Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birthday Goodies!

My birthday is this Sunday (yep, on Mother's day!), but I've already gotten so many awesome geeky goodies that I just HAVE to share - especially since so much is from you readers!

First, remember when I featured Sean Boyd's steampunk rayguns and such last month? Well, Sean was so chuffed by my post that he took my playful birthday hint seriously, and immediately asked if he could send me a gift. (Like I was going to say no to that!)

I expected just a little pin or something, so I imagine my delight when I found he'd made me an entire assemblage Epbot 'bot:

How cool is this?? It's about 8 inches tall, and Sean even hand-engraved all the little rivets and details.

I would have posted this last week, but our postal system showed its characteristic gentleness and snapped the antenna neck en route. Happily John was able to perform some robot surgery with a bit of JB Weld, though, and now my 'bot's head can reach sky-high again:


Next up,  Mike and Michelle M. have been kind enough to offer a few leather-working tips for me and John via e-mail the past few weeks, and then surprised me with THE most EPIC Harry Potter gift... EVER.

Was that enough build-up, do you think? Probably not, because LOOK!

It's a Mini Monster Book of Monsters, complete with its own mini hanging cage!

Michelle tells me this is the first one they've ever made, and I can't believe they gave it to ME. The detail is just incredible. See that snippet of newspaper the book is resting on? It's a copy of the Daily Prophet!

The paper even unfolds, with articles about the Azkaban breakout and even a super tiny crossword puzzle. AMAZING.

Plus you can unsnap the book's binding, and it will spring open like this:

(John saw me uploading this photo just now and asked, "Did you stroke its spine to get it to close again?" Ha! It's official, my friends: he really IS a geek.)

Oh, and Mike & Michelle also gave me this hand-tooled keychain:
I can only hope that John's and my own attempts at leather work will someday come close to this. Thanks, guys! (And stay tuned for another glimpse of our ongoing efforts, by the way. We're still trying!) [Oh, and be sure to check out Mike & Michelle's etsy shop for other leather goodies; I hear they may even post some of the mini Monster Books soon!]

I sort of picked my own gifts from John this year, since I stumbled across two things I just HAD to have. First, this painting:

I've been following PinkyToast's work for years, but have somehow never managed to buy anything from her. The second I saw this hit her store, though, I marched my laptop into John's man cave, plopped it in his lap, and said, "THIS. I WANT THIS." (The benefits of nearly 15 years of marriage: you get to be more direct. Ha!)

The second thing I may have even ordered before telling John he was getting it for me, but in my defense, it's a super limited edition art book, and I had to snag one before the pre-orders sold out!

The Clockwork Couture pre-order version comes with brass book corners and will be signed by the artist. It ships this month, so I can't wait to see it!

Btw, if you haven't seen Brian Kesinger's Otto & Victoria series, you are seriously missing out:


Brian has prints of a bunch of these over at Clockwork Couture, or I see that you can still pre-order the regular version of his book (the signed version has sold out) for only $17.02 over at Amazon, which is a steal. (Looks like it won't ship 'til July, though.)

And finally, Eve e-mailed me the most achingly beautiful scratch-art I've ever seen, and I am positively over the moon for it:

Best of all, she's mailing me the original!
(Hit the link up there to see more of her work!)

At this rate, I'm going to have a whole WALL of Epbot art in my office. Can't wait. ;)

I am so spoiled by you guys, seriously. Not just with gifts and art, but with so many amazing e-mails and notes that continually lift me up when I'm struggling. I can't answer them all anymore, but I do read them, and I'm humbled, and I just want you all to know how much your words matter. 

So, on that excessively sappy note, thanks for making my 35th (GULP) birthday extra EXTRA awesome.

PS - That reminds me: did you see? Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is back! Celebrate ALL the good things!


  1. You got some amazing gifts! Happy early birthday wishes, Jen!!! =)

  2. Serious talent!! And the people who sent you the gifts are cool too. ;-) Happy Birthday, Dear Jen!

  3. Happy Birthday birth month buddy! Mine was on the 7th, so just a few days apart. I hope you have a wonderful day and year!


  5. "Wonderful things!" Early happy birthday Jen. Have a great day! Thank you for your websites!
    Tiny P Elephant.

  6. Amazing gifts! Happy Birthday! :)

  7. Storm the KlingonMay 10, 2013 at 5:34 AM


    So now I finally know; I'm exactly 10 years and 6 days older than you! ZOINKS! I was worried that I was old enough to be your Mom (who looks FABulous, so no shade!), but instead, I'm just old enough to be a Weird Older Cousin. I feel better now. :)

    And after all the birthday hub-bub (man, I LOVE the word "hub-bub"!) has died down, I'll be e-mailing you for an address to send junk to; I've got more Steam/Victoriana costumes and accessories than I know what to do with, and I can't be arsed to Etsy them, so I'll just send them to you, where they'll have a good home. Absolutely the least I can do for a fellow weirdo who has gotten me through more rough times than I care to count (I get gaspy if I even try!). But be sure to give me your true sizes when I ask for them (privately, of course, and I'll never tell), or you'll only be screwing yourself. ;)

    Cheers, and happiest of birthdays!


    1. Storm, your comments never fail to put a grin on my face. Rock on, my Klingon sistah!

    2. Storm! Check out the first comment on Jen's May 3 post (Orlando Steampunks). Just wanted to make sure you saw it!

      Jen, thanks for everything. You deserve all these awesome gifts and more. Love my daily click on CakeWrecks for a hilarious start to my day. Love my daily click on Epbot to marvel at what you've been up to, see photos of your newest mind-blowing project, and find out what cool and amazing things you've discovered.

      Wishing you a very happy birthday,

    3. Storm the KlingonMay 11, 2013 at 6:29 AM

      Well, slap my ass and call me Judy, so you did! How did I miss it? I think I didn't modem much last weekend. (Oh, for the love of Bowie, way to show your age, you old bat; who the hell STILL calls it "modeming" anymore?! I'm leaving it in, though, because I keep it REAL, yo.) You are true to your word, my friend, and as a Klingon and a Celt, I respect and salute you! A lovely mini-party was held at my house (nothing like the John Hughes movie style blow-outs of my youth, alas; no Obligatory Fighting Couple, no Obligatory Snogging Couple [strange how they're usually the same couple], nothing broken, nothing spilled, no one barfed like a freshman, no Imperial entanglements); there was chocolate cheesecake AND chocolate vodka, so happy Klingon times were had. And I became an OFFICIAL Drag Mother; a gorgeous young queen wants me to make her outfits and show her how to sew, so she doesn't get kicked off the first episode of "RuPaul's Drag Race" for lack of skills (when she gets chosen, which she WILL!). She calls me Mama, and I love it. The first member of The House of Bourbon-- I'm SO proud! :)

      Wow, I just flashed on how much cake the writer/creatrix of Cake Wrecks must get on her birthday! Whoa... do you just choose little bits of the best ones, or gorge yourself like a goldfish til you explode? GROWN-UP DECISIONS SUCK! Glad to know you don't mind my weird comments; sometimes I wonder "Does she approve my comments because she likes them, or because she fears my wrath?" ;)

      Again, thanks to you both, and I hope your birthday is chockablock with awesomeness!

      Your Pal,


    4. Ten years can not only be Creepy Older Cousin, but Awesomely Cool Young Aunt! ;)

  8. Wow, some brilliant talent there! Seriously, your house must be an epic Nerdvana O.o do you have a cupboard under the stairs we could rent out?

    Have a great birthday!

  9. Happy early birthday :D
    And something you might be interested in - apparently Lego is doing a steampunk line. I don't know anything more than that though!
    ~etin kristine

  10. I hope you have a fantastic birthday! Thank you for sharing your gifts (and struggles) with the world!

    That scratch art is beyond words. Absolutely beautiful. Made me think of Wall-E. :)

  11. Wowwwww. You get the most epic gifts I have ever seen! Do you cry when people send you things like this? I would totally cry.

    Happy Birthday!

  12. Happy Birthday, Hope your day is terrific!!

  13. Happy birthday, Jen! Sleep in, take a long bath, then go back to sleep! That sounds awesome!

    I'm also glad that Allie is back! Her comment box already hit the maximum number of comments, but that post was so good.

  14. My GOODness Jen you are so spoiled!!! I'm only saying that because I am totally (sinfully) jealous of that robot Sean made for you. If I had it I would hold it and pet it and name it George. (not really)
    Happy Birthday my dear!! Thank you so much for all the wreckiness, geekyness, steampunkness, diyness and honesty you spread. What a blessing you and John are.

  15. Wow, that is some seriously amazing stuff! Happy early birthday! :)

  16. Happy birthday! You bring so much joy to so many people, that I hope your day(s) are equally joyful!

  17. I've followed Cake Wrecks for years and am now reading my way through Epbot. I hope you'll show us your leather work. I too am learning how to work with leather and would love to see what you come up with.
    My birthday is tomorrow (11th)!
    Happy Birthday!

    1. Storm the KlingonMay 11, 2013 at 6:31 AM



      Storm the Klingon

  18. Happy early Birthday to my favoritest blogger ever! :)

  19. Happy early birthday! And don't worry about 35- it just means you're halfway to 40, and the 40s are AWESOME!!! Seriously. You couldn't pay me to be a twentysomething again. Something to look forward to. :D

  20. Happy Birthday, Jen! The day after my Maine Coon, Reilly, turns 9! And you are not 35, you are 30 with 5 years of experience.

  21. Happy Birthday, Jen, and thanks for your blogs - you bring a bright spot to my world every day!

    And btw, I was watching Allie's blog yesterday, and peeked again today - she's got 5000 comments today! There's a serious amount of love being sent her way!

  22. Eppi (early) Beerday, Jen! :D Thank YOU for all the geeky treasures, DIY inspiration, hilarious puns, and general awesomeness. May all your birthday wishes come true!



    I love your Epbot 'bot. So beautiful.

    That Octopus art book is awesome.

    Eve's scratch art! Lovely.

    You always find the coolest stuff! (Or does it find you?) ; )

    Happy Birthday, young 'un! You are the Woulds Best Jen! ; p

    I visited Allie's blog yesterday. She is amazing. Thanks for the update on her.


  24. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  25. Happy birthday! Thank you for bringing light and joy into my day from your corner of the internet!

  26. Hope you have a wonderful birthday this weekend, Jen! I'm 37, so no worries about being 35! It's all good! I hope your entire weekend is filled with fun and love.

    And a sincere thanks for the Robot Nation link. Now I know I'm going to make four little apocalypse horsemen robots for my hubby for his birthday! :)

  27. Happy Birthday, Jen! Warm greetings from a remote corner of Northern Norway ;-)

    (I thought this was a fitting day to post my first post, after enjoying your blogs in silence for years :-))

  28. I LOVE your new Epbot bot! Too cute! Happy Birthday to you, Jen! Hope you have the best day ever!

  29. What a blessing it is to be loved. Happiest of birthdays, Jen!

  30. Happy birthday, Jen! Yay for us May babies! Alas...I am 718 days older than you.

    Thanks so much for sharing your humor and creativity and general awesomeness with the rest of us. I'm jelly of your 3-D and 2-D robot. Both of them are cute and beautiful.

    Again...the happiest of birthdays to you!

  31. Happy birthday!

  32. Jen.... "Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. Happy Birthday, Auntie J

  33. Happy, happy birthday! May all the geeky goodness of life be only a smart part of your joy today. Sit back, relax, eat some chocolate, and remember to crack that whip so John knows exactly when to offer foot rubs. ;)
    P.S. And as a final wish, may you be blessed with a pair of new orange boots! :D

  34. Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes
    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes
    Hippo Birdy Deer Ewe
    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes

  35. Happy Birthday! Cake pictures? There was an epic cake, right?

  36. Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day! You are amazing and an inspiration.

  37. Jen, you are bad for my bottom line...I've purchased the record album purse, three custom prints from your friend Christie, Katie's book, your books, and now a custom robot and an octopus manual! And I'm sure I'm forgetting more...Why oh why do you have to have such good taste?!! :-D You're like my personal shopper for the web.

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday--you deserve it, for all the good energy you put out in the world!

  38. I was at the mutton and mead festival this weekend in montage and I was looking for a proper pewter mug I stumbled upon this shop that had the most beautiful leather work I had ever seen. So many masks and mustaches on sicks of monsters in cages?! I fangirled out a bit and then realized that I had seen these before on epbot! I ended up talking to Michelle for a bit about how much we loved your blog and how much I loved her book of monsters. It was so much fun!


Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>