Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FlatCon 2014: October 24-26

It's early, I have coffee, I have a cat in my lap, and I really don't feel like getting on my laundry yet. So let's blog!

FlatCon: "An annual gaming convention sponsored by Gamers for Life. Card games, board games, role-playing games, historical minis, Warhammer, anime, and more!"

Roundabout story, then photos!

My first experience at FlatCon was maybe 10 years ago? I can't remember exactly. I went with my friend Megan for a day. At the time it was held at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, and it has since been moved to the Interstate Banquet and Conference Center, still in Bloomington. I loved it. I poked around the vendors and enjoyed the showings of videos like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog harassing people in line for a Star Wars movie, and a hilarious short film of gamers and their characters and the worlds collide and the characters end up killing the gamers, but I can't remember enough to possibly find the film online, unfortunately. There was also a girl dressed up in Princess Leia's white robes from A New Hope and I thought it was really cool, and now I play dressup too!

At that FlatCon, Megan played a Stargate SG-1 game and really enjoyed it. This led to her joining gaming and anime clubs when she attended Eastern Illinois University, which led to meeting her now-husband, Ryan. Today, Megan is a work-at-home mom to two little boys and runs Meg's Crafty Creations (Facebook page / Etsy shop) "committed to creating the highest quality hand made video game & anime toys since 2009."

So, to shorten a story already too long, Megan and Ryan travel to various gaming and anime conventions selling knitted and crocheted items, and they came to FlatCon again this year. I hadn't seen them in a while, another friend was going to be vending her art (Ryn Reid Commissions Facebook page / website), and she told me there was going to be a costume contest at FlatCon, so naturally I had to go, even though I'm usually not a convention sort of person (social anxiety, and all that).

So I dropped way too much money on props and whatnot and sewed NOTHING. Because I am a failure seamstress. I am very disappointed in myself and keep making excuses like working full time, having iffy health, trying to save money for moving. But in the end, I threw together a couple neat ensembles for Friday and Saturday. I was too tired from attending Friday and Saturday and getting three hours of sleep before work both nights, so I stayed home Sunday and slept all day.

SO... picdump, backstories, and whatnot!

Megan's booth! I am completely in love with the shirt she made herself out of Star Wars print fabric! I'm pretty sure I need to make myself a 1950's style shirtdress out of it. I've also commissioned a crocheted TARDIS from her that I'm going to use as a keychain.

Crocheted Baby Groot in a "Come at me, bro" sort of pose!

I was holding Baby Groot while Megan readied the display pot (decorated by her 4-yr-old son!) and I was cupping the bottom like that, and Jeff, helper and friend at Ryn Reid Commissions, said I was hiding his groots, so Katie, artist of RRC, drew it because we are hilariously inspirational people!

Magikarp hat doing what a Magikarp hat does!

My throw-together costume for Friday was a character of my own creation but based on Doctor Who and Torchwood. She's with the Timekeepers Guild, Chicago Division. It's like the American version of Torchwood, only severely less funded and regulated, and consequently more roguish. It's a small group like Captain Jack Harkness's Torchwood team, and they travel around investigating unexplained phenomena and alien technology and making it work for them. The Timekeepers Guild has been around for over a century and used to have divisions all over the United States, but since the Roswell incident, which was never supposed to come to public knowledge, funding was cut and divisions were closed. The last division, Chicago Division, stubbornly refused to disband and continues the original mission through new members recruited over the years. Millie leads her team from their headquarters in the basement of a friendly bar. Other than the staff and higher-ups in the military and government, no one knows of their existence, and no one needs to know.

My Doctor Who/Torchwood vortex manipulator! I wish it actually enabled me to instantaneously travel, but it does make a cool vzhoop noise so I suppose that's something!

My Doctor Who sonic screwdriver (which also makes cool sound effects)! My favorite Doctors are 9 and 10. I love 9's snark (and leather jacket), and I feel David Tennant as 10 really brought depth and emotion to the character and we really got to know him.

"Always take a banana to a party, Rose, bananas are good." ~ 10th Doctor
(Also handy when I haven't eaten all day before going to FlatCon and my blood sugar drops to the eat-now-or-pass-out level.)

My Costume Contest inspiration: Donna Noble on her (first) wedding day (Doctor Who, Season 3, Episode "Runaway Bride")

Backstory: Donna Noble was employed as a temporary secretary at H.C. Clements, a security firm in London. She met coworker Lance Bennett when he offered to bring her a cup of coffee. He continued bringing her a cup of coffee every day. Little did she know, he was dosing her coffee with Huon particles at the order of the Empress of the Racnoss, an ancient alien species of spiders. Lance dated Donna and relented to her pressuring him to get married, in order to keep dosing her. At her wedding on Christmas Eve, while she was walking down the aisle, the Huon particles reacted with her elevated emotional state and teleported Donna into the TARDIS. Robot Santas prevented the Doctor returning her in time for her wedding, but he got her there for the reception and she found the wedding party and guests had started without her. When a robotic Christmas tree fired explosives at the wedding guests, Donna and the Doctor investigated H.C. Clements which led them to an abandoned secret Torchwood base under the Thames where Lance and the Empress of the Racnoss revealed their plans to bring up the Racnoss children from where they were hidden in the center of the Earth. Donna was heartbroken after learning Lance had been toying with her feelings, but still pitied his death when the Empress betrayed him and fed Lance to her children. Donna helped the Doctor defeat the Empress and pulled him away from the Empress' death, saving his life. However, she turned down his offer to travel with him, frightened by what he had done and could do. As a result of her encounter with the Doctor, Donna's eyes were opened to the universe, and she could not resume her old life. Donna tried to live without the Doctor. She went to Egypt for two weeks on holiday looking for some excitement. When this failed, she began investigating unexplained events, knowing the Doctor always ran into trouble and hoping that she would be able to encounter the Doctor again.

My costume contest entry photo. Wedding dress, floral tiara, veil, and coffee cup.

I had a really hard time channeling Donna's snarky personality for photos since I try to be a positive person and I was just so excited to be dressed up at FlatCon.

Dress: $34.34 on Ebay (incl. shipping)
Tiara: $12 at Wal-Mart
Veil: $4 at Wal-Mart
Body glitter to mimic the glow when the Huon particles were activated: $2.24 at Wal-Mart
Coffee cup, shoes, jewelry: already had them.

Mainly I wanted to get the v-neck and A-line skirt of Donna's dress. The beading and the fact that it fit perfectly were just a bonus!

Cosplaying Donna on her wedding day is honestly the only time I'll ever wear a wedding dress, so why not!

I didn't even think until after FlatCon that Amy (Amelia) Pond also gets married in the series and my name is Amelia and I didn't even consider cosplaying her.

This shows how short I am: I'm wearing high heels, and the dress still drags! I kinda procrastinated and got screwed out of another legitimately-won dress on Ebay which took up time, so I didn't have enough time to hem the dress or install a bustle. I didn't do a whole lot of walking around, so wearing high heels and holding the dress up to walk didn't bother me.


I think this is the best Donna-snark photo we got!

I asked my friend Lauren (and photographer for the Donna cosplay) if she could help with the body glitter spray. I told her to go nuts with it... and she did! I loved the look, and it came off a lot better than I thought it would!

"I'm fabulous!"

"Well, that fiance didn't work out. Let's go get a new one!"

All in all, I had a fantastic weekend catching up with old friends, making new friends, and running around in costume. Maybe I'll have better time management skills if I plan on going and dressing up next year.

Crafty Wench Costumes page on Facebook, with more!