October 12

Make Your Own Zombiebot Amigurumi!

zombiebot

I’m not exactly sure what a zombiebot is, but it sure is cute. Check out this free crochet pattern available on CraftFoxes.com, sourced from a super cute book (Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make, by Nelly Pailloux).

I like this kind of pattern.  It offers up instructions for you to make the zombiebot as is, or if you’re feeling daring, you can mix things up with different colors, “injuries”, stitches, and embellishments.  Just think, you can crochet your own army of crobots as you plan world domination!

Plus, read the Geek Crafts review of Nelly Pailloux’s Crobots book!

More Links of Interest

July 12

BOOK REVIEW: Geek Merit Badges

Geek Merit Badges by Meghan Murphy

Like many, during my grade school years, I was a Girl Scout. Over the years I learned to cook white bread-and-jelly pot pies over a campfire, how to tie a square knot (left over right and through, right over left and through), and sold hundreds of boxes of cookies. I also earned my share of merit badges, displaying them proudly on my sash. Years later, my kids also joined scouts, and my son went on to earn his Eagle. So I was intrigued when I saw mention of Meghan Murphy‘s new book, Geek Merit Badges, on Twitter, and promptly requested a review copy.

The book offers ten badges in each of four categories. Discovery badges, such as Time and Time Again, Origin Story, and Awkwardness Adept, address your geeky origins. Absorption badges, such as Constant Collector, Game Master, and Speak the Language showcase your passions. Transmission badges, such as Mighty Mentor, Disaster Preparedness, and Keeper of Traditions, offer ways to share your enthusiasm. And the Creation badges, such as Fan Fiction, Cosplay Commando, and Crafty Crafter, allow you to show off how your geekiness inspires you to make. This last section would perhaps be of most interest to GeekCrafts readers! Each badge starts with relevant quote that offers the opportunity for readers to test their pop culture recognition skills (“Never give up. Never surrender.”), and various examples of “have you ever…” kind of scenarios.

I really enjoyed Murphy’s writing style and conversational tone. I felt like she was one of my “tribe” (or I was one of hers). I appreciate how she has put something out there to gather the geek community and help them find relatable and shareable experiences.

That said, the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. As a former Girl Scout, and mother of an Eagle Scout, I was expecting a series of geeky tasks that one could attempt, check off and earn a badge by completing a specific number of assignments. I envisioned, upon earning a badge, one could order a physical embroidered patch, similar to scout badges, to display on a jean jacket or messenger bag, and recognize geeky accomplishments in others with similar badges. The book does offer checklists and quizzes for the reader to identify with relatable scenarios, but I didn’t get the sense of having completed an educational track and “earning” a badge.

For the Creative Cookery badge, for example, it lists some “Famous Fictional Foods,” but doesn’t encourage you to make some and host a watch party with friends, as I would have expected. It lists “drinks we wish existed,” but doesn’t invite you to pair them with their geeky sources, or watch specific episodes of shows to understand their references. I also thought it was a bit odd that the checklists for each badge were in their own section starting at page 153, and not at the end of each badge overview.  Finally, the book offers cute little stickers for each badge, but I would prefer something more badge/patch-like.

Once I adjusted my expectations for the book, however, I did enjoy reading it. I instantly recognized myself in many of the scenarios Murphy described and related to many of her geek references. I appreciate her vision for the book: encouraging people to be a “good geek:” “Love what you love. Be what you love. Share what you love.” And that’s something we can all get behind.

If, after reading the book, you are interested in finding some more badge-like geek merit badges, I did track some down:

Have you read Geek Merit Badges? What did you think? What merit badge(s) would you like to earn? Let us know in the Comments below!

Other Links of Interest:

October 4

Star Trek Craft Book

Boldly going where no craft book has gone before! Written by Geek Crafts very own Angie Pedersen, this is an awesome blend of Trek and craft. While primarily a project book it’s also filled with Trek trivia and photos, making it a perfect addition to any Trekkie’s – or Trekker’s – collection. Trekkers and makers, together at last!

Star Trek Craft Book

The projects are inspired by every version of Star Trek, from TOS to comic books, with a variety of different craft techniques and skill levels. It was really hard to decide on the first project to try, but I finally decided on the adorable Kahn finger puppet. He was super easy to make, thanks to the close-up photos of each step of the project. The only thing I did differently was the material for his uber-sexy Kahn hair. I had to substitute novelty yarn for the marabou trim that was called for, only because my local craft store didn’t have it. Unfortunately, I think the effect is more “who stole my conditioner” than “from Hell’s heart I stabbeth thee”. I still think he’s awesome though!

KAAAHHNNNN!!!

July 25

Book Review: Knitted Toy Tales

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Most geeks start off their nerd-life with books. We all remember “once upon a times” and “happily ever afters.” Knitted Toy Tales by Laura Wong captured that feeling, the one you felt when you first learned to read your fairy tales.

The patterns are well-written and super-easy to follow. It allowed for substitutions with the weight of yarn used which is always a bonus. There are many adorable projects within, including  the three little pigs! In the picture below, you see Frederick the Frog Prince (sans crown).

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Simply adorable. Thanks to my friend Nikky for knitting him up in no time at all.

March 25

Book Review: How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell

How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell

So you’re into making geek crafts. Your house is being over run by them. No matter how many you give away, there are always more. Maybe you should start selling them! Or maybe you’re already selling them. Crafters have a tendency to undersell themselves and sell their pieces for far too little.  How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell by James Dillehay teaches you that you as an artist are worth more. In the 5 years or so since I started selling online, I have read many books on the subject. This one is by far the best. I even put it to the test the other day and charged a reasonable price for something and the customer didn’t bat an eye. If you don’t value your work, how are others supposed to? While this book is not inherently geeky,  this book provides useful tips, strategies and resources so that you can have the best business possible. So give it a shot!

March 4

Crobots by Nelly Pailloux Review

Hello Geek Crafters! Today I’m going to be telling you about the adorable Crobots by Nelly Pailloux.

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What is a Crobot you may be wondering. It’s a crocheted robot, naturally, which is an adorable idea. Of all of the cute robots, I chose Zombiebot. Because of course I did.

zombiebot

 

He only took about an evening to make and a total of maybe 20 cents. One ball of yarn would probably make you 3 zombiebots, so you could start a small army.

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I thought the pen spring for the popped out eye effect was wonderful. I added barley to the bottom of his body so that he would sit up on his own.

The instructions were simple, well-written and easy to follow. To be honest, that is a huge relief. Too many times I’ve tried to follow a pattern only to find it overly-complicated. Not with this though. I never had to second guess myself.

So if you’re looking to add some cuddly robots to your life, which, why wouldn’t you, pick up Crobots by Nelly Pailloux. It’s a unique and fun book that will definitely keep you busy.