Saturday, July 14, 2012
For today's Steamy roundup I thought I'd focus on steampunk home decor. This is probably the most accessible steampunk area, since even the most conservative non-geeky types tend to like the look of vintage mechanical and/or industrial items worked into their interior design.
Let's start off with Epbot reader Angela E.'s AMAZING new bathroom, shall we?
Angela tells me the room still isn't entirely finished, but I'd say she's well on her way to having the steamiest bathroom of the year. Check out that amazing clock over her equally amazing copper soaking tub:
Dale Mathis, who has several famous furniture designs you may have seen before. Here's a close-up of the clock (titled "Wicked") from his website:
Click on over to Angela's blog for more pics and details - or, if you're like me, to ask if you can move in to her bathroom. I'll even bring my own pillow, Angela! (Btw, have I mentioned that I can practically wash my hands in the sink while taking a shower in my bathroom? No? Consider it mentioned.)
K, rant over, and moving on...
Here's a fabulous idea for upcycling old globes:
And for more stellar upcycled globe ideas, check out this post over on Dishfunctional Designs - so many great designs!
Here's another brilliant potential DIY, this time from the catalog Napastyle:
Kristine over at The Painted Hive posted this brilliant sconce makeover using a plastic safety light cage, if you can believe it:
Prepare for a design-gasm. Then feast your eyes on this industrial piping book shelf, complete with attached lights:
The phrase, "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" comes to mind.
Here's a positively genius idea for your next steampunk-styled furniture makeover:
I mentioned Melanie R.'s patent prints in a post not too long ago, but I neglected to show off her fabulous steampunk living room. Time to remedy that!
Melanie didn't mention where she got the table or fan, so you guys will have to beg her for details in the comments if you want to know.
And finally, I'll end with the window to end all windows (although the room it's attached to is a bit vanilla):
Doesn't it look like something straight off the Nautilus? Or maybe the luxury passenger car of a dirigible? Add a few giant rivets on the cross beams, put a well-worn circular leather couch in front of it, maybe cover the rest of the walls with shelves and shelves of books... [dreamy sigh]
Hey, John? Can we knock out a wall somewhere and put this window in? Pretty please?
Hope you guys enjoyed the home design goodies! As always, I welcome your photos and finds; just send 'em to me via e-mail or over on the Epbot Facebook page!
Every year during Comic-Con I have an annual tradition of getting absolutely nothing done here while I obsessively read SDCC tweets and drool with jealousy over everyone there. (Except for the standing-in-lines and being-crushed-in-massive-crowds parts, of course. Those I'm ok with missing.)
Today is the biggest day of the con, so there's still lots, LOTS more to come, but in the meantime I just had to share a few gems with those of you not dedicated/insane enough to spend every waking moment since last Thursday poring over twitpics. See? My obsession = your gain!
- Adam Savage (of Myth Busters) dressed as a Ring Wraith from LOTR
Every year Adam plays "Adam Incognito" at SDCC; he dresses up in some amazing costume, tweets hints, and the first person to find him wins a prize. (At Dragon*Con last year he was Chewbacca, and tweeted hints like "I'm carrying a purse.") This year he was a bit generous with his first hint, though, and was spotted almost immediately upon emerging from the elevator. Kind of a shame, really; I like trying to crack his hints from afar.
- Awesome Cosplay
Cell coverage is spotty at best at SDCC, so for the most part we'll all have to wait 'til after the weekend for the the cosplay slideshows to start - but here are a few teasers that made it out:
I don't pay much attention to most of the toys that come out at SDCC, but my friend Amy (@Amy_Geek) spotted this adorable "Chewbacca Fighter Pod" by Hasbro:
I love it, even without knowing exactly what it is. Is he balancing on a tiny Death Star? Or is that a training sphere?
- Original screen-used Stay Puft head at the Prop Store booth:
Ok, so no one will find this interesting except for my fellow Ghostbusters fans, but I think it's seriously cool. Here's another shot for scale reference:
via Ain't It Cool - And hit that link for tons more great booth photos from the SDCC floor - really amazing stuff. (The Indiana Jones booth has live snakes.) In fact, here's one more:
They're the 'bots from Batteries Not Included! (Squee!) I reeeally want the two guys on the lower right. Like, really really.
- The Firefly Reunion Panel
Probably the most talked about event of the con, this panel was filmed for a TV special that will air on the Science Channel this November, so eventually the rest of us will get to see more than shaky Youtube clips of it. (But speaking of those, you can see one of the more emotional moments of the panel here. So sweet!) Look for the special, titled Browncoats Unite, to air on 11/11.
[Update: Ooh, shiny - the whole panel is already up on Youtube! Grab a tissue and watch it here.]
- And finally, even though the con still has two more days to go, I've already found the Best Thing Ever To Happen At SDCC 2012. If you're a Chuck or Firefly fan, you might want to sit down.
A quick explanation first:
Zachery Levi (aka Chuck & Flynn Rider) does a great charity event each year during Comic-Con called Nerd HQ. He gets his fellow actors and friends together for panels and photo ops and whatnot, and every dollar they make goes to Operation Smile.
Well, apparently this weekend he started selling kisses (on the cheek) for $100 - again, all for charity - and one lady donated a whopping one thousand dollars. For that, she got a full-on dip and kiss on the lips - but then hilarity ensued. Just...WATCH:
Things I love about this:
1. Well, everything, but also...
2. You can clearly see Zach double-checking with the lady that it's ok before he dips her, and he's a perfect gentleman about it all [be still, my geeky heart...]
3. Zach's expression of sheer terror before THE AMBUSH, and sheer delight after
4. Adam Baldwin paying a lot less than Fillion, and Zach complaining about it.
I'm going to need someone to make a .gif out of THE AMBUSH, stat. I've just watched it about a dozen times in a row, and laughed every. single. time.
Happy Weekend, everyone! Stay tuned for a Saturday Steam post later tonight!
[UPDATE: THE .GIF LIVES!! Bwhahah!! That must have set some kind of record. I love it.]
[UPDATE #2: Melanie B., the lucky lady in that video, just contacted me to say she wrote about it on her blog! (Fun fact: Zac had no advance warning; the producer just brought Melanie out on stage!) Go read her post here, you'll love it.]
Friday, July 13, 2012
It's been way too long since my last list of recommended reads! For this batch of YA titles, I thought I'd focus on fun, easy reads and/or series perfect for taking on vacation or, if you grab the audio versions, for long car rides.
These books are heavy on adventure and humor, and light on drama: kind of the equivalent of a popcorn movie. (And I mean that in only the best possible way.)
So, in no particular order, here goes:
I was a little surprised no one suggested this series after my last review post; these books (there are three, I think - or is it four?) are pure adrenaline, with almost non-stop action and torturous cliff-hanger endings. The endings were my biggest beef; there's no closure at all, so you'll want to have the next title already on hand, if possible. I remember having a few other issues with the story, too, but the heroine Max is amazing - tough and yet still relatable - and the fast pace will make the pages really zip by. Besides, they're genetically mutated kids who have giant wings - c'mon, that is AWESOME.
[Correction: per the comments, there are now eight (EIGHT??) books in the series - but someone suggested Patterson should have stopped after four. Heheh.]
This was a series John actually picked up before I did, and I only started it myself after seeing him devour so many of the titles. (I've lost track of how many there are now - eight? Nine?) The writing is for a slightly younger audience than most of the YA fiction I read (there are fart jokes. You have been warned) but they're great fun and perfect for finishing in one or two sittings, if you're a quick reader. In a nutshell, Artemis is a budding evil genius who stumbles across the world of the fairies - but these fairies pack less glitter and more guns.
Sound like fun? Believe me, it is!
I was about to recommend The Lightning Thief, but then I remembered: I already did! (I really need to get a master list going of all my reviews...) So instead, how about The Lost Hero, the first book in another of Rick Riordan's series called Heroes of Olympus:
The Red Pyramid. That one is set in Egypt, but it just didn't grab me the way his Olympus series have. (The narrative style by the two main characters drove me a little batty.)
If you like modern-day re-tellings of myths (like Rick Riordan's work up there), then you'll love Gerald Morris' re-tellings of the Arthurian legends. It's not set in the modern day, but the language and writing is more current, and it's filled with humor and unbelievably endearing characters. Compared to the other books in this post it might seem a bit tame, adventure-wise, but there are quests and snappy dialogue and lovable characters that will keep you coming back for more. And if that doesn't convince you, I'm pretty sure this is one of John's favorite series of all time; he's read all eleven or so in the series, and was positively giddy the last time a new one came out.
This is, quite literally, a haunting tale - but despite the cover art it's not scary at all. Promise. :) Two teens get "stuck" between worlds after a car crash, and their adventures in Everlost are both gripping and bizarre. The premise is fabulous - a truly creative twist on the supernatural - but something didn't quite click for me with the characters, and the ending left me a bit hollow. Still, give it a try if the premise sounds interesting; from all the stellar reviews over on Amazon, I'd say I'm in the minority by not loving it.
The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Nothing thrills me quite like seeing other people's craft results from using my tutorials or suggestions. Seriously. I get all giddy and stuff. So I thought it might be fun to take a quick skip down memory lane and show you which Epbot crafts your fellow readers are making - and maybe inspire you to get crafting, too!
Let's start with my most popular tutorial by far (thanks, Pinterest!): my flip-flop hangers.
Meghan H. made this chic version for her own closet, and she even dressed up the rod bracket with some pretty paper!
I've heard from other readers who made whole sets of these for holiday gifts, but so far I *think* Meghan is the only one to send me a photo. So if you guys have tried this, you know what to do.
Probably my second most popular tutorial is our penny desk:
(Pro Tip: You could also have a sheet of tempered glass cut to fit over your desktop, Amanda, to get the same smooth surface as epoxy without the mess/effort!)
Here's a more recent craft: Christina used my bubble wrap earrings & bracelet tutorials to make a bracelet that's way cuter than mine. And I may never forgive her.
She used the same technique I did for these earrings:
And strung her bubble-wrap charms together with O-rings like I did on my bracelet:
Here's another oldie-but-goodie: anyone remember my Halloween candy jewelry?
Well, Jeri Lynn used my instructions to make this gorgeous candy corn bracelet:
This makes me want to revisit my candy-dipped-in-epoxy crafts. I still have a box of hard rainbow candies from the Japanese pavilion in Epcot that I want to experiment with. [rubbing hands together] Ohhh yessss...it shall be glorious...
I'm less than half-way through the tutorial photos I want to show you guys, but since this is getting kind of long I'll post the second batch in another few days. I'd love to make this a regular thing, too, so if you have project photos inspired by any of my crafts and tutorials, then please, send 'em in!
Oh, and a quick word on watermarks: I'm a big fan of crediting original sources, so if the photos you send me are NOT posted anywhere else online, then unless you instruct me otherwise I plan to watermark them so people can track down the source. (That source being you.)
If your photo *is* posted somewhere else online, like on your blog or Flickr account, then please let me know so I can link to it & credit you properly. I never want to be seen as taking credit for anyone else's work, so I just wanted to explain my reasoning - and again, just say the word if you don't want an Epbot watermark on your photo, and I'll take it off immediately.
Stay tuned for the next batch! I've got some Ollivander's wand displays, steampunk medals, and other assorted goodies that're gonna knock your socks off.
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