In shadow, we find the light
Safely sealed in darkest night
So make sure y’all keep it tight
Wizards only fools!
Do you wanna beef in the eye of Glob? Do you wanna reach the highest initiation of the secret schools? Well too late, we already disbanded Wizard Club and we’re not supposed to talk about it. Magic was on the table, in the air, magic was in the fudge cake! Or maybe that was chocolate? Certainly wasn’t in the ice-cream, that was… fine I guess.
Anyway, here’s how GeekOut Shrewsbury went this month.
Premeet – Palmer’s
Six of you voted… about a dozen turned up. Dear Palmer’s, apologies for dominating half the room, but hey, at least people were eating and drinking, and at least Gemma brought her dog in for a while to say hi and steal some panini. Oh and thanks to Chris for helping me complete my Omnath commander deck, because as per usual we took the opportunity of the pre-meet for a grand card swap and social session.
I think it’s official, we now average thirty people per event, which means we’re occupying more and more of the pub. This month we were, quite literally wall to wall, expanding further and further. Some of you may recall that – when we began – I was offered that entire half of the pub, and I thought to myself “Yeah, sure, if we get enough people, on a Thursday, sure? Maybe in a decade!” but we are two and a half years of GeekOut Shrewsbury and… well suddenly that doesn’t look quite so unreasonable.
Oh, and if you’re looking at the projector and thinking “Hey, didn’t Joel say that there’ll be no quiz on the projector anymore because of a projector issue?” and yeah… yeah I did…
Magic, experimental chess variations, and EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLEWIZARDS: ANNIHILAGEDDON (still not available in the UK, thanks Gen Con). Suzie rightly pointed out that towards the end of the evening GeekOut abandons the board games and descends into a casual chat-group… and… good! That’s a sign we’re a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Winners included (in reverse order), a spell that slightly overboils an egg, a spell that guarantees a full and bad night’s sleep, and the winner, a spell that turns a beloved animated film into a live-action remake! Potent, terrible, useless, and yet there are people in this world who would cast that spell all day long!
Lost and Found
The headphones have been claimed by their rightful owner, but does anyone recognise the umbrella? It’s with me and going nowhere until someone asks about it. You can claim it from me next month, and on the subject:
Next month is the Bad Costume Competition!! Moreover it’s on Hallowe’en itself, October 31st (in case there was any uncertainty). Keep an eye on Facebook and Meetup for more information, and watch the countdown timer at the side of the page.
All of these conventions are sneaking up on us as of late, however it’s come to my attention that next week, on Saturday 26th, it’s BristolCon! This marks the third year I’ve attended this event, which is a really fun local Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention. There’s some interesting talks, a lot of nice merchandise and an art room to go with it. Couple this with the fact we’re right next to a bar at all times as well (… I’m saying nothing about hanging about at the bar, it’s not like last year we had a huge game or two of Zombie Fluxx there or anything, ) I like to make use of my time as a cosplayer.
Why? I dunno. I just enjoy this stuff. So with that said, what am I going to BristolCon as?
I can’t remember for the life of me if I’ve mentioned it, but it’s time to retire Oskar. He’s been great and I’m sure in the not too distant future he’d be fantastic to return to the world, but his old bones are weak and weary now. It’s time to look towards the future and decide what will become my latest casual cosplay? I’ve got one… And it’s another Original Character. Whereas Oskar was developed from an existing character (Oscar Kass), this one I wanted to make completely unique, a definitely unique costume.
For all of the Facebook and some of the Twitter fans of GeekOut, you may have noticed I’ve been tweeting and posting about a wizard hat. After all, to debut a new costume at BristolCon, a fantasy convention, it’d make sense to make it relevant to Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Last years BristolCon, I went dressed as Twoflower. It’s only fitting then that this year, I go as a Wizard. For those unfamiliar with Discworld and The Colour of Magic, Twoflower is a tourist and he travels with Rincewind the wizard. Instead of going as Rincewind himself, I decided to make a character somewhat inspired by his antics.
So to be a wizard, I need a wizards hat. There it is above. Want to know how I made it? It’s pretty simple… But pay attention to the equation part!
- Material; I used Pleather. Felt is the traditional material of choice for this type of hat. The pleather gave this a really extra floppy feel which was kind of my goal.
- Thread & Needle; I used a matching thread, but later I went over it again with a black thread so it stood out.
- Pattern Paper; I just used normal paper and taped them together. It worked wonders!
- Scissors, craft knife, a pen (or chalk, depending on your preference.)
- Measuring tape, Ruler
Material cost: I bought several metres worth of pleather for £10. I didn’t even use 1 metre for this. This hat cost approximately £4 to make.
First, get your measuring tape and let’s figure out how we’ll make the pattern:
- Measure around your forehead for your heads circumference. Add some extra on for how low on the head you want it to sit. You do not want it to be the exact size of your head, as it will barely fit. Write down your heads circumference and any give. anything between half an inch to one and a half works wonders. I put up half an inch extra.
- Figure out how wide you want the brim. I decided to add 4 inches for the brim.
- You can suss out the brim circumference if you want, I found it didn’t matter too much.
- Find your heads radius: That’s half of your heads circumference (with the extra give you gave in step 1.)
- Figure out how tall you want your ‘peak’, that’s the long pointy bit!
For a better explanation of how this works, I’d highly recommend this page, which has some amazing information about the maths behind making the hat. Once you’ve finished writing all this down, you’ll be making two patterns: One for the peak and one for the brim.
The peak is interesting to make the pattern for. You need to think that you’re making a whole cone. You need to make what is close to three quarters of a full circle, which seems like a bizarre thing to do… But the reason is simply that you’ll be folding the peak on itself to sew it up. You’ll notice my brim (the big circle) didn’t have a hole in it: This comes afterwards. I used my craft knife to score out the part and it popped out quite easily. I used scissors when I was unsure of how well the knife scored it. I also used the scissors to cut out the main shapes.
When you go to sew the peak, remember to sew the “wrong way”, as when you’re finished, the untidy bits of your sewing should be on the inside. If you’re going to use pleather, I might advice that you use a lining of some kind. I didn’t mind so much, I personally prefer it without lining, but I’d probably recommend a simple lining for the brim. It would make it look a lot tidier. But heck, my guy is an accidental wizard.
With two pieces now, you need to sew them together. The way I did it is probably not the recommended way, but: I used some extra room I left on the bottom of the peak (the hem) and pinned it to the brim. Then I sewed the peak to the brim by sewing along the hem and whallah. I had a pointy wizards hat! Well then, that’s that.
Couple this with my blue robes, commonly used with Oskar and armed with a brand new book (That I made), I’ve just got one thing remaining: I need a wizardly weapon. Y’know I already have one..? Cast your mind back to this image:
You might notice what appears to be a large stave of kinds and you’d be correct. I already had a staff made up, which was the basis for the scythe. The staff needs a tiny bit of love (some duct tape sounds good) and we’re good to go. Therefore, by reusing things I already have, this costume has cost me no more than £4 to make. Bargain cosplaying if there ever has been some!
Well, that’s it folks. There’ll be pictures of Timlah, the Accidental Wizard no doubt some time after BristolCon is over. For now though, we roll onto Saturday. I’m looking forward to the event and hopefully people will get a bit of a chuckle out of my attire. If you’d like to make your own for Dummies book, please check out this website, a generator. As a warning, there’s a small watermark on the printed page, but it’s not so bad. I’d recommend doing what I did which is copying the embed code into a text file and adding <html><body></body></html> tags around it. Change the size to something more appropriate (I chose 1024 x 768) and then display that on screen and print it. That was, for some reason, the only way it would get larger for me.
That’s all, the Accidental Wizard is about ready to go. Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. The costume has taken no more than 4 hours to make and at just £4 to make the hat..? This was one of the easiest decisions and simplest costumes I’ve ever worked on. This will become my future casual cosplay pieces. Keep your eyes out over the coming weeks whilst I work on my horror Original Character, Ashe.