Friday, September 2, 2011

Sneak Peek



I made that cuff bracelet from an old belt, bracelet, and gears, and it's now my favorite part of my entire costume. I may never take it off.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Milk Jug Photo Studio

Ok, since I'm clearly not so good with the explaining with words thing, here are some pictures of the milk jug photo studio I mentioned in my last post:

You don't have to physically stick your camera lens through the top hole; you just have to get close enough that you can focus through it:

I took these photos at 10:30 last night with no flash and only an overhead light on. Note that I did bump up the exposure and color correct that last one; the jug helps diffuse the light, not increase it. For best results, you should have light sources on either side as well as above your jug. And maybe not be photographing an almost black key. :)

I can't claim credit for this idea; I only remember reading somewhere that many Etsy jewelry sellers use it for photographing their goods. At any rate, I hope it helps some of you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Steampunk Flux Capacitor Pin

I don't want to post any big spoilers for our Dragon*Con costumes quite yet, but here's a fun little jewelry project I put together that I'll be wearing:

I started with this LED flux capacitor pin I received from Team Fox at MegaCon:

I also grabbed an old watch a reader sent me for parts, and...well, took it apart:

I scratched off the tacky "quartz" and brand name from the center of the watch face with a fine blade, and then painstakingly cut and placed tiny watch gears to fit inside the outline. I also used copper foil to accent the edges.

In that photo you can see the small square filigree piece I cut into four sections. I used these to accent the edges of the capacitor pin, which I'd also edged with copper foil:

I enlisted John's help to drill two holes into the metal watch face, and then used some fine gold chain and O-rings to hang the face from the pin itself:

And yes, the watch still works! Pretty handy.

The final accent piece on top is actually a flattened brad with an O-ring on top. John said it reminded him of a propeller. I just think it looks vaguely art deco.

The best part is that exposed gear on the back, though. I added it to the twist-on cap behind the pin which turns the lights on. This allows me to easily turn the pin on and off while wearing it.

To demonstrate, here's a little video I shot with my brand new iPhone (woot!):

That's my first new phone in eight years. Needless to say, it's a pretty dramatic upgrade from my old beat-up Cingular brick phone. (Plus, I sense more videos in my future!)

Oh, and sorry for those yucky night pictures. That's what I get for crafting at 3AM! For that last shot I tried the milk jug technique someone once mentioned for shooting jewelry, though, and I think it turned out pretty well, don't you?

(To try it yourself, just cut out the bottom of an old water or milk gallon. Trim the top back for your camera lens to stick through, set it on a white sheet of paper, and violá! Instant miniature photo studio!)

Stay tuned for more great photos and tutorials! [Hint: My raygun is finished! And she's beeeeaaauuutiful.]

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Find Me at Dragon*Con

This week John and I will be packing up and heading to Atlanta for four fun-filled days with Our People, the Geeks. And, since it's an increasingly FAQ, here are some tips on finding us if you'll be there, too:

1) Sorry, we won't have a booth. And while the lovely folks at D*C have indicated they'd be delighted to have us do a presentation or whatnot, I'm selfishly choosing to do what I most want to do instead: see the con!

2) That said, I'm happy to sign anything you bring, pose for embarrassing photos, or just say hi, assuming...

3) you find me.

And, as an added incentive:

3) There will be prizes.

Yep, it's the return of the ever popular/frustrating "Find Jen and Win a Prize!" So

4) watch my Twitter stream for updates on my location and apparel throughout the weekend. I'll be there all four days, and I'll even be in costume one day for your blackmailing pleasure.

And just to make things a little easier, here are a few helpful hints in advance:

5) I'm not a morning person. So don't bother looking for me before 10 or 11 AM. (I will be at the parade, though.)

6) The tracks I'll be haunting most are 'Trek, 'Gate, and Alt History. I also hang out in Artist Alley quite a lot.

And to make it really, really easy:

7) There will be a small CW pow-wow in the ConSuite (aka "the place with the free snacks" in suite 223/226 of the Hyatt Regency) on Sunday afternoon, time TBA. This is because loyal henchperson Priscilla, one of the organizers there, took it upon herself to plan one. I hear there will be cake. (Rock on, Priscilla!) So, if you haven't found me by then, consider that your Plan C (for "cake").

And no, you won't win a prize for finding me there.

Now, since the ConSuite is open to everyone, I'm guessing most of the people there on Sunday will not be one of us Wreckies. Therefore, I propose some kind of code word exchange to ID each other. Preferably something having to do with sprinkles, carrots, Epcot, or all of the above.

Any suggestions?

Also, stay tuned for the exact time; I'll update this post once we get it nailed down.

UPDATE: Mark your calenders: party in the ConSuite will be at 5:35pm on Sunday! John and I look forward to hearing all your many and varied code phrases. ;)