Geek Approved – October

October has now passed and time just continues, barreling down the hallway of life like a crazed quarterback. Seriously. I can’t keep up.
r2-d2-falls-over
Me dealing with life.
A lot of cool things happened between exams and curling up in fetal position from lack of life-handling-skills.
These were my nerdy favourites for the past month:

1. Roleplaying

svavelvinter bok rollspel roleplaying book

As I wrote in (Tabletop Roleplaying – My First Time) I have kinda feared the actual roleplaying. Then I was sidetracked with some lovely character creation and forgot to be nervous. But yesterday, the time had finally come.
I would have to actually… act. Or at least pretend in front of people and not just in my head.

But it was amazing. Yes, my face was kind of red. Yes, I had to have a drink or two for bravery. But it was SO MUCH FUN. I love exploring new worlds, through gaming or books and I will now add roleplaying to that list.

The best moment of the night was when my character had to desperately defend herself. At the crucial dice roll which would decide if she would succeed in defending herself with wind magic, or likely die, I scored sixes. Which meant the assassin was literally blasted across the alley by a gust of wind so powerful it took everything in its way with it.
I felt like goddamn Kvothe when he called the wind for the first time.

excited minions

It was, just to cement your view of me as a sad little nerd, everything I’ve ever dreamt of. Can I always be her instead of me? Okay, maybe that’s not a healthy approach. My point is, it felt like being there. The only equally strong sense of stepping into another world and affecting it myself, not just spectating, was when I first played World of Warcraft, many years ago. And that is saying something.

To all others who are afraid of trying out tabletop roleplaying, who thinks it is too nerdy and that they will feel embarrassed playing pretend like that:
With the right friends and someone to guide you through it, it can be an absolutely amazing experience.

2. Guild Wars 2

guild wars 2
I never fell for GW2 like I though I would. It was a very pretty game and I loved customizing my character (so much I made four in a row before even pressing play).
But the story didn’t grab me and I felt that I had no direction or purpose. Sandbox games are not always my cup of tea.

Now though
, on the third attempt, there’s a spark.I’m getting the hang of my abilities and the game mechanics- I’m thoroughly enjoying discovering events and hunting down bosses. I’ve not gotten excited about a “new” MMO in a long while. So yay!
dr horrible fingers crossed

3. Halloween

Halloween is always a highlight for me. But this year things got quite stressful. Eventually it worked out though and I had a brilliant night with my BF and friends.
Here is my costume! (Or you know, the parts of it that fit in a bathroom selfie.)

fawn_halloween
I was some kind of Urban Fawn-Demon/Forest Creature. Just go with it. xD

I got lots of compliments on my horns which of course made me go  ~*w*~ (=starry-eyed, overly excited and waving my arms around like a jellyfish, in case that wasn’t clear.)

If you want to make your own for a cosplay or a party or something, you can  have a look at my antler-tutorial here. Quick and cheap, the way I like it. (Y)

What did you enjoy most in October– a book, a movie or dressing up as something awesome for Halloween?

/Joh

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Halloween Special – DIY Antlers, Wall Decor and Snack Ideas

Halloween is only two days away and I’m working hard to get everything ready for the small party I’m throwing.
Here are two really cool but simple and cheap DIY’s plus some creepy-cute snack ideas, I hope you like them!

DIY’S

Deer Antlers

For my costume come Saturday I really needed a pair of large, wearable antlers. It can be quite expensive to buy that kind of costume accessories so I looked to the internetz for aid. I found some tutorials on how you could create your own antlers with non-fancy materials. With those in mind, I improvised.
I’m actually super happy with the result, and all in all it only took me about 2-3 hours so check it out. : D

What you need:

  • Tin foil
  • Paper tape
  • String
  • Acrylics (optional)
  • Headband
  • Glue gun or similar sticky-provider
Doesn't look like much.
Doesn’t look like much.

Step 1: Create the basic shape you want for your antlers out of the tin foil. Just tear off a large piece, maybe 30×30 cm, then scrunch and bend away. Add smaller pieces if you want more points on your antlers.

Step 2: Tape all around your foil base, from root to tip(s). This stabilizes and smooths your construction.

Tin foil-base all taped and purdy (...)
Tin foil-base all taped and purdy (…)

Step 3: Wrap thick-ish string around the foil base. This creates a nice, horn-like texture and eliminates any unwanted bumps and cavities you might still have. Cut and glue the edges so they stay put.

Wrapped and almost ready to go.
Wrapped and ready to be glued.

Step 4 (optional): Paint your horns! I choose to keep mine as they were, I was short on time and the string I had used was the colour I wanted anyway. But if you got the time or want black, glossy or just more advanced horns then this is where you make it happen. I’d recommend a darker base with lighter tips and some shading in the ridges to make them pop more.

Step 5: Attach the antlers to a head band. I used a cheap but effective glue gun and was surprised at how little problem this step created. The tin foil and tape base makes your horns really lightweight despite their size and I was thrilled that it actually worked, haha. Most of my ideas work better in my head, but this was not one of them. : D

halloween deer antlers- geek by joh - close-up antlers
Done, except for some last-minute touch ups I’ll probably do as I finish my costume.

Make sure to measure and mark where on the headband the antlers should be attached. Otherwise they might end up at a wrong angle or too low or high for you liking once you put them on.

I’m looking forward to wearing them, even though they are a bit scrappy and rough they look really good on. (I’ll obviously cover the headband and horn roots with my hair, hehe.)

Wall Decor – The Three-Faced God

Or The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Whatever you prefer.
I came upon these simple, white paper masks in a hobby store, they were about 3 dollars each. I liked how impersonal and creepy they looked and decided to paint them a little and hang them on my wall.

What you need:

  • Paper masks
  • Acrylic paint
  • Ink pen
The masks! I actually think they are creepy just like they are, so if you don't want to paint you could simply hang them up straight away, haha.
The masks! I actually think they are creepy just like they are, so if you don’t want to paint you could simply hang them up straight away, haha.
First mask painted. No smudging so far *knock on wood*
First mask painted. No smudging so far *knock on wood*
Waiting for paint to dry.
All three done. Waiting for paint to dry so I can add a little bit of ink.
The finished result!
The finished result!
Three identical white masks, slightly altered by paint. One has red tears running down it's cheeks. One has blood dripping from it's mouth. One has two long, red scars across it's face.
Close-up time.

Not much to say about the process, as you can see it is very straight-forward. I simply painted and tried to not go overboard. I wanted them to be like the three faces of one dark deity– one sad, one bloodthirsty and one serious and scarred.

Snack ideas and strategies

Key element of my preparations for Halloween this year was cheap and simple. Busy-student-style. Yeaaah. With some modifications, these treats will be my saviours come Saturday.

Ghost Cupcakes

ghost cupcakes
Original recipe: Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

These are just so adorable. I will keep the design but go for a basic muffin batter, with a blood-red center filled with raspberries and white chocolate to make it a bit more interesting.
I’ll make a double batch of both batter and frosting so I’ll also have enough for…

Pumpkin Cupcakes

halloween-pumpkin-cupcake
via baked cupcakery uk

I think this design will look great next to the ghost ones! I’ll flavour what’s left of the basic batter with carrot and cinnamon (pumpkin and spice would be delicious and maybe more theme-appropriate, but I want to make do with what I already have at home).
I’ll then colour the white frosting orange with food-dye and try to use that to imitate the pumpkin decor, and create the green stems and black features from coloured marzipan.

Spider Cookies

spider cookies
Original recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

The cutest of them all! Although, I will merely be inspired by the look here as I have friends who are very allergic to peanuts. I’ll do it the quick and dirty way instead:

  • Buy Sugar Cookies
  • Stick a chocolate truffel on top
  • Drizzle melted chocolate to create the “legs”
  • Add edible googly eyes.

Done!

Creepy, Moldy (mmm) Popcorn

Slimy green.
Slimy green.

Just discovered this so I can’t vouch for it, but looks to be exactly what I was after. A bit more complicated than simply slathering food dye on the popcorn, but probably a lot less soggy. Recipe and guide from Wikihow ❤

That was it for the DIY’s I’ve already made and my snack plans!

Come Saturday I will also make a Dead Leaf Curtain to pimp our apartment with, and of course finish my costume.
I might make another post on that and  my party decor, but I wanted to get these up ASAP in case anyone was looking for inspiration but would be out of time by Saturday. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned, mwahaha.

/Joh

Scary good art – Karl-Johan Thole

NOTE: When I say scary good, I mean it in all its various implications. His creations are not for the faint of heart. You have now been warned.

Karl-Johan “Utte” Thole and I studied game design together at university, but he is just on completely another level when it comes to painting. He is never pleased with his work though, which I think is crazy because look at the stuff, but that seems to be the curse of almost all truly creative people in this world.

Anyway, enough blabbering. Just in time for this the spookiest of months and with Halloween soon upcoming- feast your eyes and fuel your nightmares with these babies! ;_;

“Tolk”

Hang this suave horror above your bed, I dare you.

“Jasmine”

Inspired by Maxim Verehin & Gottfried Helnwein.
(Though rumour claims it actually depicts me on monday mornings.)

A study from the movie
A still study from the movie Triangle.

Wow. I wish I could paint like that! The skin and lighting are just amazing don’t you think?

“Subject X”

Such a charming creature. Love the almost chalky feel of this and can I just say, you have one twisted imagination Utte. My mom claims I have, but yours is just way waaay worse.

“Monster”

Aptly named, here is a 3D model of another of his beloved mutated, blood-dripping aliens. Such nice work on the topology, I could never get that quite right hehe.
I faced this creature in a prototype game they made for the Oculus Rift and all I remember after that is screaming and trying to get the Rift of my head. So I guess that’s a job well done.

He also does more err, non-revolting paintings, mostly studies like for example these two:

A woman, in profile, wearing a feather earring.
“Study – Emelie”. Original photo by David Bellemere.
Black and white painting of a young alternative woman with lots of jewellry and dreadlocks.
“Value study”

I especially like the contrast of sharp versus smudged in the last one. (And can I please have her hair and jewelry.)

If you liked, or got disgusted but also intrigued and impressed with what you saw, Karl-Johan has a DeviantArt account , go check it out and show him some love! And thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it. : )

/Joh