Secret Sophie

Hey guys! Sorry for delayed post. It was late and I hit "Save" instead of "Save + Publish". So embarrassed! Evidently the holidays have scrambled my brain.

Can you believe the holidays are almost here?! I'm still shocked Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is only three weeks away. Even though retailers are convinced that we need a full-on holiday assault after Halloween, it's hard to get into the holiday season when it's 80 degrees outside. While I'm forced to acknowledge the upcoming holiday season when the ice-cream truck is driving down the neighborhood street blaring "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", I'm slowly easing into the holiday spirit. I find the holidays to be a stressful time-- lots of balancing different family expectations, mitigating inevitable hurt feelings (but knowing it's impossible to keep everyone happy), not to mention the financial strain it puts on everyone to travel with kids, pets, etc.

It's difficult look forward to the holidays this year.  This one's going to be especially difficult since it's the first time we'll be without a key family member. My Other Half said "I'm just going to try to muddle through the holidays without breaking down in front of everyone. There will be lots of crying." Ouch.

We'll get through it, I know we will. We have to. We're lucky to have people in our lives who play tug-o-war over us during the holidays because someone told them we're fun to have around :) We're grateful to still have that. When I feel overwhelmed by everything, I try to focus on the true spirit of the season, kindness and giving to others. I'm not able to make wide, sweeping gestures of good will, so I try to find lots of little ways to give, even if it's just brightening someone's day. So I joined my very first Secret Sophie to kick off the giving season! 

What is Secret Sophie, you ask? Well, it’s a lot like Secret Santa, with a more attractive (albeit more dangerous) delivery person! (For those not in the know, Sophie the Succubus is Reaper’s mascot.) This is the time of year for Reaper forumites to give a little holiday cheer to each other.
— fanguad (forum member)

Drawn by Izzy "Talin" Collier - Concept Art for Reaper 2003 Sophie

Both ub3r_n3rd and fanguad spent a lot of time arranging this event through the kindness of their own hearts. I just got word who my secret partner is and I can't divulge too much, on the off-chance that my "Secret Sophie" reads my blog. Long story short, we filled out a questionnaire and had the option of choosing a "gift-only" or "painted miniature + gift" and answered a list of questions that will help give our mystery partner clues about what we like/dislike. For example, some people say they prefer historical/fantasy miniatures, others prefer not to receive nude/gory miniatures. They pair you up with people who want what you can paint. (For example, I didn't sign up to paint gruesome monsters since it's not my strong suit). 

The person I'm going to be painting for asked for a type of miniature I haven't painted before (but within my abilities) and I'm going to have to get creative to come up with a good solution! I'm looking forward to stretch my skills to meet their wishes. While the deadline to exchange miniatures is January 15, 2016, I want to paint and ship my miniature gift before Christmas. Ideally, I'll ship it the second week of December before the post offices get super-busy. I want to ensure my Secret Sophie gets my miniature in the best possible condition-- I hope they like it! I'll be sure to post some work-in-progress photos soon.

Other than that, I signed up for Amazon Prime (I know I'm well-behind the times) and realized they had Legend of Korra. In one evening I watched the entire Season 1 and started Season 2. I should probably turn it off since it's 1:15am in the morning and I should probably get some sleep. I guess. If I have to :)