Tuesday, August 26, 2014

sketchy outfit thirty : HPLD's Comic Con


Here's what I wore to our Comic Con! It is a cosplay of a character of my own creation, who was the face of our con! 

I made a comic to go along with, which I uploaded so you guys could read it. It's silly and cheesy, and I'm kind of okay with that. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Inspire me: Katherine Sabbath

I don't really blog about food much, but the artist I want to show you today really takes the cake (groan). I wouldn't usually be THIS excited about dessert, but then again, I never expected dessert design to be so ... edgy. I would go so far as to describe these edible sculptures as rock and roll, which isn't a descriptor I thought I'd ever attach to such colorful and sweet things.

Katherine Sabbath is a baker based in Sydney, Australia. Apparently the whole baking thing is just a hobby, because by day she is a High School teacher. And according to an interview on walterosborne.com, she really likes her teaching job, and wants to keep making changes in the lives of teens. That's something I respect a lot. Also, she likes puns. And has an awesome sense of fashion. So really, she's pretty much the most awesome baker ever. But enough blabbing, on with the yummy stuff.

1 //  2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Since this is a hobby, Katherine is really only found on Instagram. But if you have an account, you should really go follow her. She will make your mouth water, and your eyes happy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HPLD Comic Con

For a few years, I've been tossing around a scheme to get a mini-con going at my library. I've been going to cons for many years now (my first was SDCC in 2008), and I had heard whispers of other libraries putting on their own mini comic cons. I have always been one to dream big, so of course I wanted to try this for myself. We live a long way away from the bigger cons (the closest is about 3 hours), and I wanted to show the community how much fun they could be.
Prior to this year, though, the general feeling of everyone at the library was "that seems like a lot of work." I totally understood, but I didn't feel comfortable enough to head up my own event of that size. This year I decided it was time to take on the challenge. So after months of planning and lots of e-mails, phone calls, and research, this spring HPLD Comic Con actually went from being a dream to a reality.


Leading up to the con I tried to do as much advertising as possible. I created a character (shown below) named Maureen who was the face of the con. I put her on all the posters we hung around town, and the bookmarks that we sent home from school with the kids. I also called local businesses, and talked to anyone I could to get the word out.

I went into the day trying to make this feel like a miniature version of the bigger cons. I kept saying that I wanted them to get the "full experience." And that experience started as soon as they walked in the door. We cut out badges for the kids to wear that we printed out on cardstock and added some ribbon to make a lanyard. They got them when they signed in, along with a bag full of flyers and freebies. 



Upstairs we had a sort of "artist ally" full of local art. One of the artists was even selling prints! I was trying to give the students around here some more art recognition, but in a setting that was more their style than the normal coffee house gallery.


Downstairs we had Legos, comic making, diy Minecraft swords, a "flying" photo opportunity, and of course tons of free comics. I was trying to maximize the amount of space we had, while keeping in mind the small number of staff that would be helping, so we had a lot of stations where you could easily entertain yourself without a lot of guidance.

One thing that happened at this con that I really didn't expect was how much epic cosplay we had! Doctors, Spartans, Disney Princesses, Hannibal... we had it all! And there was an extra adorable moment with Spiderman...




This was one of the most satisfying events I've had at the library. One of those events where you really feel like all your hard work paid off. Everyone that helped me was amazing, and they all seemed to be as devoted to the idea as I was. I can't tell you how big my smile got when people told me that this was the first Con they'd been to, but it wouldn't be their last!

The day after our con, we sat down and talked about what worked and what didn't. I had promised myself that if X amount of people came through the doors, we would talk about next year. We hit that goal, so we are already getting into the first stages of planning HPLD Con 2015. This next year will be bigger and better, and if we hit our goals again, this may become a regular thing. Even typing about this now, I can't believe it.

Tips for holding your own con...

It was amazing the help we got from the comic book shops around our area. Make sure to contact them as soon as you start planning. We asked for anything, even just a flyer to stuff our bags with. We wanted to make sure that this con was a starting point for something bigger, a way to introduce the community to the world of comics. The flyers were a great way to give them an idea of the resources that are available even in our rural location!

Contact the 501st. They're an amazing cosplay group based around the Empire from the Star Wars series. As soon as I knew our date for sure, I made sure to contact the Midwest Garrison. They shot out a request, and we actually had a Trooper come to our con! It really added that extra bit of fun for not only the kids, but the adults as well!

Talk to art students in your area. There were a lot of kids that showed up because we did some PR at the local High School's art fair. Half of our artist alley was local students. In my experience, if they are really into the idea you have, they'll try to get anyone they can involved.

Have entertainment going on at all times. This year we had a couple of movies and some comfy couches set up, and some people stayed and watched movies after they had seen all of the stuff we had to offer. We didn't realize people would want to hang around, so I'm glad we decided to show the movies. Next year we want to try to get some panels together to give the kids more things to be involved in.

Be passionate. This con was a lot of work for everyone involved. If you show how much you love it, it will really reflect on the event itself. Think out of the box, solve problems as they come, don't stress over having everything perfect, and most of all HAVE FUN.

Monday, August 18, 2014

C2E2 round up (6 months later...)


Obviously this isn't going to be a really detailed description, but I couldn't just leave my photos sitting around in my folder, so I'm uploading them anyways. 
C2E2 took place on April 21st this year, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Every year I swear the con doubles in size, which is totally awesome.

The cosplay this year was the best it's been so far. I know I just said this, but it so awesome to watch this con grow. They had a huge cosplay contest (the prize was $10k!), and the people that entered were scary talented.


Megazords, ??, Codex, Borderlands, Catwoman, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, and a clockwork robot from Doctor Who.

Spartans, Cortana, Nightcrawler, Bioshock, Deadpool, Attack on Titan, and Starcraft.


Me as Kaylee from Firefly, checkin out the TARDIS' engine. 


And here's my haul! 
The Walking Dead Volume One (signed by Tony Moore)





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

sketchy outfit twenty-nine: Dauntless


So this is what I wore for our "pit" party! This look was inspired by the Dauntless faction in the book Divergent by Veronica Roth. I took a little artistic license with the shoes in this drawing... the only combat boots I have are much taller than that. The hair is true to how it was that night, though. I showed a picture of the style I wanted to my sister, and she hit it out of the park. Now if she could only do my hair every day...

The day before the party I put together a little inspiration board on the Polyvore app.

[fandom - no. 1] We believe in ordinary acts of bravery.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Party in the Pit

About a week ago the teens approached me with a program request that we've never gotten before: a dance party. While I whole-heartedly agreed that that would be awesome, in order to soothe my librarian soul and I had to make it book themed. With the release of Divergent on DVD recently, my brain was stuck on Veronica Roth's description of the Pit in the Dauntless headquarters. Loud, dark, with wild clothes and great music? Sounds like an awesome place to party. I ran it by the kids, who were totally on board with my crazy schemes, and "Party in the Pit" was born.


For teen programs, food is one of the first decisions we make. This time didn't take a lot of thought, though. What else would you feed a pack of Dauntless teens than hamburgers and cake? One of our teens made us a Dauntless cake and the awesome Amity pie pictured below. They tasted just as good as they looked!


While we watched the movie I drew tattoos on some of the more brave participants. I used permanent markers and free-handed the design. I'm not suggesting that this is the best method, what with permanent markers being so... permanent and all. Washable markers would work just as well, but they won't stay through the night.(And in case you were wondering, hand sanitizer takes permanent marker off skin.) I was pleased with how well the markers blended on skin. It worked well for the whole watercolor look, which I think makes the symbols look more unique and futuristic.

While I was drawing my sister was doing some crazy braided hairstyling. We had Mohawks and cris-cross and one style that gave the illusion of the shaved side look. That paired with the tattoos made you feel pretty freaking dauntless.


When the movie was over we turned on the disco ball and strobe lights that the kids brought in. When I was wasn't dancing I was playing with an app called Light Camera. The kids tried to write messages, including a shout-out to our library. (HPLD!)


Final review: B+. We could have gotten more into the theme, and there's some ideas I would have liked to try, but for a program we only planned in a week, I think we pulled it off. I always lament the small amount of people that come to out stuff, but in this instance it worked in our favor. Everyone who wanted a tattoo or hairstyle got it.

If I did it again: I would try to incorporate the feeling of being in the Pit some more. I didn't do a lot of decor because there's a fine line between cheese and cool, but if I could think of some creative way to have the walls look like stone I would totally try it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

wedding stuff: the Inspiration




If I'm going to be completely honest with you guys, I'd have to tell you that I've had my wedding planned for quite a while. Like, as in, about a half a year before he proposed. As soon as I figured out that he could be "the one," I started a Pinterest board. This was before they had secret boards, so I sneakily named it "happy party." 

Now... I'm not the type to sit there and dream about frilly princess dresses and extravagant ball room weddings. I started my Pinterest board because I wanted to make sure that my reception truly reflected me and my groom. I wanted it to be an enjoyable experience for everyone who came, while still being the best day of my life. And I know from past experience that you need to give yourself time to think and plan an event like that. Especially if you want to be as DIY as I did.

I guess we'll see how well that worked for me.

I plan on blogging a bit more about my whole wedding experience, so I thought I'd start at the beginning and show you guys my inspiration. So here are the mood boards for both the ceremony and the reception.

Right column: 1 / 2 / 3
Left column: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That first picture is my color inspiration. My wedding's main color is that bight blue, with colorful accents. Mainly green for the wedding itself, and then for the reception we move on to muuuch more color.

I love the idea of paper instead of petals for the flower girls, and having colorful ribbons strung everywhere. I want the ceremony decorations to be simple. because in the end that part of the wedding is mainly about me binding myself to the guy I love. 

Right column:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Left column: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6



I want the reception to be casual and fun. I knew from the beginning that I wanted games to be involved. Right about the time we finalized our "venue" (aka my parents driveway) I found those huge yard games and fell in love. It goes right along with the feel I want this party to have. Eclectic decorations and a sort of rustic elegance will hopefully fit in very nicely with the tent surrounded by corn fields!

I thought a looong time about food, and finally everyone convinced that tacos would be just fine. Yay for that! 

So that's the first step of my process! I've got a few things I've designed to show you guys, and I want to give you some process updates over the next month (So close!). 


Have a fantastic day!
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