Sunday, January 31, 2016

Giant Cat Heads Make Sweet Purses

So I have a new bag shaped like a giant cat head, you guys, and it's pretty awesome:


It actually started out as the world's tiniest backpack:
When I ordered it online, the site failed to mention it was a backpack... FOR ANTS.


Considering how terrible I am at all things sewing-related, I'm actually quite pleased with my modification. I cut open the interior lining at the bottom seam:

... flipped the whole purse inside out:

... opened the seams where the straps were sewn in, pulled the straps free, and re-sewed all the seams shut again.

It turned out all the backpack straps were one piece, so I was able to re-use that for the purse strap.

The hardest part was inserting the new strap into the top seams; there were so many layers I had to hand stitch those closed again.

It looks fine from the outside, though!

 The strap is just long enough that I can wear it cross-body style. Which is good, since I only wear those or hip bags these days.


For some reason John wanted a turn modeling:

I actually bought this for him originally, so maybe it'll be his new man purse. ;) 
It totally suits him, right?

Oh, and the best part? The original backpack cost less than $6, and that includes shipping. You can buy your own here, plus they have a few different styles to choose from, including this redonkulous puppy dog head:

I also found some purse versions that only cost $7, though I like my strap better:

That puppy face on the bottom right is killin' me with teh cute. 

[Correction: Oops, these are actually COIN purses, and are about 6 inches across - much smaller than the backpack I used!]

I've purchased several things from that site, and while the quality isn't top notch, I've never had a problem with them otherwise. And this is NOT a sponsored post. Just sharing some fun cheap shopping links. (If you wander into their jewelry section you WILL be lost for hours. Just sayin'.)


Time to announce the winners from last week's art roundup!

So, congrats to:

Allison Anderson, who wins the Sherlock set

Kim from GiggleMonster, who wins Jack Skellington

And Zombie Edward, my wild card winner!

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Things I Learned Today: Barbie Is Based On A Bachelor Party Gag Gift?!

If you haven't seen this all over yet, you will soon: Barbie has a new body. 

Yep, following in the steps of Lammily, the "realistic" fashion doll:

Remember her?

... Mattel is introducing three new body types for Barbie: "Tall", "Petite", and "Curvy".

They're still keeping Barbie's original mutant body, too, though, about which Time had THIS fascinating factoid:

Um. Say WHAT?!

This is apparently old news, but it's the first I've heard of it - so off to Google I went.

I quickly found one of the original Bild Lillis, shown here in her see-through negligee:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January Art Roundup: Warrior Disney Princesses, Avatar Cards, & The Prettiest Patronus

Time for my first geeky art roundup of 2016!

Starting with Genefy Prints, which has a vibrant, splattery style that's simply gorgeous: 

At first these reminded me of CocoMila, who I've featured here before, but Coco's are strictly silhouettes, where these have lots more interior detail.

Here's the one that really made my jaw drop:

I never thought I'd want a picture of a Dementor this badly, you guys. It positively glows! 

Prints come in a variety of sizes over at Genefy's shop, and start at just over $11 each. Plus there's over two hundred to choose from, so good luck narrowing down your favorites!


A sweet otter family by Nidhi Chanani:

Lots more cuteness like this at her shop, where small prints start at just $4.50.


Rob Reep has a classic comic book style I'm really digging:

Plus I'm loving all the fandoms mashed into this print: Can you find the TARDIS, R2, Han's blaster, and Rocket's tail? And that's just for starters!

A couple more:

All of Rob's 11X17 prints are just $12. Check out his Etsy shop for the rest!


I just discovered the retro-licious style of Liana Hee, and I am in love:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This Steampunked Back Brace Looks Like Gorgeous Cosplay Armor

I love it when you guys share your projects and finds over on the Epbot FB page. Here's something particularly awesome that came in a few days ago:

Linda C. writes, "My daughter didn't like the brace she had to wear after surgery, so a friend helped her steampunk it. Best part, now folks are intrigued, and come up and ask why she has to wear it rather than just staring."

My jaw actually dropped, you guys. It looks like custom cosplay armor, right? SO COOL.

I asked Linda if she had more pics, and she kindly sent over a bunch. Here's her daughter, Maddie, in the original brace:

 Linda writes, "This is the 'before,' when she also needed a walker. We were in a bad wreck, and she had a T12 fracture. She's been having a spectacular recovery." (Thank goodness for that!)

"Sarah, the design mastermind, also does set design for our theater group, and helped with sets for a steampunk version of 'A Christmas Carol.'"

Here's the back:

And some process pics: 
Great use of appliques!

 It looks like they painted over paper gears to get that great design silhouette. The metal trim is on the bottom edge:

And one final beauty shot of Maddie in her finished brace:


Thanks so much for sharing, Linda, kudos to Sarah for doing such a great job, and best wishes to Maddie for an even speedier recovery!


UPDATE: You guys rock. Here's a new message from Linda:

Friday, January 22, 2016

DIY: Turn Any Shaped Stickers Into Reusable Resin Pins!

 I'm not a big pin collector, but I recently fell for this new Star Wars set at Disney:

Trouble is, it's $30. THIRTY DOLLARS. Nope nope nope.

In fact, there are a lot of new Star Wars pins with awesome designs:

Single pins start around $8 each.

 pics via Disney Pin Blog

So imagine my delight when, just a few days later, I spotted this $3 sticker book at Big Lots (yes, Big Lots) with stickers of every single new pin design:


(I couldn't find this exact book on Amazon, but here's a similar, more expensive version that appears to have the same stickers.)
So I bought the stickers, broke out some old resin from Little Windows, and made my OWN pins:


The process is surprisingly easy, and yields sturdy plastic pins with a beautiful, pillowy dome on top:

Now, you KNOW you have stickers laying around the house that you want to turn into re-usable pins, right?


So here's what you'll need:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Monster-Slaying Swords

(Trigger Warning: I wrote this a few days ago, and it's about anxiety again. Sorry.)

Last night I was afraid to go to sleep, because I'm still recovering from that medication switch-a-roo that had my anxiety cranked to 11, and every night for a while now I've had attacks and near-attacks and wake-up-just-in-time-to-have-one-more attacks, and there is just nothing more miserable in my admittedly sheltered little world than lying in the dark, doing breathing exercises, and teetering on that panic precipice. Nothing. Because I'm a wuss. Being scared scares me. Being scared of things no one around me is scared of isolates me.

I can be rational and understand that these feelings are lies. I know they are physical reactions caused by chemical imbalances, and that once my thyroid stabilizes the feelings will (mostly) go away again. I know it will get better.

But in the moment, when all is an unsettled, shivery blur, and fatigue chokes out the still, small, rational voice, it's hard to hang on.

So last night, I was afraid to go to sleep. More accurately, I was afraid of lying there for hours and hours while John slept peacefully beside me, even though he always tells me to wake him. Because waking John means something is wrong, which means I have to *admit* something is wrong, which means the monster is real and has huge, pointy teeth. Better to keep telling myself it's fine, I'm fine, and breathe, breathe, breathe.

I think this is why sometimes it hurts us anxiety sufferers to talk about it. Why it makes us *more* panicky to reach for the bottle of Xanax. Anxiety is as real as any virus, any cancer, but we want to believe it's something we can just will away. That if we just think enough calm thoughts, give ourselves enough pep talks, hang on to a hug from a friend just a few seconds longer, then we'll vanquish the monster.

But it doesn't work that way. You can't will away an emotional or mental problem any more than you can will away arthritis or a broken bone. It's real. It's physical. And while sometimes that reality is hard to cope with, it should give us hope. If a bone is broken, there are medical professionals who can mend it. In the same way, we have doctors and counselors who are (slowly) learning to mend our invisible breaks inside.

I'm guilty of depending far too much on will power, and saving even my ridiculously low dose tranquilizers for only real "emergencies." I've taken less than 20 pills per year. I suffer needlessly, convinced I should somehow be stronger.

And yet, these past few weeks have driven home just how much of my panic is caused by my Hashimoto's - by a real, diagnosable thing that's not me worrying too much, not me needing to "calm down" or "just relax" or any of the other ridiculous things people tend to say in panic situations. I'm more convinced than ever that the things we feel are tied directly to how our bodies are working or not working... so I need to treat it that way.

Can we agree to do that together, guys? To treat our diseases like actual diseases, take our medicine, see our doctors, and stop trying to tough something out just because there are people who don't believe we're sick? Can we agree to be proud of our doctor appointments, because it shows how hard we're fighting? And when we need a new session or a new medication, can we recognize it for what it is?: A sharper, stronger sword for slaying the monster.

"That's right, mofos, these aren't tranquilizers; they're monster-slaying swords. That you swallow. Which sounds wrong and painful, but that's just how bad-ass we are."

(I'm not sure this gif makes sense here, but dancing Wall-E wins all the things, so I'm leaving it.)

Last night John saw the tears as he hugged me goodnight, and after we talked, he convinced me to take a lorazepam. Then he held my hand, and stayed up all night with me. We left the light on and sat against the headboard and talked about nothing 'til nearly dawn, when we were punchy with fatigue. Only when he saw my chin start to hit my puzzle book did John allow himself to sleep - with the light still on, and the panic monster still at bay.

When I finally drifted off some time later, it was the best sleep I'd had in weeks.

Love and proper medication, you guys. Best. Combo. Ever.

Monday, January 18, 2016

These 20 Adorable Art Plushies Will Make You Melt

We all know the internet is EXCELLENT for goofing off (heck, I'm supposed to be working right now), but I also love how it teaches me about other fan communities out there. 

From prop building to metal etching to Monster High doll repaints, I've lost more hours than I can count learning to appreciate new skills and marveling at fan interests I never even knew existed. I love the passion. I love the creativity. And this week, I've decided you guys are coming down my latest rabbit hole with me, because LOOKIE:

I am a puddle of goo on the floor. A PUDDLE.

I've seen some adorable art dolls before, but this week I stumbled across a veritable treasure trove in the form of several Russian teddy bear websites.

This baby elephant has a baby elephant, you guys. AAAIIEEE

The little toes!

All three by Julia Yu Yurkevich

Hit that link for more of Julia's work - and while you're at it, marvel with me over the wonders of the internet and Google Translate that lets us appreciate stuff like this from across the globe. Living in the future is kinda cool.

Oh, but I have more. LOTS MORE. Prepare for a full frontal assault of almost lethal cuteness:

 Both bears by Un ourson sur la lune

By Taskka's Bears (page inactive, but posted to this site, which is fun to browse.)

Ermigosh, THE NOSES.

These next two have sculpted clay faces and feet on plush bodies: