Event Fatigue (Or How My Craft Table Got Full, My Wallet Got Empty and A Month of My Life Disappeared)

For those that don’t know, I live in a little Hobbit Cave of an apartment near Lake Michigan. And I tend to feel more centered when what little space I have is filled with people, so most of my friends have a standing open invitation to stay at my apartment whenever they need to come up to Chicago. And in a city that is home to so many concerts, events and conventions, the need comes up quite a bit.

August 16-19 of this year was what I called Super Con Weekend — not only was Comic Con going on at the Rosemont Center, The Fest for Beatle Fans was happening across the street at the Hyatt. Out by my place, we had Market Days, the largest outdoor street festival in the American Midwest (Olivia Newton-John was there this year, still very sad I missed seeing her). On Saturday, in downtown Chicago, Adam Bouscha had an open photo shoot for the NOH8 campaign. Busy weekend, lots of people, very little parking, an amazing number of good-looking people in cosplay clusters.

My sister, Erica and our friends Bobbie and Matt all came out to stay at my place for quality time and convention fun. Props to them, the thick crowds on the Lakeview sidewalks (and, Saturday night, in Melrose Restaurant) gave me panic attacks at inopportune moments.

My sister and I went to the NOH8 photo shoot downtown on Saturday. She posted for her portrait while I chatted with a couple of people and bought us some swag. We headed to Rosemont with the boys right afterward, them to the Rosemont Center and Chicago Comic Con, us to the Hyatt and The Fest for Beatle fans.

The Fest for Beatle Fans (formerly Beatlefest) was an annual tradition in my family. Every summer, a group of us would pool our money together for a couple rooms at the Hyatt Regency O’ Hare and spend four days in Chicago, three of them at the convention communing with other Beatle fans from all over the country.

These days, we don’t have a lot of money or time and so we’ve started a new tradition of devoting one day of the weekend to Beatlefest and one day to bumming around Chicago. This year, my sister bummed around Lakeview pretty much on her own the first day while I worked. The second we went to Beatlefest. The third we went to Chicago Comic Con. It was a packed few days without a lot of breathing room. All in all, it was a really wonderful, fun, fast, fantastically stressful weekend. My haul for from all of the conventions was pretty modest, compared to my memories of other conventions but I picked up some great pieces by some wonderful crafters as well.

– NOH8 dog tag on a ball chain
– “The Beatles and Liverpool, England” patch
– Sixth Doctor badge
– Mark Hudson lapel pin
– A copy of “Chant and Be Happy” with interviews with John Lennon and George Harrison
– wrist mala with bone beads carved into minature skulls (Ravenwing Wearable Art)
– cuff earring with a pair of handcuffs with “FREEDOM” engraved on them (Ravenwing Wearable Art)
– A copy of “The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas”
– Vinson Watson’s “Reaction: The Ultimate Man”
– Jane Austen badge (http://facebook.com/sparkle.lawrenceville)

Following Super Con Weekend, there was Gen Con in Indianapolis. I got hooked last year when my ex lured me into coming along by saying “they have spousal activities.” ‘Spousal Activities’ (SPA, for the initiated) includes workshops and events like learning to crochet, pub walks, Bondage 101, teddy bear chainmaille and, my personal favorite, Open Crafting. The open crafting room in the Crossroads section of ICC (Indiana Convention Center, or ‘Ice Cream Castle’) has tables set up and enormous craft tables full of scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, painting and jewelry crafting gear, much of it donated to and obtained by the very awesome Marian (go follow her on Twitter). I was a dubious munchkin, but the Open Craft room made a GenCon fan out of me.

It helps that Ann, one of my Red Dwarf fandom buddies and writing buddies, also lives in Indy, so it gives me a fantastic excuse to drop in and have lunch with her. We met up at the RAM Restaraunt and Brewery, same as last year. Poor Ann got there early so we wouldn’t lose a booth to a bunch of cosplayers or D&D guys and my bus ended up being an hour late because of an accident on 65 (the department of transportation diverted my bus through a bunch of corn and soybean fields, not a joke).

Afterward, I picked up my badge and moved onto the Open Crafting room, where I got to work knitting and chatting with people in and out, including Debra and Au’na – both of whom had good news to share. Au’na and Debra’s son Carey had just gotten married in a Joker/Harley Quinn flash mob style ceremony. There were many fantastic photos to share.

And I managed to get a doll commission delivered to Au’na, which I will be posting about very shortly…

It was a fun few weeks that I’m just beginning to recover from.

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~ by blackmoodcraft on September 15, 2012.

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