Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Wreaths To Make You Want to DE-CO-RAAATE!

I know a couple of people who couldn't even wait 'til Thanksgiving to crack open the Christmas decorations - and, ok, MAAAYBE I'm one of them - so now is the time to start amassing our decorating inspirations, people!!

And since you KNOW I'm here to help - and to enable your glitter addiction - here are my 10 favorite wreaths from Orlando's Festival of Trees. (Yes, wreaths. I'm starting you off small!)

First up:

Loving that one ornament hanging down in the center. Talk about a perfect way to show off your favorite!

Oh, and I'm telling you now, guys, the trendiest trend this year is definitely peacock feathers. I thought they were big last year, but from what I've seen at the Festival and stores around town, this year is going to be drowning in teal, green and purple feathers.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you; I'll be proudly decorating my steampunk tree with plenty o' peacock goodness again this year. :)

 It doesn't show well on film, but this wreath was especially stunning in person:

I love the reds with the feathers and wood tones - so much so that I'm planning on changing our back room tree to a similar color scheme. (SO. EXCITED.) (And if you're new here: yes, I have two Christmas trees each year. DON'T JUDGE. :p)

I bet you can guess why I love this next one:


I'm also a big fan of using large accent pieces like those reindeer. Really gives the wreath a few key focal points. (You see that a lot more with designer trees, too: the bigger, the better.)

Here's a sweet option for bakers:

Again, one big accent piece really makes the whole wreath. You could use a wall plaque, lightweight statue, or even a favorite stuffed animal. Then buy a few coordinating ornaments & ribbon, and you're good to go! (The cookie cutters are a nice themed touch. I've seen baking themes with those pretty copper bundt pans & cutters, too.)

Not a wreath, but glamorous enough that I hope you'll forgive me:

I keep seeing cheap glass vases like this at Ross and HomeGoods - usually around $15. So let's see: fill it with mini ornaments or beads, stick a few big strands of pine garland in the top along with some spriggies and bigger ornaments...? Eh? Play your cards right, and I bet you could make your own for $30 or $40 -  less, if you use stuff you already have.

Ok, back to wreaths:

LOVE that top hat. Together with the plaid ribbons and rustic burlap and berry touches, it's got a fun Dickens vibe to it.

(I'm torn on burlap: I love the rustic look, but I also love glitter. Like, I NEED THE SPARKLIES, you know? Hm. Maybe if I dipped burlap in glitter...)


Really like the woodsy approach with the grapevine and faux pheasant feathers. Plus it's just so full. Most wreaths I look at and think, "Meh, I could do that." Not this one. It's got a whole tree's worth of stuff on it!

This would make a fun New Year's wreath, assuming anyone actually makes such a thing:

Good for music lovers, too, but mostly I just like the classic black, white, and silver color scheme. Feels really posh and vaguely Art Deco, don't you think? (I was about to say it needs mirror ball ornaments, but then I spotted the one under the bow! So... it just needs more mirror ball ornaments.)

From classic to colorful:

I still love lime green, teal, and fuchsia. They're just so cheerful together. (Any of you playing with that new mesh garland stuff that's all the rage? Because it is awesome. The perfect filler, and easy to mold, too. I want to find some in copper next for the steampunk tree.)

 And finally, a wreath with no greenery at all:

Red, bronze, and gold. YESSS. (This was the other wreath to convince me to change my color scheme this year.) And the little bird perched in the middle is perfection itself. LOVE IT.

And FINALLY finally, if any of you Whovians have an Old Time Pottery near you, go buy this bell:

Stick on some eye stalks, a mini whisk, and a plunger, and you'll have the most festive Dalek EVAH. (I would do it myself, of course, but it costs $25. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. To which I say: Bah. Humbug.)

I hope you got some ideas here for your own decorating endeavors, guys! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to fluff my tree, IF you know what I mean.

(It got a little smooshed in the garage. What?)


PS - Last call for Betty Martin, one of my art-giveaway winners! Please e-mail me, Betty, to claim your prize!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Most Wonderful Misspelling of the Year

Spotted at our local Old Time Pottery over the weekend:
 Finally, a holiday greeting that makes cents.

When we looked closer at the shelf, John and I decided OTP really needs better proof-readers:

Those are pretty simple mistakes, I guess, but this one just confuses me:

Um. What?

After we had our giggles, John decided to buy the "dime" one. Which gave me an idea.

Later that night, after a little Dremel surgery and some E-6000:

 Best $3.10 we've spent in ages.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy 50th, Doctor Who!

When I was little my parents brought me and my brother to our very first convention. The only convention, in fact, that we've ever been to all together as a family: the Doctor Who USA Tour.

via ebay

(We had this mug for most of my life; my parents report it finally broke just a few years ago.)

I remember the full size TARDIS control room (built on the back of a truck, like those mobile blood units) with all its buttons and knobs that I was encouraged to play with. I also remember John Pertwee (Doctor #3) ruffling my hair and saying something kind.

But mostly I remember a show we watched as a family, and characters we grew to love. Characters who made us laugh and sometimes cry, who inspired loyalty and justice and kindness to all creatures. (And who also fought some of the goofiest monsters this side of classic Star Trek.)

My parents still watch all the new episodes, but I admit I haven't followed the reboot very well.  I have no doubt I'm going to brave the heartache and catch up eventually, though, because this is a show near and dear to my geeky little heart.

So today, when John and I go out with friends, I'm wearing this pin:

 My father kept it all these years, and then kindly let me steal it. :) It's a shame it's yellowed so much; I really like the old logo's colors.

And if a fellow Whovian spots it, I know we're going to share a smile - and I might end up gushing about that time my favorite Doctor gave me a side hug again. (Nope. STILL NOT OVER IT.)

Happy Birthday, Doctor.


What's your favorite Doctor Who memory, guys? Tell me your stories in the comments!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Folderol


Happy Friday!

I've been a bit scattered this week, flitting from one project to the next, so allow me to dump some of my various and unrelated goodies on you:
First, add one more cutie to my newborn photography portfolio:

This is Caleb, my good friend (and wrecky minion) Julianne's newborn son. He was actually born Halloween night, and I took this photo when he was 5 or 6 days old. He was not a happy model, though, so I only got a handful of smiley peaceful images from our two hour session - and this is my favorite, because BATMAN HAT.

Yesterday John and I went to our annual viewing of the Festival of Trees at our local art museum. (SO. MANY. SPARKLIES.) I should be posting my favorites soon, but in the mean time, here's an ornament closeup I've been playing with:

I'm not sure I'll make it to Thanksgiving before breaking out one of the trees, either. Urge to decorate... OVERWHELMING.


In honor of tomorrow's Doctor Who special:

These ladies are ROCKING IT.
You can see more pics of them at Fashionably Geek!

I of course (of course!) have been playing the new BioShock DLC, Burial at Sea, but I've only found a few hours for it so far.  Even on "easy" the combat seems a lot harder than I remember, but the new Old Man Winter vigor is pretty cool. [pun intended]

The story is... well, confusing, but so was the first one. Parts of it feel a little TOO pandering, though, like when a random stranger calls Elizabeth "little Songbird." I think I'm only halfway through, though, so no official judgements yet. (Besides, if you're as much of an Infinite fan as I am, then of COURSE you have to play this.)

This week John and I finished all the MLP episodes Netflix has on streaming, PLUS all of the Phineas & Ferb ones, which we've been watching for ages. Guess we need a new cartoon now! Any suggestions? (I've already watched Avatar - and loved it. I wish they'd add the new TMNT series to streaming; I really want to see that!)

And finally, because it's Friday and this post just isn't random enough, allow me to introduce you to John's new favorite Youtube musicians: two guys who play in a pizza parlor in Salt Lake City:

John listens to their videos every week while he's moving Sunday Sweets over to SquareSpace (we write everything in Blogger, then copy posts over to SS), so now he's gotten me hooked. John's even half-jokingly suggested a road trip to go see them, since Salt Lake was one of our favorite stops on our last book tour. Not gonna lie: tempted.

Oh, and if you like that, then go listen to this one next. WOW. John played it for me last night, and I had to stop what I was doing and just listen. It's distractingly beautiful.

I hope to have a fun crafty project for you next, but 'til then, have a great weekend, guys!

PS - I always forget to mention it, but I also post lots of my favorite geeky finds on Pinterest & Facebook! So if you're looking for more goodies you can't find here on the blog, give those a follow!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Weekend's Geekery

On Saturday John and I went to a little toy-and-art convention here in Orlando called FX. Hardly anyone showed up, though, which made it a bust for all the vendors and artists - many of whom told us they wouldn't be showing up the next day, much less next year. Such a shame!

It was still fun to browse the two vendor rooms and artist alley, though, and I scored some super cheap 'Trek books, a little chain mail jewelry, and lots and LOTS more art - because clearly I have a problem. :D

I even found a few folks in costume:

Some hipster/Rockabilly princesses and, uh... this guy:

I really loved these girls' dresses:

I didn't realize that several of the local artists I just featured in this month's roundup were there, so it was a happy surprise to find both Nathan (who did the Merida art) and Charlie (Who-bacca) there, plus Bianca of the Puff Monsters fame. John and I ended up spending most of our time hanging out & chatting with everyone in the art room - not to mention getting inundated with a bunch of free art, no matter how much we protested. (Ok, so maybe I didn't protest TOO much...)

Here's Charlie holding up my very own original Who-bacca watercolor:


He also gave me a Hello Pony print for the art give-away board, though. See? We ALL win.

(I spent a lot of time begging him and Danny Haas to do more Who-bacca prints, btw, and I think I managed to convince them. WHO LOVES YOU GUYS? Eh?)

Charlie tells me he's going to be posting a bunch more of his kids' geek booklets this Friday, btw, and they always sell out within a day or two, so watch his Etsy shop.

John acquired his very first piece of Pony anything from Bianca Roman-Stumpff, who in addition to being a super-cool gal also does the most fabulous MLP art:

We all shared a little moment together. It was special. :)

You can only purchase Pony prints from Bianca in person, but if you head to her Etsy shop (which I'm proud to say I helped bully her into opening) you can score one of her wood cut-out Puff Monsters, like this guy:
Another of John's purchases. It's now proudly on display in his man cave.

I have even more artsy goodies, but I'll save those for next month's art roundup.


On Sunday John and I headed out to Sarasota's Medieval Fair - a smaller, kinder, gentler version of the massive Tampa Bay Renaissance one.

My dreams of a cool and breezy Ren Fair were dashed by our blasted Florida heat, so we spent the afternoon sweating it out and looking for shade. We went with two Epbot readers, though - Michelle & Ralph - so that was pretty cool. (Pun intended. :))

I was a little too hot & lazy to chase down most of the costumes, but I did find the best dressed ladies of the Fair:

The gal in purple is my favorite. Check out that feathered headdress!

The lady in red is a close second, though:

I admit, I'm a little confused by the stuffed mice in the cleavage. 'Course, then I remembered reader Lynn B.'s photo of a fabulous TARDIS ren dress she spotted in Maryland recently:

So I can only assume storing pretty and/or cute things in cleavage is one of those things that separate Ren Fair geeks from Convention geeks. ;) (Also, I hope she removed the thorns first. OUCH.)

We spent a while watching the fencing matches, wherein they armed small children with swords and encouraged them to hack away at each other's heads:

The object was to pop those balloons. Here a mom gallantly stoops down to make it easier. :)

If you go to a lot of Ren Fairs then you're no doubt familiar with the Washing Women - who I hear have franchised now??

And that's the "Wheel of Death" on the right - bet he had a great view up there.

This gal had a fully articulated mouth that moved when she talked. It was amazing.

Overall it was a more pleasant atmosphere than at Tampa's, maybe because there was less drunken rowdiness. You were also less likely to be accosted by shop owners hamming it up in character - something we introverts tend to despise and avoid at all costs.

Instead, we found folks to be a little more subdued, and the ones in costume (and character) tended to stick to themselves and not harass anyone:

Charming game of jump rope (and later limbo):

I really liked this girl's flowery crown and face paint:

Before we completely melted in the heat we did catch the live jousting match, and I even managed to snag a good spot court side:

They made maybe a dozen runs, all told, and sent plenty of lance shrapnel flying.

At one point one of the knights took a tumble:


He was fine, though, and got up to do another few rounds.

The victor!

One last beauty shot of the winning knight:

And that does it for the Ren Fair! Hope you enjoyed your virtual visit, everyone!

"Bye bye, boys!"
"Have fun storming the castle!"



And the winners of this month's art give-away are... Renee of "A Bibliophile's Life For Me" and Betty Martin! Congrats, ladies, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses & choice of art from the give-away board!