Monday, October 31, 2011

10.31.11 Scott Pilgrim WIP

I've finally advanced far enough on my Scott Pilgrim project to actually produce a WIP picture that actually looks like something. Here's what I have so far:

For reference, this is what I'm attempting to recreate. I figure going character by character is my best bet, so I've started in the top right corner with Nega-Scott.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Polymer Clay Horns Tutorial

No time to order horns from Bunny's Craft Hutch?  Why not make your own?  

Supplies needed:

1) At least 1 ounce of polymer clay (Sculpey III, Premo!, Fimo, etc.) Usually I use about half a 2-ounce package for one pair of horns.

2) Long thin tool to make the holes in the horns. I use the medium Sculpey Etch n’ Pearl tool, but you can use a large needle or something similar.

3) Cord, ribbon or elastic to attach the horns to your head. You will need enough to go around the top of your head, tying at the nape of your neck, plus 2-3 inches to allow for the knots. I usually use about 42” of cord per pair of horns.

4) Clean, level work surface.  (I usually cover my surface with wax paper, especially when working with red clay, which tends to stain.)

5) Cutting blade

6) OPTIONAL – Clay pasta machine, if you prefer to use one to condition the clay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tdro's Costume Theory

Anyone who knows me knows that I never, ever, ever just go to a store and buy a costume (unless I'm crunched for time or money, or I don't have a good idea for a costume, or I'm feeling lazy, that is).  Using my most recent costume, I will do my best to explain my Costume Theory.  Here I am, dressed as Mrs. Lovett from the musical Sweeney Todd.  Obviously I'm more inspired by the Helena Bonham-Carter version than the Angela Landsbury version, but I'm still not striving for a perfect copy of her movie outfits.  I think that even if you can't sew a full costume from scratch, you should be able to easily put together a good, comfortable costume that didn't come with a plastic mask.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bleeding Jell-O Heart

My favorite Halloween dessert is found in the pages of Penn & Teller's "How to Play With Your Food", and you should probably just go buy a copy right now because it is THAT GOOD.  If you don't want to spend money on what is arguably one of the coolest books ever made, that's fine, you can find the recipe here instead.

I made this heart with raspberry-flavored Jell-O, and it was the best-tasting one I've made so far.  But when you make this dessert, be prepared for the inevitable portion of your guest who will NOT eat it, no matter how many times you sing the jingle or say, "There's ALWAYS room for Jell-O!" maniacally.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Am Obviously A Crazy Person

This is the aida cloth that Mrs. Brewtown had to track down on the internet and special order for me because the local Jo-Ann Fabrics did not sell any aida in large enough sizes.

The sheet of paper in the middle is the 8.5"x11" piece of paper that the color guide for the project is printed on. Next to it is the pile of DMC floss that I bought.

That's a 51"x 36" piece of aida for my 44"x34" Scott Pilgrim project. I'm clearly out of my mind.

Join me, won't you?

Scary Movie Video Invitation

This is a short video invitation for my friend Kitty's Halloween/Birthday party that I wrote, filmed and edited.  (I'm not sure if that counts as a craft, but it definitely counts as a Thing I Made.)  Hope you enjoy!

The theme this year was "Scary Movies".  I will probably be posting a few more things that I made or put together for the party over the next week.  (Kitty goes all out for Halloween, and I am always happy to help her out on that in any way I can!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

How The Market Went, Or, TDro Vs. The Wind

On Saturday, I had my first solo booth for an outdoor market.  I had been selling some soap in my friend Cathy's booth (see previous post) on a few dates this summer, and so I thought I was ready to fill up my own space and make some serious cash.  Right.

The day started well enough, though it started very early.  I got to beautiful downtown Silver Spring just before 6:30 am, and Cathy was already there.  I think we beat the organizer to the event.  It was dark and cold and our hands turned into popsicles as we both set up our tents.  Luckily, as requested, they were next to each other in the booth order.  Unluckily, we were not RIGHT next to each other, which was a pain as we were hoping to be able to comfortably chat with each other during slow times.

I finally got my booth set up.  And it looked like this:

Soaps and hats and horns, oh my!
You can see here that the wind was picking up.  What you can't see is how the entire tent almost blew away about 15 minutes before this was taken.  It turns out that a canopy is, for all intents and purposes, a big old sail.  Even with gallon jugs strapped to the legs as ballast, it was a constant struggle to keep it from lifting into the air or sliding several feet.  Cathy's tent actually flipped COMPLETELY over at one point, with the gallon jugs still securely attached it it!  (Luckily, just then, a cute boy in nerd glasses appeared, helped us right the tent, and then disappeared just as quickly.  I think he may have been a Time Lord.)  A young man who was working the event appropriated some cinder blocks and that helped a bit.  But a great majority of the time on Saturday, if you had stopped by our booths, you would have seen us each holding on to our canopies for dear life.

As far as sales go, I did unload a decent amount of soap.  I sold 5 pairs of horns, and one broke when the wind knocked the display over (which happened multiple times throughout the day).  I sold zero tiny top hats, although one lady did try one on her daughter (adorable!), and then her dog (weird!).  If I were to factor in all my costs for the event, and divide it by the amount of time I was at the market, I believe it comes out to about .90 an hour.  That's ninety CENTS an hour.  So I'm going to have to chalk this one up as a learning experience.

Here I am, pretending everything is going OK.
One weird thing that happened multiple times throughout the day is that people looked at me, looked at the horn display, and then asked what they were.  Then I pointed to my head, at which point they got it.  So apparently, horns look SO NATURAL on me that people don't consciously notice them right away.  Or, people are just seriously unobservant,  who knows which.

I am very glad that this is my last outdoor market for the year, and possibly ever.  But that's a story for another post. 

Amigurumi Giraffe - WIP

I've been wanting to try my hand at amigurumi for a while now. Amigurumi is, according to Wikipedia, "is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures". After looking around on You Tube and I found a tutorial for how to read a pattern for an amigurumi giraffe (which can be found here). So far I've only got the body and an arm/leg done. But I'm pretty satisfied with it. I can't wait to finish it and work on something new!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being All Martha Stewart Like

This Halloween wreath has been floating around Pinterest, taunting me. "Make me, Heather... maaaaake me..." While I'm disgusted that I'm so obsessed with something Martha Stewart's minions came up with, I'm still obsessed. Nevertheless, in a fit of spray paint and hot glue guns, (yes, multiple hot glue guns), I made it the other day. I got everything from the dollar tree, so I pretty much made the entire thing for $5. The spiders were a little more porous than I expected, so the spray paint never really dried. I ended up just using one spider that was already gray & daubing off some of the spray paint so it would dry. All in all, I had fun and didn't get spray paint all over myself. I'd call it a win.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fenton Street Market - Tomorrow!

I'm very excited that tomorrow I will have my very own tent at the Fenton Street Market in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.  For more information on this event, go HERE.

On several Saturdays this summer, I shared a both with my good friend Cathy, who sells jewelry under the names "Dorothea Designs" and "Aurenta Atomica".  It was fun, except for the rather uncooperative weather on certain days.  Here is a photo of her booth full of wonderful jewelry (with a little soap section for me).

Hi, Cathy!

This is what my soap setup looked like on a different Saturday...

Those Snow Globe Soaps were the big hit of the summer for me!

But tomorrow, I will have my own booth, and will also be selling hats and horns, just in time for Halloween.  The weather man has promised me sunshine and pleasant temperatures.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Customizing Vinyl Toys

With my husband and I, well mostly him, being toy junkies, and that we both dabble in the arts and crafts, we thought that we'd try our hand at something a little different.

Color Blanks!

They come in a bunch of different styles, even ones for the holidays; Easter (duck, frog, egg, bunny), Halloween (pumpkinhead and a Frankenstein) and, of course, Xmas (reindeer and a snowman).

Michael's also has their own "in house" brand, I guess you could call it. I've bought a few smaller Halloween related ones - cute fanged little bats, a pumpkin, a Frankenstein and a cat with a witch's hat. As the Holidays are approaching, they also have some Fall/Thanksgiving ones: a turkey and an owl, and Xmas, of course, with a reindeer, snowman and a penguin.

Even more fun, I have blank My Little Ponies!!!
Can't remember how many I have, but I know I have a few. Growing up with them, I know how many there are, and with the new show, there's even more!! EVENTUALLY, I'll get around to doing something fun with them. Every year, Comic Con does one, but sometimes they're just kinda "meh." So, why not make my own!

Then there's Mighty Muggs, which also made blank figures available. Both a white and a black version:

Hasbro Toy Shop had a crazy sale around the holidays last year so we picked up 5 of each!

Both are in stock at Hasbro Toy Shop and on sale for $4.99!

Want one?

Interested in the others?

Customize and have fun!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Incredibly Cute Cross-stitch on Epbot Blog...

How cute is this???

Go here.

(In case you don't already follow Epbot, it's the OTHER blog of the incredibly funny and wonderful Jen of CakeWrecks fame.  I highly recommend both blogs!)

New Project Beginnings

I gave in to the interest in cross stitching the Scott Pilgrim project I mentioned in my last post. As part of the series of work in progress posts you'll get to see, here's the color table for it:

Off I go to purchase most of the colors I need....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

tdro's Weekend Craft Roundup

Occasionally I go on weekend-long crafting binges.  I am going to attempt to document some of these so that you can see what I've been up to instead of having a social life.  ;p

Most of my crafting is done in my home office/craft storage room/guest bedroom.  Though when it looks like this, I'm not sure if even the smallest guest could fit in it...

Ribbon, flowers, feathers, soap molds, glue, horns, hats, boxes, and a bed.  I swear it's under there.

Monday, October 10, 2011


And that's my first contribution to this fine and wonderful blog.

The Hypnotoad is my second finished cross stitch project since I was spurred to take up the hobby by conversation amongst friends on Twitter. The first one was the Prince from Katamari Damacy:

I had done a couple of cross stitch projects when I was much much MUCH younger, but the entire hobby at the time wasn't really geared towards the interests of a young male geek. However, the advent of the internet has allowed for a much wider range of possible projects, not to mention a blog like this that will inspire me to move much quicker to actually finish projects. Because this is what Hypnotoad looked like 196 days ago:

I had planned on moving on to a project involving the "hero" of the FX animated series Archer that Terry had pointed out to me, but I can no longer find it. And thus, I am in the hunt for a new project. I found a Scott Pilgrim project last night, but I don't know if I want to commit to a cross stitch pattern that involves - no joke - 101 different colors.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cinco Stitches

I have an awful habit of getting really, really excited about a new crafty project, starting it, then forgetting all about it before it's finished. In fact, I have an entire tote bag filled with nothing but half-finished knitting projects. Of course, I can, and do occasionally, revisit these projects over time.

This is a cross-stitching piece I've been working on for awhile. It's a simple pattern with only three colors, and I have plans to add some lettering off to the side when I'm finished.

The only problem with this TARDIS stitch is my floss choice. I decided on a whim to try out a metallic floss to give it some depth, since it was otherwise such a plain piece. My advise to any fellow stitchers out there: DO NOT USE METALLIC FLOSS. It's just awful; it catches on my aida cloth, it unravels, it kinks. It is not worth the hassle.

While that sits on the backburner, I'm working on a project that is much more complicated. This one has a whopping 32 different shades of floss. I'm a little intimidated, but the filler I'm doing right now is pretty mundane.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Everywhere We Go, People Want To Know Who We Are. So we tell them...

We are a loose conglomeration of pretty geeky Twitter friends who all like to make things. This blog is a place for us to say, "I made this!", and hopefully entertain each other and maybe a few other people as well. Some of us make things for profit and some make things only for themselves and their friends and family, but that doesn't really matter here.

The crafts you see here are apt to be snarky and pop-culture saturated. We may curse. We may post sporadically. Who knows? This is an experiment, and we're excited to see how it turns out!

First, a little bit about our collaborators:

Terry (aka tdro)
A little bit about me: Nickname - tdro Real name: Terry D. Etsy name: bunnybubbles

Favorite things to make: Soap, miniature top hats, things out of polymer clay, cakes.

What do I do when I'm not making things? During the day, I'm an office manager. At night, I make things, usually while watching something on Netflix, or watch some tv with my hubby. My current media obsession is Dark Shadows, but my obsessions are generally fleeting and if you don't care for what I'm madly in love with right now, wait a week and see what my new one is. Also, I like reading and discussing cute boys. I talk about etsy A LOT. 

If I were an animal, what animal would it be?: Meow.

Contact information: You can find me on twitter as @tdro (private) and @bunnybubbles (public). My etsy shops are and

A little bit about Mallory: Former podcaster, currently craft obsessed.

Favorite things to make: Right now I love cross stitching and most anything embroidery related. I have been known to crochet in the past as well!

What do you do when you're not making things?: Generally I'm reading, writing or playing video games. Mostly playing video games...mostly playing Minecraft. 

If you were an animal, what animal would it be?: An owl

Contact information: You can contact me via Twitter @malloryduval, via email and my personal blog over at!

Laura (aka El Cinco)
 A little bit about Laura: Hedgehog enthusiast, pseudo-sorority sister, Tolkien nerd, glasses aficionado, artificially ginger, apparently sassy, always proper.

Favorite things to make: food stuffs, knit goods, and cross-stitched geekeries

What do you do when you're not making things? I'm a paralegal and single mom to two tiny nerds.

If you were an animal, what animal would it be?: a fox

Contact information: @elcinco,

Mask by Sabs
A little bit about Sabs: I'm a 28 year-old British Columbia transplant that moved to Iowa and got married in May of 2010. A self-professed geek/fan girl and a big kid at heart, I collect many things.

Favorite things to make: Various blank canvases. I got into painting paper mache anything and everything. I really started with skull masks last Halloween and now it's anything I can get my hands on!

What do you do when you're not making things? Since May of 2011 I am the receptionist at the local FOX/CW affiliate, so that's all kinds of fun. When I'm not working: internet junkie, light gamer (mostly hand-held), photography, player of a black sparkly ukulele and collector of colored Converse All-Stars.

If you were an animal, what animal would it be?: Either a bird or a fish. Just being able to have that freedom to fly or swim wherever you want is really appealing to me.

Mrs. and Mr. Brewtown
Name: Brewtown Andy

A little bit about me: wearer of many hats. Husband and father, lover of bacon, recovering Catholic, Time Magazine’s Person of The Year for 2006. Theatrical greaser, Jew, cowman, Nazi butler. Saxophone player, sports enthusiast and renaissance nerd. Lady’s Man, Man’s Man, Man-About-Town. He also owns a very large TV.

Favorite Thing To Make: Geek Cross Stitch and anything that I can cook that my 2 kids will eat.

Other Things: I work at [REDACTED] where I [REDACTED] while listening to podcasts. I also write for Anonymous Eagle (link:, a Marquette University sports blog.

Animal: NOT a badger. Eff those guys.

Contact info: Twitter: @brewtownandy

ZiolkoAndStuff.  Or, a squirrel.
Name: ZiolkoAndStuff

A little bit about
ZiolkoAndStuff: St. Louis based twentysomething who does a little bit of everything.

Favorite things to make: Puppets, hats, costumes, scarves

What do you do when you're not making things? Theatre, theology, working retail until something better comes along, trombone, reading, and stuff.

If you were an animal, what animal would it be?: Squirrel

Contact information: ZiolkoAndStuff@twitter

Name:  Heather

A little bit about Heather:

Heather is a fiercely independent Southern belle that hates falling in love almost as much as making her bed. Despite her aversion to falling in love, Heather has a Cinderella complex, still believes in happily ever after, and is currently dating the dorkiest man alive. By day, Heather works & performs mind-numbing activities that may or may not be sucking out her soul. To combat the monotony of her lackluster work monkey days, Heather goes on wild adventures with her roommates into the Memphis night, saving the world one Jack Daniels shot at a time.

Favorite things to make: x-stitch, knitting, crocheting, painting, various other crafty type things

What do you do when you're not making things?  Obsessively watching movies & convincing others into purchasing record players.

If you were an animal, what animal would it be? A chimpanzee that rips your face off

Contact information:
If you’re not currently employed by the IRS or that bar in Florida she’s banned from, you may find Heather on Twitter @heatherleanne

I fully expect to add more collaborators to this post and the blog.  If you are interested in participating, find me on Twitter and let me know!


Soap Inspiration and Process Photos - The Night Circus

I'm inspired to make soap by the strangest things.  My favorite foods, a scent I happen to catch that reminds me of something from my past, and the things my geeky friends adore have all made me rush to make some soap.  This soap is no exception, as it is inspired by the online game (and book, which I ordered but have not yet read) "The Night Circus".  The story is centered around a mysterious circus, in which all of the tents, decorations and costumes are in shades of black and white, with occasional pops of red.  

Thus, I decided to make this soap in those colors.  The red parts I scented with musky rose, the black parts with amber and musk, and the white with a scent evocative of water and fresh air.  The technique for this loaf was something I picked up in the WONDERFUL glycerin soap book "Soapylove: Squeaky-Clean Projects Using Melt-and-Pour Soap" which I can't recommend enough if you are interested in melt-and-pour soap techniques.  I just added the stripey component myself.

To begin with, I made 21 bright red soap balls in a spherical ice cube tray, scented in the rose musk fragrance.  Then I started layering in my black and white soap, waiting between layers to make sure they didn't melt into each other, and placing rows of red soap balls in rows at various heights.

Off to the side, you can see the little red soap balls I made in step 1.  They remind me of clown noses!

Here is the soap, almost ready to take out of the mold.

Unmolded, and looking pretty good!
After cutting the loaf into bars, I ended up with this:

Completed soap bar.  A lot of work, but I think it was worth it!

Ta da!  A soap inspired by "The Night Circus".  I think I'm going to name it "The Dark Carnival".  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fallout 3 WIP

Hey everyone, Mal here! I just wanted to share my current xstitch project...a Fallout 3 inspired piece. Half of his hair ended up looking funky the way the pattern had it, so I'm going to fix it soon.

I got back into cross-stitching several months ago and I've been having a blast doing it. I picked up this particular pattern over at where they have a ton of geek/game inspired cross-stitch patterns.

I'm by no means an expert but if you have any questions about cross-stitching, feel free to shoot me a tweet or an email!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Squirrel Girl Costume!

This year, I decided to go to Dragon*Con for the first time. I'm a bit of an introvert, but any opportunity to dress up is a good time for me. Hence, the Squirrel Girl costume was born.
The biggest difficulty was making the leotard out of non-stretchy fabric. Fur (or faux-fur,) does not budge at all. And beyond that, there are not many super-hero patterns out there. So, the pieces were made by my rolling on the fabric and making marks with a piece of chalk. (Theme: Shana doesn't use patterns.)

For the first day or so, the main piece looked more like a caveman tunic than a uniform for fighting crime. With assistance from my mum to make marks for darts and leg holes, we finally got it closer to par.

The tail was easy, and the shirt, leggings, and ammo belt were bought.
I am planning on tailoring it better for next year... and animating the tail. (muhahaha)

I *heart* skulls!

Hey hey, everyone! Sabrina/Sabs here to let you in on my crafting obsession that started last year, round about this time, and I've since gotten back into it

Both my husband, myself and most of my friends have an affinity for Halloween so, naturally, we spent a good chunk of time looking over the "seasonal" section and then...


Little skulls! They had full skulls, but gravitated towards the masks.

As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to do a Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos mask as they're just gorgeous and something I've liked since I was a kid.

My first one:

I was so proud of my work, I decided to do 2 more!!

A zombie:

And just an abstract, patchwork-ish one just to see what I could come up with:

I have started and finished a new mask inspired by this picture:

With this being the finished product:

Paper mache is a great medium to work with!