Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Christmas Sock Exchange

   Just a quick note to anyone interested: I'm hosting a Christmas sock exchange on A Blackbird's Epiphany - it's like a Secret Santa but simpler: buy a pair of Christmas socks and fill one of them with simple Christmas goodies (sweets, tiny gifts, etc) to a rough value of about £10/$15 and send it to your assigned partner. You'll get one in return and it's open worldwide so anyone can participate. You can read more about it here.
   The deadline for sign-ups is October 24th, then there will be a 1 week drop-out period where you can change your mind, but as of November 1st, anyone who has signed up and not dropped out is obligated to participate, and all socks must be posted by November 21st to try to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.
   It's open to anyone, blogger or not, and even if you are a blogger you're not obligated to blog about it.

WoW-Specific Participation Option

   I was considering doing a WoW-specific one but I'm not sure if there would be enough interest among you all or not so I've not bothered. However, if you sign up, let me know if you're a WoW player and if you'd prefer to be partnered with someone similar and I can make a little WoW sub-group. People aren't paired up like 1-2, 2-1, 3-4, 4-3, they're assigned along a line so the person you're sending to isn't the person who is sending to you. It also means that if there's an odd number of participants, no one has to miss out. However, as a WoW player myself (obviously), if only one of you is interested in a WoW-specific partner I can just pair the two of us up instead.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Legion Collector's Edition Mount & Pet

   The mount and pet for the Legion Collector's Edition were revealed last night, and they're awesome! The Illidari Felstalker and Nibbles will presumably be a part of both the physical and digital collector's editions of the expansion.

   I'm not so keen on the colour of the armour on the mount simply because it clashes a little bit, but it's still a great mount. I prefer to assign mounts and pets to characters so that they ride something relevant, and though Spinegrinder has been a little bit neglected lately (read: last two expanions), this is a brilliant Warlock mount! Yay!!

   Will you get the CE for this? Were you anyway? Or do you not like it at all?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Illidan's Return

   Illidan. He's my favourite. But so is Arthas. I never could decide between the two of them. I think Arthas probably wins because I know more about him and he's my favourite kind of villain, one who has been misled and one you can pity, one whose death makes you cry, but Illidan is a very close second. So I was so excited when I saw the announcement stream on Thursday.
   And then I thought about it.
   No, I don't recall Illidan actually dying in Black Temple, and his return has been speculated for some time, but the problem is that, when villains return, they're never as good as they were. Either they get right back to work trying to do what they were in the first place, in which case the villain's motive is old news, Or they're trying to do something else and it just feels forced. Villains returning from the dead or imprisonment rarely works. Illidan has had his time, he was awesome, he is a legend, but it's over.

   Seeg used to be a role player, and something he said to me a long time ago has stuck with me quite solidly because it's something I took to heart as a dying-to-be-published writer. "You have to respect your characters enough to let them die."
   Illidan was loved by so many, and no, he didn't die, so why can't he come back? But he's not going to be as awesome as he was before. Don't misunderstand me, I wouldn't mind being proven wrong at all, but odds are that his return will ruin his previous image. I really hope not.
   Arthas and Deathwing, both grand villains, were allowed to die. Arthas was misled and Deathwing had gone stark raving mad and beyond any hope of saving. Illidan seems to me to be in the middle. He's been misled, but he's also aware of what he's doing. He knows what he is, and he's fine with it. He could still be saved, but the trouble was that he was promised greatness since he was a child and that idea understandably rooted itself in him. That makes him extremely interesting as both a villain and a three-dimensional character, but his time has come and gone. I'm not really sure how this could work out well for him.

   I don't know. I thought I had a clear idea on how I felt about it, but writing this post has made me realise that I don't have a clue.
   I'm happy to see him again.
   I don't want him to come back and ruin what he was.

   But how about those demon hunters, eh?

Monday, 10 August 2015

Coming Back

   It's been ages. I think I was a bit of an idiot restricting myself to WoW on this blog - I made it in an effort to spare my readers on my leading blog so they didn't have to read about all my nerdiness. I realise now that it shouldn't matter, because my blog is my little space on the internet and I should be able to blog however I want, but nevermind.
   I'm keeping The Wyvern's Tail, but I'm going to expand it to general nerdiness - any games I care to mention, any fantasy-based nonsense and so on, because limiting it to WoW is why it went so quiet.

   I've been really, really busy. You may have seen me tweet from WoW once or twice, another effort to save my readers from my nerdiness by having two accounts, so I have still been playing - in fact my subscription hasn't run dry in about 6 months - but I've not had anything to say, unless people want to read about every achievement I get. I don't raid, I don't PvP - I barely even go into dungeons, so unless I do something unusual or something WoW-based outside of the game like crafts, I've had little to say.
   I do want to get Atherya's diary started up again but I'm currently working on my book - I've finished writing it and I'm now on the long task of revising it before submitting it to agents - and any time I have to write I put into that instead. I've got my next book planned out and I'm keen to get started on that, too, but my current book takes priority.

   I mentioned some time ago about an art exhibit I was asked to do, and after a year and a half of work, it went up in the gallery about three weeks ago. Apparently a few pieces sold in the first few hours - mental! I was really concerned about the exhibit. I'd spent so long working on it that it wasn't until two weeks before setting up I truly realised it was happening, and it was only on the way to the centre that I started getting shaky. I was so nervous! But I met some wonderful people while I was there and then had a giant coronation chicken sandwich. It's the little things, I assure you. If anyone is interested, you can read more about the exhibit on my main blog.

   I intend to get this blog fired up again. It won't be limited to WoW, though I expect that will still dominate it, and I'm hoping to get a new header put together with the new character models at long last, too. So...until I blog again, I suppose!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

WCC: World of Warcraft Shadow Box

   I sort of inadvertantly abandoned my WoW Crafting Challenge just over a year ago; I took a break because 2013's Christmas sales (this blog is that old?) were taking up too much of my time to be able to maintain it, and the same went for Atherya's diary. I had intended fully to come back to both of them, but...I suppose I got used to just not doing it. The time got filled in with other things.
   I did manage to get a couple of things up last year, but they were things I'd already started work on before going on the hiatus, so nothing new really happened.
   I'd like to try to return to the challenge, but the truth is that I'm feeling a bit burnt out with crafting after the Christmas just passed, not to mention the fact that, while I can still come up with a few other mediums I've not used yet, I can't seem to get excited about doing it. I do have some diary entries for Atherya backed up, but I've been hesitant to post them because I don't want to start and then abruptly stop again, you know? I'd rather try to get back into consistant posting.

   Anyway, I dug out an old piece that never made it up last year, in part because it was never finished. A friend of mine in the US makes wonderful watercolour shadowboxes, and I fancied trying my hand at one. She uses nature as her subject and she's very good at it, and she's also helped me a little with making this piece.
   My skill with drawing and paints don't have a chance in hell of meeting Connie's, but I think I got quite lucky with both my Night Elf and my Orc. I admit that I cheated with the background, though. I knew I couldn't create enough to fill a background, and I wanted it to be set in Ashenvale because it's one of my favourite zones, so I may have taken a screen shot of a clearing in Ashenvale and printed it out... It printed quite poorly, though. But honestly, I promise that I did try to paint the background. I wasted much paper and many paint in my numerous attempts, and in the end I had to admit defeat to that aspect, and to compensate I made the tree roots larger than I wanted to (clearly my tree-making skills are epic).
   But the two figures are the main focus, and I'm really pleased with their outcome. I drew them A4 size initially, then scanned them into the PC and printed them much smaller so I had several line drawings to work with in case I messed up the watercolour, but I surprised myself. The Orc's shading leaves a lot to be desired, but I was content to settle on it. They were a nightmare to cut out, too.

   I think there could be a little more in there, like something treeish in the top right corner. I can't think what it could possibly be, and now I look at it, I remember that that was actually what stopped me from finishing it early last year. I decided yesterday, though, to just put together what I had, knowing it would only remain unfinished otherwise. Besides, if I really want to fill that top corner, I can still fix something in place easily enough by gluing the tab to the wood rather than slotting the tab into the background.
   I also can't decide if the window lid thing should be removed or not. The plastic window isn't as clear or crisp as it could be, and the frame around it - the thinnest one I could find - casts too much shadow into the box. I suppose that should be fine because Ashenvale isn't exactly the brightest of places, but the excessive wooden colouring around the edges of the box sort of creates too much of a contrast...buuuut it also forces you to view the contents head-on rather than from an angle which hides the wooden surfaces inside and adds a bit more depth...I really haven't got a clue.

   But I am happy with the outcome.
   It's made from a simple wooden window box, cardboard and paint, but because they're so long, the tabs from which the Orc and Night Elf are suspended have been reinforced with jewellery wire - you use what you have, really :P
   Like I said, I used a screenshot for the background, and I drew the Orc and Night Elf out on a full sheet of paper before scanning them in, cleaning up the lines and printing them far smaller. I used watercolour paints to colour them and I'm quite pleased with that, though the Orc could do with more shading. The tree was hard as hell to paint, I don't do well with purples for some reason, but I'm happy enough with it, and then it was just a case of folding cardboard tabs to go behind each piece, though the grass just have folded bases.

   To be honest it really wasn't a trial to make, it was a harder job just finding a box the right size and getting the drawings right. If there were enough takers I'd LOOOOVE to do a shadowbox competition, maybe just to make a scene - any scene - to any location in the game and use a screenshot for the background as I did.
   The trouble with arts and crafts, however, is that people get quite paranoid about their skill rather than just having some fun with it, and end up not trying. All of my friends are like that. I'm not the only creative one out of my tiny little group, but I am the only one that does anything with it, while the rest look at it and say "I wish I could do that" but have never once tried, and probably won't, either.
   A crafting competition has been on my mind for a while, if I'm honest, even while I haven't been blogging - the idea actually occurred to me when I started the crafting challenge in 2013, but like I said I'm not sure that anyone would be willing to participate, and I'd need some pretty great prizes for the work that would be put in. Just what they'd be, I don't know.

   Well, if anyone thinks they'd be interested in participating in a crafting competition, or a shadow box competition, please do let me know. I might put a more detailed post together about where to find materials and a step-by-step how-to. With a shadow box all you really need to buy is the box itself, the rest is just paper, a printer, and paints/pens/pencils, so it's actually a cheap option.
   I'm going to be quiet now, because this idea is growing on me big time and I don't want to go getting my hopes up. I might make a how-to for a shadowbox anyway, maybe put it up here or on my other blog, so at least if anyone is interested they can have a look.