The Fifth Doctor in feminine form as 18th century French fashionista.

Blogging (Re)Generation Who

The Fifth Doctor in feminine form as 18th century French fashionista.

The Fifth Doctor in feminine form as 18th century French fashionista at (Re)Generation Who. The wig is an amazing confection, too.

 

This weekend I’m at (Re)Generation Who, a convention dedicated to Doctor Who. Doctors Peter Davison and Colin Baker are here, as are a bevy of companions and other actors from throughout the show’s 50+ year history.

I am here as a vendor, selling the bags, pillows and book covers I sew. My company is MarfDazeGeek.

Here is a play-by-play of my (mostly) busy day. Many more pictures as the day progresses.

7:59
“RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!,” says my outrageously loud and insistent alarm clock.

8:00
Just in case wake up phone call from husband David.

8:29
Chat with a fellow dealer by the elevator. He has clearly come back from an early-morning jog.

8:32
Buffet breakfast. Decide on one less sausage due to shame based on lack of early-morning jogging.

8:34
I get a nice jelly-filled pastry to feed my feelings about my lack of early morning jogging.

9:04
Head to the lower level in an attempt to get Peter Davison’s autograph. Fail. Too many people in line and I need to get up to the Dealer’s Room.

9:07
Start to get booth ready in the Dealer’s Room.

9:11
Decide that a second cup of coffee is in order. Head to the café.

9: 21
Return to Dealer’s Room and chat with neighbors until the room opens to the public. Today’s discussion. Sam vs. Dean. My talented corset-making neighbor picks Dean, based solely on his loyalty bravery cheekbones jawline love of pie. I go with neither. Those guys are trouble.

9:30
Dealer’s Room opens to VIPs.

9:31
First sale. Yay!

10
Room opens to everyone.

10:01
First grab-and-go multiple sale. Sometimes people get to my table and pick up the first three or four bags they see and buy them. This shopping strategy is so different from my own that I suspect these folks are on a scavenger hunt. Three MarfDaze bags. Check.

10:07
Crowd begins to form in the dealer’s room. Effects of the second cup of coffee begin to be felt. Good morning!

10:10
A cybershade drags Jackson Lake through the dealer’s room, like in “The Next Doctor.”

Next Doctor

This blurry from the speed Jackson Lake is played by cosplaying aficionado Captain Kyle.

10:18
I meet the first of many Twelfth Doctors of the day.

I was the third person who told this lady that she looks like Carol from The Walking Dead, but she doesn't watch the show.

I was the third person who told this lady that she looks like Carol from The Walking Dead, but she doesn’t watch the show. Which is a bummer, because people keep telling her that she looks like a warrior queen of the zombie apocalypse and she doesn’t even know it.

Just like the Peter Capaldi-shaped Doctor in “Deep Breath,” she brought along dinosaurs to help introduce herself.

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Tricey!

10:22
Someone notices the “Grr Argh” on my 2-year-old Zombie bags sign and connects it to Buffy for the first time ever.

10:27
Quick stripy scarf count in the dealer’s room. Only four. Step up your game, people.

10:29
Two new scarves enter the room. Two leave. There must be a conservation of Fourth Doctor Scarves Law.

10:31
Someone drops by for the expressed purpose of telling me how much she loves the bag she bought from me last year. Blush.

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Still going strong!

10:41
I learned the ASL sign for TARDIS. Which is really quite lovely. Get it?

10:47

The Doctor, a friendly Dalek and Oswin drop by.

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10:54
Someone pays using a $2 bill.

Irving is really good at holding cash.

Irving is really good at holding cash.

10:58
A lady says she has nothing to put in bags and that she has too many already. Then she buys four. Not that I’m complaining.

11:15
For some reason, I’m selling Stargate bags at an unusual rate. Again, no complaints.

11:29
Busy selling.

12
Vincent and the Doctor say hello.

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12:02
I told Missy and the Doctor that I’m glad they’re friends again, and she said, “Not just friends — in our case, we go home and sleep together.” Well, no surprise there, Master.

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12:10
This Doctor must have been doing some welding under the Tardis console.

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Hence, her goggles.

12:25
River dropped by.

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And then showed off her diary.

Why yes, that is Alex Kingston's signature and promise to loan out the book sometimes.

Why yes, that is Alex Kingston’s signature and promise to loan out the book sometimes.

12:34
The Triceratops Has the Phone Box.

Slow Moment. Lunch time.

Slow Moment. Lunch time.

12:41
Still slow. But someone gave me a wrapped grape tootsie pop. Internal debate about whether or not to eat candy from strangers ensues.

12:45
I remember that I enjoyed an UNWRAPPED Jelly Baby yesterday, and it was given to me by Tom Servo dressed as the Sixth Doctor yesterday and I have yet to die. It was quite tasty.

Apparently, Colin Baker is unfamiliar with Mystery Science Theater 3000, because I'm told he greeted Servo here with a sonorous, "What the hell is that?"

Apparently, Colin Baker is unfamiliar with Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’m told he greeted Servo here with a sonorous “What the hell is that?” But he was happy to sign his little coat. And then Nicola Bryant strangled Servo. Gently.

12:53
A man wants to smother his couch with Doctor Who pillows from MarfDaze. Needs to call wife first for a thumbs up. That’s probably a wise move.

12:57
Cat is the greatest dealer’s room volunteer ever. She is the gold standard of responsiveness and friendliness. Today, she introduced me to her mom.

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1:07
I checked and I’m still not dead from yesterday’s tasty jelly baby from strangers. Now I’m eying the grape tootsie pop more seriously.

1:11
Post lunch crowd starting to drop in.

1:18
This is Brad. Brad likes signs and sly humor.

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Yesterday, Brad came as a bombastic xenophobe.

He's a Dalek. Why? Did you think of someone else?

He’s a Dalek politician. Why? Did you think of someone else?

1:25
There’s always exactly one jerkface at every event I go to. No more. No fewer. And it is the official surprise jerkface job to say something unexpected, insulting and weird all that same time. Today’s jerkface pointed to a bag and asked his companion, “What the fuck is this? Why the fuck would you make that?” Dude, I’m right here. To answer your well thought-out questions, in order. 1.) It’s a bag. 2.) Because I’m a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent and frankly, I’m amazing.

1:35
As if sent by the fates to keep the force in balance, delightfully prolific and prolifically delightful author John Peel dropped on his way to a panel to thank me for a present I gave his equally delightful wife. Today I found out that I read a few of his star trek books many years ago, long before we met. Funny how life works.
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1:45
I notice for the first time all day that I haven’t been sewing despite my sewing machine being in front of me, all ready to go. I’m ok with that. I had a rough time sleeping last night, and tired brain + sewing machine needles + fingers = ouchies. Possibly bloody ouchies. Best not to sew.

1:50
I admired a Tardis/Doctor combo.

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Her lettering is on her fan!

1:56
Quiet.

1:58
I’m pretty sure all the Daleks and all the Cybermen just walked by my table in the condensed form of one Mr. Nicholas Briggs.

2:20
After a busy spell of actually selling things, the Master came by. I told him to please not kill Irving.

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2:31
Irving is still hiding from the Master.

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Evil Time Lords are scary.

2:40
Seeing all the multigenerational families of Doctors today – a Tom Baker dad was with a Matt Smith teen and a Peter Capaldi tween, it occurred to me that the newest doctor is always simultaneously the oldest doctor.

2:47
I met a pug named Lillian.

Lillian's human friend is a convention helper named Jennifer.

Lillian’s human friend is a convention helper and MarfDaze pillow owner named Jennifer.

2:51
Amy and Rory arrived on the scene.

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3:04
Afternoon lull. Time to edit this blog. While I eat a grape tootsie pop. How did this get here?

3:05
I discover that the real danger in the tootsie pop is that it’s hard to talk to customers in an elegant and professional manner with a chewy lolly in my mouth.

3:10
Lull officially over. Now afternoon rush.

3:11
Utilikilts and stripy scarfs now vying for sartorial supremacy in the Dealer’s Room.Three kilts to five scarves (counting Irving’s).

3:22
What’s the most charming idea you can think of? Toss it aside and replace it with talented belly-dancing geeky ladies in fanciful costumes dancing. I wasn’t able to see Antipode’s show, but I did see some of their outfits. Adorable.

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Captain Jack has tied up her dress shirt for maximum belly dance sassiness.

3:30
Oh. Hey. It’s snowing. A lot.

3:39
Quick break. Need someone to watch the table.

Kati the other Dealer's Room Helper was minding the table for me. She and Irving have built up quite a rapport this weekend.

Kati, the other Dealer’s Room Helper, was minding the table for me. She and Irving have built up quite a rapport this weekend.

4:02
My con friend Missy is dressed as the Master, who, as you know, is now Missy.

She let Irving play with her big evil button thingie.

She let Irving play with her big evil button thingie.

4:15
Not gonna lie. Sometimes I completely forget what I’m really supposed to be doing behind my table (selling bags, because mortgage and food) and my booth just sort of turns into a doctor who/star trek/whatever else chat space. And then someone else turns up and actually wants to look at the bags, and I’m like, oh, right, yeah, bags!

4:29
Someone introduced me to my new favorite cute animal, the flapjack octopus.

4:36
Carla here showed off her fabulous cloud and crystal rain drop necklace made with repurposed china.

She's wearing it above Ten's head because he's the oncoming storm. 

She’s wearing it above Ten’s head because he’s the oncoming storm.

4:44
This Fourth Doctor dropped by at 4:44 exactly.

How cute is she?

How cute is she?

4:50
Let me take this lull to tell you about the movie I saw last night. The Making of a Lady, which is set in 1896 England tells the tell of lady’s secretary Jenny Flint Emily Fox Seton, who marries John Stewart (but not really) and gets menaced by Benedict Cumberbatch’s even prettier but malaria-addled brother (but not really). And Ab Fab’s Patsy is their aunt. (Kinda really.)

Repressed Victorian's are repressed.

Repressed Victorians are repressed. And how is that not John Stewart?

A beautiful couple.

A beautiful couple.

Patsy wore black to John Stewart's summer wedding.

Patsy wore black to John Stewart’s summer wedding.

Other than the amazing clothes and committed performances by some of the actors, the best part of this high melodrama was Sarah Dempster’s review from the Guardian, which may be the best piece of writing I’ve read in quite a while:

“Life in the marital mansion passes in a series of stifled yawns and half-hearted gropes by gaslight. There are dinner table longuers and lingering shots of Emily looking pained at a writing desk… It’s not exactly a bouncing jalopy of woo-hoo.”

I’ve decided that I need to live a life that can only be described as a bouncing jalopy of woo-hoo. Let me get on that.

5:02
Another Missy and I chat about Jessica Jones.

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5:13
Someone came by with a nametag that says Skynet. Which is clever because SPOILERS. No picture because SPOILERS.

5:27
Everyone’s at dinner. Figurative thumb twiddling ensues.

5:30
I’m hopeless at figurative thumb twiddling, so I decide I need to sell six more things in order to call this day successful. This is difficult as everyone’s left for the evening.

5:31
This Eleven had many of Matt Smith’s mannerisms down.

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5:44
Met a couple who are only halfway through David Tennant, but who have watched all of River Song in order, from her perspective. Yowza.

6:12
Met a mom who has made her tween son an amazing 17th Doctor costume. In case you were wondering, the 17th Doctor wears iridescent gray tails with a royal purple lining and a jaunty purple cravat shot with gold. You heard it here first. Start planning for 2032.

6:39
Despite the thinner crowd, I’m halfway to my arbitrary end–of-day goal.

6:50
Nope. Not going to make the goal.

6:59
Happy to visit with my last guests of the day, Lydia and her daughter, Sydney, whom I see at many local conventions. Sydney is hilarious and unbelievably quick witted. I suspect she will a critic, a commentator, a professor or the president.

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7:30
Dinner and blogging.

9 pm
Post-bath relaxation.

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11:08
Signing off. Time for sleepies.

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But first, one last shot of Captain Jack and Ten in the form of belly-dancers.

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You can’t see Ten’s sparkly red Chucks, so she looks a little Constantine-ish, but that’s cool. Jack and Constantine would definitely be pals. Belly dancing pals.

DAY 3: An Actual Convention. Huzzah!

On Sunday, thanks to more cooperative weather and a bevy of intrepid plowers and other helpful folks, Irving and I finally got to be vendors at the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest.

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Good morning!

When we headed over to the convention center to get ready for the day, people were already lining up. A good sign.

I always get a little thrill when I pass all the eager fans queued up patiently and just sail right in, smiling at the security guard at the side door, armed with my vendor’s badge of admittance power.

It’s silly. I know.

We settled in, set out our signs and enjoyed a little coffee.

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The view from behind the table. Irving kept asking, “Is she here yet? She’s so pretty and funny. Is she here yet? When is she coming?” Not sure whom he meant.

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Day 2: Snowed in at a Fan Convention

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

The Heroes & Villains folks had to cancel the first day of the convention due to an absurd amount of snow and high winds.

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While the convention hall remains closed to attendees, everyone is still here, hunkered down in a small village of hotels.

Happily, when geeks get thwarted, geeks get creative. I really like the people who run the Walker Stalker/Fan Fest events. They are positive, helpful and have a sense of humor.

 

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A Behind the Scenes Look at a Fan Convention: Sewing and Set Up

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

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The final MarfDaze set up at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest.

Over the next few days, I’m going to give you a backstage peek at one of the more exciting aspects of my job: selling my handmade bags and pillows at conventions.

This weekend, I’m at the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in Secaucus, N.J., right outside of Manhattan. It’s a new convention, but it’s run by the same folks who do Walker Stalker Conventions, so I know that it will be well-organized and entertaining. I’m also very familiar with the venue. This is my fourth convention at the Meadowlands Expo Center in 13 months.

I’ve stayed in this hotel so often, I have a favorite parking spot.

That having been said, there are always surprises. This weekend’s surprise: an epic blizzard. I just got an email that announced that Saturday has been cancelled. Sunday will go on as planned.

That means I’ll be spending my snowy Saturday in my hotel room. I’ve got plenty of food, a new book to read and Netflix. Folks at the various hotels are connecting on Facebook, organizing impromptu events. There are worse ways to spend a day.
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A Quick Round Up

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

Over the next few days, I will endeavor to give you a true view of what it’s like to be a vendor at a convention. It can be fabulous, physically demanding, boring, grueling, delightful and profoundly satisfying by turns.

But first, let me give you a quick photo roundup of MarfDaze highlights in the last 6 months.

At Shore Leave in Maryland, Easter Cat hopped on Irving’s back.

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While Easter Cat and Irving were communing, his human companion John Barrowman and I had a nice chat about the importance of plushie photographic stand-ins and husbands. Human husbands. Not plush husbands.

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And then he dropped by my booth. Why, yes, he is holding a MarfDaze bag.

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