Not a Bad Friday

Yup, I’m a terrible blogger. But I’m also in the middle of a busy con turnaround: Awesome Con this weekend, PAX East next weekend. So here’s a drive-by post. I’ll try and catch up on event recaps once I’m back from PAX.

Yesterday started out pretty boring: finishing my taxes. Then I had to sew the last six inches or so of the second glove for my Bombshells Catwoman costume, which I was going to wear to Awesome Con that afternoon. I always try to finish my costumes with at least a day to spare before an event, in case something goes wrong. (It’s why I have no shame about re-wearing things; I just can’t handle that last minute stress in my life.) But this week I had to stay late at work every day, so there was only so much I could get done. Thankfully, I have sewn a lot of gloves before, meaning I knew how much time it should take. Therefore, even though I was sewing until half an hour before I had to get dressed, it wasn’t frenzied. I was pretty sure I had just the right amount of time, and that turned out to be true.

Then I got dressed and we drove to Awesome Con. I got to the convention center at 1 PM, while Mike went to park the car. I knew Tom King, the current writer on the Batman comic, was signing until 2 PM, so I immediately went to the expo hall to see if I could get in line. When I first got to the signing area, I saw a huuuuuuuge line that snaked around two aisles. When I asked a person standing there whether it was the line for Tom King, they said they weren’t sure, but that they thought it was. (I think they were in line for Scott Snyder, and didn’t care whether it was also the line for someone else.) That line was capped, so I figured it wasn’t a big deal for me to investigate more to see if there was another line. I’m glad I did, because I then found a line that was only about a quarter as long that turned out to be the line for Tom King. I only had to wait maybe 20 minutes to get to the front of that line. As is somewhat common at comics signings (though becoming less and less so), I was one of the few women in the line, and the only woman that was there alone.

Once I got near the front of the line, I could hear Tom King talking to the convention goers. He was asking each person what they did for a living. The person right in front of me was an Orioles beat writer for the Baltimore Sun, and he shared a behind-the-scenes war story about that. I figured I’d seem pretty lame compared to him, but King was very nice and talked to me about my job for a couple minutes. Then, as an unexpected bonus, not only did he sign my books, but the artist, Clay Mann, was also there and signed them too. Overall, it was a very pleasant interaction. It stinks when you meet a creator whose work you like, but they turn out to be a jerk. This was not the case here!

After that, Mike and I went to take a few photos of my costume. I will have full edits later, but here’s a back-of-camera teaser. I am so happy with how this cosplay came out!
Awesome Con

Then we went to a panel given by Paul Levitz, who is not only an accomplished comics writer (he created Huntress in the Batman universe, for example), but also was the head publisher (like the COO) of DC Comics until around 2009. He had a lot of thoughtful things to say about the comic book industry and how it has evolved over his 40-plus year career. (And he started in the industry when he was only in his teens! He’s just in his early 60s now.) It was particularly interesting to hear him talk about the transition from newsstand sales to the comic book shop and bookstore trade paperback markets. And he was very good at answering questions. One person had a paragraph-long question with many parts, and Levitz tried to carefully answer every part. When he got to saying “as for the fourth part of your question,” I was impressed. I would not have even remembered there was a fourth part! Again, it was great to see a creator whose work I like who also seemed to be a nice person.

Then I did several photo shoots. First with Justin of Rich and Strange Photography, who was trying out his new Fuji mirrorless camera. I can already tell that he got some beautiful, dramatic shots. Then we met up with Jamey, who was debuting her Bombshells Black Canary. We shot with Mike for a bit upstairs, and then went downstairs to meet Dan for more photos near the expo hall. Dan was also nice enough to let Mike experiment with his external flash and softbox. I’m excited to see the photos that we got!

We ended the day by watching the costume contest (where Amelia and Lena had an awesome choreographed fight sequence that took second place) and doing a little browsing of the vendors.

Then I came home and collapsed. Tired, but happy with a good day!

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Williamsburg Holiday Promenade!

Over a month later and I’m still jazzed about this event! I wanted to photograph my historical costumer friends in a beautiful setting, and the result exceeded all of my expectations. I couldn’t be happier with how the event went and with the photos we got. Get ready for a very picture-heavy post!

The genesis of the event goes back to October. While a group of us were chatting at Carolyn’s birthday party, several folks mentioned the possibility of visiting Williamsburg in December. I had always heard that the Christmas decorations in Colonial Williamsburg were beautiful, and I had separately been thinking of visiting with Mike. Thus, a plan was hatched. Mike and I could combine a weekend trip (including a visit to the spa!) with a group costumed outing. It would be a great opportunity to use our new camera (we recently purchased a Nikon D7500 and a 16-80mm f/2.8-4 lens) and to take photos with the Christmas decorations. So I organized a meetup for the Saturday before New Year’s, where we could walk through the Williamsburg historic district and do a photo shoot.

Mike and I drove down on the Thursday night before New Year’s and checked in to the Williamsburg Lodge. We started Friday with a relaxing morning at the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. The spa was pretty quiet for the holiday weekend, meaning we had most of the place to ourselves. A massage and a soak in the whirlpool was just what I needed.

In the afternoon we went to the historic area and scouted photo locations. We noted that when it was sunny, the light on the north side of Duke of Gloucester Street was too harsh for good photos. But there were several spots in semi-shade on the south side that would work. Then we went on a Christmas decorations walking tour, and followed that up with a delicious dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Blue Talon Bistro.

Saturday was photo shoot day! The weather was a bit warmer than it had been the day before, and, thankfully, overcast. Thus, harsh sunlight would not be an issue. Mike and I walked down to the historic area a little early to test photo locations and to get pictures of my costume, so we could focus on photographing others besides me when they arrived.

I made a new silk mantle to keep me warm. For this event, I cut it a bit closer than I normally like to with the last minute sewing. It was mostly because I did not order enough silk ribbon for the trimming, so I had to wait for more to come. But I finished trimming the mantle the day before we left home, and was able to trim the cap on Friday night.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

My cap is by Fashions Revisited.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

I made my necklace and earrings. There are similar earrings available in my Etsy shop (In the Long Run Designs), here. I inherited the brooch from my grandmother (bubbe)-in-law.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

I also knit myself short mitts. All of my other mitts are elbow-length, which wouldn’t work for a long-sleeved dress. I used yarn from the endless cone of black wool that I’ve had since I knit three shawls for my bridesmaids. And there is still more yarn left over!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Then we went to the meeting spot I had designated for everyone to gather at. It was in front of this beautiful arced wreath arrangement. Mike was trying out a new camera arrangement, carrying the Nikon D7500 and clipping our older D5300 onto his backpack. It worked pretty well, as then he could put our 35mm F/1.8 lens on the 7500 and the 16-80mm f/2.8-4 on the 5300. Those are the two lenses we use most often for cosplay/costuming photography.
Williamsburg Promenade

Once several other people arrived, we started with a group shot.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Elliot and Leia, a perfect 18th century couple
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Carolyn made a beautiful new redingote and hat for the occasion.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Chelsea looked so cozy with her pink mantle and muff. She borrowed a cap from me, which I had purchased from Fashions Revisited.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Katy made a lovely new lavender redingote.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Samantha wore her gorgeous Christmas Felicity ensemble.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Jess had a pretty printed gown and coordinating black hat.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Taylor finished a beautiful striped gown for the weekend.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Most of our group, gathered together.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

A lot of tourists stopped us to take photos throughout the day.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

After finishing photos at our first location, we walked a couple blocks to our next stop.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Our second location was a pretty brick building with a white front porch/stairway. By this time everyone had arrived, so we got a full group photo. I love all the different colors and types of costumes that people wore!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Mike grabbed a selfie too!
Williamsburg Promenade

I love the combination of green and cream on Leia.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Elliot, looking like the mayor of Williamsburg!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Matching redingotes!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Aubry in her beautiful 1790s ensemble
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Chelsea added some more trim to her lovely gold Francaise gown for this wearing.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Everything about Sara’s outfit is so perfectly Christmas!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Then we split into smaller groups to take additional photos. There was an area around the corner with white outbuildings and boxwood hedges that made for a nice background.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Mike specifically wanted to get some photos with Samantha in front of a white building, to make the colors of her outfit really pop.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

At this point we broke into two groups. Several folks walked to the DoG Street Pub to get some food. I tagged along to take a couple pictures on their walk.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Sara stopped for a selfie!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Meanwhile Samantha, Chelsea, Katy, and Carolyn went for a carriage ride. Mike followed them to get a photo of them in the carriage.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

They got to ride in the carriage used for heads of state. Queen Elizabeth rode in it!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

After I dropped the other folks at the pub and Mike finished photos with those in the carriage, we met up with Jess for some additional pictures on the Governor’s Palace Green.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

After they finished with their carriage ride, those ladies joined us in front of the palace.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Mike then got some pictures with Samantha and Jess in front of one of the houses along the palace green. I love this photo of Samantha!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Mike was trying to imitate poses from 1780s paintings (think Joshua Reynolds) with this one.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Meanwhile, I went with Carolyn, Chelsea, and Katy to take photos in front of the Governor’s Palace gates.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Heh.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

After finishing up in front of the palace, we then walked back to Duke of Gloucester Street to visit the Millinery Shop before it closed and to make our dinner reservation at Shields Tavern.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

We got this photo of Katy before being yelled at for sitting on the tree. Oops!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

This is just an iPhone photo, but Carolyn was lucky enough to get to try on a beautiful mantle at the Millinery Shop.
Williamsburg

While we were waiting to be seated for dinner, we admired the gorgeous sunset.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

I really played up the contrast in the edits of these photos. I love how it came out! The first photo of Carolyn shows how things look without the contrast adjustment.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

At dinner
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

After dinner, Chelsea, Carolyn, Katy, and I went to a concert at the Governor’s Palace. On the walk to the palace, we stopped to take photos by torchlight.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

The palace lit up for the concert.
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

At the concert
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Once we got home on Sunday, I couldn’t wait to get started on photo editing. There were 753 shots total, and I ended up keeping 256. A 1/3 ratio is pretty typical for me. Because the light was nice and diffuse, I didn’t have to edit things that drastically. The most annoying part was removing things like modern doorbells and signs from buildings.

A photo of my computer during editing. And yes, I’m upgrading to Lightroom soon. Just haven’t gotten a chance yet.
Williamsburg

All of our photos are here. Thank you to everyone who attended the Promenade! Mike and I had a wonderful time. Not only did we get some great photos, I had a lot of fun hanging out with friends and getting to know some out-of-town folks better. Here’s to more costumed adventures in 2018!
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

Our Costumes at PAX Unplugged

I wore three costumes to PAX Unplugged: Mulan, Jim Balent-style Catwoman, and Queenie Goldstein. The Pennsylvania Convention Center isn’t the easiest place to photograph in, as everything is structured in long hallways or big warehouse rooms, with few nooks to work in. That being said, we managed to get some decent photos.

On Saturday Mike debuted his Garfield the Deals Warlock cosplay, which is based on a character from The Adventure Zone, a podcast that follows a live Dungeons and Dragons game. I think it came out pretty cute!

Friday
I’m not ashamed to admit that I purchased most of this Mulan cosplay. Leaves me with more time to make other costumes!
PAX Unplugged

The comb is by LHT Creations. I made my necklace.
PAX Unplugged

I had to get a photo with Mushu!
PAX Unplugged

And with Cri-Kee!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

This background was just too good to pass up! (It’s rice bowls, spoons, and teacups–A Great Wall of China! It’s part of the piece “China Wedge” by Mei-Ling Hom.)
PAX Unplugged

Saturday
I debuted an upgraded version of my Jim Balent-style Catwoman cosplay. For this version, I sewed a better-fitting bodysuit out of a thicker moleskin spandex. I learned a lot from my first go-around with this costume, and I realized that it would be better if I used a fabric with more heft and lengthened the body of the unitard. I also purchased a new cowl from ReevzFX. Shawn was able to custom-dye the cowl to match my fabric!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

Mike really enjoyed hamming it up as Garfield!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

On the podcast, Garfield runs the “Fantasy Costco.” Mike was able to replicate the Costco badge in Adobe Illustrator and make his own custom version. Note, in order to prepare for this costume, we did creepily stalk the local Costco and stare at the employees in their uniforms.
PAX Unplugged

We ran into a bunch of other people cosplaying from The Adventure Zone, which was neat. (Ace is the Merle.)
PAX Unplugged

One of Mike’s favorite authors, Patrick Rothfuss was pretty excited about Mike’s costume and stopped him for a picture. He said he was going to send the picture to one of the people on the podcast. It was a super cool moment.
PAX Unplugged

Then by chance we ran into a whole meetup of Adventure Zone cosplayers!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged<

Sunday
Sunday I wore my Queenie Goldstein costume for the first time. The genesis of this cosplay was that I really liked Queenie’s wand, so I bought a prop replica. Then I realized that Hot Topic was selling a version of her coat, and the idea for a costume was born. I commissioned the dress and scarf from Helen’s Wear.
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

While we were taking photos of my Queenie cosplay, a nice gentleman walked by and took a Polaroid of me and let me keep it. Neat!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged 2017

Last November, Mike and I attended the inaugural PAX Unplugged convention in Philadelphia. The concept is similar to the other PAX conventions, in that it celebrates many types of gaming, but here they exclude video/computer games (hence, “unplugged”). The focus is shifted instead to board games, card games, and tabletop role playing games.

The experience was good for a first-time con, although there were some hiccups. The two biggest issues were having enough activities to keep attendees busy (cutting out video games really decreased the amount of programming and things to do relative to what I’ve seen at PAX East) and traffic control/communication (some of the signage was confusing or missing, and it wasn’t always clear where we were allowed to go or what entrances we could use). Both of these problems can be fixed, so I’m optimistic that the con will improve.

Unfortunately, there was not a ton of cosplay to see. The PAX conventions are never the most cosplay-heavy, but the lack of cosplay at Unplugged was noticeable even relative to PAX East. I also hope that changes, as part of the fun of a convention, even if it’s focused on something specific like gaming, is seeing people express their love of nerd culture through cosplay.

Here I’ll share the photos we took other than the formal shots we got of our costumes. I’ll follow up with another post featuring those.

We played a number of board games throughout the weekend. We started with an old favorite, Colt Express.
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

After that we played Letter Tycoon, which was a new game for us. I am terrible at spelling games, but I still enjoyed it.
PAX Unplugged

For some reason the person who goes first is denoted by this airship. Airships have nothing else to do with anything in the game, so I’m not sure why that was chosen as the token.
PAX Unplugged

As I mentioned before, we didn’t see that much cosplay. But what we did see was pretty cool. Here is Anne as Keyleth from Critical Role.
PAX Unplugged

There was a giant-sized version of King of Toyko!
PAX Unplugged

These figures are normally only few inches tall in the board game.
PAX Unplugged

Game demo
PAX Unplugged

Me and Michelle learning a new game called Veggie Garden. I liked it!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

More cosplay
PAX Unplugged

Nora as Julian and Kayleigh as Lucio from The Arcana
PAX Unplugged

Cute display in the expo hall for the game Shiba Inu House
PAX Unplugged

The tabletop gaming area
PAX Unplugged

Philadelphia sunset
PAX Unplugged

Pretty colors at Level Up Dice
PAX Unplugged

A cage die at Level Up Dice. The center part moves separately from the surrounding cage.
PAX Unplugged

Nick, Michelle, and me deciding our strategy for Codenames: Pictures
PAX Unplugged

A tabletop miniature setup
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

“Old school” games in the classic board game area
PAX Unplugged

Dimitry and Gus playing Concept
PAX Unplugged

The board for Concept
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

The tabletop game lending library
PAX Unplugged

Playing another new game, Celestia. We liked it so much that we bought it.
PAX Unplugged

Pumpkin Tea 2017

Returning to event recaps, when last I left off, I had just posted about Stephanie‘s Pumpkin Tea Soiree. The day after the soiree, Stephanie hosted her annual Pumpkin Tea. Just as in past years, it was a wonderful time. It’s always a treat to spend an afternoon with so many friends from near and far.

On to the photos!

Jess, Glynnis, and Judy
Pumpkin Tea

Stephanie always does such a wonderful job with her table settings.
Pumpkin Tea

Maggie and I wore matching American Duchess Manchester boots.
Pumpkin Tea

Seated for tea
Pumpkin Tea

Jess and Kristin
Pumpkin Tea

Glynnis and Kat
Pumpkin Tea

Ashley and our hostess Stephanie
Pumpkin Tea

Judy and Carolyn
Pumpkin Tea

Maggie and Janine
Pumpkin Tea

Jessica, Linda, and Rebecca
Pumpkin Tea

Me and Jessica
Pumpkin Tea

Group photo
Pumpkin Tea

Group Regency Wedgie Shot
Pumpkin Tea

Shoe shot
Pumpkin Tea

We are in the midst of a costumer baby boom! Featuring Jess, Rebecca, Maggie, and Kristin.
Pumpkin Tea

Maggie
Pumpkin Tea

Carolyn
Pumpkin Tea

Check out the beautiful draping she did on the back of her open robe!
Pumpkin Tea

Kat
Pumpkin Tea

Stephanie
Pumpkin Tea

Stephanie and Kat
Pumpkin Tea

My cap is by Virgil’s Fine Goods.
Pumpkin Tea

Pumpkin Tea

Ashley
Pumpkin Tea

Kristin
Pumpkin Tea

All of my photos are here.

Linen Checked Bib Front Gown

I never blogged about the most recent new dress that I finished. I decided that I wanted something new for the Pumpkin Tea last November (after having worn a dress that was nearly ten years old at the previous year’s tea). I used linen from Burnley and Trowbridge that I had received as a holiday gift from Mike back in 2012. I can’t believe I let such nice fabric sit in my stash for that long!

I used the same pattern that I’ve had for bib front gowns since way back in 2007. (Indeed, this is the pattern I used for the dress I wore at the 2016 Pumpkin Tea.) It’s a modified version of the Period Impressions bib front pattern. I hand sewed the bodice, but used a machine to sew the long seams in the skirt.

The day before the tea Mike and I took some photos on our back deck to show the finished dress. The lovely cap is by Virgil’s Fine Goods.
Checked Regency Dress

The ruffled chemisette is by Very Victorian.
Checked Regency Dress

I made this spencer several years ago. I think it coordinates pretty well, no?
Checked Regency Dress

Checked Regency Dress

Checked Regency Dress

I made my earrings and the brooch. You can purchase similar earrings from my Etsy shop at the listing here.
Checked Regency Dress

I finished off the outfit with my American Duchess Manchester boots. They are my favorite regency shoes!
Checked Regency Dress

2017 Year in Review

Well, there were some ups and downs in 2017. The year started with me being super busy at work, then being much less busy, and ended with me being super busy again. During the slow times I managed to finish a few big projects, though not as much as I would have liked. We’ll see what I manage to get done in 2018.

2017 goals
-Finish 1780s purple silk dress-Yup!
-Jim Balent-era Catwoman costume-Yup! (Twice!)
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike-Nope.
-New regency day dress-Yup!
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume-Nope, but I started gathering materials.
-Something either 18th C or late Victorian for me, but I’m not sure what-Yup! (Turned out to be a chintz Italian gown.)

-1780s purple silk dress
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

-Jim Balent-era Catwoman v1.0
PAX East

-Princess Luna
PAX East

-Chintz Italian gown
Fort Fred

-Closet 1940s-esque outfit
Winterthur Point-to-Point 2017

-Mid-1700s Provincial Belle
Awesome Con

-Checked regency
Checked Regency Dress

-Mulan
PAX Unplugged

-Jim Balent-era Catwoman v2.0
PAX Unplugged

-Queenie Goldstein
PAX Unplugged

-Black silk mantle
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

2018 goals
-DC Bombshells Catwoman
-Striped 18th century gown
-Princess Cadence
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume

Pumpkin Tea Soiree

As part of her annual Pumpkin Tea weekend, Stephanie hosted a candlelit soiree the evening before. For once, I wasn’t working on that day, which meant I could attend! Plus, it was one of the first outings for our new Nikon D7500 camera and its 16-80mm f2.8-4 lens. Mike and I are still learning how to get the most out of them, and this event was good practice in low light.

Everyone and everything looked so magical by candlelight.
Evening Soiree

Maggie‘s outfit had such nice sparkle, with her jewelry and embroidered gown.
Evening Soiree

Jessica looked so elegant.
Evening Soiree

Jess in cheery orange. I made her cameo necklace. I need to make some more of those for my shop!
Evening Soiree

Mike wore his tried and true wool tailcoat and maroon waistcoat. I had planned on making him a new waistcoat, but that didn’t happen.
Evening Soiree

Ashley‘s dress really glowed in the candlelight.
Evening Soiree

Stephanie, Jess, and Judy share a laugh.
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Jessica and Carolyn. I love the overdress that Carolyn made.
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Our lovely hostess, Stephanie
Evening Soiree

Stephanie and Mat
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Maggie and Doug
Evening Soiree

Rebecca was attending her first regency event. Her dress came out great! (I made her necklace and earrings using some beautiful pearls she provided.)
Evening Soiree

Jessica showing off her lovely embroidered dress
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Carolyn’s Big Bustle Birthday Bash

In October Carolyn hosted a magnificent party in celebration of her birthday. Guests were asked to wear outfits from either the Victorian bustle era(s) or the 1780s, a time that also featured big skirt supports. Most people opted for 19th century, but it was kind of Carolyn to also allow 18th century, because a lot of the costumers in this area are focused on 18th century and regency. So possible attendees were less likely to feel excluded.

We started with a picnic at the US National Arboretum, followed by a stroll around the park. The weather cooperated and stayed clear. Then we adjourned to Carolyn’s townhouse, where the champagne flowed well into the night. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Carolyn’s birthday!

Big Bustle Birthday Party

I love this photo of Sarah and Katy with the Capitol Columns in the background.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Carolyn, our lovely hostess
Big Bustle Birthday Party

She did a great job on her new birthday gown. I especially like the mix of plaid and solid fabrics.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Sarah in cheery yellow plaid
Big Bustle Birthday Party

We were all so happy that Merja and her husband Mika could visit us all the way from Finland. Don’t they look divine?
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Maggie looking resplendent in her late 18th century sacque gown. (She made this work while being 8 months pregnant!)
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Stephanie made her first Victorian gown. It came out wonderful!
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

The ladies in plaid
Big Bustle Birthday Party

The ladies in blue
Big Bustle Birthday Party

I wore a gown I had in the closet, my cotton print bustle that was originally made by Lauren of Wearing History, though I altered it to fit me. The hat is by Atelier Mela, purchased at Costume College in 2016.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

When someone takes a photo when I’m speaking…this happens.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Jess in her pretty new plaid gown
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Just strolling
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Maggie and me
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Taylor made a new dress for the party. I love the contrasting colors.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Sarah and Stephanie
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Katy based her gown off of the painting “Too Early” by Tissot.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Cynthia visited us from Colorado. Her new outfit came out perfect.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Stephanie hamming it up for the camera. I love getting photos with her.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

No event is complete without some Instagramming.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

The whole crew back at Carolyn’s house. Cheers!
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Had to snap an iPhone picture of this.
Bustle Party

All of my photos are here.

BronyCon 2017

Mike and I had the opportunity to attend Sunday of BronyCon this past summer. Neither of us had ever been before, but I wanted to check out the shopping and to people watch. I did not cosplay, since we were only going for a couple hours.

We both found the con to be very enjoyable. It was a chill atmosphere on that Sunday, and everyone we met was welcoming, starting right from the people at registration. (This was particularly appreciated by us, given the violence in Charlottesville, VA that occurred the same weekend. A friendly, fun con was a nice distraction from all of that terribleness.) There was not a ton of cosplay, but those cosplayers that we did see were friendly. Plus, the shopping was excellent. Plenty that I wanted to buy, and very few lines or crowds. The Baltimore Convention Center has a capacity of over 30,000, but BronyCon only has an attendance of about 7000, which means there was lots of room to spread out. I liked not having to fight through throngs of people. I won’t be able to go next year (since it takes place during Costume College 2018), but I hope to attend again at some point. (And to cosplay!)

BronyCon

Mieu Cosplay as Trixie Lulamoon
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

That Creative Fox as Pinkie Pie
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

We checked out one of the cosplay panels
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon

All of my purchases. Did I mention how few lines there were in the vendor hall? I had both salespeople at the For Fans By Fans/We Love Fine booth helping me look at t-shirts without any one else in line behind me. Normally when I shop from them at PAX East I have to fight off people and throw elbows (I’m kidding, but just). In addition to buying two t-shirts (one for me, one for Mike) and a figure from them, I also bought a costume unicorn horn from Yaya Han (for a Lyra Heartstrings cosplay), three necklaces from Natural Pop, a postcard from Sunset Dragon, and some blind bags.
BronyCon

Here’s a close-up of the shirt Mike picked out, of Twilight Sparkle running what looks like a D&D game. I love the maniacal look that Shining Armor has.
BronyCon