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Annie

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(no subject) [Feb. 21st, 2018|11:40 am]
Annie
slurrrrp

Sometimes you hear a phrase or even a specific word (e.g. "devour") and a picture pops into your head. And sometimes you examine it and go, "HA too bad I don't have the skill or patience to commit that to paper." But other times it's simple enough that you're like, "you know what, I could get that down pretty quickly if I wanted to."
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Kamikaze KitchenAid [Feb. 8th, 2018|10:07 am]
Annie
Our hefty KitchenAid mixer has been great for the last few years, but the other night, it... I dunno, it got too excited while mixing a dough. The mixer has been known to "hop around" a little bit on tough doughs, but the mix times were usually short enough and I was keeping enough of an eye on it that it wasn't an issue.

This time, though. A ten-minute mix, a particularly dense bread dough, and me being distracted by other stuff—it all ended in a big scary BANG on the floor next to me. The mixer had dance-partied right off the side of the counter.

An aside: it's funny too, with those sorts of things, it always takes me a few seconds to figure out what the hell just happened, which makes me think that I'd be terrible in any actual dangerous situation that called for quick thinking. I'd be that character standing in the path of the oncoming monster with a befuddled expression while the audience yelled and face-palmed.

Anyway, the mixer is still in one piece but very unhappy about life right now, and if you turn it on, it runs, but makes noises in that universal language of Bad News ("grundle-grundle ERGGH greeeee grun-grun skruurrgh"). I'll search around and see if these sorts of things can be fixed.
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Catbirdmonster [Jan. 30th, 2018|01:53 pm]
Annie
snort

Stick some horns on it!™
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Grandma [Jan. 24th, 2018|12:04 pm]
Annie
You guys remember when I used to say things along the lines of, "I won't use that kind of language though—because my Grandma reads this blog?"

Sadly, Grandma passed away this week.

I think almost everybody sees their Grandma as the Quintessential Grandma, the Grandma by Which All Other Grandmas are Judged, and mine was no different. She baked us wonderful food, she played with us when we were little, she provided a welcoming home that we all loved to visit, and she probably did so much other work that I never noticed, being two generations removed.

She was a riot to play cards with, and even as her memory dimmed in the last few years of her life, she could still hold her own in a game of Hearts.

I'll be flying out to South Carolina for the family get-together this weekend (sans kids, which... I don't think I've been away from the kids for more than 24 hours in over 4 years). I'm looking forward to soaking up all the love and memories that will be in the air.
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Cat Hat etc. [Jan. 22nd, 2018|12:20 pm]
Annie


I was reading Cat in the Hat to the kids a while ago, and it makes me mad that they went to all the trouble to make a whole live-action movie about it without double-checking whether their main character was pure nightmare fuel.
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PAX South [Jan. 16th, 2018|12:43 pm]
Annie
Wildermyth had a booth at PAX South this year in San Antonio (a pretty big video game convention, for those unfamiliar). I mean, it was a little booth alllll the way in the back, since we are a tiny unreleased indie game and not the massive Monster Hunter game that had a twenty foot tall professionally-lit dragon display at the front of the hall. But it was still a booth, and we still got to show the game off to lots of people!

I'd been to PAX with Nate many years ago, and I'd forgotten what a glorious Nerd Homecoming it is. Those kids on the edge of mainstream culture, who get relegated to the role of "comedic relief" or "warning that if you're weird, you could end up like this" in movies—they get to shine here. They're in their element, and everybody seems so happy to be there.

That said, wow... I've been out of the loop for a few years, and I knew I was out of touch with the latest video game happenings, but I didn't realize just how out of touch. They're on what, Dead Rising 4 now? There are more games with that retro pixel style than I can count. There are still lots of people using Blizzard-style art, but I'm pretty sure MMOs are not much of a thing anymore.

I don't think my cluelessness matters too much for our game though. We're pretty niche, and our job is less about appealing to the largest number of people and more about finding/reaching the people who like the kind of thing we're doing.

We had two friends/colleagues helping out at the booth alongside Nate, and I was mostly on kid-wrangling duty. Honestly I'm okay with this, since I never have a good sense of how much I'm supposed to talk to visitors at a booth, so it's a little stressful. We were able to bring the kids into the convention center for maybe 1.5 out of the 3 days we were there, and the rest of the time was spent at a nearby playground (.5 days) and on a trip to the local zoo (1 day). Ben and Eleanor are at the age where they can be very tricky to herd in a crowded place, since they often want to go in opposite directions and neither one could give less of a crap about what I want them to do. I did manage to get in a few sketches of PAX attendees and one sketch of a bear at the zoo, which I'll toss up soonish.

Overall, there was a steady rise from "Oh god this was a terrible mistake" on Thursday night to "I'm glad we did it, but I would prefer not to do it again" by the time we got home late on Sunday, to "Yeah sure, I could handle another convention" two days later.
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Forest Grumpers [Jan. 3rd, 2018|06:33 pm]
Annie
snort

snort
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Onward and Upward [Jan. 2nd, 2018|12:03 pm]
Annie
My facebook feed is all, "Hey guys, 2018's going to be a better year! It has to be! We'll be better! And then we'll make the world better! Things will only go up from here!"

I dunno, within the first two days of 2018, our dishwasher broke, my phone stopped taking its SIM card, and I've been to the doctor for a UTI that has the entire lower half of my torso feeling like it's been in a bar fight.

We're not off to a great start. But y'know, it's early; there's lots of time to catch up.
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More Comic Backgrounds [Jan. 1st, 2018|03:07 pm]
Annie
[Tags|]

Happy New Year! Here are some more comic backgrounds for Wildermyth.

Both Nate and I have fallen prey to brain atrophy over the holidays ("What time is it? What day is it? Is it 2018 yet? How much popcorn have I eaten? What expensive piece of technology has Eleanor got in her mouth?"), but I'm really looking forward to getting back into our work routine.

background
Spoooooky crypt.

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Forest of the light and happy variety.

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That time of either morning or evening when only the tops of the trees are lit.

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A Morthagi workshop, the place where the mechanical undead constructs are... um, constructed.

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Swamp I.

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Swamp II.

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Some kind of treasure room. Those always seem to be bad news as far as traps and curses go, but maybe this one's just straight-up treasure. You'd have to ask our writer.

background
Underground space of the earthen variety.
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Weird Pie 2: The Holiday Special [Dec. 26th, 2017|11:13 am]
Annie
Merry Christmas! We've been plugging along and have made it out the other side of the holiday, collapsing in a pile of wrapping paper and leftovers. Ben is playing the new Mario in his underpants, and Eleanor is playing a game called "Shut myself in the bathroom and then yell for someone to open the door." I wish I had art for you, and maybe I'll post some of the latest Wildermyth stuff here soon, but right now I want to talk about pie.

Do you remember the Weird Pie? It didn't take me long to find the entry so that I could link to it, since I've been crap at posting things this year.

But anyway, 8 months later, I finally got around to remaking the Weird Pie, because Christmastime is a Time of Desserts among other things, and if not now, then when? It had occurred to me after making it the first time that this pie could work well as a pecan pie. Pecan pies are usually a pretty straightforwardly sweet kind of flavor to start with, and all the herby/spicy/coffee notes would play well with pecan. I've made rosemary pecan oatmeal cookies before, and those had a fun woodsy flavor, so I knew that part of the combination would work.

In the meantime, my pie crust game has gotten way better, to the point where I think I've got it down. (No vodka, but re-chilling the butter after slicing it very thin & before working it into the flour seems to make a big difference).

The result?



Not bad, actually. Someday I will be able to make that squiggly pie crust edge without messing it up, but that day is not today. The rest of the pecans are down in there, and they played about as well with the other flavors as I'd hoped.

I'd rather eat this pie than any other regular pecan pie, for sure. So success there.

But.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if I could get it to a point where I'd rather eat this pie than say, a blueberry pie. Maybe that's just not possible; maybe I just like fruit pies better on some deep level, and so anything based on this shoo-fly recipe is going to be lovely on its own terms, but not-quite-fruit-pie.

I wonder what adding dark chocolate chunks would do, though... probably something good.

I dunno, stay tuned, and in another eight freaking months, maybe I'll try it again with chocolate.

PS- Nate and I got super into the Great British Baking Show, and it gave me a lot of fun inspiration, but now I have a severe British voice in my head that critiques everything I cook. That part is less than great.

ETA (a couple days later) - after having this pie leftover for a couple days now, I think I was a little too hard on it. It's a damn good pie. I may even prefer it to a blueberry pie. Definitely to your standard grocery-store one, anyway.
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Over-Enthusiastic VR Christmas Guy [Dec. 5th, 2017|10:56 am]
Annie
wtf

It's that time of the year, and we've been getting a crap-ton of catalogues in the mail. I usually throw them into the recycling bin as I go back into the house, but this one I had to save to show to Nate.

Me: "Nate. Look at this guy. Just look at him."
Nate: "Aaand this was the moment I knew civilization was done."
Me: "I feel like science fiction writers have been warning us about this for decades."

***

Aside: now that I think about it, there have been lots of other moments this year that could qualify as "the moment we knew civilization was done," but let's consider Over-Enthusiastic VR Christmas Guy just another nail in that coffin.

Another aside: the first item I opened the catalogue to was a motorized necktie organizer. (Actually you know what, if I had a little robot that lived in my closet and picked out a non-embarrassing outfit for me every day, that would be rockin. The motorized necktie organizer looks nowhere near that useful though.)
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Fall Cooking [Oct. 26th, 2017|09:50 pm]
Annie
shimmery

Cinnamon, cloves and ginger. You can add them to bread, you can add them to cookies, pies, soups, curries, smoothies, baby food. In late October, NOTHING IS SAFE.
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Painty leSquirrel [Oct. 24th, 2017|12:27 pm]
Annie
voila

I made a note here that the feelings associated with spring and fall in Austin are flipped from what they are for most of the country, and it remains true. Fall is a time of beginnings and possibility here, a time when Austinites run outside to the parks, all giddy, because it isn't suffocatingly hot anymore!

I'm also putting way too much ginger and cloves into everything that I'm baking right now.
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Birdfolk Colors [Oct. 5th, 2017|01:08 pm]
Annie
kookoo

I grabbed a few images from the "Reference/Inspiration" folder on my hard drive, and used eyedropped colors from them to try out different color schemes.
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Surprised gremliny thing sketch [Sep. 23rd, 2017|02:20 pm]
Annie
bwuh

Lord I need to get back on the "painting 3d forms" wagon. Also the "color theory" wagon.

I need to straddle these two wagons, Van Damme style, and roar down the highway of... Art... this metaphor isn't really going where I thought it would.
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Wildermyth Trailer! [Sep. 20th, 2017|09:32 am]
Annie
[Tags|]

We've made a trailer for Wildermyth!


(let's see if this embed works)

This is my second-and-a-half foray into After Effects, which is to iMovie what Photoshop is to MS Paint (which is to say, overwhelming and scary and full of features that you know are cool but don't know the first thing about using).

Someday maybe I'll get good at video work, but for now, we lean on illustration. That's more true to the spirit of the game's art anyway.

Oh, and FYI the awesome song was written and performed by our composer, Candy, who can comment if she wants her name to link to anything.

Lots of other exciting Wildermyth art has been happening in preparation for the two conferences in the next three days (gulp). I could repost them all here, but I'm just going to give you the link to the Wildermyth post about it. Banners and t-shirts and gorgons, oh my.
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Pugtroll [Sep. 17th, 2017|09:59 pm]
Annie
urf

Pugtrolls are one of those creatures that everyone says they would love to have as a pet, but very few people actually do. Even though they are gentle giants, the amount of food required to feed these trolls doesn't fit within most people's budgets. And the amount of time required to clean up after them doesn't fit within most people's schedules.
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Drawn-Over Fingerpaints [Sep. 9th, 2017|10:35 am]
Annie
Ben likes to mess around with fingerpainting every so often, and sometimes it's fun to play a game where I try to find something to turn into a doodle within the blobs and splotches.

paint

paint

paint
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Foresty Critters [Aug. 21st, 2017|10:46 am]
Annie
squeak

Some creatures weren't intimidating enough to be Forest Guardian Spirits, but there were openings for Forest Public Relations Spirits and Forest Customer Service Spirits.
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Ben's Phone Conversation [Aug. 19th, 2017|01:20 pm]
Annie
hello

Ben likes to use one parent's cell phone to call the other parent and have (very limited) conversations. But sometimes he just likes to grab both phones and talk to himself.
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Notes From BabyTour 2017 [Aug. 11th, 2017|11:52 am]
Annie
We've been making a big diamond around the country, doing our "Get the Hell Out of Texas in the Summer" trip and double-purposing it as our "Oh God It's Been Nine Months and Most of Our Family Has Still Not Met the Baby" trip.

Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have all indeed been cooler (temperature-wise at least) than Austin, and it's great to see family and friends. We've started building a few parent friendships in Texas, but it's just not the same yet. For as much of an introvert as I can be, being around Our People is really recharging. These are people we can sit around and discuss the origins of morality with late into the night, people we can cook and bake with, talk about life plans with. You forget how great that is until you get to spend weeks with them.

Eleanor has been doing that thing where she wants to walk, but she can't yet, so she makes you bend over and hold her hands while she charges forward. We had a 3-hour layover in Chicago that turned into a 7-hour layover, and she wanted to do this on the moving sidewalks for a long time. My back and shoulders may never be the same. She's been babbling and giggling and crawling and generally charming the pants off of everybody we meet, though. I had forgotten how often strangers will stop you to tell you how cute your baby is. It's not bad.

Being in Cincinnati is always weird. Seeing my family is super sweet, since I don't make it back to see them nearly often enough, but since I spent my whole childhood there and practically none of my adulthood, there's this huge "memory gap" when I'm walking around. It's like that feeling when you've napped longer than you planned to, and when you wake up you have no idea what time it is.

Minneapolis is this siren who always calls to us in the summer with her beautiful weather and adorable gardens and art festivals and bikes and lakes. But you know that within a couple months, she's going to turn into this raging, oppressive beast made of ice and snow. If Nate and I ever became fancy-rich enough to buy a "summer home," we'd buy it in Minnesota, no question.

And then there's LA, which is so different aesthetically from the previous two cities. There are mountains covered in scrub and yellow grass, way less shade, way more stucco. Fashion trends and the film industry continue to scramble ferociously forward. The city feels a little bit less and less like home each time I visit, but the people we're there to see are as wonderful as ever.

We'll head home to a couple months of craziness, with Ben starting full-time preschool, a glut of smaller freelance projects for me, and two conventions for Wildermyth coming up in September, with the big push of work that that's going to require. I'll go back to racing over to my computer to get work done anytime both kids are occupied or asleep. Nate will go back to trying to cram as many working hours in during the day as he can, and we'll continue to figure out our life week by week.
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Naaaah. Nice thought, though. [Jul. 26th, 2017|04:09 pm]
Annie
chblooh

Although, I didn't end up getting sick that time around, go figure.
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A Good Outgroup [Jul. 11th, 2017|11:59 am]
Annie
At the Farmers' Market, a mom called to her kids that they could play five more minutes and then they were going to the "recycled book store." I was trying to figure out if she just meant Half Price Books or if this was some other cutesy Austin thing, and then the other mom with her jumped up. "Oh no! I spilled my kombucha!"

Oh no indeed.

* * *

At Costco, the lady was handing out samples of vegan chili.

"Thanks," I said.

"And it's got ZERO chemicals in it!" she said. "None. At all. Literally."

Literally no chemicals? Is that so? 'Cause I was gonna let it go with a "we both know that by 'chemicals,' we actually mean like, 'preservatives' and not 'all chemicals.'" But then you HAD to go and tack that literally onto it, and now I hate you a tiny bit.

I didn't give her crap about it though, because a.) Eleanor really liked the chili, b.) she's a nice person who is handing out free food at Costco, and c.) I'm terrible at confrontation and probably would have tripped over my clever comeback and then run off to sulk in the paper towel aisle.

* * *

Did you know they'll try to sell you kimchi for like $10 for a little jar? I've seen this price at two different places.

You know what kimchi is? It's mostly just cabbage, salt, chili powder, and time. And the time is probably the most valuable of all those ingredients.

If you ever get a hankering for kimchi, don't pay ten dollars for a jar. Ask me and I'll freaking make you some. I've started again for the first time after the pregnancy, and mine tastes better than the sample I tried of the pricey stuff.

* * *

Did you know they'll also try to sell you something called "kimchi shots?" This is an even littler jar of what I assume is the leftover brine from the kimchi. I checked out the size, and it's even more expensive by volume.

This is a product that exists.

* * *

And it's funny, because these things infuriate me way more than say, a product like this does. The tater chips are probably for people who are so unlike me that I shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, whatever makes you happy." But the kimchi shots will probably be bought by people whose values and habits are close enough to mine that I feel compelled to shake them by the shoulders and go, "What are you THINKING? STOP. PUT THAT SHIT DOWN RIGHT NOW and go make your own kimchi like a REAL hippie, come on."

There's an essay I like about this phenomenon:

"Outgroups are rarely literally 'the group most different from you,' and in fact far more likely to be groups very similar to you sharing almost all your characteristics and living in the same area."

It's super long, but worth the read.
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Hoppin House Folks [Jul. 7th, 2017|10:32 am]
Annie
hophophop

Sometimes I take the kids to an indoor-bouncy-place called Hoppin' House. I can bring my laptop, and there's free wifi and tables. It's a pretty sweet deal.

I got a couple Illustrator-touchpad-"sketches" of fellow parents in before Eleanor woke up from her nap and refused to let me do any more.
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Nonspecific Sauropod [Jul. 5th, 2017|10:18 am]
Annie
whump
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