Resolutions: The End of the Campaign and What’s Up For the New Year

My IndieGoGo campaign ends tonight at 11:59pm Pacific time, or 2:59am in my own Eastern time zone.  As I write this, I am $60 away from reaching my goal.  So I only need 12 people to each toss in $5 and we’re there!  This is exciting, and I’m biting my nails as the hours tick by, wondering if it’s actually going to happen.  Or you all can really shock and amaze me and double my goal, so I can double all the rewards!

This campaign has been such an amazing show of support for me and my business.  I am eternally grateful to everyone who has made a contribution, shared my links over and over again, and cheered me on.  The last few months have been a bit of a rough road for me, but you have kept me motivated and reaffirmed that I am on the right path.  I’m thinking of making a sign for my studio that lists all the contributors and says “These people believe in you, don’t let them down!”  Whenever I get discouraged, I can look at it and remind myself why I need to just keep going. 🙂

So I guess if you want your name up on my wall, you’ve got a few hours left to make a contribution. 😉  Don’t forget that every $5 contributed = one entry into my drawing for your choice of a full costume (City of Heroes, SCA, or other cosplay), a Rewondered wedding dress, or a $500 gift certificate for my Etsy shop (more details here).  I can’t do the drawing unless I reach my goal, but we are so close… I am confident that we can make it happen!

Now you’re probably wondering what I’m going to do after the campaign ends and what I’m going to do with the money.  I have been spending it as the campaign has progressed, buying supplies to make the items for my Five X Fifty promotion, to have products available for sale at Birka, and to create the City of Heroes inspired costume pieces.  I’ve taken advantage of some great sales to make the money stretch as far as possible, and my studio is a total disaster with piles of fabric, supplies, and finished (or half-finished) pieces obliterating any glimpse of the rug underneath.  So first up on the agenda is cleaning up and reorganizing!

I will also be finishing up my Five X Fifty promotion in the coming weeks and apologize that I fell so far behind on it.  I’ve been creating as the whim carries me, when I wasn’t working on orders, and I have several completed pieces but not necessarily five of any one type of thing so I can do a Five X Fifty post.  So part of my reorganizing will be seeing what I have done and what I still need to make to complete the five.

Birka is January 25th and 26th, so the majority of my time this next month will be spent creating products for sale there (and some of these will likely slip into the Five X Fifty).  I also need to finish photographing my patterns and get them posted in the photo album on my Facebook page so people have some idea of what I am able to make for custom orders.

I’m hoping to have the first of my own City of Heroes costumes done by my birthday (February 10th).  Once the current Five X Fifty is done, I’m going to start a new one featuring items inspired by CoH.  So one might be Belts, another might be Gunslinger pieces, another might be the five pieces that make up an entire costume.  I know I won’t get it done in 50 days, but definitely by the end of the year there will be 250 City of Heroes inspired pieces available in my Etsy shop!

My other long-term goals include getting at least 1000 items up in my Etsy shop, revamping my website once again, and finding at least one “live” event each month to set up a booth at and sell my items in person.  If you know of any events, shows, fairs, festivals, conventions, etc. that you think I should sell at, let me know in the comments or email me.

My short-term goal is to find some lunch.  😛  Today’s agenda is mostly getting things set up for tomorrow night, as I will be sleeping as much of the day tomorrow as possible so I can stay up for my 24-hour New Year’s Eve Marathon on The Cape Radio.  It begins at 7pm Eastern time on December 31st and goes until I fall over or DJ Logos takes over at 7pm Eastern time on January 1st.  This is the fifth year I’ve attempted to broadcast live for as many hours as possible over New Year’s Eve and Day, and I’m planning to break last year’s record of 21 hours.  So today I’m setting things up to work on to keep me awake, clearing space so my husband has a place to hang out with me, and otherwise getting ready for an all-nighter.  I’m considering doing something for each hour I’m on the air, like listing new items in my Etsy shop or posting pictures of what I made the previous hour on my Facebook page.  Tune in to find out what I decide on!

And if I do reach my goal for my IndieGoGo campaign tonight, I’ll hold the drawing for the costume/dress/gift certificate live on the air… let’s say during my midnight Eastern time talk break? 🙂

So here are my resolutions for the new year:

  • List at least 15 new items each week in my Etsy shop
  • Sell at one “live” event every month
  • Complete my current Five X Fifty and another City of Heroes inspired one
  • Double (at least) 2012’s sales
  • Create something new every single day

2012 has been a pretty good year for me, and I’m looking forward to making 2013 even better!  What are you planning to do to make your 2013 your best year ever?

City of Heroes Costume Inspiration and a Chance to Win

I love making and wearing costumes.  I have loved costumes for as long as I can remember and as a teenager I dreamed of opening my own costume store someday.  I’ve always planned to expand my business into creating items for cosplayers and I’m finally making some headway toward that goal.  I’ve already introduced my Straitjacket Hoodies, Tu-Tus, and Freaky Fleece Hats, but I have several more projects in the works.  Today I’m going to talk about my plans to create “real life” pieces from the City of Heroes costume creator.

One thing I loved about the costume creator in City of Heroes was the vast variety and endless combinations.  You weren’t limited to the standard spandex and cape with your underwear on the outside.  And as time went on even more costume pieces were added.  I am especially fond of the Steampunk and Gunslinger packs, and was over the moon when I was finally able to create the vision I had for One Hit Wonder’s costume from the beginning, which included the fishnet stockings and flames pattern on her skirt that I wasn’t able to do when I first started playing the game.

One Hit Wonder's costume

One Hit Wonder’s costume

So what’s really great about my idea to attempt to recreate pieces from the City of Heroes costume creator is that not only can City of Heroes players cosplay their characters, but people who never played the game can use the pieces to create their own costumes, or even just wear as everyday clothes!  Check out some of the costumes I made for my characters in this album on my Facebook page.  As you can tell, I enjoyed coming up with new outfits for my character Stacey to wear when she went to the Pocket D to hang out at a Cape Radio show.

To give you a few other ideas of what types of costumes I am planning to be able to make, I went through and created a few “basic” outfits in grayscale.

Barbarian costume

Barbarian costume

Cheerleader costume

Cheerleader costume

Club Dress

Club Dress

Genie costume

Genie costume

Gunslinger costume

Gunslinger costume

Retro Sci Fi costume

Retro Sci Fi costume

Schoolgirl costume

Schoolgirl costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 1 costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 2 costume

Steampunk 3 costume

Steampunk 3 costume

Steampunk 4 costume

Steampunk 4 costume

Valkyrie costume

Valkyrie costume

Witch costume

Witch costume

These are just a few of the pieces I’m going to be working on in the upcoming months.  I’ll mostly be making items I can model myself to begin with, so I’m working off the female model here, but there are plenty of nifty ideas for the guys too.  And of course, if any of these give you ideas for something similar, I am happy to do custom orders.  I’m also working on some ideas for period garb for SCA events, as I’ll be a merchant at Birka in January, so there’ll be another post soon with more details on those designs.

Now, about that chance to win… my IndieGoGo campaign ends on December 30th and as of the writing of this post, I am $210 away from my goal.  So I decided to add a little incentive… if I’m able to reach my goal, I will draw a name and that person will get to choose between a full cosplay outfit, a Rewondered wedding dress, or a $500 gift certificate to my Etsy shop.  And if I’m able to raise at least $1210 in the next three days, I will double all the rewards and pick two winners!  How do you get your name into this drawing?  First, each $5 contributed will get one entry into the drawing (in addition to the perks already outlined in the campaign).  This includes everyone who has already made a contribution.

You will also get an entry for sharing the following image:

If you click on the image, it should take you to the image on Facebook, where you can click Share and post it on your own page/profile.  If you don’t have Facebook, you can share the link to this blog post, but please come back and post the link to your share in the comments here so I can keep track… if I don’t know you shared, I can’t enter you into the drawing!

Unfortunately, I can’t hold the drawing if I don’t reach my goal, so please make a contribution and share as much as possible.  We may only have 3 days left, but we can totally do this!!  Thank you so much for your help in spreading the word! 🙂

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorited Items December 18th-24th

I know it’s Wednesday, not Tuesday, but I was on vacation and I’m pretty sure everyone can forgive me for not posting my weekly top ten on Christmas day.  I had a lovely time visiting friends and celebrating the holidays, but I’m happy to be home again, especially with the storm that’s supposed to dump a foot of snow on us tonight.  Don’t think I’m going anywhere for awhile!  So I’ll be concentrating on getting the rest of my Five X Fifty items posted, cleaning up my studio and the rest of our rooms, and spending some time with my husband while he’s on vacation.

So that’s my coming week, let’s talk about the favorites in my Etsy shop from last week.  There were 15 items favorited, three of which got more than one.  Of the ones favorited once, three were repeats from last week: Mood Ring, Silver Key Simple Charm Necklace, and Hot Pink Beaded Charm Bracelet; and three were from the Day 18 Five X Fifty: Brown Ball Hair Pins, Gold Shell Hair Pins, and Brown and Black Paw Hair Pins.  So that leaves us with six with one favorite:

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 - $9.95

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 – $9.95

Steampunk Style Silver Gears and Wrenches Robot Clockwork Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00187 - $32.95

Steampunk Style Silver Gears and Wrenches Robot Clockwork Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00187 – $32.95

CGolden Bumblebee on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00605 - $6.95

Golden Bumblebee on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00605 – $6.95

Painted Wooden Rose Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00848 - $7.95

Painted Wooden Rose Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00848 – $7.95

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00006 - $8.95

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00006 – $8.95

Eyeball Snap Barrettes - Handmade by Rewondered D202B-00005 - $6.95

Eyeball Snap Barrettes – Handmade by Rewondered D202B-00005 – $6.95

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Then we have our top three:

#3

Autobot or Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 - $5.95

Autobot or Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 – $5.95

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#2

Cat Key Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00855 - $8.95

Cat Key Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00855 – $8.95

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#1

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 - $5.95

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 – $5.95

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The past week was pretty hectic, trying to get everything done and shipped by the deadlines and prepped for leaving town for four days.  But from what I’ve heard, everyone who received an item I made was very pleased with their gifts.  I’ve already mentioned my plans for this coming week, but it will also be the final push for my IndieGoGo campaign which ends on December 30th.  I’ve reached 70% of my goal and getting that last 30% would be awesome.  Of course, doubling it so that I can double all the rewards would be even more awesome!  I have a couple of ideas for a last minute push, just need to hash out the details before I make any announcements…

Five X Fifty: Day 18 – Hair Pins

Slowly but surely getting caught up.  Don’t know if I’ll be able to get all 50 up before Christmas, but hope to have them done by the end of my IndieGoGo campaign at least.  As they say, the best laid plans… or is it just me who always has things happen to disrupt my long term plans?

Anyway, let’s have a look at my new hair pins.  I made a bunch of these for the craft fairs, so there will be more added in the future, but for now I’ve got these five up in my Etsy shop.

Brown Ball Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00005 - $4.95

Brown Ball Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00005 – $4.95

White 'Rope Coil' Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00004 - $4.95

White ‘Rope Coil’ Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00004 – $4.95

Black Round Button Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00001 - $4.95

Black Round Button Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00001 – $4.95

Gold Shell Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00002 - $4.95

Gold Shell Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00002 – $4.95

Brown and Black Mini Paw Hair Pins - Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00003 - $4.95

Brown and Black Mini Paw Hair Pins – Handmade by Rewondered D202P-00003 – $4.95

Any of these can be chosen as your free item for a $5 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign.

After Christmas, I’ll also be doing some posts detailing a list of products you can choose from for each of the contribution levels.  Uh oh, there I go making plans again!  😛

Five X Fifty: Day 17 – Fancy Ribbon Necklaces

Today is the last day to place an order in my Etsy shop to guarantee it will arrive before Christmas.  Of course, you are welcome to order at any time, I just can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get it in the mail by Thursday (the day USPS says is their deadline for First Class Mail to arrive by Christmas).  Some items may still be ordered through the 19th, such as these Fancy Ribbon Necklaces and most of my Simple Charm Jewelry.  And anything that is one of a kind, since those are definitely already put together.  Sorry, but custom orders are not likely, but feel free to email me at rewondered@gmail.com and ask, or I can make a .pdf card for you to print out and give your gift recipient until the item is finished.  I’ll also be out of town from December 22-25 (yay, vacation!) so I won’t be able to do much of anything with the shop during that time.  I’m still pushing to get as many of these Five X Fifty products and posts up as soon as possible.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at Day 17’s Fancy Ribbon Necklaces:

Silver Saxophone on Blue Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00001 - $11.95

Silver Saxophone on Blue Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00001 – $11.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Silver Mermaid on Blue-Green Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00002 - $11.95

Silver Mermaid on Blue-Green Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00002 – $11.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Gold Princess Crown on White Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00003 - $8.95

Gold Princess Crown on White Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00003 – $8.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Brown Cross with Gold Star on Brown Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00004 - $12.95

Brown Cross with Gold Star on Brown Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00004 – $12.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $15 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $15 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Silver Bee on Yellow Fancy Ribbon Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00005 - $9.95

Silver Bee on Yellow Fancy Ribbon Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225F-00005 – $9.95

This item can be chosen as your free item with a $10 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign (plus you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop).

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Don’t forget, if I am able to raise double my goal, all rewards will double!  The $5-$35 contributions will become two free items and twice the amount of gift certificates, the $50 contributions will become $420 in gift certificates, and the $100 contributions will become two City of Heroes inspired costumes.  If just 13 more people get a costume (or subside one for me, getting autographed photos of me wearing it) we’ll just be $5 shy of making it a very Merry Christmas for everyone involved.  So please, go make a contribution!  🙂

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorited Items December 11th-17th

Time for the Top Ten items that were favorited in my Etsy shop over the past week.  Except there’s one little problem… 19 of my items were each favorited once, so this is more of a Top Nineteen list!  In fact, it will probably just be easier for me not to number them, and just post the pictures, which you can click on to go to the listing for more information.

Today is the last day to place your order to ensure delivery before Christmas, and I am no longer able to guarantee custom orders will arrive in time.  However, I am happy to make a .pdf card that you can print out to give your gift recipient which will explain what gift is on the way.

And of course, there are always gift certificates, though I recommend you make a contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign so you can get the free item as well.

So there’s still hope for you last minute shoppers! Check out these items that other people liked last week and see if any would be good for your gift recipients…

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 - $5.95

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 – $5.95

Hockey Wine Charm Set of Four Wine Glass Markers - Your Choice of Team Colors - Handmade by Rewondered D643W-00006 - $14.95

Hockey Wine Charm Set of Four Wine Glass Markers – Your Choice of Team Colors – Handmade by Rewondered D643W-00006 – $14.95

Fire or Three Color Mohawk Fleece Hat - Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00002 - $27.95

Fire or Three Color Mohawk Fleece Hat – Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00002 – $27.95

Two Color Mohawk Fleece Hat - Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00001 - $24.95

Two Color Mohawk Fleece Hat – Handmade by Rewondered D201H-00001 – $24.95

Silver Skull Post Back Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55504 - $8.95

Silver Skull Post Back Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55504 – $8.95

Ghost Post Back Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55501 - $8.95

Ghost Post Back Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55501 – $8.95

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00001 - $3.95

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00001 – $3.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Pendant Necklace Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00364 - $29.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Pendant Necklace Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00364 – $29.95

Rainbow and Button Rain Clouds Handmade Bracelet by Rewondered D225B-00014 - $29.95

Rainbow and Button Rain Clouds Handmade Bracelet by Rewondered D225B-00014 – $29.95

Blue and White Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00978 - $7.95

Blue and White Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00978 – $7.95

Red and Yellow Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00928 - $7.95

Red and Yellow Snail Enamel Simple Charm Necklace on Silver Chain – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00928 – $7.95

Silver Key on Silver Chain Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00512 - $7.95

Silver Key on Silver Chain Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00512 – $7.95

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note Love Song Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-10311 - $12.95

Pink Hearts and Silver Music Note Love Song Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-10311 – $12.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00299 - $21.95

LGBT Pride Rainbow and Gold Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00299 – $21.95

One of a Kind Blue and Copper Beaded Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00010 - $34.95

One of a Kind Blue and Copper Beaded Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00010 – $34.95

One of a Kind Upcycled Hot Pink, Black and White Beaded Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00009 - $39.95

One of a Kind Upcycled Hot Pink, Black and White Beaded Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00009 – $39.95

Turquoise Heart Charm Bracelet - Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00008 - $36.95

Turquoise Heart Charm Bracelet – Handmade by Rewondered D225B-00008 – $36.95

Pink Butterflies and Cthulhu Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99213 - $23.95

Pink Butterflies and Cthulhu Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99213 – $23.95

Purple and Silver FIND Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99244 - $23.95

Purple and Silver FIND Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-99244 – $23.95

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Quite the eclectic mix there, huh?  And I need to redo the photos for the last two (and several other listings) but I had wanted to get the items up so I used what photos I had.  That’s another project to add to my Massive To Do List™!

I’m going to be working on adding more items up today too, so keep an eye on my Etsy shop throughout the day.  Oh, and “Order by December 18th” really means order by the time I get up on the 19th to process those orders and get them in the mail.  So you really have until about 7am eastern time on the 19th. 😛

Why the World Needs Heroes

Recent events have been particularly devastating to me.  On Tuesday, two people were killed at Clackamas Town Center, a mall I had been to often in the first 30 years of my life.  Yesterday, 22 children and 1 adult were stabbed at a school in China.  And in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 children and 7 adults were killed by a shooter who then took his own life.  One of those adults was the shooter’s mother, a kindergarten teacher at the school.  This hit me rather hard, as for the longest time, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher myself.

While the gun control advocates and proponents are duking it out, I think they are completely missing the point.  “Where did he get the gun?” is not the first question people ask when they hear news like this.  It’s “How could someone do something like this?”  And that’s the real issue, how can anyone’s mental health get to the point where something like this seems the thing to do?

I’ve talked about my own mental health issues on this blog before, how I’ve faced my fears and encourage others to make their dreams come true.  I’m fortunate that my mental health diagnoses aren’t as severe as others I know, that I’ve gotten the help I needed when I needed it, and that I have so many wonderful and supportive people in my life.  Not everyone is as lucky as I have been.  It’s incredibly frustrating to know that some of my friends (or anyone, for that matter) can’t afford the medications they need or the therapy that will lead them out of the darkness.  We, as a society, need to stop ignoring that mental illness is a real problem.  But it’s a problem that has solutions, and we need to make those solutions more accessible.  We need to remove the stigma attached to any mental health issue.  We all go through periods when we find it hard to cope, and we need to ask for help.  We need to provide that help.  And we need to realize that the same solutions won’t work for everyone, and encourage each person to keep searching for something that does work.  And when they find it, we need to not take it away from them.

Which leads me back to City of Heroes.  I know several people that got through the rough patches through playing and talking with other players.  I’ve read countless stories, blogs, and forum posts about how important this game was to people.  It saved the life of a good friend of mine, for which I’m eternally grateful.

Here’s a comment posted by Mercedes Lackey, that explains just how important this game was to so many:

I’m right there in the front lines of the movement to find CoH a new home. I’ve got pages of stories from players that would break your heart. People who are disabled, who are only free in CoH because they can fly. People who are shut-ins, either confined to their houses by illness or mental trauma, who were free to wander Paragon City as if none of that mattered. Parents of autistic children, who literally brought their kids back to a normal life by playing with them on their laps–and vets suffering from PTSD who found healing in being heros–game therapy is only now being explored for these conditions, and NCSoft yanked what was working for these people right out from under them. We shared all these stories with NCSoft. They were ignored.

City was much more than just a game. It is said, “if you put yourself in the attitude of prayer, prayer will come.” Well, people who played in City put themselves in the “attitude” of heroes…and they actually became heroes. Not the kind that stop locomotives, but the kind that raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity. The kind that would help out a fellow player with in-game cash–or real cash when they were hard up. The kind that stopped to guide a newbie around and show him the ropes (and how often do you hear about THAT in WoW?), who created healers just to run around low level zones and patch up the “babies” (getting no XP in the process, mind you). The kind who took time to interact with the little kid on player-mom’s lap. The kind who would stay up all night to talk a fellow player through a bad stretch in his life.

CoH wasn’t a game, not really. It was more like a city built around a theme park, full of (mostly) like minded folks who cared about each other–we went off into the world every day to make our living, then came home, and joined our friends in the park for adventures. So what if we had ridden the rides before? That didn’t make them any less enjoyable the 3rd or 33rd time around. Besides, the devs loved their game, and kept making us new ones! People who left the game 10 issues ago would never have recognized it at shutdown.

We’ve lost our home. NCSoft came in and bulldozed it to the ground, burying the characters we created and lived through in a giant unmarked grave. We have nothing left, and nowhere to go to. Our friends have been scattered to the winds.

Is it any wonder we are furious?

It’s been two weeks now since the game was shut down, and I’m still emotionally raw.  I downloaded and installed Champions Online, created a character, and entered the tutorial.  But I felt so lost.  I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going.  Granted, I don’t really have time to play, or to read the helpful posts in The Cape Radio’s forums on how to play, so it’s going to take me awhile to really figure out what I’m doing, but it’s just not home.  I’m still mourning the loss of my beloved City of Heroes.

Now, I’m not equating my devastation over the loss of innocent lives with the loss of a video game.  But my devastation at losing City of Heroes is no less real.  It wasn’t just a game to me, and the last day was roughCity of Heroes quite literally changed my life.  It’s been such a big part of my life for the last eight years, and despite the long stretches I was unable to play, it was always there to come back to.  Now it isn’t.

Yes, there are other games out there, and yes, I will be playing them.  But they’re not City of Heroes.  I can’t just “move on” and find a new place to call home.  Let me see if I can explain it in terms everyone can understand.

Imagine you have a really great friend, someone who you can visit whenever you want, and no matter how much time has passed between visits, he welcomes you with open arms.  And every time you visit, he’s having other people over, and invites you to join the party.  Some of these people are already your friends, some are strangers who become friends, some become even more.  And you all always have a place in his home.

Then one day, you’re told that your friend is terminally ill.  He even knows the day, the exact minute, he will no longer be around.  You search desperately for a cure, to no avail.  You try to spend as much time with him as possible before the end, or distance yourself from him thinking it will be easier to deal with his loss that way.  You do whatever it takes for you to cope with this news.  Then the minute comes, and he’s gone.  And his house is destroyed.  You can only watch as every trace of him disappears.

Yes, you still have the other friends you’ve made through him.  Yes, you’ve been invited to parties at the other houses on the street.  Some of your friends are already inside some of those houses.  But it’s not the same.  It will never be the same.

It wasn’t just a game.  It was therapy, a release from our mundane lives, an opportunity to be our ideal selves.  To be superheroes.  To express our creativity in so many ways.  Our friend’s house was filled with thousands of precious works of art, and while we saved what we could, so much of that is lost now.  We share our stories, our pictures, our memories, but that’s all we have now.

That’s part of the reason I want to make “real life” versions of the costume pieces that were available in the game.  To help keep City of Heroes alive, to keep expressing the creativity it fostered in me.  Perhaps it’s my way of paying tribute and giving back to the game and players that gave me so much.  Perhaps it’s my way of still being a hero, of bringing that feeling I had in game into the real world.

It’s so easy, especially in times like this past week, to feel helpless, like there’s no way we can ever hope to combat and win over the evil in this world.  Our reserves of cope are getting thin, and we wonder just how much more we can take.  But you know what?  This is exactly when we need to get up, put our underwear on on the outside, and take to the skies.  We are heroes, and this is what we do.  We never give up.  We may not be able to gather at our friend’s house anymore, but we are STILL heroes.  No one can take that away from us.

So I implore you, go do something heroic.  Make a donation to Real World Hero or your favorite charity.  Volunteer.  Help your friends and family who are having a hard time dealing with the tragedies, the holidays, or just life in general.  Be a hero to yourself and do something you’ve always wanted to do.  Only you can define your heroism, and only you can make it happen.

For some of us struggling with mental illness, our heroism may just be getting out of bed in the morning and facing another day.  It may be finally asking for help, admitting we need it.  It may be doing whatever it takes to never reach the point were we snap and do something awful to ourselves or innocent bystanders.  To keep fighting back our inner demons, to keep fighting to have a “normal” life, to just keep fighting.  Never. Give. Up.

Because you are my hero.  And you CAN fly.

Five X Fifty: Day 16 – Upcycled Skirt Bags

This Five X Fifty entry is kind of a cheat, since I made these adorable upcycled skirt bags for my last 50 New Products in Fifty Days, but I never actually got them listed in my Etsy shop.  Until today!  So that totally counts, right?

These bags are a perfect example of rewondering: taking something unwanted and making it into something new and useful.  Made from girls’ skirts with ribbons for the straps, they’re a fun and playful way to carry around whatever you need to carry.  Each bag is one of a kind, so you’ll be the only one who has it, and people will comment on what a cute idea it is (at least they do when I carry one).

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 - $19.95

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 – $19.95

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Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 - $19.95

Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 – $19.95

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Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 - $19.95

Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 – $19.95

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Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 - $19.95

Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 – $19.95

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Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 - $19.95

Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 – $19.95

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Any of these bags can be chosen as your free item with a $20 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign, or ask me to try to find a skirt in the colors, size, or style you like best.  I’m hoping to make up a bunch more of these as I get my hands on more skirts.

I have the items for Day 17 and Day 18 done and photographed, just need to edit the photos, list them in my Etsy shop, then come over here to make the posts.  Let’s see how much more I can get done before my body insists I need sleep… 😛

Five X Fifty: Day 15 – Christmas

I had meant to get this post up yesterday, since it was 12/12/12 and there’s the whole 12 Days of Christmas thing and instead of five items I have twelve, but it didn’t happen.  I was busy all day yesterday working on new items, relisting old items in my Etsy shop that had been removed because I took them to the craft fairs instead, and photographing these twelve items.  By the time I started to list them, it was already nearly 11pm and my bed was calling me, so I gave up and got the listings done this morning instead.  So my whole “12” theme may not make sense today, and the special I was running yesterday is technically over, but because you are reading this blog and have been so patient with me, I’ll let you in on a secret:  I have not yet deactivated the 121212 coupon code, so you can still get 36% off your order if you place it before I get up tomorrow morning at 7am eastern time and turn the code off.  Here’s your chance to get your holiday shopping done at a great discount!  You’ve only got 12 days until Christmas… ooh, there’s that number again!

With less than two weeks to go, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit, and I don’t mean the ones behind the bar… though if you want to indulge, I’m not going to stop you.  I might ask you to share, though!  But before we get too tipsy, check out these festive necklaces, earrings, pins, and hair elastics!

Bronze Angel on Black Cord Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00792 - $7.95

Bronze Angel on Black Cord Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00792 – $7.95

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Red Christmas Ornament Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-24243 - $7.95

Red Christmas Ornament Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-24243 – $7.95

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This necklace has matching earrings:

Red Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-24243 - $8.95

Red Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-24243 – $8.95

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Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 - $5.95

Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 – $5.95

These come in a variety of colors, in either a matte or shiny finish:

Color Choices: Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 - $5.95

Color Choices: Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55514 – $5.95

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Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 - $7.95

Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 – $7.95

These also come in a variety of colors:

Color Choices: Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 - $7.95

Color Choices: Bubble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55515 – $7.95

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Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 - $9.95

Candy Cane Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55516 – $9.95

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Scribble Christmas Ornament Earrings - Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55517 - $6.95

Scribble Christmas Ornament Earrings – Handmade by Rewondered D225E-55517 – $6.95

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Gingerbread Man Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00009 - $5.95

Gingerbread Man Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00009 – $5.95

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Santa Claus Face Pin - Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00010 - $5.95

Santa Claus Face Pin – Handmade by Rewondered D225P-00010 – $5.95

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Reindeer Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00009 - $4.95

Reindeer Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00009 – $4.95

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Candy Cane Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00010 - $3.95

Candy Cane Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00010 – $3.95

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Red Jingle Bell Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder - Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00011 - $3.95

Red Jingle Bell Hair Elastic Ponytail Holder – Handmade by Rewondered D202E-00011 – $3.95

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I also have a bunch of other Christmas themed handmade necklaces…

I still need to update pictures of some of my older items that I relisted.  It’s amazing how awful those early pictures are!  It took me entirely too long to figure out how to use my camera, and I could probably still use some more lessons, but I’m much happier with the ones I take now and will be updating all those old pictures as soon as I can.

Hopefully seeing all these fun Christmas designs will get you into the holiday mood… and the holiday shopping mood! 😛  Don’t forget, you can use the coupon code 121212 and get 36% (12+12+12=36… get it?) off your order until I wake up tomorrow morning and turn it off.  And if you really want to go on a a shopping spree, head over to my IndieGoGo campaign and make a $50 contribution so you can get a $210 gift certificate to spend in my store… with that coupon code you can get about $328 worth of my products for that $50!  Just choose “other” for your payment method when you place your order in my Etsy shop and leave me a note in the comments section that you got a gift certificate on IndieGoGo, and I’ll verify everything and send you an invoice for anything over the amount of your gift certificate.

I’m currently $405 shy of reaching my goal on IndieGoGo, and $1405 short of doubling my goal… remember if I can raise double my goal, I’ll double all the rewards, so please share this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/rewondered2 and you might just get to go on another shopping spree in my Etsy shop! 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go work on getting Day 16 up…

Five X Fifty: Day 14 – Glass Pebble Rings

I started playing around with images under glass pebbles, and came up with these adorable rings.  Each ring is on an adjustable band, squeezing it together or pulling it apart will make it fit pretty much any size finger.

I blame Spiderman for getting me started with these, as I had a bunch of these images in the perfect size already:

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 - $5.95

Spiderman Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00009 – $5.95

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I also had a bunch of Autobot and Decepticon images… Tranformers, ring out! (or something like that…)

Autobot Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 - $5.95

Autobot Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 – $5.95

Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 - $5.95

Decepticon Transformers Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00007 – $5.95

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Then I asked myself, what would look cool under a round glass pebble?  Oooh, how about fish?  Like they’re in a fishbowl!

Fish Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00011 - $5.95

Fish Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00011 – $5.95

Fish Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00011 - $5.95

Fish Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00011 – $5.95

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I also had a bunch of these heart-shaped LOVE rings, and various colored glass pebbles, so I created these:

Love Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00010 - $5.95

Love Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00010 – $5.95

Love Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Your Choice of Color - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00010 - $5.95

Love Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Your Choice of Color – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00010 – $5.95

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And finally, my favorites… Mood Rings!  I have a variety of these little emoticons, with just one of some color/mood combinations and dozens of some others, so I decided, like most moods and mood rings, that the ring you get with your order will be completely random.

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 - $5.95

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 – $5.95

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band - Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 - $5.95

Mood Ring Emoticon Glass Pebble Ring with Adjustable Band – Handmade by Rewondered D225R-00008 – $5.95

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No two rings are exactly alike, due to variations in the glass and the way the glue dries.  One ring can be chosen as your free item with a $5 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign.

I’m still busily adding items to my Etsy shop this week, so be sure to check back often!

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