Onward to 2020!

Hi guys, and thank you for sticking with us through our creative adventures! As we roll into 2020, I once again notice how rarely I update this blog and thus all the stuff you guys never get to hear about. So, here goes:

Building Update!

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Back room, our big project! Tearing out the old rotted flat roof.

The great adventure that we moved into two years ago and purchased last year is crawling towards being a better and better building.

The first good update? It’s not raining inside anymore! Yes, we got our roof repairs done and took away Nathaniel’s serenity waterfall. It will still need a more complete roof replacement in the future, but this is a huge positive step.

There is still lots to do. Apparently the constant moisture was the only thing holding together some of the floor boards back there, so now that they aren’t constantly getting wet the wood started to crumble. So, one more thing to replace before we can really open the storefront.

But it is all fixed enough that we can occasionally open to guests… and we’ve done a lot of fixing to the front as well. We hope to soon exhibit local artists in our big front display window rooms!

Major Projects

IMG_20191208_111310-02We have had some ambitious moments this year, some bursts of wild creativity. Some have been successful, some have not. Fixing the building has delayed getting our rental inventory really built, but we have found a greater interest which helps.

Of course, one of our coolest projects this year was the Amethyst God Hammer.  Because sometimes you just want to make something absolutely awesome,

And speaking of “cool,” we had one silly little thing to combat the intense Virginia Renaissance Faire heat take off more than expected this year –fan holsters! Seriously, I could not keep these in stock for a chunk of this summer.

The building took up a lot of our time and interfered with a chunk of our productivity this year, so hopefully 2020 will mean a lot of new awesome coming out of the studio!

Shows We Did

We did a lot of our old standbys this year – Madicon, Virginia Renaissance Faire, Dragon Con – but we always try to add in a handful of new. We’re experimenting with where our new “local” is, and as a result how far south we are willing to go. We started off our 2019 season in Atlanta and ended it in Orlando! Ah, nice weather in December is delightful…

We’ve been sticking to more renaissance fairs and less comic conventions in the last year, a trend that will probably continue. We generally do well with our unique blend at small renaissance festivals. The comic convention market has been interesting over the last year or two, so we’ll be keeping an eye to see what happens.

We are expanding into more horror and haunter events. We were not able to do the haunted house again this year, but we’d still love to try again in the future. But we’re going to start off our 2020 at Hauntcon, to promote our custom services to the haunter and Halloween community! That should definitely be fun!

So, here’s to 2020 everyone – may this year be better than the last, and may we make all of the awesome things!

 

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.

Artomatic 2017

Here’s a little change from our usual shows. Artomatic is one of my favorite recurring art events in the DC area. Every couple of years, they take over a vacant office building. The space is first come first serve to artists for whatever they want to create and share. It is a great opportunity to meet other artists and jump start your creativity.

This year Artomatic came back to Crystal City, and we managed to get a three person room. We split it between the two of us and another gamer artist friend, Kat, who does lovely comic style art. Doing a room together made us seem like a small, curated gallery. People loved stopping by and seeing our work over the month the show was running. So here’s what we displayed in our awesome room.

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My big project for the winter was to make a leather dragon. I made her head first, which means scaled up she was 13 feet long. Final assembly had to happen in place… so here she is while I am still adding scales.
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Up close on the dragon’s face. So many pieces of leather!
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And done! Ahdraga drew many people to our lovely gallery room.
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My additional leather work, these shadow boxes were all inspired by vintage lace patterns.
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Kat’s wall! Wonderful and fun ink and watercolor pieces.
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Another view for Kat.
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Nathaniel made weapons of modern gods. These got a lot of chuckles as people read the snarky captions.
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Hard to tell from the photo, but this sword is huge!

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: 2016 Pagan Pride Days

One of the highlights of our September is always Pagan Pride Days. These are lovely one day events all over the country where various people of pagan leanings come together. This year we made our way to three of the events: Frederick MD, Northern Virginia, and Belmont NC.

This was our second year at Frederick Pagan Pride, and I am happy to say much less rainy than last year! Actually, it was a beautiful day. The event took place on the front lawn of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Frederick. It was a wonderful setting, welcoming and friendly. And speaking of, we happily got to meet up with various vendor and fair friends as well.

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Our booth on the hill! Nice collection of ritual tools and cloaks.
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A bit of the view from inside the tent.
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Happy customer with our horn-tipped spear, black fleece cloak, and short crystal wand.
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The beautiful front lawn and its gorgeous willow tree.

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It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere here, and it is so peaceful.
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I’ve had a thing for willow trees since elementary school. Here’s the view from under the tree back towards the church. And a bit of the sunset as we’re all packing up.

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Kids unfortunately tore down a number of the willow branches, but we got permission to collect what was on the ground to make something out of. So here’s Nathaniel goofing off while collecting them for next year!

The following Saturday was Northern Virginia and Belmont NC Pagan Pride Days. I went to NoVa, Nathaniel to NC. So I only have photos from NoVA. It was a little weird being back on my college campus – that had been a while! The setting gave this festival a definitely different feel. And I started off the day with our canopy, which had already been stressed by the winds at Steampunk World’s Fair, breaking as I went to set it up. Thank goodness for PVC pipes and duct tape!

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This show set up with small blocks, so every space was a corner. So a fun different display.
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Nope, that ceiling isn’t sagging, really! Thank you show staff and Mark for salvaging that!
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A better view of my leather leaf clips. Though I think I need a new wig. This was the first nice wig I ever bought and it’s showing the wear.
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Another inside the booth view, and a view beyond to some of our favorite booth neighbors!