Geeky Inspiration Boards: Number 01, The Tardis

For those who don’t know, an inspiration board is usually a physical bulletin board of some type, and it’s adorned with a smattering of swatches, pictures, and images that focus around a central theme. People make them when they are trying to plan a wedding, redecorate a bedroom, or design a website. Still curious? Here’s more deets on Inspiration Boards. Having recently been inspired by seeing so many visually stimulating inspiration boards on Pinterest, I have decided to start a series of them in the geek vein. My first Geeky Inspiration Board pays tribute to the blue box the Doctor calls home, The Tardis.


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I just finished Season 3, which contains a bit about the Master and his attempt to steal the Doctor’s Tardis. It was of course, a jerk move, but it left me with an icky feeling. No one should enter the Tardis without the Doctor’s permission! It’s his home! It made me reflect on how comforting the Tardis can feel, despite it being a freaking space ship, powered by strange alien technology. You never see a bed or a couch in it, but to the Doctor and his chosen companion, it’s home. That’s the safety zone they know they can retreat to, where they are protected and where they can hang their fez at the end of an adventure. It’s a cozy little police box, isn’t it. It’s home.

#ComplimentHour – an experiment in PosiTweeting

I hate subtweeting. Yeah, I’m guilty of having done it, but at its core, it’s an attempt to piss someone off without communicating with them directly. It’s passive aggressive, it’s pointless, and it’s mean. So I’ve decided to start something which I hope will be the anti-subtweet, and it’s called #ComplimentHour. It actually started last year when my friend Mia (Founder of the geek positivity group, Superheroesque) and I were spreading it around like wildfire, in an effort to spread joy and positivity to our Twitter friends. Intrigued? Here’s the scoop.

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Not too much of an explanation needed. So what now? Now you can go out there and start a #ComplimentHour. Simple as that. Now go spread joy!

Make sure to follow me and Mia on Twitter!

My 10 favorite things about the Renaissance Faire

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Via PADutchCountry.com
It’s not really a secret that I love my local Renaissance Faire, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. 1 year ago my husband proposed to me at the Renaissance Faire, and I’ve spent so much time with my best friends frolicking the Faire grounds. It’s full of great memories for me. Since my husband, Mark, and I are moving to NYC in 5 months, it makes me wonder what the Renaissance Faire there is like. I’ve been going to the Pennsylvania one for almost 10 years and it’s hard to imagine going to a new one, but I get the sense they have redundancies that make it easy to get into them, wherever ye may wander in ye olde travels. So here’s my list of the things that make my tummy tingle with butterflies in regards to the Renn Faire!

  1. The role-playing.
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    Via patseastcoasttravels.com
    The staff is completely immersive, almost at a LARP level, when it comes to their specific character that they play at the Faire. And sometimes it can be a little off-putting – the nobles do not necessarily shy away from looking down their nose at so-called commoners and peasants, but it’s all in good fun. The lower classes must bow to the higher classes, at least as far as the staff goes. And they all have names, jobs, back stories – and they all interact with each other improvisationally, as if this is what is really going on right now! It’s fantastic and fun to get involved and play along with the staff.
  2. The booze.
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    The guys from Righteous Blackguard having an ale
    Oh goodness me, the booze. Our local Faire rests atop Mt. Hope Winery, which is a winery who create such delicious wines, including Honey Mead, which is practically a relic at this point. My favorite flavors include: Majesty’s Blend, Pennsylvania Dutch Spiced Apple, and Moonlight Encounter. (And the Honey Mead, of course.) In addition to great wine, the Faire also sells the ale from a fabulous microbrewery, the Swashbuckler Brewing Co. Delish, huzzah!!
  3. The people who do all the amazing things. Archaic skills and tool crafting doesn’t have much of a place in today’s society of factories and well-oiled machines, mass producing everything we could ever need. But at the Faire, you’ll find leather crafters, fletchers, bowyers, basket weavers, glass blowers, jewelers, soapers, chandlers, blacksmiths, hatters, jugglers, chain mail armorers, and so much more. Definitely the kind of people who will come in handy during the zombie apocalypse. There aren’t many places these crafts get the appreciation they deserve, and there really aren’t many places where you can actually watch these people craft and create. But at the Faire, you can ogle them all day long. Feeling left out? Do you wanna do something old school? I found this awesome list of 100 medieval careers.
  4. The new age goodies. I love seeing what kinds of interesting goodies they have in the witchy stores on the Faire grounds. Cauldrons, besoms and tarot cards oh my! Pendulums, candles, incense, gemstones and runes as far as the eye can see… it’s a place that’s a-buzz with all of your hocus pocus needs.
  5. The immersion.
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    Via Panoramio by Kati Garner
    At times, during the Faire, I become completely lost in the world. The beautiful historic buildings, the medieval clothes hanging on a line over top the street, the scent of lavender soap and sandalwood incense seeping from the stores… It feels like a world I wish I could live in. It’s a historic and magical escape that puts me in the mindset of playing pretend, and envisioning that perhaps, for a moment, I am on the streets of England during the 16th century. In, of course, a rose-colored glasses world, where I’m not a peasant or sick with the plague. :3
  6. The food. The smells of the food are almost as good as the food itself. Some of my favorites include: tomato, basil, mozzarella crepes; honey glazed nuts; and their New England clam chowder. Mmm.
  7. The costumes.
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    Via the PA Renn Faire Facebook page
    As a lover of costumes and cosplaying, it is not often I can spend time with kindred spirits… my true costume-loving brethren – but at the Renn Faire, we all love to play dress up. Mark and I play dress up probably 20 times a year at various costume parties and conventions, and the Renaissance Faire is no different. Not only do we get to don our own creative costume masterpieces, but friends and strangers put their time and effort into putting on a great show. Faire-goers outfits are a colorful spectacle that I could watch parade around all day long. I get so inspired!
  8. The camaraderie.
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    I never get too far into the Faire grounds without spotting a few friends. Running with a crew of LARPers means that we pretty much all love the Renn Faire when it comes around, for a few precious weekends. I will usually run into someone I know at the Faire at any given time! Not to mention, I always go in a big group of my geeky friends. It’s the best!
  9. The music. I assure you, this is the kind of music you don’t hear anywhere else. Bagpipes, lutes, tabor drums, tambourines, and maybe if you’re lucky, a hurdy gury. Here’s a few of the famous instruments you might see at your local Faire. 2 troupes I have seen and loved at our Faire are Righteous Blackguard and Empty Hats – but some of my other favorites as far as celtic, folk and renaissance music goes include Telynor and Blackmore’s Night. If you’re into this kind of music, I’d love to hear what you listen to – so leave me a comment to let me know!
  10. The magic.
    faerie-pa-renn-faire
    I’m a wingless faerie – deal wit it.
    Upon entering the Faire grounds, my friends and I become a different sort of friends. In this immersive world with our costumes we worked so hard on, we take on a new role. The magic of the world takes over, and we transcend reality into an alternative reality. It’s like leaving reality and entering a magical land, where anything can happen. Faeries flit about, dragons perch on shoulders, and magic is made. It’s so much fun.

What are your favorite parts about the Renaissance Faire? Let me know in a comment!

TWIP: Summer camp, Knoebels, and pumpkin fever

It is a huge pet peeve of mine when my blog gets under updated because other things in my life take over. And I’m at the point where I also had to shut down my Etsy store because of all that is going on. So much good, but such busy much CAMP! For those who don’t know, I am organizing an online Summer Camp with the IGGPPC which is a weeklong event of friendship, food, and fantastic webinars and tutorials. You can learn something new and make a friend too!

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IGGPPCamp is many things. It’s a jam packed schedule of webinars, hangouts, blog post tutorials, and challenges. You can learn to create an adorable jointed bear, you can learn to do ballet stretches, you can create friendship bracelets and exchange them with other Iggles, you can partake in a few writing challenges like our Jane Austen letter writing challenge or Ghost Story challenge, you can play games in our online tabletop game tourney or MMORPG Capture The Flag tourney, you can learn to make delicious camp food and s’mores… I could go on, but there’s just way too much. To find more detailed activity descriptions of what’s in store for Camp, check out the details here. In short, it’s going to be a really fun week of learning, doing and bonding!

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Camp runs from August 16-24 – 9 days of fun! And in addition to the fun of camp week, we’ve also paired Iggles into 5 different troops with adorable geeky names, led by 5 dedicated and fun Camp Counselors. Join Buffalo, Mama Jo, Kirby, Belette, and Odie, as they do all sorts of fun camp activities with their troops. You’ll want to go here to read all about each Counselor and their troop.

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I remember my Girl Scout Troop and how much fun it was to be in a troop and go camping with those girls! Such memories <3 If you too have fond memories of camp but don't always have time to leave the house, why not join in on the online summer camp fun? IGGPPCamp is for Iggles and Miggles 13+ so join in on the fun and check out dedicated Camp Twitter for updates!

So what else have I been up to? A lot of other things too. In addition to the Geekies which is coming up in just 2 weeks (And we’re almost at our goal, thank you! So please keep donating!) I also went to Knoebels with my mom and grandpa a couple of weeks ago. Knoebels is a super old school theme park in Pennsylvania. I like to call it Redneck Disney. It’s AWESOME – it’s completely free, has a vintage brass ring carousel and carousel museum, a coal miner museum, a really cheesy haunted house, wooden roller coasters – and each ride costs individual tickets to ride. That is how they did it back in the day, folks. You buys tickets for different amounts like 25 cents, 10 cents, 1 dollar – and pay per ride. Plus the food is fantastic! Knoebels is a must see in PA.

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Oh and it’s also kind of turning into Autumn here? I can’t explain, but pumpkin fever is setting in something fierce. I blame Sparkles for giving me the fever.

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Stay tuned for more updates. I will try to slack less. PS: I am moving to NYC and will be writing a whole post about it soon. Spoiler alert!

Get the IGGPPC to the Geekies

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We did it! We really did it!
A panel of judges picked The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club as a finalist in the category of “Websites/Blogs” and we might win a coveted Geekie Award!

What does that mean? That means the IGGPPC is one of 5 finalists in The Geekie Awards. A panel of judges, who are experts in all things geeky and all things website-y, have scoured through all the nominees (about 25-30), and selected the top 5. And we were 1 of those top 5!

When and where is the award show? The award show is only 1 month away, on Sunday, August 17, 2014, and in Hollywood, California. You guys can watch it live on Twitch TV and Xbox.

What do you need from us? Yes – we know, now comes the difficult part. We hate asking for money, but we just have to get to Hollywood to accept this award if we win!

What we need is for you guys is to pick through your couch cushions, check under your car carpets, poke around in your cookie jars, and find all your spare change… any little bit will help to get us to Hollywood. We will not only be eternally grateful, but we will be in Hollywood representing YOU guys, the Iggles, and all members of the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club. Could you imagine: the community we have ALL worked so hard to build and foster, could be walking down the red carpet with the likes of Seth Green and Stan Lee? This is the big time!

We’re also offering really fun rewards for your contributions, so be sure to check out the reward levels for great swag and prizes!

We hate asking for money, but we truly believe we are deserving of this great honor, and on behalf of all of you, (and Iggles everywhere) we hope you will rally with us to help give the IGGPPC the spotlight it deserves. We’re not just going to Hollywood for ourselves, we are going for YOU GUYS. You make this community what it is!

All donations will go directly to get us to the Geekies, and any leftovers will be donated to charity. We promise full transparency with this!

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Thank you on behalf of the IGGPPC HQ!