Author - Cosette

A Unique Warcraft-Style Avatar Cosplay Opportunity

Love and Warcraft Monster Design

What gaming cosplayer wouldn’t want to have a real-life replica of their avatar look to strut around in? Created by professionals? Well, they’re in luck. The Tony Award-Winning Alliance Theatre’s recent production of In Love and Warcraft was about a girl living in both her real life and her online gaming life. For the production, the costume shop created some amazing real-life avatars, designed by Lex Liang. Due to a lack of storage for these sizeable costumes, the Alliance is announcing a rare sale of these pieces from their Atlanta-based shop. For questions and purchase information, please contact Alliance Costume Shop manager Carol Hammond at Here are the details:

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Dear Products: Your Motivational Message is Ill-Timed at Best

Halls Wrapper

Inspiring Tidbits From my Cough Drop Wrapper

Here’s how this particular rant got started: this winter, there seems to be a lot of plague going around. Sadly, one of them hit our household and we purchased a few different kinds of cough drops to help combat the symptoms. Imagine my surprise when, during an episode where I was coughing up a lung, I desperately unwrapped a cough drop–only to be met with a barrage of motivational messages. “Conquer Today”? Seriously? I don’t much feel like conquering the world when I can barely find the energy to get up and make myself a cup of tea, and I somehow doubt that I’ll be able to “inspire envy” in anyone languishing on the couch in my flannel pyjamas and watching reruns.

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A Hellpuppy’s Guide to the Apocalypse

Hearing about the potential apocalypse this past weekend got our Hellpuppy Kora thinking seriously about what she would do if the unthinkable happened and we were no longer there to, you know, open the giant tub of kibble for her. And other tasks we perform. What follows was typed for her, as she has no real fingers to speak of.

The Hellpuppy, enjoying some light reading.

An apocalypse has left you without your humans? At first you might think “Woo-hoo! Time to jump on the bed whenever I want and eat stuff off the kitchen counters!” But before you start rejoicing at the thought of a post-human world, ask yourself this: where will your kibble come from? Who will let you in when it’s snowing outside? Realistically speaking, life without your humans might be rough. After all, they have thumbs.

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Superlative Etsy Finds: Halloween Special #1: Party Time!

It’s already Halloween season here at Need Coffee, and this month all of our Superlative Etsy Finds will be themed for that glorious time of year! Looking for party decorations for your own holiday bash? Here are some great places to start– step into our Fantasy Halloween House Party and see some of what is out there to decorate with.

Vintage Halloween Garland, 2-D Funny Masks

As you step up to our party house, you may notice this Snake & Spider Halloween Wreath from Amy LaRoux, which would be a great addition to any creepy front door. A bonus feature of a piece like this might be the ability to keep solicitors or boring neighbors away from your door…for the month of October at least…

And to welcome you in, there is a very festive garland from RawBone Studio. Robin Romain has made this Vintage Halloween Garland from old-school Halloween masks from the 1960s. The majority of her shop is comprised of handmade Day of the Dead decorations, which are also really great (and there are some other equally creepy vintage image Halloween garlands as well!).

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Create Your Own Slow Invasion!

Slow Invasion Cube

So after watching this week’s Doctor Who episode, The Power of Three, I promptly decided that I needed to make a few black cubes to toy with my friends and co-workers who follow the show. You know, perhaps scattering some around a desk or two for them to stumble across Monday morning…

And yes, in a perfect world I would have the ability to construct one from wood or metal or something a bit more substantial. But when planning to screw with the heads of your friends, one must move swiftly. So anyway, here’s a quick tutorial on how to make your own, almost guaranteed to make a fellow Whovian do a double take–all you need is a printer, black cardstock (or another color you could paint after you assemble your cubes) and some clear-drying glue (Elmer’s should be fine).

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Dog Shaming: My New Internet Addiction

Dog Shaming

Those of you who have been reading Need Coffee for a while now will know that Widge and I have a canine companion, a 3-and-a-half year-old Hellpuppy named Kora. While she is by no means an angel, Kora is hearing “good girl” a bit more often these days because of a new blog out there: Dog Shaming. Basically, folks are posing their dogs with a sign explaining the dog’s transgression for the world to see, then posting the resulting photo on the site.

Some of these dogs make the Hellpuppy’s puppy-chewing our shoes, nearly-entire-block-of-cream-cheese-eating, and craft-project-destroying self seem positively tame by comparison. While it is known that people anthropomorphize animals to a great extent, it’s hard not to read actual shame on the face of dog like the one pictured. Many, many dogs look contrite. An equal amount look positively thrilled with what they’ve accomplished. If you have a dog, or are around them a lot, check out the site. Grab some Kleenex, because you will end up laughing so hard at seeing the carnage dogs bring to the lives of many that you’ll be crying after a while. And then go give your own dog a nice scratch behind the ears and tell him or her what a good dog they are (comparatively speaking, anyway…).
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Superlative Etsy Finds #6: Sunbathing, Porcelain Cups & a Cyclopean Plant


As school starts back up and we all start believing that autumn and cooler weather surely will actually return…someday, life tends to get back into more of a routine for lots of folks. And that sometimes comes with little slices of internet-surfing boredom. So if you find yourself staring at a screen needing to peruse some fun and interesting stuff, head over to Etsy sometime and check out some really fine creations–here are some great ones I recommend you start out with:

First up, because summer is not quite over yet, we have this wonderful Sunbathing illustration from Kelsey Garrity Riley Illustration. Her work is charming and just a bit quirky, which I really enjoy. Kelsey also does custom work, particularly wedding invitations, and more of her illustrations can be found at her personal site.
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Superlative Etsy Finds #5: Plushy Bugs, Hand-Forged Dice, and Cthulhu Masks

Scarab Beetle plush soft sculpture

New things are afoot over at Etsy right now–first off, they have a new About page for shops that lets you see a little bit behind-the-scenes of what goes on to make the items offered (and helps you make sure you’re not buying something you think is handmade that’s really cranked out by a sweatshop full of six-year-olds in Taiwan). There aren’t a lot of them up yet, since the option to build one just became available recently, but I would encourage anyone shopping to check out the About page of the shops they’re perusing. All of the ones I’ve seen have been really interesting. If you’re curious, here’s the one for my shop, House of Whimsy (which features Hellpuppy Kora, of course).

In other news, Etsy is hosting a Christmas in July Sale that many stores are participating in–search cij or christmasinjuly tags (or just Christmas in July) to find some great deals. It officially runs until 7/22, but a lot of shops seem to be extending their sale items until the end of the month.

This week, we have some quite excellent selections, starting with this bright and cheery plush Scarab Beetle sculpture from weirdbuglady (aka Brigette). Need an amoeba or a planarian to cuddle up with? She’s got you covered. When she isn’t creating new plush creepy-crawlies, she’s working on her PhD in entomology, which would explain why you can search organisms in her shop by Phylum. Nice.
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Superlative Etsy Finds #4: Moai Ties, Altered Portraits, and Tiny Worlds

Easter Island Ties

I won’t pester you this week about how much nicer it is to support independent artists rather than going to the mall. You should already know that. (Granted, Lasik surgery is usually nicer than going to the mall. But you know what I mean.) And to prove it, here is some fun and unique craftsmanship for you via Etsy‘s eclectic group of artists.

First up this week, we have some great silkscreen designs from Scatterbrain Ties. These Easter Island Moai ties are Widge’s personal favorite, but Michael Phipps’ ties have something for everyone, from apocalyptic Dürer figures to circuit boards. If you have to wear a tie to work, at least make it an interesting one.

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Superlative Etsy Finds #3: Retro Posters, Monster Bags & a Zombie Ranch

Batman Retro Poster

Everyone needs to buy decorative items from time to time–either for yourself or for someone you love (or even for someone you are ambivalent about but required to purchase a gift for–what do you get that cousin you met once for her wedding?). Rather than driving to the mall, wouldn’t it be easier and more fun to hop online and find some truly imaginative pieces, while supporting independent artists in the process? Etsy is a good place to do that, and even though some resellers of imported crap find their way in far too easily, there are some truly talented and imaginative people there making really great art. So go poke around–find something really cool! Here’s a few things that caught my eye recently…

Harshness makes awesome geeky stylized posters, with subject matter ranging from X-Men to Game of Thrones. This wonderful Batman image caught my eye, but do go check out their whole catalog of items–there are some amazingly cool pieces to decorate your space for any and all types of geekery out there.
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