Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Giant Huggable Moth, Cardboard Armor, & The Harry Potter Rental House That Will Make Your Jaw DROP

This week John and I are having all of our A/C duct work ripped out and replaced, along with a new A/C that's being moved from the deck to the garage. All good things, and I'll be thrilled to have the house finally get below 78 degrees in the afternoon, but it's a lot of upheaval in an already fractured and stressful week. 



NOTE: I'm going to say a little bit about the state of the world now, so anxiety sufferers, feel free to skip the following text.



I have things I want to say - scream, really - but right now everyone is just SO angry online that I'm choosing not to add to the echo chamber on social media. Too many folks - who are all on the same side! - are turning on each other, and the amount of in-fighting and bullying with this mob mentality that attacks even the ones trying to show support is scary, and frankly has my anxiety ratcheting into overload. Nothing I say will be right, and I don't think I can handle being ripped apart by the very people I agree with right now.

With that said, I'm grateful that most of you know my heart, and already know where I stand without my phrasing it just right or using all the right hashtags. I'm also grateful that this is a community that corrects me and educates me with love, not anger. I wish the rest of the world would do that. But hey, just so we're clear: of COURSE I'm horrified, and of COURSE I'm angry. I'm here to bring people together and shine light and love. The injustice and hatred filling the news is wrong, and we must - MUST - be better.

Epbot is a place of unity and celebration, though, and in this place I will continue to focus on the good and geeky things of the world. When that's what you need, John and I will be here. You know, should you need us.  ::hugs::

K, enough speechifying. John and I have been working on a new DIY I'm really excited about, but that's not ready to share yet. So instead, here come a bunch of fun finds I think you'll like.

 *****

First up, Jennifer of Little Day Miniatures took a custom order for a project I think some of you may recognize:


Anyone already squealing with me? And hearing the theme song in your head?

BEHOLD:

 
 Monica's apartment door! Look at the tiny light switches, and the itty bitty speaker grill, omigosh.

 This little diorama is meant for holding keys or jewelry, and even your glasses:


This also shows you just how tiny it is! You can buy one of your very own on Jennifer's online shop.
 Be sure to follow her on Facebook for more, too.


****
I found a truly excellent list-icle from deMilked:


About half of these are supremely satisfying before-and-afters, like this:

Sunday, May 31, 2020

I Think You'll Agree, THE WIG WAS WORTH THE WAIT

PLEASE NOTE: If you're not in the mood to laugh today, I get it. But since you're here, I'm going to assume you need this ridiculousness as much as I do. I'm doing what I can with what I have in the midst of my own storm, and I can only hope it spreads a little light in yours. It's not enough, I know, but it's what I have.

Now, on with the silliness.

******

If you've been keeping up with Epbot Movie Night then you know we postponed our viewing of Princess Bride for a week because "John's wig isn't here yet." (John and I try to dress up to fit each movie's theme each week, and predictably, it's getting out of hand.) You were all so gracious that we were determined to make it worth the wait.

So we roped in my friend Karen, our quarantine buddy since nearly the beginning of lockdown, and the three of us got together Friday afternoon in my sweltering backyard to have the photoshoot to end all photoshoots.

First, let's take a quick look at The Wig:


If this photo had sound, it would be a lot like the shrieking eels.

(I know some of you were hoping for a John Buttercup, but we had one specific movie scene we reeeeally wanted to re-enact together, and I'm so glad we did. Keep going, you'll see. :D)

I hacked off about a third of the wig to get it roughly into shape, then John used some of the excess to make sideburns out of hot glue and duct-tape:

 

We convinced Karen to buy both a red dress AND a tiara - which, come to think of it, wasn't all that hard. :P

 

 




SOUND ON

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Happy Things, Because Wow Do We Need Happy Things Today

This was supposed to be a post about practical ways to reduce anxiety, but ironically I was feeling  too scattered yesterday to finish writing it. I really do try to keep Epbot as our sweet geeky bubble insulated from the ickiness of the real world, but I have to admit, that world is getting to me at the moment. I bet it's getting to some of you, too.

So instead of practical advice, here come a few things that have made me smile through my fear, laugh through my anger, and reminded me there is still good and beauty out there.

*****

Rowena Meadows is a photographer in Australia who roped her family into the most colorful quarantine project I've seen yet - and the longer you look, the better these get:
 
 



 Their prop choices are perfection.

Bahaha! The dad looking at the baby doll cracks me up every time.

This makes me want to do my own series, but just with toys and art and random objects from around the house. That would be such a fun project, right?

But first head to Rowena's IG post to see the rest of her family's color portraits, 'cuz they are so, so worth it.

 *****

Some of you know the DoubleClicks, the sibling duo nerdy music group that gives the BEST live concerts. Obviously they can't do in-person concerts right now,  though, so they put together a virtual one... in Animal Crossing, New Horizons.

Prepare to smile a whole lot:

 
SO CUTE.

*****

About a month ago Weird Secondhand Finds (one of my favorite Facebook groups) had a trend where everyone was posting their collection photos. I LOVE COLLECTION PHOTOS. They're so satisfying, they make me so happy.  I saved a few of my favorites to show you:


(Click to embiggen)

This is MAGICAL. Omigosh. And those perfectly spaced brackets are so satisfying.



Monday, May 25, 2020

Two Towel Day Activities For You Hoopy Froods

Happy Towel Day, Hoopy Froods!

I just turned 42 this month, so this is my year of all things Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm hoping to have a joint birthday party later with another friend who's also turning 42, but in case that doesn't pan out, I thought I'd start sharing some of my planned birthday goodies here!

First up, I am BEYOND DELIGHTED to show you our most glorious coloring page party favors, made by John using all free clipart, if you can believe it.
How fun is this?? Feel free to download it (right click to embiggen, then save) so you can print it out to color. Or save the file to color digitally on your iPad.


Next up, while searching for birthday crafts I stumbled across this delightful creation by Terry Border of Bent Objects. (Remember Bent Objects? That was one of the big blogs back in Cake Wreck's heyday.)


I assume Terry made this by attaching the wire limbs directly to the book, but I had the idea to make it more of a wire stand, so the book could easily be removed without damage. Because how cute would this be sitting on your bookshelf?

As it turns out, VERY VERY CUTE:

Ta-daaaa.

 This is in John's game room, where I try to theme each bookshelf cubby to a different fandom:

 

It still needs something up high, I think. Maybe ships that hang in the sky the way that bricks don't? Or a banner advertising "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With," because that jingle has been stuck in my head for the last 3 days? (John and I've been watching the  6-part BBC miniseries of Hitchhiker's on Hulu.)


This little book stand is basically a wire easel with tiny feet and arms. The book is not attached, so you can simply lift it off to read. 

 Ahh, but what if you don't have spare shelf space for a book easel? Then what?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Mending Fences And A Happy Rescue Story


 


 

(This was especially weird because it was around day 5 of my sleep schedule reset, so I was suuuper zombified.)

 

Quick break for an epic Potter Pun, if I do say so myself:

:D


I'll let John finish the story, because he told it best in his post on Facebook:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Thrilling Tale Of How I Managed To Give Myself Jet Lag During An International Lockdown

One of the best/worst parts of staying home these past months is that time has lost all meaning. I quickly discovered that the only thing keeping my night owl tendencies in check was life outside the house, so once that life evaporated, I took it as permission to shed my last clinging remnants of "normalcy" and embrace my Best Vampire Life.

And it was glorious.

At least for a while.

Nighttime is so peaceful, you guys. If you've never stayed up all night to write then I highly recommend it. There are no leaf blowers going, no phones ringing, no notifications clogging your screen. You can be alone with your thoughts and actually focus on a single thing at a time. So I leaned into the siren call of productivity and stayed up later and later, working all night and going to bed around dawn.

That schedule wasn't TOO bad, considering I usually stayed up 'til 3AM anyway, but there was a problem. I'd opened Pandora's box, y'all. I'd unleashed the beast. My internal clock was off the chain, drunk, and staggering around the living room in its underwear demanding we "KEEP THIS PARTY GOING WOOOOOO"

So I stayed up later. And later.

I told myself this was actually a good thing, because I was seeing the sunrise for the first time in decades. I'd open all the shades around 6:30 and watch the house slowly lighten with dancing rays of light, and listen to the nesting cardinals and mocking birds sing. It was so beautiful, so restful. The perfect way to end my day.

Once I was staying up 'til 7 or 8am, though, I realized I could get even MORE work done if I wrote the Facebook updates before going to bed. Except the CW post doesn't go up 'til 9AM.

So I stayed up past 9AM.

Once I was awake past 9AM I discovered more things I could do before going to bed: Now I could return phone calls and DMs, even chat with my early-bird friends who I usually never got to see.

I'll spare you the rest of this word journey, and skip to the part where I woke up to start my day at 11 o'clock... PM. By this point I never knew what day it was, because I'd wake up on a Tuesday and go to bed on a Wednesday. I lived in the in-betweens, a hazy purgatory of days... and it felt like it. To quote a famous scientist, I felt "so funky" 24/7: a little spacey, a lot disconnected, and I can only imagine what my poor cortisol levels were doing.

Sleeping through my online therapy session was a wake-up call... literally, since my therapist had to text John to ask where I was. (John was going to bed himself around dawn, so we'd both forgotten what day it was.)

I tried reining in my hours a bit, but by this point my internal clock was completely upside down. I was going to bed between 1-3PM, a full 12 hours off from my usual schedule - so I didn't know if I should move backwards or forwards!

Then came Mother's Day weekend, and the infamous Key Lime Donut Incident.

Many of you know I'm on a modified Low FODMAP diet to manage a lifetime of gut pain. Happily I can eat most donuts without issue, so long as they don't have milk in them, but I forgot how heinously bad High Fructose Corn Syrup is to me - and how most fruit-flavored donuts are packed with it.



So I ate a delicious Key Lime Krispy Kreme, and 8 hours later was in so much pain that it started to scare me, and triggered my first panic attack in 4 months. I spent the next day on the couch spooning a hot-pack, and since I couldn't sleep through the pain anyway, my addled brain decided I may as well add on to this misery pile and try to turn my sleep schedule around.

Friday, May 15, 2020

DIY: Turn An Old T-Shirt Into Comfy Quarantine Shorts - With The LEAST Amount Of Sewing Humanly Possible

About a year ago I turned some of John's old t-shirts into what could loosely be called "shorts," but only if you were being generous. Really they were more stretchy skirts with the "legs" tacked together in the middle, since I couldn't figure out how to make a crotch without a bunch of sewing. And I hate sewing. Sewing is dark magic to me, steeped in impossibility and forever demanding blood sacrifices and chanted curses.

Anyway, problem was, John freaking LOVED those "shorts." He raved about how comfortable they were, and then wore them to death - which didn't take long, since the only thing holding the "crotch" together was faith, trust, and a 3-inch line of stitching.

So a few weeks ago, after many requests from John for more t-shirt shorts, we sat down together to figure out an easy, almost no-sew way to add a crotch so they'd fit better and last longer.

AND WE DID IT

The new design is vastly more durable, still just as comfy, and doesn't look like a giant diaper, which I consider a plus. (Not that I'm here to judge.) Best of all, it only requires 4 more lines of stitching, bringing the total stitch lines for this entire project up to 6. Six! That's it! And ZERO hemming, because we use the existing hems on the shirt.

We even eliminated the need for elastic by making our own drawstring from the leftover shirt top, so the ONLY thing you need to make these shorts is one old t-shirt, scissors, a sharpie, and a sewing machine. (Or needle and thread.) BOOM. It's the ultimate upcycle, and in the end you get the comfiest lounge shorts in all the land of Quarantine-opia. And let's face it: comfy lounge shorts are an essential dress code here.

OK. Ready for some entry-level sewing magic?

First, grab your grungiest old t-shirt out of the "to cut up into rags" pile:

(You'll notice I never said this was going to be a pretty DIY)

Using a long ruler or straight edge, draw 3 lines: one from armpit-to-armpit, one an inch or two ABOVE that line, and one vertical line in the bottom middle that's about 4 inches long, to make the legs.

Now cut all those lines:


The thin strip on top will be your drawstring, so set that aside.

Next we're going to harvest some crotchal pieces, so cut one of the sleeves off:

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Introducing Epbot Movie Nights!


It's a Big, Momentous, and otherwise adjective-riddled day, my friends.




NOT ONLY am I turning 42 today - thereby leveling up to becoming the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - but also - ALSO - Epbot (this blog, in case you forgot where you were) turns 10. Ten! Can you believe we've been together a whole decade??



I actually forgot that my first Epbot post was on my birthday, and I CLEARLY did not plan this far in advance, or expect a global pandemic to be in the mix. So I've decided to focus on Epbot's anniversary first, and have my Hitchhiker's-themed birthday party (which you'll all be invited to, don't worry) later this year.

I want to celebrate Epbot first because John and I've been cooking up something new and scary, and it seems appropriate that we announce it on Epbot's 10-year-anniversary, which at the time was ALSO new and scary.

So starting this Friday, May 15th, at 8:30pm EST, I'd like to invite you to the first official Epbot Movie Night over on our shiny new Epbot Discord server.



Don't worry if you have no idea what Discord is; neither did I 'til a few months ago. It's essentially a private online chat room where you can hang with friends, watch movies or games together, and have real-time conversations through text, voice, or even video. Unlike Facebook this is going to let us interact in real time, which I hope will help us feel more connected and seen.

Just think: No algorithms hiding your posts, no waiting for someone to "like" or comment. Instead you click into a virtual space with other real live people and chat about your day, show off pictures of your latest outfit or project, ask questions, lurk and just listen to other people, etc. And because the server is private we shouldn't have many random trolls or meanies wandering through.

Here's how the Epbot Discord looks in action:

Saturday, May 9, 2020

FOE & Tell, Quarantine Edition: Yoda Masks, Lockdown Crafts, Costumes, & More To Make You Smile

I still have a backlog of cool things I want to share from your posts on Fans of Epbot, but right now I think what we need to see most is each other, you know? What we're doing, what we're wearing (heyoo), what we're making or playing or laughing about through all this.


You know, like Josephine:

 "Eggbots" is my favorite new 'bots variation. 

My sister-in-law Anne-Marie loves chickens so much that we just got her a chicken purse for her birthday last week. I bet she's going to make Josephine here her lock screen, Kali. 

*****

Please note before you scroll further: many of today's posts are quarantine-adjacent, and some include masks. So feel free to skip if that's not your jam right now. Believe me, I get it.

*****

I love seeing people find reasons to dress up anytime, but it's especially awesome now, as folks make the best of cancelled events:





And of course, the crafting continues!
(You can also follow Jamie on IG!)

Anyone else want to drop everything and brainstorm band names for these three Wonder Wombs? I don't know if Jamie named them yet, so leave your suggestions in the comments. :p

Alexa made the first Name shirt to make me genuinely laugh out loud. This is GOLD, Alexa:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Art Roundup That Time Forgot: Little Heroes, New Ariel, & Kermit The Dragon??

This week I was scrolling through my old post drafts and discovered an entire art roundup I never posted.

 Seriously, I wrote most of this a whopping seven months ago, then I guess I got distracted by something shiny?


I told John I must be losing my mind, but he says this is just a lovely little quarantine gift and I should just go with it. So here we go, going with it!



 First up, the squee-worthy "Little Heroes" of Will Terry:





I am making noises that are concerning the cats, haha. And there are SO MANY MORE! Go check out the Little Heroes Etsy shop to browse the rest.


******

Cari Corene of Story of the Door has her art on pins, pouches, prints, and plushies:


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Dapper Day At Home 2020: Part 2! Merida, Mickey, Dapper Pups, & Dapper Pooh

Who's ready for more Dapper Day Disney Magic?

(If you missed part 1, click here!)

And sorry, who was it that wants the redhead? 

Oh, that's right. 

WE WANTS THE REDHEAD!


EEEEEE! So much to fangirl over, but I think I'm most smitten with her hair.


Lucy and her fella really captured the spirit of Belle and Gaston:


Bahahah! They even picked an appropriate book to baffle him.


I can almost hear Jiminy Cricket from Wishes saying, "Look! It's the Blue Fairy!"

(@littlemissfruitkates)

 DROOLING over Kate's blue velvet dress here, and all her sparkly accessories.


The cute is strong with this little Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder:



And also with The Child/Baby Yoda!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dapper Day At Home 2020: All The Disneybounds & Fun Fashions To Make You Smile!

This weekend was supposed to be WDW's Dapper Days, the ever-growing fan event where folks dress their best and visit the parks.


 Of course the park events have all been cancelled, but we Dizgeeks aren't about to let a little lockdown get in the way of our Dappering, right?

So on 4/19 the Dapper Day organizers asked people to celebrate Dapper Day At Home, and oh boy, DID THEY.

Ready to see some magic?

 My friend Emma dressed as SPACE MOUNTAIN ITSELF, whaaaat:



And here's the cutest Orange Bird 'bound by Tiffany:



I am LOVING the Jack Skellington vibes in Ashlyn's backyard picnic:

 (@ashlyn.asa)

In fact, quite a few people set up picnics in their yards!

 (@doombuggybabe)

I want to be invited to this picnic.

 P-p-p-p-puh-lease?
 (@braidsandbigearrings)

 I am so smitten with this whole look. I wants it.

Brace yourself for the CUTEST baby Gus Gus ever to grace Cinderella's table:

Monday, April 27, 2020

Quick Craft: Turn Any Disney Pin Into A Necklace With This Easy DIY Converter!

The other week I accidentally 'bounded as Mickey Mouse, so I went looking for a necklace to finish off the outfit:

I couldn't' find any good necklaces, but I *did* have a cute Mickey pin... which completely disappeared on my black sweater.

So I did this!


This is a super easy trick that doesn't harm the pin, is comfy to wear, and turns almost ANY pin into a wearable necklace - which I am SO EXCITED about. I don't consider myself a pin collector, but even I have a good dozen or so that would make fantastic necklaces. And since I never wear pins but always wear necklaces, this gives me lots more options!

Just look how cute:





To make your own pin-to-necklace converter you will need: