4/26/13

Russian Manicure

Felt a little creative today and decided to do a Russian flag themed manicure inspired by my Russian friends here and there....plus one of my favorite soccer aces Yuri Zhirkov and my Russian No Passports character.
Click here for his section of the cafepress store --> Oleg at Cafepress



It was a little messy at first but with air drying and baths it looks cleaner now. Prob chose the hard way to do it which was first painted the nail white then in layers painted on the other colours. Then for the magical touch of overlay of glitter. Since this is the first time I ever did a manicure like this.....the trick is to brush in one straight and uniform direction to avoid colour mixing like slightly what happened to the thumb. I like the results...its handed painted motif instead of straight, crisp lines and if I ever want to be any Russian character or getting ready for the next world cup or euro cup....i'm ready to paint almost any flag on my finger:)



The Colours used are...

White: White (Sally Hansen)
Blue: Unfor-Greta-Bly Blue (OPI)
Red: An Affair in the Red Square (OPI)
Holographic Glitter Overlay: Make a Spectacle (China Glaze)

4/25/13

Gamer's Review - Puzzle Pirates

A pirates life for me in Puzzle Pirates, a free to play mmorpg. What is different and unique about this mmorpg is the bulk of the gameplay consists of action puzzle games like match three, pipe puzzles, and variations of tetris like mechanics. I can tell you the puzzles get kind of addictive at times....most content is free to play with the exception like most other free to plays the "fancy" nice involves the RL purchase of doubloons...which I never had to use such a  service anyway.

A pirate's life seem to be the life of adventure in this game universe because you create a pirate and you have various different career paths to chose from which include completing missions, serving on a ship both player controlled or CPU controlled sailing for treasure or pilfering other nearby sailing ships for plunder, setting up your own artisan's shop or issuing to someone to a puzzle duel in the bars. Every task like working the forge or working the bilge pump on a ship is its own unique puzzle. The focus is blatantly family friendly with the graphics being pseudo-3D, top down view and the PCs greatly resemble playmobil dolls with accompanying toy like fauna and architecture. The only complaints I have is a glitch caused a previous account to be reset and the pirate theme can get a little stale over time however for its value of free to play and the fact its one of the few mmorpg where puzzle is king I would say its worth a look.

4/23/13

Animated Review - Electric Holiday

The World of Disney is no stranger to the world of fashion with examples like the Jasmine collection from Sephora and Opi's Minnie Mouse Collection. Well in this animated review, Minnie Mouse takes center stage down the catwalk in Electric Holiday. Electric Holiday is a webtoon collaboration between Disney and Barneys and at a short 5 minutes its packed full of colour, celebrities and of course fashions.

We start off with Minnie dreaming of being a fashion model on the catwalks of Paris and from then on we join her in her day dream. The art direction of this sequence greatly resemble drawing styles found fashion magazines and boundless amounts of fashion icon cameos. The caricatures are naturalistic yet still cartoony enough to appear in this cartoon world and most alongside the cartoon Disney characters. In addition there is no talking as if the colours and the designs speak for themselves. As for the climatic catwalk scene where various Disney icons don high fashion wear...first of all its weird to see characters like Minnie and Daisy suddenly take on taller human proportions with their cartoon heads still on however characters like Snow White and Tiana the proportions work well on them. It was a nice touch for Tinkerbell to open the runway show with a bit of magical pixie dust.

As for the fashions being donned, I like them. Minnie's dress is her favorite oh so pink and simple form with raffles like her bows; Tiana is froggy green but still has some notes of French Quartier iron wrought, and Snow White is a simple form long summer dress with yellows, blues and red polka dots like her normal dress.... that's only a sample of the Disney icons that don high fashions. It was also a nice touch at the end credits to include who designed what outfit and who makes a cameo.

For the first time we can provide the youtube link to the actual short....here it is for your judgement and pleasure the webtoon from Barneys Newyork's youtube channel....Electric Holiday

4/22/13

Gamer's Review - From Dust

What can I say about this digital download game other then if you're playing it on the PC....make sure you're PC is powerful because the graphics in these game is super gorgeous and timing is a factor in gameplay.

The premise and main gameplay theme of From Dust, you play an observer traveling with a tribe, helping them rediscover their ancestor's lost but powerful knowledge of controlling the forces of nature, and to make sure nature doesn't destroy them. You, as the observer, is charged with the task of actually controlling nature. The forces of nature at your command (varies with each level) are lava, water and earth and in addition being able to uproot the exotic fauna of the world.

The user interface is the "breath" a ball like container which can hold and discharge a certain amount of "materiel" and one of kind of "materiel" at a time. How does this ability come into play when protecting the villages? Need to stop a forest fire just dump water on it,  or need to reroute a river; just dump earth. Since you are just the observer the forces of a hostile earth is just as much of a danger to you as it is to the villagers. Hostile forces of nature on various levels include active volcanoes, tsunamis, and literately shifting earth.

Since nature is a huge focus of the game, the graphics are gorgeous, dramatic and detailed, a real feast for the eyes, which is why you might want to have a powerful enough PC to handle it or you're have a hard time stopping disasters. The tribe appears as ants overhead (but can be viewed up close) and are the only human presence in the game with the exception of the ruins of the ancients. The design of the tribe itself is interesting as they herald notes of tribes in the south pacific and Africa and the one interesting feature of their attire....the  big bone masks they wear.

Here is the trailer from Ubisoft just to prove how gorgeous the graphics are....and words cannot describe the mood of this game...

4/20/13

Gamer's Review - Bientot L'ete

My first impressions of Beintot L'ete were I wasn't a game per say but rather this was something strange and unusual which is my take when I started playing this game. I wouldn't say this game is a game but rather its an art game genre example, where the point is to experience the art work rather then working towards any goals.The premise is you play one of two protagonists, a man or a woman sleeping in a cryo-stasis in deep space, exploring a computer generated simulation separated from the other.


Every so often an apparition besides the lone but growing building will appear in the simulation where you have the option of interacting with if you close your eyes and entering the right key. So far I seen the radio and boardwalk in my simulation. Closing your eyes (and walking to the edge of the simulation) also reveal the inner workings and true nature of the sea side beach. The building is also an enigma as so far for me this is where you can meet the other protagonist which is either another player or a computer controlled simulation depending on the option chosen. How to describe the changing mood art style...its best if the screen shots show you....



4/18/13

How to survive a battle (let alone the round) with a pokemon like Pachirisu?

If you're like me an just love to Pokemon battle for fun and is crazy enough to bring a Pachirisu into battle...here are a few basic tips.

1) Play to your pokemon's strengths. Little guys like Pachirisu had weak attack but make it up for having somewhat higher then normal speed, so EV train those strengths. In addition breed your pokemon to have high IV values. The guy in Nimbasa City subway should tell you about your pokemon's IV values.

2) Use a moveset that makes up for the lack of strength....moves like flail and super fang. In addition use moves of the same type of as your pokemon for "Same Type Attack Bonus"

3) Choose your item carefully....if you Pokemon is using Flail, why not a Focus Band or use Quick Claw so you can use moves like Super Fang first so a secondary pokemon can deliver the finishing blow.

4) Have fun and maybe the impossible will happen and Pachirisu and friends will win.


4/15/13

Movied Review - Oz: The Great and Powerful

I only saw the movie about a few days ago and I must say this is a quite a decent movie and the artistic direction is quite gorgeous, and works incredible well with the 3-D effects, especially the part where Oscar and by extension us the viewer is introduced to the colours of Oz for the first time, and things fly in the tornado. Fun fact this is not the first time Disney has ventured into the world of Oz....know Return to Oz? Yes I did go to the movies with an Oz manicure...
The yellow was replaced with OPI's "Affair in the Red Square" at the last moment  for ruby slippers. The  emerald city green is China Glaze "Running in Circles" from the Cirque Du Soleil collection. All colours were given a glow in the dark coating and the overlay is OPI's "Lights of the Emerald City" from the Oz: the Great and Powerful  movie collection

What I like about the movie is this version pays slight homages to the more famous 1930's movie....the movie starts out in sepia tone then switching to wide, screen colours, and characters in Kansas have a counterpart in Oz. Elements from the original books (there's more then one oz story) are also incorporated into the movie like for example, the country of the living china dolls, and Oscar's incredible long form name...which spells out "Pinhead." What I liked about the premise is how can you win a battle when you cannot kill but you must take a stand?

 As for the cast Glinda is both what you would expect the good witch to be like and in addition she is still very much willing to use force to defend her people despite the rule you cannot kill. Oscar "PINHEAD" Diggs to me has a good heart deep down but because he is so focused on his ambitions to be a great man and to be above others, paired with his short comings, he resorts to being a really big cheat and conman, at the beginning of his journey to be a true great man. My personal favorites in the cast is Theodora  China Girl and Finley the flying monkey. Finley is hilarious is literately a monkey on your back. He is faithful to those who save his life but that doesn't stop him from making snarky remarks to his friends on what's right and wrong. Watch the animal calls scene....MOOO!!! China Girl is a timid, adorable and delicate girl because she is made out of fragile china and when we meet her, her entire country is smashed and she can't walk but once she's fixed up and ready to go she is extremely plucky and ready to take on the world and witches. I must say Milla Kunis as the witch...wow she's good and really goes with it with both the good and bad personas...one moment Theodora is all sweet and innocent then suddenly when her emotions become enraged she's a very different and explosive persona which all out bursts as the green skinned wicked witch...she is so vicious as the green skinned witch that even the "true" antagonist is over powered by the sheer volume and anger of her sister's voice when rallying the troops for battle.

Art direction is where the movie shines the strongest, the land of Oz is pure fantastic and works very well with the 3-D effects...The emerald city heralds art deco elements and paying homage to the original movie, the strong hold of the Munchkins and their allies is housed in a vast castle town complex of white stone and yellow brick roads. the munchkins, Quadlings and tinkers are clothed in colourful European style pleasant clothing with interesting hair styles and Glinda's clothing is white and flowing like her personality. The clothing of the wicked witches also highlight their personalities, Evanora's dress is emerald green highlighting her obsession with the city of green and highlight peacock features emphasizing her very proud and self important persona. Thoedora appears in red at first to highlight both her romantic outlook of the world around here and in addition red is colour associate with rage also. The black outfit pays homage to the 1930's wicked witch and in addition black is the same colour of burnt ash....like someone's emotions have been burnt with betrayal and now on a rage filled path. Nice job on the make up too...those burning red eyes wow.:)

I close now with the official trailer from Disney's Youtube channel



4/14/13

Grand Hotel Exhibit Opening at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Oh yes things certainly get interesting when you just came back from the Pokemon regionals tournament and heading straight for an exhibit opening at Vancouver....oh yeh did I mention I still had my Beartic make up on. I am going to an art gallery after all...expect something artistic to come by and visit. First thing is first....the reception towards my make up brought interesting reviews. The museum staff and patrons seemed to liked my make up very much but still had a few questions for me to answer. I was a little stunned though that some other art patrons were absolutely stunned and scared of me..although I can understand its not everyday you see a girl with an bold face paint pattern show up.

This is my facial patterning. For those who are not familiar with Pokemon. Beartic is a ice fanged polar bear

Anyway...this is the first time I have been to an exhibit opening and I would love to thank my friend for the invite. I didn't take the moment to mingle with other patrons...my face paint is a sign I'm different type of patron despite my arts degree. Plus too many people in one tiny space. The exhibit itself was interesting, Grand Hotel a study of the design and architecture of great hotels. It was interesting outlook split into sections with audio visuals on why we travel to hotels in the first place and the role of the grand hotel in society, politics and culture itself. The subject I find is important cause who doesn't like to travel and why would you want to choose this hotel in general for your place of stay. The scale models were interesting...not only there is a picture to examine but also a model to examine in 3 dimensions also...and examine the architecture of such places and examine for yourself why the design of these places were considered so bold for their time. My favorite scale model was of the Swiss chateau style hotel....imagine the memories from staying in a place like that...in an traditional style hotel surrounded by the mountainous country side yet its still  in the present.

 As for the various different hotel chosen as the examples in this exhibit...I thought more modern examples of luxury hotels like the new ones cropping up in Vegas and Dubai would have been chosen but understandable and interesting to look and example, the role of places with accompanying hotel items from the period like the Hiltons settling in places like Tehran and Istanbul in the 1950's when air travel was getting popular. The artsy (no blindingly colour would be a better answer) love hotel room in Japan section (I assume) recreation was very interesting....not your typical hotel room but its an experience for the patron to just walk in and to show visually this is how crazy a "normal" room can get.

Hotels may not be the average source of artistic inspiration but like someone looking at my face painted jaw and neck....keep an open mind and expect nothing and you'll find there is an artistic beauty in design of things  itself.

A Bear, some face paint and a DSi - Pokemon TCG Spring Regionals

The Face Paint detail...its a reverse colour palette of the original Beartic fangs
Owww this bear of pokemon is very sore from today's adventures in TCG...big one the Pokemon Spring Regionals over lots and lots of trainers showed up to play TCG and as usually all I cared about is fun sooooo ....I face painted my bottom jaw and my neck to resemble Beartic's fangs of ice beard and on my shoulder  painted a bear paw with colour coordinating clothing...I was Beartic. As my fellow UVIC Poke Club knows very well...Beartic alongside Kyogre is my signature pokemon and I stubbornly use him in battle.

How did my battle record go? Same as last time:) One actual win and one bye....the rest were loses but one close call when it went into over time and I had two prizes and he had one. This was versus a Landorus deck. The deck I was using is the same Beartic-Swanna deck with the exceptions the Tranquil had been replaced with Zoruas and Zoroarks...experimenting with my own personal strategy. Its boring when everyone is using the same cards. I was very happy the one win I got. The guy was friendly and who is the one who that

Pikachu's Revenge
delivers the final blow....Beartic himself. When I got the bye I instead took the time to play fun fest missions with various different trainers and now my Entree's one branch is noticeably taller then the other. In addition, my manicure was themed as well. Those playing against me with keen eyes might have noticed my "blue" nails had cracks of shining silver bursting out of the blue.

How did my face paint go over...quite well especially when I said I am Beartic and this is his icy fanged beard. Out in public on Robson was interesting when tourists are blanked and stunned to see a girl with an odd face patterning covering the bottom half of her face. Tell you what happened at the art gallery opening I went to after later. What could be better then end off a tourny day and an art gallery visit then dinner at the EXP Bar Restaurant ...the place for gaming fans to dine after a Poke Tourny. I had Pikachu's Revenge as my drink and well it starts off sweet with Banana liquir taste until you get to the red parts....I think I know why they called it Pikachu's Revenge....its a real shock. Oh and so cute it even has red cheeks:)

These are the rest of the picture....since i forgot my camera, i had to use a DSi to take pics.

4/11/13

Gamer's Review- Puppet Show: Destiny Undone

The latest and recently released fifth installment of the Puppet Show series, the fifth one in the series. Destiny Undone seem follows the new time line set up from the previous installment, Return to Joyville. Some time after you prevented the fire of the puppet theater, young Felicia is again in danger when the evil Cricks is on a design for revenge and a mysterious women is seen in town....but Felicia is not the one that's in real danger, and if you are familiar with old time line Felicia's deformity...well its going to be kind of shocking.

In this installment, game play follows the same pattern of point click, puzzles locking doors, and hidden object scenes however in an interesting new addition to solving puzzles you are given your own spider puppet helper to aid you in reaching hard to reach places. This spider puppet is not the same one that haunts you throughout the game and the entire series. This puppet has an undamged red haired doll head and he'll happily cheer like a good little helper whenever you call upon him...which oddly for me I find him cute despite the fact he is a doll head on a set of mechanical spider legs. In a side mission you can find hat patterns for him to wear and can give him a name. The series's trademark clock punk machines and puppets is rampant through out the town of Joyville and its puzzles again. For example the tram operator is an automaton puppet and one of the bonus missions is collecting puppets that resemble characters from previous installments.

Art wise everything is rich in detail with hand drawn details and the CGI elements are more well employed here as emphasized in the evil spider puppet suddenly popping out to scare and hinder you. Joyville seems to be full of life in comparison to previous portrayals as you get to interact directly with more residents more often and Joyville seems to be more well kept. However the omnipresence of the race against time is still present as the sun is setting washing the town in a golden glow, fitting in with the bronze mechanical puppets.

In conclusion, this Puppet Show is just as intriguing as the others in the series, which I surprised it still can being the 5th installment so far and you get to dive into Crick's history but people who are scared of dolls coming to life run but for clock work, steam punk lovers I high recommend this series.

4/7/13

Gamer's Review - Puppet Show: Return to Joyville

Welcome to Joyville in this fourth installment into the world of Puppetshow. This time however Felicia is desperate and now directly asks you the detective for help. Starting right from the end of the collector's edition of the Lost Town, Felicia has built a time machine to take both her and the detective back in time to the moment just before the fire burns Felicia.

In stark contrast to the first visit (and game) to Joyville, Joyville is a vibrant with activity from the cultural wealth of the active puppet theater and before the event claims it in the fire however the townscape still bears a sense of sadness and fear is in the air as the sun is setting you must race against time to save the younger Felicia from the upcoming danger. The mechanical puppets make a return as evil puppets haunt and hinder you while good china doll like puppets like the seamstress and the flower girl in the master's yard help you in your investigation. the artistic style is fabulous and rich as always like for example the puppet theater itself is mix of the ornateness of the Palace of Versailles and many grand theaters in Europe. Heavy CGI elements also have been added to the palette as emphasized in opening movie.

Story is important part as in addition to trying to prevent young Felicia and the theater from burning in a mysterious fire...the mysterious fire becomes not so mysterious as a a new villain fulfills the role of the mad man. Now you have to prevent him from putting on his "grand performance". The basic gameplay also gets carried over in addition to the wind up clock elements....bulk of the game is pint click adventure with hidden object scenes and doors in Joyville are under lock and puzzle key.

4/6/13

Gamer's Review - Puppet Show - The Lost Town

Puppet Show: The Lost Town is the third installment in the Puppet Show series. If you are scared of puppets  and dolls suddenly coming to life you might want to run really fast because Felicia and her clock punk puppets are back in this installment set in the what is suggested the turn of the century. In this story a new cave system has been opened however a brutish mechanical man snatches a girl away and you the detective have been called to scene. In terms of story changes yes you are still dealing with mechanical puppets that seem to have a mind of their own however unlike the previous two series where you were exploring an inhabited town....this time you are exploring a completely abandon town (hence lost town) with menacing look puppets fulfilling various occupations in town...with the barber attacking you. The history of the town is explained through journals and notes scattered around town.

If you haven't played the any of Puppetshow series the bulk of the gameplay is a mixture of point click adventure with the "puppet fan" serving as the inventory, puzzles and hidden object scenes.The game is very morbid feeling as you exploring an abandon town at nightfall with the spider puppet determine to stop you from hindering Felicia's latest scheme to regain her youth. If have the collector edition with the extra gameplay and been reading the notes about the history of the lost town...you get a big hint where you investigation where take you in the next puppet show series.


Behind the Badge Design - Tsukino Con Pledge Gym Badge

Well haven't done a piece about my artwork or a posting in a while so...tongiht we'll review the thinking processes behind my badge design for my Pledge Gym at Tsukino Con's Pokemon League. Since I my gym was based around starter pokemon and using the pledge moves for that interesting fight...so using my expert drawing skills (after the photoshop ideas were giving the boss a headache) I doodled a simple leaf, fire, and water drop inked design motif.....after going through 5 other rough drafts. Then after scanning it in the computer I adjusted the colour filter to pink...since my gym leader uniform was pink (see post for details).

Well here is the design, I am happy for the results and it made pokemon trainers go ooo.