Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Knights Who Say Ni - Free Helmet Templates!

Ever have a project you thought would be a breeze, and then it ends up taking 8-10 months? 


Well, it turns out, the Knights Who Say Ni really DID demand a sacrifice: all our time and patience.

We're on the home stretch now, though, so let's get to it!

Oops. Sorry, guys. I'll try not to say that word again.

Without further ado, our completed helmet:

We've made seven total, though only 6 are show-worthy. They're made entirely of EVA and thin craft foam, and the horns attach with magnets:

This makes storage & transport much, MUCH easier.

I lost count of how many tries it took us to get the helmet shape right, but here's just some of the reject pile:

Once we nailed the shape the rest was relatively easy, though, so if you want to make your own, rest assured we've done the hardest part for you. (And if you're so overwhelmed with gratitude you want to help feed our cats and/or shop through our Amazon affiliate link, then hey, I won't stop you.)

The helmet is just four pieces of EVA foam (which you can buy in rolls at Harbour Freight, Walmart, and/or many hardware stores), while the horns and trim are the thinner "fun foam" from the craft store. You'll also need contact cement to assemble everything.

This will not be a full step-by-step tutorial - there is too much. Instead I'm going to give you our templates and some quick pointers and explanations. If you get stuck feel free to ask questions in the comments, though!

First, the templates John very sweetly labeled and arranged so you can print them on standard paper at home:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

STAND BACK, I'm About To Say Something *Nice* About Facebook

This pains me, you guys. PAINS ME.

After all, we all know Facebook is the devil. It censors our posts' reach to nothing, hides all our friends' updates, and yet still manages to barf up all our crazy relatives' political memes.


Recently something beautiful has happened... on Facebook. Something that's changed my interactions and overall happiness possibly even more than my Facebook Fix from a year ago. And it's going to seem blatantly self-serving when I say this, which is a bit embarrassing and why I hesitate to mention it, but it's the truth - and not why you'd think.

The Fans of Epbot page is my new happy place.

Again, but not why you'd think.

You know how I do meetups a few times a month with you readers? (No? Um. I do meetups a few times a month with you readers.) The reason I do them - even as an agoraphobic, introverted, hermit blogger - is because I already KNOW I'm going to like you. If you like the things I like enough to follow Epbot, then we're already friends. We just haven't met yet.

But something's been missing, and Fans of Epbot has shown me what it was: you guys didn't get the chance to be friends with each other. When you post your photos and questions and links on the regular Epbot FB page, I'm pretty much the only one who can see them. But on Fans of Epbot, you get a whole community commenting and liking and saying "me, too!" and it is just the best, BEST thing happening online right now.

I'm so grateful to Julie for starting this page, and for being gracious enough to get the ball rolling and then stand back and let the rest of you have at it. And I'm TRYING to follow suit, I am, but I'll admit to being a constant lurker and frequent commenter. Because dangit, you guys are way too interesting.

Seriously. I'm having a hard time getting work done. I keep seeing something new pop up in my feed, and now I have to go see that costume or project or geeky collection photo, and before I can even answer a craft question 6 other people have shared solutions way better than mine, and folks are swapping book recommendations and pet photos and introducing themselves and commiserating over anxiety struggles and geeking out over toys and I know I'm rambling, but I'm just so happy I could pop.

Here's what it is in a nutshell - though I don't have the screencap since it's from a few weeks ago: early on a reader introduced herself on the page and mentioned she felt a little lonely, because she lives all the way over in France. The next 3 or 4 comments were in French. And I sat here in my office and bawled, you guys. This is the community you've built. This is the love and welcome I've been spoiled with for years, and now I get to see my friends becoming friends with each other - some even meeting in real life! - and I just want to have a giant slumber party with you all where we watch superhero movies and paint our toenails green and put on My Little Pony fashion shows, but 'til then, this is a pretty darn good substitute.

THIS. This times a million. Thank you. I love you. Let's go make some friends.