Royal Revolt - Game Art

I had the honor to work as a Character Designer and Artist on the game 'Royal Revolt' at Flaregames and Keen Games with the most amazing team and people ever! It was such a fun and amazing experience and I'm so very happy I got to work on it. We got 1,000,000 hits in only 10 days! =)  

Check out the game - it's for FREE!

Royal Revolt - Official Website
Royal Revolt on ITunes







Doggie Dressup - Picture Day

He may not think it's so great but I love to include the dog in dress up time around halloween. He is after all part of the family and when we are all getting dressed up why shouldn't he get a turn at it?  So I present a really hairy potter, a four legged jester, and a perfect princess. He must really regret the day he mastered the "hold it" command.

Three more letters.

As the girls move through their first year in a "real" school (kindergarten), they are learning the letters of the alphabet, along with a handful of other concepts.  They continue to bombard us with questions on a range of topics from religion ("Why does God _____?") to sports ("Why are you watching the Patriots?") to family ("Is Grandma G. your mommy, daddy?").  Curiosity is high for all three of them and I love it!  I love watching their faces as they ponder the answers Sarah and I provide.  It is one of the multiple joys of parenthood!

Trying to explain Sarah's four-day work schedule and my study-unemployment-school-interview schedule is another thing.  Emily has been especially curious about how I spend my time when Grammy comes during the day to watch them.  I am studying for the CPA exam.  They know I am done with grad school, so Emily has been asking me questions about my studying for the exam.  If you could only see her cute little face and lips when she asks me a question...her eyes roll upward and she thinks REAL hard!

Emily has asked a lot of the questions I have been asking myself about this WHY!?

The answer to the WHY question is a long one, but for now let's just say the answer is FOR THE BETTER.  Sarah & I hope the long-term outcome will be a better quality of life for the entire family.

In the meantime, the content of the study material, for me, is tough!  Most of the stuff is material from undergrad - over 20 years ago!

I am taking the FAR section one week for today.  Passing rate is less than 50% for first-timers.  I certainly hope I beat the odds!

Across the bridge - 100 word Picture Prompt

Pinned Image
Deep in the mountains a small village lays hidden in a deep and lush valley.  It is a prosperous village its fields full of life, its river teaming with fish.  Its people lead simple but content lives. 
Only one path leads out, a bridge of rough hewn stone which disappears across the river into a crevice as deep as the mystery which is the bridge itself.  It has existed since before memory, its arch a feat beyond the imagination of these people.  How or why it was built is unknown.  
Today is the day the path is to be taken.

Warming up from the inside out

For me the most comforting of foods are the most simple. Some evoke memories of special holidays or events, some are sweet, some are salty but the one thing they all have in common is warmth; the type of warmth that on a cold winter day warms you up from the inside out.
I’ve decided to share some my simplwar and all time favorite comfort foods. Some of the ingredients may need to be adjusted for taste as I don’t measure when I cook and some of the amounts listed are really just best guesses.   

Beef Stew – best served immediately with buttered rolls/bread of your choice.
Stew is something many people consider to be a long drawn out process but the recipe I’ve found to make the very best beef stew is quick and easy.  This recipe takes 10 minutes to prep and an additional 30 minutes to cook through.  The trick I find is all in the gravy.

1 cup baby or sliced Carrot                         1 cup cubed potato
½ cup sliced white or yellow onion            2 cups beef broth
2 cups water                                                  ½ tsp Thyme
½ tsp ground mustard seed                       ¼ tsp of Cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt                                                         1 tsp black pepper
Combine the above ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Once the main ingredients are in the pot cube 1 lb of inside round steak and brown it in a skillet. When the meat has been cooked through I transfer a cup of the broth and vegetable mixture to the skillet and mix it before pouring the entire contents of the skillet back into the pot.
Next step is to add in     
2 ½ cups gravy mix
 I prefer to make my own gravy but a packaged gravy mix works just as well.
For gravy:
Combine ¼ cup of Flour and a 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan while heating mix until no lumps remain.
Add 2 cup of beef broth and mix well.  It can then be added directly to the stew.
Allow to cook at a low boil for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  For thicker gravy I mix a ¼ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of corn starch and add it to the stew five minutes before the stew is done.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings and is able to freeze and warm up well.  

Winnipeg's Most Haunted

Like any other city Winnipeg has its fair share of ghost stories. A few years ago I even went on a local ghost tour through the streets of Winnipeg with my sister-in-law for a bit of fun.  I really don’t know whether or not I believe in the existence of ghosts, but sufficient doubt remains in my mind that I won’t just come right out and say I don’t believe.
Perhaps it’s because I like the mystery and history behind ghost tales that I don’t ponder it too closely.  I think I lean toward the idea that ghosts in some form do exist but that they have no impact or influence in the real world.
Now this tour while giving me an insight into the stories behind some of Winnipeg’s tales didn’t convince me one way or another, in fact I’ve got to say it was kind of…well cheesy but I did enjoy the experience.  
I don’t think my sister-in-law and I will ever forget the reading the psychic who was part of the tour gave to me while traveling from one site to the next.  Psychics are another one of those things I remain quite skeptical about. Even in my skepticism however I still consider the possibility that some people may have a second sight or whatever you want to call it.  I’ve just never met any of them.
The psychic on this bus tour suggested that I would never marry or have children, this despite the fact that I was blatantly flashing my wedding rings in front of her face the entire time while having been married for many years and having already given birth to two children. While she may have gotten every single prediction about the events to come in my life wrong it was worth a laugh.
Now where was I? Oh yes the most famous of haunted places in Winnipeg.

#1- The Fort Garry Hotel, Room 202

This suite is supposedly haunted by a woman who hung herself in the closet after learning of the death of her husband in a car accident.  People have reported everything from something getting into bed with them, a woman standing at the foot of the bed and bloody footprints appearing upon the covers. 

Several other areas of the hotel have ghost stories as well,  a woman in a ball gown has been seen in the back stairwell, a mystery man in the dining room as well as a man and woman in old fashioned dress walking the 2nd floor hall.

#2 - Upper Fort Garry

All that remains of Upper Fort Garry is a small section of wall and a set of gates.  It is said that two men one of which was innocent of his crimes were hung either on or near this gate and that the innocent man remains in defiance of his sentence.

#3 - Vaughan Street Jail
This entire building has ghost stories most which stem from the gallows in the central courtyard where there is also a small graveyard.  This building was a combination jail and asylum where men, women and even children (the youngest of which recorded was a mere 5 years old) were held. 

I have been inside this building which is now closed to the public and I can attest to the creepy feelings being inside it produces. Whether it is the ghost tales or simply seeing the way suspected and convicted criminals as well as people labelled insane were treated I don't know.   

#4 - Mother Tuckers

Originally a masonic temple built in 1895 it was converted in 1970 into a restaurant and lounge called Mother Tuckers.
Since then stories of odd things have been consistently reported.  Food which spoils in a day despite proper storage, footsteps in the attic, voices and sounds heard when no one is in the building, inanimate objects moving on there own and chairs which if sat upon will eject there occupant   

#5 - Hamilton House

T.G. Hamilton studied the paranormal world, hosting countless seances and photographing many odd occurrences during them.  This collection of photographs and his research materials remains stored at the U of M and is said to be "The best evidence to date that there is something of the human personality which remains after death."

What I find to be it's most interesting story is that of  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries who is said to have attended several of the seances both before and after his death.