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Hello, Livejournal

Man, I miss this place. :(

I blog vaguely regularly over on http://www.reaperfox.com, and I have a Tumblr, and a Twitter, and a Facebook account, of course, but none of them are like Livejournal was. Proper conversation, communities, discussions. Silly icon battles. Actual threaded conversations!

I really miss this old place.

Bridport Hat Festival!

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Yesterday, I was invited along to Bridport Hat Festival by my friend Sarah who went a few years ago and enjoyed it! I had a free day and figured it'd be a fun, different day out, so we dragged Luke along too and made a day of it.

The festival was pretty cute and quintessentially English - full of quirky eccentric people parading all manner of headgear, from store bought Santa hats to fully home-crafted towering pieces of art. There were competitions for best hat, of course, and talks and exhibitions. There was a regular market selling all sorts of vintage and second hand things, and a separate hat market featuring, well, lots of independently crafted hats for sale.

The event was nice and cozy but sadly it ended pretty promptly and earlier than we expected - while the schedule looked really packed full of things to do through 'till night, we actually found ourselves at a loss after lunch and realised most of the crowds had dispersed and the live music was packing up. By 3 pretty much everything was over, so we looked around the town (where I managed to buy four new books in Waterstones!) and headed over to a pub called The Bull, which was hosting a 'Cocktails & "Fascinators' party - basically a cozy pop up tequila bar offering specially 'hat' themed tequila based cocktails! I had a 'Milliner's Mule'.

Oh, and the books I picked up were 'Popular' by Maya Van Wagenen, 'The Maze Runner' by James Dashner, 'Timeriders' by Alex Scarrow and 'Knife Edge' by Malorie Blackman - I'm on a bit of a Young Adult kick, can you tell?

<<< this post was originally uploaded to www.reaperfox.com ! >>>

Mahoosive update from my blog!

Apparently LJ's getting a bit of a revival? Man, I hope so. I never liked Tumblr for actual conversation and having my own blog is nice and all, but this place is where community is. Is anyone still reading?? Hi, if you are!

Here's some stuff from my blog lately if you're interested in that sorta thang~



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I found some new (oldschool!) MLP stationary in Wilco!

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And I drew some new art! Featuring Gnar and a Poro from League of Legends, because cuties!

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My review thingie about the first Doctor Who episode of Season 8 - Deep Breath!

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I went to the Great Dorset Steam Fair!

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I also went to BUCK!

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I wrote a little Tribute to Robin Williams.

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And Moose and I went to 'Digital Revolution' in London!

I'm posting this here because it's the only place I trust spoiler cuts! This probably isn't anything, but I thought it was quite interesting so here goes... Spoilers for the latest two episodes of Doctor Who!

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Oh, and you guys can read my (spoilery) review thingie about last week's episode Deep Breath here on my blog!

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RSS Feed! <3

I still want to post here and I don't think I'll ever let my LJ truly die, but since I do take so long between collecting updates from my blog, I wanted to point out to everyone that I've just set up an RSS feed on LJ for my www.reaperfox.com blog :) It's where I do most of my updating now, and while I DO intend on crossposting everything here, sometimes it takes a very long time and other times I just plain forget, ahem ;_;

So, without further ado!


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Please friend that and you *should* get a direct feed from my other blog. Also, well, it's on Bloglovin' if you use that. And if not? Well, I WILL post stuff here eventually, when I remember to ¬_¬

Marker Card Commissions - batch #1!

I've been creating marker cards to sell on Etsy and lately I've been fortunate enough to take some private commissions for them, too! Here's a batch of cards I've created for some lovely people online! Most of them have been sent off now to their new homes now, but if anyone's interested in one themselves, please do take a peek at this blog post about them! :) Enjoy!












This entry was originally posted on www.reaperfox.com !

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Why I Love Team Fortress 2!

Story time! I'll warn you though, it's a love story, and not just about how much I love this silly, bloody game.
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Team Fortress 2. It's an FPS (First Person Shooter) game on the PC. It's by Valve, aka the Steam Guys or the Half Life Guys or the Portal Guys and it's really, really good.

Growing up, I was never a PC gamer. I had consoles. I had - have - a lot of consoles. I grew up alternating between Sonic and Mario and never truly engaged in the ridiculous console wars of the 1990s. My first PC game of any merit was Sim City 2000, but the PC was always something for work or, later, the internet, and never really for gaming.

I confess, I hated PC gaming.

I hated the constant upgrades needed to stay relevant. I hated how difficult things were, back then, to run. I hated that you had to install things and change settings to suit your machine. Heck, even on the old Amstrad we had when I was super young, all you had to do was type "run disk" and bam!, you were gaming. PC gaming was a dumb chore and I just never really cared to look into it.

Until TF2.

Valve are an amazing company who go all out when they're pushing one of their games, and TF2 of course was no exception. They released videos introducing us to the characters in TF2, which were gorgeous, fully animated shorts. I stumbled across one for the Sniper, and let's just say I was in love!
 
I realised they'd released a few other videos for the characters, but I kept replaying this one over and over. The humour was perfect, the animation was just perfect and I was just absolutely hooked. I had to try out this game! It suddenly didn't matter that I'd never liked any FPS, or that it was a, ugh, PC game - I had to have it! So, that Christmas I had one thing and one thing only on my wish-list. A new PC. A computer capable of, I dunno, handling video games maybe?
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Yep, on Christmas Day, I had purchased The Orange Box (the set of Valve games that TF2 was released with) and by mid afternoon I was downloading it. By Christmas evening, I was playing on an empty server with some friends who already owned it. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was in love.

TF2 became my go-to game. It was simple to pick up, as difficult as you wanted it to be and downright fun to be a part of. We explored the servers together and spent far too long on novelty maps like Balloon Race, Convoy and Mario Kart.

Eventually, we stumbled across a server on Wireplay called ctf_vikings, and sure enough the map lived up to its name. Two giant Viking ships formed most of the play area, with planks between the two of them, giant canons that launched you into the sky and a killer fish in the sea. It was dumb and kind of (very) ugly, but there was a community there of regulars who chatted across the teams and it became my nightly hangout - pretty soon I was as regular as any of 'em.
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It's funny really, back then I was so unsure of myself with online gaming. I really didn't play games online so the community aspect was something new and exciting to me. I was happy to meet people and chat to everybody on Vikings by typing, but I was well aware of how dumb the internet can be to 'omg gurl gamers' and wanted to avoid that nonsense like the plague. I wanted people to become my friend because they liked me, for me, and not because I was a girl. For weeks, I was a regular on Vikings, helped form our "not a clan!", the PoA (Pantheon of Awesome), and got really friendly with a bunch of people there, but I never confessed I was a girl. I never lied or mislead anybody, it wasn't a purposeful thing. It just didn't come up, really, and I wasn't going to announce it unprovoked. It was, as far as I was concerned, irrelevant. These guys were my buddies. We killed each other and ate virtual sandwiches together. It was great.

Eventually, I was chatting to one of my American friends from Vikings and it just came up that I was maybe kinda actually sort of a girl, and he was absolutely gobsmacked. Gobsmacked, but otherwise unperturbed! I realised then that the reason I'd taken such a shine to the regulars on Vikings was because they, for the most part, actually weren't idiots. We were friends. Maybe only virtual ones who had a friendship formed out of murder and intel capping, sure, but friends nonetheless. The PoA was a Pantheon of Awesome, after all. I 'came out' to the server, that night, by using my voice for the very first time in mic chat. After the initial "a girl on the internet??" joking, everyone settled down and resumed bloody murder. It was perfect.

Vikings became my virtual hang out spot. It was the place I'd spend my evenings when I couldn't be with my IRL friends (most of whom played TF2 with me now, anyway!) Some evenings it really was more a virtual chat room than a shooting game, but it was always daft and fun. Vikings would be the place we'd go when the game had a fun new update, the place we'd try out new weapons and techniques. Sure, we'd go to other servers together, but Vikings was the place we all called 'home'.

And the reason TF2, and especially ctf_vikings, is especially special to me? Well, it's where I met the guy I'm kind of crazy about right now. Somewhen in early 2009, though I don't remember first noticing him, a guy called Cauldron Moose! joined the server. He was an old time regular, apparently, and tells me fondly that the first thing he ever heard me say was "Since when did this become a Sniper pissing contest?" - which is every bit as romantic and fitting as I'd like it to be.

We ended up playing together every night, just like all the regulars, really. When May Expo (London Comic Con) came around, I suggested that he and our other Vikings buddy Wrath should come along and check it out. I think I was cosplaying as the Sniper when Moose turned up, as you do at this sort of convention. The second I saw him, my heart did a little embarrassed flutter, but he was a fair bit younger than me and I was just being daft, so I brushed it off.

In August, we arranged a mini Vikings meetup when a Dutch player came along to London for a short holiday. Truth be told, I think he came over because he had a thing for me, but honestly by that point I only had eyes for Moose. By then, we were chatting every single night, texting each other and staying up until the birds started chirping. We met up again at Expo in October, and again I realised I was nuts about this guy. It was painful! It was this absolutely dumb, pointless infatuation, because there was no way this young, handsome guy would be interested in some older girl he met on TF2, right?
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Wrong! Be still my beating heart, in January 2010 Moose suggested he should come visit me (after numerous hints on the subject!) so we arranged a day in Bath to hang out and I went there with my heart on my sleeve, forcing myself to treat this as 'just a friendly meetup' while desperately hoping it would be anything but.

I was terrified. To quote my old Livejournal entry on the subject:
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Well, long story short, it was a date. We went to see Book of Eli (awful movie) and mooched around Bath and I spent the rest of the year feeling like the cat that got the cream.

Four and a half years on and we're still together, still rocking the long distance relationship sadly but still gaming together and enjoying each other's company every day. He's the guy I want my future with, someone I just want to share my life with. We've already made some killer memories together, and I aim for so many more, and it absolutely blows my mind that I'd not have even met him had it not been for TF2.

The PoA doesn't really exist anymore, but a bunch of us still hang out every night on Teamspeak, where we all play Wildstar or League of Legends or Minecraft or Starbound together.

And TF2, of course. The game has changed monumentally since I started playing it, with new game modes, weapons and ridiculous cosmetics that ruined the graphical theme goddamn it (rant for another time, man), but Vikings is still there, and we still play there from time to time.

To so many people, TF2 is just a daft 'hat simulator', a cartoony FPS that doesn't take itself seriously. It changed the world for me, though. It got me into online gaming, gave me some wonderful friends and introduced me to the love of my life.
And all because of an Australian crazed gunman assassin.
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Thanks, Valve! I owe ya <3



This entry was originally posted on www.reaperfox.com !

MASSIVE crosspost summary!

Hello hello! Sorry I've been so neglectful here. I actually read my flist every day as I use LJ as my main rss reader, but I so rarely remember to reblog the posts I make to my website (www.reaperfox.com). Here's some recap for anyone interested! I want my website to be my main blogging platform but I do love LJ so I'll try and cross-post as much as I can (when I remember ¬_¬) I'll probably do some more recap stuff later to just get everything in one place, but from now on whenever I make a new post, I'll crosspost it here instantly so there won't be a backlog.

Anyway! without further ado!:

Makin' Merch - 30th April - lots of photos of my new convention stock!
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My table at DevCon
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June 6th - lots of table photos and convention recap!
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Bristol Comic Expo recap!
- 14th May - just a convention report really!
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Wildstar is dead! Long live Wildstar! </a>- May 18th - showing off my Wildstar beta characters just before the beta closed for good!
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London Comic Con (MCM Expo) recap! - June 2nd - cosplay (including my own!), convention recap and some shots of Canary Wharf :)
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Fun in the Sun - Birthday BBQ! - June 16th - slice of life, and talking about some new games I'd never played before!
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BEDA! Hello :)

Hey guys!
I AM (kind of mostly) partaking in BEDA this year, but I wanted to try and generate some views on my website, so I've been mainly doing it there. (cough cough www.reaperfox.com)

However, I always intended of reblogging everything over here on LJ due to my FAITHFUL LOYALTY to this site. but I'm behind because sadly copypasting entries is actually a bit of a faff, I wish there was an auto repost function or something but never mind! I'll go the extra mile for Livejournal!

So, I'm going to do a bit of a catch up now! I won't spam ya'll too much, promise!

First day of BEDA - it's April already!??

April is a pretty relaxed month of convention prep for me. My entire 'convention season' seems to fall in May (three cons, one month, Fox only, Final Destination), so I usually try to spend April making art, printing art and packing art! Of course, I am the queen of procrastination, so I usually don't do any of this until a week before a convention, and the end result is a lot of stressful all-nighters. But in theory I use April to calmly catch up on everything.

This year, my Brother printer forced me to rethink my usual plan of procrastination. It packed in last week, with a problem my previous Brother printer had, so I figured I'd finally blow the budget on a decent printer built for my (thankfully growing) needs. My new Epson R2000 is professional, fast and, so far, perfect. With it, I ordered paper, spare inks and a plethora of jewellery findings and goodies for my convention tables and Etsy store. I've ordered bags and card for prints, business cards and a new card display stand for a range of A6 'postcard' prints I'll be selling... gotta say, I feel totally on the ball!


Oh, yes! Speaking of Etsy - I have an Etsy! I looked into Etsy a million years ago, but was put off by the listing fee and the fact they take a percentage of what you sell. I wrote it off for years, until I decided I'd finally give it a go last month. It's been awesome! I've become addicted to checking the dashboard for stats on my shop, because it lists people's search results and I seem to attract a lot of people searching for 'Booker DeWitt', which would be great if I had more than one (crossover parody!) Bioshock print for sale!
 

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Adventures in Nerdy Jewellery

I love selling art at conventions, but I'm constantly jealous of all the wonderful crafters out there who can make nerdy jewellery and clothing for others to enjoy. I've wanted to start creating charms and jewellery for ages, but honestly, I'm really not all that crafty at all! I can't sew to save my life, so even the few cosplays I've created tend to just be very basic adaptations of regular clothing or store bought outfits. I've dabbled in Fimo and Sculpey, but never stuck with it all that much, despite making a cute little Poro recently for Valentines Day.

Still, I found some clear cabachons in a local craft store and thought I'd finally give it a go! I ordered a ton of findings, chains and glue after researching a whole day on what best to use and how. Today, the postman came to the door with a sack full of goodies for me, so I finally set to work! This was the result!

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So, I'm primarily a digital artist, but sometimes I just want to break out the watercolours and markers and go crazy with real media. The lack of 'undo' is constantly terrifying, but the satisfaction of having an original piece of art absolutely makes up for all the stress! Finding a reason to draw something in real media is often difficult, though - I'm usually too busy at conventions to offer commissions at the con, and any commissions I take online tend to be digital.

And then I discovered Art Cards! There are two sorts very popular with artists at the moment, and both are hitting the convention scene with great success. ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals) are tiny 2.5" x 3" trading card sized pieces of art. I first discovered them after seeing the lovely Anastasia's table at Exeter Comic Con last year. She had a binder with pages and pages of wonderful cards, themed after her favourite games and movies and shows. She showed me the ropes and I love the challenge of drawing on such a tiny canvas.

A lot of artists, especially fanartists, are also turning to larger A6 'sketch cards' or 'marker cards'. I think the fabulous Karen Hallion probably had something to do with that! I decided to give it a go myself, as an excuse to keep the real media flowing between digital work! I'm also using it as an excuse to draw lots of things I love but just haven't found time to draw yet! Expect a lot of Disney, I'm sure. :)

Here's my very first batch of A6 marker cards!
Twilight and Stitch sold already but the other three can be found over on my Etsy! I'm hoping to have a huge batch available before the convention rush in May. They're kind of totally addictive!

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I'll continue to update here of course, but you can find more posts and other nonsense over on my website blog place make go www.reaperfox.com :)

Life in Instagram

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Watching Call the Midwife with a cheeky glass of Babycham - 'Happy Days' in Bristol with mum - my silver bracelet
Spring has sprung! - Bath Abbey - 'Vintage Life', a new favourite read in a bubble bath!

I'm trying to get into a blogging habit here, but it's difficult! I spend so long on other social media outlets, it feels like I've already said it all on Twitter or Facebook. But when I spend so long looking at other beautiful blogs, I just know I have to keep this going. Someday I want to look back at this online diary and marvel at the memories.

Similarly, I've been trying to use Instagram a little more. It's a fun little way to document the smaller moments. Life's not always big holidays and grand adventures. Sometimes life is as simple and lovely as a glass of Babycham in a vintage glass.

Originally posted on www.reaperfox.com!
 

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