Monday, October 16, 2017

Jen's Gems: David Bowie, Middle Earth, & Lemon Head Babies!

It's Monday, you need these smiles.


Last week Neil Gaiman shared one of the sweetest things I've read in ages, but it wasn't written by him. It's by Paul Magrs, who in turn is recounting a story HE heard from one of his friends. Mild spoiler, it's about David Bowie, and you're going to love the Goblin King even more after you read this.

Take five minutes and go read what happened here.


Regal Robot shared a few photos from a magical place in Switzerland called The Greisinger Museum, and LOOKIE:

This is the museum entrance. Wha whaaaaaaat. Even better: most of the museum rooms are underground.

And check out the staircase leading down!

As you may have guessed, The Greisinger Museum is dedicated to all things Middle Earth. It opened in 2013, and you can find more photos and info on their website.

It does my heart good, knowing places like this exist.


This little girl Groot spotted at the Knoxville Fanboy Expo is giving me life:

I can't stop staring at her perfect Groot feet!  (Watch 'til the end to see the big smile under the mask.)

One more convention vid, this time from New York Comic-Con. I think I've watched this half a dozen times now, because strangers being silly together just makes me happy:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Halloween DIY Roundup: Let's Make All The Things!

It's prime Halloween craftin' time, guys and ghouls! So let's plumb the dusty Epbot archives for some of my favorite tutorials to get those creative sparks flying.

First, let's talk COSTUMES. 

For easy last-minute accessories I've made a lot of fun stuff with cheap ol' craft foam, like this steampunk/post-apocalyptic respirator mask:

Again, all craft foam, though it looks more like real leather than the one I *made* with real leather!  Grab the free template and read the full tutorial here.

These foam wings are perfect for would-be dragons, bats, and other figments of your imagination:

I'll walk you through making your own here.

How about some foam bracers for your battle armor?

I've got the free downloadable templates (including the rose design!) here. You can modify these for all sorts of armor, or just throw them on with a battle-ready Belle or Alice outfit.

If you're rocking more of a Snow White vibe this Halloween, then you NEEEEED this poison apple:
The green glow is so intense it almost looks white here, but trust me - it is VERY green. I'll show you how to make it for just $3, right here.

How about a quick dollar store ray gun build?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Best Overwatch Cosplay of Dragon Con 2017

I realize most of you haven't had your lives consumed by Overwatch, the online multi-player game John and I just can't quit, so I thought I'd put all my favorite Dragon Con Overwatch cosplay together in just one post. This way you Overwatch muggles can feel free to breeze on by, while I and my fellow addicts can all go ERMERGERSH together and dish about the Halloween event that just dropped, because HOW ARE THERE STILL NO NEW ORISA SKINS, and what is Mei supposed to be, and how awesome does Eichenwalde castle look now?! :D

I originally planned to show you the best cosplay I found of every single Overwatch character - because oh yes, I *FOUND* every single character - but to quote Inigo from Princess Bride, "No, there is too much. Lemme sum up." 

So these will be the best cosplays I found overall, regardless of character.

Starting out with a bang and BWEEEE, because LOOK AT THIS BASTION:

His light even changed from red to blue!

I seriously didn't think this character could even be cosplayed, so I stood around gawking for ages. It took me several minutes to realize the cosplayer's eyes are fully exposed - see them? Because of Bastion's head light it was especially hard to see into the neck area, so that's a brilliant design strategy, right there.

Two more:

The weathering, the clean lines, the puppetry-aspect for the long arms - I am just so, so impressed.

I love this Zarya so much I couldn't pick a favorite photo - so you get all 3: 

Seriously, this IS Zarya.


There were several excellent McCrees around, but this one was my favorite. Not only were the details NAILED, he also went the extra mile with the best light-up effects:

Monday, October 9, 2017

DIY Skull Sconces For Halloween And/Or Your Guest Room

I'm back with more Dollar Store spookery! This time we're taking two plastic shields, skulls, and battery tealights...

... and turning them into a pair of creepy wall sconces!


Admit it, these would look great in the guest room. Over the bed. When your in-laws visit.

(This is as close to gore as I get for the holiday, btw - though I was going for more of an "old and dusty" look.)

Also I really struggled with these pics; my back room is so dark! Which is great for ambiance...

 ...but not so much for photos. :D

Since I already had the tealights, hot glue, and craft paints, both sconces cost me less than $5 to make. Oh, cheap crafts, how I love you.

I'm sure you already get the general gist of how everything goes together, but let me walk you through the nitty gritty.

In addition to the skulls, shields, and lights,

- a craft blade
- hot glue & gun
- craft paint in brown, black, red, & bright orange
- a heat gun or hair dryer
- nips (or small scissors)

First, flip the shield over and cut off the strap and plastic rivets holding the dragon emblem on:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jen's Gems: A Harry Potter Wedding, Princess Kimonos, & Adorable Kids Teaching Us Life Lessons

It's been another tragic week here in the States, so I know we all have to dig a little harder to find hope and goodness, light and laughter.
So lemme show you what's been making me smile lately.

First, this Harry Potter wedding has so many magical details:

Not to mention incredible photography!
I like how intricate the centerpieces are:

And one last shot for the sheer WOW WOW WOW factor:
Read all about it (the groom proposed here in Orlando at Diagon Alley!) here at the photographer's site. Found via Thunder Dungeon, which put together a convenient slideshow of all the Potter-themed photos, in case you don't want to comb through everything. (And yes, there's lots more!)


In crafty news, I always love watching Creative Mom's videos, but this month she really blew me away with her Halloween fairy house:

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dragon Con 2017: The Best Cosplay, Part 3

Ahhh, it's been too long! Have you missed my Dragon Con meanderings as much as I have? (Don't answer that.) (But here's part 1 and part 2 if you missed them.)

Tell you what, let's dive back in with John's favorite photo from the whole con:

[Cody Dills

It's like an antique oil painting of some European king, am I right? This guy had the pose (and wardrobe, of course) down to a T.

Side Tangent: John and I have a running disagreement over whether to show cosplayers their photos on the camera right then and there. I think it's bothering them and would rather move on, but now that we have this new flash John wants everyone to see. So after this shot - and a quick whispered argument - John actually took my camera from me and chased the cosplayer down to show him his photo, while I pretended to be fascinated by a nearby floor plant.

The cosplayer apparently loved the shot, but I still maintain it's better to take up as little of someone's time as possible. When I cosplay myself it actually unnerves me when photographers insist on showing me their cameras - it means they have to come very close (sometimes too close) and they often end up blocking other people trying to take a photo at the same time. So, at the risk of all of you agreeing with John... thoughts?

Egadz, one photo in and I'm already side-tracked and talking too much. Onward!

 These photos were taken at Dragon Con's annual Mechanical Masquerade, the big steampunk ball where it's pitch black inside and impossible to take any photos without flash. This year's theme was Wild West, so I really love this Western Superman and Wonder Woman!

Two more highlights from the ball:

Now let's head back out to the Marriott for a fabulous Victorian take on some of the Avengers: