Fandom Mugs FTW!

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Hey there, fellow Hackers! Tis Scribe Sarah again, here to tell you all about yet another Etsy shop that you should all definitely check out. This shop is especially great for any coffee or tea aficionados. The shop owner is the lovely Ashley Marie and it’s called HandPaintedNerd.

I was attending Wizard World Chicago last summer and one of my favorite things to do, especially at the large conventions, is to browse through all of Artist Alley. I was thrilled to come across many booths that looked interesting but, at one point, my eye drifted to a coffee mug, painted all green and with beautiful Middle-Earthian-type font on the front, it said “What about second breakfast?” My geeky little heart soared with joy at seeing this. There are two things I love more than, like, everything on the planet; Coffee and Lord of the Rings.

I, of course, stopped at the booth to check the price on the mug and saw a bevy of Harry Potter-inspired mugs as well. There were tall mugs, regular sized, even travel mugs! All are hand painted ceramic and gorgeous. Ashley have an incredible talent. She and her booth assistant directed me around the corner to the other side of the table, where I found about 7 different Firefly-themed mugs. I was stuck. I was sold, the only problem I had now was that, at the time, I could only afford one and I didn’t know which one I wanted most.

I landed on this one. Image may contain: one or more people and eyeglasses

(Please ignore the disaster that is my hair in this photo. Let just say that…I wasn’t feeling that whole grooming thing that day.)

Because, let’s face it, Mal Reynolds is an inspiring dude and this was one of my favorite quotes of his (I love them all, the man is my hero). Also, the gun was just so well done, I couldn’t believe it had actually been hand-painted.

I took one of Ashley’s cards and then followed her Instagram. Then I favorited her Etsy shop and I constantly look at the feeds and think about getting another mug but opt out because I literally cannot decide which one to get next. Until recently, that is. Ashley had added a new mug to her Instagram and I almost immediately went to purchase it because I have been a ginormous fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since the movie came out in 1992. But I always had identified most with Willow. When Ashley posted a photo of her new design, I knew I had to have it. And have it I now do. See? ISN’T IT SO PRETTY!? Image may contain: coffee cup

I cannot recommend this shop enough. In addition to mugs, there are also jewelry plates, necklaces, even yarn bowls and the fandoms that are covered include Harry Potter, Firefly/Serenity, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Arrow, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, Marvel, Gilmore Girls, Stranger Things, Sherlock…the list goes on and on. Ashley is very up with current new fandoms as well and is constantly adding new designs to her inventory.

Best of all, for hand painted and fired ceramic pieces, these are all quite reasonably priced. So if you are like me and you have a serious coffee mug addiction (seriously, I have way too many mugs already and I still can’t stop buying them), then I highly recommend checking out HandPaintedNerd! You will not regret it (but your wallet might). 😉

Scribe Sarah

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Blinded by the Light!

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Hey Hackers!

It’s me, Scribe Sarah, filling in again on our fantabulous blog. Today, I wanted to enlighten you regarding some truly inspiring work from a company out of Seoul, South Korea; WyseFactory!

First, let me tell you a little about this company. They are a distribution brand of Wyse & Control Corp, which has been in business since 2008. WyseFactory joined the Etsy-sphere in 2016 and offers a plethora of items from handbags to mugs to light fixtures. All items are handmade with an incomparable skill and passion. Honestly, you can tell from the products that they are lovingly crafted.

While there are a myriad of pieces on their Etsy shop (link provided at the end of the article), the ones I really wanted to bring to your attention are the metal craft table lamps. There are not many of them, however, they are true works of indelible art.

These lamps are crafted from a variety of metals including copper, iron, and aluminum. They also utilize metal items such as nuts, bolts, and screws in the design. Not only is this a unique way to repurpose old metal objects, it also provides a space with an inimitable piece of handmade art. These lamps help lend a kind of “Wall-E” feel to your office or living space. There is the ETY Muscle Man, the ETY Explorer, and the ETY no. 1 (my personal favorite). Each of these lamps features movable, poseable joints that can be tightened to maintain a specific posture. They can be powered by 12V power adapter down to a USB adapter. None of these lamps is too large and they are adaptable to really any small space.

Metal Craft LED Table Lamp - ETY Muscle Man / Free Shipping

In addition to providing much needed light to an area, these adorable little metal men give the sense of having your very own robot friend or assistant. They watch over your work, whether that be cross-stitching or writing, offering a silent sort of support in all your endeavors.

If you love unique crafts, please check out WyseFactory’s Etsy shop.
And special thanks to Nicole for pointing me in the direction of this charming shop and its fare!

Scribe Sarah

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Re-purpose Those Wine Bottles!

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Helllloooooo fellow Hackers!

I’m sure a lot of you are asking yourselves, “Wait a sec, who is this person? I don’t recognize her!”

Well, first off, I will introduce myself. My name is Sarah and I am a writer. I am a lover of literature, a scribbler of synonyms, a wielder of words. I am also fond of alliteration, if you hadn’t guessed. While I do spend a lot of time writing, I also enjoy working whatever little crafty endeavors I feel like because I, as I imagine many of you, am happiest when I am creating. As such, I offered to fill in on the blog here and there so I hope you guys enjoy a little silliness.

This week I wanted to tell you all about a little project I started doing years ago in answer to a question I seemed to repeatedly ask myself… “What am I going to do with this single flower that was gifted me?” (As a single lady, I don’t often get bouquets but I do get single roses or carnations and hate to just toss them simply because they don’t fit in a vase). Then, one evening, as I was finishing off a bottle of wine (that’s totally normal, right?), it occurred to me.

“This wine bottle would make a perfect single flower vase!”

But the wine bottles looked a little…off somehow, with this random flower just stuck it the top. So I decided to spruce them up a little. I prefer to use acrylic paints and a gloss coat for sealing but you can also use tissue paper, cotton, felt, puff paint, anything your little heart desires really. The purpose is to re-purpose. And any wine bottle will work, any shape or style.

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First, you need to make sure to clean the wine bottles inside and out. Squirt a tiny bit of dish soap into the bottle and then run hot water into it. Let this run until the bottle fills and then is overflowing. Don’t stop until all the suds have rinsed clean. Then place the bottles to soak in a tub or sink of warm water to remove the labels (unless you want to incorporate them into your design somehow). I use Goo-Gone to get all the sticky stuff off and like to start with a smooth, clean bottle for painting.

Once you have your bottle ready, assemble your supplies.

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I’m going to stick with painting the bottles for the purposes of this post but the great thing about crafting is that it is a truly adaptable form of creativity. Do what you like, what you think looks prettiest.

I use the trays for single colors and the cardboard for when I’m mixing a custom color. Just remember if you mix a custom, mix a LOT of it because you don’t want to run out halfway through coating the bottle. It is really difficult to match a custom color exactly.

You can also use different tools and techniques for the base coat. Sponges to give a speckled look, rags dabbed into wet paint to give the appearance of crinkles and cracks, etc. Use your imagination, there really are no wrong answers. Very important though, I’m speaking from personal experience here; make sure to give the base coat plenty of time to dry/set. Actually, this is a good rule of thumb (rule of wrist?) anytime you’re working in layers. Unless you want to create a neat color blend or technique, that is.

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Once you have a base coat, you can use any number of things to add detail. I personally freehand designs onto the bottles depending on what I’m making it for but you can use stencils if you don’t feel comfortable free-handing or you can glue photos and items onto the bottle as well. This white bottle pictured above will be a winter decoration with silver and light blue snowflakes scattered across it once completed.

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Once you feel the bottle design is complete, again, allow it to completely dry/set. Then take it outside (don’t do this indoors, it’ll smell awful!) and spray the bottle with a clear coat sealant. If you plan on using it outdoors, use a weather sealant; otherwise, a clear gloss or matte coat of paint is usually fine. If you plan on washing it, the weather sealant again is your best bet.

These bottles make lovely gifts as they are customize-able to the person or a particular season and they don’t take up a lot of space. It’s also a great way to do something useful with your empty wine bottles if your area doesn’t offer any recycling program or you don’t have easy access. They can be sold at craft fairs and festivals (as long as you aren’t putting licensed characters or items on them!) for a little extra crafting money here and there. And best of all, it’s holds a single rose just perfectly.

~Scribe Sarah~