Monday, June 6, 2011

Robot Kitchen

I know it's hard to tell, but I kind of have a thing for robots. [smirk] And CUTE robots are, without a doubt, the bee's knees.

So here are a few ways to make your kitchen more robot-awesome:

From perpetual kid, $19.99

Passing the salt just got a million times cooler: wind these guys up, and they deliver themselves!

$10.95 each at Neatoshop
Or how about these wind-up timers? Love the vintage tin toy look.

You can make some pretty cool mini-'bots and winding keys with this "chillbots" ice tray:

From Moxie, $8.95
(Thanks to Rachel H. for the link!)
Fun fact: did you know you can also use silicone ice trays like these as chocolate/candy molds?

(Oooh, the possibilities...)

Hey, does anyone actually use egg cups? I certainly never have. But that wouldn't stop me from buying this adorable robot egg cup (and spoon!):

$8.50 (but out of stock! Nooo!!) at Fun Housewares, found via SuperPunch.


And my other favorite:
Six Euros at General Robots, found by Caroline R.

It's a robot tea infuser!

And, as you can see, he fits beautifully in a Dalek mug:

Now that is definitely my cup of tea.

So, seen any geeky cute robots lately? Share your links in the comments!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Candy Colored Steampunk??

The old joke is that Steampunk happened when Goths discovered brown.


Ok, so there's some truth to that.

HOWEVER, there is more to the genre than brown leather and brass - you just have to look for it. (And if you can't find it, add it yourself! That's where the PUNK part comes in.)

For example, check out Adam Wallacavage's octopus chandeliers, which have been making the rounds again online lately:

It's Captain Nemo meets Barbie's Dream House - and I love it.

There are also darker/creepier designs, but it's the cheerful color combos that make me smile:

How great would this be with steampunk home decor?

Although if it came down to selecting one for my own steampunk dining room, I think I'd have to go with this one:


Or, for you cosplayers, how about a little NerfPunk?

Here's the concept: steampunkers are known for painting/customizing Nerf guns into steampunk guns. So this group figured, hey, why not match our costumes to the guns, instead of vice versa? Aaaand NerfPunk was born. Frankly, I think it's brilliant. I'd love to see more bright colors like this worked into the Victorian/punk aesthetic.

Or, if you can't work that much color into your costume, how about in your hair and makeup?

By Colorful-Ayako

Someday, guys, I am going to have candy colored hair. Someday.

Over the past few years a lot of 'punkish elements have worked their way into my closet. Leather boots and ruffled skirts, fitted military jackets, big belts, and flouncy blouses all add up to a subtle steampunk look that doesn't look costumey. Still, most of those tend to be muted khakis, browns, and army greens - not very colorful. And, in case you hadn't noticed, I LOVE color.

Which is why I LOVE these Victorian patterned knee-socks:

Pinstriped Victoria Over the Knee, $20.00 (Thanks to Claire H. for the link!)

Ack! Prettiest. socks. EVER.

(Unfortunately, I'm so short that "over-the-knee" = "crotch level." Not good. Heh.)

You also see a lot of jewel tones in the more traditional Victorian dresses used so often in steampunk costuming - lots of rich reds, teals, and purples. (Some examples here.) It's fun when you see colorful satins paired with rugged leather: such a great contrast.

Ok, just a few more colorful steampunk bits and I'm done:

By Will Rockwell

I spy a hidden Mickey!

And one last gem (literally) from Bionic Unicorn:

Gorgeous, don't you think? The chains and watch guts bring the punk, while the feathers and gems make it a formal statement piece. Perfect for steampunk. (And for only $140, it can be yours!)

Well, I could keep going all day, but I think that's enough for now. If you have any examples of colorful steampunk, please link to them in the comments!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Too Pretty To Do Math?!

Last week reader Sara P. posted a link to this t-shirt on the Epbot Facebook page, along with
the remark, "I weep for females everywhere."

"I'm too pretty to do math"??

I'm weeping with you, Sara.

I mean, hey, I think I've got a decent sense of humor, and a lot of the stuff that draws fire from feminists doesn't really bother me, but this? This bothers me. (I should note it's only available in womens' junior sizes - along with "Sugar Daddy Wanted.")

Maybe I'm just getting cranky in my old age.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if the shirt was even remotely amusing.

Or maybe - just maybe - we women should stop shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot by wearing idiotic t-shirts that reinforce degrading stereotypes OF OURSELVES.

But maybe that's just me.

This is from David & Goliath, by the way, a huge, mostly-juniors t-shirt company with lots of adorable designs along with stuff like "ask me about my meth lab" - but I'm not advocating any kind of backlash against them. The fact is, if no one buys shirts like these, companies will stop making them. So, for the sake of intelligent people everywhere, just don't buy it.

In fact, if you want to make a joke about your lack of math skills, why not do it with something like this?

via NoiseBot (available in women's sizes)

Or these?

By the way, the "too pretty" shirt is on clearance, so we can hope most of David & Goliath's clientele have a little too much self-respect to keep it in production. Fingers crossed, anyway.

So tell me, guys, what do you think? Is the shirt harmless fun, or putting women back a few decades? And while you're at it: what's your favorite smart/funny tee? Share your links in the comments, so we can make the world a better place... through shopping. :D

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Portal Fan Video Fun

In the past two days I've seen two amazing Portal vids. That's enough to warrant a post, right? :D

First, a sketch performed at the Fanime 2011 Masquerade:

(found via the always geektacular ThinkGeek)

I would have loved to see this live. So fun!

Now, hold on to your socks, 'cuz this next video is going to knock. them. off.

(Found via @Kiala)

Talk about the intersection of my two blogs: video games and cake? Yes, please!

I've already watched this four times, and it honestly gets better with every viewing. (Although I do wish the final cake was less perfect and more realistic - but that's just me nit-picking.) The actress, Nicole Leigh, is so, so good. I laugh at her oven reaction shots every time.

At some point now I really do need to find time to play Portal 2...but since my office and dining room are both currently covered in pieces of in-process construction projects (updates coming!), that's probably not going to be anytime soon. Heh.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have power tools calling my name.

(And they're saying, "Jeeeen! Tell John to put his saaaafety glasses back ooooonn!"

Hear that, Sweetie?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Princess Bride Anniversary Photos!

Ahhh, nothing eases the transition back into the work week after a holiday quite like amazing Princess Bride-themed anniversary photos. Know what I mean?

Fortunately, Epbot reader Jess (aka Jessica W.) was happy to oblige us with hers:

Woot! Hold on to your holocaust cloaks, folks, cuz this is gonna be gooood.

I'm already swooning. How 'bout you?

Mahwidge: That dweam...within a dweam.

I couldn't decide which of these next two shots I liked better, so I'll just include both.

First there's the dramatic, facing-down-Prince-Humperdink version:

Surrender? DEATH first!!

And then there's the cheerful, hey-we-just-successfully-stormed-the-castle version:

You can see Jess's dress a bit better here, which - did I mention? - she actually made herself!

Yep, I'd say it's pretty clear this is one geeky cool couple who will be "tweasuring" their "wuv." Congratulations, guys!

All photos by Meghan Christine Photography, and you can see the rest of the shoot here.

UPDATE: Whoops! Apparently my brain has yet to shift out of long-weekend mode; these are anniversary photos, not engagement ones as I said initially. Jess and her hubby have been married for six years. Sorry about that, guys!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Keeping Tabs - Photo and Link Round Up

Sometimes I look up and realize I have a dozen tabs open in my browser, each with some amazing find I don't want to risk losing. Here's the best of what I've got open today:

- This functioning iris business card is amaaaazing. (I've been chastised in the past for not having business cards. Since the guy who makes these offers kits, maybe I'll finally rectify that.)

- I know I've got Star Wars Weekends and all here in Orlando, but I think the grass will always be greener at Disneyland. Check out this massive photo post of their new parade, video of the brand new Little Mermaid ride, and lots more.

My favorite pic of the new parade. Yay, Abu!

- Oh, and if you love Disney art, then you'll really love these retro-style Disney posters by Tom Whalen. (I remember when the Steamboat Willy one sold out at the speed of light before I could snag one. I was crushed. CRUSHED, I say.)

- File this under "brilliant": Cathe of Just Something I Made turned an old book into an expanding file folder:

BRILLIANT! Hit the link above for the step-by-step tutorial.

Random fun fact: Cathe actually came to the CW book tour in Petaluma. How do I remember? Because she gave me a business card with the same design on it as her blog banner, which is so striking I immediately recognized it. (Gee, this post is turning into a commercial for business cards, isn't it? Ha!)

- Speaking of brilliant, Elizabeth shared these pics of her daughter's fantastic TARDIS costume:

And the best part?

It's bigger on the inside!!

(My jaw actually dropped on that second pic. So, so cool.)

- And finally, watch this video. It will make your whole weekend.

(found by my friend Amanda, who has a great Tumblr called Old-Timey Cats)

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Star Wars Weekends

It seems like most of my friends have already been on the new (well, updated) Star Tours ride at Disney, and several I know were even there to cover or work the premiere last week with various media outlets. Despite a few invitations I still haven't been; the crowds and heat are keeping me away. Still, I know I'll have to go soon; Star Wars Weekends (which started last weekend) *are* pretty awesome - kind of like a mini convention mixed in with the usual theme park stuff. There are celebrity guests, a special parade, and many fans even show up in costume. (I always pity those people because of the heat, though. All those long robes and armor!)

From two years ago: storm troopers patrol the rooftops above the turnstiles.

"These are not the tourists we're looking for."
"Aw, man, they're using those Jedi mind tricks on you!"

Anyway, the absolute highlight of Star Wars Weekends is the Hyperspace Hoopla. Rather than try to describe the Hoopla, I'll just show you a nice video compilation I just found of this year's show:

(The droids' dance at the end is the best part. Love it!)

Most of the comments on Youtube are pretty negative - purists who don't like seeing their beloved characters degraded and used for silly dance routines. I get that, I really do, but I also think the show is great fun. (And thank goodness they finally got a better stage!)

That said, I think the music selections have been a lot better in the past, and I've yet to see anything that beats Vader's 2009 dance:

This gives me a big goofy grin every. single. time. Heheh.

Anyway, rest assured I'll have some photos to share when John and I do go. (Now, if only it would get below 90! Urg!) In the meantime, just search Youtube for "hyperspace hoopla" for lots more fun.

So, have any of you been to Star Wars Weekend yet? Any of you going? Let me know in the comments, and maybe John and I will see you there!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Adorable Geek Girl Cosplay

Ooooh, I'm feeling pretty good about the future of girl geekdom today, guys! Check it out:


This Batgirl could kick your butt and look fabulous doing it.

Then reader Kirsten M. sent in this pic of her daughter as Doctor Horrible:

Kirsten even made the coat herself! Now that's raising your geek girl right. Kudos, Kirsten!

One more shot of gratuitous adorableness:

"The world is a mess, and I just need to RULE it."

Speaking of adorable evil, have you seen the Vader princesses?

Submitted by readers Clint & Emma J., and made by mayamagination

Tutus and crowns and lightsabers, oh my!

Ah, but wait: there's more.

Found by Van L. and made by booturtle (hit the link for more pics)


And pay close attention to the Death Star wand, if you please.

Love. It.

And one more, hangin' with her papa:

via The Force is Strong
Soooo cute.

And finally, for you knitting fiends raising your own geekling, check out reader Jennifer L.'s adorable SuperBaby costume!
Isn't it fabulous? You can even customize the colors and chest logo, and, c'mon, it has a cape. You can buy the .pdf pattern on Jennifer's site, but I also have a free copy for one of you lucky readers!

So, if you'd like to win a SuperBaby knitting pattern (in .pdf format) just leave a comment on this post by 10 pm EST today. I'll announce the winner here, on this post, and on the Epbot FB page by 10:15.

And the winner is.... LuluB!! Congrats, Lulu. Shoot me an e-mail so I can get you your pattern.

Which reminds me: I also share a fair amount of links and goodies exclusively on the Epbot Facebook page, so if you haven't "liked" Epbot on FB, you're totally missing out. Just sayin'. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How To Make a Stuffed Animal Backpack

AKA, "Don't look now, there's a monkey on your back!"

I was looking for some quick craft gratification Friday night, and it came in the form of this $2 plush monkey:

D'aww. Just lookit dat face!

I thought: hey, why not turn him into a backpack?

So I flipped him over, ripped open his back, and yanked out most of his stuffing:

Good stress relief, that.

Then I found some fabric in my craft stash that kinda matched:

I stuck a small salad plate in Mr. Monkey's butt to determine how much room he had in there, and then used the plate as a template to draw two circles on the fabric. I also cut out a long rectangle of the same fabric.

Next I pinned and sewed the rectangle to the circles, leaving a slit open like so:

Here's a side view:

As you can see, the "good" side of the fabric is on the inside.

Next, my first-ever attempt at installing a zipper:

And it worked! Huzzah!

(Yes, I know it looks wrong right now. You'll see why in a second.)

Finally, I stuffed the whole thing in Monkey's back and hand-stitched it in place along the zipper edges:

My hand-stitching looks like the monkey is the one who did it, but fortunately that fur covers everything. (Just fluff the fur with a needle to release any tamped down by your stitching.)

Now I had a hollow monkey with a zippered back.

To make the monkey ride piggy-back, I needed to attach his hands to his feet. I found a spare strap from a travel bag long gone, cut that up, and attached D rings to two of the ends. Then I ripped open a little bit of the seam on the monkey's paw...

...stuffed in one end of the strap, and hand sewed the whole thing shut.

In the end, it looked like this:

As you can see, I care so much about showing you guys how NOT to do things that I attached the D rings to the wrong end of the monkey. (They should have been on his hands, not his feet.) That's me taking one for the virtual team, guys. Because I care.


Here's the finished Monkey Pack:

Here's his back view:

You'd think all that fur would get caught in the zipper, but so far I haven't had any snags at all. I think having a plastic zipper (as opposed to metal) helps.

And finally, the best part of all: a photo shoot with John wearing a ridiculous monkey backpack. WOOT WOOT!!

Ok, so this shot doesn't really show off the backpack, but... mmrowr. Am I right? Besides, John won't let me post any of his kissy-face "Blue Steele" shots. Harrumph.

(I also told him if he ended up on Sad Etsy Boyfriends it was NOT going to be my fault.)

Ok, ok, here's a better back view of the monkey pack:

Isn't he cute? (The monkey, I mean. Heh.) The head flops back quite nicely - it helps to remove some of the stuffing in the back of the head and neck area to allow for this.

So there you have it!

Mr. Monkey was really just my prototype, though; he's not quite geeky enough for me. (Although he's ridiculously comfortable, like wearing a giant fuzzy vest.) So next on my chopping block is a large Mickey plush from Hong Kong Disney. I'm also seriously considering hunting down a Hugga Bunch doll - remember those? Or a large Rainbow Brite - although her plastic head might be too hard. Hm...

Help me out, guys: what other geeky and/or 80's era dolls would make great backpacks or purses? (Pound Puppy Purse, perhaps?)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Geek Glee and Random Updates

Ok, first things first. This?

(Posted just about everywhere, and sent in by tons of you readers, but originally from this Reddit link.)

This is horrifying.

And also kinda a sick, demented, hilarious sort of way.

I think I like it.

Have you ever wondered about the "designer toys" so many of us geeks collect?

Like Dunnys, for example?

Well, there's a nice introductory article on the genre here. (Watch that site for a series of interviews with some of the toy artists, too.)

Now, prepare to drool, because Super Mom Cheri made the COOLEST superhero-themed room for her two boys:

And that's just the bed. (That art? On the back wall? WANT.)

Check out the rest of the room on I Am Mama Hear Me Roar. (And thanks to Mary B. for the link!)

Here on the crack-home front, I have good news: We've accepted an offer on the (former) Crack House! Fingers crossed all goes well 'til closing.

And a book tour update: After much research and discussion, we've determined that we *are* driving for the coming Cake Wrecks tour, but not in an RV. [sad face] The costs to do so are simply mind-boggling, what with gas, overnight fees, and of course the vehicle itself - plus there aren't enough parks open up north during the winter. So instead, we plan to find a small minivan or comfy car to make the journey in (our little Kia isn't cut out for such a long trip) and we'll stay in hotels.

I won't lie to you: I've been rather mopey about letting go of my RV dream. It's sad to think that what was once the great American vacation (ie the road trip) is no longer affordable for most Americans. For shorter trips, maybe, or ones where you drive somewhere and stay for a long time, I suppose it's still doable. But for us, being in a different spot every day or two for six solid weeks? No way. [sigh]

Still, I am looking forward to the tour. We're planning some fun new activities, and I know from experience that anywhere ten or more Wreckies are gathered together, there much partying will be had. (And you guys are coming, right? I better not be leaving my cats to sit by myself in a bookstore!)

And my final random personal update: We started working on our Disney scavenger hunt yesterday, and let me tell ya: if you guys have even *half* as much fun solving it as we're having creating it, this thing is gonna knock your socks off. So. FUN. We're interviewing cast members, poking our noses in every nook and cranny of every shop, photographing all the stuff no one EVER photographs ("Um, you realize Mickey is over THERE, right?") and learning and laughing and generally having a grand ol' time.

Plus, after one day, we're almost done scouting Main Street. So, um...this might take a while. Heh. (And I can't wait!)