Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Con Review: Tulsa Pop Culture Expo

Convention Name: Tulsa Pop Culture Expo
Date: Nov 3&3, 2019
Cost: $300, 1 table (spot I ended up in had TONS of space)
Location: Tulsa, OK
Grade: B

 This was a large convention. Definitely the largest that I have ever attended. There were quite a few celebrities and lots of space for this one. The price is most definitely the biggest I have paid for a booth, double what my highest was up to now. Because of this, I was definitely nervous. Initially I had decided not to do this one because of the cost, but I went ahead and dove right in to see how things would go for a larger convention.

The location of the expo was in a mall. There wasn't much clarification on this on the website or in any of the emails. I wasn't sure if this was an old mall that had been turned into something else, or just being held in part of the mall. When I arrived, I had to drive around the place, and I finally located a big sign on the side of the building. Turns out, this was being held in an old Sears store in the mall, 2 stories of space.

Check in was really easy. There was a table setup right by the door, so I checked in and was shown where my spot was right away. I ended up going the day before for setup. In the communications, setup/load in was on Friday, and I didn't see any times listed for Saturday morning before the con. This was a bit annoying because I now have an extra night of hotel just to be able to setup. My setup takes, at most, 2 hours to do. Granted, the extra setup time allowed me to take my time, but since I had my niece with me this time, we still had it done in about 2 hours.

My booth space was was great. You know how in department stores there are the tile "pathways" and the merchandise is located in carpeted areas. My booth was in one of the areas along a wall, so I had all that space between the "aisle" and the wall. It was doubly good because I was at the corner, so there was an "aisle" to one side of me, too.

In the picture, we are near the wall, and there was a HUGE space in front of us before the aisle. The other tables and I talked with the people in charge and were able to move forward up to the aisle so we would have better foot traffic.
My location was great, too. That aisle to the side was between me and the booth area where the celebrity photos were being held. So, I got some good views from the photo people while they waited for pictures. I also got to see all the celebrities walk right past my table on their way to their assigned photo time. It was great!

For this being such a big con, I expected to do much more business (especially with a $300 table fee). I didn't lose any money, but I wouldn't call this con a success. If the table fees cost the same next year, I highly doubt I will attend this con again. It just isn't worth all the work and time and money to just barely break even. The table fee is why I gave this con a B.

This was my niece's first con (she only had gone to the craft fairs with me before), and she LOVED it. I have been trying to get her to come to cons, since they are a lot more fun, and now I think she is hooked. She even tried to get days off from work to go to the next one in two weeks, but she wasn't able to. Hopefully I will have her for many more in the future, though!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

First pumpkins, and now...

I made a minor change to my pumpkin bracelet, and made it with red instead of orange. Now it's an apple bracelet! This thing is perfect for a teacher's gift!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Kinged Vipera Berus - slime green

After the great success of my last convention, I an in need of major stocking up of inventory. In a month, I have the biggest con I have ever attended, and I want to be ready!
I had some great sales at the last con, and I have even gotten some Etsy sales from attendees already! I'm super excited about that.

My ring supplier had a limited run on a special color that they called slime green. I bought some in several different sizes, and I combined it with some black to make a Halloween-ish bracelet.
I made this in the Kinged Vipera Berus weave, just like the all silver one I posted about a while back.

I really like this color combo. I'm tempted to try making another one, but reverse the colors to have the green as the base, and the black woven through it. Maybe eventually. I have too much to make right now, otherwise.

I'll keep updating with my new things! I will have a post about some dice bags very soon!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Plastic dividers, where have you been all this time?

This isn't really a crafty post, but it's about my craft organization.

So, with the glass cabochon necklaces that I make, I have been keeping them in a plastic shoebox-type container. To keep them organized, I had some cardboard dividers cut out to place between rows. This worked, but it was kinda wonky, and it was a big pain to load up and keep everything upright. I put up with this method for a while now, not knowing about the awesomeness of these plastic drawer dividers.

Here is a small section of one:

They are amazing. I can't believe I never thought of even looking for something like this!
I can now easily arrange my necklaces in the boxes.

I got a great deal on this on Amazon, and I ordered more than I needed for my boxes. I predict these are going to be used in many different places around my crafts/house.

Friday, October 11, 2019

What?! A Chainmail dragon?!

For a while, now, I have been interested in making a chainmail dragon, but I never bought the instructions, I just admired them from afar. In one of my chainmail groups, a member started posting a bunch of dragon pictures, and I knew that it was time. I HAD to make one!

I went to my supplier's website, and I bought the instructions and a kit to get started.
The kit color combinations available weren't really speaking to me, but I just picked the one I liked the most, just to learn. I figure I can make more later when I know how and have some experience behind me.

The first part of it, making the body and the head, went by pretty easily. I didn't have any majorly huge issues with it (just a minor problem attaching the last ring for connecting the head to the body).
Then came the scales down the back.
Here is where I was at this point:

I started adding the scales down the back, and I realized about 2/3 down that my dragon was too "floppy", and wouldn't stand up very well. I tried adding some rings under a few scales to tighten things up, which did help, but the whole thing just felt "off" somehow.  In comes the super amazing-ness of my chainmail Facebook group.

I reached out to another member of the group to see if she could figure out what I did wrong. It took several pictures going back and forth, but it looked like my scales were not attached correctly. So, I had the oh-so-fun job of taking them all out (along with the extra rings I had added previously).

Once I started re-adding the scales, correctly this time, it did make a difference. Even if it didn't seem tighter like I wanted, it felt and looked better. I didn't even try testing it, I just went ahead and added them all, then tested its standing ability.
He does stand better! He still wasn't working as well as I wanted, so I added a couple tightening rings again, and now he looks great!

I got the tail done, and then came the scales at the very end of the tail...
I tell you, there is something with me and scales that just don't seem to get along.
I connected them all right, but had them upside down. I had to take them all out and redo them, as well.
After typing this up, I just realized that I used the wrong scales for the tail, too. I have laser etched scales for the tail, and I just used regular ones. I may just leave it. 

I can finally say, though, that he is finished! Isn't he so cute!

Throughout the whole process, I just stuck to the standard of what the pattern showed, even though I found some ways to tweak things here and there to personalize them. I wanted to get just one done regular, and now I'm free to tweak away! I can't wait!
I have plans for several more dragons, so keep an eye out for my next ones soon. I will need to make a supply order first, but there are so many ideas going through my head, now!