A Moose Loose at Two Conventions

Dear Readers, I’m busy sewing bags and preparing for a series of upcoming scifi conventions, so I’ve asked guest plushy blogger Irving to fill you in on our recent adventures. 

Love, love, love, Martha

The Walking Moose

Irving here, ready to tell you about life on the road as the Official MarfDaze Spokesmoose.

Martha thought she’d try to sell her fandom bags at fan convention. To get her feet wet, she applied for the December 2014 Walker Stalker Convention in NJ/NY, which celebrated The Walking Dead.

Why start small when you can do a convention featuring the most famous actors from the most popular TV show in America, right outside of the most populous city?

It was quite a change from the local craft fairs we’re used to.

Before the show, Martha, David and I toured the venue and snapped some pictures to burn off some nervous energy.

Here I am at the December 2014 Walker Stalker Convention in NJ/NY. Behind me is the infamous train car A from The Walking Dead.

Behind me is the infamous train car A at Terminus during a soundcheck.

I pretended to be Mr. Wilson, but I don't think I fooled anyone.

Scott Wilson, aka Hershel, is my personal favorite because he’s a veterinarian. I avoided Norman Reedus’ booth because his character has that crossbow.

But once the booth was set up and customers arrived, it was a whirlwind. We had very little time for moose glamour shots.

I try to stay out of the way during super busy times.

I try to stay out of the way during super busy times.

Suddenly, there seemed to be people everywhere. Martha and David had their hands full.

Folks come by wearing amazing costumes. At least I think they were costumes.

Folks came by wearing amazing costumes. At least I think they were in costumes.

On the second day, reinforcements arrived in the form of Martha’s sister-in-law and nephew. I got to hoof it and meet my favorite Walking Dead actor.

Scott Wilson was just as nice and cool as his character, Hershel.

Turns out, Scott Wilson is just as nice and cool as his character, Hershel.

It was an amazing and amazingly fast-paced experience. Can’t wait to go back this December.

Farpoint: To Boldly Go Where No Moose Has Gone Before

Next, Martha left David at home and we headed to Farpoint, a Star Trek-oriented convention near Baltimore.

It was much, much smaller than the Walker Stalker convention, so Martha and I actually got to talk to people and take tons of pictures.

Here’s the view from the MarfDaze bridge:

I've been working out. Can you tell?

I’ve been working out. Can you tell?

Our vending neighbor, Cynthia from Wyrd and Wired, was friendly and full of good advice.

Cynthia makes cool jewelry from dice, game pieces, books and comics. You should check her out. 

Cynthia makes cool jewelry from dice, game pieces, books and comics. You should check her out.

There were lots of authors at Farpoint, so Martha brought some books to sign in case some wandered by.

A nice sunny reading nook.

A nice sunny reading nook. With a Dalek.

And some did!

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This book features Doctor Bashir, Martha’s favorite. I’m more of a Janeway kind of moose, myself.

Then, the most famous author at the convention — guest of honor Timothy Zahn — came to the table and Martha didn’t have any of his books out! She didn’t bother to pack any because she figured he’d never come by. Oh, the horror!

Plus, he bought a bag!

Mr. Zahn was a good sport. Plus, he bought a bag! Mrs. Zahn is awesome, too.

You know who else came by the table unexpectedly? Tim Russ, aka Tuvok from Voyager.

Martha tried to play it cool, but inside she was a mess. She was relatively non-embarassingly squee-ish asking him to take a picture with me in the autograph line, but then he showed up as a civilian going through her wares and she started to get giddy. He was very nice, though. And what a great voice that man has.

I'm ready for an adventure in the Delta Quadrant, Mr. Russ!

I’m ready for an adventure in the Delta Quadrant, Mr. Russ!

We also met YA mystery-book author TJ Perkins, who has an intriguing-sounding new children’s book coming out in April.

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Also at the convention was the dreamy Colin Ferguson. Martha couldn’t get away from the table long enough get picture of us together, but we saw lots of him coming and going.

Here's his IMDB picture. Now just imagine a little moose on his shoulder.

Here’s his IMDB picture. Don’t you think he’d look even more handsome with a plush moose on his shoulder?

Farpoint was a Star Trek convention, so we saw lots and lots of Starfleet admirals and captains and ensigns and red shirts. But you know who else kept showing up? This guy:

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We compared stripy scarves.

First he was going solo and looking old school. Later he reappeared with Ace.

Looking natty.

Looking natty.

Then he came back alone in a dapper suit.

I'm the sonic screwdriver! Bzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

I’m pretending to be the sonic screwdriver! Bzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

He had the Brigadier keeping an eye on his ride.

When Martha asks if she can take a picture, she never suggests where to hold me or pose with me. But I keep ending up on the best shoulders in town.

When Martha asks if she can take a picture of me with someone, she never suggests how that person should hold me or pose with me. But I often end up on the best shoulders in town.

But Farpoint wasn’t all Doctor Who and Star Trek.

Kaylee came by from Serenity.

Shiny!

Shiny!

And I met a new dance partner.

IMG_0328It was a great weekend!

Next stop: David, Martha and I are headed to Wizard World Comic Con in Raleigh with James Marsters (Spike from Buffy!), Ian Somerhalder (Lost! Vampire Diaries!) and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha on the Walking Dead!). In short it will be a festival of awesome cheekbones.

Your Friend in Plush,

Irving

Stay tuned! Irving and I are getting ready for WalkerStalker Con in NJ/NY, December 13-14.

Steel Magnolias and Lady Cassandra

To quote the incomparable Truvy Jones (Ms. Dolly Parton) from Steel Magnolias:

“Oh Spud! I’m a chain!”

That’s right. Sam Sheppard I built another (virtual) shop for my bag-making enterprise.

So, now, MarfDaze at Etsy has a new buddy in MarfDazeGeek at Storenvy.  MarfDazeGeek is the new home for my bags featuring fan art fabric, which I buy from the artists themselves.

For the moment, it’s only going to feature a handful of the most popular designs and a few new ones (like Lady Cassandra, below), but it will grow soon.

Lady Cassandra's not crazy. She's just been in a very bad mood for several thousand years.

Lady Cassandra’s not crazy. She’s just been in a very bad mood for several thousand years.

And please check out the new logo made by the wonderful Renée Guie, who made the original MarfDaze look, too.

As you can see, my colors are eggplant and violet. (Though M’Lynn insists they are purple and purple.)

See it all at http://marfdazegeek.storenvy.com.

Stay tuned! Irving and I are getting ready for WalkerStalker Con in NJ/NY, December 13-14.

Stay tuned! Irving and I are getting ready for the zombie-focused WalkerStalker Con in NJ/NY, December 13-14.

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Going all in

The most exciting workplace in America.

A glamour shot of the most exciting workplace in America.

Four years ago, this week, I opened my Etsy shop. I just wanted a new hobby. Something to fill a few weekend hours.

This August, I filled my 3,000th order.

It turns out that I love making silly bags that make people smile.

I get a kick out of emailing back and forth with people who want me to make them something special for a husband’s birthday, a gaggle of bridesmaids or a child’s first day at school.

I delight in writing little thank you notes on cards that I happily stamp myself.

I relish trips to the post office, my arms full of packages headed all over the world.

And so, last week, after 15 years of being a writer, editor, social media manager and website strategist, I gave my notice to the wonderful folks at Hollister Creative.

That’s right. I’m leaving my day job to do MarfDaze full time!

I’m excited and scared and full of joy. It’s hard to find words for what I feel right now. So I’ll make some up. I’m territhrilled by this new journey. Exhilarfrightened, even. But I know from experience that those jumpy-jumblies in my belly mean that something amazing is about to happen. And I can’t wait.

So, starting September 22, I’ll be cutting fabric and sewing and emailing and stamping notecards and tying ribbons and heading to the post office with my arms full of packages. Please envision a full 1980s movie montage of hard work here. What do you think, Pat Benatar or Tina Turner? I’m thinking “Love is a Battlefield.”

There will be new products, new fabrics, and I’ll be exploring new craft fairs and arts festivals.

In the coming months be on the lookout for:

  • New fabrics
  • A new line of tablet/reader sleeves
  • A new line of wristlets
  • A new line of wallets
  • Easy-to-order wedding party gifts/wedding favors for themed weddings

I also look forward to sharing my adventures as a entrepreneur craftsperson with you.

Stay tuned!

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A Walk from Dusk to Dawn

I’m busy training for an 18-mile overnight walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and I’m excited for two reasons:

  1. It’s a great cause that means a lot to me. The AFSP does research, education, outreach and helps people in crisis and people who are grieving.
  2. The walk will be a big mental and physical challenge. The poetry of an endurance walk with a goal of reaching sunrise should not be lost on any one who has struggled with depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other mental illness, or watched a loved one struggle.

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