Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Alchemist's Letter & The Book of Life

Have five minutes to spare? In the mood for a stunning, steampunky fairy tale?

Then watch this:


 Wow. Am I right?

(If you can't watch it right now, here's a little preview:)

And speaking of visually stunning films, John and I finally saw The Book of Life this week, and LOVED it. 

For some reason I was afraid it'd be like The Boxtrolls, which we also saw recently after waiting forever, but happily Book of Life has a really engaging story (which I think Trolls lacks) and is non-stop eye candy (where Trolls is often flinch-away disgusting).

Some of the modern music selections are a little jarring, but oh man, you guys, the scene with the bull? AH! Can I spoil this, just a little? Because I have to tell you:


 The scene where the failed bullfighter sings his apology to the spirits of all the bulls his ancestors have slain absolutely did me in. Bawled. Like a. Baby. So gorgeous.

So, yeah, go rent Book of Life, if you haven't already. John's already demanded we buy this one, so I'm off to grab a copy now. (Ooh, and only $12 on Amazon! Sweet!)


And now, time to announce this month's art winners!

neolexia wins the 3-eyed monster
Fluffy Pink Bunny wins Whistlin' Wash
Abi Terry wins the purple-eyed girl & ferret
Jenni Murdock wins Cake in a Cup
Joanne W.  gets her choice off the give-away board

Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses, so I can get those out to you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CONFIRMED: Adam Savage Is Awesome

Some of you saw my fangirling last Friday over on Facebook, because of this:

Thanks to Cake Wrecks I've gotten to meet a few celebs and "online famous" types over the years, so I like to think I'm a little better at keeping my cool. Heck, back in CW's hey day I even got to turn down David Letterman and a host of other shows, which still gives me a warm glow inside. (I have an aversion to TV cameras. But no regrets.)

When it comes to people I actually admire, though - fame or no fame - I can still devolve into that stammering 12-year-old in line for a Carman autograph. (Which may literally be the most embarrassing thing I can admit to you right now - so I've decided to just embrace it.)

I often say that Adam Savage is my "Maker Hero." His work over on Tested and his One Day Builds are the stuff many of my dreams are made of, and no one inspires me to learn and make and just DO more than he does. His enthusiasm is infectious, he leads by example, and I like that he's one of the few celebs out there who gets cosplay - especially since I've met other "nerderati" who turn up their noses and made/make me feel somehow lesser for partaking.

So yeah, that was a definite fangirl moment.

Little did I know, it was about to get so much better.

Less than five minutes later, I saw I had a direct message over on Twitter.  FROM ADAM SAVAGE. Inviting me & mine to the Mythbusters show that night here in Orlando.

I'll pause here to let you imagine my reaction.

Here's a hint:

If I say any more I'll just embarrass myself (further), so let's skip ahead a few hours:

The seats Adam reserved for us were incredible, but this was my first attempt at a live stage show in years, and I was determined to manage it Xanax-free. So, John and I left our two support friends up front and retreated back to a lovely open section near the edge, where I could watch in comfort:

See us?

Ok, now see if you can spot Jamie.

The show was a delight: a fun mix of audience participation, semi-dangerous stunts:

(... and actually dangerous stunts)

Video clips and Q&As:

And even a little knife-throwing:

My favorite was when they dressed an audience member in a full suit of medieval armor, stood him in front of a blast shield, and hit him with a paintball barrage from a custom rig that fires 4 guns at once:

(Many thanks to my friend Missy for letting me use her pictures, btw.)

The whole thing felt pretty intimate and low-key, though, almost like a convention panel. (If panels had giant paintball gun rigs.) Both Jamie and Adam seem exactly the same live as they are on camera, with the slight exception that it's clear Jamie doesn't relish speaking in front of large audiences. No big surprise there, but it may help explain why this is his "farewell tour." And really, the thought that Jamie's overcome something I struggle with myself only makes me respect him more.

I especially liked how both guys went out of their way to include and encourage the young girls at the show, and Adam's mini-rant on the need for a Wonder Woman movie drew well-deserved cheers.

Ah, but that's not all! After the show we were led back to a large practice room with maybe 50 other people, where we got to meet the guys and take pictures.

I had to say my name twice (since my voice gave out), but as soon as Adam realized who I was he yelled "Cake Wrecks!" and gave me a big hug. Then he proceeded to tell the room at large about the site, and after a quick chat, had someone take a picture of us together with his own phone.

I was pretty stunned by it all, and my friend Missy laughingly said later, "He seemed more excited to meet you than you were to meet him!" That's the trouble with being more of a "Kermit flailing on the inside" kinda girl, heh.

[Kermit flailing on the inside.]
And best of all? NO PANIC. I think these Hashimoto's meds are helping!

I try to do a couple of reader meet ups a month, and usually when I meet you guys we greet each other like old friends. We hug and we laugh and we get right to the geeking out. Sometimes, though, there are tears, or a little stammering, or John will tell me later that this one was shaking from nerves, and I never noticed - because I was nervous myself.

It makes me want to be better. 

I think inside we're all still 12-years-old sometimes, desperate for that connection and approval from someone we admire. I see it in myself with various artists and writers, and when I see it in fans, it makes me want to do everything I can to just not screw that up. Because I've met childhood icons who obviously didn't give a damn, and then I've met people like Adam Savage - and I always, ALWAYS, want to be like Adam Savage.
(Well, mixed with a healthy dose of Felicia Day. :D)

So thanks again, Adam, for being awesome to this fangirl, and thank you guys for freaking out with me. See, I knew you'd understand.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April Art Roundup: Baymax, Ninja Turtles, Baby Vader, & More!

Time to share the fruit of my shopping labors from MegaCon 2015's Artists' Alley! And hey, my gain is your gain, since I collected lots of prints for the give-away board!

I don't think I'll be able to fit everything into one post, but let's see how far we get, shall we?

Starting off with a new find for me: Jacob McAlister of You Found Jacob, who does some ridiculously fun pop portraits:

I kept coming back to stare at that fabulous squinty-eyed Stitch, and finally bought a small die-cut sticker of him to frame. You can get one at Jacob's Etsy shop for $4, or all his prints are only $14 each. Lots more to see there, too!

Check out these graphic wood block designs by Brian Demeter:

 Aren't they great? There are a few more - King Kong & Silver Surfer - on his blog, too.

By the time I stopped to chat with Brian on Sunday he'd pretty much sold out of everything, and I don't see any of these in his online store. Lucky for you guys, though, he donated an Enterprise print for the give-away board!

On Sunday John asked Kate Carleton for a last minute commission of Claptrap - and then *I* asked her to throw in Tiny Tina's bunny, too.

In like 20 minutes, BAM! We got this amazingness:


Kate's been experimenting with a new style lately, so she donated this Baymax print for the board:
 Isn't he sweet?

  I don't see that one on Kate's site yet, but check here for lots more of her prints starting at just $5.

(Btw, I should point out that I NEVER solicit donations from artists. Everyone here volunteered prints on their own - often as a thank-you for a past feature - and then I put 'em on the board to share the love. Just wanted you guys to know that. :))

K, moving on...

John and I went a little crazy at Nick Minor's booth, since he had a special going. I really love these black-and-white's of Booker & Elizabeth:

 And I haven't even played The Last of Us, but I *still* wanted this one:

We ended up with 2 prints of this Toothless: one for John, and one for you guys:

Plus this cute Harley & Batgirl, which you can't get from Nick online anymore:

Head over to Nick's Etsy shop for lots more. All of his prints are 11X17, and cost just $10!

For my fellow steampunk fans, Amy Williams' "Clock Ship":
Although I think I like her Angler Zeppelin even better:

Plus I've had Amy's Raygun set hanging in my office for years now:

Her prints range from just $6 to $15, so go see the rest at her online store!

Remember my friend Christie Cox's "Dogtor Who" print? Well, now she's made one for Star Trek!

"Dog Trek"! I love how she captured the personality of each character - especially Data & Wesley. :)

Christie also donated that one for the board, or you can grab one at her Etsy shop for $10.

I had to buy this big Supergirl poster from Jessica von Braun (formerly Jessica Grundy):
It's no longer in her online store... but this fabulous dino is!
 In fact, her Etsy shop has over five HUNDRED prints to browse, with ACEOs starting at just $3. Shopping heaven!

Omigosh, these turtles by Gladys José, you guys:


And this Baymax!

 And Mabel & Dipper from Gravity Falls!

 Best of all, these are all just $10 each at Gladys' Etsy shop. Woot woot!

Uh, I hope you guys aren't tired of Baymax yet, because LOOKIE:


Kristen Pauline sold out of these during the con - that's what I get for not grabbing one when I had the chance! Arg! See more of her work over on Tumblr, and cross your fingers she'll start selling online soon.

John commissioned a baby Vader from our friend Nathan Szerdy (you know him from his adorable Toothless print), and just like with Toothless, Nathan turned our original drawing into a digital print for you guys:

Death Star Rattle ftw.

Watch for Nathan at your local conventions, since he doesn't sell online. (Grrr.) Or be sure to comment below, since I've got one of these babies to give away!

Whew! I think I'm only about halfway through my MegaCon stash, but I've got to end there. (These posts are surprisingly time-consuming to put together!) You'll just get the rest next month. :)


Now, GIVE-AWAY TIME! As always, comment below for your chance to win your choice of art from that Pinterest Give-Away Board I keep talking about. Lots of new stuff going up over there, too, so take a looksie and find some new favorites!

IMPORTANT: be sure to mention in your comment if you'd like any of these 4 pieces below, since I'm picking 5 winners again this month:

In addition to one "wildcard" winner, four of you will get one of those, which are the oldest prizes still on the board. (Some of those are original pieces of art, too, not prints!) Just tell me which one(s) you like in your comment.

(You'll notice a couple are repeats from last month, since two of my five winners never claimed their prizes. GRRR. So please, guys, remember to check back to see if you've won!)

I'll announce my randomly selected winners here on the blog in a few days, and it will be tacked on to the end of a post - not a separate post on its own. And yep, I gladly ship internationally!

Happy commenting!

UPDATE: The give-away has ended!

neolexia wins the 3-eyed monster
Fluffy Pink Bunny wins Whistlin' Wash
Abi Terry wins the purple-eyed girl & ferret
Jenni Murdock wins Cake in a Cup
Joanne W.  gets her choice off the give-away board
Congrats, winners, & please e-mail me your mailing addresses.

Friday, April 24, 2015

This Floridian Life (AKA, "Lizard! LIIIIZARRRRRD!")

Last week I got up, put on some pants, and staggered into my closet to find a shirt to wear.

As I stood there, yawning and scratching and being generally lady-like, something caught my eye. I turned my head slightly, and came nose-to-nose with a giant lizard, clinging to the sheer fabric that serves as my closet door.

Now, I am a strong, modern woman, and as such I let out a strong, modern shriek before backing into a shoe rack. It was then I realized I was stuck, since the lizard was essentially guarding my only exit.

Eventually I managed to shield myself with the fabric's edge and sidle by, escaping almost certain death by lizard ambush.

I was still shirtless, but now VERY awake, so I did the only sensible thing:

I grabbed my phone, screwed up my courage, and stuck an arm back through the curtain to get a picture.

Because pics or it didn't happen, that's why.


Here's where it gets really bad:

I was just considering doing something tragically heroic, when the lizard made a sudden, dramatic leap ONTO MY HANGING CLOTHES, skittered down a ways, and disappeared into the t-shirts.

Text to John: "A lizard just jumped into my hanging clothes in the closet. Time to burn down the house."

What actually followed was three tense days of paranoia, with John dutifully searching my closet several times a day, me triple-checking the bathroom before every use, and the cats being utterly useless.

"You want us to do what now?"

 "Verra busy. Come back laterzzzzzz."

Then, on the third day, EUREKA! But here, you have to hear this in John's own words:

This update was a big hit with our FB friends, and my CW co-writer Sharyn even immortalized it in song:

So, to sum up: after a mad dash that destroyed much of my closet, John *did* catch the lizard, and safely released him outside to join all his lizardy kin.

I like to think the lizard is updating his own Facebook right now, with tales of screechy giants, soft clothes caverns, and utterly useless cats.

The End.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MegaCon 2015: The Best Cosplay, Part 2

Time for a new batch of cosplay awesomeness!

(Click any pic to embiggen.)

A beautiful Tauriel from The Hobbit. Love that detailing on her bow & quiver.

Honey Lemon & Mass Effect ladies:

These two villains were beyond fabulous - and Cruella was posing so well, I didn't even notice she was on the phone!
And the Queen's dress! WOWZA.

A couple straight off the set of Doctor Who:

Look at those prosthetics on the lady Silurian. Flawless.

[Click 'read more' below for the rest; I'm just getting started!]