Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Very Cool Things

First and foremost, you must drop everything and go read (and watch) the update on Katie of the Star Wars water bottle fame. It. Is. Awesome. If you can't watch the news clip now, definitely bookmark it for later; you'll love the interview with Katie and Carrie. Also mark your calendars: December 10th is "Wear Star Wars - Share Star Wars" day! So wear something SW, and plan to give a SW toy to a shelter or hospital, all in Katie's honor!

Now a few more things to make you smile:

How would you like to have THIS in your room?

Steve Moseley made this for his son, and he even has instructions over at Instructables if you want to try making one of your own. So fun! (Thanks to allybobble on Twitter for the link.)

In the same "who cares if it's practical, this looks AWESOME" category, have you seen the Fluid Dress making the rounds lately?

Yay for eye candy!

Now some geek news that caught my eye: According to Longb'ox, DC is planning to release a special new comic "for girls only," called - get this - Capes and Cakes. The super heroine will be a baker by day, crime fighter by night!

(Image found on Zazzle)

Check out this quote from the article:

“Girls aren’t as interested as guys in fights,” Dan DiDio is quoted as saying. “They’re more interested in relationships, romances, emotional drama. We’re taking the focus off crime-fighting and putting it on the more everyday questions women face, like - how can you put on enough muscle to do your job but still fit into a size 10?”

Um. Yeeeeah. So it's more "baker by day, dieting drama queen by night?" Huh. I'll be very interested to see how my fellow geek girls weigh in on this one. No pun intended. (Well, maybe a little. And thanks to kmp_zxcv on Twitter for the link.)

And finally, I'll leave you with a five-foot-tall cardboard Epbot 'bot, made by Kelsey of Geekishly Apropos:

Just 'cuz.

(I'm diggin' the 3D flower and antenna.)

What's your cool thing today, guys? Share your links in the comments!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dime Buttons

Here's a quick project that wasn't nearly as quick as I initially hoped: dime buttons!

If you haven't already, you'll need to reference my penny buttons post to follow this tutorial; it's essentially the same process, with the key difference of aging the dimes so the detail show through.

My test dimes.

See how nicely the detail "pops" on the far right? I did a lot of experimenting to find a finish that was easy to apply and would withstand machine washing. More on that in a second, though.

First, make your dime buttons using your trusty doming block, epoxy paste, and O rings:

(Again, for more detailed instructions see my penny button tutorial.)

You could stop here, of course, but from a distance they'd just look like plain silver buttons. Where's the fun in that?

So instead, get out your trusty Sharpie.

(Yes, really.)

After much messing about with paints and glazes, I finally determined that a simple coating with a Sharpie marker was the best base coat to age the dimes. So:

1) Color your dime solid black with a Sharpie. Make sure the ink gets in all the nooks and crannies. (For a softer look, try a dark brown Sharpie.)

2) Let it dry for a few seconds, until just barely tacky. (If you start to rub before the ink dries, your finish will have more contrast, and more areas of solid silver showing through.)

3) Using a paper towel or cloth, rub off the peaks of the dime until you like the way it looks. I wrapped the paper towel around my index finger and used a twist & rub technique, but play around with it and find whatever works for you. This will also take a few minutes of rubbing, so don't panic if it seems to be taking a while to get through the ink.

4) To seal the finish, spray your finished buttons with a high quality lacquer clear coat. (Check the spray-paint aisle.) I used a high gloss, but a flat sheen would look great, too.

The finished products:

Aren't they gorgeous? And I only had to wipe off the finishes with lacquer thinner and start all over again three times! :D

A few more beauty shots, since these were kind of a pain to photograph well:

Initially I planned to attach these to a black and gray military-style shrug, but the buttons are a bit too dark; they don't show up all that well. So instead I'm hunting through my closet for something brighter. This finish looks *amazing* against blue, yellow, or dark orange. Actually, it'd probably look good on anything other than black, gray, or brown, so I have a lot of options.

Oh, and these are bigger than your average shirt buttons, so keep that in mind if you decide to replace the buttons on something you own. The lacquer finish will withstand soap, water, and scrubbing, but I haven't tested the epoxy putty in the dryer yet, so no promises there. You may want to air dry, just to be safe.

Hope you enjoyed! And as always, please send pictures if you try this yourself!