The Perler Bead Addiction Continues

Three weeks ago, I wrote about our Perler Bead addiction.  Since that time (except for a quick Perler Bead-related Rosh Hashana greeting), I haven’t posted about Perler Beads at all.  So clearly my addiction is over, right?


I’ll admit it.  I’ve been holding back.  We’ve been busy working on so many Perler Bead projects and while I’ve posted photos of most of them on Instagram, I didn’t want to become  I wanted to space out these posts a bit.  Now that I’ve waited a bit, here’s what we’ve been doing (in no particular order).

You remember Robin from the first post?

Well, JSL and I worked on the rest of the Teen Titans: Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg.


Titans, GO!

I’ve also been working on some tiny Harry Potter figures.  See if you can guess who each one is.


Accio Perler Bead Tray!

I made a few Star Wars figures as well.


When 900 years old you reach, be made of plastic beads you will not. (Next up: Chewbacca and Boba Fett.)

I also made myself a baby Groot.


Groot, did you eat my brownie?  I AM GROOT!

B made Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and both Perry the Platypus and Agent P.


Oh there you are, Perry!

I made these parrots to turn into earrings for B.


Just don’t ask them if Polly wants a cracker.

NHL made a pair of fishes.


I think the smaller one’s about to be eaten by the larger fish.

Speaking of larger, I’ve also just got this for large projects:


I’ve seen some "turn a photo into a Perler Bead pattern" programs and I might just try a couple.  Those don’t work well with tiny projects.  Also, while you can connect the smaller boards together, our ironing area is upstairs from where we make the Perler Beads.  As it is, walking up the stairs carrying a tray of beads is tricky.  (One bump and not only is your design broken, but tiny, plastic beads could be scattered everywhere.)  The way the boards connect, though, wouldn’t let me keep them connected as I move them.  Now, though, I can make one big design or a bunch of smaller ones, and just carry one board up to my iron to melt the beads together.

It looks like my Perler Bead addiction might be turning into a full on obsession and that’s just fine by me.

(Lest anyone think that all of these projects are a waste of money – that I iron them, toss them aside, and then work on a new project, JSL now has a pile of Perler Bead figures that he loves playing with.  The other day, he had the Teen Titans being visited by the Doctor and Harry Potter.  He’s only seven and is already a master of the crossover.  *sniff* They grow up so fast. *sniff*)

Addicted To Perler Beads

We seem to have a new addiction in our household: Perler beads.

Have you ever used these?  If not, let me explain what they are.  Perler beads are tiny plastic beads.


You place them on a plastic pin board to make designs.


When your design is done, you use an iron to slightly melt the beads, keeping perler bead ironing paper – or just parchment paper – between the beads and the iron.  (If you don’t, the beads might melt ONTO the iron and this would obviously not be good.)


When the ironing is done, and your creation cools, you have something very cool to play with.

My first creation, of course, was David Tennant’s Doctor.


While I was making this, NHL made an ice cream sundae.


Later, JSL joined in the fun.  He wanted to make Robin from the Teen Titans TV show.  We looked up an image online and worked on it together.  I told him what colors to use and he placed them in.  Then, I ironed it for him.


After this, I decided to look up Autism awareness patterns.  I found a nice small one of the Autism "puzzle pieces."  It turned out so nice that I glued it onto one of the blank tie clips I have.  Yes, I plan on wearing this into the office.


I’ve also considered making more of these and attaching them to pins to wear when I don’t have a tie on.

I also made a larger one that we’ll turn into a magnet.


JSL worked on some fireman pieces (which aren’t completed enough to make for a good photo) and NHL worked on a gaming system.


Finally, B got into the act also.  Previously, she been the "designated sorter" – sorting beads from the huge bucket into individual color bins.


She decided to make a butterfly for JSL to go with his Robin figure.  (Long story.  Basically, there’s a Teen Titans Go episode that JSL loves where Robin tries to survive in the wilderness by constantly eating butterflies and shouting "PURE PROTEIN!")


Here’s a perler bead shopping tip:  You can get big buckets of beads from Amazon but we’ve found that going to local craft stores such as Jo-Ann with 40% or 50% off coupons (look in the paper or online) can help you beat that price.

As far as inspiration goes, there is a vast store of perler bead creations online that people have posted.  Some are in the form of patterns for you to follow.  Others are just photos that you can use to recreate the creation for yourself.  These can go from the very small to the very big.  The sheer variety of perler bead possibilities means that we’ll be making perler bead crafts for a long time to come.

Have you ever worked with perler beads?  If so, what have you made with them?

Custom Munchkin

NHL and I are Munchkin addicts.  We just love playing a good game of Munchkin and killing monsters while backstabbing or helping each other.  There are also a ton of expansion packs and other versions of Munchkin which can be added to the original (or, in the case of the latter, played on their own) to add variety.  While the quality on those is exceptional and I’d love to load up on all of them, there’s one problem.  We just can’t afford it.  Sadly, daily expenses eat too much of our money to go on a Munchkin buying spree.

So what’s a Munchkin-loving geek to do?

Well, early last month, a tweet from @VisionaryLight (retweeted by @SJGames) inspired me.  Her son made some cards to add to his Munchkin game.  I thought that this was genius.  Why not use the blank cards that were included with our Munchkin set to make some of our own cards?  Not only could we add in treasures or monsters of our choice, but we could custom tailor them to our geeky interests.  We could make Munchkin cards of franchises that Steve Jackson Games doesn’t have the rights to.  For example, instead of using a Staff of Napalm to destroy a Plutonium Dragon, why not use a Lightsaber to defeat a Rancor?  Or command Mjolnir to strike a Frost Giant?  And why limit yourself to one franchise when you can combine them?  Perhaps you could use a Proton Pack (ala Ghostbusters) to zap a Klingon.  The possibilities are endless.

A second inspiration struck courtesy of @DrSbaitso.  Steve Jackson Game’s website was going down for maintenance and Dr. Sbaitso joked about needing to buy “Munchkin: Procrastinator.”  Of course, there is no such set, but it struck me as a brilliant idea.  Why not build a set based on not killing the monster, but putting off killing it?

UPDATE:  After this post went live, I received a note from a representative from Steve Jackson Games.  While they were very nice, they noted that “making custom Munchkin cards is a violation of trademark (Munchkin) and copyright (design and mechanics of the game).”  I try very hard to respect the copyright and trademarks of the companies that produce the things I love.  (I try to respect copyright/trademark in general, but especially the folks who make stuff I like.)  In my excitement over my card ideas, I mistakenly stepped over the line.  The last thing I’d want to do is cause a problem for Steve Jackson Games.  To correct this error, I’ve removed the images and edited the post.

If you have custom card ideas, you have two options.  First of all, you can visit their Munchkin card idea submission page and hope they make your card.  Secondly, you can buy blank cards and write in your custom ideas.  (Sadly, they don’t have regular Munchkin cards in stock anymore, but any of the blanks should work with any Munchkin set.)

Thanks again to Steve Jackson Games for such a wonderful game and I apologize for stepping over the line.

Television Eras Ending And Beginning

TelevisionLast week saw the ending of one geeky era and the beginning of another.

First the ending.  For the past ten(?) years, Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci have been entertaining and enlightening us by busting myths alongside Jamie and Adam on Mythbusters.  They brought life to the Hwacha, showed that the Ewoks really could crush an AT walker with logs, and proved that you really can catch a greased pig.  Now, however, the announcement has gone out that the Mythbusters will go in a new direction – or, rather, and old one.  In the beginning of the show, the focus was on Jamie and Adam.  Now, Kari, Grant, and Tory are leaving so the focus can move back to just Jamie and Adam.

This might wind up being a good thing.  Perhaps, fewer myths will be tested but with more depth shown per myth.  Or, maybe they will just cram more fluff into each episode to fill the time left vacant by the loss of "the Build team."  Given how good they work together, I’m hoping that Discovery Channel gives them their own show.  I’m not sure what they could do, but I’m sure there’s plenty of topics that they could cover involving science and requiring interesting builds.  Whatever they do, though, I wish them luck and can’t wait to see them in action again.

In happier news, a new era of geekiness began on Saturday night.  That’s when Peter Capaldi officially began his reign as the madman in the box on Doctor Who.  Yes, Capaldi has now begun his turn as the twelfth Doctor.  Though, depending on how you count, he might be the thirteenth Doctor.  It’s all very wibbly-wobbly.  Without giving too many spoilers, I found Capaldi’s first episode good, but uneven.  It’s hard to get a handle on a Doctor’s first episode post-regeneration.  As each Doctor regenerates, he takes some time to get to know what kind of person (Time Lord) he is.  So we can’t quite tell from the first episode how the new actor will be.  With Matt Smith, it took me until his fourth episode before I accepted him as the Doctor.  I did, however, think that the first Capaldi episode was a good "bridge" between Matt Smith’s Doctor and Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.

NOTE: The "Hi-Def Television" image above is by bnsonger47 and is available via

Belated Father’s Day and a Munchkin Video

fathers_day Yesterday was Father’s Day.  I meant to write a post about it on Thursday night, but then I was hit with bloggy writer’s block.  I knew what topic I wanted to write about, but the words just failed to appear in my head.  In addition, Angry Birds Epic had just come out, so I wound up playing that until I went to bed.  (More on Angry Birds Epic another day.)

On Friday, I took NHL out for a dad-son day.  We ate breakfast and lunch out and saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 in 3D.  The latter was a rare treat because 1) I usually don’t pay extra for 3D movies (movie tickets are expensive enough in 2D) and 2) JSL doesn’t like 3D movies so we’re not going to pay extra for him to sit through the movie without his glasses on and seeing a distorted picture.  I’ve got to say that the 3D was nice, but it did hurt my eyes by the end and I’d be just as happy paying less and watching the movie in 2D.  For the $4 extra per ticket, I’d rather go to the 2D showing and then buy the boys a small movie-themed toy afterwards.

Saturday was a pretty normal day.  Sunday, meanwhile, was Father’s Day.  I got to sleep late/relax in bed until 10am.  Then, I made breakfast for everyone (yes, even on Father’s Day I cook).  Around noon, we headed out to lunch.  After a quick lunch – including a dessert at Menchie’s where they had Dole Whips, we planned some other activities, but sadly had to change our plans.  Instead, we went home and had a quiet, relatively uneventful rest of the day.

Except for one more thing.  Which was the one thing I really wanted to do yesterday.

Ever since I wrote my Do You Wanna Play Some Munchkin parody song, I’ve wanted to make a video of it.  With the day winding down, I set up the tripod, video camera, and got the props in place.  JSL, NHL, and I ran through it a few times before trying to video the song.  In the end, it wasn’t quite what I envisioned, but I think it came out pretty good.  Here are the lyrics in case you want to sing along:

I hope all the dads out there had a happy Father’s Day.

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