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I’m on Patreon!

Happy Thursday, everyone! This week’s regular blog post (which will be a tutorial for some super cute cards) is a little delayed, because I spent all my spare time this past week working on something else… a Patreon page!

Patreon page

As you can imagine, these tutorials take a lot of time and work to put together, and time can be awfully hard to come by. Individual commissions, Kickstarter plushie sets, weekly blog posts and tutorial creation together constitute a full time job, and I already have a 30-hours-a-week day job.

Setting up a Patreon page is one piece of my effort to move away from doing my crafting just on the side, and start focusing on it as my daily, during-work-hours concern. The money you donate via Patreon will help me afford (quite literally, haha) the time to keep making tutorials while I also find, negotiate and work on other creative projects. It will help me purchase the necessary craft supplies, and perhaps invest in some new tools and materials to delve into even more types of crafting.

So please go check it out, give my video a watch (think of it as a bonus blog post for this week, because it certainly took more than enough time to be one!) and consider becoming a Patron and supporting the continuation of my crafting tutorials!

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penguin onesie

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Remember that time I was on Feed Dump, and we discussed a news story about a guy who stole beer while dressed in a penguin onsie, and I was all: Wait where do I get a penguin onsie?! Well you can buy them all kinds of places, and lots of people sent me links with that wonderful information. But as usual, I decided to take things into my own hands.

Let me tell you, there is pretty much nothing more soft and comfortable and so so warm than a full-body wrap made out of fleece. I never want to take mine off. And with Halloween right around the corner, I cannot recommend this enough as a costume idea. While my instructions are for a penguin suit, with some simple modifications you could create all kinds of animals, from penguins and parrots to dragons, badgers, foxes, etc. And what does the fox say? It says forget those lingerie-with-ears outfits and put on some fur – it’s COLD outside in October! Here, wear this fleece onsie, you will be so very happy you did.

Happy Halloween!

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Extra Life D&D – tales of a mighty goat warrior & her dragon

Ok, well, her pseudodragon, anyway.

So here’s the deal: I’m playing Dungeons and Dragons on October 25th as part of the Wizards of the Coast D&D Extra Life team. Extra Life is a wonderful DIY sort of fundraising project – it gives anyone and everyone the tools to put together a 25* hour gaming marathon to raise money for The Children’s Miracle Network. It’s an awesome cause, with participants around the world raising millions of dollars to help kids.

To do all this, we’re playing a D&D game with one DM, Greg Bilsland, and a rotation of players. Those of us playing are offering various incentives to encourage donations, from determining what characters we play to winning prizes. The team will also be giving out prizes on the day of the event, and you can tune in for a chance at those and to watch us play, at twitch.tv/dnd, starting at 8am on October 25.

I’ll be playing from 8am – 4pm. Below, thanks to many generous donors, are details of just what my character looks like so far.

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paper bats

paper bats

For the first time in over eight years, I’m living in an actual house that has an entrance onto the street, and windows that are easily visible from the street. This means that we might actually get trick-or-treaters this Halloween! It means that if I put decorations in our windows, people might actually see them!

And as usual, what with Desert Bus as the cherry on top of all the other events and activities I collect to keep my busy the way a deranged magpie collects shiny things, I don’t really have much time to spare for Halloween prep or decorating. Fortunately, there are several costumes already in my closet (I think I’ll wear the tiger dress this year), and I’ve found a great way to make decorative paper bats that is easy and quick quick quick!

These cutely spooky bats are nothing but paper cutouts, with three little folds to give them some shape and dimension and help them cast delightfully creepy shadows. I’ve created a template with bats in 5 different sizes, so you can make a nicely varied swarm. Check out the tutorial to see how these simple decorations are made!

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 Before I get into the tutorial, I have two other announcements to make. First of all, this month I have a Patreon plushie ready in advance: check it out! I’ve made an adorable bat plush that is also a puppet! Your hands go into his wings to make him fly. Soooo cool!

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You can get yourself a chance to win this bat by signing up for my Patreon and becoming a financial supporter of this blog. Patrons who donate $15 or more per month are entered into a draw to win a monthly plushie, which this month is the bat!

And that leads me to my second announcement…

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50 Dimetrodon plushies

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Time for an adorable pictures post! You may recall that this past spring I made a horde of wee dimetrodon plushies for The Doubleclicks‘ Kickstarter. (Their new album has a song about dimetrodons. It’s awesome. The whole album is awesome. If you’re not already familiar with the Doubleclicks, you should really check them out. They also have songs about burritos, velociraptors, Mr. Darcy, internet trolls, lasers and more.)

The dimetrodons were soft. They were sweet. They ate dust bunnies and were 12 inches long.

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Here are the original prototype photos that went up on Kickstarter. This fellow is still living on my craft room desk, and I recently made a little shark plush that he was eyeing up rather hungrily, come to think of it…

original dimetrodon

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beading on a DIY loom

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My parents recently moved cross-continent to a house with more square footage but less storage space than their old home. This provoked a dismaying (to me) and zealous desire to unload us kids’ old stuff, making us take possession of it once more, despite us living in apartments with an even greater lack of storage. I’m quite certain there’s a rule that your parents have to keep your old treasures in their basement until you’re at least in your 40s – that’s the deal my mom got with her parents. Oh well. I’ll avenge myself by passing this pain along my own children someday.

Anyhow, in the midst of a lot of just throwing things away & some retroactive disgust at growing up before the digital age and having to deal with physical photo albums, a couple of interesting items did surface.

One of those was my old beading loom, a child’s craft kit for making colourful beaded bracelets and harassing parents with a permanent collection of teeny tiny seed beads embedded in the carpet. (Seed beads are not as evil as glitter, but the margin of difference isn’t vast, either).

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3 geeky dresses for PAX

PAX dresses

PAX starts tomorrow and my wardrobe is READY. The readiness of many other aspects of my PAX attendance is a little questionable still, but my clothing choices have been made (and then that chosen clothing made, b/c I imagined it rather than actually finding it in a store) & scheduled & I am ready!

I always get excited about what to wear for PAX, and I always make at least 1 new outfit. I think it’s sort of my Halloween substitute, since come October I’m always WAY too busy with Desert Bus prep to follow through on any of the fancy costume ideas I’d stored up throughout the rest of the year.

This year, though, I made an unprecedented THREE new outfits, because as we’ve covered many times already, I am crazy.

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DIY fabric lanyards

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PAX is coming! While I have an exciting collection of hopes and plans to attend some new (to me) conventions in the next year, PAX is always my biggest convention experience of the year. First because it’s just so big in general, and second because it’s the convention at which I’ve made (or been granted, really) a tradition of hosting a wonderful crafting panel, where creative types gather and ask questions, share ideas and meet likeminded makers-of-things.

This year’s crafting panel is titled The Love of Crafting: Life, the Universe and MAKING ALL THE THINGS, and will be held at 12:30pm on Friday, August 29 (kick off your PAX with a wonderful creative gathering!) in Wyvern Theatre

This year, my lovely panelists are:

Sara Chicazul - Seamstress, Maker of Things

Emily Jarrett - Knitter, Painter, Alpaca Wool Purveyor

Katrina Keller - Bag Designer & Creator

Meris Mullaley - Fabric Alchemist & Cosplayer

We hope you will join us for a wonderful hour of craft talk!

Getting the panel together is not my only PAX preparation, though. I’m working on a dress, in the same costume-esque clothing vein as last year’s R2D2 dress, and I’m using up fleece scraps on a bunch of goofy wee monster plushies that I plan to leave here and there for people to find and take home. I also decided I’d like to have a custom lanyard this year, one that will perhaps keep a better hold on those precious Pinny Arcade pins.

So I tried out some lanyard-making this week, and discovered that it’s a number of wonderful things:

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