Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jen's Gems 5/31/12

(The consensus last week seemed to favor Jen's Gems, so I'm giving that a whirl. )

Goody Goody Tutus has just unleashed my inner squealing girly girl:


And look how pretty:

And how cute!

"Storytime Cowgirl" complete outfit (except boots) $95

I am now a puddle of girly goo. Love it.

ImagineeringDisney just posted a fun "Then and Now" post comparing shots of Walt in different parts of Disneyland next to a current view. Now *this* makes my inner Dizgeek squeal:

Check out how much those little trees have grown!
Hit the link to see the rest.

And if you're a Disney art fan, then you're going to love all the sneak peeks WonderGround Gallery just posted on their website. WonderGround is a new art gallery opening in Downtown Disney in California, and I am insanely jealous of anyone going to their June 9th grand opening. The exhibitors at the show read like a Who's Who of some of my favorite artists!

Here's one from Matt Hawkins, my favorite papercraft designer:

And I'm going to have to find a way to buy a print of this beautiful Art Deco Mickey by Scotty Reifsnyde:

Hit the link up there to see lots more - and *all* of the art at the show will be posted on June 9th. (Can't wait!)

Here's the coolest craft tutorial I've seen this week: DIY Shrinky Dinks!

Michelle over at Rust & Sunshine shows you how to take a #6 plastic container and make a gorgeous bracelet:

Doesn't the shrunken plastic look like glass? I have to try this!

You guys are going to flip for this: Wired's Kickstarter of the Week is for a toy called Roominate - but it's so much more than a toy. It's fully customizable dollhouse that comes with electronics girls wire and build themselves. Here's the video, which explains it much better than I can:

Can I just say how much I would have loved this when I was a kid? (Heck, would STILL love it?) Not to mention it helps teach the foundations of electronics, an advantage I dearly wish I'd had back then.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to report that the Roominate crew has already far exceeded their $25,000 Kickstarter goal, and with over two weeks still to go I bet they're going to at least double that amount. Still, head on over and show 'em some love; for $59 you can get one room & reel, and that includes shipping.

And speaking of girls who know their wiring, check out this gorgeous illuminated photo slide dress made by Emily Steel:

Spotted on Fashionably Geek

Hit the link for more pics and information on how she built it.

As always, if you've seen something geeky and girly or just generally awesome, please share it with me in the comments or over on Facebook!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Kawaii Cutie Bracelet

Last weekend I decided to clean out my jewelry stash, since it's once again grown beyond any semblance of decency or control. (I've been a cheap jewelry junkie since I was old enough to grab at sparkly things on chains. It's one of my many weaknesses.)

Anyway, as I was sorting through it all, I thought I might use some of these pieces to make a new charm bracelet:

Yucky dark night shot - sorry.

Only one of these cost more than a few dollars originally - and that one I've worn to death - so I didn't mind taking 'em all apart for parts.

So, I harvested the bits I liked, re-wired a few beads, re-painted the top of the giant cupcake charm (it had yellowed with age) plus the red Munny charm and a couple of the tiny pink hearts.

A few hours later...


I'm especially proud of the painted Munny charm. I just used regular acrylic craft paint on it and the little plastic hearts, and then top-coated them all with clear nail polish, which looks GORGEOUS. You'd never know they were painted - and they match the pink rose perfectly!

(I also used white nail polish on the cupcake charm, with acrylic paint & more clear nail polish for the sprinkles.)

Here are some much better shots during the daylight:

I really like the way it hangs; chunky charm bracelets are my favorite. (And I just realized I'm dressed to match today - how's that for a crazy random happenstance?)

I think my favorite is the yellow gumball bead with the white bow on it. It's so Kawaii and cute!

I hope this inspires you guys to re-mix your own jewelry cast-offs. Remember, never throw old jewelry away! Always keep it for parts or give it to a friend or thrift store. Also, if you have way too many necklaces like I do, consider using the pendants as charms on a bracelet - that way you can wear more of your favorite sparklies at once!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mini Maker Faire! ...And a Cat Show

On Saturday I went to my very first Maker Faire - albeit just a Mini one - where I realized there is SO MUCH cool stuff out there I still want to learn. Then we went to a cat show next door, where I realized - again - that CATS ARE AWESOME. (And I want to pet a hairless cat. I do. I bet they feel like warm velvet. Mmmmm.)


If you've never heard of them, Maker Faires are a celebration of makers - DIYers, hackers, programmers, and other crafty types. At our little one here in Orlando we had a smattering of prop builders, artists, 3D printer programmers, model rocket builders, and other assorted scientists and geeky types. It was small - all housed in one giant warehouse at the fairgrounds - but John and I still managed to spend an enjoyable few hours browsing and chatting with the exhibitors.

The end where we entered had a robot arena, where kids were allowed to drive some of the 'bots around:

 Next to that, two larger robots were shooting baskets:


These toy robots were fun to watch: they can sit, stand, and walk on their own!

There were two or three excellent found-object artists at the Faire. Here's one of my favorite pieces:

A Klingon Bird of Prey! (I recognize the head as a tea ball. Your guess is as good as mine on the rest of it, though!)

 Then there was the adorable work of Robots Are Awesome:


This lovely lady was a fellow attendee, but she really stood out from the crowd:

I'm not sure if she's a steampunk fan or not, given her lack of gadgetry, but I do love that outfit!

Of course, it's not a Maker's Faire without a musical Tesla coil:

This was just a little one, but the purple arcs were mesmerizing, nonetheless. (And that purple balloon just happened to be floating on the opposite side of that banner - it's not actually touching the arcs.)

 For $3 you could buy a little pack of parts and solder your own blinking robot pin. SOLD!

The nice volunteer holding my pin for me was veeeery trusting. I also made a real mess of my solder: she had to fix it for me when my battery pack snapped off the second I finished. Heh.

Here's the finished pin:

 His eyes blinked red, but the battery died by the time we got home. Or maybe my solder just broke again. :D

Here's the most disturbing thing we saw at the Faire:

These animatronic fruit guys were singing, and the way their "faces" moved was both fascinating and reeeally creepy. Here, I grabbed a little video:

(Turn your sound down - it's kind of loud!)

At the back of the giant building behind a partition wall was "the dark side." In here almost all of the lights were off, and there were a few fun light displays around:

This is a large metal and plexiglass sculpture. The colored lights changed over time - quite pretty.

The droid builders were back here, too, along with some familiar droid faces:

I don't think I've seen this little guy before, though. AND I LOVE HIM.

 Chibi R2 unit? SQUEE!

Back in the lighted area, there were a few crazy-talented prop builders:


This is all by Jason of Fireblade Comics. He does a lot of custom work, and I love that he displayed several of his props alongside the items he'd made them from:

John and I talked weathering finishes with Jason for a long time, and now I have some new ideas to try!

And finally, here are two of my favorite art pieces :

I like how the heart is emerging from hot coals - and the "thinker" pose on the skeleton is pretty rad.

Both pieces are by Aleric Art, and are actually on sale at Etsy right now, if you're interested.

So that was the Orlando Mini Maker Faire! Hope you guys enjoyed visiting it vicariously through me. Sadly I don't have any pictures of the cat show - some of those cat show people are a leeetle bit scary, and I didn't want to chance it - so you'll just have to imagine me and John and our friends Scott & Missy tip-toeing down the aisles and peering longingly into all the cat houses while their owners glared at us suspiciously. Hee.

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day to my fellow Americans! Today I plan to practice some more painting finishes on my current craft project and then finish the 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle I've been working on for months. How 'bout you guys?

UPDATE: I've had a few of you comment on the robots in my first two pictures, and Katie K. was kind enough to send in some more information about this great program for kids and teens:

"After reading your post today about the makers fair, I simply HAD to write to tell you about the robots at the beginning of the post. As I intently scrolled down the page, I immediately recognized the bots in your pictures. Well, not those  ones specifically, but the program they're with. FIRST Robotics is an international competition that brings young people together in the name of, well.... robots. And geekery. FIRST has several programs for different age groups, starting at 5 years old or so.
In the first picture, with the smaller robots, is the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the second with the big one is FIRST Robotics Competition. But both of these are completely comprised of high school students, so those fabulous bots were built by kids 13 to 18 years old! I know more about the basket-ball shooting one, because that's the one I'm in, so I'll talk about it. Beginning in January, teams are given six weeks to design, build, code, and test a robot to complete a given task (given at the start of the build season). This past year it was a more complicated version of basketball. Teams are given a basic kit of parts, but are expected to make or buy anything else they need to make their robot run. Teams then compete at regional and (inter)national levels. So, yes, those robots (and their teams) belong at a Maker Fair.
I'll make a shameless plug here and invite you to tell any kids you know who are inclined toward making stuff to look up a team in their area. And teams can always use the help of adult mentors and monetary contributions. *nudge, nudge*"

Thanks so much, Katie!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Steam 5/26/12

Behold! Steampunk snowglobes!

By Camryn Forest Designs - hit the link to see lots more.

Talk about a brilliant idea; the water inside helps magnify all the details! And I love how the bases are just as much a piece of art as the tiny sculptures inside. Thanks for the find, Susan R.!

Shaina Z. sent over a link to a great photo gallery from The Steampunk World's Fair last weekend. I think this guy's costume is my favorite:

Everything's better with wings. And gauges. And utility belts. :D

[UPDATE: This is David Lee of Hatton Cross Steampunk Hit the link to see more of his creations - it's all amazing stuff!]

Read the article on the Fair here and then go check out the rest of the photo set!

It wouldn't take much to make this Faucet Valve Nightlight a LOT more steampunk:

 Just imagine it with an old rusty spigot instead of the blue one! And really, isn't that green glow perfect for your secret lab? (You, um, DO have a secret lab, right?) 

The night light costs $50 over at Etsy - just message the seller if you want one - and the really cool part is that turning the spigot turns the light on and of. So. Cool.

Cora B. spotted this gorgeous PC case mod by Pablo Suarez:

 I love the smoke stacks on top, and that bubble porthole. (It says "SteamPlanet" on the side, in case you're wondering.) Lots more detail shots and information here

Audrey A. spotted a lovely steampunk wedding "inspiration" shoot (meaning it's not a real wedding, but it plays one on the Internet):

 My favorite bits are the bride's coiled copper bouquet and this amaaaaazing vintage umbrella:
I wonder if you could dip-dye a fabric parasol to get that look? Hmm...

Anyway, head over to Emmaline Bride for all the steamy eye candy - including a ruffly gear cake! (The cake is ruffly, I mean. Not the gears.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Geek Pride Day!

Let me get this straight: it's Towel Day, Geek Pride Day, the Glorious 25th of May, *AND* Star Wars' birthday? How can I NOT post something on this most auspicious of geeky occasions?

So here's what made me laugh out loud with delight today:
The caption on Reddit was, "I asked Bill for an autograph. I got this instead." 

So much win, my head just a'sploded.

- And here's a great roundup of Star Wars Etsy crafts from Mashable.

 Darth tutu. 'Nuff said.

- And in case you missed it on the Epbot FB page, here's an adorable little girl dressed as Iron Man for her fifth birthday party:

I stumbled across Alana's photo while looking for Iron Man Sweets for CW. Another party pic shows a different little girl dressed as a princess. Yay for little girls who know what they like - princesses, superheroes, or all or none of the above - and aren't afraid to celebrate it!

 Pics via Will Hollis Snider

I hope you guys let your geek flag fly today, too! And have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

World of Geek Craft 5/24/12

Check out what some of your fellow Epbot readers are making!

Riha P. sent in her newly completed Portal cross stitch:
Ha! Companion Cube Love? :D

 (If that were me, I'd be all, "Dude, does this portal make my butt look big?")

Melanie W. etched her very own set of Star Trek: TNG glasses:

 How cool is this?? She's giving them to her hubby for their 6th wedding anniversary. All together now: Awwww. And hit the link up there to see more of Melanie's awesome geeky crafts.

Kella sent in her fabulous Doctor Horrible-inspired costume:

 She's Doctor Adorable!

You know, with a PhD in adorableness?

Kella turned a real lab coat into her dress, sewing in the panels to make it a full skirt, and then paired it with homemade goggles, cat ears, a petticoat and stockings, and even a marshmallow "fluffy ray." Hee! I like her correction on the lab coat embroidery, too:

Yep. That's cute.

Speaking of embroidery, check out what Pernilla over in Sweden just made with her new sewing machine:


 Here's a clearer picture:

Pernilla tells me she's going to make a tote bag out of this - and I've already begged her for more pictures when she's done. :) See more of her crafty prowess on her blog here (and make sure you have Google Translate handy if you don't speak Swedish. Heh.)

And finally, Carly Jane made this to-die-for Haunted Mansion necklace for a trip to Disneyland:
Would you believe it's made with Shrinkydinks? So gorgeous - and the black ribbon looks perfect with it.

So, fellow crafters - working on something geeky? Want to share with the rest of the class? Then send me your pictures! I love seeing what you guys are up to!