GenCon, day 1!

Haha, I am coming to you live from Steak N Shake in downtown Indy, because our hotel charges $15 a day for internet!  So, the daily GenCon reports I promised may not exactly be daily – but trust me, I’ll definitely go into crazy amounts of detail once home.

Yesterday was a fun day – I dressed as Pinkie Pie, and lots of people stopped to take pictures, it was awesome.  I ended up getting quite a few pictures taken with Rainbow Factory Dash, a steampunk grimdark Rainbow Dash who was pretty awesome about everyone saying “OH GOD PINKIE AND DASH WE NEED YOUR PICTURES”, aheheh.  The first thing I did at the convention was take pictures with Rainbow Factory Dash, and then dash (haha) to the Exhibition Hall, where everyone’s money ends up going, hahah.  I snagged another set of Impact Miniatures’ pony minis (I need the mane 6!), then wandered around the exhibition hall for a couple of hours and spent stupid amounts of money.  Which is fine – I’ve been waiting for GenCon all summer!  During my wanders through the hall, I stumbled across the Worldbuilders booth – and Patrick Rothfuss, an author whose books I adore.  (I may have torn through both of his books in two weeks, if that says anything)

I promptly stopped and flailed a little bit.  Bryan encouraged me to go say hi to him – so I did.  And told him I loved his books, and I was excited to meet him, and then after he thanked me and we exchanged other pleasantries, I bought a t-shirt from his booth and then agonized over taking his picture.  Bryan then went up and asked Patrick if I could get my picture taken with him, and he said “sure!”  And stood up, AND GAVE ME A HUG AND I ALMOST DIED OMG. I think that made my convention, aheheh.


The afternoon/evening was spent doing My Little Pony related things – I met some awesome people, and learned quite a bit about the new My Little Pony trading card game that’s coming out.  The Enterplay group was awesome – they told us about how they hired fans to work on the game to make sure it’s as show accurate as possible, and seemed to have a lot of fun with the panel in general.  There were plenty of goodies handed out (Rainbow Factory Dash got a rare Rainbow Dash foil card handed to him, and I got a Pinkie Pie play mat for the TCG!), lots of good questions asked, and lots of fun was had.  The TCG playtest tournament went really well, too – I had a lot of fun and am likely going to write an entire post dedicated to just that.  I played against – you guessed it – Rainbow Factory Dash, haha. I thoroughly wiped the floor with him, and we declared it was a good game. 😀

Afterwards, I wandered around a bit, went back to my hotel room to switch into more comfortable clothes, and got some dinner before calling it a day. And what a day it was!  Today has had a pretty good start, too – delicious breakfast and free internet at Steak N Shake, and – get this – the waitress recognized me from a shot of people wandering around at the convention on a local news station!  😀  I’ll hunt down the clip when I am connected to better wi-fi.

For now, though, time to finish breakfast and get ready for Day 2!



Headed to GenCon 2013!

You guys, I am so incredibly excited.

You want to know why?

This is my FIRST convention that I’ve attended as an actual, legitimate blogger.  Sure, I don’t have press passes or anything, but still.  I’ll be taking lots of pictures for a purpose! 😀


Instead of just dashing around to take pictures with all the ponies I can find, like last year.

So, yes, The Crafty Nerd is going to GenCon 2013!  This is not my first convention – and definitely not my last.  I’m coming super-prepared this year, with three costumes, and I’ve even got a hotel room close to the Indianapolis Convention Center.  I’ve signed up for a couple of events, and plan on wandering around and taking LOTS of pictures, like I did last year. And I’ll be posting all those pictures at the end of each day of the con, with as much commentary as I can put together after a long day of convention going.

If you’re attending GenCon this year and see me, don’t be shy!  I’ve got pictures of the costumes I’ll be wearing (which will conveniently be posted here the night before I wear them), so feel free to say hi if you spot me!  (And if you catch me on Saturday, when I’m dressed as the Fourth Doctor, tell me you read the Crafty Nerd and I’ll give you some actual Jelly Babies!)


Tomorrow, I’ll be rocking my Pinkie Pie costume, with some modifications – instead of the cutie mark t-shirt I’ve got in the picture above, I’ll be wearing a yellow tanktop.  I’ll still be carrying around Plushie Pie, and exuding cheer and smiles! 😀  So if you’re in the Indianapolis area tomorrow, and attending GenCon, say hi! 😀  And keep your eyes peeled here for the next four days, for lots of pictures and convention-related fun!  Until then, enjoy a handful of photos from last year’s GenCon!

The Crafty Nerd finds a new hobby

It’s not terribly often that I take up a new hobby – especially one that I can easily incorporate my nerdiness into.  (Or actually encourages my nerdiness.)  However, a couple of my friends are also into this specific hobby, and it piqued my interest…

2013-08-04 16.01.19Yes, that’s right – I’ve picked up the fine (and expensive) hobby of painting minis.  And it turns out I’m actually pretty good at it, too!

When I first heard about mini figures, it was through some friends who played Warhammer 40K – that was my only exposure to minis for many, many years.  All I knew about it was that it involved lots of tiny figurines, and the game wasn’t quite my thing, so I largely ignored it.  Then a friend of mine reintroduced me to the hobby last year – it turned out minis weren’t just used for Warhammer, they were used in lots of games – like Pathfinder, Dungeons and Dragons, and more.  I admired his intricate paint work, but didn’t think I could manage such tiny details. Continue reading →

You know you’re nerdy when…

Oh yes.  We all have our moments when we do something and then think “Yikes, I’m nerdy!”  Here’s a little list of my nerdy moments – feel free to share yours in the comments!

You know you’re nerdy when…

  • … you write a love note to your husband in Python code – and he responds back in Python as well.
  • … you spend an entire weekend (or two or three or four) working on costume pieces for a convention.
  • … instead of cutesy little knick-knacks decorating your living room, you have a K-9 bobblehead, a couple of large My Little Ponies, and a bunch of Princess Peach figurines all over your entertainment center.
  • …your desk at the office is covered in noticeably more action figures than, well, everyone else’s.
  • …you’re on edge, waiting eagerly, for an important announcement regarding one of your fandoms.  (Doctor Who fans, you know this feeling well, what with the announcement of the 12th Doctor recently!  And the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans, don’t tell me you don’t eagerly await the announcement of when each new season will start, haha)
  • …you get excited about getting a package of USB cords in the mail.
  • …most of your t-shirts come from places like shirt.woot, Teefury, Threadless, and RIPT – simply because there’s no better place to get nerdy shirts (I swear, most of my non-work wardrobe consists of Doctor Who shirts thanks to sites like them)
  • …you get excited when you figure out a way to nerd up an otherwise not-incredibly-nerdy craft project.  (Princess Luna crocheted cape, here I come!)
  • …you get excited by the smell of new books.  Or new computer parts.  Or new action figures.
  • …you get so into a hobby (playing a new video game, reading the the newest book in your favorite fantasy series, learning to paint minis) that you forget to eat lunch… and have to be reminded to eat dinner.
  • …you have more computers in your house than you do people.  (Or laptops, or cellphones.  I think the tally here in the Crafty Nerd House is three desktops, three laptops, two tablets, and four smartphones, two of which are not in active use.  And it’s just me and Mr. Crafty Nerd here.)

And these are just the ones I’m guilty of – again, if you have your own nerdy moments, share them in the comments!  I may add them to an updated version of this post. 🙂

How To Detangle Build-a-Bear My Little Pony Manes

Edit 7/2/14: I’ve had a couple requests for help when it comes to terribly tangled manes – and now I have a tutorial for that!  You can find it here!

With the very recent release of Princess Twilight Sparkle at Build-a-Bear, and my very very recent (as in, this afternoon) purchase of Twilight Sparkle and her buddy Spike, I figured I may as well get all three of my Build-a-Bear ponies together for a picture – they’re some of the nicest quality ponies I’ve got in my collection, and I do love taking pictures of my ponies!  However, when I took Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash off the bed in my office, I noticed their manes were a little less than perfect looking… Pinkie had a few knots in her mane, and Dashie had some flyaways and looked a little messy.  I figured it might be a good idea to brush and detangle their manes – and then got the bright idea to post a photo-laden tutorial of the process here!  (Granted, this idea hit me halfway through Pinkie Pie, but still…)

So, without further ado…

How to Detangle Pony Manes

First things first, you’ll want to pick up a wig brush (or at least a brush with metal bristles) and some wig detangler.  I use an old American Girl doll hairbrush, and recently picked up some Brandywine Wig Detangler off of Amazon for detangling the wig that goes with my Pinkie Pie costume.

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Wig brush and detangler!

Have a look at Pinkie’s mane – I’ve brushed it a small amount at this point, but you can see it’s still kinda messy – even for Pinkie!

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Pinkie after a little bit of detangling – but not much.

Continue reading →

The Crafty Nerd Goes On Vacation: Part 1

No no no, not a vacation from posting – although I did unintentionally take one of those, and I’m sorry!  I’m going to stick to a schedule from now on – Wednesdays and Sundays will be my posting days, with an occasional Roundup here and there.  And since today is a Sunday…


Now, I really am on vacation – back in my home state of New York, in the lovely Adirondack Mountains.  Bryan’s grandparents have a cabin here, and I’ve been coming up here with Bryan and his family for about six years now.  We’re close to Lake George, which is a very touristy place, but far enough away from all the busy-ness of the town, which is wonderful.

2013-07-26 17.09.25I mean, come on, look at this beautiful view of the Hudson River.  Absolutely wonderful.  I’ve been looking forward to this all summer – and I am incredibly happy to be here.  All my classes are done for the summer, work has entered a lull (I taught a ridiculous amount of page layout and design workshops during the early part of last week, and that’s it for my teaching schedule for the rest of the summer), and it’s the perfect part of the summer to take a vacation.  So here I am, parked at the kitchen table in my pajamas and my Escher-inspired Doctor Who sweatshirt, with my laptop, writing this post while listening to the birds tweet outside.

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Beth’s Awesome Picks of the Week – July 7th – 13th, 2013

I’m going to shift the focus of my weekly roundups to include not just awesome crafty things, but awesome craft and nerd things in general!  This week, I’ve got a whole bunch of things for you guys.

Evolution of Gaming

This is an awesome podcast by my friend Andy and a friend of his that delves into the history of gaming – Andy and Jason play all sorts of video games, on their original systems, and talk about all sorts of gaming stuff.  The podcast updates twice a week – and I think my Super NES will be powering one of the upcoming episodes, so stay tuned!  I’m enjoying the heck out of this podcast.

Perler Bead TARDIS Tutorial



Ever wanted to make a TARDIS?  Well, here’s a tutorial that shows you how to make one with perler beads!  I love playing with perler beads – it’s just so awesome to assemble a picture or something and then iron over it to melt all the beads together… it’s oddly satisfying.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Comics – Treasury Edition

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For those of you who collect the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics, or for those who are just fans of the series, this is a must-buy.  I picked this up at my local comic book shop last week, and the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Treasury Edition is packed with all sorts of awesome things.  It’s got a line art only edition of the first comic in the front, which is especially awesome to look at for this art nerd, and it also has a collection of every different cover variant for the first couple of comics – the original variants, the Hot Topic covers, the one made especially for different comic vendors – all nice and large and in bright colors.  The book is definitely larger than the comic books – it’s about 9 by 12 inches – and the art is awesome.  You can likely find it in your local comic book shop!  (For more information, check out this article from Derpy Hooves News.)

And that’s it for this week’s roundup – feel free to let me know in the comments if there’s something you think I should feature in next week’s roundup!

Music Enthusiasm (or, What Happens When the Head Nerd Sees One of Her Favorite Musical Groups)

I may not be quite so obvious about it, but I am definitely a huge music nerd – I grew up in a household that not only loved listening to music, but everyone was musically inclined to some degree.  My mom played trumpet, I played clarinet and piano, and my sister played alto sax and a tiny bit of clarinet.  Performing has always been a thrill for me, and watching concerts even more so.  When I go to concerts, I get especially excited – I get to see some of my favorite musicians playing music I love to listen to – and there’s nothing separating me from the music as it’s being played.  It’s not coming out of speakers or headphones – it’s coming straight from the musicians to my ears.

So, when I heard one of my most favorite musical groups was coming somewhat nearby, I may have flailed about and then ordered tickets promptly.  Yes, Caravan Palace came to Chicago recently, and I went and saw them, and it was… oh, it was an experience.

Continue reading →

New side blog: Go Scooterlou!

I’m working on a much more interesting and much larger post – on my recent trip to Chicago, no less, and about music nerdery – but until that’s all ready, I’ve got a tiny little tidbit for those of you who love hearing about my scooter (or who’re just curious about her).  I’ve started up a little Blogger blog, Go Scooterlou!, that focuses on stories about my scooter, pictures of her and other little Honda Metropolitans I encounter, and other scooter-related stuff.

You can find it here!

Second Doctor Who Scarf!

Well, it only took me six months to do it this time – I finished my second Doctor Who scarf!



The scarf turned out pretty well, although there were a couple of hiccups along the way while making it, including…

  • It turns out I used the wrong size needles.  for some reason I figured that I’d be using the same size needles as I used for Bryan’s scarf, but nope.  I was wrong.  I needed a size 9 needle – and used a size 6, and didn’t realized I was using the wrong needles until I was about five rows away from done.  Not even kidding.  Being a bit of a perfectionist, I may try to make a new one in the correct size… is that crazy?
  • Crocheting the edge was a bit tough, especially on the side that had all the color changes.  The pattern didn’t exactly explain how to do it (“slip stitch crochet on right side only” is not quite enough detail – where the heck am I supposed to put that slip stitch?).  I ended up just single-crocheting around the edge on the right side – it made the edge a little more obvious, which I was fine with, but I don’t know as it’s entirely show-accurate…  The worst part was trying to wedge my crochet hook through the color changes – that side’s a bit messy because of that.  It’s not horrible, but when it comes to my craft projects, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
  • I am really sick of changing their patterns every year!  This happened when I was working on Bryan’s scarf, and it happened this time too – I inevitably lose the pattern somewhere, and then go to look it up online, and it’s completely different.  While the change wasn’t so drastic with Bry’s scarf (it went from just a list of colors and rows to a graphical pattern), the change on my scarf was much harder to deal with – the maintainer of the patterns switched from counting each rib as a row, and listing the amount of ribs on each color span, to counting each individual row and therefore doubling the amount of “rows” in each span of color.  It really threw me off, especially when I did my counting.  Next time I do a scarf, I’m going to get in the habit of printing out a couple of copies and sticking the extras to my bulletin board, so I don’t have to switch to reading a pattern in a different format.


Aside from these issues, making the scarf was fun, and it kept me occupied during many long chilly nights of TV watching and gave me something to do while sitting through family gatherings and classes.  I’m kind of sad that I’m done with it… and I’m considering taking on the task of making scarves for friends, should they want one.  I’m starting to question my sanity, with that last bit, haha, but there’s nothing so soothing as knitting a nice, long, Doctor Who scarf!