Reminder on holiday order deadlines!

Wow, I did not mean to neglect this blog! Sorry about that! Work and the holidays has kept me away from WordPress longer than I thought. On the upside, I have never seen a holiday season this busy already here for both my shops ever! It still baffles me that this time 2 years ago, I had to buckle down and put the store on Vacation for most of the year (and didn’t even know if I’d still even decide to reopen)! I want to take the time and thank everyone for their support – many of the purchases I’ve seen or been inquired about have been for gifts or supplies for other indie makers and fans like myself, and that just amazes me! I hope everyone’s projects and gifts turn out fantastic!

That said, just a reminder that our printer/sister shop platform, Spoonflower, released their holiday order deadlines – this also affects the Etsy, btw!

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source: https://blog.spoonflower.com/2017/10/2017-holiday-shipping-deadlines/

It might look a little confusing, but the breakdown is that as long as you place your order in by these dates (according to your location), it will arrive in time for Christmas! A good rule of thumb is that since the 6th is tomorrow as of this writing, if you need your supplies or gift on time, please consider upgrading your shipping to Guarantee/Rush (basically the equivalent of my Priority Mail pricing).

Please make sure to check your shipping information when you’re ordering, and if you’re not sure and want to confirm, you can always ask me! Note: For Etsy orders, I always place in your order through Spoonflower the same day of purchase (depending on when I receive it it may not be same business day though). 

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

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Cosplay Cardboard Tutorial II – Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

IMG_20171004_194849_961To make up for the old tutorials I cleared out, here is a new one that’s more of an intermediate level in the world of cardboard pepakura/papercraft for cosplay. If you’re new to make 3D objects for your cosplays using cardboard or a similar medium, please see the Elphelt belt buckles tutorial first, since it’s a little more beginner-friendly.

This project arrived for me from a very excited Nick and his new Jason costume for AAC this weekend – the 13th falls on a Friday this year in October. I’m skipping the con this year due to a busy November (and opting to return to the NY Ren Faire at last), so when he asked I felt it was my way of being there in spirit!

You will need…

  • Cardboard (I used corrugated here for the thickness)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Elmer’s/School glue
  • A toothpick
  • Dimensional fabric/3D glue
  • Acrylic paint and 2 small paintbrushes (a good one and a beat-up one)
  • Paper towels and water for cleanup and texturing

The key to making anything from 2D/reference into 3D is to break down the item you want to make into simple shapes and layer them accordingly.

The first step is to start sketching what you’re making and its approximate measurements, based on the scale of the character and the scale of yourself/the person it’s going to. The tip of this spear might look complicated, but it really is just a bunch of triangles, cylinders, and curves combined together.

 

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Be sure to number your pieces! You can always trim afterward for a neater shape too.

 

If your object is symmetrical, the easiest solution to keep things looking ‘right’ is to just draw out half of the template, and then cut out your pieces with the paper folded down its middle. Once you’re happy with your template, begin cutting out your pieces on cardboard to build the basics of your object.

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For the fleur, I wanted to keep it simple with a tapered layer for the tip, the 2 sides for the petals at its sides, and then 2 lower shapes that will form part of its shaft (and will get glued onto the PVC pipe on Nick’s end). You’ll notice one is more curved than the other;  in the reference, that piece is slightly conical and gradually becomes a little skinnier as the petals form. (Not shown is a second strip of cardboard, which I added later to hide the ‘seam’ from gluing these two bottom pieces. Also great for adding details! Lifehacks!)

The key to a seamless closure is to glue along one vertical end of the piece that you’re closing, and wedge that into the other side. It’s hard to do with cereal boxes, which is also why I went with corrugated this time.

Start gluing your pieces together sections at a time, and you should have the petals, tip, and shaft pieces ready to be attached. Keep in mind that the petals taper as well, so fold it in half to round it out before gluing/taping to each other. The center should be rounded so it can attach onto the shaft pieces.

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You’ll notice the pieces aren’t completely closed yet, so now is the time to cut and glue on any filler cardboard to help close the fleur. If you have to do it in smaller pieces that’s fine too, since anything that still can’t be filled completely will just get covered with the 3D glue anyway! Be sure to also add cap pieces wherever possible, because this will help strengthen the project and prevent it from collapsing after all your hard work!

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Don’t forget to glue along the toothpick when you do this, as well as when you stick it into the item. Those gap pieces help it grab onto something too.

 

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One way to revamp a horror movie franchise – add glitter to everything!

 

(Sorry about the glitter glue, it’s the only 3D glue color I have left and I almost always end up painting over it for a project anyway.) Now your piece is ready to be filled completely before painting! I ended up going over a few areas twice, especially by those middle sections on the tip so it slopes nicely. Let it dry overnight before the final and fun step.

I didn’t paper mache before painting because we all know how much I love doing that, but it will result in a smoother finish. The rightmost photo is without flash.

I never painted a rust texture before so it was really cool getting the opportunity to do it for Jason’s spear! I experimented with mixing some brown and orange acrylics with copper metallic for the base layer, but it didn’t show up well, even in person.

Once the base layer is set, start scuffing on orange gradually when the coat is DRY for a weathered effect (don’t oversaturate your paper towel or dry, beat-up brush). Nick didn’t want it too rusted, so I stopped after one or two layers of the rusting.

I tried to be as even as I could when I glued it together, but one side does seem a little slanted than the other. Not sure how this happened, but I could have put too much pressure when I was gluing and taping pieces together. I’ve designated the side above as its ‘cosmetic/camera-ready’ side though. Either way, Nick was a happy customer!

 

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The final product, at home with its new owner and looking ‘killer’!

 

It was awesome to see the final prop all finished and ready for the convention! I was shown the spraypaint color of the bronze for the PVC pipe prior to painting the fleur, so it was amazing how close I came to replicating the paint color. The fleur is glued onto the shaft with Loctite, which is a brand of superglue/epoxy glue (anything similar will adhere well with the cardboard and PVC).

Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you understand more about how amazing cardboard is, and what you can do with it. Is it possible to make anything out of it? Probably. Try for yourself, and happy cosplaying!

What’s New in the Shop? (September 26 edition)

(Well, for the blog anyway. This was on my Etsy for a few weeks now, I just hadn’t been able to get it in the queue, sorry!)

When I ordered my proofs for the Stitchimari fabric, I wanted to make a new made-to-order item for the shop, and decided since it’s close to scarf weather again, why not an infinity scarf? I’m really pleased with how this turned out and am considering on making a fleece muffler with one of the other designs for something more gender-neutral. Also gotta start on holiday gifts soon anyway so…

Check out the Etsy listing for more information!

The chiffon worked really well for this lightweight, feminine scarf, and the design still comes out just as crisp and bright. If you’d like a scarf with a different design as seen on both my Etsy or Spoonflower, or a different fabric please let me know! I can also make one that isn’t connected, like a regular scarf or muffler.

Spicy Garlic Quick Pickle Recipe

Since I wasn’t able to do a tutorial last time, I felt the least I can do is give you folks two – two recipes! A hah hah hah!

You may have noticed that I got rid of the spicy mac and cheese a while back because it got a little ridiculous on retrospect and I plan to revisit that recipe at some point anyhow. While I love baking, now and again I will make savory stuff and this is just another to add to my repertoire here. (As you guessed, my next recipe on queue will be back to baking, as well as tips on how I add/substitute ingredients like a mad scientist).

My mom and I got really into quick pickles last summer when a local patron from my home library/Saturday/on-call weeknights job had extra cucumbers and gave some to the staff to share. He grows HUGE vegetables and they are always delicious, so my mom and I always look forward to when his next crop comes in. When it comes to cucs, it means lots of quick pickles for lunchtime!

Momma does her’s pretty straightforward and of course is just as delicious; if you’re not big on spice or garlic (or cucumber skins, which are good for you by the way) you can omit those from this recipe and skin the cucumbers, and you basically have her version. Either way, be sure to make at least 4 servings of this stuff because they’re pretty addicting and will go fast.

 

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In the words of Nick’s friend and pickle connoisseur Nikki, “This is how you pickle!”

 

Spicy Garlic Quick Pickles (makes about 20 slices)

  • 1 large cucumber (don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on pickling cucumbers like Kirbies, but organic/homegrown does make a difference in moisture and flavor)
  • 1 tsp ground garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp turbinado/raw organic sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  1. Wash and cut the cucumber into 1/8″ slices. If the cucumber is thick, you can cut it in half before slicing. Leaving the skins on will keep its crunch while it brines, besides it being tasty. Put the slices in a sealable container at least 2 inches tall and set aside.
  2. In a separate cup, stir in the garlic powder, pepper flakes, sugar, and salt. Put in the hot water and stir until incorporated (I used about 3 tablespoons but this doesn’t need to be exact; you just need enough to melt everything.)
  3. Stir in the vinegar and pour the mixture over the cucumber slices. Refrigerate overnight or for a more robust flavor (and a lot of patience), at least 4 days. These will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks, but they never stayed long enough past that anyway so they very well could keep for longer.

Perfect for cold cut sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, or even by itself as a yummy summer side! Maybe in ice cream, if you’ve got those pregnancy munchies, I won’t stop you! These could also be chopped and stirred in mayonnaise for a special homemade tartar sauce for your fish and chips, mmm.

Happy pickling!

Oops this was supposed to be a tutorial, really!

I planned to do a tutorial on a hardcover traveler’s notebook/bullet journal, but I realized that the references I used basically explained what I was about to post. So this will be a listdump instead, as well as a look at my current bujo and the one I am going to use next year. I really didn’t mean this to just be a post where I show off my notebooks, I swear! I’m a little sad I can’t do my tutorial now ^^; I had progress photos and everything all ready. Oh well.

Current (red on the left); blank for 2018 (kraft on the right)
Hardcover Custom notebooksPaper book sleeve

 

I’ve tried other planners but they either couldn’t stand up to the test of time (apparently I’m a little rough with my notebooks) or got too fussy, since I like to customize my pages and sandwich things as folders, etc. Before all this, I only really used those freebie personal planners, or the academic ones back in school, so I’m used to a no-frills/this-is-strictly-business format. The point of a planner is to be organized and plan properly, no?

Left is standard hardcover (fiction novel) with custom B6 paper. Right is a smaller hardcover (non-fiction in Spanish) with original-sized paper of 4″x6″.

Which is why I love dot grid paper and the traveler’s notebook format. Dot grid gives me the flexibility to make any layout I need on the fly, regardless of where in the notebook, and the actual booklets can be swapped in or out as needed in the cover. It takes a little more time to set up, but it saves me a lot of time and headaches in the long run as well.

Bonus to book covers – the sleeves can be pockets for notes, and to attach paperclips and little notepads. 

To keep organized and sort my thoughts, I try to use color and washi tape at a minimum. I like 1/8” grids since my writing isn’t really big, so it helps me measure things better and keep things more legible.

 

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I don’t write down my full-time hours unless it’s a change in schedule because..well…I remember to be there 5 days a week lol. 

 

 

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I wonder what I’ll make at my next office potluck?

 

My favorite bujo pages are for the video games I’m playing (knowing that I eternally will have a backlog!) as well as books I’m reading; this is my second spread actually, and I’ll likely hit another set before the end of the year too. I mainly read non-fiction like crafting or cooking, but you’ll see some fiction titles in there too.

 

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I plan to reformat this in my next bujo, since I play a lot of Vita/PSN apparently and ran out of room! Btw I’m also on Backloggery!

 

 

 

 

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Titles marked with “♦” were personal favorites of mine. Come to think of it, why didn’t I mark ‘Off to Be the Wizard’ as one!? Gasp.

 

Of course, if there’s a format you dig for your own bujo, feel free to copy :). I’m no notebook police so go ahead! Do you have a page or list you like in your own bujo or planner?