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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    9/18/2013 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

    One Little Shop, a Whole Lotta Geekiness!

    this lens' photo
    "Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It's basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating." -Simon Pegg

    One day, I realized that I was modeling my life and home after the image of what I'd though of as normal. I am NOT a normal person, I am a huge geek! Now, I embrace the geekiness and surround myself and life with what I love. My family and I now live in a House of Geekiness, and it's been the most honest, wonderful, comfortable, and fun place we've ever lived. I hope that "House of Geekiness" helps fellow geeks embrace the fandoms and styles that they love and help incorporate them into their lives. I'm still new at this, but I've started with perler bead magnets, hanging ornaments, and wall decor. I also plan on adding products like geeky aquarium decor, so be on the lookout!

    Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I've included a short poll on this page where you can make recommendations for my next project, or you can just leave a comment.





    A Touch of Geekiness
    I'm geeky and I know it


    "Princess" DaisyWe're all fans of something, and by "fans" I mean "fanatics" or more appropriately in some of our cases, "fan-addicts". When I start enjoying something new and realize how awesome it is, I go into obsession mode. I want to know more about (let's say it's tv show) the actors, the story lines, the history, the creators of the show, etc. I also want something that helps me feel a part of the fandom...That's where House of Geekiness comes in.

    The merchandise for the things I love, which was either imported or fan made, was usually either too expensive or just not what I was looking for. So I started making my own! In my small shop, you can find new, inexpensive, ways to celebrate your favorites. House of Geekiness features items such as: perler bead art, magnets, hanging ornaments, and wall decor.

    Yes, that is a picture of my dog in her kennel. We adopted our Mini-American Eskimo/Shih-Tzu nearly two years ago, and that drab, plain black kennel has always bothered me. Now, every time I walk by my dog's bed, I smile. For those of you unfamiliar, the bead sprite attached to the kennel is Princess Daisy from the Mario Bros games. It cracks me up because my dog seriously thinks she's a princess. When we adopted her, she was already used to the name Daisy, so I figured we'd either have to live with a name we didn't choose, or own it. Now we totally rock the name! That eyesore of a dog bed is now a cute part of my house...Just one of the many ways I've incorporated a touch of geekiness into my life, how will you?





    Geek Crafts

    Bringing the Geekiness Home


    My first geek-craft project has been working with perler beads. I started copying other patterns until I found a style that I loved. Now I'm creating new patterns for my family and friends, and even total strangers! I really love the 8-bit look that perler bead art brings to the table. This style brings back memories of sitting on the living room floor with my brother and sister, playing Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and so many more games! I try to incorporate the feel of those games and memories in my artwork.

    For now, I'm continuing my work with beads, but I eventually hope to move onto other mediums. I love that perler beads can be used by so many different age groups. A lot of the time, I work side by side with my kids. It's so much fun spending time together working on our creations! One of my children has high-functioning autism, and it's so wonderful to see the amazing ideas he comes up with! I love that this craft is fun, but also helps my children (and even myself!) develop and refine fine motor skills.

    Getting started with perler beads is fun and easy. You can read more about it here

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