Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

For some reason this past month has seen me showered - showered, I say! - with amazing goodies the likes of which I've never been showered. And it's all your fault. Yes, you guys.

Seriously, I've been writing CW for over two years now - with I think some success - but never once has a Wreckie surprised me with, say...



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Count Down to Dragon*Con!

Yikes! Can you believe Dragon*Con is NEXT WEEKEND?!?

[flailing] AAAUUUGGHHH!!!

I'm calm.

I'm collected.

I am a leaf...on the wind.


That's better. Now I can get back to panicking. (So. Much. To do!)

Now then, for you lucky few who will be joining us lucky masses pilgriming to Atlanta, be sure to watch my Twitter feed. Yep, we'll be playing "Find Jen And Win A Prize!" again this year, mostly because it's fun and because I haven't bothered to think of a snazzier name for it.

We'll also have a much wider variety of prizes this year, including: (drum roll, please)

- both Epbot and Cake Wrecks pins (CW pins will include "I want Sprinkles" and the always-popular "No Sexual Harassment" design)

- Carrot Jockey Necklaces - HEYO!

- PLUS, some brand new, not even in stores yet (unless you count the online ones) Cake Wrecks 2011 mini calendars!

- I'll probably also bring some custom bookplates, in case any of you'd like a personalized autograph.

To win a necklace or calendar you may need a word or phrase of the day, which I'll be divulging on Twitter. The rest, however, will be available to anyone who asks for them - until we run out.

And just to make things a little easier for you seekers, here are a few tips:

- I am NOT a morning person. Don't bother looking for me before noon. (Although I'll make an exception for Saturday's parade.)

- We'll be there all four days.

- We probably won't be in costume at any time. So just look for a shorty in pigtails. And John. And my parents, who you don't know, but I hear my mom will be wearing elf ears. ("You bought what?") So. Um. There's that.

- I'll be spending a disproportionately large amount of time gawking in Artist's Alley. And by proxy, so will John. :)

- We'll probably also be at some/all of the Stargate: Atlantis cast panels. (The only autograph I'm after? David Hewlett's. Awww yeeeah.)

So, keep an eye out for us, and I hope to see some of you there!

UPDATE: David Hewlett has just canceled for Dragon*Con. Please pass the tissues. [sniffle]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Geek Glee

Visuals to make any geek grin.

"Well, hello there."

Found via @GreatWhiteSnark on geekPr0n

Cupcake on the brain?

By Sam Nielson

Remember that Lando shirt I bought during the Star Wars Celebration? Well, John also got a shirt. This one:

Yes, it's a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch shirt.

The instructions are on the back:


And speaking of which (only not the kind that weighs the same as a duck), Brandon Hardesty is currently re-enacting Monty Python and the Holy Grail - by himself - in short video snippets. And yes, it is positively brimming with geek glee:

Ah, that's good stuff.

So, have you guys seen anything especially geeky/gleeful this week? Share and link in the comments!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Captain EO Would Be Proud

When we were at Black Market Minerals on Saturday, I managed to convince John that we should buy matching iridescent hematite rings:

Ooooh. Preeeetty.

I told him we can wear them as wedding bands whenever we go to Disney, because they're totally Captain EO:

Am I right, or am I right?

And, since he had just purchased that knife a few minutes earlier, I guess John decided to humor me. Which is another reason why I love him. (Back off, ladies & gents; he's mine!) I even noticed him wearing it when we went out the other night. :D

Oh, but you know what makes these rings even better?

They're magnetic!


Magnetic wedding rings: an attractive choice even for polar opposites.

Not bad for less than $10, right? ;)

Have any of you geeks ever worn a "cheap" or nontraditional alternative for a wedding ring? Or if not, would you?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Saturday John and I ventured out to a dead mall smack in the middle of tourist town, seeking entertainment, air conditioning, and a Black Market Minerals - though not necessarily in that order.

Dead malls are fascinating, aren't they? This one had maybe 30% occupancy, which meant you'd have to walk past seven or eight empty, boarded over storefronts to get to the lone Claire's or Gift Mart on the other side. And yet the mall itself was gorgeous - in such pristine condition, you'd swear they wrapped construction last week and not 10 years ago.

All it needs are some tumble weeds.

Anyway, when I stopped for a restroom break John wandered into one of those horrendously tacky tourist shops. You know, the ones that sell cheap fairy statues alongside Ninja throwing stars? Yeah. Those.

I found him a few minutes later chatting with the shop owner, a lovely older British lady, over an open knife case.

Now, despite the fact that John can sew better than I can, decorate a mean cake, and match duvet colors better than most designers, there are still times when I'm reminded that he is, after all, still a guy. This was one of those times. And given the choice, I suppose I'd rather he be admiring blades than cheap fairy statues anyway. So, you know, there's that.

When he saw me, John waved me over and asked the lady to show me "that one knife." I then had what I think was a switch blade handed to me.

John grinned impishly. "Now, push the button."


Ok, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "later, as Jen was having her finger re-attached in the ER..." Which, I must admit, would be nicely dramatic and somewhat hilarious (for you) at the same time. Fortunately, however, none of my blood was spilled that fateful evening.

None of MY blood.

So, now that I've both ruined the story and dropped some juicy foreshadowing, let's get back to it.


The switchblade-which-might-not-have-been-a-switchblade startled the heck out of me, but the nice British lady assured me you "only" needed a concealed weapon's permit to carry one. It also had handy sandpaper lining the sides, so you wouldn't lose your grip if your hands were wet. WITH BLOOD. Mwuahahahaaaa!!

Ok, so maybe she didn't say that last part.

Anyway, it was as the nice British lady was showing us another blade - one that was "spring-assisted" and therefore still NOT technically a switchblade - that the trouble began. As she was clicking it closed in the case, she "hmphed" slightly and looked at her finger.

You all know where this is going.

Or...maybe not.

She then removed another knife and began showing us that one, talking about the features and whatnot. (Btw, I love that knives have "features," but they never include "reeeeally pointy!!")

As the nice British lady went to close this second knife, she did a lovely dramatic flourish. I say "lovely" because it was a large, graceful arc. I say "dramatic" because at the apex of that graceful arc huge droplets of extremely dramatic blood rained down all over the glass counter top between us.

I'm talking droplets, people. When they hit the glass they made a sound.

Um. So...

Two things:

a) John tends to faint at the sight of blood.


The three of us stared at the counter in stunned silence for approximately .86 seconds, because that's how long it took me to realize what had just happened and what exactly the red raindrops were. I then gasped, backed into John, and expressed my concern for NBL's well-being with a courteous, "Holy CRAP!!"

Mental Note: In the future, try not to knock into someone who gets light-headed at the sight of blood.

John and I later agreed that if either of *us* had just sliced open a finger and rained blood down from on high, we'd probably take a wee break from the sales floor. You know, sit down a spell...maybe get a drink...or a bandage...

Not nice British lady, though. Nope. She just mopped up the counter with a tissue, wrapped her finger in the same tissue, and then assured us she did this all the time. She even pointed out - as the tissue rapidly soaked from white to red - that she hadn't felt the cut at all because the knife was so sharp. Yes, she was using her injury as a selling point. Talk about dedication! "See how clean this cut is? You won't get that with just any knife!"

In the end, John emerged victoriously conscious - if substantially paler - and the owner of (yes, really) a new knife. Not that knife, mind you - a different one. One that does NOT snap open, or have "spring-assists," or any other sudden moving parts. It's really just an emergency tool for the car: it has the window breaker and seatbelt cutter on it, in case we're ever in an accident.

Still, want to know the real reason John bought it? I mean, besides feeling guilty over nice British lady's blood loss?

It's bright anodized orange, so it matches our car.

And *that's* why I love my husband.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Office Update!

The good news? I'm back in my office again.

The less-than-good news?


Decisions, decisions.

Here's a progress pic:

I've started propping up my larger paintings and prints and whatnot on the desk, in a desperate attempt to figure out which ones I can't live without, and then how those pieces will clash least with my *other* can't-live-without bits.

Even Tigger is confused.

And let me tell you: until you've tried getting a Stay-Puft marshmallow man, a pastel fairy watercolor, and a red, orange, and blue Mickey Mouse painting to all "blend" together, you just don't realize how crazy my taste in art is. :D

Not that the art is the only thing left, though; John & I are actually only about 3/4 of the way finished with everything. He still has the doors for the desk cabinets to finish and re-hang, the closet doors to re-paint, and I have some vintage doorknobs to refinish and hang on the bookcase doors.

Which reminds me: Looky what I got!!
Yep, thanks to reader Laura's decision to sell me her ears knocker guy (thanks again, Laura!), I now have the set for my bookcase doors! Woohoo! I think they're going to look great over my art-nouveau patterned doorknobs, which we'll be using for the handles.

And then we also still have the smaller desktop to finish:

I'm not telling what we decided to do with it, yet - although I suppose you can tell from this shot that it's not going to be a plain glass top. Heh.

The cubbies on either side of it are slowly coming along: I'm changing out all the prints in the frames, and then streamlining some of the clutter.

Speaking of streamlining: as I'm going through my art, I'm discovering prints I've either never displayed - and so probably never will - or prints that I've had up so long that I'm tired of them. And you know what *that* means, right?


So, for your consideration, here's my first needs-a-new-home piece:

This is actually something I painted nearly 10 years ago. However, fine art it most definitely is not: it's just plain ol' acrylics on posterboard. Still, for any Pepe Le Pew fans out there, it's kinda cute. I've had it hanging (framed) through all of my office incarnations, so I'm ready for it to go on and make someone else smile now. The poster itself is 24 inches square, but as you can see you'd need a custom mat: approximately 19.5 by 21.

(I only ask that you not sell this, as it's not my original design; it's a copy of a cell I saw at a Warner Brother's store way back when. Since I abhor the thought of copied art being sold, please, don't.)

So...want it? Then leave me a comment, telling me why. I'll pick a winner at 7pm EST tonight, and will announce it here, in this post. So, either include a way for me to contact you in your comment, or check back at 7 EST, or watch Facebook for the announcement.

The give-away has ended; the winner is listed below!


UPDATE: Goodness, you guys do NOT make it easy to choose a winner! Srsly, I've been getting all misty-eyed over your stories and memories: so, so sweet. I only wish I had a dozen of these to give away!

Anyway, since this print does have a big "love potion" bottle in it, I decided to go with a couple who already loves Pepé & Penelope so much that they were on their wedding cake and champagne glasses. So, Tracy O., please e-mail me your address!

Also, Sonia with the WB-obsessed son? Please e-mail me, too. I may be able to cook something else up for your little guy. :D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The One Line of Code Every Commenter Should Know

Because I ask you guys to share links in the comments so often, I decided it's high time I teach you how to embed them. This makes it much, MUCH easier on the rest of us, since we can just click your text to visit the site in question, plus it eliminates those huge paragraphs of insanely long web links.

Now, don't worry; even if you know *nothing* about html, this is easy. Promise.

Here goes:

Let's say I want to make the words "my blog" a link to Epbot. Meaning my final product would look like this: my blog.

Here's what I have to write:

<a href="http://www.Epbot.com">my blog</a>

And that's it! See? Told you it wasn't hard.

So, here's your cheat sheet:

<a href="LINK ADDRESS">MY TEXT</a>

I suggest copying that down on a Post-it and sticking it to your monitor until you have it memorized.

Happy commenting!

UPDATE : Ack! Thanks for the heads up, guys: I forgot the "http" in my link above. Der whoops.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jen's Procrastination Station

Believe it or not, that's actually one of the titles I once considered for this blog. A bit wordy, though.

So instead, I'll just keep using it for my feature of stuff-around-the-web-guaranteed-to-help-you-gleefully-kill-time. Which is also wordy. And therefore, appropriate.

Today's Theme: Steampunk


- Pretty much everything in Aranwen's etsy shop is jaw-on-the-floor beautiful:

Mmmm, Victorian sparklies. Love it.

- David Glicksman made the most mind-blowing steampunk secret-knock-activated door opener you will ever see in your ENTIRE LIFE:

Go watch the 30 second video and be amazed. (More pics at the link, too.)

- This house is what first made me fall in love with steampunk. There are too many amazing photos to choose a favorite, but here's an example:

That's just the computer desk.

And when you're done with that link, go take the virtual tour of the house here. Do it. DO IT NOW! (And then come back; I'm not done yet!)

- Jennifer Trantor, an artist in Australia, made a dress sculpture using "more than a thousand brass and copper clock cogs, sewn together with jewellery links."

Wowza. More pics and a close-up here.
(Thanks to Richelle E. for finding this!)

- And finally, Doktor A makes art that ranges from cute to creepy to a little of both:

His site is a labyrinth of galleries, so I'd recommend starting with the Mechtorians. He also makes 2D art: you may remember seeing two of his pen-and-ink drawings in my dining room.

Well, I think that's enough procrastination fodder for today. Happy browsing, all!

UPDATE: Breaking news! Check out what Disney just announced today:

Steampunk Vinylmation! (I think the balloon style on the left is my fav.)
Go here for more, and thanks to everyone in the comments who pointed this out!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V Day 3, Pt 2

Thanks to my battling a slight case of Con Crud, we didn't make it out to Star Wars Celebration on Sunday. So, this wrap-up of Saturday's activities will be my final convention post. (Commence rejoicing or grieving, as the case may be.)

Kids today. No fear of the Dark Lord at all. *tsk tsk*

This kind of feels like the world's more awkward family portrait.

We had at least one couple (not this one) stop, pose for the photo, and then resume arguing all without missing a beat. It was pretty hilarious.

This art display was fantastic:

And as an art nut, I was thrilled to see Christian Waggoner doing some live painting:

He's famous for his hyper-realistic Star Wars reflections paintings. Check the link above for more.

I also love chalk art, so it was fun to check in on this guy throughout the weekend:

I don't have a finished shot since we skipped Sunday, so if any of you have one, let me know!

UPDATE: Many thanks to Frank F. for sending me this finished shot!

Love the colors.

More costumes!

Believe it or not, there's actually a guy in this suit. We watched him get helped into it, and then shuffle along a few feet before being mobbed by folks wanting to take his picture.

Um. So...there's that.

John had remarked the other day that it would be funny to show up in a Star Trek costume. Apparently this guy agreed:


Star Wars Laser Tag, anyone?

This stormtrooper was having a bit of fun:

The sign on his chest said, "Please do not touch the display." Heheheh. Reminds me of the time I accidentally scared the bejeepers out of some poor old lady when I was in full clown make-up, leaning against a wall. She nearly hit the ceiling when I wished her a good afternoon.

And now, the part you've all been waiting for...

This band of trouble-makers is about to make my day.

John and I headed back to the droid room to meet up with Ethan, a fan and droid builder who'd asked if I would sign something for his wife.

Here's Ethan's droid:

After we chatted for a while, Ethan asked if I'd like to try driving it. Which is kind of like asking if I'd like brownies for breakfast. Frankly, it was all I could do not to snatch the controller out of his hands and go gleefully sprinting from the room. Assuming I could figure out which way was forward, of course.

Anyway, after successfully mastering the "spin the head around" control, I began experimenting with knocking the metal stanchion poles over - although not intentionally. ("Which way is forward, again?")

Then the Jawas showed up.

First, they cautiously inspected the droid.

When I spun his head around, they all jumped and whipped out their blasters:

After a few more rounds of me attempting to scare them off (ie spinning the droid in circles) they got really bold:

I think this is the Star Wars equivalent of getting your hubcaps stolen.

I thought Ethan might intervene, but he was laughing too hard. :) I guess it's a good thing they only looked like they were prying bits off for spare parts.

Well, guys, that's it for me! John & I also skipped the special after-hours Star Wars party out at Disney Hollywood Studios Saturday night, but if you check out Inside the Magic's page here you can watch lots of videos on the special shows and events.

Now I'm off to finish some laundry, catch up on e-mail, and continue watching John slave away on my office remodel. Oh, and you're going to LOVE what we're doing for the small desk. [rubbing hands together gleefully] Muwahhahah!

Star Wars Celebration V Day 3, Pt1

Saturday at the convention was, again, not as crowded as I expected, and therefore also not as much costume action. Still, there were a lot more silly mash-up costumes, which are always a hoot:

Elvis Stormtrooper: "Uh, maytheforcebewithyou, uhthankyouverramuuuch."

Elvis was also one of the officiators at the wedding vow renewal gazebo:

Other choices included Darth Maul (who looked particularly hilarious under all that pink tulle & twinkly lights) and Obi Wan.

Scottish stormtrooper:

Uh...dapper pink stormtrooper?

And my favorite: Star Wars Mario Brothers:

Awesome sauce.

LEGO appeared to be a major sponsor, as there were lots of statues and small-scale dioramas around:

So Lego Fett fit in nicely:

There was even a massive Lego mural:

Fans were invited to help assemble the small tiles for free on Thursday and Friday, and they finished on Saturday:

Pretty sweet, right? According to a fact board nearby, this used over 160,000 Lego bricks.

A particularly voluptuous slave Leia.

Another freebie: you could assemble your own Styrofoam diorama:

You had your choice of a cave, tunnel, or random ice clumps to display with your toys/miniatures:

They hung on to everyone's work until Sunday, so the display area filled up more each day.

It was fun seeing some of the creative ways parents modified their various child carriers:

LOVE the Yoda back pack - complete with sleeping child inside.

A blaster-fied stroller:

And a nicely done Tusken baby pack (although this baby is just a doll):

Stay tuned for my next and final installment, which includes my personal Droid-driving escapades and a harrowing run-in with a pack of wild Sand People!

So, you know, the usual.