Games that Shaped Who I Am


I’d like for this to be a thing I do now, like every week or so. A lot of who I am was built around video games. Most of my favorite childhood memories revolve around them, and I can track each ‘phase’ of my life through gaming. SNES madness got me through my childhood, n64/gamecube through my teen years, ps2 thru college with a heavy dose of DDR at the arcade near school, and warcraft/xbox 360 late/after college. Ive actually owned (and still do) every console excluding the newest ones (bone/ps4) but I’ll get those eventually.

So anyway lets get this started huh? The first game that shaped me, and had a big impact on my life was as follows…

Best. Game. Ever.

This game…omg this game. I still vividly remember the day that my father brought it home. He was so excited about it! He held the box up above our heads and proudly  read the text. I remember something about “the best graphics possible” and “weather effects” and I was so excited to see this hyper-realistic new game.

And it was beautiful. I still think the game looks absolutely stunning.

I remember how much time my dad spent in the first half of the game. I had grown fond of the bright colors and awesome soundtrack… Then all went dark. The music was even more awesome- but I remember being terrified of dark world.

Darkness!

Darkness!

Even when I got the chance to play the game on my own I remember being so scared of Dark World that I would quit the game as soon as I got there…If ever I did brave dark world- I would quit when I got to the forest… Too much scary!

I still have nightmares about this...

I still have nightmares about this…

To this day this is still one of my favorite games of all time. I love it. I love Ocarina as well but I love how dark this game is (TP is also a similar feel)

This game is what made me fall in love with video games in the first place. I’d played other games before- but this one…Id dream about this damned game. I wanted link to come and save ME! He was my knight in shiny green armor. My very first crush…was a video game character.

So much smexy.

So much smexy.

 

 

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My first year being an entrepreneur (2013 in review)


2013 was a very special year for me. Ive had my EIN for “Murderwear” since 2011 but I’ve never decided to just dive in and actually get it started up. I was always scared or broke, or not thinking I could make money drawing silly crap and putting it on tshirts.

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Initially- what I’d wanted to do was find a cheap local screen printer and send them my designs, and sell them- taking about a 1/3 profit cut for doing it that way. Then I thought maybe I’d use one of the many websites out there (redbubble, zazzle, etc) and sell that way- but that takes away even more from my profits- and a lot of sites like that end up stealing your work so…no- not an option.

Then 2013 happened, and I got a disproportionately large tax return. I figured…well- This isn’t money I NEED right now, and while I could finally afford to replace my computer- I thought I’d gamble it. Buy the screen printing and heat transfer stuff I needed, and hopefully make the money back selling things! So in february of 2013 I registered the fictitious name- which I needed in order to open a bank account as Murderwear. I then spent about 200 advertising in a local newspaper (a requirement after registering the name) and then bought a custom tailored screen printing/ heat transfer setup from http://www.screenprintingsupplies.com  I got a 2 color one station press, a HIX heat press, tons of chemicals, paint, an exposure unit and some other stuff. By the end of March I had invested about 2500 into the business and I was ready to open up shop.

I decided at least for the first year- to completely do business online only. I had an inactive etsy account laying around, so I updated it, and put a few items up. I officially opened for business on Etsy in late April 2013. I was so excited! I was also worried because I kept hearing reports that people don’t normally make any sales on etsy for the first few months they’re on there.

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But then it happened! I got my first sale almost immediately. There was an issue where I had forgotten to put down the right paypal email, but we got it squared away, and my first transaction was awesome!

First Etsy review

 

And the sales kept on coming. I had tried ebay at one point- but people are cheap on there. They treat you like you’re some giant store and never feel like paying full price for anything. I’d also tried big commerce but they wanted me to pass a credit check (yeah right) to accept credit card orders. As of right now Im only on etsy as well as shopify (shopify doesn’t require a credit check) and they both pay for themselves.

I met this one guy on etsy who does almost the same thing I do- but there are some things I can make (buttons, mugs, screen prints) that he can’t make- so we’ve been collaborating and he’s been a great resource to have. Business picked up dramatically since I’d started working with him.

I then got into trying to advertise via social media. I made a Facebook page for my shop and a new twitter account. Its been a process for sure- but I am seeing results.

Late in the year I also started collaborating with different people from twitch.tv to get the word out. Gamers tend to uh…not buy much, but the exposure is still pretty awesome!

By the end of 2013 I had made back all of the money I had invested plus any money I had put into supplies, so I get to start 2013 at a net 0 which is really cool. Well- not really net 0- I just bought more equipment so that I can do bigger and better things! I have a sublimation system now so I can print into hard surfaces like ceramic or plastics and polyester 😀

 

We’ll see where 2014 takes me!

Hopefully I’ll be able to quit my day job lol!

You win- PERFECT (or drunk…don’t judge me)


Something interesting happened a little while ago…

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As it so often happens I was quite…intoxicated, and decided to they and play some endless battle in SSF4 with someone Ive never played before- and like everyone, out skills me. Now Im not gonna lie and say I beat him or anything but thats the thing- I got pretty damned close most of the time. Toward the end I picked a character I don’t use (Edumondo Honda), pretended I was Balrog (whom I also can’t use)- and won.

What even is this? I thought. How is it that I am playing half decently-by that I mean getting health below 20% most matches (except for some very pronounced reaction lag) while drunk?

Easy answer- muscle memory.

Lately when I play the game I tend to be…not sober because thats when my bf really really wants to play. I even catch him watching vesperarcade every now and then- its adorable. While unsober I can only pull of the most basic of combos (target or easy cancels) but then I can do other things like air moves while grounded, jump hp, stand hp, H reflect, fadc soul throw or shoryu-SHORYUKEN or canon str-CANON STRIKE. Its not anything fancy, but like, I don’t know- pulling things off like that Rose combo used to be REALLY hard like- a month ago, now I don’t even have to think. Then theres the good old YOLO random select wins…that kind of make me feel bad for playing cheaply XD

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SO after all that it hit me- while I do love this game more than most things- the fact that Im able to do certain things while drunk caught me off guard. And I thought…maybe I should uh…you know- train my fingers for something a little more constructive?

So yeah, I bought a guitar again. Haven’t played since college… Doing it right this time- have a built in guitar trainer on my mac thats working out pretty well. No amp- but I can plug the jack into my computer and go nuts ^^

Its an Ibanez grg 150. Stuck w/ Ibanez as the first one Ive ever owned was an Ibanez and I loved it. Bought a very inexpensive model- has good reviews overall and a low price point was important.

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Im not and will never give up on SSF4 (and by that I mean Abel <3) but I’m gonna start also focusing on other pursuits. I [lay video games on average about 6 hours each day, and while I enjoy it- I need something else to balance out my brain XD

Or maybe I should just play street fighter more and get (back) to a point where I can jump into random lobbies and play online.

A Broken HDD Can Make You Draw Better!


So, Ive been having this issue with my hard drive for about 4 months or so, where it takes forever to boot, indexes for 5 years, and occaisionally shuts down on me (fun- I should note my hard drive is 6 years old, and has been cloned/reformatted/partitioned more times than I can count) The issue started when I used bootcamp to instal windows (which i installed solely for playing streetfighter on steam), then deleted it…but it never deleted properly. I think the harddrives BEEN dead (clicking, making deathrattles) for a long time, but that was the nail in the coffin

Recently every other week or so, it gives up, remembers the fact that that its been broken for months, and self destructs. I trick it into thinking its fixed, clone it, and go on with my day because I dont have the money laying around to repair it, nor do I have the time.

Im also afraid to- Give me a g4, and I’ll break it open with my eyes closed, repair whatevers wrong (I once put cardboard down on a logic board that was failing to squeeze some more time out of the damn thing LOL) and I’m fine. My imac though- I see less as a computer and more like a friend or something. It was my first major purchase when I was in college, and Im a sissy about it. Which is stupid but whatever

Anyway, an awesome friend of mine shipped me a 2tb replacement, so I’m gonna suck it up and crack this baby open >:)

Anyway back to what this post is about. I usually push my data over to my macbook as I create it, and my macbook is continuously cloned. I cant use time machine currently on my imac because if I try to copy data from this busted drive, it fails and I have to reclone it >< Attached to this imac is a bootable clone of itself (in case of emergency death) and a backup 250g drive with all of my media and artwork.

I am trying to do an artwork request for someone, that involves Terry Bogard, and I wanted to show the progress post-computer death. It would be so simple for me to have saved this image to my external, but I forgot- because I’m awesome. Which is good because redoing it (three times) made it look better lol.

First try, pretty damned smexy, but his head was too large and his hat looked silly, he also looked totally bored with trying to kill someone:

*yawn* this is SO 90's

*yawn* this is SO 90’s

That one was cool, I liked it, but I’m an idiot and saved it to a folder on my desktp that had the same name as the folder on my backup drive #winning

So I started it again, but this try looked horrible and I ragequit and deleted the file:

He looks like  one of the usual suspects- only not as sexy

He looks like one of the usual suspects- only not as sexy

I hate the eyes and the nose and the everything- its just wrong, I was so frustrated I started a third time, making sure to save this one not only to my backup drive, but to my macbook and clone drive as well.

So this is my third try- FINALLY his head is proportional and he looks awesome, hoping to finish today!

shin-RYUKEN!

shin-RYUKEN!

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all I see is Ken, and thats fine with me ❤

Michonne Tshirt Giveaway!!


Where have I been? The twitters, on the interwebs, lurking around, promoting my shop!

In celebration of getting to 300 followers, I want to do a giveaway!

This is for one Michonne tshirt in a size of your choice (from medium to xxl) Once the raffle ends I’ll contact you to get the details ❤

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Fill in the details to be added to the pool ❤

Best of luck, you guys are awesome!

Duct Tape as Fine Art – Hot Chocolate Tape Art


This guy is incredible. I met him on Etsy a while back and was blown away by his artwork. I asked him to send me some more info and pictures- I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do!

His Etsy shop is pretty new, but some of his best work is featured there!

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When did you start getting into crafting, what did you start with? 

I started taping in the summer of 2011,when I moved into my sophomore year dorm room. my first project was a 6 foot Pikachu on the wall of my dorm room. I started off using only black duck tape and scissors.

Do you work outside of your Etsy shop? If so, what is your occupation? How do you find time for both? 

I do not work outside of my etsy shop I am a aeronautical engineering major at Sonoma State University, but i am looking for a summer job. i am usually doing physics or calculus and on the weekends or whenever I need a break I work on my tape projects.

How did you learn about Etsy?

I found out about etsy from a guy on the city bus on my way home with the canvas for Lion in the night savannah piece. He saw my canvas and asked what kind of art do I do. I told him it was kind of hard to explain so i showed him pictures of all my previous work and told him i was having a pretty hard time selling my work to other students on campus. He was amazed by my duct tape pieces and he suggested that I would have no problem selling them on etsy.


When did you start your shop?

I started my shop just after i finished my Lion in the night savannah piece.

How did you come up with your Etsy shop name?

My shop name Hot Chocolate Tape Art comes comes from my nick name Hot Chocolate Thunda with the addition my my art.


What are your favorite materials to work with/favorite mediums? 

I do a lot of drawing so pencil and sharpie are my favorite medium im not much of a fan of paints. I started doing duct tape art in my dorm room because i wanted to express my artistic side on the walls of my dorm room but i obviously i need a way to take them down when my year in that room finally came around so i painting my walls were out of the question. I suggested the idea of duct tape to my roommate and he was all for it as all as it didn’t damage the walls and we wouldn’t have to pay for it.


What is the furthest place you have traveled?

the furthest i traveled is home homein southern california to College in northern california so about 450 miles, ive been to las vegas once but just to help a friend move in haha.


Do you have pets?
I do not have any pets =( but I really want a ferret, they’re illegal in california though. =/


What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is chili cheese fries! or mac and cheese! or pizza! and i like vanilla milkshakes a lot too!


What do you enjoy doing on your free time?

On my free time I like to play basketball, video games, hang out with friends and listen to music.


What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I have 11 siblings 4 brothers and 7 sisters!

For more info:

instagram: HCThunda

Tumblr: thunda-v7.tumblr.com/

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/HotChocolateTapeArt

Jessica of JEMBoutique and Scrapbooking 101


In my adventures across Etsy, I find myself meeting all sorts of new and interesting individuals. There is a group that I am a part of, called Promotion Love- and there are so many interesting people there from all walks of life. 

I met Jessica thorough the group. Currently her store is small, but she has big dreams! I hope they come to fruition, because she really is talented. 

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Beautiful items, all made by hand. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your shop.

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My name is Jessica and I’m a born and raised Floridian. I’m the oldest sister of three girls and currently living in Miami. My passion has always been art and design. Anything that allows me to use my creativity and bring my visions to life. Since I was young I have been using art and crafts to create items. One of my favorite hobbies is scrapbooking. I treasure being able to capture special moments in my life and tell the story of that moment through my personalized scrapbook album. When I’m not scrapbooking, I enjoy outdoor adventures. I’m a scuba diver and love the ocean. It’s where I feel most peace and tranquility. I also love cats, dogs, friendship, marathons, traveling, yoga, baking, and I hold my family close to my heart.

I love giving personalized gifts for all occasions. When a special occasion is coming up, I look at it as the perfect opportunity to create something unique and personalized for the person. After creating a guest book for my friend’s wedding, she told me I should look into selling them. It was something I considered but didn’t act on right away as I enjoy creating and giving. After the wedding I received numerous compliments and even interest from others to create one for them. That gave me the extra boost to create my Etsy shop, JEM Boutique. As I am brand new, I currently only have two listed guest books but I plan to add more items in the near future. My shop will not be limited to wedding guest books only. I plan on adding items for baby showers, birthdays, bridal showers, graduations, anniversaries, etc. Everything from gift baskets to invitations, and center pieces. Anything that will add that “something special” to any occasion. In the future, I look forward to my Etsy shop listing many items and receiving many orders. I see myself creating and designing full time. Maybe one day even opening my own store front and studio. Being able to help people make their moments even more special and memorable with my custom items is what I am striving for.

Scrap booking is something I never quite understood.  I feel dumb saying this but could you give a basic “scrapbooking 101”?

No worries…not a dumb question at all. A lot of people don’t understand or know what scrapbooking is.

I like to think of scrapbooking as telling a story of your captured memories and experiences. Instead of simply placing pictures in an single colored album you get to personalize it to your liking. Some steps to creating a scrapbook are – choosing backgrounds that goes with the theme of your pictures (these can be created or purchased at craft stores), place pictures on the page (normally not in uniform placement, size, or order), the layout style (envision how you want the final page style to look), add embellishments (I make mine but these can be purchased at craft stores as well), borders (I also make mine but these can be purchased as well), color, and maybe a little notecard with a description of the day, moment or experience. Quotes or little sayings like “love” “family” “party” can also be added that are significant to the moment. Scrapbook albums can be purchased or made. I have done both. For me, the most enjoyable part of scrapbooking is letting my creativity run wild. When I look at the pictures and think about the memories, I envision different layouts and how I want the page to come out. Through craft and design I am able to make it happen. The end result is beautiful personalized album that will capture the memories forever.

You can find her shop JEMboutique here. And her facebook here.