So as I am sure you are well aware I will be attending Gamestorm again this year in March. So I am looking to find a new shirt to wear at con, to go with my collection of gamer girl shirts. This year we are adding to our collection of friends that are going, one of our additions is a couple that we game with. So since this time there will be a female friend for me to hang with I am most excited about the awesome shirt I just found on Cafepress, I am going to show it to my friend this week and see if she will go in with me and get us a matched set to wear around Gamestorm. It is sure to attract attention, draw comments, and may even help us win a couple games.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges I have in being a gamer parent is how to incorporate my kids into my gamer life. Specifically without boring them and without them driving me crazy. Orycon is exactly one of those challenges.
I didn’t discover Orycon until my husband and I got together. By then I already had two kids and was fully into mom mode. The first couple of years that we went we did not bring the kids. I was still getting my feet wet and they were pretty young, we weren’t sure if they could handle it, or us handle it either for that matter. Last year we finally took the leap and brought them with us, well for 1/2 of con that is. They came with us on Friday (was a no school day which helped) and stayed over night. We arranged for my mom to pick them up just before dinner on Saturday which worked out great. Splitting the time like that let us enjoy a night of costumed fun with the kids, but also left us with Saturday night to enjoy the costume time and room parties without the little ones in tow.
Orycon Child Policies and Care
Orycon has some good, and clear, policies about kids at the convention which can be found on their website. They also have child care that is offered and they make a good effort to keep it secure which I think is great. Now while looking up the links to paste here for you, I discovered that they have made a change this year to the policy on unattended minors. This year kids 6 and up may be unattended if they have the ability to behave themselves, otherwise I believe they are escorted to child care at your cost (at least the child care part was there last year). Also the kids have special badges that include a spot for parent name and phone number on the back of them, just in case. If you want to take that a step further you could take a lesson from the Oregon Country Fair and use a sharpie to write your name and phone number on your child’s arm. Presumably, short of a cannibalistic kobold attack at the con, they shouldn’t be able to misplace their own arm.
Kids and what to do
I will say that there are only a limited number of sessions that young children, elementary school and younger would find interesting. At least that was the case last year, I am hoping for more this coming year. I suspect next year I will run at least one so I know there is something for my kids to get into. As an exception to this general statement, last year the Greater Portland Costumer’s Guild put on two events that my kids really enjoyed and are hoping to attend again this year. Those were the 99 cent costume workshop, an event where under limited time and supplies you are to construct a costume that fits the rather loose theme provided, awards for everyone at the end. Also they enjoyed the Friday night milk and cookies room party, this year I am going to bring some cookies to it. I sincerely hope both events happen again, and earlier enough that my kids will still be there.
Don’t forget the costumes
The kids also enjoy dressing up in costume and seeing all the costumes that people put on for the event. If you decide to bring your child I highly recommend bringing 1-2 costumes for them as well. In fact just let them stay in costume the whole time, how often do they go someplace where that is alright? Since Orycon is only two months away I will be adding another post afterward about how it went this year with the kids.
I was rather proud of myself yesterday morning, when I was quickly reminded that pride even in its smallest moments is a deadly sin. I no more then said something like, “This shirt proves I can sew well”, when I noticed that I had sewn the main panel on the back of the shirt inside out. Oh those most pesky white on white cotton patterns. I had made it half way through the shirt, front panel with the double layer sections for buttons completed, back panel with its double layer shoulder sections complete and firmly attached to the front. Even the two part, double layered collar was attached and I was adding the first sleeve when the error was noticed.
Ah but will anyone notice? In a dark room, probably not. If he never takes off the vest and coat that I am making to go over it, no they wouldn’t. But I must remember that this is a costume for con, which of course means that it will be looked at closer then the clothes we wear in our everyday lives. And I hang with the costuming people as much as I can at con, so this will not do at all. Can’t just undo and start over as seams have been clipped and trimmed so I am committed and past the point of no return.
That leaves only one options left. Back to the fabric store and start over. Lucky for me I was transporting my boy to and from his dad’s for a Cub Scout meeting yesterday which put me near the fabric store I frequent. So after dropping him off I headed over to Fabric Depot, to pick up some more of the dreaded white on white. Also managed to get some more material for my costume as well as my daughters. And most exciting of all found the crinoline for our costumes, it wasn’t in the section I had looked before, but now I know where they keep it.
Still need some ribbon and my daughter to pick out the material for her fairy wings. I fear once I know how to make wings and more importantly she knows I know how to make wings, I will be making lots of them. I hope they are easy to make, it may be a good home-made birthday present for her friends this year….
Well it has happened, rain again in the fall just in time for the little ones to head to school today. And with the rain comes the realization that once again I am behind the 8-ball in getting these costumes done. I am half done with the hubby’s gentleman’s shirt, which leaves his vest and jacket left to go. Of course he will need to Steampunk them some after that, well even just buttons are something I am waiting for him to decide upon.
Then it is on to the Fairy Costume for my daughter which will be much simpler (I hope) then what I am working on now. She is going with the Tinkerbell costume from Simplicity, but is doing the water fairy (or so she tells me) but in purple. My son is not sure if he wants to be a stunt man, or his Lego Universe character (we are Beta testing).
And lastly there is mine, always put mine last so I don’t have to feel bad if mine doesn’t get done in time, at least everyone else will be doing good.
If anyone has some good, and reasonably priced places to buy gears, keys, watch parts, and other random accessories of a Steampunk nature that would be great!!
So once again I am getting a late start on my costuming efforts despite picking out 3 of 4 costume patterns and doing 60% of the material and notion shopping early. Seems that sewing in the nice weather just isn’t my things. If it would just start raining and we had to turn the heater on I am sure I could get into it.
I did get the first 4 steps done on the hubby’s shirt for his steam punk costume. Other then one small cut that went a tad too deep all seems to be going well so far. I have managed to get the front parts on the shirt where the buttons and button holes will someday (hopefully soon) go. There is a certain trick when sewing with white on white paisley pattern to make sure you get the correct side as the “right” side all the time. I think I am good so far, but will double check in the morning when my eyes are not so tired.
What Sci-fi Convention trip is complete without appropriate t-shirt, hoodies and other clothing to wear during the day before costume time his in the evening? Even more so for gaming cons like Gamestorm. My personal shopping favorite for my con day wear comes from Cafepress, sure the prices can be steep, but the slogans can be priceless.
Take this story for example. My husband, who loves to play a thief, was playing in a cleverly run game by one of my favorite DM’s in which he was playing a paladin. And not just any paladin, a teenage, male paladin. The group started out as orphans and ended up saving the world and being a key force in the war. Now as if a standard paladin isn’t bad enough to deal with, try one that is 16, trusted by the army, and is wielding an artifact sword of his deity. So while this was going on (and back when we were still dating), I found the perfect shirt at Cafepress on the front it had hearts and a unicorn and said “Crazed Paladin Groupie” and on the back it said “So worth the atonement spell…”. So I bought the shirt and dressed in it and plenty of glitter (even glittered my kids too) and we made a special, surprise trip to his game and brought his favorite peanut butter cookies. He was quite surprised and rather enjoyed the “groupie” attention he got that day.
Nothing I can wear to my day job, but it has caught many peoples attentions at conventions, which is the point. The number of shirts, hats, hoodies, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, mouse pads, and even underwear you can get at Cafepress is nothing short of shocking and they cover a vast array of topics. I have also found great shirts there for the gamer guys in my life. Happy hunting and I would love to hear what great gamer clothes you have found out there on the web.
We are busy starting preparations in our house for this years Orycon event in November, this year it is November 12-14 at the Lloyd Center Doubletree. Orycon is a Science Fiction convention held each year in Portland, the theme for this year is The Dark Side of Fantasy
The convention is something I have been attending for the last several years. During the day there are workshops, seminars and discussions to attend on a wide range of subject from costuming (my favorite) to writing and even true science itself. After dinner time many people get dressed up in a variety of costumes from the basic to the elaborate.
One of the big costume genre’s that has taken off in the last few years is Steampunk. My husband and I are planning to join in this year, assuming I can get our costumes completed in time. He is going as a mad scientist and me as a clockwork doll, should be quite interesting.
Last year we brought the kids along for ½ of the convention, the headed off to a sleepovers at grandpa and grandma’s house for the other half. It was a the perfect compromise in allowing the kids exposure to conventions but still left us the second half of the time to act like we weren’t responsible parents.; especially at the evening room parties. Though the Greater Portland Costumer’s Guild, held a milk and cookies party the night the kids were there and me and the kids spent our evening there or at the dance.
If it sounds at all interesting I would recommend it, currently the price for admission to con is $45 for the whole weekend, well worth the money, but the closer to con it gets the higher the price goes. Hope to see you there!!
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