Sewing some fun

Hello, dear pond readers, thank you for joining me here at the pond. Happily, I’m here today to share some crafty fun that I’ve been sewing. I hope that it inspires you to get your own crafty shenangins going.

I got busy making some Whovian magic happen by using this set of directions for an envelope pillow cover to sew two 16″x16″ throw pillows. As odd as this sounds, I liked that Martha Stewart’s page didn’t have pictures for the directions because just using the math happened to be easier for me. There are various picture-filled options online though for the more visually inclined. The pillow pictured below is wonderfully plush and cozy.

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Front of Whovian pillow by E.A. Schneider Also, FYI, it is super adorable to see someone using this pillow and see the “Vworp Vworp” above their head like a text balloon.

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Back of the Whovian Pillow by E.A. Schneider

For my mom’s birthday, I made this pincushion. I made it two-sided because both sets of fabric are adorable and my mom likes to have fun choices. I’m rather proud of how well centered the buttons are.

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Blue side of pincushion

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Peach and blue side of pincushion

I also made her this pendant but I did cheat and string it on a pre-made cord. It is painted jasper so it also has two sides that look all impressionistic and lovely.

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Jasper pendant side 1 by E.A. Schneider

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Jasper pendant side 2 by E.A. Schneider

To kick off my fundraising for team Nerds for a Cure in Walk MS Waukesha 2017, I made these two dice bags for friends of mine. These friends have joined the glorious world of Dungeons & Dragons and needed suitable bags of holding for their dice so they asked me if I could make them bags. Two years ago I made dice bags for my fundraising for Nerds for a Cure and I used that same pattern again.  We play weekly and I tailored the bags to their personal interests, both in and out of the game. It was a delightful creative challenge and I’m happy to say that they were pleased with them.

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Dragon and cat dice bags of holding. By E.A. Schneider

Also, because I thought it would be a fun challenge, the insides of the bags have a surprise at the bottom.

I have no doubt that I’m going to craft some more nifty stuff for the fundraiser and will share the details here when I can.

I’m working on some other fun craft projects and will hopefully get them finished soon. What sorts of crafting are you doing these days, dear pond readers? Please, post comments and links below when you have the chance and thanks for stopping by the pond today!

Raffle for a Cure! Nerd style :-) Now bigger than ever!

Raffle for a Cure! Nerd style :-) Now bigger than ever!

All the different prize options in a pile!

All the different prize options in a pile!

Hello, dear pond readers! I am doing something new in my pond in an effort to save my brain from multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2013 and I’ve written about it a little bit in another post, if you want to check that out. I am doing a raffle of handcrafted items to raise money for Walk MS-Waukesha to benefit the Wisconsin chapter of the National MS society.

Here are the directions: look through the items pictured below and decide for which of the twelve prize option(s) you would like to buy a virtual raffle ticket. UPDATE: All raffle tickets are now $2 per entry! You still have to specify which drawing(s) you want to put your donation toward by copying the comment text with each option, but there is no longer variation in price. If you already donated, fantastic, you just get more entries per prize option drawing than you initially thought you would. Also, I will always round up so if you donated an odd sort of number I will round up the number of entries you have. To buy a raffle ticket, go to my personal fundraising page, hit “Donate to Me,” donate in the ticket increment you want, fill out your full contact information, and, in the comment section, copy the text that corresponds to the desired item option(s) below. Your information is confidential, will not be sold, and will not be used for any nefarious purpose. Your full contact information of at least a name and an e-mail address is needed to contact you in the event that you win and so I can mail any item(s) you won. If you want to opt out of being contacted by the National MS society, there is a way for you to do that when you donate. I won’t contact you either beyond one thank-you-for-being-amazing note. All donations are tax-deductible in the United States. I have no idea if they are tax-deductible in other countries but you will get the same warm, fuzzy feeling of being amazing no matter what nation you hale from, if you donate to my fundraising.

My plan is to print out little squares of paper donation entries based on the donations, put them in a zippy bag for each prize option, and then, the day after the walk on September 21st, film a drawing of names and post that video here on the pond. Winners will be e-mailed and shipment arranged after the drawing. I will mail items at my own cost in the most economic fashion, which will probably be USPS first class, but, we’ll see, this is all new to me. People can definitely have their names in more than once for each raffle option and have their names in for multiple options but, your donation has to add up to that many virtual raffle tickets and you have to have the comment text for each option you want to have a chance at winning.

For example: Jane Smith really likes the pincushions, the Star Trek scarf, and the reading quillow. Jane wants at least two tickets for each option. When Jane donates, being sure to include her e-mail address, jane.smith@fictional.com, she donates $35 (35/2 =17.5, ~18, 18/3=6 entries per drawing!) and copies all three lines of comment text, so her comment box says:  I am a Technicolorlilypond SEWIST nerd for a cure!  I am a Technicolorlilypond READING nerd for a cure! I am a Technicolorlilypond STAR TREK nerd for a cure! And, just like that, she has paid for six entries in each of those three prize option categories and she will have the satisfaction of knowing that she has made a tax-deductible donation to help rid the world of multiple sclerosis. On the day of the drawing, Jane’s name will be in each pool six times, increasing her odds of being the lucky person to receive the nerdy item in the post. See how amazing that is? Together, all of this will add up to making the world a better place for lot of people who are really hoping that people like you will help fund scientific research into curing them of multiple sclerosis. That is some pretty amazing stuff.

Time for prize option pictures! As you can see, some options have multiple items whereas others have one. The way I envision this is that as an example, for the pincushion raffle there are four pincushions that you can potentially win. I will have one pool of pincushion entries and will draw names from the pool four times, once for each pincushion. I hope that that makes sense. I know that that means you might not win the exact item you want but, hopefully you know somebody in your life who would like that item and you’ll be ahead on your unbirthday shopping.

Raffle prize option #1: Wristlet style Phone case with E.A. Schneider photo-print! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond PHOTOGRAPHER nerd for a cure!

Phone case with velcro closure and 4x6 photo print

Option #1: Phone case with velcro closure and 4×6 photo print

Raffle prize option #2: Pincushions! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond SEWIST nerd for a cure!

Option #2: Pincushions homemade with cottons and buttons.

Option #2: Pincushions homemade with cottons and buttons.

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Raffle prize option #3: Dice Bags of Holding! With actual dice! Dice not pictured but two gaming dice come with each bag. Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond GAMER nerd for a cure!

Option #3: Dice bags of holding with 2 dice apiece (not all pictured)

Option #3: Dice bags of holding with 2 dice apiece (not all pictured)

Raffle prize option #4: Doctor Who Pillow! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond DOCTOR WHO nerd for a cure!

Option #4: Doctor Who pillow handmade by E.A. Schneider. Made of cotton and polar fleece.

Option #4: Doctor Who pillow handmade by E.A. Schneider. Made of cotton and polar fleece.

Option #4: Doctor Who pillow handmade by E.A. Schneider. Made of cotton and polar fleece.

Option #4: Doctor Who pillow handmade by E.A. Schneider. Made of cotton and polar fleece.

Raffle prize option #5:  Wildlife pillow! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond WILDLIFE nerd for a cure!

Option #5: Wildlife pillow! Made of cotton and polar fleece. 10

Option #5: Wildlife pillow! Made of cotton and polar fleece. 10″x10″ size.

Option #5: Wildlife pillow, back side, 10

Option #5: Wildlife pillow, back side, 10″x10″

Raffle prize option #6: Star Trek fleece scarf! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond STAR TREK nerd for a cure!

Option #6: Star Trek Fleece scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #6: Star Trek Fleece scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Option #6: Star Trek Fleece scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #6: Star Trek Fleece scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Raffle prize option #7: Star Wars fleece scarf! This scarf glows in the dark. Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond STAR WARS nerd for a cure!

Option #8: Star Wars scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #7: Star Wars scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Option #8: Star Wars scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #7: Star Wars scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Raffle prize option #8: Doctor Who fleece scarf! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond WHOVIAN nerd for a cure!

Option #9: Doctor Who scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #8: Doctor Who scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Option #9: Doctor Who scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48

Option #8: Doctor Who scarf scarf made of cotton and polar fleece, ~48″ long.

Raffle prize option #9: Reading Quillow! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond READING nerd for a cure!

Option #10: Reading Quillow! Made of cottons and quilted in the ditch. The throw is a micro-plush throw.

Option #9: Reading Quillow! Made of cottons and quilted in the ditch. The throw is a micro-plush throw.

Prize option #9: Reading quillow, unfolded back-side of pocket and throw

Prize option #9: Reading quillow, unfolded back-side of pocket and throw

Raffle option #10: Woodcraft Bangle Bracelet! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond JEWELRY nerd for a cure!

Prize option #10: Woodcraft bangle bracelets crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp.

Prize option #10: Woodcraft bangle bracelets crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp.

Raffle option #11: Bottle Openers! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond SPIRITS nerd for a cure!

Option #11: Bottle Openers crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp!

Option #11: Bottle Openers crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp.

Raffle option #12: Kitchen Accessories! Raffle ticket cost is $2 per entry

Comment text to copy: I am a Technicolorlilypond COOKING nerd for a cure!

Option #12: Kitchen Accessories!

Option #12: Kitchen Accessories! Pictured are (from left to right) a mortar and pestle, a pizza cutter, and an ice cream scoop all crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp.

Option #12: Kitchen accessories! Pictured is a nutcracker.

Option #12: Kitchen accessories! Pictured is a nutcracker crafted by Wisconsin artist, Steve Ripp.

You may start donating and get your name in the pool today. All donations that include the comment text from this blog post will be eligible for the raffle drawing until 12 PM CT on Monday September 21st, 2015. On the 21st, I will film myself drawing the names, post the video, contact the winners, and thank everyone who donated. If you do choose to donate, please leave a comment below. Thank you all for spreading the word to your friends. Should you have any questions about any of the options or the Walk, please leave the question below and I’ll do my best to answer. Thank you, dear readers, for reading all of this. Your readership and support mean so much to me.

Wizard World 2012

So it might seem like I’ve been a bit of a stranger to the pond this month and that would be true. This August has been a busy one for me and my husband. We celebrated our wedding anniversary this year by finally realizing our dream of attending the Wizard World convention in suburban Chicago together. It was our first vacation away together in a long time, our first time at this particular con, and the first time I’ve gotten to attend a really big geek convention since I was a child in elementary school. Some of my cherished memories of childhood include traipsing around vendor booths with my dad, brother, and cousins cradling my precious tribble, Spock figurine, and die cast NCC-1701-A model; things I’ve carried with me through many moves, states, and stages of life. Even as I write this I am kept company by these things. Attending Wizard World and seeing kids, girls and boys alike, looking wide-eyed at everything with their families and their precious totems of fandom warmed my heart. I think that feeling of camaraderie, of knowing that one is not alone in the universe with these hobbies of science fiction, fantasy, and imagination is the best part of going to a convention. I didn’t do proper cosplay. I lack the time, money, and frankly the confidence to attempt to cosplay the way I would like to. But I did enjoy the company of hundreds of other people wearing nerdy T-shirts and the artistry of those who did choose to cosplay. Since I love the aesthetic of Steampunk I chose to wear Steampunk themed accessories with my street-clothes as my version of Steampunk-lite. I wore a necklace and bracelet made from a kit I purchased but I designed and built my hat decoration pictured below.

My steampunk decorated hat.

The hat is one I’ve owned for years. Friends will recognize it as I wear it often during late summer, fall, winter, and spring. If it’s not over 90 degrees I rock my felt purple hat. I didn’t make the hat itself but it is of a style that is easy to accessorize. The decoration is removable, I didn’t attach it with pins or stitches since I didn’t want to damage the hat. Basically I made a necklace for my hat.

Closeup of the focal decoration of my steampunk hat.

To make the decoration I just opened and closed jump rings and used some basic wire wrapping to hold everything together. It is simple but effective.

Closeup of one of the charms I made to decorate my hat.

I am particularly fond of the decoration shown above. It is a simple charm made with a flat head pin but I like the layered look of the bird, gear, and glimmering glass leaf. I was tickled by the number of compliments I received on the hat throughout the weekend.

The panels are the highlight of any convention and the ones we saw did not disappoint. Seeing three of the Captains of Star Trek, William Shatner, Avery Brooks, and Scott Bakula, was frankly the key part I was looking forward to at the convention. I am a fan of modest ambitions. I don’t want autographs or meet and greets. I just wanted to hear the actors behind some of my favorite characters and moments of television speak for a little while; after weeks of waiting and a two hour line I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. Scott Bakula was affable and funny (he gave Jean-Luc mouth to mouth!), William Shatner was a charming ham discussing his interest in making documentaries, and Avery Brooks blew my mind with his succinct philosophical answers to questions about acting, modern mythology, Ben Sisko, and the legacy of Star Trek. Every time there was a question the whole room, actors included, held their breath waiting for Brooks’ answer, Bakula even said he would refer all of his answers to Avery for the rest of the panel. It was funny, it was insightful and I found myself grateful that these actors who portrayed characters I love were actually really charming, humble men in the context of a convention panel at least. As I left the Captain’s panel I was very close to Avery Brooks in the hallway. If he had looked up he could have seen me smile as he passed by, he just seemed like an island of calm in the crowd and I don’t care what Q said, he is a very tall man; I have to say it was a very cool moment at the end of a wonderful day. And that was only day one! Bruce Campbell’s panel was diverting; though I’ve never really cared for insult comedy I thought his sincere answers to succinct non-stupid questions were insightful and interesting. James Hong was the most delightful of all the panels we saw, he just seemed to be having so much fun. I found myself struck by his talent, his sense of humor, and how fascinating his journey was from civil engineer (yes, he started from the gutter of L.A., he engineered them) to an actor with over 500 credits. The story of how he first met his agent by having the courage to show up at her door and sing a Christmas carol is going to be one I carry in my heart for years to come when I need to find the guts for something.

We had fun picking up nerd bling. I now have several shiny new Star Trek pins, nerd T-shirts, and some awesome posters. I didn’t take a lot of cosplay pictures. For one thing I tend to be rather shy and for another I only stopped characters I thought were really outstanding or original.

This gentleman was the best cosplayer I saw of the 11th Doctor. Fezzes are cool.

I found Carmen Sandiego! Do you think she was there to steal a rare comic book or figurine or the whole convention?

It’s Beaker and Dr. Bunson Honeydew! Best. Cosplay. EVER.

It’s Porco Rosso! I was stoked to see some Studio Ghibli character cosplay and this gentleman made an excellent costume.

The piece de resistance: I found the TARDIS. Thus the thoroughly goofy expression on my face.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. We’re already planning for next year.