I’ve started streaming on Twitch again after being absent from the platform since 2015— it’s changed a LOT since I last streamed. Nowadays, there’s the ubiquitous ChatBot, Cheers/Bits, different tiers of subscribers, complete with custom emoticons/emotes. I feel old. LOL But hey, I’m excited about catching up!. I can’t believe it’s been over 8 months since I’ve left the corporate grinder. I don’t have much to complain about, except that things can get pretty lonely, having moved across the country, far away from the majority of friends and family. Otherwise, it’s pretty awesome, since I’m no longer bound by the constraints of a stressful job and declining health. Woot! I’m working out 3x per week to get back to a healthy weight, doing my best to make new friends in the community, and spending my free time painting freelance commission projects.
To catch you up, the last couple of months have been pretty hard on me emotionally, since our dog Kuma was not-so-slowly deteriorating from a combination of ailments. We found out this summer that he was showing early signs of kidney failure and the vet was convinced an inoperable tumor/growth was putting pressure on his spine and causing coordination problems (we had a separate tumor on his neck removed in June). If that wasn’t enough, somewhere along the way, he suffered a stroke (possibly as a result of the tumor removal surgery) and wasn’t entirely himself. Most days, he’d know who we were and had control of his bodily functions… others not so much. We rescued him from an abuse, sarcoptic mange, and heartworm 10 years ago and I can still remember it so clearly, it seems like yesterday. Saying goodbye tore me apart. He was the best dog. I’m tearing up just writing about this, so I’ll leave it at that.
Before he passed, we opened our hearts to a puppy! In an oddly-timed turn of events, we were the proud owners of both an elderly dog and a 10 week old Leonberger puppy the very next day after I returned from ReaperCon. My husband loves Leonbergers, a large dog breed, and has wanted one for many, many years. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle adopting another dog for a long while after Kuma passed, so I agreed to accept a new furry member of the family before we said goodbye, knowing that a companion could help our elderly dog as he fought to stay active. While we’ve always rescued dogs from shelters, Leonbergers aren’t very common in the United States. However, as luck would have it, we happened to live in the same city as a extremely reputable breeder that shows Leonbergers (who is evidently kind of a big deal). We went through several rounds of interviews and, while the waiting list is usually 2-3+ years, we made the cut and thanked our lucky stars it worked out the way it did. So without further ado, here’s a picture of “Remy”, our new little chunk, at 6 weeks, 14 weeks, and 5 months. As you can see, she’s grown quite a bit! (Those are my feet, not children’s feet, in the third picture below) LOL
Now back to painting! I’m officially open for commissions and I’m currently working on 4 projects for my good friends in California and New York— more Work-in-Progress photos on my Twitter feed!
Kiri, Female Ninja - Reaper Miniatures
Geiravor - Bronze Age Miniatures
Gold Smoke Knight - Kingdom Death (1st run collector’s edition)
Tara the Silent - Reaper Miniatures (25th anniversary edition)
This past Monday, I completed my prerequisites for Twitch Affiliate status, and as of this week, I’m now able to accept subscriptions! Soon, I’ll be doing raffles for subscribers and providing more value in addition to the entertainment and content I provide on Twitch. We’ve had quite a few goofy moments as I’ve jumped back into streaming after so long, including lights running out of batteries and falling over on my desk, Cherry Coke Zero floods & electronic damage control, me bumping the webcam so often so I sang an embarrassing song as a penalty. I’ve met some great folks and it’s been good times :) I know not everyone can afford to travel to different conventions, and Twitch is a great way to connect with more folks in the hobby!
I also updated my website! I noticed I hadn’t posted any completed miniatures since 2016/2017 and I went ahead and posted 3 more, though it’s still in need of a serious refresh. Again, I really need to get painting again after taking so much time off. Part of me was really discouraged since taking time off meant I stagnated regarding creative skill development. When I re-entered the scene, the great painters out there painted even more awesome stuff and the folks first starting out were now great painters… I was both proud and happy for them, but at the same time discouraged for myself. If only I’d kept painting… if only I’d kept streaming… what could I have accomplished?
Now I’m in a place where I can take the time to truly consider what I want to do with my life. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. Not too long ago, I fantasized about working from home and thought, “I could learn a new language, read at least 3 books a month, volunteer at an animal shelter, travel more…” and 8 months later, I’ve stayed busy but have accomplished absolutely none of those things. But hey, there are a lot worse things than feeling lost with all the freedom you now have. My biggest complaint is the weather— not being able to wet blend (even with a wet palette) since I run a small space heater in order to not freeze in my own home. LOL Good-natured complaints aside, I truly like it here and I hope to find you on Twitch very soon!