Sunday, December 31, 2017

My 2017 Year in Review

2017 was one hell of a year, and with the new year just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this year that will go down in infamy for me.

12 Glimpses of My 2017

During 2017, I created easily over 100 pieces of original art in a variety of mediums!  Here are twelve of my most memorable moments:

  1. Gemstone Lions: One of my first major projects of 2017 was to get up-to-speed with molding and casting again, and I started off by molding an existing magnet I'd sculpted, never expecting in a million years that people would enjoy it so much! I casted and painted dozens of different lions, and love thinking of all the places they traveled to!
  2. Fire and Ice Phoenix Skulls: I did a number of molding and casting projects this year, including dragon claws, fractal romanites, obelisks, jewelry, and more, but my phoenix skulls remain some of my favorites. I had a lot of fun creating teasers and accessories for them, and they helped me to level-up my product photos.
  3. Walnut Spiral Stone: I combined my interest in exotic woods and art in various ways this year, including creating some resin and wood inlaid pieces like this walnut spiral stone. I'm definitely planning on following-through with similar exploits in 2018 once I'm physically capable!
  4. Hummingbird and Kitty Memorial Sculpture: There is so much time and emotion poured into this sculpture, and I learned so much from it. It was a gift to my mom to celebrate the life and love of her dear kitty Auggie, and I challenged myself with it for sure, much to my own detriment. I'm generally pleased with how it turned out, but the methods and materials I used made me fight uphill both ways, so I ended up getting a lot of project fatigue working on it because I couldn't do much on it per session because of materials working against me. I learned a lot, though, and I'd like to do more with air-cure materials at some point. My only regret is that because of the timing of my injury and move, I never got good photos of this piece, but I hope to at some point since I probably poured more time into this project than any other art project in 2017.
  5. Dragonfly Mangrove Mandala: I did a number of paintings on stained wood panels this year, and this commission was one of my favorites! It was a fun take on the "mandala" theme that's been running through much of my work during the past few years.
  6. Poppy Fox: I did a fair number of watercolor and gouache paintings this year, and "Poppy Fox" ranks among my favorites! The idea had been running through my mind for awhile before I sat down to paint it, and it ended up being the last piece I completed before my major injury.
  7. My Major Injury: I feel like 2017 could have been the year to break me, but I wouldn't let it, not even with a major leg/ankle/foot injury like this. My physical mobility and energy are still very limited from this formative hit in July of this year, but even as it is, I wouldn't let it define me.
  8. Fall Lion: My art output took a drastic hit after my injury, but around the time I was scheduled for my third surgery, I mustered up enough energy to paint this little leaf-maned lion and his cardinal friend and later put it up for auction to help offset my medical bills. I was truly touched by the reception it got.
  9. UV-Reactive Charms: In the time after my injury, I had little periods where I could sit at the computer, but only for about 30 minutes at a time. Rather than use this time to relax and play video games like any sane person would, I used the time to design a number of new products for my art which I hoped people would enjoy, including stickers, magnets, pins, and UV-reactive charms. The charms were some of my favorites.
  10. Fall Hummingbird - This was another concept that had been swimming around for a time before I finally sat down and painted it. I loved the idea of naturemancer crafting creatures from natural materials.
  11. Gemstone Wolf: A commissioned piece in a similar style to my gemstone lion. I really enjoyed the opportunity to infuse personality into this piece and get back to sculpting after many months away from it.
  12. “Sashah's Song” – Mixed Media Sculpture (Work in Progress) and Novel Progress: I started this sculpture way back in late 2014, and it's gone through periods of heavy work and delay in favor of other projects, but it's hardly forgotten! It stalled at one point because I needed to work with resins as well as more complex molding and casting to continue working on it, and at the time I acknowledged there was a very real possibility of damaging it if I didn't take awhile to step back and skill up before continuing work on it. That said, 2017 taught me a lot, and I'm hoping to continue work on it in 2018 and hopefully finish it off! It's a sculpture of one of the lead protagonists of my stories, who happens to be a werewolf enchantress. She's been a labor of love, and I figure I'm around 200+ hours in at this point, and there are a lot more photos of her over on my Twitter accounts @KLeCrone and @Vaeflare. To date, this is very possibly the art project I'm proudest of so far! Along these lines, this year I made an absolutely *massive* amount of progress on the first novel in my series, and I'm thrilled to report I am ending the year at over 100k+ words into it! This milestone means a lot to me, especially with the numerous setbacks I've had this year and the variety of projects and obligations fighting for my time. Woo!

My 2017 Year in Review

The good:

  • Really felt the self-love this year, even when it seems like my life careened off the tracks in July. This can be a hard one sometimes, especially when I’m not in the shape I want to be in, but I know that who I am is encompassed by so, so much more than that. I tried to be kinder to myself and more realistic with my goals in 2017, and felt that really made me a happier person.
  • Felt the love from the people I choose to surround myself with. In addition to the absolutely humbling outpouring of support surrounding my injury and follow-up surgeries from people in the community and absolute strangers, I grew a lot closer to a number of new friends and long-time friends this year. This has made my day-to-day so much richer and more enjoyable, and it felt like I had people there to help support me when I was down and out. I kept fearing the demons of depression might rear their snarly heads again, but that moment never came, and I owe it to so many real-life and internet hugs.
  • Gave less of my time and energy to toxic people, and people that didn't positively contribute to my life and the person I want to be. This can sometimes be a bit of a hard one because I like to think of myself as a very giving person, but there comes a time when self-care needs to be a firm priority. This focus also meant I had more time and love to give for folks that deserved it a million times over.
  • Celebrated 9 years with my SO and hugged him even tighter. <3 He is such a wonderful, supportive light in my crazy life.
  • We bought a house! Right after my injury though. Talk about horrible timing... 
  • Continued to donate, purged, sell, and gave away a dramatic number of boxes of stuff I had stored in my garage. Downsizing has been *amazing* and I'm thankful through sheer luck I managed to cull so much before my injury, because I can't lift much of anything at the moment.
  • Got a promotion at work and am very pleased with my career performance and trajectory! It was difficult being out of work for months and then back in a limited capacity, but I tell you what: I felt and continue to feel SO valued and supported. It's absolutely incredible and humbling.
  • Somehow, even with all the crazy, I managed what is very possibly my most productive artistic AND writing year to date! I completed over 100 pieces of original art in a variety of mediums!
  • I deepened my focus in my art side-business, and managed to have a surprisingly great year of sales, including opening my own storefront, becoming more active on Instagram, and diversifying and deepening my Patreon content.
  • Continued to use and update my Personal Productivity tracker to try to hold myself accountable for how I was using my time.
  • Chugged away at my writing and my first draft prose for v4 of the first book in my series, ending the year at 100k+ words into "The Apprentice of Rook."
  • Learned more about woodworking and molding and casting, and leveled up some necessary skills in that realm!
  • Pushed myself to learn and try new things and experiment without being as concerned about if others would like it, if it's marketable, etc.
  • I managed to navigate a careful line between keeping busy, but not becoming overwhelmed.
  • Kept my optimism intact through a truly challenging year both emotionally and physically!

The not so good:

  • Suffered a Major Leg/Ankle/Foot Injury. It's a bit comical to look back and see me say 2016 was probably my "healthiest year on record," because 2017 felt more like a dumpster-fire in comparison.
  • Didn't lose weight.
  • Didn't resolve a repetitive stress hand/wrist injury I previously suffered at work, and it only got worse from my heavily reliance on my wheelchair/walker/crutches.
  • Didn’t finish “Sashah’s Song” sculpture, but hopefully next year!
  • Didn't finish my first draft of my novel like I'd originally planned. Oh well!
  • Moved shortly after my injury. This was absolute hell, and the only saving grace was the overwhelming support from my mother and friends to help get us packed.
  • I took on a reasonable number of commissions, but they stretched beyond my normal 1 month window of when the original order was placed due to my injury and some compounding factors like moving, unfortunately. I am not taking on any additional commissions until these are completed, and am extremely thankful for the understanding of my commissioners while I recover.
  • ...Went a little overboard buying handmade artisan watercolors as retail therapy. >_> I mean, I'm going to use them, but good lord, I bought so many...

"Mira" - A Character from my Upcoming Novel

On to 2018!

All-in-all it's been quite a crazy year, and I am hopeful 2018 is a sizable improvement over 2017! Here are how 2017 stood up to some of my goals:
  1. Complete "Hummingbird and Kitten Memorial Sculpture" - Complete!
  2. Complete "Sashah's Song" Sculpture - Nope. :/
  3. (Re)learn how to mold and cast - Yep!
  4. Keep moving forward with one or more novels - Yep!
  5. Finish at least one outstanding art project and selectively retire others - Done!
  6. Continue to grow my creative side-business - I absolutely did!
  7. Continue to infuse my unique vision into my work - Again, yes!

Some personal things I'm aiming to accomplish in the new year include:

  1. Complete first draft of "The Apprentice of Rook."
  2. Continue to further grow my art business.
  3. Complete "Sashah's Song" Sculpture
  4. Create some new small sculptures and mold and cast them.
  5. Create new wood and resin art.
  6. Learn to walk again.

The recovery and creative process continues, and I've been back to making a lot of posts over on my Patreon! I generally make updates there every day or two, so if you're interested in a feed of more frequent updates from me, I would suggest checking it out! I also put together a public post on my Patreon about my 2017 Patreon Thoughts and Upgrades.

Here's a few of the main spots you can find me online:

2017 has been really weird and challenging year for me with high highs and low lows. I've admittedly been hard on myself at times for my injury and it's impact on my creativity, yet, here we are, and I realize that even with that, 2017 was my most productive creative year to date. Huh! I’m eager to see what 2018 brings personally, professionally, and creatively, and I’m so thankful for all of your support along the way of this crazy journey called life. <3 Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Happy Birthday - My Major Injury!

Happy Birthday to Me!

This has been the longest I've gone without updates in this blog, but man, these last few months have been absolutely intense.

I've debated writing a blog about things, but honestly, it's been so crazy here that I'm not really sure where to start, or how to organize my thoughts, but let me give it a try.


Back in July, I suffered quite a severe injury which impacted my leg, ankle, and foot. It shattered a number of bones, snapped ligaments and tendons, and grossly dislocated my ankle, causing additional vascular and neurological issues. I've had three surgeries in the time since it happened. The core injury is considered a severe type of a trimalleolar fracture with dislocation (which for me also included a broken leg, ankle, and foot). This led me to have nearly 3 months of straight bed rest to accompany my plates and eight screws (one of which has since been removed).


The briefest version of what happened is that in order to get to my car each morning, I had to cross a street that is on a hill and slightly curved, so I usually step off the curb in a large, designated red zone, look both ways, and cross when it's safe to do so.

On this particular day, however, a large truck was parked in the red zone, and when I went to step off, I hit some air because the curb was higher in that area. When I landed, to this day I'm not sure I'd done more than sprain my ankle, but something went wrong, and due to the momentum, I landed on my side facing uphill, with my head and torso in the street: with an oncoming car rapidly approaching.

With more instinct than logic, I vaulted out of the way and successfully dodged the car, but when I landed on the hot asphalt, it was clear things were very, very wrong: My foot was grossly facing the wrong direction and I was in more pain than I thought the 1- 10 pain scale was capable of covering. I place it at a solid 17.

I was on the phone with my mom, and after being unable to properly explain where I was, I called 911, but was rapidly going into shock. Thankfully, two amazing good Samaritans were there within moments trying to help. One helped me get out of the street and put an umbrella over me and a pillow under my knee while the other one talked to dispatch and then called my mom and SO to let them know what happened and get help ASAP.

Shortly thereafter, the fire department, then the ambulance, then my SO arrived, and I was whisked off first to one ER, then another, for a day I will never forget. Ever. (Two major surgeries in one day, one of which lasted over four hours on the operating table!)



Injuries are all different, and my particular case resulted in three surgeries (so far), including two weeks in a heavily padded splint, four months in a walking boot, advancing into a spider brace. I have been using a wheelchair and walker for the last four months, and hadn't had success with traditional crutches, so I'm currently working on gait training with elbow crutches. It's estimated that my recovery may take two years or more, so this will be a long haul.

I feel like I could write a book about the whole experience, of that day as well as the four months that followed, but they have been some of the roughest I've ever experienced. On top of that: we had to move midway through. It was awful, but we made it through. Even still: I'm using a wheelchair and walker at-best, and I'm hoping I can advance to crutches soon. The bulk of the nitty-gritty and daily-life stuff I've been documenting on my Patreon and Twitter if you're interested. Be aware: there are lots of photos of the best doctor of them all - Doctor Opal!

I spent a lot of time reading-up on things online and following blogs of those that experienced similar injuries who kept a daily blog of their progress, but I quickly realized that my own injury was simply not comparable. Rather than get frustrated that my own pain, healing, and progress were a bit out of my hands, I focused on one of the few things I could: my attitude.

I chose to try to maintain a positive attitude, because it was one of the few things I could do. And by and large: I feel I've been able to pull through. <3

While times have certainly been hard, the daily frustration I've felt at not being able to do "normal" things like get up and get a drink, use the restroom, etc. has been easily offset by the sheer outpouring of support I've received from friends, family, and coworkers. I was overwhelmed with assistance on getting items from my recovery and "fun" recovery wishlists to help me acclimate to my disability. I was humbled at having so many visitors to keep me company and lift my spirits, and those who went out of their way to help me with errands, help pack our home, and even helped us move. For this and so much more: I am forever grateful. Even upon returning to work, I've remained so incredibly thankful of the ongoing love and support of so many people, that it makes it easier to look past the months of pain and frustration this injury had beset upon me, and the journey yet to come. I went back to work worrying I would feel like a burden, and instead I feel so cherished and loved.

In particular, I don't know how I would have been able to get back to somewhat functional without the support of my mother and SO. The two of them have been incredible caretakers, especially with the amount of doctor appointments, physical therapy appointments, errands, packing, unpacking, and not to mention all the necessary assistance I've needed with so many things you take for granted, like being able to get a drink, food, brush your teeth, dress yourself, etc. My mom in particular is seriously an MVP in all this. She is the best parent and friend I could have ever asked for.

I’ve really learned a lot about myself and the people in my life from this whole fiasco. I’ve felt overwhelmed by love and support, and it’s really helped keep my spirits bright even on some of the hard days. Likewise, I’ve privately shaken my head at the sometimes confusing and mixed-messages from some individuals. Rather than feel brought-down by them, instead it just reminds me who around me really had my back when times were hard, and who just... were apparently only fair-weather friends. I feel almost comforted by that knowledge because, my god, I have so many incredibly talented, giving, amazing friends who came through in spades, and I am ever-so thankful for their love and support and smiles and hugs through all this. ❤

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I truly feel that I'm in good hands, and that in time, I can hopefully get back to walking. In the meantime, I wasn't about to let a disability keep me from achieving a lifelong dream of being a velociraptor for Halloween!


Literally the happiest I’ve been in four months. Literally.

During this time, I haven't been doing as much writing or art as I've been accustomed to, but I've been trying to have patience with myself and my new body while I acclimate and make the best of a bad situation. It hasn't been easy, but I'm doing what I can! 

Thankfully, in the last few weeks I've had enough energy to start doing little bits of art and writing again, and it's felt great! I'm still chugging along on the book series I'm working on as well. Here are a few of the pieces I've made over the last few months (some of which are dated as to the days after my accident): 

The recovery process continues, but now that I'm coming back out of my shell, I've been back to making a lot of posts over on my Patreon! I generally make updates there every day or two, so if you're interested in a feed of more frequent updates from me, I would suggest checking it out!

Here's a few of the main spots you can find me online:

In any case, I hope all of you have been well, and thanks again for your support during this difficult time. <3

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Time of Busy, Busy!

The last few months have been action-packed, and I've been incredibly busy over on my Patreon! I generally make updates there every day or two, so if you're interested in a feed of more frequent updates from me, I would suggest checking it out!

Here's a few of the main spots you can find me online:

In the meantime, here are links to two public posts which recap some of what I've been up to over the last few months:


More New Art

I've created many new pieces of art over the last few months, and will see what I can do to put up a recap of all of them at some point, but in particular, I've been making a lot of wood and resin creations (including spiral stones and pendants), as well as painting a lot of gemstone lions, jeweled phoenix skulls, fractal romanites, and crystallized dragon claws. Many of them are still available in my online shop!


Additionally, I've been doing a lot of work on my novel, which is currently tracking at around 52k+ words! On the side, I've been really diving into watercolors with renewed gusto, and a keen interest in handmade artisan watercolors:

I also got a new space at work that I've been slowly decorating!

In any case, I've been up to so much over the last few months that I've only tapped some of the highlights here! So in closing, here's a photo of me and an adorable wolf pup from Project Wildsong! I hope you have a fantastic day, and I that you enjoy all the updates! Keep in mind that even more recent art and updates are available at the following links: