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Granite State Comic Con

This weekend (Saturday and Sunday), Kelley and I will be exhibiting and selling our wares at Granite State Comicon! You can find us in the Artist’s Alley, booth number 907. I’ve included a map below with our table circled.  Granite Con will be held at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm Street, Manchester on September 28th & 29th.

Granitecon 2013 Floorplan copy

The spaces for Granite Con are not as big as the one we had for Connecticon, so we won’t be able to bring our vertical displays, but we still plan to pack our table with leather masks, armor and bracelets, handmade jewelry, costume accessories, hair pieces and more! Kelley will be doing face paint and balloon animals, and I’ll have my caricature supplies on hand! We’re happy to do your makeup for the convention with Kelley’s hypoallergenic face paints, or get your costume started for Halloween with the perfect mask. Want something specific made for Halloween? We take commissions! If you order a mask at the convention, we will have it to you in time to celebrate every costumer’s favorite holiday on Oct 31st.

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For more information on placing a commission, you can visit my website at: http://shaunart.net, or send me an email direct.

For more information on the convention, check out their website: http://granitecon.com

Nauticon 2013

Well that was sure different…. this past weekend Kelley and I attended the second annual Nauticon, New England’s only 21+ convention. Held in beautiful Provincetown, MA, Nauticon considers itself to be a “destination con,” and encourages guests to enjoy the beach and the convention routine simultaneously.

This was our first time attending Nauticon and my first time to Provincetown, period. So I didn’t really know what to expect besides the copious alcohol. We arrived around noon on Saturday to get our badges and….it was eerily quiet. We got our badges in two seconds and asked, “well, where is everyone?” Turns out, everyone was still asleep or hungover from the night before….oh. The convention only had 250 people in attendance, and I guess the vast majority of them liked to sleep in.

Panels didn’t start until noon either, so there’s no point in arriving to a convention like this early. We got into panels no problem while everyone was still in bed. Actually, we got into panels fine all day. No lines. No waiting. For anything. Ever. And the panels weren’t bad either; there just weren’t a lot of them.

On of the most interesting panels we attended was a makeup discussion hosted by a large group of Drag Queens. They answered questions ranging from “how to get started,” to contouring for everyday wear, to how to cover and repaint your eyebrows. They even did a little makeup on some of the women in attendance. I asked a question about contouring, and they had me come sit at the front of the room so they could model my nose and cheeks. It was a fun and eye-opening experience. since makeup was a big part of my costume for the weekend.

Kelley and I, unfortunately, were some of the only people there in costume. Others claimed to be cosplayers at other cons, but chose not to dress up for this extremely casual affair. We were dressing casual for us: original designs that weren’t too big or cumbersome. Our costumes were of “Victorian Secret Models,” an obvious pun and excuse to wear Victorian underpinnings as outerwear. We received compliments on our appearances, but not more than a handful of pictures. We didn’t see more than one photographer the whole time we were there. We only lasted in costume until dinner time, because we felt an extreme lack of enthusiasm from the rest of the con when it came to dressing up. Even into the evening, everyone else was wearing jeans, hoodies and sneakers.

Saturday evening the convention offered two very special events: The Diva Show, and the Luau. Both were pay-to-enter events, and we attended neither because they conflicted with our other dinner plans. We heard from others that the Luau wasn’t worth the money, but the Diva show looked like it would have been interesting. After dinner we got a drink at the bar and went to an awesome sing-a-long panel. The crowd got free jello shots for every five 80’s and 90’s cartoon theme song sung! It was tons of fun.

The Artist’s Alley at Nauticon was rather small.  A dozen hotel rooms were designated as booths and sleeping quarters for the artists and craftsmen. There was no dealer’s room which was a big disappointment, but at least the artists were offering a variety of wares. I chose to spend my money at the masseuse on site. She was offering chair massages by the minute, table massages, foot scrubs and paraffin wax for the hands all at a great price! After the sing-a-long, Kelley and I treated ourselves to sugar foot scrubs and hand-waxes. It was pretty awesome.

Saturday night, instead of having any convention-organized events, the con left it up to the attendees to throw room parties. There were two guest organized events in a designated “party block” of the hotel. One shindig that Kelley and I attended was hosted by a group called “Barfleet,” which is a collection of nerdy bar-tenders, and drinkers who throw parties where they serve their own alcoholic concoctions for free! The stuff it strong, so they only pass out a little of each drink, but it is free. I couldn’t decide if receiving home-made alcohol in a hotel room from strangers for free was cool or sketchy, so I stuck with water. But there was a DJ and a  lot of good company, and IDs were being checked at the door, so it was fun either way.

Another cool late-night attendee run event was a swing-dancing panel, thrown together last minute by a few very talented attendees who actually knew what they were doing. We learned several basic steps and a few turns and twists too!

Sunday was a very low-key day at the convention. We didn’t go to a single event; everyone just sat in the hotel lobby coloring and networking. It was kind of fun to just hang out and talk. And we got to walk on stilts? Only at a convention, I guess.

This past weekend I visited King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA for a day of magic, mischief, comedy, good drink, and fun. Renaissance Fairs are a great way to enjoy the fall season free of modern distractions. The permanent fairgrounds are built right into the forest! There is a tournament field, and two dozen year-round cottages that shops and food vendors rent for the season. This allows the shop-keeps to have a much more elaborate and authentic set-up than other fairs where vendors have to set up and break down every single weekend. The setting is important to the overall experience, and being nestled in the woods is the perfect backdrop for the fantasy affair. The trees provide shade and shelter from undesirable weather, without the claustrophobia of an indoor event. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to have the perfect weather for our day at the fair: 75 and sunny with a light breeze.

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Our first stop of the day was the Tournament of Champions, set in a large field and featuring knights on horseback in real armor. We saw jousting, and ring catching and knights stealing beer from the audience. The rest of the day was spent primarily drinking mead and taking in the routines of other performers. Acts included whip tricks, juggling, comedy routines, and a lot of begging for money. It was easy to have a good time as long as you could get past the begging for money, which every performer did…loudly and frequently.

The fair is largely a cash-only event, but to buy food or drink you must first trade in your money for food tickets. Once all my cash had been converted to food, it was a little harder to find small bills in my satchel to tip the performers with.

Though the fair experience is largely defined by the food and entertainment, the other patrons have a significant role in dictating the atmosphere. There were far fewer people than expected in costume. Of course I did see the usual cast members in very elaborate dress, and I could tell that there were a handfull of people who rented their outfits. But I was very surprised at the lack of hand-made, original design costumes. Most people were in street clothes! Where’s the fun in that?

Overall, I have very few complaints that the Faire can control. The food was great, the entertainment was first-rate, and the fairgrounds were as beautiful as ever. I had a wonderful time dressing up and receiving compliments and being called, “My Lady.” But I would have had a more authentic experience if the common folk weren’t all dressed so common. Get creative people! It’s easy, fun, and will make your fair-going all the more special.

 

Renaissance Fair Season is upon us! I love spending a day out in the woods with the  fairies and jesters, celebrating the late summertime magic. The first Fair on my list is King Richard’s in Carver Mass, and to make sure I make the most of my Fair day, I am adding a few new pieces to my costume wardrobe. The most ornate of which is this handy little bag. This small glitzy purse was inspired by the Habib Bags offered by long-time fair vendor “Moresca.” Their work is beautiful, but hardly within budget when I can make some of the pieces, or something similar myself.

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All of the fabric for this purse, the red tassels, black and gold trim, and the broach were all things that I already owned in my craft bins. The only things I had to buy new were the multi-colored loop trim and the very ornate gold curtain trim with tassels that you see running through the middle. However because I only needed a small cut of each, and could pattern the whole thing myself, this bag cost me under $10 to make! Not counting my time of course. It even has a lining.

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I also recently made a new belt and mini-bodice which I wore to Connecticon. Made from green brocades and satins, with black and gold trim. Hand beaded and laced with black suede through brass grommets, this matching set is extremely versatile–especially the belt–because it is fully adjustable. I can wear it over leggings or a petticoat and two bustled skirts and it sits just fine.

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To spice these two pieces up for the fair I added some black and gold chains to the belt and the bodice. I’m banking on warm weather for fair day so that I can wear these chains on an open midriff. I’ll wear a shawl if I have to but the chains do not look as nice over a chemise. Anyone have any other ideas on how to winterize this bodice? I have arm socks or I could always go full cloak, but I don’t really want to cover the whole costume up. Side note–I got these chains on ebay for wicked cheap and they’re REALLY nice. I think they’re aluminum. Very pliable and easy to work with, however they are a nice thick gauge and feel quite strong when tugged on! I’m more concerned about my stitches failing than I am the chains, which is more than I expected for such cheap ebay notions.

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My favorite method of preparation for the fair involves spending more time outside. This is such a lovely time of year, and feeling a nice breeze on my skin every once and while keeps me motivated. The only other pieces of my costume that I want to update now, is to add a simple black fringe apron to sit under my fancy bag. I think it will frame it nicely and add an even more heavily layered look to my already voluminous skirts.  I’ll be sure to post more pictures when the whole outfit is done!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my main blog for more posts on ALL things arts, crafts, and sewing (not just the cosplay stuff).

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Connecticon 2013

This weekend I will once again be exhibiting with Faire Trimmings in the Artist’s Colony of Connecticon 2013. Held at the Connecticon Convention Center in Hartford, CT, Connecticon is already in its 10th year!

The artist’s colony is located on the first floor, in the same giant exhibition hall as the dealer’s room. There will be large crowds of people flocking to it, so really you can’t miss it. I will be in booth AC-37, which to my understanding is right next to the information booth near a major isle. That should make us pretty easy to find.

We will be selling one-of-a-kind costume accessories made from leather, fabric, feathers, and more. There will be jewelry, masks, and prints to sift through. If you’re a fan of steampunk, cosplay, crafting, or period clothing you should come check us out!

Artist’s colony will be open Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 11-7pm, and Sunday 10-4pm.

Kelley and I will spend the weekend at our booth in costume. So come by to take a picture or to say hello!

Hope to see you there. :D

For those of you who like to do things yourself, I’ve got some new paint-you-own-leather-mask listings up on Etsy. Leather masks are surprisingly simple to make from vegetable tanned leather. However, if you only need one mask, its hardly worth the large investment of your time and money to track down a good piece of leather, draft a pattern, cut it out, punch holes, and wet form it, just so you can have a custom mask that may or may not turn out the way you like.

Instead, I’ve done the hard part for you with these masks by purchasing the leather in bulk, and completing all of the special tooling and prep-work which requires specialty equipment. All that’s left for you to do is design and decorate the mask of your dreams!

I have two styles of do-it-yourself masks available right now; the ever popular Super Villain Mask, and the stunning Sprite Mask. Both patterns were hand-drafted myself and are not available elsewhere. These masks are ready to paint! They readily accept acrylics, oil-paints, glue, glitter, varnishes, matte and gloss mediums, and just about anything else you can think of thanks to their smooth yet porous surface.

So what are you waiting for? Any design you can imagine is possible!

On Saturday, June 22nd, Faire Trimmings (a collarborative brand between Kelley and I) will be vending at the Pirate Rendezvous in Damariscotta, ME. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. The pirates invade at high noon, which is essentially a large parade and general storming of the fair grounds by costumed reenactors. All attendees are encouraged to come in costume, but there is no requirement to do so. The fair and parking is free, but you may choose to make a donation to the Lincoln County Family Holiday Wishes, a Christmas season food and gift drive.

This is a family friendly event and there will be tons of activities and merchandise geared towards children. However, because no one is ever too old to be a pirate, this event draws fair-goers and reenactors of all ages from across New England.

The Faire Trimmings booth, where I will be stationed, will be offering one-of-a-kind leather costume wear and accessories. You can find eye-patches, masks, armor, and jewelry to complete you pirate costume all in one place. We will also be offering prints of original artwork, and for the children we have facepainting and temporary tattoos. We even do caricatures!

For more information on the fair, you can check out their website at: http://piraterendezvous.com/

I am very busy preparing for the fair, but if I get a bit of extra time this week, I will try to post some process shots of my work and wares.