Girls and Gaming

I went into the semi-local (I do have one store closer) game/comic store, in our mall. I was looking for a copy of the card game Rage, since I’d just played it and it was a fun (and quick) game for a group – especially a group that doesn’t have the patience for me to set up Seafarers of Catan.

When I went in I made a beeline to Rage, which happened to be right near the front of the store. That was entirely too boring, to find what I was after in the first ten seconds, so I did a thorough wandering of the store for probably a half hour. Sadly I didn’t find anything else to buy.

But at one point the proprietor said “Can I help you?” So I asked if he had any green-stuff, and he pointed it out. (I didn’t buy any, but once I use mine up now I will know where to get some!)

He asked me, “Please, tell me that is for you.”

I cleverly replied “What?”

He said, “Please, tell me you’re the sculptor. We need more gaming girls!”

I, fortunately, was the one that was going to be sculpting – but I find it funny that in a world where a woman ran for president of the United States it’s still shocking when one walks into a game store on purpose.

Steampunk Artisans, Inspirations, Resources [EDiT]

Oh! And just to plug the two other sites I know that use the Aspire WordPress template…
(And both are neat sites!)
http://steampunkspectacular.com and

http://steampunkwallpaper.com (great images! I’m using one right now!)
I’m not going to bother to explain what the Steampunk genre is all about this time.
Feel free to check out the Wikipedia entry. But what enthralls me about it, is the beautiful combination of craftsmanship, technology, history, magic, sci-fi… wow! No wonder it’s growing!
I want to do more in this style myself!

Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Now, to start linking to people.
Four folks on deviantART whose Steampunk stylings really inspire me:


Porkshanks also on Etsy.
Earthenwood Studio also http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/
Her husband is a great fantasy artist, too.
And of course, some other resources for you – these already include just about everything:

http://crabfu.com/ (even includes drawing tips )

Brass Goggles

Datamancer

And don’t forget

Girl Genius comic! (I am so frustrated, I can’t find my copy of Volume 5)

Finally, PMOG is a free browser-based Steam-stylized game (only for Firefox)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Quite Spring Cleaning

I just finished “decrapifying” my desk at work.
It now looks slightly more professional, though I still have a colorful amalgamation of fantasy/steampunk items. (But hey, the hourglass is functional… and so is the brass rolling desk loupe… and the USB owl…and everyone needs potpourri, right?)

It was a lot easier to clean this “finite cubicle” than it ever is to clean the “craft areas” at my house (or my bedroom, for that matter). My problem is when I say “decrapify” or “clean” sometimes it ends up really meaning “Put the offending miscellania into a box and move the box into a closet/attic/car trunk/under the bed/out of sight until I find it again and discover ‘all this really cool stuff’, or until I take each item back out piecemeal as I need it and forget to put it away again.” I have a compulsion to buy “just one more Rubbermaid tote” to store things, but it is invariably the wrong size. And I will spray Simple Green on anything. (While we’re at it, both Tide sticks (that you can carry with you) and OxyClean really work at removing just about any stain I’ve ever had. It’s nigh miraculous).

I have seen people rail against clutter as everything from a psychological issue to a spiritual problem, but I really don’t mind a generous and eye-pleasing (to me) amount of artisinal clutter (ie. look at the artistic arrangement of stuff on the counters in an Early American Life magazine spread). I especially think it sparks creativity when I’m doing arts and crafts. If I see the pile of fiber laying next to the eyelets, and rubber stamps next to the deckle edge scissors and those “cute star-shaped brads I just had to buy” – it can spark a great idea!

Keep in mind I am not talking about “garbage hoarding” and I definitely did throw things away as I was going through my desk drawers. And the “perfectly decent” things I don’t want I will take to Goodwill. And hopefully I will not want them back again next week (but chances are high they will still be in a box in my car on the way to Goodwill for awhile).

Do you have any organizational tips/trials/tribulations?

 

 

Nouveau

Author’s Note: I tell you right now I am too lazy to put accents in every time I type the word “Faberge” so just imagine them.

 

I love the works of Mucha, Lalique, Faberge, Tiffany… I just got back from the Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art (going through January 18 – hurry, if you want to see it! Next it moves to San Francisco, I believe.)

That exhibit was worth every penny! Never since 1900 have the works of Lalique, Faberge and Tiffany been together like that. It was jaw-dropping to see so many gold, diamond and platinum encrusted items.

My folks went too, and my mom would have liked to walk out with the House of Faberge Snowflake Brooch  (c. 1900, diamonds, platinum) as did so many other people there. It was one of the most appealing items and so images of this brooch were on the signs advertising the exhibit. We were curious exactly how many carats were in that brooch (and other things), but museum cases don’t list details like that. Probably so fewer people are tempted.

 

Another amazing thing in the display was the “Adams Vase”. It was on loan from the Metropolitan Museum so I will send you to their page  (it has the information, and close up photos – for some reason we weren’t allowed quite that close to the 23 lbs of gold and gemstones).

 

But what I love is not the material, but the form! The organic whiplash curves, the suggestions of feminine shapes, the naturalistic leaves and blossoms, the snakes and herons, the butterflies, bats, frogs, wasps! Nature re-imagined.

 

If you are looking for references to make your own Art Nouveau-inspired designs, I highly recommend looking for the economical books by Dover press. Dover prints many books, most of which contain copyright free art you can even use as clip-art. Here (But when I bought them, they didn’t come with fancy-shmancy CD ROMs of the art) and Here  and of course Amazon (Hmm I just saw a book I don’t have. Oh the pitfalls of browsing the web! Uh…well now my cart has about three things in it…)

 

Another great Art Nouveau resource is this online exhibit from the National Gallery of Art. This site contains an “audio tour” of 18 beautiful pieces. It also shows a timeline of the Art Nouveau movement, which really only spans about 15 years.

 

Finally, here are some links to information on specific artists.


Alfons (Alphonse) Mucha

http://www.goodart.org/artofam.htm

http://www.muchafoundation.org/MHome.aspx

http://www.mucha.cz/

 

Rene Lalique

http://www.renelalique.com/

http://www.collectics.com/education_lalique.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/lalique.html

 

House of Faberge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Faberg%C3%A9

http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/faberge_nav/main_fabfrm.html

http://sxuhero.com/faberge/

 

Louis Comfort Tiffany

http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/tiffany/menu.html

http://www.jlsloan.com/lct1.htm (interesting article about rivalry with John La Farge)
http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/tiffany.htm

 

But before I attempt to name EVERY Art Nouveau artist, just check out this list that good volunteers at Wikipedia already compiled: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Art_Nouveau (I tried not to link you to Wikipedia over and over, but I couldn’t help this one.)

 

 

When I got home I started bidding on Lalique perfume bottles on ebay. Keep your fingers crossed!

 

Edit: Just swept to remove “Fabrege”.

 

Toy Trends

I am not really sure if the “clay creatures” I make from polymer clay are toys or statues or what, but here are a couple of sites that inspire me – or at least keep me informed of the latest collectable toys out there.

ToyCyte – This website features different toys and designers, and mentions the Beastlies which are high in demand and made of polymer clay!

Tomopop – This website features different toys and designers too, most seem to be Japanese.

I like these two sites because they aren’t just online stores selling items; they don’t even sell, though they link to sale sites. These sites focus on showing the toy designs and their designers.

There are other interesting sites out there like ToyQube and even TheBananaLab but those are more like stores and less like blogs.

I’m sure there are other toy sites out there – got any inspirational links for me?
I will do another blog on inspirational polymer clay sites, but this one is just focused on toys. I admit I’m not an authority, and I don’t even like most of the designs, but I find it interesting that so many custom vinyl/collectable toys are out there!

If you are looking to make your clay items zing with the trends, try checking these sites out for ideas.

Gravatars, Holy Cow & Plug for Myself

I was featured on the Polymer Clay Productions website back in June and I never knew it, until I did an ego search just now! (The link to my feature is here.) They have a podcast too.

You can commission me! Or you can check out anything on my etsy page to see what’s there and get a ballpark of how I price things. I have made a custom figure from someone’s sketch, though prices would vary. And the big Copper mech dragon was about $125 as well.

 

Jury Duty

Monday
Monday I had Jury Duty.
Of course, in my head when the judge came out I called him “Udgey” and when the prosecution came out I called him “Edgeworth” and the defense was “Phoenix” – and, strangely, it was a little bit like that.
No the defense and prosecution and judges weren’t like that, really – the jury was!

Stolen from DS Fanboy
Stolen from DS Fanboy

The defense and prosecution started out by asking questions of the jury, to see if anyone was unfit to stay (due to some kind of bias), and it was amazing the weird stuff that came out of the woodwork.

They disqualified one person, and the replacement was the granddaughter of the previous judge in the court. (And she looked like someone that could be in an Ace Attorney game, too – she was about 19 and had loads of blond ringlets and was continuously chewing gum.) Another jury member turned out to be the neighbor and friend of the prosecuting attorney. They asked if anyone had ever had a crime committed against them and fully half of the jury raised their hands to say they had had their homes/cars broken into. And this is a small rural village, not some kind of grimy downtown depressed area!

I had no idea it was so hard to pick a jury, even in a little case like this.

Anyway they didn’t pick me to stay on the jury, so I actually got some other things accomplished like sending a package to Philippa Ballantine (go read her books/listen to her podcast novel) and getting my snow tires put on. I helped babysit a 5 year old for about an hour, too. I went to get out all my old action figures so he’d have something to play with and I had 2 Darth Vaders, 2 Darth Sideous, and 1 Darth Maul Uhh… well everyone knows bad guys are coolest anyway.

Other things I did yesterday include impulsively buying The Secret Sketchbook of Brian Froud. (I’m not sure I’m happy with this purchase.) I even made some art [$5 + shipping, if you are interested, e-mail glimmer (at) glimmerville].:

Buy me, I'm cheap.
$5
Also, the description of this Tome of Levity  game supplement book cracks me up. Any game mechanic that lets you eat the fruit out of still life paintings is awesome.
 And one more parting link: A poem by G. K. Chesterton, that was quoted in part on The Sonic Society.