Catching Up – What a Year It’s Been!

Hello everyone! It’s been quite the crazy year and we’re way behind on sharing what we’ve been up to. And there is awesome news to come!

So, let’s start with catching up on a year worth of incredible shows and a huge thank you for everyone who came out to see us.

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First to kick off the summer was Awesome Con! Cynthia squeezed a lot into one little table. Next year, we have a full booth to share our geeky armor designs!
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It was the weekend of Wonder Woman! This amazon came back to show off the bracers she bought from us.
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Blerdcon was a first year convention in DC, dedicated to underrepresented groups in pop culture. It was one of the most welcoming events I have ever been to, and we are happily looking forward to next year.
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A closeup of our extreme colorfulness for Blerdcon.
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Scares That Care! This was our third year at this event, one of our favorites every year.
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Our awesome artist friend Kat joined us in our room this year, and made these awesome signs to help people find us.
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…and then she became part of the room decor…
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…until we had a little building emergency adventure.
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But all was well and we kept on having fun for charity!
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Next was our first time at FanExpo Boston. A decent weekend, though we definitely learned from it if we choose to do it again.
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Our endcap booth at Boston. The artist section of this one really is print and comic artists, so we’d be better off in the dealer area.
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Dragon Con! Another crowded tiny table. I am hoping for more space for next year.
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These bottles continued to be a huge hit – almost all of them sold day one!
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Entering fall with Frederick Pagan Pride. A beautiful, brightly sunny day.
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Nathaniel put out a great display of new bone knives for the fall.

That’s it for the shows that I remembered to take pictures of this past year! Check out our show schedule to see where to find us next.

Event Review: Virginia Renaissance Faire 2017

We love participating in VARF, and were happy to return for five weeks this May to June! Of course, with an outdoor fair and the growing Virginia heat, there are always some hiccups.

First weekend, I was madly trying to track down our new tent with absolutely no info coming from the company as to an ETA. So, week of we went ahead and bought a car port from Harbor Freight and some canvas for side walls so we would have something.

So when did our new tent arrive? The day before show opened, so too late to get it set up for first weekend.

We did get it all set up for second weekend, thought we were hot and tired and did not realize it was inside out until it was all up. We left it that way for the show. Last hiccup? We were in our usual spot, but with a larger space it was clear just what an odd hill it was. The tent stayed well, but we were constantly having to accommodate for the lean. Next year, we’re adding a platform and an in-tent fan!

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Our temporary tent on the grey first day of faire.
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Second day – sunny, and Nathaniel’s huge sword from Artomatic is raised to gain attention to our odd space.
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Second weekend – new tent raised… inside out. Oops!
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Nathaniel working on armor at our demo table.
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Drawing the eye however we can – a new sign with our new logo, and a new colorful ribbon cape.

Show Review: Glimmerdark 2017

Yeah, I am way behind. Glimmerdark was in February, a fantasy and dark fairy convention that took over from Wicked Faire. It had it’s issues as a new/revised event, but I look forward to seeing what it becomes.

So to catch up more easily, I’m just going to sum it up in pictures. Enjoy!

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All set in the ballroom. We had to be a little creative since our booth opened on three sides.
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My new lightup cloak! Playing with sheer materials for the fairies.
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Masks and light up blades. The light ups were a hit – one area where occasional darkness was to our benefit.
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New sign, and lots of cloaks.
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Green fairy backpack flask.
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Happy barbarian fae with her new club!
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A view down the aisle, for a bit of the show feel. We don’t get out of our booth much.

Event Review: Misfit’s Witch’s Bazaar and Ball

Sometimes, we’ll take a chance on a new event. That was the case with this one – we received an invite through our Etsy store, and it sounded like fun. It was a two part event. In the daytime, a family friendly witch’s bazaar. At night, an adults only party.

While the event was fun, it was not really successful for us as vendors. Traffic was low, and the two events with the break between them didn’t really seem to work for crowd energy. I think this event would do better if it decided what it really wanted to be and focused on it.

The site was a fun park, which in the daytime was great to wander and see all the vendors. At night, not all of the vendors stayed… and unfortunately  those that did weren’t all clumped together. Which also meant as the October evening temperatures dropped, people stopped wandering.

The costumes were cool and the people were fun, but this was one of very few events that we have left early.

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I was feeling witchy for the Witch’s Bazaar! So I made myself a new leather waist cincher for the occasion.
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Our tent (a cheap Walmart buy after our recent tent disasters) in the cute park courtyard.
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Anticipating a cold evening – cloaks!
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Our across the courtyard neighbors.
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Displaying our wares to be seen from as many directions as possible.
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Showing off the glowy items at night!

Don’t forget – we really need your help to buy a new tent! Your help with our fundraising efforts is massively appreciated.

Event Review: Harvest Faire 2016

Each show has its challenges, but we never expected a hurricane to be one of them. This year, we spent the week leading up to Harvest Faire watching to see if Hurricane Matthew was going to hit near Virginia Beach. It didn’t, but the rain and winds that make up the edge were problem enough.

Still, we were there! Some vendors never showed, but there were still plenty of people around on Friday to make the show worth it. We came well prepared, with side walls and multiple tarps to try and stay as dry as we could.

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Friday night was fine, and plenty of people came by, even in the dark. Saturday, as the day went on, the weather got worse. Rain picked up, and the weather report was threatening the coming winds.

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Mad dash from the rain! At least inside the tent was nice and dry.

The organizers were awesome, and sent people around about 4pm saying that vendors were welcome to pack up if they wanted, and come back Sunday morning. Our work is fine with a bit of damp, but neither leather nor wood is great with a soaking rain. Plus, we did not want to try and stay on site with what the forecast had in store.

So, we packed everything up (thank you friendly helpers!), found a cheap hotel not too far away, and went to stay warm and dry.

Good thing we did, because apparently it hit the site viciously. At 11pm the organizers had canceled Sunday – the site was so beaten up by the weather it would not be able to host traffic the next day.

We came back the next morning, through towns with no power, to pick up the little bit we had left.

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Poor mangled steel tent! The only tents that survived the night were the full reenactor tents.

Traffic getting home was an adventure due to areas of flooding or no power, but we lost none of our inventory. Just another poor tent.

Which we are still trying to replace. If you can spare a moment and/or a dollar or two, please take a look at our Go Fund Me page. Any little bit helps!

Help Us Buy a New Tent!

Hello friends and visitors! We’ve had a great couple of years bringing our handmade goods to shows up and down the east coast. We’ve reached a little financial hurdle and are asking for your help.

It started in May, when we set up at the Virginia Renaissance Faire after days of pouring rain. Our gazebo tent sank into the mud and bent as the weeks went on. Parts of it are now broken and unusable.

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Next weekend, more rain and mud. Did the best we could to keep it off our visitors.

Then, Steampunk World’s Fair in late May fought with both wind and rain. Our good easy-up canopy was one of the lucky ones, but it still bent in the bad weather. That tent lasted a couple more shows, then snapped while being set up at NoVa Pagan Pride Day.

Then, Harvest Faire in Newport News VA over the same weekend as Hurricane Matthew. The direct hurricane didn’t hit us, but even the edge winds were enough to completely mangle our all steel backup canopy.

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Poor mangled tents… ours and the others on the site.

Harvest Faire showed us something else interesting. There were broken canopies scattered all over the site. Even new ones with thick poles were bent to unusable. Which ones were still completely intact, and all inventory – even blown glass – unharmed? The actual medieval style tents.

Well, we’ve been wanting to upgrade to a better tent for a while anyway, so this is the perfect time. Hence we are asking for your help! We are raising funds to buy a new, medieval reenactment tent.

Donate to our campaign and you can even get some cool custom stuff, so please take a look!  Any donation or share will be a big help.

Thanks!

 

Show Review: Scares That Care Weekend

Hello again! We are entering our slow time between shows, so I’m getting caught up on all of my show photos and such from this past year. Then it’ll be time for year in review and fun planning for next year!

Scares That Care Weekend is one of our favorite events. It is not our most profitable, but it’s a weekend of awesome people who love horror and trying to do good for charity. This year, we got a whole conference room to fill with our stuff however we wanted. Up side – we could show off a lot of stuff and be creative with our display. Downside – the second floor gets less traffic and the room we chose was… well, more hidden than we realized.

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Come on boney, help us show people where we are…
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So, leave the haunted house, then take a sharp turn…
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…down the skinny hidden hallway…
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… and into room 14! We posted lots of these posters to try and help people find us. Plus, first show with our new logo!
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Nice and open room to show lots of different products!
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Room was an unusual shape, but that meant we could set up a nice sales and work table.
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More shadow box kits! People got a good laugh out of these.
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Swords, props, bottles… so much to shop through!
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Costumes around the event were awesome. The Chanels and the Red Devil came for a visit.
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Even out in the parking lot people were having a silly, fun, horror time.

Huge thanks to all of our helpers who showed people where we were!

We are already paid up for next year. We will be on the second floor again, but in a more obvious room next time. And we’ll go even further on atmosphere and display!

Shore Leave 2016 – After Show Report

Shore Leave was one of my first conventions I did regularly. I have a lot of early convention memories from this show – volunteering with the art show, hanging out with Klingons, getting some of my first celebrity autographs. But, after a couple of hit or miss years of sales, I hadn’t vended at this convention for a while. Looking for more shows this year, and now that I am selling completely different things than I used to, it was time for another try.

All told, it was awesome to be welcomed back. Sales weren’t amazing but weren’t bad, good staff and fun to see people again.

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Getting ready for a show is always interesting. Here is what going through the inventory looks like.
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No need for a mirror – there’s a huge one behind us! We got creative with splitting a six foot table, which is a small display for us these days.
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We were given a table by a ballroom door, so we were able to hang cloaks on a chain for people to look through.
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Light up Death Star fascination with tie fighters! I loved it.

Steampunk World’s Fair 2016

Speaking of shows with interesting weather problems…

I can not say enough positive things about the staff of Steampunk World’s Fair. It was everything else that went wrong.

So, first there was pouring rain during set up. Made the traffic to get there horrible, and we showed up just before the show was supposed to open. Steampunk World’s Fair has a vendor set up different from any other show we have done. There were several different places that vendor tables and booths could be set up – ballrooms in each of the two hotels, first floor rooms in the hotels, hallways in the hotels, and the outdoor midway between the two hotels. We were located in the midway. Which, if the weather had been nice, would have been a really neat place. There were a lot of vendors and the main stage, giving the whole area a really festive feel.

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Browsing the damp booth on Friday afternoon.

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I didn’t have time to catch many costume photos, but I loved this Spidey.

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Happy customer! The giant hammer finds a new home.

We were allowed to pull up even though we were late, rush set up in the rain, and were ready to go. The weather cleared, and Friday night was awesome. It also is one of the few shows we do that goes to after dark. That means good booth lighting if you are outdoors is a must.

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Friday night at the World’s Fair. The booth lighting and the concerts made this so festive.

Saturday started good, but then the clouds and wind really picked up. Rain is manageable, but wind is complete havoc on an outside show. About 4:30 the clouds got really, really dark and we found out about a lightning storm coming in. So with all of us with metal tents, we were told to evacuate the midway.

This was another time the staff was awesome, as well as the guests. We had so many helping hands to first get our inventory packed up and inside, and then getting the tent taken down and into the van. We waited out the storm from the van, then came back about 7 to set back up. A bunch of other vendors did not return that night… which, since it was also a big concert night, made it the best part of our sales.

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Adventurer’s tea sets – one of my big hits of the fair.

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Fun Steampunk jewelry, made with pieces of old books, gears, propellers, wings, and crystals.

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Plastic refinished toy guns – a lot of these still made the ridiculous sound effects.

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For pirates, airship or otherwise, a hand tooled leather water skin.

Unfortunately, setting back up also resulted in a call from the staff at 2:30 in the morning. The wind had picked back up and our tent had tried to make a break for it. The staff was awesome – we showed back up to find everything broken down and anything that might blow away weighted down. We packed up and got what sleep we could.

Which leads us to Sunday. First, the adventure of getting to the show. The convention was right near Rutger’s University, and that day was their commencement. On top of that, the speaker was President Obama, which meant all sorts of road blocks. We got lucky – a cop managing one of the blocks recognized us as heading to Steampunk World’s Fair, and gave us directions that would get us there. Other visitors were not so lucky.

We made it back out the try and set up again to find even fewer vendors outside. The wind was vicious. We and one of our neighbors gave up on attempting tents after they tried to blow away the moment we tried to set them up, and went for just tables and product, yard sale style. About an hour of that, and the vendor coordinator offered those of us who wanted to move tables in one of the hallways.

So, we condensed our 10 ft by 10 ft booth inventory to a single table as best we could, but at least we still had the chance to sell all three days.

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Light up knives and whatever we could fit on the hallway table.

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What’s left on Sunday – we needed more inventory!

We learned quite a bit with this show. We really hope to do this show again, but any indoor space we can get. And we know better what inventory to bring. For one, we need more of it. My adventurer tea sets, which I launched at this show, almost completely sold out. Nathaniel almost completely sold out of his refinished toy guns and light up knives.

And above all else, we have to say, this staff was awesome.

Virginia Renaissance Faire 2016 Wrap-Up

One of the challenges of doing faires and festivals is weather. It is completely out of your control, but your sales can depend on it. It can make a show vary a lot from year to year. So this year, five weekends and only one of them without rain… well, it did not make for a great Virginia Renaissance Faire this year.

We still love our small-ish state renaissance faire. We made great new friends and had a lot of fun. Hopefully next year the weather will be with us again.

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First weekend – Sunny day, but just after ten straight days of rain. Mud certainly made set up interesting.
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Our new sign! Finally got a good booth sign made.
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Fun and colorful for opening weekend.
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One of the best things about being a vendor is seeing old friends.
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Next weekend, more rain and mud. Did the best we could to keep it off our visitors.
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I love making leather leaves out of scraps, and I had been wanting to make a Green Man for a while.
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Just a couple of tea sets left after Steampunk World’s Faire. And the glass flasks were a huge hit this year.
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People kept admiring my wait cincher, so I finally made some lovely hand tooled ones for sale.
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Yay! For once, a photo of me in the booth.
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We had an unusual challenge compensating for a hill. Didn’t seem like much when we set up, but everything was on a lean.
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Kids loved playing with the wood weapons on this table.
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Look, sun! We loved every time we got to dry out a bit.
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Added geeky waist cinchers for the fourth weekend, and a few large glass bottles.
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Small necklaces – charms and bodice knives.

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Cloaks! They continue to be popular, no matter the weather.