Generation Geek

Star Wars a new hope movie posterI’m old school. The only video games I kick ass at were released at least 20 years ago. And I love Star Wars, but I haven’t even seen Rogue One yet.

And I feel like that sort of define things. Especially with the death of Han Solo and then the real life death of Princess Leia (and also Spock). My geek generation is getting older and our icons are dying off.

But at the same time a new generation is rising. The force is actually awakening, but also changing with the times. Like the new Wonder Woman movie. It’s a different WW than I grew up with, and it’s taking me a little bit to really embrace this new one. Although I love her and her strong character, she’s just not my Wonder Woman. I almost wish she had a different name, because I will always picture Lynda Carter in her star spangled outfit. But this generation needs an Amazon warrior, so that’s who she became.

I grew up with this stuff and it didn’t seem geeky back then. In fact, I thought it was all pretty cool. I played NES obsessively, but I didn’t go around saying I was a “gamer girl.” I wasn’t aware there was a distinction. I played Jedi with my cousins using broomsticks as lightsabers. I decked myself out in a cardboard tiara and Wonder Woman Underoos and ran around the house fighting crime. My Big Wheel was the green and purple Incredible Hulk edition.

So that is why my costuming isn’t usually about the latest and greatest thing to come out. I usually look to childhood favorites for inspiration. So in my mind, I really DID get to grow up and be Wonder Woman, lol. (… and Link, and Princess Peach, etc.)

I’m looking forward to raising my son in his own geeky generation. But I’m pretty sure to him, it will just be cool kid stuff.

Update – I wrote this post as a draft last week. And last night I finally watched Rogue One! And of course I liked it.

Cosplay and Cons with the Kids

One of my favorite big conventions is almost here – San Diego Comic Con! I went the year I got pregnant and haven’t made it back since I had my son, but we have done a lot of daenerys targaryen and baby cosplayother conventions together. In fact, he attended his first con at just 6 weeks old! I look forward to taking him to SDCC one day, but until then, we’ll be hitting up cons a little closer to home.

Attending a con with a kid was a whole new experience for me. My usual plan was just show up, take a lot of pictures and basically party all day and night. Now I have to plan around nap times, changing diapers and having no choice about being up at 7AM every morning.

So here’s my Top 10 Tips List for Attending Conventions with Kids:

  1. Try something local first. Short trips are best. There’s lots of great resources to find a local event no matter where you are. There’s sites that list cons by state like UpComingCons.com Cosplayconventioncenter.com, and then overall event pages where you can also buy tickets like Eventbrite.com. Basically, if you just put “cosplay conventions” or “comic conventions” into google, you’re going to find something!
  2. If you aren’t going to be local, be close enough so you can easily walk back to the hotel for naptime. Believe me, this will make things SO much easier.
  3. Check out the event ahead of time and plan your day. Make a list of events and things you want to attend with time and location.
  4. Forget about actually making it to any of those things. Just kidding. A little.
  5. cosplay with babyIf you have a baby, make sure you have something to cover your costume with. Nothing like ruining all your hard work with a bunch of spit-up.
  6. Plan your costume around being able to pick-up and hold kid, feed kid and change diapers. If you are not able to do this, make sure you have a “baby handler” with you for assistance.
  7. Go easy on the kid costume. They are probably just going to fBaby in Superman shirtall asleep, drop food on it or rip it off after two minutes anyway. A good easy costume is a t-shirt that matches your general theme. When I do Wonder Woman, I often dress my son in a Superman t-shirt. He’s had an impressive collective since he was born. He never went a month without one in his size. I actually just printed out a bunch of ink jet iron-ons and would make whatever size I needed at the time.
  8. If you start taking them when they are young, then they will love it as they get a little older and you won’t need to worry about them being afraid of the characters and costumes. My son loves getting up close and touching the costumes.
  9. Pack more than you think you need- extra food, diapers, clothes, drinks…extras of everything! We went to ConJure and after a 2 hour car ride my son started projectile vomiting. We went through a LOT of clothes. You never know what you are going to run into. Be prepared.
  10. Do a kid-friendly cosplay group. I had a great time as Princess Parfaya in a Sesame Street Star Smores group at Star Wars Celebration and the kids and parents totally got it.

Sesame Street Star Smores Cosplay Group at Star Wars CelebrationAnd most of all, just have fun, soak up the experience and share every moment with your little one. This is your chance to share your fandom and geekiness as a family affair.

Sew Geek Mama on YouTube

youtubechannelI recently started a new YouTube channel called Sew Geek Mama so I could do tutorials about sewing and crafting for cosplay related stuff. While doing research, it came to my attention that there a LOT of good videos out there already. And many appear to be professionally filmed and edited, with people that know what to say and when to say it.

My channel is none of those things.

It’s just me, filming myself, doing things just like I’d do if there wasn’t a camera. I mess up. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what to say. Sometimes I just mumble to myself. But in the end I am striving to make something easy to follow, that might help people learn a new skill in a less intimidating way.

For some people, sewing is like baking – get a pattern, follow instructions, finished product looks like photo.

For me, sewing is more like cooking – get basic ingredients, read directions, try some stuff, adjust as necessary, finished product is something unique and personal.

So I hope you will join me on this new little video adventure. I’m learning how to do this as I go along and hope to improve with each tutorial! I’m starting with some small stuff and will soon do full projects.

Star Wars Celebration 2017

We had a great time as Sesame Street Star Smores at Celebration! It was Keelan’s first time as a part of a big cosplay group. We got off to a bit of a rough start with our little Luke Piewalker, who was promptly renamed “Luke Crywalker”:17952613_1772998456060662_3386436822874168872_nBut then there was an attitude shift after we managed to get everyone dressed and out the door. He stayed in his stroller for the first half, just taking everything in, and then wanted to get  out and run around for the next bit. He high-fived wampas, took pics with Chewie and didn’t seem to mind all the crazy costumes around him one bit. Guess this means he is ready for Disneyworld!

Star Wars Celebration is always a great event for Star Wars fans and I was really excited to get to share it with my family. This is my third time, but their first! It was also husband and son’s birthday weekend so it was a celebration all around 🙂

And to top it off, my friend Bridget and I made it onto Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the event!

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The Reality of Costuming Kids

untitledBefore I had my son, I had grand ideas of dressing him up. I had a little dragon costume for him before he was even born, with plans to take a few Game of Thrones inspired pics. The reality: he screamed and cried as soon as the little outfit was on him. So I got pics of me and a crying baby dragon. I also have pics of me and a crying little Captain America. There’s a theme here…

I see the photos of people with their babies dressed up all cute, often asleep, totally going along with this whole costume thing. Not mine. If he can rip it off and eat it, he will. And just move an arm while he is sleeping and he will wake up so I never had a chance to do any of those cute posed sleeping pictures.

He has gotten better as he got older, but also I’ve gotten better at making costumes he can wear. I also have no shame in buying a cheap outfit for him because he is going to ruin it or grow out of it immediately. His latest Jedi costume is basically a smock over pants. I did spend time making a fancy belt that may be immediately torn apart, but I had to try to add a little something fancy.

So wish us luck as we embark on our first big costume group at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration! I’m hoping he doesn’t tear his Jedi robe to shreds before we get in the door. We are doing costumes based on a Sesame Street parody called Star Smores: