Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever

A couple of weeks ago, my plan to write this post was unseated by a pressing need to comment on the rather more temporally relevant news that Thor is going to be a Lady. Now that nerdsplosion has passed, I can get back to something really important: 90s Gambit. Gambit …

sheet of white foamcore on a table, with a roll of tinfoil, roll of black duct tape, glue stick, X-Acto knife and silver embroidery floss on top and a green, gridded cutting mat underneath

Do You Want to Build a Costume?

This year was only my second CONvergence and SkepchickCon, and I’m pretty sure I’m hooked. I felt a bit left out last year because I didn’t have any awesome costumes like the rest of my fellow Labbers, so I brilliantly decided that 8:30pm two days before I was supposed to …


NSFW Balloon Animals

For reasons too complex and bizarre to explain in full, I found myself needing to learn the craft of ballooning such that I could create sculptures of genitalia to support a lecture series at a museum. Such a ludicrous skill should not be kept secret, so I shall share it …

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Design Diaries – Quizotron Championship Belt

Last year at Dragon*Con, Phil “The Bad Astronomer” Plait defeated reigning champion Scott “The Dark Overlord” Sigler at the World Quiz-O-Tron Championship. He proceeded to complain bitterly at the lack of tangible reward. We at Mad Art Lab are nothing if not willing to Pander, so we designed and built …

"Be Mine?" valentine - muscly man with drawn-on flowery hair (by Lauren)
ActivitiesCraftingGeekeryGeneral ArtIllustrationVisual Art

MAL-entine’s Day is coming!

I don’t want to alarm anyone but VALENTINE’S DAY IS THIS FRIDAY. If you don’t have all your proper v-day accoutrements and hoity-toitily overwrought micro-tapas gastro-chic reservations prepared already, you’re either SOL or you care about v-day just as much as I do (read: not a whit). However, if this …

lined notebook paper seen through a cut-out sheep drawing
atheismCraftingGeneral ArtMeta StuffVisual Art

What Color is Your Sheep?

Last night in our Growing Up Godless panel during FTBCon, I mentioned that I’d been to churchy-camp without even realizing it was churchy as a child. Apparently there was a nearby church holding summer “camps” with a running theme of the Chronicles of Narnia; if I remember correctly, each year they …


Design Diaries – Pan Pacific Pauldrons

This week, I create some steel armor from Pacific Rim using only basic tools and beginner techniques to help demonstrate that armoring isn’t such a hard craft to get into.

Photo: Ange Clafield and Julia Hall

My Year as Slave Leo

Almost a year ago, I put up a post about my genderbent Slave Leia costume. I talked a lot about why I decided to create it and my insecurities around exposing myself on the internet. It got a little more attention than I expected, and when I was finished hiding …