The Minecraft Travelogue: Searching for Diamonds: Days 118-119

Seven witches are destroying this world by raising an army of undead warriors. My job is to hunt and kill them. Perhaps killing these witches will restore balance to the world.

Six witches have been slayed: one more remains.

This is my journey. My only goal is to tell a good story.

Days 118-119

To face the last witch, I wanted to be as prepared as possible. Before I enchanted my weapon, I wanted to make sure it was a diamond sword, something more powerful than iron. To get diamonds, I’d have to venture into the caves.

I’ve heard of these deep caves, but have avoided them as much as possible in my journey. I’ve only briefly explored them to get coal and iron. But diamonds were at the very bottom, so I had to plan this trip carefully.

I put all of my valuable supplies in a chest—in case I died again—then put Lightning in a pen.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

The desert was right next door to these plentiful plains. This cave entrance looked just as good as any.

Minecraft Travelogue

The cave was deep. I planted torches to light my way, but I had no way of knowing if this cave system would lead me to my goal.

Minecraft Travelogue

Immediately I found valuables like iron, but I had to ignore them.

Minecraft Travelogue

Within the hour, I found an abandoned mineshaft! I’ve heard that people used to mine this world, before the rise of the witches, but I’ve never seen evidence of such a mine before.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Perhaps the village to the north, near my temporary home, was the owner of this mine. When I meet those people, I’ll have to ask.

To my dismay, this cave system was not entirely abandoned: the skeletal bodies of yesteryear’s miners haunted this place!

Minecraft Travelogue

The skeletons spawned from a wire box: what was this black magick contraption? I destroyed it before it could spew any more filth.

Minecraft Travelogue

I searched any chest I found, hoping to find a diamond stored for safe keeping, but found only useless effects, like dry bread and cobwebs.

I found another dungeon, a wire box generating spiders, and quickly destroyed it. I was getting sidetracked from my mission!

Minecraft Travelogue

I continued deeper, deeper, and came across gold. The pressure was building in these rocks, but gold wasn’t my prize either. I had to press on.

How warped my desires have become to pass up gold!

Minecraft Travelogue

Zombies were crawling around these caves as well. Thanks to my new supply of arrows, I could dispense with them safely from a distance.

Minecraft Travelogue

I finally got to the bottom of the cave system. I went as deep as I could go, and saw lava, hot, boiling lava, covering the ground.

Minecraft Travelogue

Diamonds had to be around here somewhere! The lava didn’t leave much room for walking, so I constructed stone bridges to get from one end of the lake to the other.

Minecraft Travelogue

No matter how widely I searched, I found not a diamond. I had to leave this cave system. It was getting too dangerous traversing all this lava.

Minecraft Travelogue

As I reluctantly climbed to the surface, I found an enderman blocking my path. He stared into my soul with those glowing eyes and initiated a battle.

I struck the creature down, and his death screams filled my head, causing me agony and despair.

Minecraft Travelogue

I went back to the surface. It was night, and I had to cross a field filled with skeletons to get back to Lightning and my shelter.

Tomorrow I would enchant an iron sword—that’s the best I could do. Then I would introduce myself to the villagers.

I’m only hoping they can provide some direction in finding this last witch.

The Minecraft Travelogue: Preparing for the End: Days 115-117

Seven witches are destroying this world by raising an army of undead warriors. My job is to hunt and kill them. Perhaps killing these witches will restore balance to the world.

Six witches have been slayed: one more remains.

This is my journey. My only goal is to tell a good story.

Day 115

The villagers didn’t take too well to my destruction of their temple! I should have known that my witch hunting would get me in trouble one day. They have a grip on this world, and the world isn’t ready to forge ahead without them.

I fought back, but took no satisfaction in the violence.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Eight villagers fell total.

Now what should I do? There was clearly no witch in this area. My violence was for naught. I left Goroth for the bountiful fields.

I saw endermen patrolling the shore, but I had not the strength to attack them tonight.

Minecraft Travelogue

I needed supplies, and for too long I have gone without animal products. I needed feathers for arrows, hide for book covers, and wool for bedding. These plains became killing fields as I slaughtered cow after cow, chicken after chicken, getting the valuable items I’ve needed for months.

Minecraft Travelogue

For the first time, I found a bunny, and that gave me some small joy.

Minecraft Travelogue

Day 116

I wasn’t going to let all this meat go to waste. Early in the morning, I started roasting the beef. It was much healthier to eat than the bread, so I would soon substitute my entire lot of bread for roast beef. All that work for bread, and now I was abandoning it so quickly.

Minecraft Travelogue

Just over the hills I found another village. I would refrain from going there for now. First I needed to be prepared. Maybe word had reached these people of the attack on Goroth just a quarter mile away.

Minecraft Travelogue

I found more cattle, and continued my harvest. It made me sick, but I needed those leather hides for a reason.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

I built a house at night. I would be in this area for some time, so I might as well be protected.

Minecraft Travelogue

Day 117

If I was going to slay the final witch I’d need a magical sword. I wasn’t going to take any chances.

To enchant my sword, I needed books. I’ve been carrying reams of paper for months; now I finally had enough leather for the bindings.

Minecraft Travelogue

Once all the books were crafted, I put them away in bookshelves. I was getting close.

Minecraft Travelogue

For too long skeleton archers have plagued me, firing arrow after arrow into my armor from afar. I needed to fight back. I had the feathers now for more arrows, next I needed flint. I dug through the gravel until I had enough.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

I wasn’t going to enchant any old sword. Ideally, I’d magically-infuse a diamond sword. The only problem: I only had one diamond. My books and arrows stockpiled, my next mission was to go underground, to find another diamond.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Christmas ball ornaments: How-to!

So I had this idea over a year ago for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornaments. I saw somebody post it online and thought it seemed like an easy enough project. I think this is the listing I saw, though there now appear to be many variations on the theme.

But then Christmas got busy with my Pokéball Wreath, so the project was shelved.

Until now! Because the Christmas season is so hectic, I thought I’d make these ornaments now and save time later in the year.

So without further introduction, here’s how I made my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Christmas ball ornaments!

Materials needed

  • Four green ball ornaments
  • Blue, red, purple, and orange paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Hot glue
  • Painter’s tape

I used four large balls, plastic, 4″ in diameter. They were on 90% clearance at Hobby Lobby after Christmas, so it was less than a dollar for all four. The googly eyes are 1″ in diameter.

Assembling the ornaments

First, I taped off the ornaments to paint the turtles’ masks. The mask should be in the center of the ornament and should be wide enough that the googly eyes fit inside it. Putting painter’s tape around a spherical object isn’t perfect, and my lines aren’t completely parallel, but close enough!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornament

Then the painting begins. It always amazes me how, even within one brand of paint, some shades go on thicker than others. Leo’s mask took 3 coats, Donnie’s took 4 coats, and Mikey and Raph’s both took 7.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornament

I added a new coat of paint about every ten minutes. In between coats, I put my wet brushes into a Ziploc bag to eliminate the tediousness of washing brushes between coats. The baggie works very well in keeping the brushes wet.

After the paint, it was time for the googly eyes!

Googly eyes

The googly eyes have a little flap on the back for sewing them onto dolls. That little protrusion makes gluing them onto a spherical surface a little tough, so I pushed that flap down as best I could. In the picture below, you can kind of see how the left eye’s flap doesn’t stick out as far as the right eye’s flap. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

Googly eyes back

Finally, glue the eyes to the masks!

This project was a lot of fun, super easy, and I completed it over the course of two nights. I can’t wait to put them on the tree next year!

~Dennis

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornament

The Minecraft Travelogue: The Goroth Temple: Days 113-114

Seven witches are destroying this world by raising an army of undead warriors. My job is to hunt and kill them. Perhaps killing these witches will restore balance to the world.

Six witches have been slayed: one more remains.

This is my journey. My only goal is to tell a good story.

Day 113

The crops were plenty bountiful, and now it was time to resume my quest. I still had one more witch to kill, and that would not happen if I stayed in peace forever.

I ripped up two rows of crops, saving the seeds for another emergency. I left two rows in place to aid the next traveler. If you give to the land, the land will also give to you.

Minecraft Travelogue

My gear packed, I closed the doors of my house and set off into the sand. It felt good to ride again, and Lightning more than appreciated the freedom.

While riding along the coast, I found a school of squid, a least a dozen popping in and out of the water. Too bad they were no good to eat.

Minecraft Travelogue

While this landscape may have been nearly inhospitable, it was beautiful.

Minecraft Travelogue
I didn’t ride long before I started seeing patches of grass, and then sand. Such irregularities in the environment could only mean one thing: I was on the edge of a new landscape! I had high hopes of finding people again. Seventy-six days have passed since I’ve talked to a real human person. These months at sea, on islands, and in the desert have probably made me a tad crazed in the brain.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

By nightfall, I left the rocky desert for a sandy one.

Minecraft Travelogue

And not long after that, I found grassland! I’ve looked at cacti for too long! Grass and trees, these are what I’ve missed!

Minecraft Travelogue

This land was brimming with life. I found chickens, and cattle, and sheep!

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

My sword hand grew lustful with desire. I needed feathers for arrows, cow hide for book bindings, and meat for energy (bread provides only a kind of sustenance). But tonight I killed nothing. I was too enraptured with the sight of so much life!

Now that I was in the grasslands again, I wondered if people would be nearby. Was there another town, anywhere I could go?

Sure enough. By 3 a.m. I saw the light of a small desert village, Goroth.

Minecraft Travelogue

Day 114

As usual, I found the town overrun with monsters. A few slices of my sword ended their threat, and the town welcomed me.

Minecraft Travelogue

These townspeople were deceived. They thought I was on their side, was here to support them, but then I found this:

Minecraft Travelogue

A witch’s temple! I’ve never seen a temple constructed inside a town before! Crops grew in the temple’s backyard! These people were clearly allied with a witch, perhaps the final witch in my quest.

These people didn’t know who I was. I was the Witch Slayer, and this temple was coming down.

First I raided the temple. Witches never change. They always hide their treasure in the same spot. More important than a few bars of gold, however, was the TNT hidden beneath.

Minecraft Travelogue

I’d been carrying stacks of TNT with me for quite a while now. With the TNT of this place, I had more than enough material to blow this temple apart.

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

As I worked, the townspeople paid me no mind. They assumed I’d entered the temple to worship at the feet of her filthiness. What a surprise awaited them when the TNT finally detonated!

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Minecraft Travelogue

Small sections of the temple remained, but this is how I liked it. I wanted the ruins to be a reminder to the witches and all of their supporters: do not corrupt this world any longer.

Minecraft Travelogue

A lone villager surveyed the ruins. He seemed in shock, unable to comprehend how his religion had come crumbling down.

Minecraft Travelogue

Perhaps I was a little too zealous for justice. Maybe these people weren’t ready to unplug from the witch’s coven.