Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"And The Streets Are Paved With Chee-eeese!"

John and I watched An American Tail on Netflix over the weekend - and you guys, it totally holds up!
Funny how I remembered almost nothing of the story, but could sing along with every song. Here's a test: Remember when Somewhere Out There played a zillion times a day on the radio? If not, then OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS. (Kidding. I love all you whippersnappers. Who else can I fill with my knowledge of great 80s cartoons? And will explain Tumblr memes to me?)

So naturally first thing yesterday I went digging through my office closet, because I have exactly ONE bin of old childhood dolls, and I couldn't remember exactly what was in it, but I had this hope...


(Let's pause to appreciate the mental image of a thirty-something woman, on a ladder, face inside a tupperware bin, yelling, "YESSSSSSQUEEEEEE!" If these cats could talk, y'all... they'd have NDAs.)

Anyone remember this Fievel doll? Apparently it was a Sears exclusive, though I could have sworn my grandmother got it from K-Mart. His floppy velvet hat is filled with stuffing like a pillow, and I would carry him around with my face buried in it. :) Although I do remember him being a lot bigger...

Anyway, fifteen minutes of lint-rolling and a light scrubbing with a damp washcloth later, and Fieval is nearly good as new. He smells a little... old, though. Not bad, just like something packed up a long time. What do you think, Febreeze? Toss him in the dryer with a dryer sheet? Moms, help me out here!

He'll sit on my desk with E.T. now. That's right, 80s movie stars, UNITE. 
(I just need a giant StayPuft plush. Did they even make those back then?)
Speaking of old movies, I noticed FernGully is on Netflix, too, but I don't think I've seen it - should I? Anastasia is there, too, which is gorgeous (the music! Ah!) plus John and I quote Bartok the bat on an almost weekly basis. (You'd be surprised how often you can work in a good "And then I'd KEEK her, sir," to a conversation.) So definitely watch that one if you haven't.
So tell me, guys, other than the popular Disney stuff which we all KNOW is good, which of your favorite childhood movies still hold up today? Extra credit if they're streaming online so I can find them!
BONUS MODERN MOVIE THUMBS UP... to Sing. Sure, you get the entire plot line in the 2-minute trailer, but it's sweet, head-bopping fun, and worth a Redbox rental.

Plus I love Rosita the pig. Girl rocks it.

(Don't worry, more Star Wars cosplay is coming! Just breaking things up a little in-between.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Star Wars Celebration 2017: The Best Mashup Cosplay!

(Did you miss my first batch of SWC cosplay? Go see!)

Get ready, fellow geeks, 'cuz this round it's ALL MASHUPS.

Awwww yeeeeeeeeeeah.

 I'm forever drawn to mashup cosplay because it's all so gosh-darn creative - and often hilarious. In a crowd of screen-accurate everything, I will be the one running towards the guy who combined Star Wars with Back to the Future, like so:

It's Han McFly!

Check out the details, you guys:

The back of his shoes say Falcon - and the "Solo" glows, too!

Here's a Pinkie Pie Mandalorian and Ackbar on vacation:

There were lots of stormtroopers on vacation, too; pool floats and sun visors over armor galore.

In fact, it's amazing just how versatile stormtrooper armor can be, from Hamlet to high school cheerleaders:

The use of Vader's helmet for Yorick's skull is brilliant, y'all. BRILLIANT.


Then there's the Freddie Mercury trooper, who traveled with his own boombox, got the Cantina band for backup, and put on a show:
YES. (They were playing Somebody to Love. It was awesome.)

Check it out, the four Hogwarts Houses as Jedi!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Star Wars Celebration 2017: Episode 1


Star Wars Celebration was a completely different experience this year. Last time it was in Orlando there were no new movies, no plans for Star Wars land at Disney, and significantly less crowds and hype. So this time felt like a taste of San Diego Comic-Con: very commercial, very Hollywood, and very crowded. (Attendance hit 70,000. That's Dragon Con level!) All of the vendors were giant companies with glittering storefronts, the Artist Alley was TINY - and only sold licensed Star Wars art, of course -  and happily there were more food vendors than you could shake a Dewback at.

If you're not familiar with most cons, that is all very unusual.

This was also the first time I've been to a con that encouraged overnight sleep-overs in line (which thousands participated in), effectively rendering all of the big panels moot, since only the extra extra die-hard fans could get in.

 (How great are these two??)

Once I realized I wouldn't be seeing any celebrities or sneak peeks or any of the panels I was interested in, it was actually kind of freeing. I had nothing on my schedule, so I could wander and soak in the atmosphere at my leisure for all four days! So that's what I did.

Ladies and gentle-beings: Sith-3PO.  [mic drop]

To be clear, SWC had lots of panels you could attend without sleeping on a concrete floor first. All the non-celebrity ones didn't require the coveted wrist-bands, and there was an impressive array of family-friendly activities, classes, live podcasts - you name it. Believe me, no one was bored.


Plus there were tons of activities on the show floor. You could build dioramas, race remote-controlled inflatable droids, pose with any of the dozen or so fantastic photo ops:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Jawa Carrying BB-8 Walks Into Star Wars Celebration 2017...

From: Twevo Deetum, SWCO, Earth
To: The Northern Equatorial Jawa Clan, Tatooine

Greetings, tribe. My sight-seeing journey has been pleasant thus far, if a bit bewildering. Here are a few pictures of me visiting the more popular galactic relics onsite:


 As you can see I picked up a functioning BB unit along the way, and while I expect it will fetch a hefty bounty, it's brought me no end of trouble with this planet's natives.

First one of the roving Troopers tried to steal it:

Then a Jedi tried one of her mind tricks to get me to trade it for a measly lightsaber:

 Don't worry, I held firm, brothers and sisters. NO DEAL.

I think this second BB unit even tried to attack me!
Or it could have been expressing affection. Hard to say.

 I figured a few body guards might come in handy:

 But these two had the most shocking manners. Really. Not at all appropriate for a shaman of my standing.

I eventually made it to our cousins' encampment:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Favorites From Epcot's Flower & Garden 2017

Happy Easter, peeps! 

(Fun Fact: I've been calling you guys "peeps" for the last 4 years just to lead up to that opening.)

You will quickly realize this is NOT a post full of Star Wars Celebration cosplay, so sorry about that. It'll take me a little while to re-combobulate and sort and edit my photos, so in the meantime:

How about some Epcot Flower & Garden Festival pretties?

I don't have the patience to do anything comprehensive, of course - there is too much! - but here are some of my favorite shots and finds from around the park.

This chalk art (actually done with decals) is a new addition right outside the butterfly tent. I love these kinds of illusions!

Here's how it looks from the side:

More butterfly love:

And caterpillar action, too!
I forget what kind of flower buds these were, but don't they look like something out of Avatar?

 More butterfly topiaries take center stage at the World Showcase entrance:

You can buy the Egg Hunt maps at the nearby shop, which I've covered before. In addition to the map and stickers, you get to choose a plastic egg for your prize. Here are the new eggs this year:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IT'S TIME. Come See Our New Star Wars Cosplay!

This is it, you guys. 

No more hints or sneak peeks or last last minute adjustments.

Here we go.

[deep breath]

Introducing... my new cosplay:


If you're not entirely sure what you're looking at - well, mission accomplished! - but let me explain:
John and I have been working these past months to transform 5-foot-tall me into a 4-foot-tall Jawa. And just to up the ante a bit, we decided THIS Jawa has managed to capture a special prize.

The pack is stuffed full with scavenged bits of technology and dismembered droids:

If you can read Aurebesh, you'll also note this particular duffel was either stolen or recovered from Watto's Shop on Tatooine:

 BB-8 barely fits inside the top of the pack, and the remnant of the net our Jawa used to capture him hangs in tatters around the edge:

The back view:
Those are more wires poking through a hole at the bottom.

But what you REALLY need to see are these two in action. So here's our latest motion test:

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Disney Photo Spot Is A Retro Rainbow Wonderland

I thought I'd follow up my Plush Super Uterus with something nearly as strange: I'mma rave about a hallway now, peeps. Buckle up.

To be fair, it's a DISNEY hallway, located a ways behind their giant golf ball:

Which doesn't usually look this cool, but that's why we have Photoshop.

Now, on to said hallway.

It lurks in the shadows beyond this unassuming door next to the Imagination Pavilion (aka the place with the butchered Figment ride.) (WHAT.) This area is only available to folks with a Disney Visa card, but happily my friend Stephanie has one of those, which just goes to show friends are awesome things to have, because sometimes they get you into cool Disney hallways for free.

Mark that one down, kids.

Ok, so first there's this wall right here:
Which has a rad mural of the Imagination Pavilion, done up Spaceship Earth style with that triangular texture.

Even the clouds are polygonal, what what:
And dig those soothing blues and purples, Dizgeeks. DIG 'EM.

Just past the mural you come to a wall with ACTUAL Spaceship Earth texture... plus rainbow lights.


I had to keep the photo dark to show the lights, but you can kind of see the spiky metallic triangles sticking out all over. This wall is the bee's knees, y'all. It's retro Captain EO Epcot goodness. It is joy. In fact, one of you needs this as an accent wall in your bedroom - I can feel it.


It gets better.

You're not even ready for this.  

You can never be ready.

Because round the corner, and you get...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Too Far? DIY Wonder Woman Plush Uterus

Hang on. 


You know those times when you're sitting around, brainstorming craft ideas for Mother's day, and nothing's happening so you're exasperated and a little punchy and you start complaining to your hubby, who is NO help at all, and then you both try to outdo each other with increasingly ridiculous ideas?

That's how this happened.

So without further ado...

I give you...


Now, I realize Mother's Day is still a ways off (at least here in the U.S.), but I figure you need time to make a cool dozen each of these, because CLEARLY every mom  - heck, every woman - you know will appreciate a plush uterine superhero. In fact, motherhood and/or lady bits aren't even required: superhero uteri for everybody! 

Now, I'll be honest: I vetoed this idea for a solid 15 minutes because I couldn't think up a decent pun for the name. The best I could come up with was Super Ova - which I love - but technically ovum are eggs, so it doesn't quite work?

Then I realized the whole thing was too funny to NOT do, and here we are.

And THEN a reader named Ellie suggested "Wonder Womb" in the very first comment and I was like "YES HOW DID I MISS THAT??" and was equal parts delighted and ashamed. So thank you, Ellie. You've done the world and uteri everywhere a great service. :D

Also, at the risk of erring on the schmaltzy side, I have to say that after the initial giggles I started to see this as a kind of kickass statement piece. I mean, my uterus is definitely a jerk sometimes, but it's also part of who I am and does incredibly powerful things. So, yeah. Whether you see this as pure silliness or a tribute to someone great or a general feminist statement -  or a little of all three - LET'S MAKE ONE.

First I'mma show you my initial sketch, 'cuz I think it's adorable:

The end result is pretty close, right?


You Will Need: 

- Felt, 1 sheet of pink and 1 sheet of blue
- pink thread
- Star Sequins (I found these at JoAnn's for $1 per pack)
- Gold Liquid Lame Fabric (that's 1/8 of a yard, which they WILL cut for you, yay!)
- Black Fabric Paint (not shown)
- Tacky Glue (not shown) 
- Fiber Fill (not shown)

Everything in that photo up there cost me a total of $6, so this is another cheap craft!

First, download & print this template:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Star Wars DIY: We Built BB-8! For Cheap!

Ready to see part of what John and I've been working on the past few weeks?
Not the whole thing, of course, but at least a little of it?


First pretend you didn't read that post title for a sec. You know, so you'll be surprised.

 Ahem hem hem.


As you can see, this BB's been through a scrap or two. Never fear though, he's a tough little droid and will have a lively conversation with you if prompted.


There's much more to our Project, but I thought BB-8 would be a fun partial reveal for now. Especially since he can be made separately!

I'll warn you, our BB-8 doesn't roll; he's a static model. He's also not 3D printed - a rarity in the BB-8 building community - nor is his body made from a large acrylic lampshade globe, since those cost around $130 each.  o.0

In fact, our droid is made entirely from common materials, and only cost around $50 to make, since we already had some things on hand. That's right, fifty bucks!

 Here, let me walk you through it.
First you'll need one large exercise ball, inflated to about 20 inches, and one smaller ball at around 10 inches. (You can find both sizes at Walmart.) Stick them in large bowls so they won't roll away: