Mostly, because I bought sparkly glue gun sticks and wanted to test them.
This time, I’ve made glittery, fruit magnets!
Honestly, I can say the sparkly ones were a TOTAL PAIN, but okay to look at. They aren’t 100% clear, which was a bit of a bummer. They do, however, junk up your glue gun, so luckily I bought a separate one for this projects ( I was hoping to use the glittery ones again, but I’m not so sure after the project).
I probably wouldn’t use these much again (it took several sticks for each magnet! Even using clear ones for the bluk of the inside), but that could also be the new hot glue gun I got. Maybe it smaller or something? I got a new one so the glitter wouldn’t get stuck in my other ones.
Then, use the special glue sticks to fill the bottom of your mold. You may need to dip your finger in water, and use it to smooth the glue throughout the mold for the base layer, so you get all the details in the side. If you’re using multiple colors, you may need to take turns (as shown below). For instance, fill all the parts that need green first, rather than taking the stick out, switching colors, which ends up mixing, etc.
After that, fill with clear glue gun sticks (so you don’t waste the more expensive ones).
But, they gave me a bigger idea – I can use this method for SO MANY THINGS!! Even cosplay!
So, the first thing I did to test this method was to make little magnets. Now that I have my own space in my office, I like to decorate. I’ll be taking these little babies to works.
Here are the instructions!
First, everything you need is here.
It’s essentially a silicone mold (I used THIS ice cube tray from Fred & Friends), a hot glue gun and glue sticks, some magnets, paint and a paintbrush. Easy peasy. People still say this right?
From there, it’s even simpler. You fill the mold with hot glue using a hot glue gun. I’ve found it’s best to fill these intricate molds by letting your gun heat up fully, and then squeezing a thin, complete layer at the bottom, so you can get all the details. After that, you should be able to go slowly and fill up the rest (going slow will prevent air bubbles), going in layers.
Once you reach towards the top, but not quite, let it harden up a bit, so you have a place to rest the magnet, and fill around. If you overfill a little, it’s easy to trim off a bit, as shown. Then drop the magnet in and let it dry more.
After that, let them solidify (I left mine in the mold for 20 minutes), and then pop them out and paint them. I didn’t use a primer, but I did use 2 coats of paint.
When we think of cosplay tools, I’m sure a heat gun or knife kit probably comes to mind first.
However, there are other tools that you can use to bump your cosplay up to the next level.
For me, one group is makeup brushes.
Don’t run away yet, lemme explain.
As you may know, I’m a big proponent of wearing makeup for cosplay. I seriously believe it can make all the difference for your cosplay – in between how you appear to others, how you appear in photographs, and how you can match your character better. Make-up is AMAZING for that. Even male cosplayers, who often growl at me at the suggestion, should wear makeup. It takes you to the next level, the same way a wig does! Get over your fear.
So, part of applying makeup is brushes.
You don’t need to spend $100s of your hard-earned cash to escalate your look. Lemme tell you that much right here.
I own cheap brushes. Like $10 for 12 brushes cheap.
But they work amazingly well- because I’ve learned how to care for cheap brushes.
Here’s the deal. These range from $10-14 USD. I bought them at $12. They’re cheap. I know it.
But, if you know how to handle cheap brushes, you’ll love them.
Here’s my ‘new owner’ process for cheap brushes.
1) Remove the handles. They’re wimpy at first, for real- the glue is weak, and they won’t stick on. After a few washes, the handles will fall off, so it’s better to start off right. Remove those handles first thing.
2) Wash the brushes. These smelled like …. something. I dunno what. But, I knew it would be best to wash them. So I did. My process for washing brushes is HERE.
If you want the simple steps – Small bowl of warm water and dash of soap (baby shampoo, brush cleaner, etc. I use my plain clarifying Suave shampoo). Tap each brush in a few times, then remove and swirl on the palm of your hand. Then rinse thoroughly. I hang mine to dry, with the bristles facing down from a rack in my kitchen. When completely dry, swirl on your clean palm to fluff the brushes. Tadaaa.
3) Using E6000 or a hot glue gun (I used the latter), glue the handles and brushed back together. If you have the same set as me, remember that the larger brushes are labeled, so you’ll want to match them up first.
4) That’s it. Store them in something pretty, and repeat washings as necessary.
Also, please don’t ignore washing your brushes. Leaving them dirty will essentially put dirt on your faces, and in your pores. No fun. Check out the difference between my dirty and clean brushes below, as well as my blenders! The first (white) one is a knock-off, and the hot pink one is the my Beautyblender from Birchbox that I got using some of my points last year.
Here’s the name brand before and after. It expands, so it’s not a trick that it looks a little bigger inthe second picture.
For me, this makes the brushes hold together way longer, and the initial wash softens and cleans them.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t take care of my wigs as well as I should.
I know that may not give me much credibility as a cosplay source, but I think it also adds credibility when I say that this easy, (sorta) 2-ingredient, DIY wig detangling spray actually works.
I would know, because like I said, I don’t take care of my wigs very well initially, especially right after a con (when I’m too tired to do everything right). I’ll let them tangle up, lose their bags, forget to put them away- etc. You get the picture.
But, this always means that I have to detangle them before I can use them again, and that’s how I know that this spray works.
Plus, chances are, you already have the ingredients, and you may already use the spray in a soak form (if you’re like me and spend a lot of time on the internet).
Also, I say sorta 2 because one ingredient that you add is already pre-mixed for you, but it itself contains many ingredients. You’ll see what I mean.
So, one thing you need is a spray bottle (which I’m not counting as an ingredient). I’d recommend reusing an old bottle you have on hand, but only after you’ve cleaned it thoroughly.
I end up reusing my NYX Setting Spray bottles for things like this – they’re tiny, so I can take them with me, and it means I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals like if I were using a leftover cleaning spray bottle.
The recipe itself?
1 part fabric softener (liquid) to 3-5 parts water.
That’s it. Mix and shake. Spray on wigs to coat the surface for easy detangling.
I got this idea mostly because of the internet. It may have been done before, but I tried this on my own recently after C2E2, and a particularly nastily snarled, long wig after a long Saturday of use.
Since I normally clean/condition my wigs by soaking them in fabric softener, I figured that should be the main, non-water ingredient in my detangling spray.
I typically use this mixture, with softener replaced with hair conditioner, to detangle my own, real hair, but that doesn’t work as well on wigs (if they aren’t real hair – the synthetic fibers don’t hold the conditioner like real hair does, so especially you need the fabric softener to make your wig slippery), and the water prevents it from getting too greasy.
Experiment until you find a ratio that you like. It’s your life. You have the power.
With my short wigs, I’d water I use 1 part softener to 5 parts water, so that my wig doesn’t get too weighed down.
On long wigs, when I really need that extra detangling power, I like to use 1 part softener to 3 parts water.
Since I’m using old make-up bottles, I typically only make small amounts at a time, which really lets me customize the mixture often, and play around with the ratios.
That being said, it also means I dunno about the staying-power of the mixture. I’m assuming it would keep for a long time, like fabric softener does, but I’ve just never found on my own. Lemme know, if you know.
Also, let me know if this works for you, or if you have other suggestions! As we know, I’m an Open Book Cosplayer, which essentially means I’ll tell you anything and everything I know about cosplay if you ask. I’ve got nothing to hide, no secrets to keep, and I love spreading the knowledge wealth. This is how I detangle my wigs, and I find it works for me!
Plus, I smell like clean laundry a lot.
As a word of warning, try not to use too much, especially if you don’t rinse our your wigs. If you have sensitive skin, and you use this on the scalp of the wig, all of your sweat mixed with the softener could make you break out.
It hasn’t happened to me, but it is something I just thought of while writing this out.
After a very long hiatus, I AM BACK.
Sorry for the delay.
Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
Tomorrow is another Geek Girl Brunch in Chicago, and the theme is Reopening the X-Files.
Needless to say, I’m absolutely stoked.
In honor of the brunch subject, and my new found obsession with the X-Files, I made you a little tutorial for a painting of the iconic ‘I WANT TO BELIEVE’ poster from the show.
It’s pretty easy to do, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
Check it out, here’s the finished painting:
So, gather your supplies.
I used a large cheap canvas (Got it on sale from Michael’s for $5!!), some cheap acrylic paint ($0.66 each from Michael’s) in the colors Hunter Green, White, Black and Bright Blue (to get the various shades, just mix the colors with black or white, depending on the look you’re going for), some paintbrushes (about $0.20 each, but I bought a big variety pack), vinyl letter (I used 2 inch) and some water.
So first, plan out your letters. I just drew some pen lines based on where I roughly though the letters belonged, based on my reference photo of the original poster.
Next, take the hunter green (or whatever bottom color you’ve chosen), and use it to lay the base layer of paint over the bottom 1/4 or 1/3 of the canvas. I used letters that didn’t stick very well, so my first layer is a little choppy looking, since I was trying to carefully paint over the letters. Once I did this, he letter stuck on the canvas, so I could use a rougher touch later (which is good, because I mixed hunter green and a little black together for the 2nd and third layers on the green parts).
Next comes the sky. First, ‘paint’ the rest of the canvas with water. Not enough to soak it, but this will help us blend the sky paint.
I mixed the bright blue paint with the white paint, not fully mixing the paint (it will look a little marbled – that’s the look I like). Slather it on the canvas, dipping your brush in a little water in you need it to smooth and blend it. It should look like a nice, smooth mix of shades of blue and white. niiiiiiice.
Now, add the rough shapes of the trees. I used the original poster as a reference for my shapes. Don’t worry about being perfect – you’ll paint over parts of them now, and fix the details later.
Add in some clouds. I basically started with plain white paint on a smaller brush and continually smushed it on the painting. Then, for the details, I made a little blue-gray paint by mixing white, black and blue- I used this as the darker parts of the clouds. Create whatever shades you want by changing the amounts of each color you use! This is your painting!
This next photos shows several steps.
One was adding the bottom of the UFO, to gauge the placement and shape between the clouds.
The other is that part I mentioned would happen a bit ago- slightly painting over the trees. In the original, there’s far off mountains/trees, that are shown by various shades of green/gray (depending on what version you look at). In my photo, I just show the random layers I made for those hills. The shades were created by mixing the hunter green with a little white, painting that layer of hills, and then mixing even more white, and then painting another layer on top. Does that make sense? I don’t communicate well. Just check the picture. Or as questions – I’m always here.
Next, paint the top of the UFO – I mixed black, white and green for a green/gray shade.
I also re-detailed the trees here and blended the paint down the canvas again.
Final details on the painting: for me, that’s some touches on the UFO, blending the bottom a bit more, and cleaning up the sky a bit. Use water if you want to re-blend.
Now, WAIT UNTIL THE PAINTING IS COMPLETELY DRY. I just did some other stuff around the apartment for an hour, then came back. When the painting is dry, peel off your vinyl letters from the bottom of the painting.
The letters may have gotten a little paint under them, so just freshen up the messy spots with some of the white paint.
You’ve got your own X-Files painting.
Put it on display, boo. Be proud.
I won’t lie, I was so happy, I kept giggling to myself. Alone. In my Apartment.
Like a loser.
I was matched up with the lovely Linsdey at Co-Host Girlfriend for the current round of the Odd Honey Swap, from my pal Harper over at Harper Honey.
I was talking with Lindsey about how easy and fun it is to mix geek elements into your everyday fashion, so I figured I’d make a quick post about some of my favorite ‘Casual Cosplay’ outfits.
So, with ‘casual cosplay,’ a lot of people don’t even realize that they like it, or already do it-
Thinking about wearing an outfit you saw on tv? Casual Cosplay.
Don’t want to go all out on designing someone’s outfit, but still want to dress like them? Casual Cosplay.
Inspired by someone’s personality or fashion style and decide to replicate it? Casual Cosplay.
Want to follow Disney’s rules for dressing up in their parks? Casual Cosplay.
Nerd? Casual Cosplay.
The list goes on an on.
I consider ‘Casual Cosplay’ to be anything reminiscent of cosplay. If you like an exact outfit from someone from tv or movies; it you want to pretend you are that character in everyday life; if you like to show off your geeky side, and wear fandom inspired outfits. All of this stuff, and more, to me, is casual cosplay.
I was thinking about some of my favorite characters from tv shows and movies, and which kind of outfits are my favorite.
For this post, I’ll focus on outfits inspired by a character, since that’s an easy place to start.
Typically, one of my favorite types for these are Disney Princess outfits done casually. This could be actual outfits from the character trimmed down to be more casual, outfits inspired by their general taste, things like that.
Here are some examples from the user ‘Juliaann35’ from Polyvore.
They’re simple, but you get the idea, right?
You can just use regular clothes to inspire your look to a new level!
You can also remix the character’s style, using their main elements (like color, texture, clothing item type, etc.) to change up their look!
Here’s some examples of ‘Hipster Disney Princesses’ that I like.
So, if you know anything about me, I assume it’s that I’m a geek.
I mean, it’s fairly obvious, given that I have a website showcasing my love for everything in the nerd realm.
This is why I think you’ll understand why I’ve declared a brilliant day, once I explain it all to you.
Let’s get started.
Today, I got to hang out with Dr. Michio Kaku.
Yes. The (Dr.) Michio Kaku.
If you know who that is, skip ahead.
If you don’t know who that is, keep reading.
Dr. Michio Kaku, my fair lads, is one of those lovely ‘popularizers of science.’
This means his work is so interesting that even those not generally interested in science get excited. He makes the idea of science ‘popular,’ to the general public, much like the lovely Bill Nye (The Science Guy, as you may know him) or the ever amazing Neil deGrasse Tyson. They are demigods within their fields, and the eyes of fellow nerds. Science celebrities, basically.
Luckily, I’m into science, so this was even better.
He considers himself a futurist- meaning his work generally focuses on the systematic predictions or possibilities of the future, for human society and life on Earth as a whole. He’s written tons of books filled with his thoughts, such as these titles below [which are linked to places where you can buy them, btw. I really recommend them. They’re fascinating reads!]
These are the covers, and I love them. There are older versions of most of the books, but I love the illustrations for these covers. They just look so great. Perfect and sci-fi-y.
‘The Future of the Mind’ is his newest; it’s hit #1 on The New York Times’ book lists, and it’s at #1 on Amazon for scientific research books overall!
My personal favorite, although they’re all amazing, is the ‘Physics of the Impossible’ book, which talks about sci-fi elements from movies, and tvs shows, and such, and then actually talks about the physics of their concepts, and which are actually something that can be achieved in the future and which are total imagination. He talks about things like phasers, teleportation, time travel, all sorts of stuff. If you like sci-fi shows, and are looking for a read to start with, I’d definitely say this is the book for you.
Dr. Kaku is an amazing person, and I really think you should research more about him if you are interested in learning more! He has had an amazing life so far, and is FULL of awesome information. Keep an eye out for him.
So, along with my new post series ‘Inspired by Pinterest,’ where I show my version of crafts that have been floating around on pinterest, I figured, I should create a new series for projects whose inspiration also came from pinterest, but that got a ‘geek’ remake. Thus, GEEKIFIED posts are born. Happy birthday, GEEKIFIED. Welcome to the world. You’re so beautiful. As an example in the series, let’s start out with with these DIY bird feeders I saw on Pinterest. The pin itself leads to a buzzfeed link, which I then followed to the original content, found at Pink Pistaschio. Her instructions were simple- she even called a bird handler to make sure all the ingredients were safe for birds beforehand (SPOILER ALERT: they are safe).
Inspired by this initial pin, I was excited to create some different shapes than the traditional circle (although I still did a heart. I love hearts. Like fun, I’m not going to make a heart.) I chose some dinosaurs, a skull, a heart (duhhh) and a raven. Half are from a dinosaur cookie cutter set I got from Walmart, one is from a Wilson fondant set that is supposed to be used to make Calla Lillies, and the others are from a Halloween cookie cutter set.
I chose the Raven because I love the idea of birds eating something bird shaped. Is that weird?
Anyways, here’s what you need for my version:
+ Fun cookie cutter shapes
+ 2 packets unflavored gelatin (I used Knox. It’s the only unflavored brand I know)
+ 2/3 cup water in a saucepan (cool/cold water. DO NOT heat up the water until after the gelatin dissolves)
+ 2 cups birdseed (I used a random generic brand, but you can lure different types of birds with different types of seeds!)
+ Cooking Spray (to coat your cookie cutters)
+ Cookie Sheet lined with Wax Paper (do this first, trust me)
+ A beverage straw or two, for making the hole in the bird feeders.
+ Twine, string, wird, etc. i.e. something to tie to the bird feeder so you can hang it.
Let’s get started.
Step one: In a small saucepan, stir the two packets of gelatin into the water until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
Step two: Turn your burner on, to medium heat, and stir constantly until the gelatin simmers. I may have heated it too much, but it didn’t affect the outcome of my treats, so don’t worry about mistakes! Step three: Remove the pan from heat, and stir in all your birdseed. MIX MIX MIX! Then, let cool.
Step four: While the birdseed mix is cooling, line your cookie sheet/baking sheet with the wax paper. This didn’t need a picture, haha.
Step five: Spray the inside of your cookie cutters with cooking spray, to make the treats easy to get out and easy to clean afterwards. Then, line them up on your baking sheet for the next step. There is no picture for this either.
Step six: Spoon your birdseed mixture into your little cookie cutters. You could do this carefully, but you’re still going to make a little bt of a mess, I bet. No worries. That’s why you’ve got that wax paper. Spoon them at least halfway full (mine are filled to the brim).
Step seven: Insert a bit of a cut beverage straw into each treat to preserve a hole for string.
Step eight: Put baking sheet with treats into fridge to firm up. Leave it alone for at least an hour. All ready for the fridge:
Step nine: Remove treats from fridge, remove treats from cookie cutters, remove straws from treats. Remove the treat from mold:
Step ten: String them up, and hang outside!!
LOOK HOW CUTE. I CAN’T DEAL WITH IT! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
HINT: If you aren’t going to put all of your bird feeders out at once, you MUST store them in the fridge. Gelatin molds if left out, and your bird feeders will mold if left out on the counter and stuff.
Typically, birds eat them before they have a chance to mold outdoors, so don’t worry about it.
The birds in my area are savages, and the feeders were all gone (I made more than pictured) within three days. SAVAGES.
+ Disposable pot/bowl of room temp. water (it is important that it is not cold, so the polish doesn’t hard on the water’s surface)
+ Nail polish colors of choice
+ Item to be paint (I chose a terra cotta planter I had painted white last week)
!! Try to do this project outside, if you can, so you don’t get overwhelmed by the smell of nail polish !!
Step one: Get your pot of water. Like I said above, it is important for it not to be too cold! Room temp. water, or even a little warmer is better, so that your polish doesn’t hard on the surface of the water before you even paint your planter. Also, get your object to be painted. I chose a terra cotta pot that I painted white.
Step two: Pick out your polishes. I choose three colors that went together.
A pastel purple I got from Five Below,
A teal blue I got from Rue 21,
and a hot pink/magenta color from Sally Beauty.
Step three: Slowly pour the polishes, one color at a time, on the surface of the water. Make sure you pour them out from fairly close to the water, of they will sink down the bottom and not help you out at all. You may want to stir the paint around a little to get better coverage. I learned I liked my designs better when i DID NOT stir it.
Step four: Dip it real good. Slowly dip your pot (or whatever object you’re painting) into the polish coated water. The polish will cling to the sides of the pot and ‘paint’ it. I dipped my pot two or three times, re-coating the water with polish each time.
You may not need to dip it multiple times!
My polish was older (which was why I used it), and not it good shape. Some were super thin, and some were that old and chunky type. In order for me to get goo coverage, I dipped it multiple times.
If you use a decent nail polish, and thoroughly coat the surface of the water in your pot, once may be enough!
Step five: Let it dry. I let mine dry outside, as well. Because I didn’t want my roommate to complain about a nail polish smell.
I have no picture of this. It would literally just be a standing pot.
Step six: Once completely dry, put a plant in it, and admire your creation!
It stands out among my other planters. it’s so cute. Also, I obviously need to paint the under plant disk thing white. What is it called? The name is failing me.
Any ways, I need to paint that white too, then all will be completed!