Hhhhmmm.... So I suppose this is where I explain what this is. I guess this is my spot for my ramblings, what's happening, etc. Let's start with Hi! I'm Calicoe or Urtica. Those are my main two online alias that I tend to go by. I'm an avid anime/manga fan and I try to do art in my free time. I'm married and have a one year old son and two cats. I'm here to make friends and hopefully improve my art. On that note I am willing to accept safe for work art requests, but depending on demand and my available free time it might take me a little while to fulfill. I am a stay at home mom so my free time is in short supply. Also I mentioned it once on one of my pieces, but I tend to keep clean line art of most of my drawings so if you are interested in doing a recolor of one just let me know all I ask is for credit for the line art.

Snow....in April?!

Yep you read the title right we have snow right now on the ground in the middle of April. Woke up to around three inches this morning. I think most of the state is being hit with it though. Luckily none of us have to leave the house for work. Not that three inches around here is a lot by any means, but there are definitely people out there who are not prepared to drive in any snow. It reminds me of years past when I was walking to work and fought a polar bear and ended up fracturing my elbow and tearing the ligament in my wrist (Mind you I remember a polar bear, but other people might just remember me falling gracefully on black ice). It was a cold April 2nd...the day is imprinted into my memory...but that's a story for another time. This is generally just a quick what's been happening to me update so if these type of entries bore you I will not be offended if you stop now.

Anyways moving right along for those of you who have stuck with. The roommate and her child decided to bring a cold of epic proportions into our house. My husband, son, and myself have been sick for nearly two weeks at this point so I'm hoping it goes away soon. We've spent a few nights on the couch the ends of which are reclining so that my kiddo could sleep at an angle. Being slightly propped up made it so he could actually sleep without coughing the whole night. It's been a rough patch, but we're getting through it. During this time we've been doing a lot of chilling and just relaxing due to the low energy levels. We started watching a clay-mation children's show called Pingu. I'm not sure how many of you have seen it, but it's all about a family of penguins. They don't actually speak except according to my closed captions in penguinese. It's a little weird, but oddly cute? You have to watch it with closed captions! I can't stress this enough. I nearly died at the "stern penguinese", "cautionary penguinese", "cheerful penguinese".

I finally got my second volume of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun. I have to say the manga is even funnier than the anime. I've had moments where I'm should my husband wondered if he married a mad woman as I was laughing loudly at something that happened on the pages of my book. There's more characters and some of the situations are just so insane that you can't help, but giggle at the events happening. I also finally got around to reading all of the Toilet Bound Hanako-kun books that I have. I think they came out with a book 0 that I want to snag it's a prequel and I'm looking forward to the next volume. It's such a fun cute series with that slightly creepy supernatural/horror twist that I really enjoy. On the anime front the second season of Rise of the Shield Hero is finally out! I've been debating watching it as it comes out or just waiting until most of it is out so I can binge it without being left hanging when they toss in the expected cliff hangers at the end of an episode.

For those of you who have made it this far thanks for sticking with me! I know my posts can get a bit rambling! On the art front I've been working on trying to get back into the flow of things. I just haven't been feeling at my creative best lately, but video games and books definitely help. I did the drawing and commission for my friend and I think that's helping. Moonfini gave me permission and some inspiration to draw her character Joy again so I am in the middle of working on that piece currently. I hope that by the time I recover from this dumb cold I'll be feeling back up to snuff for creating new and fun pictures. Thanks for hanging in there with me! Hope you all are staying healthy and having fun!

It's Update Time!!!

Alright it's definitely been a while since I last posted on here. I will admit that things have been improving as we're all settling into a groove and adjusting to each other. I think as bad as it sounds the fact I know we're already 5 months into the one year agreement is helping! I have noticed that the stress has been sucking on my creative motivations. I just haven't had much of a pull to draw or create and that does make me sad. On a brighter note my kiddo has continued to be pretty amazing. He turns three in March and I'm trying to figure out where the time went! I feel like I just brought him home from the hospital yesterday. He's getting so tall too! In a moment of mom insanity I splurged and bought him a fancy play set on Amazon. It wasn't suppose to arrive until March 1st, but it got here just last Friday! My husband, his grandfather, and I had a good time spending two days putting the whole thing together. My son ran out and said "It's the park!" and we've used it.... three days? It of course got cold and then snowed within a few days of finishing it! Darn you fake spring! Apparently the way to summon very late snow is to build a play set. In other news I've been reading all the Jujutsu Kaisen manga that are currently out. Like Demon Slayer I loved the anime and couldn't wait for more of it to come out to find out what happens in the story. I'm really enjoying it! For something more light hearted I started Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun (the manga) as well. Again I've watched the anime, but hoping that the manga of course goes further. I'm still waiting for the second volume to arrive though as it was currently out of stock XD.

On the video game front I happily discovered just the other day that nintendo added Earthbound to the virtual SNES machine on the switch! I'm so thrilled to play it again! It is absolutely one of my favorite RPGs of all time. The nostalgia of the music and the plot just makes me smile while I play it. Just like rereading your favorite book it's like having an old friend visit that you haven't seen in a while. Truly it's the little things in life that make you giddy. Speaking of old friends one of my friends that I haven't seen in over a year is also coming to visit tomorrow for a week. Super excited for that! I have to say that life has been feeling pretty good lately and it's a nice change. Now if the snow would just melt.... I hope you're all staying safe, keeping healthy, and living your best life. Thanks for reading!

Holidays and Roomies

Whelp I think I'm officially throwing in the towel on the chibis. Life just hasn't really been calming down for me with the holidays approaching. I'm also not going to lie that a large portion of my time has been taken up by the new FFXIV expansion coming out. My husband did give me an early Christmas present of some new alcohol based markers. They are Ohuhu brand and seem to be mainly sold through Amazon. They're not quite copic level, but they're pretty darn good. I do have one chibi to post that I colored with them and just haven't got around to posting.
We're still adjusting to having my friend and her child living with us. She is one of my best friends, but honestly living with people you're not in a relationship with or married to is one of the tougher things in life. We don't agree with how children should be reprimanded either. I think one of the tougher things is that we always seem to be keeping an eye on her kid while she's on her phone. I'm really bad at dealing with confrontations and my husband goes overboard. I'm trying to find a happy medium way of discussing the issues with her. I also seem to be making all of her child's meals when they're here. I don't mind too much as I'm usually preparing food for my own kid, but I don't like feeling like this is an expectation.
Ok enough whining....FFXIV has been great fun once you get past the login congestion! I'm enjoying the new areas and the environments as always are really beautiful. I am a bit sad at the reuse of gear with just a slight color change. I'm not sure how I feel about the "npc must follow you don't loose them!" and the "follow the npc, but don't let them see you" quests that they introduced. It feels a bit like a way of expanding the amount of time you have to play because you can't just teleport to the next spot. I haven't tried the new classes yet as I wanted to get through the main story first.
Started watching the new season of Demon Slayers! I love this series so much! Watching it really does make my hands itch to draw some fan art for it. Finished up the mugen train arc last night and just saw the first episode of the new one. Can't wait for a new episode next week!
We got the Christmas tree all set up and for the most part I've got all my Christmas shopping taken care of (Thanks Amazon!). Been in the Christmas mood which means baking cookies! I let my kiddo make cookies with me for the first time today. We did chocolate chip with chopped up reese's peanut butter cups. They turned out pretty good and he was a great little helper. I did have to stop him from eat all the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups. It was a great way to spend the day indoors as it's been either raining or snowing all day long. I must admit that I am a huge snow fan! I can't wait for it to pile up so we can go play in it and pull the kiddo around in his sled. I hope you are all staying healthy and happy this holiday season and fingers crossed I'll have some new art stuff up soon! (working on a late birthday present for a friend atm!)

Challenges

This fall continues to find my life full of personal challenges. I feel like I'm making excuses, but I really did want to do the OC-tober challenge. I think it's going to take me most of November as well, but my personal life keeps getting in the way and there's no avoiding it. October saw to us having roommates for the first time ever as my friend and her child moved in with us. We're happy to have them for the year they need, but it really has been a huge adjustment for all of us. Then my husband and I got sick for weeks. Initially I thought it had to be covid as my friend who moved in with us had her whole family get it. A friend who got sick after seeing us though tested negative and my friend's husband who got sick at the same time as us right after being here also was negative so we still have no idea. All we know is it left us sick for a while. Right after recovering and finally getting to draw again my aunt's mother died. While sad and upset for my aunt it didn't really affect me directly (we're not all super close as to knowing parents of none blood related relatives). Then I had a friend that I've known since high school in the hospital with pneumonia. Thank goodness she's been discharged with a clean bill of health. While this was happening though another family friend was hospitalized. She is a close friend of my sister and basically an older sister to me. I can't remember a time when I didn't know her. I even sang at her wedding. She got married to someone I consider a big brother. (Another very close childhood friend to my older siblings that I've known forever). The night she went in we were informed she could die. It seemed like all the things that could improve her condition were also likely to kill her. Miraculously she survived the night and things have gradually improved. At this point we are at least day by day and not hour by hour. If this weren't enough to send someone over the edge my two year old son suddenly got a fever the other night of 101.3. No other symptoms besides a fever and lack of appetite. I'm a bit at my wits end, but the fever has since gone down. He's still be really clingy and lethargic, but going to give it a day or so before having a real mommy break down and taking him to the pediatricians. It's tough being a first time mom! You don't want to overreact, but you don't want to know do something if you should have! I apologize if this sounds like a pity post, but it's not. I just wanted somewhere to vent and put down my frustrations as right now I'm trying to be a pillar to all those around me who need my support right now. I just feel like a slightly cracking pillar and I needed to let this all out so maybe I can fill those cracks up again for a bit and hold it together until things get back to normal. For those of you still checking up on my OC-tober challenge drawings thank you! I appreciate it right now more than I can say. I promise I'm going to keep going with them when I can and I even have one right now ready to post as soon as I can find a minute. If you read this far know that my life generally is not this chaotic and future posts should not be this long of a tragic rant. Thanks for listening!

The War on OC-tober

Well as many of you already know I've been trying to do the OC-tober challenge this year and life is truly making it a challenge. I'm officially ten days behind! We have a friend moving in with us along with her kiddo and so we've been adjusting and trying to figure out the new groove of things. We also had an impromptu vacation into the mountains. Chasing after two kiddos and trying to enjoy the scenery left little time for much else. Got to go to the zoo which was actually completely open this time, but it was a bit too crowded for comfort. So with all these excuses I'm finally getting back into the swing of producing my OC's for the month. I did have one idea for day 10, but scrapped it for the current one as I decided I liked it more. My mind has been trying to focus on multiple things like coming up with ideas for characters and where we can move stuff to create more room for everyone. Having a household go from three to five definitely makes things more crowded and it's amazing how much more mess there is from two toddler tornadoes instead of one. I'm not giving up though! Hopefully I'll be churning out more quality OC's it just might take me longer than I'd like. I've firmly given up on finishing them all by the end of the month. To those of you still doing the challenges on time I'm mad impressed and keep up the fantastic work!
Anime updates....man what have I been watching.... Tsukimichi a moonlit fantasy which wow it's so much fun and surprisingly serious at the same time! I've been watching Horimiya and it's fun to revisit. (I haven't seen the anime before, but I read the manga). I'm a sucker for a warm fuzzy anime although I'll take a tear jerker too...Your Lie in April comes to mind.... so good! so sad!! Uuumm... oh rewatching Rise of the Shield Hero as season 2 should soon be on it's way. Manga wise I have some catching up to do. I bought the entire box set for Tokyo Ghoul:Re (already had the first part), still working through Fushigi Yugi, and reading Toilet Bound Hanako Kun. Finding time for everything I'd like to do is getting difficult. Between hobbies, kiddos, friends, and house work life is pretty hectic! I must admit that I miss watching scary movies and horror stuff at this time of year. I've settled for horror podcasts that I can listen to through earbuds away from tiny ears. Kiddo already believes in monsters so don't want to give those monsters any new faces by watching something that might horrify him. I feel like eventually though you have a snapping point and start thinking....my parents showed me that and I'm a somewhat well adjusted adult....Anyway hope you're all doing well, staying healthy, and letting those creative minds spill out onto paper, ink, digital outlet, or whichever way you choose to express yourselves! Thanks for reading!