Happy Autumn Equinox

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2000 subscriber celebration giveaway

My YouTube channel recently reached the 2,000 subscriber milestone, and I want to thank each and every one of you who joined me on my adventures, liked, subscribed, and cheered me along the way. Your support makes this channel possible. Thank you!

Extra special shout out to my Patreon, Twitch and YouTube contributors: BJ, Celtic Granny, IceStella, Patrick, Ronin, Sulfur Furious and TaSwavo … and to my long-time Fallout Friday sponsor Jesike Biking.

I also want to thank Starfish_central gaming for being a friend to the channel since early days, and to Herman for convincing me to replay Fallout 4. Rose the Raider and her rocket-powered baseball bat Granny’s Kiss were a big part of the growth of my channel.

But most of all, I have to thank my husband, who talked me into live streaming. Without his support and encouragement I would not be here.

To celebrate this milestone and thank all of you, I’m giving away a big pile of real-life loot, inspired by the games I’ve played over the years, including jewelry and prop replicas I made myself!

There are Skyrim, Fallout, Outer Worlds, Stardew Valley, BioShock, Wytchwood, Calico and other prize bundles, as well as masks from Dishonored and If On a Winter’s Night Four Travelers. Check out the video to see it all!

If you can’t wait for the giveaway, similar items are also available for purchase on my website JLHjewelry.com or you can contact me through Patreon, Twitch or Twitter, to inquire about any goodies that catch your eye.

The giveaways are free to enter and open to anyone, not just patrons or subscribers. All you need to do is comment on my corresponding YouTube videos.

For example, if you’d like to win the Skyrim goodies, leave a comment on any one of my Skyrim videos.

Or to try for the Fallout prize package, leave a comment on any Fallout 3, Fallout 4, or Fallout Shelter video.

For the Wytchwood witch’s kit, comment on my Wytchwood videos. You get the idea.

Just make sure to mention the 2022 Celebration. You can say something like “I’d love to win the cat mask in your 2022 sub celebration” or “please enter me in the giveaway for the teacup” so I know you’d like to participate and aren’t just leaving a random friendly comment.

And YES you can absolutely try for more than one prize. But limit one comment per video, please – if you want to increase your chances of winning, comment on more than one video. Most of these games have several, and some have 100s, of videos on my channel.

Unfortunately, due to high shipping costs, postal restrictions, the pandemic, and other worldwide shipping issues, physical items can only be mailed to addresses within the US.

HOWEVER … I will do one special giveaway open only to my viewers who live outside the United States. Leave a comment on ANY video for ANY game I’ve played in the past year, and you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a copy of that game on Steam! (Some restrictions may apply. Not all games are available in all countries.)

Make sure to mention that you are an international viewer in your comment. For example, you can say something like, “Congrats from Germany on reaching 2000 subs!” or “Please enter me to win Calico on Steam in the international giveaway.”

OFFICIAL RULES & CONDITIONS

  • 1. Must be 18 to participate. If you enter the giveaway, you are claiming to be 18 or older. Anyone found to be underage will be disqualified.
  • 2. You must provide a US mailing address in order to receive physical gifts.
  • 3. The Steam digital game giveaway is only open to viewers outside the United States. Only one Steam game will be given away, chosen at random from all 2022-sub celebration comments left by viewers located outside the US.
  • 4. Giveaways will occur after I reach 2022 subscribers but no sooner than one week after I post this video. That means if I reach 2022 subs tomorrow, you will still have six days more to participate.
  • 5. Recipients will be chosen from comments that clearly mention the 2022 celebration and are made during the celebration.
  • 6. One comment per person per video. If you want to increase your chances of winning a particular prize, comment on other videos of the same game.
  • 7. Fake accounts, duplicate accounts, bots, or any other artificial means of increasing subscriber count or giveaway entries will result in disqualification.
  • 8. I will contact winners by replying to their YouTube comments and posting a video announcement. US recipients will need to provide a valid US mailing address via email or DM me via Twitter, Twitch or Patreon. The international recipient will need to make arrangements with me on Steam.
  • 9. If a recipient does not respond within 72 hours (3 days), cannot provide a shipping address, or for any other reason is unable to accept the prize, a new recipient will be selected and contacted as described above.
  • 10. Participants understand that I am not responsible for shipping delays, internet problems or other issues that are beyond my control.
  • 11. Participants grant permission to use their YouTube names in my announcement video and on social media, if they win.
  • 12. All participants must comply with the YouTube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.
  • 13. I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who cheats, spams or in any way acts like a jerkface. I also reserve the right to define “jerkface” behavior.
  • 14. Void where prohibited by law.
  • 15. YouTube does not sponsor nor endorse this celebration and is released from all liability related to the giveaway.

So raise a glass, steal a sweetroll, and would you kindly join me in celebrating over 2,000 subscribers in 2022!

~ J.L. Hilton aka “Jewelsmith”

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FALLOUT 4 crossword puzzle

While livestreaming on Twitch yesterday, IceStella joked about a Fallout version of the popular game Wordle. I can’t program a game like that but I love word games so I created this free FALLOUT 4 crossword puzzle to download and print.

Download the puzzle pdf
Download the solution pdf

See full-size puzzle jpg
See solution jpg

If you enjoy this, let me know! If there’s interest, I could make some based on Fallout 3, New Vegas, Skyrim or other video games.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Video game inspired prop replicas

I recently made the Nuka-Cola bottle, Buffout and Wasteland Survival Guide props in the above picture, and gave them away as prizes for the FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021.

I’ve also made bottles of Daytripper (based on the item in Fallout 4) and Nuka-Cola Quantum (based on the version in Fallout 3). I know Quantum is supposed to be blue but it always looks lavender to me when I’m playing Fallout 3 on my laptop.

Or there’s the glowing cannister of nuclear material I made based on the junk item in Fallout 4, shown here on top of my plasma rifle (not handmade, it’s official Bethesda merch) and next to its in-game version.

I love making replicas of items from video games, TV and movies. Sometimes, this takes the form of jewelry, props or even food, like these Minecraft cakes I made for my husband’s birthday about ten years ago.

That’s a very nice birthday you have there…

Or sometimes it’s not crafting so much as finding objects and putting them together, such as this Stone of Barenziah from Skyrim, made with a brass cricket cage, gray silk and Swarovski crystal.

Or there’s the mini Honningbrew meadery bottle necklace …

A larger, LED lighted version of the Honningbrew bottle…

And the bowl of moon sugar I keep beside a bronze statue of Aphrodite that looks very similar to a Dibella statue from Skyrim. I commissioned the handmade ceramic bowl on Etsy to look like the alchemy ingredient in the game and then filled it with rock candy.

Finding bath salts became a running joke when I played through the Dishonored series, so I purchased a lovely pyramid-shaped Italian crystal bottle and filled it with the same color bath salts as those found in the games.

I also painted my own prismatic shards from STARDEW VALLEY using rocks and nail polish.

You can watch me play all of these games and more on my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/jewelsmith or read my video game articles and stories at JLHilton.com/videogames.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: APICO free Steam demo

APICO is a casual-sim game about collecting, breeding and maintaining bees. It features farm building, crafting and resource gathering, similar to Terraria or Stardew Valley, but there are no enemies to fight and even the bees won’t sting you!

Beekeeping is one of my favorite things in Stardew Valley, and APICO takes that to new levels. Build different types of hives. Gather honey, wax and other bee products. Plant flowers that give the bees different boosts. Crossbreed bees for new species. Build and paint structures. Collect and read magazines. Rehabilitate dwindling bee populations.

Interactions with other island inhabitants are limited in the free demo, but I suspect the full game will include more characters and more story development, and possibly a way to build boats and leave the island to visit other locations.

A release date for the full game is TBA other than sometime in 2022.

APICO is being developed by TNgineers, a team of two brothers who were inspired by their love of old Minecraft mods, casual, and crafting games. The publisher is Whitethorn Games, who also published TeacupCalico, and my favorite of 2021 Wytchwood.

TNgineers hopes to promote bee conservation and will be donating a portion of APICO sales towards national and international beekeeping charities, according to their website.

Rated “E” for everyone.

For more about APICO see Whitethorngames.com/apico and Apico.buzz.

UPDATE: The full game is going to be released on May 20, 2022. 

I was inspired by APICO to make some bee-themed earrings and a necklace, which I’m planning to give away during my 2022-sub celebration on YouTube.

~ J.L. Hilton

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The value of happiness

At times it is difficult to see the value of my work as an author, artist and content creator. With the world so full of cruelty, ignorance, injustice and pain, the thought of writing a story, making jewelry or livestreaming a video game feels self-centered and indulgent.

I occasionally receive comments on my YouTube channel asking why I bother to make videos when I have so few views or subscribers. These comments echo the voice inside of my head that asks, “What’s the point of it all?”

This spectre of melancholy nihilism judges creativity to be a kind of privileged hubris, pursued by a lucky few who have time to build sand castles while storms rage and tides lash unrelenting upon the beaches of our lives.

But there’s a bible verse that says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). And while I’m not one for seeking solace in organized religion, I do believe there’s a valuable lesson in this passage.

Whichever god you may or may not believe in, we all have gifts, and by the grace of human evolution or the Creator, or both, we have those gifts for the purpose of helping each other.

For many years, I had panic attacks, anxiety disorder, insomnia, and health issues. In the midst of sadness, despair and pain, I realized how very, very much it meant to me when someone made me smile, or when something gave me a reason to get up in the morning and get through the day.

I am so grateful to others who embraced their gifts and shared them with me. One laugh is a treasure worth more than jewels to someone who feels no cheer. A glimmer of hope is as precious as gold to someone hopeless.

My gifts do not bring me riches or fame but they are valuable if they can bring a smile to someone’s face, if they can help someone see a little bit of light in the dark or feel a little less sad and lonely. Those gifts are true magic and I shouldn’t doubt them.

This year, I want to believe in the value of happiness. I want to thank the people whose gifts make my life worth living, and remember that I, too, have a responsibility to share the gifts with which I’ve been blessed.

~ J.L. Hilton

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I won the “Narrate Your Own Twilight Zone Competition 2021”

My entry “Memory Lane” tied for 1st place in the NARRATE YOUR OWN TWILIGHT ZONE COMPETITION 2021 sponsored by the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation!

Winning entries will be performed by actor Stephen Dexter in a video posted on or before Christmas Day, which is also Rod Serling’s birthday.

UPDATE (DEC 16, 2021): Watch the video on RodSerling.com!

I only found out about the contest a week before the Halloween deadline. At the time, I was in the middle of running the Fallout Scavenger Hunt, participating in the “Falloween” (Fallout + Halloween) photo challenge and celebrating my favorite holiday and month of the year with my family.

To enter, I had to write an opening and closing narration for an imaginary episode of The Twilight Zone, in the style of Rod Serling.

These were the rules:

  • Maximum word count, excluding titles and labels: 150 words total, both narrations combined.
  • Maximum entries: 2 per person. (I only had time to write the one, “Memory Lane.”)
  • Title and Narrations only. Any additional content will be ignored.
  • Deadline: Halloween 2021 (October 31)

Entries were judged by Rod Serling Memorial Foundation board members, based on these criteria:

  • Originality
  • How easily we can imagine Rod speaking your words
  • How well your narrations suggest the imaginary episode

Twilight Zone marathons every Thanksgiving & Twilight Zone Magazine in the 1980s were a huge influence on my desire to become a writer and to write speculative fiction, and probably no small influence on my personality, if I’m being totally honest.

Though The Twilight Zone began more than ten years before I was born, I was such a big fan of the show that I had a Twilight Zone sign on my bedroom door. As a little joke, my dad took black electrician’s tape and covered the “Z” so it said “Twilight one” because I was such a weird, imaginative kid.

“The Night of the Meek” Christmas episode that originally aired December 23, 1960, starring Art Carney, is my favorite holiday program and I watch it every year.

But I never imagined I would someday be a small part of the Twilight Zone. What an incredible honor!

Rod Serling was the head writer for the original series but several episodes were written by Charles BeaumontRichard Matheson and Earl Hamner Jr. Matheson wrote for many other TV shows and his books and stories have been made into the movies I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, and one of my childhood favorites Somewhere in Time. Hamner went on to create the popular and long-running TV shows The Waltons and Falcon Crest. One 1962 episode, “I Sing the Body Electric,” was written by Ray Bradbury and became the basis for his 1969 short story of the same name.

There are several versions of The Twilight Zone, including the original TV show that aired from 1959 to 1964, Twilight Zone: The Movie produced by Steven Spielberg and John Landis in 1983, a revival of the TV series that ran from 1985 to 1989, a UPN series that ran from 2002-2003, and a series developed by Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez for CBS All Access that ran from 2019 to 2020.

I’m a fan of the original series and have only a vague memory of the ’80s movie and TV show. I haven’t seen the other versions but I highly recommend the older episodes. They used to be on Netflix but are now available on Hulu and Paramount+.

The Twilight Zone episodes typically include one or more elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror and supernatural, but at its heart it’s a show about the things that make us human, things like love, death, fear, humor, nostalgia, hubris, temptation, regret, good and evil.

~ J.L. Hilton

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FALLOWEEN photo challenge 2021

FALLOUT (video game franchise) + HALLOWEEN (holiday) = “FALLOWEEN

The FALLOWEEN photo challenge was issued by Mrs P on Twitter. There were spooky prompts for each day of October, inspiring players to take screenshots in Fallout 3, Fallout: New VegasFallout 4, Fallout Shelter and Fallout 76.

Fall is my favorite time of the year and Halloween my favorite festival, so I set myself the goal of posting at least one picture for every day of the month.

Here’s what I came up with… (click on the links to see more photos)

OCT 1: Black & Orange – Misty morning, power armor, Shroud Manor
OCT 2: Graveyard – Cat cemetery & Gage’s tomb
OCT 3: Moon – Museum of Freedom, Nuka Girl & Virgo II

OCT 4: Witch – Museum of Witchcraft in Salem
OCT 5: Haunted – Mysterious figure in the woods
OCT 6: Skeleton – Skelly baby, Old North Church crypt, Shem Drowne’s grave
OCT 7: Howl – Three Dog (Fallout Shelter)
OCT 8: Vampire – Vance and the Family
OCT 9: Boo – Contacting the spirits in Hangman’s Alley
OCT 10: Scary movie – Night of the Fish Men’s Revenge in Far Harbor
OCT 11: Pumpkins – Roadside produce stand

OCT 12: Monster – The Red Death
OCT 13: Bat – Fiona with a black baseball bat
OCT 14: Harvest – Abernathy Farm
OCT 15: Autumn – Thanksgiving feast
OCT 16: Gore – Fizztop Mountain in Nuka World

OCT 17: Demon – Evil wakes in the depths of Dunwich Borers
OCT 18: Spooky – That time Hancock vanished
OCT 19: Campfire – Raider altar, Hancock, Cricket
OCT 20: Spider – Since there aren’t any in-game spiders and I don’t use mods, I made a Lord of the Rings / Fallout crossover

OCT 21: Mask – Ghoul mask from Fallout 3
OCT 22: Scarecrow – County Crossing corn field
OCT 23: Candles – Children of Atom, Sanctuary Hills
OCT 24: Party – Halloween in Fallout Shelter
OCT 25: Twilight – Kiddie Kingdom in Nuka World
OCT 26: Trick or Treat – Hancock and Fiona hand out candy at Kingsport Lighthouse
OCT 27: Candy – Careful, too much can cause tooth decay!

OCT 28: Owl – No owls in the Fallout games I play so here’s a “seaghoul”
OCT 29: Costume – Fiona and Hancock as Sally and Jack Skellington
OCT 30: Phobia – Fear of blood, fear of the dark, fear of water
OCT 31: Happy Halloween

~ J.L. Hilton

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FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021 FAQ


What is a scavenger hunt?

It’s a game in which players gather items on a list. Sometimes the game is played in teams, with the winner(s) being those who collect the most items within a time limit, or those who collect all of the items in the fastest time. American writer and high-society hostess Elsa Maxwell is credited with making the game popular in the 1930s and variations – like this one – continue to be played today.

What is the FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT?

The Fallout Scavenger Hunt is a game withing a game. Instead of finding items in the real world, players will gather them in any Fallout game of their choice. We’ve tried to make it possible to complete our scavenger hunt whether you have Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 or Fallout 76.

The Fallout Scavenger Hunt is entirely free to play and free to enter. The game organizers are not being paid or compensated in any way, other than by having fun. We are not affiliated with Bethesda, Microsoft or anyone, we are doing this on our own.

What can I win?

FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021 US PRIZES (laptop with “please stand by” screen for backdrop purposes only, it’s not one of the prizes, read post for details)

One person in the US will win a fan-made prize package which includes ALL of the following:

  • One Nuka-Cola LED bottle light
  • One blank composition book with the classic “Wasteland Survival Guide” cover as seen in Fallout 3 *
  • One prop bottle of Buffout *
  • One Lucky 8-ball tin (based on the item in Fallout 3) containing a Nuka World replica ticket, a Grandchester Mystery House replica ticket, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap necklace & one Nuka-Cola bottlecap key chain

FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021 EUROPE PRIZES (laptop with “please stand by” screen for backdrop purposes only, it’s not one of the prizes, read post for details)

Players in the UK and Europe can play to win a prize package of fan-made goodies that IceStella will ship from the UK, which includes:

  • One Nuka-Cola LED bottle light
  • One lined excercise book with a classic “Tales from West Virginia” cover
  • One prop bottle of Buffout *
  • One Mentats tin containing 2 Pleasant Valley claim tickets, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap magnet, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap key chain and a selection of Stella Stickers

See IceStella.co.uk for details.

People outside of the US or Europe are welcome to participate but are not eligible for prizes. (Sorry, international shipping costs are too high.)

* Survival guide cover graphic and Buffout label courtesy of emptysamurai on DeviantArt

An example of how the scavenger hunt conditions might be fulfilled in Fallout 4

How do I enter?

Submit ONE screen shot from any FALLOUT game in which ALL of the following are visible (or as many as you can manage to gather together):

  • an animal
  • the color orange
  • a toy
  • a super mutant (dead or alive)
  • a food item
  • a skull
  • something that glows
  • something wooden
  • YOURSELF – meaning your character, vault dweller, sole survivor, etc – wearing a hat and holding a bladed weapon

Something that is both a toy and wood, such as a wooden block, may count for both items on the list. However, the skull inside of the super mutant does not count, as it is not visible.

To submit a screen shot, post it publicly on Twitter or Instagram using #FalloutScavver or email the screen shot to j.l.hilton.author @ gmail.com (remove spaces) or DM on Twitter @AuthorJLHilton.

PLEASE NOTE: Submitting a photo means you allow us to share that photo and your online name or Fallout name with the public. The mailing address and real name of the winner will be kept private and used only to send the prize.

An example of how the scavenger hunt conditions might be fulfilled in Fallout 3

When is the deadline?

Midnight on Halloween, October 31, 2021, but please leave your picture up until November 2 so we have time to find it, in case there are a lot of last-minute entries.

A US winner and a UK/Europe winner will be selected from all eligible entries and contacted on November 2. If you post an entry on Twitter or Instagram, please make sure we will be able to DM you.

If we do not hear back from a winner within 24 hours of attempting contact, another winner will be chosen and contacted.

Who are the organizers? 

Jewelsmith on Twitter @AuthorJLHilton
Twitch.tv/Jewelsmith
YouTube.com/c/Jewelsmith
Patreon.com/Jewelsmith

IceStella on Twitter @IceStella77
Twitch.tv/IceStella77
YouTube.com/c/IceStella77
Ko-fi.com/IceStella77

Any other rules? 

This game is for entertainment only and the organizers reserve the right to decline entries for any reason or to change the conditions of the game at any time.

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Try-It Tuesday WYTCHWOOD

This week, I played the free Steam demo of WYTCHWOOD, a game developed by Toronto-based Alientrap and published by Whitethorn Games. Whitethorn also published two other recent Try-It Tuesday titles, Calico and Teacup. With little time to play video games lately, I appreciate Whitethorn’s focus on stress-free and “bite-sized” games.

“While our games might challenge you, they’ll respect your time”
WhitethornDigital.com

WYTCHWOOD is a single-player crafting adventure with storybook artwork and a fairy tale narrative, coming soon to Steam, GOG, Epic, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. As the old witch of the woods, players explore a strange countryside, collect magic ingredients, brew sorcerous spells, employ creative problem solving, and meet several odd characters along the way.

Keep in mind that an “adventure game” is one in which an interactive story is driven by exploration and/or puzzles. This is distinctly different from an “action-adventure” game. WYTCHWOOD plays more like Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations, Teacup or My Brother Rabbit, than like God of War, Dishonored or Tomb Raider. 

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties during my Twitch stream, which were entirely my own fault, and I don’t have a video to share, but here’s the trailer:

WYTCHWOOD is yet to be rated. The demo featured a talking goat, witchcraft and occult imagery, but lacked sex, graphic violence or adult language. I don’t know what will be in the full game.

I had fun with WYTCHWOOD and the end of the demo piqued my interest so much that I’m eager to stream this soon as it comes out.

 

UPDATE DEC 2021: The full WYTCHWOOD game released December 9, 2021, and I streamed my entire playthrough on YouTube.

I loved it and it is definitely one of my favorite games, not just of 2021 but of all time! The combination of fairy tales, witchery, clever writing and unique artwork, along with a sassy protagonist and the collecting, crafting, problem-solving game mechanics, make this a 10/10 for me.

~ J.L. Hilton

My PS4 platinum trophy for WYTCHWOOD

Nintendo Switch: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-switch
Xbox: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-xbox
PlayStation: https://cozygames.pub/wytchood-playstation
Steam: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-steam
GOG: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-gog
Epic Games: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-epic

See a complete list of video game fiction, articles and more under the Video Games tab of this website or click here

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