Adventures in Nail Stamping

So last year I started experimenting with nail wraps, which are essentially little stickers you add to your fingernails in place of nail polish. I tried several different options, including Jamberry, Espionage Cosmetics, Sally Hansen, Kiss, and Incoco.

Jamberry Painted Polka and Berry Blue

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Crowd Surfer

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Crowd Surfer

Espionage Cosmetics Nailed It in Patriotic

Espionage Cosmetics Nailed It in Patriotic

I had moderate to decent success.

  • I like many of the Jamberry patterns, but it takes me about an hour to do, and I sometimes have problems with the edges lifting, even after reading various tips online.
  • I really like the Espionage Cosmetics nerd manicures (e.g Sherlock-wallpaper-inspired Baker Street!) and love how fast they are to apply, but find that the tips start to wear for me after about a day.
  • I really like the Sally Hansen nail polish strips, and they're fast to apply too, but only like a couple of their patterns.

So I read online about nail stamping, and decided to give it a whirl. The concept is that you buy metal plates that are engraved with a design, apply nail polish to them, then use a rubber stamper to transfer the image from the plate to your nail. I like that once you invest in the plate, you can keep reusing it, in infinite nail polish color combinations, as opposed to continually re-buying one-use nail wraps. Of course, there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are plenty of tips, tutorials, and videos online to help. This video on "How NOT to Stamp" was helpful AND entertaining.

For my first foray, I didn't want to invest a lot, not knowing if I would even want to continue. So I bought a plate for $1.50 on Amazon. Guess you get what you pay for, because the engraving was barely deep enough to hold the polish, so that didn't work very well. But it gave me enough of an idea that I wanted to try again, so I read quite a few reviews, and chose a MoYou London plate and got to try it this weekend. 

I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Navy Fleet as the base, and Konad nail stamping polish in Princess white for the stamp. Each stamp got progressively better as I got used to the process and landing the stamp correctly. The trickiest part, however, was the top coat. As you can see below, several nails smeared when I applied the top coat. Reading online, this is a fairly common issue. I went back out and got Seche Vite top coat, and redid a couple nails, and am more pleased with my results. I thought of this as a trial run and reminded myself I'm still in the experimentation phase, which helped.

MoYou nail stamping

I enjoyed these so much that I went ahead and bought two more MoYou London plates, including this geek one, which features Sherlock's wallpaper, so I can reuse it again and again!

Have you tried nail stamping? Had you even heard of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


Just listed - new geek gift ideas for the holidays!

I just listed 3 new sets of my geek coasters in my Etsy shop, all featuring some great comic book art. I created two sets from the comic book adaptation from Jim Butcher's "Fool Moon," book two of the Dresden Files series of book, and one set from the Dr. Horrible and other Horrible Stories graphic novel.

Each coaster is made from a ceramic tile, with comic book art sealed on top with Mod Podge. Then I top that with a layer of resin to ensure both hot and cold beverage drips won't mar the surface, and back them with felt.

These would make great gifts for the geeks on your list - any Dresden fans or Whedonites out there?

Hop over to my Etsy shop to see a closeup of each coaster. I also updated the listings for the Ewok scoodie and Yoda hat to indicate they are both READY TO SHIP!




More on Geek Girl Brunch plus geek ornaments!

In my last post, I introduced Geek Girl Brunch and the coasters I made for our local chapter launch swag bag. Today on Geek Crafts I talked a bit more about GGB and our next event, which has a "Let's Get Crafty" theme. Geeks + crafting? So.there.

Speaking of Geek Crafts, I recently updated my listing of posts I have contributed there - at 150+ posts, it's a geek-tastic extravaganza of crafty goodness!

Hop on over to Geek Crafts to see the quickie tutorial I shared for creating geek ornaments from comic books!

Comic book ornaments by Angie Pedersen

Geek Girl Brunch and DIY Geek Coasters

Geek Girl Brunch-Kansas City logo

Have you heard about Geek Girl Brunch (GGB)? It's this awesome organization that nurtures and encourages geek girl meetups. Over brunch. With drinks. They started as a local meetup group in New York City, and had so much fun that they decided to roll out WORLDWIDE chapters

Sensing I had found my geek tribe, I signed up to be notified about news of the Kansas City chapter. I got an email in April notifying me that chapters were forming, and would I like to be an officer to help launch the KC chapter? Since my mantra for the year is to be open to new experiences, I said yes!

I've been working for the past few months with my co-officer Amanda to get all the various elements in place - Twitter account, Facebook page/group, chapter page, deciding on logo colors, scouting a venue for our first brunch, and millions more details. We are so excited to get things rolling!

To welcome our first Brunchettes, Amanda and I are working on fun little swag bags. I'm crafting a GGB-KC Brunchette tile coaster for each attendee.  I have a variety of geek coasters available in my Etsy shop, but thought I would do a brief write-up on how I make them. The instructions that follow are specific to the Brunch coasters, but you can substitute any image to make it your own!

The trick that makes my coasters so nice and durable is the resin coating on top - there are tons of DIY tutorials online that tell you just to adhere and seal with Mod Podge, but I didn't find that durable enough. I tried sealing the images with spray acrylic, spray polyurethane, and brush-on poly, but the images bled and I would get rings from the drink condensation. I finally experimented with resin and my coasters are gorgeous with a glossy crystal clear hard coating that works great for hot or cold drinks (duly tested with coffee, margaritas, hard cider, Captain and Coke, and plain old ice water).



  • ceramic tiles - I get 4"x4" white tiles from Lowe's or Home Depot for about 16 cents each, or often I can find them at a Habitat ReStore for 10 cents each.
  • color image (e.g. Brunchette badge)
  • Mod Podge (I use matte formula)
  • 2-part resin (e.g. Amazing Clear Cast)
  • stiffened self-adhesive felt (I get black, in 9"x12" sheets - you can get 6 4x4 squares from each sheet)
  • brayer
  • small paint brush or foam brush (for Mod Podge application)
  • plastic drinking cups (~4oz)
  • wooden craft sticks
  • plastic gloves
  • 1" disposable foam brush for resin application (1 brush per 7 coasters)
  • plastic garbage bag to protect your work surface


  • Start with the basic Brunchette badge that the girls at GGB HQ have made available in the sidebar of their website. You can also use any image you like - I also like comic book pages!
  • Using a graphic editing program (e.g. Photoshop), create a new image or resize to 4"x4" (or the size of your tile.
  • Edit image to customize drink colors and add city-chapter name to the header.
  • Using a desktop publishing program (e.g. MS Publisher), insert the image four times, so four images print on one sheet.


  • Using a color printer, print as many images as you need. I print on regular printer paper. 
  • Trim each image to size (I use a paper cutter for nice straight edges).
  • Using a small paint brush (~1/2 to 3/4"), apply Mod Podge to one tile. Cover the whole top surface.
  • Carefully center color image on Mod Podged surface and smooth down so there are no wrinkles. 
  • Use a brayer to firmly attach image.
  • Using the same small paint brush, brush on a layer of Mod Podge over the surface to help seal everything. Allow to dry - I usually allow at least a couple hours. Repeat Mod Podge process for each coaster.
  • Now you're ready to give the coaster(s) a nice hard surface - it's time for resin! READ THE BEST PRACTICES BELOW AND PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START (YES, I'M SHOUTING THIS!)
  • Place 7 coasters on plastic cups, with about 2" between.
  • Put on plastic gloves and follow package instructions for mix ratio and stir time.
  • After the resin is completely mixed per instructions, pour about a quarter to silver dollar sized amount in the middle of one coaster.
  • Use a disposable foam brush to gently and slowly cover surface with resin. Make sure you get to the tile edges and seal in the image edges. 
  • Continue for remaining coasters - pour a small amount, one coaster at a time, and spread to cover with foam brush.
  • Once all 7 are covered, go back and inspect for little air bubbles in the resin surface. If you see any, huff your breath lightly over the surface - the carbon dioxide should pop the air bubbles so you don't mar the surface with continued brushstrokes.
  • Allow to dry at least 24 hours - I usually let cure for 48 hours.
  • Adhere 4x4 squares of stiffened felt to tile backs to protect table surfaces.
  • Admire your work!


  • Protect your work surface! There will be drips and resin is a PAIN and tedious to scrape off. I tape down a plastic garbage bag so nothing moves around.
  • Set out one plastic cup for each coaster - this will hold your coaster as you brush the resin into place. I actually progressed to using 2" wood blocks beneath each coaster, but used plastic cups to start.
  • On the back of each tile, put masking tape around the inside border to catch any resin drips. That way you can just peel off any drips that escape, rather than laboriously scraping them off.
  • Put on disposable plastic gloves BEFORE you mix the resin.
  • I use wood craft sticks to mix the resin.
  • I use 1 oz each of the resin and hardener, and mix in disposable plastic drinking cups. With this amount, I can usually do 7 coasters. 
  • If you need to do more than 7 coasters, do them in batches of 7 so the resin doesn't start to harden before you get to all your coasters.
  • I learned a lot from reading this post on resin tips, including the comments.
  • See also: FAQ, including What Kind of Resin Should I Use?

Hope this helps other chapters with some fun swag! Have you heard of GGB? Excited to check it out? Have you experimented with resin? Let me know in the comments!

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Times I Totally Fangirled


Welcome to another round of "5 Fandom Friday," a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers, spearheaded by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick.

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic. It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality. It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

Today's topic is Five Times I Totally Fangirled. To clarify, here's the definition of "fangirl" (v), via Urban Dictionary:
v. 1. the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her "affection". These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, highpitched noises, shaking...
So basically it means to geek out over something you geek out over. (Yes, I realize that's a bit circular...)
Here are some of my fangirl moments:
  • Marvel Marathon: In May 2012, when the first Avengers movie premiered, a local theater hosted an epic movie marathon where they played each of the individual superhero movies, leading up to the Avengers premiere. My husband and I took the day off from work, and let the kids play hooky from school to spend the day geeking out as a family. It was so fun to spend the whole day immersed in superhero-ness, and sharing the experience with an entire theater of other aficionados. I was pleased to see that AMC is planning another epic marathon for the second Avengers premiere - more than 24 hours of movies!


  • Chicago Comic Con: For my 40th birthday, I told my family I wanted to celebrate with a family trip to Chicago. We told the kids we were going site-seeing, and had a great time tooling around on Segways around downtown Chicago. But we didn't tell them the real reason were there - for Comic Con. We wanted to surprise them by just showing up on the day of the show. Unfortunately, I planned ahead a little too much, and listed some panels I wanted to attend in Google Calendar, and my daughter happened to see the calendar while we were in the hotel room the night before. Still, remembering the looks on their faces when they realized what we would be doing the next time never ceases to make me smile. They were the ones fangirling at that moment! I love remembering how excited they were, and how they couldn't text their friends fast enough to share their excitement. The next day we saw Sir Patrick Stewart, Bruce Campbell, Lou Ferrigno, Christopher Lloyd and the DeLorean, and Felicia Day. Plenty of fangirling there, for all of us.
  • The Flash: We've been really enjoying the CW's The Flash TV series, and it's one of my current weekly geekouts. Each episode offers ample opportunity for me to fangirl, from appreciating special effects, to recognizing some cameo from the 1990s Flash TV series. I also marvel over the depth of my husband's knowledge of Flash lore - the Flash is one of his favorite comic book heroes, so I am always quizzing him about how things are the same or different in the comics. So each week I get to fangirl over him being a fanboy. Win-win.
  • Meeting scrapbooking pioneers: Stepping outside the superhero/sci-fi fandoms to wrap things up, back in the day when I was teaching scrapbooking, I had the opportunity to attend my share of scrapbooking conventions and trade shows. I loved them so much, seeing all the new products and hearing about new techniques, but what I loved most was meeting such interesting people. I had the good fortune of being able to meet and spend real time with some of the most amazingly creative people, who were and still are true pioneers in the crafting world: Stacy Julian, Rebecca Sower, Lain Ehmann, Heidi Swapp, and Molly Newman, among so many others. I tried to keep my fangirling on the inside at those moments, but it was hard not to gush when meeting people I had admired only on the pages of magazines.

 So what are some of your fangirl/fanboy moments? Go ahead and geekout in the comments!

5 Fandom Friday: Gateway Fandoms

Gateway fandoms by Angie Pedersen

Welcome to another round of "5 Fandom Friday," a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers, spearheaded by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick.

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic. It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality. It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

Today I'm dipping back into the 5 Fandom Friday archives to the very first topic - Gateway Fandoms that Made Me Who I Am Today.
  1. STAR TREK: As mentioned in my GeekCrafts bio, I started on my geek path early, watching episodes of "Star Trek: The Original Series" with my dad. We would often watch episodes while eating dinner off TV trays, and I distinctly remember seeing "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" in the theater during its original release. Fast forward to my college years, when I met my husband-to-be, a HUGE Trek fan, and I knew I'd found my perfect match. My affinity for Trek as a kid led nicely to my work on the Star Trek Craft Book.
  2. STAR WARS: I remember seeing "Star Wars" in the theater as well, and have a picture somewhere of my brother and I as kids, wearing matching Star Wars shirts with iron-on transfers we had done at the mall (anyone else remember that fad?). I was fascinated by the light saber fights and loved the fight scenes in space between the X-wings and TIE fighters.
  3. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: I watched the original series on TV as a kid as well, and we played Battlestar on the playground during recess at school. I was always Boxey, and remember that a girl named Andrea was always Muffet, even though she didn't really want to be. Well, someone had to be, right? It took me a while to get into the BSG reboot, which I didn't watch when it aired, but my husband and I have watched it all the way through now, and have rewatched it multiple times. Love it now.
  4. SERENITY: Fast forward from childhood to 2005, when we first heard about this new space western movie, "Serenity." Except it wasn't actually new - it was based on a cancelled TV series called, "Firefly." Which we somehow missed entirely when it was actually airing on FOX in 2002-2003. So seeing "Serenity" definitely acted as a gateway to pretty much the entire Whedonverse, starting with "Firefly," on to Buffy, Dr. Horrible, and Dollhouse.  
  5. TRUE BLOOD: My husband and I started watching the series on HBO, and I enjoyed it so much, I sought out the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire book series by Charlaine Harris, upon which the TV series was based. I wound up reading the entire series of books, which is more than I can say of watching the TV series. By about the fifth season, I was done. But I really enjoyed the books for the most part, especially listening to the audio versions narrated by Johanna Parker - so much so that I sought out other books narrated by her, just to listen to her read to me some more.

I'd love to hear about your "gateway fandoms" - what experiences opened the door for you to geek out further? Share a comment below!

Digi-scrap credits:

Template 39 created by No Reimer Reason
Background: Call the Doctor paper 2 by Retro Diva, and Motifica Blue and Chalk by Basic Grey
Font: Final Frontier Old Style


5 Fandom Friday: My Comfort Films


Welcome to another round of "5 Fandom Friday," a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers, spearheaded by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick.

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic. It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality. It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

I'm a day late, but on target for this week's topic: Comfort Films. Going off Nerdy Girlie's post, "Comfort Films" are movies you keep going back to, over and over. And wouldn't you know it - I taught a layout on this topic, back when I was teaching Book of Me scrapbooking classes. I called it, "Everyday Movies," as in, what movies could you watch every day and never get tired of them?

Here's my layout.


The page featured a cool scrapbooking product that is now no longer available, a Paper Adventures' PageFlipper. It was like a page protector-pocket-flap that you adhered on top of the page protector, to give you extra room for photos or journaling. I used it for extra journaling in this case.


My Everyday/Comfort Movies:

  • Top Gun
  • The Princess Bride
  • Pretty Woman
  • LA Story
  • Far and Away
  • The Fifth Element

I did this layout probably around 2002-2003, so I have some addendums.

  • That was before I discovered "Firefly," so I think I would add "Serenity." I never tire of quoting it.
  • "The Muppet Christmas Carol" - I gave it to David for Christmas in 1993 (on VHS!). I think I didn't include it because we only watch it seasonally, but we watch it every year with the kids after Christmas dinner. A classic. I quote that one a lot, too, year-round.

I'm probably forgetting others, but these are a good representation. What flicks would be on your everyday list? Leave me a comment below with your list!

Other 5 Fandom Friday posts:

5 Fandom Friday: Funko Figures


Welcome to another round of "5 Fandom Friday," a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers, spearheaded by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick.

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic. It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality. It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

Today I'm reaching back into the 5 Fandom Friday archives for a previous topic that I missed the first time around: "Favorite Funko Pop Figures."

In case you aren't familiar, Funko Pop! Figures are collectible vinyl dolls of a wide variety of pop culture icons. Funko has just exploded on the fandom scene, vastly increasing their product line to include characters from TV shows  and movies past and present, as well as video games. In fact, according to their About page, Funko currently holds more than 150 licenses including, but not limited to; Lucas Films, Marvel, Hasbro, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, DC Comics, Sanrio, and Disney. They's sold over 10 million units in the last three years. 

I've received three as gifts, and display them in my cubicle at work: Wonder Woman, Buffy, and Captain Mal.

Funko figures

On my wishlist:

Do you collect these cute big-headed dolls? Which ones do you have, and which ones do you covet? Share with a comment below!

5 Fandom Friday: Character Names


Welcome to another round of "Fandom 5 Friday," a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers, spearheaded by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick.

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic. It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality. It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

Today's topic is "Characters I would name my kids after." Being of a certain age, my child-bearing days are behind me. I already have two kids, both juniors this year - my son is a junior at Fordham University in New York City, and my daughter is a junior in high school. But I can still play along with this topic, because we did indeed name our first-born after a character.

I actually included the story of his name in my book, The Star Trek Craft Book (p 33):

When I was pregnant with our son, my husband wanted to name him James Tiberius after his favorite Star Trek captain. I suggested Thomas as a middle name instead, thinking I would protect my son from relentless teasing in school. (Plus, it was a head nod to William Riker's middle name, as well, so the Trek reference was still there.) Even though we did name him James Thomas, my argument was apparently wasted, because my son became such a Trek fan that he told me in grade school that he wished I had allowed "Tiberius"!

These days, my naming aspirations would be relegated to the pet variety. And just the other day I did come up with a character name idea:


Plus, pet names offer a little more leeway - you don't have to worry about lasting psychological damage like you do with a kid. Other pet names I would consider:

  • Data (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • Doctor (Who, of course)
  • Jayne (Cobb, from Firefly/Serenity)
  • Adama (from Battlestar Galactica)
  • Apollo (from Battlestar Galactica)
  • Starbuck (from Battlestar Galactica)
  • Sookie (from Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series/True Blood)

What name(s) would you choose?

Making Matters: Crafty Confessions

I recently signed up for Jennifer Priest's (of Hydrangea Hippo) latest project called Making Matters. She is offering a weekly email newsletter intended to inspire people to make and create, with ideas covering everything from "creating a space you love to make in to shopping for craft supplies in a different way to challenges to make from the resources you already have."

The first prompt arrived today, and I thought I would blog about it. The theme is Crafty Confessions: "this week is all about being super truthful with yourself about what your biggest challenges are when crafting...Whatever things interfere with your ability to be creative, identify those and write them down."

  1. While I do create projects for my Etsy shop, and did make a few things for Christmas, I still struggle with feeling like I'm letting my "crafting superpowers" go to waste. I let the fact that I work full-time, have a family, and want to exercise take precedence over being creative. 
  2. Working full-time seriously cramps my crafting time. I mean, I have to go to work EVERY DAY and stuff. Bummer.
  3. Speaking of my Etsy shop, I let crafting for profit overshadow crafting for fun. I often feel like the time I do spend crafting should be "productive" (read: profitable).
  4. I let my perfectionist nature dictate whether I even try new techniques or crafts. If I don't think something will turn out well, I don't do it. Which is ridiculous - there are so many crafts I really do want to try. But because my time is limited, and reason #2 (wanting to feel "productive"), I often stick with things I know I'm good at. In 2015, I want to try more new things and feel ok when they don't turn out great at first, and not worry about "wasting" supplies on trying new things.
  5. My craft room is my personal dungeon. I hate even going down there. I have too much stuff and feel completely overwhelmed by what to do with it. I know I have bought multiples of things because I couldn't find the first set. It's very hard to feel inspired to create when your creative space zaps your mojo before you even start a project! So often I have been sorely tempted to just donate everything without even looking through it, just to clear the space. Seriously - here's a picture I should be ashamed to share, but maybe you can relate:

    Cluttered craft desk

  6. Related to #4, I think I have hoarding tendencies. I have so much product still from when I was teaching scrapbooking, over 10 years ago now. Product never opened, but held onto because I'm sure I'll *need* it at some point, and how would I feel if I needed it, and didn't have it?? How could I possibly go on? I need to let go of that mentality AND the STUFF. I did make strides in that direction a couple of months ago when I donated two huge totes of scrapbooking supplies to a support group for 10- to 12-year-old boys at a grieving center for children and families - now THERE'S a good use for those supplies gathering dust in my dungeon! I've already prepped a bag of punches to donate next.
  7. I am currently struggling with The Next Big Thing. I've written four books, traveled around the US to teach classes, even gave a keynote to 1500 people. But I'm not sure what's next for me. I know I love crafting, and I'm good at it, but don't have a clear purpose or path. And it weighs on me. But I do know that I am open to possibilities.

I haven't always subscribed to (or followed through with) the One Little Word movement, but maybe this year's One Little Word should be "open" - open to letting go, open to trying new things, open to making messes and mistakes. Open to possibilities. Thanks to Jennifer and Making Matters for *opening* my eyes to that!

  Be open frame

Digi-scrap credit: Aug20 Freebie frame 1 by Leora Sanford; Fonts: Toreador & Amertype

5 Fandom Friday: Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me


The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick have kicked off a writer's-block-busting initiative to build community among geeky female bloggers called 5 Fandom Friday

"The basic idea of 5 Fandom Fridays is to write a weekly Friday blog post in the form of a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic.  It'll give your readers a deeper insight into your fandoms and your blogging personality.  It's a great way to avoid bloggers block and sleep well knowing that you have at least 4-5 planned posts for the month."

I haven't been keeping up with the topics like I would have liked, but thought I would jump back in and just pick a topic from the archive: "Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me."

In my previous 5 Fandom Friday post, I wrote about five geek clothing items I covet. I have quite a few geek shirts on my Christmas wish list as well, but thought I would share some items from my other, non-geek "fandom" - handmade things. As a maker myself, I appreciate the love and care that goes into handmade gifts, and try to Buy Handmade whenever I can, if I don't use my crafting super powers to make the gift myself. I have my eye on a number of lovely items...

1. First Up, this spoon cuff bracelet is made by a local duo, Hangups in KC, that specializes in making things from repurposed materials. I love so many of their pieces, and think this bracelet would go with so many outfits. I also got my daughter a little something from their shop, the purchase of which benefitted Band of Angels KC. Handmade in KC for the win!

2. Next up is a silk screened tee version of the Tree of Gondor, from Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, by Library of Shirt. It's a subtle geek reference that appeals to me.

3. These festive hand-beaded earrings by Rachel's Cure by Design are aptly named, "Holiday Cheer," and proceeds benefit diabetes research via JDRF. I already got the "Holidaze" bracelet, and these earrings would make a cute matched set.

4. I love this rosemaling apron by ClarePackages. Rosemaling is a traditional Scandinavian painting style that my mother-in-law (Norwegian by heritage) introduced me to, and I just love it. It also ties to my own Swedish heritage. We have several rosemaling pieces in our home, and this apron would be lovely to wear as I do Christmas dinner prep.

5. Yes, another apron, but I go through a couple as I do my Christmas cooking (we host 12-15 people every year - it's quite a feast!). This apron by PaperplaneC is a nod to Sherlock's wallpaper - another subtly geeky reference.

OK, so I did manage to get a few geeky fandom references into my otherwise handmade-fandom list. I call that a win!

Digi-scrap credits for the image above:

Template: The Missing Digi Files Template #13
Background papers: Digital Freebies Be Merry kit, papers 2, 4 & 5, by Tracy Scherrer, RetroDiva
Journal tag: Digital Freebies Shiny Brite kit, by Tracy Scherrer, RetroDiva 

Holiday Baking: Lazy Woman's Fudge

I don't get into holiday baking as much as many people do, but one recipe I usually make is "Lazy Woman's Fudge." Seriously - this has to be the easiest fudge recipe out there. 

A number of years ago, I found the recipe for "Lazy Woman's Fudge" on and was instantly sold. Two ingredients, and probably less than 30 minutes start to finish. No digging for the candy thermometer, no waiting for the "soft ball" stage. And because I use mini muffin tins, no messing with sticky knives or cutting into squares. Basically foolproof fudge.

I usually make two batches - one milk chocolate frosting with milk chocolate/peanut butter chips, and one milk chocolate frosting with cinnamon chips (kind of a "Mexican fudge" flavor). I have also done milk chocolate frosting with mint chips, and recently heard of someone using lemon frosting with white chocolate chips - interesting!

Lazy Woman's Fudge

Makes 32-36 fudge pieces


  • 1 (12 ounce) package baking chips, any flavor
  • 1 (16 ounce) can frosting, any flavor


  1. Line 2-3 mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners.
  2. Put baking chips and contents of can of frosting into a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Heat on high for 1 minute,
  4. Stir until chips are melted and  fudge "batter" is smooth. I use a silicone spatula to stir and smash the chips.
  5. Spoon fudge into into lined tins, about 1T per cup.
  6. Chill until firm.


While the fudge is setting, I wash out the frosting container, then wrap it in scrapbook paper from my stash, then use my punches with more stash paper to make a label. It makes a cute little container to give yummy fudgy gifts - it makes a great neighbor, co-worker, or teacher gift!




Handmade Christmas: Reusable Fabric Gift Bags



In 2008, I started experimenting with using fabric for some Christmas present wrapping. Reading this post, I had forgotten my woeful first experiment, but in the past several years, my family has adopted using fabric for at least some of our Christmas present wrapping. It's fun to see some of the bags I created come back to me from other family members.

Until the bags drift back in, though, I usually wind up making a few each year. This year I got fabric to make three, using Lori Holt's tutorial for a Lined Travel Bag. See the result of my first bag with this tutorial above! I'm so impressed with myself for making a lined bag!

My brother also got me the book, "The Wrapping Scarf Revolution," which offers instructions on how to wrap items with large squares of fabric. In addition to reusable fabric gift bags, I have made some double-sided squares of fabric to wrap some items, but think I may need to practice my tying skills a little. I am less-than-impressed with my wrapped results.

Have you tried using fabric for gift wrapping? Please share your experience below!


REVIEW: Tolkien Geek Tank by Jordan Dene

Angie in Jordan Dene Tolkien quote tank

After posting my geeky clothing wishlist in my last post, I was thrilled to receive an offer to review a new line of geek-quote-inspired togs from fellow geek maker/designer Jordan Dene. She promptly shipped out one of her Tolkien quote unisex tanks for my unbiased review.

My husband and I joined a gym a couple of months ago, so I have been looking for some "subtly geeky" tank tops to wear while working out. I am pleased to report Jordan's Tolkien tank was up to the challenge. 

I wear about a size 12, and the Large size fit perfectly, and was plenty long to cover my booty in my bike shorts, with ample room to move on the elliptical and while doing weights. The cut also provided nice coverage - no shoulder slippage while getting my sweat on. The fabric is super soft, as is the ink used for the screen-print - no "crunchy" ink transfer here!

I also love the color - at first glance, it's kind of a nice deep mint green, but upon closer inspection, you'll see it's kind of a green heather, but with hints of blue, rather than gray.

Jordandene Tolkien tank

Kind of reminded me of mermaid scales, actually, which to me just upped the geek factor. Maybe that's why she chose the same shade for her mermaid shells tank!

I already loved this Tolkien quote - "Not all those who wander are lost" - but I liked "applying" this quote to my workouts. Not all those on an elliptical have no where to go, either!

Verdict: Two thumbs up! I would definitely consider adding more of her tanks to my workout wardrobe - like the "Courage, Dear Heart" and the "Star Stuff" ones, in particular.

Be sure to check out her website, as well as her various social channels:

BONUS: Jordan offered a 20% discount for my readers! Use code FANGIRL2014 at checkout!

Full disclosure: I knew Jordan previously, from her contribution of the "Make It So" pennant banner to my Star Trek Craft Book (p122). She offered a complimentary tank in return for my review. All opinions and fangirling my own.