Friday, March 30, 2007


Wellllcome, to the Rennnnn-aysance Faire!!!

The pictures below encompass two summer's worth of Ren Fest outings at the Bristol Renaissance Faire on the Wisconsin/Illinois border, from a few years ago, pre-baby, circa 2002-03. (In the archives, click on March 2007 for all four Ren Fest entries in a nice row.) Here I am with my fellow costumers and fellow Lord of the Rings fans, a.k.a. "Ringers", mostly members of Midwesternesse, and a few from Chicago Fellowship in the group photo. I'm the giantesse on the far right!


My Renaissance Faire Costume

Here is my Renaissance Faire Costume, commonly known as a serving wench type. I didn't pay strict attention to historical accuracy. I got the fabric for the bodice (the most difficult piece to sew) and developed the costume from there. Here I am participating in the Maypole dance. I will add detail close-ups of the costume soon now that my digital camera is back on-line. Check back for that if you don't see any close-ups here yet.


Other Ren Faire Costumes Gallery

Here are pictures of other costumes, both of fellow Ringers from Midwesternesse, and of random costumes which I liked. Click on any photo to enlarge it in a separate window.

Below are two Hobbits, Pippin and Merry, from Midwesternesse.

At left, Frodo and a True-Hearted Easterling sidelining as an elf. At right, Chrysalis has transformed into Legolas. Note hand-stitching on the quiver and bracers.

The singing wenches.

The Queen doth approach!

These two dark elves, or Drow, (last photo on right) harken from the Dungeons & Dragons realm. They were pleased that I recognized them.


The Sacred Grove

These pictures are of faeries, woodsprites and other creatures in the Grove at the Renaissance Faire. These mystical and magical creatures bring a sense of wonder to the summer. Some creep around, making michief. Some move cautiously and curiously, examining these strange humans visiting the Grove. Some are very still and otherworldly, thinking their alien faerie thoughts. And some, in this first photo, are simply adorable.

This last lovely creature I think may be a minotaur but I was too shy to ask. He/She did not seem to speak English, and looked at me through bright, violet eyes. When I asked to take a picture, he nodded slowly, tilting his great majestic horns.

When you are in the Grove, you find the creatures take you to another world, like a performance art.

Monday, February 19, 2007


MST3k: My Pearl Forrester Costume

Here I am at the MST3K convention in St. Louis a few years ago (Gateway SciFi Con, July 14-16, 2000), with actress and comedienne Mary Jo Pehl, who played Pearl Forrester on Mystery Science Theater 3000 when the show was on the SciFi Channel. I'm in my version of her evil mad scientist costume from the show.

Here she is on the show, below along the right, for comparison. I'm a big Pearl Forrester fan. I find her mad scientist so funny, and zany, she makes the show for me. For those who don't know, Pearl Forrester is the evil mad scientist who is running an experiment forcing Mike and his robots to watch bad movies on the satellite she has up in space.

You'll recognize the show-- it's the one you've seen late at night where there are some figures at the bottom of the screen making comments on bad movies, that you didn't know what it was but thought it was funny. Unless you are a fan.

Here I am in line, Mary Jo has just signed my book for me (on table). This is the same time I got the picture taken with her. She was really great with all us crazy fans. So nice and easy to talk to, and she never ran away screaming (ha ha).

Here I'm asking Mary Jo a question during the panel portion of the convention. From left to right: Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bill Corbet (Crow T. Robot), Mike Nelson (Mike Nelson), Kevin Murphy with microphone (Tom Servo).

They asked me to come up on stage and do the evil laugh (last picture). They really liked the costume!

The convention was a wonderful experience. There were costumers and fiction-writing workshops, people were in costume everywhere, we participated in the costume contest as Manos and his brides, and in the spontaneous riffing contest, and in the invention exchange. Never was a costuming Mistie geek more at home.

This costume was the first and only time I've ever been mistaken for the person I was imitating. I was stopped by a group of giggly girls in the hallway, and asked for an autograph. Of course I told them I wasn't Mary Jo, but it was a special honor to have been mistaken for her. It helps that I have a similar look, hair, and figure, to add to the costume. It's rare for there to be a plus-size anybody for me to make a costume of! It was a lot of fun for me.


MST3k Costume Contest: Manos & His Brides

Here are Ben, Marianne, and myself (Valerie) as Manos and his brides from the MST3k movie Manos, the Hands of Fate. I designed the costumes but each of us created our own costume and sewed them ourselves in a big workshop-type sewing afternoon together.

Here is action of us up on stage during the costume show and costest. First Marianne and I wrestled on the stage as discontented brides, then Ben/Manos comes in and breaks up the fight, spreading out his robe to show the arms.

Here he does a great Bela Lugosi hand gesture. We got lots of laughter from the audience, it was so much fun!

Here is the final costume line-up at the end of the show. You'll recoqnize Mr. B Natural and Brain Guy (that's Justin) among the crowd. We are in the middle.

After the costume contest the contestants got to mingle with the audience and the judges. We had no idea the judges were going to be the cast of MST3k!!! Here we are with (l to r) Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy (Tom), and Bill Corbet (Crow). Look how happy we are!


MST3k Convention: More Costume Fun

Here is a collage of photos of other impressive costumes, and a couple of bots, from the convention. This was sheer heaven to me.

And what would any SciFi convention be, without a Klingon???

Friday, January 26, 2007


A Nightmare before Christmas

Here I am in my Sally costume from Nightmare Before Christmas. At work a group decorated their department in a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. How cool was that? I created the pattern and pieced this together myself. Very proud. The shoes are cool but it's hard to see them here. My stockings also have the frankenstein stitches on them, too.

Here I am with Jack, a coworker. The head is papier mache. Very neat solution to the mask problem.

A snowman made of pumpkins. Giving me lots of ideas for Halloween decorations.

The Jack pumpkin from our pumpkin decorating contest.

A Nightmare Christmas tree. Very festive!

Jack and I ran around together all that day. It was true love. :-)


May the Force be with you

Ben and I are Star Wars fans, tho loyal to the original trilogy. When the trilogy was re-released we had a Star Wars party, and Ben was a Jedi and then-boyfriend Rich was Darth Vader. Much theatrics ensued. We played the movies and arranged our old action figures. Yeah, we're total geeks. This Halloween pictured here, I am a Jedi and Ben is Darth Maul. His face makeup was great and he startled our guests.

Here I am closeup, at work earlier that day. Maybe it's easier to see some of the costume. It is entirely homemade, and the fabric was very earthy and had great natural texture, which I thought was befitting a Jedi.

At our party with friend Holli as Ophelia.

The threesome here is Morgana Marianne, Medusa Ann, and Gypsy Michelle.


With a little Fairie dust

A cube fairie! I tried to create a flower fairie costume one year. Once the wings and flowers are removed I could wear it as a normal dress. Also minus the ears, of course. Here I am at work in costume. What you can't see are an arrangement of crystals/stones on the bodice.

I found lots of similar creatures that day. Here is a little bee.

Two hip, naughty, and sarcastic angels. Friend Charlene on the left.

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