Thursday, 27 February 2014

Kickstarter: Dead Pastel

This project is actually the first Kickstarter campaign I've backed (I've since backed two more). It's a clothing line called Dead Pastel. I love the cute designs and even more, I love the range of sizes. While I'm not plus sized, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to find cute clothes, especially if you are more into alternative styles. But I love even more that it's not JUST plus size. Girls of all sizes can get these super cute tee-shirts! This campaign is still fairly far from it's goal so please stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A Bit of a Change...

So, you might have noticed that I changed a few little things about this blog. Like the name. And the URL. Here's why:

Even though Lady Geek Out was still a very new blog (less than a month old!), all of my new blog enthusiasm was fizzling. I love chatting about geeky things like tv show fandoms and games, but that's not all of who I am. Sure it's fine if I want to squee about my new Doctor Who t-shirts, but what if I want to talk about nail polish or loose leaf tea or photography? Would that fit in Lady Geek Out? Probably not. When I started the blog, I had big plans of a schedule and lots of great content. But in reality, that schedule was already stressing me out and the focus of my content was too narrow.

So rather than get frustrated and let this blog wither and die, I decided to make a change. Thus Lady Geek Out was transformed into A Wild Charming Thing. Will I still talk about gaming and cosplay? Of course! But now I also feel like I'm free to talk about other things, like food and beauty and fashion and photography and my ongoing love affair with loose leaf tea.

I really hope the small number of current readers I have aren't turned off by this change and I hope new readers aren't turned off by my mercurial nature. But either way, blogging is a hobby and I need to do it in a way that works for me!

Lady Geek Out Recomends: Hancock's House of Happy

As you may have found out on Monday, I enjoy a little cross stitch now and then! I'm still pretty new to the hobby, but here's one cross stitch pattern designer I've discovered that I love.

I'm pretty sure I want to make almost every cross stitch pattern from Hancock's House of Happy. There's a great combination of Kawaii, Geeky and a little bit more traditional patterns. The best part? Loads of them are 100% free! There's a few of the more complex ones that are $2 on Craftsy, but there are tons of free ones to start with. That said, be sure to stop by the designer's Craftsy and Etsy shops! The Craftsy shop includes the free patterns as well. The Etsy shop features sculptures which are pretty cute.

Unfortunately, due to legal-ness, I can't post the charts directly, but follow the links and you'll see what I mean.


Coffee Time

Just My Cup of Tea

We All Scream for Ice Cream


Kill All Humans

Hello Sweetie - This is going to be my next project!

Achievement Unlocked

Trick Or Treat Daleks

Bowties Are Cool

Monday, 24 February 2014

Gamer Monday: Nindento Cross Stitch

This week I'm combining my Gamer Monday post with the Gadabout Gamers feature by Gamerwife. This month's topic was NEStalgia, featuring the NES. When I was very small, my (much) older brothers had a NES (or possibly a SNES), but it was gone from the house by the time I was old enough to really want to play. Although I have some very fond memories of playing Duck Hunter!

For my post, I decided to combine gaming with one of my many other hobbies: cross stitch! So here it is! My NES controller cross stitch!

I haven't completetly decided what it's final purpose will be (the hardest part of cross stitch), but I think I'll turn it into a bookmark! For use in yet another of my hobbies!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Whether you are celebrating with that special someone, with friends or family, with pets (I know I went on a date with my horsie last night) or doing your best to ignore this commercialized holiday, I hope your day is awesome! And remember, tomorrow we can all buy discount chocolate!

In honour the holiday and because it's cosplay friday, here's a shot of my boyfriend and I last Halloween. It was out first couples costume ever (and our 8th Halloween). Is couple's cosplay something you've done? Or are you like me, blessed with a SO that hates dressing up? Or do you think it's kind of creepy?

photo credit to my friend Jason

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Lady Geek Out Recommends: Learning to Sew (and not just for cosplay)

This may sound like an out-of-place 1950's PSA, but I highly recommend learning to sew. It may seem like an outdated skill that has lost importance since the pioneer days, but learning to sew was one of the best skills I've ever learned (besides, you know, feeding myself). And it's not just for ladies! Male Pattern Boldness is an amazing example of this!

Meet Rosie, my sewing machine!
Obviously, knowing your way around a sewing machine is a huge plus if you are into cosplay. There's only so much you can do with store-bought costumes, scissors and fabric glue. I personally can't afford to commission someone else to make costumes for me. There's so much more freedom when you make your own costume as opposed to buying a costume from a store. First of all, I'm often grossed out by the quality of the costumes they sell at Walmart and the like. Plus if you want a more obscure costume, chances are you won't be able to find it in a store near you. And finally, once you know some sewing basics, fit improves immensely. As someone who is a minimum of 2 sizes different between my bust and waist, this is huge!

Skirt and bustle sewn by me!
But sewing isn't only for cosplay! I'm currently working on buying much less and sewing more of my everyday wardrobe. First, as I mentioned above, once you get the hang of fitting, it's nice to have clothes that were made for exactly your body type. The second reason I enjoy sewing my own clothes is an ethical one. In these days of "fast fashion", clothes have become incredibly disposable. Instead of spending more and buying quality clothes that will last for years, people just buy what's cheap and trending and who cares if it's stretched out in 10 wears, because you can just buy the next new thing at the mall. I have major fears about the working conditions of many of the factories where these clothes are made. Here's an article on "Slow Fashion" from one of my favourite sewing pattern companies!

I've never seen a backpack this stripe-y in a store!
Finally, the biggest reason why I sew is that I love it! Sure there can be frustrating times (Sewing a seam wrong for the 3rd time at 3am with a time crunch or unpicking a serged seam), but you find that in lots of hobbies (that impossible boss fight?). I really love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a project. Plus you get to use what you've made on a day-to-day basis. It's fun to learn new skills and with sewing, you're never really done learning if you don't want to be!

Top sewn by me
Sewing can turn into an expensive hobby (can't they all?), especially if, like me, you become addicted to buying fabric. My current machine was fairly expensive (for me at least, although people can spend over $2000 for a machine), but so far I feel like it's been worth it. But you don't have to start with a fancy machine. I learned to sew on my mom's Singer which is 12 years older than I am! So like a lot of hobbies, it's as expensive as you make it!

Sewing is one of my favourite hobbies and I definitely wish I'd learned earlier!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lady Geek Out Recommends: Weregeek Comic

Today I want to recommend my favourite webcomic: Weregeek by Alina Pete!

This comic follows the adventures of a group of geeks as they traverse various gaming adventures, as well as some real life adventures. So good and so many things that match up with my life! Check it out!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

DM Diaries: Week One

Last week I started DMing a 4E campaign for my friends. I've only DMed once before and that was over 2 years ago. Not to mention I haven't even played D&D in over a year. So I was a little nervous, but I think things went pretty well. So I decided I'd like to share notes, anecdotes etc from my games in this bimonthly feature: DM Diaries.

So last week I got to meet my groups characters. Tiny, the human barbian with an apparent fondness for taking shots (played by my bf). Marrq, the highly focused wild elf seeker. Fera, the long-tooth shifter paladin, who appears to enjoy money and rescuing people (played by the other lady in our group). Durn, the deadly dwarven warden. And finally Furil, the difficult to read half-elf bard, who I have a feeling will tend to throw my encounters sideways whenever possible.

Like our first encounter, which consisted of waves of hobgoblins and goblins attacking the tavern of heroes were in. Most of the characters happily layed into the monsters. However, Tiny was at the very bottom of initiative and usually the others had cleared the monster wave by the time it was his turn, so he stayed at the bar and continued drinking.

But Furil gave us some interesting side story. There was a poker game going on in the back corner that he tried to join in, rather than, you know, fighting the baddies. Well, he failed his diplomacy check to join the game and one of the players gave him a little shove to keep him moving. Well, Furil took offense and proceeded to kill 2 of the 3 card players (and swipe some gold) before Fera the pally intervened. There was some gold changing hands in exchange for Fera keeping her mouth shut (she is not the most "good" of paladins.

Stay tuned to see what my crazy adventurers get up to next. They have an interrogation coming up next, so I can foresee some wacky hi jinx ahead.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Gamer Monday: My Favourite Super-Old Game: Heroes III

Title: Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: The 3DO Company
Publication Date: February 28, 1999 (PC)
Source: Purchased (twice!)

Heroes III is the first video game I fell head-over-heels in love with. I grew up in a very limited-video-game home. By the time I was 9, my brothers' Super Nintendo was gone (I'm the youngest by a lot and they had moved out). In my tween years, most of my limited computer time was spent playing play-by-post message board RPGs. Until I discovered Heroes III!

I seriously love this game so hard! When I try to explain it to my boyfriend, I had to put in context.  I love Heroes III as much as he loves Diablo 2 (which is a lot).

Heroes III is a turn-based strategy game, where you control heroes and their armies. Using these heroes, you can gather resources, gather artifacts, battle neutral creatures or enemy heroes and lay siege to cities

Battles are probably the most exciting part of Heroes III. You command various creature types (infantry, ranges, flying etc.) with various movement speeds and attack/defense strength. Multiple units of the same type stack, so even the lowly pikemen can slay a great dragon, provided you have enough of them.

But it's not all hack and slash! A major part of the game is resource management. You can build structures in any towns that you control. The main structure types are unit dwellings, which allow you to recruit (for a fee of course) unit that will fight under your command, defences, which not only protect your units during a seige but also increase unit growth, town buildings, which give you gold each day, and various other buildings that vary by city type.

There are 8 city types (plus one additional type in the expansion). These city types determine the types of creatures you can recruit. The balance here is not bad, but I definitely find the Castle city type to be the strong  The Rampart city type is my second favourite, but I think that's just because you can recruit unicorns.

Heroes III does offer multiplayer, via either hotseat or LAN. However, because turn length can end up being very long, there is a LOT of waiting and I don't recommend it.

Overall, I'm clearly a huge fan of Heroes III, considering that I still love it almost 15 years after it's release (yikes!). My bf did recently gift me the updated version, Heroes VI, which I've been playing for the past couple days. Will it have the same addictive quality as Heroes III. Time will tell I guess.

I purchased my newest copy of Heroes III from Gog, if you want to get in on the old school action!