Oh, yay!

Apr. 2nd, 2010 06:39 pm
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I just realised: now that I know how to knit (I learned last weekend), I can ask my mother to buy me some hand-dyed yarn from etsy for my birthday! YAY!

(I've been hankering for some of that yarn since I first found it. Sadly, the batches I was particularly fond of are already sold... but there's still plenty of other beautiful stuff there. -- How many yards do you need for a decent scarf? 'cause for now, scarves are all I know how to make... *g*)
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I always had this big urge to *make* things, but did not have access to the necessary tools and materials. My parents would shower me with art materials, actually - but they were always art materials focused on activities involving little dirt and danger. Painting and glueing stuff together, mostly. What I wanted, though, was to be able to do things that involved real tools, and materials more substantial. I really enjoyed my once-a-year chance of using the woodworking workshop of a nearby kindergarten, for example. (They opened it for the public during their annual neighbourhood party.)

I wanted to make things that did not look like something made by a child, and things that would not fall apart when you tried to use them.
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If you were a child in the 80s in Germany, you probably encountered Fimo. It was - still is, I suppose - a devilishly hard type of coloured clay that you can turn into solid plastic by baking. I experimented with it a bit as a teenager, but found it fairly useless. I found it nearly impossible to actually shape it into anything very detailed; the colours wouldn't mix properly; and it was very difficult to connect different parts into a whole - the parts would often fall off again after baking. So, all in all, my Fimo experience was mostly frustrating.

Turns out that it's quite possible to make amazing things from Fimo. Like this frame:


(Just one example of many. Though there's a lot of really ugly stuff around, too. Sturgeon's Law applies...)

Makes me wish I had persevered. Or had some proper instruction.
hmpf: (fanatic)
From today onwards, when I work on jewellery, I will listen to Star Wars audio books - until I run out of Star Wars audio books. When that event finally arrives, in a few years, I will switch to Doctor Who audio books, which should keep me a happy, geeky goldsmith for another five years or so.


((((([livejournal.com profile] beccatoria)))))
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eight months of unemployment, and I'm beginning to make jewellery on an almost-semi-regular basis.

How many more months would it take to turn me into a 'real' goldsmith again? ;-)
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would be willing to pay 100 euros for a pair of earrings, I wonder?

Because I don't think I can make them much cheaper without limiting my hourly pay to a non-industrialised-country level.
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it just occurred to me that simply announcing that I had finished my latest KS level without posting a link to it was a bit stupid. So, you can download it here:


It's the last one, Remembering the City. If you've never played KS before, you also need to download the software linked at the top of the page, and you should probably play the very short tutorial that comes with it. That will teach you everything you need to play RtC. (In fact, you don't even need every skill that the tutorial teaches you to play RtC, because RtC is really easy - but you do need to know how to jump and double-jump.)
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News from the Real World:

- I have an internship, with a museum, starting in April (well, on the last day of March, actually). Unpaid, naturally, so I need a job in addition to that. Also, I'll probably need another internship later on, to provide experience in another important area or two.

- I have a... mini-mini-job, teaching "mini English" (no, seriously. It means I'm teaching an afterschool English class for primary-school-age kids.) So far, it's been a bit of a nightmare. Also, it doesn't even remotely pay my bills; it's not even enough for the rent. So I still need another job.

News from Hereabouts (i.e., the World of Fandom, Creativity, and the Internet):

- I have, in a feverish four or so days, built a small Knytt Stories level that has been pronounced "gorgeous" by two out of three beta testers. I am inordinately proud of it and think it is one of the most beautiful things I have created in my life. Will post a link when it's really done; it's still in the final stages of beta testing and fine tuning.

It's about the ghost, or the memory, of a city. It's kind of post-apocalyptic, in the gentlest possible way. Thematically it's inspired somewhat by Ursula LeGuin's Always Coming Home, and the odd, contemplative manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Trip/Quiet Country Cafe) - more by the latter than the former, really, I think. Visually, it's kind of the illicit love child of two famous KS levels, Chezzy's Night SE and Quincent Cartographer's A Walk at Night, which can both be found here.
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Read more... )


Feb. 23rd, 2010 02:41 am
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I'm still frighteningly creative, solving the accumulated plot problems of *years* in my fic like there's no tomorrow, and building three Knytt Stories levels in parallel (yesterday I created some sixty concept screens! In less than three hours! The high I got from that must have been as good as any you could get from illegal substances, I think. *g* Yes, no-holds-barred creativity is definitely addictive.)

Only problem is, technically I need to focus *completely* on my job search, because I really, really, *really* need some money... I just don't quite know how to do that. Find a job, that is. (Focus, too. Focusing is haaaaard.)

I *am* checking loads of sites every day and so on, but there's very little available in the lines of work that I could usefully do.

Oh, who am I kidding. Of course I know what I need to do (beside finding a couple of internships, that is): I need to start actually approaching companies and organisations and institutions that I'm interested in without waiting for ads.

I'm just frelling scared of that.
hmpf: (angsty)
So, after making great progress in a variety of areas recently, I was... afflicted with a creativity storm in the last few days. I can't really put it any other way; it's like the weather: it comes and goes as it pleases. And, like any proper storm, it causes a fair bit of chaos.

I fought it. To no avail, really - the only result was that I effectively managed to prevent myself from achieving anything on the creative front, either, while still not managing to get anything 'more important' done. Wrestling the muses down can be exhausting.

It also screwed up my sleeping again, because the nights were spent fighting with bunnies.

Lesson of the day: next time, just give in, and at least get something creative done - instead of trying to *not* give in to the urges but expending so much energy on that fight as to render myself incapable of doing anything real-lifey either.

(Well, there were *some* positive results: I have started a new, small Knytt Stories level, and I think I have solved the central plot conundrum of my LoM crossover - the one that had me stalled these past two and a half years.)
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I had this idea about turning my love of individually decorating paper products into a (very) minor source of income today when looking for a small calender in various shops in the city. There were loads of really nice (and expensive) *big* calenders available - from the size of a standard paperback novel to the size of a small hardcover. There were barely any nice-looking *small* calenders, though. I was looking for one of these fairly narrow, thin ones that has a week on a page or double page. (I don't have enough appointments to keep track of to justify a larger calender; also, I'm broke; also, I like stuff that's no larger than it needs to be, especially if it's stuff I tend to carry around with me. I also sort of dislike calenders that are so fancy that at the end of the year you feel bad about throwing them away.)

So, I was wondering, why aren't there any nice, *pretty* calenders in that small format? Do only people who need big fat calenders have a sense of aesthetics? ;-)

What I did, finally, was to buy one of these narrow, thin, I dunno, "inside parts" that you put into one of these ugly fake leather sleeves you can buy. Like this: http://www.kalender-koch.at/product_info.php/info/p730_Einlage-Bi-Planning.html, without the plastic sleeve. And then I took ten minutes to decorate the hell out of its plain white cover. The result is a small, light calender that is nevertheless still big enough to note a couple or so appointments per day, and that's pretty enough in an unspectacular enough way to be able to be tossed out without much regret at the end of the year while still pleasing the eye in the meantime.

Okay, question time. If you use a calender, choose one of these statements:

1.) I would probably appreciate a small, unspectacularly pretty calender.
2.) I am not interested in small calenders; I need a big one.
3.) I use a small calender but I wouldn't pay extra to get a pretty one.

Don't worry, I'm not going to try to sell you stuff if you choose 1.) I'm just trying to find out if I'm a bit of a freak for liking small-but-pretty calenders, or if there may be something of a market for them. *g*
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I'm really good at quickly whipping up nicely decorated calenders and agendas and so on (by painting/drawing/rubber stamping on them, applying collages etc.) Used to do it for my mother every year, as well as for myself. I could have bought a bunch of plain ones, decorated them, and sold them on etsy and/or dawanda. Damn.

Not that that would have made me *a lot* of money, but hey, every little helps, and if I'd used reasonably cheap calendars the financial risk involved in making a few would have been negligible.

Plus, it's fun.

Suppose I could still try it with notebooks...
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It gets me into this perfect state of flow... and then I come back to myself and look at what I've built and am all "wow, this is great, did I really build this?" And then I go for a walk in the forest or garden or city or village or cave I've built. It's a lot like my architecture and geography-themed dreams, only less three-dimensional.

Sadly, the level seems to be growing out of all proportion. I started out expecting a final level size of maybe 300 screens. Now I've already built more than 200 and I'm aware that that's still less than a third of the world I've planned (I have the general layout sketched out on a big piece of paper.) And since I'm building at a rate of less than 3 screens per day - I can't afford to devote too much time to this new hobby - it will take me frelling forever to finish this level... I'm expecting a total size of 600-800 screens, now. And I started building about half a year ago.
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and anyone else who may be interested in playing Knytt Stories or getting started editing Knytt Stories levels: collected useful information!

Where to get the KS software:


This includes the game software, a couple of levels, and the editor. All of which is entirely free, btw.

Where to get additional levels:

Official levels:
The current level release forum:
The old level release forum:
The archive:

Suggested strategy for finding levels from the old forum (in case of broken links etc.), and identifying interesting stuff in the humungous and badly organised archive:

Check level recommendations lists and also images in level preview threads and feedback postings in level release threads in the old forum. Then go to the archive and do a search for the author and level there.

"Gee, that's a lot of levels. Where do I start? Can you recommend some?"



I'll probably rec some more, later. Most of the levels I particularly love are environmentals, btw, so they're not usually very challenging. I play the occasional challenge level, too, though, and plan to rec a few.

If you want to start editing:

Unofficial editor handbook:


(Actually, the editor is so easy to use I just learned - nearly - everything entirely by trial and error. Never used the handbook.)

Editing support forum:



Old forum: http://nifflas.ni2.se/forum2/index.php?board=58.0
Current 'Development Showcase' forum: http://nifflas.ni2.se/forum/index.php?board=26.0

Custom Objects:

http://nifflas.ni2.se/forum2/index.php?board=95.0 (See also the 'Development Showcase' forum linked under tilesets, above.)

Aaaaand... I think that's enough to get you started.
hmpf: (stay)
This time, it really *is* mostly done!

Two or three clips to exchange or nudge around a bit yet, the rest is, well, I won't say 'perfect', but pretty much exactly like I want it to be.

Except for the frelling WMM image hiccups I still haven't found *any* way to fix. Three of them, two noticeable, one minor. Grmpf.

Other than that, though, a fine first vid. *pats own shoulder*

I love it when something I make finally comes together.

April 2016

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