07 December 2023

2023 November Roundup

Only a few weeks of 2023 left 🤯 I spent the first five days of December in Portland, Oregon to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N3; feeling confident that I passed but we'll see 🤞) and enjoy some sightseeing and shopping with two of my siblings. The only downside is how little time it left me to prepare this post! Hopefully I can do a blog writing speed-run 😎 Here's what I got up to in November!

Patreon Rewards

Studio Mikarts Patreon members on physical rewards tiers received these colorful fire gryphons! From my perspective, it was perfect, because the weather had gotten really cold! No better way to warm up than with a fantastic flaming flyer 😆 Members receive postcards, prints, both, or neither, depending on their selected tier. Patreon support not only helps produce these lovely images, it pays for art supplies and studio improvements (I'm currently saving up to install a utility sink!), and gives me indescribable emotional support 💖 Click here to sign up!


I know I keep saying it, but I am so pleased with myself for staying on top of deviantART uploads~ The most recent piece I added was this Inktober52 drawing, featuring my pet pigeons as little gryphons about to enjoy a seed feast 🤤 Click here to view, fave, and comment on this piece on dA, and to check out my other artwork.


My livestreaming schedule is the same as always (you can check it here, and sign up to get notified when I go live!) and one of my favorite streams of November was the first round of work on a gift that's going to become a gift, and is, in itself, almost a gift to me! Ha ha, I'll explain X3 One of my most dedicated viewers on Twitch, Exie, reached a one-year subscriber anniversary and I offered to draw a chibi caricature as an expression of my gratitude. Exie chose their best friend's favorite MCU character, intending it to be a birthday gift. And it just so happens that this character is one of my favorites, too: Moon Knight!!!

Charity Fundraising

As a way to make my livestreams more meaningful for me and my viewers, I donate $0.10 USD per unique viewer every month, with a minimum of $10 and a max of $100. Even though I took a week off for Thanksgiving, my November unique viewers totaled twenty!

This meant a $10 donation to my charity of the month, Farm Sanctuary. I like to feature them in November because their Thanksgiving Adopt-a-Turkey program is how I found them in the first place 🦃💖💕

On top of this donation, I adopted a turkey using their fun friendship quiz 🥰 I got matched with Tutu!

Please consider making your own donation to Farm Sanctuary ❤️ I know all the turkeys, chickens, piggies, cows, horses, and other friends will appreciate it!


That's all for November! Thank you for reading until the end (BTW my speed-writing worked 😎). I'm looking forward to writing December's roundup in the new year! Since I may not write again until then, let me wish you a most excellent 2024 in advance 😊 Please stay happy, healthy, and safe!

01 November 2023

2023 October Roundup

It's gotten really cold here the past week or two 🥶 It's like we no longer get to enjoy mild autumn (or spring) weather in Boise. It remains warm and summery until winter suddenly steps in! I don't mind too much, though. I much prefer going on my morning runs in the cold and dark, and bundling up in my warmest clothes all day is always super cozy and comforting 😊 Here's what I've been up to over the past month!

Patreon Rewards

On the 18th, I sent out postcard rewards featuring a colored version of my "Harvest" Inktober52 drawing. I thought this piece was a nice match for the autumn and Halloween vibes in October 🌕

All of my current patrons have selected postcards (or no physical reward) but there are also prints available, plus all patrons get access to our private Studio Mikarts Discord server and the cute custom emoji I've been making 💖 Click here to join us!


I've remained caught up on posting to dA! It's amazing! Here's one of the pieces I created and uploaded in October, my "Demon" Inktober52 drawing.

Click here to view, fave, and comment on deviantART, and to see the other October work I've posted there 🖼️✨


My Twitch streams continue to go well, and thanks to a suggestion from one of my subscribers, I added a chat overlay to the video! Now I don't have to read everyone's messages out loud in order for them to make sense to anyone watching the recording later. I'm so grateful to my chatters for making it worthwhile (by chatting, lol) to add a chat overlay 🥰

Just like Patreon members, my Twitch subscribers get access to the private Studio Mikarts Discord server and the custom emoji there. On top of that, they get to use those emoji on Twitch as custom emotes! Click here to check out my streaming schedule and subscribe to my channel 💖

Charity Fundraising

Every month, I choose a featured charity and then make a donation of $0.10 USD per unique Twitch viewer (min $10, max $100). If that charity is available through Twitch's fundraising tool, I also set up a fundraiser for viewers to contribute to throughout the month. I'm so excited this time because one of my Twitch viewers donated the full amount all in one go!

Thank you, Sarah~!! 🕊️💕

So, on top of the $10 from SarahQuilt via Twitch, my own donation also comes out to $10, thanks to the 18 unique viewers who joined me during my October streams!

I chose to feature Palomacy in October, because October 2021 was the first full month I spent with a pigeon 🥰 Palomacy helps with pigeon rescue and teaching people about these beautiful, cuddly birds, who are misunderstood and mistreated by many humans. I'm so excited that we were able to essentially double our impact so that more pigeons can live happy lives thanks to Palomacy's efforts!

If you would like to support Palomacy's work, please donate to them here. The pigeons will thank you~! 🕊️💖💕

Gryphia Progress

Even though it's the biggest project I'm working on, my illustrated novel has not made much progress this year. So it felt like an even bigger achievement than it otherwise might when I finally started writing chapter 8 of my first draft!

I've reworked my schedule so that I should have at least 90 minutes a week to write, so hopefully next month I will have more good news about my progress 📝✨ Wish me luck!


That's it for October's roundup, I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading all the way to the end 🙏 I'll be back next month with November's news. Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe~!

12 October 2023

2023 Japan Adventure - Part 10: Second Day at Sea

Welcome to the tenth entry in my 2023 Japan Adventure series! Last time, we left Busan, Korea, en route to Kanazawa, Japan. This entailed a bit more travel time than previous days, which allowed us to just enjoy being on board the Silver Muse during our second full day at sea. Of course, that means there's not too much exciting to share here, but peaceful days are a nice part of vacationing, too 😌

Monday 20 March 2023 - Second Day at Sea

Another beautiful sunrise~🌅

This was our first time eating in the Atlantide restaurant.
Breakfast was always the best meal for me during this cruise, as a vegan!

Just look at that dreamy view 💖

It was fun to do the ship's daily puzzles! We only had the time during days at sea.

Although packing for formal nights was a huge pain,
I won't deny I love a chance to get fancy ✨

My husband, Sean, looking totally handsome 😍

Enjoying after dinner drinks!

Pineapple, my favorite~! 🍹🍍✨

Take it from me, there is nothing better than a hot bubble bath at sea~!!

And that's it for this entry! Thank you for reading to the end. Please look forward to part 11 and our visit to Kanazawa, including exploring a preserved samurai residence that was participating in a collab with the new anime My Happy Marriage which I've since watched and love 🤩 Until then, may you stay happy, healthy, and safe~

05 October 2023

2023 August & September Roundup

Long time, no post! I hope you're doing well! I fell behind and wasn't able to finish my August roundup before it became time to start work on September 😮 I decided to pare down the contents of these posts so that I can get them out to you in a timely fashion while still successfully juggling the rest of my obligations and projects. The focus will now be centered on the creative work I did over the past month. I hope you'll find it just as interesting and fun as ever!

Patreon Rewards

Members of the Studio Mikarts Patreon help support my work financially, which is obvious, but also emotionally, because it really means more than I can say to receive that support! Members can choose to receive a monthly postcard, print, or both as a thank-you (and there's a no-reward tier for those who want their support to go entirely toward artmaking). At the beginning of August, I sent out a digitally colored version of my Mermaid Inktober52 drawing 🧜‍♀️💌

In September I sent out two rewards, my cows onomatopoeia piece, which was months in the making, and a digitally colored version of my Vampire Inktober52 piece.

Patreon is the most effective way you can support the work I do. Right now I'm saving up the monthly contributions to buy and install a utility sink in my studio 🤩 Click here to join Studio Mikarts and help make it happen!


I GOT CAUGHT UP ON SUBMISSIONS 😎🤘 My long-time readers will know that I've been working toward this for ages! I finally did it! I'm even caught up in that my first Inktober52 from October is posted! I hope to continue staying on top of submissions from here on out so that my viewers on dA can enjoy the most up-to-date artwork. The piece I most want to show off here is my cows onomatopoeia illustration!

Click here to view, comment, and fave on deviantART ❤️ You can check out my galleries there to see even more new art, beyond what I'm sharing here!


Art streaming on Twitch has been going well, as usual! You can check my weekly streaming schedule here. I was derailed for a week in September after catching a cold, but I made up for it by postponing the vacation that I had planned to take 😎 (I'm taking a week off this month, instead!) Here are my featured recordings from August and September:

I'm actually THIS close to finishing my first custom emote for my Twitch subscribers, so I hope you'll consider subscribing to my channel to support my creative work and enjoy using the cute chibi emotes that I'm making for you 💜 Even if not, I'd love to see you in the chat sometime! Please join us~!

Charity Fundraising

I use my monthly unique viewers count on Twitch to calculate a donation I make to a featured animal charity, with the formula being $0.10 USD per viewer, minimum $10, maximum $100. Amusingly, I had 18 unique viewers in both August and September!

That comes out to a $10 donation each (plus processing fees, which I always opt to cover!) for Vegan Outreach and Best Friends Animal Society, which I have now made 😊 If you, also, would like to help animals through these organizations, please click on the links and make a donation! You will literally help save lives 💖

That's all for this roundup! I hope you enjoyed the shorter, more focused format 😊 Thank you very much for reading all the way to the end. Until next time, stay happy, healthy, and safe~!!

29 August 2023

2023 Japan Adventure - Part 9: Nighttime in Busan

This is finally it, the moment my husband, Sean, and I finally got brave, left the security of guided tours and the familiarity of our cruise ship, and set out to explore the city of Busan on our own! All credit due to Sean--I was so worried about going around in any country without knowing the local language. If I had been traveling alone, I don't know if I would ever have been able to work up the courage. But he convinced me, and I am so grateful because this foray helped us gain the confidence to explore every other port city after this! Our adventure grew twice as epic thanks to Busan!

Click here to read the previous entry featuring our daytime experiences in Busan.

Sunday 19 March 2023 - Nighttime in Busan

First step: take the shuttle from the port to Busan Station!

Although I had technically seen the character before, this was when I started to fall in love with Boogi 😍

Here's a great article about Boogi, Busan's totally adorable, insanely lovable mascot!

We didn't figure out why it's called this, but since I was born in Texas, I loved seeing Texas Street in Busan!

The Rotary symbol, plus the kanji that I can read (most is written in Hangul) suggest this massive monument is celebrating a Rotary Club 100 year anniversary 🎊

Got a can of Korean Gatorade from a vending machine 😄
I love trying foreign versions of familiar drinks~

Busan Station had this cool screen setup (among other interesting monuments and interactive installations) that played a variety of videos tailored to this unique physical format.

We did a lot of exploring inside Busan Station, which is just as much shopping mall as transportation hub. I was on the hunt for this adorable Boogi plushie, which I had seen someone else leaving the station with earlier. My Boogi now lives here in my studio, helping me stay positive and motivated every day 🥰

One of the best interactions I had in Busan was when this shop employee stopped me to make sure I had the QR code necessary to get the English instructions for the card game I bought there 🥰 She totally didn't have to go out of her way to do that for me, so I really appreciated her consideration!

On the shuttle back to the port, ready to call it a night. I loved how colorful and vibrant this bus was 🌈

Waiting for us in our cabin when we got back: immigration papers! We had to follow procedures to enter Korea and then to return to Japan. It makes sense logically, but it still felt weird since we were riding the same cruise ship the whole time 😆

Dreamy big city nighttime vibes 🌆 Goodnight, Busan~

And there you have it, our first true adventure of this trip! While there were some downsides to exploring a massive city in a different country on one's own (the worst experiences were the same ones that have made any trip to Portland, Seattle, or New York City unpleasant, so it must just be a big city thing 😅), we had a great experience overall and it gave us complete confidence to do it again at every port after this. Ironic that the port where we were most out of place and at risk of running into trouble (due to our lack of Korean language skills) was the place that gave us the courage to explore and make the most of our journey!

Thank you for reading the ninth entry in my Japan (and Korea) Adventure series! I'll be back soon with post #10, featuring our second full day at sea as we traveled to Kanazawa. Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe!

22 August 2023

2023 Japan Adventure - Part 8: Daytime in Busan

lol, I meant to get these posts done faster and instead it's been over a month since my last one! I guess I just have to accept that they'll get done as they get done 😅 So, last time, we departed from Nagasaki and headed across the Korea Strait to Busan. This was both my and my husband Sean's first time visiting Korea. I only thought of it at the last minute, but I taught myself to say hello in Korean that morning 😊 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo)! Just using one word of the local language made people totally light up in pleasant surprise ❤️ I'm so glad I tried it!

Sunday 19 March 2023 - Daytime in Busan

Coming into port, there was so much cool architecture. Look at that lighthouse!

A couple cool bridges and the first of many skyscrapers (I believe these two are mainly apartments).
The tents at the bottom of the photo are filling a paved, seaside campsite!

I didn't realize it at the time, but this welcome mosaic was my first encounter with Boogi ❤️

While there was no big welcome party, unlike most of the ports in Japan,
we did still enjoy getting our photos taken with these adorable mascots 🥰

Setting out on our Korean shore excursion!

Our first stop was Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which is like a Buddhist Disneyland, full of attractions and tourists (including ourselves!) 😅

These golden pigs are supposed to bring you luck with money if you put your hand in their mouths.
I wonder what our touching their tails will bring? 😆

I feel like male Buddhas are talked about way more than female ones. That's why I was excited to learn about Haesu Gwaneum Daebul and take my picture with her statue 🤩

There is a row of statues depicting all twelve Asian zodiac animals.
This is me with my year of the tiger!

At the bustling marketplace outside the temple, I bought myself this lucky tiger bracelet.
You can often see me wearing it during my livestreams on Twitch!

Our next stop was this luxury seaside resort, Ananti Cove.
We did a little shopping for snacks and souvenirs, but nothing more worth sharing as photos 😅

Our final stop was Ahopsan Forest, which I was specifically looking forward to!

One reason I was looking forward to it is that I had never been in a proper bamboo forest before!

The other reason is that this was a filming location for Kundo: Age of the Rampant!
Sean and I specifically watched the movie right before the trip to be ready!

When we watched it, and still as of this writing, the movie is free to view via YouTube Movies 🙌 It was like a Korean spaghetti western, a bit violent but really thoughtful and full of adventure, good and evil, and exploring how murky the difference between the two can be. I recommend it!

After hiking through the forest, we hopped back onto the tour bus and returned with our group to the port. Next time, I'll share our adventure in Busan that night, bravely exploring the city on foot, without guide or group 😮 Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe~!