Sunday, July 12, 2020

Squid Lamps, Toad TVs, & Circus Peanut Salad

 It's time for another edition of Fun Stuff That's Come Through My Feed Lately (FSTCTMFL)!!


 Sharalee Armitage Howard is a librarian in Idaho who turned a rotting old tree stump into a magical little free library:

Gaspity gasp, y'all. GASPITY GASP.

Here's another angle:

 You can see more of the details here on My Modern Met. (The little squares over the door are miniature wooden books!)

*****

Over on the Replica Prop Forum, Frankie Desmond shared the sweetest replica of all:

 "Oh, bother."



Desmond made his very own Winnie-the-Pooh, styled after the movie Christopher Robin! (If you haven't seen that movie, btw, it's like the gentlest warm hug. Highly recommended for bad panic days.)

You can follow Desmond's other replica and cosplay builds on his page here - and he might still be taking commissions for Pooh, so be sure to ask if you're looking to order one of your own.


*****

Do you have an old lava lamp lying around? Because this is awesome:


  
Whaaaaaat yes, please.

 This squidly beauty is by Meagan Magpie Rodgers, but she must have made it a long time ago; I only see prints and paintings on her account now. (Also before you click: be aware her work has a surreal horror vibe and can be kinda disturbing.)


*****

Over on Weird Secondhand Finds, Andy Scott transformed an old TV he got for free into a paludarium for his two fire-bellied toads - and this is the best TV upcycle I've ever seen:

What sorcery is this?? And does anyone else what a tour of the rest of Andy's house now?

*****
Speaking of sorcery, Gakman Creatures has achieved the impossible: She made a realistic Firey doll from Labyrinth... but it's actually adorable?
 

Ok, some of you will say he's still creepy, but *I* think he's adorable. Look at that face!

Eeee!

 The bittersweet part is that a bunch of scammers have stolen these photos from Gakman and are using them on Facebook right now to rip people off. (I've reported at least 5 different sellers this week.) So if you see this Firey being advertised on Facebook, please post a comment telling everyone it's a scam, and report the page!

*****

On a happier note, and from a happier time of conventions and celebrity meets:

This Aragorn cosplayer wrote, "Met King Théoden and we drew swords together."

*bah dum TISSS*


 

That... that is beautiful. 
****

For my fellow Dizgeeks: how's this for a photo wall?


I couldn't find the original photo source on that one, but I did find a few other variations:


I also saw one with Tinkerbell near the top turret, which is super cute. I love how simple of a DIY this is: all you need are a bunch of dollar store frames and a little black paint! Or you could use a Cricut, if you have one; that would make the Mickey or Tinkerbell silhouettes a lot easier.

*****

A photographer known as Ostdrossel has a camera set up on her birdfeeder, and the results range from breathtakingly beautiful:


To super relatable:

(Anyone else feeling this mood lately? Lol)


To downright hilarious: 

(I'm actually feeling this, too, since John ordered me new cookies from Aldi.)

You can follow Ostdrossel on Instagram here, or check the website for videos, livestreams, and merch.

*****

And finally, while I usually steer clear of recipe-sharing on this blog, I feel it is my moral duty to inform you this exists:
 

This is Circus Peanut Jello Salad, and I'd totally eat it. My friends, start your judging.  

Before I go check Google to see if Circus Peanuts & Jell-O are Low Fodmap, let me end with a quick thanks to all of you, and a less quick apology to a few of you:

First, as always, thank you for being here. I doubt most of you even noticed that I haven't been posting as often, but if you did, thanks for being too polite to mention it. Life offline caught up with me, and the fact that I haven't had to explain has been a sweet relief in a hard time. And to everyone thinking, "Geez, Jen, it's your blog, you don't owe anyone anything!" - well, I disagree. I owe all of you more than you know, and I will never take this friendship for granted. 

Which brings me to my next bit, which is only for a few of you, but I trust you'll know who you are:

I'm sorry I haven't been here. 

 I know sometimes it helps to read my silly Stories or see my cats or just hear me fangirling over what a badass warrior you are in these hard times, and lately my silence may have felt like an abandonment. I hope not, but if so, please know I am deeply sorry. I have multiple suicidal friends right now, and I will claw through every silence to tell you YOU ARE LOVED, YOU MATTER, and even this will get better.

 If you're considering hurting yourself, please click here and call the hotline number, or click "chat with Lifeline" to chat. It's dangerous to go alone, my friend; let someone help you

Also if you've given up social media and are feeling dangerously isolated as a result, you might give the Epbot Discord server a try. There are chat rooms for everything from Floofs to Food to Gaming, and I've also set up an "Inspiration/Support" room if you want to talk through the hard stuff. I'm usually only over there on Fridays for our weekly movie night, but there's a core group of sweet people and mods who make it a lovely place to visit anytime. Discord is completely free to use, and I get nothing from it; I only set it up so we could connect somewhere away from the ever-present algorithm.
 
******


P.S. Oh hey, that reminds me: this Movie Night we're watching Into The Spider-Verse! If you've never seen this movie, prepare to be blown away. Gah, I love it so much.


John and I own VERY few movies, but this is one we had to have. The Blu-Ray is less than $15 on Amazon, in case you're looking to add it to your own library. And if you want to watch it together, be sure to log in to the "Movie Night Chat" on Discord this Friday night at 9:30pm EST!


 

38 comments:

  1. Sending you all the hearts Jen! Also, we're looking to move next month, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to find a space to make a Disney castle photo wall.

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  2. As a long-time fan, I'm so glad to hear you say that you know you're not hurting us by taking time for yourself. Your descriptions of letting yourself be not okay, of taking self-care time by stepping away from the blog, and of the hard things you deal with serve as inspirations for the rest of us. We all owe you as much as you owe us. That reciprocal relationship makes your blogs and the communities you've built around them that much more special. You help to make it okay to not be okay, and that's so important. We love you and John so much. <3

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  3. Hugs and thanks! Into the multiverse may be my favorite!!

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  4. Sending you virtual hugs!!!! We'll always miss you when you're on a break (WE WERE ON A BREAK!), but I think we've all been through times where we just.can't.do.interaction. Even me, a self proclaimed social alligator (butterflies are not aggressive enough to describe how social I am).

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    1. Haha, my husband and I describe ourselves as "aggressively friendly." :-)

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  5. Sending love and virtual hugs your way.
    I think i speak for all of us when I say that quarentine without you and John would have COMPLETELY sucked. You bring us light and warm squishies, and we are all grateful. If YOU ever need someone to talk to, we are all ears.

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  6. I love your posts and understand the break. Sometimes life gets tough and it's ok if you take a break for yourself even as a content creator. This has been a tough year for all of us. (I say as I sit in quarantine with my Covid+ spouse and I'm not sure it's even the hardest thing we've been through this year. He's one of the lucky 80% so far.) Take care of you and we'll all be here when you are ready. :)

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  7. I'm really grateful for the safe, supportive spaces you've created for all of us. Taking time to care for yourself/your dear ones/more immediate concerns is a loving act and not one of us, I venture to say, would dream of holding such a thing against you. May your burdens lighten and your joys increase.

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  8. I went to a double feature at a drive in theater last night and the second movie was Into the Spiderverse (1st was Black Panther). I expected to like it, I did not expect to be so captivated by it. Soo good!

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  9. The way I see it, you've spent a lot of years depositing good vibes into the world, you are more than welcome make a withdrawal from time to time! Behind the various blogs you are a normal human with very normal human needs, surrounded by a network of friends and family who also have very human needs that are very hard to fulfill right now. If one day you wake up and decide "I need to take an official break" to focus on yourself or others around you, then you are fully in the right to do so. It's like what they tell you on planes, you have to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs.

    Just remember, should you need us, for any reason at all, just call.

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  10. Jen & John, we love you guys too. Please take all the time you need. So excited for Into the Spiderverse, I love love love that movie!

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  11. Don't ever be sorry for taking care of you. Life can definitely be overwhelming some times. We'll be here no matter what <3. And as another comment said, you making it ok to not be ok, is why you (and John) are so special. This is a safe place, but also a place where we don't feel alone, whether we're feeling happy or sad. So big virtual hugs! <3<3<3

    And Into the Spider-Verse is amazing!!!

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  12. Wait a minute, Lady, back up, you scooted right by without mentioning the most important thing: DOES THE FIERY'S HEAD COME OFF?!

    (I don't Facebook anymore, so I can't go to the page to find out)

    Also, all you Florida folks (and everyone else), please for the love of Bowie, take this COVID-19 thing seriously. We were fine here in San Diego for months; no one I know was sick or knew anyone else who was. Then last month, my old friend of 36 years caught it, went into the ICU, and that was it for him. No clue how/where he got it, as he only ever went out to eat or go to the movies, and those were closed. He fought testicular cancer and won as a young man, but had no current underlying conditions (AFAIK). This was just 3 weeks ago. It's real, nerds.

    Take good care of yourselves and each other! (wait, didn't Jerry Springer end his show with that? Screw it, the sentiment remains)

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

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  13. Fair warning on the lava lamps - they get VERY HOT when in use, so if you're recreating the squids, make sure your materials won't catch fire.

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    1. Very good point- although if this does happen, I for one want to see pictures and the article entitled "exploding lava squid"

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  14. Jen I love how real you are! Thank you for being there for your friends in real life as well as us right here. Also need to put a plug in for those of us that don't like talking on the phone https://www.imalive.org/ is an online crisis support network that might be beneficial too. (Full disclosure I am a volunteer crisis support worker for this volunteer organisation)

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    Replies
    1. That's wonderful, Claire, thank you for your work and for the link!

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    2. No worries... everyone needs someone to be there for them in times of crisis. Sending a hug or two

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  15. I only follow four bloggers regularly, and three of you have health issues. So I did notice that you hadn't posted, and I just worry about you all if you don't post as often. Happy to hear you are ok, and sending you extra power to help your friends through this.
    Kathyd

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  16. I really love reading your blog. Even though we have never interacted (I comment once in a while here and on FB, but mostly enjoy quietly) I feel like we have a common wavelength. Your activities are a highlight of my week. Take all the time you need for yourself and remain awesome!

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  17. Oh wow, that lava lamp is amazing! Thanks for all the awesome shares that brighten my day. <3 And I hope that we brighten yours a little too, because you're awesome and I hate that you've been overwhelmed lately. I'm going to try to make the movie night this time!

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  18. I had to take a day to digest this. I'm sorry your friends are going through a tough time. I get it; my June was rough, very rough, and it took a few weeks for me to find my balance again. Thank you for caring about your friends and internet strangers, and thank you for caring enough about yourself to recognize you needed to step back. It's kind of you to let us know what was going on, as you're not obligated to. You are appreciated for everything you and John do.

    Someone elsewhere online mentioned that part of why these past few months have been so hard is because we can't hug each other, and when we wear masks we can't see people smiling at us. It's the little human connections we miss. I just want to smile at and hug everyone here. We know why we're here, and it's why we keep coming back.

    --Yet Another Jen

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  19. Just want you to know that we do notice when you don't post as often, and we do worry! Thank you for the update! I check your blog daily (except weekends) when I sit down to work online, and it makes my work time brighter when there is a new post to read. I'm not on FB and have probably commented on this blog about three times but I've been a loyal reader for many years. I love your writing. Thank you for everything, and take care of yourself!

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  20. Circus peanuts! Loved them as a kid. It’s interesting to see the jello portion of this treat is made from the circus peanuts and is not an orange jello concoction! We called these candies, “Scooby Snacks” as kids because of their unnatural coloring and the very blatant lack of a Scooby Snack on the market. 😄

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  21. THIS IS CORRECT, and please try to remember it: "Geez, Jen, it's your blog, you don't owe anyone anything!"

    Jen, you absolutely need to do what's best for you. You truly don't owe it to us to post on any schedule but your own; when the gaps between posts are visible, I always hope that you are taking care of yourself and that things have not gone seriously awry. ("Hm. No new post today. Hope Jen & John are ok.")

    I tell myself that you will come back when you are ready and let us know whatever you are willing to share...and as a long time reader but really just a random internet semi-stranger, that's all I can or should ask.

    You work so hard to be a bright spot in a sometimes-dark world: thank you for choosing to use your powers for good. You definitely make a difference.

    Also, I hope you've seen the Star Trek: Lower Decks trailer. It looks good for a lift, and can't we all use one?

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  22. Help. I tried the Discord link but I get a message saying it's invalid or expired

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, the invites only last 24 hours! Here's a new one for you.

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    2. Thank you! I've been trying to get to the discord for a while, but I kept missing the window. Finally got an invite in time!

      Delete
  23. I would eat the Circus Peanut Jello Salad. But I wouldn't be willing to make it as I feel only a bite or two would be enough to satisfy and the rest would go to waste. But I have not outgrown my love of circus peanuts so count me in!

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  24. To quote a favourite author of mine, "shared pain is decreased, shared joy is multiplied". I had friends text and call me to ask if I was okay because I had gone silent on social media. I have been working from home since mid-March so my days are full, but after a whole day of staring at a screen, I just couldn't do more screen. Thank you for all you do. The interwebs enable you to touch so many, and in turn, we may touch you back. (not in a creepy way!) Everyone needs to focus on self-care, even if just a little bit. My grandmother, who lived to 102 used to say "if you don't have your health, you don't have anything" and she was speaking about total health - mental, physical, metaphysical... So keep on keeping on Jen and everyone else! Do what you need to do for yourself and know that we are out here sending hugs and peace and nerdiness!

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    1. "...sending hugs and peace and nerdiness!" Yes, please: back at you. :D

      I am glad to see Spider posting on his blog from time to time so that I know he's keeping on as well. Nowadays it feels more important than ever to keep track of the people we care about, because things keep happening even when I wish they wouldn't: RIP Grant Imamura.

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  25. Forgot to say: that Little Free Library is amazing! Thanks for sharing for those of us not on FB.

    I have no idea what those circus peanuts taste like, or even what the consistency is..but if it floats your boat (and doesn't upset your gut), go for it.

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  26. I missed the invite again :(

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  27. so... circus peanuts are roughly "banana" flavored... so this is a orange/banana-ish/pineapple dessert... I'd try it; but hubby HATES bananas so probably won't happen. I find it inspiring and a little scary what people come up with for recipes. :D

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  28. I'm glad you're taking the time you need for yourself. Your health, both physical and mental, and that of your friends is FAR more important than posting here more often. We're happy to read whatever you post, whenever you do, and are happier to know you are taking care of yourself.

    Thank you for sharing these fun finds. That tree library is amazing! And the stunning Aragorn cosplayer and Theoden drawing swords gave me all the happy, squishy feels I needed today. :)

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  29. When there's not a new post, I'm not sad, but when there IS a new post, it makes me happy!

    You don't have to make me happy a certain number of times a week, or month. Just knowing that people like you and John exist in the world makes me happy all of the time.

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  30. I am delighted to find a new post on Epbot. You are one of the only bloggers I follow regularly. There are days when a little silliness makes everything better. That said, I would never want you to feel that you owe me or all your other readers happiness. Besides - the lack of an post today might lure me into re-reading the back catalog of wonderful posts.

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  31. I love and look forward to reading your posts, but don't want you to feel like you're letting us down when you give when you can give and don't when you don't. Even in your absence, the communities that you are a part of, have inspired, created, or helped along are still shining light to those who need it.

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