My #GlowupSessions Challenge Journey

It has been done! I completed the Blogilates two-week #GlowupSessions challenge, and I feel so great! How did I get here? Well, it was no picnic in the park. It was definitely a struggle and I thought about giving up early on, but I pushed myself to get through it. I’m glad I did ‘cause I haven’t felt this great bodily wise, mood wise, and mentally, and the challenge reinforced good habits of perseverance, consistency, determination and endurance.

Day 1 vs. Day 14

Introducing Blogilates’ Cassey Ho
I’ve been doing Cassey’s exercise videos since I was living in LA, back in 2016, and she’s been an integral part of my workout regimen. The goal of her brand is to manifest positivity and finding joy in everything, and she’s truly inspirational, motivational, and consistent with her message and workouts. She’s hosted other challenges in the past, which I’ve completed too, but this one really kicked my booty. So, strap in, friends – here’s the story about my journey! Learn about the food, the workouts and the mental health check!

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Reading “The Days of Abandonment”

So, in line with my goals and commitments for this year, I finished a book last night:

photo of a book cover for "The Days of Abandonment" by Elena Ferrante

The Days of Abandonment
by Elena Ferrante
Pages: 188

Full disclaimer that I am not a professional reader or book blogger, nor does my opinion matter that much but I wanted to share my reaction and feelings toward reading this book.

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It’s 2022!

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope everyone’s holiday celebrations were great and 2022 is treating y’all well so far! I fell off the face of the earth last quarter and let a lot of posts sit in my brain rather than put to web paper… sorry about that!

Siri Svay posing in front of decoration, holding balloons to celebrate the new year of 2022

For the last two weeks leading up to the new year, I was ill (thankfully not COVID-19 though!) and feeling miserable to the point where I was bed ridden for a few days. It’s a shame I couldn’t enjoy time off being well and healthy, but being alone for an extended period of time gets my mind racing about the things I wish I had done and accomplished, things I wish I hadn’t let fall to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong – I’m truly grateful for everything I have but something is just missing within me and I can never figure it out despite my efforts. And it’s a pattern where I start something strong and motivated but then it dissipates just as quickly and it’s hard to get back on the horse again. It’s an everyday effort to get myself to stay in a habit to be consistent – with anything honestly.

And that’s what I want 2022 to be about – re-establishing and maintaining consistent good, positive habits that serve me and only me. It’s not necessarily a resolution because those have a negative connotation of being short-lived, so it’s going to be a long-term commitment. In that commitment, I’m taking a step back, amidst the conveniently timed Omicron spike rates, to be alone. I did a lot of reflecting about the last year or two and how I haven’t been happy with myself. I was too busy running away from me and trying to be someone else, fit the mold and perform for others – friends, relationships and even family. I am myself to a certain extent but have always felt I had to be what everyone wanted of me and expected of me, so now I want to re-discover myself and become the person I want to be.

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Rengoku Glass Painting!

Okay, I’m actually quite surprised how well this painting turned out. Who did I paint this time? None other than the Flame Hashira himself from Demon Slayer — Kyōjurō Rengoku! This one was a bit of a challenge and here’s why…

So, two new things were added to my palette this time around – shadows and warmer colors. But for real, the warmer colors were a given because Rengoku’s hair is literally flames. What I wasn’t prepared for was mixing colors for the shadows on his uniform, skin and hair. It’s not as simple as just using the black, white, flesh tone, red and yellow. That might have still been good enough, but I wanted to challenge myself and capture the lighting he’s in aboard the Mugen Train. What I managed to successfully do is mix one color and then transform it into additional colors, so I’m glad I’m consistent in picking the order of which color combinations to start, using one I already need as the foundation to mix into another one.

I tried to do a better job of painting to all corners so there were no holes, and I think I did a decent job touching up towards the end. However, you can definitely see my brush strokes and see through the paint. I’ve seen so many TikTok videos of folks painting and they have such clean thick paint lines, and I don’t know how to do that! Honestly, it just might be me needing to get even more comfortable using SO MUCH paint with every stroke; I tend to be more economical with how much I put on the brush…

What I’m super happy about is the skin color and skin color shadow blended and fit together so well. It looks way more like a natural shadow. I was really worried about those looking so starkly different like in my Draken and Gojo paintings. Progress!

It’s amazing how I can sit down and start a painting AND finish it. All in one sitting of three to five hours. I can’t emphasize enough how much solace painting brings me because it takes me away from the world and pours my focus and creativity into something artful. Can’t wait to pick my next art subject and create another one! Set your heart ablaze!

Who should I paint next?!