Monday, July 30, 2012

From The Workshop

Another week, another website borrowed my Barbie Shep pictures so guys could pat themselves on the back to tell themselves how they'd be so much fucking better than I am if they ever bothered to try.

 So to save them time I figured they could use this:

My favorite complaint was about my horrific hair cutting skills. Yes, I am aware. In fact I mentioned it. I have the skill of an armless Sweeney Todd that has to kill people with his feet. Hence why I have no plans on becoming a doll barber.

But no worries, they internet armchairing has done much to slow me down. Only real life and my mounting projects have. So here's what I've been up to, still have to work on...etc etc.

I have a Garrus head started and somewhat painted in the backroom.
 Still needs his signature blue face paint and I'm not happy with the scars yet. Can't have Garrus without the scars.

Oh and then all the armor. Yeah...

The other side of work is what is fast becoming a summer tradition: tombstone making.

Once again my Halloween club is tossing a Costume Dance to raise money for the local Humane Society which means we have to whip together tombstones to decorate and auction off.

My last tombstone has its base added and just needs another layer or 12 of paint. My second I just began to shape:
The plan is to attach this dragon to the top and then work in an epitaph and oh you'll see:
Oh and I have a new painting of a raven by moonglow:
So lots to do, lots to finish, and lots to start.......

Wait, reverse that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tombstone Tutorial

If you've somehow stumbled in here from some really good internet party and are trying desperately to find your pants a few background things. I like Halloween, more the prop making less the dressing up part.

I'm also a member of a Halloween club that was born of taking a halloween prop making class.


Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way and you've trousered up we can move on to the tutorial as it were.

Out of all the weird and wacky ideas out there (corpsing, buckys, spray insulation foam!) making your own Halloween tombstone is perhaps the most popular and also easiest.

All you need is some thick foam from the Hardware store or conversely you can rip it out of the walls of that abandoned house that screams at night. I'm sure it won't in any way be haunted.
Designs are hard, that's why I outsource trolling google image of ancient looking tombstones. Steal some of their better ideas and then combine them all together.

It's actually not that hard, just print off your choice of monster to etch into the stone and with an exacto knife slice out the tiny sections of stone that you want indented.

To help raise out the pillars and gargoyles I sanded the hell out of my foam. This can get a bit trickier as sandpaper is an equal opportunity destroyer and more than happy to take out the gargoyles as well.

Okay so that's all done, and you also added some layers up top, a cross in the middle and an epitaph in Romanian because you couldn't think of anything poetic and went with "Below Rests Some Guy We Forgot To Bury."

Next step is paint!
Filling in every tiny crevice will drive you mad, but that's okay. You already have a haunted tombstone trying to convince you to kill your entire stack of screws, a bit of extra madness gives new flavor.

I prefer to not use straight up black. I like to cut it down with a bit of gray because full black is too harsh and makes the tombstone look even faker.

The next step is to pull out your gray latex paint and give that tombstone a nice hard surface. I assume everyone has gray latex house paint, right?
I also, using my black paint, water and a bushy brush, dabbled on black to age the stone. This is sort of like a baking technique, you can't explain when it's dough and not just a soupy water/flour mess, you just know.

I'll use a combo of the brush, the water, and a paper towel to wipe away any excess. But I ain't done yet.

Another trick is I like to add brown. Not a lot mind you, and using the same watery brush I did for the black.
Most stone isn't just two colors, it's a veritable rainbow of browns, grays, grayish greens and browny grays.

Finally I reoutlined the edges to give the stone a slightly more theatrical look. I'm not keeping it and most people tend to prefer that look.
Now I just have to paint the other three sides, add in support PVC, oh and create a base. You know, kids stuff.

Next plan is to make a Skyrim tombstone, arrows to the knee are more deadly than previously thought.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Free Pre-TerraFae

Did you download or purchase my second novel?

Already finish it?

What do you mean no? Fine, I'll wait.

Even if you haven't I have a couple of short stories completely free to tickle various bones and other flanges.

They follow the pre-TerraFae setting days of Matteus - the ass with a mouth, and Analia and again are completely free to download, read, stick up on the wall somewhere, torture small mammals with.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dismantled Ken

This is probably why no one ever visits me.
Oh and the pile of tombstones in the back.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's my Birthday, Have a Book!

Just for today you can get my new book totally free on the Kindle.
You don't need to be a member of anything, just click and save and read all for free! FREE!

Thanks to you all my book made it to #87 in the Fantasy section on Amazon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

TerraFae - It's HEEEeere!

My second novel, TerraFae, is out in both paperback and Kindle form. You can buy it here or here or here, but not here.

Oh, you probably want to know what it's about and stuff.

For those who read Tin Hero, Cas -- a woman stuck in this man's world of stabbing stuff for coins or shiny pebbles (you take what work you can get in this economy) -- is well, not technically back as this takes place 30 years before the events at her little farm.

Yes, it is a prequel, but I swear there isn't a single CGI racist too stupid to live character. Do you have any idea how hard CGI is to work into paper?

Cas is traveling Arda with Hum, the loveable giant whose big heart gets her into more trouble than she needs, when she's visited by the ghost of plots to come when an elf kidnaps her and drags her back to the elven island of TerraFae. (And you didn't think I'd work a title in)

There she learns of her quest to aid the pointy-ears and gets saddled with a black half-elf (you can learn more about her here) and the biggest asshole this side of an internet flame war (no idea why you'd want to learn more about him).

Fighting, jokes, joke fighting, even exiting perused by a bear all occur within the 300 or so pages.

I wanted to explore the common trope of immortality and the perfection of the elves that's become so prevalent within fantasy. Just what would that really do to a community, a person, and how happily would someone willingly go "sleep in the forest" because they were getting in the way.

I also wanted to put together a woman and a man who despise each other, and through trials and tribulations, still hate each others guts with a fire that would power any dwarven forge. (Oh yeah, there's a dwarf too but he's a bit...oh I don't want to give that one away)

TerraFae - available for Kindle and Paperback and stacking into a neat pile to make into a fort.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oh how my garden grows

With silvery bells,

And cockel shells,

And pretty little bats all in a row.
This is my bat plant. I have no idea what its real scientific name is, but bat plant suits it quite nicely.

Supposedly it attracts humming birds, I assume to drain them of blood before moving on to the next victim in an ingenious plan to take over the world!

If that doesn't do it my squash should. Left the house for a day and suddenly all these popped up.
The plants have already broken the containment and are inching towards shed shrapnel. They also climbed up the back fence and then took down a fair sized maple sapling that sprung up in the mulch pile.

Funny, I never thought it'd be a squash plant that killed me. I guess that fortune cookie was right.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Girly or Geeky, Not Both

After watching the unexpected (and unwanted) explosion of Cthulhu Barbie I was steeling myself for much of the same "I can do better but I don't wanna" with Shep.

But instead something far more curious happened.

People were honestly pissed that Commander Shepard was in some tiny way associated with that staple of little girl's play time. How dare I turn a doll of glitter and hair and fashion into a woman that shoots anything that moves to save the galaxy.

Of course there were the mouth breathers who have to make damn sure you're aware at all times that they have a penis and it's oh so amazing.
Those I have gotten so used to in my 30 or so years in the nerd culture I almost don't see anymore. Only in nerd land do guys say horrible things about women and then turn around with "Nu-uh I totally love women, cause I'd do Buffy."

What surprised me more were the ones who were oh so concerned of little girls.
You want to introduce little girls, to an M game, where you shoot people in the head?

I'd bet my dog that this poster was male because come on? What girl wouldn't love a Barbie that came in actual useful non plastic armor with a gun? 

"Tell me what I want to know Ken or I'll cut off your balls and sell them to the Krogan!"

There were also a lot of "Ews" with no explanation just a vitriolic reaction.

It was a nice reminder that if you dare to have two X chromosomes and try to fit into nerd land you basically have two options.

Either you can become sexless, one of the boys, never ever mention anything about how the world operates for the other half. Don't dare bring up that makeup stuff, or hair, or periods, or anything that dares to counter their worldview that women might actually have thoughts outside of the best knife for sandwich spread.

Or, you can be the sexpot. The hot woman who is only there for them to whack off too and impress with their mighty knowledge of Star Wars quotes (yeah, we've seen the movies too. Nothing less than an obscure Princess Bride reference is getting a panty drop).

And seeing Commander Shepard, a (begrudgingly) acknowledged nerd icon as that pink frilly doll everyone without two brain cells to rub together automatically cries out as evil broke every servo in that women either service me or don't exist brain.

Fuck that shit!

I've been watching Star Trek since I was 4, and played more with my multitude of "action figures" over Barbie. (There was also a lot of cars, some dinosaurs and a shingle and some insulation foam once. I was a strange child)

I'd say a look around my blog is all the proof one needs of just how much nerd crap I get into.

But I also love to paint my nails, lots of shiny sparkly colors. My poor PS3 controlled is dotted with green because I love to do them while playing (forces me to not smudge them up).

I even occasionally wear makeup (that isn't just to make me look like an undead zombie mummy lawyer). And if I actually like pink I could even wear it if I wanted.

I'm tired of having to pretend for the sake of humoring the mens. Neither my geekiness nor my girliness has a god damn thing to do with you. It's all for me. 

Contrary to what you may think the world does not, and will not, revolve around your penis. 

Pink isn't less than Blue.

Sparkle isn't less than Matte. 

Girly isn't less than Manly.

So shut the hell up before Shep shoots you in the leg.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Throne for Cthulhu

You all remember Cthulhu Barbie?

As scorned on io9

Well, I felt that she really needed a little something to rest her tired tentacled butt on. And if there's one thing I have fairly easy access to it's styrofoam to turn into stone.

So I cobbled together some excess pieces, shaped with sandpaper and a screwdriver (while covering my sweat soaked legs in little foam balls), painted it and gave Cthulhu a watery throne.

The skull is actually one of many my husband has carved because....I'll get back to you on that. I just painted it up too because what the hell.

And here is here blondness glaring upon the world: