Monday, November 30, 2015

Festival of Trees 2015, AKA, The Best Christmas Tree Ideas To Steal!

Greetings, fellow Christmas decoration addicts! Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time for my yearly roundup from Orlando's Festival of Trees!

This event always has the newest designer trends, and is fantastic for inspiration. So let's dive in!

 I'm always most interested in tree toppers, and this year top hats were pretty popular. I like the extra berry sprigs around this one; keeps it from looking too boxy up there.

Now this topper was way over the top... literally:


Ok, so the topper's a bit much, but the theme, "Sweater Weather," was adorable:

 Almost every ornament was made of soft felts and fabric!

This next theme is "Once Upon A Time":

See the little spinning wheel at the base? From that, I'm guessing the wheat stalks on top are an ode to Rumpelstiltskin. 

The ornaments were a mix of keys, crown, fairies, carriages, etc:

Friday, November 27, 2015

MegaCon Fan Days 2015: The Perfect Con For Newbies?

I'm a big fan of MegaCon, Orlando's sci-fi convention that draws even more people than Dragon Con, if you can believe it, so I was pretty psyched when MC's owners announced a new, smaller event called "Fan Days." This 2-day con would offset the larger 4-day MegaCon coming next May.

This was Fan Days' first year, and there wasn't a lot of advance notice to the public, so attendance was a little sparse. Where MegaCon averages over 65,000 attendees, Fan Days was more in the10,000 range. It was held in the same convention center, though, and had a surprisingly great lineup of A-list celebs, artists, and vendors.

So while business was a little slow for the workers, it was near perfection for us attendees. The big panel room for celebs was never more than half full, you could shop the vendor room with ease, and parking has never been faster. That said, there were still plenty of fellow geeks and cosplayers around to keep the atmosphere lively, and just enough crowds to make it feel like a con.

A conga line of Deadpools:

This Wonder Woman later won Best Comic Book Character in the costume contest:

Steampunk Lady Flash:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Indiana Jones Bar at Disney Springs: Photo Tour!

My parents have been visiting this past week, so John and I took them out to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) to wander and see the newest additions. 

Chief on that list was Jock Lindsey's Hanger Bar, which really knocked my socks off with its incredible theming and fun atmosphere.

To give you an idea where my expectations were, I didn't even bring my camera. (Boops.) Here's hoping these shots from my iPhone will do!

As you walk up you'll see this nifty gear-driven crane holding the Hangar sign, already half obscured by nearby trees.

 The building itself is already decked out for Christmas, with colorful travel postcards tucked into the garlands and wreaths.

In case you need a refresher (as I did): Jock Lindsey was Indiana Jones' pilot in Raiders of the Lost Ark. As such, his bar is filled with exotic treasures and fun Easter eggs for fans to find.

 If you walk around the outside corner of the Bar, you'll see the wrap-around deck with unique "patio" seating:

And here's your first Easter egg: the boat is named after Jock's pet snake, Reggie.

Now let's go in!

Here's the view from the entry way:


After gawping at those gorgeous roof beams, I zeroed in on the diving bell chamber in the back right... which you can sit in.

Monday, November 23, 2015

November Art Roundup: Elsa-As-Hades, Minimalist Maleficent, & The Cutest Golden Books EVER

Time for this month's roundup of my favorite geeky art finds!

Megan Carrigan of 18thCenturyShop over on Etsy has loads of delightful sketches and watercolors:

I'm a sucker for this little 4X4 watercolor of Cleo:


Carrigan does mostly Disney characters, but she also has some fab original designs:
Prints average from $10 to $25, and there are over a hundred to choose from. Have fun picking your favorites! 

Dino Tomic is a tattoo and airbrush artist who does absolutely INCREDIBLE things with colored pencils. Check out his "alternate universe" Dory from Finding Nemo:


And here's Elsa-as-Hades!

Now a creepy alien Maleficent:

And finally, Merida's lovely locks:


You can see more of Dino's work on DeviantArt, or follow him on Facebook, where he just announced last week he was going to start selling his drawings. Yay! No word yet on whether there will be prints, but maybe if we ask nicely?

Next up, some goodies from Jeff Langevin that we CAN buy:

Love this stylized Wonder Woman.

And remember the game Journey?


Langevin also has some lovely original characters:

Plus fun object collections for all kinds of fandoms:

Most of Langevin's prints are in the $15-$20 range. You can shop the rest here.

Some impressive minimalist posters from MoonPoster:

This silhouette style always looks great in groups:

Each 11X17 poster is $20, or you can buy whole sets at a discount. Check out the rest here.

And finally, Joey Spinotti has a new series of pop culture Golden Book parodies out, and you guys, they are SO GOOD.

Look at the little symbols on the spines! And the publisher names! I missed those at first, so now I'm EXTRA delighted. (Still trying to convince myself I don't need The Little Captain...)

The "Lovely Little Book" symbol is pure gold. Ha!

Prints are $35 each at the Gallery 1988 webstore, and there are TONS more to choose from. Happy shopping. :)

Give-away time! 

As always, comment below for a chance to win your choice of free art from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board. In addition to one wild card winner, I'll ALSO be picking two of you to win these:

Here's the Marvel one embiggened:

So be sure to tell me if you like either/both of these extra pieces, so I can enter you into those drawings, too. And don't worry, internationals; I'll ship anywhere!

I'll announce my 3 randomly selected winners in a few days. Happy commenting!

UPDATE: The give-away has ended!

The winner of the Marvel roundup is: Antinomia
The winner of the Leia is: Faith Harrison
And my wild card winner is: Mona Fitzpatrick!
Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!
- See more at:
The winner of the Marvel roundup is: Antinomia
The winner of the Leia is: Faith Harrison
And my wild card winner is: Mona Fitzpatrick!
Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!
- See more at:
The winner of the Marvel roundup is: Antinomia
The winner of the Leia is: Faith Harrison
And my wild card winner is: Mona Fitzpatrick!
Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!
- See more at:
The winner of the Marvel roundup is: Antinomia 
The winner of Leia is: Faith Harrison 
And my wild card winner is: Mona Fitzpatrick!

 Congrats, winners, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Last week I was about to throw out a few sets of old, unsalvageable Christmas lights when I had a minor brainstorm.

So naturally, I immediately abandoned the other half-dozen projects I've been working on (naturally!), and spent the next few hours making my new favorite upcycle:


This was a zero cost craft for me; I had the colorful enameled copper rings left over from a chain mail kit, and the silver bracelet is one of those $3 deals from JoAnns, which I also had stashed away.

The copper wires inside the lights really stand out, so I'd love to make my next one using bright copper rings.

Since this is a bracelet, the glass bulbs fall like bugle beads when you put it on, which I think is super fun:

And I like how the clear glass lets you see the rainbow rings underneath.

PLUS you get this delightful tinkly sound when you swish it around, like a little wind chime.

Of course these are glass, so be careful not to smash or crush them against anything too hard. They seem durable enough to clank against each other for gentle daily wear, though.

(I'll show you a few tricks for twisting the bulb wires at the end of this post.)

I still had a ton of lights left over when I finished the bracelet, so next I put together a quick matching necklace:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How I Wear My Corset (aka, Everday Corset Looks!)

Wow, it's hard to believe it's been a year and a half since my post on wearing an "every day" corset!

That post generated a lot of interest at the time, so I thought I might do a little update for you guys. I'll include some shopping links, what I've learned since, and even a few of my favorite corset outfit selfies, just to give you an idea of how to wear one without looking like you came from a Ren Fair.

First up, yes, I still wear a corset regularly, averaging about a week to ten days of every month, for around 8-10 hours a day.  I try to put it on as soon as I feel the first tell-tale ache of impending uterine jerkiness, and it never fails to reduce (or eliminate almost entirely) my menstrual pain. Once or twice I've even staggered out of bed in the middle of the night to lace one on, the pain was so great, and was astounded to find a corset helps even when I'm in a full-on Cramp Fest O' Agony.


Beyond mere pain control, there are days when I just feel like wearing a corset. I can't explain why, but some days I crave the supportive swaddling of it, and - knock on wood - it doesn't cause my anxiety to spike anymore. (Initially there was a mild "trapped" feeling that triggered my agoraphobia.)

Some anxiety sufferers claim a corset feels like a comforting hug, and I'm *almost* to the point where I understand what they mean, but I've still never felt any calmer wearing one. More comfortable, yes, but calmer, no.

Of course corsets make you look better, shape-wise, but that's never been my motivation in wearing one. I wear it because it feels nice, and 95% of the time, the only ones who see me in these outfits are John and the cats.

Now, let's talk BUYING corsets.