Sanctuary Base 6 Build: Helmet part 2

helmet 2I’ve had to do a lot of trial and error on the helmet build.  I’ve just never built anything like this and there is no pattern to follow. Basically, I’m just making it up as I go.   The problem I’ve run into is that the shield and the helmet have different curves, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to compensate for that and still get the general look and shape I want.  I spent a whole afternoon building some side pieces that ultimately I ended up throwing out because they just didn’t work with the curve of the face shield.

I realized I needed to start building on the shield and then work my way out from there.   So I covered the shield with plastic wrap and then duct tape.   I drew on the duct tape with a sharpy the shape I wanted and that made the pattern for the 1/4 inch foam.

This is the build so far:

For now the visor is not attached, as I'll have to paint and everything before I glue it in.

For now the visor is not attached, as I’ll have to paint and everything before I glue it in.

I’ve also worked on a few of the detail pieces.   I experimented with a burning gun on foam for the first time and am happy with the result.  It does stink though, so I had to do it out in my freezing cold garage.  Not fun.

helmet 3


Doctor Who: Last Christmas

Since Death in Heaven a month ago, I’ve been super excited for the Doctor Who Christmas special, Last Christmas. While others have been counting down days to the holidays, I’ve been counting down days to Doctor Who. So after presents were opened, unboxed, and played with, I changed into my black “twelve jacket”, grabbed my new sonic screwdriver (Thanks honey!) and settled in to what was the real highlight of my Christmas day.

Last Christmas: Trust Nothing

Last Christmas capstoned many of the themes of series 8 involving the relationship between Clara and the Doctor, specifically addressing the lies they told one another at the end of Death in Heaven. While lying became a big part of Clara’s character in series 8, I believe that the events of Last Christmas closed that theme by showing that all falsehood should be stripped away. With the Doctor and Clara struggling to throw off the webs of the Dream Crabs deceptions, the plot of the entire episode literally became – discover the truth or die.normal_dw2014-lastchristmas0012

Only 13 seconds in and we see the yellow lights on the banister. Yellow lights appear throughout the episode, like dream crab spider webs weaving and hanging from every surface. Every dream sequence has them and they don’t disappear until the very final scene. In the “mirror” discussion threads on Gallifrey Base it is largely accepted that often times in Doctor Who, yellow is used to signify death. (On a side note, generally the Doctor is blue, Clara red, and this season yellow was often Danny’s color (especially in In the Forest of the Night). Foreshadowing perhaps?) Anyway, so here we have Clara waking up in a house that has the yellow Dream Crab webs of deception and death. Oh, and a chair lift.

normal_dw2014-lastchristmas0542Enter, Santa. Santa is wearing red. Please note that we don’t see the doctor’s red lining this entire episode, the Doctor is wearing black/blue and Clara is wearing blue (usually the doctor’s color). Clara tells the elves to “shut up” – very doctorish.

The polar base is also full of yellow lights, not just Christmas lights and Christmas trees, but random yellow lights on the consoles and wall, even their head cams when they are activated. The lighting in general on the polar base is fantastic!


Notice this “morgue” shot is from the Dream Crab’s point of view.

Notice that the crab face people on the beds are covered with sheets. If this were a infirmary you would expect to see blankets (especially on a polar base that is obviously cold), but instead there are sheets, like a morgue.

Clara his haloed by the yellow lights.

Clara is haloed by the yellow lights.

Now back to the lying theme.

Clara: So we’re dying then
Doctor: Yes
Clara: Why
Doctor: Oh, it’s complicated (Notice the vague answer. That comes into play later)
Clara: How long do we have
Doctor: No idea.
Clara: Just, Doctor, give me something to do.
Doctor: Trust nothing. Accept nothing you see. Whatever happens – interrogate everything.
Clara: In case it’s a lie.
Doctor: In case it’s a lie.

So to live, to combat the dying, they must not trust lies.

normal_dw2014-lastchristmas1475The Doctor later talks about the Dream Crab keeping you in a relaxed state, they keep you happy. He even describes it as merciful, as they dissolve your brain.  The lies told in Death in Heaven were like this. Both Clara and the Doctor wanted the other to be happy; they were trying to be merciful. But in the end they hurt each other.

The scene where Clara is attacked by the dream crab is both beautiful and heart breaking. The lighting is incredible. The white light coming from above as she hides from the table and the illuminated crab slime is perfect!   And here we get to the very core of Clara. She’s sorry. She’s sorry for all the lies she told Danny. Her lies resulted in his death. She’s not concerned for her own life as much as in her last minutes she is seeking forgiveness for the lies.

normal_dw2014-lastchristmas1513In Clara’s dream state there are yellow circles on the curtains and Danny enters wearing red.  Danny is Santa and Santa’s roll in the dream state is to provide salvation. This is fitting for Danny. He is no longer in yellow; He is now wearing the red of the martyr.

There are more yellow dream crab webs of deception and death, handing akimbo from the ceilings and walls. Can I just add that the sound editing,  is fabulous when the doctor’s voice, distorted, is trying to break through, and then it all fading away into Clara’s theme.


Entering Clara’s dream, the Doctor talks again about how the dream crabs deception is an “antiseptic”. Lies are an antiseptic to mask and cover pain and hurt. Lies don’t prevent it; they just cover it while it gets worse.


After waking from the Danny dream there is a great eye shot of Clara. Looking someone in the eye is a metaphor for seeing the truth.   In this shot Clara tells us that she is not okay, truth, and also she sees that they are still in a dream, truth.

Look yourself in the eye.

Look yourself in the eye.

The manuals they read that predict their death are what color?


And the flare that Ashley lights?


Now in the sleigh the dominant colors are blue and red: the Doctor and Clara. It is also where they are reconciled. They see the truth more clearly now.


normal_dw2014-lastchristmas3633In Old Clara’s home the dream crabs web of deception and death are still present. The Doctor put a yellow paper hat on Clara’s head. Old Clara is close to death. The Christmas cracker is yellow and reminiscent of Clara opening a cracker with old Eleven before he regenerated.

normal_dw2014-lastchristmas3757In the last and true wakening, The Doctor wakes up In a sea of red (the volcano?), and Clara’s bedroom is blue. There are no yellow lights.   Clara asks for a mirror. She wants to see herself clearly. She wants to see who she truly is with all the lies swept away. She smiles and declares it “good”.   She is redeemed.

The episode ends with Clara and the Doctor running off hand in hand. Clara is in white, the doctor black, the Yin and Yang together again. They are light, and happy, unburdened finally from all the deception and lies. The Doctor talks of second chances, and isn’t that what redemption is after all?


Bonus:  Look at this wonderful shot of the doctor framed in a chaos of blue lights. Credit for all screen shots goes to

Bonus: Look at this wonderful shot of the doctor framed in a chaos of blue lights. Credit for all screen shots goes to

Doctor Who: Deep Breath

Deep Breath: Who Frowned Me This Face?

Now that series 8 is over, and we only have the Christmas special to go, I thought I’d do a rewatch of the series to see all the little nuggets of goodness that Moffat has left for us that we missed on first viewing. Like all other who fans, I was very excited, and a bit trepidatious, to see what this new doctor would bring.

I think it’s more than just a gimmick that Deep Breath starts with a dinosaur.  I think it’s a reminder that the doctor, even though he has been a young man for the past couple regenerations, is really an old and ancient creature, and now his new face better reflects his actual age. The theme of faces, as a reflection of the true nature of individuals, seems to caries throughout the episode. vlcsnap-2014-08-24-23h38m20s112_zps7cd9e9ae

Capaldi just explodes out of the TARDIS, he owns the stage from the first word. At first he can’t seem to differentiate the faces of his friends. He doesn’t remember Clara’s name, and he calls Vastra and Jenny the “green one and the white one”, referring to the colors of their faces.

vlcsnap-2014-08-23-23h52m38s105_zpsf1cdc16fBack at Vastra’s we get face references, “the mirror is furious” and Vastra covering hers with a veil as a judgement against Clara. Clara throws Vastra’s arguments back at her by commenting about her own “pretty face,”  and we are again reminded that Jenna Coleman can talk really really fast.

vlcsnap-2014-08-24-00h07m36s127_zpsf131cad3 Is it just a funny joke when Clara gets hit in the face with the newspaper or is it a symbol of what this experience is like for her?  Then Strax gives Clara an exam, looks in her eyes and tells her about her own personality. Amazing the things we can tell about people by looking them in the face.

In the alleyway, the doctor refers to the air as “bitty” – another face reference. Then the doctor gives a great speech about faces.  “Why did I choose this face? It’s like I’m trying to tell myself something.”  The conclusion of the speech is that he doesn’t like his face.  He doesn’t like his new self, and this is a theme we see developed throughout the series with the “Am I a Good Man?” arc introduced in the next episode.

Clara finds the newspaper advertisement for the Impossible Girl.  We know now, that that ad was placed by Missy. So somewhere, vlcsnap-2014-08-26-22h20m21s128_zps9754acb4Missy is running around Victorian London. Perhaps that is where she got that smashing dress and hat?  This whole aspect of the Missy plot is a bit weak, but as they say on Verity Podcast, we will do some “hand wavery” and not worry about that.

vlcsnap-2014-08-24-00h29m50s150_zps41b794baOn to the table scene, one of the best scenes in the whole series.  This is our first really good look at the fabulous chemistry that Miss Coleman and Mr Capaldi have.  And have you noticed how low Jenna Coleman’s voice can get? This sexy low voice coming from such a small woman?  Anyway, the Doctor finally exposes the truth of what is truly going on in the restaurant by ripping the face off of the waiter, seeing what’s behind his face. Clara calls is a “mask” but then the Doctor puts the face on Clara saying, “look, it’s a face.”   Clara is disgusted by the idea of the false face, and casts it aside.

vlcsnap-2014-08-24-00h35m55s228_zps5c9f2fb9vlcsnap-2014-08-24-00h35m02s211_zps49dfc037Now we meet the clockwork faced man. Half human face, half robot face (amazing special effects here). It’s a robot that is trying to change who he is inside by changing his face on the outside. But it doesn’t work that way, does it? The Doctor comments that the robot’s eyes look “fresh.” There is some great eye symbolism in this room and we see both Clara and the Doctor become the pupil, or focus of the eye.  If eye’s are the windows of the face to the soul, then both Clara and the Doctor take that role.  We see Clara’s inner eye, in her flashback of her first day of teaching, and then Clara awakes, the center of a circle, made of circles – the center of an eye made of eyes.deep breath eyes

The Doctor enters wearing a false face and then removes that face to confront the clockwork man. The Doctor has revealed his true face, which also reveals his true nature as the hero of this story.  He tosses the face to Clara who, for the second time this episode, casts the false face aside. She is unable to hide her face, or her true feelings of unease with this new Doctor.

vlcsnap-2014-08-24-08h06m00s201_zps0fa01c5cThe Doctor and Clockwork Man have a great conversation about trading faces.  Of course this is all a discourse about the Doctor and his regenerations.   Can you change faces the same way you change broom handles? If you change your body 13 times are you still the same man?  “There’s not a piece of you left. You probably can’t even remember where you got that face from.”   And then there is that great camera shot of the clockwork man looking at his face in the mirror, and on the other side the Doctor is also looking at his own face in the mirror.  They are the same.

tumblr_inline_nax9wtXSKe1rq1srg After the phone call at the end the Doctor accuses Clara of not seeing him and begs her to “Just see [him].”   She responds by walking up to him and looking very intently at his face.  Then she hugs him.  We learn in Death in Heaven that the Doctor doesn’t like hugs because it is a way to “hide your face.”

Clara will spend the rest of series 8 trying to see the Doctor’s face, to see the Doctor for who he really is, at the same time, Clara will try on a few new faces of her own. At the same time the Doctor will spend the rest of series 8 questioning what his own face means, what kind of man is he?

Princess Aprons Part 4 – Finished!

Rapunzel Apron

I took the top half of my apron and I laid it on a piece of newspaper and traced it.  Then I drew on what I thought the bodice shape should be and cut it out.  That was my pattern.

December 2014 006

Because my fabric was just a cheep polyester, it needed a little more thickness, so I cut out some interfacing, the size that I wanted the finished project to be, then I cut out the fabric a half inch larger than that interfacing.   Then it was just a matter of pinning it on the apron and sewing it on.

december 2014 005

I crisscrossed some 1/4 inch ribbon to give the corset look that is so classic to this dress, and sewed it in at the same time I was sewing the bodice on the apron.  Then finished it off by adding one inch pink ribbon at the waist and 1/2 inch gathered lace at the bottom that I happened to have lying around.


  • Apron: $4.00 off eBay
  • Pink polyester fabric: $2.00 off the clearance rack at walmart.
  • Purple thread: $2.00 (can you believe i didn’t have any?)
  • Total: $8.00

Anna Frozen Apron

I had some heavier black polyester for the bodice for the Anna dress. Again, this was just a fabric I had lying around.   I made another pattern by tracing the shape of the apron on newspaper, and then just sketching out what I thought the bodace shape should be.  Then I traced that pattern onto the black fabric.   Anna’s dress has this great embroidery, and I thought a lot about how to recreate that in an easy and washable way (these are kitchen aprons after all), and I settled upon just cutting out some shapes out of felt and zigzag stitching them on.

???????????????????It had to be really simple, so this is what I came up with. I just drew the shapes I wanted onto a piece of paper, and then used that as a pattern.  I cut the shapes out of felt and then pinned them on the bodice.  Then I just ran around the edges of the shapes with a zigzag stitch. I did have some puckering problems.  I could have avoided that if I had ironed some interfacing on the back of this bodice before I stitched on the pattern. I was just being lazy.


I went through the same process for the skirt details. This time I basted on the pattern, rather than pinning, and that seemed to work better, but it also took a lot more time.

december 2014 003

I sewed the bodice to the top of the apron (remember, I had cut the top off from the bottom).  Then I gathered the bottom and sewed it all back together.  I finished it off with some gold ribbon.


  • Blue Apron: $4.00 off eBay
  • Gold Ribbon: $2.50 from walmart
  • Blue Thread: (again I needed to buy thread. It’s embarrassing) $2.00
  • Total: $8.50