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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!


 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!


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


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.


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


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


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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dragon scale greeting cards


Here, as they say, be dragons.

I have loved dragons forEVER. Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing With Dragons and subsequent sequels were some of my favourite books as a kid (and I reread them now and again to this day), I collected all the castle themed lego I could and especially coveted the sets with dragons in them, I recall doodling a dragon mum and baby on the bulletin during a Sunday sermon. Ok well, I doodled all kinds of things on church bulletins during sermons (often princesses and castles and fantasy landscapes), but I specifically remember those dragons.

And in third grade, my friend and I made little dragon-ish shaped toys from wadded up and taped paper, and took them out to the playground with us every recess. We’d fly them out to the field where we played at making them have adventures and terrorize the local landscape of patchy grass and clover. That must have gone on for several weeks. I have roughly 8 specific memories of playground events from my entire elementary school time, and that is one of them.

Dragons are awesome.

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