Some Good Laughs!

9/28/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

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Daleks at the Quidditch World Cup  

Ok, some is a bit off cannon, but still a good laugh, especially considering the actors!

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World of Warcraft Love Stories

9/24/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

Back when I had a lot more time, I used to play World of Warcraft, and I made a few youtube music videos.

I like the last one best. Enjoy!








The very first video I made, about a human + dwarf relationship.



 

My second video, another "romantic comedy".

This one features my husband's main character, a human, and mine, a night elf.

 
 
 
 
 

The last video I made before we stopped playing WoW,

and my sentimental favorite, partially because of the song .

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My Doctor Who Collection

9/23/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

For those that know me well, and most who I've spoken to for 2 seconds, this collection should come as no surprise. It's an obsession, but a great one! For more Whovian (and random geek) awesomeness, check out my Pinterest.


The 9th Doctor (holding a banana, because they're fantastic!), Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, The Tardis, Blon Slitheen, Jamie - The Empty Child (who would tear the world apart to find his mummy), and a Dalek


 
 
Doctor #10, Rose Tyler, Captain Jack, Cyberman, Tardis, and Dalek
 
 
 
 
 
 
To me, Series (season) 3 of Doctor who had some of the best episodes we've seen. This set celebrates the dynamic between the Doctor and his wonderful companion, and friend, Dr. Martha Jones.
 

 
Donna Noble in her wedding dress, Doctor #10, an Ood, a Sontaran, an Adipose, and the Tardis. 
 
 

Amy Pond (with black jacket and scarf), The Tardis, Centurion Rory Williams (wearing full armor and cloak, holding sword), The Doctor (#11 with mop and fez), and River Song (with gun, River's journal, wearing a vortex manipulator, and hair full of SPOLIERS!)

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perler beads

YogiYo Accessories: Bringing Seoul to Geek-kind

9/21/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments




Lindsey, of YogiYo Accessories, brings us jewelry with her own brand of flair. Her creative pieces of dramatic, fun, and bold jewelry are inspired by the world around her. "Where most people see key chains, bookmarks, or phone charms etc, I see earrings, sometimes huge ones...I've always been a fan of jewelry especially funky out of this world earrings that I saw everywhere on the streets of New York." 

Originally from the Eastern United States, Lindsey's adventurous spirit cannot be bound. She's lived in Australia, and Seoul, South Korea became a "second home" to her when she moved there to teach English. Many of her beautiful pieces show distinct influence from her many travels. Her adventures have lead her to amazing and unique finds that she includes in her work. "My favorite place to get supplies for my pieces is the Fabric Market in Dongdaemun. It's six floors and takes up a whole city block. It's like Michaels or AC Moore on crack. It's awesome."

But YogiYo Accessories may have never come to be, if not for the encouragement of her friends. "My friends happened to like what I was making and suggested I sell my creations. So I did, initially at flea market I hosted in the bar that was downstairs from my apartment. Thus began my career as a jewelry maker." And we're so glad you did! 




Dragon Earrings
 "I actually found the charms on Etsy which is also a great place to get supplies! I paired the earrings with some beads I found at the market to give them a more Asian feel. Thus fair they have been one of my most popular items."

Encircled in Green Flowers 
"The polymer charms I got from the Fabric Market in Seoul. The man who sells them was just using them as phone charms and sometimes necklaces...  I love how the earrings turned out with the two circles dangling in opposing directions."

The Prancing Horses
"My boyfriend loves beer and while we were living in Australia, he liked to sample various kinds. Looking at some of the bottle tops, I thought that they would make perfect earrings! After that, I actually starting choosing beers for him based on the bottle tops. At times he wasn't to pleased with the results but I was."






Pacman Earrings
"I was in the States over the summer and most of the time I spent babysitting my 7 year old niece. To keep her occupied I bought her some perler beads... I thought these would make some awesome earrings." 



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Doughnuts, Costumes, and Fun

9/20/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

Our Pirate Adventure 




Yesterday, we celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day, when you strive to talk like or even dress up like a pirate. Every September 19th, Krispie Kreme gives out a free doughnut to anyone who talks like a pirate, and a full dozen glazed doughnuts to anyone who dresses like a pirate! 






 My youngest is obsessed with pirates. After school, he dressed in his piratey best, and we headed over to our local Krispie Kreme for our pirate booty! He was convinced that he could lead us to the doughnuts with his compass. What else would you use a compass for?? That's a noble cause if I ever heard one, and apparently, a very serious matter!





The "Doughnut Factory" as my kids call it, was full of costume clad, doughnut craving pirates. 
We met this amazing buccaneer duo, Christine and Nathan, who make gorgeous costume like these ones! 



Our little swashbuckler shows us "The Doughnut Machine", as he calls it. 
You can see the "waterfall of frosting" glazing the doughnuts here.





Best part of pirate day!




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Don't forget Pirate Day - Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!

9/19/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

Avast ye scurvy landlubbers! Don't forget today be Internationally Talk Like a Pirate Day, the one day a year dat me shipmates hoist anchor and hornswaggle....um, I'm no good at this. I love pirates as much as the next person, but my pirate lingo needs help!

Don't forget to get your free doughnuts at Krispie Kreme today! You get 1 for talking like a pirate (or attempting to, in my case) and a dozen for dressing like a pirate! Here's the info:

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perler beads

Getting Started with Perler Beads

9/19/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

What are Perler Beads?

Perler beads are a versatile crafting material, their uses are limited only by your imagination. Usually used in pixel-style type arts and crafts, they can be used by children and adults alike.

The beads are small plastic cylinders that can be placed on a special pegboards to form a design or pattern, then melted (or fused) together with a household iron to form one single, solid piece.



What You Need to Get Started

There are a few basic things you'll need before you start your first project:

Beads - Obviously...

Pegboard(s) - Specially made for perler/hama/fuse/melty/pyssla bead crafts, these hold the beads in place so they can be melted together. Pegboards come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Clear boards allow you to place a pattern beneath the board and see it while you craft. Different shaped boards are important for a variety of patters because the pegs are arranged differently by board. For example, the pegs on a square board are arranged in a square-grid pattern, while the pegs on a round board are arranged in a circular pattern. There are also inter-locking, small boards that can form a larger board when locked together.

Tweezer-type Tool - This tool is specially made to allow you to pick up individual beads, so you can place or remove them delicately. Another great feature: the opposite end is a small shovel that lets you scoop up piles of beads easily. *When I first started bead crafts, I didn't buy one right away, when I finally did, it changed my life! Sounds corny, but it's amazing what a difference such a small, inexpensive, weird looking set of plastic tweezers can be!

Ironing Paper - (or regular parchment paper) - The paper is as essential as the beads themselves and can make or break any project (more details in the step by step crafting instructions). The paper is used to keep the melting beads from sticking to the hot iron. *I forgot to use this one time, and believe me, it wasn't pretty! Thankfully, the beads came off pretty easily once they were cooled, but my creation was destroyed...

Small Craft Iron or Household Iron - While small craft irons can be easier to work with, regular old clothing irons work too!

Patterns or Design - You can either create designs yourself, buy them, or find free designs that others have share. Some bead kits come with designs! 

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What Does Teemo Say?

9/18/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

 
Bet you didn't see this one coming! These little yordles won't be invisible on your wall, they'll be the centerpiece of any room! Warning: Teemo the Swift Scout may blind you with his cuteness.

My husband is a HUGE League of Legends fan, so I made this Teemo inspired magnet set (also available as hanging ornaments and wall d├ęcor, which you can order on etsy.com or ebay.com) for him and our kids (that he's indoctrinating into the LoL world). He also tried to wake me up from a much needed nap, just to watch this video... Yep, I was absolutely thrilled. . . My kids think it's the funniest thing in the world, and made us play it for them so many times that I think I might actually want to listen to "Call Me Maybe" just to get it out of my head! Ok, maybe not.  The kids have been dancing around the house, singing it all day, and won't stop begging us to play it again! So here's the song that's been stuck in all our heads and screamed through the halls of our home, What did Teemo Say?

 

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perler beads,

The Difference Between Perler, Hama, Fuse, Melty, and Pyssla Beads

9/18/2013 Laura Watkins 1 Comments



Not All Beads Are Created Equal


When it comes to Fusion Bead Crafts, not all beads are created equal. Seriously, there's a HUGE difference between brands, and buying the wrong ones is terrible experience, not to mention a big waste of money. In my time working with beads, I've experimented with different brands, trying to find the least expensive, best quality, color variety, etc. So anyhow, here's my rant:

Fuse Beads 


"Fuse bead" is the general term for any of these beads which are melted (fused) together, not a specific brand type.
 

Pyssla Beads

Sold by companies like Ikea, pyssla beads aren't the worst out there, but they're not very good quality. The beads aren't as thick or pliable as the best quality beads are, so the end result is a creation that looks good, but isn't very durable, breaking apart fairly easily.

They have slightly curved edges, and a shiny sheen once fused, which makes them look different than other beads when used. (See "Perler, Pyssla, and Melty Beads Side by Side" below.)

Melty Beads


Don't be fooled by cheaper prices, melty beads are the worst beads I've tried so far. Sold by companies such as Walmart, these beads are TERRIBLE!


 Their shapes and sizes vary, so you can't even use the tweezers included in their packaging to pick them up and handle them. Their slightly cylindrical shape is wider at the edges, and their middles are not always hollow, as they should be. About 10% of the beads in the packages that I bought were so misshapen that they weren't usable.

As pictured here, a lot of the beads are so poorly formed that they have a bit of excess plastic bits that hang off the side. In the two packages that I bought, I found some that actually covered the entire bead, and some that didn't have a hole in the middle at all, making them completely useless.

Melty Beads do NOT fuse together well, so anything made out of them breaks really easily. When they are melted, they tend to form a horseshoe shape instead of a circle. (See "Perler, Pyssla, and Melty Beads Side by Side" above.)

Perler, Pyssla, and Melty Beads Side by Side


Nabbi (Photo Pearls)

As promised, here's is another experiment. This time, I tried combining Perler and Nabbi (Photo Pearls) beads. I tested them in two different ways:


The yellow stripe is Nabbi (Photo Pearls), the rest Perler Beads. They melt differently, overall, the Nabbi beads tend to look thicker and shiny as they melt.


When overly melted (which I do on the back of most pieces to make the bonding stronger), you can see that the Nabbi (Photo Pearls) -yellow- shine while the perler beads have more of a matte finish (except for random spots that end up looking shiny.) They also retain their circular shape and are raised in in the middle while the perler beads lose their form and flatten evenly.

Perler Beads


Perler Beads and Nabbi are, by far, the best quality beads that I've tried. Read about where to find the best Perler bead supplies here. All perler beads are uniformly shaped, except for extremely rare mistakes - I've seen about 5 or so beads out of around 300,000+ that I've handled that cause the bead to be slightly shorter than the standard size. They are made of high quality material that is slightly flexible shape when fused together, which makes for a more durable creation.

Hama Beads

Hama Beads: Dark blue, light blue, yellow, white, and red.
Perler Beads: Pastel blue, light yellow, pink, black, green, purple, and orange

Hama beads have a much different feel to them than any bead I've used. They are actually a bit smaller than other beads (making it difficult to handle them with the perler tweeze tool and they didn't want to stay in place on the pegboard!), and the plastic feels almost soft, and when they're fused, they become almost spongy--they still retain their shape, but they're much more flexible than any other beads so far. This flexibility might be helpful when crafting items that will be handled by children who tend to bend them. They will break if handled too much, but they'd probably withstand more than other beads. ***Please remember that ALL small items can be potential choking hazards for babies and small children!***

Hama beads have a lower melting point than perler beads, and you can see from this picture that they look quite a bit different when melted. The hama beads ended up being noticeably shorter and more rounded at the top (like nabbi beads) than perler beads. They also have a bit more gloss to them than Perlers.

Which beads are best?


Before fusing, left to right: Hama, Perler, Pyssla, Nabbi, and Melty Beads


Fused Beads


Which is better? I like both Perler Beads and Nabbi (Photo Pearls), but might try Hama if it were cheap enough, and I was making stuff for my kids. I would use Nabbi if I wanted the evenly shiny look, but otherwise, I'd use Perler or Nabbi, whichever is cheapest or on hand. As you can see from the picture of Rainbow Dash (above), it doesn't seem to look much different in the big picture.

  

Coming soon: Artkal Beads, Hama Mini, Artkal Mini



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