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Archive for October, 2013

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Because my husband is awesome, this is the one year of self employment anniversary present he got for me.

A year ago today, I had just finished the final weekend of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s fall show.

More importantly, however, I had also just finished working at Harvard University.  That Friday was the last time I was employed by another company, and I was about to begin the exciting (and not a little bit terrifying) adventure of self employment.  It’s a step that I had been working towards for years, and I had finally reached the tipping point where if Storied Threads was going to keep growing, I had to give it my full time attention.

Now that it’s been a year — I can say without reservation that this was the best career choice I’ve ever made.  Things have continued to grow for me and for Storied Threads, and look to continue doing so as we go forward.  I started adding conventions to my vending outlets — Arisia and ConnectiCon were both fantastic, and I’m looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend.  And last month, I was able to hire my husband, Michael Bailey, as a full time employee — a fact which has been a huge boon in keeping up with orders and stock building.

So, here we are, one year later. We’re gearing up for what we hope will be a crazy holiday shopping season, getting ready for our last show of 2013, and planning to head into 2014 chewing bubble gum and kicking ass.

And we’re all out of bubble gum.

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ImageI guess it’s appropriate I’m talking about the Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s Time Travelers Weekend, since time has flown during this year’s run of the fall show. I can’t believe we’re already coming up on closing weekend!

Time Travelers Weekend – when patrons are encouraged to come in non-period costumes – was especially fun this year, thanks to the producers bringing in a couple of very cool props: a life-size TARDIS and a screen-accurate DeLorean as it appeared in the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

I think I had the honor of taking the first picture with the TARDIS, which was conveniently located near my tent. I didn’t even wait to set up the tent for the weekend, I went right to the Doctor’s famous blue box and geeked out.

ImageOnce I got dressed (in my sorely under-used Princess Mary Tudor gown), I had fun with the DeLorean and took some Cinderella-inspired shots. Side note: the owner charged $10 for patrons to take a photo with the car, and all the proceeds were donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Day two of the three-day weekend was dedicated to cosplay, and my contribution was one of my two Doctor Who-inspired outfits. I wore the other one on day three, which featured the Doctor Who costume contest, which was great for me because the prize was a gift certificate to my shop, and I got to play judge for the contest!

(Fortunately, I did not also have to host the event. That task fell to the Lords of Adventure, one of the faire’s indie acts, and I couldn’t have asked for better partners for this event.)

ImageThe costumes Monday ran the gamut of the Whoniverse. There were of course several doctors (including a very impressive William Hartnell Doctor), but the faire also saw several companions, numerous anthropomorphized TARDISes, a handful of minor supporting characters (such as an oracle from the “Fires of Pompeii” episode, as played by a pre-Amy Pond Karen Gillen), and a couple who came as an old-school Cyberman and a Clockwork Assassin (from “The Girl in the Fireplace”).

ImageThe contest came down to the Hartnell Doctor and the Cyberman, and the crowd chose the Cyberman in a very tight contest. He happily came to the tent right away to spend his prize. As a bonus, the sight of a Cyberman shopping in my tent provided passers-by with an entertaining sight.

So, it was not only a fun weekend, it was a successful one, much more so than I was expecting, and this week has been a little frantic as I try to beef up my stock for the fifth and final weekend, which is Masquerade Weekend. The producers have decided not to run its Halloween Knights event, but the faire will still be in the Halloween spirit, with children’s and adult costume contests, and safe trick-or-treating for kids on both Saturday and Sunday.

Stop by this weekend and enjoy the final days of the faire for 2013, and swing by the tent to say hello to me and my assistant Kate – or, as we will be known on Sunday, Captain America and Captain Marvel. That’s right, I’ll be bringing out my period-flavored Cap ensemble, and Kate will be debuting for the faire crowd her Captain Marvel outfit…the same one she wore to New York ComicCon last weekend, when she also got engaged to her long-time boyfriend Justin! Congratulations, Kate!

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It’s October, which means one of our favorite holidays, Halloween, is right around the corner!

Every year we get customers buying patches for use in their Halloween costumes, so this week’s we’re featuring some of those patches, along with some others that would be great for use in a costume, plus a few with a fun Halloween vibe.

ImageAmusingly enough, one of the top Halloween purchases is our TARDIS sign package (the Police Call Box, Door Sign, and St. John’s Ambulance patches), which people use to finish off their TARDIS cosplays (yes, people cosplay as the TARDIS itself, and some of the ones I’ve seen have been very clever).

Another popular finishing touch is our S-Mart patches, both the “Shop Smart” and “Ash – Housewares” variants. Add these to a light blue uniform shirt and bingo, you’re Bruce Campbell’s iconic hero from “Army of Darkness” (boomstick and chainsaw hand are purely optional).

ImageThe Pendragon Crest patch, inspired by the show Merlin, is a new addition, but is already a best seller. Add this to a knight’s surcoat to become a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, or even Arthur himself!

Speaking of surcoats, we offer a selection of knight’s surcoats, ranging from “blank” surcoats without any heraldry to our A Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire-inspired surcoats bearing heraldry from Houses Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, and Greyjoy (and we could easily adapt any of our House patch designs to create a custom surcoat).

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Photo by Lauren Dubois.

For something a little more unusual, we have surcoats inspired by Thor and Captain America from The Avengers. Start with these pieces to create knightly renditions of the God of Thunder and the original all-American super-hero, respectively.

The Camp Crystal Lake Counselor patch would be great for a quick and easy costume. Just add the patch to a short-sleeve uniform shirt and bingo, you’re a Jason Voorhees victim waiting to happen.

If you’d just like to grab an appropriately spooky patch for fun, try one of our “Rule #1 – Cardio” patches, inspired by Zombieland; our new Rocky Horror Picture Show-inspired “Antici…pation” patch; “Double Jointed and Hungarian,” from Tim Burton’s fantastic film Ed Wood; one of Lovecraftian Euro-style patches; or a Zombie Survival or Vampire Hunter Geek Merit Badge. 

And remember, if you want any of these items in time for Halloween, you should order now!

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