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Alla’s February Finds

February! What a month, again, short as usual… 🙂

I thought I’d start a monthly post of my favorite things of the month, anything that I found particularly fun, helpful, or interesting; it can be anything from a new favorite song, to a new art technique I’ve come up with, or food that I like. So for the month of February, here are some of Alla’s February Finds!

1. Homemade Mac n’ Cheese

When I comes to cooking, I am a total noob. I am also a blossoming adult in her early 20’s with not a lot of time to dedicate to cooking from scratch. But when I figured out a solid recipe for homemade mac n cheese, it made me never want to go back to boxed mac again. It all comes down to the cheese sauce, and while I haven’t been able to experience with different kinds of cheeses, as long as I have the base of a good cheese sauce and some elbow noodles cooked “al dente” as they say, I got me a simple and easy dinner. My basic, not-professional-at-all recipe goes as follows:

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This isn’t homemade Mac n Cheese, but the only photo of the stuff that I’ve ever taken apparently.

Melt some unsalted butter in a saucepan, around 2 tablespoons of the stuff

Add the same amount of flour, and whisk it

Add a little milk to this mixture while still stirring. I haven’t found the perfect measurement of milk, but I found that you don’t need a lot.

Stir for a while till the mixture gets nice and warm and then you can add your cheese. I like to use what I have on hand, which tends to be sharp cheddar or Colby jack, but use any cheese you like.

Melt this for a few minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste, and you have yourself a nice, melty cheesy sauce that you can satisfyingly pour onto cooked elbow pasta.It’s super easy to make, and it has warmed me up to cooking, and I plan on experimenting more with cooking meals from scratch.

2. Ariana Grande’s new album “Thank U, Next”

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If you know me, I have been a fan of Ariana Grande since her days on “Victorious”. From being the cute character Cat to a successful pop star, Ari was able to make some music that sounds more like herself. While I have a sweet spot for her previous album, “Sweetener”, “Thank U, Next” seems to be like “Sweetener”s alter ego. The tracks sound darker and more direct in lyrics and she sings in lower registers with a more talkey-like style. Even name dropping some exes in the song, “Thank U, Next”. It took me a second to warm up to this album, but it turned out to be one of my new favorites.

Some of my faves from the album are “NASA”, “Bad Idea”, and “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”.

 

If you have a second, check out Ari’s album if you haven’t already!

3. Yoshi’s Crafted World Demo for the Switch

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There are a lot of games on my list to buy for my Nintendo Switch, and “Yoshi’s Crafted World” just made the list. My boyfriend and I played the demo a few weeks back, and I fell in love with it. It gives me “Kirby’s Epic Yarn” vibes from it’s quiet, simple gameplay and unique look. The game looks almost real, like they used real objects and put them in the game itself. I can’t wait to see more of this game in the future.

4. Instax Fujifilm Mini 9 camera

Photography is not my best skill, but I have respect and appreciation for all photographers, and the effort they put into capturing the perfect photo. It really does take a lot of skill, and for a newbie photographer like myself who loves to take pictures of their friends and their cats, the Instax Mini 9 camera works for me.

 

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The first picture I took, minutes after I took the camera out of the box.

I’ve been wanting this camera for around 2 years, and my boyfriend surprised me with it this past Christmas. It snaps a photo and the little picture comes out just like old film cameras of the past, and develops just like it too. I am in love with that vintage photo look, and in my pictures I like combining that old look with newer objects, like smartphones, in my photos. it makes for some interesting looking photos.

 

 

I’ve taken it with me to my trip to California, and I took tons of photos there, even in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disneyland.

5. Skillshare

One of my goals of 2019 was to get back into learning. Once out of college I didn’t want to stop learning more about my craft, and I wanted to learn about things like owning a business, building a social media following, among other things. That’s where Skillshare comes in.

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It’s a platform where you can take tons of different classes about anything you can think of, like cooking, sewing, even how to invest money and learn how to buy stocks. I’ve taken a couple classes, I try to take at least one a week, and I like to listen to them while I take notes and study. I signed up for the yearly membership, but it’s only $15 a month, and they offer a free trial.

A few classes I’ve taken are about launching my creative career, how to effectively use Etsy, Illustration classes, and self-motivation classes. I’ve found them all useful, and some classes have worksheets and documents you can print out and use. I recommend Skillshare for anyone who wants to learn something new, pick up a new hobby, or for self-employed folks who would like to learn more about what it is they do.

That’s all for February’s Finds! March is here soon, along with lovely Springtime, flowers, and Daylight Savings Time. Looking forward to that! I hope you are too.

 

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Soft Peach… What is it, Exactly?

Soft Peach… sounds pretty delicious. If you like peaches that is.

What is Soft Peach? Other then a nice sounding summer snack.

Well, let’s back up a little bit. I have a quick story.

You see, I have a love for storytelling. As a kid I was inspired by a lot of the greats: Avatar The Last Airbender, Castle in the Sky, Sailor Moon, to name a few. In my opinion, those series had a knack for wonderful storytelling. A young boy with a great power discovered after 100 years is forced to face the task of ending a century-long war and bring peace back to the world. A boy with an admiration for the legendary sky castle goes on a journey to find this place under the following of the military and with the help of thieving pirates. A young girl who is the reincarnation of the moon princess faces against many galactic enemies after her silver crystal, who fights with the power of friendship.

All these summaries sound epic, right? At least to me they do. And telling an epic story was something I wanted to do since I was young. I would create these characters with powers and personalities and place then in these little worlds with all my favorite things; winged angels, mermaids, witches and elves who wielded bows and arrows and could talk to animals. I created a team of magical girls based on my love of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura who would protect a legendary queen who lost her memories. I wrote over and over again their stories and plotted out what would happen, who would learn something, who would die, who they would fall in love with.

I love imagining. Now that I am in my mid twenties, you would think my passions would fade, but the exact opposite thing came to fruition as my artistic skills improved.

Let me tell you what Soft Peach Comics is.

It is a place where a girl can discover her true powers and learn from her mistakes while growing stronger than her enemies. A place where a journey begins with a tragedy and discovery of an ancient, hidden power that leads someone across the world to encounter people like her. A place with a witch on the inside who falls in love with another on the outside. A place where a new, wonderful paradise can lead to depression and self-discovery. A place where a giant, forest dwelling beast makes friends with a tiny fairy.

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My dream is to make Soft Peach Comics a successful comics publishing company with many titles under the name. Comics that experiment with different mediums, formats and formulas, as well as telling all kinds of unique, interesting stories. I want it to possibly expand into animated form with shorts based on the comics it produces. I want it to be a headquarters of lovely, feel-good comics that I write, design and create myself and with my friends.

So, where is Soft Peach now? Well, it’s only getting started. My very first comic, Jazz, is releasing chapter two soon. Remember that sentence a few paragraphs ago about a girl discovering her true powers? Well, that’s what it’s about pretty much.

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It’s magical girl based, with a not-so-hard-to-figure-out twist at the end. Chapter two is set to come out March 14, if I play my cards right and work efficiently. After that, while Jazz takes a break, onto the next story. What’s that next story, you ask? It’s my secret for now, but if you follow along with this blog for a while, you may just find out soon.

If you enjoyed this post about Soft Peach Comics, feel free to stick around Alla’s Art Story for more info about Soft Peach, my life, and other things going on. I’ll be sure to update when the next chapter of Jazz is ready for eyes other than mine and a few choice people to see. If you’re really into this Soft Peach thing, it has it’s own instagram, @soft_peach_comics, where I post works in progress, cover shots, progress videos, and anything else about the comics I’m making. So feel free to follow if you’re interested, and tell a friend too!

I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and see you with a new post very soon!

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Something Special: Back to Blogging!

Getting back into the swing of things…

Welcome to my blog, a little place for sharing advice, art, and snippets of my life! I would like to show you all the things I am working on, and planning to work on for the future, and everyday stuff I am interested in.

So who am I, you ask? My name is Allison Richmond-Leeth, or Alla for short. I am an Illustrator, Comics Artist, and Writer in my early 20’s, raised in a little town called Columbus, Ohio. If you had been so nice as to have peaked around at my website allasart.me, you can tell that I love to create anything cute and girly (and apparently love the color pink). Well, my love of creating is slowly forming into my career.

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It me!!

Here’s a little back story: After growing up in northern downtown Columbus, I attended Columbus College of Art and Design. I finished off my schooling with a BFA in Illustration and Creative Writing. Throughout my life, I fantasized around with the idea of creating my own stories in the form of comics and writing. As a kid I would draw my own characters and worlds on printer paper and sift through how to draw books in my free time. My childhood dreams have only expanded, as I am planning my very own publishing company lovingly called Soft Peach Comics. It will be a place where I make and self-publish my own stories.

Day-to-day, I pay the bills working part-time at the American Girl Store, then come home to spend the rest of the day building my arts career. My life has just begun, and success and failure await me in the world.

As I write, create, and play with dolls in my spare time, I hope my readers out there can gain a little something from my creations. Whether it’s advice, a helpful word, or even some inspiration, then I’m happy with it. Consider joining me on my life adventures! I have many ideas clouding my mind, and I would appreciate an ear to listen. Or in this case, eyes to read.

Welcome, and thank you for reading!