December 30, 2013

Enchanting Disney-Inspired Jewelry

Raise your hand if you're a fan of the Dewey Decimal system. I'm strongly considering organizing my home library using it - I just wish I had room for a card catalogue. I loved that part about going to the library. And I love when people reference the classification system, like 398.2 jewelry. That section is all about folk literature and fairy tales. It's Lisa Marie's favorite section of the library, and she's created several pieces of jewelry inspired by her favorite stories - especially Disney ones.

Her necklaces and bracelets feature perfect charms to represent films like Frozen, Tangled, Brave, and more. I could easily add several of these pieces to my collection - it's too hard to choose between my favorites. Here are a few examples from her shop:

It's obviously themed but also classy and understated enough that you could wear it almost every situation - unlike say, a necklace with a giant pendant of Ariel's face.

Go check out 398.2 to see the entire collection!

December 27, 2013

December Loot Crate Time!

The December Loot Crate box showed up just in time for Christmas, huzzah! This month's theme is Console Wars. New Playstation and Xbox consoles were released recently, and the fight is on. Inside the box I found gaming stuff, Batman, and a fun Star Wars mash-up tee. Yes, Loot Crate is awesome. What 6-8 items did I get this month?

The haul: Star Wars gaming mash-up shirt (my favorite shirt I've received in a Loot Crate box), Grip-It control protectors, Tin-Tastic Creative Activity Set featuring Batman, Energems, Bravest Wars sticker, magnet, and gamer wristband.

I love these Tin-Tastic sets from Funko. It's an adorable tin filled with pencils, erasers, and stickers. It has cool stuff and after you've used the stickers and erasers, it makes a great pen or chopstick holder. Love it. The Batman design retails for $14.

Mint Energems are supposed to give you a boost of energy. The nin gems in each box equals three cups of coffee. I think I'll share these with friends at a convention in the near future. Retail value $2.99.

The Grip-It accessories in the back go on Xbox or Playstation controllers and they are meant to protect your sticks and enhance performance. They retail at $4.99.

 Catbug Han Solo! Ahhh!
Yep, this shirt is adorable. Retail value of $15.

All in all with the magnet, sticker, and wristband, I'd estimate the retail value of this box to be close to $40. Nice haul, eh? Loot Crate is only $13.37/month and with shipping, you pay less than $20. You can subscribe for as many or few months as you like. Sign up now and use the discount code gwcloot for $3 off your subscription.

Full disclosure: Loot Crate box was provided free of charge for review purposes.

December 26, 2013

Frozen Art You Need to See

I was completely enchanted by Frozen. The characters, the design, the songs - I fell hard for all of it (as you can probably tell from my review). I saw it again last weekend and liked it even better the second time. I've been keeping an eye on the interwebs for art inspired by the film, and I haven't been disappointed. These are some of my favorites:

This art of Elsa is my favorite, and I already have a framed copy just waiting to go on my walls. It's an officially licensed image by Amy Mebberson. It's beautiful and makes me want to dress up like Elsa even more than I already did. You can get a print from Acme Archives Direct.

Kristoff, Anna, Olaf, and Sven look charming drawn in traditional 2D animation style. Besides this piece, artist David Kawena has a ton of wonderful Frozen art in his DeviantArt gallery.

Elsa, Anna, and animal/snowman pals in adorable chibi style. Eeek! This precious fanart is by TheKohakuDragon.

I know Elsa isn't a villain, but I still love this design of her as a Sith by Ralph Sevelius.

Swirling snow and curving lines and a beautiful sky. I love every pixel of this art by kowan.

I want to stuff some chocolate in my face. By littlegreenfrog.

Simple, pretty, perfect. I like this version of Anna by Valentina Pinto.

December 25, 2013

Happy holidays!

I hope you all have a wonderful day! I'll just be over here playing with my action figures some more.

December 24, 2013

Star Wars and the Holidays

I didn't grow up with Star Wars. I didn't see the films until I was in my teens, and when I was little, the toys under the tree were My Little Ponies and She-Ra characters and Lite Brites. So, while I can't reach back into my childhood memories and remember getting Star Wars toys on Christmas morning, that's okay - I only have to think five years or so back. I got to experience child-like joy as an adult. I know it's not exactly the same because as a grown-up, I love to open packages and put things together but I don't sit on the floor and make Darth Vader and Luke have father and son heart to hearts - which I totally would have done as a kid.

Still, I'm glad to have the experience of opening Star Wars presents and getting excited about them at all. No, Christmas isn't about the presents or material items, but the fun of putting together Star Wars LEGO sets or unboxing Micro Machine playsets creates strong memories of time spent with loved ones. Beyond receiving gifts, Star Wars just goes with the holidays for me. I watch the movies, make crafts like R2-D2 wreaths, and pose my action figures to make Christmas cards:

This year was extra special to me because I spoke with fellow fans about how they incorporate Star Wars into their holiday traditions for the official blog. There are lots of warm fuzzies including a kid who was convinced Life Day was real and memories from singer Darren Hayes about Star Wars and Christmas. I think it will bring a smile to your face. Read the article here.

And for a touch of extra fun, I recommend giving this Star Wars-y version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" a listen:

You can also head to YouTube and listen to the Star Wars holiday album, Christmas in the Stars, which is lovely, or search for the Star Wars Holiday Special, which is pretty much unbearable but can be entertaining if you have booze on hand.

Whatever you do for the holidays, I hope you have a wonderful time with your celebrations.

December 23, 2013

DIY Miniature Hoth Diorama (Tauntaun in a jar!)

It's winter and that makes me think of tauntauns and Hoth more than I usually do. With those things on my mind, I searched eBay for a miniature tauntaun and made this little, tiny diorama with Luke and his ride pre-wampa attack. I've already decided I'm leaving it out year-round.

I made it following the same techniques I used for my TARDIS in the snow but with just a few changes:

- Instead of a pint jar, I used an empty salt/pepper shaker and sealed the holes in the lid with a thin layer of hot glue (alternatively, you could carefully lower the toy into the shaker while it's upright)
- Before I added the Diamond Dust glitter, I smeared some Mod Podge on the inside of the glass at random places to give it that frosty look. I also added a little silver glitter into the snow mix. When you shake it around the glass, it sticks to the Mod Podge. Just like magic.
- The tauntaun is from the Miniatures Universe line and came on a wide plastic base. I trimmed the base down with scissors (it was easy to cut) so the tauntaun would fit in the jar.

I really want to make a wampa one with bloodstained snow and everything.

Happy Hothidays!

December 20, 2013

The Best Holiday Sweater is a Star Wars Holiday Sweater

The ugly holiday sweater has become a trend over the past five-ten years. People try to out-ugly sweater each other at parties and it's created a specialty market. Now even though this Star Wars sweater is a holiday sweater, it's not ugly. AT ALL. It's gorgeous.
Luke, the wampa, and blood. I LOVE IT. It was made by Redditor imnojezus' co-worker; she used an existing sweater and added the Star Wars characters with a needle-felting/tufting method. It's enough to make me want to learn the skill immediately.

h/t GeekSoap

December 19, 2013

White Christmas art makes me happy

White Christmas is my favorite holiday film. I've watched it year-round since I was a young girl and used to own more versions of it than I owned of Star Wars. One December about seven years ago I drove around the city to various Starbucks looking for the soundtrack they were selling. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen dancing and singing - what's not to love?

So, when popular geek artist Karen Hallion posted art from the "Sisters" number, you can imagine how much I flailed.
And then it got better because she drew the other version of the outfits from the "Sisters" number.
You can get the fabulous art on mugs, notecards, prints, and more. The links are all on Karen's Facebook page.

Not too long after I saw these images, I was in for another White Christmas treat. One of my favorite artists, Amy Mebberson, took the "Sisters" concept and mashed it with Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa and then I DIED of cuteness and happiness.
Plus, Hans and Kristoff!
Now I just want to see a whole Frozen/White Christmas fan film. It could work.

On the off chance that you've never seen Whie Christmas and have no idea what I'm talking about, here are videos for your convenience:

I love the internet.

December 18, 2013

DIY R2-D2 Wreath

Though I like my Nightmare Before Christmas wreath, I wanted to hang something new for Christmas. It couldn't be just any wreath, it needed to have a geeky touch. For reasons. After seeing a friend's awesome R2-D2 themed tree, I figured I could apply the same sort of theming to a white wreath and tada - R2-D2 wreath!

Just like the TARDIS diorama, the most troublesome part about this wreath was dealing with the glittery ribbon and embellishments I got to go with the wreath. It took a little time as well since I work slowly. You'll need the following items:
R2-D2 figure you don't mind sacrificing for crafting (read: not a vintage Kenner figure)
White wreath
Additional white garland to fill out the wreath (optional, mine just looked sparse and I wanted to bulk it up)
Blue and silver ribbon for the wreath
Red ribbon for the bow - I used a matte red and a glittery one
Embellishments in R2-D2 colors - I went to the local craft store to look through the bins for silver and blue items, remember you can pick them apart into smaller pieces. You can enlarge the supplies picture above to see the sort of stuff I gathered; there are leaves, sparkly ball things, and some ornaments
Red embellishment for R2-D2's sensor
Hot glue gun, glue sticks
Wire cutters or scissors

There's a lot of room to add your own touches with the specific decorations on the wreath since you may not be able to find exact duplicates of what I used.

I started by weaving portions of the extra white garland around the wreath frame to give it more weight:
Much better. Next I took thin silver ribbon and wove it loosely around the wreath starting at the bottom. There was no rhyme or reason to the pattern, I just wanted to add a touch of silver. I connected the ends with a knot and hot glued it to the wire wreath frame.
Then I repeated that process with the wider (and really freaking glittery) blue ribbon:
Now it's time to add the embellishments. It's probably not a bad idea to sketch where they'll go, but that didn't occur to me until after I started gluing items on. I've found that it's best to split up the giant sprigs of leaves and balls and whatever into individual pieces. You can add more subtle touches this way. I had a few bunches of blue and silver balls and split them into individual strands and then twisted three of them together.
I wrapped the tiny bunches on the wire frame at a few points around the wreath and hot glued my wraps to secure them. Go slowly so you don't weigh the wreath down with too much stuff. I ended up adding a few silver leaves and a couple of blue leaves and then I pulled the decorative glittery ornament things off the stems and used hot glue to attach them to the garland at various points around the wreath. Finally, I added a bunch of red ornaments on the upper right corner of the wreath to represent R2-D2's sensor.
The finished wreath portion (we still need to add a bow and R2-D2) - you can almost hear it beep and boop!
The final piece is making the bow for the bottom and attaching R2-D2! I don't know a proper way to make a bow, so I just make up for it by using lots of hot glue. I tied a plain, straightforward bow from red matte ribbon and inserted a piece of leftover wire from the wreath decorations through the back. I hot glued the middle knot of the bow so it wouldn't come untied while I added the glittery red ribbon. The glittery ribbon wasn't very flexible so I made loops and glued them inside the matte ribbon loops. I repeated this on both sides on top and bottom and also cut lengths of the glittery ribbon to match the tails and glued on some shiny silver curling ribbon.

Next I slathered hot glue on the back of R2-D2 (I call it the Mustafar experience) and attached him to the center of the bow. Voila:
Finally, use the wire you attached to the back of the ribbon to carefully place the bow on the wreath. I just tightly wrapped both ends of the wire to the wreath frame and didn't hot glue them just in case I changed my mind about placement. I love the result.
When I upgrade this wreath I plan to figure out how to make R2-D2 beep and boop when visitors approach the house. Also, I need to make a C-3PO wreath next year.

December 17, 2013

The Bag Depot Makes Tote Bags (and all bags) Cool

Tote bags have a come long way since I was younger. I used to dread getting them because the designs were ugly and they just took up closet space. That's changed in the past five or so years as I've come to appreciate having tote bags on hand for shopping and storage and the designs have improved by leaps and bounds thanks to the availability of licensed fabrics. The Bag Depot uses those fabrics but also has plenty of neat designs to make tote bags cool. So cool that they could probably convice the Doctor to start carrying them.

I am dazzled by the variety of styles available in their shop. Not only do they have bags in different sizes from shoulder totes to messenger bags to makeup bags, they cover just about every fandom you can imagine. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Lord of the Rings, Disney, Harry Potter... the list keeps going. Some totes even incorporate embroidery or logos. Yeah. They're awesome. Here are a few examples of what you can get.

The prices are just right for handmade bags that you can use over and over again - they start around $30. Check out their shop and if you don't see exactly what you want, reach out to them - they take custom orders.

December 14, 2013

Gift guides to add some nerd to your offices and kitchens

Are you getting weary of gift guides yet? Confession: I'm on my way. However, I have just two more to share with you this year. I took a look at nerdy office and kitchen products for Nerd Approved and That's Nerdalicious and you might get some last minute ideas!

Six Gifts For The Ultimate Nerdy Office [Gift Guide] - Stress toys, lamps, and more!

Six Gifts For The Nerdy Kitchen [Gift Guide] - These gifts are meant to add some nerd to the kitchen - they're not items just for people who cook or bake!

December 13, 2013

Geeky Gift Ideas

Christmas is close, but you've still got 12 days. That's plenty of time to run to retail stores, order online, and get everything you need for the people on your shopping list. If you're stumped on what to get the geek in your life, I have some suggestions that might help get you on the right track.

Adventure Time Lumpy Space Princess candle! And she's wearing a sweater! Sold! More exclamation points! This is a great idea for the adult Adventure Time fan in your life. While we're on the subject of Adventure Time, the trade paperbacks and graphic novels from Boom! Studios are just awesome.
The  Doctor Who Christmas specials make a great gift idea for the holidays. BBC has last year's special, The Snowmen, with a set of five ornaments for $19.99. Get just one or make it a bundle by buying more Who Christmas specials or adding toys. Gifts with themes make me happy.

You can't go wrong if you shop for the fangirl in your life at Her Universe. Skirts, jewelry, leggings, hoodies, t-shirts - it's all top quality and the shop has plenty of fun designs. I'd be happy if every Christmas present I got was from Her Universe.

If you really want to treat someone, get them a fancy maquette from Gentle Giant, Ltd or Sideshow. This Holiday Special Boba Fett is droolworthy and though it won't ship until Q2, I bet the recipient is okay with waiting.

Valar Morghulis. Giving a loved one a coin that says "All men must die" might not seem like the nicest sentiment, but a Game of Thrones fan will flip right out over the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man. The makers of the coins, Shire Post, also make tons of other Game of Thrones coins and Wheel of Time.

Who isn't a sucker for carefully crafted prop replicas? Etsy seller deMiguel Replicas has a few and this replica of Thror's Map blows me away. You'll find similar gems in his shop that will make movie and fantasy buffs pleased.

We all know a Disney fan or several, and Hot Topic has so many apparel and accessory options for Disney that it's not funny. It's dangerous for wallets. You can find Peter Pan tanks, Disney princess stuff, and more.
Art is a wonderful gift. Acme Archives Direct has licensed options across the board including Disney, Star Wars, Halo, and the gorgeous Indiana Jones print pictured above. If you know someone who says they're out of wall space, get them a print and a nice portfolio - that specific brand of portfolio holds half of my art collection.

If you know someone who LOVES Star Wars, give him or her a unique gift with a membership to Rancho Obi-Wan. You'd be helping support a non-profit museum that showcases Steve Sansweet's hundreds of thousands of Star Wars collectibles. Trust me, it's special and any fan would love to be a small part of it.

If you're purchasing any of these items online, be sure to check the shipping schedule to make sure the package has enough time to arrive. Though I think it's acceptable to give adults a "it will be here soon, I promise" note, I know it's not ideal.

Feel free to make additional recommendations!
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