Respawn!

Hey folks! After a short hiatus and amazing adventures, we are ready for a busy and exciting summer making geekery!

These last few months have been spent preparing for the local con, Sci-fi on the Rock! We featured some new items, like Adventure Time jewelry and MLP sprites, which were a hit! Definitely more Adventure Time and My Little Pony craftiness to come in the future! :)

Anyway, back to business- This summer we’re back at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and we’re also hoping to get back to the Regatta, Mount Pearl Days, and hopefully some other events! It’s good to be back!

And last but not least, we’ve just added a bunch of new items to our Etsy shop and to celebrate the awesomeness that is new geekery- we’re offering 20% off all orders from now until the end of June! Use coupon code SUNSHINE2013 ! Check it out!

Later peeps!

- Kris

 

A quick techy update!

I’d love to blame the lack of posts on technical issues, but alas the blog was running perfectly up until a week or so ago when I manually shut it down. We’ve recently switched hosts which has meant migrating everything over, including databases.  In reality myself and Kristina have been very busy with real world things like finishing our degrees – I officially have a degree in Physics!

We’ve already hit the ground running with a very successful Sci-fi on the Rock and are in the process of restocking after getting wiped out there. Soon we will have the Etsy shop back up, and will be keeping you in the loop with where you can find us. We will try to keep the blog updated, but we will have our upcoming events posted on the facebook page for sure so you can keep track of us there.

There are many plans in the works, and if you think we should visit your town for an event let us know! We’re hoping to do a lot of festivals this summer.

Back to the tech stuff, please let me know if you run into any weirdness on the website. The transfer wasn’t quite as smooth as I had hoped (is it ever?) so I am keeping an eye out for bugs, especially on the blog. I apologize in advance for any 404s you run into!

- Jen

  • May 11th, 2013 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in business | No Comments

Quicky – Animated Pixels

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I enjoy doing time lapses of me doing things. My pixel work really lends itself to this process, for one thing it’s fairly easy to line up the pictures (especially with the new app I have for my iPhone – “OverCam Lite” which lets me overlay the camera image with a previous one).

My latest “fun” project is also my biggest to date, at over 3300 perler/hama beads at 15″ across.

He really is quite a beast! I was hoping to do a charizard that was even bigger but alas I was missing a particular shade of orange that would have made him perfect. I don’t expect him to making an appearance in the Etsy shop any time soon, I’d need to really suss out the best way to ship something as large as him first. But he goes for $60 and will be making an appearance at Fan Expo with me in August (assuming he doesn’t sell before then!) if you’re interested!

And the animation!

Seems so easy when 4+ hours of work are compressed into a couple of seconds!

Here’s an old animation I did a few years ago of another project:

This one I did using a tripod, so it lines up better. At some point I really should rig something up and do a time lapse overhead video of me doing a larger sprite.

That sprite is what I was using for my older style plants:

I’ve moved onto a more symmetrical (and stable) version, and a new potting material that doesn’t make me sneeze like crazy.

These guys sell like hot cakes so I never seem to have a good picture of them, so please excuse the rough blur job on the mess that is my living room!

Now please excuse me while I start rigging shelving units and sticks above my coffee table to attempt to do a video of my spriting!

  • July 31st, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in Quicky | No Comments

Adventures of not having a table (Zelda pt 2)

Well, here’s the slight issue with living in an apartment and doing cosplay. You generally don’t have a lot of room. This issue especially comes up when you need to use things such as spray paint (fyi, NOT a good idea to use it indoors), but cosplay is all about inovation right?

I decided to first get my Zelda dress cut out, which first meant getting the pattern cut out, modified, and pinned.

So here are the pattern pieces in their originally intended state. Each one needs to be cut out twice, no wonder if called for so much fabric!

The sides of the dress are unmodified. I tell you, trying to pin on carpet is an adventure. You can also see the extent of the space I had to work with while trying to lay everything out flat.

Click to embiggen, this is the back of the dress where you can see how I modified the back. Zelda’s dress has a corset back, which I’ve done here in by cutting the neckline down into a triangle. The key is to make sure you have a strap that matches up with the front, this can be fairly easily modded if needed as you go.

And here’s the front, which took a bit more fiddling to get it to square off nicely. Also pictured: some of the “help” I get while doing this.

For the purple part of Zelda’s dress, I traced the top part of the modified pattern onto paper and basically chopped away at it until it was the right shape. This involved taping it directly to me at one point because I could not visualize how it was supposed to curve up around my hip. Someday I’ll invest in a dress form!

My intention is to sew the purple and the white separately and have them attached along the neckline. That looks closest to how her dress is, especially with the lack of a hem line along the top. I may have to fiddle it a bit to ensure that the white can’t be seen, probably by pulling the purple in a little by sewing the hem to the white (not sure this makes sense, but I will have pictures of it in progress!)

Bonus time!

  • July 25th, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in Zelda Cosplay | No Comments

Link and Zelda Cosplay Pt.1

Odds are if you’re on this site you’ve heard the term “cosplay” before, but if you’re unfamiliar with it here’s a short intro to the concept. Short for costume play, cosplayers dress up as characters from their favorite show/movie/anime/manga/video game/you get the idea. Costumes range from simple to extremely ornate, and the skill displayed by some cosplayers rival that of professionals.

I’ve been cosplaying for years, and have made a few mistakes along the way (such as you do not want to make skin tight pants from lamé fabric, no matter how awesome it looks). This year I’ve decided to take on a bigger challenge. Twilight Princes Link and Zelda (I’ve corrupted my boyfriend as well).

This cosplay really started back in April for the boyfriend’s birthday:

We had discussed what we’d be cosplaying as for Fan Expo this year, and had already settled on Link and Zelda. At the time I was not looking forward to attempting to making the sword and shield, so I told the internet to take my money and a few weeks later a giant sword and shield showed up!

This pic is from his birthday party. Sense a theme?

The sword in its sheth is 42″, which is going to make flying to Toronto interesting. I’ve yet to find a bag big enough that also has wheels but we shall see.

The rest of the blogs in this series will be focused on the construction process. To see them all just click on the Zelda Cosplay category on the right side there. Feel free to ask any questions! As we go along I’ll mention which bits you’ll be able to buy off us, if it’s not listed in the shop (link on the top bar).

To start, here are the main reference images I am using:

Pretty much all my fabric comes from Fabric.com, their no questions return policy makes me happy, their prices are reasonable, and they have a great selection.

Planning

First step I got a base pattern for Zelda’s dress. I went with McCall M3390, view C-D minus the sleeves. I did mod the neckline to square it off, and traced the top part again for the purple over part. I decided to do the top as two layers sew together, which should make the purple hang nicely.

The dress called for almost 10 yards of fabric! On the plus side, that limited my options somewhat so choose fabric was slightly easier. Taking into account cost, breathability (conventions get WARM), and accuracy, I went with a high quality broadcloth for the white. For the purple I went with a faux silk that should add some regalness to the outfit. I also got some odds and ends for trim, the gloves and other bits of pretty.

Here’s my Fabric.com haul for Zelda:

Finding the proper green for Link was troublesome. For one thing he doesn’t stay the same color in the game, so I went with a mix between the image posted above (which seems a little light) and the Smash Bros version. No pattern, going to draft one by hand from clothes that are about the right shape.

Unfortunately the green was wrong, but as I was able to send it back for a new green that was about the same tone but darker. Link’s under shirt and pants are going to be the the natural broad cloth, and the plether will be his belts and pouches. I also got some suede for boot covers (not shown) and for the dark blue arm wrist thingies (I’m sure that has a name).

So, at this point I had large piles of fabric, have a clue how I was going to cut it up, and hadn’t even thought about Zelda’s armor.

Stay tuned! Next post will be all about the fun of trying to cut up 10 yards of fabric!

 

  • July 19th, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in Zelda Cosplay | 1 comment

Wonderflex sample review

I’m in the process of building my new costume for Fan Expo (perhaps the subject of a future post!), and one thing I have to do is build a set of shoulder pauldrons.

After coming across these amazing things from Azmal on DeviantArt I was briefly tempted to try hammering bronze.

shoulder pauldrons

Credit: azmal.deviantart.com

Briefly.

Until I remembered that I have wrist that are so bad that sometimes lifting a basket causes problems. But seriously go check out the rest of his work, it’s so beautiful!

After a brief detour into that flight of fantasy I went back to looking at methods I could actually use. I’ve come across a few, but one thing I kept coming back to was Wonderflex. Some people swear by it, some say it’s too expensive,  but this heat mouldable thermoplastic is certainly a staple of the cosplaying community. I have never worked with it, or any even remotely resembling it other than fun foam, so it was a hard sell when it is quite pricy. A less than 2 square foot piece of this stuff will run you over twenty bucks.

What sets wonderflex apart from some of the other methods:

  1. Its ability to bend in multiple directions. This is a failing of many other plastics that, similar to cardboard, can only really have a bend in one direction.
  2. You can remould it if you don’t get your bend quite right.
  3. Easily cut with scissors

So I was ecstatic when I came across Wonderflex World – Request a Sample. Somewhat skeptical of my chances of getting it due to my being located in Canada, I filled out the form and hoped for the best. Alas, I did not take note of when I submitted it, but it wasn’t long before I got an envelope in my mailbox with these samples!

Despite it being one of the hottest days on record, I broke out my trusty heat gun and tested it a bit.

As a bonus, they also included a sample of two weights of Flosshape, 300 and 600, so I get to review those as well!

First. The wonderflex.

Originally wonderflex had the grid pattern you see on the strip on both sides, but most I have seen for sale now have one side smoothed. Many people will use a coating of some kind anyway to get it perfectly smooth.

It did cut quite easily, and I imagine doing more intricate designs wouldn’t be a problem. I only cut a small strip off for my initial tests, and holding one end took the heat gun to the other. As you know (or can likely guess), heat guns get quite hot. So luckily it doesn’t take long to make the wonderflex pliable, and I could (carefully) shape it with my own  fingers. They do recommend you wear gloves, and I agree that would be the best idea if only to avoid finger prints and to keep firm pressure on bends.

I decided to do the worst case bend I could in the small strip, a U bend with a kink in the middle.

 

I did find it to be a bit more flexible than I would have liked, hard to keep an exact bend in. But I think that has more to do with the size of the piece I was using. It was very easy to work with, and really does hold up to repeated heatings well. And it clearly lives up to its reputation of having a lot of freedom of bending, insofar as the laws of physics will allow. I think that a larger piece would have more stability, plus you can layer other sheets of things (even more wonderflex) over it to give it added durability.

My verdict? It lives up to the hype, that’s for sure. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and lets you achieve bends that many other methods would find impossible. The only major downside is the price of this stuff. It holds the bend well, although has some flexibility that may cause issues with some paint jobs. However it also is unlikely to snap, so it’s a trade off. Depending on the type of curve you put in this may not be an issue, but as a flat sheet it can be rolled up, so that gives you a clue as to how much it can bend.

Will I use it? I’m still on the fence. It is very very nice, so it’s just a case of deciding if it is worth the price. The durability factor is what is swaying me, as I want this costume to last a long time.

Bonus review time! Fosshape!

Now this stuff is REALLY easy to work with. It hold it shape stiffly, with just a bit of give. The main use I’ve seen for this stuff is making things like top hats, but as with any material in the world of cosplay there’s an infinite number of uses.

Advantages of fosshape:

  1. Can be sewn. Before heating it’s nearly identical to thick felt and can be used as such.
  2. Dye it any color of the rainbow, just like other fabric. Or paint it like you would any other stiff, rough material.
  3. Holds its shape very well.

It does have its share of downsides too. You can’t reshape it once it’s set, it shrinks somewhat when heated, and requires a higher temperature. It’d be excellent for large props I think, although it’s also pricy in its own right.

Obviously the thinner fosshape 300 could achieve much tighter curves, and held them very nicely.

Please excuse the bad colouring, had to really mess with the contrast to show off the tight U-bend! As you can see it bends as you expect felt to do, but holds it! This is hard enough to poke people with, with only slight give. It hasn’t been completely hardened either, since I was using my bare hands and a heat gun. It is recommended you use a steamer so you activate all the fibers outside and in, which will give you a lot of strength.

The thicker fosshape 600 couldn’t do the U-bend because of the size of piece I cut off, so I went with testing it’s hold.

Pinching the two ends it will give maybe a few mm, less than a quarter inch. And again, I only used the heat gun!

I really enjoyed working with fosshape, and was really tempted to use it for my costume. However the fuss of trying to make it into a metallic smooth surface would offset any ease of use, especially for my smaller pieces. I wish I had found this stuff last year when I was trying to do my necklace for AndrAIa! Would have saved more than a few headaches.

Verdict: Made of awesome. I want an excuse to use more of this stuff!

Major thanks to Wonderflex World, request your own samples and find out if it will work for you!

Bonus sneak peak: 50 fleece/felt cat ears!

Did you find this review helpful? Want more information or have a review suggestion? Let us know in the comments!

  • July 9th, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in cosplay | 1 comment

What to Buy Your Geek Girlfriend for Valentine’s Day/Her Birthday/The Apocalypse:

So last week was Valentine’s day, and while I played LOTR: War in the North online with complete strangers and ate discounted chocolate, I had a thought (yeah, just the one). There’s plenty of online shopping guides/suggestive advertisements for what to get your geeky male counterpart for Valentine’s day, but little out there for us ladies. And by ladies, I mean me, since I can’t speak for every geek girl out there. Sorry guys, but sometimes you need a hint. And by hint, I mean a public blog post.

Here is my list of things you should buy me if you wish to win and/or preserve my affection (significant other, I’m looking at you).

  1. If you get me flowers, even potted flowers, THEY WILL DIE. Unless, of course, they are pixelated.
  2. Online gaming credits/coins/cards: I have enough IRL clothes, (seriously, I’m addicted to teefury) but my avatar may fancy a new pair of demon horns or an animated panda pet.
  3. Herpes! Give your lovely lady the STI she’s never wanted, and still keep your testicles! (also, no one needs this many plushies, but they’re adorable so that’s irrelevant).
http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/d351/
  1. Skyrim: It speaks for itself. In fact, why haven’t you gotten this yet? (Why hasn’t she left your ass?! YOUR HARDDRIVE MUST BE HUUUUUGE!)
  2. Robot soap is cool (so are bowties). Ya know whats cool about robots? Everything. Being clean is alright, too. There are a bunch of these adorable hygiene products available on etsy.
  3. Jewelry: This brings us back to the flowers thing. I don’t want just any kind of jewelry (and not just because I work in an accessory/clothing store and I’m around that shit every day). I want something unique, but still cute.  Like these adorable pixilated heart earrings, or anything made by these amazingly talented ladies: SHAMELESS PLUG! Our blog, do what I want!
  4. And last but not not least- Artwork! Most of us like art, be that pop art, classical, video game art of anime screen shots, what have you. And maybe yer’missus thinks herself too mature for posters nowadays (pfft). There is a solution! Awesome poster like things referred to as “art prints”. They look like posters, but they cost more, and are usually… smaller? I’m going to save my geeky art favorites for another post, cause there are way too many, but here’s something for the doctor who fans that I found really neat!

 

And there you have it. I hope this list gets you laid. Much love and sexy times,

Kris

 

  • February 22nd, 2012 | Written by lootlootloot
  • Posted in Shopping | No Comments

I’m making a note here, huge success!

It’s no secret that I get bored easily, part of the ADHD. But that means I’m always coming up with new geeky ideas!

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, but getting citric acid for a price that would make my bombs cost effective was a pain up in the great white north. It took some tries to get a recipe that would function here, since we’re lucky if the humidity is ever below 70% (It’s currently 84%) it’s less than ideal for bath bomb making.

There will be some tweeking before these go live, but here are the prototypes!

Mario Star and d20 bath bombs

The star is 2.3 oz and the d20 bath bomb (which will be called Magic Missiles!) is 4 oz. The d20 is well embeded in the bath bomb and won’t come out until it’s used, unless you smash it or something. I didn’t mix the yellow in perfectly (too excited to try the batch out since it was an awesome consistency), something that will be fixed before they go live as well!

I’ll have to do a test mail before I offer these for sale on Etsy, but if you’re local and looking for a great gift idea drop me a line!

- Jen

  • February 11th, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in New Products | No Comments

The Gamer Diet

Gettin’ srs nao.

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with da’beetus (or if you want to get technical DIABETES) :C  While it could have been caused by an infection that attacked my pancreas when I was hospitalized with pneumonia, it could have also been caused by drinking 2L Pepsi and living off of snack food all through high school, and sitting on my ass for 6+ hours after school playing DBO (Diablo II)… >.>

While stereotypically, gamer girls are usually under weight or over weight to some degree, not all gamer girls are unhealthy. (I don’t personally know of any who aren’t, but I’m sure they’re out there). A good reason for our unhealthy state is our sedentary lifestyles. It’s unlikely that this will change, as 52” televisions, couch grooves, and epic RPGs just work (like an Unreal Engine).

A good RPG- you know the ones, that either keep you going because the achievements are somewhat difficult and make you feel better than everyone else when you hear that “unlocked” sound, or because the story is actually so good you want to see what happens (see PS2’s JRPG legacy), well they can keep me veg’in for a solid three days (stupid employment). That’s almost half a week living off of sugary drinks, caffeine, carbohydrates, ginseng (thank the energy drink GODS) and whatever else is close, easy, and quickly engulfed, when I’m reminded to eat. Now some of you lucky people, who don’t have to work, however you do it, are probably making this a 5/7 day routine, or it’s your everyday life. If you don’t stop, you’ll end up like that chicken nugget girl, and/or probably die. You’ll never reach that high score, or finish all those games you’ve moved on from, ‘cause you’ll be all dead and stuff.

I’ve had to cut down on my sugar intake dramatically, and it’s helped me have more energy (and play games and do other stupid life stuff longer before I pass out). While I don’t agree with dieting, or starving yourself to look like a super model, there are quick and easy tips to keep your gaming lifestyle and not run out of IRL lives.

  1. Vitamins: chances are you aren’t getting enough, and you can even get the ones that taste like candy. Ask your mommy.
  2. Hot pockets: they’re like pizza pockets, but sometimes have hidden vegetables you won’t even taste! If you can convince yourself you’re going to actually finish Dragon Age 2, regardless of how boring it is compared to its predecessor, you can convince yourself you’re not eating veggies.
  3. Fruit & Berries: There are no wrappers, so less steps. And they’re naturally sweet and full of water, so you satisfy your sweet tooth and keep from dehydrating during the long raids.
  4. Quesadillas: Again, something you can hide veggies in. You can make them however you want, freeze them or refrigerate them, and zap em when you’re hungry. You’ll probably last longer on them than chicken nuggets. But take it easy on the cheese or you’ll have a heart attack. Hiding veggies = important shit.
  5. Bento Boxes: *Girly Squeal* These are ma favorite! You can make them super cute and adorable, take them to school or work or MTG tournaments or whatever tickles yer fancy, and they can look awesome like this:
http://mymealbox.com/

More awesome gamer bento pics here!

 Alright, mom is shutting up now. But FFS, drink some water, its free dammit.

Stay (mildly but more than before) healthy!

- Kris

 

  • February 8th, 2012 | Written by lootlootloot
  • Posted in Food | 1 comment

Hello world!

While “Hello World” has a great history in the world of programming, whenever I see it I get the song from Aladdin in my head. But it’s an awesome song so that’s ok.

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Geek Keeper’s blog! I’m the techy person for the co-op, so blame the internet gremlins if you have any problems. But let me know so I can get the anti-gremlin spray out. You can learn more about me in the aptly named “about” section of the website, and feel free to ask any questions! Questions make for great blog padding.

This blog will be one of the best ways to keep up with us and what we’re doing. Experiments, conventions, thoughts, and pictures of kittens will all be shared here, as well as new products up on the etsy shop. We’ll try to keep the kittens to a minimum, unless they are also doing something awesomely geeky.

The Geek Keepers are all female, so keep an eye out a few “girls in geekdom” type posts as well! While we will be posting about the business here, it won’t be all business! Let us know if it gets too whimsical (as if there’s such a thing) or too stuffy here, or if there are specific things you’d like to see more of!

  • February 5th, 2012 | Written by JentheGeek
  • Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments