Archive for November, 2011

…of 2011, that is.  With Thanksgiving over, the end of the year is fast approaching, and that means all the hectic adventures of the holiday season are upon us, including implement weather, crazy holiday shoppers, worry about organizing Christmas for the family, and where to find that perfect chai latte to warm you up when it’s freezing outside.

Our Thanksgiving ended up being pretty wonderful; it was just the two of us celebrating at home, with very little fuss.  We watched old tv shows all day, and cooked our dinner together.  Our fridge is packed with leftovers.  We had a fairly primal/paleo feast – turkey, turnip and sausage “stuffing”, and some au gratin potatoes and pumpkin pie.  The only thing that wasn’t perfectly paleo were the potatoes, because of the cream of mushroom soup that goes in to them.  Aside from that it was a wonderful example of how paleo can be done even on a busy holiday with little effort.

Now the month of November is trickling to a close, and December is coming up fast.  We’ve been lucky enough not to need the heat yet, and while it’s cold during the day, it’s still possible to throw on a sweater and keep warm.  Last winter we experience snow and ice, which kept us stuck in the apartment for several days.  Our complex sits in a depression on a hilly, curvy road – that means that when there’s ice on the road, it’s impossible to get out of the apartment because our car can’t make it up the hill.  I’m hoping that we avoid that this year.  A little snow would be nice, but Atlanta isn’t equipped to deal with it, which means that the city literally shuts down.  I’ve heard that there have been multiple instances of ice over the past few years, which seems to me to be a good reason to invest in more snowplows, but the city government doesn’t see it that way.

I haven’t been adding many new items to my shop recently, but I did get a few new things listed just today.  first up is a 1-Up Mushroom, painted in acrylic on illustration board.  I’m really happy with how it turned out, since I took a looser approach to painting it and didn’t worry too much about the paint getting thick and textured.  I think it adds to the final piece.  It’s currently listed in my shop for $45.

 

The next item is a Christmas-themed drawstring bag.  I really like the fabric that I used for it – it’s a beautiful green with a flower pattern on it.  It’s lined in black fabric, and sewn in red thread.  It would be perfect as a gift bag for smaller Christmas gifts – like chocolate coins, or butterscotch candies perhaps.

Speaking of drawstring bags, I recently dropped the price on my bags to $15 plus shipping.  They make great gifts for the gamers in your life.  That means that the Christmas-themed bag is also $15.

I’ve also got a holiday sale going on, if you use the code HOLIDAYS15 you can get 15% off your order.  It’d be the perfect time to shop for Christmas gifts for loved ones.

 

 

Hi Guys!Welcome to the blog!

 

Welcome to the blog!

A big welcome to any readers that may have arrived here via the Handmade blog!  I did a few sketches to say hi…

I’m feeling better than I was at the beginning of the week, though my nose is still stuffed up.  Thankfully the runny, watery eyes have stopped; that’s always the worst part of my being sick.  I ended up taking a day where I basically slept all day, and that probably helped quite a bit.

Etsy-wise, I’m trying to gear up for the holidays, but it’s difficult to come up with great holiday items when you’re on a shoestring budget of almost $0.  I’m going to be sewing some gift bags out of a great green fabric that I have, and probably will also try for some Christmas themed illustrations.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic the past week or so, thinking back on the days when I used to collect Knights of the Dinner Table magazine.  For those who have never heard of it, it’s a comic strip that was created by Jolly Blackburn way back in about 1990 or so, as filler for his small magazine Shadis.  The strip is about a group of role-players called the Knights of the Dinner Table; B.A, their gamemaster, along with Bob and Dave, Sarah, and Brian.  If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons, then this comic is for you.  The group gets into all sorts of trouble, and usually drives B.A. crazy with their in-party bickering, rules lawyering, and min-maxing of rules.  I think they are currently on issue #180.  I have most of the comic’s run from roughly #27-#107.  I stopped collecting several years ago because I couldn’t find a reliable comic shop to get it at, and because at the time I was moving too much to get a subscription(back and forth between south Texas and Canyon, and so on).

That means I’m only about 70 issues behind… no big deal, right?  Thankfully, the company that makes the magazine, Kenzerco, has a Special Collection offer where you can get issues 101-124 for $40, including shipping.  Incredible deal, and as poor as I am, it will definitely go on my Christmas wish list.  If any kind soul out there wants to be an angel, the link to the collection is here, and you can email me or comment for my address:  http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_23_55&products_id=704     (It never hurts to ask nicely, right?)

To get a taste of the Knights, you can also check out the webstrips here:  http://www.kenzerco.com/Operiodicals/kodt/kodt%20webstrips/phpslideshow.php?directory=.&currentPic=4    ….That’s an awfully long link.  If it doesn’t work, http://www.kenzerco.com is the main website, and the webstrips are findable through it as well.

Thinking back fondly on Knights of the Dinner Table has me thinking about drawing some roleplayer-related comics.  I’ve been gaming since high school, so I have plenty of inspiration to draw from, and I think it might be fun to experiment a bit and see what comes out of my head.

Kenzerco as a company also does a lot of RPG’s, including a western-themed on called Aces and Eights.  I own the main rulebook, and lately I’ve been wanting to read through it again and explore the wild west in an alternate history setting.  In A&E(ights), the United States is broken into several different countries, with a large part of the Northwest still being US Territories.  The RPG, while it does have a section on combat, also goes into incredible detail on day-to-day activities like cattle ranching, surveying and prospecting for gold, and things like cattle drives.  It’s one of the things I like best about the game – it doesn’t force you to stick to standard adventures, and actually encourages you to do things like buy land, start a business, and so on.  It’s really pretty brilliant.

Tonight is scheduled to be cold, so our windows will stay closed tonight and our blankets piled high.  The low last night was 30*, which I very much consider to be winter weather.  Thankfully during the day it still gets reasonable, and we don’t yet have daytime temps in the 30’s or 40’s.  Soon we’ll need to turn the heating on, which I’m hoping to avoid as long as possible to keep the electric bill down.  We’ve been lucky this fall, in that for the past few months we’ve had both heating and air conditioning off completely.

Speaking of winter nights, it’s almost bed time for me, so I’ll wrap this up here.  Again, welcome to all the new readers!  Hopefully you’ll find something you like.  Please do feel free to leave a comment and say hello.

I was lucky enough to get hit with my twice-yearly cold/allergy thing a few days ago, so I’m not feeling particularly hot right now.  The past two days have been filled with lots of watery eyes, a runny nose, and general misery.  Today is better in that my nose and eyes aren’t watering, though now I’m in the coughing lots and lots stage.  That’s pretty much what I’ve been up to recently.  The weather has been weird; we’ve had weeks of highs in the 60’s, and suddenly we’re back at 75.  The end of this week we’re expecting temps in the 50’s during the day again and lows of mid-30’s at night.  Crazy.

My wife had her tests for gluten intolerance, so we’re going back to being primal, and I’m thrilled about it.  I’ve noticed a definite change between eating normally and eating primally.  Being primal really cuts down on hunger pangs, and I can eat a few almonds in the morning for breakfast, have a small salad for lunch, and be ready to have a big meal by dinner time.  On a conventional diet, I wake up starving, and have to eat far more often.  I also noticed the change in energy levels – while primal, I’m full of energy all day long, which is great.

We grabbed a 10-pound turkey for Thanksgiving, which I’m excited about – I’m used to working on Thanksgiving, thanks to my family’s restaurant, so it’s always nice to get a chance to enjoy the holiday and do actual holiday things instead of working in an industrial kitchen all day long.

 

Art-wise, I did the doodle below in my Moleskine.  I’m happy with it, and Kathryn says it looks very Dr. Seuss-like.  I may do a few for my Etsy.  Speaking of which, I haven’t had any sales lately, but I’d love to be able to ship out a few items for Christmas gifts – if you’re looking for gifts for that special someone, head over to http://www.greyedout.etsy.com and take a look.  I think all of my items are priced fairly, and within anyone’s budget.

I grabbed a few better shots of Karchev today, and also did some illustration.  Skottie Young recently started blogging again, doing pen and ink sketches, and I was really impressed by the sketches he posted on his website.  Check out skottieyoung.com for his work.

The illustration I did is called “Ambush”.  I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a long time, and it’s loosely based on a party of adventurers getting ambushed in the middle of the woods by a few beasties.  It’s available in my Etsy for $60 + $5 shipping.  Alternatively, you can email me at greylikestorms(at)gmail.com if you’re interested.

 

 

Karchev:

 

I think he looks rather handsome, actually.  I tried to go for some battle damage as well, and the metal parts are about as rusted and greasy as I could make them.  I’m really happy with the results.  The armor was done in Murderous Magenta, and then done in several coats of Murderous Magenta mixed with Carnal Pink, until I was happy with the results.  The accent color is Thornwood Green.  Battle damage was done in Bloodstone, with streaks of the same to emulate rust.

The metallics are partially done in Boltgun Metal, with the bronzes in various mixes of Rhulic Gold and Brazen Brass.  They were coated in Devlan Mud, then very thinned Bloodstone.

 

 

 

 

It’s Tuesday, and I thought I’d go ahead and put up some links to fellow Etsy shops that might be a potential source of Christmas gifts. These are wonderful shops run by great people, so please be sure to check them out!

First up is Bumbleboo Handmades, which does illustrations, prints, and other small odds and ends.

Kecky and Jewelrenee also do illustrations and prints; Kecky is more focused on fantasy art while Jewelrenee does incredible watercolors of sea life, including octopi and great white sharks.

And last but not least, AntB does amazing pottery.

My friend Breandan has published a new roleplaying game, set in the 24th century.  It’s a space opera of sorts, and it premiered at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas, in 2010.  The few hardcover copies that were available sold out quickly, and now Breandan and Co. are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second print run, and also help with further expansions of the game.

I’ve had the pleasure of helping play test Dark Nova, if only for a weekend, and all I can say is that Breandan knows his stuff.  At the time, the game existed mostly in the text form on a hard drive… but it was also deeply imprinted in Breandan’s head.  He gave us a run-down of Dark Nova’s background, lecturing at length on the history of each race and the various territories in space.

The next day was a marathon play testing session, and it was a blast.  It’s not often that you get to see a roleplaying game grow from the ground up, and I’m hoping that Dark Nova gets funding far above and beyond what the Kickstarter is asking for – because it means that more copies can be let out into the world for gamers to enjoy.

The webcomic GUcomics even did a single-frame strip about the game, and the illustrator discussed the game and the Kickstarter briefly.

Now, I know that the Kickstarter campaign is already funded – but as friend of the designer, and as someone who’s play tested the game, I’d love to see it get funded far above their stated goal.

 

The Dark Nova Kickstarter page:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darknovagames/dark-nova-roleplaying-game

The GUcomic strip:  http://gucomics.com/comic/?cdate=20111026

The Dark Nova homepage:  http://www.darknovagames.net/