Gen Con 2019: The Haul

One of the big reasons people go to Gen Con is to buy games – lots of them. And this year, I definitely bought some games! Not as many as some folks, but I did bring home a couple new additions to my game collection. Of course, I found some not-quite-game-related goodies too! My Gen Con 2019 haul is a little smaller than it’s been in previous years, but here’s just about all of it!

Photo of my Gen Con 2019 Haul.

Some – but not all! – of the haul.

Want to hear more about what I got? Read on!

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Little things that make me happy

Work has been crazy lately, hence the lack of a post last week.  Until I’ve got some bandwidth to come up with a more interesting post, here’s a little bit of something to tide you over: some little things that have made me happy over the past few weeks.

First off: I found Star vs. the Forces of Evil socks at Hot Topic! Of course I had to buy them.

Yaaay for Star socks!

Also, it might be silly, but seeing Toothless in his costume for Kishar makes me giggle.  Since the sand dragon hat I made him looks more like a baseball cap, I dressed him up with a headband and tunic, much like humans playing NPCs and monsters might dress in Kishar.  I think he’s adorable.

Toothless is the cutest sand dragon.

And I can’t forget about Mia, the best little scooter in the world!  It’s riding season, and through the help of my friend Jake at work, I got some new vinyl decals made for her.  I doodled up the designs in Illustrator, and Jake turned them into decals!

I love how the decals turned out – Mia looks a lot more like I’m used to again.

I also got to nerd out about playing Magic with one of the interns at work recently, haha.  I need to play more, but my brain’s been consumed with work.  Poor Saheeli needs more attention!  (She’s the Planeswalker for the Commander deck I’ve got.)

I love raining down thopters on my opponents, haha.

Oh, the fact that Detective Pikachu comes out three days after my birthday (on May 10th – which is also a bunch of my friends’ birthdays too!) makes me pretty darn happy.  I can’t wait to see it!

I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu?

And finally, on May 11th, we’ve got the first official Kishar game of the season!

The “Fan Club” will be reunited, yay!

That’s a little bit of what’s keeping me going lately while work’s been crazy!  I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll be able to put together a very brief “What I’ve Been Watching” post (long story short: a lot of Battlestar Galactica) for April, before April’s officially over!

How to make your dragon a shawl: part 1

Recently, I finally got brave enough to try making the Wingspan Shawl – while I’ve been knitting for… gosh, nearly 25 years, I’ve never really been confident in my skills beyond the the garter stitch until recently.  Now that I’ve made a number of pair of socks, though, I figured I could finally tackle the Wingspan Shawl.  I’ve been wanting to try it for years, and so I decided to try my hand at it with some yarn I picked up at a trunk show recently.  (It’s Blackberry Brambles by Oink Pigments, for those curious!)

Shawl that somewhat resembles a dragon wing, in shades of cream, pink, blue, and green.

Doesn’t this look lovely?

Once I got into the swing of things, I found out I really love working this pattern – it’s just interesting enough to keep me from getting bored, but simple enough that I can work it while watching TV.  I chugged through quite a bit of this wingspan shawl, but then encountered a problem: I ran out of yarn.

Toothless the Dragon from How To Train Your Dragon, with a grumpy look on his face.

“… are you telling me we’re out of yarn?”

While I was working on the Blackberry Brambles wingspan, though, I had an idea: I could make a Toothless-inspired wingspan shawl, with most of the shawl being black and the last two panels being red, like Toothless’s tail.

Toothless the Dragon from How To Train Your Dragon, showing his red prostetic tail fins.

Yeah, it’s his tail and not his wing (like the shawl’s name), but hey, it works, right?

So while I waited for my next skein of Blackberry Brambles to get here from Oink Pigments, I went to Jo-Ann’s and snagged some red and black yarn and whipped up this awesome little shawlette:

Plush Toothless the Dragon, sitting on the floor next to a shawl that resembles a dragon's wing.

It turned out really well, I think! I might be biased, though.

It’s not quite finished, yet – I want to add the dragon insignia that’s on Toothless’s tail fin, but that’ll involve another trip out to the craft store for some felt.  Once I’ve got that added, I’ll share the finished product with you all, as well as the template I create for the dragon insignia and instructions for how to add it to your own wingspan shawl!

Toothless comes to Build-a-Bear!

Edit 6/24/14: For those of you out there looking for a Toothless of your very own: Build a Bear is sold out! However, you can sign up to be notified when he’s available again via the link, so for those of you still waiting for a Nightfury of your very own, be patient – I’m sure Build a Bear will do a re-release!  (And to show you just how quickly they sold out: I bought mine the first day they were available, and then a friend of mine went to buy one three days later and they were gone!)

Yes, you heard that right – you can get your very own Toothless, right from Build-a-Bear!  And considering the great job they did with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crew, I had pretty high expectations for BaB’s Toothless plush – after all, you can’t get much worse than this, right?


Ouch. Toothless, what did they do to you?

No wonder so many of us went and made our own Toothlesses (Toothli?) so we could have a Night Fury of our own to cuddle.  Well, I went to Build a Bear today, and I definitely was not disappointed!

Here he is, with my handmade Toothless for scale.

Here he is, with my handmade Toothless for scale.

He’s about 17 inches tall, not including the tail, and my gosh is he adorable!  Look at those big eyes, that adorable mischievous smile… Yup, Build-a-Bear did a great job with this little guy.  He’s super soft, and very huggable.  I had to resist the urge to carry him around the mall for the rest of my shopping.  There is one weird thing they did with him – his wings are actually detachable.

2014-05-26 17.52.16

As you can see in the image above, he wears his wings like a tiny little backpack.  Considering most Build-a-Bear plush are stuffed from the middle of the back, the detachable wings make sense – otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to stuff Toothless from the usual BaB spot.  I do worry about losing the wings at some point, but right now they’re held on with a plastic tag-holder thing (I never know what to call them, and I even worked at a consignment shop where I stuck a bunch of those things into clothes when tagging items!), and I plan on leaving it in there for the time being.

Along with Toothless himself, they’re also selling a little tiny Toothless hoodie for your bear to wear!  I say bear, because I found out the hard way that it’s not quite suited for a pony.

Toothless and... Toothless?

Toothless and… Toothless?

I had to practically maul Pinkie to get the shirt over her head, and when I wedged her front legs into the armhole, it was pretty clear that this shirt wasn’t exactly meant for ponies or other similar four-legged friends.  Ah well.  If you don’t put the front legs in the arm holes, and kind of use it as a Toothless cowl, it does work, somewhat.  Pinkie looks freakin’ adorable in the Toothless shirt, I will say.  You should be able to find Toothless at your local Build-a-Bear – not sure how long he’ll be there for, though – probably at least through the end of June.  I’d say get him while you can – he’s clearly the best Toothless plush out there!

Grumpy Disney? no. (er, I mean, YESSS.)

Aheheheh.  I do apologize sincerely for my absence over the past few weeks – with NaNoWriMo approaching (and then starting), I’ve been wrapped up in plotting and writing and such… and on top of that, I started another Doctor Who scarf, so… yes.  I am not dead, just crazy.

So much so that I just about died when I saw this enter my Facebook news feed this morning.

part_of_your_no_by_tsaoshin-d6f5s39Yes, that is Grumpy Cat as Ariel, The Little Mermaid.  Yes, I am very glad I wasn’t drinking coffee at the time.  I might have snorted it all across my monitor otherwise.

Eric Proctor (TsaoShin on DeviantArt) is the wonderful mind who came up with the delightful idea of inserting Grumpy Cat into various Disney films – with the simple premise of: ” the appearance of the cat must derail the plot of the film.”  And oh, would Grumpy Cat derail these films, haha.

he_mele_no_lilo_by_tsaoshin-d6mzn6rI mean, come on.  Grumpy Cat as Lilo?  Adorable.  I love the little fist-bump she’s giving Stitch.

tale_as_old_as_no_by_tsaoshin-d6k8keeAnd this last one is my absolute favorite – especially for the look of horror on the Beast’s face as Grumpy bats at the rose.  Oh lord.  I just about died.

If you want to see more, check out the Grumpy Disney gallery on DeviantArt!  Eric’s other artwork is great as well – he’s got some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic stuff, and this little treat that made me squeal with delight.

toothless_sculpture_2_by_tsaoshin-d69y1jnOH MY GOD YOU GUYS IT’S TOOTHLESS.  And he looks so much better than any of my little clay Toothlesses.  (Toothli?)

So yes, go check out his artwork, and stay away from the beverages while you look at the Grumpy Disney gallery – trust me, your monitor will thank you.

Meanwhile, AUGH I’ve written almost 300 words that aren’t novel related!  I MUST WRITE MY BOOK.  (For those curious: the working title is For Whom the Bard Sings, and it’s a fantasy novel loosely set in the D&D Eberron world.  If it comes out as well as I’m hoping, maybe someday I may eventually publish this one… maybe.)

Back to writing! 😀





Embarking on a new cosplay project!

Or, as I’ve been titling this project in my head, “How To Turn Yourself Into A Dragon”.

Toothless is best dragon.

Toothless is best dragon.

Yes, I’m going to try to put together a Toothless costume for the 2014 convention season.  I may even start as early as tomorrow.  And it’ll be my first time assembling a costume this complicated, especially without any sort of pattern!  I’m excited.  And kinda nervous.

I’m no stranger to the world of do-it-yourself cosplay.  While I don’t exactly have the skills for super frilly over-the-top costumes, I know where my strengths lie, and I work with that to make costumes that will look good, even being simple.  Like my Pinkie Pie costume, or my Fourth Doctor costume.  And I have done work without patterns before – Pinkie Pie’s skirt was done completely freehand.  I’ve also done three sailor fukus with no pattern (yes, not only did I dress as Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter, but I also dressed as my own fan character, embarrassing as it is to admit), and an entire Princess Peach costume as well – with varying levels of success.  I know what I’m about to enter into – this isn’t unfamiliar territory.

cute_black_dragon_hoodie_by_calgarycosplay-d31u6dkAnd I do have some visuals to work off of.  I’ve seen this around the internet in a number of places – this is one of them, as well as on DeviantArt – and while I’d love to buy one, I can’t really justify spending $300+ on a sweatshirt.  (And having made a Toothless plush myself, I know that a fair bit of work went into it, I’m quite sure, but is it really $300 worth of work?)  I’d much rather make one myself, too.  I had a blast making Toothless, and I’d love to do something similar, something on a slightly bigger scale, something fun.  And not to mention pretty darn recognizable, especially for the summer conventions, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 coming out in June.

So, how the heck am I going to approach this?  How am I going to start?

Determined dragon is determined.

Determined dragon is determined.

With determination, that’s how!  Heh. I figure I’ll start with stuff I’ve already got – I’ll be using the pattern from the Toothless plush for inspiration on how to construct the head and tail.  I’ll also take advantage of ready-made stuff – such as a pre-made sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants.  And the pictures posted of the sweatshirt give me quite a few ideas of how to construct things.  From there, I can construct Toothless’s little… head tentacles?  Not-quite-horns?  You guys know what I mean.  Anyhow.  I can construct a way to add those to a sweatshirt hood, and then add hand covers and wings and a tail.  (And maybe foot covers, for the sweatpants, if I can swing it.)  The most laborious part will likely be the scales – I have no idea how I’m doing those yet, but those aren’t my main concern anyway.  Those’ll likely be the last things I put on.

But yes.  I am going to make a Toothless costume.  And it will either be epic, or be an epic failure.  I’m leaning more towards epic, myself.  And of course, as I build the costume, I’ll keep everyone updated.  I know I have a lot of fellow Toothless fans who read the blog, and I want to share the process with you guys!

So, stay tuned – Project How To Make Yourself Into A Dragon will start soon.



How to Make Your Own Dragon

2013-03-24 22.09.21I’ve noticed that people keep coming to my site to look at all the various Toothless plush that I’ve made (well, the one plush, and the one crocheted Toothless) – and I just now realized I don’t have any links to where I got the patterns or inspiration for these awesome dragons!  So,  this post is dedicated entirely to where to find out How to Make Your Own Dragon.

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How To Make Your Dragon

Okay, in all honestly, this should be named “How To Make Your Dragon: Part Four” – however, the other three dragons haven’t really been mentioned here – I’ll give them all a quick passing glance right now.  First, a little backstory – my best friend Morgan showed me How To Train Your Dragon over the summer, and I absolutely fell in love with Toothless, one of the main characters.  He is a hilarious dragon, and I love him to pieces.  Morgan loves him too, so I made him a giant plush Toothless – the first of many iterations of everyone’s favorite dragon that I’d make.

Toothless-Front Toothless - Side

The second Toothless I made was a crocheted one that I made for myself, over the holiday break – I wanted a Toothless of my own, darnit, but I didn’t want to go to all the work I did for the first Toothless – after all, it did take me a week to make him, and I sewed every moment I had that I wasn’t asleep or at work.  Crocheted Toothless took a lot less time – maybe a few evenings over the course of a week.

Crocheted ToothlessHe’s small, but absolutely adorable!  The third Toothless, I made as a Christmas present for Morgan – it was made out of Sculpey, and it was a bit of an ordeal – the Sculpey that I’d picked up to use was almost dry, and while I figured out how to revive dried Sculpey, it was tough – I spent 45 minutes massaging baby oil into some chunks of black Sculpey, and made a mess of my hands.  It was all worth it, since in the end I came out with this little guy.

Crocheted Toothless and Tiny Sculpey ToothlessAnd tonight, I made a Sculpey Toothless of my own!  He turned out really well.  First off, I picked up fresh Sculpey, which helped immensely.  It was much easier to mold him.  I followed the tutorial here, from LightningMcTurner on DeviantArt – they made the tutorial I used for the first Toothless.  I made him a bit bigger this time around, and improvised a bit as well, but had a ton of fun making him.

OH GOD WHERE'S THE REST OF MY BODYAs I said, fresh Sculpey made all the difference – it was much more easy to manipulate, and easier to assemble all the pieces, too!  I’m really happy with how he turned out.

2013-02-19 18.53.47Here he is just before going into the oven – isn’t he adorable?  I ended up giving him bigger, unfurled wings, instead of the small tucked wings the tutorial suggested.  I’m happy with that choice – I love his wings.  Take a look below at how nice he looks after coming out of the oven!

Sprawled out on the cooking sheetSo, if you love Toothless as much as I do, you should go check out the Sculpey Toothless tutorials that LightningMcTurner has up on DeviantArt, and make some dragons of your own!