Tuesday, June 21, 2016

We Should Make Adult Playdates A Thing (But Not In A Kinky Way)

I think I missed the Adulting class where they explained "networking," you guys.

Not the computer one - I remember missing THAT class - but the quasi-social one you're supposed to do with other quasi-professional types "in your field." The one that's becoming more and more frequent at cons these days. I just... don't get it?

Like, I came home from MegaCon with dozens and dozens of business cards, and now I'm staring at them on my desktop trying to remember when John and I met a professional llama wrangler or a podcaster who specializes in cow sounds. (OK, I made those up. I'd totally remember those peeps. It's the more legit stuff that's worrying.)

My point is, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do from here.

My inner 6-year-old wants to believe "networking" is basically how adults make playdates for themselves. Because that would be awesome. Just think, all our business cards could list stuff like "collects spores, molds, & Ghostbuster references," "likes Disney fireworks," and "reacts adversely to tequila." All information one can actually USE. You know, socially. For the adult playdate thing. But not in a kinky way. THIS IS NOT A KINKY THING OK.

But truth is, I've been burned too many times with Cake Wrecks to believe the ritual giving-of-the-card has anything to do with a person liking me. I've gone to lunches and park outings thinking I was meeting a a new friend, only to be grilled about my SEO strategy (I have none), how my blog went viral (uhhhh luck?), and how they, too, can make millions by sitting at home in their jammies (they can't, & I don't.)

Even now, when we do 3-4  meetups per month, if the very first question is something businessy about CW I kind of... deflate... inside. Nothing major. I mean, I don't mind talking about my day job. It's just an "Oh. right. THIS is why I'm interesting," kind of moment. (Which, for the record, rarely happens anymore. Most of you guys would rather talk geek. Which is why I like you.)

Then there's this weird, Hollywood-esque vocabulary people fall into when they're trying to network and/or impress you, in which they all have "projects" in the works they can only talk about in veiled, confusing terms, but they have "top-level" "connections" and maybe want your "creative input" and some outright say they want to "network," and I have no idea what any of that means but I still smile and nod and generally try to act like I don't write poo puns for a living. Can we get a Babel Fish over here? 'Cuz it's a minefield, I tell you. A MINEFIELD.

You know what it is? It's me, on my very first book tour, being handed out of a fancy car into an even fancier hotel - doormen in spotless white gloves, chandeliers the size of my living room, nary an unplucked eyebrow in sight - and I'm in a Teeange Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt. Or it's me as a pre-teen accidentally wandering into Fredericks of Hollywood: confusing, eye-opening, and a bit embarrassing for everyone involved.

See, I feel like I should ask you guys for advice here, but all I really want to know is what would be on your Adult Playdate business cards. Which, again - I can not stress this enough - is not a kinky thing. (You have the whole rest of the internet, kinky playdate peeps. DON'T JUDGE.) So yeah, while you're at it, maybe give me a better name for that, too?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Quick Craft: Make A POP Figure Display Shelf From Foam Board!

One of your most requested tutorials last week was for more POP figure display options, and I feel your pain, guys. I don't even consider myself a POP collector, and they still multiply like rabbits over here.

So the other night John and I slapped together one of our easiest projects yet - perfect for not-so-crafty types - and I think you're gonna liiiiike it!


One POP display, total material cost around $5, total build time less than 2 hours. You can do this.


I've sized this display to hold 12 average-sized POPs, and to fit a 13 inch square space, so it should work in most standard bookcases and shelves. You can also build multiple units and set them side by side for a much longer display.

And funnest of all: IT LIGHTS UP!! Don't the figures look like they're on stage? Plus the mirrored backing helps combat shadows in deep shelves.


For each display shelf, you will need:

- 1 sheet of foam core board (I used black)
- 1 sheet of mirrored/chrome scrapbook paper (available at Michaels)
- hot glue (or white craft glue)
- spray adhesive (or white craft glue)
- [optional] one strand of small lights:

We used these because they were mega cheap (less than $3), but I'd recommend LEDs with a wall plug, so you can set it up on a timer instead of bothering with a switch. Short strands of LED Christmas lights would be perfect - and imagine all the color possibilities!

If you choose to install lights, you'll also need a Dremel or drill with a small bit, OR a small hole punch. (My Crop-A-Dile's smaller hole was perfect, but it does scuff up the foam board a bit, so test yours first.)

Step 1: Print out the following pages at 100% - because AW YEAH JOHN MADE Y'ALL A TEMPLATE -  tape them together to form one piece, & then trace it onto your foam board.

Here are the lines on my foam board:

Of course, since I didn't HAVE the template yet, I had to do this one the hard way. Blurg.

Trace and cut two of those side pieces using a craft blade/knife.

Step 2: Next print this template for the shelves and risers: