April 18

The Ultimate in “Archer” Cosplays

Can you have two “ultimates” for any one category? I mean, shouldn’t one be better than the other? Isn’t that the point of being the ultimate? Well today, we’re breaking the rules! So everyone, go grab your tactleneck sweater and let’s go to the Danger Zone!

First up, this unknown “Archer” stand-along cosplayer.

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All I can say is WOW, and maybe, if you’re going to do this good of a job as a cosplayer, make sure you get your name out there! Sterling Archer, codename Duchess.

Next up, the group from International Secret Intelligence Service, as seen on FX.

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This Archer cosplay brings the show to life with Krieger’s Virtual Girlfriend, Dr. Krieger, Archer and Cheryl. It’s great that Krieger’s Virtual Girlfriend is the only one who looks real when in the show she’s the only one who’s not real.

Category: Craft, Geek, TV | LEAVE A COMMENT
April 13

Huggable Monster Dolls for Kids in Need

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A Monster to Love is this great online shop where, for every cute little monster doll you buy, Sam, Ben, and their dad Ray, donate a monster doll to a kid in need.  They partner up with children’s hospitals and even the World Relief Refugee program out of Atlanta.

I ran across their awesome work about a year ago on Craftsy, including a pattern to make your own monsters to donate to local kids in need, or send off to Ray and his boys in Colorado so they can donate the cuddly little monsters to kids in need.

Interested? Here’s the A Monster to Love PDF Pattern and Instructions.  Ray and his boys take donations year round, and you can send them one monster, or one hundred. It’s up to you!

I try to organize a Monster Making Party at least once or twice a year–they’re fun, and pretty easy to do.  Here’s how:

1. I buy a couple yards of fun colored fleece fabric when it’s on sale (usually in the summer).  You can get quite a lot of monsters out of a yard of fleece, or even half a yard. Just be sure to shop when it’s on sale! Along with fabric, I’ll pick up a box of stuffing when it’s on sale too (or with a coupon).  One box can last a long while and stuff a lot of monsters (probably around 30).  I’ll also purchase Safety Eyes for the dolls, which can be attached before sewing, and don’t require any sewing knowledge to install.  I purchased my Safety Eyes here, but there are tons of vendors and craft stores out there that sell them.  The 18mm sized ones are what I used, and I liked to mix and match colors too. 15 pairs of eyes cost about $15.  You can also use buttons for the eyes, but make sure they are SEWN on really well.  If the eyes are not sewn on securely, Ray and his boys can’t use them.  Do not glue on eyes.  Ray and his boys can’t use the monster dolls if the eyes have only been glued on (hello choking hazards!).

All in all, I spent about $40 on supplies for making the monsters, but I did it over the course of a couple of months.

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Angie brought her own sewing machine and helped build a couple monsters. That’s my mom in the background stitching away madly.

 

2. I set up a FB event and ask folks to bring their own sewing machines if they’ve got them, but I also tell folks that there’s plenty of other ways to help too: attaching eyes, stuffing, cuddle testing, and hand stitching are great ways to get even the most novice of crafters involved in a Monster Making Party.   Along with the fabric, stuffing, and safety eyes, I also bring along thread, scissors, and hand sewing needles for people to use.  If you’re worried about materials cost, you can always ask people to pitch in a couple bucks to help out.

3. I cut out at least some monsters before the party so there are dolls ready to be sewn.  I also set up stations for people to work at installing eyes, stuffing the monsters, and hand sewing the monsters closed after stuffing, and even cutting out more monsters if necessary.

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Here, my friend Chrystal is stuffing a monster.

 

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Eunice is hand sewing the monster closed.

4. We have music playing, and I ask folks to help out with some food (like chips and dip, cupcakes, and frosty beverages).  And I invite folks to come when they can and stay as long as they’d like to.  It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.

5. I’ve found three hours to be a great length of time for a Monster Making Party.  You can get a lot done, have time to chat, and still steal a cupcake too.  Once the party’s over, you’ll want to box up your magnificent creations and mail them off to A Monster to Love! Their address is on the last page of the PDF.

All our Monsters boxed up and ready to go!

All our Monsters boxed up and ready to go!

If you have your own Monster Making Party, be sure to take pictures and share!!!

 

More Links of Interest

 

April 12

Making science fun with paper roller coasters

Paper Roller Coaster by Andrew Gatt

My grade school days are so far behind me, I remember very little about any sort of science experiments. I vaguely recall something about adding food coloring to water to turn white carnations different colors. BOR-ING. If I had Andrew Gatt for a teacher, I think I would have some pretty epic science memories.

As the lower school science specialist as a school in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andrew started building paper roller coasters in the late 90s as an activity in his 5th grade classroom. He continued refining his designs over the years, and started making presentations of his designs at teacher conventions and eventually started selling the templates and directions.  These days, he teaches science to 7th and 8th graders and uses the templates with his 7th graders each fall. The templates are available on his website.

Homeschoolers and science aficionados rejoice! Andrew offers three lesson plans to use with the paper roller coasters, which are available for free download on his website, PaperRollerCoasters.com. “The lesson plans show how paper roller coasters can be used to teach about speed, acceleration, potential energy, and kinetic energy,” says Andrew. “It’s also a great structural engineering lesson in which students have to build a sturdy structure that will hold up the tracks.”

See videos of paper roller coasters in action on Andrew’s YouTube channel!

Up to the challenge of building your own coaster? We’d love to hear about your efforts and results – feel free to share a link to your creation in the comments below! Go forth now and SCIENCE!

Links of Interest:
Andrew’s site, PaperRollerCoasters.com
More science crafts on GeekCrafts
Science category on GeekCrafts
April 11

TARDIS Snack Cabinet

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BadWolf314 of Boise, ID is a Whovian, and as such, needed a TARDIS in her home. Her husband wanted his own soda machine for their home. What to do, what to do?

BadWolf314 said if hubby wanted a soda machine, then it had to match their movie room. The body is built out of mostly plywood and MDF. Puck lights were used for the interior. The windows and Police Box signs are this stiff plastic stuff. I put vinyl over the plastic for the Police Public call signs. The top is one of those walkway lights you can get from your hardware store and we just painted it to match everything else. It stands at about 5’6″ tall. Click through her gallery to see more pictures.

While it’s not quite a soda machine, once you open it up, there is a small refrigerator and a microwave in there, so it does make for an awesome snack center during movie nights.

April 9

Outwit Winter with 8-bit Spring

Today as I gazed out my living room window at the nice April spring afternoon SNOWSTORM in my front yard and resigned myself to an entire lifetime of winter weather, I found my thoughts wandering (trudging) to…Steve from Minecraft.  Steve from Minecraft has all kinds of warm weather biomes to choose from.  Steve from Minecraft can play in the snow, sure; but when he’s bored (or his feet start to go numb in his diamond boots (are diamond boots even warm?)) he can go to a desert, or a forest, or even a jungle.  Steve from Minecraft can be standing in a snowy blizzard one second, and then take a step into a swamp biome and immediately find himself delicately wrapped in warm, balmy, humid rain.  Not to mention Steve from Minecraft’s freshly-planted daisies that he got for his Easter party four days ago don’t take one look at the incoming north winds and promptly die in their planter. (At least, not in the XBox 360 version.)  So why should Steve from Minecraft get everything?!?!

Good news!  Instructables poster lirpaeel has shown us how to bring some of Steve’s coveted greenery to our very own biomes!

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The best news?  You don’t even need to build an ax to knock it down!  (Or a sword, like the kid in the picture.)

Happy Spring!