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What’s with the tally marks?

Itumblr_lkatfab2w21qgbzuuo1_500n the geek world today, you may see people covered in tally marks. On April 23, 2011, there was an episode of Doctor Who that aired called “The Impossible Astronaut“, where Doctor Who and his companions encounter the Silence, a race of aliens with the ability to make people forget their encounter with them when they look away.  So today, April 23, 2013, Doctor Who fans are commemorating this by drawing tally marks on their bodies to keep track of the number of times they’ve encountered the Silence.  Send us your tally mark photos, and we’ll add them to our Facebook album, to make sure we never forget.  The Silence will fail.

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Weeping Angel doll

Jen found a tutorial on how to make a Weeping Angel tree topper, and with Impossible Astronaut Day tomorrow, it seemed appropriate to put up Jen’s step-by-step.  The original tutorial can be found here.

This crafting adventure started with a Barbie doll from eBay.
Her hair was promptly chopped off.
I took the remaining bits of hair out with a pair of tweezers. Now Barbie is bald.
The next step was to cut off her legs. This particular doll had articulated joints, so it was easy to cut the elastic that was holding the legs on.
The next step was to make the hair. I used an air-dry clay, easily located at any craft supply store. This enabled me to really work the clay the way I wanted to. And I kept a bowl of water nearby to keep the clay moist while working with it.
I used a seam ripper for the line detail on the hair.
The next step was to attach the body of the doll to a Dasani water bottle. Cut off the neck and bottom, and use packing tape to secure it in place.
I then cut Barbie’s arms and remolded them, using the air-dry clay, into bent elbows. Next, I put a combination of paper towels and plastic bags inside the bottle, to provide stability.
Now it’s time to make the skirt. I used sections of the air-dry clay, building up the layers until the entire bottle was covered. To get the flowing skirt effect, I took extra clay and put it on top of the base skirt, then blended the edges down.
While waiting for the air-dry clay to dry (this takes about 24 hours with all the clay you’ll be using for the skirt), I went ahead and started work on the wings. For the wings, I used oven-bake clay, as the tutorial suggested. I used a toothpick and followed the pattern I drew, which you can download here.
Left wing, cut out and trimmed up. I put an extra piece of clay along the top of the wing, like I did for the folds in the skirt, to give it a little more depth.
Here are both wings, after being in the oven.
Here’s the bun, which I made seperately. It’s all dried.
As the skirt dried, I noticed cracks. This is because I didn’t use enough clay in those places.
More air-dry clay to the rescue!
Once the skirt was dry and crack-free, I started on the shirt. Using a similar technique as the skirt, I put extra clay for the folds and blousing of the top. This picture illustrates the before of the blousing.
And this is after everything was blended together.All dry, and a closeup of the shirt. I used a toothpick to add the line for the shirt and the “bunching” at the neckline. For the fabric folds, I used the same technique I used on the skirt. I also added a thin layer of air-dry clay to Barbie’s face to help obscure her features.
Now we’re ready for hot glue! I was a little skeptical, but the hot glue has worked beautifully. The bun and wings are hot glued on.
All painted! I mixed black and white acrylic, with a color called “bleached sand”, which has just a hint of yellow. Once I got the base grey I wanted, I dry brushed a slightly lighter grey to give an older and weathered look. So that’s it. The plan is to put this on display somewhere, and not on top of a Christmas tree, so if someone does that, let me know how it turns out! And remember, don’t blink.
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April Fool’s!


Now that it’s April 2, we thought we’d recap our favorite geek-centric April Fool’s pranks for 2013.


ThinkGeek has a long-standing tradition of providing awesome-looking merchandise that you can’t buy on April 1.  Later in the year, some of the products might be available if the fans yell loud enough.  Here are this year’s hot new items:

Seattle’s Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington will be displaying Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane until April 3rd.  The website lets you take a 360 degree tour of the cockpit.

Hasbro acquires Paizo

In news that turned the gaming world upside down, Hasbro announced it was buying Paizo.

Which April Fool’s pranks were your favorite this year?

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Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment

“In Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment (or META — awesome, right?), we follow the misadventures of a group of heroes as they deal with the absurd, mundane tasks that plague us all. In META, you’ll learn how heroes must be conscious of their branding, why it’s not the best idea to build your secret lair under the subway system, what happens when a super mom has to find a decent daycare facility and what it takes to interview for the position of henchman. And you might just learn a little bit about yourself along the way. But probably not.”

Some Friends of the Forge™ Jonathan Strickland of How Stuff Works and  the lovely and talented Ariel K. Stewart (serious, you should hear her sing) have launched a Kickstarter for their awesome web-series Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment. You should check it out their Tumblr,  and pony up some disposable cash. This show is going to kick ass.


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National Comic Book Day

Ive only recently started getting into comic books. I’ve been a Star Wars fan for twenty-five years, and Brian has been working tirelessly to expand my geek horizons. So on this National Comic Book Day, I’d like to share some things I’ve learned.

1. Like who you like. One of the awesome things about comic books is that there are so many characters! There’s something for everyone – fallen heroes, redeemed villains, straight-up bad guys, and wholesome good guys. I prefer the complicated characters, which you can see by my Cosplay choices.
2. Life lessons from Batman. You might think its a bit of a stretch, but even modern comics have life lessons embedded in them. Some are more prevalent than others, but there’s always an underlying lesson.
3. Not all superheroes wear capes. There are lots of secondary characters like Jim Gordon who provide invaluable support to the caped crusaders, in an intel position, or being in the right place at the right time. And the relationships between secondary and main characters really bring out the human side of superheroes.
~ Jen