Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weekly Favs 4/11/13

Wow, so many goodies online this week! Let's get right to 'em:

MentalFloss put together an awesome post called The Faces Behind 31 Disney Villains, and it is so. cool:

Trust me, you're going to want to see the rest!

This sketch Katie Cook tweeted made me realize I am in dire need of some Rainbow Brite art:

SO SWEET.  Don't you just love Katie's style?

One of my most popular recent Pinterest finds:

Melt pony beads to make fun jewelry and hairclips! BRILLIANT. 
 Go check out the full tutorial at The 36th Avenue.

I finished my own play-through of BioShock Infinite this week, (YAY EASY MODE) and I'm already resisting the urge to start playing through a third time. (I watched John play the first time.) Can you say "addicted?"

Anyway, so of course I was beside myself to see Anna of Anna The Red has already made a custom Songbird plush!

She then gave it to Ken Levine, the game's lead writer/creator. You can see his reaction (plus tons more pics) over on Anna's blog.

I really want to make my own, even though I can't sew and know nothing about constructing plush dolls. (How hard can it be, right? Uh... right? Guys? Hello?)

I want to make mine out of pleather, though, since the game dolls look (to me) like they're made of leather:

(Anna made her doll before the game was released, and the reference art she had made it look more like gray & brown fabric.)

Soooo, any advice on techniques? Or where I might find a faux leather that looks kind of mottled/aged like that?

My parents are down this week for their big Disney Anniversary & Birthday Celebration, and are living large at the parks as I type this. I love hearing about all their little surprises and cast member interactions each day; wearing a 40th anniversary pin really gets you a lot of attention over there. :)

Anyway, we spent yesterday evening with them at Epcot, where I spotted the one and only lawn flamingo I've ever been tempted to buy:


Oh, and my folks keep calling Epcot Epbot, which is hysterical. MY EVIL PLAN IS WORKING. Mwuah-ha-haaa.

More Disney goodness courtesy of Julie A.: a tiny Jungle Cruise diorama!

This former JC skipper is thoroughly smitten. (I do miss the old striped awnings!)

See the pain-staking process shots over at Imagineering Disney.

And finally, Cheryl U. sent me this poetry performance after my Ren Fest post, and the last 20 seconds really hit me right in the gut. It's a kind of celebration of anxiety sufferers, if that makes any sense. NSFW due to several F bombs, but well worth getting the headphones out for:

"Because you can't be this afraid of losing everything
If you don't love everything first
Because you have to have a soul-crushing hope that things will get better
To be this afraid of missing it."

Like I said: right in the gut. Thanks again, Cheryl.

Hope you guys are having a great week! As always, feel free to share your favorite finds and creations here in the comments or over on the Epbot FB page.


  1. Your mom is not alone. I keeping reading Epcot as Epbot. I was even going to comment about it when I just did it on this post.


  2. Oooooh, it occurs to me you may not know Ursula Vernon.

    She's an artist/author (the originator of the internet-famous Biting Pear, though that's not even close to my favorite stuff she's done) and her blog is awesome.

    Of note for the Gems section, though, are her recent statue...things. I will link you only her most recent, Quippet, on the (now closed ebay page). I recommend following the ebay link back to "read Quippet's story" for funsies.

  3. Wait. wait wait waitwait YOU WERE A JC SKIPPER!?!?! *squee!*

  4. I got one of those flamingos a couple years ago at Epcot. I named him Derpy and he bravely guards my avocado tree. he earned a commendation when the wind tipped them over. Derpy received some injuries that were later repaired with super glue. I forgot how bright pink he used to be! My poor guy needs some touch up paint=(

    1. We have one too! And I had the same thought - WOW he's faded! We love him though. Total Kitch!

  5. I worked Adventureland Merch for a few years, and I love me some Jungle Cruise!!

  6. Ooooh I have the Disney Flamingo! I LOVE IT! The only "problem" is that it's completely faded from being the shade. I'd still buy another one though!

  7. Fun Fact: Pat Carroll (the voice of Ursula) played one of Cinderella's stepsisters in Rogers & Hammerstein's musical version of Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren.

    1. They based Ursula's look/features on one of my All-Time Heroes, the legendary Divine. And while Pat Carroll definitely still sounds like amazing herself, there's just a li'l bit of Divine in that voice performance, especially whenever she freaks out or sounds Deliciously Evil.

      Hmm... I was Divine for Halloween a few years ago, and rocked it HARD, and I love Ursula... I think I just figured out who to be for Halloween this year! ;)

      Cheers, thanks a lot,


  8. That video. Oh my gosh I loved it. I immediately sent it to my closest friend, who shares my crazy worries and fears!

  9. For mottled leather try second-hand/used/aged leather jackets.

  10. Joann has a great selection of textured leather and suede that might work! Click here to see something I made with fun textures: (hope that works, I will share on fb tomorrow if it doesn't)

  11. That poem was bad ASS. I was seeing a therapist for my depression and anxiety one-on-one for several years, but I won't go to group therapy; I already have enough to deal with freaking out over my own worries-- I don't need to add everything YOU worry about to my list and make it worse!

    And she's right; melatonin and Benedryl are for amateurs. If you've got the full-on depression/anxiety insomnia, when your mind is racing on a million different mostly negative things and you're incapable of being still, only stuff ending in -zepam or -zepan is of any use. And I say this as a proud stoner; not even the kindest of the kind is enough to knock you out AND keep you there. It bugs me to death to have to take it, but I too know the crazification that comes with over a week without sleep. I starting seeing The Black Soots from "My Neighbour Totoro" (AKA "The Dustbunnies" in the US edit) out of the corner of my eye, and voices coming from my closet. I only like to hallucinate when I'm doing it on purpose, thank you!

    Cheers, thanks a lot,


  12. that video...Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm going to be thinking about it all day. That ending...

  13. That lawn flamingo is AMAZING. A pity it's so expensive, otherwise I would totally try to get one for my dorm room...
    The beaded things are also pretty nifty!

  14. JoAnn's Fabrics - fuax leather, $8.99 - 12.99/yd. Use a very sharp needle! If using a machine, lengthen the stitch from your usual to 1 place LONGER. Otherwise the pleather will rip.

  15. It looks like the plush toy was sewn using a whip stitch. I don't know how to explain it, but you should be able to find a tutorial on YouTube. This is something you should sew by hand, especially if you're making it out of pleather. The one in the photo is made with contrast stitching (thread in a different color than the fabric), but if you're not confident in your sewing skills it might be a good idea to match the thread and fabric colors so any unevenness shows less. What you want to do is look at images of the Songbird and the songbird plush, and look for ways its outer surface can be divided into shapes that can be drawn on a flat surface. So, for example, the soles of its feet are flat, so they'll be easy. Draw a sketch of that shape. Then work your way up, thinking about how the pieces will fit together. Also think about how much space you're leaving for stuffing. make sure you think about depth, not just length and width. For example, make the top of the foot slightly bigger than the bottom, so when you sew them together the top will curve up and the foot will be arched and have more shape. Once you have all the pieces sketched, you can probably consolidate some of them. What I mean is, if you have a piece for the sole of the foot, and another for the back of the lower leg, and the two are sewn together along a simple, straight line, then you can probably just make make both of them with a single pattern piece and just have a fold in the fabric where the seam would be. Keep thinking like that with all your pieces, and it can save a lot of effort. Once you have them sketched out, you can make the actual pattern pieces. Start with one piece. Then, take a piece it's going to be connected to. What is the seam along which they will be attached? Find where that line begins and ends on the piece you've already made, and measure it. Now you have one of the side measurements for the next piece. Just keep piecing it together like that. Once you're done, you can pin all the pattern pieces together the way you're going to sew the fabric, and see if it looks right. If it doesn't, keep making corrections until it does. Some people (especially when working with expensive fabrics or making a new pattern) also like to make a muslin. This is where you sew the pattern, but with cheap, light fabric, and without paying attention to detail or adding any embellishments. It allows you to correct any mistakes before starting on the final piece. Next, it's time to cut the pattern out of your fabric and sew it together!

    Some of these steps can probably be skipped or done in your head, this is just a more complete list. This project is absolutely doable and I think you'll have fun. Good luck!

  16. lol, I had no idea that Syndrome was voiced by Jason Lee! That is somehow so fitting.

  17. The video - dang.
    Thanks for posting. Thanks for the tear up. Just...thanks.
    - a fellow member of the anxiety group

  18. You could just get an old leather/pleather jacket from a thrift store to take apart. It should have some nice wear patterns for the aged look.

  19. The cartoon Ursula never fails to make me think of the mom of my sister's best friend. That woman was horrible, too, and I desperately wanted to send the figurine to her anonymously.

  20. I've got some leather that I salvaged from one of my old coats if you want it. It's black, though some pieces look distressed. I want to do a skirt with it but have way more than I need so I don't mind sending the excess :)
    I've been obsessed with the Disney voiced since I was little - wanted to be one so badly that I am now somewhat of a circus freak in that I can start off singing Ariel, mid song switch to belle's song and so forth - while keeping the voices straight. I've had friends call it creepy and uncanny - and ask me to stop. I only do it these days to mess with people.
    And I want that rainbow brite! Used to be obsessed with the show and I love Katie's artwork tons, thanks so much for introducing me to her stuff :)
    She was at a recent con in Toronto (that I had to miss cos of exams and cost) but I'm hoping she'll be at the next one and I can get some artwork.

  21. I commented this over at The 36th Avenue, but thought it was worth mentioning here too - the fumes from those adorable melting beads are toxic! Please use a dedicated toaster oven, not one you make food in. When I started making tons of shrinkydink jewelry, I spent all of $20 on a toaster oven, and it's more than worth it.

  22. So glad they thought to add ALAN TUDYK (Firefly, Serenity) to the list of baddies!

  23. Thanks for sharing that anxiety group piece. I SO needed that today.

    The tiny jungle cruise was an added bonus.

  24. love katie cook! found her at the ny comic con last year, waited in line for a super cute little sketch of dh and i as hogwarts students...i wish we had found her sooner! she was doing these quick little commissions the whole time....


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