18 June 2013

Gifts for Geeks: Gamer Bouquet

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Know a geek? Chances are they'll like this.

Last year I gave my husband a bouquet of beef jerky wrapped in bandannas. I can't entirely claim the idea as my own because it was Adam Carolla who suggested it once while helping a caller on LoveLine one night; I always had my radio tuned in to that show. He said that a guy wouldn't really care if you gave him flowers but he's care if it was a bouquet of something he really liked...like...MEAT!

Recently Brandon sent me a photo of all the Final Fantasy VI characters made from perler beads (you know, since I was working with them anyway). He says it wasn't a hint, but............it totally was. I knew it would make him really happy and at the same time I could create a play set for him to use with Tristan.

I knew I had to keep The Meat Bouquet Tradition alive so I thought of a way to mesh all the ideas together: instead of jerky try using Slim Jims as stems and attach the characters to the top! Get creative: you can literally top a Slim Jim with anything. Not into Final Fantasy? Super Mario Brothers. Hello Kitty. Animals. Glowing stars. Robots. Yo Gabba Gabba. Roses! Matryoshka. There are literally patterns out there for everything! and if you don't feel like making them you can buy them either premade or custom made on Etsy (or just ask ME!).

I went with an even dozen.

Now before you look at the close-ups there is a disclaimer: I know that Rydia is from Final Fantasy IV. Believe me, I've heard about it! But I thought she was pretty and IV and VI look a lot alike when you're tired and I wanted her to be my character when we all play together.

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Final Fantasy VI characters done in perler/hama beads. and Rydia.

Let me be honest: this took a LOT of time. I'm kinda mourning its completion like the end of a long book. Sure, I have other adventures and things to start but this was epic. I absolutely couldn't work on this while Tristan was awake even if Brandon was home. It had to be while he was asleep because if he sees a loose perler bead he becomes unhinged. His eyes become Light Brights and swirl; he starts zipping this way and that way and he quickly checks to see if anything is loose to fling about. This scenario would be my undoing: perler fireworks of DOOM. I have now sorted through over 11,000 beads at this point in my hama career.


Why buy them when you can make them yourself, I once said. Oh, I get it. Not everyone will have the patience for pixel art and need to outsource. I find it very soothing (sans child).

It also gave me time to watch Buffy. ALL SEVEN SEASONS. I didn't have TV when that show came out and when I went to friends' houses to watch I was totally confused. So now I'm hyper into Buffy and want to talk about it alllllllllllllllll the time (Angel vs Spike?! Anyone?!) but the last episode aired ten years ago. I'm late to the party. Whatever, so I'm watching Angel now. I miss Spike.

NO SPOILERS. K, thanks.

So here are the parts that Tristan could help me with...

toddler helping with handmade gift, gift ideas from toddlers, father's day geek present
Putting together his Father's Day Meat Bouquet.

Here's what we did together:

  • put the Slim Jims in a glass vase then weighted them down with gravel

  • attached the characters with Duck Tape

  • taped leaves I cut from a green painting he did specifically for this onto the vase

  • helped put the bandanna 'tissue paper' around the bouquet

When I was looking for bandannas on Amazon I discovered that Buffs are NOT just a thing for Survivor. mmHmmm. I'll admit it: I didn't know. I've never camped a day in my life. Survivors, here are your Buffs! I just thought it was a Jeff Probst thing - not a weekly marketing ploy for 18 seasons. Subtle.

So you mean there are super absorbent bandanna thingies that are UV repelling. BRILLIANT annnd REAL?! Sold. Now I have one, too. The one I got for Brandon can be styled like a million different ways, too. He hasn't taken it off since. Do they make them for kids? Oh, yes they do! This is so awesome and useful for a park-loving toddler! Anyway, in case you missed that other link: Buffs - not new, just new to ME!


I need to go watch an episode of Angel, I think.

Hope you found this to be inspirational for all your dorky gift-giving needs! You won't have to worry about someone showing up with the same gift......unless they read this post but even then it will be unique!

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