Monday, 22 September 2014

Saturday, 20 September 2014


*mutters* fancy a robot... fancy a robot... help... I fancy a robot *rocks back and forth* 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Pride Adventures #2

Hello comics! Comics comics comics. Sincerely, comics.

It's comics crazy all up in here and today is no exception! Whilst attending Melksham Comic Con a couple of weeks ago, I got to catch up with letterer genius and all round brilliant dude, Mike Stock. I realised that as I contributed to Joe Glass' TPA#2, he must have lettered my work! So I did some hunting (it was easy! They're right here!)
Looook! Doesn't Mike Stock make everything better?! Answer: Yes. Yes he does.
This is my page 1 of my story Ladies Night, written by Joe Glass!
I don't wanna freak you out or nothing, but Christian Wildgoose is in it too! AAARGHHHH *buys all the comics*

In other news: I HAVE 8 ISSUES OF WORRY WART LEFT IN STOCK! Almost sold out in under two weeks! That's incredible :D


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Worry Wart Is Launched!

Woweee you guys! It's done! Worry Wart has had it's launch this weekend at Melksham Comic Con and may I say what a successful launch it was! I am flabbergasted by the response. I sold over half my stock on the weekend and many more through our online shop since. I'm nearly out! That's craaazy! ^_^

I had a wonderful weekend. I was thoroughly looked after by the Brians, I loved the Mental Health and Comic Books panel I talked at and I was even invited onto The PCG's 'Comics In Just A Minute' game show panel! (Which turned out to be hilarious! You'd think I could talk coherently for one minute, no!? Apparently not!)

Thank you to everyone that came out to chat to me, to buy a book and to everyone that has emailed me/got in touch since! You're all splendid human beings and there is many bacon for you in the afterlife!

I haven't stopped for a moment since I got back - I am dyyying to read my con haul. I went a little mental and bought ALL the comics. Sorry everybody! :p Just need chance to sit on my butt and read them!

If you want to read Worry Wart, click here.

The next con we'll be visiting is Nottingham Comic Con ^_^ x

Friday, 29 August 2014


Since it's only one more day/sleep/bacon until the launch of Worry Wart (who'm I kidding, there's loads of opportunities for bacon!) I thought I'd share a sneak peak - one of my most favouritest pages! I have included some contributions from some tip-top artists, some really cool pin ups that I can't wait for you to see! But this is something else! I love the humble Haiku. It's so much more hard hitting, a perfect illustration of less is more, don't you think? These contributors all have their own varying experiences of mental health, but one thing links us all together: we ALL make comics. I wanted the pages to be one of hope. An example of how we all carry on regardless!
Please check out the work of these wonderful creators: PJ Montgomery, Rachael Smith, Kris Carter and Vicky Stonebridge! They rank as some of my all time favourites ^_^

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Worry Wart: The Printed Edition

To coincide with appearing on a Mental Health and Comic Books panel at this months Melksham Comic Con, I have been beavering away on a limited print run of my anxiety comic Worry Wart!

For launch at Melksham Comic Con, Worry Wart Vol#1 will collect the current comics as they appear here alongside all the original blog entries, guest art and haikus from some of the heroes of UK indie comics and never before seen pages! It has been brilliant revisiting these pages, sprucing them up for print and reading all the plans I had!

Worry Wart was the making of me.
I found it so difficult to deal with my diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder on my own. Without this comic I would have surely descended into further maddening fright. I found it so helpful to remove myself from the full time fret that is anxiety and focus on making cute little cartoons instead. Drawing them took those thoughts out of my head and stored them on paper for all time. I now have a catalogue of comics proving just how far I have made it!
It is so deeply important to me to share these. I gained so much support simply through the act of 'confessing' through these comics.

Anxiety is a frightening and seriously lonely condition. If this book makes just one person feel less alone then it is truly worth it ^_^

I am so excited to finally print this book and continue working on plans to bring the tale to a close!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

binty loves transformers prime!

Did you know that I am an animator? I don't shout from the rooftops about it nearly enough.
Ian and I been watching some seriously badass cartoons lately and it's really got me thinking about all the series and projects I have contributed to, as well as daydreaming about the future programs that I'd kill to work on.

We've been working our way through Transformers Prime (2011) which especially appeals to me as it is a CG animated version of the popular toy franchise. The characters are so well known worldwide that redesigns are often abhorred or applauded passionately. I truly enjoy the Transformers Prime (TFP) character designs, most especially Starscream and Bumblebee. I like Transformers, it's alright like. I am unclouded by nostalgia however, as I missed the original cartoon series, movie and toy lines in my infancy. I have since caught up (it would be hard not too being the missus of Ian Matthews) but I don't feel as attached to the series as many. The movies did nothing for me, however, the Transformers Animated (2007) charmed me greatly and TFP has supremely caught my attention.

TFP captures the adventures and mishaps of three human children who discover the Autobots presence here on Earth and inevitably become as invested in the war against the Decepticons as Prime himself. Raf (a young computer genius) Miko (a heavy metal loving Japanese gobshite) and Jack (the sensible, hard working teen) befriend Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Arcee respectively.

Each episode is a great example of tight storytelling, action sequences, drama and character building. Ratchet in particular matures throughout series one, from a comedy bit-part mechanic (“Bulkhead, I needed that!”) to genius mainstay. I love his evolution. He even gets a little starring role storyline in Episode 22 'Stronger, Faster' in which he tests Synthetic Energon on himself, becomes addicted to the boosts in his performance and subsequently suffers 'roid rage! He becomes the respected surgeon, operations master, comms expert and champion engineer of the series, literally holding the team together. The majority of the episodes revolve around the 3 main bots (Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Arcee) and their learning to protect their new human partners. The series gently builds drama between the Autobots and Decepticons, culminating in a surprising final battle with a cliff hanging, game changing finale.


Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, suffers through internal uprisings, failing health and thwarted plans in his quest for Dark Energon and the eventual defeat of the Autobots, but it is Starscream that steals the show for me. Now, Megatron is shit scary, but Starscream is so wonderfully, theatrically devious and conniving that I can't help rooting for the little bastard. His design is spindly and pokey, shark-like, full of points and spikes, heels, sharp edges and subtle curves combined. His voice acting is spot on, I adore it, high pitched, nasal, melodramatic and ceremonious. Megatron's animation is predictably powerful, heavy and bold (although, oftentimes I really feel he misses the stress of the situation, especially in dialogue shots) but Starscream is unmistakably camp, informed by his design. There are lots of hip movements, shifting weights, nimble anticipations and uncurling of fingers. He is very comic in his delivery, there is much 'spoiled child' about him. He's quick, pose to pose and has great timing. He also has some of the most exciting transformations, he's as exciting and operatic in vehicle mode as he is robot.


As for the animation of the Autobots, my personal favourite is Arcee. She's equal parts feminine and macho and definitely has some of the most exciting fight sequences. Her speed as a motorbike often allows her to be the first in battle, combining her transforming sequence with aerial stunts and gorgeous calculated and precise fight choreography. She's got a great pair of legs too, which make for exciting run cycles, dynamic silhouettes and martial arts kicks and spins. She also has the most rad guns. She gets a lot of airtime in this series with an arc dedicated to her ongoing campaign against Airachnid, as well as her development in her relationship with Jack. Of all the bots, she has my favourite facial animation too. Maybe because her eyes are most visible.

The CGI world that stages the series is massively sparse and almost completely unpopulated. It really stood out at first, the lack of props and scene decorations (Jacks completely empty garage for example) no crowds in town or school sequences and sparse repetitive landscapes and locations make the series seems a tiny bit.. cheap. But as I watched more and more episodes I began to appreciate the densely complex spectacle that is the show as a whole. Many dynamic effects such as sparks, smoke, sand, dust, flames occupy huge fight sequences and action shots, often including multiple fighting giant robots too! There are huge battles involving the landscape too. Tornadoes, exploding rocks and cliffs and humongous spaceships are a few that spring to mind. It forced me to think about all the processes involved in putting out an animated series. And they've nailed it. It's totally slick.

I'd love to know how strong the animation team was or how long a contract they had for the 26 episodes for the series. In my series experiences, we usually get around 14 months to complete 52 x 11 minute episodes over two teams of about 6 animators. This is for pre-school animation however, whereas each episode of TFP clocks in at around 22 mins and is hugely complex. I can totally forgive unpopulated backgrounds in favour of awesome action scenes paired with complex weather and lighting processes, among others.
Think of the scene files, people!

I am really looking forward to making our way through series two. It's such an exciting Saturday morning cartoon.

Toys are pretty cool too :D

Have you seen it? What do you think? Or did you give it a miss because it is CGI? I'd love to know ^-^

Monday, 7 April 2014

Gut Update!

Today is DAY 170 of my sugar free/grain free/dairy free life. 
I have never felt better, the sugar cravings have FINALLY abated! :D
If you have found this journey interesting, I've got an announcement to make when I reach Day 200! A huge, exciting celebrationy announcement! Stay tuned ^-^

Monday, 31 March 2014

binty goes wargaming!

As I was taking my first tentative steps into the world of tabletop wargaming; as I was falling in love with the miniature monsters and warriors and the art of assembly and paint jobs, I remember dreaming of a rough goal to play a stranger, at a proper table, in a proper gaming club by the end of the year. I'd been tinkering around playing duels with Ian on an empty 4x4ft folding table, practising and playing games which involved nothing more than running at each other and getting into combat as soon as we could. I'd started writing blog posts to catalogue my enthusiasm and thus started dreaming of all the different aspects of the hobby I could document, ya know, to help noobs. I thought the notion of playing a stranger to be wild, ridiculous and way, way, waaay distant.

Well FUCK THAT 'cause binty gone joined a LEAGUE.

Bristol Vanguard

With barely any field experience I went off into the wide, wide world and found a club on my doorstep, packed my army and wrecked face. In pigtails.
My first game was at a gaming club called Vanguard Wargaming, a shop in Bristol with a great gaming space. I introduced myself on the forums, asked if anyone wanted to school a noob and the rest is history!
I'd arranged to play a dude called Liam (who I knew as 'Monk' on the forum) who promised to show me the game at a pace that suited me. I nervously laid out my Cryx starter battle group, dice and measuring tape and hoped for the best.
I needn't have worried! The atmosphere was party-like! People were introducing themselves left, right and centre. Watching, chatting, pointing out possible moves I could make, talking me through all the tactics I could employ. Liam was a true gent, talking me through the basic rules, answering all my questions and pronouncing his moves as he made them so I was always following what was happening!

There was such a lot of interest that evening that the Bristol Vanguard club has since started it's own starter league called Escalation, which I am a proud participant of! We have 11 players in all, ranging from uber-n00b (me: no gaming experience whatsoever) Warman00b (experience of gaming, but not of Warmachine) and totes-pro (they've got custom brief cases of soldiers upon units upon warriors!) and a great variety of factions! I've played 6 games in the league in total already and the objective is to grow our armies and play bigger games month on month. I've had some great nights there and learned a lot and made some new friends!  

Bristol Vanguard: Your friendly neighbourhood wargaming club!

I've also been assembling and developing my army! I've been using my Khador battle box for painting practice and cleaning up and gluing my Cryx models. My most favourite thing has been reading the Cryx faction book and choosing who to employ next. I try to work out who might play well with who in terms of abilities but to be honest, I am mostly going off the nicest art work and the bestest back story! For example, I bought a new solo called a Skarlock Thrall, (that gives me the capability to cast spells independent of my warcaster) a Warwitch Siren (because she's hot) and a Bane Lord Tartarus (because he's eeeevil!) and I can not shitting wait to throw them down and do dirty things with them! RAWR!

Some assembly required

I am thrilled to have found out first hand just how social wargaming is. I find myself looking forward to my next game, no matter where it is! I took Ian down to the club at the weekend so we could have our first game on terrain together, and I hope we go back to Firestorm to play there soon too. I also love watching and just hanging out when I'm not playing. My confidence is growing with every game!

Ian (beard) vs Neil ('tache) at Firestorm! GG chaps!

We are currently into our second month of the Escalation League and are due to boost our army to the next level (to a 25 point game!) This means I get the chance to play the new models I have bought and think deeper about tactics and manoeuvres.

I'd better get working on my army list... :p  

Monday, 24 March 2014

Victoria Haley Commission

Another one for the ladies-who-kick-ass pile. This is a commission piece of a warcaster called Victoria Haley in the game Warmachine! 
Warmachine's full of birds, ya know! 
Who next? 
If you'd like a unique fantasy themed pin up of your favourite character, get in touch! ^-^

Monday, 17 March 2014


Continuing with the ladies-who-kick-ass theme I seem to have adopted lately: Trinity! I watched The Matrix this weekend and fell in love with her all over again. It feels ... good. 
If I never watch the sequels again my love will never fade away :p *sticks fingers in ears* LALALALAA LA LA LAAAA WHAT SEQUELS LA LA LAAAAA

Monday, 10 March 2014


Here is another current girl crush: Warwitch Deneghra. What a total cow bag/babe. I loves drawing da ladies. 
This is my warcaster from the game Warmachine that I keep banging on about. SorryNOTSORRY. She is the leader of my Cryx army! I must blog about my recent dabblings with an actual wargaming club soon. I'm sure you're all dying to hear ;D 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Wonder Woman

I have been reading the George Perez Wonder Woman books that Ian bought me for Christmas and I am in luuurve with Princess Diana. I have been dying to draw her ^-^ 

Monday, 3 March 2014

February 2014 11 Second Club Entry!

Here is my February entry into the monthly animation competition, the 11 Second Club!
It was entered unrendered/unfinished due to a malicious computer virus and human food poisoning but hey, dems da breaks!

I have been slowly collecting bits of equipment in anticipation of The Great Switch to Self Employed May 2014 but had yet to acquire a monitor. Luckily, this month I mentioned it to my housemate and he lent me his! I had about a week of February left and I decided to go for the competition! I really want to get more of my own stuff done this year and the 11 Second Club is an awesome way to practice, have something to aim for and keep skills fresh! Every month they release a short clip of audio from a movie or tv show for us animators to go nuts with. I tried to keep this one simple due to time constraints.
I blocked out the movements on a Saturday evening and animated it over approximately 9 hours on the Sunday! I roughed in the assets and had to leave it that way due to the subsequent aforementioned malware disaster! D'oh!

Voting ends soon and I'll find out my fate! Eeek! There were 201 entries last month!
I'd love to know what you think! I am forever learning ^-^

This months clip (March) is a line from Ghostbusters... I don't think I dare tackle it! :p

Monday, 3 February 2014

binty learns magic!

This weekend was so exciting! Ian and I have been so busy lately that we haven't really had time to play much (ahem.. other than Marvel Legendary.. ahem) and so this weekend we managed to get together and devote some real time to the beautiful game.

NO NOT FOOTBALL. Warmachine!

If you remember, we had slowly been implementing different rules in each game played in order to get my thick skull wrapped around them. Since I had been out of action for a while I was getting increasingly apprehensive about playing again. I get all flustered and run away easily if the rules become too overwhelming. Since my last blog, we'd added playing with 'focus' to boost dice rolls, to buy extra attacks and to charge our warjacks instead of walking them. Focus is a points system that warcasters can use for spells and extra abilities. My warcaster Sorscha has a focus stat of 6, which means I get to spend 6 points of focus in each round boosting my army or casting magic attacks. We had to sit down and have a gentle recap game, which turned out to be fantastic as I remembered so much more than I thought I would! Since it was going so well Ian suggested that we could introduce the rules of 'Feat.' A feat is a powerful game changing spell that a warcaster has the ability to use once during a battle.

Dani: Khador vs Ian: Cygnar!

We've been playing on a 4x4 foot table with no terrain as a practice arena and usually our first moves are spent running like hell at eachothers armies. Ian went first, but I managed to draw first blood using focus to boost my Destroyers attacks against his Ironclad warjack! YEEAH!
During the next round however, when we're all in position, Ian brought the pain! He has a Charger warjack in his Cygnar battlebox that has a duel cannon. In his words 'its focus efficient,' and he can use it twice due to a rule called Rate Of Fire. He spends one focus point and the dude can just keep on shooting with boosted damage rolls! He totally mullered my warcaster by 10 damage points! Yeesh! It was only the second turn!

First assault!

This turned out to be a great re-introduction match with Ian finishing it very quickly by going straight for my warcaster Sorscha. The game ends if the warcaster falls.

For the next game, with my whistle well and truly whet, we decided it would be fun to add in the rules of Spells! A warcaster has the ability to use focus to cast magic in battle, either as attacks or as cloaks or beefing up the odds in your favour. Sorscha has some cool magic abilities and I couldn't wait to try them out!

Post tantrum

I'll tell you what though, there is no crushing disappointment quite like spending 4 focus to cast a spell, only for the dice to land unhappy side up... I have had many paddywhacks in my time, but I full on double fist slammed and yelled 'WHO THE FUCK ROLLS THREE ONES!?' in the whiniest pitch complete with bottom lip. Sorscha, baby, what's wrong!? What did I do!? Not only did this happen to me once (it was a spell called Tempest I was trying to cast, a nasty little attack that would knock down the target and pummel it with a power 12 damage roll) but I tried casting it again later on and the exact same thing happened, leaving me wide open with no focus and looking like a very sorry army...
I was surrounding one of Ian's warjacks at the time and had a great idea of casting Tempest and then finshing it off with my hand cannon AND my Juggernaut. Waaah.
Ian told me there is a website called Bad Dice... I'd better join. I had the worst rolls for the entire match. Looking back, it was so funny!

The dice favour the brave!

But, it has been enough to get me hooked. I even took my cards to work today to read. Now that I know what all the stats mean, like, actually mean, I can read them and try to come up with scenarios or battle plans! I took my Cryx cards too and have been soaking up the Battle College wiki pages.

Can't believe I have to build my own toy! (ahem, thanks Ian :D)

In the meantime, I have been cleaning up my Cryx battle box and I have currently one completed warwitch! Ian showed me how to clean up a model ready for assembly. As a n00b, I am flummoxed as to why I have to do this myself! *mumbles..paid all that money... it's in bits..grumble...*
However, I am nothing if not a good sport (HAH!) so I'll give it my all! :D
I cleaned up the mould lines on the little pieces of warbastards with a scalpel and then glued them together! Ta-DAAAA: Warwitch Deneghra.

Ain't she a beaut? I've been getting excited reading the stats cards that came with my Cryx battlebox. So far, since my Khador army were already assembled by Ian as my Christmas pressie, I have been playing and training with them exclusively. I can't wait to try out my Cryx army. They have such tricksy abilities! I'd better get them built first! :D

We are going to Firestorm again soon. Ian will be playing someone else and I'll be watching but I am going to take my battlebox with me incase I get the chance to play my first game on actual terrain! I hope so ^-^ 

Over and out, warbitches!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Pride Adventures #2

Whilst the writing on the next Razarhawk arc is underway, I have been lending my scrawlings to a rather marvellous comic series called The Pride, created by Joe Glass. The Pride is a fabulous ensemble LGBTQ supergroup led by FabMan.
Have you ever been sick of being misrepresented? Of having no one like you to look up to? Have you ever wanted to change everything?
The Pride is a comic book series created and written by Joe Glass, and featuring art by a host of amazing creative talent from all around the world, including Gavin Mitchell, Kris Carter, Mike Stock, Dan Harris, Kris Anka, Cory Smith and many, many more.
 I was approached by Joe to work on The Pride Adventures #2 on a short featuring all the laydees! He knows me so well! :p

Here is a sneak peak at the first panel that will appear in the short 'Ladies Night.'

Such fun to draw!

You can find out more and buy a copy of The Pride here! Go on! It's got Gail Simone's seal of approval!


I am so excited to be writing this. For those who may require a little bit of background, I have struggled with gastrointestinal issues since 2008. You can read loads of details in my Worry Wart comic if you like that kind of thing! To put it mildly, my bowel and I have not been on the same team. I employed many tactics, the one I used most aggressively was total denial. It became my normal. Everyone told me to 'just eat bread' or 'calm down' and 'stop thinking about it.' It became quite usual for the doctors I saw to treat my mind rather than my body, and so I had been on many an anti-depressant for it because, quite rightly, I was very distressed and it caused my anxiety.

Well, a little over 6 months ago now, when my symptoms where the worst they'd ever been, I declared war. I declared war on my nerves and war on anyone who wouldn't take my health seriously.
I contacted a Nutritional Therapist with a rather sorrowful email. I outlined my 5 year gastro-upset and asked if there was any such thing as a 'stress free diet?' (I still believed at this point that the mind ruled the body, and since I was so anxious, it was driving my symptoms) I started seeing her in July 2013. The first thing she suggested was to get some proper, thorough lab stool tests completed and analysed, as how the hell else will you ever know what's going on inside? There were expensive, and slightly traumatic, but they have since become my greatest weapon. Knowledge is power.
The results were not surprising. What's wrong Doc? Well, everything.
We tried a few different things to begin with. A couple of months introducing supplements and a 'better' western diet, then we tried to flood my system with good guys, stripped my diet back further, found combinations of foods that were giving me hell etc. Eventually, 100 days ago, after my symptoms seemed to persist, she suggested stripping my diet right back to an 'elimination phase.' Essentially a siege tactic, a 'starvation' period. Not to starve myself you understand, but to starve whatever little shit bad guys were swimming around my body having the time of their lives. One of the results of my test proved that I had 'scant growth' of probiotics in my intestines. You're supposed to have BILLIONS. In the time that my bowel has been without these essential good guys, the baddies have run amock, and settled in places they definitely shouldn't have settled. Cutting off their food supply would be a drastic change to my life, but it would eventually starve them into submission. Once they are starved and weak, I could introduce some good guys and hope they find home.
The elimination phase was the hardest thing I have ever done! This handy graphic makes it look all sweetness and light:
Don't be fooled by the cuteness! RAWR!

So I cut out starchy carbohydrates, sugars, fruits, dairy, grains, processed, packaged and prepared foods. The only fats/oil I could have was Coconut Oil for cooking. 99% of the supermarket was irrelevant to me. At first, with the removal of carbs from my diet, my body packed in! I was so weak and lost a stone in weight very quickly, followed by another stone much more slowly. I got a cold pretty early on and it almost wiped me out. I remember finding it physically hard to climb the stairs or get in and out of a chair! Running was out of the question and walking to work and back was such a chore, no matter how slowly I walked! My periods also stopped for a while. As my body got used to my new intake I have slowly put half a stone back on as I had to greatly increase my portion sizes. This diet was giving my system a break, a proper rest. Everything on this list is easy for my body to digest and I was following a strict supplement program to make sure I got everything I needed! 

Writing this, 101 days later, is easy! But the amount of times I nearly gave up are numerous. It was so hard if I had to leave my home/routine. For example, travelling to conventions was a nightmare. I have done 3 conventions on this diet and at each con I lost half a stone over the weekend as taking the right amount of food with me is impossible. Without a fridge to store meat or cooking equipment I could not prepare the meals I had been having. I would take as much frozen meals as I could and hoped they would last! I introduced ground almonds after a month and this really helped, as I was able to make 'baked' products, like the muffins made from almonds and butternut squash I posted on this blog! I also introduced bananas, and this made such a difference. Being able to walk into a shop and grab a banana was a very big help. At the Falmouth Convention we did last October, the organisers kindly let me use their microwave so I could heat my veggie soup! ^-^

In my general day to day life routine, I became even more of a foodie than I was before! Making meals out of these minimal few ingredients became a fun (no, not always fun) challenge and I have managed to make some seriously tasty food! Making a ginger Chicken soup stock and cutting the courgettes into noodle shapes meant that I could fake a 'ramen' dish for example! Or making a batter out of ground almond and an egg meant I could have almost-proper Fish and Chips! I have been converted to celeriac chips for life! I made granolas with chopped baked nuts and cinnamon. I've made almost-a-lasagna, almost-a-shepherds-pie and even, on Christmas day, Ian and I managed to make my dinner look like everyone elses! It became really important for me to feel more like I wasn't missing out by making my meals in familiar ways. 
However, try having a sugar free Christmas before you start thinking this was easy! Go a week without coffee... Man I really miss coffee! I miss an awful lot of things! 

Fish and Chips! Chicken Ginger Ramen!
Pecan 'bread' topped with mushed banana! Granola with Coconut milk!

But now, after 100 days, I am writing this following my latest consultation with my nutritionist and well, I have never felt a bigger pay off! All the paddy whacks and tantrums and going to bed hungry because I was just so angry at my situation have made this feeling all the more worth while. The next phase is introducing a whole new long list of vegetables and making my diet as naturally anti-bacterial as possible! Some strains of bacteria can lie dormant or go into a hibernation mode if they are starved. They've been hiding there, waiting! And a great way to coax them out is to introduce a little of their food source and then KICK THEM IN THE FACE! So I will be introducing small amounts of honey (their food) and eating Garlic (their demise!) GARLIC! After 100 days of no garlic I don't shitting know where to start.. I could weep! 
Of course, I have to monitor everything carefully as any one of the foods I'll be introducing could be problematic. Garlic is a high FODMAP food and sometimes this can give people with troubled digestions ever more trouble! But I'll be taking some natural anti-biotic supplements too! 
What I'm trying to say is, it feels like Christmas to me right now! I can't wait to explore my new list of veg and I can even introduce PEACHES!! 

And, looking back over all my food diaries, this nice long break for my digestion has done me a heap of good! I've never been more normal, regular, and healthy in my whole life! I mean I'm shitting really well people! And my anxiety? Well, I won. I've been off anti-depressants for over a year, I've not taken an Imodium in 6 months, and I have been to conventions, on long car journeys, on flights, new peoples houses, cinemas, new cafes, I bought my first car, the list is endless! I feel like this diet has been my ultimate secret weapon! Knowing exactly what's wrong on the inside gives me the best possible chance to fix it. And it wasn't all in my head. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Portrait Commission

Before Christmas, I was commissioned by a rather fabulous husband to paint an A3 full colour digital family portrait for print as a present to his wife!
Since they are Game Of Thrones nuts ((AND HIS SURNAME IS STARK!)) the portrait was to be Winterfell themed! I had so much fun painting it!
Here it is posted with permission of course:

And here it is all framed! I received this photo on Christmas day along with some rather lovely messages! It made my day!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

binty learns the art of war!

I'm going to use the old verbiage: I remember it like it was yesterday.

One sunny, winter morning in Cardiff, during a particularly honest conversation in the infancy of our relationship, Ian turned to me and said “I have something to tell you.” Since he was following a truth of my own and wore such an apprehensive expression I prepared myself for the worst. I actually thought the words 'Oh god, he's got a kid.'

After some fluff and a few 'out with its!' he finally hurled the words 'I play Warhammer!' at me and flinched in anticipation of my response. Writing this, 2 years later, I do understand his anguish. I think he genuinely thought it was going to be something we couldn't share. However, at the time, I think my heart burst in my chest with pure and utter love.
  1. How could anything that this man enjoys as a hobby bring anything but happiness to me?
  2. OMG you mean the little battle dudes!? That you get to paint and shit and go to war and that?! My brother had some and my friend Dylan brings some into work and I've aaaalwaays wanted to watch a game! Will you show me?!   
Basically, his confession benefited me more than him. I finally had an in.


The following Christmas brought my first Battle Box! Ian had chosen the game Warmachine as a starting point for me and my premier army was to be Khador! According to the battle college wiki page:

“Warmachine is a 30mm tabletop wargame from Privateer Press. It is a fantasy wargame with a touch of steampunk set in the Iron Kingdoms, originally created by Privateer Press as a Dungeons & Dragons game world. It is currently in its second edition of the rules.”

Everything I needed to go to war for the first time was included in the battle box. He'd assembled the two heavy 'Warjacks' and the 'Warcaster' that the box provided and added a tape measure, some pebbles, a pen, some card protectors and some laminated rules for my faction! How cool! He chose the army Khador because the battle box came with a female character as the Warcaster (this is like a leader!) She is called Sorscha and she's a mega bitch. Perfect!

That NYE we attempted my first game.

Overwhelming is an understatement.

I tried, I really did, but quickly became fed up and lost confidence fast. We have since come to realise that Ian has been speaking this wargaming language for nearly twenty years... whereas I was trying to relate everything to, say, computer games. I couldn't grasp the basic mechanics, got all tied up in knots thinking about spells and became quite stressed trying to decide what to do and when.

Unfortunately, and quite probably because I didn't take to it quite so well, we sort of gave up. It was something we couldn't find time for in the years since and I felt that Ian had given up trying. He had enough friends to play with and I'd failed dramatically! I mentioned it a few times and even went looking for models (I bought a Spriggan!) but it was relegated whilst real life took over.

This Christmas, however, it seems we've come up with a strategy that feeds my interest and isn't overwhelming! He's been teaching me the basics one step at a time! Sounds simple really... We played one round just making moves using the SPEED stat (a numerical value indicating how many inches a model can advance) Then we played the next round moving and attacking using the MAT stat (Melee attack!) and we've been carrying on like that, adding in the different elements of the game one round at a time.

I can't believe how much fun I am having!

During all the house moves up and down the country (and others!) we've had to endure in our short relationship, it's sad that my battle box has been misplaced somewhere in storage. I couldn't want it more right now! Since Ian has a bigger Khador army already (and others) I've been using his models whilst he uses his Cygnar battle box.

I've been looking at the other factions in the Warmachine universe and have decided on investing in a Cryx army! The Cryx faction has some wicked girlies in it (yes, this is important to me!) The Cryx battle box itself contains one such girlie, the Warwitch Deneghra!

There's a gaming centre and shop in Cardiff called Firestorm and this New Years Eve we travelled there to buy my Cryx battle dudes. I can't wait to play them! This time I will get chance to assemble them myself (with much much guidance) and paint them too!

Ian also took me to have a look around the nearest gaming centre to me in Bristol: Bristol Vanguard! We chatted to the dude and he gave us a tour! We got to see the tables which are all kitted out with terrain and there's a painting room! I am going to join the forum and see if there's any other girls out there that play Warmachine! I sure hope so!

Firestorm Games: the merchants of WAR!

I also hope to blog my progress since it will include so many different steps and skills! I hope these will be interesting from a complete n00bs perspective. Cleaning up models, painting them ready for battle, visiting gaming centres, playing the damn game... phew!

I love writing about what I'm currently enjoying, I hope you will enjoy reading it ^-^