Category: Geeky

iron-on patch

How to Use An Iron-On Patch- Cool NASA T-Shirt

I picked up an iron-on patch on my recent trip to America, it found it really easy to use.

The NASA t-shirt is super ‘in’ right now.  But I didn’t feel I could buy one without having visited something NASA related.  Like wearing a band t-shirt because it makes you look rock ‘n’ roll but you’ve never listened to the music.  I’m not planning on joining NASA anytime soon, but I have now visited the Smithsonian Air and Space museums in Washington DC and Virginia.  It was the Virginia one that I bought this $6 iron-on patch from.  Back in the UK I bought a t-shirt from H and M for £3.99.

iron on patch

I tried the t-shirt on first to eye-ball where I wanted the iron-on patch.  Then I laid it out flat and placed down the patch.  I placed a piece of cotton fabric over the top (you could use a pillow case).  Then put my iron on the hottest setting and placed it down over the patch for about 45 seconds. iron-on patch

Don’t use steam, and don’t move it back and forth!  Then I turned the t-shirt inside out and did the same thing again.  And that’s it!  Pretty simple, and it’s stuck fast as people said in the 1840’s.  I feel like this post has had a lot of anachronistic slang…  This cost me less than £10 to make, I’ve seen them online for as little as £15 but a lot that were over £30.  So I feel I’ve got a pretty good deal, and it’s a wearable souvenir of my trip.

iron on patch


Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl

I always want to do something awesome for Halloween and it never really happens.  The internet tells me I can make a mummy costume, or become a lego version of myself with only my innate make-up ability and 10 minutes.  That way ends in disaster.

I also want to go for something scary, rather than all the silly popular culture inspired ones that proliferate the interwebs, but that limits the options further. I went for something in the middle, not a witch or vampire but also not a humanoid emoji or confectionery item.   I chose cave girl. Continue reading “Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl”

Snorlax Door Stop

About three years ago I decided to make a door stop, and picked Snorlax as my inspiration.

Snorlax is a giant pokemon who sleeps and eats, he is in fact a key plot point in the early pokemon games as he blocks your path and you have to figure out how to wake him up.  So he seemed like a good choice for something that’s going to sit there blocking something.

Continue reading “Snorlax Door Stop”

Star Wars Bake

Last year my friends, and I, started having ‘Bake Offs’ where we would bake and bring and often award a little prize for the best.  These fell by the wayside but they have recently been resurrected, and this week’s was Star Wars themed.

There are quite a lot of ideas on the interwebs, alas most require more skill, equipment, and time than I possess.  My first idea was Storm Trooper cookies which required marshmallow but since the only vegetarian marshmallows I could find were stupidly expensive, and I also needed a bunch of other stuff I couldn’t find I opted for something much lazier.

So I made use of my Star Wars ice cube trays- which I have only ever used to make Star Wars shaped chocolates out of.  I made some simple biscuits and ‘glued’ the chocolates in place with icing.

Things that went wrong include the plastic bowl melting to my saucepan when I was trying to melt the chocolate, not having any eggs and it raining and therefore impossible to go outside and get some, and my scales breaking.

Anyway you can see mine bottom right, and the rest are my friends’ creations.  I particularly like Jabba the Humous.

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Manchester Play Expo!

We just got back from Play Expo and I thought I’d share my snaps!  It’s an event we went to last year and had such a good time we went back again, it’s a huge space full of sci-fi and gaming related stuff like stalls with stuff for sale, cosplay performances, gaming tournaments, film memorabilia etc.

Play Expo 2014 Last year I got my photo taken with pikachu!  He wasn’t there in person this time but you can never get to far away from my favourite pokemon…  And I bought some pokemon cards!  I almost bought a pikachu t-shirt but the smallest size was a mens XS which was a 36 inch chest which I don’t have…

There were various games to play from pinball to PS4, the funniest looked like Octodad about an Octopus masquerading as a man trying to get ready for his daughter’s wedding.

Play ExpoThere weren’t as many people dressed up this year, and the cos play performances weren’t as good either.  People were probably put off by how badly run the cos play tournament was last year and didn’t bother putting any effort in.  I wore my star trek dress and star trek communicator badge and looked adorable. 🙂Play Expo 2014

Star Trek Communicator

Star Trek Insignia/Communicator Badge

Heading to Play Expo for the second year (it was really good last year) where they have all manner of gaming stuff on show.  There’s also a lot of dress up and cosplay, so I thought I’d get in on the act (in a small way!)

Star Trek BadgesI’ve made myself a couple of badges that are worn on the uniform in Star Trek.  In the original series (which I’ve been watching recently) they are just a silver insignia on their uniforms with different symbols for Command, Science, Medical, Engineering.  I picked science.  I got the image from the interwebs (be forewarned there are about 700 different insignia and communicator styles!) and cut the shape our of felt twice. I then used thick black thread to sew up the two pieces and attempt to add the science symbol.  I also stuffed in some toy stuffing.

Unknown Person

Star TrekIn The Next Generation (the best series) the insignia have been turned into their personal communicators now made from gold and platinum but without the symbols.  I tried the no-sew approach with this one for a more sleek look, so I used all purpose glue. It didn’t really work, as the glue seeped through the felt but didn’t actually stick it together.  So I started again and used glue to attach the triangular shape to the oval shape, then used thread to sew the other pieces together.

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Steampunk- The Asylum

The Asylum- Steampunk Event

Steampunk The Asylum LincolnBoyfriend and I recently went to The Asylum, a steampunk event run by the Victorian Steampunk Society in Lincoln. Steampunk, if you don’t know,  is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century, according to Wiki anyway. The Asylum website describes the event thusly:

“Weekend at the Asylum is the largest purely steampunk event in Europe and attracts participants from around the world. For three glorious days each year the historic streets of Lincoln are thronged with splendidly dressed steampunks enjoying a festival which strives to combine art, literature, music, fashion, comedy and simple good fun. ”

For my costume I made a jacket, shirt, skirt, camera case, bag, headband, a bustle, and ray gun.  I wanted to make everything by hand and I did (apart from the ray gun which was a plastic toy gun that I painted).  In hindsight I shouldn’t have bothered with the gun and holster as it just got annoying to carry around.

The event itself was a little disappointing.  The schedule was released very late on by which time all the Saturday tickets had been snapped up.  We got Sunday ones but it seemed clear that most of the interesting stuff had happened on the previous day.  There was a disorganised feel to the proceedings which only served to exacerbate the feeling that this was aimed largely at an inner circle of Steampunkers who all knew each other.Asylum Steampunk Event

There were some fun stuff though like the costumes people were wearing and the effort they had gone to.  Also there was a display by the Minimum Altitude Display Team who wore jet-packs and ‘flew’ around the castle grounds.  This was followed by ‘Wacky Races’ in which people raced their bikes and jet-packs (one small child was pushed in a little car).  We got a good view of the first race (although I had no idea who had won as they each seemed to race a different distance) but the second race took place around the corner so we missed it.  An example of how a fun event was spoiled by bad organising as people didn’t really know what was going on at the end of the races.

We felt that we were sitting around waiting for things to happen a lot so we left early as there was a big gap in the schedule at about 3pm.  We did get yummy ice cream first though!


Insect Lab

Cool Find- Insect Lab

Insect Lab Butterfly

Yeah, I like bugs.  I really do.  And spiders.

American artist Mike Libby created Insect Lab where he makes robot insects (and spiders and scorpions, and whatever grasshoppers are…) that are reminiscent of technological critters from sci-fi films.

They are super cool but slightly (way way way) out of my price range!  I’m sure this level of creativity and technical skill is worth it but…I still can’t afford them!

Insect Lab Spider Insect Lab Scorpion

Star Trek Dress

Star Trek Dress

I should be in Valley of Fire right about now!  It’s a state park close to Las Vegas with incredible scenery, it’s where the Mars scenes were filmed in the original Total Recall and a key part of Star Trek Generations was shot.

So I thought a Star Trek themed craft was in order!  Here is my Star Trek dress!

Star Trek Dress

I used a Star Trek duvet cover for the bodice and blue camouflage fabric for the skirt.  I did cut the bodice pattern pieces too big and then lost some weight so I subsequently had to take the dress in which was a chore and the reason it sat unworn for quite a while on my to-do pile.

Star Trek Dress

The thing is  people think taking-something-in as being no big deal but if you just lop a chunk out a dress it’ll be lopsided and fit weirdly.  For the skirt section of the dress I can just take in at the waist easily and cut off the excess fabric but for the bodice part I really need to re-cut each of pattern pieces smaller and sew back together again.  To complicate it I had already attempted to take it in (by lopping a chunk out) so some of the pattern pieces are a bit funny.