05 May 2023

2023 March & April Roundup

The weather has been a bit odd recently, several weeks of frosty sweater weather (a bit of a shock after spending three weeks in warm, sunny Japan), then a sudden wave of summer temps and dry thunderstorms for a few days, followed by cool rain starting today. I'm glad the deep chill of winter is finally over, but I hope the rain sticks around for a while. I want to be able to enjoy proper spring weather!

My cherry tree in bloom mid-April 🌸

Today I'd like to share with you my art-related activities and recommendations from the past two months. I won't go into specifics about my Japan trip, since I'm already doing that in a separate blog series, but it may come up here and there. In any case, I hope you'll enjoy this two-month art roundup!

Patreon Rewards

In March I sent out these adorable postcard rewards featuring the chibi caricatures I recently made of my two pet pigeons, Kumo and Sora. I did not originally make the caricatures with the idea of turning them into a reward, but it worked out so well that I'm going to make rewards featuring my two pups and my kitty next 😊 I'm very close to done with the puppy reward, so be sure to sign up here if you'd like to receive the next adorable postcard (or a larger, more detailed print version)!


Click here to view, comment, and fave on deviantART!

Whaaat?! I finished posting all my 2022 work to dA?!

Yes! I did! Finally!

Now I have four months of a productive 2023 to catch up on 😆 Of the most recent uploads, this final piece from Inktober 2022 is my favorite. The prompt was "farm" and I was still following my gryphon theme, so I drew a turkey-gryphon farmer! Not only did I enjoy the amusing visual, I feel this was one of my best inking jobs from the challenge. Makes sense, since it was the 31st ink drawing I did that month!

Art Livestreaming

At the end of April, I finished my Aoife chibi! Aoife is my big dog; I finished Chibi Chappie (my little dog) on the last Friday before I left for Japan 😄 These two will become my next Patreon reward, as I mentioned. You can watch the final round of work on chibi Aoife, which was done live on Twitch, on YouTube:

My streaming schedule remains the same as usual: Inktober52 on Mondays (an ink drawing combining a weekly prompt with my self-imposed gryphon theme), a Lucky Dip on Wednesdays (four random art tools used to practice an anime-style character drawing), and Chibi Fridays (adorable chibi caricature drawings). Be sure to check out my Twitch schedule and follow me there to get notifications whenever I go live!

Charity Fundraising

Because March is Women's History Month in my country, I chose RedRover as my charity this time. RedRover, among other good things, helps people escaping domestic abuse (a population which is disproportionately comprised of women) keep their pets with them, especially because pets in such situations are in just as much, if not more, danger as their abused human guardians.

Since I was going to miss several weeks of livestreaming while on vacation, I decided to use March and April's stats combined to determine my donation. My formula is thus: for every unique viewer I get on Twitch in the selected time period, I donate USD $0.10, with a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $100.

Through March and April, I had 14 unique viewers, which equals a $10 donation to RedRover! They had a checkbox to cover processing fees, so I actually donated a little bit more to ensure the funds could be as effective as possible ❤️

My featured charity for May is The Peregrine Fund. I chose them because the California condor population, already critically endangered, is suffering huge losses due to an outbreak of avian influenza. The Peregrine Fund is making concerted efforts to help the birds, and I want to join them 💪

Mika's Monthly...

In this section, I will share some of the things that have kept me fueled, happy, and healthy through March and April. I hope you'll give some of these recommendations a try! (As always, I am not being compensated for any of these recommendations. I'll let you know if that ever changes!)

...Workout 👟 The way I kept active the most during these past two months was walking! In particular, this was the most accessible way to get my blood pumping while still enjoying my vacation in Japan. I even did a one mile walk around the track on the top deck of our cruise ship, the Silver Muse, during a day at sea! Of course, the ship moved so fast that the stats on my Garmin were totally off 😆

...Vegan Victuals 🍱 At the end of April I hosted my first cherry blossom viewing party! I've wanted to do so ever since I moved here, because there's a cherry tree in my back yard. For the party, my sister and I made vegan bento boxes for everyone 😊 It was way easier than I expected. I bought some cute vegetable cutters to make the flower veggies, but other than the bento boxes themselves, no other specialized equipment was required. These boxes were lined with leaves of romaine lettuce, filled with steamed short grain rice which was then topped with furikake seasonings, then filled the rest of the way with carrots, cucumber, radishes, avocado, steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, boiled sweet peas, vegan hot dogs, and cute animal-shaped vegan chik'n nuggets ✨

...Show 📺 I finished watching The Mandalorian season 3 in April and I loved it! Din Djarin has solidified himself as my favorite character in the series 🥰 I am so excited for the next season, I really want to see where things go from here. There are so many possibilities!

...Music 🎧 I've been listening to a lot of music of all genres over the past couple months, so it was a bit difficult to choose what to feature. One thing I didn't get very much of in Japan was a fix for my otome game obsession, so I have been listening to a lot of my otome game soundtracks since I got home! I let that guide my decision here, so I'm sharing my otome game playlist from Spotify 😄

That's it for this roundup post! In the couple days since I started writing, the weather has granted my wish and stayed lovely cool and rainy~ It's absolutely dreamy this morning ☁️😌🌧️ I don't expect it to last, with summer just around the corner, so I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can! Here's hoping you're also enjoying the weather wherever you are~✨ Until next time, stay safe, happy, and healthy!