Friday, July 27, 2012

Let It Be

The month of July has been a time of violence and sadness for both the people of the US and the people of Northern Ireland.  For those times when no words will do, there is music.

Please take just a moment of silence and remember those whose lives have been irrevocably changed by violence and then Let It Be.

No words are needed on this post today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jesus Christ I'm Doing A Guest Post!

I know, it's shocking. Generally speaking guest posts are something I don't do and I had a great time doing this one. There's something freeing about posting on someone elses blog because you get to reveal things you normally wouldn't do at your own place.

So if you're curious about how old I am and how I feel about it get on over to Melanie's place and read about it. Mel's a really sweet girl and she knows how to cook so if you want to find a recipe for something you've never tried before take a look through her backlog. You'll be glad you did.

Generally I'm very good about replying to comments. On Tuesday I didn't get that done because I'd been awake for 48 hours and after I posted I just fell dead asleep. I did read all the comments and appreciate everyone's input.

I won't be posting again this week as I'm exhausted. So everyone do your best to get through the rest of the week and into the weekend with your sanity intact. It's an ugly world out there, so let's cherish the friends we have and be at peace one with the other.  I know I will.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scenery On The Cheap

For those of you who don't know it, painting miniatures is an expensive hobby. And it's not just the miniatures and the paints you have to buy. It's scenery as well and the price tag on that is mindblowing. I just can't afford it yet I can't live without it.  So really the only option for me is to build my own.

This is the first time I've tried anything like this and I did it very quickly and it's not completely finished so there are a lot of mistakes and room for improvement. The figure that I have on here is the second miniature I ever painted, so when I look at this bit of scenery and see mistakes, I know I will get better at it and won't give up until I do.

The most important thing I learned with this little project is that it can be done. And if I keep at it, one day I may be able to build the things that I imagine in my mind. 

As a beginner I feel it's a bit presumptous to go through a tutorial on how I put this together, but that is the convention and another part of things I must learn to do.

I used cheap paper plates to make the bases.

I purchased enough 3mm styrofoam from a hobby store to build 2 large buildings for only $3.99 and I only used a fraction of that here. 

I got the technique for making the walls from a tutorial at Paul's Bods on building a medieval castle. I used a biro to outline the bricks and the blunt end of a pencil to push in the spaces to give it a 3D effect.

I bought the paint for .69 cents each and it was on sale for another 50% off.  At that price I picked up a bag-full to use just for painting scenery.

I cut off a piece from the brown plastic floral accessory and glued it onto the base to make the tree.

I purchased small mosaic tiles and some glass beads for about $3.00 each and used a small amount of those to make the flooring.  The bird seed and the spices were items I already had on hand and those were used to create the ground.

The little mirror that is hanging on the wall is a bit that fell off of an old charm bracelet.  I ended up going through my drawers of old costume jewlery and found quite a lage number of things that can be incorporated into scenery. And that's free so it won't piss the Hubby off!!

I did something horrible just a few minutes ago, but I'm going to confess it so it will be okay.  I just scored a box set of 7 dwarves in 28mm scale to be cast in pewter for only $25.00.  I found this deal over at the Ferret's place. It's a kickstarter being done by Stonehaven Miniatures and you have to see this to believe it.  And why is this a horrible thing you might ask. If you want to know the answer to that you'll have to read the comment I left the Ferret!

Tomorrow I'll be doing a guest post over at Melanie's place No, Really You Can Eat It.  And when the piece goes up, I'll post a notice here so you can follow the link over.  Some of you saw the title to this pop up last week when I was working on it in draft form so tomorrow you can find out what that post really is.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Go Time Rousell!!

The mouse has arrived in England and it's now time for the Battle of the Painting Giants to begin!!! This is a battle so insane, so wacky that only one man dared participate in it.

That's right folks it's Ray from Don't Throw A One .  I've called him a git, a bloodless, souless heathen and I have even stated that I'd gnaw my own leg off before I'd spend an hour with him.  And that I think is why he's willing to take me on in this competition-revenge, plain and simple.

Now this is a no holds barred competition with no limits on creativity. Everything is fair game, including conversions and extreme basing.

The judging will take place on Friday August 3rd and voting will be open for a period of one week. So stay tuned people as I plan on using scare tactics and insults to undermine the confidence of my opponent. It could be the difference between winning and losing this thing for me!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In His Own Words

As bloggers we glean bits and pieces of who we are by reading one anothers posts. Some bloggers are very open about themselves while others share very little of the intimate details of their lives. My friend Miroslav aka Dez The Hollywood Spy has a blog that provides exclusive information about movies and television. As a result, his 1.7 million readers know very little about the man behind the blog. In this series of interviews Miroslav will have a chance to do something he does not get to do on his own blog-tell us who he is, what he thinks and how he feels.

Miroslav resides in Serbia in the city of Subotica. Subotica is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual city that combines the modern with the ancient.

While talking with Miroslav I discovered that he holds a degree in English with a minor in psychology. Professionally Miroslav is a professor of English and works as a translator of modern literature from English into Serbian. It was this last bit that intrigued me the most.

Anne: "Can you tell us a bit about the types of books you have translated" 

Miroslav:  In the three or four years of my career, I have translated around 30 books many of which are bestsellers.  This is quite an advantage for me because I have had the privilege of working on these books prior to their release in the U.S. and the U.K. 

Some of the books I have translated include popular bestsellers such as "Eragon", "True Blood", "Space Troopers",  and "Before I Go To Sleep."  Some of the historical novels I have worked on include "Gladiatrix", "Captain of Rome," "The Ship of Rome" and"Luminescent Life of Lilly Aphrodite",  I have also had the pleasure of working on some high quality literature such as Michaels Baigent's "Jesus Papers", Sarita Mandana's "Tiger Hills" and Jian Rong's "Wolf Totem" which won the Man's Award.

Anne: What do you find most gratifying and most challenging in your work as a translator"

Miroslav:  One of the most difficult qualities that one must posses is a wide base of general knowledge.  Without this I would be limited to working in a single genre.  A translator must be capable of conveying more than just the basic meaning of a text. You must also translate the hidden meanings, the poetical essence, the metaphors and the style of the book. This is particularly difficult as these are elements which go beyond the written word.

Creativity and imagination are the things I love most about this work.  It enables me to enter and explore different worlds with each new book. Thus I went from Roman ships to Mongolian steppes, from Elven forests to ancient arenas, from English castles to modern New York, from the exotic palaces of the sultan of Brunei to the luscious jungles of India, from vampire hideouts to Nai Germany and from pirate lairs to Sparta and Ithaca. Although it is long and difficult work, at times I shed a tear or two when the work is done and it is time to say goodbye to a particular book and the characters within it.

We'll continue our conversation with Miroslav next week with an exploration into his work as a bakery chef who is renowned for his specialty cakes and we will also discuss his policy regarding featuring films of an overly violent nature on his blog.  A topic that is most timely in light of the recent events in Colorado.  I look forward to seeing you here.

You may direct your comments and questions to myself and or to Miroslav as he will be in later today.

A bit of business:  Recently several new people have followed my blog. If I have not followed you back it is simply because your avi does not contain a link to your blog.  I would be most happy to return the follow if you leave a comment where I can go to your blog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Elegance In Ruins

Today I'm posting the first of the main characters in the Alliance vs The Arse Licking Cat series.  It was not difficult to find a figure to represent my beautiful friend Elsie who holds the title of General in the Alliance

She's an Elven Princess from Dark Sword Miniatures, sculpted by Jeff Grace, cast in pewter and is 32mm heroic scale.  I think the lines on this figure are good and the overall impression is one of elegance.

The skirt was difficult for me and I stripped the paint on this piece on 3 seperate occaisions in order to achieve what I wanted. The camera doesn't pick up the amount of shading that is really on the skirt. But I do know that I could have gone still higher on the lightest points.

Jefff Grace did a marvelous job of sculptng this face and it was a joy to paint. I managed to put some highlighting on the lips this time.

Another thing I liked about this sculpt is that there was room to paint in realistic looking eyes.

Now I know you have noticed that I used a glossy finish on this figure and some of you have already exressed your distaste for glossy finishes. I used a matte finish at first and I hated it, so I changed it to glossy.

On the painting table right now are figures that represent De, The Arse Licking Cat and myself.  Following those three, I have 2 others that I think we'll all have a great deal of fun with, but I'm keeping their identities secret until I post them.

The total number of figures that I'm painting for fellow bloggers is now up to 12.  Matthew,  D4 and Dan - we've been following each other for a long time and I want to tell you that I bought your figures a couple of weeks ago. I hope you don't mind.

Now some of you out there have inspired me to try to create my own scenery from scratch. I went to my local hobby store and bought some raw materials. I'm going to start with something simple like a crumbling wall,some vignettes and work my way up to building Shenanigans Pub, the headquarters for the Alliance.

I'd like to thankThe Dark Templar for mailing me some of his spare figures. My favorite of the lot is Wayland the legendary swordsmith. He'll look nice in a vignette I think.

It's Friday folks and the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. So this weekend, tell the world to feck off and do something that makes you happy. I know I will.

Monday, July 16, 2012

O'Leary Stalked By Man In Tin Foil Hat

The BBC has just reported that Anne O'Leary, CEO of O'Leary Air is being stalked by a Canadian man wearing a tin foil hat.

Jim Bedwetter, a reporter with Business Inslider viewed a threatening tape mailed to Ms. O'Leary only hours ago.  "It's frightening in it's lunacy" screamed Bedwetter after being shown the video.

After viewing the tape at her headquarters in Shenanigans Pub, Ms O'Leary called a Press Conference.
"Listen up you feckless bastards!" O'Leary shouted into the microphone. "This is clearly the work of the  Arse Licking Cat." O'Leary screamed.  "That's a Canadian wearing that tinfoil hat and that Cat's Canadian. Fer fucks sake, it's as plain as the nose on your face!!"  O'Leary took a drink of gin before continuing. "The Alliance will be moving to take immediate action against the feline offender.  Orders have been given that he be shot on sight!" she yelled.

Within hours reports of dead cats began to pour into the Garda Station in Limerick. It has yet to be confirmed if any of those bodies are indeed the body of the Arse Licking Cat.

I'm going to break through the fourth wall here. Pat Hatt over at Rhyme Time posted a video that he had made for him this morning that I wasn't prepared for.  I had no idea he was going to do it and the post you are reading is a very quick response to his post thrown together with stock panels from my previous posts.  I'm not asking that you go look at the video as it really is quite disturbing. It was so clever of Pat, that I just couldn't let it go unpunished.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

From The Heart

I have written poetry for and dedicated posts to those people on blogger who have touched some deeper part of me. And in my comment sections I share laughter and humorous jabs with people who have made a difference in my life.  Yes, those things shared in a comment are brief, but no less human in their brevity.

If you read my comment sections you will see my partner in the Alliance, threatening Pat, The Arse Licking Cat. You know him as Dez or The Hollywood Spy, and his avatar, a cute and colorful figure was designed to resemble him.

This is the man behind the avatar. This is Miroslav and I have come to feel for him as a mother towards a son.  In his eyes I can see the reflection of a soul that has known horror and tragedy but has miraculously emerged from them with a kind and loving spirit.

Our correspondence is literary in form, much in the manner of an epistle and I find this soothing as it is steeped in honor and in tradition-two words I have come to associate with Miroslav.  He is a highly educated man and our conversations go beyond the trivial and range a wide variety of topics.  It is with him that I am able to express my concerns for the future of my country as he undestands the workings of global economics and the importance of world history and it is with him that I can share the culture of my people as he knows of it's ancient origins. He in turn has shared much of his life with me in his writings and I have been enriched by this experience.

So please join me as I pay homage to this young man in a series of posts in the coming weeks.

It's Sunday and I don't know who is and who isn't posting today. I must attend Mass today so I will be in later this afternoon to comment.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lethal Ladies and Someone Gets The Mouse

I know what you're thinking "It's about bloody time she finished painting those Ronin women. I didn't think she'd ever get those things posted." So here they are some very lethal ladies.

Sculptures are from Wyrd Miniatures, sculpted by James Van Shaik, cast in white metal and are 32mm heroic scale.

This is my blogger buddy Jax and she looks pretty wicked here. You would never know that this is a woman who has 28 different kinds of shampoo in her shower. (This is true, she does).

Remember my friend Me And My Thinking Cap. She's so tough she's packing heat and carrying a sword. And her wit is sharper and more dangerous than that sword.

And here's my daughter, The Spawn. She's more dangerous than the other two put toghether.

And because I spend so much time working on the faces of my figures, I'm including some head shots.

So this is how the basing for these figures went. I purchased inserts for these figures and intended to put these figures on those brand-new somewhat expensive inserts, but I ran into a wee bit of trouble.  I couldn't get the feckin' figures off the temporary bases I'd super-glued them to.

So in a last minute panic, I gathered together some pebbles, bird food, rosemary and steak seasoning and proceeded to glue bits of all of the above onto the bases the figures were glued to. As I was doing this I was thinking to myself "Anne you're an eejit."  And just as this thought popped into my head it was shoved aside by another thought. "Jesus Christ, you've got to do the drawing for the Mouse giveaway."  So I forced  asked the Hubby to help me out by drawing names from a hat.  And this is the name he drew out of the bag.

So Mark, for better or for worse, that mouse is yours.

On the painting table right now are four figures to represent myself and my friends in The Alliance VS The Arse Licking Cat. After that, I've got a series of figures I'm going to be painting for some of my fellow bloggers.  So far there's about six of them and that number could go up as I'm addicted to this and I have to have some excuse for buying more figures.

And I have a mouse to paint, but really I think I'm going to do that one while I'm asleep and have one hand tied behind my back just to give Ray a fighting chance.

Beginning next week I'm going to be doing a series of interviews with a blogger some of you know as The Hollywood Spy. I know him simply as my friend, Miroslav.  There will be at least three posts (he's that complex) but they won't be consecutive as I'll have completed figures to post in between.

It's Friday people and we're all another day older and closer to death so get on out there and have a great weekend. I know I'm going to.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thank You Dan

On the 20th of June the Hubby underwent a second surgery on his neck. I chose to tell only a handful of people and then I quietly disappeared from the blogoshpere. During my absence I did not speak with any of my blogger buddies and I didn't log onto blogger to check my blog. 

I did not know it at the time, but one of my blogger buddies who was concerned about me wrote a post to make me laugh, to distract me from my troubles. Today I'd like to thank that blogger. 

Thank you Dan. Thank you for caring and for putting together a post that was so out there and over the top it was shameful. 

I hope to post my Ronin women on Friday. The figures are done and I've just got to suss out how to put them on the new bases and get those bases painted. Let's see if I can do it!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary There's A Mouse In The House

I woke up Thursday morning in a cold sweat, the remains of a nightmare clinging to me like the smell of fear and cheap perfume.  "Honey you're not going to believe this feckin' dream I had" I said to the Hubby with a voice that was still shaking. "It was horrible, I dreamed that I'd challenged an experienced painter to a painting challenge on Blogger."  Looking at me over the rim of his glasses the Hubby said "Anne, you're going to have to lay off the gin."

Later that day I logged onto Blogger and the scream I let out woke up dogs for a two mile radius.  "Holy Christ what have I done!!"  For there, staring back at me like a malevolent one-eyed  beast was the post I'd written in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I had indeed challenged Ray Rousell to a painting contest.  Heart pounding in my chest I frantically counted the votes to see if we'd be painting a nude or a fantasy mouse.

It seems as if all those years of faithfully attending mass and going to confession had finally paid off, we were to be painting the mouse.

A customary part of my Challenges is to allow my victim  opponent to set any remaining terms of the Challenge.  So in that spirit, Ray has control over how the voting is to be done and what the criteria for voting are to be. He also has the right to set the date for when this thing is to take place.

Due to the Hubby's surgeries I missed my blogs first year Anniversary. So as is the custom for Anniversaries, I'm going to be doing a give-away.  And the thing I'm giving away is the mouse that I paint for the painting competition.

So if you're interested just leave a comment and put a link-back to this post in your blog and I'll do a random draw to see who the winner is. The deadline for entering is 12:00 a.m. BST Wednesday July 11th.

I'd like to thank all of you for tolerating me and my shenanigans for this past year and I feel privileged to have come to know you all.

Speaking of privileged, there's a blogger out there that I owe a debt of gratitude to and his name is Dan and next week I'm going to do a special post and dedicate it to him.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ray Rousell You're Going Down!!

After having been absent from blogger for quite some time I thought to myself "Anne, you've got to do something really wacky in order to make a come-back as a blogger." And that's when it hit me, "Find someone and engage them in one of your ridiculous challenges" So I did.

Anyone who knows Ray Rousell from Don't Throw A One knows how much he loves loathes painting fantasy figures.  Given this, it only seemed natural to me to challenge Ray to a fantaasy figure painting contest.  So I did it in his comment section of his post here. He responded with what I've chosen to take as an acceptance of my challenge.

Part 1 of the Challenge. I get to pick out and will also purchase the figures that we are to paint. An unbiased voting system will be constructed to determine who has done the best job in painting the figures. 

In an effort to make this more fun I've chosen two figures and you all get to vote on which one we will paint.

Both are from Dark Sword Miniatures and are 32mm heroic scale done in pewter. (Yeah Ray has to paint something larger than 15mm).

She's a beautiful sculpt and a lovely homage to the perfection of the female form.

This mouse is both whimsical and cute and would be a joy to paint in my opinion.

Part 2 of the Challenge. The winner earns the title of Supreme Master of The Universe and gets to write a bragging post (something Mr. Rousell excels at).

Part 3 of the Challenge. The loser then has to paint a figure of the winners choosing. Now to make this even more wacky, the peice the loser paints is to be given to Fran for his birthday in September. Now why did I include the big Irishman in this contest,  You just can't deal with one of them without incluing the other. The two go together like custard and cream, like tea and biscuits, like Captain and Crunch.  This is also added incentive for Ray to beat me as he can tell me to paint up the most ghastly figure he can find and force me to give it as a gift to Fran.

I am quite possibly mad as a hatter because I have just challenged a man who has painted thousands of figures and is a painter of some repute to a contest while I have painted a grand total of five figures in my lifetime.

Now onto the voting!! Voting will close at 12:00 a.m. BST on Saturday July 7th.  So what's it going to be the nude or the mouse. You decide.
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