Amiibo customizing

Lou convinced me to start customizing some Amiibo figurines. (I mentioned one in my previous post.) In case you don’t know what an Amiibo is, it’s basically an electronic figurine that you use in conjunction with some Nintendo games. They’re fun to collect (even if you don’t use them for the games) and there’s some really cute ones.

This is Deku Link. Lou suggested this one. It’s a character from Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I customized this one from a regular Toon Link Amiibo. You can see a few more angles that Lou put in a little album here.

Clearly you can tell what this guy is. Andddd again with the food. I know. I have a problem. Hopefully I’ll have time to make more soon! They’ve kind of relaxing.

Munny customizing

Here’s how my customized mini Munny figure came out! HOW adorable is that cotton candy??

The deadline to vote is passed. I’m kind of miffed about it though. I feel like the voting portion wasn’t well thought out. People were allowed to submit their designs to be immediately cast in the pool of voting pretty much as soon as they received their LootCrate with the Munny figurine included (for the contest). So essentially, if you already had a customized Munny that fit the theme, or were very fast at customizing one, you could get a good head start on everyone and gather a lot more votes just due to the extra exposure you got.
I’m not trying to be a sore loser. I was just hoping the voting portion of the contest would be a little more fair to everyone. Why not accept entries until a certain point, and THEN open it to voting once everyone is accounted for?
But I won’t dwell. I’m really happy with how my little circus kitty came out and I might not have pushed myself to give it a try if it weren’t for this contest. Not to mention I still have a shot to win the “Judge’s Pick”, which isn’t based on most votes. So that would still be awesome. Fingers crossed!

I’m also working on another custom wedding cake topper. This will be my last cake topper commission for a little while. I have so many projects that I need to catch up on! But look how cute these guys are. They’re modeled after the Android robot mascot dude.

Here’s a little sneak peak of another custom Amiibo I’m working on.

I also picked up a new sketchbook. It’s like a new pair of socks. Nice and cozy. I can’t wait to do some more two-dimensional pieces!

Last week I made some steamed pork dumplings. They were pretty awesome. But I forgot how time consuming it is to make them! Next time I’ll take the recipe writer’s advice and make a whole bunch to freeze too. Then I’ll have mountains of dumplings for later! I also made some kimchi fried rice with an egg on top.

And finally…an Eevee pic. Just a typical “I’m trying to work” day  being ruined by the “slow blink” cuteness.

Customizing vinyls and other crafty bits

I have all kinds of projects going on at the same time. Here’s a few of what I’ve been working on.

This was a Trikky vinyl figurine that I’ve literally had sitting on my desk for three years blank. I had performance anxiety or something. I just couldn’t decide what to make! I finally forced myself to make a move. Naturally, I went with two of my favorite subjects. Cats and food. I’m still pondering if I want to add a nose. I think he looks so cute without one. But also kind of strange.

I tried to loosely base the figurine’s coloring on my cat Spike. This is an older pic of when I caught him in my light box. NOW I know why there’s always cat hair all over my desk.

I also started another custom Munny figurine. LootCrate is running a design competition, so I thought I’d give it a try. There’s less than two weeks left before the deadline, so I’m scrambling. I couldn’t help making another Spike replica too. I know…I have a problem. Still working out how I want the face to look.

I just finished a little custom family set as well. I have to take some proper pics and then I can mail them off to the recipient! I hope they like them!

As if I don’t have enough going on, Lou convinced me to start customizing Amiibo figures too. I’ll save that for another post though!

new designs

Well we were supposed to have something like 100 feet of snow last week. I can’t help feeling slighted. I didn’t WANT that much snow. But I just don’t like when people (the media, meteorologists, every one on facebook) are swearing up and down terrifying us all that I must run to the store and buy all the milk, bread and eggs I can find before the movie The Day After Tomorrow happens in real life. And now everyone’s standing around with their hands in their pockets, heads down, kicking at pebbles saying “uh…I don’t recall saying that”.

I know people farther up north still got hit with the snow pretty hard and I’m thankful we didn’t in Delaware, but it drives me bonkers when news reporters say with 100% certainty that something monumental or devastating with the weather is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Haven’t they read The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Have they learned nothing?? A lot of people are now saying “Better over prepared than under prepared”. I can agree with that. I do have a nice stock load of White Russian and Espresso-tini ingredients now.

Aside from the impending snow-doom, I’ve been busily chipping away at some new figurine designs. Here’s a few things I’m working on! Most of these gals are going to This N That Gift Gallery in Carrboro, NC, so sadly they won’t be available in my shop. But if you’re in the Triangle area, be sure to stop by!

I was waiting on these adorable little flowers that I ordered to arrive. They’re soooo cute and tiny! They’ll be used for bouquets and maybe little head pieces for the bride figurines of my cake toppers. I’m also going to offer little painted bases for them to stand on with customizable writing.

New Year, New creations

Say goodbye to this purple Moogle tie! By the time I write this, it should be arriving at its destination very soon. I was worried that bright purple would be a little too bold of a color, but then I remembered that all of these neckties I paint feature crazy characters anyways…so that’s probably the least of someone’s concern. I’d like to paint some more Final Fantasy-themed neckties soon. I just have to figure out what!

With the new year here, I’m starting to gear up for “wedding season”! I have a lot of new cake topper ideas in the works, including some cats and foxes!
As usual, I’m all over the place and plans may change. (I’m also working on something super top secret!) But as of right now, cake toppers – that’s my focus! Well…and maybe shoes…and maybe neckties. Gah! I need more hands. As always, I still take custom requests, so even if I don’t have what you’re looking for listed, chances are I can make it for you.


My Halloween Costume

Well it’s practically Christmas, so why not FINALLY make an update about how my Halloween costume turned out? I mostly blame my broken phone and the difficulty I had in getting the photos off of it. I slightly blame my laziness. Ok and I also partly blame my memory for forgetting I could find most of the photos on my Instagram and Facebook. SHH.

Say hello to Fox McCloud! (I’ll get to that other crazy character next to me in a second…)

I’m really happy with how everything turned out. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few updates here and there about the costume. Fur color and painting it, the gun, yadda yadda. After all my drama with the fox fur, I think it came together pretty well! I was mostly just winging the whole thing the night before Halloween. The fox ears have A LOT of hot glue holding their shape. Hot glue is your friend.

The fox ears and tail were a little rough to the touch after I painted them the color I wanted with acrylics, but from far away I think they work great! I pinned the tail to my pants with a giant safety pin (sadly I don’t have a good shot of it on, but you can see it poking out from the side) and the ears are on a thin plastic headband. Surprisingly, it’s very hard to drive while wearing fox ears and a tail.

I painted a Nerf gun with acrylic paints as best I could. I know nothing about guns or what they’re supposed to look like. But hey…this is the future. My gun can look however it wants! I also made a holster out of thick felt and sponged it with more paint to try and look leathery. Next time, I’d definitely like to make it out of real leather since the felt was kind of flimsy. For one Halloween night, it got the job done. I also added another strappy belt around my leg for more holstery stability. I don’t know. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Having a gun prop was a lot of fun. I wanted to shoot everything! The only problem was I only had three darts and kept having to retrieve them. If I could rig something up where they’re attached to a little string that I could easily reel back in…oh man…that would be the best.

The headset was made out of an old Xbox headset. I painted an empty playing card box, added some red foam and slid it onto the headset. I found a pair of hippy green glasses at the Halloween store and cut out the little green shape I needed for the eye piece. Then by the power of hot glue and electrical tape, I used some thick black wire to attach it all together. I’m actually really surprised this all worked out alright. It’s a little janky, but it totally works!

If I have more time, I’d like to go back and fix the headset, maybe replace it. This was Lou’s old headset, and his giant head stretched the shape out a lot. Even a light breeze was blowing it off my head.

The belt buckle is made out of thick foam. This is another piece I’d like to redo, but at the time I was just working with what I had. I free-handed the Fox emblem onto the foam and painted it silver, adding some loops so I could easily slide it onto my belt. It looks just like a buckle, but it’s not very durable. I risked crushing it anytime I sat down.

I’d also like to add shin covers on my boots similar to the Smash Bros. Fox version (there’s a few different ones spanning all the different games). I didn’t have enough time before Halloween.

This is probably one of the most comfortable costumes I’ve put together, despite all my head accessories. I can’t wait to try it out at a convention.

The hilarious icing on the costume cake…you may or may not recognize the character standing next to me in the first photo. So my friend Yesenia wouldn’t tell me what her costume was. I knew she was making something, but I had no idea what. She’s a sneaky sneak like that. I show up in my costume and what do I see but FALCO staring back at me. Another character from Star Fox! Dis bish just leveled up my costume into an epic group costume!

Now we just have to convince Lou or her husband to be Slippy the Frog (also from StarFox) and we’ll be set. For now, we’re part Star Fox, a bartender, Ness from Earthbound and a shark dog. And that’s a wrap Halloween 2014!

Necktie updates

Things have been super hectic around here with Christmas just around the corner. But I tried my hardest to get a few more neckties listed in the shop in time to be used as gifts…or wear yourself! Everything bought between now and Christmas will ship same or next business day. Upgraded shipping is also available for an additional cost! I plan on keeping the shop open through Christmas and New Years, but keep in mind that nothing will ship Dec 24 – 26 and Dec 31 – Jan 2.

These are the last new ties I’ll have available through the new year.

I also just finished a custom Growlithe necktie! This one is already spoken for, but I might add more to the shop later. It’s hard to know which Pokemon to choose for neckties unless it’s a custom order. There’s just so many! Everyone has a different favorite.

Halloween costume progress

This year, I didn’t think I was going to dress up. I was feeling lazy and busy with other things. But then randomly, I thought of a costume that I could probably make and decided I’M DOING THIS – Fox McCloud from the video game Starfox! I have the basic clothing getup, but I still have a lot of small elements to make. I think I can do it all this weekend. I just have to go into bubble mode.
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The biggest issue I ran into, that I didn’t even think would be an issue was finding the right color faux fur for the ears and fox tail! Silly me for putting so much faith in my local Joann’s Fabric store to have a light brown/rust/orange-ish color. I ended up buying a light tan (all they had besides dark brown) and using my crafty know-how also picked up some orange and brown Rit fabric dyes. I’ll dye the fur the color I need…I’m a genius! Guess what, I’m not a genius. Did you know that Rit dye won’t dye polyester faux fur? It literally washes right out. DOH! Now what??

After much searching, I found and ordered some of the proper color fur from a seller on eBay. Maybe if I was lucky, it would arrive with enough time for me to make the ears and tail. The seller is allll the way across the country, so it’s going to take forever in general. But then…just my luck, there was a glitch in the matrix and they were all sold out of that color. GAH! In a bit of desperation, then I ordered the fur from a website I swore up and down I would never use again only because they were the only other retailer I could find who had the color fur I needed. I’m stressing because the reason I originally decided to never shop there again is because they took FOREVER to ship my order.

Alright, side story…I ordered a lot of fabric and notions from Fabric.com for a costume I was making. It was a bit time sensitive and it was the first time I ordered from them, but I made sure I had plenty of time to get the fabric and make my outfit in time. A week later, there was no progress with my order when I checked my account online. So I contacted live chat and spoke to a CS rep who said there was a mistake with my address and that was the hold up. Apparently, my address line was too long with the addition of my apartment number. Ok, great, so why wasn’t I contacted?? The CS rep said they fixed the mistake and my order would be on it’s way soon. Ok fine. Four more days later and no action. At this point I’m starting to get annoyed because time is just tick tick ticking away. So I contacted them again explaining the whole situation and the looming urgency and their apparent butt dragging and the CS rep said they don’t know why my order wasn’t moving. WELL GREAT…GET IT MOVING. No apologies, no nothing. They really didn’t seem to care that they were driving me insane. I asked if they could upgrade shipping at least. I just wanted my order in a timely manner!…but no, they couldn’t do that for whatever reason. So after that, they assured me my order would ship that day, but it didn’t ship until the next day, according to the status on my account and the shipping notification email. Thankfully, in the end, nothing was wrong with the order, but I swore up and down that the aggravation and hassle I had to deal with wasn’t worth it. Basically, I’m worried any future orders I place with them are going to have similar issues. I triple checked my address and made sure everything was correct and now all I can do is cross my fingers. It’s only been two days with no action on my order yet and they say they ship within 2-3 days, so I still have time before I start bugging.

Anywho, while those shenanigans are going on, as a backup plan, I scoured the interwebs for a solution to this fur dye issue and found a lot of people also made the same mistake. I saw a suggestion about watering down acrylic paint and spraying it onto the fur, letting it dry and then brushing it with a cat hair brush. Surprisingly, it worked alright. The color is a little blotchy and the fur feels a little rough, but if this other fur doesn’t arrive in time, I think this makeshift one I “painted” will do alright for a night. Instead of spraying it on, I used a paint brush heavily dipped in water. It was a MESS, but also kind of fun. Like finger painting!

Look how much lighter it looks after I brushed it out. It’s just the color I was looking for. “Teddy Bear” as Lou calls it. It’s actually a smidge darker than the photo shows.

This is the gun I plan on painting. Lou found it for me at Toys R Us. It comes with three little foam darts and even has a laser sight! I already sanded it and layered on some gesso to prep it for the paint. That giant orange pull thingy is going to be a problem, I think. Oh, well, I’ll figure it out!

Once I finish the ears, tail, gun, headset, gloves, and belt buckle, make a gun holster, oh and slightly tailor the shirt and the scarf, then I’ll be all done! No problem at all……

Man, I always do this to myself.

Halloween Updates

Halloween is a little over a month away, which means it’s time to start decorating…or at least start THINKING about starting to decorate. Actually, it’s almost Christmas according to all the stores. Where’s your Christmas tree? Did you stock up on that adorable snowflake wrapping paper? What do you mean you haven’t put up your Christmas lights yet? Aackk!!

Anywho, I have some new Halloween Plini figurines available in the shop now! It’s not often I can get the holiday themed figures out in time. I just always forget to plan ahead. These guys are the only ones I’ll have available through Halloween. And I do take custom orders if you’re looking for a different facial expression or color, but they won’t be ready before Halloween.

Other exciting news…all of these Halloween Plini figures, plus more that I have planned to list very soon are all made of resin (a hard plastic material) that I hand-cast instead of polymer clay. They’re a lot more durable and less likely to crack or shatter if dropped. I swear these little guys are like slippery bars of soap sometimes. Then I sand each one to get them nice & smooth and free of any imperfections, and finally hand-paint and seal them with many layers of a glossy topcoat. I’ll still be making the clay versions here and there, but for now I’m having fun with this new material. If you buy (or already own) one of my clay versions, you can tell the difference between those and a resin version by a little blue heart on the bottom of the resin figurines. Honestly, other than that you can’t even tell! It’s pretty cool.

More updates meow!

Here’s a few more kitties I’m finishing up. Since taking these photos, they’ve all been glazed and are now nice and shiny. I get a little obsessive sometimes. If it takes 5 coats to get that glossy coat, then 5 coats it is!

I’m really excited for the “strawberry kitties” too. Just combining two of my favorite loves…food and cats! Before I added the seeds, they kind of resembled tomatoes. My gears are turning now!

This here’s a little teeny tiny robin upside down. Soon to be made into earrings! I hand-sculpt & paint each one until I go cross-eyed and need a snack break. I also have some cardinals along with various other colors. I realized I haven’t had earrings in my shop in a while. That needs to change!