Winds of Winter Masquerade 2019

Another year, another wonderful masquerade at the Hawthorne hosted by Creative Collective. This year’s theme was Game of Thrones, which proved a little more challenging for me than previous years did. How am I going to work Mr. Clever into this theme? Especially given that I am very unfamiliar with the world. I came up with the idea of Clever of Dragons, and had a few ideas on how to make it work. Unfortunately most of my ideas looked great on paper, but just didn’t seem to pan out the way I wanted.

 

My initial idea was to make a dragon shaped Cyber piece. It looks greats, but did not agree to being worn.

 

I had started to make a dragon shaped cyberplanner, and as amazing as it came out, it just did not fit well on my face, nor did it want to actually stay on. So I scrapped that, and just wore my alt cyberplanner piece. My good friend Mandi, who also happened to win Best Mask, made a caplet for me, which did not end up draping over me as well as I had hoped. So I scrapped that as well. All that I really ended up with was my cyber dragon – Fernando. Which came out very well.

 

Mr. Clever and Fernando.

 

Here is how I made him.  CyberDragon Tutorial. 

 

The Iron Throne was a fun and interesting photo opportunity. Witch Pix, the folks who ran the photo booth this year were really on point and went out of their way to help attendees pose to get the perfect photo. There were acrobats and themed foods. The best decoration though, in my opinion, was the giant dragon that they had in the ballroom. It was not only gorgeous, but was brought in from a private home in Marblehead. Someone just made as a decoration for themselves, it was so nice to see because it just felt like such a great sense of community to have it there.

 

 

Hard to see, but this thing was HUGE!
The Photo Booth people did a really great job.

 

Charles, Mandi, in her award winning handmade mask, myself, and Paul, all dressed for the ball!

 

Myself, Delia and Steve. Such a great looking couple.

 

I did have a hard time interacting with the performers because I just did not know who they were supposed to be so I did my best and told all of them that I thought they were beautiful and I hoped they won the Throne. That seemed to please them.

 

 

 

 

 

It was a very fun night out with friends and as always a great party. Already looking forward to next year.

 

My new Mini Clever and Cybermite

Most of you may know that I tend to send a mini version of myself along to some cons when I can’t be there.  This mostly happens at Gally, which usually means that whatever I send has to not only endure the general craziness of my friends, but also being packed up and shipped. So far, every Clever I have sent has technically survived, but he usually comes back in pretty rough shape. Now is this because of the USPS or my friends, well, I guess a little of both.  ( I will be posting the #CleverdoesGally2019 album soon, and you can decide!)

My friend Holly of Hollys Making Stuff crafts the cutest creatures of all sorts so I asked her to make me a wee Mr. Clever.  I was not disappointed when she sent me some WIP photos. Not expecting to see a teeny tiny cybermite on his lapel, but that got me thinking, and I asked if she would also make me a cybermite too.

I am really happy with how these came out. I can’t wait to take pictures of them all around the town and at every con we go to.

 

May have already taken them to the MFA.

 

Mr. Clever does a podcast

 

Achievement Unlocked!

My first time saying YES to being a guest speaker on a Doctor Who podcast. I met some of the wonderful people from Man Bites Media and Diversely Geek while at SqueeCon, so I could not say no. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part this three-part series that talks about “The Influence of the Doctor. ”

I hope you will tune in and enjoy listening to us discuss how Doctor Who changed and influenced our lives and the lives of our friends and the community that we move around in.

Thank you to the cast for having me.

The link to the podcast

TW:

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For those that may need a TW, I do, however briefly, towards the end, discuss my experiences with sexual assault, and the many types of threats that I have had throughout the years.  Brief mentions of r*pe and transphobia.

How I made my Cyber Dragon Staff for the 2019 Hawthorne Hotel Masquerade Ball – a #tutorial

When I first decided to do my Clever of Dragons Doctor Who/Game of Thrones mash-up for the Winds of Winter masquerade ball I figured since it was going to be pretty obscure I needed some sort of prop to make it fun and to have something to tie in to the theme. The concept of a Cyber-Dragon staff seemed interesting and fun! And totally something Mr. Clever would carry.

 

Obviously, it was going to be silver, and I knew I wanted its eyes to be blue to match the blue lights on my cyberplanner. I had never worked with props of this nature before and the process proved to be a little bit more challenging than I thought especially since my craft area is not very conducive to making anything larger than a cyberplanner.

 

I also don’t have space away from my cats. Which is a whole other challenge!

 

I started with a roll of wrapping paper and I decided to make the basic head shape of the dragon itself out of paper mache. Mind you, I have never worked with paper mache before, not even as a child. The reason for this is that newspaper is part of the long list of things I am allergic to. So I wasn’t able to do work with the paper mache as well and as long as I had first planned. I did the best I could with it, and ended up filling in the gaps with aluminum foil and tape.

 

Not really looking the part yet.

 

At first, the shape looked way off.

 

Slightly better with the eyes.

 

 

Each individual dragon scale was made out of thin craft foam. Initially, I wasn’t going to cover the cardboard tube completely but that just got a little bit away from me. I started cutting out a few scales here and there, sometimes in bed, sometimes at the hair salon, sometime while I was waiting for laundry to dry – wherever I could. So I figured, well, I have all these scales, might as well glue them on.

 

Much better

 

The plastic that I ended up using for the eyes and the chestplate actually came from a Quidditch set that CJ got me for Christmas. The set came in a box, with all the Quidditch balls, protected in this one piece of plastic. I got so excited because I realized that the plastic was the perfect shape and size for the eyes and chest. It was also the moment where I realized that I went full on cat, as I was more excited about the packaging that I was about the product.

 

 

I carved out a hole in the wrapping paper tube for the chest plate, then cut out the eye holes in the head, put the plastic in. Found blue LED lights and strung them through. I then cut out a hole in the back of the tube for the lights’ battery pack. After that I just used a glue gun to glue the rest of the scales around the remaining openings.

 

Scales and eyes.

 

Finished!

 

To finish the head, I covered it the best I could with the rest of the scales, aluminum foil spikes, and window insulation around the eyes. I covered the entire thing in silver spray paint…

… and off I went to the ball. Except I forgot to cover it in sealant and my hands were covered in silver paint the entire night of the ball. I fixed it later, sealed it, just in case I ever use Fernando again. Yes, we have decided that his name shall be Fernando.

 

Mr. Clever has the Iron Throne!

 

I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a tutorial! Stay tuned for more on future projects! 

 

11 Days until 2019!

 

Only eleven days until 2019! See what I did there? That means only 11 days until I can get my butt in gear and write a Year in Review, too. So many things have happened in 2018.

 

Also, who else is excited for the Doctor Who special? I am very curious to see what happens.

Behind-the-Scenes at my latest photoshoot

One of the many things that I enjoy about doing photoshoots is getting to see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a fabulous photo.  It certainly takes lots of patience, a certain charm and a great sense of humor to work with someone like myself.  I am notoriously uneasy when I am getting my photo taken, yet always a bit rambunctious at the same time.

It was a great pleasure to work with Sauvage Photo and Edit again.  She always puts me at ease and makes it a very fun and productive day! This time around I had my good friend Kelly as my NiS Clara along with my wonderful spouse taking some photos of us while we worked.

As per usual, I brought all my props – chess board, chess set, trigger, Clara’s gun. And perhaps a few more things.

I thought it might be fun to recreate some fan art that I had seen. This proved to be a little tricky, as you don’t realize that illustrations and photo manips, no matter how good, are still not real people.  Getting some of the angles correct was bit challenging.

We managed to get some great shots, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product!