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?


 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:

And the rest are fantastical crafty builds, like this woman's bunk bed to hold her husband's glasses:


Hit the link up there to go see the rest.


This next one is sort of a personal fun find, but I bet some of you will get the same nostalgia kick I did. Last week Amanda over on Weird Secondhand Finds posted this book:

That's the guy who went on to create Cabbage Patch Kids; I guess these "Little People Pals" were sort of a precursor. 

I had to stop and stare, though, because the doll on the upper right looked VERY familiar:

I have one just like her!

Back in the 80s my mom thought Cabbage Patch dolls were ugly, so instead of buying me one she paid one of her fellow nurses to make me this! It was supposed to look like me; she even gave the lady some of my old clothes & shoes to dress it. I had no idea there was a book on how to make these dolls, though; all these years I just assumed the woman was copying the Cabbage Patch style.

So now I need to know: do any of YOU have dolls like this? I want pictures if you do!


My Modern Met featured Warren King's new tutorial for building your child (or yourself, because who are we kidding here) a full suit of cardboard armor:

Adam Savage would be proud!

Look how cool it is all painted up:

Go see the step-by-step photo tutorial here.


 Nerd Forge is a fantastic YouTube channel I highly recommend following, though I'll admit nearly all of Martina's tutorials fall under the "way too hard for mere mortals to ever attempt," ha.

They just released a snazzier edit of her old Game of Thrones phone charger DIY, though, and this one is actually doable - especially if you swap the plywood out for 3mm craft foam.

I'm not even a GoT fan, and I want to make one! Or maybe another fandom chair? Hmm. Time to brainstorm. (Tell me if you think of any good ones!)


This is the crowd to appreciate this, right? Naz Fx Studios, who specializes in giant plush creatures and characters, just made a moth as big as I am. And it's. so. FLUFFY.

And pretty!

She often offers patterns for her creations, too, go follow her on Facebook to learn more.


The Jim Henson Company released some gorgeous set photos from Labyrinth we can use for Zoom backgrounds:

 Go see the rest on their Facebook post here.


This is an old gif from 2017, but it was a ray of light I needed in my feed this week:


And finally, there's a new Harry Potter themed Air BnB in Orlando that's taken my local Slug Club by storm, since the creators, Loma Homes, invited us all to come take a tour in costume. John and I didn't go, sadly, but I've been living vicariously through all our fellow members' photos and videos:

 In addition to these two, there are bedrooms themed to all 4 Hogwarts Houses, the Hogwarts Express, and Dumbledore's Office. This place could house Dumbledore's army and then some!

I hate to admit it, but the Slytherin bedroom might be the prettiest. (I couldn't find a good picture, but the green chandelier in there is incredible.) Though the Hufflepuff room is definitely the cheeriest!

 There's also a portrait gallery stairwell, a quidditch-themed game room, Harry's cupboard under the stairs, "stone" hallways, and a dark forest movie theater that transforms under black light:

Go scroll through the #WizardsWay hashtag on Facebook, because there's no way I could cover everything in this amazing house here. Make sure you watch all the videos, too: most rooms have sound effects, and the dragon breathes smoke! AHHH-mazing.

UPDATE: The official photos from Lorma Homes are finally up, and they are incredible! Go see!


Two quick announcements before I go: First, our Squeegineer winners for May are Priscilla W. & Sara M.! Congrats, you two, and please check your e-mail for a note from John to get your prize choices and mailing addresses. (I added a few new things to the non-jewelry prize gallery, btw, so be sure to check that.)

And finally, this Friday's Galaxy Quest Movie Night on Discord is being postponed until next Friday, 6/12, since it's very probable we'll be staying with friends while our house is under construction. Sorry, gang! On the plus side, maybe the extra week will help us figure out something ridiculous to wear.

If today's post has you feeling crafty, then how about browsing my tutorial page? It's especially full of goodies for you fellow Potter fans:


  1. The face of your cabbage-patch look-alike is so much cuter than the brand name dolls. That magazine is a pretty cool find. My friend and I each had 4 or 5 cabbage patch dolls and we would play with them for hours in her unfinished basement, and leave our setup for weeks so we could come right back to it each time we played. Good memories!

  2. I love those covid 19 projects. They inspired some future projects for me. Thanks for the link

  3. I had one of those not dolls! My parents wouldn't buy me a real cabbage patch doll, and I think had my aunt make me one of these? I was so disappointed. But I had her for a while and eventually stained her face with my dad's Aqua Velva.

  4. There's a hotel in the small town near me that's dedicated to authors, and they do have a JK Rowling room.

    They swap up some of the rooms from time-to-time, Rowling is fairly new.

  5. There were actual kits to make those faux-cabbage patch dolls. I just managed to get mom to donate the last one she had.

  6. The friends shadowbox site isn't set up to take payments and I'm sad. I want to order one for my mom!

  7. "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."

    Thank you Jen: very excellent speechifying.

    I can't decide which I like better: the cardboard armor or the eyeglass bunk beds.

  8. I still have my Cabbage Patch Kids dolls in a box upstairs. Dad drove across town IN A BLIZZARD to go get me one for my birthday the year that they were so popular. Apparently, he'd been on a waiting list for months and the toy store said if he didn't go get it then, they'd give it to someone else. When he got there, they tried to give him one with red hair and green eyes. He talked them into letting him go in the back so he could get a blonde one with blue eyes (to match me, of course).

    Her name is Esther. The clothes she came with are long gone and she's missing a shoe, but she's still in great condition.

    Later on, I also acquired several other varieties of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. I have a preemie, a baby, and a toddler who has a pose-able thumb (he came with a crayon, I think).

    Ah, nostalgia. :)

  9. My mom made one of those folks for me a thousand years ago when the Cabbage Patch dolls came out and were so popular. We were broke as all get out so she couldn't buy me one of the actual dolls, so she made one and I got it from Santa. I loved it so much!! I didn't actually know it wasn't a Cabbage Patch dolls until I took it to school and was promptly informed how stupid I was, but I still loved it! Unfortunately, no pictures, we had a house fire right after I graduated from college and I lost it then. But it still holds a special place in my heart.

    (Geez, writing that out it's such a downer story. But it's a really happy memory for me, I promise!! 😁 My mom is the best!)

  10. Yes, I had one of those dolls! I'll dig it out of storage and put a picture up on FB. :)

  11. I have one of the original soft faced Cabbage Patch Kids dolls like that. I remember that we went to a special adoption center store where all the dolls were in cribs and highchairs and such.

  12. Yes, I totally have one of those dolls too! Once I get unpacked from moving, I'll have to take a photo and post it on FB

  13. My aunt made me one of the flat faced dolls like this, but my mom made me one where she actually used layered pantyhose as the fabric and soft sculpted it because she thought the original design was ugly. Kimberly Sue was waaaaay cuter than Amanda Kay and the two official dolls (Doris Betty and Rock Jeffrey) I got later when they no longer cost a fortune. She's the only one I've kept. Why do I remember all the names?!! I didn't even like dolls all that much-just wanted them because everyone else was getting them!

  14. I love the Harry Potter house! Those beds look so FLUFFY <3. I found these Disney ears, and I immediately thought of you and John! It isn't my shop but the interchangeable ears are beyond cute.

  15. Treating yourself as the victim here is so disappointing Jen. Please take a step back and look not at yourself, but at the people who are hurting right now.

    1. I'm not really sure we read the same blog here, because I certainly didn't see anything like Jen making herself the victim. She spoke from her own place, which is all any of us can really do. I'm sorry you are hurting so badly that you can't see that. I'm sorry anyone is hurting that badly right now, or ever.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Seriously? Did we read the same thing?

      There are plenty of other places on the internet to display faux outrage; this is probably not the place nor the audience you seek.

  16. Jen, thank you. Thank you for being a place that is still beautiful to go to. I feel like you have hit the balance in the best way: you acknowledge the reality of life right now, but you give us things to help us see more than just the bad-- a way to hold on to optimism. It is so true that people are fighting with other people who really do agree with them, but they are so hurting they can't see that. I believe the way to get better is to work together, because there really are more people who want it better than those who don't.

  17. So after looking at the official pics of the B&B, I'm going to have to disagree with you. Ravenclaw is hands down the prettiest bedroom! The four-poster bed, the soft bed curtains, the fairy lights on the ceiling! <3 I would like a house with that Ravenclaw bedroom, a Hufflepuff kitchen and living room, the AMAZING Forbidden Forest media room, and a Great Hall dining room with the floating candles and starry ceiling.

    Thank you for continuing to have a place of joy and light, reminding us of what the world can be instead of focusing on the ugly. We need reminders of the joy and the happiness to know why the rest is worth fighting.

  18. Interesting fact! Martha Nelson Thomas is an artist who, in the 70's sold what she called "Doll Babies" at craft fairs in Louisville, Kentucky, each one with it's own adoption certificate. One of those art fairs happens to be just around the corner from the Cabbage Patch Settlement House. Xavier Roberts got some and resold them for a bit. A while later came up with this great idea for these Cabbage Patch dolls...

  19. Back when Cabbage Patch dolls were new and the absolute first 'had to have' toy, my crafty sister in law grabbed a pair of old tights and made one. We were really too old for baby dolls and had little interest in Cabbage Patch dolls at that point, and the doll itself ended up looking a little scary - but what a wonder, watching her making SOMETHING from NOTHING. That's a skill I've honed and prided myself on, my entire life.

  20. I can't find the right words, but your thoughts on what's going on really struck home for me. Thank you yet again for sharing, I feel like I'm not alone. Also, thank you for providing comfort and distraction. I personally deal with tragedy by setting my thoughts and emotions largely aside and processing little by little over time. Your posts help.


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