Blog| Art, Insecurities, and Being Overwhelmed

It’s the week of the con which means the house is a mess, we’re running around constantly, and we’re pulling 8 hour work hours to get everything done in time.

This year, Rony’s got his own table so double the stress.

I’ve been in a funk mentally and the stress paired with being sick on and off (I’ve had awful back pain for the past 5 days) is all coming to a head.

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Believe it or not, I’m actually far more prepared this time around than usual. Probably because I’m nixing the jewelry aspect of my business so I’m not making a thousand necklaces the night before. I have new prints, new zines, new stickers, a new display set up, new banner, and everything is good.

So obviously that means I should crank out 10 new art pieces the week before. Because that’s not stressful. Some of it is good, some of it is okay.

I’ve learned to like my art and it’s constant fluctuation of style because it makes things seem new every time. I like the art I’m producing and I think some people do too. But I’ve had this ongoing problem with feeling insecure about it. There’s always a bit of nerves when I make new art. Is it good, will people like it, will it sell if I make prints? Is everyone’s art better than it?

I know it’s pretty much all in my head. I’m seeing friends and artists selling art and getting engagement on their posts and people commenting about how good it looks while I’m getting crickets. Everyone’s prints and merch looks so nice and well made while I’m cutting 400 prints by hand and hand cutting stickers for 2 days because I can’t afford to get things made for me and I’m cheap. It’s the feeling of trying so hard and getting hardly nothing in return.

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I think it’s also the fact that I’m letting go of so much. Ladies Night, Lubbock Artist Collective, Pokemon Art Drop, Geek Girl Brunch. I’m passing them all on and I’m seeing them continue without me. I no longer have ten thousand different events to go to and my calendar is empty and while that makes me a bit happy (I can paint for myself and write again!), there’s the feeling of being empty without these things.

I’ve talked before about how doing all these things feels like validation. You become the Go-To person, a mover and shaker, and then once it’s gone who are you without it?

Right now I’m feeling jealous and tiny and insecure. I feel like I’m projecting that onto people I care about and my brain is paranoid that everyone hates me and my art sucks.

But I’m aware that this is my brain being weird. I’m looking in on the outside saying “Hey, that probably isn’t true and you’re just in a funk” while being in the actual funk. I’m stressed from the animals, not being able to clean the house, getting art done, and worried about sales and it’s all culminating in this ugly mood.

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One of my biggest sayings has been “Women Support Women” and I hate this awful paranoia I have right now because it goes against it. I love and support my friends and do not want to be jealous of them. My art is not like anyone else’s art and they’re art is not like my art. Some are good at certain things like talking to people and engaging or a certain art style that people like more while others are good at online sales and marketing and promoting themselves. Everyone is different and I need to start learning from others instead of being resentful.

I have friends that care. Yeah, I’m not great at reaching out and talking to them and I don’t really comment on people’s post, but I read them all and I care. I’m just a shitty introverted friend.

Brains are weird and we’re in a competitive society. So I’m going to feel jealous now and then. I need to make sure I don’t let it affect me and my attitude.

In a week, I won’t have to con prep. I’ll redo my store, organize the house, have a garage sale, and work on new things. Yes, I’m saying goodbye to a lot of things I created. But now I’ll have more time to create new things and focus on myself.

Jealousy and insecurity are awful, but they happen. I won’t let it affect me though.

Just one week. I can do this.

-Sam <3

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Blog| Shopping Ban

I may not seem it, but I am not great at managing money. I wish I was but yeah, no, somehow I always end up scrambling to make sure everything is paid. I’ve mastered the art of living on $50 over the span of two weeks.

It’s a mystery where it all goes. No matter how much more money I make, poof. It’s all gone. One part is I have an online shopping problem. I buy things randomly. Books, clothes, dresses, art. And then it sits there, all piled up. I have dresses for every occasion which means I have dresses I rarely use. The comics are stacked up, I have books I’ve never read, and I’m slowly getting swallowed up by junk.

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This year, I’m going to fix that.

I’ve seen a few other bloggers put themselves on shopping bans every now and then, making sure they use the things they have and aren’t being wasteful. But I want to get serious about it. I did research. RESEARCH. From now until we actually move and are in Washington, I am not allowed to shop.

Hold on. There are specifics.

It’s not like I’m going without groceries and toilet paper for months at a time. There will be things I can buy, can’t buy, and specific items I am allowing because I am budgeting for them. I’m going to break it up into lists. Stuff that is allowed and pertain to my “jobs”, stuff that isn’t allowed because I know its excessive, and stuff that is approved ahead of time.

For this, I’m following the guide Cait Flanders‘s made for her year long Shopping Ban. She even wrote a book about it! This will keep it reasonable, help me address how much and what I buy so much of, and make sure I’m not wasteful.

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Here’s the breakdown:

What I’m allowed to shop for:

  • Groceries and essential kitchen supplies
  • Gas for Car
  • Replacing essential cosmetics when they run out
  • Basic toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Pet essentials
  • Gifts for others (Don’t go crazy)
  • Necessary art supplies
  • Necessary business supplies
  • Restaurants (2 times a month at most)
  • 1 Audiobook a month (Audible. No more than the 1 credit)
  • Comic Books on your pull list only

What I’m NOT allowed to shop for:

  • Non-essential cosmetics (No lipsticks or eyeshadows, LUSH)
  • Clothes you don’t need
  • Shoes (Pretty shoes, flats, etc)
  • Books, magazines, notebooks (Gotta get a library card now)
  • Toys, Funko pops, mystery boxes (Overwatch boxes are no-no)
  • Video Games
  • Household items (candles, decor, furniture, etc.)
  • Electronics and appliances

Approved Shopping List

  • 2 pair of work slacks (I’m down to one pair)
  • 1 pair of work shoes (All of mine are breeeeeaking)
  • A compost bin (On my Goals List)
  • Hair done once (So my hair doesn’t fall out)
  • Oil Change/Car Related Maintenance
  • Passport (Also on Goals List)
  • Movies/Concerts/Events (I’m not missing Infinity Wars, guys)
  • 1 Purse (My tiny purse is breaking)
  • My friends’ products they create and sell (#Supportlocal)
  • I can replace things that break, but have to get rid of them.
  • 1 Souvenir if you travel

I know you’re looking at the lists and thinking I gave myself too much leeway, it’s not that hard, or that this doesn’t look fun. The thing is: we have a lot of stuff. I buy books all the time when I have a ton I haven’t read. I have supplies for hobbies I’ve never done, half started ideas and overall a ton of junk. Yes, the art supplies and comics are really necessary but I work with those so they kinda are. And concerts, experiences, all of those aren’t physical so as long as I don’t go crazy it’s fine. I’d rather experience things than have physical items.

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We’re going to purge. If it’s broken, not necessary, etc. then it goes. Sentimental stuff I’m saving in a special box or taking a picture of it and putting in a keepsake book. Clothes I don’t wear are donated. I don’t want to sit in a room and see all the stuff I’ve wasted money on, look at the things I’ve bought instead of going to travel. I hate feeling cluttered and a lot of it is that. Clutter. I want to organize and make space and use what I have.

My approved shopping list are things that I had planned on getting or need (my pants ripped last night for the third time and I’m down to 1 pair and all my boots have holes) or are experiences rather than objects. My hair needs to be redyed and cut and is frizzy AF so I’m going to get it done for the very first time. That’ll keep the color lasting for a long time, keep my hair from falling out, and keep me from compensating and buying a ton of shit because my hair looks bad.

Whatever money I would have spent, goes into savings for moving. I need to see how much money I’m wasting and put it to use.

This is going to be hard and I’ll do monthly updates. I am a compulsive shopper. When I’m irritated or bored or sad, I shop on Amazon. When I’m frustrated, I buy new clothes. We need a change, a big one. So I’m unfollowing and unsubscribing to all stores, hiding ads, and making sure there’s no temptation. This is going to be hard, but if I can do it then it’s worth it.

Could you put yourself on a shopping ban? What are things you do to make sure you don’t buy things you don’t need?

Give me your tips!

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-Sam <3

Blog| Control Freak

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I don’t lie about how I am. Control freak is a mild way to put it. When it comes to things I create or organize or have done before, there’s a certain way I like to do things. This is especially true if I’ve done things for years.

I’ve got my convention prep and booth down to a science, I could do Ladies Night in my sleep, art drops and galleries are second nature. I’m use to running things myself and would always rather do things than have someone else do it. Hell, I even tend to plan my own birthday parties and try to bake my own cake even when Rony and my friends yell at me not to.

This isn’t a great thing and tends to lead to me having way too much on my plate. I stress. Easily. Instead of trusting other people, I feel I have to be there to make things go without a hitch or I won’t be happy with it.

This particular trait is making it extremely hard to let go.

Our Spring Ladies Night this year will be my last one and I am not running it, I am being Featured Artist. My lovely friend Julie Raven will be taking it over and she is lovely and wonderful and can handle it, but I’m trying desperately to resist making checklists and prepping and doing the usual Ladies Night work. I am a guest. I am not running it. Repeat that.

Friday was our last gallery at Star Comics Downtown because Star Comics is moving. Our lovely store is combining both locations and moving to a big and brand new location further down the street after 40 Years of being there. Tomorrow is their last day at their old store and there’s a lot of feelings. I am sad and happy and not sure how to deal with this change.

Change freaks me out sometimes, especially when I don’t know every detail. Moving across the country is going to give me an aneurysm.

Letting go of the gallery, LAC, Ladies Night, doing one last convention next month, Star. It’s a lot for me. Even though I’ve been preparing myself, it’s difficult. I’ve grown so many things and learned so much and to pass that off to other people is scary. What if things crash and burn, what if they change things and the response isn’t good, what if it becomes better than when I had it?

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Who am I without these things?

For the past few years, I’ve been Sam, the artist and person in charge of  ___, ___, and ___, blah blah.

Now it’s just me.

This year is all about change. I looked at my calendar and realized besides Lubbock-con and Ladies Night, I don’t have any events to do or run. No real deadlines, no planning, no galleries, no need to run around and try to get things done. It’s weird after the chaotic rush of the Holiday season and three years of events back to back. The only things on my plate are saving money, taking care of the animals, and my online store.

Things will be fine. Or they won’t. But I can’t control that and I need to let go. Let the admins take control of the LAC. Let Julie run Ladies Night. Let the Officers make the decisions about GGB. It’s not easy and it hurts and gives me anxiety, but I’ve done what I can. I started things. I kept them alive. It’s other people’s turn now. They’ll be fine without me and I’ll have to learn to be fine on my own, without the titles.

Change sucks but staying stagnant and complacent is death.

To move on to better things, you have to let go.

How are you with change? Are you a control freak too? Any tips?

We’re leaving for a birthday trip to Santa Fe Friday so expect my 27 Before 27 recap soon!

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-Sam <3

Blog| Social Media Free Weekend

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I’ve been seeing a lot online about these digital detox challenges and camps. Essentially, You spend a weekend to a week without social media, your phone, or television. Pretty much any electronics.

I will admit: I am addicted to my phone. Mostly because I handle everything through it. Events and business contacts and the different things I’m in charge of are all handled through Facebook, Messenger, or Email. I’m a control freak so I need to constantly be able to be reached at all times.

Yes, I am glued to my phone and usually have it in my hand all the time. Which isn’t great. Notifications give me anxiety so I always have to check them to make them go away (turning them off just gives me anxiety that someone is contacting me and I don’t know). I have two laptops and hardly use them because I have my phone! A few minutes can turn into a few hours and more times than not, my productivity goes down the drain with my battery life.

So I thought maybe it was a good idea to try one of these “detoxes.” And even though no one was forcing me, boy did I make a lot of excuses. I couldn’t do it this or that weekend because I had events or meetings and what if someone tries to get a hold of me??? Rarely do I have a weekend where nothing is happening. I was just going to have to suck it up.

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Saturday

I compromised and instead of nixing out all digital devices, I pledged no social media (and email/games) which is what I use a majority of time on my phone anyways. No Facebook, Instagram, Email, or Snapchat. I don’t really use Twitter or Tumblr and I made an allowance for Youtube (on the TV only) because we don’t have cable.

My routine is I usually wake up and mess around on my phone for an hour or two before I get up. This morning was the first day we actually got Fall weather. It was cool and cloudy and rainy and the dogs were snuggled up with me. I ended up sleeping until 10-11. Yep. Good start.

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Instead of grabbing my phone, I grabbed one of the many books I had on my bedside table that I’ve been meaning to read. I had started Alias Hook forever ago and hadn’t gotten very far so I picked that up again. I think I got about a third of the way in by 1pm and then we had to get up and get ready.

First on our agenda was our friend’s pagan meet up at the park. We finally got to throw on some layers and were all set to go….except then we accidentally locked ourselves out the house without our keys.

Our house has two different locks. We always lock the bottom one as we leave and then lock the top deadbolts with the keys. Naturally, I turned the bottom lock and shut the door as we left. Rony hadn’t grabbed the keys thinking I had them and I hadn’t because I thought he had them. And the backdoor was locked.

So, naturally, I picked our front door’s lock with bobby pins. I’m not even lying or exaggerating. Rony was upset because we were going to be late and were going to have to call a locksmith and I figured it didn’t hurt to try to break in ourselves. I had seen different videos on picking locks (for writing purposes!!) and if that didn’t work, I was going to try the credit card trick. Luckily I had a few bobby pins in my purse. I stripped them, looked into the key holes at the tumblers inside and somehow managed to get it unlocked in five minutes.

Rony was impressed (so was I, to be honest) and we are now going to make sure those other deadbolts are locked at all times because holy shit it should not be that easy to get into our house.

The pagan get together was nice and we had a good time chatting with people and eating snacks. We didn’t get to stay long because I had an art meeting after that and Rony had to drop me off.

When he picked me up, we got Starbucks and food and snuggled on the couch while he watched the news and I kept reading my book. I am a fast reader. Always have been. I finished that book in one day. It was about 11 at night when I was done and cleaned a bit before bed.

At the end of the night, I had 57 freaking notifications and it was kiiiiiiiilling me.


Sunday

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Sunday was another lazy morning, snuggling with the dogs. Rony totally forgot about the Magic Prerelease happening and was going to do that at 1pm and I was determined to get the house totally clean by the end of the day. We did all the laundry, put the animals away and let the kittens out of the room to play in the entryway and let Mae Mae roam the house, and swept and mopped the dinning room and kitchen.

I took breaks to start reading Basic Witches and we ate cereal for breakfast. The dogs ran around the house and as Rony was getting ready, we finalized our 31 Days of Halloween movie list. I sketched out Inktober ideas in a new sketchbook he had bought me and drank tea and it was surprisingly very relaxing.

Yes, my phone went off all the time. I had to put it on silent. I almost just straight turned it off, but then I had anxiety that something would happen and no one would be able to reach me.

That was really the hardest part. There was so much anxiety from not checking those notifications, even though I knew none of them were important or pressing or needed immediate attention. I have an admin team now for the Artist Collective to take care of things, people could get a hold of Rony if they really needed me, and nothing was life or death.

Did I want to Snapchat or Instagram my day? Absolutely. Did the world fall apart because I didn’t tell everyone immediately my feelings on Basic Witch as I read it? Nope.

The house got cleaned, we were productive, I spent time with all the animals, the house smelled WONDERFUL (seriously, Bath & Bodywork’s Fall candles are the best), and I didn’t feel this claustrophobic cluttered feeling from my surroundings anymore. The laundry even got all put away.

We hung out at Rony’s work for a few hours and I did more sketches in my notebook. I filled up about 5 pages in it and figured out my Inktober theme for the month. My planner got filled in and updated and I felt a little more prepared for October. I even packaged up some orders I’d been meaning to fulfill.

The weekend was over and all in all, I had 107 notifications.

And wanna know what? NONE of them were important. None were life or death and I didn’t miss out on anything just because I waited a whole weekend to get to them.

I think that helped. It had been a while since I was able to have a nice, relaxing weekend just with myself and a book and Rony and the animals. I felt relaxed and productive and realized I didn’t need to be attached to my phone all the time.

So will I do it again? Definitely. I think a break is needed from social media every now and then, especially with how it is now in days. It’s a break from the comments and arguing and constant need to post post post. I don’t need to check up on other people’s lives when I have my own to live.

-Sam <3

Blog| Fall Equinox & Changes

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Fall Equinox has come and it’s officially the best time of the year!

I thrive in Fall weather. I always get too hot in the summer and freeze in the winter (Spring doesn’t exist in Texas), so Fall is the perfect middle ground for me. And by some miracle, we actually are experiencing Fall weather right on time! It’s rainy and chilly and I can wear sweaters without dying!

And with the Fall Equinox, comes a bit of introspection. It’s been a hard month. Getting Leon back felt like a tipping point. I was working on so many things and as soon as he disappeared, everything stopped. Once we got him back, I thought we could go back to how it was but things had changed. We’re always so busy that I felt it had been ages where I could just sit down for a weekend and breathe, watch a movie or play with the animals.

We’re constantly going from event to meeting to event all the time and being so busy, we were neglecting not just our house but also the animals. I wanted to be able to go and hang out with friends without it being an event I’m hosting and go to the movies and attend galleries because we want to, not because we have to.

We have less than a year left in Lubbock. This is our last holiday season and it’s always busy and flies by so fast. I love what I do, but I also need to realize that I need to take time for myself and live and appreciate everything before suddenly, it’s time to go.

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So what does that mean?

Well for starters, I unfortunately dropped 365 Project and #52Selfies. When Leon went missing, I stopped doing them and I don’t think it’d be right for me to just continue as if there isn’t almost a month’s gap. I’ll have to attempt them again January 1st.

I’m cutting down on some of the events I do and was planning. I’ve had to turn down a couple of galleries so far just because it wasn’t worth killing myself trying to get artwork done so fast to meet the deadlines. I want to enjoy my artwork and the process and the pressure isn’t always the best at making it a fun experience. That’s the opposite of what I want. It’s suppose to be a stress relief and that’s less likely if I’m being forced to do it.

I’m also cutting the blog down to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of Monday-Thursday. That’ll help me put out better content and get my shit together, honestly. I love my blog but I don’t want to just put out crap for the sake of something getting put out. Taking the photos takes a while and I’d love to have everything written out ahead of time.

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Processed with MOLDIV

October is almost here and it’s a huge month. I’m laying out my plan for Inktober and we’re attempting to do the 31 Movies in 31 Days challenge, on top of making plans for Disneyland, parties, traveling, animal costumes, and our Halloween Instagram. October kicks off the big holiday season for me and it doesn’t stop until March so I need to get prepared. I do not want it to become this overwhelming chaos where I need to drop stuff.

There’s also the kittens. Two have been adopted so far, but we’re taking care of them until they’re a little bigger and when we have time to take them to the new owners. We still have to find homes for Stripes and White and Mae Mae. We’ve been letting them roam the house every now and then and the kittens have turned into crazy little monsters, getting into everything and playing with whatever they can find. Plus they go through a tooooon of food and litter.

Unfortunately, we recently found out that Mae Mae has miscarried and will not be having anymore kittens. It happened this past week, her due date week, and it’s been a hard thing to process. We went from preparing to help her give birth to making sure she and the other kittens are okay. They said sometimes it just happens or she could have had a parasite or any number of things. Whatever it was, it was out of our hands.

It’s topped off a pretty crappy month and hit us hard. For now, we’re focusing on getting her well and taking care of the kittens we have. We’ll be getting her fixed and will be adopting her out as well. She’s a complete sweetheart and loves people and pets and attention. If we didn’t already have 5 animals, I would love to have kept her and one of the kittens. But they’ll be very good pets to someone.

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Things are going to get crazy soon and I don’t want a repeat of last year where I completely overwhelmed myself and knocked myself back into depression. I’m getting help from people and delegating and making plans. I’m not getting rid of galleries I am holding or our Fall Ladies Night, but I am stepping back a little.

Am I anxious about cutting things back? Definitely. I have this fear of irrelevancy that if I’m not out there all the time, everything I worked or will fall apart. That’s the control freak in me. But the thing is, is it worth it if I’m missing out on things myself? I can do what I can to better the community, but there’s always going to be work to do. There’s no point in killing myself and making myself unhappy.

I’m doing this for me.

The Autumn Equinox is about balance and self evaluation and rebirth. It’s the time to reclaim your power and put yourself back on track to being who you are meant to be. My favorite part of the Equinox has always been tied to mythology.

In some older versions of the story of how Persephone came to be Queen of the Underworld and in my favorite version, Persephone is not kidnapped but wanders into the Underworld herself, either out of adventure or to comfort the crying souls herself. She is adventurous and merciful, but confident. She chooses to be there and is not a pawn in a game. Her choices are her’s alone and the balance of 6 months in Spring and Winter is her choice. And so now we celebrate the Fall Equinox,  the time when night and day are equal and when Persephone descends back into the Underworld and reclaims her spot as Queen and reclaims her power.

I love Persephone and I love what she has come to symbolize. It’s my favorite story and I see her as a figure of confidence and growth and coming into yourself. And maybe it’s time I take a page out of her book and find a balance for myself and become my own Queen of the Underworld.

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-Sam <3

#FindLeon and What to Do When You’re Puppy Goes Missing

It’s been quiet on here for a reason.

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Saturday, August 26th at 8am our dogs got loose. I noticed within 10-15 minutes of it happening and raced into the backyard, calling for Rony as I did so. They dug a hole in the corner of the yard and pried off a couple of boards off the fence, escaping into the alley. Almond is a runner and has escaped a few times, giving us heart attacks as we chase her down and she plays keep away, but this was Leon’s first time being gone. He follows Almond wherever she goes and would have followed her out that hole.

Almond was found crossing one of the major, busy streets by Marisa and was brought home safe. We didn’t find Leon.

For 6 days/144 hours, he was missing.

We hardly slept at all. We ate whenever we had a chance to pause, scarfing down chips or snack bars, or whatever people would bring us and go back out. We’ve searched almost non-stop, from 7am in the morning to 1am at night. My bones and muscles ached from walking, my fingertips were raw and peeling from posting flyers, and any ground I had made on getting over being sick was shot to the wind and I felt awful. I couldn’t breathe from congestion and my eyes were swelling shut and I kept having migraines. We couldn’t stop though.

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Saturday was not only going to be my first Pride after coming out but it was also National Dog Day. It felt like being stabbed every time I saw people post pictures of their dogs while I had no clue where Leon was. Was he safe, hurt, taken, hiding, scared? We’ve checked the shelter every day and nothing. They have a binder of deceased dogs and it was nauseating to flip through, hoping we didn’t see him every day.

That first day, we walked 6 miles looking for him. Sunday we walked 10-11 miles and then Monday 3 miles. All together, we walked 32 miles looking for Leon. We visited every shelter and pet store and groomers, giving flyers. Asked people on the street. Checked every tip, no matter how crazy. I’ve made hundreds of lost pet posts online and taken out ads and have done everything. He had his tags and collar on when he went missing and was micro-chipped, but no one had found him or called or brought him in to a vet or shelter.

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On top of it, we also adopted 3 kittens that are about 4-5 weeks old. Mae Mae took a while, but she’s adopted them and is feeding them and watching over them. We think they belong to one of our strays that passed away last week. Our neighbor heard them crying in her backyard. They’re cute and distracting and kept me busy, which was good because I was so near falling apart.

We have literally posted over a thousand flyers. That’s not hyperbole either. We literally have printed and posted around 1300 flyers. We’ve put them everywhere. Every time we found a blank area, we put them all over. We asked businesses, put them in high populated areas, shopping centers, the university.

This is what hell feels like. Being in pain, exhausted, but not being able to stop or else the hopelessness crushes you because your loved one is out there and you don’t know if they’re hurt or scared or being taken care of by a good family.

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We got so many tips that ended up being different dogs or dead ends. Our most promising ones were a girl that said she saw him with a kid and a mom less than 10 blocks from us, in the direction he was seen running. She said she tried to see him and the mom cussed her out, saying she doesn’t care where he came from and that he was theirs now. The location wasn’t far from our house and we staked it out for 2 days, but when we finally saw the dog it wasn’t ours.

An older man called and thought he saw Leon by the park by his house. I raced over at lunch and he ran to the park to show me, but it was also the wrong dog. Two different ladies in our neighborhood said they saw him with a dog gang. We woke up early at 6am, and scouted the streets looking for them. We found them in 15 minutes. It was 3 Chihuahua looking dogs and a white/brown pit. They were sweet and ran up to the car and gave kisses. Not much of a gang, but also not Leon.

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At the same time, we had a lady say she thought she saw him by his house and was trying to track him down. I was texting her when I got a call at about 630. A guy said he may have Leon ten blocks from our house. I described Leon’s tail and figure and he said he was almost sure it was him. We turned around and drove there, looking for a corner house and a guy with a dog sitting on the porch.

When we found the house, we burst into tears because it was finally Leon. I ran out the car before it was even fully stopped and ran to him. He jumped and wagged his tail and licked my face while I sobbed my heart out. This whole week it hadn’t sunken in that he was gone, like at any time I’d wake up and he’d be home. I couldn’t see how we could do so much for everyone else. Events, charities, promo-ing, dog sitting, fostering, helping other people find their animals. While searching we helped like 3 people and took in the kittens. We needed luck on our side and I refused to let go that our dog was gone forever, but it was starting to feel so hopeless.

Having him in my arms was heaven. The guy had been walking his dog near the high school and had grabbed one of our flyers. He saw Leon and managed to grab him and called us, waiting on the porch until we showed up. Him and his partner had lost their dog a year ago and knew how it felt and were so happy to find him for us, they didn’t want the reward. We’re going to donate it to the Humane Society and aid or Hurricane Harvey.

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Leon was skinnier, but uninjured and happy and still had his collar on even. We have no clue what he had been doing for almost a week and had patrolled that area so many times that we don’t know how we didn’t find him.

I sat in the trunk area with him while Rony talked to the guys and just cried and hugged him and called everyone. Almond was excited when we got home and Leon drank all the water and ate 4 cups of food. They ran around and played and it was like he hadn’t left.

It took all morning to call and let everyone know and just relax and know he was okay. It still feels surreal but he’s home and I can’t thank enough people for helping us search for him. We literally painted the town in his flyers and we have him back.

It’s been an exhausting process but it paid off.

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So, if you are missing your dog, all I can do is write down some tips that we learned. No one can say we weren’t dedicated to finding him and he’s probably the most famous lost pup in town now but it got results:

Tips for Finding your Puppy

  1. Immediately search the entirety of your neighborhood as fast as you can after they go missing
  2. Find all the Lost and Found Facebook pages/group and post to them all daily
  3. Post on Pawboost
  4. Post on your neighborhood app (NextDoor is the one we have)
  5. Check the shelters every day, don’t just call. If you do it an hour or so before they close, most of their trucks should be in from picking up animals.
  6. After a few days, email or check the shelters of nearby towns. Dogs can travel a lot at night
  7. Put some of your dirty clothes or their toys outside so if they’re lost, they may try to find their way home. Don’t put food because you’ll just attract other dogs.
  8. Post flyers on all major intersections, busy areas, and stores that will let you
  9. Give flyers to every vets office and groomers/boarders that you can
  10. Put flyers on your car and put a big sign in your yard so that if someone finds them, they know where to return them
  11. Check with neighbors, anyone outside, or joggers in your area.
  12. Follow all tips, no matter how far they are from your home.
  13. As soon as you can, see if you can get your friends to do a search party
  14. If your dog has a microchip, register it as Lost and make sure to tell your vets office
  15. If someone has seen him in your neighborhood, try to walk from your house to the tip spot and see where they could have gone from there
  16. If you can afford it, do a Facebook and Instagram ad.
  17. Post on Craigslist
  18. Ask your mail carrier when you see them, police officers, or city services if you come across them. They drive around constantly!
  19. It’s weird, but don’t be afraid to ask homeless people and give them flyers. A lot of times they’re very happy to help (especially if there is a reward)
  20. Don’t give up hope.

And when you get them home, make sure your fence is secure! Nail any loose boards, pour concrete along the bottom, or if you can’t then chicken wire it down so they cant dig to get under it! You can bend it along the base and stake it down!

I can only hope this helps someone else looking for their baby. Our animals are our children and it felt like my heart had died while he was gone. We couldn’t go on with our lives until he was home and I’m so glad he is. I’m never letting him go.

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-Sam <3

 

Blog| Curveball

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It’s been a bit quiet here. For those that don’t know, I’ve been sick for a bit over 2 weeks which has completely blown apart any plans I had for this month. At first I had a toothache which turned into a severe infections which wiped out my immune system and ended up with me sick. I was on a cocktail of medication to help with the infection, fever, severe congestion, and then I ended up scratching my eye because the medications dried me out. So my eye swelled.

The tooth was pulled and it’s been a long, hard week of trying to recover. My mouth hurts. I still can’t breathe through my nose. I just want to sleep all the time.

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To top it all off, we took in a little stray kitty we named Mae Mae. She’s been super friendly and we’ve been feeding her outside, but today we take her to the vet and start trying to introduce her to the other cats. She’s pregnant and so we’re going to foster her and her kitties and try to re-home them all. I’ve never had a pregnant cat or dealt with something like this so it’s all new, but I’m excited to help her with her little kitties. She’s a complete sweetheart.

I’m also redoing my office and clearing a bunch of junk out of it. I feel like I go through periods where I just feel claustrophobic and I just want to throw everything away. So I’m tossing my desks and looking into just getting one long desk or building one. I have some plants in there now and I condensed everything to my art shelves. It’s looking nice but still has a bunch of work.

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Being sick, I haven’t been able to do much. I’m still doing my 365 Project, I just need to upload all my pictures and post them. I need to work on a bunch of paintings with deadlines soon. My goals for the month are shot to hell. Maybe this week I’ll try to do a catch up post.

Next month is going to be busy. I’m headed to Dallas for my sister’s gender reveal party, Staple in Austin the following weekend, Hub City Comic Con, and then we’re taking a weekend trip to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Almost every weekend is busy.

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And then Halloween season is fast approaching along with Inktober. I need to catch my breath before it all starts and I need to avoid overwhelming myself again like last year.

We’re staying busy and these will all be great experiences. I’m getting better. I just need to get organized, get focused, and get back into my rhythm.

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So look out for new posts, but give me a bit of time to get back into things. I’m gonna try and do some more art posts, I have a style post in the works, I’ll do one about Mae Mae, and Pride Fest is this weekend.

All the pictures in this post were taken by my sister when she was down to visit us. Tabby had a lot of fun playing with all the cats and we managed to wrangle the dogs to take an updated family photo.

Be sure to check out her work at Amanda Raylee Photography and follow her on Facebook.

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Until next time

-Sam <3