Five Fandome Friday! 5 Geeky Hobbies

Today’s prompt is kind of cool. There are all sorts of hobbies that one can fervently fall in love with, but it’s kind of what you do with them or how you look at them that came your hobbies geeky. (I’m going to list hobbies that I love, but really I spend most of my time pinning fanart on my Pinterest page. Shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.)

Cooking!

There is an art and a science to cooking that can make it super geeky. Baking is a science. To take a conglomerate of powders and wet substances and turn it into a pan of gooey brownies takes a lot of chemical reactions and a leap of faith (or witchcraft, you decide).

Watercolor Painting

I really enjoy making watercolor splash art. It begins with a rough sketch of something geeky, like Totoro. Then I throw a lot of pigmented water at the paper and push it around until I think it looks pretty. Once that dries, I use caligrapher’s ink to outline my sketch and VOILA cute, geeky splash art!

Writing Fiction

This isn’t so much a hobby for me, but something I’ve desired to do with my life since I was small. I’m working on it. This is so geeky because I’m trying to create the very thing that other people are out there gushing over, fandoms.  I’m creating lovable characters, irresistible worlds, and stakes so high your ears will pop.

Decorating

I don’t get to do it often, but I do drool over all of the sick art prints and such out there on the internet. I adore being able to take the things I love an placing them in the open around my home. I have some cool Adventure Time art that I’m dying to hang somewhere! I just haven’t found the right spot.

Renaissance Festivals

I’ve only ever been to two Renaissance Festivals, but there’s one every year a couple hours from here. I’m excited to go back again this summer and take part in all of the goofy fun. The first time, my husband pressured me into renting a costume. I was a common wench with a bustier that killed after three hours in the hot sun. My sister in law had a much nicer dress with more layers. She must have had it worse.

We all like to do so many things. Some of you may like to knit or crochet and use that to make sick blankets or cute amigurumi. Others may like to craft super cool household objects or make webpages and macros.

That’s because we’re cool like that.

Funko Friday: Five Funko Fandoms I’m Dying For

They seem to be in the back of my mind lately, whispering sweet nothings to me as I go about my day. What is it with these adorable little figurines that makes them so addictive? I usually have a rule about not buying things that don’t have some sort of use. These really don’t have any use other than to collect dust, yet I’m itching to get my next fix.

Most recently I bought Captain America (because I’m utterly in love with him and Agent Carter needed him) as well as Flame Princess (because I’m collecting the cool ladies from Adventure Time). I have those plus the Doctor Who collection, Sherlock, OUAT collection, and a few more.

But I want MOAR.

Outlander: Jaime and Claire

JaimeClaire

Nothing, and I mean nothing, holds a candle to the face so Sam Heughan, but I still want the little kilted version of him to stand atop my Outlander books. And what is Jaime without sassy and brilliant Claire?

Firefly: Captain Mal Reynolds and Kaylee

MalKaylee

Why is it that everyone has Zoey and Wash and Even Jayne, but no one has Mal or Kaylee? I think I saw Mal once in an actual store, but foolishly passed up the chance to grab him. I don’t have a Firefly collection started yet, but this is how I’d begin.

The Hobbit: Smaug

Smaug

Everywhere I look, you can find the dragons from GoT. They just don’t do it for me. I’m sorry. They don’t. Smaug is the dragon that I need. I read The Hobbit when I was younger and when the movie came out, featuring Cumberbatch as Smaug, I died happy.

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

I have finally found a pre-order for the Sailor Moon funko! She even comes with Luna! Honestly, I’ve kind of been putting off purchasing other Funkos because these are the ones that I REALLY want. I’m broke right about now, but work starts soon and you know I’ll be pre-ordering all of them. Delivery date is posted as June. On Amazon, it’s September.

Supernatural

Cas

I kind of only want Dean and Cas (the one with wings), so don’t judge me. I can’t really love Sam because he looks so much like an older version of my brother that it’s creepy. And the Crowley funko doesn’t remind me of him at all. He could be anyone. If Dean is my TV husband, my first love, then Cas is a close second.

Save

Charm Beads I Wish Were Made

Several years ago I received a Chamilia charm bracelet. The collecting of the beads has been a slow process as the beads made for the bracelet are kind of expensive for me. They’re treats after long months of work.

I discovered Think Geek’s collection of super cool, super geeky beads and I’m still drooling over them. I’ve put a bunch in my cart over the past few months and keep taking them out. Ohm Beads also make some really cool beads like Fairy Tale books and brains.

I love the idea of being able to take my geeky love every where with me in a discreet and stylish fashion. But, there are some beads I’d kill to be able to find somewhere.

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon

This would be an obvious choice for charm beads. The whole series is about femininity, setting up for a super pretty, super cool bead. It could be a dangle moon wand or an enamel crystal brooch. Even a dangle version of the locket from season one!

I’d love to add it to my jewelry collection.

Pokemon

Poke

I found a few hand made pokemon beads on etsy that were kind of cute, but I want moooore. A pokeball bead is an obvious duh. Just one that slides onto the bracelet as dangles tend to break. Could you imagine a Ninetales with movable, dangling tails though?

Ugh, the dream.

Adventure Time

200

One of my latest obsessions has been Adventure Time. I’ve purchased all of the kids’ video games for several devices and caught up on all of the recent cartoons, including a really touching Marceline series. Wearing Finn, Fionna, Jake, or Cake on my bracelet would be really mathematical.

Studio Ghibli

howl

This is a definite drool worthy choice for me. I’m a die hard Ghibli Girl. So much so that I might name a future child Sophie.  I’m totally in love with the beautiful and often heart wrenching worlds that Miyazaki has created. I want a robot guardian bead from Castle in the Sky or a Calcifer bead from Howl’s Moving Castle. A Totoro with a dangling soot sprite?

Too bad I don’t know where to even begin to make my own or how to even get the rights to do so. When I start working again this summer I’ll probably pick up more of Think Geek’s beads. Girl needs to treat herself, right?

Rainy Days are Meant for Library Books

I woke up to the sound of rain pattering on my bedroom window today. Outside, all the pretty, white snow has melted and left us with mud everywhere. The time for tubing and sledding it seems has passed and the dreary weather offers no solace whatsoever to the down in the dumps feeling that has gripped me.

Instead of spending the day needlessly arguing with my husband, I headed into town, signed up for a new library card, and grabbed coffees at the cafe that I haven’t been to in forever. Everyone has been raving about Rainbow Rowell’s books all across the internet. I felt as though I was missing something, but when I found the books on Target shelves, my wallet firmly said no.

That meant a library trip and it just so happened that the library 5 miles down the road had exactly what I wanted, Fangirl and Carry On! I love libraries. I spent much of my early teens in a library. On days that my grandmother would watch us, she’d let me walk the block and a half to the library and I’d spend my days perusing books to read in the summer sun.

I haven’t cracked open the books yet and, disappointingly, there is no sun to read them in. Instead, I’ll cuddle up with my blankets and coffee while I read and dream of the day I get my dream library job.

Here are some shirts I’d love to rock on the job, or any day:

394-heathered_light_blue-z1-t-women-who-read-are-dangerous

3200bc-white_blue-z1-t-a-book-is-proof-that-humans-are-capable-of-working-magic

3200bc-white_black-z1-t-with-freedom-books-flowers-and-the-moon-who-could-not-be-happy

394-heathered_gray_aa-z1-t-i-m-a-reader

These are all so freaking wonderful! I like to imagine myself walking into work wearing a sleek pencil skirt or a spiffy cardigan with these. I really wouldn’t be who I am now without books in my life.

A Geek Girl’s Guide to the Art of Baking

Last time we spoke, I let you in on my little secret: that I’m a science geek, too.

Science is really important when baking. It gets you the form that you want. On the other hand, there is also an art to baking. Especially the kind of baking you’ll find on here. Of course, you might think of art as re-creating our favorite geeky icons, but there’s a bit more to it than just that.

Totally Not Me, But Totally Cool
Totally Not Me, But Totally Cool

Flavor. I mean, they can be pretty, but we also have to eat what we make in in the end.

Here’s where you can have fun. There’s a lot of ways to add flavor to something these days. There are extracts and concentrates for everything. You can use citrus zests, flavored liqeurs, jams and jellies, as well as anything else you could think of. Add them to your batters and dough. Add them to your icing. You can use only a single note, like plain vanilla, or you can play mix and match to create depth of flavor.

We all know some tried and true flavor combinations that no one should be afraid of. For example: Peanutbutter and Jelly (or Chocolate, duh), Chocolate and Coffee, Lemon and Raspberry. Honey and Lavender is delicious in bread. Sage and Blackberry is deceptively good in tea. Sage and Lemon, even, is good in a shortbread cookie. I had a friend single-handedly devour that batch when I made it. Even, bear with me, Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar is delicious. It so is.

Just make sure that when adding these flavors you account for any extra moisture or dryness in your recipe. Adding too much liquid flavoring can cause your batter to become too runny while a bevy of dry flavor can create something too crumbly. Finding the sweet spot is key in all things, right?

Once all is said and baked, then comes the art of decoration. As I displayed with my Sailor Moon cookies, I used wax paper to draw and cut out a template for my cookie shapes. This kept me from spending a lot on cookie cutter clutter. Feel free to print your desired shape off the internet and trace over it with the wax paper. Then you have a reference photo nearby when decorating!

For piped cookies, draw your templates directly onto the paper with enough space between each so that the cookies don’t touch each other while baking, but don’t cut it out. You can simply lay the (preferably) parchment paper onto the cookie sheet and pipe your cookies directly onto the paper before throwing the whole shebang into the oven. This works well with Macarons and Spritz cookies.

Later, once all is cool, you can use buttercream frosting, royal icing, sprinkles, edible glitter (yeah, that’s real), and fondant to make your cookies geeky and pretty. I saw a DIY where one baker used fondant to cut out and make her own Sailor Moon inspired sprinkles. With a few supplied from your craft shop we could do something cool like that, too!

All in all, have fun in the kitchen. There will be failures. It happens with any venture. Just be sure to laugh it off and try again. For Christmas, Mom and I (both seasoned bakers) left a pan of cookies in the oven for about an hour. We laughed, tossed them away, and went on with our baking. Shit happens.

 

Binge Baking Because I Can

This weekend I made another attempt at making geeky iced cookies and you know what?

This time they turned out 99.99% better!

photo 3
Hubs purchased something for himself on Amazon so he let me pick out these sweet socks!

I won’t post a recipe for these because, really, I just used the Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe in Ro Pansino’s Nerdy Nummies cookbook. I tweaked it a little bit because I didn’t have lemon available. Instead, I added a mixture of vanilla and almond extracts to both the dough and the icing. It turned out so freaking delicious that I’ve been eating them for breakfast every morning.

That’s okay when your husband makes you do cardio, right?

Annnnyway, I’ve found a sugar cookie recipe that I like and nearly have the icing down pat. The icing was much thicker than the first test, but still had a habit of running. That’s why the moons turned out a bit derpy. Still, I was so impressed with the cookie flavor that I didn’t care. Because it can be cute as shit, but you still have to eat that cookie. It better taste like a freaking food orgasm at the same time.

photo 1
Using wax paper I made a cookie stencil and cut the shapes out with a paring knife. Suck it expensive cookie cutters.
photo 2
Totally ignore the mess in the background. Please?

I originally wanted to make my favorite cats, Artemis and Luna from Sailor Moon, into cute macarons. (Cute French cookies not to be confused with macaroons. No, seriously. Don’t.) I didn’t have almond meal on hand so I began another batch of sugar cookies. This time around I have a bag of what looks to be really fine almond meal (purchased in the baking section of Wal-mart).

My mother-in-law has celiac disease and cannot have gluten or dairy. She bemoans the lack of good gluten/dairy free cookies in the world and I immediately thought of these. I haven’t yet decided what geeky fandom I’d like to approach with this recipe. Comment down below with your ideas and I’ll be sure to share an actual recipe next time.

Also, I applied for the Library job and received a kind of mini interview upon resume delivery. I was the first to apply. I’m filled with so much trepidation and excitement.

What I Read in December 2015 (And maybe January 2016)

After Nanowrimo I kind of had a falling out with writing. I pushed on into December, but lost the fire not long after. I fell into a kind of writer’s block that was accompanied by depression. I threw myself into reading thinking that there was no better way to learn to write than by example.

It began with Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. I threw myself into the fun steampunk series, emptying Christmas gift cards into procuring the rest of the series. I wasn’t let down, as you probably know. There are vampires, werewolves, dirigibles, and, of course, Picklemen. 51K4NcinI2L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

There was just enough money left on a gift card to pick up the kindle version of Maggie Steifvater’s Raven Boys. This doesn’t have the same fun that Carriger’s YA books had. It was more of a slow introduction to a very mysterious world, several of them. Steifvater introduces us to a group of teens somehow bound to one another by a magical, Celtic king.

51zb1Ggd5VL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I haven’t picked up the rest, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to.  I fell in love with Blue’s strange, mismatched family of psychics. I fell in love with Adam’s desperation to become more than his upbringing. I found my own little brother in Ronan. I think this means I need to renew my library card.

I’ve been eyeballing Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows for-practically-ever. I’m beyond thrilled that I found the print version and hubs bought it for me. It is beautifully designed and what’s on the inside is devilishly good. The reader follows six criminals through the biggest heist of their life and all of the ghosts of their pasts in the world that Bardugo built in the Grisha series.

Six-of-Crows

My only complaint was the ending. It’s not even a complaint really. It’s more a growl of frustration. Be forewarned. This is most likely not a stand alone novel like I had assumed. If it is… well, then I’m going to throw it very, very hard…. at Bardugo.

Somewhere in between these books I ran out of cash and turned tot he unread pile on my shelf. I must have picked up Unbreakable by Kami Garcia in the sale section of Books-a-Million back in Maryland and forgotten. I remember wanting it, thinking of it as a YA Supernatural. With nothing else to read, I thought “what the heck” and pulled it.

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable
Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

I wanted to love it. I wanted to defeat awful monsters and see some really kick ass girls. She worked on Beautiful Creatures and I remembered loving that book.

Nope.

The protagonist loses her mother to a vengeful spirit and finds herself pulled up with a group of kids whose families have sworn to protect the world from ghosts and demons. Sounds cool, but falls woefully short. Everything happens so quickly that character development feels very lack luster. One moment the protagonist hates her love interest and the next she’s swearing her love for him.

I was beyond frustrated with this book. It had potential. It had bones, but there was no flesh on the bones to breathe life into the story. I felt the protagonist’s dismay at being normal amongst all the weird, but Garcia let the romantic story take center stage and it ran away from her.

Carriger, Steifvater, and Bardugo did really well with their recent YA books. Choose Carriger for fun and espionage. Choose Steifvater for mystery and magic. Choose Bardugo for story weaving and world building.