Tag: cosplay

May 2019’s Nerdy Tidbits

Welcome to Nerdy Tidbits: a monthly series that collects all the little nerdy things that happen during the month that aren’t quite big enough for their own post! This month, I’ve got some costume planning, a nerdy moment at a bagel shop (of all places), and a short ramble about the first Kishar game of the year!

Gen Con costume planning

The first nerdy tidbit focuses on Gen Con costuming – which shouldn’t be a surprise! Costume planning is always a big part of my Gen Con planning each year, and this year is no different. It took me a while, but I finally figured out what costumes I’m wearing this year! I’ve actually got a bit of a theme going: strong women of sci-fi.

Photo-collage of President Laura Roslin (left) from Battlestar Galactica and Captain Kathryn Janeway (right) from Star Trek Voyager.
Two of my favorite strong women in sci-fi: President Roslin and Captain Janeway.

And this year, I only have to buy one of these costumes! I have a suit in my closet that I think should work out really well for Roslin – and if not, there’s always Goodwill. It might be a little tricky for people to immediately recognize me as Roslin – but I’ve got a plan for that. Thanks to the Denna costume I wore a few years ago, I have a bunch of name tags laying around… so I’ll just stick one on that says “President Laura Roslin” in big letters and hope that does the trick. While my hair might be a little too red to properly pass for Roslin, I think with some styling it should be close enough.

For Janeway, I’ve been meaning to buy myself a proper Starfleet uniform for a while now. I think this is as good a reason as any to get one. FanPlusFriend’s Costume Store has a Voyager-era uniform for a reasonable price, so I’m planning on getting the uniform there. I should be able to get my hair into a style similar to what Janeway’s got in the above picture, too. I’m excited about not needing a wig for either costume this year – the Sailor Moon wig from last year is more than enough wig, haha.

A nerdy encounter at the West Baden Bagel Bistro

Photo collage of a number of different minis and some homemade mini terrain.
You know, when I went in for a bagel for lunch, I didn’t expect to see minis, but hey, I’m not complaining.

Last weekend, I met the fine folks that run the West Baden Bagel Bistro, and found out they’re also a bunch of gamers! We talked about games we play, showed off minis we’ve painted, and generally nerded out. It was great – and I had a tasty bagel, too! If any of you find yourselves down in West Baden Springs, IN, you should definitely stop by the West Baden Bagel Bistro.

The start of Kishar: Season 8

Me, dressed up as my Kishar character, Ëlinyr. In the background, on the car behind me, is a plush Toothless wearing a brown headband that says "sand dragon".
Toothless and I in costume, and ready for a new season of Kishar!

This season of Kishar started off with a bang, so to speak – we went from an air of excitement and revelry to mourning the loss of the sultan over the course of the two-day game. (That new notebook I bought Ëlinyr definitely got a lot of use!) I’ll be writing up a summary of what happened from Ëlinyr’s point of view soon – you can find that summary over on Ëlinyr’s blog within the next few days, and I’ll also link to it here when it’s done.

And there’s May’s nerdy tidbits for you all – here’s hoping this turns into a fun series of little nerdy things!

State of the Nerd - Winter 2019

The State of the Nerd, winter 2019

I’ll be honest, I hit a bit of writer’s block with the original post I was writing for this week – and between that and the cold I’ve been battling, it’s been a bit of a rough week.  I’ve managed to get something posted every week so far this year, though, and I really don’t want to end that streak, so I figured I might as well do a State of the Nerd post.  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and I’m pretty sure some of you folks are curious about what I’ve been up to!  So, without further ado… the State of the Nerd!

This winter’s been a particularly rough one, mostly due to the weird weather we’ve been having. I’ve been trying to keep my spirits up with as many nerdy and crafty pursuits as I can, though.

  • I’m still working on learning how to play Magic: The Gathering – and I think I’m just about at the point where I might be able to play a game without “training wheels”, so to speak. I’ve still only played against J so far, and since he knows I’m still learning the game, he doesn’t mind when I stop and ask him about how a specific card works or how many creatures I should attack with. I’m definitely still enjoying the game, and I’ve got a post in the works in the “keeping organized” series about how I keep myself organized when it comes to Magic.
  • I’m itching to get Ëlinyr’s stuff out of the garage and play in Kishar this season. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve worn the bright red dress that’s been dubbed “Ëlinyr’s stealth dress” and put the sand dragon mask on my Toothless plush, and gotten ready to play.  I’m especially excited about this season, as Ëlinyr bought a house in-game with a couple of her friends, and also bought a business! Plus, there’s a whole bunch of new plot lines to explore, and new people for Ëlinyr to meet. Before all that, though, I’ve got some new costume pieces to make for her.  I really need to get on that, since I think we might start playing again next month…
  • I’m actually going to try to play more board games, especially the ones Ross and I have bought at past Gen Cons or through Kickstarter and then let sit on the shelves in the living room, gathering dust. Board games are fun, and I think it might be a good way to add some variety to our weeknight evenings. (Currently, our evening routine involves watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica or two and then going off to do our own things – I’ll go read a book while Ross goes off to play with the flight simulator he bought recently.  Which isn’t bad, but it’d still be fun to do something different now and then.) I’ve pre-ordered a game from Amazon that I’m really looking forward to – Scram by TeeTurtle! It’s about collecting cats – how could I say no to that? Plus, the artwork looks adorable, and I do have a soft spot for cute things.
  • I think I finally settled on at least one cosplay for Gen Con – I think I’m going to dress as Lapis from Steven Universe.  I still haven’t decided on whether I’m going to wear her old outfit or her new one, but I think it’ll be a fun costume to put together either way.
  • I actually finished a craft project recently!  I finished the Russell Street shawl that I started late last year – I struggled with it a bit in the second half of the pattern, and as a result I’m not entirely too thrilled with how it came out, but hey, it’s finished! Of course, I finish one project and then start two more – I’m working on another shawl, and also picked up English paper piecing and am making a quilt out of tiny hexagons. It’s a good break from knitting, that’s for sure.

And, well, that’s about all the interesting stuff that’s been going on with me lately.  Here’s hoping writer’s block doesn’t last a second week on that one post I’m trying to write, as I think it’s another one people will really enjoy.

Cosplay musing: the 2019 convention season

Well, the 2019 convention season is near, and with that, the eternal question: what costumes am I going to wear this year?

That’s actually a really good question – and one I’m not entirely sure of the answer to. There’s a lot of factors that go into figuring out costumes for conventions: if Ross and I are driving to a convention daily from home or staying in a hotel nearby, what the weather might end up being like, how detailed a possible costume might be, and how faithful I want to be with my representation of a specific character.

Given all the effort I put into Sailor Moon for Gen Con last year, do I want to try and do something elaborate again this year, or do I want to do something more casual? The hotel Ross and I currently have for Gen Con isn’t nearly as close as the one we were at last year (although we might get lucky and snag a closer hotel!) – will I want to deal with being stuck in a costume that might not be all that comfortable for hours on end? Just thinking about wearing the boots for my Sailor Moon costume for more than a half hour is making me cringe, how could I deal with that for an entire day? Plus, I have to plan out costumes for any LARPs I might be involved in, too. Do I want to try to do multiple costumes in a day? And can I quickly swap costumes if I decide to do that?

Those are all things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to my cosplay for this year’s conventions. So far, I’m definitely planning on going to Gen Con and the Indiana Toy and Comic Convention for sure, and I might also go to Indy PopCon. Whatever I choose, it’ll need to work out for at least one convention, if not three. With all that in mind, I’ve narrowed things down to three possible cosplays for this year’s convention season.

  • A casual version of Usagi from Sailor Moon: This could be a fun cosplay to do – you don’t often see people dressed up as Usagi. I’ve got some clothes in my closet that I think would work pretty well for a casual version of Usagi, and I could easily find clothes that match some of her outfits from the anime if I wanted to do something more show-accurate. I want my beautiful Sailor Moon wig to get some more use, and I think casual Usagi would work out pretty well – especially if I don’t end up with a nearby hotel for Gen Con, since I’d be wearing comfortable clothes and can handle wearing that wig for hours at a time, even with how heavy it is.
  • Lapis Lazuli from Steven Universe: I originally wanted to try cosplaying as Lapis last year, but Sailor Moon ended up eating up all my focus for costuming, and therefore Lapis ended up being set aside. However, this is another one I could also do pretty easily, if I don’t go all-out with body paint and such. I found a skater dress on Etsy that would work pretty well if I wanted to do a more casual Lapis, and there’s a wig on Arda that I could get in blue that with some styling would make a pretty good Lapis wig. A short wig and a comfy dress would make for a really comfy cosplay, that’s for sure. Plus, if I do end up feeling crafty and want to make the outfit myself (or with some help from my mom-in-law, who’s a great seamstress), I don’t think it’ll be impossible to make a Lapis costume from scratch.
  • Bring Pinkie Pie out of retirement: For those of you who haven’t followed the blog since I started writing, my first big cosplay was Pinkie Pie. I originally wore the first version of Pinkie Pie to Gen Con 2012, and made some much-needed updates to the costume in 2013. In 2014 I perfected my Pinkie Pie outfit, wore it to all of the 2014 and most of the 2015 conventions I went to… and then quietly retired it. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure where all the pieces are – the tutu is under the bed in my craft room somewhere, the wig (which seriously needs replacing) is on a wig head in my living room, holding up my hats, and I think the leggings and shirt might be in my costume closet somewhere. If I find all the parts, though, and get a new wig, I could easily bring back Pinkie for another convention season. It’s a rather comfortable costume, and people recognize it, so it could be fun to wear it again. (Plus, maybe I could convince my friend Rachel from The Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast to take her Pinkie costume out of retirement so we could be ridiculous together!)

Of course, these probably won’t be the only costumes I wear – especially at Gen Con, where I also have to plan for costuming for the LARP I’ll be playing in. And who knows, I might end up coming up with other ideas before convention season is in full swing! For now, I think I’ve got a good collection of cosplay ideas for this year, and a pretty good chance of wearing them all at least once at conventions this year – and I’m definitely looking forward to putting these cosplays together! (Or, in the case of Pinkie Pie, hunting down the various parts of her costume from assorted spots around the house.)

Gen Con 2018: the cosplay

This post is part of my Gen Con 2018 Report series – you can find the whole collection here!

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.

Ross is best Mewni princess. (Photo taken by TheMOX on Flickr.)

 

I had SO much fun getting to dress up as Sailor Moon for the day.  (Photo taken by TheMOX on Flickr.)

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!

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. 🙂

Gen Con 2018: day 3

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…

This seriously made my entire convention.

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.

Like Usagi here, who got really excited to see someone dressed as Sailor Moon.

How to stretch vinyl boots (carefully)

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.

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Sailor Moon at Gen Con: it’s actually happening

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.”

This is one happy Crafty Nerd, you guys.

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.

Oh my lord, they’re so beautiful.

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.

Even this well-loved Sailor Moon wig is awesome.

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.

For an unofficial wand, this looks pretty darn good!

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.

Gen Con 50: The Cosplay

Oh, cosplay.  It’s my favorite part of every convention – and Gen Con had loads of fantastic cosplayers this year.   I love the wide variety of costumes from all corners of geekdom that end up on display during Gen Con, from movies and books to video games and comics.  Seeing all the creativity on display made me one happy crafty nerd, and gave me lots of ideas for future costumes!

Speaking of costuming, I only came up with mine a few months before Gen Con, to be completely honest – I know I’d mentioned dressing as Rose Quartz for Gen Con, but I realized that maybe I should hold off until next year so I can do the costume justice. Instead, I put together a couple of fun costumes from my costume closet – I only needed to snag a few items from Amazon to complete them!

Thursday: Hogwarts Students

A pair of Hogwarts students!

Thursday, Ross and I put our Hogwarts robes to good use and dressed up as a pair of Hogwarts students – we had a couple of people chide us for skipping classes, hahah.

Friday: Ëlinyr Andaleh

She had to be pried from her books in the Royal Academy…

On Friday, I pulled out some costume pieces I haven’t used in a while, as well as my elf ears, and Ëlinyr made her first non-Kishar outing!  I actually had quite a few people stop me for my picture, which was surprising, given that I was pretty much one of many random elves running around Gen Con.  I didn’t mind it, though – and I really enjoyed wearing this costume.   Almost as much as I enjoyed my Saturday costume…

Saturday: Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicles

Denna, with all her names. 🙂

While only maybe four people recognized who I was, I had the most fun with this costume.  (Plus, two of the people who recognized me were Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss, so I think this one was a win.) The folks at The Tinker’s Packs booth really liked my costume, too!

Now, onto all the other fantastic costumes I saw at Gen Con!

(If I took a picture of you and you want a higher resolution copy of the picture, I’m happy to share it with you!  Just comment with what costume you were wearing, and I’ll make sure to get you the high quality version of your picture!)

Gen Con 50: The Events

Gen Con is usually packed full of all sorts of awesome events, and Gen Con 50 was no different.  I only ended up going to a couple of events this year – I might have done more if we had a hotel, but I didn’t want to end up overwhelming myself, so I went event-lite.  (And even then, I ended up skipping two events because I was exhausted, bleh.)  The ones I did get to go to were fantastic, though – I did some crafting, some book signings, and got to introduce Ross and J to my favorite Gen Con event ever…

An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss

Yes, I started out my Gen Con with some Pat Rothfuss. Did you expect anything different?

Of course the first event of Gen Con 50 that I went to was An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss.  It was a great way to start out the con – two hours with one of my favorite authors!  I brought Ross and J along – Ross has heard me ramble on about Pat and how awesome he is, both as an author and in general, and while J’s a fan of Pat’s (in fact, that’s how we met – J saw my talent pipes while we were at an academic conference together, and said “hey, are those talent pipes?” and I got all flaily and excited), he’d never actually been to An Evening With Patrick Rothfuss before.  So we all went, and oh, it was even better than when I went in 2013.  We all filled up a ballroom this time – the 2013 event only had 200 people, but this year there were 1200 seats with a line of people waiting outside!  It was super exciting, and Ross and J and I couldn’t wait for Pat to get on stage.

Even Ross was excited, and he’d only read The Princess and Mr. Whiffle and the Thing Beneath The Bed, hahaha.

It was run similarly to the 2013 session, with him giving us the option of having a session we could record, where he’d be less candid about things and a little more censored, or we could put our phones and cameras away and we’d all get to pretty much hang out with Pat.  I don’t think anyone raised their hands when he asked if we wanted to record the session, hah.  Pat broke the session up into a couple of different chunks – he’d answer questions from the audience, with mix of notecards with people’s questions and people asking out loud, and he also read us both of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle books.  (If you haven’t read them, you definitely should – but don’t let your kids read them until you’ve seen what’s in them, haha.)  While answering questions, Pat rambled on about great things – mental health, raising kids, silly random things, and life in general.  I especially appreciated his discussion on mental health – as someone who deals with anxiety, depression, and ADHD, it’s good to hear one of my favorite authors publicly encouraging people to go to therapy – even if they don’t really think they need it.  Having someone to talk to about life and all that goes on in it, someone who’s not currently connected to everything you’re experiencing and can provide an outside perspective, is pretty much essential to keeping yourself emotionally in good shape.  I love that Pat cares about us all enough to tell us “go to therapy!”

Things weren’t all seriousness, though.  He told us some adorable stories about his kids, and even sang to us in the process!  He sang a couple of songs, very briefly, from the Rankin Bass version of The Hobbit, which was great. (And reminded me that I really need to see that version of The Hobbit.  I’ve got it on DVD somewhere…)  The questions from the audience were great, and the more amusing ones that stuck out in my mind included “Can I go to dinner with you?”, “Could you have Lin-Manuel Miranda call my wife?”, and “If you had to choose between breaking both your legs and eating 10,000 Go-Gurts, which would you choose?” J asked a question that made me giggle – “If you were to cast a live action version of Slow Regard of Silent Things, who would you cast for the inanimate objects?”  Pat initially responded with Nathan Fillion, which got us all cheering, then he thought about it, realized we were cheering because we all love Nathan Fillion, and changed his mind to Keanu Reeves, which was actually way funnier, hah.  (Oh, Keanu Reeves and your uninspired acting…)  Much like the 2013 event, the evening ended with all of us singing together – which was delightful.  I’m really glad I managed to get tickets to this event.

Featherweight Armor for Costuming

I got to learn about making costume armor from Agent Peggy Carter and her friend, haha.

This was a great workshop, put on by the fine folks at …And Sewing is Half The Battle!  I learned so much about new materials for making cosplay props and armor, and new ways to use materials I’ve worked with before, like craft foam.  And I picked up some techniques to make things look their best, and also learned how to be safe while working with some slightly more hazardous materials.  I even got the chance to work with some Worbla, which I’d never used before!  I also found out I probably need to add a heat gun to my crafting arsenal.

Bracers in progress!

The folks at …And Sewing is Half the Battle did a fantastic job with the workshop, and were really thorough – they showed all sorts of materials to work with, talked about the pros and cons of each, and detailed any safety measures you might need to take when working with certain materials.  I hope Gen Con gives them a bigger room next year – this one definitely needs more space for everyone to work in, especially when we’re trying to use heat guns, haha. It was overall an awesome session – and it’s given me lots of ideas for next year’s costumes!

Brandon Sanderson book signing

I did not actually get to take a photo of Brandon Sanderson, so here’s one from the internet.

I only recently got into Sanderson’s books, and have been reading them pretty much since May – I tore through all six books of Mistborn, and then the two books of The Stormlight Archives.  (I’m now very eagerly awaiting the third Stormlight Archives book!)  His books are pretty darn awesome, and his writing style pulls you into the story and just won’t let go.  When I found out he was going to be at Gen Con, I knew I’d have to get a book of his signed – so I grabbed a hardcover copy of Mistborn: The Final Empire and on Saturday, I made my way over to his book signing.  I had lots of fun geeking out with other fans in line, especially over the end of Words of Radiance (don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything!).  It’s always fun to talk to people who share common interests with you!  When it was my turn to get my book signed, Sanderson was incredibly friendly, and he even commented on my Denna costume, from Pat Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, with all of her names on a name tag, haha.  He told me to tell Pat Rothfuss that he doesn’t have to worry about releasing the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles anytime soon, as he’s got a 3rd book in a fantasy series coming out this year so Pat can take his time, which made me giggle.  I really like how friendly Sanderson is – he was very approachable, and really warm and welcoming!  I’ll definitely get more of his books signed if he comes back to Gen Con next year.  (Which I’m pretty sure he will.)

Harry Potter Ornament Painting

This was a nice, relaxing event.  I’m really glad I signed up to do this.  I got to sit and paint for a little while, and chat with other Harry Potter fans, which was lots of fun!

Ornaments before painting.

These are some really nice ornaments – they’re made out of clay, and were fun to paint, albeit a little fiddly in some spots.  My painting job was… less than stellar in some spots, hah.

Here they are, freshly covered in Mod Podge!

Pat Rothfuss Book Signing

This turned out to be such an epic event for me that I’m going to make it into its own post. So stay tuned.

In short, I had loads of fun at all the events I went to this year – and I’m seriously pondering hosting some sort of crafting event next year…

Costuming through the years: the Crafty Nerd edition

Oh, costuming.

I’ve been a huge fan of wearing costumes, ever since I was a kid – the more elaborate, the better.  Halloween was always my favorite time of year, because it meant dressing up – granted, Halloween in the mid- to late 80’s typically involved those costumes that came in a box, with the weird masks and vinyl jumpsuit things…

I’m Tenderheart Bear in this one, I think this might have been from… what, 1987?

Once I got a little older, I discovered the world of more exciting costumes.  I’d try and find something better and fancier than the previous one, because dangit, I wanted to pretend I was someone else for the day.  And once I got old enough to handle a sewing machine with some skill, I started making my own costumes.  They may not have been amazing, but I sure as heck felt awesome in them.  Case in point: my first ever costume, a handmade Princess Toadstool costume from 1997.

My first venture ever into costume creation. (Don’t mind the tape around the edges – had to use Google Photo Scan to scan this in from an old scrapbook!)

Granted, my sewing skills were still pretty limited at this point, so the only part of the costume that involved any sewing was the skirt – but my thrift store skills were epic even at the tender age of fifteen, and I managed to get everything else I needed to put together that costume – gloves, pretty red heels, and a floofy petticoat.  Sure, the crown and brooch were made out of construction paper, and my wig was a cheap one from Spencer’s that smelled horrible, but dangit, I was Princess Toadstool, and I was happy.

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New cosplay brainstorming: Rose Quartz

Maybe I just like to dress up as pink haired characters.  Maybe I really am obsessed with Steven Universe.  Either way, it’s led me to my cosplay idea for this year’s conventions (yes, I’m actually going to make it to at least ONE convention this year, if it kills me or not) – Rose Quartz, from Steven Universe.  Finally, someone I can cosplay as who has a similar body shape to mine!  (Although I don’t think I’ll ever be 8 feet tall…)  Someone I can cosplay as and not feel so self conscious about!

… specifically, this version of Rose Quartz.

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PopCon 2015: A Very Late Report

I have been so ridiculously busy lately that it’s not even funny.  With two conventions within a month, and moving during one of those conventions, plus finally getting a full time position at IT Training (wooo!), I haven’t had much time to actually post about my fun experiences at Indy PopCon last month!  So, here are my thoughts, in no particular order, along with some photos!

The biggest thing about PopCon this year was getting the chance to meet one of my favorite actors.  He’s been in Star Trek, Breaking Bad, Invader Zim, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, to name a few of the many things he’s been a part of.

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Yes.  Ross and I got to meet John deLancie.  And I completely forgot how to form words, haha.

I ended up having him sign one of my favorite Discord-centric issues of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic, and I think pretty much everyone I know who’s a Star Trek/MLP fan hates me a little bit for getting to meet him, haha.  (Although if you guys want to hate me more for meeting famous people, remind me to tell you my Ian McKellan story…)

Anyhow, we also got to see plenty of lovely cosplayers, including Yamino of Yamino Cosplay/GeekGasm Boutique!  She was dressed as Faye Valentine on Friday, and Morticia Addams on Saturday – both very well done costumes.  You should check out her Facebook page and Etsy store – she’s done some amazing costumes!

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I also had the pleasure of running into one of my awesome IT Training co-workers, Rachel of the Five-ish Fangirls Podcast!

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And yes, we were both dressed as Pinkie Pie on Friday at the convention.  I also attended part of her My Little Pony panel, and she did a great job with it!  I’m hoping that The Crafty Nerd and The Five-ish Fangirls can get together to do some nerdy awesomeness later on. 😀

Overall, PopCon was even more awesome than last year.  They were still incredibly organized – even when the line to meet/get photos with Markiplier ended up being a mile long.  Photos and autographs with media guests were just as organized as ever, there were all sorts of interesting panels, and they upgraded the badges for this year too to nice plastic ones!

All in all, I was incredibly pleased with PopCon this year – and I can’t wait for next year!

And, of course, here are a number of awesome cosplayers and other nifty things I saw during both days of the convention!

And now… to get ready for GenCon.  Which is today.  Ross and I are leaving in ten minutes, in fact.  AND PATRICK ROTHFUSS WILL BE THERE.  *flail*  So, expect the annual Gen Con Report over the next few days!  It’s going to be… interesting this year.

Convention season is upon us!

Ohhh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year… no, not Christmas!  It’s the very beginning of convention season! My favorite conventions are announcing their dates, opening up pre-registration, and in the case of Indiana Comic Con, the convention itself is rapidly approaching!

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Oh my gosh this is SO EXCITING

 

This year, I’m planning on attending the same three conventions I did last year:  Indiana Comic Con, Indy PopCon, and GenCon (of course!)  And aside from knowing that I’ll be Pinkie Pie, I have no idea what I’ll be cosplaying!

I mean, I’ve got some ideas.  Some of them are more feasible than others…

  • Ross and I were thinking of going as Rainbow Dash and Pinkie in full Grand Galloping Gala gear – however, this could get expensive.  And I want to be able to do it right, and look absolutely fabulous, you know?
  • I could just buy a Star Trek: The Next Generation era scientist outfit, dye my hair red, and go as Beverly Crusher.  Because she’s awesome.  Maybe Ross could be Data… maybe… his hair might be a little too long by then, though.
  • There’s always LazyPie and LazyDash – wigs, sweatshirts and jeans.  I feel like I’m cheating whenever I wear that combination of clothes, though…
  • … I have wanted to do “Good Morning Pinkie Pie” – with a tousled wig, my Rainbow Dash bathrobe and slippers, some ridiculous pink pajamas, and a coffee mug.  I’m envisioning Ross doing something similar as Rainbow Dash but with his Star Trek TNG bathrobe.  Which could be amusing.  This could be a thing.  I’ll have to think about it.
  • My steampunk costume could always use some love… I keep adding things to it, too.  It’s going to look pretty epic, whenever I get the chance to wear it again!

And aside from costumes, there’s a wealth of panels to go to at every convention.  I’m going to try to find all the My Little Pony themed ones I can, and enjoy the heck out of them!  Last year, there weren’t many pony-related things at PopCon and Indiana Comic Con (although I did get to buy a page from the Twilight Sparkle issue of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book micro series at Comic Con!), but there were some things at GenCon that I wanted to go do. Sadly, the lack of a hotel room (rooms sold out crazily quick last year for GenCon!) made it hard for Ross and I to make it to later events – we ended up driving from Bloomington each day, an hour and a half-ish trip, and by late afternoon we were wiped out and ended up dragging our tired selves home around 5 pm.  While I’m not sure if we’ll be getting a hotel for Comic Con or PopCon, I’m gonna try my hardest to get a room for GenCon so I can provide much better convention coverage than last year!

I’m definitely excited to get the chance to see some of the guests at ComicCon.  There’s a ridiculous amount of stars coming, including….

  • Carrie Fisher (known better as Princess Leia! OMG)
  • Jenna Coleman (Clara from Doctor Who)
  • Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo!  *swoon*)
  • Billy West (who hasn’t he voiced?)
  • Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle from Beauty and the Beast)

Needless to say, Indiana Comic Con is looking to be pretty exciting.  I hope it’ll be a better run convention than last year!  Meanwhile, I’m eagerly awaiting the guest lists for PopCon and GenCon.  PopCon is currently asking for suggestions for guests on their Facebook page, and I suggested Lil’ Bub – I love Bub, and she’s from Bloomington!  And she’s way better than Grumpy Cat.  For GenCon, I’m really, really, really hoping Patrick Rothfuss comes back.  I have more things I need him to sign.  Like a card game I’m working on a review for, and my Kindle.  And more books of his. Plus, he’s just an awesome guy!  I’m wondering if other authors I might know will show up – I’ll have to wait and see who gets announced!

So, in short, I’m really, really excited for this year’s convention season.  It looks as if it’s going to end up being exciting and fun-filled!  I’ll share updates on my convention preparations as things happen – especially if I figure out what I’m wearing and build new costumes!

Prepping for PopCon

Technically, PopCon starts today!  Woo!  Due to transportation issues and work constraints, though, I won’t be able to go until tomorrow.  BUT.  That gives me all of today to prepare!  And there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for a convention.  Costumes need to be dug out of closets…

Yes, cute fluffy Pinkie Pie and evil genius Rainbow Factory Dash share a closet sometimes.
Yes, cute fluffy Pinkie Pie and evil genius Rainbow Factory Dash share a closet sometimes.

…wigs need to be detangled and styled…

I admit it.  I suck at taking good care of my wigs, as you can tell from the deflated lump of pink hair.
I admit it. I suck at taking good care of my wigs, as you can tell from the deflated lump of pink hair.

and sometimes a brand new costume idea hits you and there’s only a day or so to finish it.

I'm not kidding.  The idea to make a Rainbow Dash cutie mark shirt hit me yesterday afternoon.
I’m not kidding. The idea to make a Rainbow Dash cutie mark shirt hit me yesterday afternoon.

And doing all this stuff is part of the fun of getting ready for a convention!  And, admittedly, part of the stress, too.  Inevitably I end up forgetting something, or there’s a costume malfunction, or something else out of the blue that makes things a little crazy.  But stress aside, I’m super excited about PopCon tomorrow.  It looks like it’s shaping up to be much better organized than Indiana ComicCon was earlier this year, and there are SO MANY big names.  I won’t list everyone – but you can take a look at the guest list and see all the stars that’ll be there.  John DiMaggio (voice of Bender, Jake, and Wakka, among other characters), Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy! *flail*), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book from Firefly and Serenity), and Kristian Nairn (HODOR OMG) are just a handful of the awesome people who’re gonna be there.  You have no idea how excited I am!  Not only will so many stars be there, but there’ll also be a comic book museum featuring Action Comics #1!  And, of course, a ton of exhibitors to spend money at, and a costume contest… so much fun packed into three days.  I wish I’d been able to get a press pass for PopCon – but maybe next year.  I plan on cramming as much fun as I can into the next two days, and taking as many pictures as humanly possible.

So!  Keep an eye out here for my PopCon report in the next couple of days!  I can’t wait to see what the convention’s got in store for me.

Indiana Comic Con 2014: The Review

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Last weekend, I went to Indiana’s first ever Comic Con!  Held at the Indianapolis Convention Center (where Gen Con is held), Indy Comic Con promised to be a fun little convention.  As it was in its first year, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I planned on having a fun time anyway – after all, how can you not have fun dressed up as Pinkie Pie? 😀

Come on everypony, smile smile smile!
Come on everypony, smile smile smile!

A friend of mine (Ross, whom I met at Gen Con and became friends with thanks to the magic of the internet) and I planned on going all three days, and Mr. Crafty Nerd and another friend made plans to join us on Saturday and possibly Sunday.  And come Friday afternoon, Ross and I ventured to the Convention Center to see what Comic Con would be like.

Rainbow Dash dislikes waiting in line...
Rainbow Dash dislikes waiting in line…

The first thing we ended up doing was waiting in line – despite having bought our tickets online.  Comic Con used Ticketmaster to handle the registration process (which made paying for our tickets painful, what with all the fees), and sent us a strip of tickets like we were going to a concert.  (Tickets don’t fit terribly well into badge holders.)  Once we got to the convention, there were a number of lines you could enter to get into the convention, all snaking around together – we ended up going through the will-call line, despite having our tickets already, and then got funneled out when getting to the part where we’d need to pay for tickets.  It wasn’t a long process, as we got there maybe an hour after the convention started, but it was still somewhat confusing and tedious.  We had our tickets checked, and then received three wristbands – one for each day of the convention.

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The section of the convention center that Comic Con was being held in was one of the exhibition halls (D and E, for those familiar with the convention center), and that was all.  One part of the hall was sectioned off for the theater (where panels and the costume contest were held), another was sectioned off for the entry lines and ticket purchasing, and the rest was exhibitor booths and artist tables.  All in all, it was… small.  I made one circuit around the exhibitor area, bought a handful of things, and decided I was done with the booths.  After a few hours at Comic Con on Friday, Ross and I decided we’d save our energy for Saturday and went home.

Ready for action on Saturday!
Ready for action on Saturday!

 

We got to the convention center around 10 or 11 am, and as we ambled our way over to where Comic Con was being held, we noticed there were way more people there than on Friday.  I mean, the con was practically a ghost town, compared to what I’m used to with Gen Con and I-CON and such, and then Saturday? BOOM.  Everyone wanted to be there Saturday.  Ross and I made one circuit through the main room where the convention was being held, pushed along by the insane stream of people surging through the aisles, made a quick stop at the costume contest registration booth, and then didn’t spend much time inside the main area for the rest of the con.  We weren’t at the convention for more than an hour when we heard that they were turning people away at the doors, and the convention was at capacity.  Apparently the organizers didn’t realize that 10,000 people wanted to attend Indiana’s first Comic Con.  (They also picked a pretty poor weekend to host it, as the majority of the convention center was host to a public librarian conference that weekend.)  Bryan, Ross, Gina, and I ended up spending the majority of our time roaming the halls and taking pictures and talking with people about how crazy things were, how the convention could have been planned better, and so on.  After lunch, and more wandering around the convention center, Ross and I figured we should go wait in line for costume contest pre-judging.

The line was INSANE.  I think over half the people in line hadn’t actually registered for the contest, and about 15 minutes into when pre-judging was supposed to start, rumors floated down the line that pre-judging was canceled, they were just going to send a judge down the line to check everyone out, and that anyone who didn’t have a number wasn’t getting in.  After the abbreviated pre-judging process (where a judge came by and asked us about our costumes, what our inspiration was, did we make them ourselves), we all filed into the theater (which was packed!  apparently everyone wanted to see the costume contest), all nearly one hundred and thirty of us.  They didn’t realize so many people were interested in participating!  Everyone in the contest had amazing costumes (I was in line next to a girl dressed as Toothless who made her costume in A WEEK holy crap), and it was fun getting to prance across the stage with Ross as Rainbow Factory Dash.  However, the costume contest could also have been handled a little better…  By the end of Saturday, the four of us were exhausted, and decided it’d probably be better not to go on Sunday.

All in all?  For the inaugural year of Indiana Comic Con, while it had its issues – mostly organization related – I had a lot of fun.  I got to see lots of cool costumes, and being part of the first year of what promises to be a big convention was pretty exciting as well.  I got to meet one of the writers/artists for the My Little Pony comic, I got to see lots of fun art and cool toys, and I had loads of fun (as always) dressing as Pinkie Pie.  I think I will go back next year – here’s hoping they take up more of the convention center, though.  The rough start for Indiana Comic Con makes me a little leery of going to Indy Pop Con at the end of May, even though there’ll be many big names there (like Sylvester McCoy and Nicholas Brendon!  XANDER OMG) – instead of three days, I’m going to stick to Saturday – and definitely register ahead of time, in hopes it holds my spot.  I do believe they’re taking up more of the convention center, which will be a good thing – I anticipate Pop Con being very popular.

Alright, enough rambling about the convention – on to the pictures!