Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jen's Gems: I Lost It At "Welcome Home"

I'm bringing back Jen's Gems, peeps! At least for a trial run, see how you guys like it. So here are some of my favorite finds from around the interwebz this week:

This girl is seeing Hogsmeade for the very first time. I was fine until the Conductor walked over:

 ...then I bawled.

Then I showed it to John, and he was kind of quiet, so I turned around and he was totally bawling with me. Ha! Thank goodness we cry at all the same stuff; keeps it from being embarrassing.

That's Rhapsody Artajo in the video, btw, who looks like a cool person to follow on FB.


This Dragonfly necklace by Milmine Design on Etsy:

...who also makes pretty pendants from vintage glass buttons:


I never thought I'd be raving about a stranger's wig to friends over dinner, but that's what I did last night. Because you guys, look what Bakka Cosplay did!

It's on fire! But not! But it looks it!

I am ridiculously excited and inspired by this. And you better believe the finished cosplay is phenomenal. Go see.


My favorite craft find in ages:

Allison of Dream A Little Bigger mixed UV-reactive pigment to make color-changing shoes! I sooo want to play with this stuff now. Go see her tutorial here.


If that Hogswarts Express Conductor didn't bring a tear to your eye, then the story of this 13-year-old boy who surprised his baby sister with a Disney photo shoot definitely will:

There's more to the story, though - more I won't spoil for you. Just promise me you'll go read it, because OH MY HEART and faith restored in future generations. Plus you get to see the rest of the gorgeous photos, taken by their mom!


And finally, here's John's contribution to your impending weekend of awesome:

via Reddit, but if you have the original source please share!

Because - and I quote, "some days, you just need to see a kangaroo basking in the sun on the beach."

Happy weekend, everyone! 

 P.S. - If you like these kinds of quick weekly wrap-ups, let me know! I get so caught up being an "original content creator" that sometimes I forget not everyone is online 16 hours a day, and maybe you don't see all the fun stuff I do. So hey, if you like 'em, I'll post 'em! Also feel free to suggest categories of things you want to see; this is just the tip of the iceberg, and believe me, I like LOTS of stuff.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Star Wars Celebration 2017: Episode 3

(Did you miss Episode 2: The Best Mashup Cosplay?)

I'm going to kick off this photo batch with the most adorable child of all time, you guys:

This little girl was wandering around the lobby beaming at everyone and rocking her Princess Leia doll, and I can't even handle the cute. Look at that face!

She got high-fives from Chewie and the Leia behind her, who looks exactly like Carrie Fisher here:

All the feelz. All of them.

I have a few nifty puppetry costumes to show you today, and here's the first:

Can you spot the cosplayer? She's hidden inside General Grievous' robe! The feet are attached to her shoes, and with the articulated legs Grievous is incredibly convincing.

I mentioned before how family-friendly Celebration is, and it was such a joy to see so many parents cosplaying with their kids.

And look at those little Amidala dresses! WOW.

Some brave, hilarious souls:

I didn't see them getting any flak, though; everyone seemed to find it as funny as I do.

An incredible Obi Wan:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"And The Streets Are Paved With Chee-eeese!"

John and I watched An American Tail on Netflix over the weekend - and you guys, it totally holds up!
Funny how I remembered almost nothing of the story, but could sing along with every song. Here's a test: Remember when Somewhere Out There played a zillion times a day on the radio? If not, then OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS. (Kidding. I love all you whippersnappers. Who else can I fill with my knowledge of great 80s cartoons? And will explain Tumblr memes to me?)

So naturally first thing yesterday I went digging through my office closet, because I have exactly ONE bin of old childhood dolls, and I couldn't remember exactly what was in it, but I had this hope...


(Let's pause to appreciate the mental image of a thirty-something woman, on a ladder, face inside a tupperware bin, yelling, "YESSSSSSQUEEEEEE!" If these cats could talk, y'all... they'd have NDAs.)

Anyone remember this Fievel doll? Apparently it was a Sears exclusive, though I could have sworn my grandmother got it from K-Mart. His floppy velvet hat is filled with stuffing like a pillow, and I would carry him around with my face buried in it. :) Although I do remember him being a lot bigger...

Anyway, fifteen minutes of lint-rolling and a light scrubbing with a damp washcloth later, and Fieval is nearly good as new. He smells a little... old, though. Not bad, just like something packed up a long time. What do you think, Febreeze? Toss him in the dryer with a dryer sheet? Moms, help me out here!

He'll sit on my desk with E.T. now. That's right, 80s movie stars, UNITE. 
(I just need a giant StayPuft plush. Did they even make those back then?)
Speaking of old movies, I noticed FernGully is on Netflix, too, but I don't think I've seen it - should I? Anastasia is there, too, which is gorgeous (the music! Ah!) plus John and I quote Bartok the bat on an almost weekly basis. (You'd be surprised how often you can work in a good "And then I'd KEEK her, sir," to a conversation.) So definitely watch that one if you haven't.
So tell me, guys, other than the popular Disney stuff which we all KNOW is good, which of your favorite childhood movies still hold up today? Extra credit if they're streaming online so I can find them!
BONUS MODERN MOVIE THUMBS UP... to Sing. Sure, you get the entire plot line in the 2-minute trailer, but it's sweet, head-bopping fun, and worth a Redbox rental.

Plus I love Rosita the pig. Girl rocks it.

(Don't worry, more Star Wars cosplay is coming! Just breaking things up a little in-between.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Star Wars Celebration 2017: The Best Mashup Cosplay!

(Did you miss my first batch of SWC cosplay? Go see!)

Get ready, fellow geeks, 'cuz this round it's ALL MASHUPS.

Awwww yeeeeeeeeeeah.

 I'm forever drawn to mashup cosplay because it's all so gosh-darn creative - and often hilarious. In a crowd of screen-accurate everything, I will be the one running towards the guy who combined Star Wars with Back to the Future, like so:

It's Han McFly!

Check out the details, you guys:

The back of his shoes say Falcon - and the "Solo" glows, too!

Here's a Pinkie Pie Mandalorian and Ackbar on vacation:

There were lots of stormtroopers on vacation, too; pool floats and sun visors over armor galore.

In fact, it's amazing just how versatile stormtrooper armor can be, from Hamlet to high school cheerleaders:

The use of Vader's helmet for Yorick's skull is brilliant, y'all. BRILLIANT.


Then there's the Freddie Mercury trooper, who traveled with his own boombox, got the Cantina band for backup, and put on a show:
YES. (They were playing Somebody to Love. It was awesome.)

Check it out, the four Hogwarts Houses as Jedi!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Star Wars Celebration 2017: Episode 1


Star Wars Celebration was a completely different experience this year. Last time it was in Orlando there were no new movies, no plans for Star Wars land at Disney, and significantly less crowds and hype. So this time felt like a taste of San Diego Comic-Con: very commercial, very Hollywood, and very crowded. (Attendance hit 70,000. That's Dragon Con level!) All of the vendors were giant companies with glittering storefronts, the Artist Alley was TINY - and only sold licensed Star Wars art, of course -  and happily there were more food vendors than you could shake a Dewback at.

If you're not familiar with most cons, that is all very unusual.

This was also the first time I've been to a con that encouraged overnight sleep-overs in line (which thousands participated in), effectively rendering all of the big panels moot, since only the extra extra die-hard fans could get in.

 (How great are these two??)

Once I realized I wouldn't be seeing any celebrities or sneak peeks or any of the panels I was interested in, it was actually kind of freeing. I had nothing on my schedule, so I could wander and soak in the atmosphere at my leisure for all four days! So that's what I did.

Ladies and gentle-beings: Sith-3PO.  [mic drop]

To be clear, SWC had lots of panels you could attend without sleeping on a concrete floor first. All the non-celebrity ones didn't require the coveted wrist-bands, and there was an impressive array of family-friendly activities, classes, live podcasts - you name it. Believe me, no one was bored.


Plus there were tons of activities on the show floor. You could build dioramas, race remote-controlled inflatable droids, pose with any of the dozen or so fantastic photo ops:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Jawa Carrying BB-8 Walks Into Star Wars Celebration 2017...

From: Twevo Deetum, SWCO, Earth
To: The Northern Equatorial Jawa Clan, Tatooine

Greetings, tribe. My sight-seeing journey has been pleasant thus far, if a bit bewildering. Here are a few pictures of me visiting the more popular galactic relics onsite:


 As you can see I picked up a functioning BB unit along the way, and while I expect it will fetch a hefty bounty, it's brought me no end of trouble with this planet's natives.

First one of the roving Troopers tried to steal it:

Then a Jedi tried one of her mind tricks to get me to trade it for a measly lightsaber:

 Don't worry, I held firm, brothers and sisters. NO DEAL.

I think this second BB unit even tried to attack me!
Or it could have been expressing affection. Hard to say.

 I figured a few body guards might come in handy:

 But these two had the most shocking manners. Really. Not at all appropriate for a shaman of my standing.

I eventually made it to our cousins' encampment:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Favorites From Epcot's Flower & Garden 2017

Happy Easter, peeps! 

(Fun Fact: I've been calling you guys "peeps" for the last 4 years just to lead up to that opening.)

You will quickly realize this is NOT a post full of Star Wars Celebration cosplay, so sorry about that. It'll take me a little while to re-combobulate and sort and edit my photos, so in the meantime:

How about some Epcot Flower & Garden Festival pretties?

I don't have the patience to do anything comprehensive, of course - there is too much! - but here are some of my favorite shots and finds from around the park.

This chalk art (actually done with decals) is a new addition right outside the butterfly tent. I love these kinds of illusions!

Here's how it looks from the side:

More butterfly love:

And caterpillar action, too!
I forget what kind of flower buds these were, but don't they look like something out of Avatar?

 More butterfly topiaries take center stage at the World Showcase entrance:

You can buy the Egg Hunt maps at the nearby shop, which I've covered before. In addition to the map and stickers, you get to choose a plastic egg for your prize. Here are the new eggs this year:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IT'S TIME. Come See Our New Star Wars Cosplay!

This is it, you guys. 

No more hints or sneak peeks or last last minute adjustments.

Here we go.

[deep breath]

Introducing... my new cosplay:


If you're not entirely sure what you're looking at - well, mission accomplished! - but let me explain:
John and I have been working these past months to transform 5-foot-tall me into a 4-foot-tall Jawa. And just to up the ante a bit, we decided THIS Jawa has managed to capture a special prize.

The pack is stuffed full with scavenged bits of technology and dismembered droids:

If you can read Aurebesh, you'll also note this particular duffel was either stolen or recovered from Watto's Shop on Tatooine:

 BB-8 barely fits inside the top of the pack, and the remnant of the net our Jawa used to capture him hangs in tatters around the edge:

The back view:
Those are more wires poking through a hole at the bottom.

But what you REALLY need to see are these two in action. So here's our latest motion test:

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Disney Photo Spot Is A Retro Rainbow Wonderland

I thought I'd follow up my Plush Super Uterus with something nearly as strange: I'mma rave about a hallway now, peeps. Buckle up.

To be fair, it's a DISNEY hallway, located a ways behind their giant golf ball:

Which doesn't usually look this cool, but that's why we have Photoshop.

Now, on to said hallway.

It lurks in the shadows beyond this unassuming door next to the Imagination Pavilion (aka the place with the butchered Figment ride.) (WHAT.) This area is only available to folks with a Disney Visa card, but happily my friend Stephanie has one of those, which just goes to show friends are awesome things to have, because sometimes they get you into cool Disney hallways for free.

Mark that one down, kids.

Ok, so first there's this wall right here:
Which has a rad mural of the Imagination Pavilion, done up Spaceship Earth style with that triangular texture.

Even the clouds are polygonal, what what:
And dig those soothing blues and purples, Dizgeeks. DIG 'EM.

Just past the mural you come to a wall with ACTUAL Spaceship Earth texture... plus rainbow lights.


I had to keep the photo dark to show the lights, but you can kind of see the spiky metallic triangles sticking out all over. This wall is the bee's knees, y'all. It's retro Captain EO Epcot goodness. It is joy. In fact, one of you needs this as an accent wall in your bedroom - I can feel it.


It gets better.

You're not even ready for this.  

You can never be ready.

Because round the corner, and you get...