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Nerds and Geeks

That time we decided to put on a Harry Potter market

April 26, 2016
Harry Potter, In the News, Kawaii Klaws, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun

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On Saturday 26th March we at the Pastel Palace hosted a Harry Potter themed market called Evening at Hogwarts. When we originally discussed it, it was just going to be about four stalls in the front yard of our shop running past our usual closing time. So a facebook event was created and we probably shared it to the usual amount of people we share any of our other events to (there are monthly artist and crafters markets as well as the occasional fundraiser event or art show). But somehow, without us ever understanding how or why, the event went viral and the numbers of potential attendees starting moving up to the hundreds. There was a venue change when it started getting into the thousands and by the time we had the event, there were over 7800 people who had clicked “going” and 18,000 who said they were interested in the event.

In the end we had thirteen vendors (you can see the list of vendors here) in a hall which has a maximum capacity of maybe 300 or so people and a rough guess of maybe 6000 people turning up to attend. People lined up for upwards for two hours, some people event claimed they waited for over four, in the hot sun for a chance to look at our little market. So say we were unprepared for this much interest in a massive understatement. But how do you actually prepare for something like this? How seriously can you take the attending list from a facebook event? How many times can you post reminders that this is a small, free market a few Harry Potter fans are putting on for fun? It was bizarre and I’m still shocked by it all. We had people lining up for blocks consistently from about 11am until 6.45pm when I realised the line was still there and just let everyone in so we could close at 7pm.

 

The good news is that all of the vendors did well, sold heaps and made some money. Our Ruby Kawaii stall did better in one day that we usually make at a whole weekend at Supanova! I only ended up doing eight sets of nails because I felt like I could be of more use elsewhere, thought eight sets of nails at one event is still pretty good! Ben spent a good four hours on our facebook event fielding complaints and keeping people updated when he had only come along to help us set up and take a few photos! My friends Chris and Bizzy who were only meant to come for a couple of hours to serve/set up were there the whole day without rest. Thanks again, guys!

Needless to say we’re looking into having a 2nd event but will be planning it very differently to ensure things run more smoothly and people don’t have to line up for hours in the sun. We’re also going to be careful about expecting that kind of turn out again, as there’s a very good chance it was a weird, once-off freak occurrence. I mean, I had my Harry Potter fan club in the early-mid 2000s and we had maybe 100 or so members at its peak, so we had NO idea a Hogwarts themed market would get so much attention when the last movie and book came out years ago! So needless to say you’ll probably see me post about this in the near future!

Here are a few photos Ben took before things got too hectic and he became our social media manager:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A weekend at Oz Comic Con 2015

September 25, 2015
Fashion and makeup, Halloween, My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, What I Wore, Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend we had a stall at Oz Comic Con for Ruby Kawaii. It was such poor timing, we had to give up three weekends of wedding prep to sew new bows after I went on a selling frenzy on facebook after a bit of a dud Supanova earlier in the year. But I’d technically booked the stall earlier in the year, before Ben and I had decided we should have a Halloween wedding, and as Oz Comic Con are really picky about who they let have Artist Alley stalls, I didn’t want to pull out. LE SIGH.  But as it turns out, it was a lot of fun! We weren’t particularly stressed this time round and got whatever we planned to make done without much fuss. We had a great spot and our sales were decent so I’m definitely glad we did it!

 
 
I didn’t have time to come up  special outfit or cosplay so I went black & white Mickey Mouse themed on the Saturday and then super mega kawaii Halloween themed on the Sunday with Erin. This was actually the first con that’s been within a reasonable time frame before Halloween so I was very keen to sell lots of spooky stuff, but alas Brisbane people still don’t get it and I still have a bunch of Halloween bows leftover. Not that I’m complaining, really!

 
 
One of the guests who was appearing was Richard Dean Anderson. As in MacGyver! Mum was so excited and kept spying on him when he was signing autographs until we convinced her to go and get one for herself, which she did and he gave her a hug and flirted with her! She was so, so stoked! Also, Jim Beaver from Supernatural approached mum and Erin as they were lining up to see Richard to have a chat! Neither of them realised who he was until afterwards so they just had a big ol’ chat about the weekend and whatnot. Hilarious!

There were lots of cool cosplays as per usual, I ran out and took a few photos of the ones that caught my eye:

  
 
Unfortunately this was probably our last con for Ruby Kawaii for the year as we just don’t think we’ll have the time or stamina to get ready in time for Supanova in late November because of my wedding and… other reasons which I will probably share here in the next couple of weeks! ;)

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What I Wore: It’s Adventure Time!

September 3, 2015
Fashion and makeup, Nerds and Geeks, What I Wore

After a good year and a half of scanning ebay and crossing my fingers, I finally got the pair of Black Milk leggings I’d foolishly put off buying until they’d all sold out and had coveted ever since. They are the Adventure Time Bro Ball leggings and I was so happy that I not only found them in my size but also managed to win them! I missed out on a pair a couple of months ago and was so mad at myself for not paying attention to my ebay watch list. But it’s all good because they are finally mine!

For a day of hanging out with friends and family I thought a bright, fun Adventure Time outfit was in order. I have about 20 Adventure Time shirts but I wanted to utilise my denim pinafore that I often forget I own, so I wore a yellow crop underneath and added all of my favourite AT accessories to complete the theme.

 

Leggings: Adventure Time Bro Ball leggings from Black Milk Clothing
Dress: Black denim pinafore by Gail Sorronda for Target from Target
Top: Basic crop from Supre
Shoes: Black vans with pink cut out hearts, thrifted in New York
Accessories: Hair bow and Jake & Finn pins handmade by me and mum for Ruby Kawaii, necklace from a showbag!

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The First Harajuku Fashion Walk International Day

July 29, 2015
Fashion and makeup, Japan, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Wonderful Weekend


Photo by ALT TeeVee
On the weekend of July 25th and 26th it was the first Harajuku Fashion Walk International Day. Usually the Harajuku Fashion Walk just happens in the famous, wonderful suburb of Tokyo but the people who organise it decided it was something the world should get in on and so they announced that it would be an international day from now on! My friend Melinda asked if I’d like to help her organise something about two weeks before the actual date and naturally I sad YES!

Because we’re both busy women and time wasn’t exactly on our side, we didn’t do a whole lot to organise the event beyond deciding the time, creating the Facebook page and setting up an event. But even so, we were stoked at how decent a turn out we had! It was absolutely wonderful seeing so many people dressed in their finest Japanese-street-style fashion, including fairy kei, decora, lolita, visual kei and much more (if you’re curious about the types of Japanese fashion styles, this post has an awesome rundown of many of them). I often lament that almost no one in Brisbane gets kawaii fashion, so it was bloody awesome to see that there actually are a bunch who do, and there’s probably heaps more out there who didn’t make it to the walk. We can’t wait to plan next years event already!

It was also great to see people’s reactions to us and the walk. Many people approached us for photos and asked what we were up to. I tended to just say we weren’t dressed up for anything, that’s just how we like to dress, as I didn’t want them thinking it was just a bunch of people cosplaying (for some of us, kawaii is a way of life, not a costume!). Speaking of cosplay, there was very little of it which was an enormous relief to me as I feared it might be over run by cosplayers who further reinforced the idea that dressing differently = costume.

 
The starting point was King George Square where everyone met up and took lots of photos (there were so many photographers there specifically for the event which was super cool) before we walked through the Queen Street Mall and over Victoria Bridge and into Southbank where we took lots more photos and had lunch at Harajuku Gyoza. Someone from the ABC offices saw us and grabbed some photos of us as we passed by which was awesome!

 
My outfit was kind of a mic between fairy kei and decora. It was very exciting to be able to come up with a wonderfully OTT outfit with stuff I already owned! I loved being able to represent some of my crafty friends with my various accessories, such as Miss-a-Ree Guts Creations, Creep Heart and Winnifreds Daughter. Oh and my own brand Ruby Kawaii, of course! Unfortunately my phone was being a bit of a jerk and blurred for most of my close-up outfit photos :(

 
It was an awesome day all round and I’m glad we were able to quickly organise something. It was lovely seeing all of the excellent photos people took, not to mention this fantastic video shot by one of the participants:

There are lots of other photos floating around if you’re interested! The rest of my photos can be found here, otherwise check our Facebook page and the event for plenty more!

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Ruby Reviews June 2015

July 1, 2015
Movies, Nerds and Geeks

tomorrowland

Tomorrowland
OK so this movie came out a little while ago now, and I had every intention of dedicating an entire post to it, but I just never got around to it and now I have a couple of other films I’d also like to review. I really liked this film, but was dismayed when I saw how poorly it was doing. I’m always hearing people complain about how films are rarely original these days, they’re all reboots or sequels or live-action adaptions of animated movies or whatever which is getting pretty boring. And yet this very original film comes out and no one bothers to see it. C’mon guys! I guess it’s because people assumed it was some sort of lazy Disney-park adaption when the only thing it shared with the Disney park is the name and the general “retro futuristic city” theme. Disney did a great job of creating an amazing new world (that may not quite be as it seems) with two of the three leading actors being young, smart women. They even did a decent enough job with diversity! My only fault with it that it was a tiny bit too family-friendly for my liking which was a little bit cheesy, but otherwise it was really fun! I thoroughly recommend you see it by legitimate means (ie. not illegally downloading it) so that Disney continues to make female-lead, diverse and original films like Tomorrowland!

JurassicWorld

Jurassic World
OK so this was another film I was going to dedicate an entire post to. I actually typed it up but since it was just a big rant about all of the bits that pissed me off, I decided not to share it with the world. So this is my condensed rant instead. Look, it was fun. I saw it twice and I’ll probably buy it on bluray. But it was pretty darn disappointing. I LOVE Jurassic Park, I watch it a lot and even watched it twice in one day after seeing this new one (because it’s that damn good), so I knew I was probably going to be a bit disappointed, but I had no idea just how much or why. First of all, the story line? A dinosaur theme park gets built despite the tragic occurrences in 1993, is successful but needs new, made-up dinosaurs with extra teeth to keep people excited. Also one guy can kind of get raptors to obey commands so another guy wants to send them to war to eat our enemies. WHO WROTE THAT? Did they just quiz some 8 year olds on what they should do and then mash the idea together without even bothering to link it all together?! Also, we need to discuss who the fuck designed the park. Who lets teenagers control their own giant glass balls among dinosaurs and not have a recall function if something happens? Who thought it’d be OK to have a giant underwater dinosaur enclosure right near the boardwalk where guests wander around? WHO ENTERS A DINOSAUR ENCLOSURE WITHOUT BEING ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE DINOSAUR ACTUALLY GOT OUT??? OK so this is quickly turning into my full-blown rant so I’ll stop (though I could go on for a while still). But really, how was this meant to follow up Jurassic Park anyway? How the hell do you make a character played by Chris Pratt so completely boring?  If you’re yet to see it just… don’t expect too much from it, ok?

InsideOut

Inside Out
I knew this film was going to be great when I realised it was directed by the guys who wrote/directed such treasure as UP, Monsters Inc, Wall-E etc. While I wouldn’t say it has become my favourite Pixar film, it was absolutely wonderful and a joy to watch. The basic premise is that our emotions are actually controlled by cute little creatures in our brain such as Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. When we’re kids they’re very simple and distinct from one another but as we mature they start to change and merge together to form complex new ones. The whole film is a brilliant metaphor for depression which kids probably won’t fully comprehend but many adults who suffer depression would identify with, as the main character finds her “core memories” (which shape her personality) tinged with blue when Sadness feels compelled to touch them. As expected from the guys who wrote that bloody beginning sequence of UP, there’s a real tear jerker in this film (I had to try very hard not to ugly-cry) which will make even the hardest bastard shed a tear ;_;

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Japan: A Quick Summary

May 28, 2015
Japan, Life, My Life, Nails, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Travel

godzilla

Hello friends! Ben and I are officially back from our 3-and-a-bit weeks in Japan and we’re already back at work! No time for rest ever, apparently! We had an AMAZING time on our trip, we barely stopped until close to the end and only because we were totally exhausted.

Our first stop was Tokyo where we spent 10 days. The first two we stayed with our friends Anekie and Iain who have been there for four years and are both teachers. They took us around a few of the days we were there including a huge day in Harajuku, to an Oktoberfest (yes, in May) in Odaiba, to a traditional street festival with lots of drunk people carrying shrines, karaoke, maid cafes and much more. On our own we explored places like Shinjuku (where we stayed), Nakano Broadway, Roppongi, Akihabara and Shibuya. We visited the Ghibli Museum, took a day trip out to see the plum blossoms in the shadow of Mt Fuji, went to the Robot Restaurant and both Disney parks.

The 2nd stop was Osaka where we stayed for one week. We discovered Ame-mura for fashion, music and pinball arcades. We explored Dotonbori and it’s many touristy sights. We wandered through rose-filled parks and visited excellent looking shrines (not all of which were open, damn 5pm closing times). We took a day trip to Nara to pat deer, look at massive shrines and then sneak into abandoned theme parks. We made friends with the owners of an awesome toy shop who happened to be famous Universal Monsters collectors, who took us out and about and made us feel incredibly welcome. I even got my nails done and we spent a day at Universal Studios.

The 3rd spot was Hiroshima where we had four days, which turned out to not be nearly enough. We met a heavily tattooed man named Potty who’s famous for being the #1 fan of the Hiroshima Carp baseball team and his sweet wife Misa. They took us out to dinner and were fabulous hosts, though I got stupidly drunk at the BBQ we all went to (possibly the drunkest I’ve been in many years, but gosh it was fun). We went to the Hiroshima Peace Museum which probably would have been a lot more moving were it not for the 200 or so school kids crowding the place and being rowdy. We went to Miyajima Island to pat more deer (much nicer than the ones in Nara) and admire the floating shrine. We spent a day traveling to and on Okunoshima Island (while I was stupendously hungover) which is overrun by wild but friendly bunnies who were more than happy to climb all over you for the perfect photo. No amount of hangover can withstand the power of bunnies!

Our last stop was Kyoto because we knew we’d need a place to wind down after so doing so much. We still managed to visit a number of shrines and temples, walk through the bamboo forest and got halfway up the Fushimi Inari Shrine walk. We even stumbled upon the delightful Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Music Box Museum which we highly recommend! We did manage to find a decent amount of time to wind down, relax and get acquainted with the fact our trip was ending. We’d done so much that we were actually pretty ready for it, plus we missed our dogs :)

I won’t be so bold to suggest I will get around to posting more detailed accounts of the trip (we all know how badly I did with my US trip in 2013) but I’ll definitely post a bit more about some of my favourite days, such as the time spent in Harajuku and our Nara day trip.

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Supanova Gold Coast 2015

April 28, 2015
disappointment tuesday, Fashion and makeup, My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Ruby Kawaii, What I Wore

Last weekend was Supanova on the Gold Coast! These days we don’t get much time to do markets for Ruby Kawaii but we still keep up with pop culture conventions. I’m a little bit sad to say it was our last Goldnova though. It was just not worth our time to be honest. This was the first con we’ve done where we didn’t get stressed out as we still had a lot of bows leftover from Brisnova last year (it was a little bit slow too) and we even had somewhere to stay on the Gold Coast so we didn’t have to drive the 90 mins to and fro each day. But despite all that we just didn’t make enough sales to justify doing it again next year. Other stallholders said they were disappointed too, so it wasn’t just us having a bad weekend. I guess that between a dozen other stalls also selling bows (grrr) and the fact it’s so expensive to go to Supanova now (after paying to get in, buying food and getting a celeb autograph or photo, who has money for trinkets?) I think people have to be more careful with where they spend their cash. Ahh well, we had a good run. We’ll keep doing the Brisbane ones (I will hopefully also start doing nails at them) and leave the Gold Coast ones to go as a regular patron.

Here are some photos from the weekend. I just want to say I did a pretty big thing on the Sunday by wearing a crop top to match my sister. My body image is a bit shite and I am forever envious of my sisters (mostly) effortless, slim figure but I decided I needed to stop being so negative about my body and start practicing some body love! I actually feel like I made a significant difference to my self esteem that day, I’m starting to be less critical of my perceived flaws and

  
 
  
 
On the Saturday I wore the A Whole New World scoop skater dress from Black Milk Clothing.
On the Sunday Erin and I wore the matching Little Lovers crop and skirt set, also from Black Milk.
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5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Theme Park Rides

April 21, 2015
5 Fandom Friday, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun

5fandom
OK OK so before anyone says anything, I know it’s not Friday! In fact it’s Tuesday which means we’re halfway between two Fridays! But I was thinking of what to post about, since it’s been an obscene amount of time since I last posted and saw that last Friday’s theme was “Favorite Theme Park Rides” and I’ve been meaning to start doing this on Friday’s for aaages, I figured this would get me posting again after this recent rut and inspire me to do 5 Fandom Friday more often.

OK so this theme appeals to me greatly as I LOVE theme park rides. I love theme parks in general, but a big part of the appeal are the rides. I adore scary rides the most but I also love attraction-style rides that are well themed and relevant to my interests. So here are my top five favourites!

1. Haunted Mansion – Disney Parks

Disneyland-Haunted-Mansion
I have fond memories of riding this for the first time in 1997 when my family went to Disneyland. Mum was so excited as she loved it when she’d been in the 70s and I remember being dazzled by appearance of the ghosts, particularly the dancing ones! As it turns out this is Ben’s favourite too (he knows every word to “Grim Grinning Ghosts“) which kis why it’s the theme of our wedding this Halloween!

2. Big Thunder Mountain – Disneyland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad2
Another Disney ride. This was the family favourite on our 1997 trip, my sister and I were obsessed with the goat chewing the dynamite and would cheer every time we passed him. It’s just a really fun ride that holds a very special place in my heart always.

3. Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey / Dragon Challenge – Universal Studios Orlando

Hp-Theme-Park-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-13691411-600-450
I guess I’m kind of cheating but I honestly couldn’t pick between these two rides! As excited as I was to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for the rides. I assumed they’d be aimed at kids so a bit wussy. Boy was I wrong! The first one is basically a simulator ride but also a bit of a roller coaster? It’s so hard to describe! You’re harnessed in properly because the booth you sit in flies around between the different screens where the story progresses. It’s unlike any style of ride I have ever been on before. The second ride is a proper roller coaster and it was AMAZING! You really do feel like you’re riding on a dragon, it’s brilliant.

4. Tower of Terror – Disney’s California Adventure / Hollywood Studios

towerofterror
Haha OK yes we’re back to a Disney ride… but this one is the best! It’s a dark drop ride which is terrifyingly fun but it’s actually the overall look and theme of the attraction that makes it totally awesome! It’s basically a new episode of the Twilight Zone (it even features Rod Serling in some impressive CGI) and is spooky as heck. I could ride it 100x and still never be bored of it.

5. Superman Escape – Movieworld

movie-world-superman-escape-ride
I figured I should bring it back to a local theme park for the last one. I’d have to say my favourite ride of all the theme parks on the Gold Coast would be the Superman Escape at Movieworld. It’s a proper roller coaster that’s exhilarating while also being really well done theme-wise. It starts off slow as part of the story but then Superman comes in and pushes the “subway” you’re on out of danger and you’re suddenly going very, very fast. It rocks!

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Feeding the trolls

January 29, 2015
Cara Rage, Feminism, My Advice, Nerds and Geeks, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts

MRA

As anyone who reads my blog has probably realised, I don’t post here so much any more. I usually chalk it up to not having enough spare time but I know deep down that isn’t necessarily true, though the real reason has always managed to escape me. I’ve also found myself utilising social media (SM) less and less in recent years. I mean I go on it a lot still but I’m actually posting there a lot less these days. Instagram tends to be my SM of choice, I still post stuff on my Facebook occasionally but I severely neglect others like Twitter and Tumblr even though I value both mediums (and many others) greatly.

It wasn’t until I read this article today that I finally started to understand why I may not be posting online as much any more. It’s not because of time constraints or because I’m getting older ans less interested in the internet at large, I’m starting to think it’s because I have been scared off by online bullies and trolls who always manage to find a post of mine to attack, and feel to exhausted and over it to bother with their bullshit any more. And that makes me sad. I love the internet! I adore SM! I’m only 32 and I don’t have kids, I’m nowhere near too old for the WWW yet! So why have I been scared off?

Because I am told that I should not feed the trolls, that by reacting and replying to them they are getting what they want. By not responding to them I am starving them of the attention they so crave and so they will eventually starve and die. But that’s not true is it? Because we’ve been doing that for years and the trolls haven’t gone anywhere and in fact, are only getting worse. While it is obvious that trolls derive pleasure from our reactions, they also appear to feel vindicated when we stay silent. When a troll attacks a woman for daring to have an opinion online, we either give him more ammunition by responding to him or we do exactly what he wants which is to stop having that particular opinion (or at least keep it off his precious internet).

I have also been told over the years that it’s not particularly desirable to post too much “negative” stuff on SM and that it’s always a downer when I do. Whether it’s because it makes their feed a little less pleasant as they’re scrolling down or because it encourages vigorous debates in the comments which they perceive as “causing fights”, I don’t know but I’ve been told this enough to put me off of posting on my SM unless it’s funny, interesting or cute. Now that I think about this, I’m really annoyed that I felt pressured to post less because some people didn’t like my non-pleasant posts. I mean, they could always just scroll past my posts, couldn’t they? Why do I have to censor myself just so their feed is more to their tastes?

So I am done with treading carefully, ignoring the trolls or refraining from posting anything that’s not light and fluffy! I like posting about social issues like feminism and racism on my social media and I don’t give a damn if people find it too much of a downer. If a troll leaves some bullshit comments on my social media and I feel like responding with my own brand of trollin’ then I damn well will! if they get too much and I’m sick of them, I will delete their shitty comments and laugh about how pathetic they are (and probably share it on SM too). I am sick to death of being made to feel like I don’t really belong on the internet just because of my gender. Why should I feel intimidated by arsehole misogynists who have nothing better to do than to say nasty stuff on a complete strangers SM? Fuck that noise!

I think one of the first things I’m going to do is post a new vlog. After being attacked by some particularly nasty creeps a while back on one video, I’ve not felt confident in posting again. But I liked vlogging and I’ve been desperate to put my excellent video editing skills to use after many years of neglect! BAM! Take that, you fucking trolls!

And finally:

misandry

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What I Wore – Aladdin theme!

January 9, 2015
Fashion and makeup, Nerds and Geeks, Ruby Kawaii, What I Wore

Today I received my glorious new Aladdin dress from Black Milk, which I was able to buy with the gift vouchers I got for my birthday. Because I am a pretty big fan of Aladdin, I happened to have some very appropriate accessories to go with my outfit, including a Jafar hairbow and a Genie necklace. Fun!

Dress: A Whole New World scoop skater dress from Black Milk
Leggings: oldies from Target
Shoes: Converse low tops from DFO
Necklace: Handmade by me for my Genie cosplay from last year
Hairbow: Made me me and mum for Ruby Kawaii

 

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