Tag: gen con

Posts focusing on Gen Con, the best four days in gaming.

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.

Gen Con 2018: Day 2

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! 😀

Gen Con 2018: day one

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.

The epic group of heroes from Return to Paragon City.

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.

Daniel, Kasi, and I – the gamemasters for Return to Paragon City.

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. 🙂

Gen Con 2018: it’s almost here

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? 😉

On the left is the purse in progress, and on the left is the finished product! He looks a little silly, but that’s kind of the point, I think. 🙂

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.

Day Beth’s costume Ross’s costume
Thursday Sailor Meta Moon
(or, Usagi in a Sailor Moon dress)
Ravenclaw student
Friday Marco Diaz Star Butterfly
Saturday Sailor Moon Star Butterfly
Sunday maybe Ëlinyr?  maybe Usagi? exhausted congoer?

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!

 

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…

Gen Con 50: the best Gen Con ever

This is going to be the first of a bunch of posts about Gen Con 50, which has turned out to be the BEST Gen Con I’ve ever been to. I’ve done so much and seen so many cool things over the past few days – and it’s not all going to fit into one post, so I’m going to do a handful of them – one on the overall experience, one on events, one on awesome experiences in the Dealers Hall, and one entirely devoted to cosplay!

The first thing I noticed about Gen Con, mostly because it was the first place I went, was the fact that Will Call was EMPTY.

I think this was honestly the busiest I saw Will Call during the entire convention.

I’m guessing it was probably due to no on-site ticket sales because Gen Con was sold out for the first time in Gen Con history, but still, it was eerie to see Will Call so quiet! As always, though, everything went smoothly – I got my press badge quickly, got event tickets even more quickly, and enjoyed all my time at the convention. It was fantastic, I swear.

The ever-fantastic Cardhalla.

And what was really awesome was the fact that Gen Con took over Lucas Oil Stadium – the home of the Indianapolis Colts!

I swear, seeing Gen Con stuff on the Jumbotron got me all super excited!

I think spreading things out over three or four hotels, the Indy Convention Center, and Lucas Oil Stadium really helped spread out the crowds.  My introvert self really appreciated it. The game lending library was right there on the field at Lucas Oil, as well as a mini museum documenting the history of Gen Con – which was fascinating.

I went to awesome events, had lots of compliments on my costumes, saw SO MANY other awesome costumes, and got to spend lots of time with friends.

Ross and I, and our friends J and Kasi! 😀

I also got to help set up a LARP, got to listen to one of my favorite authors ramble about things and read his two “children’s” books, and ate tasty food from all sorts of places – food trucks, restaurants, and more.

I always love seeing Granite City’s Gen Con menu.

I used to say Gen Con 2013 was the best Gen Con, but I think this one trumps it. By a lot.  So many fantastic things happened – again, I can’t just cover it all in one post, so tomorrow I’ll share my experiences in the events I went to!  After that, it’ll be fun from the Dealers Hall, and then the final Gen Con post will be on the epic cosplay!  (And there may be an entire post dedicated to Pat Rothfuss, too.)

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately.

Yes, I know. I fell off the face of the internet again. For a long time, too. A lot of things conspired to tear me away from my beloved blog, leaving The Crafty Nerd looking like a ghost town…

  • I got a full time job. And it’s the one I’d been hoping for, too. I am now a Senior IT Education Specialist at IT Training! And for the two months that have passed since I started, I’ve been incredibly busy, and loving every minute of it.
  • Ross and I moved to a new townhouse. In the middle of Gen Con. Which made Gen Con 2015 a bit of a bust, sadly. However, I did get a few good pictures, and plan on hosting my own mini Gen Con at some point soon, now that my games are all unpacked and I’m not tripping all over boxes.
  • I started my last year of graduate school ever a few weeks ago. It’s been a little rough, socially, because 90% of my graduate school friends graduated this spring, but I can deal with it. I’ve got yarn and motivation. I will power through the next two semesters and emerge victorious.
  • Crafting itself has kept me away from my blog! Strange, right? Well, I discovered the glory of Knit Picks’ yarn sampler packs earlier this year, and since they came out with Mighty Stitch  (a fabulous yarn that deserves a review!)  I’ve been cranking out blankets with some of their samplers. Which, of course, leaves less time for blogging.
  • I’ve also gotten into amateur (ham) radio. It’s an exciting hobby, full of interesting people, and it’s been filling my head with all sorts of project ideas. Like how to mount a radio antenna onto Mia and turn her into a little ham-mobile.

I promise to post more regularly, though, now that things have calmed down somewhat and I’ve adjusted to all the changes to life that July and August threw at me. Expect a post every week from now on!

And I did promise some Gen Con photos, so here they are!

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This year’s badge and program book! I think I’ve had smaller textbooks than this year’s program…

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My wonderful mom-in-law, Connie, dressed up as Derpy Hooves! I swear, she’s the best mom ever.

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My favorite item from this year’s Gen Con haul – a Star Trek TNG science officer sweatshirt! Just need to get a comm badge and it’ll be perfect.

image
OMG OMG OMG PATRICK ROTHFUSS HUGGED ME AGAIN and tried to eat my brains

And that’s the little slice of Gen Con I got to enjoy! I’ll talk more about games I saw that I want to play in another post. Right now, though, it’s time for me to start crafting some more post ideas!

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.

2015-06-26 18.07.59

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.

Game Review: Pairs (or: What to do while waiting for GenCon housing access)

Well, I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands today, and I’ve been intending to review this game for a bit, so….

 

Pairs: The Review

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I’ve had this game on a shelf since September, waiting for the chance to get to play it.  I discovered the Kickstarter for Pairs through Patrick Rothfuss’ blog, sometime last spring, and eagerly backed the project and snagged three decks as a result.  (I mean, come on, Pat could put his name on anything and I’d be likely to back it.)  There were many decks available to choose from, and I picked three with artwork from Pat Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles series, as I do love those books and was curious to see Shane Tyree and Nate Taylor’s artistic interpretation of the characters I’ve enjoyed reading about.  Once the decks finally got delivered, I opened them all up, looked at the beautiful artwork, and then set them in my “let’s play this later” pile on my bookshelf.

There are even more games, but they don't quite fit on the bookshelf...
There are even more games, but they don’t quite fit on the bookshelf…

Fast forward to today – the day housing access opens up on Gen Con’s website!  I eagerly awaited the coming of 12:00 pm, to see how long of a wait I’d have to get to the housing portal…

WHAT
WHAT

So, Ross and I figured this would be a good time to pick up Pairs and play.    Based on what I’d heard about it from the Kickstarter page, and what I’d read in the rules when I’d first opened the games, it seemed pretty simple – points were earned by getting a pair of cards, and the person with the highest score lost.  So, going off of that, we figured we’d shuffle the cards (which turned into an ordeal, due to the fact that neither of us can properly shuffle a deck of cards without turning it into a game of 52 Pick-Up) and start a game!  I read off the rules while Ross and I took turns slowly shuffling the deck – and the rules ended up being a little less straightforward than we initially thought…

It took Ross and I a little while to put the rules in terms we could wrap our brains around...
It took Ross and I a little while to put the rules in terms we could wrap our brains around…

Gameplay, for Ross and I, went as follows: Whoever dealt took five cards from the deck and put them face-down to start the discard deck, as the rules suggested, and then the dealer passed out a card to each of us – whoever had the lowest card went first.  Then, we’d take turns drawing cards, hoping neither of us would end up with a pair – especially a high scoring pair.  (The deck is a pyramid deck – there’s one 1, two 2s, three 3s, and so on, making your chances of getting a high numbered card pretty large.)  When one of us ended up with a pair, that ended the round – we’d set aside a card from that pair to keep score, and the rest went into the discard pile.  We repeated that until one of us hit 31 points, the suggested “losing” score number that the rules gave us.

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A round in progress…

 

It was actually pretty fun – and once we figured out what we were doing, we enjoyed it.  I think we ended up playing three games – I lost twice, Ross lost once.  It didn’t help too much that Ross kept commenting on the artwork on the cards – it hinted at what cards he had, haha.  The artwork for the Commonwealth Deck (the one we played with), done by Shane Tyree, is absolutely gorgeous. While I wish the art focused on specific characters in the Kingkiller Chronicles, the game is mentioned to be played in the universe of the stories – and characters from the story seeing themselves on a card, well, that’d be rather odd.

Steve enjoyed the game, too. He thought it was tasty.
Steve enjoyed the game, too. He thought it was tasty.

Overall, it was a pretty fun game, and a good way to kill time.  I think it might have been even more fun with more people playing, but for Ross and I, it was pretty good too.  I might even bring this along with me if I’m going out to eat with a group of people, as a fun way of keeping everyone entertained while waiting for food.  If you want to learn more, visit the Pairs page on Cheapass Games’ website!

Well, killed some more time...
Well, killed some more time…

And it meant a half-hour’s worth of time not spent looking at the computer, anxiously waiting our turn for housing.  (At the time of this writing, I’ve got fourteen and a half minutes left – I hope hope hope there’s still room in the JW Marriott or even the Hampton Inn…)

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!

Gen Con 2014: The Cosplayers!

As with any awesome convention, there are tons of awesome cosplayers – and here’s a post showcasing all the ones I found!  (Please excuse my facial expressions in some of them, haha – I’ve got a couple of derpy faces going on in pictures I’m in.)

And as a bonus – here’s a link to one of the many recordings of the Costume Parade from yesterday!  I like this one especially, since at about 9 and a half minutes in, you get a good minute and a half of Cupcakes Pinkie and Rainbow Factory Dash action, haha.

GenCon 2014: Day One

Sporting my shiny press badge!
Sporting my shiny press badge!

Today was the first day of the biggest convention of the season – Gen Con!  This is my third Gen Con – and my first one as press.  I was super excited to pick up my press pass, and Ross and I cheerily wandered through the convention after I got my badge, looking for fun costumes and things to do.

The one thing about Gen Con is that there’s almost… too much to do, to be honest.  So many games, so many panels, so many exhibitors to visit.   I never know where to go first!  And every year, it seems I take a different approach to the first (or, in the case of 2012, the only) day of Gen Con.  In 2012, Bryan and I pretty much wandered through the exhibition hall for five hours, stopping frequently for pictures, spending oodles of money, and walking until we were exhausted.  2013 was a whole different ball game – it was my first year spending all four days at the convention, and not only that, but a friend had a hotel room that needed filling, so the three of us literally lived at Gen Con for those four days.  The first day was pretty much entirely spent flailing around the exhibition hall, making new brony friends (like Ross!), attending panels, playing games, and spending absolutely stupid amounts of money.

This year was a bit different.   Bryan decided to sit this year’s Gen Con out, so Ross and I decided to go together, and commute all the way from Bloomington (as getting a hotel this year wasn’t an option, thanks to housing selling out within TWO HOURS of housing registration opening!) to Indianapolis each day.  And today was pretty low key.  We wandered around the exhibition hall, and found some very awesome goodies to take home – Ross picked up a very epic looking skull mug and an awesome Nightmare Before Christmas/Alice in Wonderland crossover print, and I picked up a few more minis from Impact! Miniatures‘ Chibi Adventurers line.  Ross dressed up in the most ruffly clothes I own and confused a number of people who thought he was a girl, haha.  And I got to meet up with a friend of mine from college, who I haven’t seen in forever and is enjoying his first Gen Con as we speak.  But other than that?  We did a lot of walking, a lot of looking, and I learned that even the most comfortable looking heels will not be good for your feet at a convention.  At all.

I noticed there weren’t too many people dressed up in costumes today.  Typically, the big thing I take photos of are people in costumes, but I think I only saw a handful of people dressed in out-of-the-ordinary clothes.  Here’s hoping tomorrow will bring more costumed con-goers!

But yes, all in all, today was a laid back day.  I’m not anticipating the same for tomorrow – Ross and I are dusting off our Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash costumes, and are going to parade around as My Little Ponies for the day!  And hopefully find some games to explore and panels to enjoy, too.  Keep an eye out here tomorrow for day two of the Gen Con Report!

Things I Want to Make (when I finally get my craft room back)

Four more days until I move!  Oh, you have no idea how happy this makes me.  Not only will I not be limited to wearing whatever clothes I didn’t shove into vacuum sealed bags and toss into the treacherous cave that is the storage unit, I will also have access to ALL my crafting stuff.  Not just one crochet hook and a blanket that’s too warm to sit under while I crochet it.  And there are a number of things I want to be making…

Crocheted Toothless

Amigurumi Toothless – yes, I want to make another one of these little guys.  The one in the picture here, I ended up giving away to a friend – and they’re so quick to make, too, so why not make another one?  (or six, or eleven, why not a whole tiny Toothless army?)

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The Modern Poncho – It’s no surprise that I have a fondness addiction to making shawls and ponchos.  And I think this one would look very lovely in a nice warm shade of brown or combo of browns and reds.  It’s a good thing I’m moving closer to my favorite yarn shop…

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I’d really like to finish the third Fourth Doctor scarf I’m working on – I’ve got less than a third of the scarf to go, and I was hoping it’d be done in time for GenCon this year, but no luck.  Plus, the only part of my Fourth Doctor costume I can locate at the moment is the coat… so unless I can magically find all the other parts in the week before GenCon as I unpack, no Fourth Doctor for me this year… :/

scooter

Crocheted Scooter – In seafoam, naturally.  Or I could make four of them – red, blue, seafoam, and red/cream, one for me and each of my housemates…  And having at least one of these would be pretty cool, considering the theme for the living room in the new place is going to be scooters…


(nsfw, language!)
And finally, last but definitely not least, the first project I’m probably going to work on as soon as the dust settles and I can find my various costume pieces is the Cupcakes Pinkie Pie costume (the video above is the least violent reference I could find to it, hahah).  I’m not going to lie – I’m afraid it won’t be done in time for GenCon, but Ross says he’ll help me out, and this is the only costume I’m really working on, so here’s hoping I can pull it off…

I’m going to be busy after I unpack, haha.