Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jewellry no.2 - Necklace

Aftre finishing my earrings I wanted to try one more thing. It's probably not the best thing I could produce but I still like it. It taught me a lesson - it is good to think about something first and then do it when you are sure that it will work. Also weight plays a role when working with this kind of materials.^_^. I also managed to miscalculate the number of 'metal beads' in the process.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

um Earrings?

It's been a while that I wanted to make something using hematite stone. I don't know why, it just came up to my mind. Today I wanted to realize this. I went downtown to find a store where I could buy some semiprecious stones and other things I would need.

I found out that there are three stores in Beroun where I could get all I need. So I bought it^^.

And the result?

Monday, July 25, 2011

My altering 'history' - look back

Quite a long time ago, Squop-kun mentioned that I could try altering a Magic: The Gathering card. He supported me for a long time and allowed me to start and learn how to do alters the way it should be done.

I never really tried painting anything and doing alters seemed as a challenge. Not to mention that I wasn't really sure how to even mix colors. I later found out that I actually have good knowledge base for this coming from mixing colors for website creation. But still mixing numbers and paint is different.

My first ever try was on Gustrider Exuberant. I just picked a random card (I actually used this as a proxy) and tried to 'paint' on it. I used a bit of water, some acrylic paint and a brush (obviously). I wasn't really sure what to do so I tried to do some brush strokes and see what would come out of it.

You can clearly see that I encountered several problems. First what I realized is the fact that I would probably need to do something with the borders or other parts of the card I want to paint on. Because if left as it is you can clearly see what is underneath. And the second obvious problem was color matching.
Looking at it now, I can tell that I had many more problems than just these two. But I wasn't really sure how to solve such problems. You can see that I have a lot of paint there. It is far from being a clean alter. That is because I did not do more layers of the paint. (I actually did, but it wasn't well done)
One of the other problems I wasn't aware how to solve was the paint protruding where it shouldn't.

But at this point, after my first alter I was concentrating more on how make the paint behave the way I want. I also had some real issues with figuring out how to mix a red color for Executioner's Capsule. This was my fourth alter (I think) and it looked way better. Matching all these colors was a pure hell. At least that's what I thought at that time. Nothing prepared me for the worst colors (for me) ever that can be found on Sorin Markov.

After feeling a bit more confidant with altering I wanted to try my own alter. For that I chose Fallen Angel.

After finishing this one, it seemed that I should start right from the beginning. The paint was thick once again and there were parts I just couldn't figure out how to paint. But still it was an achievement. I had problems with the cards surface. The paint did not want to stay on the card and I encountered this problem with some older cards not in good condition.

Some time later I started doing commissions. Some of my borderless alters got good feedback and people actually bought them. While doing more and more alters I found out that trying to get certain hues of brown or some other color is not that easy as it seems. But the colors came out ok usually.

At this point I also started to use a toothpick to get rid of some paint going rogue and I started to master the technique of erasing the original card print color. This also meant that I bought some artistic tape and started using it to protect the parts of the card I did not want to erase. (see picture below). When all the job is done, you need to seal the paint. For that I use acrylic spray and it works fine, but it took me a long time to find one that works well.

Now I see that altering cards is becoming an art. No seriously, the alters some people do like poxy, klug, demonium, masamune, sandreline (and many others) are not only awesome but these alters are taking the whole altering to a new level. If you never heard of these people you better check them out. Good starting point might be Star City Games and the monthly posts by Jeremy about new alters. Or you can browse the alters at

I try to make my alters clean and well done. With each alter I try to improve and one day I might be able to do my own personalized alters that people would like as well. I try from time to time, but in the end I see that this kind of alters need much more work and improvement. So I try to start with small alterations...

One of popular themes is 'anime girl'. People like them for some reason. They are usually half naked in a sexy pose. I tried some as well. And 'tried' is the word where it ended. Not so long time ago I found out that many people when doing such alters copy a image using carbon transfer. This makes it way easier I can imagine. I never tried this yet...

As for me and the anime girls. I would really need something with what I could be much more precise than a brush. I tried different brushes, different fluidity of the paint and still I can't get the details done well. But I'm improving and one day I might find a way how to become better at doing this.

Thanks for reading. If you are interested in seeing my other alters you can check my picasa album located => here. I'm far from being good at doing alters, but I'm slowly getting there. And if you want to check some masterpieces, check star city games.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trash Sealed Deck - Festival Fantazie

In the Czech Republic there is a convention that lasts about ten days. It is the biggest Science Fiction, Fantasy and Gaming convention in the Czech Republic. It takes place annually in Chotebor, a relatively small town somewhere in the middle of the country. The name of the convention is Festival Fantazie (FF in short).

Each year thousands of people to gather there to play games, listen to panel discussions, seminars, to watch movies etc. Among those people you can also find Magic: The Gathering players.

This year our shop had a stand at Festival Fantazie. During the ten days we organized few tournaments. The regular ones like draft of Scars block, Standard and Legacy took place, but such tournaments don't usually bring anything new or funny. I have to admit that the first draft was funny in a way. A strange group of players gathered. The differences in skill were high and that led into one player having this =>

The drafting itself took ages (two and half hours), but in the end everybody was happy. The draft ended round 1 am.

There was one tournament for new players who would play with the half decks WotC gives to new players. Half deck consist of 30 cards and are of each color. In one batch of the decks there are 2 version of each color deck. There were 16 people who participated and many found out that flyers + greatsword is evil. But wait how about 2 arrests on your two only creatures and Shattered Angel wielding a Greatsword? Goblin deck could surprise with Goblin Bangchuckers. I had a game in which this card managed to destroy three of my creatures before finally hitting itself. One poor player was killed by 1/1 elf with hexproof that got a nice trollhide. Hm how that elf looked like then one wonders.

Anyway near the end of the convention we prepared a Trash sealed deck. Each player would receive 84 cards that would be randomly chosen from Alara Block, Mirrodin Block and tenth edition. Each player received the same ratio of cards from each set.

We could divide the players' decks into two groups. One group playing aggro decks mainly build from Alara Block cards + some equipments from Mirrodin and control deck builds that used cards from all sets and usually ending up playing white and blue. The third color was usually black or green. But some tried even a five color deck (picture follows)

If you checked the top players decks' you would find out that all those control decks are at the top and the aggro decks are below except me playing almost monogreen with Pestilent Kathari (that meant adding two colors, but that was fine as black had some rather poor removal and red had dark temper) ending third.

And the winner? The winner played a bant with some counterspells, unsummons and relatively big creatures. 3/3 flyers were big for this format. With few more tricks and good player this deck made it to the top. Here he is, with his prize!

(oh yeah, that is dragon whelp sitting on trash^^, I made this in illustrator for this occasion. the author of the idea is Lukas Verner.)

The whole event was for free. People could keep their cards or trash them afterwards as they chose to. All the players had fun and wanted another event like this in the future. So I guess from now on Trash 'sealed deck' will be a must at any convention we go.

Thanks for coming!

(TV Miniseries) 5ive days to midnight

Some time ago (about two years ago) I've seen an episode of something that caught my eye. There was a professor who was trying to figure out his own murder. This seemed odd and I wanted to find out what series it was but it all ended in vain.

Two years later.

We went to my bf's family house. It seems that the TV there is on for the whole day and night. In the evening there was something called Five Days to Midnight. By accident we've seen the second episode of the miniseries I wanted to watch few years ago. This time we knew the name of the series so I tried to get the rest somewhere.

5ive Days to Midnight
This is a TV miniseries ran by Sci-Fi channel in 2004.

While visiting his wife's grave, his daughter Jesse finds a briefcase. JT Neumeyer later manages to open the case and finds there a file with an unresolved homicide case. JT is shocked because the murdered is himself. His death should happen on Friday (in five days) at 3:55 am. At first he takes it for a hoax done by one of his students - Carl. Later though when some of the things stated in the file happen he's starting to take it seriously. He's got five days to change his destiny.

The series caught my eye because of the plot. It's not ordinary to see a movie or a series about something like this. Time travel though is something that also means logical problems in the movie. This series had plenty of space for philosophy but the director probably did not want to venture there. The series is a mixture of a mystery, drama, thriller and action.

The director should have also avoided the slow motion parts. At first I thought that this was an error in playback of the file I was watching but later found out that this was an intention of the director (or whoever else). This really ruined several moments in the series where real tension or suspense could be developed. This is something that really feels off in the series.

There are relatively funny moments in the series taking in account that you as the viewer know the contents of the file. So you can expect what happens. For example JT's girlfriend giving him a present - what it is going to be? (yes, you are right, something stated in the file...).

What I did not like about the series is the end. I expected that it would have a 'happy ending', but some things needed more explanation. Actually you can see and realize that there is more discrepancy in the series. For example, we could see in later episodes that the contents of the case changes depending on what happened. This means that what JT managed to alter in his present time has impact on the future. But in episode no. 2 (where Mandy was supposed to die) we can see that the contents of the case weren't changed as there is a scene where you can still read the same article about her dying due to fallen tree.

This actually confused me in the beginning because I though that the future cannot be altered and she has to die and thus JT's death is inevitable as well. But later you see that things start to change in the file. What the hell? What happened? So now things are different (oh cool, JT will save his life for sure)

In the end one wonder why saving JT's life was actually important apart from his daughter wanting him to stay alive. You know in most series and movies changing the future is something forbidden blah blah and people are usually trying to keep the timeline as it was.

Anyway, I enjoyed this miniseries.

Personal Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boogie Board - LCD Writing Tablet

I don't know if you ever heard of it or not. I personally missed this out completely so I find about this via my boyfriend.

What is it?
It is a LCD writing tablet which saves a lot of trees as the need for paper won't be that high anymore. You can use it to write memos, notes etc. The tablet is pretty sensitive to pressure. You can either use the stylus given to you with the board or you can use anything else. The display is relatively durable so using something else will do as well (if it won't be too sharp).

The sensitivity is pretty high, so drawing on the tablet feels good. Whatever you draw, write on the board can be erased. The newer boards now have a lock for the button so that you don't erase your text by accident.

The board is powered by a battery but it lasts for 6 years if you press the erase button 20 times per day. Now imagine how much paper this saves.

Really I find this thing pretty handy^_~. If you need to write down a to-do-list often (for example), you might consider buying one of these.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Upcoming t2 once again - UB

I tried to figure out what to do with my UW Splicer/Venser deck and came up with the conclusion that it either needs to be more aggro - thus playing creatures that would make difference (rather little ones.. - up to cmc4. there could be either mega fast version with memnites and such or slower one with hero of bladehold for example or golems, but I find those too expensive and slow) or play more control. I'm somewhere in the middle and that might not be the best. I wanted to try Phyrexian Metamorph and Oblivion Ring/or more counterspells. In the end I gave up (I made changes to the deck though) and started trying to figure out what else to build.

I wanted to exchange counterspells with discard because the counterspells started to annoy me more and more. I also had problems with other 'walkers when they resolved and occasional oblivion ring wasn't enough. So I decided to ignore that and try to play more annoying cards myself. In the end I ended up with something playing Grave Titan, Wurmcoil Engine and some ramp. The only white card left was Blade Splicer so I discarded that one and turn this deck into Forgemaster/Colossus combo.

Well, it is not control and not really a creature aggro either. It needs to be fast and kill via infect. But now it seems that the format will be pretty creature heavy and such a deck might have serious problems dealing with all those creatures. And yes Squadron Hawk is still annoying.

Creatures [8]
1 Blightsteel Colossus
4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Myr Battlesphere
4 Plague Myr
2 Solemn Simulacrum
4 Spellskite
2 Wurmcoil Engine

Planeswalkers [4]
4 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Spells [16]
4 Despise
2 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Sphere of the Suns
2 Tezzeret's Gambit

4 Darkslick Shores
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Inkmoth Nexus
5 Island
6 Swamp

Funny moment in a game ...

At Festival Fantazie there was one player interested in learning Legend of the Five Rings (people who wanted to learn Magic were scarce as well).

After trying to figure out how the game works with Kyuden Tonbo decks we decided to play with something that actually feels like a deck. At a certain point in the game it got to this =>

I was playing crab but I had Tsuruchi Gidayu in play. I attacked with Gidayu. My opponent did not have any Mantis clan personalities in play. There was only Eijiko, who could defend. The defending player decided to defend but too bad for him, his personality was challenged to a duel in the first action and died in it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Prototype deck for upcoming t2

Hello, I usually build some silly decks for an upcoming format even without knowing what people would play. (even though sometimes the decks end up being played). Anyway I was trying to figure out what cards could replace Sea Gate Oracles and Wall of Omens and what a new winning condition of a UW deck could be (as Celestial Colonnade will rotate).

I decided to give a try to Blade Splicer, Sun Titan and Venser. I put in few Solemn Simulacrums so it would be easier for me to get my sixth and seventh land. Some card draw, removal and the deck was made.

Anyway I tried playing timely reinforcements so I could deal with decks like kuldotha red. But maybe siding cards like marrow shards, this card or mental misstep could work as well.

So here's my first draft of a deck for the upcoming type 2.

Creatures [8]
4 Blade Splicer
2 Solemn Simulacrum
2 Sun Titan

Planeswalkers [7]
1 Elspeth Tirel
2 Gideon Jura
1 Karn Liberated
3 Venser, the Sojourner

Spells [19]
3 Day of Judgment
2 Dismember
4 Mana Leak
4 Oblivion Ring
3 Ponder
3 Tezzeret's Gambit

Lands [26]
4 Glacial Fortress
5 Island
10 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
3 Inkmoth Nexus

After playing few games against different decks I realized that this either needs to be more control or more aggro. In the end I ended up with two different decks. One being still UW but with more creatures and the other one being Esper control with one additional card being Grave Titan. I drop this idea later trying to to figure out what I could do with Tezzeret and creatures with infect.

Creatures [19]

4 Blade Splicer
1 Frost Titan
4 Hero of Bladehold
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
3 Solemn Simulacrum
2 Sun Titan
1 Wurmcoil Engine

Planeswalkers [5]
2 Gideon Jura
3 Venser, the Sojourner

Spells [12]
2 Dismember
4 Mana Leak
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Ponder

Lands [24]
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Island
9 Plains
3 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Seachrome Coast

Festival Fantazie

Several years of not attending Festival Fantazie passed. I never imagined that I would end up there once again. Anyway it happened. Outpost had a stand there.

I was supposed to be there with two other people taking care of our store and tournaments at the biggest annual fantasy/sci-fi/gaming convention. In the end there was me and Serwus, who is probably one of the most reliable people I've ever met.

We weren't really prepared for what was coming. We did not expect Magic players to show up nor did we expect to sell much. But Magic players were there and they would be actually buying a lot if we had what they wanted. (so next time we need more shiny stuff^^)

Anyway there were several tournaments - Legacy, Standard twice, SOM Block Draft twice and Trash sealed. On Wednesday we also organized a tournament for beginners with half decks (decks that are given out to beginners that sign up at
All the tournaments were successful. There were about 30 people who signed up for Gateway league play even.

I spent most of the time playing Elder Dragon Highlander and standard with the people that came there.

A part from this I played PIU, attended one Kung Fu lesson and participated in two crazy tournaments. Guitar Hero one, which was actually a normal tournament. GH5 was played and actually the songs chosen were nice. I played them later on Expert and the charts were relatively fun (except Du Hast which is pretty boring). But the setlist did not really look interesting to me. After the tournament it did not look THAT BAD to me though. The second tournament was a Remap tournament in ITG. Just map 4 pads somehow and try to finish challenges Xsoft poses on you. It was CRAAAZY. I had to leave early, but the players that ended up on the same place as me decided to give me a medal for it. I should have gotten the GH one too. They are nice.

During the night the real 'party' started. People dancing, drinking, singing and having sex. Hopefully we were upstairs from this and did not really hear that much nor smelled that much. But going down from the stairs was like going through stargate (ending up somewhere completely else). The alcohol odor could be smelled everywhere alongside other smells I can hardly stand and sometimes you had to cross a couple doing well erm something they should be doing elsewhere.

Well, that's all I have to say concerning this convention.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vodafone story

I want to tell you a story because well I'm tired of it already. I thought that this story ended on July 4th but it did not.

It all started one day when Radek should have transfered his Vodafone number to me. We went to Vodafone together and we tried to get the number transfered. But it all ended in vain. The number wasn't transfered.

Half a year later I got a mail telling me that I should pay for this particular number. Ok, so I paid for it and then I was told that I have to pay twice as much for it for some reason. The reason was a fee for blocking and unblocking the number and some other stuff. Anyway it did not correspond to my tariff nor anything else.

A month later I got (after everything was said to be PAID) an invoice for 1005 CZK. I was like WTF? I should pay 352 CZK per month. I have not used that number ever since and everything was supposed to be in order. Next month, I got the same invoice...They even wanted more the next month 1440CZK. I tried to find out what's wrong and tried to get rid of the tariff at least but I couldn't as it always stated that I can't change it. Even though everything was paid for.

In the end, one day I came there and asked what the hell is going on. The person told me that the tariff is being invoiced twice. But still this did not solve my problems (the person before him, just stated I have to pay this and this). He said he would let me pay 352CZK less next month and that everything should be fine. That there are problems in the system and something like this happens from time to time.

Next month the invoice said 1005CZK once again. I paid for everything and went to Vodafone to let them disable the tariff or something. They told me that it is not possible so I told them to disconnect the number (first person told me that this is not possible, so I tried someone else). They told me that I should pay 352CZK for the last month and that someone would contact me later. I got the phone call, A lady tried to ask me what's wrong and what happened. So I told her and asked her how even the transfer of the number happened. She told me that I (personally) transfered the number in June. I wasn't present at that time nor I had the right to do so as the number was not mine. I also told her about the invoices but she said that everything is correct and that I was supposed to pay that. But why I should I be paying more than the tariff (I was not using the number)? I calculated the sum I paid Vodafone per month - it was something about 650CZK. This is much more than 352CZK per month.

She tried for another ten minutes to convince me to keep the tariff and use the number. But I told her NO. In the end she told me that on 4th of July the number should be disconnected and that I should get my invoice by post then. I didn't get any so I went to Vodafone to ask for it. They told me that I should be able to view it online (I can't) but that they can printed. I got an invoice for 1005.97CZK.


So go to hell Vodafone. I liked you the best, but I don't deserve this. I'll continue using your services but I'm NEVER going to sign up for something like this. I'll pay the final invoice and hope that they will not bother me anymore.