SPIEL 2014

.... since we booked the hotel yesterday (it's funny that it's only April and most rooms in Essen are already booked out O_o ):
I'll be at the SPIEL. In October. Yay!
Every year I promise myself it'll be the last and four months later I already yearn to visit the next one. Since I have no idea if I'll be able to make it next year this one will be special. I hope I won't end up dragging huge piles of bought games home but I guess.... I will anyway. Probably even more.

A lot of things happened in the last couple of weeks but I will sum up with photos and pictures when I have some more time.


The Lightpad

I found something those who still have to decide which lightpad to buy might find very interesting:
The Lightpad!

It comes with a 360° rotating workspace which is imo very cool if you tend to shove, flip, turn and rotate your sketch like I do.

The full information sheet can be found here:
Click Click!

The only downside I see -without having it- is the 1 year warranty. In my eyes a bit weak to give only 1 year. It feels a bit like "don't expect it to last longer" which is -given at the high price for the big version- a downer. Nevertheless it's neat!

I still use my Dörr lightpad (more of a lighthulk since it weighs... a lot) and am happy I purchased that monster.

Before you buy a pad make sure it 100%ly fits your needs and is really big enough for all sizes you might work with. No use in buying a small compromise you end up using only randomly and with the gnawing knowledge that a bit more saving up might have made your life a lot easier.

I think everything under A3 is ergonomically-wise a catastrophy. If you only work on ACEO size.... A4 might be good after all but for A4 illustrations A3 is the most compfy solution.
Keep in mind that you have to rest your lower arm on the surface to relax your shoulders (and avoid possible tendo...). If you can't rest your arm properly and relax your shoulders while working with a pad it's simply put crap.


St. Petersburg & critters

Till the 14th February everybody (and their mum...if they have an email address) can vote on the final base color of the new St. Petersburg box Irene and me are currently working on. I started the project last year and it's mostly still in the conception stage. So many material and a lot of math, color decisions and finally the little hope even the hardcore game nerds will like it.

You can vote HERE
It only takes a minute and I'd really appreciate if we get as many votes as possible. :D

More information can be found here:
my Deviantart journal
and on the official Hans im Glück facebook page:
Hans im Glück

*Update 13.02:
And because I realized some people who actually really want the game (or are simply curious about it) might read this: The illustration(s) will look like the Carcassonne Winter-Edition cover. So every "Oh it's Disney!" comment is frustrating because we 100%ly don't want or will run into that direction. Both Irene and me dislike "Anastasia" as well (no offense... but the movement animation is simply creepy), so you might enjoy reading that's out of discussion as well.
And as we played the new version just yesterday in Munich... Oh my.... the new version is so good. It's a tad more complicated but soooo good. I want it badly getting into print.

Last week-end Saskia, my hubby, his brother and me visit my family for the annual wood cutting. Since the "girl duty" only consisted of dragging haul 2-30 kg pieces of cut wood from one place to another on the yard we used the rest of the time to visit the wild park nearby.
Sadly the prairie dogs didn't want to cuddle this time (these are so fluffy and soft!). But they nommed away walnuts like the rest did. At least the deers and goats loved the nom+ attention.
 It's a small park but since some animals have no restricted area you might end up being stalked by deers, goats and occassionally by some pot-bellied pigs. Entry fee is only 2 Euro and we normally end up visiting the park every time I'm in my home-town. I wish some cages were bigger but I think that practically depends on donations.
If you're ever in Brandenburg: Wildpark
 Left my highly wrapped up self and right girl is Saskia :B As you can see it was still snowy but such a wonderful sunny day. Still too cold for my taste. My collection of thermal clothes grew a lot over the three years. I freeze so fast it's not funny =.=
 As you can see... stalking deers. I think in summer I will grab my sketch book and spend some hours there. Forgot to do it in summer and it's high time.
My favourite part: The prairie dogs. These were restricted to a pretty spacious area to beginn with but I think they will soon rule the complete park. This year the park guys finally gave up and removed the fencing. The fences were a joke to begin with... the clever critters simply digged deeper and ended up popping up at the other side of the meadow. :D


Moleskine Passion Journal: Food

Okay... so Moleskine decided some years ago that people like me who adore Moleskine journals should spend even more money and created a new line: The passion journals.
These things kill me!
It's not like I am getting grabby hands with every special edition but I regulary use a Moleskine for notes, sketches and meeting doodles (and pretty much everything else) and "burn up" 1 per year. These look odd since my journals don't tend to be super artsy but.... actually only there for keeping my notes neatly in 1 place.

Anyways, the food journal definitely made my heart flutter. I hate the normal looking recipe DIY books and most layouts are either not detailled enough or too cluttered. Moleskine created a tiny thing of awesomeness. And I'm happy I got mine last week.

 That's how it looks on the outside- the usual fake leather is embossed and gives at least a hint about the pretty things inside. I mulled over the decision of customizing it but in the end it will stay like that. Or get a foil cover... still undecided.
 And that's how it looks inside... at least in my journal.
  I tend to switch between languages (why translate if you know what it means?) and doodling vs photos I made beforehand. I guess nobody will be able to read it properly except me. I decided to include only recipes I already made and approved. You know these recipe books where you find on 100 pages only 2 recipes you really love? Yes, pure frustration (I have a lot of these books...argh). So my book will stay frustration free.
 At the moment I'm still trying to gather everything I made over the last couples of years. Cooking on a daily base means: lots of recipes. The good thing is: I tracked every bloody day. So it's easy to "reconstruct" mostly everything. We still have to check a lot of photos I made since usually my hubby is my guinea pig and can hopefully remember the ones he liked.
 The only downside of the journal: The pages are soo thin. I really wanted to use color but marker will 100%ly bleed through and my pencils might be too hard for the surface. At the moment I stick to my Slicci pen but the ink is pretty much a disaster because it tends to fade and even the thin gel liner creeps through the page.
One of the ups: You have a double pouch in the back. If you have any recipes you simply want to store or stickers, labels, notes: That's your place. And there's plenty of it!
The food journal comes with different stickers and labels I might or might not use. I think an unhappy face won't make it into the book but some things might come in handy.

You can check all the different Passion variants on the official Moleskine page. Enjoy!


Christmas impressions...

I know I should post more art but the last days week was loaded with preparations for Christmas and driving around a lot since neither my in-laws nor my parents happen to live in Berlin.

 Morning at the border to Poland. Seriously I can't remember having seen such a wonderful dawn on Christmas morning. It was pretty amazing.

Preparations for the dinner are in my parents' household always... kinda nightmarish. If you ever had the chance (or bad luck) to grate fresh horseradish -and I mean garden fresh- you know how bad I want to avoid having horseradish duty. These stinkers are literally deadly. The smell and essence clog your lungs, sting in your eyes and make breathing so hard you just want to throw it out the window.
 The culprit.... I hate the horseradish a lot but dang, freshly prepared it tastes thousand times better than anything from the supermarket.

 Nature at it's best. Quail's eggs- nearly too beautiful to eat.We did it anyway... ._.

Oh it sparkles! My dad didn't like my glitter decoration that much but hey, if you leave tree decoration to a girl you have to prepare for glitter. At least this year no pink... :D
And here comes something we got this morning...
 A little package from the Czech Republic. :3 A big thanks to Danilo for the cookies and the little figurine. :D The figurine got tucked away into the side board and spooks all the Kulla figurines I got over the years.

We also got a cute christmas card from Marina. I feel bad I didn't manage to get my card printed but next year.... hopefully... meh! I should start earlier- the last minute jobs always kill the time frame for getting things done on time.

 And last but not least... a culinary adventure. I started preparing vanilla essence.

 After 24 hours it's so dark I had no idea how to get a proper shot. It will darken even more over the next days and hopefully in two weeks I have 1.3 litres vanilla essence which... might even last a year. 
If you wonder how it's done:
The recipe is in German- if you still want to try it and the automatic translation confuses you let me know. The preparation is really simple.:D

I already wish you a Happy New Year and hope you'll have an amazing 2014.


Oh December...

... and I still haven't managed to get all presents for Christmas. I guess we'll do last minute packing with awfulsome help of the cats who tend to be more or less pretty unhelpful.

I had some strange weeks. A lot of stuff's going on at work and though I thought the end of the year would be totally relaxing... it's not. Dang. I always wonder why this year was/is so strange.

But... things to look forward: January will be a month I like. I already know... since the Nürnberg board game fair is coming up and I busted my booty for it and I hope people will love the games. Ha!

Winter does something strange to me: I turn into a soup monster. I think I cooked 7 different soups in the last 7 days and I'm still not fed up with... soup. Gods, I love these. So many options. Having somebody at home who mostly eats everything (except the really wonky tests- Azuki beans... we both hate you) helps a lot.

Don't think I can post something without the cats. Today's weird cat picture....
Why do cats like freshly used sport clothes so much? Tretel's love for sweaty clothes is simply disgusting but since Hantje turns into a purring jellyblob when she finds a stinkin' shirt I can't point fingers at him. It's weird. Seriously. Our dog loved to roll around in cow patties and the cats crawl into the sports bag stinking like rotten eggs (thermal water- it smells strongly like sulfur). Sometimes I have no idea if I should be offended or laughing.

 Aaaand a new mug motive with Kulla. Didn't forget my little bunny girl. Especially since she'll turn 10 next year. Already. Oh noes.
You can find the illustration here on Deviantart if you want to have a closer look. I'm a bit depressed I still haven't done the fourth book but at least one children's book will be out next year... even if it's not for Tokyopop. And not even in Germany. Well, not really depressed about that part but I promise more bunny illustrations next year.