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Jen's Gems 3/28/13

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm not gonna lie, you guys; I've been neglecting Epbot to play BioShock: Infinite with John. By which I mean I sit and *watch* John play BioShock while occasionally yelling out instructions and/or eating junk food. Meaning it's pretty much THE PERFECT JEN VACATION.

The cover art is reversible! And I'm already determined to make a Songbird doll.

I'm liking Infinite even better than the first BioShocks because - at least so far - it's much less dark and scary with creepy bad guys jumping out at you. It's still pretty gruesome with the violence in places, and the fact that the bad guys' society is based on hardcore racisim was a bit of a jolt, but overall it's a ripping good adventure with jaw-dropping graphics and plenty of treasure hunting. Plus I *still* giggle every time John searches a dead bad guy and finds a hotdog. I just like imagining all of these big baddies getting ready for their usual day o' killing and thuggery by stuffing their pockets with hotdogs, bun and all. :D

Ok, so. In non BioShock news, here's some of the best goodies I've seen cross the mighty interwebz this week:

Andrea M. (and a bunch of others) sent this gem in: a STELLAR (get it?) Star Wars nursery!

I love the MLP collection on the shelves, the pink-and-black lightsaber lamp, the James Hance art on the wall, and, and, well, EVERYTHING. See lots more over at GeekMom!

I feel like I saw these on Pinterest ages ago, but Mary Ellen reminded me of them this week and they're too gorgeous not to share: Test Tube Chandeliers!

The colored liquid was just made with food coloring, so you'd have to add that yourself - but think of all the color possibilities! You could do an ombré version of your favorite color, like, say, ORANGE? Just spitballin' here.

For the same price you can also get this style:

Next up, my fellow Dizgeeks are going to FLIP over this detailed review of an uber-exclusive dinner INSIDE Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. (When I worked at WDW I knew a guy who provided entertainment at similar dinners inside the WDW Mansion, and I was always so, SO jealous.)

Anyway, the best part to me - besides the fact that these 34 lucky ducks got to eat INSIDE one of the most classic and beloved Disney attractions ever - were the desserts. Big surprise for me, I know, but LOOKIE:
THAT, my friends, is an edible sugar glass globe (!!!) containing a cylinder of chocolate mousse with Madam Leota's face screen printed on it. Her hair is purple spun candy floss, and the entire thing was set on a color-changing light disc, which made each globe glow. And, oh yes, everybody got one:


Head over to The Disney Food Blog to see the rest of the pics and review, and also for video of the globes in action. AJ, who runs the blog, has already suggested this be my next Epbot craft project. I gave a hearty laugh at the thought, of course, but you know I'm about to go google "sugar glass blowing" anyway.

I don't have many celebrity heroes, but when it comes to being a Maker, I'm an Adam Savage fangirl all the way. The funny thing is I'm not a big Mythbusters fan - although I've watched plenty of episodes with John - so I'm pretty late jumping on the Savage-fan bandwagon. Adam and Jaime started a new website last year called Tested, and there you'll find - among other things - videos and podcasts featuring Adam building things, talking about building things, and/or showing off his jaw-dropping collections of props and handiwork and tools. AND I LOVE IT.

In one recent video he built a custom case for his Blade Runner gun replica completely from scratch, and in this one he shows off just a small portion of the prop collection and collectibles he keeps at home:

Not everyone's cup of tea, of course, so some of you may find this a bit dull, but as a wannabe maker myself I eat this stuff up. I aspire to someday be as handy in the workshop as Adam!

Next here's a video most everyone can appreciate, even if you're like me and still don't fully understand how this whole Minecraft thing works. Set it to full-screen and turn up the volume for a super-duper fun Beetlejuice themed rollercoaster ride!!

(Found via BoingBoing)

Plus, dubstep Beetlejuice? I think I like it! (John doesn't, though, and he just made me turn it off mid-way through my impromptu treadmill desk jam session. BOO.)

And finally, I'm gonna have to agree with my friend Renee that these new blind-box toy balloon unicorns are MUST-HAVES:

These three-inch-tall cuties are $7.95 from KidRobot, or I'm sure they'll pop up [smirk] at any of your local shops that carry blind-box toys. I'll be looking for them at local conventions from now on!

And FINALLY finally, it's time to pick a winner for this month's art give-away! So, my randomly selected winner IS ...

Tracy W.!!

In case there's more than one Tracy W. out there, it's the one who mentioned making flip-flop hangers for her aunt in Florida. Congrats, Tracy, and please e-mail me your address and choice of prize from my Pinterest give-away board! (Or the Leia from this month's roundup, since I haven't gotten her added to the board yet.) 

Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope you guys are having a great week!

Posted by Jen at 3:54 PM Labels: , , , ,


  1. EEEP the beetlejuice video ends with Jumpin the Line!

  2. Well, John and I are in agreement, because I am NOT liking the Beetlejuice dubstep either. The original piece is so gorgeous that dubstep ruins it. Being a die-hard Danny Elfman as a composer fan, this really kinda chaps my hide.

  3. Jen. There is a portal mod for minecraft. My husband and two little boys play it all the time. They punctuate portal/minecraft playing with playing the actual portal games. It's kinda trippy.

  4. I am not a maker at all and wish I was--I just have no skills in putting stuff together. I wish I could do makeup for films. I also used to be the prop master for a lot of plays when I was in high school. That being said, I am also fascinated by Adam's video. If I had a ton of money, I would be buying movie props like CRAZY.

  5. I am not all that good at video games, but I do want to get some games that I enjoy. Are there any that you might recommend? I did play Fable 2 for a while, but I got a little bored with it...and it was taken away :( In case you need to know, I have an Xbox 360, but no Kinect. Thanks!

    1. Ah, you're in luck! I did a post last year recommending 8 games for folks like me who either aren't great at video games or who don't like most of them. Here's the link. Hope that helps!

    2. My 13 yo son (who loves games but tries to stay away from the violent ones) picked up Mini Ninjas based on Jen's recommendation -- He's enjoyed it so far.

      (Side note: Minecraft has got to be one of the worst games every IMO. I get dizzy when he's playing it -- and it makes no sense at all.)

  6. I love that test tube chandelier, only I would be afraid of somehow breaking that bad boy. It would be like being accosted by a rainbow. A glass rainbow. Sorry. It just looks so fragile.

  7. THANK YOU for the Adam Savage link! I love listening to him talk about... well, I could listen to him talk about belly button lint and be happy. But I love hearing him talk about his passions. That video (and now the website I'm wasting the rest of my day on) is beyond cool :)

  8. Learning how to make blown sugar like that has been on my bucket list for a while now! Especially for just that purpose, making desert globes with custard or mousse inside. Perhaps now I'll be re-inspired enough to try it out.

  9. I HAVE to make a test tube chandelier! I'm thinking of using rubbing alcohol instead of water, as the water could end up growing algae, I would think. Now I just have to figure out how to make the ring to hold them!

  10. I've played plenty of video games but I haven't gotten into BioShock. However BioShock Infinite looks amazing and I really want to try it out. In your opinion can I start at that game or would I be missing things if I don't play the first two?

    1. Oh, no need to play the first two at all! Infinite has a completely new world with all new characters, so I'd say go for it!

  11. I love that the Bioshock cover art is reversible! What a thoughtful addition.

  12. I am "playing" Bioshock too, and literally last night commented on the hot dogs and sandwiches found on bodies too. It cracks me up.

  13. That Beetlejuice Minecraft video totally blew my mind! Obviously, they were using cheats to get unlimited materials, but even so, that's an insane amount of work and talent. I shudder to think how many hours went into this, but it was totally worth it. The piston work alone was beyond incredible.

  14. I am so excited to be the Art Giveaway winner! Thank you! I am looking forward to cherishing a piece of art selected and owned by the extraordinary Jen.

  15. This is so weird, I just found the Tested website today and had that video next in cue when I read your blog post. Then to add supreme weirdness, after seeing the props from Constantine, we turned on the TV and Constantine was on. Synchronicity!
    Thank you for sharing the Haunted Mansion dinner as well, I was a child of Disneyland (back when they still had A-E tickets) and the Haunted Mansion is my second favorite ride (just slightly behind Pirates of the Caribbean). Thank you for all you do. I don't comment very often but I always love your blog posts!

  16. That's how I "play" games with my husband too - we haven't had much time for that since we've had kids, (he still plays, I just don't make the time to watch) - but before kids we would spend several nights in a row with me watching him play. It was like a REALLY long movie!!

  17. My son walked up behind me while I was reading this and yelled, "Balloon-a-corn!".

  18. I shared the Beetlejuice video with my Minecraft playing sons. They know how to build that kind of stuff, but haven't built anything that elaborate. I agree with someone above who said Minecraft makes them dizzy. I can't watch my kids play it. But, I like that they work together to create worlds on their server and they work with friends from school online. Minecraft is at least creative. It's like playing with legos. It's my favorite game that they play. Thanks for sharing the video!

  19. I can't wait to snag a copy of Bioshock: Infinite. I loved the first BioShock games, but I could only play them in small doses because they set me on edge. They were such creepy games, and I'm a sissy when it comes to scary stuff!

  20. Speaking of old posters, I recently discovered freevintageposters.com. There are posters for everything from Italian James Bond to syphillis testing, and all can be downloaded. I just gave my boyfriend this one for our anniversary: http://www.freevintageposters.com/2013/01/the-great-train-robbery-wrestling-for.html.

  21. I LOVED all of Adam Savage's awesome knick-knacks (I'm a HUGE sucker for tiny things, random do-dads and oddities).

    I'm going to find a way to get that Beetlejuice Dubstep on my iTunes (and possibly onto Grooveshark since it's not on there as of writing this) so I can listen to it ALL THE TIME! I absolutely LOVE that movie (pretty much any Halloween-themed movie for that matter) and anything wubby is my jam! That vid was amazingly trippy and mindblowingly awesome. I was bobbing my head and smiling all the way through! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Thanks bunches for sharing!

    PS, Boo on John for making you turn it off! He must not understand the mind-numbing and awesomely epic-ness of Dubstep + Beetlejuice = Mind: BLOWN!! Loser. JK xD

  22. Wait, YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED MINECRAFT YET?! Well, first of all, YOU MUST PLAY IT, and second of all, you can not truely appreciate contraptions like the Beetlejuice rollercoaster until you realize how hard it is to make ANYTHING with redstone in that game!


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