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:


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


I want to be invited to this picnic.


 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: 

Friday, April 24, 2020

My Unheroic Busyness & My Shoe Collection

Do any of you feel like you somehow have less time during this lock down? I mean, I know all you parents feel that, because you do have less time. (And blessings upon your household for being teachers, parents, cooks, housekeepers, providers, and everything else to your kids right now.) Not to mention everyone still working outside the home to keep us supplied and healthy.

Obviously I'm not doing anything nearly as heroic, but as we've settled into the unsettling routine of never leaving home, I'm still finding myself increasingly frustrated that I don't have any "free time." Because of course I have free time. It just doesn't feel that way. Which is ridiculous, because somehow I got all my work done before, AND left the house, AND had a minimal social life, so what gives?

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I've been putting off friends, ducking online conversations and calls, and sometimes resenting the ones I do make, all because I'm just "too busy."  I know it's not healthy, but we're all broken humans here, right? So I figure you'll understand if I show you some cracks beneath the bloggy facade.

John and I just passed day 42 of isolation, and I rollercoaster between joy that we're healthy and happy and guilt over not doing more, guilt over not missing "normal life" and my friends more, guilt over isolating myself even further into this cozy-yet-frenetic bubble of busyness.

Ironically some of this busyness is from researching new ways to connect with people online, especially you guys. That irony isn't lost on me, either. "Sorry, I can't talk; I'm figuring out how to talk to people online so we can all be more social."

I've talked about this with my therapist via Zoom, and the other week she asked me what would happen if I suddenly lost both Epbot and Cake Wrecks. I shrugged, and said, "I'd just start another blog." She gave me a wry look and replied, "OK, what if you could never write another blog post again?" The very suggestion was so shocking, so icy... I just sort of sputtered at her.

Anyway, so that's where I'm at this week. Where are you?

While I wait for your answers, let me share some random old Story photos I forgot to post earlier:

Several of you were concerned to see John's back on the 'Dew, but they finally removed the BVO in it, so it's safe(r?) to drink now. Plus John loves it so dang much, I'm not about to quibble during a lockdown.

These next text boxes are out of order, so read the orange box first, then pink before green:

Tldr; my therapist has great taste in art.
(The artist is Andrew "Drone" Cosson)

No really, trust me. SO GOOD. I like red sauce with cinnamon so much now that I even doctored John's beef stew with it last week. Delish.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Epbot Online Shop Directory: Come Browse & Support Your Fellow 'Bots!

My friend Melissa proposed we celebrate "Social Distance-Mas" this Saturday, and I'm digging it:

You might remember I was sick - and super grumpy - over Christmas, so I'm happy for a chance to finally wear my Christmas Mickey ears!

In addition to planning my outfit for the day, I thought it'd be nice to also buy a few pick-me-up gifts for friends. And if I'm shopping anyway, why not support my online family here at Epbot, right?

That led me to post this on the Epbot FB page last week:

And in just 12 hours, over 200 of you had shared your shops! YOWIE

Initially I thought I'd transfer everyone's links here to the blog, but after 4 straight hours, I'm waving the white flag, ha. I've got over 50 shops I'm going to share here, and for each one I'm including a product preview photo, synopsis, and the first name of the reader who runs it, just to give that personal connection to your fellow 'bots. I've also arranged them into categories for easier scrolling.

Even if you can't buy things right now, please share the love by visiting each other's shops or pages! These are all Epbot readers, all part of this community. If you have time after browsing here, also be sure to explore the comments on the original Facebook post; people are still sharing links there, so there's lots to see. (Please note I can't vouch for anyone, though, so always shop responsibly!)

NOW. ::big breath::

Heeeeere weeeee gooooo!


- Abigail of The Raven's Landing paints "Whimsical Art & Custom Portraits"

Karen Hallion probably needs no introduction here;  her fan art is legendary:

- Melissa of Robots Are Awesome offers sculpture, pins, wedding toppers, & postcards

Monday, April 20, 2020

New Video! How To Sharpen Your Own Scissors

John's back with another handy DIY!

If you've got 3 minutes and a bunch of dull scissors, then watch this:

Stick around to the very end for some epic Suki tail.

If you don't have a sharpening steel like John's using there, then you can grab this one on Amazon for less than $10:

It's definitely worth it, since you can use this to sharpen both your scissors and your knives.

We hope that helps, and please keep the video suggestions coming! John and I really like your idea for the tool introduction series, so I'll try to get him cranking some of those out soon. ::whip crack::

Friday, April 17, 2020

FOE & Tell: Star Trek Gnomes, Rainbow Hair, & Paper Dragons

I always love seeing what you readers are up to, but now more than ever I just like to see your faces, your projects, your silliness, your pets! This community helps me feel connected, and I'm so proud of the hope and humor I'm seeing over on Fans of Epbot. In fact, here come a few of my favorite posts I've seen lately:

Jessica, you just gave us all new pet portrait goals. Bless.




Cindy created the most groan-and giggle-worthy fashion statement for 2020:

They're surprisingly adorable, right?


Photos like this are why I ask you guys to post more pictures of yourselves:

I dare you to look at this picture and not want to be friends with Monie. Because it is impossible.


And then there are your pets! Ohhhh, your glorious pets:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

DIY Topiary Tree Using Yard Trash & Paper

Now that you've finally seen our completed Wonderland room, let's focus on this baby:

 Our oh-so ridiculous topiary tree, which makes John and me grin every time we see it.

The inspiration came when I realized this corner needed some sort of floor plant. Then after 10 minutes browsing on Amazon, I realized that A) every sizeable floor plant was at least $100, and B) no way I was paying that much.

After another 30 minutes of googling, I announced to John that we were making a floor plant. John is pretty used to this sort of thing, so he just blinked and said, "Okay."

My first thought was to make giant palm leaves from EVA foam, but that wasn't over-the-top enough. Hey, if we're making a plant from scratch it should stand out from the pack, right? Nature, schmature. So I eventually found these inspirations:

Then I found two helpful tutorials for making smaller topiaries that I combined and adapted to create my own leaf technique. So shout-out to Pink Salt Riot and Lia Griffith for helping inspire what I'm about to show you.

I should mention this is incredibly time-consuming, but easy to do. You can also do the most time-consuming part while watching TV, since it's mindless and repetitive. So c'mon, let me walk you through it:

First you'll need some long dead branches. Thanks to our giant tree and general distaste for yard work, our back yard is FULL of those.


Pick out 2 or 3 likely candidates, and twist them this way and that 'til you find an arrangement you like. Screw them together, then trim off any extra twigs you don't need.

Now we have a dead tree! Yay!

Our branches were a little short, so John extended them & built a rough box to hold them up for now:

 We'll replace this later with a vase.

 With the trunk settled, now let's make some greenery!

I like the texture of Lia Griffith's crepe paper leaves, so I ordered 2 rolls in 2 different shades: "leaf green" and "mid green." The two shades are very similar, but add a little variation I think helps sell the look:

 And here's a closer look at the texture:

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Our Wonderland-Inspired Front Room Is Finally Done!

It took us about four months, but our front room is finally finished! 

Of course I still have small details I want to tweak, because I'm never *really* done decorating a room, but want to see where we're at?

Here we go.


 I did like this room the way it was before, but our old couches were 15 years old and needed replacing. Plus my whole life I've wanted a Chesterfield sofa and barrel chairs, so when we spotted this super affordable sofa At Home that was the last push I needed. Then we found the velvet barrel chairs used on FB Marketplace for another semi-steal!

Here's a look at the way the room was before, taken at Christmas since that's the only time I photograph my house, lol:

This old sofa set went to our favorite charity thrift, and they later told us it sold within 2 hours!
 You can see the only things that really changed are the furniture, but this new arrangement is so much comfier, and much better for conversations!

We never used to sit in this room, but now we're in here all the time. All the seating is me-sized, so my feet actually touch the floor when I sit in here! That's a rare treat for a shortie, y'all.

We found the porthole coffee table at Goodwill 3 years ago for $40, and when it wouldn't fit anywhere in the house I was heartbroken. I knew SOME day I'd find a spot for it, though, so I had John store it in the attic. You might remember a few months back when John and I were cleaning decades' worth of grime off it: 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

8 Super Chill Maker Youtube Channels That Are Completely Addicting

I'm not on YouTube TOO much - it can easily suck my whole day away - but I do have some favorite channels I think you guys are gonna like! Here they come, in no particular order:

1) Rescue & Restore takes old tin toys and makes them look brand new again. His videos are SO SATISFYING, like a balm for your brain when you're feeling frazzled. I mean, first you think the sand-blasting is the shiz, and then he bakes on the enamel paint. DUUUUUUDE. So good.

Here, take a look:

My only complaint is he only has 17 videos so far. Trust me, you'll blow through those fast!


 2) Creative Mom

Creative Mom makes the most incredible fairy houses from upcycled "trash" like plastic soda bottles and cardboard, which she then covers with paper clay. It's fun watching her start with a simple bottle and then 10 minutes later there's this elaborate fairy house (or pirate ship or wagon or whatnot) in front of you.

She's been at this for YEARS, too, so there are tons of magical builds to watch on her channel.


 3) Adam Savage's One Day Builds

Adam is my favorite Maker because of his unabashed enthusiasm; it's pure joy and totally infectious. His One Day Builds are a subsection of Tested's channel, and so far there are 66 of them. Here's one of his more recent ones that's actually his first ever how-to:

Monday, April 6, 2020

Real Talk: How We're Doing In Florida's Lockdown, Plus John's Transformation

Yesterday I was reading how content creators shouldn't be carrying on like everything is normal, because that reads as phony and insincere. But on the other hand, as a reader myself, I know a lot of us are social media distancing to keep away from nonstop virus coverage.

I think it has to be a balance, which I'm still figuring out here on Epbot. My goal has always been to share uplifting fandom finds and help you escape for a while, but also to share when life gets messy and hard, so you remember we're here with you.

The truth is, John and I are doing really well right now in isolation. We're at about... 25 days in, I think? I definitely had some anxiety earlier on, but that was largely triggered when we thought a close friend had Covid, and I missed a therapy session that would have helped me talk it out. Our friend's test results took an excruciating 10 days - while she was still getting worse - and the waiting and watching the news sent me to a dark, panicky place of anger and helplessness.  Happily the test results finally came in negative, though - so she "only" has bad bronchitis - and that combined with my getting serious about avoiding the news and resuming weekly counseling via Zoom has left me in a much better, more stable place.

(I've been thinking of doing a roundup of all my favorite outfit photos so far this year. Yes? No?)

John and I tried taking evening walks around the neighborhood to get out of the house a little, but the pollen count is so bad that I was having painful allergic reactions afterward (earaches & sinus pain), even though I'm on Flonase, Zyrtec, AND neti-potting. Arg. At a loss for what else to do, I've resorting to staying inside 24/7 with the windows shut. I miss the fresh air, but my one ear was hurting pretty badly after each walk, and it's better now that I'm staying inside. (Any of you get allergy-related ear pain? What do you take?)

I feel perpetually behind on work, but that's normal; I always feel like that, ha. I'm also very aware of the pressure most of us feel to be doing ALL THE THINGS, as if we're somehow failing if we haven't mastered a new skill or reorganized the whole house yet. I'm trying to be gentle with myself, and let go of the days when I can't make myself do much. I keep reminding myself I still have a job, and it's enough if I keep both blogs running without any major meltdowns. Staying focused is SO HARD, though, now that nearly everyone I know is online and bored. Sweet Stay Puft, I thought the internet was distracting before.


I've started staying up all night, since there are less interruptions and distractions when most of the U.S. is asleep. I'm a night owl anyway, so I'm only shifting forward about 4 or 5 hours, heading to bed after I watch the sun rise. I've joked with friends that I'm living my best vampire life, since this is my one chance to live like time has no meaning. Because it doesn't! Seriously, that's kind of freeing, although I'm going to have one mean case of jet lag when the clock actually matters again.

The cats are doing great, and make our lives better every day. Each afternoon John lets them in one by one to climb up onto my chest in bed and get their "morning" snuggles. Usually it's Eva first, and then The Beast:

Friday, April 3, 2020

These Pokémon Terrariums Turn Nintendo Game Systems Into Magical 3D Worlds


I just found an artist on Instagram doing something I've never seen before - are you ready for this?


 Jennifer Z. of Oh Honeydew takes custom Nintendo covers - not the actual game system, don't worry! -  and transforms them into the most breathtaking Pokémon terrariums.

 Jennifer creates detailed floral scenes to complement each colored case, with exquisite little trees, flowers, and even mushrooms!

She also put screenshots from the show onto the back screen, so they look like little windows.

C'mon. How magical is this??

This pink, black, and gray color scheme is speaking to my soul. So good.

I think her DS style is my favorite, since it looks like an open book: