I would like to, once again, quote, at length from How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

It really is important you say these words out loud. “I AM A FEMINIST.” If you feel you cannot say it – not even standing on the ground [as opposed to shouting it while standing on top of a chair which she previously suggests]- I would be alarmed. It’s probably one of the most important things a woman will ever say: the equal of “I love you,””Is it a boy or a girl?” or “No! I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want bangs!”


Say it. SAY IT! SAY IT NOW! Because if you can’t, you’re basically bending over, saying “Kick my arse and take my vote, please, patriarchy.”


There. I think that’s proper use of my estrogen today. And you should read this book. 

Polyformic Sunday

Mad Professor Helvette and shampooDid I mention that a TON of cool stuff happened in World of Warcraft this weekend?

Something that I think is awesome just about every week is Sunday morning Guild Achievement Runs. I say guild, but to start, it was only myself and Molsan who could make it out of bed that early on a Sunday. Lately, Pancake has been joining us too, and I hope he’s having fun and is a regular.

Currently, we are working on the Glory of the Pandaria Hero Achievement. On the schedule this Sunday was the Polyformic Acid Science Achievement. It involves drinking some Polyformic Acid Potion, which you can get off Professor Slate in normal or heroic Scholomance, and then killing bosses is Heroic Dungeons around Pandaria. The effects last an hour, and you can actually bottle up some to reapply.

The hardest part was getting all the bosses done before someone’s children became too demanding wanting breakfast! We three manned all the required bosses – except the one where I was too slow and got locked out – and generally rocked it.

Unfortunately, my screenshot photography button wasn’t fast enough to get a decent group shot of us in the final dungeon (Stormstout Brewery) before everyone started leaving. Hey! It’s VERY early on a Sunday – you do better! But I got this one. Guess who’s who?

Polyformic Acid Science Anyway, I had a TON of fun – looking forward to next Sunday! If you are up that early (6 AM Pacific) on a Sunday, give me a whisper on Earthen Ring (US). For the Horde! Oh yea – and that will be on Helvette.

Tamed Savage

A Savage Tamed

Savage at the Temple of the White Tiger

Short version: I tamed Savage!!! Finally! And he is absolutely gorgeous!

Long version: There was a lot of really really awesome stuff that happened to me over the weekend in my World of Warcraft. I will probably end up writing or  talking about all of it at some stage, but I wanted to start this week with the last thing that happened before I powered down last night.

Most of you know that I am a crazy cat lady in real life. At home we have three cats, and they get to do pretty much whatever they want.  My favorite hunter pets have always been cats. My first hunter was a Draenei in Burning Crusade, and she spent pretty much a whole day or two clicking on cat statues in Ashenvale to get her cat Toodles. My Blood Elf hunter  (formerly Toxxique, now Kittyne my preferred hunter name),  was born in Wrath, and never got a cat she loved. She’s been running with a pretty cool spider. Spiders are nifty and all. But they are not cats.

I started toying with the idea of playing her seriously and not just for jewelcrafting a few months ago (maybe more? Time flies), and decided that if I was going to enjoy playing her, I would be focusing on the pet thing. I would track them, hunt them, etc. And pew pew pew of course.  So research was done, and I narrowed my list of Most Wanted Cats down. That was actually the first time I heard about the rare trackable hunter pets in Pandaria. If you don’t play a hunter, you can’t see their tracks, so you don’t really notice, I guess. I had seen the porcupine spirit beasts (you’re next Huita!), but not these. And that’s when I started hunting Savage.

Savage has a path he patrols in the Jade Forest. A big cat like that needs a lot of jungle territory.  For MONTHS I did not even SEE his tracks. Was starting to wonder if I was just not seeing the right thing. Then I saw the basilisk’s ‘worn tracks’ in Townlong Steppes, a few times — no, I didn’t tame that one either, I have yet to actually track him down. So, I went back to the Jade Forest a few times hoping to spot the ‘Bloody Tracks’ now that I knew what I was looking for. On my hunt, I saw Huita standing there again.  I was JUST debating attempting a Spirit Beast tame again (last time was not pretty), when Savage prowled right past me! Or he must have, because there were his tracks!!!  I went the wrong way to start.

When the tracks get worn they are harder to see … and I started panicking.  Thinking I had lost him, I returned to the area just above the Arboretum where the Cloud Serpent dailies are. Up on the hill overlooking the Arboretum is supposed to be on his route – according to many hunters who have spent more time than me making things easier for everyone else. The terrain is a little bit more open up there – not as much of a canopy. I thought if he was heading that way he wouldn’t have reached there yet. If he wasn’t headed that way, I would have to try again another day. And then!! Tracks!! My second flare spotted him, and I couldn’t find my hunter’s mark! ZOMG! Panic again! Put Hunter’s Mark on the bar, throw up a couple of more flares, spot him – you beauty!

The tame itself was super easy. One shot of Tame Beast. And he is mine. He prowls, so sometimes he’s hard to see, and I love him. I left Prowl off for some screen shots. And I took him to the Temple of the White Tiger, because, you know, it’s probably his. Man, he looks good. Next time I have some time to play Hunter, we shall test him on the Timeless Isle.

Here’s a shot of where I tamed him:

Savage Tame Spot

And here’s an awesome shot of him stealthed against he night sky. (I stayed up way too late getting good screen shots.)

Savage Prowl

Mercurial transmog

 A change is as good as ...


Well, yes, that is Helvette. In a very different robe.

All those Justice Points, you know, I just didn’t know what to do with them. I’m thinking I might be done with Heirlooms. But I’m not totally sure. I definitely didn’t want to buy any today.

So, I went shopping. And I found these Mercurial Vestments. I thought they looked pretty … outlandish. So I thought I’d wear them for a day.  Don’t worry. I already miss my Mooncloth.

The joy of color

The red project

When my DSLR broke back in March, my heart was broken. Seriously, I felt like a limb or a sense was cut off for me. It’s amazing how dependent on my camera I’ve become. It’s a form of expression.

And the creativity of photography has become a real source of joy.

With all the expenses of this year, I quickly decide that a new camera body would have to take a bit of a back seat.  And that gave me the ‘excuse’ of waiting for a new release Nikon later this year/early next year.

In the meantime, I thought, I’ll try out painting.  My fine-motor skills have never been the best. But I love color. And I love creating. And I’ve done some decent painting with watercolors in the past. So I thought, “well, it can’t hurt to try to learn.”  I ordered up some paints, an easel, and some medium. I watched a ton of YouTube videos. And finally I decided that I had to actually put brush to canvas to understand what people were trying to tell me in the videos.  There are way way way too many videos out there. And so many of them are ‘definitive’. But what I think the most important thing I have learned is  that there is no ‘right’ way to paint. There is no ‘right’ technique. There is no ‘wrong’ way. They have different results. And different elements, but you have to figure out what works for you.

I started with just a blue project. I didn’t mix any colors in. I used one type/dilution of medium (I’ve decided that Liquin looks like a good way for me to go), and just started seeing what happened when I put paint on the brush and put it on the canvas. You can see this Blue project here.  It was cool. But also terrifying, because I realized that I really had VERY little understanding of what would happen when I applied the brush. Brush shape matters tons. Your slightest touch on the canvas matters TONS. And if you really like the way something looks, don’t touch it, because you’ll change it and never get it back to the way it was!  Well, at least I can’t yet.

And I decided that I knew NOTHING about what medium would do to the paint and what thinner would do. Well, I knew in theory, of course, but not in practice. So I watched a bunch of YouTube people tell me how to mix medium, paint, and thinner. I bought mason jars, and I mixed up a bunch of different concoctions in green. And I made my Green Frond Project.   My husband really likes this one. But he loves green. I’d like to do it again, properly, since he likes the color so much. I don’t like it so much, because I see a major flaw. The major flaw made me decide I needed to add another step to my creative process. I needed to learn to sketch, at least, roughly what I was going for, on the canvas. So I went and got myself charcoal pencils. And more thinner.

Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do for my next project. My red project (I call it red – my husband insists it’s pink. It’s probably somewhere close to both.) I prepped the canvas with background this time – still not thinned out enough – thinner next time. I slept next to it in the afternoons. I sketched my circles. I slept next to it some more. Finally, when I was dreaming about it, I went in there and squeezed some paint onto my palette. I mixed up some paint, mixed in some whites, some black. And I went for it.

A few hours later, I emerged. I let it dry a little. I slept again. Then I used some more brushes. Fiddled some more. And while I am frustrated by my severe lack of skill … the hand does not always move like I want it to … the color does not quite match the imagined image … I am SO pleased. I feel like it turned out way more like what I imagined than the two previous projects.

The act of planning the painting, and the actual painting is giving me real joy. Especially when it expresses what I see or feel. I’m certainly no genius artist, but I can see progress.

I need a better studio. As always, I need more time. And I have SO much to learn. But I’ve already started dreaming about what to do next. I’d like to actually paint ‘something’ this time. To see what that is like. Something simple to start with. Suggestions? I’m thinking a bowl. A box. Maybe a flower. Though none of those sound simple when I start thinking about what’s involved in the shading, light, etc. But I feel like I need to paint something other than what is purely in my head in order to learn more. Knowing something about light from photography helps, but is not enough.

Thanks to all of you who have offered encouragement. The joy is in the creating, but there is also a certain glow that comes from the praise of others.

We Belong Together

Helvette in Dread Wastes with The Crawling Claw.


Short version: Many, many, many artifacts later ( I actually list some of them below), I finally dig up the Crawling Claw!

Long version:

I have been digging for a long time. I have 5 maxed archaeologists, and had almost finished maxing both the monk and the hunter.   To be fair I actually quite enjoy the digging. And I have gotten some pretty cool things from it. I like the Umbrella of Chi-Ji of course. And the Highborne Soul Mirror is semi-cool. The Pterrodax Hatchling is an unexpected surprise star. But let’s face it. I have been digging because I covet three things: The Vial of the Sands, the Fossilized Raptor, and the Crawling Claw. I currently have neither mount. But last night, as you see, I was rewarded with the extremely elusive Crawling Claw. I don’t mind the digging apart from a few places – Southshore Fossil Field and the ginormous fossil field in Un’Goro spring to mind – , but I think that someone got just a LITTLE over zealous on the Night Elf sites. And, if you were hoping for Tol’Vir dig sites before you got to Pandaria, you just about ignore the Eastern Kingdom sites completely. But there’s are some neat things to fill up your bank (bring on that toy interface!)

To give you an idea of how much I have been digging  I will mention some of the rares I have gotten BEFORE I could hand in Pandarian restored artifacts for Tol’Vir fragments. Because, you know, I like to moan about how much I have honestly been trying before I was successful!

And in addition to the Tol’Vir rares listed above  (the last two items), the diggers completed a few other Tol’Vir projects:

  • 20 – Vixxyne – BE Warrior
  • 2 – Snazzie – 86 gnome mage
  • 12 – Myinx – BE Mage
  • 18 – Helvette – BE Shadow Priest
  • Tallulabelle – BE Paladin- zero – just getting her through the 500s without getting a single Tol’Vir dig
  • 6 – Silje – BE Warlock who hit the jackpot yesterday!
  • 2 – Myinxette – 86 BE monk

When Silje finally got the Research Project, she was only digging in Pandaria,  exchanging projects for Tol’Vir fragments. In order to get the required amount of fragments, she had to solve no less than TWO Pandaren rares. Because, you know, I hadn’t dug enough yet.

So happy to finally have it! First pet in a long time I’ve really looked forward to leveling to 25! If you want to see it in action without getting your very own, go battle Headless Jacob’s set of three Undead Pets in Crystalsong Forest for a laugh!



The Mummified Monkey Paw – It exists!!

At first, I didn't realize what I was looking at!

At first, I didn’t realize what I was looking at! ….
But then! But then!! Five max level archaeologists, one at 550 just for this. They all dig all the time. 4 of them for Tol’Vir (well, I trade in) and one of them for Fossil. Two years later, 4 times a week on all of them. Finally!!!
Yes,  it IS the Crawling Claw!
Be right back, gotta dig 137 fragments.

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