Stream Explorer

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com (I’ve never seen a horseback archery stream, but there probably is one!)

A few years ago, my youngest introduced me to DND Beyond. He wanted me to buy a subscription so he could create characters and play. So I did and he did.

He’s also the one who introduced me to Critical Role and got me back into gaming on a regular basis. I used to play regularly when my kids were little, but life happened and I eventually stopped. We played in person for a while, and then the pandemic hit, so we moved online.

During all of this, I was introduced to Twitch – something I’d never heard of before. I had to get a Twitch account to get a DND Beyond account, but I never used Twitch. Fast forward a few years to now, and Twitch has become a regular viewing habit for me.

A few months ago my youngest informed me that Twitch had all kinds of streams. I assumed they were all gamers who streamed there, and indeed I watched many of them, like Critical Role, Roll20 Presents, and others.

Imagine my surprise when I found a whole community of crafters and makers on Twitch, including fellow diamond painters! I’ve watched people knit, crochet, cross-stitch, spin yarn, blacksmith, paint miniatures, tool leather, and more.

It’s been amazing to watch people – you know, just regular people like you and me, who enjoy the same type of hobbies. Or to be introduced to new hobbies I’ve never even heard of before. I have a couple of streamers that I watch on a regular basis and it’s been great to interact with people who are as obsessed with diamond painting as I am. 😀

I don’t think I’m interested in streaming, though I often think it would be nice to not have to stop what I’m making to type in chat. I’m usually diamond painting myself when I watch, and it’s fun to interact with people who are new to the hobby like me, as well as people who have been doing it for years.

I also watch a lot of miniature painting streams, and I’ve learned some tips and tricks I want to try out in my own painting – when I finally get around to finishing up that last batch of minis. 😛 It’s been a blast wandering around Twitch and seeing what new amazing thing I can find to watch. I wonder what I’ll find next?

Too Many Hobbies? Nah.

Photo by Eunice Lui on Pexels.com

I’m starting to think I have too many hobbies.

I have so many projects I want to do I don’t know where to start.

There’s my diamond painting obsession, of course. I’m currently working on a large canvas, though the end of it is now in sight. After three weeks of work, I think I’ll be done with it by the end of this week. Which means I can move on to other diamond painting projects, so yay! 😀

I’ve opened my last batch of unpainted miniatures – the ones from the Critical Role Kickstarter that I got probably over a year ago. After they are done, I will have no more unpainted minis. I’m anxious to see how well they turn out, both because they are 3D printed and because I’m impatient and probably primed them when it was too cold outside. So I’m not sure how well the primer will work – I’ll find out after I’m done painting them.

I want to reorganize my craft/office area. I currently have projects spread out all over the house, and I’d like to contain most of it to one area so that the rest of house isn’t quite so messy. I’ve been fighting with my cutting machine, so I want to move it so that it is wired directly to my PC rather than using Bluetooth. Moving things around will also hopefully let me set up my painting area in the office, so that I can leave it out rather than cleaning up all the time in between paint sessions.

I’d also like to have an area set up for filming for my YouTube videos. I did spring for a fancy light so that my videos will have better lighting than they do currently. I’ve figured out the filming equipment issues, but again, having a dedicated space that I don’t have to set up and tear down each time would be much easier. Speaking of, if you haven’t hopped over to YouTube to check out my mandala videos, could you take a minute and do it now? Follow the link here and if you like what you see, like and subscribe to the channel. 🙂

My diamond painting will probably be done outside the craft area, simply because most of the paintings I have are too large for me to work on comfortably in a smaller area. I don’t like having to roll up my paintings while I’m working on them – I’d rather have them spread out so I can see what I’m doing. I do need better lighting for that as well, so I’m probably going to get a light pad for that. (My birthday is coming up, so I’m waiting to see if I get one as a gift before I purchase one.) The smaller diamond paintings I can do easily anywhere, and I like to diamond paint while my husband watches TV. He works a lot, so it’s nice to at least be in the same room for a small part of the day, even if we are doing different things.

I’ve set myself another reading goal for this year. For the past two years I’ve done this and I’ve managed to beat the goals each year by quite a bit. This year, even though I lowered my goal, I’m already behind, because my other hobbies have taken over a lot of my reading time. That’s okay, though, since I’m enjoying all of my projects, even if I don’t have as much time to read as I want.

We are also back to in-person mode at work, so that is taking up more of my time now than it used to. I have to admit, I prefer the remote option, even though it was less hours and less income. I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to work, but with two kids in college, saving up for tuition is a priority. My oldest will graduate this year, so that will take a bit of the stress off.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to work on alternative sources of income, like my Etsy shop and now the YouTube channel. The listings on Etsy got a bit of a revamp to include a jpg and png in addition to the PDF. That way buyers can put the jpg or png into a coloring program like Procreate if they wish. The YouTube channel will likely be slow going, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of it. Now I just have to add ‘learn marketing’ to my to-do list!

More Minis

I have spent the last couple of days hurriedly trying to finish up painting my pile of miniatures for Ann’s ‘Paint the crap you already own’ challenge, which ends today.

Sadly, I didn’t make it to all of the minis I had planned to paint, even after I cut out all of the Critical Role KS minis I still have waiting.  However, I’m still claiming success, because I managed to paint a whopping 23 miniatures during the challenge.  Woohoo!  That’s 23 minis that would still be sitting in boxes or drawers waiting to be painted, and they are now DONE.

If you want to see the first batch I posted, you can find it here.

What else did I manage to finish?  These two were quick paint jobs, but they still count, darn it!

Stone Golem

The stone golem was just a black base coat followed by some shades of grey drybrushing.

Bat Swarm

The bat swarm was just some grey shades for the headstone and black and brown shades for the swarm itself.

Troll Mini

This troll was also easy to paint, since most of him was green skin.  His tongue is still too pink – I think it’s a bit jarring, but he’s done, and good enough for table use.  Maybe I’ll just make him a variant troll that has some weird disease that turned his tongue pink.   😀

Next up was a set of bandits.  Painting people is always harder for me than painting monsters, because you know what people look like.  Or should look like.  Painting monsters gives you a bit more free rein because they don’t really exist.

Bandit 2

The first bandit was definitely a challenge with his eyepatch and overly complicated accoutrements.  I persevered, and now he is done.

Bandit 1

The second bandit was a bit easier, since most of him was covered by clothing.

After the bandits we have the gnolls – just regular gnolls. 😀

Gnoll 2

I looked at the back of the package and online to see how others had painted them.  I tried the orange stripe of fur on one, but I didn’t like how it turned out, so I skipped that on the second one.

Gnoll 1

The second one was a bit more complicated with all the bits and bobs on his belt, so it seemed like a good balance to skip the orange.  I think the orange made me think of hyenas, and they don’t seem very scary.  This guy ↑↑ does.

The last two minis I am pretty chuffed about, I must say.  I’m usually very critical of my work, but I think these two turned out really well.

First up is the bugbear.

Bugbear Mini

His open pose made it easier to paint all the details.  Painting on his chest would have been near impossible if he had been posed like the big gnoll.  He was just fun to paint, and I think he came out great.  His weapon is oddly curved because he is plastic, but he is still very menacing.

Finally, the last of the minis I managed to finish.  I didn’t have the box for this one anymore, so I had to look him up online to figure what he was and how to paint him.  I thought he was a mummy lord, but it turns out he was actually a mummy captain.  I saw a really cool paint job online and tried to imitate it – I didn’t manage it exactly, but I’m still really happy with how he came out.

Mummy Captain

I was hoping to get all the minis finished so that I could put my painting supplies away and work on one of my other projects.  However, I think I might actually leave them out for a while.  That way I can finish up the last of the plastic minis and maybe even take a crack at some of the CR minis.  We shall see.  In any event, participating in the challenge was fun and I’m glad I did it.  😀