Dumbledore’s Owl Podium 

During my dorm years in college I organized an annual Harry Potter Trivia Night. It worked just like Jeopardy! At any given point there were four representatives from each house at the front tables. They would choose a topic and difficulty, I would read the question and any house could buzz in to answer. 

The game itself was quite a undertaking, but I also spent weeks on decoration and planning so that the experience was much more immersive. I MCed the whole event from beside the screen, navigating the complex powerpoint over a projector to bounce between the hourglass-scoreboard, category boards and the questions. I didn’t want to just sit behind a computer screen like some kind of Muggle, so I crafted myself a symbol of authority, dignity and wisdom to stand before me. I made a replica of Dumbledore’s owl podium.  

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  MTG Card Case 

Over one summer, a lot of my friends started playing Magic: the Gathering. It’s a good way to pass a few hours, make some new friends, or piss off the friends you already have when you make them kill their own creatures or throw their whole deck into the graveyard. 

On of my buddies spent hours putting decks together and started buying into the competitive play at the local bookstore on Friday nights. All the coolest nerds had custom play mats or fancy dice. I wasn’t that into MTG, but I was into making custom stuff, so I decided to make my friend a case that he could show off at Friday Night Magic. 

When I was in middle school my parents were friends with a woman who had spent years doing custom leather work for a living. She was really generous with her time and supplies, meaning I still have a huge box in my closet that’s full of hides, hole-punches, stamps, etc. 

I want the finished product to look clean but also very Medieval and ominous. The first thing I decide after a few quick sketches is that I will need some hardware. I go ahead and order a cool latch and some spikes

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R2D2 Bike Helmet

I love riding my bike. When I moved to a big city I knew there would be plenty of great places to go for a spin, so I bought a familiar model roadbike but didn’t want to ride it in an unfamiliar place —where there was more traffic than I’m used to— until I had a helmet. My uncle solves that right away by giving me an old motorcycle helmet.

It’s incredibly big and awkward looking, which also describes my head to begin with, so it I feel kind of like the Mushroom People from Mario Kart while wearing it. I realize how dome-shaped it is and immediately know what needed to be done.

Before starting a project, I like to do a little research to see if someone has made something similar before. In some cases it’s a good thing because it will provide inspiration or instruction, while in other cases it may just make it not feel worth the trouble. If I want to appreciate the process of making something, I’ll assemble a model or a Lego set. When I make a project from scratch I want to end up with something unique that cant just be bought. 

Unsurprisingly, I’m not the first person to think of doing this. Someone named Jenn made a pretty good version a few years back and blogged about it. Hers was just a paint job though and I already know I want mine to have all the bells and whistles. Speaking of bells, the bike accessory company Bell makes an R2D2 bike helmet, but only in todler sizes. While this version is a little more 3D, it has holes in it and just isn’t as cool as it could be.  Continue reading “R2D2 Bike Helmet”


Crash Bandicoot Ski Mask and Costume

This project started out as an idea for a Halloween costume, but after thinking back to the ice-levels of that classic 90’s game, I realized that if it’s designed properly it could be a great way to look cool and stay warm on the slopes.

Just like with the Elfie Hat, this project will be wearable, so to help me get a better idea of how best to design and build it, I make a quick list of a few aspects.

 

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Wile E. Coyote Dummy Gelunde Ski Jump

 

The Dummy Gelunde Jump is an annual event at Ski Apache, where contestants build a dummy on skis, point it down a slope with a huge ramp at the bottom, give it a push and cross their fingers. Similar dummy jumps can be found at other ski resorts like Mount Sunapee and Mission Ridge. The specifications and judging criteria vary, but most will require only 2 skis be used and will reward creativity, height of jump and distance traveled or proximity to a bulls-eye.  Continue reading “Wile E. Coyote Dummy Gelunde Ski Jump”


  Elfie Hat

 

This was the first year I’ve been away from family for Christmas. I wasn’t able to get enough time off to make the trip worth the high cost of holiday-season flight tickets, so I settled for visiting remotely via Skype. I knew for a while that I would want to do this, so I started building a hat that would allow me to visit, cook breakfast and open gifts, all hands free. 

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Venny, Vidi, Vici 

It seemed fitting that the first project I post about would be the BVS mascot, Venny. It was late 2015 when I decided I wanted to create a blog to display and talk about my projects. I also wanted to be able to direct people to it easily and so I started sketching a business card while I was at work. I was thinking about a name and image that would convey creativity but also be visually interesting. The idea of a brain being “milked” came to me and just like that, Venny was born. Continue reading “Venny, Vidi, Vici”