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Phoenix Geekiness + Cosplay Panels #PHXCC

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

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Have you already started planning your schedule for Phoenix Comicon? It’s coming to the Phoenix Convention Center May 25-28 and ticket prices increase May 1.

We thought we’d share our panel picks early this year, along with a heads up on some geeky goings-on across the Valley of the Sun to tide you over.

Superhero art

Geek Events (April/May)

Caped Crusaders + Everyday Heroes

Now – May 28
i.d.e.a. Museum, Mesa
Hero-themed works by more than 15 national and international artists (like the print above that we spotted in artist Jason Ratliff’s homebase of Indianapolis). Included with museum admission.

Spoiler Alert! Book Club: Handmaid’s Tale

Apr 22, 1pm
Tempe Public Library Lower Level

Discussion of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian sci-fi classic The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Ages 16+. Free.

Create It: Drop-in Sewing Nights

Apr 26 + May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
5pm
Tempe Public Library Lower Level

Bring your sewing project and machine or use theirs. Ages 14+. Free.

Free Comic Book Day on Main Street

May 6, 10am
Gotham City Comics and Coffee and Downtown Mesa
Businesses throughout Downtown Mesa will have over 500 comic books to give away. There will also be live music, a cosplay contest, a scavenger hunt, and the chance to meet national and local comic book artists. Maps of participating businesses will be available at Gotham City Comics and Coffee. Free.

Drawn to Comics Free Comic Book Day Festival

May 6, 9am
Drawn to Comics + American Legion Hall, Glendale
With booths and appearances by comic book artists and booths from groups like Arizona Autobots and Comicare.

  • Festival at American Legion Hall 9am-2pm.
  • In-store event 9am-8pm.

City Lights Movie Nights

May 12, 6:30pm
Patriots Park at CityScape, Phoenix
Outdoor screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Viewers are invited to bring their picnic blankets, chairs, and lightsabers!

Cactus Brick LEGO

Phoenix Comicon: Contests + Events

Con on Adams: food trucks, beer garden, photobooth, and entertainment outdoors on Adams Street. No Phoenix Comicon admission required.
Schedule TBA
West 106ABC

Lego Build Off: LEGO competition.
Friday May 26, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Sunday May 28, 2017 – 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
West 102ABC

Masquerade Costume Contest: cosplay contest and lightsaber dueling performance. Registration is currently open.
Saturday May 27, 2017 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm
West 301BCD
star-wars-cosplay

Maker Panel Picks

Beginner-friendly panels on making costumes, props, etc. grouped by topic, so you can browse by what interests you.

Phxff cosplay

Intro to Cosplay

Body-Positive Cosplay: tips for making costume designs work for your body type, loving your body in cosplay, and dealing with haters.
Thursday May 25, 2017 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 225AB

Prop-Making for Beginners: safety, tools, and strategies for materials including basic paper mache, thermoplastics, resin casting etc.
Thursday May 25, 2017 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
North 228AB

Cosplay 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cosplay
Thursday May 25, 2017 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
North 224AB

Budget Cosplay
Friday May 26, 2017 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 228AB

Costuming From Concept to Custom: the steps to make your cosplay idea a reality.
Friday May 26, 2017 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
North 224AB

Costume Wing-Making 101: Design and Construction Basics
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 225AB

Steampunk on a Budget
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 224AB

 

fan-fest-prop

Foam and Plastics

Foam Costuming: The Bare Bones
Friday May 26, 2017 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 224AB

The Art of EVA Foamcraft: Making Weapons + Props
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 231A

Intro to Foam Armor
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 228AB

Video Game Cosplay: Movement, Weaponry and Makeup
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
North 228AB

Cosplay PHXCC

The Art of Mold Making + Casting Props: steps to creating custom molds for prop making.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
North 225AB

Molding + Casting for Costume Parts 2: Casting: how to cast plastic in a silicone mold.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
North 228AB

Don’t have it? Make it! Custom Toys! learn how to customize off-the-shelf toys.
Sunday May 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 231A

Making Costumes out of EVA Foam: how to make a pattern and build a complete EVA foam costume.
Sunday May 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 225AB

Phxff cosplay

Painting, Illustration, and Make-Up

Maskmaking 101 For All Ages: how to take a basic mask with materials provided. Limited to 100 attendees.
Thursday May 25, 2017 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
West 101ABC Event Area

Dirt-Cheap Makeup: safe, budget makeup options.
Friday May 26, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
North 225AB

Getting Into Comics: where to start with comicbooks.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 127B

Special Effects Makeup: Comic Book Girl: create a classic comic book look.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
North 131B

Acrylic Academy for Props and Costumes: learn how to modify acrylic paints for cosplay projects.
Sunday May 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 224AB

Phoenix Comicon 2016 PHXCC

Sewing

Cosplay for All Sizes: how to alter patterns and clothing to fit your unique shape and be confident in your costumes.
Friday May 26, 2017 10:30 am to 11:30 am
North 225AB

Sewing 101: The Basics: needles, material, patterns, manual and machine sewing.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
North 225AB

Sewing: Pattern Markings: how to read patterns.
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
North 225AB

Sewing: There’s a Foot for That: Sewing machine feet and how to use them.
Sunday May 28, 2017 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
North 225AB

Phxff steampunk cosplay

3D + LED

Cosplay LEDs for the Absolute Beginner: how to modify existing LED products and assemble simple LED circuits to light up your costume.
Thursday May 25, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 228AB

3D for Cosplay: 3D printing and design of costumes, accessories, and props.
Friday May 26, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
North 228AB

3D Printing Props and Costumes
Saturday May 27, 2017 – 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
North 228AB

fan-fest-makers-1

Exhibitors

When you visit the exhibit hall, check out these artists and makers!

PHXCC




Thank you to Phoenix Comicon for providing media passes for the upcoming Con!

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Hang in There! 9 Unique Wind Chime and Mobile Ideas

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Craft | 4 comments

Mobiles and wind chimes can brighten up your garden, patio, or a bare corner of your living room. And you probably have the stuff to make one right now!

Here are some unexpected objects you can use to make your own.

Colorful mobile http://www.emilyneuburger.com/2009/07/color-mobile.html

1. Wooden Discs

Emily Neuburger’s Simple Color Mobile could work inside or outside. I like the simplicity of the rainbow-colored circles, but you could also add a wooden initial or other shape.

(Side note: You know the wood-stuff-for-painting aisle in the craft store? I always have to browse through it, and, even though I don’t usually do wood craft projects, I always kind of want to buy everything in there.)

Jungalow Boho mobile

2. Souvenirs

Justina Blakeney made this Boho Mobile from an old lamp shade frame and small decorative items her in-laws brought back from India. If you have a lot of little knick knacks from trips taking up shelf space, this would be another way to display them. Like an oversized charm bracelet.

Paint Swatch Mobile By Natalme

3. Paint Swatches

Love this minimal Paint Swatch Mobile from Natalme! You can mix up the colors like she did or use a gradient of shades for an ombre or rainbow effect, which would look especially rad spinning around.

Embroidery hoop mobile by natalme

4. Embroidery Hoops

Another Natalme inspiration: turn embroidery hoops into a place to hold photos (or holiday cards or kids’ artwork)!

Ceramic bell

5. Clay and Copper Pipes

Decorative ceramic bells made from Sculpey by A Beautiful Mess. Apparently, these are purely decorative, since they don’t actually ring. I’m wondering whether you could change that with some metal inside the clay. Or what if you hung more than one copper pipe from each bell, making every bell into kind of a mini-wind-chime?

Sea Glass DIY Wind Chimes
6. Sea Glass

Crafts Unleashed has a turorial for displaying your beach-combing finds as sea glass wind chimes!

Key Mobile

7. House Keys

You can also make a wind chime from old keys, like this one from Inner Child Fun.

FYI I found this on a list by The Garden Glove (with about a dozen more DIY ideas).
Bottle Cap mobile

8. Bottle Caps

Trina Lyn (of Trina Is Artsy Fartsy) shared this tutorial of how to make a bottle cap wind chime, as frequently seen – but not always explained – on Pinterest.

Junk Windchime by Trina Lyn

9. Random Junk

Trina also combined a variety of found objects, including a smashed vintage beer can, into The Junk Windchime. It brings together a lot of the materials in the other projects above, like bottle caps, glass, beads, and a key.

What materials would you use for a mobile creation? Chime in!

IMG_8930

For Your Inspiration

A few more shareworthy (and shoppable) mobiles and wind chimes:




Photos via their respective sites.

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Make a Euro-Inspired Mini Lamp Garland

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

I stumbled across a tutorial on a site called Taylor Made Creates to make this mini lamp garland, using plastic cups and mismatched fabric on string lights. Seems like a great way to use leftover fabric and put holiday lights to use in the off-season!

Mini Lamp DIY by Taylor Made Creates

It also reminded me of the photos I saw last year of the (much larger) colorful lampshades of Linen Lux.
Linen Lux

If you won’t be in Paris when the lamps go back on display January 19, you can make your own miniature version and bring a bit of the City of Light into your home.

A photo posted by Christoph Jakob (@el_kalam) on

For a (more) boho look, add some fringe or lace scraps, like these string lights at Brückenfestival, a 2-day music festival in Nuremberg, Germany that also has a thing for lamps.

A photo posted by Agi 🌸 (@leucht_auge) on

– More info –




Photos:
1. Taylor Made Creates
2. European Linen and Hemp
3. Christoph Jakob (@el_kalam)
4. Agi (@leucht_auge)

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NYE DIY: Make Your New Year’s Party Sparkle!

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Craft | 0 comments

Here are some simple ways to add a little sparkle to your New Year’s Eve celebration. I’ve included shortcuts, in case the holidays have left you too short on time to take the total DIY route.

New Years eve party DIYs - Sparkle stirrers

1. Tinsel Stirrers – A festive touch for cocktails or cupcake toppers.

Shortcut: Order a set from Etsy. There are options available from several different sellers for as low as under $1 apiece.

New Years eve party DIYs - glitter ice cubes

2. Glitter Ice Cubes – Add edible glitter to regular ice cubes. These would be fun in the punch bowl too!

New Years eve party DIYs - Champagne cake pops

3. Pink Champagne Cake Pops – Sparkly pops with pink champagne centers!

Shortcut: If you use your favorite cake mix instead of making one from scratch, I won’t tell.

New Years eve party DIYs - glasses

4. DIY Wine Glasses Using Sharpies! – Use metallic sharpies to make a permanent mark. For a more temporary design, opt for erasable markers, like the Chalkola ones I reviewed.

Shortcut: Let guests decorate their own glasses during the party and take them home. (Party favor + less dishes for you = win win!)

New Years eve party DIYs - Glitter balloons

5. Glitter Balloons – A balloon pump and glitter can help you transform clear balloons into shimmering ones. I love the bubbly arrangement of large and small balloons on the wall in the photo.

Shortcut: Arrange gold or silver balloons on the wall and skip the glitter step.

New Years eve party DIYs - glitter ice cubes

Here’s to the New Year!

– More New Year’s Eve party tips –




Photos via their respective sites.

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Gift Guide 2016

Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

2016-gift-guide

Since last year’s road-tested gift guide was a hit, here’s my 2016 list of traveler gift ideas I actually own, use, and love!

Bag at sunset

1. Lo & Sons O.G. Overnight Bag

This bag strikes a fabulous balance between being roomy yet sleek, having enough pockets to keep things organized but not so many you go crazy trying to find things. There’s even a side pocket that solves the ongoing dilemma of how to pack shoes! It’s set up so you can use it for work stuff, craft projects, and/or travel. Sized to be used as an overnight bag or carry-on – it’s slim enough even for budget airlines with restrictive carry-on/cabin baggage policies (like RyanAir).

Lo and sons bag

 

Details:

  • 17″ x 6.5″ x 15″ bag with 9.5″ handles.
  • Removable shoulder/crossbody strap.
  • Outside is made from water-resistant nylon with leather handles and silver or light gold hardware.
  • Available in black, navy, army green, crimson red, burgundy, or heather grey. Lined with poly jacquard (lavender, camel, grey, or azure). Leather handles. Hardware in silver or light gold.
  • Lo & Sons also sells a slightly smaller overnight bag called The O.M.G.

Lo and Sons bag

What I have: The O.G. Overnight Bag, black exterior / silver hardware / lavender interior / black handles.

Where to find it: Order on loandsons.com by 12/11 for delivery by 12/24.

Price: $206.50 on sale (reg. $295)

BlogHer '16

2. h2go Force Vacuum Bottle

Keeps cold water cold – even in a hot car during summer in Phoenix. Apparently, you can also use it with hot beverages, but I haven’t tried that yet. (I have, however, used it as an impromptu vase in my hotel room during BlogHer.)

Details:

  • Colors include matte black, mossy oak camo, matte army green, neon green, neon orange, neon pink, neon yellow, and gloss white.
  • Available in 12, 17, 26, or 34 oz. size.
  • Double wall stainless steel with copper vacuum insulation and threaded stainless steel lid.
  • Marty’s technical explanation of why it works so well: the lack of air between the outer part of the bottle and its inner lining prevents heat transfer, so contents retain their temperature longer.

H2go water bottle
What I have: h2go Force Vacuum Bottle, 26 oz. in matte gray

Where to find it: While manufacturer H2go Hawaii is still building out their online store, you can contact them directly to order. Call (808) 216-7460 or email info@h2gohawaii.com with your shipping address and the model, size, and color of the product/s you’d like to buy. They’ll follow up with online payment information. Shipping within the U.S. is included and typically only takes a few days.

Random individual bottles sometimes show up for sale on Amazon and eBay. They’re also available in bulk from promotional products vendors.

Price: $29.99

 

necklace

3. MyIntent Necklace

Simple yet elegant jewelry personalized with an intention, value, or encouragement. Perhaps there’s an adventurous spirit in your life you could celebrate with a gift of a necklace that said something like “wanderer,” “keep exploring,” or “play outside.”

Details:

  • Classic necklace available in black, silver, or gold.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.
  • They also offer different types of chains, bracelets and gift sets.
  • To DIY, check out their maker kits.

MyIntent necklace

What I have: Classic necklace in silver. (I wrote about the words I chose on Instagram.)

Where to find it: Order on their site, and they’ll hand stamp your word. Order by 12/18 for delivery by 12/24.

UPDATE: $5 off when you join MyIntent’s loyalty program.

Price: $25

 

Action cam

4. AKASO EK5000 Action Cam

Super compact, lightweight wide-angle camera for photos, video, and timelapse. It has a removable waterproof housing, put to the test in Frida’s tank and in the blowing dust at Seven Magic Mountains outside of Vegas. It also comes with more mount options (for helmets, drones, etc.) than I’ll probably ever use. I’d recommend it for someone who wants the flexibility to take video anywhere without worrying about wrecking an expensive camera.

Seven magic mountains vegas

Details:

  • 2-inch LCD screen
  • 170-degree wide angle lens
  • 2 rechargeable batteries
  • 17 mounts

Camera

What I have: AKASO EK5000 1080p WIFI Sports Action Camera 12MP HD Waterproof Camcorder in black.

Where to find it: Amazon

Price: $54.99 on sale (reg. $79.99)

 

Humangear containers

5. GoTubb Containers

These are so useful for containing little odds and ends you’re taking with you – sunscreen, pills, earrings. They’re easy to open, but we haven’t had one leak yet. Humangear also makes the GoTube from last year’s guide.

Gotubb

Details:

  • Sold in sets of 3 in a mix of colors.
  • Food-safe.
  • 100% BPA-free, PC-free, and phthalate-free.

What I* have: Humangear GoTubb .9 cubic inches (14 cc) set of 3 in clear / green / blue

*Technically, what Phillip has. But I borrow them pretty regularly.

Where to find them: Humangear.comREI, possibly Target.

Price: $6.99

 

NoRayz

6. NoRayz Sunglasses

As you may recall from our previous review, NoRayz sunglasses are comfortable, built well, and excellent for blocking the sun.

Details:

  • Polycarbonate, polarized lenses.
  • Blocks 100% off UVA and UVB rays.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.

NoRayz sunglasses

What I have: Sedona sunglasses (Marty has the Yuma model)

Where to find them: Order through the NoRayz site by 12/14 for delivery by 12/24.

Price: $150

Norayz


 

Yes, some of this was free…

  • Lo & Sons provided The O.G. bag for review.
  • NoRayz provided the Yuma and Sedona sunglasses for review.
  • The MyIntent necklace was a gift from MyIntent to BlogHer speakers.
  • The h2go Force bottle came from a BlogHer sponsor event with the GoRVing organization. They were there to promote RV traveling and not beverage containers. However, campers don’t fit in swag bags.

…but it’s all really great stuff that I feel is worth recommending.

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