Saturday, 20 December 2008

i heart christmas music

i *love* christmas music :D

so i made you all a muxtape^ 8trackplaylist to share in my joy and my vast christmas music mp3 collection.

liner notes:

*Weezer - O Holy night*
apparently they recorded this for an iPhone game which everyone loved so much they are releasing the mp3s on itunes (but possibly only in america? i can't find them on the uk store) this is my favourite of the 6 and i am absolutely addicted to listening to this song at the moment. as in i will happily play it 4 or 5 times on repeat. the high note near the end is pure win, and it's quite weird to hear weezer singing such explicitly Christian carols but very cool at the same time

*Darlene Love - It's a Marshmallow World
more generically winter than christmas but absolutely amazing all the same. kinda reminds me of hairspray and makes me want to be darlene love. she is truly queen of christmas music.

*Last Christmas - pas/cal
never heard of the band before this but much much much better than the wussy version jimmyeatworld did on the OC chrismukkah cd. kinda almost chip-tuney which is quite nice

*I Want an Alien for Christmas - Fountains of Wayne
i can't remember where i first heard this but i remember having to special order it into hmv when i was 13 because it was so cool. and then i plagiarised the cover artwork for my art homework... this was *way* before they fell in love with stacey's mom

*All I Want for Christmas is You - My Chemical Romance
my least favourite christmas song (when sung by mariah carey at least) made more than listenable by one of the few nu-emo bands actually worth listening to (sometimes)

*Trains to Brazil - Guillemots
not a christmas song. except it blatently is. even in the middle of summer this song never fails to make me feel all jingle bellsy inside

*Everything's Gonna Be Cool this Christmas - eels
one of the finest examples of original indie christmas songs, found on indie radio station compilation cd's, chrismukkah mixes and mp3 blogs the world over

*Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens
my absolute favourite christmas song ever. it's a classic. the video with shakey's awesome jumper makes it even better.

A spaceman came travelling by Chris de Burgh is my 2nd favourite (mostly because of how bizarre the lyrics are, but partly because the 'lalalah's' are immense) but I'm saving that for another time... yup, there's plenty more where this came from if you really want it ;)

*all the bands or artists for being awesome and...
*all the original songwriters for writing kickass songs that, whilst sounding horrendously annoying and/or crap when sung by the original artist (i'm looking at you mariah), make ace covers
*the amazing hypemachine for supplying me with many many mp3s and...
*all the music bloggers in the world who have even geekiermore exhaustive christmas music collections than me and share them every year
*adam and joe for playing the darlene love track last week on their 6music radio show and introducing me to my favourite 'new' christmas song (even though it's probably about 40 yrs old)
*my sister for knowing i wasn't being ironic when i asked for the O.C. Chrismukkah mix album
*my mum and dad for bringing me up with the annual christmas cd whilst tree decorating, letting me listen to the evening session one christmas and allowing me to experience the wonderful juxtaposition of the guillemot's non-christmas but blatently festive song, and for owning the Phil Spector Christmas LP
*god, because he invented christmas, and gave us something *even* better than christmas songs, but so good that it has inspired music throughout the ages

^i never ever used muxtape when it was going, and as soon as i find the perfect use for it, i find it got taken down by the stupid RIAA :(

Saturday, 6 December 2008

star power

star pin, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

two new brooches up today, big ghost pin and star pin, available on etsy or folksy for the uk types.

speaking of star power - i recently became completely addicted to rock band when they had it at a conference i was at with work and nearly lost my voice pretending to be shirley manson :) back home all i've got is guitar hero 2 and singstar on the ps2. so the question is, to rock band or to guitar hero: world tour? and on the ps2 with the stuff i've already got (and some drums obviously, it's always been my secret ambition to be a drummer) or on the wii with the hope that nintendo gets DLC working? apparently rock band peripherals work with guitar hero world tour (or is it the other way round?) but it's all very complicated... any suggestions or advice welcome, for a rocking out christmas :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

the high score table of life


people who have been around me long enough know that i get a little bit excited about high scores. particularly tetris ones :) it's somewhat of an achievement when you beat your own personal best (and since my copy of tetris is so old that it doesn't save high scores, i have to write mine down on the back of the cart in permanent marker*) that you don't get very often in real life.

except for this week anyway :) the aforementioned people will also know that i am a little bit fangirly about late night radio 1, particularly colin murray's show on from 10 til 12. every tuesday night he does the black hole of radio 1 where they play an hour or so of stuff that people send in from the internet, exclusive myspace tracks, youtube live stuff, mashups and remixes from the hype machine etc. well last week i wasn't around much so i had to catch up on what i'd missed on the iplayer (praise the lord for its invention) and found that colin hadn't been in either, so it was huw stevens standing in for him (not quite as amazing as colin but still quite cool and introduced me to the wonder of iliketrains) but i thought i'd listen to the black hole anyway and how glad was i that i did? because i'd completely forgotten about it, but i had submitted my own link the previous week, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why radio 1 played tragedy, the heavy metal bee gee's tribute band, on tuesday 18th november. i have a bit of a history of trying to get my name mentioned on every single radio 1 show i like - i won a competition on mike davies' punk show a while ago (he thought my surname was awesome), but this was certainly a personal high score for me :)

aaaaaaand, all this in a roundabout way links to my most recent collection! if you too want to celebrate being the winner on the high score table of your life, you could do much worse than one of my customised personalised pins or necklaces available on folksy or etsy. how cheesy does that sound?! i promise you i didn't make it all up to sound like the worst infomercial ever, but i really enjoyed making these and i hope people will like them - they come in whatever colour you like (including neon for all you nu-ravers out there) and there may even be a special mention somewhere for the person who comes up with the funniest 3 letter/digit combination ;)

*for the record, 205 lines or 261485 points depending on which one you count

Monday, 24 November 2008

one zine left

omegazoid issue 1

i've been mentioning this on the etsy and folksy listings, but omegazoid issue #1 is very nearly sold out! so if you wanted to get one, buy now to avoid disappointment ;) but if you *do* miss out, no worries because issue #2 is on the way soon! anyone got any requests? we'll have more puzzles, more games reviews, some pixel by numbers colouring in, but there's still room to fit in more if anyone has any super special ideas! there may even be some previews of the new stuff i have on the way including hi-score necklaces and pins, the key collection and more christmas tree decorations for this year :) all appearing on flickr soon!

music tip of the week: i went to see sigur ros at alexandra palace in london last week and they were *awesome* - we had snow (twice!), rain and a confetti party, not quite what i was expecting after seeing their heima documentary but a brilliant show, especially given the loveliness of the venue. however, i think the best bit of the night was the support band, for a minor reflection, also from iceland but with less lyrics and slightly more rock. i've been listening to their cd non-stop since i got back and it is the sound of pure win. check out their myspace if you like a good bit of post-rock!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

mutants and alchemy

three and a half lives left

spugmeistress is pleased to announce that Alchemy is open! Alchemy is a feature on Etsy where you can commission custom items to your own specifications. you can either put your request in the public Alchemy forum and sellers will bid on it to see who can do you the best quote - or you can press the 'Request custom item' on my Etsy page if you would like me to do something for you. as you can see from the pics, i've done custom stuff before by request - one person wanted a heart container necklace in legend of zelda colours, and another more recently wanted four lives on their heart meter pin. it's the place to go if you want variations on items i'm selling, requests for restocking from my back catalogue or suggestions or commissions for new stuff!

if you can't think of anything spectacular to ask for, there are a couple of new lines and items in the works, so keep your eyes on this space (or on my flickr) where i'll post up the new stuff before it goes into the shop.

legend of zelda heart container

Saturday, 1 November 2008

videogames: live and musical

it was london games festival this week, and whilst i didn't get to go to much (or to nottingham game city either :( ) i did get to see videogames live kick the whole thing off last friday. videogames live is an american thing where they get classical orchestras to play the themes from well known games in an attempt to celebrate videogames as a proper artform and give a bit of respect to the composers (can you guess whose idea the whole thing was? ;) ) unfortunately, the games with the most orchestral theme tunes seem to be the type of shooty war games i don't really play, so i didn't recognise half of them. super mario bros, and famous blindfolded youtube guy doing the PROPER tetris theme (the orchestra did a really random version in the arcade medley at the start) were probably my favourites.

i chose the final fantasy video to top off the post for a special reason though - the choir singing in it included my friend daisy! yay daisy! she (and the rest of the choir) was awesome, and blatently the best reason for going, although the choir didn't get to sing as much as they should have. videogame music doesn't tend to have many words in it... legend of zelda could have had words to sing along to if they'd gone with the awesome system of a down version but sadly not :(

one other particularly cool bit of the night was them showing this go team video before the show - i *love* the go team, pacman, and silly urban gaming type things, and i hope you all do too :) i also liked the loading screen they put up in the intermission, every show should have one of these! means you can judge whether you can make it to the bar/loo/tshirt stand in time before they dim the houselights again. life needs more progress bars.

speaking of progress - i've started getting back into my etsy/folksy shops a bit after a flurry of recent activity out of nowhere (thank you random buyers!) so i should probably start posting a bit more. i still have some new stuff i haven't got round to taking photos of, so i should unleash these on the world sometime soon. in the meantime, enjoy your shaky cam youtube fest!

Monday, 22 September 2008

operation: sleeper cell are go!

ok, so i know you've all been sat there at your computers, refreshing and wondering 'where on earth has spugmeistress gone?' well, now, ladies and gentlemen, i can finally reveal the super secret special project that has been stealing my time away from hama beads and DS games for the past couple of months!

are you ready? no, you're not. you need to be properly prepared for this kind of awesomeness. go get yourself a nice cup of tea, some suitable biscuits (the OMEGAZOID recommends and endorses ginger nuts, always) and find a comfy seat (and maybe your wallet...) is many things. it's an internet massively multiplayer game type thing. it's an interactive story about spies, intrigue and the eternal struggle between loveliness and EVIL. but most of all, IT'S FOR CHARITY! :D go, poke about the site, play and have fun, knowing you are doing it all in the cause of loveliness and raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

the OMEGAZOID is proud to sponsor Operation: Sleeper Cell and The Agency (as well as pointing at the websites and going 'I made that!' in a girly high pitched squeal ;) ) and as a result of over-flowing loveliness and all other things awesome, the OMEGAZOID would like to extend very special discounts to all members of The Agency who identify themselves in the proper fashion. If you have found yourself here for the first time, then check out the two shops: (US based site) and to see the full range of jewellery, accessories and zines i've made in the past.

the game is running for the next 10 weeks, so we'll be a little busy until then, but any orders will be processed as soon as possible, and i'll be taking commissions and re-stock requests at the end of November/early December in time for Christmas. meanwhile, enjoy the game, and help us save the world!

Monday, 14 July 2008

dnner dnner dnner dnner batgirl!

for daisy (aka batgirl), originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

i haven't made any new hama bead things in aaaaages but daisy's birthday was a special occasion and gave me good excuse to unpack the craft stuff :) me and daisy both have excellent taste in comics!

me, her, izzy and jo had a very girly weekend in, well to the extent that geeks can be girly anyway - it basically just means we were playing singstar and wii fit instead of halo :P speaking of wii fit - i'm doing pretty well on it now, my wii fit age is consistently lower than my real one, and it's actually working at making me fitter! i was slightly disturbed by my (male) yoga trainer (the girl is annoying) having the worlds tinyest ponytail, but on daisy's game it wasn't there! jo didn't even believe me! when i got home, my trainer had longer hair and no ponytail either, but it was back today... i haven't figured out if the trainer changes (but keeps the same voice) or whether he just likes having his hair up some days and not others...

tested out a bit of brawl too which was fun, mario kart wii which is haaaaaard to get the hang of, and played an awesome zombie board game called last night on earth too.

we are also all slightly obsessed with animal crossing, so the DSs came out on sunday :D daisy had lost her village like I did with mine a while ago, so I could feel her pain, but we helped make her a new one and brought her spare things for her house, and everyone came round and brought fruit to Tallaght to start my new orchard, and helped me with the last bit of the weeding, but the big news in Animal Crossing land came when we went to visit izzy's village, sunidale. izzy is slightly more careful with her games, and thus still has a well established village and didn't need much help, so i had a wander and met her villagers. After a bird called Robin introduced himself to me with a squee, I began to get deja vu. It turned out Robin was one of my long-lost villagers from Aceville! I hadn't the heart to do a Zaphod Beeblebox and tell him his home town was destroyed, never to be seen or returned to again. What broke my heart is that he didn't even recognise me - with a new face and hailing from a new village, why would he? I don't know how the Doctor does it....

ace weekend though, lots of gaming, good food and fun times :D

Thursday, 10 July 2008

folksy rules!

it's a folksy ruler!, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

i hope that after all this time, you can excuse the horrendous pun :)

Folksy just went online this week, and were kind enough to make me one of their first featured sellers on the front page!

*waves to any newcomers who found their way here as a result*

so, since i was getting the free promo, i figured i'd better update this thing and let you all know what is going on in the world of the OMEGAZOID. item one - i've moved! OMGZ HQ now resides in the sunny(?) climes of Milton Keynes, and whilst it meant that the Etsy shop was offline for a while, we are now internetted up and back in business :) custom orders and alchemy are still somewhat off the cards until i get round to unpacking all my craft gear (i have a huuuuuge dresser to fill with all my hama beads and bits of paper and wool, yay) but i've started re-listing things in the shop and fulfilling orders, and hope to get on to making and listing some new stuff very soon. am going to miss manchester a lot (especially since the manchester craft mafia girls just opened up membership and have all sorts of fun things planned, but the new job i moved for is totally worth it (christian youth publishing if you're interested) so things are pretty good in the land of the OMEGAZOID.

item two! oooh let me think where we left things off... so many good gigs since then, mars volta, bjork, 65daysofstatic (with errors supporting), iliketrains (with kyte supporting), we are scientists, foo fighters, ben folds (at the shepherds bush empire - first london gig and a gorgeous venue to spend it in) and the awesome, always amazing radiohead where i bought the most comfortable t-shirt in the world (made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles!) with the uber-cool typography from in rainbows on it (i got lyrics from house of cards - the only IR track they didn't play that night!). also of note, i played this is it as part of the hide & seek festival in london town (i love being only 40 mins away on the train, there's so much going on there, but it *is* threatening to explode my social budget and bankrupt me) which was awesome fun - running round london trying to stealthily avoid chasers and not get lost/left behind as you travel closer to the secret surprise after party featuring a gig by imperial leisure who i *love* and am going to see live again in a couple of weeks.

item three! this one will be shorter, promise! i got back into animal crossing again after my irish friend ger gifted me with his town, Tallaght, to take over the running and refurbishment of, so that's been fun. other people would find it soul destroying to have to start all over again with the months worth of weeds and the mortgage and the collections and everything, but i am still finding it really fun the third(?) round. i also *just* managed to get my hands on wii fit (it's sold out like crazy everywhere) which is also fun, and got super smash bros. brawl the other weekend which is ace, but been too busy to get much playtime in so far :s but all of that is because i'm busy on a top-secret mission, helping to produce a game all of our own with some friends, which will be unveiled this summer and hopefully raise a lot of cash for Cancer Research UK.

so! all in all, incredibly busy but uber-exciting times :) so please forgive me if i don't update too often, but be assured that OMEGAZOID is still alive, just lying dormant, ready to pounce with some really cool stuff as soon as possible :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

rocking out at the pixel party

i rock out, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

haven't been able to update much recently, as i haven't had much time to do anything particularly new - work is busy and i have an uber important job interview tomorrow, so this is going to be brief, but i really just had to show off my new diesel sweeties goodies that arrived in the post this morning! the t-shirt is soooooo comfy (as per usual with american apparel stuff) and i shall be wearing it to see jimmyeatworld tonight with my rockin' little sis. (how appropriate) you can see on my flickr my awesome red robot pixel socks with tiny angry androids marching up my legs to destroy humanity! (fortunately my knees get in the way at that point)

best be off, sposed to be at oxfam 10 minutes ago - and on that note, stay tuned for news of fair trade fortnight and free chocolate to blog lovers!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

robots, tentacles and pixel hearts

red robot, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

just a quickie! i finally got round to making some new stuff, did i mention before that i <3 diesel sweeties? much pixel love :)


any ideas on what to do with this maniac mansion picture? don't suppose anyone has a mother who looks like a green tentacle and is looking for a mother's day gift? (march 2nd everyone, not too far away!) it's probably the biggest thing i've done so far with my mini beads, lots of fun though :)

just listed a new heart pin just in time for valentine's day too (2 shopping weeks left!)

went to see explosions in the sky last night at the newly refurbished academy in manchester. well i *went* to see stars, but got there and found out it was actually explosions who were playing, and i'd got mixed up because stars is *tomorrow* night! doh :s they were awesome though, tis lovely to get lost in live music (as opposed to getting lost in somewhere you have been a million times but has disorientatingly changed round) sometimes, especially a nice bit of atmospheric post-rock. chords don't half have a strange power to make me smile for no reason. they were supported by eluvium, who was also very good, and who made a surprisingly immense amount of noise for just one guy, his guitar, a keyboard and a macbook. a lot less song based than explosions (which is saying something for a band who didn't pause for mid-song break once in the whole 90 minute gig) but more like a 5 second snippet of radiohead stretched out and layered upon layered for 45 minutes. considering people still make 'classical' music now (including a certain mr j. greenwood himself) what on earth are they going to call this stuff in years to come?

Saturday, 26 January 2008

moo two!

moo two!, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

gotta catch 'em all ;)

ok, i got these absolutely ages ok, but i only just got round to taking a photo (with my shiny new camera that i got for christmas!) so look, i have new moos!

i also found something funny on the packaging that you might not have spotted before - you'll have to check out my flickr for that ;)

i have tons of stuff i want to blog about, including new designs, my radiohead discbox, some biscuits i made... it will be more interesting than it sounds right now, i promise! work is a little crazy at the moment, but i will get round to doing some proper blogging soon, so watch this space :)

Saturday, 12 January 2008

i'm going to pixellate in 2008

happy new year! i'm only um... 12 days late ;) the pre-christmas period was completely crazy, christmas and new year also crazy but in a completely different way, but things are sloooowly starting to get back to as normal as things ever do! really need to restock up on stuff, particularly heart meter pins and heart container necklaces before valentines day - anyone have any requests from the sold items back catalogue?

anyway, i've collected quite a few good links since the last blog, one of them being the awesome human stop-motion tetris game above, from the same guy who has previously done pong, pole position and space invaders. as you might know from the pixel jewellery, my previous musings on the bling collection and the amount of papercraft and other videogame craft i've posted about, i have a thing for 3D iterations of pixellated, 2D, screen confined computer graphics. fortunately for my own sanity, it seems like i'm not the only one!

yes, lots of people make videogame craft these days, but these pixellated cookies are possibly the first i've seen crossing over into bakery*, and certainly the most delicious of pixel-based goodies documented. pixels, and the 8 bit low-res sprites made out of them, with their little jaggedy-edged aliased squares are visually quite hard, angular, cold images with a limited palette and accurately defined boundaries. not something you would think would translate into the majority of traditional crafts, and certainly not bakery with it's loose control on colours, edges and uniform output. but by adding taste, texture and tangibility we can bring the pixel characters and images off the abstract virtuality of the screen and into something we can experience with more than one sense, validating the attachments we have towards to videogames.

one of the theories i have about why so many geeks like to make stuff out of their favourite games is that we want to experience a part of them in the real world, and because after spending so many hours of the day staring at a screen, craft is a way of getting back to something that exists in other ways than just virtual reality. it's backed up in other areas of life too - art and other precious artifacts are experiencing a rise in value in the auction houses, partially as a response to the mass-availability of virtual digitised copies on the internet. added to that, in rainbows, the latest radiohead album so notoriously given away for free, still got to number 1 both in the UK and the states with its recent physical CD release - not to mention the fact that a fair amount of people (myself included) were willing to pay even more than normal for the deluxe boxed edition. people not only still see the value in having a hard copy of things they could easily store as files on a hard drive, but they actually want the 'real' copy more now that virtual copy is so widely available.

maybe it's because in comparison to the millions of copies digitally created, the original physical objects get relatively rarer and rarer. maybe we value them more because they are so fragile and easily damaged or lost that they demand greater care. maybe it's because so many people are now able to access the piece that the demand for the original exceeds the number of people that would have previously known about it. maybe it's just the novelty, retro nostalgia or blatent disregard for realism that makes things like papercraft generated from low polygon Second Life objects so intriguing a diversion. or maybe, and i think this is my personal favourite, we surround ourselves with these objects and memorabilia in order to further immerse ourselves within the virtual world and pretend that we're in the game. as much as wishing for real life personal save points and pause buttons is clich├ęd, i know i certainly would have loved to be one of those people making up the tetrominoes in the cinema :)

* correction: my good friend thomas just reminded me of the amazing mario cake that one of the Blizzard guys had at his wedding, which probably came before the cookies. as have probably lots of other things that i've forgotten about. either way, the point still stands! :)