Category: Real Life

How is it October..

It seems like I just blinked and September passed us by. On the 24th we got hit hard by hurricane Fiona, and it took until October 7th to be restored with power and internet. We had some damage to the house, and lost a bunch of trees – but we’re OK, and that’s what’s important.

In other news, I finally picked up a Steam Deck, and it should be here next week! I’m excited about this, I wanted to be able to use it for my xbox gaming pass along with my steam library. I imagine it will get a good amount of use, but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll write about it when it shows up (late, since everyone else has already written about it).

I’m still spending the majority of my time playing Black Desert, and World of Warcraft (retail). I’m excited about Dragonflight, and I see that BDO also has an update coming out on October 12th – YAY! I can’t wait to see what they add.

I’ve also gotten a lot of knitting done, and even some reading (I’ll be doing updates on my book blog a bit later). Trying to organize my thoughts has been more of a trial than I thought it would be.

Remember if you’re looking for World of Warcraft posts (specifically centered around making gold) you can check out my other blog: Girlgoblin.ca – and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.


An Update on Streaming

My return to streaming happened on June 27th, after over three years away (more like 6 years away, since the birth of my son). I have always wanted to stream, but I also have a lot of anxiety and health issues that prevent me from doing it smoothly. I decided to ease into it slowly, my streams are roughly an hour, and I only stream three days a week. They’re at (what I consider to be) an awkward time for others, but the best time for me (8pm EDT, mon/wed/fri). I stream a lot of World of Warcraft since that’s where I find myself playing these days, but on Wednesdays I stream alternative stuff depending on my mood. I’ve done fiber streams, RimWorld, and the latest Disney game.

It’s hard for me to measure growth, because every stream is different. Twitch uses an algorithm that I don’t quite agree with. Personally, I feel like the growth is there. I have a very dedicated small user base that returns each stream and supports me. They are honestly the reason I stream, they interact with me, ask questions, and are just a nice friendly bunch.

I’m streaming to help get past my crippling anxiety. Right now, I don’t use a cam, but eventually I’d like to muster up the confidence to stream with my cam on. I’m just not there yet. Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the financial side of things, but that’s a smaller part. Since I homeschool and am stay at home parent, 99% of my day is filled with children and doing things for others. Streaming is for me. As much as it’s not supposed to, it makes me feel like I am doing something ‘more’.

I’m not sure why I’m making this rambling post except to say – I’m enjoying my time back. I’m pleased with the growth, and I can’t wait to see where I’m at in a year. I hope I can continue with it, I hope I continue to grow. If you’ve never caught my stream before, you can find me on twitch: twitch.com/stargrace – mon/wed/fri at 8pm EDT. Thank you everyone for the support. It is very appreciated.


End of Month Update

Tomorrow is the first of September – where has the month gone?! I’ve managed to complete my Blaugust challenge (one post a day) for the month, and I’m pleased about that. I also managed to continue blogging on my two other sites (GirlGoblin which is a Warcraft gold making blog, and NomadicReader, which is a book review blog). I consider those sites extra credit. In total I made 51 posts between all three blogs. I didn’t get a lot of knitting done as far as doing my DailyCreative, but I did get a lot of spinning done on my new Daedalus spinning wheel. It has been a dream to use so far.

I stopped doing my bulletjournal in favour of just using a notepad in short form and making lists, then crossing off items as I completed them from my list. It’s not as fancy, but I’m more likely to see what is on the list that way. I found that some days I was completely ignoring my bulletjournal, and that was frustrating.

I didn’t do a lot of reading this month either, but I’ve still got some books I’m actively working through, just at a bit of a slower pace than usual for me. I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my depression and anxiety, so I’m trying to be gentle on myself.

I did manage a few art pieces this month, I even streamed some. My hands have been hurting this week so I haven’t been keeping up, but I’m confident that I can manage to get 52 pieces done this year, that is the goal. I think I have 32 at the time of this post.

I’m still gaming – but I’ve settled with being content with Warcraft as my main game of choice, and then a selection of smaller single player / co-op player games from my XBoX One Pass, and Steam. I wrote about how I was feeling FOMO regarding FFXIV, (and also GW2 these days) but I just don’t have the time to keep up with multiple games, and I *am* very happy in WoW. When it comes to streaming, I’m still working on establishing myself, my brand, and my schedule. I’ve almost done a complete schedule this week (mon/wed/fri are my stream days) and I want to continue that. Tonight I’m actually streaming fiber arts which is a change from my regular gaming / Warcraft streams. We’ll see how it goes, I still have to set up the cameras.

In any case, it has been a productive month. I can’t wait to see what September brings. Hopefully some cooler weather, because these heat waves have been difficult, to say the least. Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!


What Gear do People use to Stream Wildlife 24/7?!

I have two hummingbird feeders set up outside, as well as a regular bird feeder, and I’d like to add them as cameras / independent streams on my own stream. Here’s where it gets tricky (for me). I have NO IDEA what gear people use to stream 24/7. I have good internet & access to wifi, are they using an entire laptop or computer set up with a camera to stream these wildlife streams, or are there some cameras that I should be looking at instead, like perhaps a house security camera? I have no idea. I tried to do a bunch of google searches but nothing really turned up exactly what I was looking for.

If you happen to stream 24/7 and have a feed for animals, or have some gear suggestions for me, please let me know in comments! I’d love to show off the wildlife that comes to our feeders, but I just don’t know what I need to get started, and it seems like I’m supposed to automatically realize what the right items are.


That was Terrifying

At around 3am me and my husband heard the most awful screech coming from the backyard. I figured it was an animal, but I had no idea what sort of animal it was.

Turns out it was a barred owl – a baby one. They scream, and they’re terrifying. I knew we had owls around but when you ask me what sort of sounds I expect one to make, it’s more of a ‘hoo-hoo’ type sound, NOT a blood curdling scream.

At least now we know what it was. We have a rodent or something living nearby (found some holes in the yard dug up) so I imagine the parents must be out teaching it how to fend for itself. I hope to see more of them in the future, at least now I recognize the cries!


Why I Blaugust

I’ve been participating in Blaugust for a number of years now – but I always do so on the outskirts. As much as I crave being social, I have a mixture of imposter syndrome, anxiety, and other issues that prevent me from ever REALLY feeling like I’m a part of the group. I lurk, I follow from a distance – and I write. I attempt to write every day, and those days where I don’t write, I backdate it and write extra. I love the feeling of accomplishment Blaugust gives me, and I love being even remotely connected to a group of people who don’t necessarily feel like blogging is on the out. I have three fairly active blogs. This one, my world of warcraft dedicated one (mostly about making gold), and a book blog. Writing my thoughts out lets me speak without interruption. It usually lets me vent without fear of being counseled in my area of expertise (especially when it comes to making gold). It lets me share some creative spark with the world in a process that only takes a few minutes. Sometimes I plan out a concept or idea that I want to talk about but that’s pretty rare.

Why do I Blaugust? Lots of reasons, but the main one is simply to be held accountable (even if it’s false accountability) to write. Making it become habit again in a year of posts that might have been quite sporadic. I thrive on that sort of motivation, and it’s wonderful. It may not be everyone else’ cup of tea, it may put undue pressure on you – which is absolutely not what I’d ever aim for, but for me it works. I’m so thankful to Belghast and others for continuing on with the tradition each year.


Working on my ‘Battlestation’

There is an entire reddit (of course there is) dedicated to people showing off their ‘battlestations’ – their video game set ups. There’s another one dedicated to showing off work stations/computers. Both of these places are almost magical, there are some incredibly creative people out there. I love my little gaming area, but we’re still pretty new to the house, so I haven’t done a lot with it yet. One thing I wanted to do sooner rather than later was to dust off my Huion Pro 16 and have it actively set up on my desk. I do a lot of my drawing on the ipad, but my computer is (understandably) more powerful. I know Clip Studio is going through a shit storm right now with their newly announced PC subscriptions, but there are other alternatives (like Krita) and my usual ‘let’s just pull it out when I want to draw’ was not working. Out of sight, out of mind. I want to make use of the tablet (I just ordered some felt nibs for the pen) but I also hate a cluttered work area.

For now I’ve settled with the picture above. Things are neat and pretty tidy, the drawing tablet is out reminding me to use it, and my stream stuff works pretty well in the configuration I’ve decided on. I do want to mount the sound bar to the wall, and I’d love to get an arm for the monitors, or even wall mount those, but that’s a project for another time.

Now it’s time to learn Krita and see what it can do for me.


Meal Prep

I’m trying to eat better, and one of my major issues (besides snacking when I’m stressed) is portion control. A lot of times I’m just so busy and stressed during the day that I’ll binge eat whatever is laying around as I come across it. I don’t often feel like cooking, and because I have two littles, one who has very strict dietary requirements it means that I don’t eat very well.

In an attempt at making some time to take care of myself, I went and planned out 5 breakfast/lunch/dinner that I could make all at once and just have for the week. I don’t mind eating the same things for multiple days so long as I enjoy what I’m eating. I made egg & ham breakfast wraps for breakfast, I made a veggie soup & buns for lunch, and dinner is rice & chicken with bell peppers & pickled onion. Snacks? I got carrots and tzatziki. So far (3 days in, I know that’s not much) I’m moving more and I’m eating my prepared meals without snacking outside of it. There are some growing pains, but it’s a work in progress.

Next? I need to work on stress levels, and sleep. Maybe not trying to do ALL the things every single day. That one will take some time. But, for now, this is a start.


AI Art – I have Thoughts

I have watched the art community react in horror to most of the recent AI developments when it comes to art. People are worried about their jobs, people are worried about their style being stolen, people are worried about their actual works being stolen and used to create these AI generated pieces. AI art is getting to the point where it is difficult to tell that it’s AI generated. As an artist (even if beginner) myself, I’m torn. I absolutely do NOT like the idea of artists work being stolen. I’ve already had to splash giant watermarks on my own stuff when it was being taken for NFT’s – but how long until the AI can remove the watermarks (this is already a thing, I know). How long before a company doesn’t even bother to hire an artist to design for them, but instead types in the artist they want to emulate, a bunch of key words, and there’s the next piece already done for them in a matter of seconds.

As mentioned above, I agree that AI art can be great for certain things. Much like a reference, or for generating ideas that an artist can then take and put their own spin on. I don’t make a living from my art, so I don’t see the later part becoming an issue for me personally, but I can see why some artists out there may be worried. It’s already difficult to make a living as an artist. How many will be replaced with AI over the next 5 years?

I belong to a few Facebook art groups and already people have been posting their AI works claiming them as their own traditional pieces. While that might fool someone who doesn’t know any better, to some of us it’s pretty apparent (especially when the person drops 10+ pieces, all a different style, with no proof of process). I think that having a time lapse of the actual work is going to become more important, and I think there will be more requirements to ‘prove’ you created the piece yourself.

I think technology can be amazing, but I think in this instance it’s also very dangerous. I’m just incredibly uncomfortable with using artwork without permission from the artist, in any capacity. I guess we’ll simply have to see where this goes.


Blender? Let’s Learn Blender

For a few years now I have been following some 3D artists who use Blender to render World of Warcraft scenes – and I have wanted to do exactly that. I love the idea of making a scene with all of my characters, or just creating little scenes for friends. Or just on a whim. The problem is it involves using a handful of programs that I know NOTHING about – the biggest one being Blender. I’ve been meaning to try to learn it for a long while, but I never made time. That’s the biggest downside to having so many interest and hobbies, finding / making time.

I am working out a schedule where I can dedicate two days (evenings) a week to this, and hopefully I’ll make a little progress. I’ve downloaded the programs required and started with the YouTube video above, and joined a discord owned by the same person. I know it won’t be a quick learn, but I feel like this is a natural progression from my digital art that I’ve been working on. OK maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but at least I’m hoping it will be interesting.


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