Crafts with Pizzazz: SpongeBob SquarePants!

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Hello from Bee!

Sorry for the delay in posts; Boss-Bot and I have been incredibly busy this month preparing for and attending a comic convention (you know it’s convention season when there are fabric scraps, cardboard pieces, and tons of glitter sprinkled throughout the house!).

We had a fantastic time at the convention! For the first time, we were able to attend all three days, which meant we could actually sit through some panels as well as walk around the exhibit halls. As for costumes, we complimented each other as Batman vs. Superman, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and one day of individual costumes, where Boss-Bot went as Scream from the TV series and I went as Captain America (with a little Bucky Bear!).

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Unquestionably, the highlight of the convention was meeting signature guest Tom Kenny, voice of SpongeBob SquarePants (of which Boss-Bot and I are HUGE fans) and so many other classic characters. He is the NICEST guy! He really spent time talking with us and quoting/singing all our favorite classic SpongeBob moments. He clearly loves what he does and was very touched by all of the fan love, including when I gave him a crocheted SpongeBob.

Making SpongeBob was a bit of a challenge because of his shape. There are several ways to create a three-dimensional square shape for amigurumi; I decided to crochet six flat yellow pieces and sew them together, stuffing the resulting shape before attaching the final piece. Afterwards, I crocheted a flat piece with white and brown yarn for his shirt and pants and sewed it over the square. I did make his arms, sleeves, legs, and shorts in-the-round, creating fingers with the same chain technique I use for bandannas. The face and other details are felt, yarn, and embroidery thread.

Have you been to any conventions? What are your highlights? Please comment below! 🙂

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Review with Pizzazz: Bionicle Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder

Review with Pizzazz: Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder

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Finally, the set we’ve all been waiting for, right? Boss Bot here with the big kahuna: Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder. The set itself sets you back at least $30, which is honestly a good value since you get a Protector-size (with gear functions) and a set a little shorter than Tahu, which would probably cost around $15 if it were sold alone. But the most important part of the set is the Mask of Creation. Let’s start with that…

Mask of Creation:

It’s an amazing piece. It’s the first of the “legendary” (important) masks we’re getting. It’s incredibly cool. The design is incredibly unique with a very cool texture, which seems to be some kind of ancient language. Not much to say, but everything about it is fantastic. Definitely one of the biggest selling points of the set.

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Mask Maker:

Also known as Ekimu, this set is pretty neat. He’s the size of a Protector with loads of good articulation. He’s really nice and bulky and has a gear function. He swings one of his arms, which obviously isn’t over the top, but a nice addition. His colors are great (gold and trans blue) and has good armor add on bits. Definitely a solid set on his own. His trans blue and gold Protector mask is a nice touch, as well.

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Skull Ginder:

Also known as Kulta, he’s my favorite part of this set, personally. He’s around the size of a medium Toa set, but in this case, his size is no issue. He makes up for it with his uniqueness (and spooky-scary-skeleton-ness). He has a few bone pieces that I talked about in our last review, so I won’t go into detail on those aside from saying how cool and creepy they look. Kulta’s mask is also very cool and creepy, resembling a skeleton’s head. Only issue with him is that he could use another friction gear, since his weapon is very heavy and often causes his arms to flop around. Not a big deal and can be fixed by adding in another gear, but again, just something to consider. He’s very unique and very creepy- I’m surprised the sets are getting quite dark, since it seemed this series was going to be on the lighter side, but I can’t complain- I LOVE how eerie these new sets are.

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Overall, Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder is a fantastic set and worth every penny. You get three very nice looking masks and two sets, for a pretty good price. As they become easier to find in the US, I definitely suggest picking it up on site- you won’t regret it.

In other (unrelated) news, expect a Skull Slicer review later this week and some G1 Bionicle reviews coming soon- and my review of the new “Fant4stic”.

Crafts with Pizzazz: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

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Hello again from Bee!

A couple of days ago, Boss-Bot and I had a movie night, where we re-watched last summer’s blockbuster, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

When it was first announced that Michael Bay would be directing a new live-action version of another favorite comic/cartoon from the 80s, Boss-Bot and I definitely had some mixed feelings. On one hand, Bay’s “Transformers” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” had us hopeful that he’d make our beloved “heroes in a half-shell” look good on the big screen; on the other, his two middle sequels had us questioning whether the Turtles and their allies would be recognizable.

After seeing it, Boss-Bot commented that this was one of those movies that’s just plain fun – and I agree! Despite the new CGI look, they were still the same four ninja-styling, pizza-loving teenaged brothers we love. And it was really nice to see that April O’Neil wasn’t relegated to the sidelines – she was out there in the midst of the action right alongside her reptilian pals. Favorite parts: Mikey (of course!); the Turtles’ banter; the Usagi reference; April and her exasperated, hopelessly crushing cameraman; and Mikey singing “Happy Together” (by the Turtles!) at the end.

So yes, we enjoyed it – and it was great to see it again the other day. That’s why I decided my Crafts with Pizzazz post today would feature my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crochet.

When I was first learning how to crochet, I found a pattern for a regular amigurumi turtle that looked fairly easy to do. I followed the instructions, and then customized it into a Ninja Turtle by adding a felt mask. It turned out pretty well, and I gave it to Boss-Bot, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for style-wise.

Then a couple of months ago, I made up my own pattern for a pocket-sized turtle I gave to a friend as a gift. I was really pleased with the way it looked (as was my friend), so after finishing that present, I decided to see if I could modify my pattern and make the TMNT.

While keeping the basics of my pattern – a rounded head and a two-colored rounded body for the green front and brown shell – I added an extra row to the legs, plus elbow/knee pads, the yellow underbelly of their shells, belts, and of course, the masks in their signature colors. The results: four “turtley cute” little crochet Ninja Turtles ready for action!

As Mikey would say, “Cowabunga!” 🙂