I think I got a little burned out on everything after Gen Con – hence the lack of a post last week. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to get the last of my Gen Con reports put together, and there’s a start to it in the pile of half-finished blog posts I’m accumulating, but I just couldn’t nudge myself towards getting it done. I’ll try to finish it soon, though, as there are some pretty cool vendors and artists I want to share with you all that I discovered at Gen Con.
So that this week’s blog post isn’t all just me being down on myself for not posting last week, I’m going to talk about a Kickstarter whose rewards I’ve been eagerly awaiting for a little while now. Those rewards showed up on my doorstep the other day, and I can’t help but share them with you all, because they’re so beautiful!
Yep, that’s right – the Name of the Wind Art Deck Kickstarter started shipping last month, and I finally got my goodies. They were definitely worth the wait, that’s for sure.
Now, this isn’t the first deck of cards that’s had artwork from Name of the Wind on them – a deck was released a few years ago (also the product of a Kickstarter, if I remember right), with artwork by Shane Tyree depicting the characters we all know and love. I’ve got the Shane Tyree deck as well as the new ones with art by Echo Chernik, and it’s really interesting to see how each artist envisioned the characters.
The coin that I got as part of the rewards is beautiful – and pretty hefty, too! I’d be afraid to flip it and accidentally dent a table with it when it lands, haha.
The prints are beautiful, too – I can’t wait to get them framed. I’ve been especially excited about them, since I love Echo’s work, and it was really exciting to get to meet her at Gen Con. All in all, I’m really happy with the quality of everything – the cards feel great in your hand, and the artwork is absolutely wonderful.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with four decks of Name of the Wind playing cards. 😛
As I mentioned briefly in some of my daily Gen Con posts, I took part in two different LARPs this year at Gen Con, in very different roles. I’ve never actually LARPed at Gen Con before, so being involved in two different games might have been a little ambitious, but in retrospect, I had a heck of a lot of fun. Both games I was involved in were put on by Phoenix Fire LARP, a group that my dear friends J and Kasi run with some of their friends. Since convention halls don’t really lend themselves well to boffer LARPs (or, LARPs that make use of foam weapons for attacking others), J developed the FIRE System, which uses a deck of playing cards to determine damage dealt to characters, help add an element of chance to certain actions, and to help with determining initiative for the players. It’s a really neat system that’s pretty quick to learn.
While both games made use of the FIRE System, they were about as different as things can get – and I had completely different experiences in both games, what with running one and participating in another. Read on to learn more about Return to Paragon City and Showdown in Sacramento!
Return to Paragon City
Return to Paragon City was the game I helped run – it’s based on the beloved MMO City of Heroes, which I didn’t get to play for long before they shut the game down back in 2012. The game was run as a hybrid tabletop/live action game, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. However, to be honest, when I first volunteered to help run Paragon City, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t expect I’d be running part of the game by myself, but that’s what ended up happening. And given that it was my first experience running any sort of game, I was anxious as heck about it. I’ve played in tabletop games for years, and I’ve got a year and a half of LARPing experience under my belt, but running a game? Telling a story and keeping track of where everyone is in location to the bad guys and keeping track of the bad guys’ health ended up being a really overwhelming prospect for me. I was so worried I’d mess something up, and then freak out about messing things up, and it’d all spiral out of control. Each playtest we did helped me feel a littlebetter about things, but not much. I ended up showing up to the game in the middle of a massive anxiety attack. Oh, brain. Why do you do this to me?
Anyhow, I told J that my brain was conspiring against me and that I had no idea how I’d be able to run my section of game, so we tag-teamed my section of the event – I’d do the storytelling, while J handled the combat parts. That combination worked out well – during combat I focused on keeping track of where people were on the map and how many hit points the bad guys had, while J handled the actual logistics. And our group had loads of fun! We had some great superheroes in our group, including Professor Photon, Cameraman (who had a camera prop and involved it in all of his attacks), and The Spicy Taco (whose attacks were, of course, taco-themed).
All in all, I learned a lot – and learned that maybe I need training wheels, so to speak, for a little bit longer when it comes to running a LARP.
Showdown in Sacramento
Showdown in Sacramento was an entirely different experience. In fact, the only thing Showdown and Paragon City had in common was the FIRE System – everything else was incredibly different. Instead of being set in a fictitious city full of superheroes, Showdown is set in Sacramento during the gold rush era, and is full of supernatural beings- mages, werewolves, vampires, and fey (in addition to regular plain old humans). In last year’s game, an event happened that caused all the supernatural beings to glow with a specific colored aura around them, based on the type of supernatural being they were. This made things a little… interesting for this year’s game, especially when it came to the political elements.
I like how J and Kasi handled character creation, although I know it resulted in an immense amount of work on their end. Instead of creating our own characters, we were each assigned a character and given a fair bit of backstory for them as a starting point for this year’s game. I ended up playing Lucina Finch, a relative newcomer to Sacramento who’d recently purchased a mine and was planning on using her abilities as a mage to construct machines that would work in the mines, to lessen the potential harm to humans. Having the character information to start from made things much easier for me, especially since I was new to the game – once I got into character and started interacting with others, I had a great time.
Lucina partnered up with two other mages (Isadora and Adelia) to work on making more machines to work in the mines, which was one of Lucina’s main goals for the game. There was also a lot of mining (Lucina had to pay Adelia for the rights to her gold-detecting machine somehow!), a marriage market where Lucina got matched up with a friendly werewolf named Thomas, a number of fights with thugs attempting to raid the mines (Thomas protected Lucina from one such attack by transforming into a werewolf, which Lucina thought was pretty awesome), and even voting on political issues that would affect the supernaturals living in Sacramento both immediately and in the years to come. And with the help of a couple of others, the lady mages found out the source of the auras that were affecting the supernatural folk of Sacramento!
I had a heck of a lot of fun in Showdown, and I’m really glad I decided to jump in and play this year. Granted, doing two 6-hour LARPs over the course of two days was exhausting, but I really enjoyed it.
Well, Gen Con 2018 is all done – which I’m rather bummed about, I had an absolutely wonderful time this year! Thanks to staying in a hotel in Indy, I actually had the energy to post something little each day of the convention, but I’ve got a heck of a lot more to ramble about – so here goes! To keep this one post from getting too ridiculously long, I’ve split out the long and rambly parts into their own posts:
My experience this year was pretty good in general – I kept up on what was going on with the Fans of Gen Con group on Facebook, which was full of good information. From where to find certain games to how long the line for Will Call was, the folks in Fans of Gen Con posted about it all – and it helped me feel a little more connected to the convention in general. I’m hoping I can actually make it to their pre-Gen Con event next year, the Stink, so I can meet more of the great folks in that group.
Speaking of Will Call – what the heck was up with Will Call this year? The lines were insane, from what I heard – this year I ended up getting my press badge with my friend Rachel (of The Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast) on Wednesday, and then hopping into the Will Call line – which stretched almost entirely across the convention center. It moved pretty quickly, though – Ross, Rachel, and I were only in line for a half hour. However, Thursday was an entirely different story.
Apparently the line was really, really bad on Thursday – so much for Will Call being such a well-kept secret! I think Ross and I are going to plan on getting my press badge on Wednesday of Gen Con from now on, so we don’t feel so rushed trying to get things taken care of early Thursday morning (and so we avoid the potential horrors of the lengthy Will Call lines).
I don’t know about everyone else, but it felt like some parts of Gen Con were ridiculously packed compared to last year. It felt almost impossible to navigate the Block Party, where all the food trucks were congregated, during meal times (and forget about finding a place to sit!) – and the dealer hall was insane on Sunday. I get easily overwhelmed when there are too many people somewhere, and while most of the time I was fine, there were some spots where I just got so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people crammed into a small area. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to alleviate this outside of finding a new place to do Gen Con or expanding further into the surrounding hotels – it’s just something I guess I’m gonna have to deal with.
I will say, watching the crowds enter the dealers hall on Thursday morning was fascinating. I actually recorded the tail end of the opening ceremonies for Gen Con this year, and at about 4 and a half minutes into the video, you can see the crowd start pouring into the hall (and hear my silly commentary on it, too).
One of the things I love about Gen Con is the fact that I can run into friends from pretty much every part of my life here – over the course of the convention, I ran into a bunch of folks from Kishar, friends from work, my wonderful mom-in-law and brother-in-law, and even folks from SIGUCCS (a professional organization I’m a member of). It’s like one big geeky party that all your friends are at, and it’s fantastic. I always love running into friends and family at Gen Con.
Overall, I had a great time – I got to eat tasty food from the food trucks (including some pierogies from Pierogi Love, and a rainbow cupcake covered in glitter called “The Mike Pence”, haha), I got to wear a Sailor Moon costume I’d only ever dreamed about wearing before, I got to play in some awesome games, and I spent a ridiculous amount of money in the dealers hall (I bought a Utilikilt this year!). All in all, this was a great year, and I’m looking forward to next year’s Gen Con! Here’s a little taste of Gen Con 2018, in photo form.
Googly-eyed Starbucks lady greeted us at badge pick-up on Wednesday.
Cardhalla, on Wednesday afternoon.
The block party!
This is one way to keep occupied while waiting for the dealers hall to open!
The Pathfinder/Starfinder room. Maybe next year, I’ll jump in on a Pathfinder Society game.
Exploding Kittens brought back their vending machine!
This sign made me giggle.
Cardhalla on Friday! I’m slightly bummed that I didn’t get a picture of everything before they knocked it down.
It’s always awesome to spot friends in the crowd – like my friend Chris here. 🙂
The Mike Pence. It was tasty. And glittery.
The 2018 balloon sculpture!
A shot from the costume parade of Ross and I!
Keep an eye out for the more specific Gen Con Reports! 🙂 And if you want to listen to a more detailed (and much more tired) report about Gen Con, I guest-starred on the most recent episode of The Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast, where Rachel and I talk about our Gen Con experience!
Here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for – the cosplay post from this year’s Gen Con! First, I want to show off mine and Ross’s costumes from Gen Con, since I’m really proud of how they turned out. First off, our Friday costumes – Ross and I dressed as Star and Marco from Star vs. The Forces of Evil.
Not many people realized who I was until I pointed out the mole and the fact that I was wearing a red sweatshirt, haha. I think next year, I’m going to have to dress as Princess Marco Turdina if I want to do Marco again.
Saturday was the really big day for cosplay for Ross and I – he wore his Star costume again, and I got to wear my dream Sailor Moon costume.
In general, there were loads of great costumes, and I really wish I’d been able to take more pictures – however, it’s incredibly hard to manage a cell phone with gloves on, so Ross was my photographer for most of Saturday.
Without further ado, here are the pictures! Click on the photos to see a larger/uncropped version – and if you’re in any of these photos and want a larger resolution version, leave a comment and I’ll link you to the high-res versions on Google!
Sailor Moon ran into Miss Frizzle on Saturday! (aka Rachel, of The Five-ish Fangirls Podcast)
Poe and BB-8! I love BB-8’s helmet. 🙂
Pinkie Moon! I do love this cute little crossover.
I love this Cinderella’s dress.
I found a Captain Harlock in line at the Costume Parade!
“Come along, Patsy!” I’m always happy to see Monty Python cosplayers.
Here’s Deadpool with a Samurai Gizmo!
Deadpools having a fun time! They were all hugging the heck out of each other, hah.
I love this Luke with his porg.
I found an Usagi out by the food trucks!
Amethyst! Apparently she finished her costume the night before – it turned out amazingly for such a quick costume.
Rick AND Morty! AT THE SAME TIME.
YESSS MORE SAILOR MOON FOLKS. I saw a Sailor Venus and a Sailor Mars, but never managed to catch them for photos.
I had to get my picture with Goku, because Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z are the quintessential 90s animes.
I found a handful of Elevens from Stranger Things – this one even had the bloody nose!
Pikachu! The full-body suit must have been toasty.
Yes, I even found someone dressed as a Pokestop! Definitely an awesome and unique costume.
Found some Deadpools while I was hanging out at the cosplay photo area!
Cthulhu for president! He was even handing out campaign stickers.
Captain Ed Mercer from The Orville! I hope there are more Orville cosplayers next year.
Luigi and Toad! (Toad looks a little confused, hah.)
And here’s Rose with a Garnet whose real name is Rose!
I love this take on Rose Quartz!
Harry Dresden and Bob from The Dresden Files! Another cosplay I don’t see much of.
Sesshomaru from Inu Yasha! It’s been a while since I’ve seen any Inu Yasha cosplay.
Ursula! I think there were a number of Ursulas at Gen Con this year.
This J.R.R. Tolkien cosplayer made me smile – especially with the Gollum in his pocket.
And for those of you who are interested in watching the Costume Parade, check out this video from Naptown Buzz – Ross and I are about a minute in, after Gandalf the Dog. 🙂
or: Gen Con: the day I officially ran out of spoons.
But it’s okay that I ran out of spoons today, because it was the last day of Gen Con, and I didn’t really have anything planned! So I went and did the one event I was signed up for – a crocheting event.
Do you know how hard it is to attempt to crochet at 9 am on a Sunday at Gen Con? My sleepy brain spent a few minutes thinking “does this pattern use American or UK crochet terms?” before I realized I was being silly, this pattern totally uses American terms, the image at the top of the pattern uses the same double crochets you’re used to. Then I spent some time trying to get all those double crochets where they needed to be. Eventually, after an hour of talking to my yarn and telling it to behave, I got two rows of scales done.
The rest of my day, outside of packing and loading stuff into the car, was spent wandering the dealer’s hall – I won’t lie, it was a little overwhelming with so many people crammed in there. I got some tea and some dice, and Ross went on a bit of a wild goose chase looking for a fancy leather writing/sketching book. We eventually found something close to what he liked at the Medieval Collectibles booth, and so he’s perusing their website as we speak to find the book he wants.
Around 1 pm, we finally gave up and decided to head home – we were both exhausted (especially after 6 straight hours of cosplay photos, wandering around the convention center, and participating in the costume parade), and I almost fell asleep in the car on the way home. Now, I get to unpack, spend time with the cats, and slowly rehydrate myself. Plus, I get to spend tomorrow writing up blog posts, reacclimating to normal life, and guest-starring on another episode of The Five-Ish Fangirls Podcast where Rachel and I (and the other podcasters) ramble about the past four days.
My feet are killing me, I’m definitely a little dehydrated, and my hair is full of Ross’s styling clay to keep all the little annoying hair tendrils from escaping out from under my wig, but it’s all worth it, because…
That’s right, the costume I’ve been working on putting together for months, and have been so very excited to wear, won an award. I was so worried something was going to go wrong with this costume – that it wouldn’t fit me properly anymore (I’ve lost some weight since I last wore it), that the wig wouldn’t be done in time, that I’d sprain an ankle in those heels… but no, everything went together amazingly, and I am so, so happy. And I got an award for my costume!
But I’d still be my happy exhausted self even if I didn’t end up winning that awesome little award. You know why?
I saw so many faces light up today when they saw my costume, because they love Sailor Moon as much as I do. I saw a little girl get excited and flaily and scream out “SAILOR MOOOON” when I walked by during the costume parade, and she got even flailier when I waved. I love making others smile with my costumes, and I love finding other cosplayers from the same show who get excited when they notice that we’re all dressing as characters from Sailor Moon, or My Little Pony, or whatever fandom we’re representing in costume that day.
That’s the main reason why I’m a happy nerd right now – because I got to make others smile.
Today was full of cosplay, LARPing, and suppressing fangirl flailing.
First off, Ross and I dressed as Star and Marco today! I look exhausted. XD
We had lots of fun, and it was a good test run for getting Ross into his Star cosplay for tomorrow. Plus, there was a fair amount of people who recognized us (and gave Ross some strange looks when they realized he wasn’t a girl), which made me happy.
I also got to play in my first LARP at Gen Con! Showdown in Sacramento was today, and I had an amazing time. J and Kasi sure know how to tell a good story. I’ll have pictures from the game soon – likely in time for my post-con write-up.
The best part of today, though, was getting to meet Echo Chernik (note: there is some NSFW artwork on her site), the artist for the Name of the Wind Art Deck playing card Kickstarter I backed last year. I really enjoy her artwork, and we talked about the Kickstarter a bit – and then she pulled out her sketchbook and let me look through some of the sketches she did for the Kickstarter.
And yes, I asked if I could take a picture of this page, and she said yes. I am so ridiculously happy that I got to meet her. She even signed a card with artwork for me (she’s doing that for all the Kickstarter backers who haven’t gotten their rewards yet!) – I’m going to have to find a tiny little frame for it.
So, that was my day two! Tomorrow is going to be crazy and awesome – I’m dressing up as Sailor Moon, finally! 😀
I survived day one of Gen Con! And I’ve had lots of fun (and spent lots of money, haha), and am so exhausted. I wanted to ramble a little bit about today, but expect better and less rambly posts after Gen Con is done. 🙂
The two highlights of today were pretty big things for me – first off, I got to wear my Sailor Moon wig today.
Isn’t it beautiful? Oriana did an amazing job with it, especially in such a short time. It’s heavy as heck, with all the hair in the pigtails, but it’s freaking amazing and I love it.
The second big thing: I helped run my first role playing game. Ever. Like, I wrote plot and did storytelling and panicked about how to handle doing all the things at once. But I did it (with some help from J), and people really enjoyed it.
It was great to run a game based on a game that so many people enjoyed and miss. And I’m really glad I didn’t mess anything up – I’ve been anxious about this game for weeks. But hey, I did it (with the equivalent of training wheels, heh), and everyone had fun.
Now, it’s time to rest up, since I’ve got another big game tomorrow and a fun bit of cosplaying that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. 🙂
I apologize for the lack of a post last week and the week before — I’ve been swamped with Gen Con prep. And oh, there’s a lot of it this year.
For example: did you folks know I’m helping run a LARP this year? Return to Paragon City (based on the old MMORPG City of Heroes) is going to be my first stab at running a simple LARP, and I’m really excited for it (and more than a little anxious, I’m not going to lie). It’s been awesome, revisiting the world of City of Heroes as my friends and I put together the story for Return to Paragon City. I really hope it goes well!
In addition to helping run Return to Paragon City, I’m also going to play in a LARP too – Showdown in Sacramento! Which actually sold out on the first day event registration was open, which was awesome and slightly frustrating, haha. Thankfully, the friends running Showdown are the same friends running Paragon City with me, so even if Gen Con hadn’t increased the amount of available tickets, they’d have found a way for Ross and I to get in there and play (probably with a lot of generic event tickets, hah.)
I also spent most of last weekend making Ross the last piece he needed for his Star Butterfly costume – a star purse that came out far better than I expected it would. And yes, I lined it with My Little Pony fabric. Would you expect anything different from me? 😉
I’ve only got two days of officially planned costumes this year, Marco Diaz from Star vs. The Forces of Evil and Sailor Moon. I’m excited to be Marco Diaz (and even more excited to see Ross in his Star Butterfly costume!), and every time I think of my Sailor Moon costume I get ridiculously flaily. (As I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now.) Depending on how I feel on Sunday, I might throw on my “stealth dress” and wander around Gen Con as my Kishar character, Ëlinyr. Or I might wear my Sailor Moon wig and my Crafty Nerd t-shirt! Who knows.
For those of you who are going to Gen Con, say hi if you see me! Following is a breakdown of what costumes Ross and I are planning to wear on what days (when we’re not LARPing), so you know what to look for.
Sailor Meta Moon
(or, Usagi in a Sailor Moon dress)
maybe Ëlinyr? maybe Usagi?
And for those of you who can’t make it, don’t worry! I’ll be posting here and on Twitter daily while I’m at Gen Con, in addition to my usual Gen Con wrap-up posts after the convention. I’m so ready for this, folks. SO READY.
Here’s hoping I see some of you awesome folks at Gen Con!
It’s no secret that Ross and I like our animated shows. I mean, come on, we met dressed as My Little Ponies, as evidenced by the following slightly blurry photo of us from Gen Con 2013:
Not only do we share a mutual love for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but we also both really enjoy Steven Universe (in case you hadn’t noticed, hah) — in fact, if it weren’t for Ross stumbling onto the show while I was busy one weekend, we probably never would’ve ended up becoming such huge fans.
Ross and I are both pretty big anime fans, too, although Ross might be more into it lately than I am. Plus, I like my old-school anime a little more, while Ross watches more recent stuff. (More recent than Sailor Moon and Cowboy Bebop, anyway.)
So, it’s only natural that when Ross stumbled across Star vs. The Forces of Evil, we’d both end up obsessed, right? I mean, it’s silly, upbeat, with a great storyline that really pulls you in, which is starting to become more of a thing in animated shows lately. How could we not love it?
A couple of weeks ago, I rambled about how I was so incredibly excited that I was finally going to have a pair of Sailor Moon boots to call my own. The boots showed up on Monday, and I excitedly went to try them on, only to find out…
…that my calves were a little too muscular for these boots. Curse you, muscular calves! (Well, not really, I like my calves.)
I ended up messaging the seller (Catzia) telling her the boots didn’t fit my calves, and I asked if I could exchange them for a larger size in hopes that they might fit my legs better. She said she’d be happy to exchange them, but before doing that, I should try to stretch the boots out using a hair dryer to see if I could get them stretched out enough to fit. And it worked! They were snug, but I could zip them up all the way!
While I was waiting to hear back from Catzia, I found a number of “how to stretch shoes” tutorials out there. When I came across the hair dryer method, I figured it’d work for the boots (but didn’t want to try it until I’d heard back from Catzia) – but most of these methods focused on making the foot area of a shoe wider, not necessarily the calves. And they all focused on leather shoes, and not vinyl boots.
Enter The Crafty Nerd, armed with a hair dryer and a pair of epic Sailor Moon boots.
This has been hanging on my craft room door since last Halloween, reminding me that this is going to be probably my one big cosplay for Gen Con this year. I’ve actually been a little afraid to ramble about the costume on the blog, because every time I say “oh hey I am SO GOING TO COSPLAY AS THIS” on the blog, it never happens. (Like Toothless. And Rose Quartz.)
This one is actually going to happen, though. I mean, I’m too close to having a completed costume for this to just say “eh, maybe next year”. I’m remembering how I felt at Halloween when I put on this costume, when my inner sixteen-year-old let out a near-constant fangirl squeal every time I looked in a mirror. I saw myself and said “I am Sailor Moon.”
For me, this is huge. I’ve done a bunch of Sailor Moon costumes over the years. I made one by hand during my senior year of high school (and I do mean by hand, I lost sewing machine privileges during the middle of that project and some parts were held together by staples). I found a pre-made Sailor Moon costume at a Spencer’s back during my sophomore year of college — it was a child’s XL, I had to cut the bodysuit out to make it fit and wore it all over a white t-shirt. I made a Sailor Jupiter costume for I-CON 2006 that turned out really impressively, and I wish I’d hung onto it because it was the best hand-sewn costume I’d made up to that point.
This year, I’m going to have a costume that’s well put together, that I won’t have to worry about falling apart because of my iffy hand-sewing skills. It won’t have staples in it. It won’t be a cobbled together collection of whatever I can find that’s “close enough” to certain costume pieces that I can’t make on my own or afford to buy somewhere.
There are three pieces I still need to get for my costume — one I just bought and am waiting for it to be shipped, one I’m pestering a friend for on Tuesday, and the third I think I could get away without if I need to.
The first thing, and something I’ve never actually had for a Sailor Moon costume before: the boots.
I found these boots on Etsy, in the shop Catzia’s Collectibles. This shop is full of beautiful Sailor Moon cosplay accessories, and I can’t wait to get the boots and see how they feel. I’ll definitely want to break them in before Gen Con, so I don’t accidentally destroy my feet like I’ve done with just about every costume I’ve worn that involves heels. (I wonder if I could get away with wearing these under jeans for work, haha.) I’m ridiculously excited about these boots, you guys. I’ve done Sailor Moon costumes with plain red heels, with black flats, even with a pair of grey and black Mary Janes with Sailor Moon socks. I’m gonna have actual boots for this costume. Sixteen-year-old me could cry happy tears right now.
The next is the wig.
I’ve told you about my wonderful wig-making neighbor before — and Oriana is hopefully going to start work on my very own Sailor Moon wig soon, which has me ridiculously excited. (You need to see her Queen Beryl – I’m really hoping she brings that to Gen Con, it’s such a fantastic costume! At the very least, maybe we can throw on costumes and do a photoshoot in our neighborhood. I’m pretty sure most of our neighbors won’t even bat an eye.)
The last thing I need is the wand.
There are lots of places I could get a Sailor Moon wand. I’m kind of kicking myself for selling my old Cutie Moon Rod years ago, and I miss my old Crescent Moon Wand (which had an untimely demise due to a friend accidentally stepping on it, it’s my fault for leaving it on the floor). I could hope to win an auction on eBay for an older Sailor Moon wand like the one I had in high school, or I could spend a stupid amount of money on a Proplica wand. (And if I did buy a Proplica wand, I’d be terrified to bring it to Gen Con because what if something happened to it? Then I’d be out $100, and I’d be a very sad Crafty Nerd.) The pictured wand is one I might get, if I do decide to go with a wand. It looks pretty close to the original wand. While it’s a little expensive for something that’s not an official Sailor Moon item, it’s still better than worrying about breaking a Proplica wand on accident or going with modifying a bootleg toy to look a little more official.
You guys. This costume is actually happening. I am actually going to wear a Sailor Moon costume to a convention and not be slightly embarrassed by it because it’s not perfect. Because this costume is going to be just about perfect. And I can’t wait to wear it.
I think Amethyst’s reaction at the end of the most recent episode of Steven Universe sums up my feelings about the events of said episode perfectly.
Before I go into too much more detail about all the stuff going on in my brain about the most recent Steven Universe episodes, Can’t Go Back and A Single Pale Rose, I should warn everyone that there will be spoilers. Lots of them. So, if you haven’t already watched the most recent two episodes of Steven Universe: stop reading this, go find those episodes, and watch them. And then when you’ve recovered, come back and read with me. Beyond the jump is spoilers, so you’ve been warned!
Yes, it’s May the 4th, and as all my fellow nerds know, it’s Star Wars Day! I figure, what better day is there to ramble about how I ended up a fan of Star Wars than on Star Wars day?
You’ll probably be surprised by this, folks, but I hadn’t seen the original trilogy of Star Wars movies until I was in high school – in fact, I watched them for the first time ever the week before Episode 1 came out. Lots of kids I knew in school liked Star Wars, and I remember some of my fellow high school band members being really excited when our band director had us prepare a medley of the Star Wars soundtrack for a band concert. All I knew about it was that there was some guy named Luke in it, and a girl named Leia, and maybe Luke and Leia were romantically involved because all the pictures I saw were of them together. Oh, and that the guy who voiced Mufasa in The Lion King was Darth Vader. That was the extent of my Star Wars knowledge up until one of my friends in high school, horrified when I told him I hadn’t seen any of the movies, sat me down in his living room one Saturday afternoon so we could watch the original trilogy on VHS. And me, being the nerd I’ve always been, fell in love with the movies. (And felt really awkward when I found out that Luke and Leia were actually siblings, and not lovers, hah.)
If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, you know that when I get really interested in something, I go all out with my nerdiness. And Star Wars was no exception, when I first got into it. I had a tie-dyed Yoda shirt I wore until it fell apart. I bought plastic lightsabers and had duels in a friend’s front lawn, once all the Episode 1 toys went on sale just before the Episode 2 toys came out. I saw Episode 1 a total of 8 times in the theater (although that was mostly due to the fact that it was the first movie of a triple-feature every weekend at the drive in for the entire summer of 1999). I gave Yoda a standing ovation with the rest of the Star Wars fans at the midnight showing of Episode 2. I got ragey as heck when I found out that Lucas swapped out the original Anakin Skywalker in A New Hope with Hayden Christansen. And every Halloween, I wished I had enough money to get a Princess Leia costume.
After a while, my Star Trek nerdiness mellowed out a bit – after watching the prequels enough to realize how bad they were in comparison to the original trilogy, and after not knowing if they were ever going to make anything focusing on the story past Return of the Jedi, Star Wars took a bit of a backseat to other fandoms I was interested in. Until it was announced that there was, in fact, going to be an Episode 7, and that J. J. Abrams was going to be directing The Force Awakens. And I got flaily again.
Folks, you should have seen me when the opening credits started to roll for The Force Awakens. I think I almost started crying. I got hit with such a wave of nostalgia that it was almost overwhelming. And the new movies, both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, are the Star Wars movies I’ve needed for a long time. Sure, people complained that they took too much from the original trilogy – but I love the original trilogy, and to see familiar stories told in a new way makes me a happy nerd.
I’m gonna take a moment to ramble about porgs here. I freaking love the porgs, they’re so adorable – and a bit less creepy than the Ewoks.
For ages I was trying to hunt down a plush Ewok so I could have one of my very own – one of the original Ewoks, not the recently-released Build-a-Bear ewoks. Now? I want a porg. They’re amusing comic relief for what was otherwise, for me anyway, a very emotional movie. With Carrie Fisher’s passing, The Last Jedi was full of feels for me, as I really loved her portrayal of Leia and could identify with Carrie’s struggles with mental health – and I swear, when Luke said to Leia “No-one’s ever really gone,” I burst into tears. Those little porgs kept me from weeping through the entire movie.
I’m curious to hear from other Star Wars fans how you ended up coming to the fandom – were you following the movies right from the beginning? Did you end up becoming a fan, like I did, just before Episode 1 came out? Are you relatively new to the world of Star Wars? Tell me in the comments – I’m always curious to hear how people end up coming to like things that I enjoy too. 🙂
Recently, I finally got brave enough to try making the Wingspan Shawl – while I’ve been knitting for… gosh, nearly 25 years, I’ve never really been confident in my skills beyond the the garter stitch until recently. Now that I’ve made a number of pair of socks, though, I figured I could finally tackle the Wingspan Shawl. I’ve been wanting to try it for years, and so I decided to try my hand at it with some yarn I picked up at a trunk show recently. (It’s Blackberry Brambles by Oink Pigments, for those curious!)
Once I got into the swing of things, I found out I really love working this pattern – it’s just interesting enough to keep me from getting bored, but simple enough that I can work it while watching TV. I chugged through quite a bit of this wingspan shawl, but then encountered a problem: I ran out of yarn.
While I was working on the Blackberry Brambles wingspan, though, I had an idea: I could make a Toothless-inspired wingspan shawl, with most of the shawl being black and the last two panels being red, like Toothless’s tail.
So while I waited for my next skein of Blackberry Brambles to get here from Oink Pigments, I went to Jo-Ann’s and snagged some red and black yarn and whipped up this awesome little shawlette:
It’s not quite finished, yet – I want to add the dragon insignia that’s on Toothless’s tail fin, but that’ll involve another trip out to the craft store for some felt. Once I’ve got that added, I’ll share the finished product with you all, as well as the template I create for the dragon insignia and instructions for how to add it to your own wingspan shawl!