Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dragon Con's New "Cult Of Cleaning" Has All The Giggles We Need This Week

It's Dragon Con week, gang, and you can bet your scaly tails and glittering hoards I'm draggin' a bit myself, missing all the fun. (Usually we'd be driving to Atlanta tomorrow.) BUT. Thank goodness for the internet, am I right? Dragon Con is going virtual again this year in addition to the real-life events, and you can buy a streaming pass for just $10.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to talk about the unique breed of geeks you can only find at Dragon Con, and how they band together to meme-ify and create in-jokes of just about ANYTHING, which is why I love them so dearly.

You probably already know about the Marriott carpet: how 70,000 geeks developed a love affair with a long-gone carpet pattern:

Every year the amount of carpet cosplay grows; it literally has a cult following, ha. (If you're confused, here's a handy explanation guide from GeekMom.)


You may also have heard about the time FexEx foolishly left a cardboard standee in a main traffic hall at the con, and spawned The Cult of Jon

Jon is the standee. When FedEx finally removed him the con-goers held a memorial, which was hysterical.
(You can watch the whole ridiculous progression of this one here.)


In this same spirit of creativity and complete and utter silliness, I am DELIGHTED to share with you the latest Dragon Con in-joke cult, and how it came to be.

::sits down in comfy reading chair::
::opens story book::

Ahem hem hem.

It all started when the official schedule released on the Dragon Con app. People immediately noticed a bunch of these "events":


Yep, the con scheduled several cleaning times each day for the large meeting rooms.

So of COURSE someone meme'd it:




And boom shaka laka, a new Dragon Con cult was born:

It's been only 11 days, y'all, and this group has already amassed nearly 1,000 members. You won't believe the amount of cleaning-themed cosplay, swag, & merch these beautiful geniuses are cranking out. Here, let me show you some of my favorites:

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feelin' 23

John and I in the car yesterday:

John: "I know this was my idea, but is driving 45 minutes to buy popcorn the best way to celebrate 23 years of marriage?"

Me: "Wait, 23?"

"Yeah."

"I thought it was 22!"

"Well, it's 22 now, but tomorrow it will be 23."

"Nooooo!"

"Why? What's wrong?"

"I was going to play that song later!"

"What song?"

::singing:: "I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' twenty-twoooo..."

::laughing::

 "DANG IT." 

"Awww. I love Taylor Swift!"

"I know! That's why it would've been perfect! Arrrrg, I'm so mad at last year Me. What a missed opportunity."

"Maybe we could use it for something else."

"What else could we possibly celebrate 22 years of?"

::brainstorming silence::

"Yeah, you're right, I've got nothing."

*****

Which is how it came to pass that a little after midnight last night/this morning, I walked dramatically into John's game room and proceeded to blast the chorus of Taylor Swift's 22 on my phone. I did a goofy little dance and screamed "3!!!" over the "2" and, not to brag, but I think it totally worked.

Booya.

By the way, while looking for a picture for this post I realized John and I don't take nearly enough photos together. Remind me to work on that, k? I did find these ones from an old family visit that really captures our overall marriage dynamic (OMD), though:

::trying to pose pleasantly::

::John telling off my brother for making fun of us::

 
::following instructions when told to "kiss her or something"::


Happy anniversary, John, sweetie. Sorry the fancy popcorn sucked. XD

Just remember:

"I don't know about you
But I'm feelin' 23
Everything will be alright
If you keep you next to
ME"


Also these marriage donuts are the bomb. Thanks, babe.


 
(The Oreo one has a cream cheese filling that I may actually dream about tonight. NOMZ.)


Your turn! What's the silliest thing you've ever done to celebrate an anniversary? Do you default to special food treats, too? Doesn't have to be a marriage anniversary; other life events count, too!



*****


P.S. Totally unrelated, but I stumbled across this Alien figurine today and it's so stinking cute I have to share:


I've been linking the companion book for a while now over on Cake Wrecks, but had no idea this existed! And it's only $9!? I need to figure out which of my friends are Alien fans, stat. Or, I dunno, maybe I should watch the movie myself? (Don't judge, I'm a wuss.)

I try to link all my favorite finds over on the Epbot Amazon store, btw, so be sure to bookmark that for anytime you're bored or need a fun gift idea.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

NOSTALGIA TIME: Someone Please Come Geek Out With Me Over The Muppet Show

This week I've started watching old episodes of The Muppet Show on Disney Plus, and I'm realizing I've never seen ANY of these. o.0 It's a little surreal, seeing characters I feel like I know so well in their original element.






I'm still in the first season, so they haven't quite hit their stride yet, and I've only recognized one or two of the celebrity guests, but overall it's been surprisingly funny - like, for adults! -  and utterly charming. The music, y'all. THE MUSIC. It's silly and catchy or suddenly soulful and beautiful; you just never what you're going to get. Oh! And the very first episode has the Mahna Mahna song. SCORE.


Anyhoo, last night John wandered in as I was rewinding this song to listen to it again, and I thought you might appreciate it, too:



John googles everything, so he immediately looked up Halfway Down The Stairs. Turns out the lyrics are a poem by A.A. Milne, author of Winnie-The-Pooh, and this recording was SO popular it hit #7 on the UK singles chart in 1977. How sweet is that?

Now the part that'll make you cry: Robin's puppeteer Jerry Nelson sang this song - in character, but without the puppet - at Jim Henson's funeral. Here's the video. Buckets, y'all. Buckets.

And just so I don't leave you on a sad note, here's the Swedish Chef skit we also watched twice, both because it's funny and because we couldn't figure out how they moved the spaghetti, ha:


 
I've watched this four times now and it still makes me laugh. The growling spaghetti, omigosh.


What's your favorite Muppet Show song or sketch? If you can, share a link here or over on Facebook; let's get a Muppet nostalgia thread going!


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Shiny! A Dollar Tree DIY For Firefly Fans

I'm back with the matching set of our Firefly dino mirrors!


Remember I told you Dollar Tree also had a matching T-Rex mirror?


Well, I think we chose... wisely... for the second quote:


Plus John really nailed the design. SO GOOD.


If you're not a big Firefly fan - or just need a refresher - here's 42 seconds of context:



:D


It turns out etched mirrors are a real booger to photograph, but I asked John to hold a sheet of cardboard behind me and I think we made it work:


At least in real life these are clear and easy to read. But more importantly, they're a perfect quick craft for you Firefly-loving Cricut owners! Especially since I'm about to give you the cut files... for free. AW YEAH. Who loves ya the way sneaky T-Rexes love betraying their friends? THIS GAL.

Wait, that... may not have been the best example. ::squints thoughtfully::


 Anyhoo, first things first, go snag these babies from your local Dollar Tree:

Friday, August 20, 2021

The Pupil Becomes The Master: We Made The Trash Compactor Creature From Star Wars!


Time for another update to John's "Boba Vet" cosplay! We may not have a convention planned anytime soon, but I figure some of you will still get a kick out of our ridiculous progress.

Now I know I lured you in here with the trash monster - and it's here! - but first I want to show you John's helmet.

Obviously we needed the iconic Boba Fett helmet, and you can buy a pretty fantastic one from Rubies for about $50. Well, fantastic if you ignore the factory paint job, that is:

What in the silverly sunburst flower is happening here.


I've purchased a lot of poorly aged props in my time, gang, but this helmet takes the hilarious cake. I couldn't stop laughing:

Getting White Hand of Saruman vibes off that section to the left. There were lots more random fingerpaints all over this thing, plus brushy bits like what you see here on the red.

(We glued that doctor's head mirror to the antenna, btw, the helmet doesn't come with it.)

The terrible paint job wasn't a dealbreaker, since I wanted to try my hand at aging it anyway. I found a bunch of reference photos online, then did my best to get all the shiny silver blotches off. They didn't want to budge, even with pure acetone, so finally I resorted to sanding them off with a sanding sponge. Bonus: the sanding sponge took off the plastic sheen and gave some great dusty aging.


Next I went in with flat black paint (or extremely dark gray) and added "paint chips" using a flat-sided artist brush. I was amazed how realistic this looks; even I couldn't believe that's not chipped paint!



The hardest part was getting the black paint in jagged paint-chip shapes:





You could almost stop there, but I couldn't resist adding some silver Rub 'n Buff in most of the chipped areas. I used a Q-tip and tried to highlight just the edges and raised areas.

And here it is all finished!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mixed Up and Missing Out, But Still Finding The Good

Content Note: Discussion of real world stuff ahead. If you don't want to hear about Covid or masks today, best to skip this one.

*****

Welp. Last weekend did not go as planned.

John and I had his new cosplay all ready for MegaCon, packed our bags, checked our hotel reservations, and were about to walk out the door Friday morning when we sat down, had a chat, and decided to cancel everything. We unpacked the suitcases, put the cosplay stuff away, and sat down again to absorb our suddenly empty schedule.

I know that sounds kinda sad - and it was - but it also felt right. Without going into too many details, things here in Florida are rough. We keep breaking all the worst kinds of records, and our hospitals are so overrun that Thursday night Brevard county sent out text alerts saying not to call 911 or go to the ER unless it's life-threatening.

John and I are vaxxed and masked, but wading into a crowd of 100,000 felt like an unnecessary risk with all the new numbers, especially to our high-risk friends.

So we stayed home, and let me tell ya: one advantage of being an introvert is no matter HOW amazing your plans are, you're still at least a little excited when they get cancelled. :D (Some of you are nodding along right now. Hello, my people.) Plus it was a relief to skip a week of worry that we'd caught or transmitted anything.

Nearly everyone we know in central Florida DID go to the con, so I got to see plenty of video and photos, which was nice. MegaCon did an excellent job keeping everyone in masks and shielding the celebrities with plexiglass walls, and I'm glad many of my friends felt safe there - though still glad I wasn't in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. (And to be fair, at least 2 or 3 friends who went said we made the right call, and left early due to the crowds.)

John and I did our best to keep the weekend fun and not wallow in the FOMO: we ate donuts, drove around to see if any Spirit: Halloween stores were open yet (they weren't, boo), played Borderlands 3 together, and even - this is how you know John's trying to cheer me up - did some crafts:



This is a Dollar Tree mirror, and as soon as I saw it I knew it needed this Firefly quote. John designed the wording, cut a stencil on our Cricut, and I etched it. This blew up in my Stories, so we went back the next day to get the matching T-Rex mirror. I think we'll make a couple dino sets to add to the Squeegineer board. :)


Last month at MetroCon I bought some adorable face masks from NoFlutter to modify to fit our foam frames. I had to take the seams apart completely and start over, but I did it! And now I have this fabulous blorpy unicorn mask:


I made another adjustment to our masks: the fabric cover attaches with velcro instead of lacing through metal eyelets. This makes them so much easier to change out, I think I'll be converting all our covers to velcro.

The other side is a pastel rainbow with candy:


Here's the second mask I bought, just before I finished the final seam:

Chubby grumpy dragon FOR THE WIN. Hee!


I'd promised a few friends that John and I would take photos of their new cosplays on Saturday, so to make up for not being at the con, I invited them over to our house for individual photo shoots. We all stayed masked or distanced and laughed 'til it hurt while I attempted to pose everyone. None of us had any idea what we were doing, and at one point we had 5 people standing around trying to figure out how to make legs look "natural." Bahaha.

So yes, in this post about how we DIDN'T go to a con, I still have a few cosplay photos for you:

Friday, August 13, 2021

10 Mind-Blowing Dollar Tree DIYs You Have To See To Believe - And Even Then It's Iffy


I used to think I was creative, but then I watched a lady named Lynn take $4 worth of Dollar Tree plastic dishes and Tupperware, like this:



... and turn them into a vintage galvanized kitchen scale:


Um. WHAT?

Admit it, if I didn't have that first photo, you'd never believe this. You can check out Lynn's original post in the Facebook group "Dollar Trees Creative Minds" for more details on how she did it: the "metal" is a sponged-on paint finish and the dial is a print-out.

She's not the only one, either, I've seen several convincing "scales" since this, all made from dollar store materials.

Crafts like that are what hooked me on Dollar Tree DIYs. Sure, mostly you see re-painted signs and floral wreaths, but there are also crafty geniuses out there taking random DT items and transforming them into mind-blowing builds. Like this adorable kids' BBQ:


April L. of Dollar Tree Craft Ideas made this for her grandson using two big bowls, dust pan handles for the legs, a shelf riser for the grate, and painted rocks for charcoal. The only things not from DT are the hinge and cabinet handle. And LOOK HOW CUTE!


*****

You know how tiered trays are all the rage? Turns out all you need is a set of DT's metal burner covers, which look like this:


... plus a box of DT's generic Jenga blocks and a glass candlestick.

Put them all together, and you get THIS:

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tampa Comic-Con 2021: Stories & New Cosplay!

Gosh, it feels like just last week that I was sharing new cosplay photos with y'all, when in fact it was a week and a half ago.

::taps nose:: ::nods knowingly::

I hope the novelty hasn't worn off yet, because I'M BACK, baby, this time with colorful portraits from Tampa Comic-Con

Imagine Rod Stewart's "Broken Arrow" playing for this Warrior Poison Ivy. That's what I'm doing.

Ivy teamed up with Executioner Harley Quinn:


I'm hearing more "Back in Black" from AC/DC for her. :p

Also her dragon shoulder armor is SO COOL.

John and I originally planned to spend the whole weekend at the con, but due to the new Covid wave - and the con's lack of mask requirements - we cut our visit in half. We popped in for the last three hours Saturday afternoon, then a few more hours Sunday afternoon before driving home. The crowds were actually less than Metro from the week before, and I'd say 80% or more were unmasked. Considering most stores here in Florida just re-instated mask policies, it felt strange to be one of the very few in masks.

Here are all my Stories from the weekend, do NOT miss the dancing Spider-Man at the end. It'll renew your faith in humanity and leave you with a big ol' grin, I promise:



HEART... FULL.

We even got a flash photo of Spidey, complete with bubbles:

Friday, August 6, 2021

I Beat Up Salacious Crumb And I'M NOT SORRY

Note: this post contains photos of fake blood/wounds on a fantasy creature who totally deserves it.

:D


*****

Oh, and click here if you missed Part 1 of our latest Cosplay build!

*****

This next part of John's "Boba Vet" cosplay is a little twisted, and absolutely hysterical if you are, too. It's also kind of creepy, and given how much I enjoy funny creepy things, it's really no surprise this is my favorite part. I'm inordinately proud of it considering all I did was repaint a Star Wars toy and add some medical props, but I'll let you judge for yourself.

 I started with this "Kowakian Monkey Lizard" toy sold at Galaxy's Edge in Disney:


Most folks know this creature as Salacious Crumb, so I've dubbed ours Sally.

These toys are made to sit on your shoulder, and you can puppet their heads & mouths with the attached controller. They're expensive, I think around $75. To give you an idea of how long John's wanted to do this cosplay, we had a CM friend buy us one when Galaxy's Edge first opened over two years ago. I can't find them on Shop Disney, so they may be out of stock or discontinued by now.

Here's our Sally, clean, mean, and pristine:

That's about to change.

::evil grin::

Well, not the mean part. If you've seen Star Wars you know Salacious is a nasty piece of work, so rest assured he has all of this coming. 

Official GIF Reminder That Sally Is A Jerk:


NOBODY PLUCKS OUT 3PO's EYE ON MY WATCH

That's right, monkey lizard, you're going down.

Ahem.

First I mixed some craft paint into a muddy brownish gray color, diluted it with water, and painted it all over Sally, quickly wiping it off again with a rag:



I also scrubbed some paint into the hair, so he's good and grungy.

Next I used a dark red paint to make scratches and gouges, lightly edging them in black to give them depth:

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Icing Sneakers, Golden Girls, & The Exact Function Of A Rubber Duck

I have a bunch of cool stuff to show you today, and since I also feel like laughing like an unhinged loon, for kicks I'm throwing in some of my favorite funny TikToks. Yep, I'm outing myself as a TikTok lurker, gang. SHOW ME YOUR FUNNY DANCE MOVES AND/OR PETS. Show meeeee. 

In fact, let's start with one of my absolute favorite people on TikTok:

I don't care what surveillance sees anymore 🤣

Sound on for happy lolz. I can't not smile every time I see Chrissy dance; she's so stinkin' talented and pure bubbly joy in a sweatshirt.

*****

Speaking of joy, Naxfx Studios just dropped her new sewing patterns for these "borbs" on her Patreon, and I am obsessed:


EEEEEEEEEEEEE

I want to squish them all in giant bear hugs and play with their twiggy widdle feet. Plus look how pretty:

::attempts to pet screen::

If you aren't familiar with Nazfx and her jaw-dropping plush work, go browse her Facebook gallery for all the pretties. (The giant Luna moth also stole my heart.) If you'd like to make your own, she even has patterns and video tutorials for sale on gumroad.



*****

Hang on, I have the perfect cat video to follow that: