Getting Crafty: The Christmas Edition–Quick Hit

Alright, I’m likely going to postpone the dramatic conclusion of this series next week, when I get the rest of my supplies.

But I’ve still got a little something to tide you over until then.

So, we decided to Secret Santa at work, and we had a limit of $20 to spend.

I didn’t even have to spend that much. I had all the supplies I needed. I took this:

wpid-img_20141216_170701.jpg

Don’t mind the Theraflu. I’m fighting another cold.

And I made it into this:

wpid-img_20141216_180151.jpg

wpid-wp-1418952756819.jpg

Pretty cool, huh? I hope my recipient likes it!

See you next week!

Crafting

Getting Crafty: The Christmas Edition, Part 2

I have been a busy bee these last couple of days. I’ve been making all types of goodies.

πŸ˜€

Of course, this happy crafting did not come without a bit of legwork.

Ready for a story? πŸ™‚

Alright, so the goal for my staff gifts this year was to make them some shea butter hand cream and soap. My assistant manager is getting a little something extra: vanilla bath salts.

Ok, simple enough, right? I live in NY, the land of the shea butter on every corner. Well, the shea butter wasn’t the issue, it was finding all the oils I wanted in the quantities I needed them in. I have a staff of 5 now, and just a couple of small vials of oil wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a shop.

Google did it’s thing, and finally, after about a day of searching for stores that didn’t want to send me home with 25 pounds (!!!!) of shea butter and a vial of oil small enough to moisturize a mouse, I finally got hold of all of the products. Yay!

Victorious, I grabbed some food and headed home. Right when I was getting ready to mix up the goodies, I realized…

…that I had no jars, containers, anything to put the finished product in. Of course I didn’t.

-_-

Now, it’s important to note here that I’d already taken off my bra, and typically that means I’m in for the day. But the hand cream had to go intoΒ something, right? Doggone it.

So, I reholster everything and get bundled. I head to the city to see if I can find some small jars. I tried the dollar store–nothing. Michael’s? Nothing but a line that stretched TO THE BACK OF THE STORE, OMG. But I kept looking. They had favor jars that held a thimbleful of cream. That wasn’t gonna get it. Then they had Mason jars big enough to sip some good iced tea out of. Nope, that’s too big.

Unlike Goldilocks, I couldn’t find one that was just right.

So, I keep wandering the area, and step into Utrecht. I wanted some supplies to make cards, and I picked that up and tried to pick up the cute cashier too.

What? Don’t judge me! πŸ™‚

Still, no jars.

So, as I’m wandering 6th ave, I see a Blick’s Art Store. Hmm. Maybe it’s in here?

And…

SUCCESS! They had all the jars I needed, and at a pretty good price! So, I scooped up a few two ounce jars and headed on back home to get to work. I was able to take all of this:

wpid-img_20141215_134736.jpg

And transform it into this:

wpid-20141218_102812.jpg

Now, I’m not done with the packaging (the little creams will get tags and glitter on the tops, the soaps will be wrapped in tissue paper, and the bath salt gets some cellophane wrap and ribbon+tag), but I got the bulk of the crafting done.

Want to make your own shea butter hand cream? Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

Shea Butter (that’s a pound package up there, I used half the container)

Sweet Almond Oil (2 tbsp, feel free to substitute this oil for jojoba, grapeseed, safflower oils if you have a nut allergy)

Olive Oil (2 tbsp)

Coconut Oil (2 tbsp)

Essential Oils for scent (I used lemongrass and vanilla. It smells like cake!)

Bonus: if you want to use this in your hair, add in some castor oil and vitamin E oil in too.

Place all items except for essential oils in a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until fluffy and creamy. This works best if your shea butter is at room temperature. Fold in essential oil, a few drops at a time, after whipping. Β If you’re giving this as a gift, place your cream into a plastic baggie (ziploc one), cut the corner off, and pipe it into your containers. I had enough to fill five-2 ounce containers, and still had a bit left over for me. πŸ™‚

As for the bath salt, that’s even easier. Combine epsom salt with essential oil or even extract (I did vanilla extract because of the softer smell). Mix, place in container. Done!

Soap? I used a kit I found at Michael’s to make my soap. Pro tip: get yourself some other scents in case you don’t like what comes in the kit( there was a vial of scent in that package that smelled like wet leaves. Old wet leaves. Ew.) When your soap has hardened, wrap it up in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out before you put it in paper.

I want to say I’m done with my crafts, but I still have some jewelry and baking to do. Stay tuned for more!

Crafting Shopping Stories

Getting Crafty: The Christmas Edition, Part 1

I’ve already gotten myself a present this year, so I’m looking to find some supplies to make my friends, family, and coworkers some nice things for Christmas.

Normally, I get my staff little things to show my appreciation. This year, the size of both my store and staff has doubled, so I won’t be able to purchase a lot. But I do enjoy making and baking things, so this year, I’m looking to do some crafty things that come from the heart and can keep me under my budget.

One of my favorite crafting sites, hands down, is Darby Smart. Not only can you get kits to work from, they also have a separate craft store section that you can purchase additional odds and ends from. I’m looking to get this:

I spy diy collection 1 web

You’ll recognize at least one of the pieces here; I did the clear clutch for my birthday earlier this year. I’m also looking to get this:

Tie diy soap kit critters 1

Homemade Soap Kit!

Bath and body gifts are my favorite gifts, especially if one took the time to find my favorite scents. While this kit comes with a scent, I’ll probably use some essential oils in it to customize the smell. I’ll also be making a shea butter cream to go with the soaps–(quick recipe: shea butter, carrier oil(s) (can be olive, sweet almond, vitamin e, or all of those plus more), and coconut oil. Mix with mixer until creamy. You can also add essential oils (a few drops will do) if you want it scented. I promise to put up a proper recipe when I get the proportions down!)

I’m also going to bake. Baking always manages to bring me to my happy place, and my brownies seem to bring everyone else to their happy places. So, I’ll be baking up boxes of delicious for the rest of my store staff and my landlords (they’re getting a Cardamom Spice Pound Cake.)

Whoa. I have a lot to get making! But it never feels like labor–I love to create and make people happy with my creations. πŸ˜€

Anyone else out there making it a do-it-yourself holiday? Have any great crafting places I can get supplies from? Leave them in the comments!

Crafting Retail Therapy Shopping

Nerdy Girl Adventures: Riddle Me This, Batman

I meant to have this post up Friday, but Life.

Then Hangover.

I had fun. πŸ™‚

Anyway! I wanted to show you all the look I did for NYCC on Saturday (about a week ago.)

So, when we last left off, I’d changed my costume at the last minute.

I decided I wanted to be the Riddler. πŸ˜€

I’d sourced new materials, and eagerly waited on them to arrive. I had two ways of doing it: either using paint, or using felt and a glue gun. I wanted the felt and the glue gun.

That didn’t show up until Friday afternoon. I didn’t procrastinate this outfit, though. It was already done by then.

I took this dress from Modcloth:

1-Fullscreen capture 10192014 94325 PM

Got some fabric paint (I used this), a sponge brush, and made a question mark stencil out of cardboard. About 3 1/2 hours later, I had this:

1-DSC_0027

1-DSC_0026

Shoes are from Payless (I know!)

I also made myself a bowler hat. I just got a small party sized hat from Amazon (you could probably get them in bulk around this time of year) and added some rhinestones all over it:

1-DSC_0028

Now, the original design had the dress with black felt question marks all over it. But I have to admit, glittery just seems so…me. And of course, my nails had to coordinate:

wpid-20141010_225234.jpg

I really loved how everything came out! I also have a new respect for those cosplayers that actually do stitching and things. Just painting those question marks took absolutely forever, and taking the sleeves off the blouse I had on underneath the dress took another hour. That’s why I am already planning next year’s costumes. And next year? There WILL be Lady Joker.

Also: Jaime Bond.

πŸ˜€

Crafting Nail Adventures NYCC

Nerdy Girl Adventures: Cosplay at New York Comic Con

I took pictures of damn near any/everything that moved at NYCC (with permission, of course.) And let me tell you, it took everything in me to cut down the pics I put in this post because it was well over 150 photos.

I’ll do my best to provide context and names of the characters listed. Ready? Let’s go!

1-DSC_0001

A beautiful Harley Quinn.

1-DSC_0020

I love the vibe this whole group gave off. My favorite would be the side-burned Joker there. Other characters include Batgirl, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Riddler, and Aquaman.

1-DSC_0022

Rita Replulsa and Lord Zedd. Brought me right back to elementary school, coming home to watch Power Rangers!

1-DSC_0061

Scarecrow, Batman (who is 75 years young this year–the character, that is) and Robin. Robin was quite the handsome guy in person, let me say. πŸ™‚

1-DSC_0087

Sailor Moon and the Crew (totally NOT what they’re called, btw. πŸ˜€ ) There were quite a few Sailor themed cosplays, including a group of guys. The guys had a Tuxedo Mask included in their group (and yes, it was a woman.) So cute!

1-DSC_0089

A very dapper Penguin.

1-DSC_0056

Marvin the Martian brings you peace, man.

1-DSC_0077

So, the Captain America at the top of the pyramid is holding what looks like a classic Super Nintendo game. In fact, it’s a flask. How fancy is that?

1-DSC_0085

I was on my way to pick up my things from coat check, and saw these two on the way there. How spectacular is this Jareth Β and Sarah cosplay?

1-DSC_0054

I actually interrupted the conversation I was having when I saw this crew come in. “OMG, is that Lego Iron Man?! I need a picture!” *zoom* Don’t worry, the person I was talking to was as excited as I was!

1-DSC_0045

Predator!

1-DSC_0066

This is Phoenix Wright. He’s a lawyer whose fighting tactics include throwing paper work and gavels (seriously!) I should note the cosplayer shouted “Objection!” as he posed, which made C and I crack up.

Oh, and the word “Objection!” will come up in the video game when he does that move. Here’s a video that shows it (you want to look about 58 seconds in):

Memes also made their way into NYCC. Here are my two favorites (with memes right next to them):

1-DSC_00041-Fullscreen capture 10142014 122844 AM

When I first took a pic of this guy, he ended up having to answer the phone in the middle of my shot. Β When he hung up his call, he graciously posed with the sign for me. I say he did a pretty good job!

1-DSC_00411-Fullscreen capture 10142014 122601 AM

C and I saw this guy and immediately cracked up! Annoyed Picard is one of my favorite memes.

And finally, here’s the shot that C says perfectly captures the spirit of NYCC:

1-DSC_0048

I actually got to NYCC earlier than C and my nephew on Sunday, so I decided to meet up with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen since college. As he and I tried to figure out where the other was, Doc Oct there came walking past me. As I stopped him to snap a photo, I notice he’s looking behind me. Confused, I turn around. Who do I see?

Spider Man.

Doc: “Spider Man! I thought I killed you!”

Spidey: “Doc, you can NEVER kill me!”

And they jumped into the pose you see here.

Me: “OMG I NEED A PICTURE OF THIS!!”

And here it is. Two complete strangers hamming it up for people’s cameras and entertainment. They shook hands as they parted ways.

Man, NYCC is like nothing else. If you ever have a chance to come and experience it yourself, please do! You won’t regret it.

Tomorrow: the unveiling of my cosplay. See you then!

Crafting NYCC

Fatshion Friday: Gearing Up For My Birthday!

If you’re following me on Instagram, then you saw me post this picture of my crafting space last night:

wpid-img_20140417_223030.jpg

My crafting space being an extra chair I place in front of the TV. πŸ™‚ Glass of wine optional.

So, this jumble of things I had spread about is a part of my latest Darby Smart purchase. I am slowly building the outfit for my birthday dinner (dress coming soon!), and I wanted to make the accessories myself.

You’ve already seen the bag I’ll be carrying that night.

So, what was that jumble of stuff I posted?

wpid-20140417_235201.jpg

I made a cuff!

wpid-20140417_235356.jpgwpid-20140417_235347.jpg

Here’s a couple of super huge pics to show the detail. There are a couple of spikes on it!

The cuff is a mix of blue, purple, green, and pink rhinestones to go with the colors in my dress.

Yes, I do love rainbow things. It’s an offshoot of having to wear black to work every day–I want to wear all of the sparkly, obnoxiously colorful things on days I have off just to remember it exists. I tend to go over the top on off days, unless it happens to be cleaning day. Then I’m in colorful sweats instead.

Anyway.

The kit comes with two cuffs from Jewelmint (they have some really pretty baubles!), a bag of rhinestones in all of the colors you can think of, a small bag of spikes, adhesive, and a sponge brush to apply the adhesive with. So much fun! The cuff can be a bit small on a larger wrist (it just fits me perfectly, for example, and I have large arms) so this may not fit larger arms. I do hope they’ll consider making larger cuffs so that crafters of all sizes can get in on the fun (and I left them a message on the product page saying so!)

The final personal touch to my birthday outfit? I need something for my hair. That’s coming next Friday! πŸ™‚

Crafting

Fatshion Friday: NYCC Cosplay Prep

So I mentioned yesterday that I realized that I haven’t begun to plan my costumes for New York Comic Con. I know there are folks reading this like…it doesn’t happen until October. There’s plenty of time!

Um, no. Not if I am making these pieces from scratch. And I am dressing for all four days, so I need to get to work planning and sourcing the materials.

We won’t talk about how I have very little experience sewing. I’m getting myself a sewing machine for my birthday this year, so I at least want to have a concept to work from. And my first pieces won’t be my NYCC ones, but I hope it comes out well.

Anyway.

I plan on doing three heroines and one villainess. I won’t share them all at once though (’cause how much fun would that be?) First one I’m sharing is this amazing character here:

image

This is Monica Rambeau, and she’s known by many names: Captain Marvel, Spectrum, and Photon (that’s the pic above) to name a few. I started my sketch with this pic in mind:

wpid-img_20140410_164643.jpg

But then I kept scrolling through pics of her and found this one (she’s Spectrum here, in the Mighty Avengers):

image

Oh, my. So I modified my sketch a bit. I am keeping the cape, but I love the duo chromatic color scheme:

wpid-2014-04-10-23.20.54.jpg.jpeg

Only half is colored because I’m trying to decide if I want to switch it up. Still working on if I want to do leggings or hot pants for extra coverage, or if I want a bodysuit (bathroom logistics!) But I love what I have so far.

Designing is fun. Can’t wait to get my sewing machine and really start practicing!

Crafting NYCC