3,000 Followers GIVEAWAY!

(Despite what the title seems to proclaim, no, I am not giving away three thousand followers. Sorry about that.)

AHEM. I am very excited to announce a pretty…. um, exciting giveaway in honor of reaching over 3,000 followers! AHH I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT! You guys are even more amazing than the giveaway. 😀 ♥ I expounded your wonderfulness at greater length in my last post, along with some blogging tips, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet. 😉

Anyway, let’s proceed. Are you ready to see what I’m giving away?

OKAY.

What You’ll Win

This is mostly an arts/crafts type of giveaway because I love that sort of thing and I know a lot of you guys do too. Plus, I post about arts and crafts sometimes on my blog, so I thought that would make sense. 🙂 Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll receive if you win:

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  • one super fine-tip pen
  • a pack of six adorable little fox metal clips
  • three cute rolls of washi tape
  • a pack of six fun, wooden mechanical pencils
  • twenty blank ATCs
  • a miniature polymer clay snowy owl, made by me
  • a custom piece of art, to be drawn by me as well
  • a 20% off coupon for The Color Box Studio, my art Etsy shop
  • a paperback copy of the excellent book, Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris
  • and maybe a little surprise gift – who knows?

TEN DIFFERENT PRIZES FOR ONE WINNER. IS THAT NOT EXCITING? Goodness, I’m getting so excited and I’m not even entering (though I kinda wish I could). XD Okay, now that you saw an overview of each thing, let me tell you a little bit more about them.

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This pen is AMAZING. I know because I have one just like it. It has an incredibly fine tip, perfect for intricate details. (I used this pen for my elephant drawing, a print of which you can buy here at my art Etsy shop.)

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Are these not the CUTEST THINGS? I found them at Hobby Lobby and I love them! I believe they’re supposed to be paper clips, but I think they would also make great bookmarks. 🙂

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What more can I say? It’s washi tape. You can never have too much washi tape, right? I love these colors and patterns together! ♥

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I have never used these particular pencils before but I really wanted to steal a couple out of the package and give you guys the rest. (Don’t worry, I didn’t.) The package says these mechanical pencils actually have a wood case instead of plastic? Also each pencil comes with three leads, so they should last you a while. 🙂 I also like the cute designs.

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(If you don’t know what an artist trading card is, go here. They’re so much fun!) It’s much more enjoyable to make ATCs when they’re already cut for you, in my experience anyway. Perhaps you could use a few to test out some new art supplies? 😉

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Aww, those eyes! ♥ I really like this little guy, but it’s time for him to go to a new home. *Sniff* I made this tiny owl from polymer clay. He comes with a “stone” nest, also made out of polymer clay. See his wistful expression? He wants to come live with you.

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The picture is kind of misleading, but I had to take a photo of something. XD The giveaway prizes include a free custom 8X10″ portrait of your pet, drawn by me, in Prismacolor colored pencil unless you specify otherwise. If you don’t have a pet or you’d rather me draw something else, I can certainly do that (though I reserve the right to refuse anything I think inappropriate, etc.)!

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And as a little bonus, you get a 20% coupon for The Color Box Studio! (You can also use it if you order a custom order.) It will be a code, like a promo code, that I’ll include either when I notify you of winning or else in the package.

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And lastly but not leastly, we have this great book by Alex and Brett Harris called Do Hard Things. My brother and I got a copy of this for our birthdays and it was so good. It’s written to teenagers and is explicitly Christian, but the message is still relevant to everyone, whatever your age or religion. Basically the authors argue that our culture today has pitifully low expectations for teenagers and show how we can overcome the stereotype, so to speak, and use this time to “do hard things” that make a difference both in our lives and the lives of others. Not just randomly do hard things like try to mountain climb without a rope or something, but meaningful challenges that take us out of our comfort zone and into a whole new world. It was a super thought-provoking while still easy-to-read book and really impacted me, in a good way.

And that’s that! NOW. Are you ready to learn the rules for entering?

How To Enter

  • This giveaway is only open to people in the United States. I’m sooo sorry about that, guys, but otherwise the shipping cost gets pretty scary, you know?
  • You must be following my blog to enter. Ideally I’d like for this giveaway to be only for the followers I already have, but that would be too hard to monitor. I don’t want you guys to follow my blog solely so you can enter this giveaway, but I can’t think of a better way to do it and still have it only be for my followers, so… :/
  • As usual, if you’re under 18 years of age, get a parent’s permission before entering. But I’m sure you already knew that. 😉
  • To enter, comment on this post saying that you’d like to enter, and tell me which of these items you’d be most excited to win.

For Bonus Entries…

  • Take my survey for 2 bonus entries. NOTE: This is option is only for my current followers because it’s not going to work very well for you or for me if you fill out a survey for a blog you just found. 😉
  • Share on social media for 1 bonus entryChoose Pinterest, Facebook, whatever. NOTE: You can only get one bonus entry for this, even if you share several times or on different social media platforms. Of course I’ll be quite happy if you want to share it more than once, but you’ll still earn just one extra entry. Otherwise things could get WAY too complicated. XD
  • Share on your blog for 1 bonus entry. You can add a link to my giveaway to your post or reblog this post – your choice.

Giveaway Deadline

The giveaway starts today, October 16th, 2017, and ends October 31st, 2017, the end of this month. That gives you just over two weeks to enter. I’ll post the winner on November 1st!

I’ll notify you by email and comment if you win, but if you don’t respond within a week, I will have to pick someone else. 😦

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OKAY, I think that’s it! Ahhhh yay, I’m finally done! That took forever to write. XD I hope you guys are as excited about the giveaway as I am! If you have any questions, just drop me a comment below.

Have a lovely day, and thanks for reading, dears. ♥

***Allison***

Pool!

I had a lot of fun taking these pictures on one of our trips to our neighbor’s pool. I love swimming! (And photography.)

My siblings and cousins were trying to throw each other off the inner tube. XD Very splashy indeed!

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I love this one where my cousin is falling back into the water. It looks so neat!

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Victory!

 

Pool water is so pretty.

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I love these next pictures! I dripped water into the pool and took pictures of the splashes. Aren’t the bubble-pockets so neat?

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Look at that perfect bubble in the middle! LOVE IT!

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I also really like this picture of my brother swimming.

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Here are some more action pictures:

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Junior synchronized diving? XD

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Last but not least, one of our neighbor’s dogs! I think his name is Biscuit.

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There you are, folks! Which photo was your favorite? Have you ever taken pictures at the pool? Do you like swimming? (That was kind of a “duh” question. XD )

P. S. Are you getting tired of photography posts yet? I take lots of pictures and love sharing them with you, but I also want to post about more than one category. If you are getting tired of one kind of post or have suggestions for my blog, I’d love it if you’d take my blog survey! I’m not promising anything drastic, but perhaps the survey will tell me how I can up the enjoyment level just a bit for you. 🙂 (By the way, this is the same survey as I did a while ago, just so you know. 😉 )

AAWC Challenge 1 + Survey!

Greetings. How art thou? XD I’m participating in Misty’s amazing writing challenge, Aspiring Authors Writing Challenge, or AAWC for short. (Read about it here.) The word prompt for this challenge was “Reflection.” I can collect two extra points for my team if I work my team mascot into the story, so I did! (I’m on Team Swan.)

I wasn’t very pleased with the first draft of this story, so I re-wrote it and like it a lot better. 🙂 I think you will too – I hope, anyway!

Unfortunately, the link for the first picture didn’t work, so I don’t know where it’s from. 😦 But the rest of the pictures have links to the original websites.

Make sure not to forget to remember (XD) to take my survey at the bottom!

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The Ugly Duckling Club

The trees stooped and straightened above me. They puffed and groaned after each sit-up, begging the wind to have mercy on them.

I was at my dear little secret pond in the woods. It was a small pool with water so clear that you could see the many colored pebbles gleaming on the bottom, and surrounded by reeds, oaks, and vibrant green puffs of grass.

A very green Clandestine Pond.:

I sat down on my favorite puff, Verde the Hoglet. If you think it odd that I named a clump of grass Verde the Hoglet, well… you’re entitled to your opinion I suppose. I name everything I see: trees, grass, the mailbox, the mysterious tumble-down barn next door … I even named my secret pond Clandestine. You see, since I have very few friends, I make up my own. This particular grass puff was as spiky green as a sick baby hedgehog, and thus I thought Verde the Hoglet a very appropriate name.

But just now I was too absorbed in my reflection to think about names. I have always been plain – and even that’s an understatement. I have thin, straggly, gray-brown hair; squinty, faded blue eyes; a hefty crop of freckles peppered over my face; and ears that stick out at approximately 90 degree angles from my head. A tear hastily connected the dots on my freckled cheek and splashed onto my reflection’s crumpled face. Still plain ol’ Priscilla, the Ugly Duckling.

Suddenly I was startled out of my reverie by a loud quack and an enormous splash. What was that? No ducks ever came to this pond – it was too small. I lifted my head and then drew back in surprise.

At the other end of the pond was the ugliest, scruffiest, most miserable looking duckling I had ever seen. He was covered in ragged gray down-feathers, and possessed a ginormous orange beak, and long, gangly neck. He kept his head painfully erect and avoided looking at the water. Something in me just knew: he’s ashamed of himself too. Immediately I felt sorry for this poor little Ugly Duckling. We were two of a kind. I felt around in my pocket for a wheat roll left over from dinner and broke it in half. “Some for you, some for me,” I said. I crumbled his half into pieces and threw it lightly on the water.

The duckling started and flapped his gangly wings, but he gingerly approached the crumbs. He snapped one up, tasted it thoughtfully, swallowed, and then proceeded to skim the whole pond at lightning speed, churning up frothy milk-white water in his wake. I could hardly hold back a guffaw, but I didn’t want to scare my new friend with my notoriously loud laughter. When he finished eating, he cocked his head and stared at me with bright, coal-black eyes.

“No, Little Fella, I’ve no more crumbs for you!” I said, allowing myself a laugh. I crouched down on Verde the Hoglet and stared at him seriously. “Say, how ‘bout being friends? I could use a friend like you.” I held out my hand solemnly, as if to shake on the deal. And wonder of wonders – the duckling paddled over to me and laid his scruffy head on my palm! The touch of his fluffy feathers sent delicious tingles through my fingers.

“Ugly Ducklings, friends forever. Okay, Little Fella?” And so the Ugly Duckling Club was born.

One time I brought a picnic lunch to the pond. The Ugly Duckling sat on the pond, watching me carefully. I spread out ham, cheese, and crackers; apples, carrots, and tomatoes; and bread, butter, and strawberry jam. When Little Fella saw me set the bread on the red checked cloth, he could stand it no longer. He flapped furiously over to the edge of the pond, and waddled up to my picnic cloth. He sat down next to the bread and gave me a pleading glance. I chuckled. “All right, Little Fella, you win.” I threw him a piece of bread, then carelessly spread some butter and jam on a slice for me. I lifted it to my mouth, but quick as a flash Little Fella raced over and grabbed it out of my fingers. He gulped it down with relish, and would have licked his lips if that were possible. I frowned and shook my finger at him, but I couldn’t stay angry for long. Little Fella just peered up at me with mischief sparkling in his eyes, and all I could do was dissolve into giggles. Thereafter I always made sure to bring extra bread and jam to my picnics.

All that summer I romped and played with Little Fella at the pond. Gradually his scraggly gray feathers fell out and were replaced with smooth white ones, but I never noticed. I was too busy having fun. One fine autumn day I hurried down the path to the pond. I hadn’t seen Little Fella for nearly two weeks while my family had been to visit the cousins. I had been looking forward to this moment from the day we left. I sprang into the clearing with a grin and a shout, waiting for the Ugly Duckling to waddle up to me. But he didn’t appear. I shouted Little Fella’s name frantically, but to no avail.

Little Fella… gone? A flood of happy memories nearly drowned me as they swept into my mind. I collapsed into a heap and wept my broken heart out for a long, long time.

And then I heard something.

It wasn’t a splash exactly, it was more of a graceful skim. I wiped my tears and turned toward the sound. I gasped in astonishment and wobbled to my feet. There, gliding gracefully on the mirrored waters, was the most beautiful swan I had ever seen. It was whiter than the new-fallen snow, and its strong, slender neck proudly held up a handsome head.

Swan getting on its wings by Dittekarina:

 

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“I-is that you, Little Fella?” I stammered in astonishment. The swan promptly shook his feathers and waddled up to my feet. It cocked its head and looked pleadingly at my pocket.

I was almost giddy with relief. “Oh, Little Fella! How beautiful you are!” I breathed in awe. Then my eyes dropped sadly to the ground. “But you’ve gone and ruined the Ugly Duckling Club. You’re far too beautiful and grown-up to be an Ugly Duckling any longer. I can’t have a club with only me, and I can’t stand to be an Ugly Duckling alone.” But then I looked at my rippling reflection and I knew. I knew I was no longer an Ugly Duckling. I saw more than a plain face stare back at me: I saw a girl no longer lonely, no longer burdened by her appearance, but simply happy to be alive. No matter how much of an Ugly Duckling I was on the outside, I was a beautiful swan on the inside.

“Friends forever?” I held out my hand to shake on the deal, and Little Fella laid his beautiful snow white head in my palm. “Yes, friends forever,” I whispered.

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So, how did you like it? I think it turned out pretty well! I liked the Verde the Hoglet part. XD Here’s a picture of Verde in real life: ISN’T HE ADORABLE? I love hedgies!

Verde the Hoglet in real life. :):

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Now… WAIT! STOP! HALT! GO NO FURTHER! Before you leave, would you pretty please take my blog survey? It’s a fairly short little thing, but I would really appreciate the feedback. Thank you ever so much!

***Allison***