Saturday, July 20, 2013

What an adventure! = Comic Con 2013

What a day! Every summer, I've been trotting down to San Diego for the ComicCon. It's really changed over the last ten years. When I first started going there was hardly a female person in sight. Now about half the folks are girls and not just girlfriends dragged along.

"Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (19%)" ~ These statistics are pulled from the ESA report Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry.

So it is exciting to me to see women dressing up, playing games, buying comics, writing comics and books, and generally having a good time. For one thing it helps me blend in.

I took the train down with The Legends of Animation... that's Bob Singer, Art Leonardi, Iraj Paran, and Wille Ito.

The Legendary Animators of Classic '60s Cartoons
Legendary and award-winning animators Bob Singer (character and background designer, Bugs Bunny/Scooby Doo), Art Leonardi (designer/director, Pink Panther),Willie Ito (layout artist/Bugs Bunny, Flintstones), and Iraj Paran (character and title designer, Super Friends, Josie and the Pussycats), share their vast experience shaping animation history and creating hundreds of classic characters and cartoons we love from Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hanna Barbera, with over 100 years of experience among them.

 The lovely lady in this photo is Hiva Paran, who is one of the nicest people on the planet.

After taking the Orange line instead of the Green line and getting lost, we finally got to the Convention Center. This is Art doing his best "where the heck are we?" face. He had everyone on the trolley in stitches. Many thanks to all the kind folks who helped us get turned around and back in the right direction. 

 One of my favorite things is the people who cosplay and dress up as their favorite characters. This group of Classic X-Men was awesome.

Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones was epic, complete with wooden sword and neck wound.

I"m not sure who this Superhero is... any ideas?

 I checked out the Warhammer booth for limited edition show specials for the Boy.... because I'm THE BEST MOM EVER! Why, might you ask? Because I fought my way to the Hasbro booth to ask about Magic the Gathering cards and these words actually came out of my mouth...

"Uh, hi, do you have any Alternate Art cards of Garruk Caller of Beasts?"

Nope, they were sold out. 

This panel of the Big Bang Theory as Keane paintings was cool.

As was "Geek Chic" truly droolworthy custom made furniture for gamers.

I had a pleasant chat with artist and weapon designer John Chalfant.

It's the 20th Anniversary of The Sandman this year. I love Neil Gaiman's stuff, he's the hardest working writer in town.

 I also got to meet Jeanne C Stein and Samantha Sommersky who make up the writing team of S. J. Harper. Here they are with their new book, Cursed.

 The highlight of course was the Legends of Animation Panel. The room was packed and the guys were so funny. An hour was way too short to hear these wonderful artists talk about their experiences as animators for Hanna Barbara, Disney, Warner Brothers and UPA.

Leslie Combemale of the ARTINSIGHTS Animation and Film gallery did a wonderful job of moderating the panel.

Afterwards we had a delicious dinner at the Marriot Hotel in our own private room. Swanky! That's Michael H. Payne on the far right, author of "The Blood Jaguar"

Bob had the tallest hamburger in the history of food.

Then like Cinderella, the ball was over and we took the long train ride back home. Willie said that he had a long list of chores and gardening waiting for him, but that it was nice to be a star for a day. I agree. I had fun. Thank you ComicCon, see you next year!

"The Brigadoon-ish village of Comic-Con becomes more tangible each hour as it slips out of its long sleep to emerge into the sunlight." ~ Larry Marder

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sewing for The Curvy Closet

My daily wardrobe is pretty pathetic. I keep expecting those people from What Not To Wear to show up at my door and start smacking me around, but to my knowledge that hasn't happened yet. Most days I'm a tee-shirt and jeans kind of gal.

But I got to thinking... back in the day, I used to be kind of glamorous. Heck, I was a fashion designer for years, going on research trips to Paris and London. I had silk suits and heels, leather gloves, and Italian handbags. But as the years passed my life changed and my priorities. I worked at home and didn't need suits or uncomfortable shoes. I was busy doing other stuff, being a mom, driving to swim lessons, baking cupcakes and cleaning up cat barf.

Shopping got to be a maddening experience. Cool clothes are easy to find in smaller sizes and cheaper too.  Plus size clothing is for the most part frumpy looking, not flattering and hard to find.  Old Navy's website sells larger sizes "Exclusively Online!" with an exclamation mark, like it's some kind of bonus feature. I used to wear a lot of J. Jill but they too only sell larger sizes online. I want to try things on before I buy them, thank you very much.

So I decided that if I couldn't find cool clothes that fit me then I would punch fashion in the nose and make them myself.

Here's a list of what I don't have...

•  tons of money

•  a big closet

•  a tall and slender supermodel figure

•  a tolerance for uncomfortable clothes

Here's a list of what I do have....

•  feet that are practically square, like Barney Rubble after a bad night of bowling

•  a hobbit shaped middle-aged lady figure, like a trashbag filled with water balloons

•  the ability to put a product line together.

•   a fifteen-year-old sewing machine

•   time

•   manic optimism

So I put together a plus size clothing line for one person, me, and started sewing. Here is what I've made so far... Some pieces missed the mark, like the flannel pants... they are huge. I feel like Kipling's rhino when I wear them, and one of the pockets is backwards. Other pieces are wins. The kimono sweatshirt is amazing, simple, warm, yet much more flattering than a regular sweatshirt.

This is my "to make" page... One of the local JoAnn's is closing so I picked up a shoebox full of patterns, five for a dollar. I bought a bunch of fabric for 75% off. I am set!

I also want to try more tee-shirt hacks and do more tie-dye.

How about you? What would you make if you could make anything? What's your favorite creative activity?



Imagination creates reality.

~ Richard Wagner

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lost Blog

Jeepers, I haven't written anything in a long time. Silly Facebook gets posts every day and my newsletter goes out every month but poor neglected blog... you get nuthin' I wonder why that is?

We have been busy... in no particular order...

The Wonderhub and I went to a concert in the park last Tuesday. Tasty sandwiches and a Beatles Cover Band. 

 We went to see Emo Philips reading Peter and the Wolf at the Huntington Beach Library. He was wonderfully funny and we got to meet him.

 I made focaccia for a potluck, stuffed with olives, artichoke hearts and cheese, topped with home grown tomatoes and Parmesan. Tasty!

I've been trying to sew a little every night. One of the local fabric stores is going out of business so I've been stocking up. I'll post more on this mania later.

 The Secret Garden Book is coming along nicely...

The cats have been helping out as only cats can. The boy is learning how to drive... so creative and busy! That's our summer. How about you?


Oh be swift to love,

make haste to be kind. 

 ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel