Creating Your Own Cartoon Character


Drawing by Heather Ledbetter

One of the hardest things to do when you want to create your own comic series is to come up with the character (or characters). The possibilities are endless, which means your journey is often going to be a long one to discover your perfect character design.

To begin, I recommend creating a folder or portfolio of characters that you love from popular cartoons, comic strips, and books. Ask yourself what features draw you to those characters? Is it the way the eyes are drawn, or is it the silly proportions? Start to compile a list of character styles that you enjoy looking at.

Next comes the sketchbook. Start drawing! Compile sketches of different feature combinations like big hands on skinny arms, small eyes set in a big head, realistic versus plain eyes. Doing a variety of combinations will help you start to eliminate the things that don’t work for you.

Once you come up with the basic concept for your character, start doing sketches of the character in different poses and positions. When drawing a comic you have to be able to give your character some amount of movement and expression, so practice creating movement and different angles of your character.

When you’re confident in your ability to “animate” your character, you can start doing the detail work. Smooth out your lines and decide on your final color palette. You can also decide on the environment your character will live in and how much effort you want to put into the surroundings.

Once your character comes to life, the only thing left to do is start telling their story!

How to Juggle a Crazy Life


Let me open this blog post by stating that I am not an expert. I’ve simply learned through trial and error how to juggle a busy life as a wife, mom, business owner, friend, equestrian, gardener, blogger, vlogger, (temporary) nanny, and more without losing my damn mind.

1.) If you have a family, family comes first. Whoever you consider family. There has to be balance between everything we do that fulfills us as individuals and what we do that keeps us connected as a family. Those relationships are what last when everything else has run it’s course.

2.) Make it a point to only take on projects and activities outside of work that fulfill you in some way. If you’re like so many people, your job takes up a lot of your time and whether you love your job or not, the time you have outside of work is very valuable. Fill it with things that make you happy. Volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue, work with a charity that’s near and dear to your heart, or teach on a subject that you have a lot of experience in. The list goes on.

3.) JUST SAY NO. This one is probably the most difficult, but it can be the most important. If you are asked to do something for someone that you just don’t feel good about doing, or that you really don’t have the time to do, just say no. There is no rule that says you have to say yes to everything everyone ever asks of you. This is part of why so many people live in constant stress. They never learned to say no. People are more understanding than we give them credit for. You’d be surprised at how infrequently the world falls to pieces because you said no to a request.

4.) Take care of yourself. This looks different for everyone, but in general you should just remember to do something nice for yourself from time to time. For some people that means indulging in a favorite sweet treat, or getting a massage, or going rock climbing, or going fishing. Whatever feeds your soul and refreshes you, make the time for that. No matter how small of a thing it is.

5.) Do something physical. I’m not talking about going to the gym (unless that’s your happy place). I’m talking about getting outside in the sunshine and doing an activity that you really enjoy. Maybe it’s going for walks around the neighborhood, or playing a sport, or taking your dog to the dog park, or gardening. Whatever you can find a little time for to keep your body moving and getting some fresh air in your lungs.

6.) Know when it’s time to move on from something. This is up there with saying no. There comes a time for a lot of the things we get invested in when we need to let go of it and move on to something else. For example, I started a small henna tattoo and face painting business back in 2011. It was fun while it lasted, but I got to a point when I knew it was time to move on from there. Letting go of that, which had clearly run it’s course for me, allowed me to find the next important thing in my life. Remember that change is good.

7.) Weigh the pros and cons of things. If you are thinking of taking on a new project, job, hobby, etc. weigh the good and bad things that go along with it. That will help to teach you what are things you can live with and what things are deal breakers. You’ll be surprised at how many things you will wisely reconsider with this tip.

8.) Write things down! Whether you are venting in a journal after a difficult day at work, or visualizing your future plans, writing things down can be very powerful in manifesting the things you want, or helping you work through things that are tough to deal with.

9.) Lastly, but possibly the most important thing to remember, LAUGH. If you aren’t laughing a little every day, you’re missing out. Laughter can change your whole day and remind you to not take things too seriously. Always remember to look for laughter throughout your day. These are a couple of books that my husband and I discovered that always make us laugh, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, and Emails from an Asshole: Real People Being Stupid

Sometimes the best answer to juggling a busy life is to just make it less busy by dropping some things that just aren’t serving you any longer. I hope that some of this advice will find it’s way into your thoughts and you can apply them to lower your stress levels and more effectively juggle your crazy life.

DIY Boy’s Haircut


Back when I finished high school and I thought my husband and I would be moving around as a military family, I chose to get licensed as a Cosmetologist so I would have a job no matter where we lived. I worked in a handful of salons over the years and ultimately decided I wanted a career change.

Even though I don’t take clients anymore, I do still cut my own family’s hair at home. It saves us about $60 a month (based on an average $20 haircut cost for my husband and $10-$15 cost for each of my sons, plus tip). I wanted my blog/vlog to be fun, but also to teach people things, so I made this tutorial on how to do a basic and easy boys haircut. This can also be a very short men’s haircut if you wish, but I’m showing you how to do this haircut on a kid.

Supplies You’ll Need:

A haircut cape (or towel)

Clipper (I used the Wahl Designer


Trimmer (I used the Wahl Peanut Trimmer


Clipper Guards (I used the #3 and #8)

Blending comb

Regular comb

Watch the video for the full haircut tutorial 🙂