Fear not, my dear readers: I am not dead; I have just been very, very busy. Basically life happened, there hasn’t really been an excuse and it isn’t really subject matter for this blog; hearing about my work life and my mental health isn’t really something for a blog about cosplay and nerddom, so let us just gloss over that and begin on the more relevant things.
With regards to my cosplays for 2014; not a lot has been happening. I have been playing with Worbla and cardboard which has been very, very exciting – also expensive – and I can’t wait to reveal my plans for the cosplay they are being assigned to, however the Great British Weather has been making it very difficult to get out into the garden and spray the constructions in the appropriate colours, get the details on, and then gloss. That is even before I get to enlist some help and get everything bolted together and then fabricate an appropriate covering for the ugly underside and the backpack. The backpack is not only going to be a very convenient place to carry my stuff for the day but it is also being used to hold the whole construction together.
Safe to say it is a bit of a job and the weather is just holding me back on this one.
My other planned costume is taking equally as long but this is only because I have been forced to admit that no, I do not have the tools, or the space, or the skill to fabricate a helmet and an armoured shirt. Due to this I have been forced to commission. I say “forced” but no one held me at gunpoint. It isn’t something I am against either, I think that being able to commission items and help give business to these creative masters is a great thing, I guess that I just feel a bit frustrated that I am unable to do it myself. I pride myself on being able to make things from scratch and being completely involved in all that I do so that is it completely tailored to me and all of the things I like… Still, it will only be two elements of the costume that are made by someone else, I can very easily make sure that they rest of the costume is top-notch and meets my usual standards of excellence.
Due to the nature of the commission the pieces are taking a very long time to be finished and get to me, so there isn’t really much of an update in that department either, which is very frustrating to be honest but something that can’t be avoided. I just have to sit and try to focus on what I can do so I don’t feel completely useless and stationary. I hate doing things last minute; I think that is just setting myself up for failure personally.
However I have been keeping busy!
I have recently been very lucky to have met the owner and creator of Beastly Beverages; purveyor of the finest Fandom and Fantasy teas. Yep, that is right, Fandom Tea! The tea is amazing, every blend has been designed and mixed by Mags himself, on top of each blend being completely unique and individual they are also based upon a character or a “ship” (two characters in a relationship, thus a “ship”) which inspired the blend. Each packet of tea comes with beautiful labels, ingredient lists and best of all; it is all fair-trade and as ecologically friendly as possible with regards to the packaging. Mags ships worldwide and the Etsy store is simply amazing. The best thing is that this little business has big plans; Mags intends to be branching out into coffee, new blends of tea which have been inspired by TV shows such as My Little Pony, to big movies like Rise of the Guardians and Pacific Rim, as well as merchandise. In fact the very first mug which is available in at the Beastly Beverages store is a darling Supernatural mug with Cas, Dean and Sam enjoying coffee on the hood of the Impala.
Beastly Beverages is not only one of the friendliest businesses going, it is also an incredibly exciting one. Who else can say they have geeky tea to share with friends on Doctor Who nights, or Supernatural marathons? The best thing about Beastly Beverages is how painfully affordable it is. Mags does everything in his power as a owner and fan himself to keep everything as cost-effective and positive towards his customers. It is a great little business and the things he is selling and planning to sell are all such great items, both to enjoy on a personal level and as a daily treat, right down to ultimately unique and wonderfully thoughtful gifts for friends and family alike.
I am so passionate about Beastly Beverages that I have begun my own little social media campaign to help it; you see Beastly Beverages needs some help with funding. Through no fault of his own Mags has been force to ask for a little extra help as his business funds took a heavy blow over Christmas with some very unfortunate circumstances. On the plus side this does mean that there are some incredible perks up for grabs; just check out the Beastly Beverages Campaign over at Indiegogo to see where Mags is, what you could get, and if you can donate. Anything is so very appreciated; plus you can even get original art which has been used to the labels, and they are signed too!
Of course, if you can’t Donate, then Sharing is also a huge help, just putting a link up about the Indiegogo campaign on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, anything; it so very helpful and will help to continue getting Beastly Beverages plight out to likeminded people; nerds, geeks, fans of the odd show or movie, lovers of tea and coffee alike! It is all so, so appreciated.
Due to the fact I have really taken to pushing Beastly Beverages – if you couldn’t tell I am very much a fan and very passionate about keeping this business going (I am donating myself but payday hasn’t come yet), I flexed my fingers and made a point to contact some of my friends in high places. These included some of the photographers I have been lucky enough to meet at various conventions and know they are armed with public pages on Facebook. I also contacted some writers I have been overjoyed to meet and befriend. These included the likes of Major Jack Union and Emilly Ladybird from the Steampunk community. The lovely thing about the last two was that tea plays a huge part in the steampunk genre that it made sense to contact them and ask them nicely if they would be willing to help. I have found that most people are more than willing to give it a share if you explain yourself, are polite, and just genuinely nice to them. I am lucky to have these people as my friends and that they could empathise with being a tiny force without much power – after all, we all have to start somewhere don’t we? I am just lucky that these wonderful writers and photographers remembered what it was like to be small and relatively unknown.
While I went back to the drawing board – I still am looking for people and groups to contact as the Beastly Beverages campaign still has a month and a half left (roughly), I remembered one of the most lovely groups of people I have had the pleasure to meet at London Excel Expo/Comic Con – Geeked Magazine. In May 2013 Geeked caught a Lady Thor, Lady Fury and my Femme!Cap and grabbed a snap of us. In the same year I went to LSCC and met Geeked Magazine again, only this time I brought all the available issues of there magazine and since then I am been quite the fan of their work. I really appreciate this little publishing group and everything they are doing and achieving. It is awesome to have a feminist and female take on the nerd and geek culture. It is just everything I love about LGBT&Q awareness, gender and biological sex, the relationships between reader and media, just everything. I really recommend checking out the Geeked blog and supporting them by picking up something at their little online store found here.
When I approached Geeked and never expected the response I got; I just sent along a little message over Facebook asking if they’d be interesting in sharing Beastly Beverages, after all it is a geeky little business, it is small and fresh in appearance and take on what it is to be a fan and what a fan can do; all of the things that Geeked stands for. However the message that I got back was amazing and left me bight red and shaking. Not only did we discover throughout our conversation that Geeked would love to share Beastly Beverages as well as support and donate to it, but that they remembered my femme!Cap and the blog post my photo was featured in (this was over a year ago and I am still in a state of shock that I was remembered my costume out of all the Cap cosplayers and all the fans Geeked must have come across in that time). The very best piece of news however Geeked also wanted a Guest Blogger article written about Beastly Beverages explaining why their fans should rally around and support Beastly Beverages and they wanted me to write it!
It was a wonderful experience that allowed me to dust off my skills and it was a lovely thing to do; I was getting to support Beastly Beverages and Geeked Magazine and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time. The end result can be found on the Geeked blog, WeGeekedThis. Everything went so well and we were all so excited to have the tea, the writing, but also the shared history and have found that we were all mutual fans of each other (myself to Geeked, Geeked to my Femme!Cap, both Geeked and myself to Beastly Beverages) it was just a lovely conversation and one which I hope will continue and bloom into a lovely friendship between us all.
The Geeked team are going to be receiving a very special ‘Thank You’ pack in the mail, I know this because Mags is making sure I find out what blends of tea he should send, and of course I need to fetch an address for Geeked as well.
There was yet another positive of this whole thing; I might be lucky enough to be writing for Geeked again, which I am quietly hopeful about but for now I am just focusing on really pushing Beastly Beverages and trying to think of who to contact next. It was such a thrill to see Beastly Beverages and my name up on Geeked’s Twitter, Facebook and blog though, I can’t deny that.
So now this brings me to the end of this blog post that tells you I am alive and I have been busy, but most of all I would simply love it if you could Donate, Support, Share, Like and Keep Updated with Beastly Beverages:
Share and Like: Facebook
And please, please, please don’t let this completely unique and wonderful business go away, the genius behind it is just too good for that!
So now is the time to get your Beast on!