Drawing Cute Things For Fun

Drawing Cute Things For Fun

Drawing cute things? Or cute things drawing? If you’re a teacher looking for resources for art education, go to Blick for art resources and free lesson plans when you’re done here.

When it comes to drawing doodles, “cute” is an identifiable aesthetic. At least it is on YouTube. And from what I can tell, it involves drawing giant cartoon eyes and a tiny mouth on an object that doesn’t have any business seeing or smiling.

Watermelon. Coffee mugs. Unicorn cake. Ice cream cones.

I set out looking for drawing tutorials of simple objects with thick lines for the purpose of coloring, and these fit the bill. I colored with Crayola SuperTips. Right now I only have water-based markers. (I have some alcohol-based markers on my holiday wishlist though. OMG. Can’t wait to get some and try them. I have never used alcohol markers before, but I’ve been watching actual artists on YouTube with their professional markers, and *swoon*)

In other visual art-related news, I posted a sketch I drew on Instagram yesterday. I followed a tutorial for drawing faces, and it turned out…well…click the link if you want to know.

Basically, I’m just trying out a bunch of random artsy things and seeing if any of them stick. My first love is and always will be Zentangle, but sometimes I want to try something with a little more color or just challenge myself to do something new. Then, while I’m coloring a slice of watermelon or practicing Zentangle patterns, I’m usually thinking about the memoir. Yeah, that book I drafted a couple of months ago and am now too chicken to look at again.

Top Pick

How To Draw Everything


300 Drawings of Cute Stuff, Animals, Food, Gifts, and other Amazing Things

I know, I know. I will get back to it, but I’m thinking maybe January or February.

JOY – Christmas Zentangle Inspired Art

JOY – Christmas Zentangle Inspired Art

When January rolls around, I’m thinking about doing a simple Zentangle video every day for the entire month. I mean, it’s something that sounds appealing to me right now. We’ll see how things actually go. For now enjoy this Christmas Zentangle Inspired Art.

While you might spot some official Zentangle patterns in this piece, it is purely by accident. I was just messing around with ink and paper and feeling a little bit of Christmas cheer. I mean joy.

For more videos like this, please like and subscribe to my channel on YouTube!

I’m sure you hear that every time you watch a video on someone’s YouTube channel. But it really does help us get seen and convince the algorithm gods that our channel is worthy. Of course if you hate our content leave us alone we are doing just fine at discouraging ourselves, thank you very much.

Other things that help include sharing our channel with someone who’d like it and leaving a comment on the video. Not that you should spam us or anything, but if you’ve got something to say we creators love to hear it. Errr, read it.

You Gonna Eat That?

You Gonna Eat That?

Not much going on at our house today. Just watching Dr. Strange on TV and eating some leftover cornbread. As you can probably guess, I never eat alone here.

Thursday, Dan made his semi-annual giant batch of Dan’s Happy Chili. It makes enough for a small army, so he divvied it up into one-pound portions, froze it into pucks, and then vacuum sealed the pucks individually with the refurbished FoodSaver he bought on meh. for $20 a couple of years ago. (Worth every penny and then some!)

I’m not a huge fan of cornbread in general. It’s got a nice flavor, but it’s usually so dry it makes me choke. (After chemo, yeah, I have issues.) However, I stumbled on a recipe years ago which has become our go-to during chili season. It’s dense, moist, and sweeter than other cornbreads I’ve tasted. And that makes it kind of the perfect side for Dan’s well-spiced chili. (Second only to the peanut butter sandwich. If you have never tried one with chili, you must.)

Anyway, we skip the glass baking dish and mix and bake the cornbread recipe from start to finish in a 10″ cast iron skillet. I love that I don’t have to lug out the stand mixer or dirty extra bowls for the recipe. 

dan's happy chili and a slice of cornbread
The Best Books I Read in 2018

The Best Books I Read in 2018

2018 is the year I completed chemo. That’s why I started off listening to most of my books via Audible (try it with my link and get 2 free books) and then switched to print or Kindle the more distance I put between me and that final dose of Gleostine.

I had a Goodreads goal of reading 20 books this year, and got all the way to 25 books before completely crapping out at the end. Some books were better than others, so I want to highlight my faves first. Then, if I’m not completely exhausted, I will list the rest of the books at the end.

The Best Thing I Read This Year

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

If you haven’t yet? READ. THIS. Just read it.

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more.”

My Top 8 Reads of 2018

Coming Clean
by Kimberly Rae Miller 

This is the really touching memoir of the daughter of a hoarder. I was emotionally wrapped up from the beginning, and I feel like reading this book made me a better, more understanding person. What you see of the lives of families on the show Hoarders, for example, is just the tip of the iceberg.

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle

Believe it or not, I hadn’t heard of this delightful book until it became a movie. (I know, I know.) So to keep my Book Nerd card, I decided that I must read it before seeing it. I loved it. Then I heard from friends that the movie was disappointing, and I decided not to watch the movie at all. Did any of you see the movie?

by Andy Weir

This book is by the same guy who wrote The Martian, which I also loved. Space books make me feel dreamy and happy, and Artemis involves a heist that takes place on the moon. Super fun!

Beautiful Exiles
by Meg Waite Clayton

I loved this book based on the real-life affair between Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway. (OMG, he was such a jerk.) Anyway, I’m always fascinated by people who (in my estiation) make destructive decisions, and these two definitely did. Whooooeee.

The Paper Magician
by Charlie N. Holmberg

This is some fun YA fantasy right here. (It’s part of a series–as you’ll see, I read three other books by Holmberg back to back to back to back.) Ceony Twill, our protagonist, is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic and crushes on her mentor. (It’s not gross though.) And they have to fight bad magic with good magic.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green

(Full disclosure, in the mid-aughts I worked for Hank’s brother, John.) I liked this book, and then I got really irritated by some things, and then I liked it again, and then I was like, “HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT THIS BOOK?” It’s like this: a bunch of robots show up on earth mysteriously, and then the main character accidentally gets YouTube famous because of it. And then fame makes her kind of horrible.

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose
by Joe Biden

This memoir was good, but it ran me through the wringer emotionally because: brain tumor. I love Uncle Joe, and I really admire his ability to hold on to his HUMANITY, even as a politician. If you have a brain tumor or love somebody with a brain tumor, you should be prepared to feel your feels.

The Art of Memoir
by Mary Karr

You know I’m writing a memoir, right? That’s why I picked this book up at the Champaign Barnes & Noble toward the end of the summer. It’s got some great advice for writing memoir but also wonderful suggestions for us as we read memoir. I scribbled several notes in the margins of its pages as I contemplated how I wanted to write and organize my own book.

Everything Else

So, that’s my list. What books did you read this year that really stick out for you?

VIDEO: Emily Makes Cannabutter

VIDEO: Emily Makes Cannabutter

I tried making cannabutter myself for the first time because edibles are so expensive and I am on a really tight budget. I vlogged the experience, and as you can see the resulting brownies I baked with the cannabutter were, well, potent.

Zentangle Inspired Doodles

Zentangle Inspired Doodles

If you’ve seen my YouTube channel or my Instagram feed lately, you know I’ve been spending a lot of time on Zentangle inspired doodles. It’s therapeutic to focus on the lines and shades and Zentangle patterns instead of obsessing over aches and pains and vertigo.

Living with brain cancer and the side effects of all its treatments isn’t fun. However Zentangle has a given me an opportunity to do something to take my mind off of all of that.

I am hoping to dive into and explore the Zentangle Method a little bit more soon. I think it could really help me deal with some of my cancer-related depression and anxiety. Plus I just find the process really enjoyable right now.

i don’t consider myself a cat person, but I do like them very much, and I think they are pretty stinkin’ cute. Plus I have one for the first time in my life, and it’s hard seeing her personality emerge and then not get a little attached.

And the dog, Boomer, adores having Izzy around. They’re best friends and make me wonder why the phrase “fight like cats and dogs” ever came from. So there’s that.

Some of the doodles pictured are official Zentangles and some are just inspired by the Zentangle method.

My Favorite Phone Call

My Favorite Phone Call

Yesterday the long-term disability insurance representative called me with her regularly scheduled, “Are you still disabled? Why can’t you work again?” call. Why is it that when I reply, “Because I still have a disabling, cancerous tumor on my brain stem” I feel like I’m the ass?

Do you know what I mean? Do you ever feel this way? People ask you a painfully obvious question and you feel like there’s no way to answer it without coming off as a smarmy, sarcastic jerk? Even though all you’re doing is answering honestly.

Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but there’s something exhausting about having to defend your disability constantly because some super-low percentage of disability claims are made fraudulently. By defult, everyone who’s disabled is suspect, particularly if they’re claiming the disability is permanent.

Because everyone who’s sick always get better, am I right?

I’m thinking, “LOOK. IT’S A TUMOR. THEY CAN’T TAKE IT OUT.  I WILL HAVE IT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.” But I don’t say that, because I know it’s just her job.

When May 2019 comes, and the two-year policy term has ended, I won’t have to defend myself as frequently. Granted I also won’t have the policy’s $900 a month either.

And this talk of money reminds me that Dan and I are somehow still hanging on over here. A former coworker found an old GoFundMe page and sent me a little something, and mentioned that he wanted to help with “writing and other expenses.”

First of all, I know some of the nicest people in the world. It truly is a marvel.

Second, I’m going to use the donation to print the memoir draft and work on refining it. Then… I don’t know. Traditionally publishing the thing feels impossible to me at present. But maybe I could get it in shape to self-publish. I could offer it as a reward for my Patreon patrons. Or publish it serially on my blog. Or, I don’t know.

I get overwhelmed and then I just shut down that part of my brain. But I’ll figure it out. A friend (and not just any friend–a writer friend) offered to be a beta reader for it. Maybe that’s what I should do next?

Emily’s Cancer Calendar: November

Emily’s Cancer Calendar: November

I cannot believe it’s December already.

November was pretty calm. I gave up on the FitDesk entirely in favor of focusing my energy on keeping the kitchen clean and doing more routine chores around the house. Having a brain tumor doesn’t really allow me to add activities to my day. If I do something new, something old has to go. So I traded pedaling on the stationary bike for having a tidier house. It might sound worse, but seeing the living room carpet full of vacuum cleaner lines actually soothes me some. And I figure the physical activity I get from cleaning is as good–if not better–than biking.

Anyway, this whole trade-off one activity for another deal is why I tend to roll through hobbies and activities rather quickly. From the outside it might look like I can’t commit to a thing, but that’s simply not the case. I just can’t do everything I want to, and so I have to take turns to feel like I’m living a whole life.

Aside from keeping a cleaner house, my energies this past month have been focused on my YouTube channel, dooding and Zentangling, and playing Falllout 76.

A lot of playing Fallout 76.

Earlier in the month I had my MRI and checkup, which I previously reported was stable, so there isn’t much to report as far as my health is concerned. My abilities and disabilities remain mostly the same, and I just keep on keeping on as best as I can figure out how.

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