Friday, March 31, 2017

An Artist Arsenal and Some Dream Character Art

I am officially decked out with an entire art arsenal. 

If you've been checking in on the blog (I know you're there.) you've probably heard me say a thousand times that I've started doing art in the sense of drawing, sketching and digital art/vector art. That doesn't mean I haven't been an artist as I've been a fiber artist (Otherwise known as a Knitter or nutty fiber artist.) since September I don't quite know what the premise of me getting into drawing was but it's happening and I've already done quite a bit. Okay truth be told I actually did quite a bit of drawing as a kid, I mean I used to draw comics (I'll show you guys one day), because I saw some kid at school doing them and I wanted to as well and be better then him as I've always been a huge comic fan, no lie that's what went through my head. For the most part they were comics related to Mario, Star Fox and Pokemon but I had some original stuff as well and they were pretty bad. At least that's what younger me thought and like a fool I gave it up. I guess I never did follow my Mum's advice on practice makes perfect, can't say I listened as well as I should of.

Regardless of all that I'm starting it back up. I've been watching my sister get incredibly good with her art as well as following quite a few artists online. (Shoutout to LeslieLuMarie again.) I've had a lot of ideas and characters in my head and in writing (I'm a writer and author foremost, this blog is evidence of that.) and while yeah I love writing i've really wanted to get my ideas visualized as well as written. I've had Annie draw stuff for me but it still didn't satisfy that urge. Well anyway I've been at it for almost a month now and I seem to be improving at rates I didn't know were possible. I'm still an amateur but hey I'm not doing bad. Annie and Mum seems to have been picking up on my new interest and I've unintentionally conned them both into letting me borrow their coloring pencils. (Which they organized recently.)

Not just coloring pencils though I was actually given my sister's old Wacom Tablet recently as well, she moved on to a new tablet (The XP Pen Star05 to be precise.) as this Wacom didn't work on her new Windows 10 computer. Though it still works perfectly on my old computer for some reason. (You can read more about that on an older blog.)

Mum handed me down some cool tracing pens, okay so these were actually the same pens (I'm not sure if they're the same exact set, they last a long time so who knows.) I used for my old comics back in the day. Got 4 sizes for 4 different line types, though I've used 3.0 for the most part. Kinda feels nostalgic using these again but I seem to have lost my steadiness when it comes to tracing, that'll take some buffing out.

Along with these gifts I've actually gotten new in my collection, a new sketchbook. Actually sketchbook is an understatement as this is so much more. I received a Mixed Media pad.

For a guy who wants to experiment in everything just for the fun of it this is actually perfect. I can do my sketching but then proceed to take it so much farther without the use of a lightbox. My current sketchbook is great but I usually have to trace it onto cardstock or trade it into my computer to do anything else with it. This is probably a familiar brand with all of you artists Canson has quite a few options when it comes to it's art pads. Whether you want an oil paint pad or a normal sketch pad they offer a lot in various sizes. Of course I went with a mix Media pad because of its reputation of being a jack of all trades. You can use pretty much everything from water color to acrylic to charcoal all except for oil paints on the heavyweight, fine textured paper that fill this pad. (60 sheets to be exact.) Because of this fine textured paper it actually erases a lot easier then my other sketchbook... which is a lifesaver because I erase a lot. (Amateur life.) Oh yeah you can actually take the pages of the sketchbook out due to the very easy separation line.

This sketchbook has actually encouraged me to give watercolor a go at some point, my sister has become a master at using watercolor and I would like to at least know how to shade and get that cool watercolor look I always see on her work. (In my own style of course.)

So yeah with all this art equipment in my arsenal I'm pretty much good to go. Im already at work on something in this sketchbook and while I'm not showing you guys yet (Gotta leave something for you to come back to, right?) I am going to be tracing over this sketch and turning it into a full art piece. It's actually mind boggling me how good it's looking so far. Before that I'm doing some practice with my lineart pens on some separate cardstock because like I mentioned before I'm really unstable when using pens for some reason. These practice sheets actually turned into full art pieces, more specifically character art sheets, because why not! I can't do practice without going full wack, I have this inability to simply practice without making anything more out of it, ohh well.

Im going to actually show you guys these because they're for the most part done except for the fourth one I'm still working on.

Yes that is indeed Aeris Eclipse again, I can't seem to resist drawing her. For those who don't know she's an original character from a story I've been brewing in my head for ages now, but you can read about her in older blogs such as Anyway I also drew two new (To you guys anyway.) characters!

For starters I'm introducing to you guys Nicholas "Cole" Bradshaw (The coolest name you'll ever come up with, just kidding.).

And Luna. (Just Luna.) No she's not related in any sense what so ever to Luna from Sailor Moon and while Luna (The pink haired one) is related to the moon in my story I came up with her before I even heard of Sailor Moon. (Didn't grow up with the show.)

These two are actually related to Aeris in the fact they're her best friends in the story. I'll probably go more in depth into their characters in future blogs (I'm trying to make these blogs more decently sized blogs instead of 50 page essays as they have been lately.). You know that feeling when you fall in love with your own characters? Yeah I think I have. These guys are like my brain children.

Closing comments is yes these are actually colored in with colored pencils, I actually really like using colored pencils as a coloring method you can add a lot of detail with them. I gotta improve a lot on my shading but I like how these came out.

Don't forget to check out my sister, who is ten times better then me at art at her blog She's becoming a lot more active lately with photography and art.

That's a wrap folks!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Mighty Morphin Bio-Man Origins

If ever normal citizens of earth, you know, non Astronauts ever get the chance to visit the moon it would be pretty awesome. "Let's go for a vacation on the moon!" would replace "Let's go for a vacation at the beach!" (Though the moon doesn't actually have water on the surface, or beaches.) just try to ignore any and I mean ANY weird space dumpsters lying in the ground. Of course two certain astronauts couldn't resist and thus Rita Repulsa (Yeah I bet you didn't see that coming.) emerged after ten thousand years of being imprisoned. Following her are her loyal servants such as Goldar and Finster.

Image Provided by Ranger Wiki

Oh yeah, she just so happens to be a evil sorceress who wants to conquer Earth.

Image Provided by Ranger Wiki

Luckily Zordan of Eltar (David Fielding), a sage (Also a floating head in a time warp tube thanks to Rita.) who imprisoned Rita those 10 thousand years ago, calls upon 5 teenagers with attitude from Angel Grove High to combat Rita and her army of putties. Jason Lee Scott (Austin St. John.), Trini Kwan (Thuy Thang), Kimberly Hart (Amy Jo Johnson), Billy Cranston (David Yost) and Zack Taylor (Walter Jones.) are given the 5 power coins, infused with powers of the dinosaurs these five humans are gained armor and power, becoming the Power Rangers.

Image Provided by Ranger Wiki
The OGs of Spandex.

This is the basis of Haim Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show that premiered almost 25 years ago on August 28th, 1993. Remember Fox Kids? Yeah those were the days of Saturday morning cartoons and just awesome TV shows in general. Now you have to pay extra for cable and satellite channels to get any kind of Saturday morning cartoon, and quite frankly they just aren't up to snuff anymore. Okay so Power Rangers and Pokemon are still around and are just as good in my opinion but hey it would be nice to have a dedicated Saturday morning cartoon slot for the new generation of kids.

MMPR went on to be a smash hit, selling tons of merchandise and getting young pre-teen and teens into martial arts action starring some pretty snazzy spandex wearing heroes. (You know you love it.) and as you can tell Power Rangers is still around even today and seems to be making a bit of comeback with it's new movie and new tv season. Though did you know that Power Rangers was originally rejected? If you don't know Power Rangers is actually based on the Japanese franchise Super Sentai and Power Rangers has usually borrowed the suits, monsters and fight footage from this franchise (Of course all the unmorphed footage was original, recorded by Saban and since then Saban has added a lot of original footage and ideas. Of course the storylines are original as well.), MMPR being based on the Zyuranger season of Super Sentai. Haim Saban actually had his eye on adapting an earlier Super Sentai series named Choudenshi Bioman. Yeah it shocked me as well to discover this so I've done some digging to find out as much as I can about this pilot.

Image Provided by Ranger Wiki
Crazy how different these suits would of been compared to the ones we got.

This original idea pitch actually dates back to 1986 and Saban even had produced a pilot for it. According to an old article from the Los Angeles Times Bio-Man was to be about 5 people with Bio-Rhythms and after Morphing into their Bio-Suits were to protect the earth from a half human half android villain named Zadar. (Definitely NOT Rita.) Definitely seems similar in sense to Power Rangers but the actors who were to portray these heroes were vastly different from the Final Power Rangers. Despite this the character names were actually the same besides Jason being named Victor Lee. Evidence of this pilot can be found in Saban's second but successful attempt to pitch Power Rangers under the name Galaxy Rangers. (Which was actually thrown into an MMPR DVD as an Easter Egg.)

Galaxy Rangers doesn't sound as cool as Power Rangers.

This pitch was made to Bandai of America and combined some of the Bio-Man footage filmed for the pilot with Zyuranger footage, you can actually tell by the fact the character descriptions label them as "Bio-Rythms" and Zack is labeled as the Green Ranger not Black. Oh yeah it looks like Zack was going to be a cop as well. I'm making a wild guess here but it seems like the people in this show are more of adults rather then the high school teens of MMPR.

Moodiecitymadman from The Lost Media Wiki has actually started up a forum and a movement to try and retrieve this lost pilot. The original actor who portrayed Zack (Miguel A. Núñez Jr) in the pilot has actually confirmed to have a copy of the pilot but nothing has surfaced since. It's crazy to think how Power Rangers would of been if it started off with Bio-Man. Would they of ever adapted Zyuranger into what we know as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Bio-Man seems like a much different show compared to MMPR. Can't say Bio-Man would of really stuck I'm not even sure if I would be into it. I’ll keep you guys updated if anything more about the pilot gets released!

Oh yeah check out this forum here for more info as well:

Power Rangers took 5 years to kick off the ground and it's been going strong ever since. Actually fun fact I never watched MMPR until much later through some repeats on Fox Kids and even later Jetix. Of course it's not hard to access the original seasons in this day and age if you have access to Netflix (Which has every season of Power Rangers to date, even the new Dino Charge seasons.) and I've been watching MMPR from the beginning. To my surprise there are quite a few episodes I didn't even know about, such as that episode where Trini's doll comes to life... yeah no idea that episode even existed. As well as a whole bunch of Bulk and Skull hijinks I hadn't seen before. A big player in the first season would probably be Green with Evil which introduced Tommy the Green Ranger. (Jason David Frank.)

Anyway I'll probably discuss the first season in more depth in future blogs, I mean there's 25 years of Power Rangers to talk about, might as well spread it out, eh?

Before we wrap (I say this a lot don't I.) I actually have a knitting Update. (Couldn't find a Power Ranger knitting pattern, ohh well.)

Yes I haven't forgotten how to knit, forgive me for the lack of it lately I've been doing more art (Keep an eye out for Friday's blog to see some of that.) in the sense of drawing rather then fiber art. As well as having a busy past week I haven't gotten around to knitting until the past couple of days. I've picked back up, after literally picking up a stitch, my Princess Peach Dishcloth.

You can finally start to see Peach herself forming as I've gotten to the crown. It's actually showing up quite well despite this being a multi colored yarn. If I can push myself I might (MIGHT being key word here.) get this done in a week.

This pattern is created by Carolyn Lislie by the way, you can check it out on her Ravelry. It's actually quite an easy pattern being composed of just Knits and purls.

It’s that time again, I have baked up a mean (Okay they were pretty nice I gotta admit.) batch of Chocolate Chip cookies!

How many times have I done this on the blog? Going by the search bar on my blog I’ve posted photos of cookies 6 times so far. This time I actually had a photo taken before eating them all. I will say my cookies have ten times better then they were when I first posted about baking them lastyear. They’re a lot fluffier and tastier. Unusual events occurred this time around, after making up the cookie dough the way I always do I found my dough was really tough and flaky, so I had to actually add a very tiny spoonful of water to get the consistency back to it’s normal amount. Anyone else ever find the need to do this? Luckily the water didn’t make the taste deter from the cookies. Mum tells me it might have to do with the fact the eggs are a little smaller then they usually are. Perhaps I added a little bit much flour? Ohh well, they came out great regardless.

Annie has a brand new blog up once again, she's been a busy bee on her blog so go check out her recent blogs on! She's got some awesome photography that's actually somewhat related to the blog I posted on Monday so I recommend you read this blog if you've already read my Arcadia blog and vice versa.

That's a wrap folks!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Arcadia, Louisiana: Where Bonnie & Clyde's History Runs Deep

Grab my hand, jump in and buckle up because we’re going on a road trip to a place where history still lingers and stretches from corner to corner. Have you ever heard of Bonnie & Clyde? Of course you have, whether through the movies, references in other material or just simple history knowledge. Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow are probably the most famous American duo of outlaws in all of time and operated from the 1930s, with their gang they committed many robberies and murders (Followed up with some narrow escapes.) up until their death on May 23rd 1934 when a posse made up of Texas and Louisiana Law Enforcement officers ambushed, shot and killed the duo on a little highway in Louisiana woods in Bienville Parish.

Bonnie & Clyde went on to become legends. A lot is still unknown about the couple and some of the media created around them was dramatized but regardless their legend still hangs strong even today, especially in the Gibsland and Arcadia areas of Bienville Parish Louisiana. That little highway they were ambushed on? It’s none other then Highway 154 (The duo in crime were actually heading towards Sailes Louisiana on this road.) and I took a trip with my family out to this famous area yesterday. Standing in the same historic place Bonnie & Clyde were ambushed while driving in their stolen 1930s Ford Model V8 is a monument depicting the ambush along with the date.

It’s a crying shame what’s happened to this piece of history; gunshot damages and spray paint have almost worn this monument down to nothing. It’s difficult to read what this monument originally had etched in its stone. From examining this closely I can make out that it once said

“On this site May 23, 1934.
Clyde Barrow
Bonnie Parker
Were Killed By Law Enforcement Officers.
Erected by
Bienville Parish Police Jury.”

Another plaque was erected next to it which didn’t really focus on Bonnie and Clyde themselves but more so the Law Enforcement officers that killed them.

It’s crazy to think the famous almost Romeo and Juliet like partners in crime met their end after 4 years right here on Highway 154. Gibsland, Louisiana which is just a little north of this site has two museums erected in honor of these two, the Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Museum and the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum. I sadly did not get the chance to go into these places but they hold a lot of history. I absolutely want to go into these places for you guys in the near future. Funny enough Bonnie & Clyde apparently grabbed breakfast here before they went 8 miles down the Highway 154 and got shot. (The Ambush Museum being built in the same building that was once the restaurant they grabbed breakfast-to-go in.)

This may be slightly unrelated to Bonnie & Clyde but we took our family trip a little farther to the town of Arcadia. While it has origins stretching back to the 1820’s Arcadia was officially established as a village in 1855.

You can definitely feel the essence of history emanating from the awesome historical buildings stretched as far as the eye can see here in the heart of Arcadia. This used to be the home of an old Railroad depot, and while a railway still runs through this historic town it now serves as the Bienville Chamber of Commerce as well as a Depot museum.

They have this incredible red caboose stationed to the side of the depot, it was really tempting to climb aboard and have a photo of myself taken but it seems someone else beat me to it.

This little green gecko lizard was, to the surprise of me and my sister, hijacking this red caboose for a ride. Sorry to say Gecko but this Caboose no longer moves.

You can still see hints of a much older railway under this pathway.

Arcadia is a pretty awesome historic town. I’ve always loved old towns like this and it’s nice to see it’s not turned into a ghost town like I’ve seen happen with some villages of similar fashion. There are Antique stores, Restaurants and events that are happening year round.

I’ve also always been a big fan of trains and railways; it’s hard to resist staring down the railway, squinting in hopes of seeing the destination in the far distance. (I’m serious about the squinting, the sun was strong yesterday.) Arcadia, Gibsland and Bienville Parish in general are great places to visit, with the history of Bonnie & Clyde surging through the veins of an even larger history. If you’re heading through this place have a stop and see the sights! You can check out more at

So I’ve been running this idea on the blog recently where I find knitting patterns related to the main topic of the blog. While for the most part I’ve been successful there have been some failed attempts, such as I wasn’t able to find any knitting patterns for my recent Power Rangers blog and I had to use a sonic pattern for my fitness blog. Thought I would try and find something related to Bonnie & Clyde to use as a free knitting pattern feature… I have found nothing, nothing free anyway or even related to Bonnie & Clyde. Though did you know the yarn brand Louet had two yarn brands running called Bonnie and Clyde? They’re discontinued now though.

I have not given up though! While examine some old photographs of Bonnie and Clyde I noticed Bonnie wore a beret in some of these photographs… This isn’t an accurate match to Bonnie’s beret I doubt it but it’s a lovely pattern regardless. This is the Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret by designer Natalie Larson.
Yes you probably can see it, it’s once again another cable knit pattern. I’m sorry I’m crazy about cable knitting; it’s become my favorite kind of knitting. I absolutely love how the cables cross into the middle to form a star/starfish like shape. It’s an incredible design and seems easy enough for people who haven’t cabled much in the past. I only started cable last November with the Waffle Owl Washcloth I knitted my Mum and the Blue Cable Beanie I knitted myself so I’m still kind of new to cable as well but I’ve gotten the hang of it and you can too.

Photograph Provided by

Speaking of knitting I’ve been so busy the past weekend I’ve barely done any knitting, yikes I thought I said Second Sock Syndrome wasn’t going to affect me this time. Thanks life for getting in the way of my knitting.

Anyway you can check out this pattern here on Raverly! I absolutely recommend it to Beret lovers and Cable Knit lovers alike.

Before we wrap my sister has a brand new blog up on with some more awesome photography!

That’s a wrap folks!

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Mighty Morphin Legacy

These past couple of years have brought back a lot of nostalgic feelings for myself and others and 2017 has proven to be running with the same pattern. With a new Pokemon game, Pokemon GO and it's 20th anniversary, Digimon Adventure Tri with the return of the original kids, Star Wars Rogue One, and Nintendo releasing the Nintendo Switch and Zelda Breath of the Wild the nostalgic feelings are running through our veins. I feel like I've taken a time warp back to the 90s. I grew up during the late 90s and 2000s and as I've discussed before Power Rangers was one of those shows that morphed it's way into my life and was a huge part of my Saturday mornings and action figure collection.

Rebirthing those feelings is the brand new Power Ranger movie which releases today in features! It's an action packed reboot of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with a similar storyline. This is basically MMPR but with a big budget, which allows Saban to take this franchise to new heights. Aesthetically a lot has changed, the Ranger suits are more like actual armor, though with a more shiny alien sleek. (How they were able to fight and take heavy blows while in spandex I have no idea.) The names of the teenagers are the same but the characters looks are a bit different. I've not seen the movie myself just yet so I'm not aware of the differences between the show and the movie. I talk more about this movie in an earlier blog GO GO Knitting Rangers.

My Power Ranger Life (Can't say Morphin Life, Jason David Frank would probably sue me.) started off with the original Mighty Morphin Power Ranger movie.

This movie released in 1995 and starred the second team of Rangers. By second team I mean Jason (Austin St. John), Zack (Walter Jones) and Trini (Played by the late Thuy Thang) the original Red, Black and Yellow Rangers had moved on and given their powers to Rocky, Adam and Aisha. Oh yeah and Tommy the former Green Ranger was given the sweet White Ranger powers. The suits in this movie were also more of metallic armor then the show's original spandex suits. I always loved these suits more then the originals (Not saying I didn't love the spandex, of course I do.) so the new movie taking a more armor approach is okay by me, they look awesome regardless while still having similar parts from the original suits.

In the beginning of this movie our Ranger heroes, Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Adam (Ichigo Kurosaki... I MEAN Johnny Yong Bosch.), Aisha (Karan Ashley), Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson), Billy (David Yost and their leader Tommy (Jason David Frank) are participating, alongside Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull (Jason Narvy) (The goofballs of the series,) who aren't good skydivers by any means, in a charity skydive for Angel Grove. Meanwhile in Angel Grove a group of construction workers unearth an ancient egg holding a mighty powerful villain, the main enemy of this movie, Ivan Ooze. (Played by Paul Freeman) Of course Ivan Ooze would still be trapped in his egg if it wasn't for Rita Repulsa (Julie Cortez voiced by Barbara Goodson), Lord Zedd (Voiced by Robert Axelrod), Goldar (Voiced by Kerrigan Mahan) and... Mordant (Voiced by Martin G. Metcalf) who also star in this movie. Mordant is a pig like monster who actually isn't featured in anything outside of this movie, which often confused me as a kid.

Anyone notice how Ooze seems to have his own power coin on his outfit? Odd. Maybe he was the Purple Ranger, ha.

Of course Zordon (Played by Nicholas Bell and voiced by Robert L. Manahan), the Rangers mentor, and Alpha 5 (Zordon's Robot Assistant voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz.) send the Rangers off to deal with Ivan Ooze after interrupting them during a sweet skateboarding/rollerblading scene, Red Hot Chilli Pepper and Dan music included. Actually this movie had some really good music in it.

Mighty Morphin Power Ranger has a couple of pretty big action scenes in them and Ivan Ooze proves to be one of the Ranger's most devious foes... Oh yeah he and his minions are kind of gross as well but we'll look past that. (I think Kimberly had a hard time looking past that too.) The story of this movie is actually not connected to the show at all similar to the new movie, making this movie completely separate from the show's canon.

I absolutely love this movie (Especially the part with the frog... You know... Adam.) but actually originally my parents bought it for themselves funny enough on VHS. I got into it eventually and from then on I've been a big fan of the multi colored spandex heroes. Of course some people knock this movie because of its cheesy humor but hey that made Power Rangers for me and it seems the new movie is keeping that sense of humor while also keeping a more mature tone. Actually the MMPR movie was pretty mature compared to the original series. I never grew up watching the original series so I didn't know Jason, Zack and Trini even were a thing or even that Tommy was once a green ranger until a couple of years later through re-runs on Jetix. (Remember Jetix?) Yeah I have to admit I always thought they Rangers in the movie were the originals.

The oldest series I can remember watching was Turbo and In Space but I wouldn't really watch the show every week until Time Force... Which can take up a whole blog on its own as it's one of my favorite seasons. I know it wasn't one of the most popular seasons but damn I really loved Ninja Storm back then. Anyway Power Rangers has been here fighting monsters and saving the Galaxy for almost 25 years now. Power Rangers have definitely come back into the limelight, with the new movie, the awesome BOOM! Studios comics (Which I talk about on an earlier blog.) and even the new Ninja Steel season. I've not watched Power Rangers since Super Megaforce but I'm willing to give Ninja Steel a go as it seems pretty cool.

Along side this new movie comes Power Rangers Legacy War, a new iOS and Android game in a similar style of Marvel: Contest of Champions if it was mixed with the DC Injustice iOS game (In the sense of using a cards system and having a power meter limiting how many cards you play at once) making this more of a strategic fighting game. I haven't dove into this game much at all but you unlock you can Rangers to play and upgrade them. The Rangers currently available are the original Mighty Morphin team, the new Power Rangers reboot team and a couple of Rangers from other teams such as Zeo, In Space, Wild Force and Dino Charge. (No Disney Era ones to my understanding sadly.)

As well as the Rangers there are villains you can play as too! Such as Rita Repulsa from the new movie, Snide from Dino Charge... and Goldar. Yes you heard me right, you can play as the original Goldar from MMPR which is incredible. Sadly there isn't much of an offline part of this game, you have to have your internet on while playing and it's for the most part PVP against others online. I believe there is a training room but it'll still be using your internet/data. This game regardless has some incredible graphics. I've never seen a Power Ranger game with the characters being so highly detailed it's incredible. I really think they should get this game out on the consoles/PC with a more traditional fighter genre control system. Hey it would sell like hot cakes, I would buy that game instantly.

So we're wrapping for the day everyone. If you have tickets for the new Power Ranger movie, go see it! It's seeming like an awesome reboot and apparently Haim Saban has already talked about 5 more movies, as well as introducing the green ranger in the next movie. Power Rangers Ninja Steel airs Saturday's on Nickelodeon as well. Just because the movie has released doesn't mean I plan on stopping Power Ranger blogs, no I feel like I could go more in depth on my memories with each season so we'll see how that goes. Until next time though may the power be with you....

It's Morphin Time!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Taking a Jog Into a Life of Fitness

Before we roll into the main topic I want to announce and show everyone something… I announced a while ago I was considering starting up a gameplay channel. Well forget that we’re putting the gameplay on the main channel instead! Yes I really did not feel like separating everything and running multiple channels. I’m going to organize it into playlists to make it easier to find the gameplay but I rather not separate everything. (Especially when I don’t upload every day.)

We’re starting this gameplay journey with some Mario Kart 64! Yes I dug out my old Nintendo 64 and my original copy of Mario Kart 64 and played some 150cc Grand Prix. In this first gameplay video I’m playing the Mushroom cup and something really crazy goes down, I’m assuming it’s a glitch but you’ll have to watch it to find out.

Don’t forget to leave a like, subscribe and leave some feedback if you liked the video! I tried to get a bit creative with the edit without actually jump cutting in the middle of the race. It’s a work in progress but I enjoyed filming and editing this so I hope to mesh gameplay in with the other videos I have planned. I mean I mesh a whole bunch of topics here on the blog so why not do it on the youtube channel, eh? Let’s get into the main blog now.

I have a lot of interests and do quite a lot in my life but for the life of me I am not fit in the slightest. This all will change starting now because as of last Monday I've started working out. Okay so I've attempted to get into a routine before, two years ago, last year, all attempts ended in me slacking off again which led to aches, pains and chest issues that shouldn't be happening. I'm in my 20s I shouldn't feel like this at all, so I'm kicking myself in the ass again and I'm taking the fitness road once again, third times a charm, right? I sure hope so anyway. I'm a pretty slim guy but for the most part I'm pretty much in the wimpy tier of the tier list.

It's dedication time! (You know... Like morphin time except not as cool.)

I'm actually using these, not just posing for the camera.

For my upper body I'm using these 8 pound weight dumbbells. I know that probably seems light to those who are fit but it's a good place for me to start. I'm able to get that much needed burn down my arm muscles without overwhelming myself. Surprisingly I'm doing better then I did the last time I attempted this. Used to only be able to pull off 20 per exercise but I'm pulling off 40 per exercise so I guess I've somehow improved in my time of unfitness. I'm wimpy today but tomorrow maybe I'll be built enough to go for the Universe championships.... I wish, haha.

Anyway I'm also working on everything else with exercises such as sit ups, jackknife and the dreaded push-ups. Oh boy push-ups have always been my worse enemy. I could never do them properly in school, always ended up doing it the cheat way. Even now it's still the most difficult exercise to pull off for me, I tend to flop out onto the floor if I go down all the way but I'm managing. With a little work I may finally surpass this mortal enemy of mine.

Finally I'm working on that cardio and legs by doing some jogging. I have this sort of goal in mind to be able to jog a mile within 5 minutes. Not sure if that's actually humanly possible, maybe if I get struck by lightning. With this in mind I hooked up my earbuds to my MP3 and set out on a jog. So far I'm able to go 2 miles within 30 minutes which I proved yesterday when I managed to jog 2 miles around my neighborhood. It wasn't my entire neighborhood only a circle but it was 2 miles. I also was not quite able to maintain the jog the entire way, my legs started to grow weary and I had to slow down to a walk here and there but I managed to jog most of the time. Can someone set off a particle accelerator explosion to give me some super speed? Or at least give me some shoes to make me go fast?

Now normally you calculate your steps via a pedometer, which I did but in more of a style that fits me, a Pokemon style. Oh yeah I'm talking about the Pokewalker, which came bundled with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

I've had this ever since I got HeartGold and SoulSilver back in 2010. (I actually had two... but I lost one of them, whoops.) You can send one Pokemon on a route (You can unlock more as you walk.) to the PokeWalker and as you walk and accumulate steps you receive watts which you can utilize in these cool mini games on the actual PokeWalker. In these mini games you can catch new Pokemon (Which varies depending on the route you set your Pokemon on.) or find new items. I recently restarted HeartGold actually so the Pokewalker is a good way to level up my Pokemon... well kind of. The PokeWalker levels up your Pokemon once every walk, meaning make sure you send your Pokemon back to your game and back into the PokeWalker before you head out again.

My life in the fit lane has only just begun so let's hope I keep it up. Maybe this blog will inspire me to keep going... because it would be embarrassing to announce I had given up here on here. I feel really stiff and achey all over but with a couple of months of dedication this should iron out and my health and fitness should improve, at least slightly.

Another goal is to learn how to jog and knit at the same time, that would be a pretty awesome feat in knitting. Speaking of knitting I’ve been doing this thing lately where I find a free knitting pattern related to the main topic of the blog. I couldn’t really find any free knitting pattern that was related to the topic of fitness…. But I did find a supersonic one.

No not the fast food restaurant Sonic with those two guys who always do the commercials, I’m talking the blue hedgehog version of Sonic. He runs fast, I’m trying to run fast, it all works out. This pattern I found is definitely not an easy one, at least not to me. It’s an Afghan Block pattern of Sonic but instead of being just a normal cloth this is a double sided knit designed by Lattes and Llamas!

Photos Provided by Lattes and Llamas

What is a double sided knit you ask? It’s a method of adding a second layer to the back of your project, usually done in contrasting colors. It’s supposed to add a nice thickness and comfort to your project. I can’t really explain it any better then that because I don’t actually know how to knit these kinds of projects. Double sided knitting is on that list of knitting techniques Mum and I need to learn. Regardless this looks really fun to have a go at. It may actually be easy for getting into double sided knitting but I’ve been told it’s a bit difficult anyway.

Photos Provided by Lattes and Llamas

The pattern calls for US 6 needles and some worsted yarn but what I found was interesting was this pattern actually has crochet instructions also. That’s pretty cool, you could actually crochet this pattern too if you wish. That would be way beyond me though, I don’t even know how to knit double sided and I don’t even know how to crochet in general so double sided crochet might fry my circuits. Lattes and Llamas is actually made up of Megan-Anne Llama who handles the knit designs and Jacquline Cappuccino who handles the crochet designs. That's a pretty awesome combo for a team if you ask me.

This afghan block looks pretty great once knitted up, you got Sonic running at sonic speeds and it just looks really awesome in general. You can view this pattern on Ravelry and here’s a direct link to the pattern as well! Lattes and Llamas (Which is actually made up of a knitter designer and a crochet designer.) have more awesome geeky patterns. Oh boy I really have to learn double sided knitting… There’s a lot I want to knit here. That’ll have to be a wall I have to tackle in the upcoming future.

That’s a wrap folks!

Maybe I'll have muscles on Friday.

I wish.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Wario's Music Box Treasure Hunt in Wario Land 3

Super Mario has become a worldwide known name, I haven't met a soul who doesn't know who the red and blue clad plumber no matter the generation. From his original outing in Donkey Kong lots of new characters have joined Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom universe, some good, some bad and some plain old greedy. While yes Mario has his archenemy King Koopa he also has an arch rival in the form of Wario.

Wario artwork Provided by MarioWiki

At first glance you might see Wario as a copycat but he is completely different from his Super counterpart. While Mario has proved to be a great icon you probably wouldn't want Wario as a role model. He's much more rude, greedy, manipulative and hot-tempered (Though he's not evil and has actually helped Mario and his friends on a few special occasions)... that doesn't mean he's not a great character though. He was originally created by Hiroji Kiyotake as a "bad" Mario (Wario being named after Warui , the Japanese word for bad) and he was slated as the antagonist of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, which Hiroji Kiyotake directed. In Super Mario Land 2 Wario takes over Mario's castle (No idea how Mario got his own castle, then again all those coins Mario collected in his previous adventures must of went towards this.) and acts as the final boss in this slight departure from normal Mario games, in the sense of having a different final boss then the average Bowser.

Wario ended up becoming so popular he was spun off into his own adventure, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 for the Gameboy. Wario decides to go off on his own treasure hunting adventure after his defeat at the hands of his rival Mario in order to get his own Castle. This game was similar to Mario's outing in the fact it was still a platformer game but Wario proved to be a much different kind of adventurer. Wario can jump, bump and grab enemies which proved to be a fresh change of pace for Nintendo platformers. I've never played this game sadly (Though I do own Super Mario Land 2) and Wario came into my life through a later installment. Yes Wario has become one of my all time favorite Mario characters and despite not being the nicest character he's absolutely hilarious and has some really fun games under his belt. My favorite, and only Wario game I own would be Wario Land 3.

Wario Land 3 released back in the year 2000 for the Gameboy Color and was one of the first Video games I've ever played. (Super Mario 64 still being the first.) Unlike Mario's normal platforming the Wario Land games, especially this one, are more on the adventuring Metroidvania side (Meaning it plays similar to Metroid and Castlevania who were also adventuring platforming games.)

In Wario Land 3 our Yellow Clad not-really-a-plumber Wario is out flying his plane when sudden it stalls and crashes into a nearby forest, who even gave Wario a plane in the first place?! Though he seems to know what he's doing as he comes out uninjured and discovers a hidden cave holding a mysterious music box. Of course Wario being the treasure hungry man he is tries to grab the music box when suddenly he's sucked right in!

What Wario comes across inside this magic music box is an entire world filled with treasure. After meeting with this mysterious figure in the wall he sets out (Only after being told he could bring all the treasure back home.) to find the many treasures of the world as well as the five music boxes to restore the hidden figure's power and restore peace. This game has a LOT of treasure hunting and really differentiates itself from previous Mario and Wario games. This game has 25 levels total with 4 keys and four treasure trunks in each (Wario's Power Ups and the Music Boxes are included in this.). The keys and treasure trunks are only found after manipulating your enemies and environment using Wario's abilities such as the shoulder bash and ground pound. The first level you have unlocked is Out of the Woods, which probably has the best music in the entire game. You'll only be able to get the silver key at first but after progressing the game and unlocking more of Wario's abilities through other level's treasure chests and Boss fights. A lot of exploring is needed to find every key and treasure but the face in the wall that talked to you in the beginning of the game always tells you where you need to go next, of course it's your job to find the keys but knowing where to go helps. Each level has a night time and day time version with some slight differences, so some keys might not be accessible in the day and vice versa.

Like mentioned before this game does have enemies but what's different about this game is... Wario is invincible. Yup you can't get a Game Over in this game. The enemies in this game instead give reactions such as stunning Wario, making him fat(....Fatter) or setting him on fire (This guy goes through a lot trust me.) these reactions can actually come in handy and are even essential to some of this game's puzzles such as setting Wario on fire to light torches, going invisible to get past a wall or even turning into a zombie or vampire, yeah that's a thing in this game. The boss fights in this game are all about how you react to the boss, whether you're butt stomping or throwing something (Both power ups you get later on.)

After receiving certain treasures, as well as finishing certain treasure pairs (Yeah lots of treasures intertwine with each other and you sometimes can't open new levels until you get all the pieces.) you get these pretty cool cutscenes. Actually this game has a quite a few cool cutscenes for being a Gameboy Color game. Overall this game is pretty awesome and will give you HOURS of adventure treasure hunting. 

Oh yeah! There's a completely unorthodox Golf minigame, with Wario using his shoulder as a golf club. They turn up in levels every so often and eventually you can unlock the Golf minigames to play them whenever you want. Speaking of replay-ability you can replay any of the levels and get any of the keys whenever you want, which is pretty awesome.

Really cool thing is that if you didn't grow up playing this game like I did, or no longer own your old GameBoy Color version, the Nintendo 3DS eShop has this game up for a download sale of $4.99 USD which is a pretty good deal. I've put a lot of hours into this game over the years but I have to admit something... I've never beaten the game. Yeah this is another one of those games I've always owned but never beaten. I mean I'm currently replaying it on my 3DS in my spare time so eventually I will beat it, I don't actually even know what the final boss is like. I only have 35 of the 100 treasures. Hey I never said this game was easy, it's become a bit easier over the years... especially when I remembered that the hidden figure actually tells you where to go next. I refuse to look up any kind of walk through for the game. Despite this I absolutely love this treasure hunting adventure game. (Eat your heart out Uncharted.)

Wario would then go on to star in tons of games, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, two more Wario Land titles and his Warioware series. Wario Land 3 is the only Wario game I own, I've played the Warioware titles in the past but never owned them. He's not really had a new adventure since 2008 with Wario Land: Shake It! Who knows maybe the Nintendo Switch will mark Wario's dive back into the life of treasure hunting. Until then he'll continue causing his rival Mario some trouble with his partner in crime Waluigi (Its always Waluigi time.) and making his Warioware games with his Diamond City friends.

To end this blog off I really wanted to find a knitting pattern related to Wario but all I could find was a pattern I technically already featured a week ago on my Mario Day blog. So if you didn't already read that blog, we're featuring it again!

I've been really loving Carolyn Leslie's Nintendo Dishclothpatterns ever since I discovered them. She has dishcloths of a lot of Mario and his friends. I'm currently working on a Princess Peach dishcloth from her but the pattern I'm featuring today is none other then a Wario dishcloth!

Photo Provided by Carolyn Lislie

Yes this was the only Wario knitting pattern I could find but it's a great one nonetheless. This will Knit up to be 25 cm x 25 cm / 10 inches by 10 inches (As do her other dishcloth patterns, so linking them all together is possible!) and will be easy to knit with some worsted yarn and US 7 needles (4.5 MM). It's made up of just Knits and purls and comes with a knitting chart and a written version of the instructions. This pattern as well as her other patterns can easily be converted to non dishcloth patterns, I even saw these patterns turned into a pillow case!

I want to knit all of Carolyn's patterns at some point so stay tuned to see my progress on that! Speaking of progress... here's my current progress on my Princess Peach dishcloth!

You can just start to see the pattern forming. I'm getting used to reading from a chart (I'm still a newbie, sorry.) and I'm surprised how well this pattern is showing. I figured a multicolored yarn would wash the pattern away but it's popping out nicely, actually better then it would if I had actually used white yarn. Now I just gotta convince myself to let this be used as a dishcloth, haha.

That's a wrap folks!

I'm a Wario! I'm a Gonna win!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Knitting Princess Peach & Finishing Aeris Eclipse's Character Art

Before we start rolling I wish to apologize for this going up later then my normal scheduled time. Had something come up Thursday and it’s stretched itself all the way till today which caused some delays. I already had a lot of this written and I could of already thrown it up but I felt the blog was incomplete and I would have been more disappointed to give you a rushed incomplete blog rather then make you wait. It’s like what Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo always says "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." A quote he quipped for the first time during a 2012 interview with Simon Parkin and The Guardian. So hey if Nintendo can delay Zelda for years I can delay a blog by a few hours, right? Seriously though I apologize for this, I’ll try not to let this happen again.

Speaking of Nintendo let’s get rolling into the blog!

Princess Peach has for decades been the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom and the usual damsel in distress that Super Mario needs to save in every game but that doesn’t mean Peach isn’t a cool character by any means. (Try playing as her in Smash Brothers, she’s one of the best characters in the game in my opinion.) What’s even cooler is when someone converts Peach into an awesome dishcloth knitting pattern, which Carolyn Lislie has nicely done. I’ve featured this pattern twice so far on here and rightfully so, it’s a really cool but simple at the same time pattern. Another reason for me featuring this is the fact I’m actually knitting this exact pattern!

While I’ve already showed off the beginnings of this dishcloth in an earlier blog I’ve gotten a little farther ahead and you can finally start to see some of the pattern forming.

Things weren’t completely smooth when starting the actual knitting pattern, see I’m doing this from a graph within the pattern and I’m not the best at reading graphs. (I should improve over time.) I got a little too in over my head and ended up knitting the pattern in the wrong direction, which ended with me unpicking three weeks of hard work. I now have my graph set up in a way that helps me read it much better. See on a straight knitting pattern like this you purl one way then knit back the other way, so I’ve numbered all the rows putting all the purl row numbers on the purl side and the knit row numbers on the knit side. Does that sound confusing?

Anyway this should stop anymore confusion for me towards the graph and I shouldn’t knit my rows the wrong way in the future. Maybe when making my own graphs I should add the numbers so save others who can’t read graphs well like me.

For those who don't know I'm using some Peaches & Creme Candy Sprinkles Twist yarn, which was a complete accidental buy but I actually think this yarn is knitting up nicely. I'm also using Size US 7 (4.5 MM) needles.

So that’s about it on the washcloth progress! My afterthought heel sock project has not been touched much so I don’t have much to show there today. Go check out the Peach Dishcloth at Carolyn Lislie’s Ravelry page! It’s an awesome pattern and she has a plethora of other Nintendo Dishcloths that all knit up the same size, which would make an incredible blanket if you grafted all the squares together.

Now it’s time to talk about a different kind of art I’ve been up to…

It’s amazing what you can do when you take off the suppressors and just… Do it. (That’s not a Shia LaBeouf reference, if you’re asking.) Recently as you may or may not know I’ve taken a dive into an artistic journey. Yes I got tired of having all these character ideas and urge to draw but not doing anything about it what so ever. Well I’ve taken a leap and starting sketching, drawing and doing vector art.

I’m a writer at heart but I’ve always had that urge to make things visual as well and while my visual desires are normally satisfied with my Video Editing and Video Making (Which I really need to do more of.) I’ve had characters and ideas from a story I’ve been brewing in my head for years now called Dream Eclipse that I’ve really wanted to draw just as much as write. I’ve been on  this artistic journey for a couple of weeks now and I’ve been doing a lot of practice work and sketching in a sketchbook I forgot I had stored in a trunk for years. (It even had some of my old sketches from when I was a kid in it, I don’t think I’ll show any of that off.) I’ve also received a very special present from my much more experienced Artistic Sister, her old Wacom Intous 5 tablet, you can read more about that on my blog Passing The Tablet from Art Master to Apprentice.

So basically I’m a professional now with all the equipment I need, rev up them galleries! Jokes aside I’m still an amateur and I still need lots of practice to ever be on the same level as some artists I know such as my sister.

Anyway after some frustrations and me being an annoying perfectionist I actually finished a piece of art that started off as a sketch and turned itself into something more. I’ve introduced this young lady before but let me reintroduce her to everyone, this is Aeris Eclipse.

This is a digital line art and coloring of the sketch I showed off a while ago and while it’s not Picasso I’m surprised I managed to pull this off. 

I did this entire art piece in a program called FireAlpaca, well I was working on it in Krita but decided to redo it on FireAlpaca after coming across an artist who has some pretty great tutorials on FireAlpaca (As well as being completely awesome and hilarious.) called LeslieLuMarie (Go check her out on Youtube.) She showed me that FireAlpaca can be pretty awesome and I highly recommend you go check it out if you’re seeking a new art program. I’m still learning my ways around it but I’ve learned how to make brushes in it so I’m now a FireAlpaca genius, haha, just kidding.

I still have a lot to learn and I wanted to add more detail to the face such as different shades of skin tones, because our face isn’t made up of just one color. Aside from that I’m happy with how it turned out and hey in 5 years I can do one of those Draw This Again photos; hopefully I improve at least a little bit by then.

I have taken this character art itself and turned it into a ref sheet! Now as a writer I can’t just throw this artwork up without going into more details then the ref sheet describes so let’s dive into Aeris Eclipse and the world she lives in.

Aeris Eclipse is a outgoing, spunky but kind hearted, smart and friendly teenage girl around the age of 16 years (I’ve been playing around with this, I’m really not sure if I wanted her to start off as 15, 17 or even 18 just with the idea of her being in her last years of High School.) Aeris also has a bit of an attitude at times and it gets her in some trouble at times. Oh yeah, she also has a bit of a goofball streak in her. Aeris for the most part has lived a normal life, to her knowledge and memory, in the town of Puente, a spanish word for bridge ironically named this for the crisscrossed bridge running above the flowing river in the middle of the village. Puente serves as a bridge to the outer city and the rest of the surrounding world, a perfect town to serve as a beginning for the High School student’s journey into life.

Aeris goes about her business leading a typical High School life until one fateful night when the blonde teen meets someone that changes her life and the entire world forever. (Trust me it sounds like a typical Magical Girl situation... It's not, I wasn't even intending it to be anything like that.) Dreams become reality and Aeris soon discovers the truth behind the Dreamwrights, enhanced human beings from an ancient time, reduced to a mere legend in modern times, who could tap into the energy of the Dream World, the world our minds go when we sleep. (This is fiction, I have no proof a dream world exists… Yet… Get on it scientists.) The Dreamwrights are even more real then you and I and Aeris along with her best friends get wrapped up in a thrilling tale that concerns the fate of reality itself.

So that’s basically the gist of Aeris and Dream Eclipse. I have plans to make it a novel but I also think it may be possible to create comics (If I ever get good enough at art to make comics that is.) and short stories to post on here related to Dream Eclipse. This won’t be the last time you see Aeris and I’m already working on drawings of her friends/other characters from this story. I no longer have to bug my sister to draw my characters, (You can still do that if you want sis… Pretend I just winked right there.) I still have a lot of improvement to do, I kinda wish I added more shading to her face but its time to move to a new project. I’m not going to get anywhere stuck on the same art piece.

Actually despite wanting to move on this won’t be the last time you see this specific artwork, I really want to do something cool for the background to make it more of an art piece then just a character art but I’m not sure how to go about that yet, maybe I’ll make something similar to the background of my first vector artwork of Aeris.

With that all said and done that’s pretty much a wrap for the day. As far as Video Games go I’ve actually started playing a new playthrough of a timeless old favorite…. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Gameboy Advance.

I absolutely love this game and it really does deserve it’s own blog at some point. The characters of the Mario Universe are so fleshed out and with the amount of humor in this game and the good sprites this game never ages to me. Oh yeah I actually played a little farther into The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess which I started playing, as I talked about on the blog, earlier on last year. I’ll talk more about what I’m currently playing on Monday! Until then enjoy this sketch I made of Mario & Luigi, which I haven’t drawn these two since I was a kid. I based this off that sprite of them popping out the suitcase on Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

That’s a wrap folks!

Oh yeah I have a Deviantart account now: