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Happy Earth Day! Here are some links for you to enjoy! 🙂

Donald Trump’s modeling agency is on the verge of collapse, say industry insiders. It will be the latest in a line of failed ventures like the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Steaks, and Trump Vodka.

The original sculptor of the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street says that the Fearless Girl statue facing his statue distorts his work so much that he is considering filing a lawsuit.

Cannabis industry attracts more mainstream investors as business grows.

A mass-market shoe with 3D-printed midsoles is coming soon.

Eight-year-old boy learns to drive on YouTube then takes his little sister on a joyride to McDonald’s.

Microsoft Office vulnerabilities mean that no .doc is safe.

You’ll be working with robots sooner than you think.

Are you a photographer who needs a light box but you are currently short on cash? Here’s a video showing how you can make your own light box for less than $10.

Google’s new AutoDraw web-based drawing tool is a better artist than you.

It may be time to say farewell to the Pentax camera as Ricoh shrinks its camera business.

Chinese doctors use 3D printing to prepare for facial reconstruction surgery.

Microsoft to offer self-service refund for digital games.

How to stop Microsoft Office hackers from stealing your bank account.

12 ways to study a new programming language.

How Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet adhere to the Five-Hour Rule where they set aside at least one hour a day (or five hours a week) devoted to such practices as reading, reflection, and experimentation.

Exiles from the war-torn areas of Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan form a theater troupe in Germany.

Why Kickstarter decided to radically transform its business model.

How Steve Bannon’s multimedia machine drove a movement and paid him millions.

Microsoft will unveil the most powerful gaming console it has ever made on June 11.

Beware of “drive-by” computer scam.

Fake SEO plugin used in WordPress malware attacks.

Yes, some businesses still run Microsoft’s much-maligned Windows Vista.

Ohio inmates built and hid computers in prison using recycled electronic parts.

Dear Microsoft, stop blaming girls for not pursuing STEM careers.

Artist Hasan Elahi discusses racism in the digital art world.

Take a weirdly hypnotizing tour of America’s dying malls.

According to a recent survey, British women said that they prefer knitting to sex to help them relax from stress.

For photographers on a very tight budget, here’s a video showing how you can make your own DIY photography studio in your own home.

Disney files patents to bring humanoid robots to its theme parks.

Gizmodo reports on why people still use Microsoft Word.

Disney launching new animated Star Wars series on YouTube.

Black girls have been playing with white dolls for a long time.

Paper horror houses (including the Bates Motel) that you can download, print, and build for free.

Passover

There’s no glory in overworking. It’s just imminent burnout.

Tesla is now worth more than Ford and Elon Musk is already rubbing it in to everyone who ever doubted him.

14 stunning embroidery Instagrams.

Magic moments marking 170 years of British photography.

A Singapore man who lives with more than 9,000 Barbie dolls.

YouTube will now block ads on channels with under 10,000 views.

This robot will literally make you a salad.

A beginner’s guide to microblogging on Mastodon, the open source alternative to Twitter.

An interesting story on how writing on Medium each week has changed one woman’s life.

A 27-year-old entrepreneur talks about how he launched a seven-figure snack business in 18 months.

3D knitting brings tech to your sweaters—for a price.

There’s more to tech stock photography than hokey gold bitcoins.

3D printing in-store is very close and retailers need to address it.

A comparison of six free web-based SVG editors.

Nine anime things that Astro Boy did first.

Chinese man “marries” sex robot he built for himself after he failed to find a girlfriend.

Seven integral WordPress plug-ins.

White toddler girl defends her choice of a black doll to a cashier at Target.

Animated vloggers like Kizuna Ai could be the future of YouTube.

Chobani founder, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, stands by hiring refugees.

Brands see the future of fashion in customized 3D-knitted garments produced while you wait.

3D printing: Don’t believe all of the hype.

Five free graphic design tools.

Top 10 WordPress plugins for business sites in 2017.

Hollywood’s whitewashed version of anime never sells.

New robots just want to be your child’s best friend.

How to make a coin sorting machine from cardboard.

How Harvard Business School has advocated the propagation of immoral profit strategies.

Photos showing 100 years of people knitting.

Talking bendable Justin Trudeau doll for sale.

WordPress for Google Docs lets multiple users collaborate on content in real-time.

Six of the most innovative 3D printing companies.

GIMP is crowdfunding critical updates like high bit depth and layer effects.

This man makes amazing surreal animations from famous artwork.

Open Collective is a GoFundMe-like service for open source projects.

Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.

A look at one crafter who renders pop culture figures in embroidery.

Knitted knockers for breast cancer survivors.

A girl who lost her eye to cancer got the best lookalike doll.

Adobe is currently developing AI that turns selfies into self-portraits.

60 free and easy Easter crafts to make for this holiday weekend.

Improvisation is the heart of Cuban animation.

Researchers are working on robots that can monitor and care for the elderly, such as the animal-like MiRo.

As the ballerina moves, this robot paints the dance.

How to get Microsoft Word for free.

What we can learn from the brief period when the government employed artists through its Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Software engineer starts unlikely business: A weekly newspaper.

Russian startup company Renca recycles industrial waste into 3D printable cement.

Can collecting digital art make museums more competitive?

New business fad: Tripping on Ayahuasca.

“Pink Tax” forces women to pay more for gender-specific items than men.

Adobe and IBM are rolling out more artificial intelligence tools for brands.

ISIS recruiting videos hit YouTube after London attack.

Elon Musk wants to merge your brain with a computer.

In the 1970’s this 25-mile-long art project by conceptual artist Christo Javacheff wowed the Bay Area.

A double-amputee toddler gets a doll with prosthetic legs.

Not all animators yearn to direct big studio films.

The disturbing YouTube videos that are tricking children into watching them.

Microsoft Word macro malware automatically adapts attach techniques for Mac OS and Windows.

Little girl mistakes a water heater for a robot and gives it a hug.

Easy Easter crafts that will bring an element of nature to your home.

3D printer helps revive 103-year-old Delage Type-S car.

Virtual anime girl Kizuna Ai rises to fame. She was created using the same software that was used to create virtual pop star Hatsune Miku.

Is YouTube turning against the marginalized community it built its network on?

Italian artists craft the world’s first 24-carat gold-plated shoes that costs ₤21,000 per pair.

The new world of 3D printing and counterfeiting.

Why Piet Mondrian could be considered to be the first digital artist.

Microsoft provided information to the British authorities after the London attack.

Google launches new site to showcase its open source projects and processes.

Open source software is for everyone—so where are the women?

A free tutorial on making a pocket jack-in-the-box in order to keep children occupied while traveling.

Google executive explains how fake news can be detected.

How a two-time Iraq combat veteran uses photography to help him deal with PTSD.

Are 3D printers overrated?

Major advertisers withdraw support from Google and YouTube over the posting of extremist videos.

Animation presents the beta release of Animation Wave, which empowers marketing professionals to create videos and ads in minutes for distribution on social media.

Things I managed to do with the $250 computer from hell.

Asia’s hottest art fair includes taking selfies with a lifelike replica of Mao Zedong’s corpse.

Starbucks CEO says that not every decision in business is an economic one because leadership and moral courage is not a passive act.

How to find your niche and build a photography career.

3D printing could usher in a revolution but small, local businesses are unlikely to benefit from it.

Here’s what it takes to make it as a financially successful podcaster.

No one can explain why YouTube bans some LGBT content.

The life-changing magic of tidying up your computer.

A billionaire collector of Rembrandt’s works said he started his collection with the intention to take art out of hidden, private collections and put it back into the public domain by creating a lending library. He’s doing this in an effort to build bridges between different groups and countries.

A woman who spends her time doing Lionel Ritchie-themed street embroidery.

The famous 1967 New York exhibit that transformed photography.

Adobe and Microsoft are working together on artificial intelligence.

14 hipster hobby ideas.

7 cool YouTube hacks you can use.

Hungry? Call your neighborhood delivery robot.

Ever since DreamWorks Animation was purchased by Universal, several films have been cancelled. So what’s actually happening?

Google unveiled a new set of features for its popular Maps app that lets users share their locations with friends and contacts in real time so they can quickly let friends know if they are running late to a meeting or stuck in traffic.

Washable heartbeat sensors can now be embroidered onto clothing.

A Pittsburgh non-profit is making tiny hijab headscarves for Barbie dolls in an effort to increase inclusivity and fight Islamophobia.

Adobe and Microsoft are sharing sales and marketing data.

Microsoft and Toyota sign patent deal for potential connected cars.

Robot company claims to create, not kill, jobs.

The most common grammar mistakes on Microsoft Word.

A step-by-step guide to making Instagram-worthy gold leaf Easter eggs.

Inmates crochet mats made from plastic bags then donate them to the homeless.

Little boy who misses his Royal Air Force father gets a huggable hero doll that looks exactly like his father.

Adobe interns don’t make coffee, they make apps. They also get paid as well.

Netflix snatches up the worldwide distribution rights to a Japanese anime version of Godzilla.

This new robot skin is more sensitive than a human hand.

Robots could help children give evidence in child abuse cases.

The Confederacy was a con job for whites. And still is.

This house was made on a 3D printer in just 24 hours for a little over $10,000.

New York art scene anxiously waits for decision on the fate of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Eight fun crafts to keep your kids buys this spring.

Illustrator and Inkscape has new competition. Vectr is a new vector graphics program that’s free to download.

U.S. psychologists claim that going on social media for more than two hours a day doubles the chances of experiencing social isolation.

The crafty story of embroidery in medieval manuscripts.

The new wave of European animated features: small budgets, big freedom.

A history of women in animation, including women who worked for such famous animation studios like Walt Disney and Fleischer Studios.

How girls are knitting their way to a math career.

Dad recreates Villanova’s 2016 March Madness win with Legos as a gift to his daughter.

After eighty years one of the first consumer publications for photography, Popular Photography, is ceasing both print and online operations.

The family of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock backs fight to save a 1926 Art-Deco movie theater in London from being demolished. The Odeon Kensington cinema had hosted Hitchcock’s early films.

Here are some helpful tips for those who are thinking about getting into 3D printing.

The reason why we all should referring Sally Hemmings as Thomas Jefferson’s “mistress.”

How a small craft shop can build a community.

Your kid’s favorite toy may be spying on you without your permission.

A provocative rant that says that people who are obsessed with getting top-notch camera gear tend to be relatively bad photographers.

Here’s Why Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is the most impressive animated movie of all time.

For those of you who use the open source alternative to Photoshop known as GIMP, here’s a tutorial on how to use Photoshop plugins in GIMP.

A look at slavery-era embroidery.

Are we knitting too many tiny sweaters for animals?

9 sex-positive embroidery patterns for people who want to go beyond the pussy hat

Crochet octopi comforts preemies in hospital NICU.

An interview with Derek Conrad Murray about a style of African American art that he defines as “post-black.”

A story about a type of art derived from computer/smartphone screen-tap culture known as “Like Art.”

How glassblowing has gotten easier for amateurs to learn.

What is Embroline and will it change the embroidery industry?

A retired Unitarian Universalist minister has made knitting pink pussycat hats her personal crusade.

How to break free from your photography slump in five steps.

A photographer writes about why he loves doing wedding photography.

Mom dyes a doll’s face so it’ll look like her daughter with a facial birthmark.

Adobe Illustrator has recently celebrated its 30th birthday.

A list of Disney’s most subversive animated movies.

The dangers of remaking anime as a live action film.

Need a Valentine’s Day gift idea but you’re cash-strapped at the moment? Check out this this cool “You Rule Valentine” free tutorial using a cheap wood ruler and other supplies that you can find at your local dollar store.

If that previous Valentine’s Day gift idea isn’t up your alley, here are some more free tutorials for other Valentine-themed crafts using materials that you can find at your local dollar store.

Are you interested in learning how to play a musical instrument but you can’t afford to buy or rent one? Check out these free tutorials on how you can build your own guitar, ukulele, banjo, and even a violin out of cigar boxes.

Here’s a free tutorial on how to make your very own neon sign that says whatever you want it to say.

Are you itching to crochet something to wear? Check out these free patterns where you can make variations on the pineapple bolero crochet jackets.

Do you find yourself in this scenario?: You’re in the mood to watch a movie. You’re too broke to go to your local movie theater and pay the ever-increasing ticket prices (let alone buy anything from the concession stand). You can’t afford to pay for Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Video rental stores don’t exist anymore. You only want just a couple of hours of escapist fun. What’s a broke person to do? Here is a list of the best free movies that are currently available on YouTube, including such classics as Night of the Living Dead, Carnival of Souls, Nosferatu, Detour, and His Girl Friday featuring stars like Cary Grant and Vincent Price. Yes, they are all completely legal for you to watch online without having to deal with torrents and things like that.

Feeling frustrated with President Donald Trump? You can take out your frustration with this free video game called Super Trump Run, whose gameplay is reminiscent of Super Mario Bros.

Previous in This Series

The First Video
The Second Video
The Third Video

For the past few weeks I’ve been uploading DIY tutorial videos showing how one can take a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) and customize her into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ fun-loving superhero who has gotten a sizable following (especially among young girls).

The first three videos focused on selecting the doll, changing her hairstyle, and sewing her clothes. By the end of the third video I had the doll about 80% finished. This last video goes into the steps that needed in order to finish this project. I made her felt boots from a pattern but I had to totally wing it when it came to the headband and squirrel tail since there were no such patterns available (especially for 1/6 scale dolls like Barbie).

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The video shows how I did it while also going into how I managed to find a tiny squirrel as a stand-in for Squirrel Girl’s closest squirrel companion, Tippy-Toe.

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Here’s the video. I’ll provide links to the relevant sites below it.

ChellyWood.com’s free felt boot pattern and instructions.

Schleich’s squirrel

Like I wrote earlier, this video is the last one of the series. I’ll end this post with a few photos of my new Unbeatable Squirrel Girl doll and her sidekick, Tippy-Toe.

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Previous in This Series

The First Video

A few days ago I mentioned that I was working on a new series of DIY tutorials on how one can customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbies) into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero who has gained a sizable following. I’ve just uploaded the second video in this series, which focuses on the hair. First here are a few words about the making of this video.

While most modern caucasian Barbies tend to have long blonde hair, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl tends to wear a short boyish haircut that’s light red or strawberry blonde, as shown on one of her comic book covers below.

webfriendlygraphic

I’ll admit that it was a challenge but I took it on anyway. I managed to come up with two methods of altering Barbie’s hairstyle—the wig method and the DIY method. I initially tried the DIY method, which involves cutting Barbie’s hair then dyeing it red using a combination of acrylic paint and water. It’s based on an old tutorial that I found online years ago. (I wrote a post about that tutorial back in 2011 and it still remains among my most frequently read posts to this very day.) When I learned that the website which housed that tutorial went off-line, I found an archived version on the Internet Archive and provided a link to that tutorial. Recently another doll customizer known as Oak23 has taken it upon himself to repost the original tutorial on his Doll Junk Tumblr blog so those who don’t like dealing with the Internet Archive can go there instead.

I was hoping to save a few bucks by cutting Barbie’s hair by doing the DIY method. I initially had to wash Barbie’s hair before I could do anything because it felt stiff to the touch, like someone had put hair gel or some other stiffening substance in her hair back at the Chinese factory where this doll was made before she was packaged and shipped to the U.S. I had to wash her hair using liquid dishwashing detergent then let it dry before I could even begin to cut it. At least her washed hair felt softer but her hair was relatively thin compared to other Barbies I’ve worked with in the past. I began to cut her hair very short.

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I tried dyeing her hair using the aforementioned process I found in an online tutorial. I have to admit that the results looked good on her. If I was just doing a generic redhead doll with a short haircut, she would’ve been very passable.

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Unfortunately I was trying to get her to resemble the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and that person is frequently depicted with bangs, such as this comic book cover below.

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I tried creating bangs in this doll but, no matter how hard I tried, I literally couldn’t make the short front ends of her hair hang in the front like bangs. I think it’s due to how the doll’s hair was initially rooted in the factory. I could’ve looked into trying to force the hair to go into bangs but I would’ve had to purchase something like hair gel, which would have her hair go back to having this icky feeling to the touch that her hair was initially when I first opened her package.

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I decided to just scrap my DIY attempt and cut all of her hair off.

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Then I ordered this wig from The Doll Peddlar, which not only fitted her perfectly but she looks incredibly cute as well.

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Here is my video below where I not only demonstrate the hair dyeing method but I also mention how to find out what wig size your doll wears as well as the various online places where you can shop around for the best prices on doll wigs.

That’s it for now. Next time I’ll go into making the clothes for this doll so watch this blog.

Next in This Series

The Third Video
The Fourth Video

Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on a series of DIY tutorials on how one can take a Made to Move Barbie doll (which has more articulated joints than the usual Barbie doll) and customize her into a Marvel Comics superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

Here’s some background. Last year I had gone to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis when I saw that Howard the Duck had undergone a revival. At that time I saw the premier first issue another comic book titled The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl that sounded pretty funny. I briefly thumbed through it and thought that it looked promising but I ended up not buying it because, with comic books being priced at $3.99 per issue, I really couldn’t afford to get hooked on another comic book series that would induce me to spend even more money.

A few months later I found that the first few issues of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl had been reprinted as a graphic novel so I bought it and enjoyed it very much. I can’t always get to a comic book store every month so I basically only get The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl when the last few issues are reprinted in graphic novel form. So far I’ve read the three graphic novels that reprinted the comic book issues—Squirrel Power; Squirrel You Know It’s True; and Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now. (A couple of new Squirrel Girl graphic novels have come out in the last few months—The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl & The Great Lakes Avengers and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe—but I haven’t read either of those yet.) I found them pretty hilarious and campy and the stories are such a contrast with most other Marvel Comic superheroes (such as The X-Men), who tend to suffer from all kinds of angst and they frequently delve into seriously depressing subject matter such as drug abuse and racism.

What I like about the reprinted graphic novels is that I can buy and read several issues at once. What’s cool about the reprint books is that they even repent the letters from fans that were originally printed in the separate comic book issues. I saw pictures of the various cosplay Squirrel Girl costumes that people have made. But I got an idea when I saw letters from fans clamoring for Squirrel Girl t-shirts, posters, and toys only to be told that the higher-ups at Marvel Comics have to decide on what spin-off products they want to license and release and they haven’t come to a decision on Squirrel Girl yet. (Right now they are focused on characters based on the movies such as the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man.)

One guy went so far as to take a female action figure and modify it so she’ll resemble Squirrel Girl and he sent the picture to the comic book and it printed that photograph. I thought it was really cool. I decided to take that concept of modifying a doll and go a bit further by actually making a series of video tutorials on how it can be done. My decision was cemented when I visited Target and I saw the Made to Move Barbie doll that was on sale. This Made to Move doll has more articulated joints than the usual Barbie doll so she can achieve more lifelike poses. Here is what my doll looked like soon after I removed her from the package but before I began to modify her.

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Drawing on my previous experience with refurbishing old thrift shop Barbie dolls into fairy dolls (such as the Leopard Fairy, Zebra Fairy, and the Red and White Flower Fairy), I decided to buy a Made to Move Barbie and convert her into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl action figure while documenting the entire process with my smartphone. I ended up making it into a multi-part series of shorter videos (with the longest being just 10 minutes) just so people would have an easier time keeping up with the tutorial instead of having to watch a longer 20-30 minute video. I’m going to gradually release them online over the next few weeks.

So far I have completed the first three videos and I’m currently working on the fourth. I decided to wait until after I was around 80% complete with this video tutorial series before I even uploaded the first video because of my previous experience with taking an online video course. Last summer I took a series of free tutorials on how to do a mixed media book using a baby board book. The series was supposed to last 10 sessions and they were supposed to be uploaded over the summer months. The first three tutorials were uploaded over a three-week period but then she stopped uploading new ones. I patiently waited for new lessons that never materialized. At one point, after going for three weeks waiting for a fourth lesson, I posted something on the artist’s Facebook page asking when there would be more lessons in that lesson series. She responded the next day saying that she would upload new lessons soon. Except she never uploaded any new lessons, which was frustrating because I had a half-completed book. (Every now and then I add new art in it simply by winging it but I’ve currently misplaced it so I haven’t worked on it in a while.) I still see new art from her on her Facebook page so I know she’s still creating. It’s just that I wished she would have spent some of that time finishing that 10-part mixed media book video course because I had got a lot out of her first three lessons.

My frustration with that other artist’s free tutorial had made me resolve that I wouldn’t upload this multi-part video tutorial until I was nearly done with that course because I know what it’s like to have video lessons suddenly end before the course is finished and having an unfinished project because of it.

Here is part one of this new video series that I uploaded this past weekend. It’s basically an introduction where I briefly mention a few things about the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl then going into how to select a doll to use as a base for changing into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. While I recommended getting the Made to Move Barbie, I also mentioned a cheaper alternative where people can buy a used Barbie at a local thrift shop. (I’ve purchased some used Barbies in the past that had more articulated joints than other Barbies, although these Barbies didn’t have as many articulated joints as the Made to Move Barbies.)

Future videos in this series will go into things like hair and clothes so watch this blog.

Next in This Series

The Second Video
The Third Video
The Fourth Video

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