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This Is Why I Love Conventions

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ok, well, one of the reasons why.

Ladies, gentlemen, and fellow geeks, I give you...

BRENT SPINER IMPERSONATING PATRICK STEWART!!

(spotted via Wimp)

Yes, he's weird on Twitter, but Spiner is gold - GOLD, I say - in person. We got to see him live with Levar Burton at MegaCon last year, and he was both bitingly hilarious and surprisingly humble by turns. I like him. And this video (shot at this year's Emerald City Comic Con) makes me like him more.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to X out another day on my countdown to Dragon*Con. :D

Posted by Jen at 11:55 PM   |  33 comments  |   Labels: , ,

Saturday Steam 8/20/11

After MUCH peer pressure (thank you, peers!) I've started a Pinterest account. If you haven't heard of it, Pinterest is a super-addictive photo-sharing platform that rips open the space-time-continuum and sucks away your entire afternoon. Trust me. It's dangerous.

Anyhoo, of course I'm pinning mostly steampunk inspirational stuff, like this:

Submitted by Julie N. via locksmith-r-us; By Franz von Stuck and found at Bremen City Hall, Germany.

Now THAT is a door handle.

And check out these funky cool "light installations" by Liquid Light:

That's a chandelier.

And here's a floor lamp:

I'm sure they can't be as fragile as they look, but I'd still be terrified of even breathing on those crystal drops. Wow.


John and I have been working hard on our Dragon*Con costumes this week, and I'll give you one guess what they are since I'm mentioning them in this post. Heh. Anyway, we've been consulting the mighty Google image search quite a bit for reference and inspirations like these:

Found by Corinna H.; Victorian Picnic at the Clara Zetkin Park in Germany; photo by Regina Katzer.

Hit that link to see over a hundred fun costume shots. Eye candy galore!


And speaking of eye candy, I'd give a non-vital organ to look like this:

(I did a triple-take before I realized that's a real girl and not a painting. Sooo pretty.)

Or this:

Both photos from SteampunkCouture, which you should go click around for lots more gorgeousness. (And if you're that skinny - well, I hate you - but also you can buy that last outfit for only $175!)


And just LOOK how adorable this girl is:

Found via Steampunk Girls, another good time waster, but I don't have the photographer's credit. Anyone know?

[Edit: I'm a dolt. This one's *also* from Steampunk Couture. I should've known!]

Also, that skirt makes me ridiculously happy.


Ok, enough gawking at pretty steampunk girls.


Now let's gawk at pretty steampunk jewelry!

Love the art deco touch - and only $22 at Sandrandan.


Dreeeeeamy.
$51 at the always fabulous Bionic Unicorn.


Ok, so this next one's more pirate than steampunk, but I love the enameled ship:

Found by Carthey S.; by Karen Keith Designs

I believe this was a one-of-a-kind that's been sold (curses), but click the link to see lots more.


Who says steampunk has to be all gold and brass?

$36 from Friston

I discovered Friston's etsy store last week, and quickly discovered that I have needs I never realized before, guys. Jewelry needs. I...I think I'm in love. With a purple leather cuff bracelet:

$47 from Friston

Not to mention at least eight of his other pieces. I'm telling you: NEEDS. I have them.


Oh, and finally - yes, I've seen the crazy steampunk apartment. I like the technicolor dirigible. So you can all stop e-mailing me the link. Please.


Seen something fun and steamy? Share your links in the comments!

Posted by Jen at 10:02 AM   |  40 comments  |   Labels:

I'll Buy THAT for $4

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When John picked this up at the antique store last Saturday, my first words were, "Dude. They have LIGHTSABERS??"

Ok, so I admit I'm not an expert on lightsabers *or* vintage flashlights, which is what this is. However, I'm betting with a few more buttons and doo-dads I could totally rock this at the next Star Wars Celebration. Not bad for $4 - and there are tons like it on ebay, if you're in the market. (Like these - so cool!)

Next I caused a minor scene when I spotted this - also $4 - hanging off a shelf of old pencil sharpeners:


Circus World! Anyone remember that place? It was a theme park near Orlando in the 80's, and later became Boardwalk and Baseball before dying altogether. Frankly, I don't remember it at all, but according to this picture I've had forever I've been there at least once:

Huh. You know, looking at that creepy-ass clown in the picture with me and Ben, I'm suddenly realizing why Circus World wasn't around very long. And I LIKE clowns. (Since, you know, I was one for a coupla years.) (And btw, isn't my clown girl cute? I have her brother on the other side of that shelf in my office:

They're both from a cold porcelain artist on etsy.

Getting back to that pennant, though, I love the colors and it was only $4 and it made John roll his eyes a LOT so I call that a good purchase.

Now, does anyone know a way to clean little mold spots off felt? And would you say that pennant is creepy-in-a-bad-way, creepy-in-a-good-way, or still needs a motion-activated soundboard with the Joker laugh on it?

And why was John rolling his eyes, anyway? It's not like it was a giant metal chicken. (*gigglesnort*)

Also, I'm reminded that I've never posted the final "after" pictures of my office. I should do something about that someday. Maybe. (Procrastinators ftw! You know, some time tomorrow!)


Posted by Jen at 3:31 PM   |  80 comments  |   Labels:

You Can't Take the Carrots From Me

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This bit of shininess comes from Epbot reader Alden L., who writes:

"I thought you needed to see this. I made them. The pig on the left is my male, Snickers, and the one on the right wishing I would die in a fire is Ouiser Boudreaux, my female. She is of course neutered because the world does not need more accidental guinea pigs. They are both rescue pigs. Also, they were not fond of the hats, no matter how cunning they are."

You are damaging my calm.


I'll admit I was expecting pigs of the curly-tailed variety at first (which, c'mon, would be pretty awesome) but that little death stare is perfection itself. Quick! Someone say the safe word!

So thanks, Alden. I think I speak for us all when I say: we actually DID need to see that.

Posted by Jen at 8:41 PM   |  38 comments  |   Labels: ,

World of Geek Craft 8/16/11

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This "woven gift topper" by Kate of Minieco is made of pure happy:

Or maybe strips of paper. Whatever. The point is: I dare you to not smile while looking at it. I'd love to see a whole set framed individually on clean white walls: instant geek art! Hit the link above for more Invader dudes plus instructions. (Found via Craft:)


Some adorableness from the upcoming Stitch Wars gallery show:

Soooo cute. This one's my favorite, but there's lots more to squee over on SuperPunch.



Now, you could buy this necklace by Oak for $372:




OR

...you could use this tutorial by Honestly...WTF to make your own with stuff you might already have in the garage:

Oh, the possibilities! I'm thinking braided ribbon for a more feminine look. What do you think?

(And thanks to Amanda H. for the link!)


Oh, and while we're at it, I Still Love You's tutorial for making "Magic Braided Leather" makes my head hurt a little:

...but I have to try this.


And finally, Josh H. sent me a pic of this awesome nerdy birthday banner his wife Sabrina made for him:

I especially like the Picard uniforms. :)

Josh didn't say, but I think these are all made from felt. Family project, anyone? (And great job, Josh's awesome wife!)


Seen any great geeky crafts lately? Be sure to share in the comments!

Posted by Jen at 2:25 PM   |  14 comments  |   Labels:

On Behalf of a Grateful Granddaughter

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Note: Not my usual geeky/goofy fare today; just something I've been working on for a while and wanted to share. I hope you enjoy.




We drove an hour north to climb into a big, beautiful limo.


I hadn't been in one since my wedding. Some of the others had never been in one.

It had a mirrored ceiling and colorful cocktail napkins tucked into champagne glasses, all lined up, waiting for next prom season.

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There were even crystal bourbon decanters, but they were empty. (I checked.)

During the next hour's drive, we all laughed quite a lot.

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And we talked even more.

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I wish I could say everything seemed so much more alive, more meaningful, when we drove through the gates. But really, I just thought it was a pretty drive.

We wound through shaded roads and moss-dripping trees, and then everyone told me to turn around and take a picture of these men on the side of the road:

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I began snapping pictures through the glass.

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Then the car stopped, and I realized they were there for us.

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Deeply embarrassed, I put the camera down and was handed out of the car.


We sat on tiny stone benches under a small gazebo across the road. There a man who'd never met you told us things about your life I never knew. He also read a prayer, and called you "brother."


I didn't take any pictures of that.


The men-at-attention stood that way while we sat. If I turned my head I could just see them, there in the sun. It was about 90 degrees, and so thick we drank the air.


The man warned us it would be loud, but I didn't cover my ears. I covered my eyes, and took as many pictures as I could.

One even caught the puff of smoke from their rifles:

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I wished the cars weren't there.

I wish I knew enough about PhotoShop to take them out.


Then the man on the right began to play, and the first notes were so pure, so piercing, that the thick air turned to crystal.

Or maybe I just forgot to breathe.

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I stood at the edge of the gazebo, one foot in the grass, and watched through my sunglasses. (I was glad for those sunglasses.) The silence that followed was like the awkward pause at a dinner party.

The few of us who'd stood shuffled back to our seats.


I'd been asked to take pictures for the family, but the click-click-clicking seemed so tacky, so loud. I was embarrassed. Still, I couldn't miss the flag:

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And when the shaking old veteran began, "On behalf of a grateful nation..." I risked a shot of that, too. Because I had to.

I had to.

I hope they understood.

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I don't remember it being this clear.

I think...maybe that's why I need these pictures.


Then it was over, the strings of formality cut, and I could click away with impunity.

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June, watching with gentle sympathy, Mom, smiling through tears, Uncle Russ stoic, and Grandma somehow more radiant than I've ever seen her.


A few more silent pictures, and Grandma and I walked across the road.


I tried to thank the man with the trumpet, but my voice failed me, and I couldn't see if he'd heard. They all stood staring straight ahead, waiting.

I wondered how many tearful granddaughters they'd seen that day.

Grandma planted herself at a distance, like a proud commander, and thanked them all. Then she handed me her cane, and the man called an order, and I took this picture:

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We were never close, you and I. You were gruff, and I was sensitive. I never tried to know you better.

I never knew you were a baker.

But I'm glad I got to say goodbye.

These men - these soldiers - never knew you at all. Still, they honored you, and they honored us. They are still sacrificing for their country, in the 90 degree heat and the drinkable air.

And this granddaughter, at least, is so very grateful.


Grandpa Service 2

Charles R. Christensen, 1/27/28 - 6/14/11


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Update: I've since had several people send me revised versions of my photo with the cars removed. I'm overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity, and I want to thank you all for helping me make a beautiful keepsake for my family. I can't wait to show it to my grandmother in the photobook I'm designing - so thank you all. Truly.

Posted by Jen at 2:19 PM   |  213 comments  |   Labels:

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