Monday, July 7, 2014

CONvergence 2014

If you've been wondering where I've been for the past two weeks, the answer is prepping for and participating in CONvergence 2014! 

CONvergence is a giant geek party that takes place at the Bloomington Doubletree Hotel in MN over the 4th of July weekend. Unlike bigger cons such as SDCC, C2E2 or Wizard World, CONvergence is essentially a celebration of the geek community. It is usually attended by upwards of 7000 fans who get together to party, discuss, and celebrate everything geekily awesome. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it! 

(You are only able to purchase a four-day pass, which is $60 for adults if you register prior to December 31st, 2014. This is to help facilitate the ongoing party-ness feel, as opposed to a more commercial con with higher profile guests).

 Although alcohol is allowed at the convention, it is nonetheless a very family friendly con, with many children in attendance in absolutely ADORABLE costumes. There are some panels and parties with children themes, as well as craft activities. Areas with potentially problematic content (such as some nude art in the Artist Gallery) are usually advertised as such. The con also has very strict rules about weapondry, and even our squirt guns were required to be peacebonded. The volunteers were so kind about telling us to head over to the bridge, though. (Seriously, the volunteer staff ROCKS).

In addition, everyone at the con is usually really friendly and nice. And conscientious! Last year my friend lost her iPhone, and it was brought to the LOST and FOUND right away! This year my badge fell off on the second day, but sure enough, we found it in the LOST and FOUND!

Oh, want to see more photos of our Pirate and Disney cosplays and learn how we pulled them together? Check out my post on the sewing blog!

This year our group included Nathan, myself, Meg, and our friends Andy and Claire. We had a blast hanging out together!

I also cut my hair halfway through the con. People didn't recognize me that day!

BTW my hubby was great. I've been having pain in my foot that makes walking hard, and he went out of his way to always bring the car around to the front door, and provide a shoulder for me to lean on while walking. He also carried our backpack/shoulder bag with our stuff (and water bottles!) the entire time, refusing to allow me to carry it at all.

The weather was MUCH better this year than last year, with only Sunday rising to unbearably hot levels.

The Dealer Hall/Vendor Floor, while smaller than other cons, is PACKED with goodies! Nathan and I found one of the games he worked on at one of the booths. So cool! (Descent: Oath of the Outcast by Fantasy Flight Games).

I did not get nearly enough photos, relying on Meg and her Magical Camera to take the best ones. However, I did snap shots of some of my favorites, such as the adorable couple above.

There is an abundance of free stuff to partake of at CONvergence,  including the coffee and tea bar.

There's also rice? I saw this Saturday night, however, and didn't have time to partake.

I'm now addicted to earcuffs. Although I have had my ears pierced, they don't like to work well and it's usually... messy and painful. The cuff was so comfortable though, that I ended up purchasing four of them! I figured with short hair it was necessary to have dangly bling.

Hawkeye and Natasha!

As always, fans are allowed to hang up random signs (so long as they are affixed with THE ONE TAPE).

A MARVELOUS Hagrid cosplay!

A Tressym! I almost got this mug, but between the price tag and my husbands declaration "We have too many mugs!" I passed.

(I also bid on a piece of Tressym art in the Art gallery, but someone named Crazy Cat Lady scooped up ALL the cat pieces. Sniff sniff.)

CONvergence is truly multigenerational... case in point, pictured above are two of my parents high school classmates! (Steampunk Green Lantern cosplays). They also served as judges at this year's masquerade.


Steampunk Aviators!

Steampunk Jedi!

...with working lightsaber!

With this year's theme being "A Midsummer Night's Dream" there were plenty of fairies in attendance!

Lady Lovecraft. The peacock feathers on her shoulders were amaaaaazing, and she made everything in her costume herself!

Oh look, it's our favorite sassy elf...

...this Rapunzel was SO excited to find a Thranduil!

Such a lovely Margery from Game of Thrones!

Poor Ursula had a hard time getting inside with all of the cameras flashing at her!

Alas, I could not get very good photos of the Masquerade costumes, with this Incredibles cosplaying being the best image I managed. However it was marvelous this year, with am absolutely hysterical halftime show. If you go to CONvergence and miss the Masquerade, you are missing the best part of the CON. SO DONT MISS IT!

AND THEN! Chronicles of the Ruahim fans, take a look at that commission! Unicorns... Paris... yes, I got a piece of art commissioned by the lovely Courtney Thomas. I fell in love with her booth display and just had to get a piece done!

This is NOT official series art, just something I got to inspire me as I write the final act of the book. I adore it - Daphne is captured PERFECTLY! (And Courtney and her sister are so nice and talented, I hope they come back next year!)


Now. The Parties. Guys, the entire court around the pool, BOTH levels, is ringed with rooms that have been turned into themed party rooms. This one is Bag End, where we partook of cider, mushrooms and poppyseed cake.


There were other awesome rooms as well, including one made to look like a space station. It was too crowded for me to get a good photo there, but it was amazing. We mostly just toured the upper level of parties and headed home, but even that was great fun and I really recommend checking them out!

There was a greater turn out of fiber artists this year. I came across a lady carrying around her portable spinning wheel made from... PVC!

Oh look, it was sold by the same lady that I've bought nearly all my wool from!

We had to attend the Timey Wimey tea party, of course, hosted by the Victorian Lady Doctors and featuring a proper English tea and even GLUTEN FREE COOKIES! AND CLOTTED CREAM. UM YUM!

Lookit, a Castle and Beckett Cosplay! (Beckett's vest reads "Heat" rather than police, to comply with the rules regarding impersonating an officer of the law or military).

Our very last stop was the fairy wing jewelry making at Connie's Quantum Sandbox. I'd wanted to attend one of the craft sessions there all weekend, but they were either at problematic times or full. I was so happy to finally get into one!

Made this. I'm hoping to convert it to a necklace once I get my hands on some more chain.

My "big purchase" of the year was a leather bound sketchbook. I went back and forth between the various leather booths several times before deciding on this book. It was just gorgeous and I liked the $28 price tag better than the $55 offerings at the other book. Also, the vendors said when I use up the pages they'll refill them for me!

I was too exhausted from overstimulation to do much drawing, but I did challenge myself with this 10-minute sketch of Nathan.

I was a little afraid the gears would be prone to popping off, but they are actually stud-secured through the leather and are VERY sturdy.

Well, that's all for now, folks. It was a blast and we are looking forwards to next year! Will YOU be there?

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