Happy 20th Anniversary, Harry Potter!

I always wanted to be a Gryffindor, but the truth was always there under the surface, and it was much more simple. I love people too much, and I care about everyone’s feelings.
It’s actually been Hufflepuff all the way.
I got the first three Harry Potter books the day that “The Prisoner of Azkaban” came out – September 8, 1999, apparently. I tore through them in a short amount of time, and my world was changed. It led me to internet forums and early chat rooms for fans, it led me to create my own fan fiction, it led me to create my own fiction unrelated.”Hedwig” was part of my first email address. It brought me new friends when I moved to a new place. It brought me a sense of belonging that stuck with me until I was ready to ‘graduate Hogwarts’ and move out into the big wide world on my own two feet, and create new worlds for other people to delve into.
I often think about JK Rowling, on a plane or seated in an outdoor cafe, writing with cheap half-empty ballpoint pens, scrawling on napkins when she ran out of paper, and writing just to write – even when she was on welfare. She didn’t write to get herself out of welfare, but that’s exactly what happened. She wrote because she loved her story and her characters and was driven to get it done. And she’s not perfect… And the series isn’t perfect, but it’s arguably damn good. So good that it’s common household vocabulary now, and it’s the “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” of a whole new generation. Harry and Voldemort in the Forest. Hogwarts, when the walls fell.
What’s your Patronus?
What’s your wand made of?
Which House are you in?
Everybody knows their own answers to these questions. And we always will.
Twenty years later, many of us are grown and some are even raising their own kids on the world Rowling built. It’ll keep on keepin’ on.
I’m hoping to finally make it to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios this fall, and taste my first butterbeer and find my wand waiting for me, and probably cry, and my Hufflepuff husband will be there with me, and we’ll probably have a lot of feelings about it all.
Something something about Hogwarts always being there to welcome us home, something something.
Cheers, everyone.

Cosplay Eye Spy: C2E2 2016 Edition

Round 1:

  • DC > Harley Quinn
    • Suicide Squad redesign
    • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Steampunk
    • Pin-up/rockabilly
    • Other
  • DC > Poison Ivy 
  • DC > Joker 
  • Marvel > Deadpool
    • As himself
    • As someone/something else
  • Nintendo > Ash/Pokemon Trainer
  • Disney > Frozen > Elsa/Anna
  • Star Wars > Han Solo
  • Star Wars > Princess Leia
  • Game of Thrones > Daenerys Targaryen

Round 2:

  • Ubisoft > Assassin’s Creed > Altair/Ezio/Evie/Jacob/etc.
  • Anime > Attack on Titan > anyone
  • Anime > Sailor Moon > any of the sailor scouts
  • Star Wars > full Mandalorian armor
  • Star Wars > full Stormtrooper armor
  • Marvel > Guardians of the Galaxy > Groot
  • Mad Max: Fury Road > Furiosa

Round 3:

  • Crossover > Star Wars x Disney
  • Tumblr > Marvel > Hawkeye Initiative
  • Tumblr > Tolkien > Party Dad Thranduil
  • Marvel > Jessica Jones
  • Marvel > Daredevil/Matt Murdoch
  • Mad Max: Fury Road > War Boys (with props and/or vehicles)
  • Game of Thrones > Jon Snow

Print it out and play along!

    Slice of Pie: Dryad Tea’s Lovely Rubiee Has A Cuppa For You

    I say, old chap! I’ve got a rather nouveau idea. What do you say to some tea to go with your pie? Even better: what about some meticulously chosen, carefully blended, uniquely delicious tea from a lovely lady like Rubiee?

    ~A Slice of Pie!~

    A tasty sample of something fresh cooked up by an artist of my choosing.


    Who are you?

    My name is Rubiee Tallyn Hayes, and I own Dryad Tea!


    What’s your thing right now? That thing. You know. That thing over there. What is that?

    My thing Right now is Dryad Tea, it’s a loose leaf tea company inspired by music, mythology and literary art.

    Note: Dryad Tea isn’t just an online store… it pops up now and then at some of the funnest, finest conventions in the country!


    What do you love about this thing?

    The creative freedom that I am allowed, all of the people that I meet and all of the creative bits that can inspire me.


    Firebird’s Child Chai (black tea)

    What do you dislike about this thing?

    I work from home, so I don’t see people a lot. Also, Dryad is my 24/7 job, I work many more hours than I would if I worked a 9-5.

    How and why did this thing get started? How long has it been going on?

    In 2012 I was singing with my band Pandora Celtica, we had been talking about ways to create personal product that would allow us to bring a little more money home over and above the music gigs. I had seen perfumes inspired by things, so why not tea?


    We Are Shangri-La (green tea)

    When/how/where can people get some of the thing?

    My website: www.dryadtea.com is where you want to go. Tea, pottery, tea accessories, tea of the month club and more!


    Loki’s Kiss (herbal tea)


    What thing would you do if you had all the money and time in the world right now?

    Buy a building for a store front, the whole entire building so that I could have a store front for Dryad and also be able to work pottery in the same space.

    Note: Rubiee and Dryad Tea just launched a magnificent Kickstarter to raise money for a storefront space so she can create more tea, more products, and handmade pottery items!

    Click here to check out the pitch video and see how you can help!


    Delightfully geeky pottery


    Lovely leafy trivets!

    What’s your new favorite thing that someone else has done/made?

    I am in love with Paletree Arcana’s work and also these hollow books on Etsy.

    Possibly the most important question… If your thing was a pie, what kind of pie would it be?

    Pecan pie!

    And even more importantly: what kind of tea goes best with that pie?

    Awaken tea would go best in my opinion: a nice smooth black tea.


    Awaken Tea (black tea)

    All photos courtesy of Rubiee Hayes and Dryad Tea website!

    Rubiee is the incredibly lovely creator of Dryad Tea. I first found Dryad Tea at Salt Lake Comic Con in September 2015. My eye was caught by their name, but I quickly fell in love with their unique and varied herbal blends which were all cleverly arranged in spice canisters so customers could smell any of the blends they wanted to. My heart nearly exploded with joy to find that they were also vendors at my home turf of Teslacon in November. I even made sure that some of my favorite friends and family got Dryad Tea products for Christmas this year. Trust me – this is not “just like every other tea company out there.” Give them a try and you’ll fall in love just like I did!

    Con Wrap-Up: C2E2 2015!

    April showers bring May flowers, but April in Chicago brings the best weekend of the year for local geeks: C2E2!

    Me as Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle. MIYAZAKI 4 LYFE

    Me as Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. MIYAZAKI 4 LYFE

    The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is a three-day extravaganza of panels, celebrity appearances, autograph hunting, photo ops, merchandise, art, cosplay, and nerdgasms. I fondly refer to it as “Nerd Christmas” – you can get pretty much everything you want at this con, and best of all, you don’t necessarily have to shop for anyone but yourself unless you want to. Maybe “Nerd Black Friday” is more accurate? Whatever.

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