I had the pleasure of setting up shop at TopCon this past weekend, a small convention in Topeka, Kansas. It being their hometown, of course the IBOTKS were there (Iron Brothers of Topeka, KS). They’re a family cosplay group that’s built some amazing Ironman themed cosplays, along with many other costumes too. I just happened to catch this video of Ironman and War Machine getting their groove on with a T-Rex (and it’s hard to see, but there’s this little kid in the middle of it all dancing his little heart out too). Needless to say, it was a fun weekend. If you want to see more pictures from TopCon, head on over to their photo gallery!
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I had the opportunity to spend some time at Kansas City’s longest-running science fiction convention, ConQuesT, this weekend. I ran into my friend Annastasia Webster, of Stasia Crafts, there, and her hat bowled me over. Stasia is known on the con circuit for her stunning hats, and this Star Wars confection was no exception.
“You just need a ton of crap and some hot glue,” was her advice to me on making unique headwear, but this was far from “crap” – she’s quite clever and inventive with her supplies.
Her hat featured Yoda, Darth Vader, and R2D2 figures, as well as a light saber. She mentioned that when she went looking for action figures, they were rather pricey, so she opted to grab some kid water bottles that had similar figures on top, and handy flat bottoms that sat nicely on her hat. The light saber? It’s a bubble wand! She just scraped off the bubble label, tossed the bubble contraption, and it was perfect.
In the pic, you can also just make out her shawl, which she hand-knitted. Her talents are limitless!
What inventive creations have you seen at cons lately? Share with us in the comments below!
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Convention season is approaching (actually, I’ve got three cons this month!), and I’ve put together a checklist for con-goers getting ready to go to their next convention. If you’ve never been to pop culture convention, or even if you’ve been to dozens, it’s always good to be prepared. Check out the list of things to take and even research before going so you can have the best con experience ever. There’s even a downloadable version of the checklist, including tips for cosplayers! Do you have any advice for folks getting ready to go to their next convention? Share them with us in the comments or on FB!
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Have you been to a Maker Faire? A celebration of things people make themselves, Maker Faires are organized by MAKE Magazine, and started in San Mateo, California in 2006. Now these events take place across the country. My hometown, Kansas City, happens to be one of the “featured” Faires, where more than 200 makers participate. I have shared Faires in the past, in 2011 and 2012, so I figured it was time for an update.
Above is a montage of photos I took – here are the highlights, starting in the upper left corner, and working around clockwise:
- 3D printers were big again, as they have been at each Faire I’ve attended. These were some 3D-printed TARDISes and Star Trek Lego figures.
- Some more examples of 3D printed items – these were very ornate vases by Sage Kaneko.
- A chainmail demonstration by Michael of Amanda Lynn Chainmaille Creations.
- The Artifex 2 desktop 3D printer – it printed in the usual hard plastic filament, but also wood and a flexible “NinjaFlex” thermoplastic elastomer.
- Eco Elvis performed – he was all shook up about the effects of acid rain.
- The Flipbookits were a cool find in the Maker Store – it’s a DIY kit to make your own motorized flipbook, designed by kinetic artists.
- Artists from Dare to Dabble were on hand to help attendees create gelli prints with acrylic paints, brayers, stamps and stencils.
- I made my own glycerin soap with Feto Soap! It smells like cinnamon and I chose a cute little gnome as the “prize” in the center.
- There were speakers scheduled throughout the day, discussing all sorts of interesting make-y type topics. The one I heard was about the use of hydraulics in Hollywood.
- Many booths encouraged attendees, particularly kids, to try their hand at a variety of tasks. This booth by Leela Village School for Purposeful Play offered a DIY playground with robots made from found materials. (P.S. Did you know “Leela” means “divine play” in Sanskrit?)
- A steampunk dirigible
- There was a table for Raspberry Pi Geek magazine – we got my husband one of these little credit card-sized computers for his birthday this year, so I was sure to pick up one of their sample magazines.
There was so much to see, and scrolling through the Instagram feed for #MakerFaireKC, I can see I missed quite a bit! Be sure to allow a few hours at least if a Maker Faire hits your area, if not a whole day!
What have been your favorite things to see at a Maker Faire? Share with us in the comments below!
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Have you heard of the Iron Brothers of Topeka? They’ve got some of the coolest cosplay I’ve ever seen, and it was especially cool to see them at Figments and Filaments in Kansas City. The convention itself was pretty small, so we were able to get up close (and yes, that’s me) and get pictures. By the way, that’s the Iron Brothers’ very own cosplay Stan Lee.