Arts and Crafts

Ideas For a Cthulu Priest Throne

I was looking over a Trendland article about Maximo Riera's Animal Collection and it got me thinking. 

His chair collection is an odd assortment that mashes up animals and chairs.  That said it is also very evocative and got my imagination churning especially the piece from the picture.

I started to think what would a cool throne chair look like for a high priest of Cthulu if they took more of this style into the design. 

lets start with a nice throne with a high back on it maybe even gold colored like a papal throne.  Then put the octopus on the top facing forward with it's tentacles oozing down over the chair in a gelatinous way.  Instead of a plush material use leather so that the octopus will look more life like and it still be comfortable to sit against but still have the tentacles be raised up.  Then fill in all of the background color of the chair with a gloss black color like still dark water.  This will also help to evoke a sole eating madness for those staring at the chair too long.  What do you think?

(via Maximo Riera's The Animal Collection | Trendland: Fashion Blog & Trend Magazine)

Starscream and his followers

Otakon Pool on Flickr, and kind of fell in love with it.  They don't say if it was a costume or not, but based on the arms, I presume it is someone on stilts.  Too bad he is about to die.  I mean everyone knows that Starscream donned the crown moments before Galvatron showed up and killed him.  Poor Starscream.

DIY Wall-e Auto

While I have been a bit outspoken on my opinion that Wall-e was an overrated movie (worth seeing, but not the greatest thing ever), I would welcome this Auto into my house.

Instructables has the instructions to build one of these for yourself (here).  Now, I just need to find a mastermid who will help me program it to carry out my will, or be a PA or something. 

A Fun Way To Watch Doctor Who: Vincent And The Doctor

I had a lot of fun watching Doctor Who episode Vincent and the Doctor.  It is a great tribute to the artist Vincent van Gogh. What would the experience of the episode be like if I watched the video below before watching the episode?

I found it an amazing experience which spun my perspective from experiencing an adventure with the doctor to an appreciation of a living art exhibit about sight beyond sight.

The video is a slide-show of Vincent Van Gogh's work set to the song "Vincent" by Don McLean Don which is a beautiful moving piece in and of it's self.

In honor of seeing life from a different perspective I encourage you to watch the video then watch the Doctor Who episode. Let me know how it changed the experience of the episode for you.

Get the episode and others of Doctor Who here: Vincent

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Cool Steampunk Cakes

Check out some of these awesome cakes baked for the Cake Central Steampunk cake contest.

This one cleverly titled Steampunk Cake by the Artisan Cake Company won 1st place.  I love the detail on the wheels.

I really like the look of the Steampunk Venus De Milo by Gonzuela.  If only she had a pair of goggles on her head.

This Professor Gearheart's Otherwhen Machine by Spense got Honorable Mention.  My vote would give this first place, it's so Steampunk.

Thanks very much to Emerian Rich for sharing this with us

Emerald Fest - Meet Emerian Rich

Emerian Rich will be signing books and selling art prints

10a-12:30pm Saturday, May 15th, 2010 At the 8th Annual Emerald Fest Community Benefit Gala

10:00am- 5:00pm at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center 611 Village Dr., Suisun City, CA

Exciting outing for the whole family! Vendors, poets, authors, dancers, singers, and other performers!

Admission: A donation of a canned food, new clothing (especially bras), or toiletries and/ or $5.00. Proceeds will go to Feed the Children and the local homeless Mission Outreach.

DIY: French Press Faux Espresso

A photo of a cup of coffee.
Image via Wikipedia

I love using my French Press to make my morning coffee so when Eric brought How to Make Espresso Beverages With a French Press to my attention I had to try it.  Adding a bonus to the mix the recipe comes from Alton Brown who is just wonderful in both cooking and explaining how it all works.

Steps for Faux Espresso

  1. Use 4 tablespoons of coffee.  This should be a coarser grind then the commercial coffee.  This is important because I just used can coffee for the first test and did end up with the sludge in the bottom of my cup.
  2. 2 cups of near boiling water
  3. Give the brew a quick stir.  If you like to chew on your espresso and have it very strong you can stir every 45 seconds to a minute.
  4. Let it steep about 3 min.  Brewing too short will cause a sour flavor, too long and the flavor will get bitter.  This is nice to know because some times I just like a good strong espresso that bites back so at times I will let it steep for about 5 minutes.
  5. Press the plunger down slowly in a steady this is important to reduce the amount of coffee grounds from getting into the cup.  The faster you go the greater the chance of having grounds in the coffee.
  6. Pour your coffee either into your cup or if you just cant stand grounds you may wish to filter it to catch the very fine sediment

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Alien King As Life Size Steel Sculpture

Words can not express how badly I want a 2.4 meter tall Alien King sculpture! Made from recycled parts and welded together.

I went to Robosteel site where there are more awesome pictures of the Steel Alien sculptures and the worse thing ever happened.  They are actually for sale... *drool*

alien-king-steel-2

(via Fantasy SF Blog)

Manga Review: Black Butler by Yana Toboso

I am so stoked to be able to bring you this review. I’ve been waiting for Black Butler to be translated into English for over a year.

A short distance from London, just beyond the fog-cloaked forest, there stands a well-kept manor house.

Kuroshitsuji, or Black Butler, is an awesome gothic tale about a butler who can do absolutely anything. The art in the manga is the best gothic craftsmanship I have ever seen. In fact, before the English translation came out, I had to talk myself out of buying the Japanese version several times because I loved the art so much. I just wanted to hold such beauty in my hands and study the details even, if I couldn’t read the darned thing!

I just finished the English translation version and I am not disappointed in the least. The story and characters live up to the awesome artwork. So, what’s it about?

The Black Butler, Sebastian, is the kind of man anyone could use around the house. He can clean, garden, make the most delicious sweets, and even rescue you from kidnappers. Most would say that his type of know-how is impossible in a mortal and they would be right. Sebastian's master Earl Phantomville, a twelve-year-old boy named Ceil who is obsessed with games. Being the head of the family that owns Funtom, Britain’s leading confection and toy making manufacturer, liking games is a must.

The other servants of the house are comical, but useless. After all, who needs maids, gardeners, and man servants when one has Sebastian the greatest butler of all time? These other servants make it difficult for Sebastian to do his job by constantly messing things up, destroying china sets, poisoning the garden, and eating the Earl’s desserts. The Black Butler always saves the day with his quick wit, speedy service, and ultimate all around wonderfulness.

My favorite scene is when Sebastian is riddled with bullets and then stands, his coattails all in tatters and looks at the bullets in his hand. Then he throws all the bullets back at the baddies, effectively sending them to their graves. After the fight, he picks up his master and calmly walks for the room while apologizing that dinner has not been prepared.

As I have said, this artist is awesome. I haven’t been this excited about a manga artist since Kaori Yuki’s Godchild. From ruffled cravats and tailored suits to ornamented chandeliers and elaborate tea servings, every detail is beautiful. Even the chibi portions of this manga are well done.

A fun detail is that each chapter, Sebastian makes a special dessert for Earl Phantomville. The dessert is shown up close with a banner stating things such as:

Today’s Dessert: Apricot and green tea mille-feuille.

This awesome book includes seven pages of author notes with translation notes outlining everything you’d like to know about what is described in the book, including what mille-feuille is.

The author is definitely into portraying authentic Victorian England settings and clothing, but I’ve never seen a manga artist pay this much attention to customs, history of the time, and even what people might have been talking about during dinner.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the author:

I like black… …It’s a color that can’t be violated by any other colors. It’s a color that simply keeps being itself. A color that sinks more somberly than any other... …It’s a passionate, gallant color. Anything is wonderful if it transcends things, rather than being halfway.

If you haven’t bought a manga yet, this is the one to start with. Few others are in it’s league. You can find out more about Black Butler at Amazon.com.

To Dare to Dream: Castles in the Sky

The tale of SeymourPowell’s Hydrogen Airship.

As I sit listening to the Biography Channels piece on H.G. Wells I came upon a fun article about the rebirth of hydrogen powered airships.  Samsung Corporation and London architectural design firm SeymourPowell created a video to share the vision of a floating hotel concept.

To Dare

This was picked up by many including CNN.  What is sad about the whole story is how many are concerned with the reality of the concept video or if CNN didn’t do their homework.  CNN is clear that the video is a concept proposal not an actual project.

While the Aircruise is only a conceptual proposal, designers have developed a detailed and achievable technical plan for the craft that could allow it to be built in the future. (via CNN )

That misses the point of the whole exercise which is to dream.

To Dream

I’m overjoyed that so many would allow themselves to share in the dream.  To consider what life would be like if we could have floating structures in the sky.  “Castles in the sky may soon be real” is a great article playing in the possibilities and implications.

It is also important to be aware of the concerns in dreaming to help guard from harm.  Asking constructive questions are important.  Like exploring the FAA restrictions on using Hydrogen as a lifting gas in air travel and the obvious aerodynamic complications in the design plus the docking difficulties.  These things are mere points for discussion to possibly come up with a better design.

Being contrary to the tech or position is fine.  To attack or dismiss the conversation is not.  The most important thing is the dream and the conversation about the dream.  That is how we evolve and move forward.

Like H.G. Wells we need to dare to dream to challenge our current existence and to dream of a better future.

SPCA Holiday Windows

How can you say no to these faces?

P1010181 SPCA volunteers Abby, Karson, Julia, and Cameron (not pictured) want you to donate to help animals this holiday season.

P1010173Every year, Macy’s San Francisco gives precious retail advertising space to the orphan animals of the SPCA. Not only do they ask passersby to donate for these poor little guys, they can actually adopt a pet right on the spot! Every animal has been medically screened, vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered. Each animal will come with a 30-day medical assistance plan at the SF/SPCA infirmary, plus a gift bag filled with samples, treats and valuable certificates from sponsor partners of The SF/SPCA and Macy's.

The window theme this year goes along with Macy’s “Believe” campaign. With the main window showing our favorite guy in red, the other pet windows show letters from children and pets to Santa. These pictures allow you to see some of the cute pets napping their day away in the cozy surroundings as passersby admire their holiday home. Shoppers in the Bay Area can check out the windows from now until January 3rd, 2010.

P1010172At www.sfspca.org, you can watch the animal webcam and donate from your pc.  If monetary support is not your cup of tea, they are also asking for volunteers to assist in the event’s success like the girls above .

Macy’s has been a holiday staple in San Francisco’s season for what seems like forever. The buildings spanning two city blocks on Union Square have long been the hub of December activity. Although the SPCA windows seem to be their main focus, their other displays do not disappoint.

P1010184

P1010213 P1010186

What is a Vid

Vids, Vidders, and Vidding is a growing cultural expression of fandom, music, and video.  See an example above.

A vid is a short video that tells a narrative by combining the video from a Movie, TV show, or Web Series and a song for the audio track setting the tone and direction of the story.  In other words it's a cross medium mashup.

Vidders are those artists / fans who cut together the vids whereas vidding is the act of producing a vid.

Cultural Advantages

  • Fans can express and play in the franchises that they love.
  • It becomes a great promotional vehicle for both the music artist and the franchise.
  • It enhances our cultural experience of both video content and music.

Controversy

  • There is much fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding the topic.
  • Fear of reprisal from the copyright holders.
  • Fear amongst copyright holders of loosing control over their content and loosing money.

What We Need

  1. Recognize the cultural value of vids.
  2. Get over our fears.
  3. Open a dialogue to come up with a compromise that will allow both parties to win.

If you would like to join in the conversation head over to Project: Shadow  what is your definition of a vid? - Project: Shadow.

Clone Wars Fun: Make Your Own Mask

Asajj-ventress-mask-clone-warsA fun and easy crafting project with printable masks for Star Wars Clone Wars.  These could make for simple paper masks or for the more advanced craters out there a nice template to use to make a more advanced mask. The different type of masks include:

  • Anakin Skywalker
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Asajj Ventress
  • Clone Captain Rex
  • Clone Trooper
  • Clone Commander Cody
  • Clone Captain Rex

PDF of Clone Wars Masks

[reus name="Clone Wars"]

(via Star Wars)

[reus id="14"]