Monday, July 2, 2012

Miami SuperCon!

As promised, my photo report of our weekend at Miami's SuperCon!

 C'mon. What's not to love?

If you know who this is, you're gonna FLIP:

It's Lydia from the Beetlejuice cartoon! Isn't she great?!

The best steampunk ensemble of the weekend:

 That jet pack is sooo cool - and I love the fins on his helmet and the arm bracer design. Not to mention it's kind of refreshing to see a non-distressed steampunk costume - so shiny and crisp!

Speaking of steampunk, reader Shellie tracked me down at the con and surprised me with this adorable sculpted Mini Me in my steampunk costume:

She even included my ray gun and feather hair clip! HOW COOL IS THAT?
(This is only two inches tall, btw. It's a MINI mini me!)

The Ghostbusters booth had this containment unit out front:

I managed to score a sufficiently creepy shot of Slimer:

 With a bonus Ghostbuster and StayPuft reflection!

Speaking of Ghostbusters, this guy had the slime pack from the second movie (and the video game):

You don't see this pack too often, and it's really well made. Major props! (Pun intended.)

One tricky thing about group shots...
It's hard to get everyone to look at you (and not blink) at the same time!

For once I find myself actually wishing there were other people in this shot, just for scale reference:

 These kids were actually quite tiny, so I took the shot while down on one knee. Aren't they cute? (And I'm guessing...Pokemon?)

Of course I couldn't resist Artist's Alley, which is where all my con money gets spent. Here's artist Chris Hamer of UrbnPop holding up my fabulous new Big Daddy sketch:

Perhaps I should explain.

I asked Chris to color the Big Daddy in crazy, technicolor rainbows and such. "Girl it up," I told him. He was more than happy to oblige, and I LOVE the result. Also, Chris is Super Cool - John and I had a lot of fun chatting with him both days we were there.

Speaking of fun people, our friends Chris and Christy introduced us to Dana Snyder, the voice of Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I think I've watched maybe one episode of Hunger Force, and Dana didn't know us from a hole in the wall, but that didn't stop him from hanging out with us all for a bit talking iPhones and Disney stuff. (He besmirched the name of Voices of Liberty, you guys. BESMIRCHED it, I say! But it was funny, so all is forgiven.) Anyhoo, my point being: if you're a fan and you get the chance, go meet him. He's good people.

[Update: Chris made a short video featuring several of the voice actors at the con, including a lot of Dana. You can see it here - and watch 'til the end for the bloopers; they're the best part. :)]

Ok, back to the costumes!

Pretty Lady Loki:

Her makeup was gorgeous - I wish my photo showed it better.

 Green Goblin:

This little Harley Quinn shook her head when someone asked if she wanted her picture taken, but the second I raised my camera she immediately popped her little hip out and posed like a pro. Ha!

This Chell/Aperture Test Subject made her Portal gun out of foam, but wow does it look good for foam!

 She also made the long-fall boots. So great!

A fabulous Storm from X-Men - and check out those eyes!

 More kid cuteness:

And here's Daphne Lage working on an ACEO I commissioned. She's cracking up because John is growling and saying something about her being a tiger, and to "work it." You know, usual John stuff.

I'm officially in love with Lage's style, and I wish I'd found her sooner to commission a bunch more cards! Here's the finished piece:

Mr. Stay Puft!

And while I'm at it, here's the rest of my art haul from the weekend:

TMNT watercolors by Scott Vollmar (who painted the last two turtles for me overnight so I could have the whole set) and a cutie-style Edward Scissorhands sketch by Micheal "Locoduck" Duron. (Duron also did my Beaker & Dr. Honeydew sketch, so you might recognize his style from my MegaCon post.)

These were just a few of my favorite costumes from the con, btw, so to see the rest just head over to my Flickr account. (It saves me the trouble of posting 50+ photos here.)

Hope you guys enjoyed! Next up is more crafty stuff, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Sew Nerdy!"

On the way down to Miami this weekend we stopped off at Tate's Comics for the opening night of the "Sew Nerdy" show at the Bear and Bird gallery (located inside Tate's.)

 I expected there to be major crowds, so I was both delighted and a bit baffled by how few people were there when the gallery opened at 6.

The gallery is a small-but-charming space, and while I've never considered myself a huge textile art fan, I had to resist the urge to take about half the pieces home with me. Here are a few of my favorites:

"Stag Patronus" 
 The threads actually seemed to glow from a distance. Gorgeous!

I was THIS CLOSE to buying this little Yoda:
 It's terrible having to prioritize my art buying these days, let me tell ya. I need more wall space!

Quite possibly my favorite piece from the entire show:
 "Lil' Bo Skeletor has Lost His Sheep"

It made me laugh. WHAT.

These next pieces were framed high up on the wall, and the spotlight reflections made them kinda hard to photograph:

It's Lydia from Beetlejuice!

Here's a close-up:

 Love this SO MUCH.

Next to her was this beeYOOtiful felt Uhura:

What a cool mod design! And check out the detail in the stitching:

Sew perfect! :D

If you've seen other blog posts about the show then you probably recognize this Pee Wee:
So cute! AAAAA! [Pee Wee flail]

A marvelous embroidered Mario set:
That Chomper chain is so clever.

And every geeky craft show needs a needle-felted Snarf, right?

And a Cheetara doll?

And finally, here's a TARDIS in denim-blue - literally:
I like that the doors can open and close - very cool! (In a terrifying kind of way, of course.)

There were lots more amazing goodies at the show, so head over to my Flickr account to see the rest. From Oompa Loompa pillows to geeky aprons to the embroidered Picard/Riker facepalm, I guarantee you'll see plenty more to make you smile.

In addition to the art, we had fun exploring Tate's itself, which is huge and a veritable geek's paradise:
Plus there are giant gears on the wall. Which is awesome.

So if you're in the Fort Lauderdale or Miami area anytime soon, definitely go see the Sew Nerdy show - it's going on now through August 11th. Oh, and while you're there, pick up some "Cream Collons" from the Japanese food section of Tate's. Trust me; they're delish. :D

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Well, This Is Awkward

Since not all of you follow me on FB, I wanted to make sure you saw these updates re: my appointment tomorrow. (And I'm sorry to be inundating you with all this personal stuff, but you guys have been so wonderful this week I figure you deserve to know!)

 Update #1:

Just had a reminder call for my Doctor's appointment tomorrow...and the woman on the line was so curt and cold she managed to make "How are you" sound like a dirty insult. Even John commented on how angry she sounded. Then she moved my appointment up by an hour.

Not gonna lie - I'm a lot more trepidatious about tomorrow now than I was an hour ago. [deep breaths]

Update #2:

Uh oh.

John just googled the doc I'm seeing tomorrow & found a bunch of negative reviews: terrible office staff, cold demeanor, even an unnecessary biopsy! ACK!! Even the good reviews say she's always an hour late and a "salesman" more than a doctor. Crap. I think I should cancel - but I've been psyching myself up for this all week! ARRRRG. I need off this emotional roller coaster!

John says you guys won't think I'm a coward if I cancel.

Ok. I'm canceling.

But I promise I'm finding another doctor RIGHT NOW. I *am* doing this. Pinky swear.

So...anyone know a good "lady bits" doctor in Orlando? :/

( Mini Update #3: John's working on a good lead now, and we're planning on calling tomorrow morning - but any recommendations would still be appreciated!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quick Craft: Steampunk Medal

Thanks to some Father's Day clearance I spotted at JoAnn's last week, I was able to make this fun and steamy medal for just a few dollars:

 Ok, so it's both steampunk and a little Harry Potter, with that winged key. That's double the geeky goodness!

(ZOMG - steampunk Harry Potter! Why have I not thought of this as a cosplay option before?!)

This was more of a quick customization craft than anything, because I started with this:

If you have a JoAnn's nearby, check their clearance to see if they still have any of these available. They were 70% off when I bought this one, so it only cost about $1.50. SCORE.

I brought it home and cracked open my charm stash. The key and wing sets are from Wal-Mart:

The gears are thin die-cut metal (or metal coated paper, perhaps?), a gift from Sharyn. Happily I found two that fit inside the circle perfectly, so from there it was just a matter of picking the charm I wanted for the center:

These were my four favorite options for charms. My first choice was the ray gun (an old Cracker Jack charm), but after I snipped off the ring and re-painted it I wasn't happy with the finish. (Drat.) The winged heart is great for a jewelry option, but I wanted mine to be a little more unique, so I went with the winged key.

I snipped off the wing rings, and glued everything down with a gel super glue:

(I also switched to a different key charm.)

To jazz up the top ribbon portion, I used two jewel brads to hang a short length of silver chain:

I just cut a slit in the ribbon with a utility blade to slide the brads through. Super easy.

These are the brads I used, and you can see how I opened them up & snipped the one side on the back. (The ribbon is stained because I was experimenting with painting over the stripes with markers to change the colors. The ink tends to bleed, though, so I just left the ribbon as-is.)

And that's it! There are tons of possibilities with this one, whether you wear it as jewelry or as a cosplay accessory, so just use what you have, and have fun with it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Turn Any Fat Frame Into a Shadowbox Frame!

I recently decided to switch most of my office frames from black to white, for a cleaner, brighter look. Most of the frames I can paint, of course, but my black shadowbox frames have glass that can't be removed, and I couldn't find the same size again in white.

The "before."

So, together John and I figured out how to turn any fat frame into a shadowbox frame, and it's a lot easier than you think. All you need are a few simple tools, some acid-free foam board, and four glazier points. (I'll explain what those are in a minute.)
We used this 5x7 frame from Ikea, which costs a whopping $2.99:

Ikea frames are perfect for this tutorial, but you can use any frame that's nice and fat on the sides - say, an inch or more - and any size frame, as well.

First, open up your frame and use pliers to yank out the metal brads or staples:

Next replace the glass and backer board, and measure the depth from the board to the edge of your frame, like so:

This measurement will tell you how wide to cut your foam core strips.

Our strips were about three quarters of an inch thick. Make sure you use archival quality, acid-free foam core. You should be able to find it at your local craft store.

Don't cut the foam core with scissors; it will crush the edges. Instead, use a craft or utility blade. To keep the blade from wobbling while you cut, brace it against a level or other straight edge with your finger, like John's doing here:

Next mark your foam strip's length against your frame:

Cut the strip, and then glue it to the interior side of your frame. Make sure the nicer edge of your foam strip is facing down towards the glass, and the rougher cut (if there is one) is facing up towards you.

Did I mention you should have your glass in place before gluing the foam strip down? No? Ok, make sure you have your glass in place before gluing the strip down!

Now repeat this process for all four sides of your frame.

Gluing the final piece in place.

Now replace your art, hold the original backer board in place, and take a peek:

Not bad, eh? See how crisp the inside edges look? You'd never know that wasn't part of the original frame! (This is when I realized the paper behind my art has discolored, btw. I'll have to replace it soon.)

We're not done yet, though; we still have to secure our frame's backer board.

You could just duct tape the thing on, of course, but John and I wanted a stronger and more elegant solution, so we eventually decided on glazier's points.

Glazier points are small metal triangular pieces used in installing glass panes. You can find them in any hardware store, and they're crazy cheap. (Maybe a dollar or two for a big pack.)

To place the points, first mark where you want them to be on your frame with the backer board in place. Then remove the backer board and use a utility blade to notch a small slit at each mark:

(If your frame is a soft wood, you can skip this step. Ikea frames have a hard enamel finish, though, so the notches help a lot.)

Once you've made all four slits, replace your art and backer board again and use a large flat head screwdriver to carefully push the glazier points in place:

When you're done, the back of your frame should look like this:

And that's it! If you ever need to change your artwork, you can just pop the points out again with a screwdriver.

My "before" art card still needs new paper, but here's another ACEO in my finished shadowbox frame:

I couldn't be happier with how this turned out - and now I'm off to do the rest of my frames! 

I hope this helps if you ever find yourself in need of a cheap and easy shadowbox. And as always, please send me a picture if you try this out yourself!