Random musings from the PaperDemon admin.
A new adventure
Holy crap! Has it really been eight years since I posted a blog post?! As they say, better late than never.
This is a year of some big changes so I figure there's no better time than now to give you all an update.
So much has happened since 2011. Too much to put in one blog post. So maybe I'll just start with what's still the same.
- I'm still happily married to my husband Mike. No kids yet. But we're hoping to start our family within the next couple years.
- I still struggle with ADHD. But, I continue to invest time and energy to understanding and managing it. I have made huge strides especially in the last few years.
- I still work for Google, though not for much longer. (I'm going to keep you in suspense!)
- I still run the creative community, PaperDemon.com.
And that's what leads me to make this updated blog post. This year I'll be embarking on a journey; A journey to fulfill a dream of mine that I've had for over a decade.
PaperDemon.com has always been a passion project for me. I've been telling myself for years how awesome it would be to work on PaperDemon and PaperDemonMedia full-time. I get so much joy from building something for creative's and helping them share their work with the world. As well as creating stupid funny videos. Every time a colleague of mine would leave Google to say they're leaving to work on their own business, I would stare at them wide-eyed with so much joy and happiness for them as well as envy. I would say, “I wish I could do that!”
Many people have dreams, but few actually attempt to see them through or give them a real chance. About two years ago I started to get serious about it. I realized that if I wanted to make my PaperDemon dream happen, I had to actually work on it and dedicate myself to it.
I doubted myself a lot (I still do). I wasn't sure if I had the discipline to do it. Up until two years ago, I could never stick to something consistently. I have a long history of unfinished projects telling me that I can't stick to anything or finish anything (this blog being one of them).
Oddly enough one of the thoughts that motivated me to try anyway is that when I have an ADHD child (there's a 50% chance) I want them to feel like they can take risks. I want them to go through the world believing that they can fulfill their dreams, in spite of their disability. If I gave up on my own dreams, what message would that send to my children?
The time has finally come for me to take the plunge and commit myself fully to seeing my dreams through. My last day at Google will be April 1. I'll then take a few weeks break to recover. (The last year has been incredibly hard. More details coming.) And then it'll be time to roll up my sleeves and see it all through.
I'll be honest with you, I'm pretty scared. I'm going to need a lot of support in the coming years. It may be a while before I'm profitable. I will continue to have lots of self-doubt. I very much appreciate any positive encouraging words you can send my way. Your words are more powerful than you could possibly know.
I don't just do this for myself, I do it for my family, and I do it for my community. Here's to you, me, and our dreams.
Special thank you to my husband Mike for his love and support.
Hand made Zelda Hylian Shield
A new hand made Hylian shield for my Twilight Princess Link costume.
When I first made my Link costume 4 years ago, I thought that making a shield by myself would be impossible, so I ordered a replica online (pictured on the left below).
However, as good as this shield looks, it has some problems. It weighs over 8 pounds and it gets tiring to carry around all day. The handle is made with really cheap materials and kept breaking. If it breaks during a day at a convention, I don't have a drill around to redrill the holes to repair it. The shape is also inaccurate to the Twilight Princess shield design. In addition, every other part of my costume I made myself and when people ask, "Wow your costume is great. Did you make all of that yourself?" I proudly say "Yes I did!" and then they say "Wow the shield is the BEST PART." and then I have to embarrassingly reply with that's the one thing I DIDN'T make.
Since I've been so successful with making craft foam props for my Zelda wedding, it didn't seem impossible anymore to make my own shield. This shield (pictured right below) is made totally from craft foam, hot glue gun glue, and acrylic paints. It weighs almost nothing, looks more accurate, and I can finally say "I made my whole costume myself." It still needs a few minor details and refinement on the paint. But it was good enough to show off on Halloween day.
|From Link Costume, the making of|
Here's an inprogress shot of what it looked lilke before the paint:
|From Link Costume, the making of|
Master Sword sleeps.
Just as the Master Sword in Zelda laid sleeping in the forest, I've been sleeping on the blog posts.
I haven't posted for a while because I've been waiting for the professional photos to be ready. Just saw them yesterday and I'll be getting the high res files soon and making more blog posts.
In the meantime, here's a quick taste. I love this shot because it reminds me so much of Zelda and some of the official art that has been created. Amazing. And I didn't even instruct them to do it either.
Photo by JLPhotografia
Wedding - Heart Piece in chest
It seemed fitting for our sweet heart table to have the Zelda Piece-of-heart as a centerpiece. To dress it up more, I created a foliage arrangement inside a treasure chest with rupees and jewels.
The chest is a ready made chest found at a craft store. The foliage is made from preserved moss, plastic jewels, fake ferns and ivy, moss rocks, mini pine cone filler. The heart piece is made from plastic custom cut at Tap Plastics and craft foam for the red heart, painted with liquitex acrylic paints and glitter glue. The rupees are paper craft.
My new husband will always have a piece of my heart ^.^
Wedding - Spirit Flute Centerpiece
Believe it or not, it's made from Playtex gentle glide tampon holders. No I'm not joking. I got the idea from TamponCrafts.com.
Other materials include craft foam for the front plate, beads, cross stitch floss, and liquitex paint.
Wedding - Banners and more Favors
So I learned that there's a technique called bunting where you take triangles of fabric and sew them inbetween a thin strip of fabric to create banners. I thought this would be suitable for the wedding because its a quick and easy way to add color to various areas of the venue and it also has a medieval look to it.
I also painted a water pattern and a few triforces to make it more Zelda-ish.
I created three signs; table assignments, bathroom, and spirits (for the bar!). Pictured below are a couple of the signs as well as the favors as they were displayed on the favors table.
The favors doubled as table assignments and contained the guest's name and a picture of the centerpiece of their table, so they would know visually what table they were to go to.
Wedding - Lens of Truth Centerpiece
Making its debut in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Lens of Truth aids Link in seeing invisible objects, enemies, and hidden passageways.
Something about the Lens of Truth's design has seemed creepy to me. But I chose to include it as a wedding centerpiece because it's so unique and wasn't too hard to create.
This was made using a plastic circle from Tap Plastics, craft foam, creative paperclay (thanks for the tip Jennifer Hom!), glitter glue, and acrylic paints.
The fabric I found to use for the Lens of Truth's pillow is especially neat because it changes from purple to red depending on the lighting and angle you view it at. A perfect match for the red and purple design of the Lens of Truth.
Wedding - Book of Mudora Centerpiece
Today's prop played a special role in the wedding. The Book of Mudora was used by Link in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to translate Hylian text and allow him to enter the Desert Palace. Our officiant used the Book of Mudora to hold the reading material for the ceremony. It also doubled as a centerpiece.
I created it by finding an old book and painting the outside cover with acrylic paints.
A special note about our officiant; my brother who is an officer in the US Navy officiated the ceremony. I thought it was weird to hire a stranger to handle the most special part of the wedding day so having a family member help with this made it more special. You can also blame my brother for my love of Zelda games. He traded my beloved Turtles in Time game for A Link to the Past (without my permission!), but it was worth it.
Wedding - Slingshot Centerpiece
Today I have another Zelda wedding centerpiece; the slingshot. Originally I was going to base this off of the slingshot from Ocarina of Time. But when I saw the Skyward Sword slingshot design, I knew that would be a better fit. But I did at least include the deku nuts amunition from Ocarina of Time.
The artistic style and colors of Skyward Sword and Wind Waker are much brighter and more colorful. So this is why I chose for both the bow & arrow and the slingshot to be based on the Skyward Sword designs.
Made from craft foam, acrylic paint, and lanyard cord. The deku nuts are just small Styrofoam balls painted with acrylic paint.
Wedding - Boomerang Centerpiece
Another centerpiece from my Zelda themed wedding, the boomerang. A classic weapon used by Link to stun enemies and grab hard to reach items. I wish I had better quality photos of this one. I'm sure the professional photos will look much better but they wont be ready until another 8 weeks or so.
The design for this was modeled after the Wind Waker boomerang. Except I changed the center portion from gray to purple. Purple is complementary to yellow so it works well. I also added a wind swirl element to make it more interesting and wind waker-like.
Made from craft foam, modeling paste, acrylic gel, acrylic paint.
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