Geeky Christmas Decorations 2: Goblin Dreams Haul

In my last post about Geeky Christmas decorations I explained that I try to pick up one or two new unusual new tree ornaments each year. Well, December 2015 might be somewhat lacking in overall festive anticipation, but in this respect at least I haven’t broken tradition. This year’s acquisition for the Addaltmode tree, has now arrived and gone straight to the top of my list of favourite decorations. He’s flying the geek flag pretty high too….

Meet Potatox*:

Dragon Christmas bauble by Goblin Dreams

Dragon Christmas bauble by Goblin Dreams

Isn’t he lovely? This little guy is handmade by the talented Nici and Marc a local duo who run an ”Emporium of Shiny Curiosities” called Goblin Dreams. I’d bought jewellery and craft supplies from them before when I’ve seen their stall at local comic conventions. And I’d always admired their handmade dragons, who appear in all sorts of adorable and geeky guises, from fairly classic mythical reptilian poses right through to Doctor Who and Ghostbuster dragons, even an Aliens-inspired chest-burster dragon (who has no right to be that cute!) Goblin Dreams recently hosted an online market via their Facebook page and when I saw some festive dragons were available it seemed the perfect opportunity to treat myself.

But wait, there’s more… I think Goblin Dreams might just have helped me answer the conundrum I posed last time: what’s the least appropriate but most geekily awesome festive decoration?

Drum roll please…

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Artist spotlight: Natephoenix

If you’re both eagle-eyed and a regular follower of this blog then you may have noticed that a month or so back my Gratavar profile picture changed from a head shot image of Slipstream screencapped from one of her far-too-infrequent appearances in the Transformers Animated cartoon, to the rather more stylishly composed image of her I’m currently using.

The new picture is a bit special because it was done just for me by the artist Natephoenix, and it’s really about time that I shared the full artwork in all its glory…

Slipstream by Natephoenix. Commissioned for AddAltModeR

Slipstream by Natephoenix. Commissioned for AddAltModeR

Check below the jump for more about the artist and his work…

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Devcon Exe: podcasts, poses and purchases

Last weekend was DevCon Exe (the local convention formerly known as ExeCon), this was a two day event held, this time, in the Great Hall at the University of Exeter. The University was a great venue: well lit and with some interesting backdrops for photographs, plus much more spacious than this event’s previous home at St George’s Hall in the city centre, so although it felt like the place was nicely buzzing on the Saturday at least, things never got too cramped and as someone in a costume with wings I was grateful for that!

B had to work on the Saturday and couldn’t make it along, so our original plan had been that I’d go as Slipstream on the first day with some of our friends to lend me a hand getting in to the costume, and then both halves of AddAltMode would make an appearance in our Borderlands gear on the Sunday. For various reasons, the Sunday plans went awry so Tannis and Salvador didn’t get an airing, but Slipstream had a fantastic time there on the Saturday. I’m still slightly awed by how popular Slipstream is and how much love there is for my costume, both from people encountering her for the first time and from folk who were happy to see my Decepticon alt-mode again.

AddAltModeR as Slipstream, photo by We Shoot First

AddAltModeR as Slipstream, photo by We Shoot First

Read on for my highlights of the day and a few great sites and people for you to check out…. Continue reading

Free Comic Book Day 2015 Part 2: Slipstream and Friends!

free-comic-book-dayPart 2 of my write up of the Free Comic Book Day event at Moving Pictures, Exeter. Part 1 can be found here.

There are many, many reasons I enjoy cosplay. I love enjoy the creative challenge of building the costume (most of the time, anyway – occasionally I hate it), and of course I love being able to share my fandom in a very public way. I also like how I look as a robot. Seriously if we had the technology to upload ourselves into robot bodies, I would be elbowing my way to the front of the queue right now. But another reason why cosplay fills me with such glee is the confidence boost that comes with dressing up. I am an introvert and though I do fine with public speaking and in a people-facing role at work, when it comes to being spontaneously social and meeting new people I am, more often than, not just a bundle of awkward nerves. In costume, however, it’s different. The first time I went out as Arcee it was truly a revelation to me how much I  enjoyed the attention, and how much easier I found it to chat to other people. Slipstream was the same, and I really enjoyed interacting with passers-by and with some of the wonderful fellow costumers who came out to celebrate the wonder of free comics.

Seeing as in Transformers Animated Slipstream is voiced by the one and only Tara Strong  I think I can legitimately make the “Friendship is Magic” reference in this context. So here are some of the friends  – likely and less so – I made on Saturday:

Friendship is Magic!

Khorne Bezerker + Evil robot. Friendship is Magic Heresy!

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Free Comic Book Day 2015 Part 1: Slipstream Cosplay

free-comic-book-daySo, Saturday 2nd May was Free Comic Book Day. How did you celebrate?

I just so happened to acknowledge the occasion by picking up some free comics. Funny that. Oh, and also by fighting Bumblebee over the bonnet of Barricade:

Living the Transformers dream!

Living the Transformers dream!

I know I’d said before that I was planning to make my Decepticon cosplay debut at DevCon at the end of May. But yeah, I lied. What other behaviour should you expect from a clone of Starscream? I heard a while back that one of our local comic shops, Moving Pictures, was doing an event for Free Comic Book Day that would include cosplay and also a chance to “meet” Barricade, or at least a car brilliantly done up to resemble the Decepticon’s alt-mode from the Michael Bay Transformer films. I’m not really a fan of Bayformers but I did think the Barricade police car looked pretty cool, and that having another Decepticon in town would be the perfect excuse to take Slipstream out for the first time.

So I decided if I could get the costume finished in time I’d go for it. I’ll admit that was slightly ambitious and that I was up until almost midnight the previous night finishing off the detailing, but I did it and I have to say I had an absolutely fantastic day, causing a geeky stir in Exeter city centre and making friends old and new.

Slipstream Cosplay by AddAltModeR.  Barricade courtesy of Mustang Hire Southwest

Slipstream Cosplay by AddAltModeR.
Barricade courtesy of Mustang Hire Southwest

Sadly, AddAltModeB couldn’t make the event as he had to work, so massive thanks are due to my pal Sadie for coming along to help me with the costume and for taking all these photos!

This post is going to be part 1 of 2 and will mostly comprise pictures of my costume and of Barricade. In Part 2, “Slipstream and Friends,” and I’ll share more pictures of the event – which was also raising money for ELF (Exeter Leukemia Fund) – and some of the great cosplayers I met.

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Geek Fashion! My Kind of Dress: Vintage Fabric Transformers Sun Dress

So, lately there’s been a whole lot of nonsense and hype on social media about #TheDress, but there’s only one dress that has managed to excite me. And forget any rubbish about trying to decide if it’s white and gold or blue and black, this one is definitely yellow and blue and it’s definitely covered in Autobots and Decepticons! Win!

Photo by Mary Jane's originals, used with permission

Transformers dress by Mary Jane’s Originals

Best of all, this dress was made especially for me by Geek Seamstress Extraordinaire Mary-Jane, of Mary-Jane’s Originals.

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