In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared. Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand.
Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:
All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aishavoya
Last Halloween, my friend Stephanie revealed an incredible costume she had been working on all year: a dalek. At first, I thought ‘How is that even possible? How will you wear it?” I underestimated the creativity, crafty skills and motivation Stephanie had behind this undertaking. It was unfortunate that New York was slammed by a huge snow storm Halloween weekend which cancelled all local parties, including the big one Stephanie had planned to show the dalek off at, and hopefully win a costume contest at. I couldn’t let this incredible costume go back into the basement without sharing it with all my fellow Doctor Who fans, so I set upon compiling all the information I could from Stephanie on how she pulled this off. Hopefully some of you will feel inspired by this to create your own awesome Halloween costumes this year!
Stephanie: I started in February of 2011. I am not sure what exactly got me into the idea, but when I found out Dalek’s stand about 5 feet tall (and that is my height), I figured it would be an excellent idea. Then when I found the very detailed plans online, I was sold.
S: I don’t think I had an idea, but I definitely did not think it would take the amount of time (and money) that it did. I knew it was good to start early, and I’m glad I did, because I ended up finishing very close to Halloween.
S: It definitely was. I was trying to find components that would work but be cheap and light and would make the final product mobile/portable.
S: I didn’t make many changes, except ones to make it able for me to go inside. Accidentally, it ended up taller than expected, but that turns out to be good because now people who are not petite like me can go inside it as well.
L: What was the biggest challenge in the project and how did you work past it?
S: The biggest challenge was making the dome for the head. I could not find any bowls that were the right size (huge), so I decided I would use paper mache over a large beach ball. However, I also could not find a beach ball that was the right size, despite ordering some online that turned out to be incorrectly described. I finally had to use wire mesh and shape my own dome and then cover it with paper mache.
L: I know thanks to a big snow storm you were unable to show the dalek at Halloween parties. Did you get to actually take it out for display to the public? Have you made any plans to display it since halloween?
S: I have not yet had a chance to bring it out to the public yet. I do plan on attending one or two cons this year, though, to show it off. And hopefully this coming Halloween. Unfortunately I need a large venue to effectively display it, and that can be hard to find. (It does not fit through a conventional doorway, except in pieces, so that also creates a challenge. I have to put it together in one room and stay there the whole time.)
Now for the technical details:
The plans Stephanie used were found here. That site offers plans for several different styles of daleks. Stephanie chose to build the ‘New Series Dalek’, which premiered in 2005. I’m assuming she picked that model because, being fans of David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, her boyfriend Dave would be happy to wear the appropriate Doctor costume.
For technical notes from Stephanie and her bio, read past the break.
“Apocalypse? We’ve all been there. The same old trips, why should we care?”
-I’ve Got a Theory, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Once More with Feeling)
It’s here, guys. The big one. 2012. There hasn’t been so much stigma around a year since… Well? 2000. Which really wasn’t that long ago… Huh. Our Generation is really full of doom-sayers, aren’t we? I mean, when you think about it, we’re giving The Slayer a run for her money when it comes to encounters with the apocalypse. I’ve lost count of how many times the world was supposed to end but didn’t. Still, if I talked about how just because the Mayan Calendar ends in 2012, it doesn’t mean that the entire world will, it wouldn’t be a terribly fun article, now would it? No, I didn’t think so either.
It’s tradition to make resolutions come the New Year. It’s something we’ve sort of been conditioned to dally with since we could remember. It’s also that thing we usually never end up taking seriously and forget about sometime between Mid-February and March. But this year is different, my friend. This is your last chance. It’s ending. The world is going to be swallowed by the sun and you have exactly one year to do whatever it is you’ve been trying to do every year prior but lacked the motivation. The world ending is significant motivation, right? Maybe not.
The world of Style seems to be taking the Apocalypse head on as the Pantone Color Institute (Yep, it’s a real thing) announced that ‘Tangerine Tango’ would be the “encouraging” top color for the year. Their hope being that the orangey-red hue will give us optimism for the next 12-months. If you ask me it looks a wee bit more like the firey blaze of destruction than optimism, but whatever, to each their own.
It does seem almost violently appropriate though, doesn’t it? To celebrate the world ending, we’re going to adorn ourselves in hazard-sign orange. Don a hard hat. Watch out for falling buildings. Wear bright colors so cards can see you.
I know for one part of my new years resolution, I probably won’t be buying into the trend of this color and letting it infect my wardrobe. Maybe if it were more along the lines of the sweet Tangerine of Clementine Kruczynski’s (Kate Winslet) hair in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I’d be more inclined. Hey, that kinda rhymed. Totally not intentional.
So while my fellow fashion lovers will be entering the New Year like walking traffic cones, I’d like to propose a different approach. Let’s ditch caution for a little bit, not entirely, just give it the slip now and then. All those damn things we want to do but we’re scared to? The world is ending, isn’t it scarier that you might die having never done any of it? And hell, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the Mayans were wrong–they did die out long before their calendar said they would, after all. But even if I am, your life will continue on… Only now maybe you’ve got a little more courage.
Frankly, what can’t you do? You’ve survived countless world endings, what’s more epic than that? Take 2012 on, my friend. Beat back personal demons and conquer. Let the world try to end. It’s still gonna be our year.
HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!
It’s that time of the year again; when we all go mad trying to find the perfect gift for those special someones in our lives. No matter what traditions you follow, if you are looking for gifts to give, the internet has it! I have gone around the web, culled from our NerdsInBabeland writers, and found some Etsy shops and other websites that just may have that perfect item you have been looking all over for!
Alice and Willow – Corsets and other Steampunk Attire http://etsy.me/svCXuq
JezebelCharms – Doctor Who Jewelry and More http://etsy.me/vIL7if
Marissa Crafts – Scarves, Cowls crocheted Wonders and Geeky Jewelry http://etsy.me/orEapq
Dance with Robots—Adorably Geeky Art Prints http://etsy.me/vT6tCd
LadySteam Designs —Handmade, One-of-a-Kind Wrist Cuffs and Jewelry http://etsy.me/uT5QpV
MarySewDesigns – Steampunk Jewelry and Accessories http://etsy.me/s6KvLs
J K Lee Art and Sundries – Art Prints from Janet Lee, co-creator of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Return of the Dapper Men http://etsy.me/tTsADp
Uselessprogress– Prints, stickers, paintings – macabre and surreal http://etsy.me/umu704
The Gorgonist— More Adorably Geeky Art Prints http://etsy.me/smWyWd
Luxury Lane Soap – Awesomely Geeky Handcrafted Soaps http://bit.ly/vsqJIZ
Raygun Robyn— Geektastic Shirts, Totes and more! TARDIS & Firefly! http://www.raygunrobyn.com/
GEEKSOAP – More Awesomely Geeky Handcrafted Soaps http://bit.ly/vfAHZ7
What are your favorite shops? And what items are you on the hunt for?
I once met a man with a sense of adventure
He was dressed to thrill wherever he went
He said “Let’s make love on a mountain top
Under the stars on a big hard rock”
I said “In these shoes?
I don’t think so”
-In These Shoes, Kirsty MacColl
Since ladies entered the ‘butt-kicking ring’ they’ve had some pretty interesting attire, I will grant you that. In an attempt to keep a heroine feminine and often ‘sexy’, costume designers and comic book artists alike have made some pretty impractical choices. There is one staple of these outrageous duds however that I will always defend: The heel.
I am absolutely sick of hearing the criticism, “You can’t do that in heels!”
To these people I say THIS!
Why am I so adamant that this view is wrong? Well let me explain. If you’re saying “running, jumping, climbing trees, putting on make-up while you’re up there” (Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill) isn’t possible in heels, you are probably suffering from one of the following: A) You don’t know how to move in heels, B) You’re buying the wrong heels.
If you don’t know how to move in heels, it’s all a matter of practice. Practice, practice, practice. Remember that it’s toe-to-heel, not heel-to-toe like how you would walk normally. It’s a completely gear shift when it comes to the locomotion of movement, so it’s okay if you haven’t quite perfected it yet. Most weight should be distributed to the balls of your feet. If you can feel your heel shake when you walk–you need to shift your weight distribution. If you have access to a full length mirror, as silly as it sounds, walking in front of it to keep an eye on your ankles is pretty helpful! Something to remember is when running you are usually completely on the balls of your feet anyway!
As for finding the right heels? I grew up with the philosophy of never buying a pair of shoes I can’t run in. So here are things I’ve learned to consider:
1. Height – This is pretty much a no-brainer. Heels come in all different heights and you should NEVER buy a pair that’s taller than what you’re comfortable with. Work your way up to those 6-inchers. Stand on the balls of your feet. It’s usually wise to stick to a shoe that doesn’t raise your foot higher than that–otherwise you’ll be thrown off balance. If you’re looking for more height but less strain on your arch, try looking into something with a bit of a platform to it. An extra inch without pitching your center of gravity quite as forward.
Go-Go Boots tend to be a good example of this rule. Heel height varies but even the lower of the spectrum engages the calf in a way that gives it that great shape you get with heels.
2. Width – Walking around on a pin-point is not only difficult, it’s uncomfortable–plus you run that fantastic risk of breaking the heel itself or worse, your ankle. So it’s always a good plan to consider the width of the heel. The more surface area of the shoe, the more balanced you’re likely to feel.
In this respect wedge heels are a rather handy weapon to have. You have height and elegance but still relatively the same surface area connecting to the ground as you would with a normal shoe.
Width is also important because it will add to the stability of the heel. When purchasing a pair of heels, always grip the heel and make sure it’s attached firmly to the shoe regardless of how thick it is.
3. Tread – Shoes need traction–and I don’t just mean those little rubber pads you can buy separately and stick on the bottom of your dress shoes, I mean actual treads. More and more I’ve been seeing women’s shoes that actually have traction and thus eliminate that worry of slipping on carpet and falling on your rear–or face, if you’re like me and prone to the least graceful of pratfalls. If you can’t visually tell if a shoe has good tread–and sometimes you can’t–put them on and try to slide your feet in them. If they don’t move easily–or at all–then they make a good grip with the floor–which means they won’t slide from beneath you when you’re taking down that gang of Two-Face’s Goons.
4. Security – By security, of course, I mean “How does this shoe secure to your feet?” Straps, laces, doesn’t matter–however it latches on, it needs to do so as firmly as possible. A shoe that slips off your heel or has an ankle strap with too much give means you run the risk of your foot contorting inside the shoe, or the shoe getting out of alignment with the bottom of your foot–which means injury, injury, injury! So be sure when you try them on to raise your foot and give them a shake. How much does the shoe move around? This is usually easiest to tell when sitting down.
5. Comfort – Of course this is a factor. Just because it’s a nice shoe doesn’t mean it should be uncomfortable! Will you be wearing socks/tights/nylons with it? Is it comfortable with that kind of attire–is it comfortable barefoot. Don’t ignore little pinches! Yes, all shoes need to be broken in a little but those little pinches won’t go away with time! You should never sacrifice your poor tootsies just because you think a shoe is pretty. We’ve all done it–let’s put a stop to it.
The key really just to make sure you try on the shoes before buying them–which yes, we all do–but when you try them on–actually try them! Can you jump? Do you feel like you’re going to slip? How do you have to adjust to stand comfortably? They’re simple enough rules but people tend to forget them. But if you keep them in mind and remember they aren’t just for looks, soon you too will have a shoe collection that one of our masked mademoiselles would envy!
Then I met an Englishman
“Oh” he said
“Won’t you walk up and down my spine,
It makes me feel strangely alive.”
I said “In these shoes?
I doubt you’d survive.”
-In These Shoes, Kirsty MacColl
A while ago I had posted up a little bit about how I wanted to start making latex costumes. Well, I have gotten in all the materials and have been trying to practice and master my craft. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how to actually glue seams on a latex accessory or costume to get the best results.
There are two different kinds of glues used when making latex outfits. A water based or solvent based adhesive. For a more stretchy or for gluing on details that won’t get too much stress I would go for the water based, also known as Liquid Latex. For a stronger, watertight bond I would go with the solvent based, which you can tell when you read a rubber cement that has a material called Hepatane in it. Both are good to use but it just depends on what you are using them for.
I use a solvent based adhesive called Best Test, which you can order online if you can’t find in your local art store, or if you are not in the states you can find a rubber cement called Bostik, which is very strong and durable.
The trick to gluing a seam is prep. Clean both sides of the seam with a solvent, like Heptane or Bestine, and let it dry. Then spread the glue on the seam so that it is evenly spread (sometimes using a credit card can be effective is making sure there are no spots that are not covered by the glue). Wait about 5 min for the glue to dry and get sticky and then slowly attach the two sides together. Once they are attached pinch along the seam to make sure it is evenly distributed or you can even use a wooden roller to get a cleaner look. Make sure you clean the seam with the solvent to get any extra glue and just wait for it to dry. It is best if you wait 24 hours to really let the glue adhere to itself.
Now you have a really strong seam that should last.
For more information on gluing or making latex costumes be sure to check out my blog, which is solely dedicated to me sharing my info I find. www.nerdylatex.com
Thanks for reading and happy diy-ing
In the mainstream media today we are seeing more and more alternative clothing popping up and I think that is awesome because for designers and cosplay enthusiasts we are getting more credibility to our interest in costumes. It was shown recently that spandex, PVC, latex, and other materials are showing up more and more. For me especially I was excited because I have always been interested in latex clothing. It wasn’t until I got to actually wear my first outfit for a costume party that I realized that I may be able to make some more simple stuff myself. This was when the idea struck me! Since I will be attending SDCC this year and I am not swimming in money, then maybe I could attempt to try and make my own costume out of latex.
This whole endeavor took about 2 weeks to get together. Plenty of research about what to get and where to get it. It was very exhausting. Then came the waiting for my packages of latex sheeting, rubber cement glue, thinner and clothing patterns to arrive in the mail. It literally took me about an hour to make my first piece as a trial to see how this whole process will be in the future.
For the crafty people out there I would like to break it down for you. This is not as easy as it looks and I did loads of planning to get me on the right track but it is not impossible to get these materials and make some cool stuff yourself.
This is what it took for me..
- Latex sheeting was ordered from a place called MJTrends
- Best Time Rubber Cement/Bestine Thinner from Pearl Paint – used to glue the seams and thin the glue for thinner latex and for cleaning
- Mineral Spirits from Home Depot – used for cleaning seams
- Rotary Knife/Cutting board/Scissors/Rulers from Walmart – used to make clean cuts
- Patterns from Jo-Ann’s Fabric Store
You simply pick out a pattern. Trace it onto your sheet of latex and then cut it out. Figure out where the seams will be glued and clean them with either the thinner or mineral spirit. Take a paint brush or q-tip and spread a thin layer on your seam on both sides that will be coming together. Wait 5 min and then attach them together. Make sure to apply pressure to the seam or even use a small seam roller to make sure the glue bonds to itself. It works best if you let the seam sit overnight and then Presto!
In my case the glove was then shined with some lube, which also allows for it to stretch without breaking, and I fit it over my hand to give you the picture you see below.
So for my first attempt was making a fingerless glove, called a gaunlet.
I did get a chance with some of the extra pieces to make a little bow on the bottom to give it a little bit of flare.
I feel really confident to give this a serious try. My goal is to have a costume made for Comic-Con and hopefully with great success.
For my next trick I am going to try and make a slightly more complicated piece and I will be sure, now that I know more of what I am doing, to put up pictures step by step of what I did and why.
Until next time.. This is Jess D.
I am obsessed with Art Nouveau, always have been, to the point of having my tattoo done to look like Tiffany stained glass, and I’ve been known to spend hours staring at galleries of Alphonse Mucha’s work. The vivid but subtle use of color, the serene fluidity of form and shapes.
I’m also a huge fan of Marvel’s X-Men, especially the women of the X-Men ‘verse. Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Jubilee, X-23. . . the list goes on, because I like women who are complicated, who aren’t always nice, and who can embrace their own power, even if it’s not always easy to do so.
To my delight, Mighty Fine Tees has taken Megan Lara’s lushly gorgeous illustrations of the iconic Phoenix and Mystique, and made Nouveau-style tees that are nothing more or less than wearable art. Before revealing the next illustration in the Women of X-Men series, there is a contest, with the grand prize of all three shirts, and runners-up getting their choice of one shirt (Phoenix, Mystique, or ???.)
Being a girl who geeks out over many things that may not be considered especially geeky, I always love it when worlds collide, and my interests become a mash-up that is so much more than the sum of its parts. With the recent surge of high-quality, Nouveau-style illustrations of geek subjects, I can only hope that we’ll continue to see an appreciation for Art Nouveau and Geek Nouveau. These tees are worthy of the SQUEE OF DOOM™ (audible only to dogs and bats, and known to shatter glass.)
We’ve seen many a princess puppy or pirate cat prance around on Halloween. These pale in comparison to the amount of awesome and geeky that went into this simple, yet brilliant costume.
Esther from Villain School Dropout has been known to occasionally dress her little buddy, Brian, in some fun doggy attire. This time, however, she’s taken a Happy Dwarf doll, cut off its cheeks:
And combined it with a piece of fabric cut from a brown dress to make Brian into a tiny little Ewok:
Our hats are off to you, Esther. Just brilliant.
Do you dress your pets for Halloween? Post your pics!