Friday, August 23, 2013

New Bookmarks, or Maybe Not?

Every year, for the last several years, I have made a set of 10 Sailor Moon bookmarks to match Anime USA's theme. This is the result from some of the previous themes:

2010--Arabian Nights
 2011--Military (I went with plugsuits)
2012--Vaudeville/Carnivale Cabaret

This year their theme is medieval Japan. The thing is... I'm not going to be at Anime USA this year (this will actually be the first year I have not been at AUSA since 2008). My question is: should I draw the set of Sailor Moon geisha bookmarks, or take a year off? I love the ideas of designing kimonos for each of the girls (and maybe putting Tuxedo Mask in medieval samurai armor). Of course, I've already got an incredibly long list of ideas and things I want to draw, so maybe taking some time off might be good.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Zoo Trips

Some of you may have noticed that I post "Zoo Day" a lot on Twitter, or if you follow my personal Facebook. We have been going to the NC Zoo every week since July 3. Why? Ty (my 12 year old) is working on his Reptile & Amphibian badge. He finished most of the requirements (all but one) at summer camp back in June. The one requirement left? He had 2 choices. 1) Get a reptile or amphibian pet. Observe it for 30 days. Or. 2) Visit a zoo once a week for 3 months. Pick a reptile or amphibian exhibit and observe it at each visit and note changes, behaviors, etc.

At first we seriously considered #1. But as we have cats and nothing reptilish or amphibianish it would mean getting a lot of new pet supples. Also we have cats. Four cats. That like to eat all the things. And to add to that there is a six-year old and an increasingly mobile one-year old, either of which would be more than happy to help the eternally hungry cats to a snack--they wouldn't intend harm, I don't think, but... I had serious doubts of any new pet making it through the 30 days alive, and then we'd have to start over. I saw the potential for a long string of dead reptile amphibians a la Kisa.

So, I started to consider the zoo option a little more seriously. Zoo tickets weren't a problem. We purchased a membership back in April since it was only $5 more than full ticket price for the whole family. One more trip would make it more than worth wile. Needless to say whether it would be worth while or not is hardly worth considering given the number of trips we've made. The other consideration was time and gas. With my husband's school starting up, that becomes less of an issue because the zoo is only a half and hour or so beyond his school. One morning a week, I'll drop him at work, head for the zoo, then pick him up on my way home. Most of the drive would have already been made, so it won't be that much of an extra cost. All in all, I think we determined the zoo would probably cost less than the pet (even if it lived the whole 30 days the first time through) since we'd have to get all the stuff for an appropriate habitat, plus the animal.

So, that's what we've been doing. We're almost finished with the 2nd month. We'll be finished come the end of September. It's not been that bad, aside from outdoor temperatures exceeding what I find personally comfortable. It's actually been pretty fun, and we've gotten to see some neat things. You'd think it would get boring, but each week has been a little different. We'd see different animals, like last week the rhinos were actually close enough to get a good view of them. The NC Zoo tries to replicate the natural habitat for the animals they have, so the pens for the rhinos, gazelles, elephants, and a lot of the other African animals in particular are really expansive. This is better for the animals, plus it also gives you a better idea of what they're like in their environment. On the down side, it does mean it's hard to see some of the animals. Over all, though, this has been an excellent experience. Although, if you're wondering where some of my blog posts are disappearing to, chances are, on the day I meant to write and post them, I was probably at the zoo. =P

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Volume 43

All in all, it's been an okay week for work progress. No noticeable progress on the mermaid commission, but otherwise, I finished a custom Tarot card commission, and I have finished 2 out of 3 pieces for a set of commissioned house sketches--for some reason the 2nd one scanned lighter and less clear than the 1st. I also finished another baby blanket (and for a little boy named Matthew)--#3 in the current round of blankets out of 5 (although that might be 6 soon). Does anyone else think that babies tend to come in clumps? Anyways, I've also started blanket #4. This one is for a little girl named Helena. So no more rambling from me; here's the progress pics. =P

Saturday, August 10, 2013

OMG! It's Finally Here!!

If you've been around here a while, you might remember when my husband wrote about writing the Anime RPG book. It was written in March of 2011, was the 5th post ever in this blog, and was the first guest post--although does it technically count as a guest post? I mean technically, my husband is part of Gothic Panda Studios, and a lot of what shows up on my art table is a collaborative effort between the two of us. On the other hand, I am the primary contributor to this blog and tend to think of it as my blog (not our blog). XD Anyways... getting off topic there. About a year ago, we sold our last print copy of that book. We talked briefly about doing a second print run, but unless we get huge numbers of people demanding it (as in willing to put down money on a preorder), we're not going to go the print route with this book again. But that's not the point of this post... although the point is related to the Anime RPG book. I'm just taking my sweet time getting to it, cause that's how I do things. =P

Earlier this week we finished assembling a revised version of the Anime RPG book and it can not be purchased via Etsy as a PDF download! =D We're working on re-editing (well mostly reformatting) it for Kindle. Once that's done it'll also be available through the Kindle store. This will probably take a couple more weeks (maybe a couple more months--cause this is also how we do things; it comes from having work and responsibilities beyond Gothic Panda Studios and Team Sidequest game production). So, yeah. That's the point of this post. Anime RPG is now available as a digital download. We're going to spend the fall hopefully wrapping up a Pathfinder version. Then we might just take a break to prepare for a 5th edition D&D version. Maybe. Expect it right around when the announce 6th edition... cause that's how we do things here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WIP Volume 42

 This week's progress report: More progress on the Mermaid commission. This one is a little more detailed than what I normally allow for commissions. Usually I only take commissions for my chibi or 3/4 chibi styles, but this one is modeled after the Western Zodiac print set I did.
Remember that WIP post with all that fabric? That black and gray fabric at the bottom turned into this over the last week (yeah fuzzy photo sucks...):
I've been working on some new archetypes (Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Princess, and Necromancer). They're inked and ready to color.
 And finally what I succeeded in finishing yesterday on the Tinkerbell costume I said I was going to make. I got Charleigh's measurements, put together the pattern, cut out all the fabric, and made some progress getting everything sewn together. She was really excited seeing all the pieces starting to come together, and I'm a little sad I couldn't actually finish it yesterday. She'll have it though in time for her birthday. =)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Something Special

A week or so ago, I asked my mom if she could help get measurements for my niece because I wanted to make her a costume for her birthday. She got really excited (because that's what she does), and after consulting with my brother, she decided that instead of trying to get measurements herself, she would just bring Charleigh down here for a visit. Then I got the crazy idea that, well if she was going to be down here, then I'd just make the whole costume while she was here 'cause, you know, it might be fun and then she could take it home with her. BTW, my niece is turning 3. So, I got fabric this weekend and this is what I will be doing tomorrow (the fabric colors match better than the picture suggests):