Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Epbot Exemplars 6/4/13

Exemplars are geeks who know what they love, and show it with pride. I keep it mostly girl-centric here at Epbot, but I always reserve the right to feature anyone who helps inspire me to be a better me.

Ruth M. recently shared this photo of 2 of her daughters from last Halloween:

Aaaand I just collapsed from the cute. Gimmie a minute.

Here's 7-year-old Allie dressed up for last month's May the 4th:

Oooh, are those blue fiber optics I spy in your tutu, Allie? SHINY.

Oh, and for Free Comic Book Day Allie picked - of course - a Star Wars comic, and her mom Maxine snapped this shot later at home:

 Now this right here makes me happier than all the tutus and Vader masks in the world. READ ON, young Padawan!

Speaking of reading, when 10-year-old Emma's school celebrated Book Week, she decided to dress as Queen Susan from the Narnia series:

LOVE. She and her mom put the costume together from Salvation Army finds, and the bow & arrow are made from water pipes!

Emma's mom, Jane, tells me Emma is also a geology buff - "a real rockhound/ lapidarist" - who spends her birthday money on rocks and gems. So in keeping with that theme she dressed as an Enderman from Minecraft for her "school disco" - which I suspect must be an Australian thing. :)

Rock on, Emma! 
(Hey, painful puns are the best puns.)

And finally, this is AnnaMay:

AnnaMay is 7, and as you can see, she loves superheroes - specifically Wonder Woman and Super Girl. Trouble is, another girl at Anna May's school has been making fun of her for it, to the point that Anna May won't wear her favorite t-shirts (like this one!) anymore.

AnnaMay's mom, Andrea, writes,

"It's not as bad compared to some, but she has generalized anxiety disorder and sensory processing disorder so to her it is HUGE. She is afraid of so much in this world, and I know that the super hero things made her feel a little bit more powerful, and now that has been taken from her, too."

When Andrea mentioned this on a Disney forum she follows, someone there sent her here to Epbot. She wrote to me almost immediately after just to say thanks, but John quickly asked if we could feature AnnaMay. He also asked for a picture, which I'm happy to say is what convinced this little Wonder Girl to put on one of her favorite outfits again, just for us: 


AnnaMay, I know it's not always easy, but I hope you'll keep wearing those t-shirts. After all, geeky shirts are my favorite way to meet new friends! And the next time someone makes fun of you for them, just remember: you've got your very own fan club, right here - and we all love superheroes, too.

Btw, is anyone else DYING to see AnnaMay in a superhero costume now? Whaddaya think, Anna May? Would you rather be Wonder Woman or Super Girl? Let me know, and we'll see what we can make happen by this Halloween and/or your next local convention. (I may not know much about getting a kid's costume together, but I bet I could find some people 'round these parts who do!)

So, in conclusion:

1) The world needs more superheroes. 

2) Sometimes a superhero is someone who tells a random young girl just how awesome her Wonder Woman t-shirt is, or how much you admire her choice of comic books, or her hobby, or her costume.

3) So let's all go be superheros this week.


Update from AnnaMay's mom, Andrea: "Thank you so much for all of your comments! AnnaMay has been smiling so big. I am reading them all to her as they are posted. AnnaMay says she would love to be Wonder Woman for Halloween if she could. You all are making me cry happy tears! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"

(So if any of you skilled costome gurus out there would like to volunteer your help with AnnaMay's costume, please e-mail me! I'll be more than happy to cover your expenses!)

[Wow, I think we've found all the help we need for AnnaMay's costume now, guys! Thank you! And don't worry; of COURSE I'll post a photo once we have one!]

Monday, June 3, 2013


This may be the best cure for Monday yet: a hilarious, mesmerizing, toe-tapping tribute that you'll tell yourself you'll just watch for a minute or two, but then you'll end up watching two or three times on repeat. :D

(John tells me we should watch this every morning before work, just to start the day off right. I think he's on to something there.)

It's fun trying to ID all the different movies - and I bet you can already tell which ones are my favorites. (I shrieked a little at the Back to the Future clip.) Plus, that ending! YES!

In fact, the only way that video could POSSIBLY be better is if it had a snippet of the Labyrinth ballroom scene and then some of this action:

via GB Fans, which you should totally follow on Facebook for daily 'bustin' goodness.

Yep, Egon dancing may just be my new favorite thing.
(Closely followed by Venkman dancing, of course.)

And while I'm sharing happy things, it's time to announce last month's art give-away winner! So, the randomly selected winner IS.... Shelly Dorris! Congrats, Shelly, and please e-mail me your mailing address, along with your choice of prize from my Pinterest give-away board!

Happy Monday, everyone! Now,  put on your red shoes, and let's DANCE THE BLUES.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Steam 6/1/13

File this under "When I Win The Lottery:"

"Walktopus" is a 20 inch bronze sculpture by Scott Musgrove, and can be yours for a mere four thousand dollars.  It's based on this five FOOT tall version, though, which is even more impressive:

And while we're furnishing our dream homes, I'd also like to add this bar cart, please:

It's from Restoration Hardware, and is made from a 1920's Light Bulb Voltage Tester, whatever that is. Only two grand, though, so hey: CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?? :D

Shilo linked me to a really fascinating article this week on something called a "chatelaine:"

The chatelaine is "a device popularized in the 18th century that attached to the waist of a woman’s dress, bearing tiny useful accessories, from notebooks to knives." So kind of like a Swiss army knife, only cooler.

Considering that they're both decorative and useful, I'm amazed this is the first time I've ever heard of chatelaines; we should totally be incorporating them in our steampunk and Victorian cosplay, ladies! Go see more examples and read about their history over at Collector's Weekly.

Oh, and here's another great article Amber L. found on the same site - and quite relevant after my corset-for-cramps post, too -  Everything You Know About Corsets Is False. (Well, assuming you think they're bad, anyway.) More than just addressing common misconceptions, this article actually gives a quick overview of the history and development of corsets, which is really intriguing.

And now some more amazing Victorian age gadgetry, this time spotted by Genevieve over on io9:

Pocket watch camera! See a few more Victorian-era spy gadgets at the article here.

Julie M. found an etsy seller with the COOLEST handmade "pocket holsters":

"Steampunk Metamorphose Holster," $220 by Chateau Nifty Pop

Its convertible, too, so you can wear it on your hips or as a cross-body bag:

Lots more designs and finishes at their shop, and all about the same price.

Next up, here's Cassandra rocking her steampunk Wonder Woman costume:

Her lasso even lights up!
Oh, and I got a neat surprise the other week from May B., who e-mailed to show me her own steampunk, Darth Vader inspired cosplay! Hers is based on Victorian mourning wear, and she tells me my Lady Vadore mask was just the inspiration she needed to add that finishing touch:

 Amazing, right? And check out her mask detail:

May used conductive thread to add LEDs to her necklace - which is SO going on my craft "to-do" list.

John saw May's pics first, and he told me it was surreal to open an e-mail and see such a familiar "face" on someone else's costume. Ha! I like how she used all silver accents, though, and really made it her own. Fantastic job, May! (Oh, and May makes and sells some gooorgeous fairy wings - you should totally check 'em out.)

And finally, remember that awesome steampunk AT-AT I featured a few months ago? Well, Mark - aka Captain Bayley - is back, and this time he's made that steampunk AT-AT a baby:

D'awww. An AT-ST! So perfect!

Mark also put a website together since my feature, and it's fun to see how his engagement present to Caroline - along with all the positive attention it received - has catapulted him into a full-blown... hobby? Obsession? Career? ONLY TIME WILL TELL. :D 'Til then, I look forward to seeing what else Mark dreams up! (More pics here, and thanks again to Mark and Caroline for sharing the steamy fun!)

Hope you're having a great weekend, everyone! As always, please share your own steamy finds/creations in the comments or over on the Epbot Facebook page!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Princess Bride Play is INCONCEIVABLE

For some reason I didn't have nearly as many sparkling gems of internet delight fall into my lap this past week, but happily Leah S. sent me one that more than makes up for it.

See, Leah is a theater director at the Spotlight Youth Theater, and every year her advanced drama class puts on a full-length play. So this year Leah decided - like you do - to adapt The Princess Bride for the stage, annnd....


SO PERKY. You know, like a nice MLT, when the mutton is nice and leeeean...


Ok, so, not only is just the SIGHT of this play putting me into paroxysms of joy, there's something even better about it: Leah cast the roles of Fezzik, Inigo, and Vizzini to three young ladies. WOOT! That's right, my friends, check out this band of merry women:

I want to join this Brute Squad.

And, seriously, do you KNOW how much I'd want to play Vizzini? DO YOU?! I think I've already got the screechy voice down, so really I just have to work on my victorious guffawing:

AHAHAHAHAHAAH... [slumping over]

Here's a few more shots for your geektastic viewing pleasure:

From his face, I'm assuming this is the part where Westley calls Prince Humperdink a warthog-faced buffoon. But that's just a guess. :)

Hey, Count Rugen, his name is Inigo Montoya. You killed his father. Prepare to die.

(What? I'm not the only one hearing the dialogue in my head, right?)

True story: John likes to pat all his pockets down and go, "Ohhhkay. Oh kay. Ohhkay," when I ask him if he has his keys. And I love that pretty much all of you readers would totally get that reference.

Hope that made you grin as much as I did, guys! And thanks again to Leah, Sonce Landa Photography, and all of the Spotlight Theater actors for the offer, but I'm full up on peanuts right now.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Art Roundup!

Wow, this month really flew by! Ok, prepare for another deluge of awesome geek art, my friends!

First off, several of you linked me to this back when I first posted Paige's "Is This What Respect Feels Like?" comic, and it's too perfect not to share:

YES! It's by Sarah & Catherine Satrun, twin sisters and artists - how cool is that? You can buy prints here at their Etsy shop; an 8X10 for $15, or an 11X17 for $20.

Karina M. linked me to Ben Smith's stylized series' posters, and I am loving the bright pop of color with all the gray scale:

Smith's Trek series is my favorite, but he also has lots of Star Wars, Firefly, etc:

Here's an old favorite of mine that I've had in the office for ages:
"Little Batty Princess" 5X7 print, $7, by Annie Rodrigue 

Annie's style has a fun Tim Burton vibe, only cuter. Batty is my favorite of her characters, although this steampunk flyer is a close second:

"Fly" 5X7 print, $7

Anna G. found this fantastic Princess Bride apothecary art:

"Iocane" print, $18 from Purple Cactus

And in case you're thinking - as I did - that this would be even better on a t-shirt, they have those, too!

Shannon Bonatakus mostly paints lovely long-necked women wearing little-to-no clothing, but it's her fan art pieces that I love most:

"Swear You'll Take Us" by Shannon Bonatakus
[Note: link NSFW due to artistic nudity]

This He-Man tribute piece is more like her usual style:

"The Sorceress"

True story: I was once THIS CLOSE to buying the original of this Rainbow Brite, many eons ago. 

John was all for it, but what can I say? Sometimes being the penny-pincher in the relationship is hard. ;)

I don't see any of these three available, but Shannon's shop includes prints of her Neverending Story and Harry Potter pieces (among others), which are equally stunning.

Jimmy Pickering mostly illustrates (and writes!) children's books, and it shows - in an amazing way:

You Disneyland geeks may also recognize his style, since he's done some fantastic Disney art that hangs in the galleries there. Not much of it makes its way here to Orlando, so the last time we were at Dland John and I picked up a few of his prints, including this Small World one:

You can only get these at Disney, so check the art stores there on Main Street if/when you're there next!

And while we're talking Disney: you know how some things just make you unreasonably, childishly happy? That's what this Dumbo print does for me:
"The Flying Elephant" 8X8 print, $18 by Mario Graciotti
(aka "Mr. Bluebird" on DeviantArt)

It also comes as a phone case!
iPhone/iPod case, $35

There's just something magical about Graciotti's color choices. Check out his Space Mountain:

"Space Mountain" 8X10 print, $18
(lots more sizes available, including poster options)

It's like hot cocoa mixed with Lucky Charms marshmallows. :)

Jasmine Becket Griffith (aka "Strangeling") was one of the first artists I ever started following, way back in the early days of Ebay. Now, ten+ years later, John and I actually know her and her husband Matt, since they moved down to Orlando some years back. I love that I get to see so many of Jasmine's originals at local conventions and galleries now. 

In fact, I spied the original of this Cinderella painting at Downtown Disney just last week, and I had to stop and stare for a good five minutes:

"Cinderella at Midnight" original painting, $5,000; LE canvas $695; 8X10 print, $13.99

Jasmine has literally hundreds of prints available at her online store, and she auctions off most of her originals each week on ebay. (These few are gallery exclusives at the Pop Gallery in Downtown Disney.)

"Poissons Volants" LE canvas giclée, $695 OR 8X10 print for $13.99

"Alice and Snow White," LE canvas giclée, $695 OR 8X10 print, $13.99

I don't own any Jasmine originals, but I have tons of prints - as you can see from my giveaway board! - and she and Matt have always been so sweet to me over the years. 

Case in point: I've been trying to get my hands on one of Jasmine's exclusive Hamilton Collection Mickey statues for years, and happened to mention it to Matt once ages ago. Well, a few months back Matt e-mails me out of the blue, saying they'd just visited the Hamilton offices, and they tracked down a Mickey for me! Matt shipped it to me that week, and even refused payment. Now Mickey sits just below my monitor, in the place of honor:

I think I'll end on that happy note! As always, leave a comment below to enter my art give-away, and I'll pick a winner at random within the next week. The winner gets to choose any piece from my Pinterest art give-away board as a prize! (I added a couple more pieces this month, too!)

Happy commenting, everyone!

[UPDATE: The give-away has ended, and the winner is Shelly Dorris! Congrats, Shelly, and please e-mail me your mailing address and choice of prize!]