Art, My Life

I was creating decorations for my sister’s baby shower. As I was cutting out construction paper baby dresses and onesies, I was suddenly hit with artistic inspiration. Like a truck. As you can see, I was inspired by the top cut-out part of the dress. Why it made me think of a fairy, I don’t know. I have named her simply Autumn. Here is the result:

How to Play Monopoly

Humor, My Life

Monopoly appears to be a love or hate game. Mostly, people detest the game because of how long it takes to finish. They complain, “By the time it’s over, the game has evolved into a sentient being!”

No fear! We here in the McDermott household have the solutions to your Monopoly woes. Why don’t you like the game? The answer is simple: you don’t play like a McDermott. You must learn from the Monopoly-Jedi Masters that we are. Fortunately, we are kind and humble enough to share our Monopoly secrets with you. Without further ado, here are the ways to do it.


Don’t spend time counting out the fifteen hundred dollars you’re supposed to start out with. Who’s got that kind of time? It’s simpler to have this memorized: you get two five hundreds, two one hundreds, two fifties, six twenties, five tens, five fives, and five ones.

Also learn the rent and house-building prices. Memorize all of this. We don’t have time for you to count money and check prices. I know. You’ll sigh and say, “I’ll try.” Our response will be to simply wag our finger at you and say, “Do or do not. There is no try.”


You should be able to maneuver around the board faster then it takes to say P. Sherman 42, Wallaby Way, Sidney. Please – for the love of all that’s holy! – do not count each space when moving your piece. If you do, you may cause one of us to start weeping because we feel our lives are ebbing away as you slowly count, “1 .. 2 .. 3 ..”

To save our sanity and your time, we’ll tell you a not-so-hidden secret: there are ten spaces between each corner of the board and ten spaces between each railroad. The railroads mark the halfway point between each corner. If you get a seven and you’re on Go!, you land two spaces in front of Reading Railroad. (On a side note, it’s pronounced, REDDING not REEDING). If you get a ten, you’re visiting jail where all the slow Monopoly players should go. With this knowledge, you should be able to play fast enough that, by the time you’re done rolling, it’s your turn again.


You snooze, you lose. And if you blink, you lose. If your opponent lands on your property, you have to intelligently declare, “MINE!!!” before the next person rolls the dice. If you don’t, you won’t get paid. So watch your property like a hawk to ensure that you will get your money. Only if you’re under the age of 10 will we take pity on your soul.

You may think, “But this is a family-building game where we play with understanding and love.” Where do you think you are – Equestria? This is WAR, honey! We’ll bankrupt you the second we get the chance.


Sometimes you land on either luxury or income tax during the game and you have to pay up. Some people put the money they paid on Free Parking in hopes they’ll land on it and get their money back. What are you doing? Are you trying to prolong the game? No matter what Bernie Sanders tells you, there is no such thing as Free Parking in real life. Thus it shouldn’t be an option in a game.


In the McDermott household, we use to hide some of our Monopoly money. We’d do this to dupe our opponent into thinking we have less money then we did so we could get all sorts of cash from them from the trade. But, alas, this tradition came to an end because it was rendered useless. Strangely enough, not being totally honest with how much money you have caused people to be cynical. They’d check under the board and in the ceiling fan for the hidden money. This hurt the speed of the game so it was tossed out.

Trades are generally done with fairness, but if you’re an adult and you found yourself swindled out of property or money, it’s your fault. You agreed to the trade. Remember, this is a war, not a game.


Now that I have bestowed upon you the coveted secrets of Monopoly playing, young padawan, you should now be able to finish the game within an hour. And remember …. slowness leads to suffering. We Monopoly-Jedi Masters wish you luck on your quest.

Live long and prosper.

Stand Still

My Life, Serious

I go through phases in this difficult time. Being discouraged will do that to you. At times I’m optimistic, happy and ready to get at it. “With a little time and more hard work, I’ll get a job,” I tell myself. At other times, it seems entirely hopeless and there’s no real point to my hard work. Perhaps my dreams are not meant to come true. Perhaps I’m not talented enough. Everywhere I look, someone is thirty times better then me, in animation and drawing. Perhaps I’m to go to college and be forced to get a degree in something I don’t like. All things practical I don’t really care for. I’m a dreamer. I can’t help it. Perhaps it’s not time yet. Perhaps, after some time has passed, I’ll dream new dreams and maybe, just maybe, those will come true.

Then I tell myself that I really don’t have it bad. It’s true. I really don’t. I have awesome parents and siblings who love and support me. They are my best friends and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m blessed to be in a situation where I can work hard on my dreams and not have to pay rent at the same time. I live in a country where I can worship God freely. I’m not in want. I’m not in need. I don’t know hunger. Many, many more people have it worse then I do. So many more. I’m no better then anyone. But I’m blessed. Truly, truly blessed. I can’t stress that enough.

My problem is that I feel like my life is at a perfect stand still, no matter how hard I push to move it. As more time passes, the less patience I have. The more I feel, “Did I waste all that time and money for school for a job I will never get?”

Then there’s the personal dream. The part of me that wishes to be married. To have a family. To have kids of my own. Perhaps this too is not meant to be. I’m on a dating website but it feels like sifting through a pile of hay looking for the right needle. Near impossible. I’ve tried local Bible studies but have never really felt at home. They were always good people; we just never clicked. I’m a dreamer looking for a fellow dreamer or a non dreamer who understands. I date to get married (yes, dating is used to try to get know someone better, and that someone may not be Prince Charming, but the purpose of it is to get married eventually); not just to hang out with a guy for a couple hours a day. And at this rate, it starts to feel like maybe there’s something wrong with me. Am I unlikeable? Do I make bad first impressions? Am I not outgoing enough? Is there something wrong with me?

I know none of those are true, but those types of doubts and fears come over you when it starts to seem hopeless. It’s just my emotions talking. They aren’t always right or logical you know. The time has just not come yet to have a husband.

Where does that leave me? I’m not sure. How much longer do I try for my dream job? Should I move on, go to college, get a regular job, and then work on it on the side? When do I move on? Should I try a different approach? What would that be? Am I meant to have a different type of job in the artistic field? What would that be? What am I doing wrong?

So many questions and no specific answers. But this I know:

My God cares for me. My Heavenly Father loves me. He knows my wants, my needs, my hopes, my dreams, my fears. He knows whats best for me. And what’s best for me isn’t always what I want. My dreams may not come true, but perhaps I was meant to try. And even if they never come to pass, God has something better in store for me. He knows my talents and how and where they work best. It may not be in animation or in media; but it could be elsewhere. God understands. He knows I’m just human and I can only do so much. I’m His daughter. He will take care of me. I will be okay. I will be, and am, happy in a way that no husband or job can ever make me. God will use this beautiful mess in ways I can’t imagine that I may never fully know. And that thought brings me joy.

I just need to be patient. I need to keep working but I also need to listen. And sometimes that might mean I need to stand still for a moment and just simply listen.

I will say it again: Jesus loves me. He cares. When I cry at night, feeling untalented and unwanted by the outside world and when I’m dancing in the kitchen for no good reason. I don’t always feel it. I’m human. I just need a reminder every now and then when things seem hopeless. Really though things are never hopeless.

Not with Jesus by my side.

He loves you too. Life is difficult and you won’t be happy all the time. It’s a fantasy to think so. But I know Whom I’ve believed in and I know He is able. I have the joy of salvation. No human, no worldly thing, no nothing can ever take it away from me. It’s a beautiful thing. I hope you know it too.

Zephania 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in hear, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 40:28-31: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but hose who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Carved Hearts

Art, My Life

So I’ve been wanting to learn how to carve wood for a while now. It runs in the family. My grandpa and my great-grandpa did it. Both of them made beautiful things and I wish dearly to learn the craft myself. Before he passed away, my grandpa sent me a couple of small projects with a couple of small items to finish it with. I finished one but not the other one quite yet. And classes cost money. So why not try to learn on your own with the wood lying around nearby?

I was given a handheld jigsaw for Christmas and got some carving tools for my birthday a couple years back. So I decided to make something simple for my parent’s 33rd anniversary: wooden hearts. I also used a wood burning tool to write something on them. I used some wood from a old, rickety bunk bed we use to have lying around. Disclaimer: this is my first time ever carving anything. This is also for the first time I’ve ever woodburned anything. So here are some progress photos.


First thing I did was pencil in the shape of the hearts and the words I wanted on there.


I actually had to remake the smaller heart. If you squint, you can see a small opening in it. Since some of it was hollow, it caused major problems when trying to fine tune the shape of the heart. So I made myself another one.


Now that I have both of them more finely shaped, it’s time to break out those carving tools.


It’s a little better in this one, but definitely needs to be sandpapered.


Now for the woodburning! And FYI, when they say you need to sandpaper the surface of the wood so that it’s super smooth, believe them. The smoother the surface, the better it’ll work.


“Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” is song by Anne Murray. It’s my mom and dad’s special song.


The finished product!


And it even made to the wall of family pictures!

Art-wise, it can definitely use some improvement but for a first time, it’s not too terrible. Especially when you feel like you know almost ziltch about the proper way of doing it.

What do you think? What type of saw should I get next? I only own the jigsaw, and while it’s nice, I’m going to need to get several different types. Do you have any wood-carving tips? Would love to hear any if you guys have some!

Gotta run. Life duties are calling. I’ll be back next week!


Art, My Life

Hey, everyone!

My original idea for this week’s post won’t be done in time. It was to be last week’s too so …. yeah. Maybe it’ll happen this week – if life will have it. So I’m going to talk about my life instead. I know you’re super excited so let’s go.

I started learning a new 3D software yesterday. You know that free one that fellow starving artists love to tell me about. It’s Blender. I have to tell you going from Maya to Blender is a absolute pain. I still use Maya for my demo reel purposes. Creating new animation for the purpose of continual learning and improving my skills.

I’m using Blender to create and rig models so I could make a 3D five minute or so film. There is a reason why Blender is free. While it’ll probably get better as I get use to it, I feel like simple tasks such as rotating objects, moving about in the scene, selecting objects, etc. is unnecessarily hard. If Maya wasn’t so darn expensive, I would ditch this software faster than speeding bullet.

I’m also trying to improve my painting skills. How does one shade properly with paint? It’s so hard. Is there a specific kind of paint that is best for shading? I’m not sure but I’ve got plenty of research to do. How about I share my journey of learning how to paint properly with y’all. Most people share it after they’ve done it. I’ll share it with you as I go along. So fellow new painters, come join me! Leave comments about what you learn, your journey, and anything you can think of!

I’m also trying to teach myself how to carve wood. I can’t afford classes at the moment so YouTube and Google is going to have to be sufficient. I carved a couple of things for my parent’s anniversary – pictures to come – but it was super simple. I have a couple of projects in mind that I’d like to do. I also have a wood burning kit that I’d like to toy around more often. So many new things to learn, so little time.

In other news, my Korean sister-in-law is now officially a American citizen! So cool! It must feel weird; to be born in another country and later in life becoming a citizen of another. But it’s awesome. A party will be thrown for her soon.

Anywho, that’s all I have for now. Toodles for now!




Underdosed Livestream!

Media, My Life

Hey, everybody!

I’m here to invite you to a free livestream of my sister’s, Meghan, short film Underdosed! I worked on this project with her. Helping with story, pre-production and acted a little bit. Meghan wrote this film very well and the acting is superb! It was a joy to work with everybody on this project. During the livestream, we’ll have the composer, the actors, and, of course, Meghan to answer any questions after it’s over. There’ll also be bloopers. 🙂 So I hope y’all will show up, love it, and stick around for everything at the end. It’ll be great!

To go to the Facebook Live Event page:

To see the trailer:


And to see this incredibly awesome title reveal:


Check it all out and let me know what you think!