Monday, April 4, 2011

How's it Hangin'? A Flop Tutorial

I know some of you still have snow on the ground, but for us Floridians summer is already kicking into high gear. And summer means flip flops.

Yep, we southern girls have 'em for everything: casual wear, evening wear, 'flops with heels, 'flops with big poofy flowers glued name it. They're cheap impulse buys, so it's easy to accumulate a whole mountain of flip-flops in a single season.

But say you don't like the "mountain" storage method. Say you need to get your mound o' 'flops off the floor and into a tidy system, but are limited on space. What then?

Well, how about this?

This was my no-cost solution last year: a left over curtain rod mounted on two shelf brackets, and lots of modified hangers. For the rod you could also use a wooden dowel, piece of PVC pipe, or any other strong bit of metal. To mount it we bent up the tips of two metal shelf brackets and secured the rod with small screws, but you could also use conventional closet rod hangers, which you can find in any hardware store.

Now, the fun part is the actual hangers. Here's how to make them:

First, grab a handful of the flimsiest metal hangers you can find in your closet. (You want to be able to bend them with your hands, if possible.) You'll also need a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Cut off the bottom section of the hanger like so:

You may need to score the metal with the pliers and then snap it with your hands.

Now take your pliers and roll up the two edges, like this:

This gets the sharp edges safely out of the way, and also looks kind of cute.

Now, using both your hands and your pliers, bend your hanger into this approximate shape:

Kind of like a stick figure flexing his muscles. :)

Now, to be honest, you could just stop here. I did, for over a year. The hangers are perfectly functional, if a bit chippy and drab.

I recently went back and decided to pretty them up, though. First I put a fresh coat of spray paint on them:

And then I found some gorgeous teal, orange, and red ribbon - though it took me a little while to figure out a way to use it. In the end, I came up with this cute little hanger jacket:

Here's how you make it:

Make sure your ribbon is snug, so it doesn't fall off the hanger. To secure it you can use fabric or super glue - or, if the glue stains the ribbon like mine did, glue dots also work really well.

Step 6 shows the backside of the hanger. I suggest flipping it over like this to trim off the excess ribbon.

When you're done, your hanger should look like this:

Again, you could stop there, but I thought a red button was the perfect cherry on top for mine:

And here they are, hanging in a row:

Actually I have even more than this, but I didn't want to hang them all up because then you'd know I have that many flip-flops and it'd be, like, totally embarrassing.

Here's how the 'flops hang:

I never could get all the sides quite even. :/

And now en masse:

Plus, here's a handy bonus: you can also hang your ballerina flats on these!

And finally, since I spent the better part of an evening cleaning it out, allow me to present - for your judging pleasure - a glimpse inside my closet:

Hey! It's, like, neat and stuff!

I had to use a wide-angle lens to get this; it's pretty cramped in there. As you can see, when I'm not wearing flip-flops I'm wearing little boy's sneakers or boots. (I loooove boots.) I think the last time I wore a pair of heels was our Christmas cruise, but at least they look pretty on the shelves. ;)

So, do you guys have any nifty space-saving tips from your closet? Share in the comments!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Best of MegaCon 2011, Part 4

Ok, final post on MegaCon - all from Sunday, the last day of the convention.

Let's start with a little GI Joe action:

You might recognize the steampunk Baroness from my photos of the Miami Comic-Con last month. I got to chat with her for quite a while on Friday: we talked corsets, steampunk, her various other costumes, and some of her stranger encounters at cons. It was fascinating. (She goes by Aleta Pardalis online, btw, and I did my best to convince her to start her own blog - so fingers crossed!) Now I kind of want to do a documentary on cosplayers - although I'm sure several probably already exist.

The Scarlett was especially adorable:

Love those colors!

You might ask why there are KISS cosplayers at a scifi and comic book convention:

But the real question is, Why not?

I'm sure it will surprise absolutely none of you to learn that this was one of my favorite shots of the day:

Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster: yes, have some!

Which is a perfect segue into the Ecto 1:

K-9 was there, too!

Here's the youngest Harley Quinn of the con, with a sweet Poison Ivy for a mom:

This guy on the right was a steampunk Shredder:

Let's pause to hum the theme song to TMNT to show our appreciation. Hmmm mm mm mm ummm mmm, turtle power!

Another great Plants vs Zombies costume:

And some lovely ladies from the new movie Sucker Punch:

Hey, remember the lady bombshell of the blue suit? Well, it turns out she wasn't Samus of Metroid; she was Sue Storm from the Fantastic Four. We know, because we asked her. While she was wearing this:

Now, if only we'd asked her who this was supposed to be. Any guesses?

Since that's a hard cosplay act to follow, allow me to instead show off the cutest backpack of the con:

We learned during the costume contest that this is Clank from Ratchet & Clank. (Hence the girl's ears.) Isn't he adorable?

In fact, there were tons of great plush backpacks around: Star Wars, teddy bears, cute little anime animals - you name it. This Animal one made me laugh:

Now I'm inspired to turn a few of my larger stuffed animals into backpacks. Who's with me??

Ok, back to the costumes:

A sweetly refined Victorian lady...

...and a kick-@ss Roller Derby Leia:

And yes, she was wearing roller skates. Awesome.

Two My Little Pony fillies:

There was always a huge crowd out in front of the entrance to the main con area. A lot of the Anime kids would set down boom boxes there and hold impromptu dance sessions. Which is what these three are doing:

Only at a con. ;)

Meanwhile, right behind them this was happening:

And this:

And also this:

Here's a great Captain America:

An evil clown pirate:


[Buggy the Clown from One Piece? Ok. If that means something to you guys...]

Ooh, and this was cool: Spider-Woman!

And finally, an adorable steampunky Moogle:

Isn't she great? I love the hair.

And that's it! [Whew!] We now return to our regularly scheduled geekery. :D

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Procrastination Station

Because work is overrated.

- The Secret Messages in 12 Logos

For example:

Can you spot the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo?
(Yeah. Mind = BLOWN) Hit the link for the other eleven.

- Make a Book a Day

Donna Meyer is making a new book every day for 365 days. So far she's used everything from boxes to leather, and playing cards to LPs:

Thanks to Craft: for this fun find.

With over fifty days and books already under her belt, you're sure to come away inspired!

Or, for a laugh, there's always:

- Awfully Photoshopped Wedding Pictures

So bad, they're good.

And speaking of bad, don't miss:

- Badass of the Week (found via Wired)

This is the story of a Japanese hero, Hideaki, who grabbed a set of scuba gear after the tsunami and dove in to his flooded village to rescue both his wife and mother. You'd think a post like this would make you cry, but in fact it's written in such a hilarious (and NSFW due to language) manner that you'll be grinning and high-fiving everyone around once you finish. Great pictures, too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Best of MegaCon 2011, Part 3

I got so many great photos at MegaCon on Saturday that I had to split the day's post in two. Here's the second half:

I don't know the character, but I love this costume! Let's call her Samurai Fish. With piglet.

The Joker & Harley Quinn get married?

These guys are ready to believe you:

This is the first time I've seen The Real Ghostbusters - aka the animated version - cosplay! Love the red glasses on Spengler. (The guy on the right just happened to be standing there; he's from GB2.)

These three were amaaazing:

Again, I don't know the characters - assuming they *are* characters, and didn't just invent cool costumes.The guy had small birds all over his costume, which you can see better here:

The feather headpieces on the girl in red were just gorgeous, too.

Anyone else play Kingdom Hearts?

That's one creepy looking Halloween Town Sora.

This lady had a neat concept costume: "Sarah, Queen of the Goblins."

Hey, any reference to The Labyrinth is good with me!

When I pointed this next girl out to John, I'm pretty sure he blushed:

While I took her picture John stared studiously at the floor. Ha! (He was convinced she was 16. I'm pretty sure she was older than that, though.) She's from World of Warcraft, btw.

Time for a Bender!

Saturday evening was the costume contest. We photographed most of the best entries before or after the show, but the only shot I got of this Super Family was onstage:

They entered their newborn baby as baby Superman, and then dressed as his parents Jor-El & Lara! Talk about starting your geeky parenting off on the right foot - this kid is going to have a super childhood, I just know it. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

Here's a handmade Zazu puppet, ala The Lion King:

And now those Bioshock photos I promised:

YES! They even found a willing Splicer to play dead for them.

Look out! There's another one behind you! *giggle*

(Actually, to be more accurate that Splicer should be ambushing me in the bathroom. Eh? Am I right, or am I right?)

Hey, Jokers, why so serious?

Captain America:

This next guy made his entire Iron Man costume. As often as I've seen great Iron Man costumes, I still can't wrap my brain around that.


A cool looking Mandalorian:

I got a chance to chat with the builder of that great Time Machine, Thomas Galvin, and also to take a few detail shots:

The large disk/saucer in the back actually rotated, and the whole thing is built on a medical scooter, so Thomas can drive it! It took 15 months to build, and took first place in the 'Technical Achievements" category of the costume contest.

Here's a shot of the console, which was set to the day's date:

You can see a few progress pictures, plus get links to Thomas' video series, here.

And finally, here's the stuff a geek's dreams are made of:

Two time machines! Can I get a "Awwww, yeeeaaah!?"

Just one more post of MegaCon costumes coming up, and then we'll get back to some crafty tuts and general geekery. Thanks for bearing with my cosplay craziness, all. :)