Photo Friday – Motivation

We’ve been stalled for a couple of weeks now, it’s rather frustrating. So we are renewing our dedication and fighting the urges that have resulted in our plateau. This is our fridge and our words of encouragement .

I wish you strength in all your endeavours.

Thoughtful Thursday – The Nagging Itch – On Games, Creativity and Procrastination

Hello dear reader.

Being a creative is horrible sometimes. At least I’m assuming the feeling I’m going to write about is to do with being a creative.

The long and short of the matter is that I spent a large portion of yesterday trying to find a computer game to play, which I do from time to time; I open up Steam and spend literally hours scouring through hundreds of games, trying to find the “right” one. I’ll then buy one or two and play them for a few hours before never touching them again.

I’ve been doing this for years and I know my wife, Smidge, suffers from a similar malady; though it expresses itself in less expensive ways. I have no idea why I do this; I love the idea of playing games and when I find one that does scratch that itch, it feels great, but most of the time I end up spending money that I shouldn’t have spent, on games I don’t play.

I’m quite an introspective beast, so it’s not as if I haven’t tried to find the route cause to this feeling, and honestly I think it’s guilt. I desire to do something with my life, and every time I feel like I want to just relax with a game, I feel like I’m not really “doing” anything towards my goals. The games I want to play are strategic and complex, like the games I want to design, but I push myself into a corner and feel like I should be playing a multi-player game because that experience will in some way feel more meaningful; I’ve played every single MMORPG you could name because the persistence inherent to them engenders a feeling of accomplishment…a false feeling of accomplishment.

The reason I’m writing this article is, more and more, I’m learning that my real projects; those linked with this website, are the ones that give me a real and tangible sense of accomplishment. Maybe when I make real progress on something I value, something real, I’ll be able to give myself a break and just enjoy a “meaningless” experience.

At the end of the day, it’s all just a push and pull between short-term pleasure and long-term accomplishment that represents a common modern struggle; there’s so much in the world that appears to be fun and in the moment, worth doing, but when inside you’re striving to do something more you will never be able to get away from the feeling that you’re not supposed to be wasting your time on short-term fun, at the expense of a project or endeavour you’re “meant” to be working on.

So what have I learned from the last day or so?

Do what you know in your heart you should be doing before trying to distract yourself and put it off because it takes a little longer to get there. Such times as that build motivation if you can find a way to not give in to the urge to procrastinate.

Thank you for listening to me ramble. Good luck in all your endeavours.

Topic Tuesday: Beginning

What better place to start than the beginning. For this, the first Topic Tuesday, we will be discussing a word; a nice easy word to ease me into this researching and learning malarky. And an easy word it is!

Beginning – The point in time and space at which something begins.

The origin is (like a lot of our words) Germanic, and is very similar to the German and Dutch word-beginnen. I have to admit I do like the sound of most German words, I keep trying to learn but I struggle with the speaking portion. Anyhoo, that’s beside the point of this post.

Beginning can be a noun, a verb or an adjective.

Noun: Start at the beginning.
Verb: We are beginning our journey.
Adjective: At the beginning leg of the journey.

Synonyms
Start
Creation
Inception
Onset
Opening
Dawn

The beginning of something is often the hardest part but easily forgotten once you’re further down the path. The beginning of a novel or story is key into setting up the atmosphere and getting the reader hooked into the story. The beginning of a project is an exciting time, it can be addictive to keep starting things instead of sticking through the hard times and finishing something.

I know that for many reading this that all of the above is something that they learnt many a year ago, but for some reason this kind of stuff refuses to stick in my mind. I’m hoping that through researching and putting what I find into my own words I can make my writing better. There’s always something to learn.

If you have any requests for Topic Tuesdays, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. I think for next Tuesday I’m going to begin to look at tenses, perhaps past as the first one.

Have a wonderful day and we’ll see you tomorrow for Wildlife Wednesday!

Modelling Monday: Warhammer conversion – Boyz to Tankbustas!

Hello dear reader!

On Saturday, you’ll see that we uploaded a little sneak peek of a modelling project I’ve been working on. I get these into my head every now and again. I absolutely love warhammer and lately I’ve had a lot more time to be able to commit to the hobby; as such I’ve been opening my Bitz Box and upgrading my Orkz!

The idea for this build was to make myself some Oddboyz; the Ork specialists who fill in the gaps in your army and allow you some more tactical flexibility, which I love. I looked at my options and there was a massive hole in my anti-armour capabilities for my Orks, so I took a look at buying some Tankbustas, only for my wallet to run away screaming when it found out that they were 25 British Pounds for five…merely half the number I wanted.

So I scoured my horde of Boys, did some likely recruiting and decided to arm them with some Kustom Dakka. It must be said that I did have to strip the unit of 5 Flash Gitz that I have never fielded to the table, but those Freebootin’ Gitz aren’t my style anyway, oh and one of them is now my Warboss (You’ll have to wait and see for him!)

For this build I utilised the above, some cold-weld plastic glue, superglue for the resin bitz, a few WarmaHordes gribblies as counts-as squigs, my trusty pliers and my craft knife. Now I’ll show you the result and talk a little bit about ’em!

We’ll start with the Boss nob for the unit; he’s now looking stylish with a new Rokkit Launcha arm, old-style bosspole from a painboy past and a dangerous looking waspy rokkit to scrag ‘oomy tankz.

This brave Git is one of two I made, he’s armed with a Kustom Tankhammer I made from a heavy ThunderHammer. The Rokkit attached to the end is an upturned power-mace with a sprue tip – tasty!

Look at these cute and deadly little fungus-dogs. We’ve strapped some suitably dangerous-looking SquigBombs to their backs and trained them to run towards Tau Tanks. The Bomb Bitz are made from cut off SnazzGun bitz, a Tau Missile Pod and a Tanbusta Bomb. I’m proud of these little fellaz!

Who deasn’t love Rokkit Pistols?? I conveniently had two Boyz who had been converted previously with two Sluggas, so I didn’t have to do much to these guys to get them looking the part, the Rokkits are from the Flash Gits’ Snazzguns again, so much potential in that kit.

This Lad has a storied history, I originally got him with a Rokkit Launcha that I converted into a Big Shoota. Now he’s back where he wants to be with another inverted powermace Rokkit!

These are the rest of the Tankbustas, just armed with Rokkit Launchas converted straight from the stripped down SnazzGunz. Don’t tell the Freebootas that we Nicked their Gubbinz!

So there you have it, a unit of 10 Tankbustas, salvaged and cobbled together in true Ork Fashun from Bitz and Know-Wotz for less than the price of a second class stamp. I’ll be throwing them towards very large vehicles whenever I can. They can deal out a whopping 200+ wounds in two turns thanks to Ork Stratagems. I cannot wait to see the look on an intrepid Titan-commander’s face when my Gitz Skrag his Shiny!

I’ll be uploading another mini-project next week, so stay tuned!

P.S. As a disclaimer, I know my painting is bad, these were rushed to make them look atleast fieldable, I will eventually clean them up!

Photo Friday: The First!

Our collection of love themed plushies

John and I don’t care for Valentine’s Day, we prefer to have a good relationship all year round. However, in recent years, we have taken to collecting cute teddies, but this year we haven’t managed to find one that is to our liking. But maybe throughout the year we will find a new member!

Have a great Friday, whatever you’re getting up to!

Thoughtful Thursday: Schedule and the Future

Changes are afoot!

For a little while we’ve been struggling with this site and the content going up has been sporadic. But no more! We’ve worked together and come up with ideas and a plan to share our lives and passions in a better way!

Our schedule:

Modelling Monday – On Monday’s John will post a picture about a Warhammer 40k model (or group) and tell you a little about it. Perhaps in the future I, too, will share some of my Skaven troops.

Topic Tuesday – I’m tired of only having a passing knowledge of my interests. In order to combat this I’m going to be picking a topic and attempting to learn all I can about the things I love, then I’ll report back on the next Tuesday! We can take a learning trip together. Things to expect: history of cross stitch, components of writing (tenses, sentence structure, words, etc.) and interesting facts.

Wildlife Wednesday – This will most often just be a picture from one of our nature walks, but occasionally we’ll post something about the photo.

Thoughtful Thursday – A day for updates, random thoughts, stories, anything we fancy!

Photo Friday – A photo from our week that we want to share.

Sneak Peek Saturday – A sneaky look at something upcoming, whether it’s a photo or a few words.

Sleepy Sunday – A day off (in spirit, John still has to work his day job).

So that’s what we’ve come up with and what we’ll be trying for the foreseeable future. It’ll be a more interesting array of content. In the background I’m going to be working on my fantasy world and my fantasy detective series and John will be working on the games he is developing. If you want more cross stitch content I suggest following my smidgemakes Instagram/Twitter where I’ll be posting pictures and updates of progress.
For a little life update, while we’re here, things are going well! I’ve pulled back on my artist pursuits in order to focus on writing and cross stitch. I’m more than ready to give my passions the time they need. We are still getting healthy, and going on more walks and I’m having little dance parties to get more movement in!

That’s it for the first Thoughtful Thursday. Have a wonderful day!

Cross Stitch Corner: Experiments

At the start of this year I made it a goal of mine to make my own cross stitch patterns. I thought that it would be many months before I gained the knowledge, experience and whatnot to be able to do such a thing. But cross stitch is a wonderful thing and it’s so easy to create things. Using an app on my iPad called StitchSketch I can turn my drawings into cross stitch!

the corner of a screen shot of a cross stitch chart
A sliver of my design.

Eventually I want to sell the digital charts, if people are interested, but first I have to figure out how to make a pdf look nice and all that pavlova.
In order to test the app and to make sure that I was doing things right I used a simple pattern and the colours I had on hand. When I use this chart (are they patterns or charts? I get so confused since I’ve done many crafts) again I’ll use a lighter blue for the sky and a white for the cloud.

Progress
Finished!
Felt to cover the back

I had a lot of fun with this one, even stitching that felt on the back was interesting. I need more practise at finishing and I would stitch up the aida a different way next time but for my first original project it’s pretty great!

I’m pleased to say that the app worked and my cross stitch came out better than I imagined. The app is a little tough to use (I’m used to the ease of Procreate) but I’m sure I’ll get to grips with it. I can only use it for short periods as it only has a “dark mode” and the white writing on a black background gives me headaches and makes my eyes all funny! But I will be creating many more charts and projects.

So that’s my practise and I’m excited for many more to come! Have a wonderful day.

Building My DeathWatch Army.

Hello!

January has ended and the next one has begun, did you know we’re into a leap year? Crazy.

I’ve been plodding along with my projects, well some of them. I got the chance to order some warhammer in the middle of January and spent a few frantic days assembling them for the gaming club that I run on a Tuesday.

Last time as I mentioned, for my second army after Orks, I decided that I wanted to collect DeathWatch because they are basically the exact opposite of Orks: low model count, lots of strategic options, decent survivability on the models. I’m really enjoying how the army plays, it’s a nice change.

So I decided to order the Start Collecting box in addition to the codex.

The best thing about the start collecting box for DeathWatch is the upgrade sprue you get, it includes ten DeathWatch shoulder-pads, which are really what I needed to upgrade my existing marines and make them look the part. You also get an absolute ton of bits to upgrade your amrines, which kind of caused me an existential crisis like I’ve never experienced with warhammer before.

Normally, when you build a unit, you have a few choices, but it doesn’t take much time to decide how you want to build them; maybe your heavy weapon squads require a little more thought, but you usually have the decision down after not too much thought. DeathWatch veterans however have so many options and such interesting ways to play that I genuinely had no idea how to build them, so I had to turn to the things I did know: I built my smash captain and my venerable dreadnought.

I converted the Captain Artemis model in the start collecting box with a few bits to give him a jetpack, storm shield and thunderhammer – classic SmashCaptain fare. I’ll upload a picture of him later once I’m finished painting because I’m actually really happy with how it turned out.

After they were finished I literally stared at my phone and the codex trying to figure out what I was going to do. Eventually I went with a half-meta half-fun build. One unit of veterans with Storm Bolters and Storm Shields, one unit of heavy weapons; infernus heavy bolters and normal heavy bolters and a full unit of melee veterans with a range of weapons and some frag cannons thrown in.

I think the army I’ve built is going to perform pretty averagely on the battlefield based on who I’m facing, but it’s going to do what I wanted with this army…basically allow me to play games without bringing 100+ models to the table.

Tune in next time when I take you through my painting results!

January Update

The sun has set on January (at least where I am) and I’m checking in with myself and you.
I’m very grateful that this year I’ve taken up bullet journaling, it makes looking back and keeping things in perspective really easy. I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit, and much more than I thought from the top of my head.
For ten minutes or so each day I’ve been doing full body stretching and I’ve found that my back is much less painful, I recommend it!
Though the month has been overall good, there are things that I definitely need to work on in the coming months. Getting up early, getting out of the flat and more reading are the biggest things.
Posting more regularly is something I want as well, the problem with that is I’ve been working on world building, which I can’t really show, and my other projects are taking quite a while. I will have some cross stitch content coming up in the next few days but after that I’m not sure.
I’m in the midst of soul searching, trying to figure out what I like, what I want and how I want to present myself. For so long I’ve been a shallow person, somewhat of a shadow person and I’m ready to be a full, solid, colourful person. So for a little bit I may be a bit short of content, but I’m never too far away!
That’s it for my little end of the month update, in short, all is well and I’ve had a good start to the year. I hope that it is the same for you. Good luck for February.