Tuesday Top Ten: Favorited Items January 1st-7th

It’s the first Top Ten of the year!  Things have slowed down a little bit over in my Etsy shop and I really need to get some new stuff listed but I’ve been concentrating on cleaning and reorganizing my studio and getting ready for Birka, which is just over two weeks away now.  Eep!

There were only nine items that were favorited this past week, so I’m going to add in the most viewed item as number 10.  Here we go!

Steampunk/Vintage Style Copper and Distressed Pearls Upcycled Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00350 - $20.95

Steampunk/Vintage Style Copper and Distressed Pearls Upcycled Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00350 – $20.95

Blue Marble Gold-Framed Star on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00602 - $6.95

Blue Marble Gold-Framed Star on Gold Chain Simple Charm Necklace – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00602 – $6.95

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

Turquoise Blue and Copper Large Bead Necklace with Turquoise Blue and White Snail Charm - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00366 - $24.95

Turquoise Blue and Copper Large Bead Necklace with Turquoise Blue and White Snail Charm – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-00366 – $24.95

Rainbow Connection Beaded Necklace with Star Charms - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-03980 - $24.95

Rainbow Connection Beaded Necklace with Star Charms – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-03980 – $24.95

Hockey Skate Simple Charm Necklace - Your Choice of Black Cord or Silver Chain - Handmade by Rewondered D225N-25101 - $7.95

Hockey Skate Simple Charm Necklace – Your Choice of Black Cord or Silver Chain – Handmade by Rewondered D225N-25101 – $7.95

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

Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt - Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered - $39.95

Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $39.95

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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And the most viewed item last week was:

Hand-Tied Knotted Fringe Fleece Boa Scarf - Handmade by Rewondered D201S-00001 - $24.95

Hand-Tied Knotted Fringe Fleece Boa Scarf – Handmade by Rewondered D201S-00001 – $24.95

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I was wearing the orange and pink fleece boa scarf that matches my Animal hat and the woman cutting fabric for me at Jo-Ann asked me how I made it.  When I told her that each strip is individually cut and tied together she said that I must have a lot of patience!  Yes, they can be a little time-consuming to make, but I’m able to do them when I just need something to do with my hands but my concentration is elsewhere, like when I’m watching a movie or doing my radio show.

Also, I’m amused that two pieces of my wedding attire are in this week’s Top Ten.  I wore a Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt underneath my dress and the Rainbow Connection necklace.  I still need to get Rewondered dresses, ribbon veils, and Bow-quets up for sale!

Gratuitous wedding photo! See, long tu-tu and Rainbow Connection necklace. I’m holding the ribbons from our handfasting, rather than my Bow-quet though.

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Speaking of getting things up for sale, I definitely need to get back to work.  Tons to do today before I go on the air for The Cape Radio at 4pm!

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! 🙂

Five X Fifty: Day 12 – Tu-Tus

And now for something completely different…

I made a multi-color tu-tu petticoat to wear underneath my wedding dress, and I’ve been meaning to offer them in my Etsy shop.  Finally got around to making enough samples to do so!  They are available in three sizes: Mini, Regular, and Long, but can also be made to any length via a custom order.  But three is not five, and this is a Five X Fifty, so I made five different color combinations with two samples for each size, repeating the Rainbow combination for both the Mini and Long sizes because hey, rainbows!

Rainbow Mini Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt - Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered - $19.95

Rainbow Mini Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $19.95

Fire Mini Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $19.95

Water Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt - Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered - $29.95

Water Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $29.95

Rock N Roll Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt - Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered - $29.95

Rock N Roll Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $29.95

Autumn in New England Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $39.95

Rainbow Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt - Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors - Handmade by Rewondered - $39.95

Rainbow Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt – Custom Made To Fit With Your Choice of Colors – Handmade by Rewondered – $39.95

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And here’s a close up of the Long one I wore underneath my wedding dress:

P1010584

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Yes, I wore Converse under my wedding dress.  Outdoor wedding, uneven ground, standing in one spot for awhile… not an occasion where I wanted to wear heels!  And just because this is MY blog, how about another gratuitous wedding pic of me and my handsome husband?

P1010599

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Okay, now back to business!  A Mini Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt can be chosen as your free item for a $20 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign, a Regular one can be chosen for a $30 contribution, and if you want a Long one, you might as well spend the extra $10 and go with the $50 contribution and use that $210 gift certificate, leaving you $170.05 still to spend.  So for $50 you could get 5 Long Tu-Tus and still have money left over!

And my apologies for getting the post out so much later than I had wanted… I took the wrong exit, then went the wrong direction, and in the process of turning around managed to completely lose my sense of direction so I ended up going the wrong way AGAIN!  I finally got on the right road going the right way, only to realize as I passed another exit that I probably should have gone that way instead, so I drove through town rather than going around on the highway.  Then I drove right past my destination, so I had to turn around yet again!  As I left there, I realized I should probably stop at that store that was in that same complex, so I ended up going out one exit and back in again the next.  I was doing better for awhile, but on the way home I drove right past the exit I should have taken, so I had to go up to the next one and back around again.  *sigh*  It’s been a “going around in circles” kind of day.

But tomorrow is a new day!  What surprises do you think it has in store for us?

Rewondered: Before and After – Prom Dress To Wedding Dress

The Rewondered: Before and After series will feature some of my favorite transformations in rewondering.  I’ll show you what I started with, tell you what I did to rewonder the item, then show you the finished piece.  We’re starting with my wedding dress.

I picked up this silver prom dress at Goodwill for $5.  It didn’t look very exciting on the hanger, and I figured I’d use it for the fabric or something.

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Front

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Front

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Back

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Back

It’s not easy to see in the pic, but I like the gathering on the back around the zipper.  I decided to try the dress on and was amazed at how well it fit me, and I began to envision what I could do to it to turn it into my dream dress.  I had originally planned to do separate pieces: a corset top, layered skirts, a shrug to cover my shoulders, etc.  I (badly) drew my idea in a notebook while I was in Florida last March:

Wedding Dress Design Idea

Wedding Dress Design Idea

So with a little tweaking of my design I got to work on a lot of tweaking of the dress.  First, I fixed the halter strap, which was missing a hook and eye to keep it together at the back of my neck.  Next, I sewed elastic under the front seams of the skirt, causing it to gather.  It didn’t end up as short as I wanted, so I tacked the edges of the hem up at the waist underneath, forming more of a bubble skirt.  I decided to leave the back as is, but the front needed something, so I took eye pins from my jewelry supply stash and made hooks that I hand sewed to the bodice along the front seams, then threaded a dark grey ribbon through them, corset style.  I found this adorable white tulle with silver stars on it and made “sleeves” instead of the originally planned shrug.  I ended up with this:

AFTER - Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

AFTER – Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

Add the multi-color tutu petticoat I made earlier underneath, and this is what it looks like on me (without my hair done or any makeup on… I’m a great model, huh?)

AFTER - Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

AFTER – Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

I still need to do a few more tweaks to it.  A couple of the hooks came off (as you can tell in the picture if you look closely) so I need to fix those and rethread the ribbon, and work on the sleeves a bit.  I’m thinking about removing some of the tulle or making a new petticoat that is a little less full.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Also, for any of you superstitious folks that are going to freak out about Lorne seeing my dress before the wedding if he reads this blog (which he does), it’s far too late, as he’s the one who took the pictures.  We don’t believe in any of those superstitions, and we already feel like we’re married, we’re just making it all legal and sharing the day with our friends and family.  Besides, if he took a picture of me doing “I’m a Little Teapot” while wearing this dress, and I post it on the internet, it must be love, right? 🙂

I'm A Little Teapot

I’m A Little Teapot

The Final Countdown – 1…

One day left in my IndieGoGo campaign!  You only have until 11:59pm Pacific to make a contribution!

I think I saved the best video for last:

Last day… only about 10 hours left as I finally get to posting this.  So the next countdown from 10 starts now, but I won’t be posting for each number, mostly because I don’t want to stay up until 3am my time!

I wanted to get the last six new products done before I posted, and I’m happy to say I did it!  I made 50 new items in 50 days!  And I still have tons of ideas and half-finished products.  I’m going to continue to try and make one new item every day, because it feeds my soul as well as my business.  I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up this posting every day though!  I’ll be taking a break next week as I head down to Columbus to pick up some of the supplies I have in storage and take care of some other business there, but after my return I plan to post new products on a regular basis.

So here’s the last of the new products!

I had a bunch of these scraps of white fabric, all cut exactly the same in a vaguely triangular shape.  I decided to sew them together and make a wrap skirt, using silver blanket binding as the sash/belt.  It’s just folded up on the hanger here, I’ll have to get a pic of it actually on someone.

White Scrap Wrap Skirt

White Scrap Wrap Skirt

I used to be very into scrapbooking, and actually had someone pay me $750 to do a 50-page custom scrapbook as a gift for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (and I’d be happy to do more custom scrapbooking, just email me).  I even decoupaged an album cover, like I did with this new product, which will be the front cover of my own wedding scrapbook.

Wedding Scrapbook Album Cover

Wedding Scrapbook Album Cover

I’m amused with the “Once upon a time” paper, as the story is “The Princess and the Frog.”  I still need to seal it and make the back cover, and get page protectors for the inside.  This next item will be the first page of my scrapbook:

Wedding Scrapbook Page

Wedding Scrapbook Page

I know the cover and page don’t seem to go together, but our “theme” is An Eclectic Hodge-Podge of Happiness so we’re just throwing everything we love together and having a mash-up wedding.  Which is appropriate since this princess is marrying the King of the Mash-up. 😉

Our colors are pretty much all the colors, and I have a huge storage tub full of odds and ends of ribbons, so I decided to make this Bow-quet.

Bow-quet

Bow-quet

I love puns.  And it was a lot of fun sticking bows all over this!

And last but not least, I’ll give you a sneak peak at my wedding dress.  I’m planning to do a Before and After post, showing you what I started with and how the entire dress looks finished, but I need to get someone to take pics of me actually in the dress.  And it’s 91 degrees out right now so that’s not happening today.  I’d rather wait until my actual wedding day to sweat in my dress!  But anyway, here’s what it looks like on the hanger:

My Wedding Dress

My Wedding Dress

But wait, that’s only five things.  Where’s number 50?  Well, I think it’s so awesome that it deserves a post all to itself.  So I’ll be posting that a little bit later.  I think it’s going to become one of my signature pieces.  I told one friend of the idea and his immediate response was “I want one!”  Don’t worry, I won’t keep you in suspense TOO long. 😉

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all my new products as I’ve made them.  I need to get some better pictures and create the listings for my Etsy shop, which will be next up on the agenda.  Thanks for taking an interest in my IndieGoGo campaign and your support!  I’m still $290 from my goal, which would go a long way toward getting these products up for sale (Etsy fees, packaging, store subscription, etc) and getting more supplies from storage so I can create even more new products.  I know I have a bunch of steampunk ideas in the works sitting in that storage unit in Columbus, and the more I can get from my IndieGoGo campaign, the less I need to borrow for gas money to get things here where I can actually work on them!  So please, make a contribution, even $5 will help.  And don’t forget to tell all your friends to make their contribution before the clock runs out tonight!

Monday Musings: Milestones

Last night, I watched the streaming video of Oregon State University’s commencement ceremony, hoping to catch a glimpse of my Dad, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History (will be upgraded to summa cum laude after summer term grades are added in).  As I watched, I worked on my wedding dress, and it struck me how surreal this all was.  Seven years ago, I was living with my Dad and his wife after I got divorced, and neither one of us could have predicted we’d be where we are now.

My Dad turned 17 a couple of weeks before I was born, and graduated from high school a few months later.  He joined the Air Force but left two years later when his own father passed away.  He took a few college courses, but time and money were in short supply and he didn’t really have any idea what he wanted to be when he grew up.

I took a handful of college classes between my junior and senior years of high school, and another handful after graduation, but like my Dad, time and money and any idea of what I wanted to do with my life just weren’t available.  I got married, worked a variety of temporary jobs, tried a couple of those home party sales businesses, and finally tried college again just before I turned 30.  But everything got shook up when I asked for a divorce.  My nine years of marriage had left me with a distaste for the institution and I vowed it would take someone very special to convince me to try it again.

So in 2005, I started my life over.  I eventually ended up in Virginia, working in a call center as a customer service representative.  In 2008, I moved to the Chicago area and started working for a non-profit agency.  In 2009, I decided to give college another try, and began taking classes online through Columbus State Community College, majoring in Business Management – Entrepreneurship, with the idea of starting my own business someday.  That “someday” came sooner than I expected, as I was laid off in June of 2009.  I’ve had some fits and starts and lots of trial and error to get to Rewondered and upcycled fashion design, but I feel I’m on the right track now.  I’ve decided to take another year at CSCC to take some classes that will specifically help me with my business, then transfer to Granite State in Autumn of 2013 for my Bachelor’s degree.  If my plans work out (and we know how well my life goes according to plan!) I should graduate after Summer term of 2014.

Unfortunately, my Dad also got laid off in 2009, but that was the catalyst for him to go back to college.  His wife asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and as he sat down and seriously thought about the question, his love of history, particularly World War I aviation, took the forefront.  He’s worked very hard over the last three years, and that all paid off yesterday as he sat in a crowd of nearly 4000 other students waiting to be handed their degrees.  I caught a glimpse of him when the camera panned the crowd already at their seats during the processional, but he wasn’t facing the camera.  Then the first shot of the crowd when they asked everyone graduating with honors to stand was centered on him.  I yelled out “there he is!” even though I was the only one in the room at the time.  Lorne and I tried to catch him actually being handed his degree but with six different cameras to watch and no idea where he was in line, we weren’t able to.  But I stole this picture off his Facebook this morning:

My Dad, the Grad

My Dad, the Grad

The ceremony was pretty long, and afforded me the perfect opportunity to work on the hand sewing I needed to do for my wedding dress.  I have it mostly done, but there are a few tweaks left before it’s perfect.  I’m still planning to make it the first entry in my Rewondered: Before and After series, so you’ll get to see pictures.  My vision is definitely coming together!

So my Dad is now a college graduate (woohoo!) and I am getting married again in about two months (eek!) and I’m still sitting here in a bit of shock and awe.  We’re growing up so fast!  😛

No News and Good News

As you may have noticed, I didn’t get any new products up yesterday.  I decided to start working on some Rewondered clothing pieces, but I only got a couple done and several more planned out.  My original thought was to make things that fit me, and do a photo shoot so y’all could see them on an actual person, rather than just laid out on the floor or on a hanger (since I don’t have a dress form).  So I spent a lot of time trying pieces on and realizing I’d gained a bit more weight since moving to New Hampshire than I thought.  Oops.  This is NOT the good news part!

Some time ago, I picked up a silver dress at Goodwill for $5, thinking I would use it for the material.  Looking at it on the hanger, the style didn’t really thrill me anyway.  But yesterday I thought thought to myself, “Hmm, maybe I could do something with the bodice of this dress.”  I was trying things on anyway, so I put on the dress.  It fit!  And not only did it fit, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, I could completely envision how a few alterations would make it MY wedding dress.  I had originally planned to make everything separate pieces, but with a bit of elastic here, some eyelets there, and some tulle over here, it will bring my vision to life in a slightly different, but awesome way.  So there’s the good news, I have my wedding dress!  And everything I need to alter it I already have on hand, so total cost is $5 and my time.  Sweet!

I’m taking the rest of the weekend off to spend with Lorne, as tomorrow will be one year since the day we first met in person.  A silly “anniversary” to celebrate, but I’ve been a little stressed out the past few weeks and I need an excuse to relax and pay attention to the man I love.  Still hard to believe how much has changed in one year, and that it’s only been one year!  But like the quote from When Harry Met Sally I used on our Save the Dates, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  Now I’m looking forward to the rest of my life, and the rest of my weekend!  I’ll be back on Monday with new stuff, definitely.

In the meantime, I would love your help getting my IndieGoGo campaign noticed.  The campaigns with the highest “Gogofactor” get listed first and are shown on the front page.  I am currently not even showing up on the Fashion category page, therefore the only people who are seeing my campaign are those who are clicking on the links I personally have posted.  If this is going to succeed, I need strangers to see my campaign too!  So I’d like to ask you to help me get my “Gogofactor” up.  Here’s how:

  • Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/rewondered1.  Each view counts toward my “Gogofactor” so go take a look!
  • Under my video there is a box that says “Share this campaign.”  Do any or all of the following:
    • Click on the heart to add my campaign to your favorites.  You may need to create an account on IndieGoGo to do this, I’m not sure.
    • If you have Facebook, click on the “Like” button.  It will ask you if you want to post it on your Facebook and you don’t have to, but it would be awesome if you did!
    • If you have Twitter, click on the “Tweet” button.  It will pop up with a pre-filled message and link to the campaign, so you can just send it as is or change up the message.  “Wondie said I had to tweet this” is fine. 😛
    • If you have Google+, click on the “g+” button.  Again, you don’t have to actually post it on your Google+ but it would be awesome if you did!
    • If you have a website or blog and wouldn’t mind posting the nifty little widget you see at top right of this one, click the “Embed” button for the iframe code to use.
    • If you use Outlook and want to email this to some friends, click the “email” button and Outlook will pop up with a pre-filled message, you just have to add in email address to the “To” section.  Of course, you can change the message to make it more personal to whoever you are sending it to.
  • Above the video are several tabs.  Click on the “Comment” tab and write something nice like “Good luck!” or “Wondie is awesome!”  Whatever you want, just keep it clean, okay? 😉
  • Make a contribution, even if it’s only $5.  See my post on how to make a contribution if you have any questions, and my post on how and when you’ll get your perks.
  • Go to my Facebook page, my Twitter, and my website and click the link to the campaign there.  Views from other social sites count, so ask people to click on any links you post, too.

The more of each of these that happen, the more my Gogofactor will go up, and thus will raise my chances of showing up on the front page of IndieGoGo.  I know it will take a little time for you to do any of these things, and I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.  Hopefully I’ll see a huge raise in my stats when I get home on Monday!  There are only three weeks left in the campaign, and every little bit helps, so please, do what you can to help me make this dream come true.

Thank you, and have a great weekend!

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