, which made it much easier. Fortunately, I also had a friend help with overcoming the anxiety. He knew what I was going through and never judged me. The biggest thing about all this? Without all of these people in my life, I wouldn't be able to walk out of the house and smile. I wouldn't be able to say "Hey, I've got uveitis. This is okay, and I will be okay." I am okay, and things will be okay.

How did I start suppressing this evil beast?

Simple. One day at a time. It doesn't happen overnight- and certainly not in just a few days. It took a lot of big steps, a lot of climbing obstacles to get to this point today. I still have some anxiety that lingers, and that will be something that may stay forever.... But, I can take solace knowing that I no longer have a dark cloud hanging over my head. That I no longer feel as if the sky is falling. It's a really good feeling. I'm laughing again, I'm enjoying life again. Somehow, I never thought I'd see this day coming.

I'm glad it did.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Aint Afraid Of No Ghosts

We're nearing the end of 2016, and with the recent death of so many lately (Carrie Fisher, George Michael, etc), I wanted to keep my mind busy on other things. So... in order to keep from dwelling on those deaths, it's time to start our Artist Month of January early. It's only a few days, so why not? This time, we're going hunting for ghosts.

$20
Just recently I went on a Ghostbusters watching marathon. I'm not sure if you'd call it a "marathon," but I watched both movies in the same day. It was very, very cold outside (even by Texas standards), and I was stuck inside. It was either watch Doctor Who- which I also did that week- or watch Ghostbusters. After flipping a coin several times, Ghostbusters eventually won out. While The Doctor keeps me laughing as well, some endings to the episodes will have you crying. I was wanting to avoid tears at that point. 

However, I do have a confession. I have yet to see the reboot. I know, I know.

After watching those 4 crazy guys, I thought I'd get a head start on January and see what creativity the lovely artists on Etsy have come up with!



"I collect spores, molds, and fungus"
Egon Ghostbuster Print
From: WonderLibrarianArt
$10
Before we move onto the next few, I just want to say that her artwork is absolutely adorable. (I've been wishlisting a few things...)

Mousebusters Print
From: ChetArt
$25
(Okay, I'm having a cuteness overload with this one)

From: CoralineArts
$16
And last, but CERTAINLY not least... Our favorite and green fellow!
From: VintonStudio
$45

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dream Crate from Loot Crate: Fandom Fantasy

I'm going to be honest, I've always enjoyed the idea of subscription boxes. At one time we had a month subscription to Japan Crate, where they send out candies and snacks from Japan. So since Loot Crate recently contacted me, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to share what they're doing, and it's actually quite awesome.


What? You've never heard of Loot Crate?

If you don't know about Loot Crate, they're a subscription crate company that sends all sorts of gifts for geeks and gamers to your door. They're currently looking to find out what fellow pop culture fanatics would do if they were able to create they own personal crate....

And you really should check them out, they're very cool- and not to mention, affordable!

They asked me if I could create a dream crate of my fantasies ("fantasies" being my own addition), what would I put in it? Now, anyone can join in on this to create your own. If you have a blog, YouTube channel... It doesn't matter. They'll be highlighting a few crate ideas on their social medias, and may even choose one to turn into a reality. So, it's time to have a little (or a lot) of fun with this.

I brought my sister in to help with the ideas of what I would add since there's SO MUCH out there, and it was impossible to get them all. Plus, to be honest, I had no idea which way I was going to go. Was I going to have one central theme or choose some from my favorite fandoms? Fandoms won.

Here are the choices that we've finally decided on:

Legolas Plush: Lord of the Rings fan? Heck yes, so there's no way we couldn't include him!
Daydreaming Doctor T-shirt: I love the Tenth Doctor, and this is a gorgeous shirt. It'd be worn every day if I could get away with it.
Castiel Supernatural Funko Pop: A few years ago, my sister was watching a show called "Supernatural," and once I started watching it I was hooked. Castiel needs to be included in this.
Harry Potter Pen & Bookmark Set: Wingardium Leviosa! You're always needing a pen, so might as well have one that also doubles as a wand. *insert other magical words here*
R2D2 Bluetooth Speaker: Music and Star Wars, isn't that pretty self explanatory?? Who doesn't need another droid around the house?
Captain Kirk Flash Drive: I was raised on Star Trek as well... Not only is it cool to look at it, it doubles as a flash drive. Very quite useful!

If you could create your very own dream crate, what would you include in it?

Friday, December 16, 2016

How I Grew As A Person This Year

This year was a year of change for me- as surprising and unexpecting as it was. I did things I never dreamed I would accomplish. I overcame obstacles that I thought were too hard or high to climb. There was even a moment when I thought I couldn't go on anymore, but I persevered.

The year started off wonderfully. I had just gotten into a new relationship and was very happy (I still am!), and for some reason, a lot of my anxiety dissolved with that. Don't get me wrong, I still have some of it... I always will... But I wasn't obsessing over every little thing I couldn't change. I was sleeping again. I was able to face society again, and every time I faced a problem, I wasn't greeted with a panic attack. I don't know what changed, but I am very glad it did. Otherwise I would still a sleep-deprived zombie that frequently would avoid anything out of my comfort zone. I think "S" had something to do with it, although I'm unsure how. A mystery is afoot!

Fast forward to spring. I started having major pain and redness in my right eye. Every time a light source would hit it, I'd be in excruciating pain and unable to open the eye. My vision was very fuzzy, which meant my left eye would have to compensate. After going to the hospital, that's when I was partially diagnosed with uveitis. So, I went to see a retina specialist, which also meant socializing. Yes, the social anxiety was somewhat strong then. Through those doctor visits, not only did I learn to relax (hard to do when they are very close to your face on a weekly basis), I also learned I have a very strong support system. Family. And friends. So after months of strong steroid eye drops, I am uveitis free.

This year I also focused on my health. I lost weight, I started running/walking with my sister, and everything else fell into place. I have energy. While there are times my kryptonites (Dr Pepper and chocolate) sing a very loud song, I make up for what I do eat by walking/running. Some days you don't feel like getting out and being active, and that's okay. The next day, though, you must get out and do something... whether it's walk to the grocery store a mile or so down the street, or just taking a stroll through your neighborhood. It's winter, I know so it's hard to do when there's ice and snow on the ground. Luckily here in Texas, we haven't had any snow or ice, so I am free to run or walk as often as I like. Thanks, Mother Nature.

So I guess what I'm saying is that this year was life-changing for me. I'm happy, healthy, able to live life, and nothing could be better than that.... Except maybe being able to fall asleep without a care in the world, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Until then, I'm satisfied with what I have now. I've learned to trust, to love, to grow, to accept. It turned out to be a year of some good and some bad changes, but it only makes you stronger. Makes you ready to take life by the handle and push it into throttle.

.... And that the end of today's "Life Lessons".....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Visiting Bankstons: Local Geek Store


Yesterday was me and my sister's birthday, so we both decided that we would take a trip to Bankston's, a local store that has everything a geek lover would want- comic books, sports, collectibles, and a lot of other neat stuff! I'm not much of a sport fan, so I will leave it up to those who are.


I will admit that while I've lived in this city my entire life, I haven't visited that place before. They've been around since 1985, and for as long as I can remember they've been in the same shopping center. Since it's just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I currently live, a small walk was in order. I didn't know what to expect when I walked in, but boy did my mind dance around the whole place. There were comics, a giant Spiderman wearing a Santa hat holding a baby Spiderman (sadly, I didn't get a picture of this), and just around the corner was a life-size Stormtrooper.

Now, I will admit that my anxiety was a little high due to going into a brand new place. It usually does this visiting a store for the very first time, but after that? I will waltz in there and feel right at home... Which, oddly enough, how I felt the longer I stayed there. Right across from Bankston's is an equally geeky place called "Kings Landing." That is next on my list since they deal with games of any kind- board, card, retro, etc.

Okay okay, let's get on with the tour.
C3P0 greets you!
First walking in, you don't know where to start. We started at the right and worked our way to the middle of the store. You'll see why soon. But first, a few small goodies.
AAH! EVERY DOCTOR WHO COMIC!

Almost every Walking Dead item you'd want

Wait... there's a Doctor Who card game?

I WANT!

Now, in the middle of the store, you will find this fella guarding a room. Well, somewhat.
He doesn't answer any questions regarding where his dark overlord is. Needless to say, he's just stands there, but that's okay with me!

And a few more awesome things we found just browsing.

  


Before we left this wonderful world, we did come across a comic book that is old. And for $125, it can be yours. I'm going to admit that I know NOTHING of this comic, and would actually love more information on it. Any help??

There are a lot of items in that store that are on my Christmas wish-list, even at $8 for a Funko Pop. Of course, the life-size Stormtrooper is on there, although I am unsure if he is for sale.

Now, they do have DC/Marvel items, but I couldn't keep up with everything they have, so on the next trip we will concentrate on those. That is, if I make it past the Stormtrooper.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Very Merry Disney Etsy Christmas

$150

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I'd take us on a little shopping trip through Etsy, one of my many favorite places. Now, I know I could have written this earlier in the month, but things have been crazy around this house that I just could never find the time to sit down, look at the thousands of items, and write them all out. So, when I did find the few minutes to compose it, why not do it without any distractions?

So why Disney and not Star Wars or something geeky? Disney brings somewhat of a warm, fuzzy feeling when you think of Christmas. I watched Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas a lot when it came out, along with the other Disney holiday movies, so it brings back that nostalgia. Plus, who could say "no" to something as adorable as something with Mickey or Goofy on it? Yeah, I didn't think so.

So, let's get on with this little shopping adventure, shall we?

Confession: I do love banners- birthday, new year...you get the idea. So, when I came across one that was Disney-related, I knew I couldn't pass up sharing it. You'll definitely see why!
Merry Christmas Banner (THE EARS!!!)
$25

What would what a Disney Christmas be without The Nightmare Before Christmas? There's a lot of debate over if it's a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. Personally? It's an all-year round movie. Watch it in the summer if you want. No one specifically said you had to watch it at one particular holiday.
$16.79

Now, did you really expect me to NOT throw Star Wars into this one? When I came across this item, I made a noise that sounded like fangirl squealing...(but we'll keep that just between us) I present to you a Mickey Mouse Darth Vader!!
$6 (I may have to get a few)

Earlier in the post, I mentioned Goofy. Well, I always loved seeing him decked out in holiday gear. His smiling would always bring one to mine, as odd as that sounds. While this is not something you hang on your tree (that's coming up next), it still very Christmas-y.
$19.99

See what I mean??

Now, our last one for today I am bringing in a superhero. This is someone we've all grown up with, even our parents. It started with Christopher Reeve and has now transformed into someone we all recognize with his mask and suit.
$11.63

While there are several more weeks of shopping to do, I wouldn't wait too much longer- especially if you want to have a Disney theme this year!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

When Clay Meets Horror (Clay Disarray)


Ever since I was a little girl, I've always loved horror movies- even though my mother thought I was too young for them. My father would sneak them in when it was just us. I think my very first horror movie was either "Halloween" or "The Poltergeist." He started me off on "The Crypt Keeper" first, then we went into the harder stuff. Now I know I could have written this during the October month, but I just recently found out about this artist.

When I came across Clay Disarray's posters/clay work, I started swooning. I couldn't stop looking at the wonderful detail and the coloring! Since this here blog showcases a plethora of other categories (see: fishing and cats), I thought that other horror lovers would enjoy this just as much as I do. Now, I will be the first one to admit that at one time in my life I DID try my hand at modeling clay. Let's just say that my mind had the grand idea of what I wanted to create, but my hands and fingers did not cooperate. I gave it up after my Santa came up looking much more like Gollum than the jolly guy.

So, I thought I'd share the work of someone who does it very well. Not to mention that some of it is slightly cute, even for being horror-related! (And yes, slightly jealous of Lizzie's ability)


So what's her inspiration for creating these? From her website-
As well as movies and music, I also enjoy looking at an array of art, illustration, sculpture and animation as I’ve a bit of an eclectic taste. There are so many brilliant artists out there whose work I admire, and I love nothing more than going to galleries to gain a little inspiration.




  
Guess what guys? She also has several stores where you can buy stuff!! Do you want art print? Well, slide on over to her Society6 store. How about some physical pieces? Visit her on Etsy. (She has Death Note and Jay & Silent Bob for sale. Definitely want!) Although, I must say I have my eye on some of her art prints. They are on my birthday/Christmas wishlist.

Follow Clay Disarray on Twitter
Give her a follow on Facebook

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Zombie With A Shotgun

With The Walking Dead, Zombieland and the like, you have HUMANS trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. What if... and stay with me here... the zombies (you read that right) protect themselves from the humans?

When I read that, I thought it was crazy, too! However, it doesn't sound like a bad idea. In fact, it sounds downright awesome. It's about time these other beings play defense! (I think I've been watching too much football.)

In "Zombie With a Shotgun" from Hilton Ariel Ruiz, we meet Aaron and Rachel, two humans with Aaron, the one whom is infected with a virus. They don't know what it is, and it's slow-moving. However, the other humans have decided that because he IS infected and IS a zombie, they must be killed. They [Rachel and Aaron] defend themselves from those that want them dead. So these two must find any way to survive.

Here's a link to all of the episodes: (Easier for you to watch)
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5



After watching a few of the episodes, I'm hooked! It's refreshing to see a new side of the zombie genre, and it's well done.

When I asked Ruiz what made him get into filming and create a whole new series just from the zombie's point of view, he had this to say...
I always wanted to do my own interpretation of the zombie genre. I was tired of seeing the same story and never understood why the genre never evolved.

Now that I've introduced you to the web series, I'd like to say that they are filming a full-length feature film, but need your help. They are raising $20k to get everything done that they will need. (I have ZERO experience in this field, but I'm assuming it is quite a hard task to do.)

If you'd like to help contribute, you may click on their GoFundMe link. Not that this should be your only motive, but there are perks as well!

Zombie With A Shotgun IMDB
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