72 and Legendary

We finally finished our third play-through of Borderlands 2 on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode and hit level 72. That’s the current max level in the game. Now we’re going through all of the DLC along with doing farm runs for Legendary weapons.

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It’s nice to have a game that we play together. We spend time gaming solo but playing together has always been something we’ve loved because it’s how we met.

Season 17 in Diablo 3 recently started so I may spend some time playing that on my own. Who knows when Blizzard will ever release a Diablo 4. I’m not holding my breath.

She Weaves

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Another day of photographing things I’ve made and editing the images. So far, I’ve uploaded photos of chain maille necklaces I’ve made. The images of bracelets are still in the works. These pieces are ones that I made for myself and my husband. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of ones that have gone to my sister, other family members and friends. But that’s cool.

I got into weaving maille in the summer of 2015 and then had to take a break from it because of my hands. Surgery and physical therapy have done wonders but I also had to give up knitting and crochet. It didn’t matter what crochet hooks or knitting needles I used. If I did either my hands would be in knots the next day and I couldn’t take the pain anymore. These days I do a lot of hand exercises, take many breaks and stick to things that don’t bother my hands as much. Gaming can cause pain if I don’t rest and stretch the fingers every hour or so.

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Hopefully if I take it slow and don’t allow myself to “get into a zone”, weaving links can return to my wheelhouse of creative things that I enjoy.

I have a small supply of jump ring left and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I plan to stop using aluminum rings and make the switch to Titanium. It’s a strong metal but remains lightweight which is something my sister likes about my jewelry. Due to neck pain she has to seek out lightweight pieces to add to her collection of necklaces.

As always stay tuned. There’s hope that new pieces will show up here in the near future. In the meantime you can check out my other pieces in the Chain Maille Gallery.


Updating Galleries

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Spent a good chunk of today updating the gallery for my painted rocks/stones. Late Saturday morning the skies cleared and the sun showed up for a bit so I grabbed the can of gloss coat and started spraying. After they were dry I took new photos which are now in the gallery. I’m always torn when it comes to backdrop color for my rocks. Looking at the photo above They might have popped better with the black table as the background. But since I went with my white reflective table instead. Perhaps I’ll photograph all future rocks on the black background. These are going on display in the pool area once we’ve finished adding river rocks to a few areas.

Tomorrow I plan to pull all my chainmaille out and photograph it for a gallery. Right now I’m using up the remainder of the anodized aluminum jump rings I have and then plan to switch over to Titanium.

Changing the Format

Happy Mother’s Day 2019!

While working on the site this morning I decided to change the types of posts found on this blog. Anything of a personal nature: family events, genealogy, memories and such will be moved to a private journal. In my desire to document our family history I find that I’m stifled by a public blog. When mentioning my family members, I create nicknames for each in order to protect our privacy. That becomes tiresome and unnatural.

The blog will now focus strictly on my interests:

  • photography

  • arts & crafts

  • reading

  • movies and TV

  • gaming

Now I’m off to enjoy my Mother’s Day by heading to an overly crowded grocery store. Yay me!

Wild Wisteria | Photography

Wild wisteria vine blooming in the trees behind our home. I shot these images with my Nikon P900 instead of my Nikon D7000, which is my main camera. But these blooms were 150 feet from me and about 65 feet in the air. Since the P900 can photograph moon in all its glory I figured I could photograph the wisteria too.

Now if I can manage to photograph some of the songbirds that frequent our yard I’ll be a very happy camper.

Peace,

Bet

Friday, April 12, 2019

Staycation is officially over and it’s sad that J has to go back to work but we still haven’t won the lottery.

With most of our Spring cleaning and re-organizing finished it’s easier to slip into a totally creative day. I had wanted to work on my next macrame project today, a runner for the TV console, but I had to wait for Amazon to deliver my cotton rope. So I did the little bit of housework I needed to do then grabbed the sketchbook. It’s time to get back into the routine of working in the sketchbook each day.

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This is still a work in progress with just a few areas that need to be finished. It’s very relaxing to work on these. I spent several hours just inking and stippling this little print. Not sure what I’ll doodle tomorrow.

I whipped up a few rocks on Thursday evening. The images aren’t the best because I took them quickly with my phone. I’ll have to take new photos with my Nikon and add them to the gallery.

Don’t really have a lot to type today but I wanted to settle into a routine of adding posts several times a week. Will definitely be adding more here on a regular basis.

Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE BORDERLANDS 2!! Seriously love the game. After attempting to play the game on console, J had given up on me and any kind of shooter.

Nim + controller = disaster

But last year I downloaded and started to play Destiny 2 when it showed up on my Battlenet launcher. At one point I could feel J’s presence behind me as he watched me play. “You’re playing Destiny 2? Wait, you’re actually playing Destiny 2 and holy crap you’re good.” He immediately installed the game and we started rocking through content. The game made me nauseous but that was alleviated by cranking the field of view setting to max. Motion sickness plagues my life. Flying, boating, amusement park rides and first person shoot ‘em ups require medication and tweaked settings. J realized that my complete ineptitude playing Borderlands on the console came down to the controller. Give me a keyboard and mouse and I’ll decimate mobs with a quickness.

We put a lot of time into Destiny 2 but hit a wall and frustration when it came to running forge quests. Everything required a party of 3. For awhile all three of the boys (my sons are grown ass men but I will forever call them my boys) were playing the game so we could group occasionally Unfortunately having grown adult children means that they have work and life schedules that don’t line up with our own. Being unable to play through content as a duo made us a tad salty. I took a break to spend more time in the studio painting and drawing. J dove back into Magic the Gathering Online, Slay the Spire and Skrim.

Then just after we started our spring staycation, Gearbox announced Borderlands 3. We watched their presentation at PAX East and lost our freaking minds after watching the official trailer

.Even with the technical difficulties Gearbox experienced at PAX we stuck it out and thought it was the best thing we’d seen from PAX. But that’s just us of course. We’re crazy excited for Borderlands 3. We jumped into Borderlands 2 and all the DLC. Currently we’re on our second play-through and loving the remastered versions.

Tiny Tina has never looked better.

She’s my absolute favorite character.

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I play Maya in Borderlands 2 but I’m looking forward to playing Moze, a gunner with a mech in Borderlands 3. Not sure how I’m going to act without the phaselock ability!

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That bottom screenshot has J’s character in it. It makes me sad that I can’t take screenshots of my own character. The top with the inventory screen is the best I can do. Screenshots make me happy. I spent a lot of hours taking really great screens in FFXIV and every other game I’ve played.

We’re hoping to finish our second play-through before he heads back to work. More levels means more difficult content and that means really kick-ass weapons. Because that’s what it’s all about.

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Borderlands 2 is still on sale through Steam. You can get the game for FIVE BUCKS!! It’s currently 75% off and the ultra HD remaster is free, free, free. Check it out in the Steam store.

Love of Reading

In the past 14 weeks I’ve read 15 books.

My husband, an avid reader himself, is pretty impressed. He reads the same collection of books that he’s owned for 20 years. I’m currently rediscovering my love of reading and finding out what genres I really enjoy. When I was a teenager and into my early 20s I read romance novels. That’s because I could borrow books from my sister-in-law who was also a voracious reader. During the Dark Ages aka my previous marriage, I read very little. Thankfully that marriage ended and a few years later I met J who introduced me to fantasy novels beyond Tolkien.

In 2018 I dusted off my Goodreads acct and my Kindle in an effort to spend less time online and more time reading. Kindle books are often really inexpensive which makes it easy to pick up a few titles to read. Since I’m a huge fan of Investigation Discovery so I decided to buy a few crime novels. I found the “Detective Erika Foster” series by Robert Bryndza and fell in love with all the characters in the first book, “The Girl in the Ice”. Bryndza decided to take a break from writing for this series to explore an idea for a new character. His new book “Nine Elms-Kate Marshall Book1” is available for pre-order. Of course I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait to read it in November when it’s published.

Once you find an author Goodreads and Kindle are wonderful about making suggestions for more authors and books. That’s how I found the DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons.

Several weeks ago I veered off the crime novel path and took a leap of faith with a few new books I found through Kindle Unlimited.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky - Mark T. Sullivan

The Ragged Edge of Night

The Victory Garden - Rhys Bowen

In Farleigh Field - Rhys Bowen

The Tuscan Child - Rhys Bowen

And “Where the Forest Meets the Stars” by Glendy Vanderah. This is Ms. Venderah’s first novel and I SO hope she continues to write more. I’ve never written a book review but I should probably learn how to write one properly. In the meantime all I can say is that this is a beautifully and thoughtfully written story about the lives of three survivors who come together and teach each other about love, forgiveness, healing and family. I don’t normally read contemporary fiction but the ratings for the book were amazing and it was available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited. i’ll be purchasing it to add to my personal library because it’s just outstanding.

Last night I started yet another book and after only a couple chapters in, I’m in love with it. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful stories available to me. Reading brings comfort and joy into my life and transports me to different places, times and even worlds. With that said I’m off to continue reading my latest find…








Learning to Macrame

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve made the time to sit down and write for the blog. My plate is full when it comes to projects and I keep coming up with more ideas. Add to that the arrival of Spring and blogging seems to drop very low on the priority list.

Spring means yard work and the continuation of outdoor projects as well as the start of new ones. In nine weeks we open the pool and we’re hoping to have the patio completed by Memorial Day. Our minds are on our pool paradise and getting everything ready. It’s where we spend the majority of our time from May until the end of September. We’re happy homebodies.

On the creative home front I’ve taken up macrame and I absolutely adore it! Using yarn I practiced basic knots that I learned watching YouTube videos. It’s relaxing and that’s something I didn’t count on when I started. After falling in love with it I ordered a spool of 3mm cotton macrame rope from Amazon. Even though I’m a beginner I want to make things that we’ll use instead of making things that will pile up in the crafts closet. So I made a simple runner.

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It’s wonky in areas but both J and I love it. Still had rope left so I made a little mat for our end table.

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I’m absolutely hooked on macrame. Decided to order some more cording so that I can make an additional runner in the same pattern as the end table mat. The first runner has been shifted to the sofa table and it looks great there with photos and a Woodwick candle displayed on top. Josh and Brit got me two Woodwick candles for Christmas and I love them so much!

There are a couple books on Amazon that have lovely patterns and I’m considering ordering them. It’s hard to pull the trigger on “How To” books when there are so many wonderful video tutorials on YouTube! The books would be nice when I don’t want to sit in front of the computer or iPad while trying to learn. My screen time has gone down immensely because I just have so many artistic/crafty things on my list.

Peace,

Bet