November 18, 2014

DIY Wookiee Life Day Wreath

Yesterday was a special day: it was Life Day! The day marked the anniversary of the release of the Star Wars Holiday Special. One of many great things about Life Day is that it can be celebrated throughout the holiday season. To get in the Wookiee Life Day mood, I came up with a couple of rustic wreaths for StarWars.com. Look:

DIY Wookiee Life Day Wreaths
The wreath on the left is inspired by a design in Star Wars Galaxies, and the one on the right features red ribbons for the red Life Day robes and a blue Life Day orb. I'm sort of in love with them. Read the instructions at the official StarWars.com blog and get crafting!

November 12, 2014

A Carol Danvers Captain Marvel Action Figure Is On Its Way

In 2018 a marvelous thing will happen. Actually, probably more than one great thing will happen. At least I  hope so. Let's start  over: one of many cool things that will happen in 2018 is the Captain Marvel movie. Finally! A female-led superhero film! Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Heck. yes. Like Kate Leth describes in a recent "Kate or Die" comic at ComicsAlliance, there will be so much merchandise and happiness and sparklefists when the Captain Marvel film hits theaters. Maybe we'll get some more official items leading into 2018 too, and maybe it's starting with this Captain Marvel action figure:


The Carol Danvers Captain Marvel figure is part of the Marvel Legends line and will be out in 2015. She's sharing a box with Odin's head because every figure in the line has bits of Odin that can be assembled into the All-Father. Of course. You can check out the rest of the figures in the line at Marvel Toy News.

November 11, 2014

November is #Nerdvember

The creative folks over at Set to Stunning have made November a month of celebrating geek fashion with #Nerdvember. The hashtag is tied to a month-long contest that Set to Stunning runs on Instagram. Here are the basics: participants wear a geeky outfit and take a picture, slap the #Nerdvember hashtag onto the picture, and get entered into a contest to win prizes. Neat, huh?

Here's an example of a Sherlock-inspired outfit as worn by Victoria, one of the ladies behind Set to Stunning:


The prizes are available in different tiers in order to encourage participants to put together some geek-inspired outfits all month long. For example, if you participate for 1-10 days, you're entered to win in the Prize Tier 1 group. If you participate all 30 days of November, you're entered to win in the Prize Tier 4 group. The prizes get bigger the more days you participate, and Set to Stunning has gathered an impressive list of sponsors for #Nerdvember, including: Guild Jewellery, Black Milk Clothing, Espionage Cosmetics, We Love Fine, and Her Universe. Fancy, no?

What counts as a geek-themed outfit?
"Full geek ensembles are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED, but at a minimum you must be wearing at least one (1) piece of geek clothing/jewelry/accessory to qualify. If you’re wearing an “inspired by” look (i.e. Disney Bounding or Console to Closet type looks), please include a photo of the inspiration in your pic post or at least an explanation of how your outfit is geek themed."
Full cosplay doesn't qualify.

You can read all the rules at Set to Stunning. Even if you're not up for participating, you can search the #Nerdvember hashtag on Instagram for plenty of outfit inspiration.

November 10, 2014

New Episodes of Bee and PuppyCat Are Here!

Get excited, Bee and PuppyCat fans! New episodes have arrived! All the exclamation points! And the first one features my new favorite PuppyCat moment:


I lost it. This series genuinely makes me laugh out loud.

I only learned about the magic of Natasha Allegri's Bee and PuppyCat over the summer (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, take ten minutes and go watch the first episodes of Bee and PuppyCat now) so I haven't been waiting as long as the many fans who supported the Kickstarter project that allowed these new episodes to happen. I bow to their patience.

Why am I still writing when there's new Bee and PuppyCat to watch? Yeah, I don't know either. On with the video embeds!





If you want to stay in the know about when more episodes of Bee and PuppyCat are released, sign up for the Temp Team newsletter.

The Great Postcard Project

Who else likes mail? I rarely get mail that isn't a bill or a magazine or a check (not complaining about that last one). I have a couple of friends who I regularly exchange mail with and it's delightful to get a handwritten note or a thoughtfully sent box of Pocky. I don't have tons of Pocky that I'm willing to share because I really like Pocky, but I do have a pile of postcards. I've purchased postcards everywhere I've traveled over the last decade for the purpose of sending notes, but I haven't done enough of the sending part. My box of blank postcards is overflowing, and I'm not letting myself purchase more until I send most of the ones I have. Enter the Great Postcard Project.

Even after sending postcards to everyone in my address book, I'll have dozens of them left. Dozens. From China, from Disney, from national parks, from museums - it's a mix. And I'd like to send them to you! Anyone who fills out this Google form with his or her address will get a randomly selected postcard with a brief note or quote or poorly drawn stick figure. Yay real mail! If you'd rather, you can email me your address too (my email address is right there on the sidebar).

I promise I'll keep your address confidential and will not share it with marketing companies or use it for my personal newsletter that does not exist.

Submit your address by November 21st to get on the list!


November 7, 2014

A Fan Guessed the Title of Star Wars: Episode VII Two Years Ago

Yesterday was a momentous day in Star Wars history because the title for Star Wars: Episode VII was revealed. The Episode VII part is gone and instead we have Star Wars: The Force Awakens:


Lucasfilm slyly made the announcement on social media, and my Twitter feed went crazy with reactions. Feelings about the title aside, one especially interesting fact turned up yesterday: a fan correctly predicted the title of Episode VII on TheForce.net forum two years ago. Look:


Queen Gimmedala posted in an Episode VII title speculation thread and didn't list tons of guesses or possibilities - just one. The Force Awakens. And she nailed it. ScreenCrush dug up the post, and besides the fact that Queen Gimmedala got the name right, look at the date she joined the forums. December 18, 2012. Exactly three years before the Episode VII release date of December 18, 2015. Weird, right? It's also interesting to note that until yesterday, she'd only posted to the forums twice as far as I can tell, and both posts were on the same date.

Eric Geller of TheForce.net reached out Queen Gimmedala to find out how she knew and maybe if she could maybe make some predictions about lottery numbers (okay, Eric didn't really ask the last part, that's me projecting). She used the titles of the other six films as templates and made a really good guess. She explains:

I'm in love with Star Wars, PT and OT. I do not follow any of the EU. So my "knowledge" of the SW universe is really limited to the 6 movies and the recent tv shows.
Ultimately this was a random guess. No inside info or connection to Lucas. But to me it seemed logical that the first movie in this trilogy would need to address the force. I'm a believer that the movie titles in each trilogy closely relate and I suspect this will carry over for the ST.
So I knew it was going to be 3 words, and the force. I also know that the wording would be vague/ambiguous/old fashioned like all the other six movie titles.
The Phantom Menace (something is wrong with the force), A New Hope (something is helping) and The Force Awakens (It's BACK BABY). I LOVE IT.

Huh. Her reasoning makes sense to me, and while this is probably all a huge coincidence, it's bringing up cries of a conspiracy. Is she an insider? Has the exact release date and title been planned since Disney bought Lucasfilm? Did Lucasfilm see this post and think the name was a brilliant idea?

What do you think?

h/t TheForce.net

November 6, 2014

Big Hero's 6 Baymax Already Has My Heart

Getting attached to Disney characters isn't a new thing (problem?) for me. Any Stitch related merchandise or gifs usually elicit a high-pitched noise of happiness. I get a teary-eyed if I talk about Merida at length. I relate to Belle's feelings of longing for adventure and books. And we won't even discuss my serious Frozen fever. With those characters though, the feelings came after I saw the films. I didn't even know what Lilo & Stitch and Frozen were about before I stepped into the theater. This isn't the case with Baymax of Big Hero 6. I'm head over heels for him, and I haven't even seen the movie yet.

source
I was all in from the first trailer that showed Baymax making futile efforts to pick up a soccer ball. The personal health care robot is designed to meet and exceed the definition of adorable for most people. He's round and cuddly and moves awkwardly because of his short legs. He might not be the sharpest, but his heart is in the right place - despite the fact that he's emotionless. His voice (performed by Scott Adsit) adds to the character's charm. Baymax is the kind of companion we all want. Well, at the very least we want a Baymax for our younger selves to pal around with.

While I only know the plot of Big Hero 6 based on what's been revealed in trailers (the "hairy baby" moment cracks me up every time), I believe Baymax could become a new favorite character for myself and many other Disney fans. They've emphasized the robot in the trailers, and I hope he's as key to the story as he seems. At it's heart, Big Hero 6 is about a boy and his robot, so I feel optimistic.

It will be another day or so before I can clear my schedule and get to theater to see the movie. So, to help pass the time, I've found some precious Baymax fan art on DeviantArt and Tumblr:

Baymax and his soccer ball by Elala
Hiro and Baymax by Kat
All the versions of Baymax by Andrew Swainson
Baymax, Hiro, and a hairy baby by Ishaa

Who else has Baymax feelings?

November 5, 2014

One Character, Different Costumes: Toothless

I didn't know much about How to Train Your Dragon when I sat down to watch it in the theater - only that it involved a boy and a dragon. And probably some training. I was enchanted and touched by the tale of Hiccup and Toothless and only a little bit because the dragons in the film were modeled on cats. Toothless was designed to be endearing and magnificent and everything you want in a pet and companion that doesn't exist in real life. I've loved seeing cosplayers tackle the Toothless look over the years, and I've spotted full on dragon suits and even dresses. There's more than one way to become a dragon so I've focused on Toothless for the latest edition of "one character, different costumes." Take a look:


Full Toothless cosplayed by Jessica Angus, photo by Enko. I can't imagine how warm this costume must be, but the fabric used really sells the dragon skin look.


Humanized Toothless cosplayed by Professor Awesome, photo by Kassandra. I like this human take on the character with black clothing, wings, leather and plastic claws, and a tail. It definitely seems like a more comfortable option than the full dragon suit.


Classy Toothless dress design by PatyDin. As far as I can tell, no one has made this into a dress yet. It needs to happen. You could top it off with dragon necklace or maybe ears on a headband?


Another complete Toothless suit cosplayed by NeverCryMoon, photo by Alexandra. This suit looks to be made of a velvety fabric, and it's wonderful - I love that this Toothless is paired with a Hiccup.


Go Toothless-casual with this dragon hoodie from Canada Cosplay. The fabric is textured in just the right places, and it has scales and a tail. You could pair it with some black pants for a simple and comfortable cosplay.


Sweatsuit Toothless! Vanessa Brady made her son a Toothless costume by converting a solid-colored sweatsuit. It's an affordable way to get the full dragon look, and she wrote a brief how-to.

Want to see more awesome costumes? I've got a Pinterest board for that. Have any characters you'd like me to feature for "one character, different costumes?" Let me know in the comments!

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