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?

Advertisements

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! 🙂

Reminiscing: It Wasn’t Just a Game

On Friday, November 30th, I did my final show for The Cape Radio in Paragon City.  It was tough, but I managed not to blubber my way through it.  I was amazed to peak at 93 listeners and even more amazed when I heard that our high listener count for the day was 341, blowing away our old record of 312.  I hope everyone will continue to listen to The Cape Radio as we play other games.  If you missed my show, you can get it here.

I’ve written before about the ending of City of Heroes, when I first heard about the plan to shut it down.  My grief back then is nothing compared to what I’m feeling now.  I knew it was going to hurt, but I feel like someone close to me has died.  I can’t stop crying, I can’t stop going through the various Facebook Groups dedicated to players of the game.  I’m adding friends as I put the character and global names together with their real life names, and others I might not have really known in game, but we’re sharing the same grief right now and that gives us a common bond.

I went to bed early on Friday night just so I could grab a few hours of sleep before getting up at 1:30am to log back into the game to be there for the final moments.  My global friends list was lit up like a Christmas tree, and the chat scroll was moving way too fast for me to keep up with.  So many names I hadn’t seen in years flew by.  My supergroup was gathering in the base for one last group photo, so I headed there and took my place for the picture.  Then I lost connection to the mapserver.  Frantically, I tried to get back in, but I just kept getting kicked back to the login screen.  Finally, I chose another server, and was able to get back in game.  But I wanted to be HOME.  It didn’t feel right to be on any other server but Virtue.  That’s where I’ve always played, where all my friends were.  But at least I was able to talk to them through the global channels.  It was something.

Then I heard one say they’d gotten back on Virtue!  I logged out and tried again.  Nothing.  Tried again.  Still nothing.  It took me about five tries before I, too, got back on Virtue.  I was in the Echo of Galaxy City, in Gemini Park, at the rock where I did my first Cape Radio show from.  I moved over to where the big group of people were, and sent out a “hugs everyone” emote.  So many people I remember from 8 years ago, when I first started playing this game, and the role-players would gather in Gemini Park.  I was always on the periphery of this group, not exactly a member, but they were always nice to me and included me when I tried.  I received hugs back and tells welcoming me.

I heard that many of my friends from The Cape Radio were gathering in the Pocket D, and I wanted to go there, but I was afraid if I tried to move to a new zone, I would mapserve again, like I did when I went to my supergroup’s base.  So I stayed put, and sent out tells and chatted in global.  I decided to send everyone in my global friends list a hug, and got many hugs back.  I was holding up pretty well until I sent Mercedes Lackey a hug, and thanked her for her efforts to try and save CoH.  She sent back “But it wasn’t enough” and sobbed on my virtual shoulder.  Her heartbreak was so clear to me, and mine just split in two at that moment and I completely lost it.

And then the worst happened.  At seven minutes until the scheduled shutdown, I mapserved again.  NO!  I frantically tried to log back in, but was getting kicked back to the login screen again and again.  Finally, I made it back in to the queue and looked at the time.  3:01am eastern.  What?  I was in the queue, and actually moving up it, but wasn’t the game supposed to close at midnight pacific time?  Amazed, I watched my character come back into Gemini Park, just for a second, and then I got the pop up “You have been forcibly disconnected. The servers are shutting down.”  We had been given an extra five minutes or so, but that was it.  It was over.

I went over on Facebook and posted “And that’s that. RIP City of Heroes, and thanks for all the memories.”  I cried as I saw similar posts, as so many on my friends list have played this game.  I was told Twitter was exploding as well, so I went over there.  My phone rang, and it was Detra.  I said hello, and immediately started crying again.  Detra and I share the experience that City of Heroes helped us find our true selves, so we both understand the devastation the other is feeling.  So much of who we are is tied up in this game, it feels like we’ve lost a body part.  Our hearts and souls have been ripped out, all because some company decided we no longer fit with their vision.

So what do we do now?  We do what I’ve always advocated: hold on tight to your dreams.

We fight to try to get NCSoft to sell the IP and another company to buy it and give us an awaken.  Check out Task Force Hail Mary on the Titan Network, headed by Mercedes Lackey.  They’re attempting to convince Disney to purchase City of Heroes, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll try the next company on their list.

We show NCSoft what real heroes are all about by donating to Real World Hero and blowing all their previous records out of the water.

We share our memories of the game and each other on Facebook, The Cape Radio Forums, The Titan Network Forums, our blogs, and anywhere else we find to post them.  Feel free to add your memories or links to them in the comments here.

As for me, I have a new mission.  I have always wanted to try to recreate some of the costume pieces available in City of Heroes.  I have cosplayed my own character, One Hit Wonder, a couple of times, but had just modified some existing pieces to be similar to her costume.  I was never 100% happy with the results and planned to eventually make the entire costume from scratch.  I’ve decided to not only put this plan into action, but to start making as many of the City of Heroes costume pieces “in real life” as I can.  My idea is to make the individual pieces, which can then be mixed and matched much like you would in the costume creator program.  But in order to to this, I will need some help.  First of all, I need screenshots of costumes from City of Heroes.  Please send them to rewondered@gmail.com and don’t worry about flooding my mailbox.  I have plenty of room there. 🙂

Secondly, I will need supplies.  So I am redirecting the focus of my IndieGoGo campaign toward this project and getting ready for Birka.  In the end, I hope to have a wide variety of costume pieces suitable for cosplay, SCA events, and even everyday wear.

So if you can toss even $5 in toward this project, it would be greatly appreciated.  For those wanting a memento of your character, this would be a great way to get a piece or two or even a whole costume, since you’ll get a free item and a gift certificate to spend in my Etsy shop, where I’ll have these pieces available.  Check out the campaign and my post on redeeming your rewards for more information.

I will be continuing to work on my Five X Fifty posts, and you will likely see some CoH and SCA stuff sneak in to those.  I have several items I need to get photographed and listed, but I need to unload my car from yesterday’s craft fair, and of course it’s started to rain.  Sigh.  I guess this just means I can get started on researching those City of Heroes costumes, huh?  🙂

Rising To The Challenge

I have several friends in the SCA and I’ve been hearing for years that they think I’d enjoy it, thanks to my background in theatre and my love of cosplay.  I’ve never really looked into it though.  But now I live with someone who is very involved with her clan, have other friends I see on a regular basis who are members, and my SE calls himself a “camp follower” so it was inevitable that I’d be dragged along to an event.  Of course, by “dragged along” I mean “go quite willingly!”

So Saturday I went to a private clan gather.  I borrowed some garb from my roommate because I didn’t have time to sew anything (though I did manage to get out the fabric and patterns for three outfits, my ferret-brainness didn’t get me any farther).  Unfortunately I didn’t think to take my camera so I didn’t get any pictures, but the SE and I looked pretty good.  I had been told I could take some of my necklaces to offer for sale, so I packed up two small tubs full and a bag of supplies to work on a few more if I got the chance.  We arrived at the event, said hi to the people I already knew, and the SE introduced me to a few of his friends that I had not yet met.  It was a fairly low-key, informal event so I we just hung around and chatted with people.  I sat down at the table where my friends were playing cards and worked on a couple of necklaces, and even managed to sell two of my Simple Charm Necklaces.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the title of this blog post comes in, as I doubt you see much of a challenge in what I’ve described so far, other than that of a socially awkward person going into a new environment with lots of unknown people.  Sure, that is a bit challenging for me, but after attending ten different schools (1st-12th grades), I’m kind of a pro at it.  I’m still pretty shy, but I’ve learned to work through it.  Of course, those that know me well will laugh at the notion of me being shy, as I am anything but around my friends!

No, the challenge I’m speaking of was issued to the clan before I arrived.  In the wee small hours of the morning, the hall was decorated with Mardi Gras beads and they were challenged to create a piece of art from them.  I learned later that the challengers were expecting something along the lines of a mosaic, but the clan had other ideas.  Knowing that I am a designer who works with beads, my help was enlisted.  The idea?  A beadkini.  Yes, a bikini made out of Mardi Gras beads.

It took me about four hours, but in the end I had created a bikini top using gold and purple Mardi Gras beads.  I joined the design together with the jump rings I had brought with me (thank goodness I’d thought to bring that bag of stuff to work on and my tools).  My “partner in crime” attached strings of beads to a piece of rope to form a sort of loincloth.  Once I’d finished, my model was brought in and I tied her into the thing with pieces of string and decorated her with more beads.  We covered her with a cloak and preceded out into the main hall for the unveiling.  I was introduced as the main artist and the model was introduced as our canvas.  Needless to say, when we removed the cloak there was quite a bit of surprise!  And cheers and applause, of course!

Now, I don’t have any pictures of the model wearing the outfit, but I was given the beadkini to take home with me.  Here’s the top:

Mardi Gras Beadkini Top

Mardi Gras Beadkini Top

 

My first SCA event, and I’ll probably go down in clan history.  I’ll forever be known as “the one who made the beadkini.”  I suppose there are worse things to be known for.  And I heard that at least one person was thinking they should commission me to make a belly dancing outfit after seeing what I could do with limited materials in a limited time frame.  I am happy to do custom work, and can make something much better with the right materials!  Feel free to email me with your ideas!

And yes, I will likely be attending more SCA events.  I’ll need to come up with a persona and garb of my own.  Just what I needed, another project. 😉

%d bloggers like this: