Tag Archives: costuming

Travel Itinerary

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Okay…after spending four+ years thinking about this trip, planning this trip, and changing my mind frequently on what to see and where to go, it’s now pretty much set in stone. So here it is:

September 15th: Board plane for Iceland. I don’t know guys. I may be more excited to be in Iceland than any other part of my trip. The more I look at pictures/read about it, the more it just calls to my soul.

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September 16, 17, 18th: Iceland.  I have booked tours of the South Shore, as well as horse riding over a lava field, and a tour of geysers and waterfalls. I’m taking an extra bag so I can break my “only carryon luggage” on the return flight. I have discovered that wool yard is actually a lot cheaper in Iceland than in the states, and I am completely in love with Icelandic wool. So I may just have to fill that suitcase, and mail it home once I reach London.

September 19th: Flight to London. The one thing I have absolutely planned for this date is watching the premiere of season 9 of Doctor Who in London! In the theater, if they do a big screen airing…otherwise I made sure my hotel has a television.

September 20th: London. Tour of Highgate Cemetery, canal ride in Little Venice, and shopping the Camden Markets.

September 21 – 22nd: In the morning, I have a tour booked of the Royal Opera House. Then, I will meet up with my friend Alberta and take the train to Leeds Castle, where we have a room booked. I also have an Owl Experience booked at Leeds Castle!  We return to London on the 22nd, just in time to attend a theatre performance of The Woman in Black. I hear it’s terrifying. I hope so! My second friend, Bonnie, will be flying in on the 22nd to join us as well, but she’s not into being scared, so she is going to see Shakespeare at the Globe instead. Wuss. 😉

September 23rd: Oxford. All three of us are taking the train for the day to Oxford. I’m particularly interested in seeing the world of C.S. Lewis. He’s probably done more than any author in shaping my inner self.  Tolkien – and Harry Potter film sites – are also a big draw.  If the weather allows, we plan to go punting.

September 24th: Alberta leaves us to go to Iceland, so Bonnie and I (as the two Harry Potter fanatics) are going to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.  When we get home, we’ll take in a Cabaret/Burlesque show.

September 25th: Bonnie and I will visit Kensington Palace, and the V&A museum. In the evening, I catch the sleeper train to Scotland, while Bonnie remains behind for another day in London, then Paris.  I’m excited about the sleeper train – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do!

September 26th: I wake up in Edinburgh! Today I will hit all the major sites of the Royal Mile.  Including, of course, The Elephant House Cafe, where Rowling worked on her writing. In the evening, I will take a ghost/history walking tour.

September 27th: Today is my chance to get outside of Edinburgh, and see a little bit of the rest of Scotland. I’ve booked with a small group that visits Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands.

September 28th: I return to England, via the coastal train. On the way, I’ll hop off at Alnwick Castle. Some of my ancestors lived here, scenes from Harry Potter were filmed here, and they have a fabulous poison garden. Afterward, I’ll continue to York, my next destination.

September 28 – 29th: York. I have nothing specifically booked here, but this is one of those beautiful cities with fantastic history. I’ve always wanted to visit.

September 30th: Leave York for Bath, and on the way, I’ll stop at Hardwick Hall. It was built by my favorite ancestor, Bess of Hardwick – the second most interesting and dominant English woman of her time. (The first being Elizabeth I.)

October 1st: Bath. I’ve been to Bath once before, all too briefly. I have a session at the Fashion Museum’s Study Facilities. They are going to pull some extant examples of beetlewing embroidery, 1830s dresses, and maybe an Edwardian evening dress or two, and I will get to have a couple of hours of hands-on playtime. Photographs are allowed!  In the evening, I want to visit Thermae Bath Spa, and have a soak in the rooftop pool.  Bliss….

October 2nd: Daytrip from Bath to the Cotswolds. I plan on visiting several small villages and just wandering around…  Change of plans – I’m going to Cardiff instead. I plan to visit the Doctor Who Experience, for sure! At some point, I’ll be taking a hot air balloon ride over Bath. Haven’t quite decided on a time yet.

October 3rd: Train back to London. I might stop off at Salisbury on the way for a couple of hours. I just have to get back to London by 3pm for my tour of the Angels Costumiers.

October 4 – 5th: Early flight from London, and one night, two days in Venice.

October 6th: One last day in London! In the evening, I have tickets to see Raven Girl, a ballet at the Royal Opera House based on Audrey Niffenberger’s book. In the day, I plan on doing some shopping.

October 7th: Flight home.

I’m quite pleased with this itinerary – it mingles all the history, geekery, and costuming I can fit in, plus a number of things I’ve always wanted to do, and never have. It’s also a bit of a research trip, since after I publish the time travel trilogy I’m currently working on, my next two series will be Victorian Steampunk, and Elizabethan Steampunk. It will be very helpful to be able to actually see/experience the same things as my heroines. And, I’ve spent all the time I wanted, enjoying the anticipation and planning stages. I’m ready to go!

Steampunk Photobook

Remember the steampunk photoshoot I did awhile back with photographer Tyson Vick?

Well, he’s releasing a book of those photos, including a few never seen before.  It’s pretty cool, and also inexpensive.  And my costumes are in it!  :)  Help fund the new Adventure by purchasing a copy.

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/761976

 

Gallifrey One 2013

A few of my friends took a trip to Los Angeles for Gallifrey One (a Doctor Who convention) and also to shop the fabric district.

The fabric district is jaw-dropping AMAZING.  And over three days, we almost literally shopping until we dropped.  I came home with one suitcase completely packed with fabric and trim!  Really, it was so great that I could have come home directly after the shopping and been satisfied.  We stayed at the Hotel Figueroa which was the perfect choice.  It’s so gorgeous, just like staying in Morocco.

And it’s an easy walk to the fabric district (although the walk didn’t feel quite so easy when we were walking home with massive heavy bags of wonderful things!

The hotel also had gorgeous curtains, which we coveted….

One of my friends, Arte, was running just a little bit behind in her costuming, so we actually sewed an entire 18th century gown in the evening after we shopping.  I say ‘evenings’ but we were actually up until around 2am.

It was actually really fun, though, and I was able to learn from our draping expert, Laura, exactly how those francaise gowns are put together!  And the dress turned out beautifully.

In case you can’t tell, Arte is an 18th century version of River Song!

After we bought all the fabric we could stuff into our luggage, we left the Figueroa for the Marriot LAX, and joined our other friend Glynnis at Gallifrey One.  The first day we all wore different versions of River Song, and tormented our ‘mother’ Amy Pond (Grace).

We also visited the TARDIS.  I wore my Frost Fair Victorian River Song.

That evening, was the Masquerade, and we entered as a group: The Doctor Presents His Fall Collection.

The idea was that Doctor had created a fashion line was available ‘anywhere and anytime’.  From left to right, we had: Arte as an Elizabethan Dalek, me as a German Saxon TARDIS, Glynnis as an 18th century Fifth Doctor, Laura as a 1800s River Song, and Grace as a 1920s Weeping Angel.

I love the cape Laura made from a trench coat!

Much hijinks ensued in the green room.  Angel met angel…

Angel had a chat with angel…

And then Jack entered the room, and everything just went slightly insane…

Despite his many admirers, our Dalek queen soon captured him and brought him over to our corner.  Who said Daleks were evil?  Not me!

And a totally gratuitous shoe shot happened…

And we won two Master class awards in the Masquerade!  The Project Gallifrey Award for Workmanship, and Best Interpretation.

Afterward, Arte met a kindred soul in the hallway…

The daleks roaming the halls are almost my favorite part of Gally.  They are so cool.

The last day I wore my Steampunk River Song costume.

Grace wore her 18th century Reinette costume.

Laura wore her Fourth Doctor costume with the completely fabulous knitted bustle.

And Arte wore her awesomely tailored Victorian Eleventh Doctor.

Some other awesome costumes I saw:

I got close to two celebrities:

Freeman Agyeman

And Mark Sheppard!

I finally met up with my Doctor! (I’d been wanting to get a shot of this costume with a Ten.)

And right at the end of the con, we met professional photographer Scott Sebring, who took the most lovely shots of us!  And without charge.

It was an absolutely delightful trip.

And then I came home, and all my purchases exploded from my luggage:

Shawls, and masks, and tiaras, and beads, and silk, and velvet, and taffeta, and sequined net, and….oh my.

Steamcon IV – Victorian Monsters

Halloween used to be my absolute favorite day of the year – you know, back in the day when I only had one day a year in which to dress up in costume.  Since then, I’ve discovered the world of renfaires and cons, and suddenly Halloween is barely a blip on my costuming radar.  This year, it was kind of an annoyance, actually, coming as it did a scant two days after I got home from a  fabulous three days of non-stop costuming with the creative, intelligent, and all-around fabulous people that are steampunks.

There is just something special about steampunks.  I’ve never felt such creative energy anywhere as I do when I’m with them.  It’s really hard to describe – it’s almost electric!  This year was especially amazing because I was invited by Steamcon to be a panelist.  I was very honored and more than a little nervous, as I’ve never really done anything like it.  I also expected to be on ONE panel, and I ended up on THREE.  “Wardrobe Rescue”, which as a completely interactive panel giving suggestions and advice on how to accomplish different costuming techniques or effects.  I think I learned way more from the audience in this one than they learned from me!

I also did a panel on the Well-Dressed Zombie, which was great fun, but I think hands-down my favorite experience of this year’s steamcon was doing the panel on “Style of the Skeuomorph” with author/bard Kiri Callaghan.  Basically, the panel was on how to take other genres of costumes (like Harry Potter or Doctor Who) and put a steampunk twist on it.  This is my favorite thing to do with steampunk!  And Kiri and I had a blast.  She can draw, so we basically asked the audience what they would like to steampunk, and then brainstormed together as she sketched it out on her tablet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a few steampunk Scheherazades next year!  And I really, really hope the guy does something with the straight-jacket idea I gave him….I’d love to see that!

Anyway, I ended up not being nervous AT ALL once the panels actually started.  It was just complete fun from start to finish, and I hope I’ll be invited back again as a panelist next year!  Kiri, Amanda, and Alisa G – you all rock.

But now to the costuming – which is such an incredible part of Steamcon.  Here are my costumes:

Steampunk Hufflepuff   (Click the costume titles for a link to more pictures and a making-of)

Steampunk Grey Ghost:

Zombie Corset:

I also saw many, many more awesome costumes, and here is just a very few of my favorites:

Baba Yaga.  The detail on this was wonderful.  Lots of little bits and pieces, and everything tied into a specific story about her.

The skulls on the birdcage?  Those used to be PEARS.  So clever.

Medusa.  Loved how the whole costume tied together, and how beautifully the snakes turned out!

Doctor Jekyl and Mister Hyde.

Mummy with mummified cat!

Wicked.

Indian Goddess?

In addition to the costuming and panels, there were music events.  Friday night the League of Steam hosted a musical variety show and demonstrated their monster-hunting techniques.  David Tennant invited me to sit next to him at that concert!  Well, okay, not really…but he was a dead-on look-alike!  🙂

Saturday night was the BIG concert.  I was mostly excited to hear the Nathaniel Johnstone Band live.

Nathan used to be the guitarist/violinist for Abney Park, so I was very curious about his new band.  While not being as great as AP, I did enjoy their performance a great deal.  Plus, they had bellydancers!

And I have to show you this – a friend I made at last year’s Steamcon made me a gift!  She painted me a steamy chicken!  I love this so much – thank you Jilynn!

I think it looks a bit like my Antoinette.

Next up?  Lots and lots of costuming to get ready for Gallifrey One in February.  Can’t wait to hang out with the Wench Posse again – you ladies have GOT to come to Steamcon with me one of these years!

Steampunk Photoshoot, Day One

I wrote up a full post on my costuming blog, so here’s a link.  Go and read about my adventures – there are lots more pictures!!!!

Spark Museum Concert

This weekend I attended another Abney Park concert. I think it’s my SIXTH, and this one was absolutely wonderful.  Definitely my second favorite (my first favorite will always be my first AP concert.)  The energy was just electric, and everyone was having such an awesome time.  Whenever I looked around, there was the biggest smile on everyone’s face.

The venue itself was amazing – it was the first live performance ever at the Bellingham Spark museum, and what perfect surroundings for steampunk!  Before the concert we toured the museum, and there were tons of cool displays, many interactive.

The opening band was Adrian H and the Wounds.  I enjoyed their music, although probably not well enough to buy a CD.

But then Abney Park came on stage.  And wow.  This was my first time seeing the new guys in person (Josh and Titus replacing Nathaniel who left to start his own band.)  They couldn’t match Nathaniel’s flamboyance (who could?) but they were excellent musicians and nicely interactive with the crowd, as are all the other band members.  During several songs one or more of them would jump off the stage and come play, sing, or dance with us.

As always, I try to film more of the between-songs moments, rather than the songs themselves!  For one thing, I am always pressed up against the stage, as close as I can get, and my camera doesn’t record sound well when I’m that close to the equipment.  For another, I love the between-songs moments…you never know what you’re going to get!

Between AP sets, the museum put on a Tesla coil demonstration.  Very cool.  It was amazing to see light bulbs lighting up just from being held close to the coil!  Unfortunately for AP, this demonstration fried their computer’s motherboard – but it wouldn’t be an AP concert if something didn’t break/go horribly wrong.  It’s all part of the fun, as Jody led a raid on the bar while Robert was trying to save the computer.  The problem was solved, and the concert continued to its glorious ending….far too soon.

After the show, I met up with Robert and got him to sign my copy of his book The Wrath of Fate to me.  I’d ordered a signed/numbered copy of his book the instant it was released, and had been surprised that I’d gotten copy #2 out of 300.  Robert was impressed with my purchasing prowess; so impressed that he called Kristina over to see it.  She said she was always afraid she was going to screw up the numbers when she was writing them in, and he said he was always afraid that the #2 book was going to get lost in the mail, and then what would he do?  Send out another and say “Here you are – another #2!!!”  I had him sign the book to my nickname “Lis” and he said that was his sister’s name, and he’d never met another person called that.  So that was cool, too.

And of course I got a pic with him.

I’m wearing my Steampunk NeoBedouin costume – which is actually based off the description in Robert’s book.  I had meant to tell him that, but we were so busy talking about other things, that I never got around to it.  As much as I would’ve enjoyed it, I couldn’t monopolize him all night!

There is more about my costume, including more pics and a making-of, here, here, and here, on my costuming blog.  The costume did get recognized several times by fellow fans who would come up to me and shout “NeoBedouin!!!!”.  Which was awesome.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic night, and it definitely will not be my last AP concert.

Costume Con 30

This past weekend, I flew to Phoenix to attend Costume Con 30.  This is a con just for people who like to costume, so you really might see anything there.

Like a group of butterflies in 18th Century gowns:

This blue butterfly was my favorite costume!  I am so envious of the gorgeousness!

I also met Twila, who had my second favorite dress at the con.  A more historically accurate Snow White.  This costume is based on a piece of artwork, and I’d been wishing I’d see someone bring it to life.  Twila, you are amazing, and I’m so glad I got to meet you!

Katherine was also there (in the gorgeous black dress) and I was a bit awestruck to discover she’s a real person, since I’ve been following her blog and admiring her costuming for ages.

She and Twila entered the Historical Masquerade in their tennis dresses, and won a whole boatload of ribbons.  Their workmanship was particularly admired, and the MC told us that he wished we could see the underpinnings.  My group was delighted when, after the Masquerade, we all went out for a bit of dinner, and Katherine and Twila actually disrobed right there at the bar to show us their lovely bustles and corset.  I can say the MC was quite correct…the workmanship was amazing.

Other favorite costumes include:

A Captain America USO girl (I swear I’m making this costume someday…)

A Steampunk Sally!

A patriotic steampunk outfit using the blue stars fabric that I was just looking at in JoAnn’s and thinking someone needs to make a patriotic steampunk costume out of this.

And then, of course, there were the ladies I actually flew to AZ to meet.  One of them, Arte, I’ve known for years.  She’s the one who pushed me into starting my costuming blog.  She is my long-lost sister from another brother-in-law (as explained on The Guild.)  Seriously, we are so alike in our tastes it is scary.  We had the same toothbrush!  And we are very good at enabling each other to buy flying pig sunglasses, trim, and patterns.  Very, very good…..

That is Arte on the left. My other friend, Erin, is on the right.  She is wearing a Green Bay Packer costume.  I would not even know who or what the Green Bay Packers were, if it weren’t for Erin.

Arte won one of my favorite outfits as well, her 18th Century “Sew Crazy” gown. That is an actual measuring tape used as trim!

I also met long-time internet friend Laura U.  She fits in well with our crazy.

And some I’d met before like Glynnis:

(We had plenty of secrets to tell…)

And Suzette:

And a facebook friend and fan of my blog, Laura V.  Who was so much fun!

The whole group was so much fun, and I’m so glad I had a chance to meet everyone at last!

I loved Erin “Fishing Opener” costume:

Which had quite the surprise on the back:

We all had fun dressing up:

And dressing up:

And taking pictures of each other:

And winning Judges’ Choice for our entry in the Masquerade “All the Whos in Whoville”.

I wore my Red Velvet Birdcage:

And my Cupcake Dress:

And my Edwardian Day Outfit:

And my Edwardian Evening Dress:

Of which I made a video:

And my Tenth Doctor outfit:

I even managed to attend a couple of panels…but mostly all I did was hang out with some of the most fabulous ladies ever.