Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July Art Roundup: Kingdom Hearts, Mad Scientist Vibes, & Anime Cuties

I found some awesome new artists for you guys this month!

First up,  Kelly McMahon:


Then she has almost as many enamel pins as she does prints!

Head over to Kelly's Etsy shop to browse the rest, and be sure to follow her on Instagram!


Claire of Hoo? It's Claire also has some fantastic prints:

(Little Donald!)
... but most of what she sells are buttons, stickers, lanyards, acrylic charms... ALL the things.

 I especially love her heart-shaped "Love You 3000" pins:
 And here's a fabulous My Hero Acadamia lanyard with her art on it:

Plus she has so many cute stickers and acrylic charms, like this Spider-Verse set!

Head to Claire's Etsy shop to see the rest, plus you can follow her on Instagram!


Ibble of IbbleScribbles has such a dreamy art style that I couldn't stop staring at her booth in MetroCon - even though I didn't recognize a single character from her fan art, ha:

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Cat Dragons, Poop Bags, & Someone Likes My Face

  I have lots of fun little things to share, but we should definitely start with rainbow dresses:

The pastel necklace is by Whimsy Kei, a local resin artist, and both dresses are CowCow brand from Amazon. I love them, but they're a little smaller than my last CowCow dress - maybe because they shipped from China? So I'm tempted to re-order them in XL.

Wearing rainbows is fun. A++, highly recommend.

 John did some death-defying lawn work:

 A few folks thought that was a weed whacker - bahaha! - but I promise both are legitimate hedge trimmers, rented from Home Depot.

 I promise you, I know what I've got - and I try not to take John for granted.

 On the kitty front, Suki has taken to bringing all her toys onto our bed (including dragging the plastic sticks with toys attached), and on laundry day she claimed my sock pile as her new dragon hoard:


 Then this happened:

 Have you ever tried to contain a massive belly laugh while madly scrambling for your phone to take a picture? Because that was me.

 My Hope robot has seen things, y'all. Hilarious things.

(Also I just re-read my old post about Hope and I'm kinda misty again. Aww.)

Random prettiness:

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Let's Paint A Ceiling Compass Rose!

Before I started Cake Wrecks John and I were faux finishers for the rich and mostly-not-famous here in central Florida. For nearly 10 years we did every imaginable thing with paint, and I only wish I'd been a blogger back then, too, because you guys would have FLIPPED for some of the crazy stuff we did, ha.

This week we got to revisit our old lives with a quick ceiling mural, though, so I thought you'd like to see. In fact, I'll walk you through every step, so you can recreate your own!

First a snippet of the finished ceiling:

Pretty, right?

This is actually a recreation of a mural we did over a decade ago for a dear friend of mine, Tim. Tim just bought a new house, and hated the thought of leaving the compass rose in his bedroom behind so much that he asked us to come paint him a new one.

Pro Tip: Baker's scaffolding like this will make your life so much easier when painting a ceiling mural, and you can rent a rack right at your local Home Depot. It's easy to set up and not too expensive, so if you have a large ceiling, give it a try! I promise after one use you'll wonder where this thing has been your whole life.


Most times you'll be centering the mural around a fan or light fixture, like we are here. If not, just find the center of the ceiling and put a screw or tack in it there.


This trick never gets old. Be sure to hold the pencil at the same angle all the way around.
 Next shorten the string by 5 or 6 inches and trace an inside border.

Finally, shorten the string to a total of 6 inches, and trace a circle around the very center. You should now have three circles on the ceiling:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

MetroCon 2019: My Favorite Cosplays - Plus A "Good Omens" Give-Away!

It's always so hard to narrow down my favorite cosplay photos, but here comes a mix I think you guys will love, starting with everyone's most recent Netflix binge:

Stranger Things 3! I spotted several Scoops Ahoy outfits over the weekend, but I think this was the only Eleven. (El's clothes this season were fantastic, right?)

And the show we binged before THAT, featuring the cosplay season's most popular power couple:

Good Omens!

These two are awesome, love their props: Crowley with the baby, and Aziraphale has the "Nice and Accurate Prophecies" book!

For years I avoided anime conventions because I felt like I wasn't enough of a fan, but the truth is every geek is going to find awesome stuff at Metro. There are still plenty of Disney, pop culture, & gaming cosplays, and if you're looking for new anime to watch, it's the perfect place to find out what's popular.

Case in point: after photographing SO MANY My Hero Acadamia cosplayers, I finally started watching it... and I really like it! (That's Froppy from MHA.)

I chase any cosplay that catches my eye, of course, so I trust you guys will help me with the names/shows I don't know:

This outfit was amazing, so many colors!

And I'm crushing on this poofy skirt:

Here comes some Disney: recognize this villain?
That's Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame. I love the way the light turned out around him, almost like high cathedral windows.

Then later I found a perfect Esmerelda:


John and I are re-playing Borderlands 2 right now to get hyped for Borderlands 3, which is coming out in September. These two went even further, and made cosplays from the new game!

I'm not sure if this killer clown is from a specific IP, but this is such a great costume:

Plus flash is so perfect for horror cosplays. Horror and beauty, ironically, both look amazing in this light.

Speaking of beauty, check out my friend Emma as Raven from Teen Titans:

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Progress Report From A Voluptuous Firefly Butt

This week John and I went to a friend's birthday dinner that included a bunch of local actors and entertainers - all of whom I was too shy to talk to. Instead I spent the meal basically hiding at the opposite end of the big table with the friends I did know.

Then came the Dreaded Group Photo, which as the capricious fates and bad restaurant lighting would have it, placed me - and ONLY me - in a blinding spotlight on the very edge of the group, while everyone else was in near total darkness.

It goes without saying, I think, that this was the worst photo of myself taken in ages. I look like a partially deflated Macy's balloon, y'all. I look fifty pounds heavier, my hair is a mess, one boob looks bigger than my entire head, and I'm pretty sure my jowls have jowls.

And of course - OF COURSE -  it was posted to Facebook.

So to sum up: all the famous attractive people - who have never met me, have no idea who I am or why I was there - are in deep dark shadow, and then tacked on at the very edge is me in a giant spotlight, glowing the glow of an unevenly voluptuous firefly butt.

When I clicked on the FB notification that this photo had been posted, I sat in cringing silence for several long seconds. Shock, shame, embarrassment... some of you know this particular rodeo. Thing is, not too long ago, something like this would have ruined my whole day. It may have even brought on tears, and resulted in a long, sleepless night of self-loathing.

But instead, after the initial cringe and sadness had subsided, I gave the tiniest, tiniest little chuckle. I imagined all these people blinking at their group photo and asking each other, "Who's that?" It still stung, for sure, but it was also kind of funny. Here I am, I thought, in a group of performers, stealing their spotlight!

Then I realized something: I think this is what progress looks like. I think... you guys, I think my Self-Hate Battle Plan is working.

See, just that afternoon I'd taken what I thought was one of my better outfit photos. I even showed most of my face! And folks on IG had been sending me hearts and messages about how my outfit looked like a Slytherin or Loki 'bound, and I was feeling pretty OK with myself. All that positive reinforcement, both from others AND from myself, gave me perspective on the awful group photo. I realized that one bad shot wasn't all there was of me. I realized I could look better than that, and sometimes did!

And that's the point of my Battle Plan: to practice seeing myself in a better light - literally and figuratively - so when these shockingly bad photos come along I have something to fight with. This week I was armed with a good photo of myself from the very same night, so I knew more than ever: a single photo is never the whole picture. Photos are a fleeting second in time that can be easily manipulated, and with the right pose and lighting, I CAN take a good picture. I daresay anyone can.

Knowing that - knowing that it IS possible for me to like a photo of myself - makes it so much easier to accept the bad ones. If I hadn't been pushing myself to take these daily outfit photos, though, I'd never have known that. I'd have thought the bad photo was the truth, was all there was of me.

As proof of my progress - and so you can laugh with me over how ridiculous this bad photo really is - allow me to present my very own Instagram vs Reality. This still isn't easy for me to post, but the fact that I CAN - the fact that I'm actually excited to show you guys how far I've come - is all I need to know my Battle Plan is working. I hope it encourages you to keep fighting, too.

(Filtered for better light, but never photoshopped)

(I blurred the rest of the group, but otherwise adjusted nothing)



Stay tuned for more MetroCon cosplay! I'm busy editing all our flash portraits now, can't wait to show you my favorites.


Oh! And the green dress I'm wearing in these pics is a comfy cotton tank dress, btw, perfect for summer, easy to layer, and $19 on Amazon. You can find it on the "Stuff Jen Wears" List here on my Epbot Amazon page. (I also added my rainbow prism dress and the pastel unicorn one, if you're looking for more colorful options!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

MetroCon 2019: Maybe We Should Dance More

Most conventions I cover are physically and emotionally draining, because they're huge, crowded, and often filled with people annoyed by those things. MetroCon is different, though. For the third year now I've come back rested and refueled, happy, and only a little sleep-deprived. Because it's specifically an anime con, Metro has a smaller, younger crowd, and that seems to equal a happier crowd. There are no big name celebrities, so no one is griping about the cost of photo opps or autographs, and no one is rushing to go stand in line, either. It's much more relaxed, very social, very accepting, very fun.

 John and I drove up Friday afternoon to spend the last few hours that day shopping, because Metro has THE best vendor room when it comes to draining my bank account. The art! The giant plushies! The jewelry and charms and kawaii cuteness!

One of my favorite booths - and sellers! - Whimsy Kei.

  Saturday is the big cosplay day, so we spent that day roaming the perimeter of the floor with our flash rig, taking photos. There were so many beautiful cosplays... I can't wait to show you! 

Sunday was pretty sparse, cosplay-wise, so we took a break to play the Escape Room in the vendor room and shop a bit more. Along the way I also took pics & video with my phone, of course, so if you missed any of my Story updates over the weekend, here come the highlights:

(Watch your volume; about halfway through there's some loud music.)
That dance floor is my favorite thing at Metro, because - Awkward Confession Time - I don't dance. I don't know how, and the very thought of trying makes me lock up in terror. And yet, paradoxically, I love to watch people dance! It fills up my heart in a way nothing else can, and I get the biggest, goofiest grin when I watch from the sidelines. We never linger more than a minute or two, but I try to pass by the floor as often as possible, bopping my head to the music, often laughing out loud in delight from all the infectious JOY out there.

I wish every convention had a dance floor like this. Not hidden away in some ballroom, but right smack in the open areas as you walk in. I bet folks would be less grumpy after a long wait in the ticket line if they walked in to find all the Disney princesses (and several Deadpools, of course) dancing to Backstreet Boys. Ha!

 But wait, there's more.

I have a few more pretties I didn't post in my Story!

Always one of my favorites. Their makeup game is FLAWLESS.

This character comes in two sizes:

I found someone shorter than me, you guys!

This metallic Princess Peach had a holographic shine to her - it was mesmerizing in person.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Jen's Gems: Starfish Butts, BB-8 Chairs, & "Highly Sensitive People"

There's an amazing photo making the rounds on social media without credit, but thanks to Google I tracked down the source over on Reddit:

This is Coen in his new BB-8 chair, meeting BB-8! Coen's dad did the chair modifications himself, and describes the encounter over on Reddit:

"They both got really excited. BB8 responded with rapid 'excitement' beeps. Coen had the biggest smile on his face pretty much throughout the interaction.

"Coen was emotional enough from the whole experience from that day (and the meet and greets with Kylo and Chewy) that he started leaking from the eyes due to lack of any other way to express himself. Coen ended up tickling BB8 and BB8 'laughed' so that became the game, and was frankly very cute."

Well now *I'M* leaking. This is wonderful.


Hey, you've got at least one friend you send weird links to, right? Good. 

Send this one and say nothing:

 Not the photo gallery we need, but the one we deserve.

I know there are a lot of Terry Pratchett fans here, so hold onto your socks while I show you Poppy Twiggler's JAW-DROPPING Discworld build:

Hang on, we need Poppy in there for scale:


Here's the top:

 I love the resin waterfalls over the edge!

Talk about your trunk space, check THIS action out:

Then there's more, because the turtle A'tuin glows in the dark:

Go check out Poppy's IG account for build photos and more fun SFX builds, like Hagrid's hut! Projects like this make me so happy.


Speaking of happy feelz, hang on, 'cuz I'm about to hit you with some more:

For George and Ginger's 60th wedding anniversary their granddaughter - a professional photographer - surprised them with a special photo shoot, and I'm not crying, OK YES I'M CRYING:

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Thought Process Of Everyone Walking On A Treadmill For The First Time In A Long Time

OK, just gotta set a nice brisk pace... there we go.

Ahh, see, this isn't so bad!

Yep, it's good to stretch the ol' legs. Mmm.

Really, I don't see why I don't do this every day.

Heck, I should get one of those treadmill desks! I could do that.

I mean, I don't even notice I'm walking here! This is easy! I could go for hours!

Oooh, imagine if I walked my entire work day. They say sitting is the new cigarettes.

Man, if I walked all day I would lose so much weight. I bet I could even fit into those jeans again.

Look at me! I already feel healthier!

That's it, I'm gonna research a treadmill desk. Then I'm gonna walk on it ALL DAY. Every time I'm at the computer, or watching TV: all walking. It'll be the new me! I can do this!


See, here I've been walking at least an hour, and it's like nothing. I'm barely tired!

Well, maybe a little tired.

But that's normal, this is a workout, after all. I'll build up to the all-day thing. Maybe start with just 6 hours a day. Yeah.

Humm. Yep. Six hours a day. Cool cool cool.

Oof, it's getting a little warm. Better turn up the fan...

That's better.

So maybe I'll have a few breaks during the all-day walking thing, just to cool off. Gotta work towards a goal, right? So like, two hours at a time, a little break, then back on again. Easy peasy.


I can't wait to wear those jeans again. Oooh, and I should buy those shoes I saw last week to go with them. Yaaasss. Just a little reward, you know, for taking all these healthy steps.

"Healthy steps." Aheheheh snerk.


Do I like kale?


Eh, with all this walking, probably not necessary.


I bet I could run a marathon. You know, eventually.

Not that I'd want to. But I could.


Whoa, my leg just went a little wobbly. Yikes.

I guess I am kind of tired. I'll keep going just a few more minutes.



I really want to sit down now.

Why is it so hot in here?

Are my calves cramping? Is this what a blood clot feels like?

Screw it, that's enough physical activity for one day.

But hey, this was a good start! I did the thing! Yeah!

I'm so proud of me.

In fact, I'm gonna take a picture of the display. Gotta show Mom how long I walked! She'll never believe it! Hee!

Let's see... I think the timer display is this button...

::beep beep beep::



Written by the gal who does own a treadmill desk, but still has this inner dialogue every. single. time.


Hey, need anything at Amazon? Like maybe that pair of shoes to go with those jeans? 'Cuz if you use my links to shop, it helps support the site: USAUK, Canada 

Thanks, gang!