Saturday, September 29, 2012
...is a NINTENDO?
Absolutely gorgeous mod by Andrew - you can see some in-process shot in his Imgur album. (Thx for the link, Jacob M.!)
And while we're mixing steampunk with retro gaming systems:
Doug Haffner? The green portholes on the sides have holographic images of Frankenstien and his bride in them, and I'm digging that rich blue lighting underneath. Hit the link for build photos. (Thx, Erik!)
You know how a lot of people have bucket lists? Well, I have a *craft* bucket list, and making my own nixie tube clock is on it. Here are a few I've been drooling over:
Amy J. sent this one over from Steve's Nixie Clocks. I like how the glass case lets you see all the circuitry inside - plus the reflection looks super cool:
And here's a neat idea: John Clark Mills put his nixie tube clock in an old mantle clock case:
And finally, Instructables member Hellboy added blue LEDs, acrylic tubing, and found objects to make one of the most stunning and unique nixie tube clocks I've ever seen:
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Thanks to you people I've gotten nothing done in the past 30 hours. NOTHING. All I've done is read your favorite movie quotes, laugh a lot, and compile a list of movies I have to see again - or for the first time - as soon as possible.
When I mentioned this on FB several of you asked for my list, so here it is:
Hands down, your most quoted movie was The Princess Bride, followed by Labyrinth and Ghostbusters. (I already know those by heart, so they're not on my list.) You guys are either destined to be my best friends or extremely skilled at sucking up. ;)
John and I probably quote Princess Bride the most, too, but we use "It's possible, PIG" and "GENTLY!!" far more than is advisable in polite company. We also like "I hate waiting," said in Inigo's accent, and "*I* am not left-handed!" (I don't know how that one gets used so often, but somehow, it does.)
Sometimes you've got to modify the quote to fit your situation. I like whipping out, "You're right, no HUMAN BEING would [insert activity here] like this."
Also on your Most Quoted List (and which everyone should know by heart):
- Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail ("RUN AWAY!")
- Star Wars ("Laugh it up, Fuzzball!")
- Firefly and Serenity ("I aim to misbehave.")
- The Emperor's New Groove - ("WRONG LEV-AAAAAAHH!")
(I've long felt New Groove is the most underrated of the Disney films, so it thrills me to see so many of you quoting it. Yzma & Kronk are probably the best Villain & Henchman combo Disney has ever created; I could watch them all day. John and I like to break out in "squirrel" from time to time: "Uh, squeakety squeakers squeak 'em.")
I'm sure I missed a lot of other good ones, but you'll just have to go wading through the 900+ comments to make your own list now. ;)
Oh, right, and I guess I should mention who won the give-away, huh? Ha! Ok, the winner is...
Amanda, please e-mail me your mailing address. And to everyone else, thanks for distracting me so very thoroughly.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I've mentioned before that Doktor A is one of my all-time favorite artists - steampunk or otherwise - so when I got an e-mail from him this week I *might* have fangirled out a bit. He was inviting me to his New York show opening on October 12th, but sadly I can't be there. SO... I'm posting this as an open plea to any of you geeks planning to be at New York City Comic Con that weekend: GO TO THE SHOW. And then say hi to the good Doktor for me. Maybe take a picture or two for me to drool/cry over. You know, the works.
And just to sweeten the deal, Doktor A sent along a sneak peek that he told me I could blog as an exclusive. MY FIRST EXCLUSIVE, YOU GUYS. (!!) I think it shows that he picked it out special just for this blog, too:
This craft is so easy some of you will probably be rolling your eyes at me, but I want to show all those "non-crafty" types out there how simple it is to make awesome bangle cuffs with nothing more than a hammer, some snaps, and an old belt.
First, you need an old belt. Preferably one with a pretty design on it, like this:
The belt had two embroidered patches on it that just happened to be the exact length needed for a cuff bracelet, so I used one of my other cuffs for a template and cut out each section:
Now all you need is the $8 "Anorak Snap Setting Tool" from the craft store (like this), some snaps, and a hammer.
First you use the tiny little tube to punch a hole:
And then follow the instructions on the package to set the snap ends:
It worked out for these that the snap ended up right in the middle of the green flower on the end. Nifty, right?
I used a simple white craft glue, but I think you could also a vinyl glue or clear fabric glue:
It's not bad, but John says the Sharpie one looks better, so that's the one I'm going to give away.
But first, a couple more beauty shots:
These two cuff bracelets are virtually identical, so whoever wins my extra one will automatically become my bestie. FAIR WARNING.
[NOTE: The contest has ended, and the winner is....Amanda Mead! Amanda, please e-mail me your mailing address!]
I hope this inspires some of you to go belt-hunting! Now, go comment, and happy quoting!
NOTE: I'm moderating all your comments, guys, so please only enter them once, even if you don't see it go through. It might take me a little bit to get it published, but I promise, I'll get to it!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
While my office is plastered with painted Ninja Turtles and Disney paintings and Stay Pufts and other brightly colored geekery, John and I keep the rest of the house a more sedate, warm-toned, kinda Pottery-Barn-ish vibe. Granted, a lot of steampunk touches are creeping their way in, but it turns out steampunk is now the height of home decor fashion; interior designers just know it as "industrial chic." (Have you seen the past few Restoration Hardware catalogs? It's steampunk heaven!)
I love this look because you can recycle and upcycle cheap old junk and make it look like a million bucks. Or at least a few hundred. ;) It's also unbelievably DIY-friendly; just beat the heck out of something, cover it in glaze, wipe it off, and voilà! It's "custom-finished!"
Hilary P., the same artist behind that epic "Team Epbot" art, snagged a fabulous white seahorse statue from Michael's for only $10 - which would make me jealous enough - but then she used my Copper Patine Tutorial to turn it into THIS:
And if you can't find a great seahorse statue, just head over to your local dollar store:
Hyla W. transformed these little plastic toys into fun wall accents! Click over to her blog to see them hung with a pretty mermaid print.
I'll never get tired of old apothecary jars and vintage labels, and happily it looks like Andrea H. agrees:
This is the first thing I have ever made, but it won't be the last. You guys are like crack cocaine...if crack cocaine was highly addictive but also highly motivating and inspirational. Does that feel like a compliment? Because, that was supposed to be a compliment."
I think Kithplana is the first reader to use my leather curtain tutorial - and, check it out! She modified it for a valance!
Of course, no post of mine would be complete without something geeky, so here's how you "class up" your favorite wand display:
And finally, since Canada stopped minting pennies last May (it did??), Jennifer W. of Knit Wit on the Prairies decided to immortalize the humble coin with her very own penny side table:
And while we're talking Home Decor goodness, allow me to plug Better After, an addictive little blog featuring nothing but home decor and furniture makeovers. I like it so well that I roped the writer, Lindsey, into writing Sunday Sweets for me over on CW about twice a month. :) And of course the archives of The Steampunk Home remain one of my happy places, even though the blog is no longer updated.
If you have any favorite home decor blogs or projects, please, share in the comments!
Monday, September 24, 2012
I'm not much of an action figure girl, but the moment I saw the designs for the new Ninja Turtle figures, I was head-over-heels:
In fact, they were my very first pin on my Toy Wish List over on Pinterest. I used to watch the show every day after school, and I remember going to see the first movie with my mother. (We both still have a penchant for cheesy kids' movies.)
Then I stumbled across these mind-blowing re-paints of the figures by John Harmon of Mint Condition Custom, and I fell in love so hard it hurt:
So on Friday when I spotted an end cap of TMNT toys at Target, I decided it was finally time to unleash my inner hero in a half shell. I grabbed Donatello first for The Great Painting Experiment:
I've never tried painting an action figure before, so I was both surprised & pleased by how well regular acrylic paint sticks - no primer needed. In fact, it sticks SO well I had a hard time getting it off the areas where I got a bit sloppy. Then John, the wise and all-knowing former painter, told me to use alcohol. A-HA! That worked like a charm.
Here's my first tentative try at aging Donatello's foot wrappings:
Here he is roughly half-finished:
And finally, here are my finished beauty shots, along with pics of the figure straight from the package for comparison:
I've learned some things that I'll do differently for the next three, but even so...what do you think? Did I get anywhere near Hamon's greatness?
Personally, I'm really happy with this for my first try, and I'm pretty much hooked on painting toys now. I've since done a slightly larger project which I just finished last night (look for those pics in another day or two) and I can't wait to go buy the next three Turtles!
If you want to try painting some action figures yourself, here's the general technique:
- Paint on a darker version of whatever color you're covering on the figure
- Wipe it off.
You'd think a two-step process like that wouldn't take me a solid three or four hours, but it did - and I'm not even done with his weapons yet. There are a lot of small areas, and you really need to work in tiny sections since the paint dries so quickly. Have tons of q-tips and paper towels on hand, and use a tiny brush dipped in alcohol for touch-ups.
For the belt I applied several layers of a black-brown, rubbing it off with a Q-tip in-between, and then I used a light tan on the tiny X stitches and a brighter liquid gold leaf on the front ring.
The part I messed up is that I used brown to cover D's skin instead of a darker green. It still works, but for the rest of the Turtles I plan to use shades of green, so they won't look quite so grungy.
The weapons that come with the figure are made from a different plastic that paint won't stick to at all, so I'm having to prime those first. You can expect another photo shoot once I've finished them all, and the difference should be really dramatic, since they're just a solid reddish-brown right now.
Well, even if you never plan to paint your action figures, I hope you enjoyed seeing how I spent my Friday night! :) Stay tuned for something I think more of you will find squee-worthy.
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