blk: (polychrome)
It turns out this was my 11th Arisia. Wow, time flies. I've enjoyed the costuming thing so much in the past that I did two this year.

"Now THAT's a chemical reaction!" (Honey Lemon - Big Hero 6)

Honey Lemon vs me
My first costume started off as a pair of cheap plastic, pink sunglasses that [ profile] xuth found by the side of the road last summer. They sat around the house for a few weeks, and then I had the utterly brilliant idea to pop out the lenses and use them as cycling-friendly eyepatches for a pirate bike ride. Then we saw Big Hero 6, and I decided to use the frames as a basis for Honey Lemon, because hey, I've got the glasses and the hair, that's like, 90% of the costume, right? Everything else was acquired by some careful eBay hunting, including some completely ridiculous shoes that were pretty much perfect for the costume although somewhat less than perfect for actual walking. Let's just say I didn't go very far or very fast, although I am getting surprisingly good at walking in them. I went for the lab coat instead of a mustard yellow sweater because man, it's hard to find a good looking mustard yellow sweater, particularly one that I'm willing to wear. Lab coats are much more useful.

I spent some time both days walking around and got lots of recognition from anybody who had seen the movie and lots of blank stares from everybody who hadn't. But the best part was on Saturday I found Tadashi! We jumped up and down enthusiastically together and he asked me in character about my research grant and it was awesome. Oh, and this random bad guy who also happened to be walking by. *grin* Sadly I don't have a great picture of the three of us. But it was a lot of fun.

"I am not a committee" (Princess Leia - Star Wars V)

Leia on Hoth vs me
My next costume ended up being kind of last minute. After seeing the new Star Wars, of course I wanted to do something from there, but I learned from past events that there would be a billion other Reys (and there were), so instead I went to the past. Again I chose the costume based on the hairstyle I could do most easily, then got the clothing from a thrift store and eBay. My sole bit of craftiness went into making the rank badge, from wood shapes that Xuth cut for me. I looked around a lot for the right boots, but didn't find anything close enough, so I just went ahead with my existing pair of snow boots.

Leia from IV, V, and VII
While walking around, I ran into three other Leias, and of course got pictures with them. Then Sunday evening was a rockin' Star Wars themed room party with music and tasty drinks and tons of people, and I got a ton of compliments before the tons of people made the party way too hot for even a thin costume fake snowsuit and I went and changed into less clothing. But I did get a picture with a Han and a Kylo Ren to complete the family shot (if a little temporally confused).

Got the family together

The rest of the con

The rest of my con involved seeing lots of people, dancing, getting tossed around, going to a few actual con events, flirting heavily, trying to find things I wanted to spend money on (and failing), getting costume ideas for next year, and having a lot of fun. Amusingly, I didn't see ANY supergirls this year. I guess I should have brought that costume back with me. I got enough sleep and have successfully avoided getting sick. I think next year I am going to prioritize the evening and late night dances because they were really a ton of fun and I want to be awake for them.

Now back to real life.
blk: (crystal ball)
Once more, into the con review.

After enjoying myself last year not braiding (and Arisia not having a Dealer's Row anymore), I again went into the weekend with primary goals of showing off a costume, socializing, and relaxing. I succeeded pretty well at all of them.


I didn't have any new costumes made, and I didn't want to reprise my Elsa costume (since I don't have the hair and I am definitely not going half-Elsa to a con this big), but I did have my Supergirl costume from last spring's half-marathon that I wanted to get more mileage1 out of. Well, apparently everybody was taking their cues from me without me realizing it, as the two most common costumes I saw the entire weekend were Elsa2 and Supergirl3. I lost count when I got to six each! And many of them were quite well done. I privately thought my SG costume was the mostest awesomest, but really all the ones I saw were quality. I made sure to get in a few photos at least.

Jim didn't bring a costume, per se, but he did bring his LED coat4 and stilts, as well as his lumberjack5 outfit, all of which were quite eye-catching. Much more eye-catching than any of my outfits, in fact. To the point where I started joking that I couldn't go anywhere with him, because everybody would stop him for pictures and questions while I (in my costume!) would be ignored6. Maybe next year I'll actually figure out some semi-matching costumes so I can be a little more included. :)

Hall costumes are a lot of fun, although I realized after the plethora of lookalikes that it is a bit challenging to find a costume that 1) is within my realm of crafty ability, 2) is common enough that it will be recognizeable to a lot of people including me, and 3) a ton of other people won't also be doing it at the same con. I'm rethinking some of my previous ideas. Or maybe not, because they'd still be fun to pull off.


While exploring my newfound costume geekery and getting recognized for it is fun, a very large part of my Arisia experience is seeing friends who I don't get to spend enough time with. In such a confined space, it's usually possible to find a lot of people I know just by wandering around. So I did a lot of wandering around as well as some planning ahead and had some very nice time with people. Never for as much as I'd like; a weekend just doesn't work for that. But a nice start.

The downside to trying to see everybody in a weekend is that I and people I want to spend time with often have different social needs. Quiet intimate social time, loud chatty social time, room parties, dances, hallway wanderings, etc. And seeing people all at once doesn't work. I almost managed to go to some hotel parties one evening, but a very brief but unsettling dizzy spell made me have a disappointingly quiet late night in instead. Sunday I even escaped the hotel briefly, then came back for room socializing.

I wonder if it would work to try throwing a hotel room party next year. Not really a party party, but a verysmall hangout space that's quiet and private where people we like can come by and be snuggly. Will ponder this.


Bereft of children and school schedules to work around, we were able to take a more leisurely drive in both directions, which meant we could drive mostly in day time when the roads were not awful, not get caught in traffic, not have either our arrival or our departure be rushed, and not have driving interfere with any sleeping. Definitely a win on all angles.

The hotel bed agrees with me really nicely, and I didn't have any silly business obligations that made me get out of bed any earlier than I wanted to, so I slept well. I went to a chainmail thingy where a small number of us artists basically walked around and schmoozed about 'mail stuff, and I got to show off some unique pieces. On a whim I went to the Buffy Once More With Feeling shadowcast showing and got the songs stuck in my head for the next couple weeks. I bought some awesomepants in the dealer's room, enjoyed art in the art show, ate properly, got a bunch of fun pictures taken of me, did a fancy braid or two, got enough hugs, and didn't get sick afterwards.

That was good, let's do it again.

1 ba-dum
2 I was Elsa before she was, er, cool.
3 That's if you don't count the number of people in total dressed as A Doctor
4 radioactive yeti
5 and he's O.K.
6 the best part was when I was "explaining" this phenomenon to a friend and Jim protested that it wasn't as extreme as I described, and JUST THEN some random person walked up and did EXACTLY what I was complaining about.
blk: (icicles)
So there was this con a couple weeks ago. In past years I've been to this con as a Spicy Braider (or as reg staff), but this year that wasn't to be. Since I suddenly had a bunch of free time and energy, I decided to try A Project.

The Costume )

The Con )
blk: (polychrome)
Hey Bostonites!

Arisia is almost among us! The usual three from this house will be attending, driving up from Pittsburgh on Friday. Since we are spending all our time at the hotel, I am in search of somewhere that we can park our car for ~3 days that does not involve exorbitant fees, strict weekend-only hours we have to watch for, or high risk of getting caught in a snow emergency, and can be acquired from the hotel by one person relatively easily. Ideally, I think this would involve a private driveway of someone who lives in walking or biking distance from the T. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile, Arisia! I am NOT going to be doing my usual braiding business this year (due to boring reasons that involve a failure in my expectations regarding Arisia's levels of organization), so instead I will be doing a new and strange thing for me.... ATTENDING. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself in a hotel for an entire weekend. Got any suggestions for that? I expect to have a costume; should I bother with the masquerade? I've never been to any daytime events... are any worthwhile? Any things or people you recommend I do or see or attend to? Are you going? Want to meet up?
blk: (spicy)
My much-neglected todo list tells me that I never did an Arisia writeup for this year. But beyond just showing off braid pics, these posts are good for me for future planning. I'll probably backdate this so I can find it in the future.

points of interest )
blk: (spicy)
Time for another yearly Arisia post!

This was my second year in driving there with [ profile] xuth and boy instead of flying on my own. Although this year we had the advantage of a much larger car, which somehow still seemed to get completely filled up with Stuff. The drive up was better than last year, with no rain or snow or toothaches, but we still hit heavy fog in going through Connecticut, which is not all that fun.

breath of winter )
blk: (spicy)
If I wait any longer to write up my yearly Arisia post, it'll never happen, so here's a trip report.

This year was very different in terms of trip planning, as I wasn't traveling there by myself, and didn't have to fly. [ profile] xuth and the Boy were along for the ride, and somehow we managed to pack the three of us, all of my business things, food/clothes/etc for the weekend, and two pairs of stilts into our tiny car. The weekend started off pretty badly, with a toothache for Xuth, a sore throat for me, and varying amounts of snow that we got to drive through on our way out east. We crashed outside of town late Thursday, then settled into the hotel on Friday.

Read more... )

I spent the next week getting over the rest of my Ick physically, and enjoying the fact that there was nothing I needed to do, which involved a whole lot of sitting on the couch. This week I'm starting to get back into life at a more normal pace, which is to say that I've got things to do and a desire to do them.

See y'all next year.
blk: (spicy)
Another Arisia come and gone, successful and fun! I delayed this post for a while because I was waiting on pictures to prove I was there accompany the writeup, and then had a couple days of recovering from post-con Ick. I'm still hoping for the existence of some better pics, but for now, these will have to do.

through a crystal haze (trip recap) )
blk: (spicy)
This was my fourth year working at Arisia; my third as a braider. I think I've got a good thing going.

Read more... )
blk: (spicy)
I went down to Necronomicon last weekend for a combination Spicy vending and parental visit. Business was slow. I can now say I've had the experience of being a dealer and failing to break even on expenses. Read more... )
blk: (shades)
I am back home in Pittsburgh after the yearly trek to Tampa. Some observation:

I like heat. I greatly prefer less humid heat, although I can stand Florida heat if I'm going to be outside for less than an hour. Any longer and there better be a nice breeze along with it and me in my swimsuit. The one advantage Florida has is warm water. Oh yes, I looooooves me my 85+°F water temperatures.

The sun is way too hot down there. We went to Clearwater beach again, and I got burned in the morning in a bit over two hours (yes, I was wearing liberal amounts of sunscreen; no, I didn't reapply it after an hour). I can tell signs of sunburn without looking at myself (overly sensitive to ambient temperature, very tired), except that I don't notice until after I've been out of the sun for a while.

Read more... )
blk: (hairknot)
I like this one!

The original pic was from the hairstyle I tossed into my hair on the last day of Arisia. Since, of course, selling braids works best when there are live samples there. I'm really not a knot person, but I'm interested in learning more and using them as fancy styling on my braidwork. So far I'm just working on wrapping the accent braids in various configurations, like this.

One of the reasons I did that knot in particular (Carrick's bend) was that I had just learned it that weekend, and I was practicing it (behind my head, of course) to make sure my fingers knew it. I had had the idea in mind of doing braided knotwork, but hadn't gotten around to learning any yet, when I ran into Loren Damewood, a jewelry artist who I met at the previous year's con (whose [very expensive] stuff I absolutely and totally adore), early on Friday. Loren, as usual, was busy fidgeting with a piece of string, and before I had even finished my thought to him, he was busy setting up some strands, and showed me this knot in a few seconds. (He also showed me how to expand it by flipping a couple loops around and weaving the ends through, but I forgot that part, and couldn't figure it out again later.)

I thanked him happily, and spent some time practicing to make sure I could repeat the knot. A short time later, he wandered by again and presented me with his newly-finished fidget toy, a 7-lead, 2-strand Turk's head bracelet (closeup here). I expressed amazement and gratitude, and he pretty much shrugged it off, saying that he had to do something with his hands, and what better to do with the results than to give them away? Good point.

Shortly after setup, I was checking my email, and saw a message from my mom, in reply to my notification of where I was that weekend:
Speaking of ARISIA, look for a jewelry vendor who does fancy braided wire rings. I don't have his name handy, but I might be able to get it later today.

Apparently Loren had just recently retired from the same company my dad works at in Clearwater, Florida. Alas, Loren didn't recognize my dad when [ profile] shayde waved him over for me to show him pictures, as they had never worked together, but we all thought the coincidence was pretty amusing.
blk: (spicy)
I reprised last year's trip to Arisia this past weekend to help out with registration, braid hair, and see lots of nifty people. Except this year, the emphasis was much less on the reg, and much more on the braiding. THIS year, I decided to take people's suggestions and went as an official hairbraiding dealer, armed with price list, accessories, and displays to attract attention.

weekend in review, with a couple pics )
blk: (but i'm cute)
I went to Arisia this weekend to help out with registration, braid hair, and see lots of people. Oh, and there was a con going on, too.

cut for randomness )


blk: (Default)

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