Craft Jam Hand Lettering Workshop

When’s the last time you did some crafting? For me, it had been a while. Since I started up with my planner and bullet journaling earlier this year, my need to create has increased. Carney and I decided to take a Hand Lettering workshop at Craft Jam earlier this week and it was really awesome!

Our teacher first reviewed some basic information about typography, and then explained how to draw out some of the more simple – yet extremely popular – hand lettering techniques, such as faux-calligraphy and drop shadows. The workshop provided all of the tools that we would need to complete our project, which was a greeting card. Technically the theme was supposed to be about self love, but as usual… I did my own thing. Check out my photos from the event!

First we practiced some techniques using pencil and paper, then transferred a design to tracing paper to work on shading and drop shadows.

Once the concept is finalized, we used light boards to trace the design onto cardstock, and then used markers to color in the finished product!

We had a blast at the event. Craft Jam is BYOB friendly as well, so we split a six pack and got our art groove on. I highly recommend the workshop. I highly recommend doing art projects for yourself, just for fun. It’s a very freeing experience. I plan to continue finding ways to create art, even if it’s silly or doesn’t look perfect. For me, it’s more about the experience and less about the outcome.

But hey if you totally love my artwork and would like to commission me to create a custom greeting card for you, hit me up! lol

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AC Pocket Camp Updates

Mayor Gluxie doesn’t want her fans to forget about her! She has been hard at work maintaining and updating her AC: Pocket Camp campsite, and there are plenty of updates to discuss! She was very proud to announce that after months of searching, she finally caught the elusive Tuna!

Mayor Gluxie caught a tuna!

But that was something that was more of a personal achievement. There have been tons of updates in the Animal Crossing Pocket Camp mobile game in the past few weeks and things are not showing any signs of stopping! If this is a sneak peek at the potential we could have in daily activities in future AC games, I think the future looks very bright.

Gardening has become a much more interesting activity, for starters. Not only have new hybrid flowers been sprouting up, but the game creators have started rolling out in-game gardening collection events! Using limited-time-only seasonal seeds, you can grow new flowers that can attract rare creatures. So far we have seen special butterflies and even bejeweled bats in the most recent Gothic Rose event! As you collect these rare creatures, you are able to share them with your friends, or trade them in for brand new furniture series items and clothing! It’s a really fun way to encourage visiting your friends, and to introduce new series themes to the franchise. I am very excited to see what new furniture the game will come out with next!

 

More updates have been rolling out, seemingly on a weekly basis!

When there isn’t a gardening event, the game is adding new animal characters to the game, or introducing a new furniture series via rare material collection events. Currently there is an Crystal Collection event going on, and players collect rare crystal shards by completing requests for animals around the campsites, which will unlock new Crystal furniture series items.

Another fun feature that has been added to Pocket Camp is the ability to change the outfits of your favorite animal friends! Once you reach a certain friendship level with an animal, you have the option to change their look. You can give them a new shirt, a hat or even glasses! Not all clothing items are compatible with all animals of course, but it’s really funny to change their looks!

If you haven’t played Animal Crossing Pocket Camp in a while, it’s definitely worth an update and a second chance! Get to collecting!!

PS – I have a long weekend and a LOT of things to blog about. Sorry in advance for filling up your inbox in the coming days lol!

Hermione at Wizard U

Last weekend I had tickets for an event called Wizard U. It was advertised as a Harry Potter wizarding experience for adults aged 21+ and would include fun activities, classes, potions, etc! Cosplay encouraged! Sounds awesome, right?

Years ago I had put together a ‘sexy Hermione’ costume for Halloween and I’ve been very excited to wear it out again! I made some photoshop comps of the costume when I took pics before I left… check em out!

All of my friends said they loved the costume! Which is great. I wish I could say I loved the Wizard U event, but that’s another story.

They said the doors would open at 1pm and that the Orientation would begin at 2pm. We got to Irving Plaza (the venue) around 1pm and there was a HUGE LINE to get in. Once we finally got inside, it was a bit chaotic, and there weren’t many signs to figure out what the different ‘stations’ were that had been set up around the venue. There was no decor either! The main events were set up on the stage, where the House Heads and the Professors would improvise skits or magical lessons with volunteers picked from the crowd. Unfortunately when random people were picked to go on stage, they were doing improv games… and when random awkward untrained people are subject to improv… it’s usually boring and not funny. For example, a Professor put students under the Cruciatus Curse and it was essentially a bunch of adults playing Simon Says on stage.

There was also wand-making in the upstairs area, but the line was so long that I didn’t even bother. I should also mention that there was almost nobody else in full cosplay, except for a Dumbledoor that I saw, and maybe one or two others.¬†ūüė®

I wanted to have some Butterbeer. That was a priority for me. It was a cocktail made up of butterscotch vodka (or vanilla vodka? Both? I forget exactly what it said lol), cream soda and topped with whipped cream. As someone who has an extreme sweet tooth, I really liked it. But it was $11 for a small cup. I did not get seconds.

There was one area of Wizard U that I did enjoy, and the line wasn’t too crazy long. Probably because the signage was tiny and it’s likely that few people knew it was even happening because it was tucked away down a hall. It was Divination. There was a Professor who would tell your fortune!

The Professor did a hand reading. She said that my love line had a lot of activity, but specifically at the END of the line… so I should keep up with yoga classes because I was going to be very popular in the nursing home! LOL I loved it! It’s also probably true…¬†ūüėÖ

Anyway, the event was supposed to last until at least 6… but I left after about two hours. It was an event that COULD have been cool but just wasn’t executed well. I wish I had the resources to try and host an event of this scale. It’s probably really hard. There’s really only one logical next step here. I must go to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios someday!!

Crate Crazed!

Now for a rare blog post that isn’t about video games. This is more on the general¬† gamer girl theme… I’m here to talk about CRATES. Basically everyone has heard of some kind of monthly crate subscriptions that you can purchase to get a surprise of goodies curated to meet a certain theme or topic sent to you. I think it’s time to start talking about the good, the bad and the ugly of these subscription crates… because let’s face it, they are not all created equal. Plus, I’d love to hear your suggestions for your favorite crates too!

My first subscription crate was Japan Crate. I was a Premium Box subscriber, which was the biggest box they had on offer, and was always packed with stuff! It is definitely a good quality subscription crate, you got plenty of stuff for your money. For a while I was pretty happy with Japan Crate, since I’m a total weeb and I had always heard about crazy Kit Kat flavors in Japan, and things like that. However, after many months of being a member, I realized that half of my snacks were going uneaten. I’m a picky eater and I am not really into eating mysterious corn puffs covered with powdered artificial shrimp dust. One time I did get a dark chocolate Kit Kat, and occasionally there would be a Pokemon themed candy, but overall I wasn’t loving the snacks. Then finally, the last straw came. The company was based in San Francisco, and then they moved to Japan. I’m sure for them it was an important business move that helped them in the long run. In the short term, it meant that my shipments were late. I wasn’t thrilled and I ended up canceling the subscription. But I still go on their website from time to time, because you can order some of the popular snacks directly from them. If you’re a more adventurous eater than I am, this may be a good crate for you!

The second crate I ever tried was the Gamer Girl Monthly crate. I just looked up the website for the first time since I ended the subscription (over a year ago) and it seems they have restructured their subscriptions and now you can personalize what items you want to get. So I can’t really comment on how GGM works now. But I can say that it is more expensive that it used to be – I believe I was paying $13 a month when I was a member. However, the downside was definitely that I was getting items that were not from fandoms that I was into. I would also get a lot of earrings and… I don’t have pierced ears. So eventually I decided to cut the cord. I will say that I did get some SUPER cute items, like the Kirby plush coin purse, Zelda necklaces, and some cosplay quality accessories. If you like girly gamer stuff and can afford the new price point, it might be worth a shot for you!

For a little while, I was on a subscription crate hiatus. I’ve joined other monthly services, like JustFab and Adore Me. However, I’m about ready to stop those services because I often forget to tell them not to charge me, and then I end up with credits that I’m obligated to spend… it’s just a hassle. I hate having to send stuff back when it doesn’t fit. Just ugh. I need to shop in stores more lol. If anything, maybe some day I’ll get Stitch Fix instead.

Anyway, when the calendar turned to 2018, my amazing friend Carney¬†(check out her blog!) and I decided to go hard with planners, bullet journals, self love books, and overall life organization and wellness. We each purchased the planner that we thought was best for us, and went to work organizing our lives. It’s actually a lot of fun and helps me stay on task and work toward my goals. However, as we have been sharing photos of these beautifully designed bullet journals (#bujo on Insta, check it out!!) with expertly drawn hand lettering… I felt a little inadequate. I can’t draw, and that’s ok. I got colored gel pens and started writing in bubble letters. Not QUITE as cute as I wanted it to be though. So what did I do? I went to Cratejoy.

I wanted to find a sticker subscription to help take my planner to the next level. And oh boy do they have sticker subscriptions! There are tons of sticker and stationery crates to choose from. I opted to try out the Stickii Club crate and after only one month, I am so happy that I did! I love it so much that I am considering adding an additional theme to my current subscription, since they are only $10 a month. You can choose from Cute, Retro or Pop stickers. I went with Cute… and it was f’ing CUTE!! They sent me several sheets of stickers with a cute bunny theme, featuring stickers representing different emotions and foods and lots of other fun stuff. They also sent a “Stickii Storage” which is a translucent folder sized for an A5 6-ring Filofax style binder, and it neatly organized all of the cute stickers for the month. So what did I do? I went on Amazon, ordered an A5 6-ring binder, an extra folder to hold more stickers… and I ordered some cat stickers while I was at it. I’m clearly out of control with stickers already, and I’m reliving the joys of my 10 year old self by creating this new sticker book to use with my planner. Whew. Stickers never go out of style!! I totally recommend this club to anyone who ever loved sticker collecting. Your love will be renewed!!

Now that my planner is helping me organize my life, and my sticker collection motivating me to continue to use said planner, things are definitely moving in the right direction! But Carney and I also enjoy reading and thought it would be fun to start a book club for ourselves. (Wanna join? Comment or PM me!) We both had picked up the crazy political expos√© “Fire and Fury”, so we figured we’d start with that. (Brace yourselves, I’m going to post a book report about it here on the blog when I’m done!) But what about next month? We figured we’d try out a book crate subscription.

The Inspired Book Club crate is a monthly subscription featuring a book and some items that are on theme with the book. After some drama of waiting much longer than expected to receive tracking info, I finally received my first crate yesterday. Now, I haven’t read the book yet – saving it for next month’s book club book – but it’s not as long as I expected. But it does say New York Times best seller. I don’t want to post the contents b/c Carney didn’t get her box yet (compounding on the shipping drama!!), but the items that came along seem very nice, good quality… but I have no idea what they have to do with the book. They seem like completely unrelated self-pampering products. Which I’m fine with, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

So that’s really the bottom line – these crates often do not deliver what you expect. Sometimes you are surprised and delighted, sometimes you are disappointed or feel like you wasted money. It’s important to read the reviews (Inspired Book Club also does not have good reviews) and remember that some of these crates are shipped out by an individual to hundreds or thousands of subscribers. Other times, the crates are shipped from overseas and have kinks to be worked out, like what happened with Japan Crate. But that is what makes these subscription crates fun – you never know what you might get!

Do you subscribe to any monthly crates? Have you had a great experience, or maybe a terrible one? Please share it in the comments, I’m very curious!!

Happy New Year from Mayor Gluxie!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The AC:NL town of Jubilife, once run by vibrant Mayor Gluxie, has been in such capable hands with Town Steward Isabelle. As usual, the animal residents of town sent out their search parties as they always claim that they do, but Mayor Gluxie was off the grid.

However, recently Mayor Gluxie has been discovered!

Photos have been surfacing since late November of Mayor Gluxie at a new popular camp site! Here she is enjoying some bbq with her sister. It seems that Mayor Gluxie has met some new characters, specifically the crew at OK Motors, who hooked her up with a sweet split level RV camper.

Other photos have come out showing Mayor Gluxie recruiting animal residents to come and stay at her brand new campsite, which is set up as a multi-stage outdoor music festival! KK Slider has even been seen performing at the campsite. This is kind of a big deal!!

It doesn’t seem like Mayor Gluxie is planning to return to Jubilife town anytime soon. The campsite was recently updated with New Year decorations and word has it that other animals are lining up to be on the waiting list.

One thing is for sure: Mayor Gluxie wishes everyone a Happy New Year! Let’s make 2018 the best year ever!

Masterpiece of the Year?

Greetings to all my Nintendo nerds! I can’t believe it’s November already. Maybe I should dust off my 3DS and check in on my Animal Crossing town sometime, grab some mushroom furniture. But who has time when we have been blessed with some amazing new games in 2017?

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on which games were really groundbreaking in 2017. We certainly needed some escape from reality this year! Personally, as someone who went to art school and really appreciates the artistic design of video games, I felt there were two titles that I could qualify as “masterpieces.” Which was the best of the year? I am going to try to decide right now! lol

The first game I’m considering for Masterpiece of 2017 is the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A long anticipated title, BotW launched with the Nintendo Switch at the start of the year. Fans were astounded by the new open world approach to their beloved Zelda franchise.

The art style was even more impressive. Using an updated approach similar to Wind Waker, the design of BotW uses what I’d describe as cel-shading with water colors. It’s not overly cartoony, and it’s very much high definition. Individual blades of grass bend in the wind. Wispy strands of hair blow in the breeze. For the amount of time that fans waited for the latest Zelda title, it’s clear that it was worth the delays.

My personal opinion: If you really follow my blog, you’ll see that I don’t talk about Zelda a lot… b/c I never really beat these games. The only game I even got close to beating was Phantom Hourglass. Since BotW was basically the big name launch title for the Switch, I got it mostly b/c everyone else was playing it, and not b/c I had been desperately waiting to play it. However, when I did start playing it I was completely obsessed! It’s a very immersive experience, and I really loved the freedom of the open world.¬†

The second game in contention for Masterpiece of 2017 is *gasp* NOT A NINTENDO GAME. I know – it’s hard to believe that I play games on other systems. And honestly, I usually don’t. But there’s an indie game called Cuphead that FINALLY came out on Xbox 1 and Steam this year, and as far as art style is concerned… it’s a doozy!!

Now I realize that not everyone had the same upbringing as me, and may not realize the nostalgia factor in Cuphead. But I was raised watching Betty Boop and Silly Symphonies cartoons on loop ad nauseam. The creators of Cuphead took every step necessary to produce their videogame with the same exact art style that was popular in the 1930’s. This includes the hand drawn animation, 24 fps frame rate, the use of lampshade effect and much more.

Cuphead is a standard 2D platformer style game, and initially had been designed to have a Mega-Man-esque Boss Battles setup. But when the hype train rolled in, the creators expanded the game to have some standard platformer stages in addition to the boss battles. That’s all well and good… except they made the game insanely challenging. Many casual gamers find themselves unable to fully appreciate the game due to not being able to progress and see all of the stages.

My personal opinion: I was literally waiting YEARS for this game to be released. Delays and more delays pushed the game back several times and I waited patiently. When the game FINALLY released, I downloaded it right away and was so excited! Unfortunately, I haven’t actually been able to experience much of the game. I guess I’m just one of those lame casual gamers who isn’t good enough at platformers to progress in the game. It makes me very sad that after years of anticipation, and having loved this art style my ENTIRE LIFE… I can’t even see all of the gorgeously designed stages hiding in this game.¬†

You can probably guess which game gets my vote by now. As much as I wanted to love Cuphead soooo much… it fails b/c I can’t actually play it. The game does not forgive anyone who isn’t at ‘their level’ which I feel is kind of mean and makes me feel excluded and alienated. And it makes me not want to buy another game by Studio MDHR. First they made me wait, then the gameplay drops the ball… so they blew it with me. Being the belle of the ball doesn’t get you everywhere in life!! In Breath of the Wild I am free to explore the entire world, appreciate all of it’s beauty and play at my speed. And it’s darn pretty too.

SIDE NOTE:

Most people will want to interject – HEY WHAT ABOUT SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY?? That game is glorious too! I will give it an honorable mention. I don’t think that it’s a masterpiece, in that the art style of Odyssey is basically on par with every other 3D Mario game, albeit updated to the latest HD graphics, of course. New abilities and game functionality, plus the awesome smoothness of the controls thanks to the Joy Con and Pro Controller, make this game awesome! No doubt about that. But masterpiece? Not exactly. What makes Super Mario Odyssey a contender in this category is that the game truly allows you to create YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE. This game goes way beyond taking screenshots. You can change the camera angles, zoom, blur, add filters, add text if you want… it’s a meme gold mine. I created several masterpieces of my own:

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Any game that lets ME make my own art gets a thumbs up from the Glux Box!

This is just my opinion, of course. Which game would YOU consider to be the Masterpiece of 2017??