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Annie

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The Things You Learn About Yourself [Apr. 18th, 2018|09:54 am]
Annie
Sometimes you wonder, "If I really let loose, like didn't stifle it at all, what kind of a scream would I make?"

And the moment when you go to dispose of a massive dead roach, and suddenly the roach is not as dead as you thought it was and now it's trying to give your fingers a hug—that's the moment you learn the answer to that question.

Nate wasn't home to hear it, but I did scare the hell out of the cat.
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Wildflife Magic [Apr. 11th, 2018|11:31 am]
Annie
Nate and I were talking about a fantasy setting in which people would attract different kinds of wildlife to their property to gain some low level magic.

Birdfeeders would bring Bird Magic, which could be either musical talent, or having news find its way to you more easily.

Squirrel Magic would mean that you didn't lose items as often, and they'd always turn up again more quickly when you did.

Cat Magic would make your enemies unlucky on your turf, or maybe you'd always squeak by unharmed in situations where you really shouldn't have.

I don't know what Raccoon Magic would be, but it sounds like it would seem lame at first, but turn out to be surprisingly powerful.

Bear Magic is only something you'd try for after years of experience. Physical power would come easily to you, but if you couldn't control it well enough, you'd just turn violent.

We figured Dog Magic would probably make people be more friendly and outgoing with you, then we realized that Dog Magic is already kind of a real thing.
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Thought of the Day: Currently In Use [Mar. 28th, 2018|07:23 pm]
Annie
My computer likes to bug me to install updates. Every day until I do the update, it gives me a message at some point:

"There are applications currently in use that are blocking updates from happening."

Yes, there are. Because I am using them. Currently. And I don't want to stop what I'm doing, shut everything down, wait for you to update, then restart them again.

Updates are cool, it's just that every time I'm at my computer to see the update message, it means that I'm in the middle of doing something. Somebody has surely made computers that have an option to do updates "the next time you restart" or whatever, right?
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beet-rat [Mar. 27th, 2018|02:36 pm]
Annie
beet

I cut the stringy root-bottom off a beet one day, and it fell onto the floor. And then I forgot about it until an hour later, when I noticed it and my brain had to do this whole like four-step process of not freaking out and thinking it was an animal part that Baxter had brought in.
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The Garden, Year 2 : Back for More [Mar. 17th, 2018|08:58 pm]
Annie
The garden beds are getting another go-round this year. The mint, oregano, and rosemary made it through the winter and are our senior plants this year. I assume they organize meet-and-greets for the new plants, dispense wisdom, and talk behind everyone else's back about how things were better back in the day. Thyme and sage have joined the herb section this year, and while the thyme has been integrating well, the sage sits around hating the world but refusing to die because I dunno, I guess it enjoys being miserable. I've never known how to keep sage happy.

Last year I dropped stupid cash on the fancy soil, and when I went back this year to ask about mulch, the guy was like, "Oh, but you bought the Happy Frog soil last year?"

"Yeah."

"Well you shouldn't need mulch then. As long as you kept feeding the soil all year."

"..."

"You fed it with the molasses. Right?"

"...Oh. Yeaahhhh. Yup."

"Great, well then that'll hold the water and you won't need mulch."

"Uh... awesome. Then. Thanks."

(I have not fed it shit. Though honestly, this soil + the compost is already so much better than anything else I've worked with, I have a feeling it'll be fine if I don't shell out another fifty bucks for replacement stuff.)

I got some Swiss Chard in early, and it's been pretty low-maintenance so far. Chard is nice to have around—I don't like making a whole salad out of it like I would with say, spinach, but it's convenient when I want greens to add to a pasta dish, stir fry, or soup. And when I start to notice that the heat is too much and it's done for the year, i can harvest the whole things and sauté them down to a manageable volume.

I also picked up some beet seeds and threw them into a couple of the beds back when I put in the chard. And like, I like beets. But I didn't expect as many of these things to germinate as they did. And now I'm morally obligated to keep these dozens of beet seedlings alive, until such time as they produce beets and then I have no idea what to do with fifty beets.

I've made a grave error here.

(ETA: pickling beets could be a thing?? I am saddened to learn that the awesome pink pickled vegetables we used to get at Zankou Chicken in LA were actually turnips with beet juice added, but I bet pickled beets would be cool too.)

And then there are the headliners, the prima donnas: the tomatoes. Despite my complaints last year about tomatoes being damn dirty heartbreakers, apparently I decided they were worth it on the whole, since we've got another half-dozen plants this year. The memories of the "Purple Cherokee" heirloom tomato loomed so strongly in my mind that I got two of them this year instead of one. And then we've got three little varieties (since they're hardier in general) and one "Brandywine" heirloom, which is a long shot, but if successful, will make giant pink tomatoes that are the stuff dreams are made of. And the plants were all like two bucks each, so even if they all bomb, oh well boo hoo try again next year.

I don't think they'll all bomb though. Not least because I learned some things last year that I plan to put into practice:

1.) Cage these suckers earlier than you think you need to, and keep them on the straight and narrow. I thought I was on my caging game last year, but everything still ended up sprawling into the grass where it was much more likely to get eaten by critters.

2.) Speaking of critters, I'll be on the lookout for baby stinkbug broods and will be much more ruthless about killing them. My "knock them into soapy water" ninja technique has improved since last year.

3.) Be consistent about watering. Tomatoes complain about that kind of thing emphatically, in the form of cracked fruit.

4.) Be proactive about making fried green tomatoes with the unfortunate souls who aren't going to make it to ripeness.

All this being said, they'll probably fall prey to aphids (ugggghhh aaaapphhiiids) or some disease I haven't heard of yet, but maybe we'll get a few edibles out of them before they do.
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Clowns [Mar. 4th, 2018|08:57 am]
Annie
I'm filling out a survey about Ben's vocabulary, and they're asking about different types of characters/people/costumes. I google-imaged "cowboy" to see if Ben knew what it was. He didn't, he guessed fireman, which was kinda interesting (I dunno, we just haven't shown him cowboys I guess. He can tell you a bunch of obscure Mario characters though.)

And then I google-imaged "clown."

Holy shit, guys.

Do not recommend that.

Our culture has apparently decided that there is no such thing as a friendly clown anymore, and I may as well have searched for "unspeakable horror" or "nightmare fuel" directly.

(Ben didn't know what the clown was either, when I finally found one that wasn't terrifying. He just said it was a guy holding balloons.)
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Thought of the Day - Oven [Feb. 28th, 2018|11:23 am]
Annie
Our oven is pretty new, since we bought it when we moved into our current house, and apparently a Thing with newer appliances is they all like to make lots of little beeps and chimes and dings. Our oven has a few different "songs" that it sings. One for when the timer goes off, one for when the door has been open too long while it's heating, and one for when it's finished preheating, among others. It's like a Disney character, willing to bust out a whole musical number for any situation.

When it's preheated, it accompanies its little song with some blinking of the oven light. So you've got a happy "Beedle-BEE be-DEE be-DEE!" and flash, flash, flash, and it's adorable because the oven is just so proud of itself.

I've never tried the self-cleaning function, but I bet it loses its damn mind with glee when it gets a chance to pull that task off.
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How Now [Feb. 27th, 2018|10:32 am]
Annie
moooo

I was whipping up some livestock pngs for Wildermyth, and I like this cow a lot, but she turned out to be not quite "wild" enough. I think the game's cattle will end up looking more like those shaggy Scottish ones.

But I wanted to give her a home here anyway.
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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.

background
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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