Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blizzard's 'Micro Transactions'

The bush costume that started it all....

I'm sure some of you may remember this screenshot from a few posts ago. I was lucky enough to have it featured on WoW Insider's "Around Azeroth" column. I was very, very excited! If only I'd known what a hullabaloo that Celestial Steed in the picture was going to cause!

** Also, I have changed the address to my blog! Please check that you are following the correct one- it is no longer pawprintsnpuzzles.blogspot.com, it is now http://brunnstagsmenagerie.blogspot.com/. Sorry for any inconvenience, but it was bugging me seriously since I'd changed the name and focus of my blog. Don't worry, I won't ever be doing that again! **

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stood in the Fire!

So Sunday evening seemed to be terrible. I was working on Archaeology, hoping to get those last few fossil sites I needed for my Fossilized Raptor Mount. Matt texts me that he's on his way home, so I pause in this small troll encampment to run unlock the door, and go to grab myself a little dinner. I make it back to my desk and am just sitting down when Matt calls me. He ran out of gas. On the highway. Ten minutes drive from home.

Extremely annoyed, I go out to the gas station that is literally right around the corner from us (why he didn't get gas before he left is quite beyond me) and after figuring out how to assemble and fill the stupid gas can (which are a lot more complex then I remember them being!) driving over to him, then having to drive past and find a place to turn around so I could pull over safely, getting him filled up and going then getting back to the house... I return to find this:

I swear Brunn, your 85 and I can't leave you alone for 20 minutes???

Now I'm REALLY annoyed. I left him in a camp of level 50 undead trolls. Really? REALLY? It must have taken them all of those twenty minutes to melee Brunn to death. The comments in my chat log are fading away, and I happen to notice a guildie said something about an extra crispy dwarf... I'm always curious when it comes to Dwarves so I scroll my chat log back up to see what had happened. Lo and behold:

 Extra Crispy Indeed!

While I was away, Deathwing paid me a fiery visit. If I hadn't have had to go rescue my boyfriend from the highway, I would have gathered that last troll relic, mounted and flown away. Brunn wouldn't have gotten his "Stood in the Fire" achievement, and may never have, since it's based on happening to be in the right place at the right time. I guess things really do happen for a reason!

And as a bonus from the next day...

Sweeeeeeet.....


~~Brunnstag~~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beary Patch Park and a Semi-Full Caravan!

"Beary Patch Park" update!


Wow, this one just refused to come out nicely in the picture! But the puzzle is gorgeous, I'm loving these Buffalo Games puzzles. I feel it's nicely challenging, but not so hard as to be frustrating. It was too big for the normal table I use in the bedroom, so I've had to relocate into the living room to work on it, which actually ins't terrible as the room has fallen into serious disuse since we got the desktop computers in the bedroom. Besides, I can watch Star Trek on the 42inch flat screen in there while I puzzle! 'Cause I needs my Star Treks! 


Now then, a few days ago I finally completed Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms, and achievement I'm quite proud of! The zone I finished out in was the eastern Plaguelands, and while I was there I snagged the "Full Caravan" achievement as well. If you've also done this one, you may have come across the same bug that I had- I missed 'recruiting' the goblin named Beezil to the caravan, and had to go back to him later on. Unfortunately, doing him last sometimes causes an error to where even though you have all the objectives completed, you do not get awarded the achievement. After reading the forums, I logged out and back in and it registered it was there. Well the story doesn't end there.

The next day I log on, and while checking to see which one of these buggers I wanted to tackle next, I noticed Full Caravan was no longer in my list of recently completed ones... What in the-? So I open the tab it's under and look at the achievement itself and it says I'm missing... Fiona? The person who runs the caravan?? How have I recruited everyone BUT the person who owns the caravan?? I opened a ticket immediately and got the very polite response ( 4 hours later ><;) that while it was regrettable I was having the issue, there was nothing to be done by a GM as it's a bug. They kindly reported it to the bug peeps for me. Well darn! I know it's just a silly achievement, but gosh darn it, it bugs me!

So today I'm flying through the Hinterlands whilst working on Archaeology and there's a brilliant flash across my screen as I'm awarded the achievement... FULL CARAVAN?? What in the-? 

Edited out the curse words! You no get the curse words!

So I guess I've got the achievement now! Hopefully it sticks this time! And speaking of Archaeology, I was so happy to finally get this to pop up in my fossil panel!

Bony Raptors, Ahoy!

~~Puzzle Bear~~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eastern Kingdoms Defeated!



Eastern Kingdoms is done! As well as all the quest related achievements in the zone. I'm very pleased with myself so far, and I've moved up to third in the guild ranking of achievement points, came upon and tamed the rare fox Ashtail while out and about in Loch Modan, and even picked up two more companion pets along the way! I've moved on to Kalimdor to start work on questing there- my first step was the Darkshore, to see the destruction that Deathwing left in his fiery wake.



OH! If you read my last post, I had a screenshot of Brunn dressed as a bush on his sparkle pony. I also submitted the screenshot to WoW Insider's 'Around Azeroth' section, and it was featured! Growing Like a Weed. Never mind the poor comments by some of the posters, people can be jerks! I'm just pleased they liked the screenshot enough to put it on the site.


In other news, I've started another puzzle! This one's by Buffalo Games, and so far I'm very pleased with the results. The image is crystal clear and easy to see, and the pieces fit together perfectly and tightly, so they don't pull apart. I'll definitely be buying more puzzles by this company! Oh, and the puzzle I'd given up on, partly because it was so cheaply made and difficult to work with? Turns out I can get a 1000 piece puzzle of the exact same image from Sunsout! I may just do that, they make great puzzles that are super high quality! 

~~Puzzle~~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Loremaster in Progress!

So I've been preoccupied with WoW recently. I'm number 5 in my guild The Stromgarde Crusade on achievement points, and I mean to at least get to third! My friend Ioso holds the rank of second at around 7500 points, and first is held by another guildie who has about 9500- far far more points then I have the time to get! So in that aim, and also because I want the title, I've been working towards getting the Loremaster achievement.

Now Loremaster, for those who don't know, involves doing a certain number of quests in all the areas of the game. And it's a LOT of them. It takes a great deal of time to earn, and is a fairly impressive achievement in game. (Spending hours and hours playing a video game is decidedly NOT an impressive achievement outside of game!) Conveniently, they changed the format of it with the coming of Cataclysm- instead of having to do say, 500 quests in Eastern kingdoms, I now have a certain number of quests to do per ZONE of Eastern Kingdoms. This is very very helpful in keeping track of how many quests per zone I can and need to do there- there were all sorts of issues before where quests you got in a zone, but were for a dungeon would mysteriously not count and so on.

I've so far completed all the quests in the Searing Gorge, Badlands, Burning Steps, Swamp of Sorrows, Blasted Lands, Cape of Stranglethorn, Northern Stranglethorn, Duskwood, and Westfall. Wow, that's a lot of zones! And that's just on one continent! I swung over to Loch Modan to start work there this morning.

 What do you mean you saw a bush riding on a pony made of stars?

I'll tell you what, the redesign of the zones with Cataclysm really made the quests a lot more... interesting! So  far I've gotten to punch Deathwing in the face, blasted billy goats off the side of a mountain, and wore a clever plant disguise so I could sneak up on a gnoll and dump Murloc Pheromones on them.... It's been a unique experience. 
 Does this look like someone YOU'D want to punch in the face??

I've also picked up several other achievements along the way, including finishing off my Winterspring Frostsaber rep grind, getting exalted with the Thorium Brotherhood (Finally! Now just to be exalted with the Wildhammer and I'll be exalted with all the dwarf factions!) and getting the 30 Reputations of Exalted. I'm pretty darned pleased with myself to say the least!

Rawr, and stuff....

In other news, I gave up on the puzzle I had been working on. After several days of frustrating lack of progress, I finally put the sucker away for now. Being a dollar store puzzle, it was printed on such poor cardboard and the pieces are such strange shapes, it kept getting knocked apart anyway... It was just a little bit too hard as of right now, and I'll come back to it another day! I managed to track down one of the high quality Sunsout puzzles from my wishlist on sale at Hobby Lobby. I broke it out yesterday and even though it was a 1000 piece one as well, it looked a tad bit easier to get started. But it's too big for my table! Both my tables! 

So, rather annoyed at the smallness of my tables and the largeness of my puzzle, I decided to paint on my Warhammer Figures instead. Got the tester colors done on one of my Cold One Mounts... I think it looks pretty good though! Too bad it took 4 hours! Here's a close up of the little guy, and then a nice size comparison of him and one of those cans of air to blow your computer off with. He's tiny!



~~Puzzle Bear~~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Roast Chicken and a Plush Update!

So I'm an aspiring cook. I've even considered Culinary School, something that's still not completely out of the picture, but I'm simply unsure what I want to do now that I'm graduated... But I LOVE to cook, and nothing pleases me more than trying something new and delicious! And I've had a culinary dream recently- to truss, roast and carve a fresh chicken, then use the carcass for homemade soup! Soups and stews are my favorite kind of food, so the challenge of roasting a chicken, and then the delicious soup afterward seemed quite the quest! So tonight, I roasted that puppy up!

Er.... chicken, not a puppy!

Unfortunately, I trussed it a little awkward... I got it out of the packaging and realized that for some odd reason, they took the end of the wings off! Without those, there wasn't anyway to fold the wings behind the body, and it threw me all off. Oh well, first attempt! Following the recipe I got from my friend Bob (Who's about to graduate from Culinary School, I are so proud of him!)  I mixed up a ton of herb butter and stuffed it under the skin on the breast and slathered it all over. After a somewhat stop-start cooking period (Never roasted before and it took a little longer than I'd expected to get to temp...) I got that sucker pulled out and ready to carve!

Er.... Did I mention I've never carved a chicken before?

Soooo... Carving a chicken is a LOT harder then the professional chef in the video I watched made it look. I mean, it's almost like he had years of experience! Ah well, it tasted great! And now I got lots of chicken, drippings and all the mushrooms, carrots and onions that were cooked up in the bed of the pan with the liquid goodness! Cannot wait to make a tasty soup!

In other news, I've made a fair amount of progress on my little Brunnstag plushie! His armor's coming along fine- the hardest bit is taking the extremely detailed in game armor and dumbing it down to something that can be reproduced in felt, which does annoying things like shred if you cut it to thin. Even the 'dumbed down' version had a few things cut from it because it was simply  TOO MUCH. But he's coming along. Cannot wait to finish him up, I'd like to submit him to Blizzard's fan art! Maybe he'll even make it on the website?

Having just finished the spaulders- this'n lets you see his cute little body! 

And with the front bit of the Windrunner's Tunic of Triumph. 

I'm still sad about losing some of the detail at the bottom of the chest piece, but seeing as I'm going to be putting a belt over it... It was jsut getting FAR to bulky! The pants and boots are honestly going to be serious challenge to capture the essence of the design without being all... puffy.

~~Puzzle Bear~~

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Plushies!

Couple of days without a post... haven't made much progress on the current puzzle so far. The difficulty level on this puzzle is much higher then my previous efforts, and I've been distracted by other things.I've decided to start working on my plushies again!

Oh, didn't I mention I make plushies? All the sewing, embroidery, and patterning is done by hand. I've been making them for years (Though I slowed down somewhat recently, what with all the sewing I had to do in my costuming classes... Putting bias tape along the edges of two corsets by hand will cure you of the urge to sew rather quickly!)


This was the last project I did, the Catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro". This was the most complex plush I'd ever made and I learned so much from making it, I know if I made it again it would look even better. I don't even remember how long I spetn working on this with all the patterning, sewing, and embroidery by hand, with all the trial and error on different sizes of things... needless to say, it took a while!

But the ultimate plush I want to make is a Gimli from Lord of the Rings. Like a big ol' snuggly one I can give full detail too. But seeing as I've never made a humanoid plush like that before (OMG, the hair I'd have to do on something that big... Not even mentioning braiding a beard made of yarn! 0.o) I decided it'd be best to maybe make a prototype. After much searching I found a pattern to work with at Sitting Chibi Plushie Pattern.


I decided I'd make a plushie of Brunnstag, my Dwarf Hunter in WoW as a tester. I mean, I need to make a dwarf, so why not make one I like? (And I have a thing for dwarves...) I stitched up the body, but have since decided the head is too big and I'll need to resize it. The gianormous head may work for normal anime plushies, but once I get all his hair and beard on there, his head will be WAY to big for the body.

Anyway, I've been working on the little armor pieces to go with him (The head, with all the hair, eyes, and nose stuff is the most daunting part so I'm chickening out and saving it for last!). I went with the Windrunner armor as Brunn wore it for a very long time in game, and I really did like the look of it. So far, I've got a pair of spaulders mostly done....

Tiny Windrunner's Spaulders of Conquest!

Brunn's gonna be adorable when I finish him. I should make a tiny Raven Lord mount for him to ride on!

~~Puzzle Bear~~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sanctuary of Knowledge, then off to a Country Retreat!

Yesterday, Matt needed to run to Hobby Lobby for paints, so out we headed into town! Upon arriving at the store, we saw they had signs up for 50% off of puzzles! I was cautiously excited- puzzles at a  discount is great! But I'd been there a little over a week before and hadn't seen any puzzles I was interested in at all... I toddled off to the display table and my jaw nearly dropped.

"Sanctuary of Knowledge" By Ravensburger

One of the puzzles from my wishlist! Holy crap! I snatched it up right then and there. I'd seen it on Amazon and loved the image, even though it's only 300 pieces and 'large format'. I also picked up another called "Beary Patch Park" by Dennis Lewan.

Unfortunately (If you can call it unfortunate!), I've already finished it! I came straight home and BOGGLED at the sheer size of the pieces. They were gianormous. About the size of 4 regular puzzle pieces put together at least. Also, the pieces were very well made; no bits of paper hanging off the edges, very sturdy cardboard and the picture was printed to be low glare. I wasn't expecting the puzzle to be quite as simple as it was, but then I knew it would be relatively easy. I'm not unhappy with the results, however, as the final finished puzzle is 24x18 Inches and is gorgeous. I can't wait to glue it and put it up somewhere!


When we left Hobby Lobby, I spied the Big Lots down the way and couldn't resist popping in to look for puzzles there as well. I was beginning to lose hope until I spotted several hiding with the children's board games. I only saw one that I really liked the picture on and have since decided to do it next!


It's a thousand piece puzzle though, I'm kind of scared! This'll be the first time ever I've tackled a thousand piece puzzle by myself- my mom and I used to do puzzles when I was a kid, although she really did the bulk of the work on them... After getting the box open and digging through the pieces for edges, I'm now feeling very daunted... Here's hoping this one doesn't prove too difficult!

~~Puzzle Bear~~


Monday, March 7, 2011

Finished the Fox!

I didn't manage to make any progress on the fox on Saturday- in fact I didn't work on it at all! My parents invited Matt and I over for some home cooked burgers cooked on Dad's new grill. The burgers were delicious, and after dinner we enjoyed some DDR and then watched Untamed Heart with my Mom. Very good, but thoroughly depressing movie!

Yesterday, however, I got myself in gear and finished the fox puzzle! Matt worked from 2:00 in the afternoon all the way to eleven at night, so I had plenty of time by myself to devote to my puzzling.

500 Piece "Red Fox" by Joni Johnson-Godsy
from Art Gallery 10-in-1 Jigsaw Puzzle Deluxe Collection 

I just LOVE this image! The colors absolutely refused to come out properly in the pictures, this was the closest I could get- out a light on it, and you get a tremendous glare, leave the light off and the the necessary camera flash washes the colors out. -_-;;;;  I also took the time to glue the horse puzzle together with the puzzle saver glue I snagged at Wall-mart. It worked rather well, despite destroying the back of the puzzle.... it stuck pretty badly to the paper I put down! Now for the next challenge- Deciding which puzzle to do next!

As for the rest of yesterday, I spent some time doing a few runs on the Wintersaber quests for the mount. I figured it out, I have 23 more runs of all 3 quests to get the rep up, which totally doesn't sound like a lot, but when the quests involve flying to 3 separate hubs to get/kill the necessary things, then fly all the way back... It's actually fairly time consuming. Mr. Piggens was not exactly pleased...


I'm not as excited by this grind as usual... I mean after grinding Timbermaw, Kurenei, Cenarion Circle AND Expedition, this is a fairly short and simple rep grind. Perhaps it's because I just don't really like the Cat mounts? I have to get it though- as they'll likely be removing the reputation come the patch, and hopefully make it's completion a Feat of Strength...

And one last picture.... The current background on my computer: a picture of my friend Ioso and I in game! The pose was too perfect NOT to snap a screenshot!


~~Puzzle Bear~~

Friday, March 4, 2011

Foxy Fun and Raven Lords

As I'd hoped I managed to make good progress on my 500 piece fox puzzle last night! Spent the evening watching Super Nanny on Hulu and puzzling it out. Honestly the image is simply gorgeous, and I wouldn't mind having a framed larger print of it to hang up somewhere. I'll definitely be saving this one when I finish it up!


As for other things going on, I've been enjoying playing on a new server with some of my friends on their horde alts. Started a new undead hunter alt named Beebles,went  and tamed a plagued bear, then promptly named it Bobbles. Turns out hunters rock pvp at low levels at least. My main is dwarf hunter, but when I started him out and leveled him over 3 years ago, I wasn't much into pvp at all. Now that I'm at 85, it's so difficult to get into pvp at all on the top brackets unless you already have the resilience gear....

But, what I AM into on Brunnstag is collecting mounts and minipets! I'm an achievement whore in game; I enjoy grinding up reputations and farming for rare drops. And after a year of dedicated farming and hoping I finally got myself one of these:

Reins of the Raven Lord! And the Magic Lamp my guildmaster had -just- given me.

I've wanted that mount for so long, and thought I was about to pass out when I saw it in the loot window! On top of getting the Raven Lord, not a week later the Swift White Hawkstrider dropped as well. Now the only BC mounts I have left to collect are the Fiery Warhorse from Karazhan, and the two PVP Talbuks, I think... Actually, though I love them to pieces and wanted them for so long, I'm almost sad they finally dropped. Now it feels like there's nothing to farm for.... -coughRivendare'sDeathchargercough- All in all, those bring me to 86 mounts, and 118 minipets.

Now to farm the Winterspring Frostsaber! It'll fun, Right?.... Right?

~~Puzzle Bear~~

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heyhoo!

Howdy! First posts are the hardest, aren't they? And this is the third blog I've had to do it on over the years! Course I'm only 23, so maybe that's not so bad. Or is that worse?

Well whichever it is, I miss posting about what's going on in my life! I recently decided to pick up Jigsaw Puzzles as a hobby and thought this would be an excellent time to start a new blog, so I can keep track of my puzzling progress!
See? I told you I do puzzles!

Just a little 300 piece one to get started with. I didn't want to go too crazy and start a 1500 piece one right off the bat! So my boyfriend Matt and I picked up a nice box with a 10 different puzzles of various counts. I'm currently working on a 500 piece of a fox... I'd post a picture, but I'm hoping to get a little farther on it tonight...>>....

Anyway, let's see here... I'm a somewhat eclectic person really. I'll probably be posting updates on my puzzle projects, screenshots of my WoW character with his new loots, and probably some of the funny pictures I find on the internet with Stumble upon.  Nothing too serious going on in here really!

Thanks for looking!

~~Puzzle Bear~~