Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fangirl Nation comes to Comikaze


As a writer for www.fangirlnation.com, I have been having a blast bringing geeky news, reviews and geeky craft how-to's to the community. At Fangirl, it is our mission to encourage girls to love what they love without shame or fear. ( I have written extensively about the topic here, in my article addressing the “Fake Geek Girl.” )

As a young girl, my father sparked my interest in sci-fi, fantasy and other “geeky” pursuits. Being raised by him, it was just the norm. I didn't even know I was a “geek” until high school, when I met others, male AND female that were like me. They were simply my interests, the things that I loved.

http://www.mrwallpaper.com/wallpapers/Man-Woman-Geek
Never could I have imagined the the recent events that have swept through our community. It breaks my heart that a contigent of people, no matter how small or how large, could be so violent, so full of rage. That female fans, creators and industry workers are being driven to silence and fear, is horrifying. I truly do not, cannot understand, why we are any different than any other fan. Why do the organs that inhabit our bodies determine what we allowed, or not allowed to love? I was raised to believe that we are all people, all humans, and despite our gender, our only limitations are those we share as a species (i.e not being able to fly unassisted). These sorts of events hurt everyone, both genders and the community as a whole.

Despite this sad turn of events. It has been a joy to be surrounded by the gals of FangirlNation, a passionate group of ladies, with an important goal.

“We embrace all levels or fandom, nerdery, geekdom and culture, knowing that in the end we are all passionate about something. We banish the concept of “fake geek girl” knowing every woman deserves the chance to love what she loves without being questioned for her dedication.
We are Women. We are Fangirls. We are United in What We Love.
We are the FangirlNation and we want you to join us!”

This is a topic that means so much to me, and we are going to be bringing this message to Comikaze 2014 with our first panel “Why Female Fans Matter”


Anyone can be a fan. Everyone should be able to love what they love. Please come celebrate yourself for the amazing, passionate person that you are. Saturday, November 1st at 1:30 PM in room 306AB


All my love,
~ By GoblinGal


#comickaze2014 #fangirlnation #FGN #FGNmag #Fangirl #geekequality #humanist #fakegeekgirl







Friday, August 29, 2014

Entlings!



With films like Lord of the Rings and Gaurdians of the Galaxy tree creatures are all the rage! I've personally wanted my own army of tree creatures since I was a little girl, so, I decided to make them!

These are my entlings, just babies, but someday they will grow up to be large fearsome ents!




Just like any boy band worth it's salt, there are five different entlings with their own looks and personalities!

This little entling has befriended a little dragon, and they'd be more than happy to help you hold dome of your dice and rolls some 20's 













Here is a shot of them before they are painted.

















 




This little guy is ready for mischief! All the Entlings are made with polymer clay and glass accents. They are handpainted with scrylic paints.










Fairy Entling

These were a lot of fun to make, and I hope everyone else enjoys them too! 






Thanks for dropping by! I can't wait to show everyone my next project!

These little guys are available here! Help support artists and feed all the hungry goblins mucking about my house!

~By GoblinGal

#IAmGroot #ent #entling #guardiansofthegalaxy #LoTR #fantasyart #treecreature #groot


Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Make a Dalek Trash Can!


Good morning everyone! Just a quick cross post this lovely August morn to encourage you all to go out and bring a Dalek into your home (or office.) That's a totally good idea, right? As I have mentioned previously, one of my many jobs is writing for Fangirl Nation, where I am a columnist for a monthly crafting “how to” (it's a cool job) called “Goblin Gal's Crafty Corner.”


Today Fangirl released the third article in my series, teaching you to make this guy!!

I love him, seriously. My husband has named him “Darryl the Dalek” and he now resides in my living room. He's great because he is a piece of fandom, but also a functional piece for your home (us geeks love us some functionality). Also, my cat thinks Darryl is his personal back scratcher.

Check out the how-to here and don't forget to check out FangirlNation.com for all your geek news needs!


To look at all my how-to posts, go to the website, and mouse over the “columns” button in the nav bar. It's under “Goblin Gal's Crafty Corner”


To read every article I've ever wrote for Fangirl...ever! Click here! 

Stop by again soon!
 ~By GoblinGal


#fangirlnationmagazine #fangirlnation #fangirlnationmag #fgn #goblingal #drwho #dalek #thedoctor #drwhohousewares #dalekdecor

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Five Ways to Get Out of a Rut and Get Back to Work


It happens to the best of us, the muse takes an inconveniently timed vacation (and you’d really like slap the inconstant tart). Whether you have a big deadline coming up, or just have found yourself distracted or procrastinating, sometimes you just need a little extra boost to get back to work.  When I find myself struggling to find the get up and go, here are some tactics I use to try to tempt back the muse and get some real work done.

1)   Go Somewhere That Inspires You

pic from http://funnypictures.co.uk/
So often when I am feeling blocked or frustrated all it takes is going somewhere that makes me happy, somewhere that gets my creative juices flowing again. For me, that means nature, particularly trees and water. If I’m having a block I love to go to an arboretum or nature center. I step inside, breathe in, and instantly feel more calm. It doesn’t have to be a vacation, or far away. Find a good local spot you can go to feel inspired and relaxed.



          2)  Leave Your Work Space for Awhile
Sometimes the physical environment we are working in contributes to the block. If you are hanging around in your home or office, surrounded by the projects you feel you should have finished already, you may actually decrease in productivity. It also makes procrastinating easier. Does this sound familiar? “Man, this isn’t going well. Oh hey, that sure is are lot of dishes in the sink…I should really do those.” Four hours later, you have a squeaky clean house, but a project no where near finished. Go to a coffee shop, a local library, or heck, just go out on your patio or porch. Give your brain a change of venue, and eliminate those distractions and ways to procrastinate.

3)  Don’t Work While Watching TV
From allmeanssomething.wordpress.com
I am very guilty of this one. I just want some background noise, so I put the TV on while I work.  Next thing I know, I am either completely watching the TV or I realize that I am working, but about three times slower than usual. At very least don’t put on the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” (or anything that will steal your attention). If you're not in a rush, and don’t mind going at a slower pace, that's fine, but if you are really against a wall for a deadline, avoid the TV.  If I feel I just have to have background noise to focus, I tend to put on music instead, or travel or nature shows. These things are pleasant, may help keep me inspired, but stay in the background where they belong.  Also try turning the volume down lower than you would if you were fully watching the TV.

4) Take a Break
Sometimes the harder you push and try to focus, the stronger the block becomes. Sometimes a simple walk outside, or lunch with a friend will cause the solution to your problem to just pop into your brain (only as soon as you stop thinking about it of course). Just make sure that it is a disciplined break and it doesn't slide into procrastination.

5)     Compartmentalize & Discipline
If you have already tried a lot of these, and they haven’t worked, you may be in the realm of needing to give yourself a swift kick in the pants. Commit to working on something. Give yourself consequences if you don’t (or just remind yourself of the consequences that may already exist). Often you may feel overwhelmed; there are too many things to do, so you just do none of them. Don’t make yourself a pledge to finish all the things, it won’t work. Pick a single project, and commit 30 minutes, if even to just start it.  Just tell yourself  “Just sit down and start it, just try for 30 mins, and then if it doesn't work, we can take a break or try something else.” This trick works wonders for me. Sometimes I do only work the 30 minutes. What usually what ends up happening is that with less pressure.  I end up getting way farther than anticipated, and usual working way longer than 30 minutes. If you compartmentalize and focus, and give yourself permission to take breaks, it takes a lot of the pressure off. In my personal experience, that pressure is one of the key ingredients to a creative block.


From makeameme.org


Thanks for reading, and I do hope this helps you wrangle that pesky muse! Feeling depressed about your run off muse, and would prefer to procrastinate a bit longer before you get to work? Like lists? Check out my  post of 7 Things You Shouldn't Try if you are a Crafter with a Cat

Until next time!

~ By GoblinGal




#writersblock #creativeblock #artisticmuse #gettingoverwritersblock #gettowork #GoblinGal #waystogetbacktowork #lovetrees #craftinghelp #getoutofrut #spidermantree #fivewaystogetoutofarut

Sunday, July 6, 2014

7 Things You Shouldn't Try if You are a Crafter with a Cat.


Crafting is a wonderful creative outlet for many of us. Some of us, arguably the slightly insane among us, have decided to try maintain this hobby while also owning a cat. Perhaps not our most intelligent move. Besides the fact that every cat seems to come equipped with the extrasensory ability to inform them the exact moment you start to make something, (even from 3 rooms away, or while asleep.) every project quickly becomes an uphill battle of “how much fur can I keep out of my project?” Want to cut out that new pattern? Not likely! Yet, we love our furry little crafting assistants, and we wouldn't trade them for the world.


Over the years I have learned a few of the do's and don'ts of crafting with cats. Here are a few things you maybe shouldn't try.

1) Having a piece that does not incorporate cat hair.
Yeah, cat fur sticks really well to polymer clay, and fabric, and yarn, and...




2) Trying to photograph your new stock.
You didn't put out that perfectly clean white backdrop to be a cat bathing station?



3) Trying to write... anything.
You should be grateful, really, that bright colored zombie box is clearly bad for you. Try participating in healthier activities. Like cat petting. 



4) Trying to cut out a sewing pattern.
Really? You really thought you could get away with this? This combines many of a cats's talents, interrupting, sitting on things, AND hair coverage. No way will they let that opportunity slide.



5) Leaving anything, anywhere at cat height.
If you leave a craft project unattended, your cat will see that you clearly need some help, and quickly attempt to attend to your items. Unfortunately, cats are not very good at weaving. 




6) Leaving spherical objects unattended, or in bins,  or lockboxes.
No minimum security containers. Really, it's bio-metric security or nothing. Just make sure fluffy doesn't lift your prints or get a retinal scan...



7) And finally...thinking you are in control in any way, shape or form. 



~ By Goblin Gal


#cats #lolcats #crafters #7ThingsYouShouldn'tDo #icanhazcheeseburger #funnycats #craftingwithpets #sewing #sculpting #kitteh #hooman #mai #GoblinGal #cutecats #interuptingcat #writingcat #weavingcat #craftingcat #labyrinthcat #catsloveyarn #sewingcat #catonfabric #catmemes #catcraftmeme

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Armatures Incoming




So here are a few of those armatures I was talking about starting, Here

It may be 12:40 AM by by golly I made them. I'm a little sleepy now. Sleepy enough to be saying things like “by golly.” I have one more I'd like to make, but it's a humanoid figure, so naturally I'm saving the hardest for last, haha.



So the four legged little guy is my base for my Rowsdower from WildStar. Hopefully when I am done it will look more like the big guy there.



The other two are for my snake habitat I am currently building. They are going to be snake hides to keep the little guy or girl happy.


Me being me, I can't just have rocks and branches and a forest, no no. It must be themed. Everything must be themed! So sayeth I! If I could be a millionaire, and have every room like Disney leveled themed, I would. You bet your sweet ass there'd be a tiki room. Birds would sing words, flowers would croon, the whole nine. Man I really gotta stop writing these during bouts of sleep exhaustion, I digress.


The terrarium shall have a tiki/jungle/witch doctor sort of a theme. Why? One, that's awesome! Two,
I'm going to be naming said future snake “Hex.” Why “Hex” I will pretend you asked? The snake is to be named for both the folklore and stereotypes around snakes AND a terrible awful geometry joke between my husband and I. Also, it's a bad-ass name for a snake.



Anyway, the tube things will be tiki heads, and the low flat thing will be this!


It's a Stumpkin, also from WildStar. It will be a slightly modified version anyway. It serves the purpose of giving my snake a hide, being a tree (which is one of my favorite things to make) and it also still kinda fits the witch doctor theme. Green glowing eyes, I mean come on!


So, that's my pile of armatures so far! Next up, actually sculpting them.



By Goblin Gal


#Sculpting #polymerclay #WildStar #Rowsdower #Stumpkin #snake #snakehide #terrarium #armature #tikiroom #sleepdeprivation


Friday, June 20, 2014

Sauron Hair Sticks and a Status Update


Ever have one of those Fridays where you know you should have gotten enough sleep, and you have plenty to keep you busy, but your eyes just won't stay open?  That's me today, so please pardon the sleep deprived ramble.



I am seriously debating running over to the gas station next door to pick up some caffeine, which is unusual for me. I'm in the that slim minority of Americans who aren't hitting the coffee every morning. (I love coffee, it doesn't love me, so I have to be careful.)
Speaking of drugs, the addiction that is WildStar has been distracting me from being quite as productive as I had hoped for the past week or so, MMO's just get me every time.  But hey, I finally got to level 15 and got my mount (essentially a giant hamster ball) and a house!  Actually inspired by WildStar, I'm working on some armatures to make some figurines from the game, I'm hoping to have them finished by the end of the weekend.

I'm also building my patio garden with my husband. (I spent a good chunk of my time off yesterday staining & sealing the planter boxes he built. Yippee I didn't get enough time painting large flat surfaces with the same color with doing house reno! I kid, (mostly) it wasn't that bad. 

I did actually finish a "sculpture" piece lately, for Fangirl Nation. My first "Goblin Gal's Crafty Corner" column published yesterday.  

http://fangirlnation.com/2014/06/19/goblin-gals-crafty-corner-eye-of-sauron-hairsticks/

It's a how-to article on how to make Eye of Sauron LoTR hair sticks (seen below). I'm pretty excited. I mean, I'm writing for a website all about fangirls and geekiness and I've got my own craft column! I've now got four reviews and this new how-to article published with them. It's been a bit tricky to add in another job to my schedule, but I love writing, and it is so worth it.
Here's a shot of them finished.


So please, go to the article, check them out, try them out and keep reading for my next adventure.

Lots of love, and much caffeine,

~By Goblin Gal


#FangirlNation #Fangirl #LoTR #Grumpycat #Sleepy #Friday #Sauron #EyeofSauron #lordoftherings #hairsticks #Tolkien #WildStar #MMO #Caffiene  #lotrhairsticks #sauronhairsticks


Friday, June 6, 2014

Being a WildStar Wife


You may have heard a little bit about a game called WildStar. It’s a new MMO by Carbine Studios that just hit the market. It’s a great “Space western” game that mixes sci-fi and fantasy with some definite geeky influences.  The art style is beautiful and unique, the content is amazing, the combat system is sweet and super dynamic.  There’s also ‘choose your own adventure’ style 5-man content never before seen called ‘Adventures.’  The media is exploding. I have friends who have only gotten up from their computers for ‘bio’ for the past 72 hours, and frankly, it’s just weird (in a good way).

Why? Well because my husband works for Carbine. For three years I have been in and out of Carbine, going to holidays parties, hanging out with the employees, and listening to my husband whine or brag about his day just like any other job. (And I may have been privy to a few things long the way, which were amazing).  Yes, he has an amazing job. For the better part of the years he’s been at the company, though, it had all been under wraps and under NDA, and well, it seemed so much more like a typical job. My husband would go to work, come home, and rant at me about a bug that drove him insane that day (in tech jargon I didn’t understand). You know, typical.

Before my husband broke into the industry we were already both gamers. We played WoW, heck we even beta-tested WoW and StarCraft. We read PennyArcade, watched review shows and G4. I have tensely waited on bated breath for the next game in a series I loved to release, and I have obsessively played until the wee hours. I’ve spent way too much time on wikis researching loot and gear and the best herb collecting route.  Now I’m watching it from the other side.

The explosion of media and fan reactions is just awesome, fascinating and a little weird. It is just so blasted cool to see the content my husband makes show up on Penny Arcade. (http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2014/06/06/adventures1?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pa-mainsite+(Penny+Arcade) )

Plus there's getting to watch all the reviews come in, and watching game play wikis and strategy guides form.  All that stuff I used playing my own MMOs. Example: At comic con last year WildStar hosted a party for the fans. My husband signed autographs. Wut. (One of my weirdest experiences to date.) Then on top of the fun of watching the game launch,  I get the added awesome of having my husband do things like thank me in the game credits, oh and, model and name a recurring NPC after me (Sylphia Barkberry, who is at almost every adventure hub.)  So basically I am in the game, in cartoon form thanks to my hubby (so awesome.) 

So yeah, my mind is a little blown, and I don’t even work there! It is a super cool experience, watching a new game launch for the first time, and watching all of their hard work pay off.  I can’t even imagine what it is like for him and all my friends at Carbine, who actually WORK there every day. So to all my friends over at Carbine, congratulations! I can’t wait to play!

~ By GoblinGal

#WildStar #Chua #CarbineStudios #PennyArcade #MMO #gamer #WoW

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Writing at Fangirl Nation

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about a new project I’m going to be working on!  I have been asked to write over at FangirlNation! (www.fangirlnation.com) This is an exciting new website made by fangirls for fangirls, covering geek news, events, interviews, reviews, original content and much much more! It will be a great one stop shop for your fan girl fix!




I’m going to be writing a couple different places. I’ll be over in reviews giving you a heads up on what I thought of the latest geek media (movies, books, games etc) as well as heading up a DIY crafting column.  The tentative title is “Goblin Gal’s Crafting Corner.” The first project will hit the page on June 19th, so please look out for it!


You can go over and check out my bio in the “contributors” section on the top left of the page. You will find me under “Bethany Davis- Geek Craft Goddess.”  It’s not hard to find my picture…I’m holding a goblin…
p.s I did not give myself the title of crafting Goddess, my editor did that, but I’m gonna take it and run ;)

So if you a geeky gal (or guy, no discrimination here.) Please head over and check out Fangirl Nation! I am really excited to be a part of this project (and maybe slightly nervous..I have like.. an editor...and deadlines and stuff.... weird.)


(www.fangirlnation.com) and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNationMag


Thanks! By GoblinGal


#FangirlNation #Fangirl #geekgirl #nerdgirl #geeknews #writing #geekmedia #geeklove

Monday, June 2, 2014

Learning Card Weaving- Adjusting from Inkle to Card




This year I decided to make the jump from inkle weaving to card weaving. I’ve been inkle weaving for some time now, and while I greatly enjoy it, I have been feeling that familiar itch to learn something new (Crafter's A.D.D is rampant in my house). Card weaving introduces a whole new warping technique, as well as an amended weaving technique, but provides a huge variance in patterns. The vast amount of patterns possible with card weaving was, in fact, a huge draw for me. Because the shed is manipulated by rotating cards with up to four strings each, you can make more shapes, (actual curves, YAY) and use color more easily. (Tardis trim? Pac Man trim? Soo many options!!)


Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between the two, but there are also plenty of differences, and some of them are more subtle than you might think. The intention of this post is to make a  list of some of the differences I have noticed between the two forms so far, and what to look out for if you are also making this transition.


1) There are many, many ways to learn and understand the concepts. Dig around until you find the right one for you.
Card weaving introduces more strings, and rotational patterns. Now, I'm dyslexic, and for me, rotational direction and right-left relations just happen to be my personal brand of suck, so naturally at first this was really...really hard. The good news is, there are many ways to go about understanding the mechanics. I must admit, I have had been a little spoiled being in the SCA. Weaving is a popular skill, and as such I have had access to multiple teachers. That being said, each had their own style of teaching and weaving. 


For example, one of the teachers doesn't really bother with  the motion of the threads at all, and depends strictly on the pattern.  The patterns always alternates between rolling the cards forwards or backwards. She uses an indicator with one clearly marked end to remind herself if she is turning her cards towards her, or away from her for a particular row.  This is a good technique for starting out for me, I need to start weaving and get the basics down before I start trying to understand the machinations. I always start by just copying an established pattern and established instructions. But then inevitably, I screw up, or I get distracted, or the cat knocks my pointer off the couch for kicks (cause he's a cat). That leads me to woefully stare at my loom trying to remember which way to turn next, which leads the next technique and to our next teacher.


Teacher two prefers to be able to tell which way to rotate the cards nest by looking at the movement of the strings in the shed. In this manner she doesn't need a pointer, and she can pick up and drop off at any time. Great! This can be done by looking at the strings in the warp, and then rotating the cards in a test direction to see if the correct string of the card drops down below the weft.  Hmm. There are four strings on this card, and 36 cards. Which string is supposed to go down? I can't freaking tell. Now I am in a conundrum. I prefer the second teacher's method where I don't need the pointer, but I don't have enough experience to understand what she's seeing when the thread “drops.”


The matter was finally resolved when I found a third way. This technique involves looking at just the cards. Say you have a simple two color pattern. White, and green. You put all your background threads in one pack (white), and all your pattern threads in another (green). Great, now which pack rotates which way? The answer is this, the color thread that will ultimately show in the next row is the thread on the card that rotates up and over the other color. So, say your pattern cards  have all the green thread in the upper back hole.  You need these green to show. Roll the cards towards you so the green comes up and over the white. The white is in the upper front? Roll them away from you to make them go up and the green.   This simplifies matter because you are only dealing with the top of the card.  With my dyslexia, this eliminated my issues with rotation.  It made it about "up and down." (which I have no problem with) instead of clockwise and counter clockwise.

Now, this may not work for you, you may prefer one of the previous methods, but that is exactly what I mean. There are so many ways to go about understanding your patterns and threads. Watch videos on YouTube or other crafting sites. Look at different types of techniques, and then set up a beginners sample you can play on that you aren't afraid to mess up. Play and see what works for you.


Don't forget that unless you are starting with a pattern that is neutral twist, you will have to deal with reversing the pattern every now and then, or pushing the twisted threads back along your loom. This is another new addition when you switch over to card.

2) Your loom and card quality matter
In my eagerness to get started, I dashed in and tried to warp up my new loom right away. I didn't have enough store bought cards. I thought “Hey, I have this shiny, very thin cardboard box downstairs, surely it can make cards.” Turns out, what looked like very thin to me, was very NOT on the loom, and the pack was monstrously large. (Which causes the string to catch on the top edge and not rotate properly. ) I really, highly suggest good old fashioned playing cards. They are still a cheap solution, and they work like a charm. If you are going to try a new material, I suggest putting them in a pile, running some string through them and seeing how they interact before you warp up. (Seems obvious, perhaps, but I always like to challenge myself by skipping the 'obvious' thoughts.


The loom is where it gets a little tricky, and potentially more expensive. I am weaving on a beautiful loom my friend made me, but it is my inkle loom. This comes with a few challenges. My front arm isn't quite long enough for card weaving, and as a result, my shed is a little short to deal with cards and the shuttle. My cards fit in, but I do have to change the shed much more often then I'd like. Secondly, as I will go into more detail below, card weaving requires significantly more tension than inkle weaving, so you have to make sure your loom pegs are up to the pressure. My loom, sadly, is going back to purely inkle only after this little adventure, because one of the bottom pegs is leaning in because of the tension.


All in all inkle looms can work with some fudging, but if card weaving is something you are going to be doing a lot of in the future, it may be prudent to invest in a loom designed for cards. (Or a t least a loom with strongly reinforced pegs. If you or someone you know is handy with woodworking, that is a great option that will save you a lot of money. I myself will be building one this summer.


3) Your tension and selvage edges are even more important then before
Don't get me wrong, tension is always important, but card weaving really requires a good sturdy tension peg and some strong arm muscle. Four times the string means potential for a lot more slack here and there throughout your strings, (even if you thought you warped it perfect and tight), which ultimately means you will need to pull tighter to get everything nice and even. Secondly, loose tension means the cards aren't held tightly in place, and they will have the wiggle room to jump one another or tangle. This is quite unpleasant. Until you tighten it, you will spend every row coaxing cards back into place before you set the pattern and throw the shuttle. Finally, because of all the strings in play, and all the strings that have to hide underneath the top row each pass, loose tension can result in your pattern not coming out as cleanly. Strings that should be hidden pop up and interrupt the pattern much easier than with inkle. The same goes for your selvages. Make sure to pull them nice and snug and firm. Letting it loosen up can cause disruption in your pattern. Trust me, I learned that one from experience.



4) Mistakes are much harder to undo.
My final piece of advice is to walk away and take breaks when needed. If you are frustrated, tired or things aren't going well, walk away. Mistakes in card weaving are much more annoying to back out. That's because unlike with inkle, where it is a simple matter of reversing the shed and pulling the weft back through, with cards you have to undo the rotation as well. If you fail to get the card position back to the previous setting, you will leave a twist in the threads which will then interrupt the pattern. Don't panic! It's not impossible, but if you are already frustrated, it may be best to just take a break.


In the end, I really enjoy card weaving. It did seem daunting at first, but keeping these things in mind, I am definitely getting the hang of it. I hope that my learning experiences throughout this process help other beginning weavers make the transition from inkle to card weaving smoother. Above all have fun!


Thanks for reading. No really, if you got all the way through that, thanks for reading! Have fun and weave on!


~ By GoblinGal







#CardWeaving #TabletWeaving #InkleWeaving #HistoricalWeaving #Weaving #SCA #WovenTrim #Loom #CardLoom #InkleVsCard #LearningWeaving #CardtoInkle

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Fake Geek Girl" Fiction- There's No Such Thing As a Fake Geek




So many articles have been written about the “fake” geek girl. It’s a topic that means so much to me, and though this is my first article on the topic it probably won’t be the last. It's one of the few things a person can say to me that will rile me up to boiling in two seconds flat.Whether it is being called "fake," being harassed, or having unwanted attention, if you identify as female and have even one "geeky" interest, gender discrimination is sadly something you have probably experienced in one form or another. 

 I have been lucky. I was sheltered from this until I was fairly old. My father was a wonderful loving man, and a geek, he raised me to be one too. My gender had nothing to do with it. I was his child, he was simply passing on his passions and interests.

My high school science club was wonderful place for us. There was a LOT of us, which was wonderful. And there were a LOT of girls. Besides the academics, we played Magic the Gathering, D&D, had movie nights, and guess what? The teacher who ran the group? A woman. I am a geek girl born and raised, but as I got older, and tried to spread further into the community, the instances of being called out as “fake” or harassed began to grow. 

Just google image "fake geek girl" and prepare to be horrified.

Yep. Cause based on this one picture she posted, you sooo know her well enough to make that judgement...

Let me tell you something, guys. I still went through the same thing all of you boys did as children. Mocked and disliked for my intelligence, my clothes, my interests. Yeah, no one wanted to date me, trust me. I was a new girl from a poor family in a small Midwestern town who was into Hobbits and Elves. I’m great in Tolkien trivia contests, I can tell you all about end game raiding in WoW. (I was top 3 DPS in my raiding guild) Want to chat about Labyrinth or Mel Brooks? Fantasy authors?  Thor back in the JIM days? Dr. Who? Yeah, I have watched some of the “original” Doctors.  I have all the “street cred,” you could require of me, but to some it's never good enough. What's worse, geeky gals can be found perpetuating this nonsense, out of a sense of being "more geeky" or superior to other girls. 

That is the inherent problem, not just with geek guys, but the geek subculture in general.  Dominance is information. How much do you know? Can you prove it?  The years of bullying and exclusion endured by most geeks and nerds should make you WANT to be a more open, welcoming person. It should make you want to break the cycle, but sadly the opposite is too often true. All of that negativity is too often continued and turned inward towards the community.

Worse yet,  is the ways in which it gets turned on women.  Gals who cosplay are risk of harassment both verbal and physical. There is an implication that if you cosplay, you must also be sexually available to every Tom, Dick and Harry that ogles you or you are "teasing" them. We clearly came out just for you, right? Guys, we aren't “pretending” to get attention. We aren't dressing up in revealing outfits to tease you. Hell, you try to cosplay as a female character from a comic and NOT be in a revealing outfit! Hint, we like the characters, and we like costuming, that’s why we are dressing up. Check your ego. This is a girl you've probably just met, whom you've never seen before. This has nothing to do with you at all. 

Not to mention, why would your mythical “hot girl who is faking it” take all that time effort and money to make or buy a costume, buy convention tickets, travel to an event and spend an entire weekend worth of their personal time just to tease you or get sexual attention, when she could get that EXACT kind of attention by walking down the beach in a bikini? Not to mention if any female is near the "Standard beauty" end of the scale instead of "quirky cute" she is automatically set up for a hell of a lot more questioning. 

All we want, is to participate in our interest without belittlement and harassment. Can I please just go read my comic now? And GOD FORBID I want to talk with another human being about my interests, or bring said character to life with a costume. 

And thanks to the glory of the anonymous internet comment, what do women who speak out get? Death threats, rape threats, or ranked based on their bio picture and how “Do-able” they are. 




I JUST started getting into comic books. I wasn't allowed to read them as a child, my mom was crazy strict. (Except for Archie, of which I remember nothing, and didn't even really like.)  For any normal person, this would just be called a “new interest” but again, those darn ovaries!  I’m now a “Fake geek girl.”

Fast forward from high school to “Free Comic book day” last year in which I walked up to the cashier with my Thor comics in hand. The cashier, thinking he was making a joke, said to me “Now do you like Thor, or do you like Chris Hemsworth?” I was spitting fire I was so mad. Why? You may ask? 

Let’s dissect this shall we?

One, I like Thor, you know, the Norse God. My family is Scandinavian, I love Norse mythology, and I am in a historical re-enactment group in which I play Viking, and competitively throw axes on the weekend, (pretty damn well, too, I might add.) But again, this is me “proving” my cred. I shouldn't have to ramble a vitae off to you every time I purchase a comic.

Two, Chris Hemsworth is hot. So what?  I am allowed to be attracted to him. You have no say in that, and it has no bearing on whether or not I ALSO enjoy the comics. What’s with the “or”? Hemsworth OR Thor? How about AND?  Let’s also discuss the last many decades of comics shall we? What do female characters wear?  What’s that? Skin tight suits, loin cloths, bikinis? Outfits that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination?  Men have been ogling and objectifying women in comics and enjoying women for their aesthetics for about as long as comics have existed. It’s our turn now. The new movies hire young attractive actors.We like to look at them. Get over it. Oh you weren't just ogling Scarlett Johansson in the cat suit as she bent over with totally unnecessary camera angle? *cough* bullshit. You get to enjoy the comics for their story line and cheesecake, but we are only allowed to like the content? Hypocritical much? 

Three, shut up and take my money. All gender aside, I am a customer and I am trying to give you money. You know, that stuff you use to keep the lights on in your shop that pays your rent and buys your food? It shouldn't matter if a wookie walks into your shop, shut up, give them the comic and say “Thanks have a nice day!”

It deeply saddens me that this is even an issue. It should be simple, people enjoying something together. Why should it matter their age, gender, orientation? Why should it matter whether it’s an old passion, or a brand new interest? Here is a new person for you to meet and have fun discussions with about a shared interest. It doesn't have to be about sex (gasp!) It doesn't have to be a Jeopardy contest. It can just be two people enjoying a fandom together. (Notice I used the word people. We are in fact people, and more than just the sum of our dangly bits.)

Stop worrying so much about whether or not we have achieved the appropriate level of knowledge, or what we are wearing, or about our supposed nefarious machinations concerning your penis.  Just leave us to like what we like, and we will do the same.


~By GoblinGal


#fakegeekgirl #GenderInequality #geekgirl #gamergirl #fakegeek #girlsingames #Thor #GirlsLoveThor #nothingtoprove #nerdygirl #nerdgirl #yourtheproblem #cosplay #cosplayisnotconsent #womenincomics #YesAllWomen #Sexism #SexisminGames #whoareyoutosayshesnot #AdamSavage

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fairy Doors


 I love working on all the fairy garden accessories. They are fun to make and allow me to try lots of different things fairly rapidly.  I wanted to make a couple fairy doors. These are very popular right now in gardens as d├ęcor, turning any tree or stone into a fairy house. As a bonus, if you are the type that is into fairy lore as I am, there is a bit of myth about them. Adding a fairy door is rumored to be a way to invite fairies come into your garden, and even to settle in make a home there. 

In fact some people believe that you should never place a fairy garden near the front of your house, as it may give the wee folk the impression that they have been invited further in than just your garden!

Of course, if you've ever seen my house or garden, you can easily see that it is far too late for that. My home is already completely overrun with all kinds of wee folk, goblins and pixies. (They are mostly well behaved...mostly.)


These are the first couple I made, a stone door and a wooden one. I like them because they are cute, simple and not very labor intensive, so I can make them very affordable for customers. Plus who doesn't want to invite some fairies in? (Sane people? I dunno.)

The stone door is essentially a larger version of the door on a castle I made. (You can see it on my website www.shroudedgrove.com under "3-D art -Sculpture" or on my Facebook page) You can also some of my goblins I've made on my other post here.



Below is the wooden door. I really tend to enjoy the process of mimicking wood. I'm quite happy with the results!


And there you have it the doors to your demise....I mean lovely garden decor....

Until next time!
By GoblinGal


#fairy #fairydoor #faery #faerydoors #fairygarden #faerygarden #gardendecor #sculpey #polymerclay #fantasyart #goblin #sculpture #garden #fairylore #celticfairy

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mini Flower Pot Goblins




As I have been getting into polymer clay more, I have been re-visiting previous forms and sculptures.  It is really gratifying to see my improvements as I learn. Most recently I made these guys. They are a miniature form of my original flower pot goblin. They are built on top of tiny terracotta pot, which gives them a great looking base, as well as helps me control their size.






Part of the fun is changing up their faces and flowers! Since these pieces focus on the head of the goblin, it is really good practice working on faces. Learning detail and variability has been an interesting progress, and I am happy that I can see improvement.





I have so many more things I want to do in polymer clay, and so many more things I want to learn that I literally do not have time for it all! (I’m gonna dive in and try anyway! Yay time management skills!)

I am hoping to complete a sell-able reproducible set of my original five "Helper Goblins" so hopefully I will have those for you all soon!


I hope you like these little guys, and I’ll see you next time!

~By GoblinGal


#Fairy #FairyGarden #Garden Accessories #Goblin #GoblinArt #Polymer Clay #Fantasy Art #Faery #Gnome 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Craft Fair Debut




Hey everyone! The weekend is almost upon us, and so is my first craft fair! I am going to be participating in a carnival and craft fair to raise money for a local school. It will be my first time vending in person, so I am definitely spending my last couple days being sure to get all my ducks in a row. I have been working hard over the past couple of months to build up a good sized stock to take on the road with me, as well as developing graphics and signs for a booth, and I can't wait to see it all up and running! Coming with me are several sculpture pieces including the goblins and dragons, and I am excited for them to get their first public debut!




If you are local to Southern California and want to come check me out, I will be at Meadow Green Elementary school in Whittier, Ca, from 11 AM-4 PM this Saturday May 3rd.


Hope to see you all there!

~By GoblinGal






#firstcraftfair 






Sunday, April 20, 2014

WonderCon 2014 Days Two and Three Coverage





Happy Easter readers!


I'll start you off on WonderCon Coverage days two & three with the little number above. I have seen this Wolverine Cosplayer at many conventions, and he is always great, but his celebration of Easter today was particularly awesome. Yes those are carrot claws, and yes, he had a poofy bunny tail on the side you can't see. Yes, my husband is the one that pointed out the bunny tail, inadvertently telling me to look at Wolverine's backside.


But I digress, I must backtrack a little bit. Warning, you are in for another long post, but I do promise lots of shiny pictures! Yesterday was day two and my poor addled brain just couldn't manage to stay up long enough to get out the blog post, so here it is, a tad late.




The day started in the arena for the big network panels. WB was up first and we saw teasers for 'Edge of Tomorrow”, “Into the Storm” and “Godzilla” Then Fox had “How to Train your Dragon II” (which I sadly missed trying to get into the “Once Upon a Time” panel. (FAIL) but I got back for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” “Maze Runners” “Secret Service” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past”


It was great because, well, at ComicCon you would have to get in line about 3 AM the previous night and camp there just to get in the door. (No thank you!) I won't talk about ALL these in great detail, because one, you don't really want to sit here all night, do you? And two, it's my blog, and I'll review what I want to :P There may be ******SPOILERS ****** So be warned.










Edge of Tomorrow is a New Tom Cruise Action/Apocalypse/Ground Hog Day movie in which he discovers he is dying over and over again, only to wake up and repeat the same day, while humanity is on the precipice of annihilation. He learns that through this process they are training him as a soldier to defeat the aliens. No offense, not my thing. Did I ever mention I actually HATE LOATHE AND DESPISE the ground hog day mechanic? Blah. I do, I really really do. I know I know Groundhogs Day is a classic. I HATE it. No matter how much you pack it full of action, or add changes, I just can't...take.. the repetition. I also almost universally hate all amnesia plots. I know, I'm crazy. Anyway, the husband thought it looked good.


Into the storm is a natural disaster film featuring a town going through a record number of tornadoes in one day. (Like 20? 30?) Anyway. I'm from the Midwest. Tornadoes don't do that. No thanks.


BUT there are a number of cool actors in these films! Look below, I saw famous people!



Godzilla was great. They showed the trailer, and premiered the first full shot of the monster himself, as well as showed a NEW monster that will be in the film interacting with Godzilla. It's an original monster, but definitely influenced by previous monsters in the universe. Sorry, no pictures. They made me promise not to. (Plus they would kinda kick me out.) They new creature is definitely some sort of insect. Maybe praying mantis like? It had wings, it was enormous. Godzilla looked awesome, and well...like Godzilla?They talked a lot about standing up to the legacy and having Godzilla being motivated by the natural world, and having everything being organic.



Aka Thorin from "The Hobbit"...and many squees were had


"Maze Runners" and "Secret Service" looked really great. Maze Runners is based off a a young adult fiction book, and Secret Service is based of of the comics. I am unfamiliar with both, but they both looked good
.
Secret service has Colin Firth as a lead, and Samuel L Jackson as the antagonist. Yes, I will be seeing it. It's about a international independent agency that works separate from all governments (those spies are too soft and spoiled, of course.)




Planet of the Apes isn't really my thing either. The new one deals with the Apes as they begin to evolve a culture. It does have Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis in it though, so I got to see them, which was great.





FINALLY after thinking they were just going to pass it by, Fox talked about X-Men Days of Future Past.


****SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER********










They showed us an extended clip of the opening fight scene, which showed great footage of the battle with the sentinels, and then part they hadn't shown yet, the sentinels kicking their asses. Severely. The sentinels started taking on the powers of the mutants fighting them. Iceman was shown taking on a sentinel that was using fire. The scene ended with the sentinel crushing he head clean off (in ice form) and then stepping on it. Yikes! And he certainly wasn't the only mutant to die in the clip. Guess that's why they'll be needing to go back in time! They also mentioned that because of the movie's time period when in the past, it will be featuring President Nixon. It will be interesting to see how they play that.


I have to say, even though they have changed the time traveler from Kitty Pride to Wolverine, it looks like they are attempting to be smart about their decisions, and their rules for time travel. They mentioned that they set their rules for time travel early on and stick to them rigorously throughout the film. We will have to wait and see how everything comes out!! I am SOOO excited for this one!





That ended the panels for awhile, so we hit the expo floor for awhile, spent more money, and then headed over to Adventure Time. It was an hour wait to get in, and then we just barely did. To be honest, the panels are always hit or miss for me. They always seem a little unorganized, and there are always weird awkward quiet moments. The creator and writers don't like to discuss the technical aspects of the show because they are “boring” but sometimes seem to have little else to say. They do have fun little bits though, like writing scripts for the voice actors to preform live on the panel. This years was about LSP and Flame Princess at a sleepover at LSP's place. It was pretty funny, and they drew little flip-book like illustrations to go with it.



We stayed on for Bob's Burgers, which is fantastic, because we have been watching an episode of that show practically every day in my house, and I think the show is hysterical. Plus who doesn't love Kristen Schaal? I adore the character Linda, and my husband often tried to mimic her voice (as the character is voiced by a male) for my amusement. “All riiiight!” I then proceeded to have the song from their Thanksgiving special stuck in my head for the rest of the day. “Pass....the cranberry sauce, we're having mashed potatoes!”. They played the theme song live and then forced each of their cast members to improvise lyrics. Also, the voice actor for Tina doesn't modify his voice for the character....like at all.. An amazing panel. Tons of fun.












Bob's Burgers Cast and Crew




Kristen Schaal


Then more shopping. Boy does the money tend to fly out of hand during a convention..As I mentioned there were definitely less comic book vendors than ComicCon, and as I learn Thor I am starting to definitely see patterns in prices. Unfortunately, I did think a lot of the vendors that had JIM Thors were pushing it a bit as far as quality to price ratio. By the end of today I did end up getting one more Thor (#107) a car decal (A Miyazaki coal puff) and a chain chomp plushie, because,well, I obsessively collect plushies.



The last event of the night was the masquerade, which was a lot of fun. As a cosplayer I love to see all the outfits. This alien was badass!! It's hard to see the detail in the picture, but it was amazing!! There are always some costumes that leave me the rest of the night pondering “How did they make that?!?”










Day 3: Sunday
Day three was pretty relaxed We mostly just hit the dealer hall, but we did also go watch the new animated movie “Son of Batman.” which focuses on Batman and his newly acquired son, whose mother is Talia Al'Ghoul.


It was pretty good.. It's always me “Day off” from cosplay so I wore a wonderfully amazingly comfy Captain America shirt my sis got me for my birthday (tomorrow, yay!!) and some jeans. Oh jeans, I love you so. After a full con, sometimes you just have to put down the corset. As always after a con, I am physically exhausted, but wonderfully inspired to make my next cosplay and to get to work on a number of new art projects! Oh, and on the drive home, we saw this.


Best use of a decommissioned cop car ever! 


I do so hope you my coverage of my time at WonderCon 2014! If you did enjoy my little ramblings, I will be back with coverage for San Diego Comic Con this summer!  Pleas stay tuned as for other geeky topics, reviews of my latest projects and more! As always, thank you for reading, see you next time!

If you missed day one it can be found Here

~ By GoblinGal









#WonderCon #WCA #WCA2014 #Thor #MazeRunners #TheSecretService #Godzilla #Bob'sBurgers #AdventureTime #PlanetoftheApes #X-men #DaysofFuturePast #Masquerade #WeepingAngel #Alien #Cosplay #SonOfBatman #Batman #EdgeofTomorrow