10 Things I learned at my first Sci Fi Weekender!

10 Things I Learned at my first Sci Fi Weekender!

Last March we headed down to Wales for our first ever Sci Fi Weekender (SFW) and had an absolute blast. I had hoped to post detailing our experience last year, but life and health got away from me and I never got a chance to finish it. I intend to get one done this year so stay tuned for that at the end of the month! For now though I wanted to share 10 things I learned from our visit last year. Prior to the event last March I tried to find some information online and found a very old blog post from one of the first events and that was it! Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what to expect if you’re heading to SFW for the first time or thinking of going next year. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments 🙂 ((Map is from Google maps and Masquerade image is from Public Domain Images. All other images are copyrighted to me.))

 

 

Hafan y Môr Map

1 – It’s in the middle of Nowhere

I was going to start by saying this is relevant if you’re traveling by car, however, I think this is also relevant for anyone traveling by public transport. The holiday village, Hafan y Môr, is lovely and located close to the Welsh Coast – but that means it is in the middle of bloody nowhere! There’s a week to go and if you haven’t started planning your travel I really suggest doing so because it isn’t straight forward at all. Expect to be completely confused and at times bamboozled as you go down tiny Welsh lanes and wonder whether you’re going the right way. A SATNAV is essential, and you do have the bonus of listening to the navigator trying to pronounce all the Welsh place names.

I also really do suggest making sure you check your car and that you have everything prepared in case of emergency because if something did go wrong you could be stuck in the middle of nowhere – especially with the warnings of bad weather again.

 

 

Bring your Wellies!

2 – Bring Wellies

One thing I wish someone had told us was how easily the caravan park turns into a marshy bog. It was raining when we arrived Thursday evening and a few hours later there was a complimentary swimming pool with our caravan! It remained muddy and marshy all weekend so pack a pair of wellies or at least some boots!

 

 

Don't rely on technology

3 – Don’t rely on technology

The site is a total black spot, so don’t rely on having internet access or even phone signal. I’ve been told that the site seems to have updated their wifi since last March (thanks Blazing Minds!), however, I would suggest taking that with a pinch of salt and this doesn’t necessarily mean phones will be working. So if you have someone you need to contact over the weekend I strongly urge that you let them know in advance that you might be out of touch. Likewise, it can make it hard to meet up with friends so I would suggest making plans in advance as to when and where you want to meet up.

 

 

Smaller & more intimate venue

4 – Expect a smaller and more intimate venue

The venue, and especially the area for signing, is much smaller and thus more intimate than you would find at a bigger convention. You still need to queue, and you only get a limited time with the celebrity but as you can see from this photo of the lovely Chris Barrie you can sit close by and observe to your hearts content (observe, not stalk). I get completely tongue tied when it comes to meeting celebrities so it you suffer from anxiety it’s nice to be able to take a seat nearby and get your bearings before the actual moment. Don’t expect much – or any – photo opportunities. Unlike at bit conventions you’re literally paying for the signing and if you’re later in the queue (it’s done by raffle numbers) then they are usually short for time. Most don’t mind a photo taken by a companion while the signing is happening, they just don’t have time to post for selfies.

Also, BIG tip is that there are no photos for you to pick up to be signed. They literally just have a very crappy logo-ed piece of paper with a tiny signing spot so make sure you bring something more memorable to get signed. It doesn’t need to be a bulky item like a dvd; we have really nice notebooks from a Blizzard convention that we use for example.

 

 

Never enough seats

5 – There’s never enough seating available

The fact that the venue is small also means that there is never enough seating for events, especially the big events or popular celebrities. For one event we tried to stop in two different places and were moved on; first by security and second by a less than polite fellow attendee. Later at an event we began to understand why he was so irate, however, there’s still no need to be so rude if people don’t even realise that they’re blocking your view. This problem occurs because the seating in the main room is split by a walk way and therefore, when all the seats at the front and tables at the back are filled people naturally converge in the walkway to stand and watch. Unfortunately that means that the people behind at the tables cannot see anything. It’s a simple case of overselling tickets for the convention and not realising how many people actually attend certain events. You can, of course, buy an upgraded ticket which provides you with seating at every event in the main hall. However, there’s a catch; they sell insanely quickly the year before the convention. Yep, that’s right. It sells out the year before, so you need to have the funds available and be quick on the draw.

 

 

Disabled Assistance

6 – There’s hardly any support for disabled visitors

As a holiday park the venue itself is fully catered for disabled visitors, however, the actual convention staff appear to have very little training in how to help disabled visitors. Their website says to speak directly to them if you seek aid, and upon doing so I was asked ‘do you have a blue badge?’, which I can only assume was to prove that we did indeed need assistance. When I explained that no, we did not, and that it was extremely hard to obtain one, I was then informed that we could pay extra to gain seating for every event by purchasing a royalty or VIP ticket. However, as this was mentioned it was also stated that they were completely sold out so that wasn’t even an actual viable option. The only useful information given was that we could ask for assistance at celebrity signings. This assistance consisted of informing the staff and security managing the event that we were disabled, required additional assistance and therefore, could avoid queuing and be allowed to go straight to the signing table. We chose not to do this for our signings because quite frankly, it didn’t feel that reliable and there was no where for disabled people to sit to wait. So it was a case of standing and waiting, or standing in a queue and waiting.

As we both suffer from chronic illnesses that do not require walking aids, or wheelchairs, I cannot comment on how the situation is for disabled people that use these. Perhaps, the convention staff offer more aid to those that they deem appropriately disabled or can offer “proof” – this may seem harsh, but sadly it is the way invisible illnesses are considered by many.  I did note that the security teams were very active in keeping the wheelchair ramps and access areas clear, so there is that at least.

 

 

Geeky Stalls

7 – Don’t forget to check out the stalls

One thing I regret from last year is that we were so busy trying to get to events, and catch hold of cosplayers for photos that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted browsing the stalls. For me personally there was also some nasty migraines thrown in, but it is so easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on that you don’t truly get to appreciate the goods on offer and the people who made them. You get the usual geeky mass produced geeky products, such as Funko Pops, however, there are so many handmade unique items which you probably won’t find any where else! I also had some great chats with some of the stall owners, especially Pam of Pams Happy Hats and June of Clan Jewels. Chris picked up a BB-8 hat from Pam’s stall (I couldn’t choose one, there were so many awesome choices!) and I picked up a gorgeous moonstone pendant from Clan Jewels. I really hope to see them both back this year, and also excited to meet new people and their geekywares!

 

 

The Masquerade

8 – The Masquerade is very very low-key

I was really excited that  there was a masquerade ball because it is something I’ve wanted to go to for a long time. So we put a lot of effort in and got dressed up, only to find that it is extremely low key. There is no dress code, and while many people use it as an excuse to dress up in fantasy style gear or cosplay, there were a lot of people in just hoodies and jeans. Essentially this is still a geek event and not everyone wants to dress up. So if the idea of  masquerade or formal wear causes you anxiety, don’t panic! It is totally a do as you please event and there’s other stuff happening at the same time, so you can skip the whole thing if you want to. This year we’re going low-key, nice top and jeans because we honestly just don’t have the energy to go all out.

 

 

Cosplayers at Sci Fi Weekender

9 – Don’t be afraid to approach Entertainers & Cosplayers

I spent most of the weekend building up my confidence when it came to approaching the professional entertainers and fellow visitors who were cosplaying, and while I did manage to approach several, I do wish I’d done it a bit more. On the whole the entertainers were really friendly and happy to take photos, and I currently have an outstanding invitation with Tabitha Lyons to grab a photo with her next time I see her at a con. In general I found that the non-professional cosplayers could be a bit shyer, and were generally just shocked that someone liked their cosplay and actually wanted a photo. So my advice is be super polite and understanding, if someone says no then accept it and move on, and just use common sense i.e. don’t be creepy or interrupt conversations. It’s also considered extremely rude to take photos of cosplayers while they’re working with a photographer on a shoot, so always ask before you take a photo just in case you’re interrupting a planned shoot.

 

 

Meet Entertainers

10 – Keep an eye out in the crowd for entertainers

There’s going to be a lot of people wandering around and it is really easy to miss some great opportunities to talk to entertainers before they’ve done their big show, aka before people realise who they are and want their attention. We bumped into one of the entertainers, Chris Cross, who was offering magic tricks the day before his event and not realising who he was we just kept on moving. After seeing his fantastic show I really wish we’d gotten some time with him!

 

Over to you

That brings us to the end of my 10 lessons learned from last years Sci Fi Weekender. I hope that it’s been useful, and while there are some negative points there were also many many things that made it a fantastic experience – after all, we’re going back this year so clearly something went right 😉 If you’re heading to Hafan y Môr next weekend then I hope to see you there (feel free to say hi!) and if you’re not, I’ll be tweeting and instagramming (provided the wifi holds up 😉 ) all weekend. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments 🙂

Return to Argus with these Draenei Products!

Draenei Products

Happy Saturday everyone! This week the Argus patch went live on the World of Warcraft servers and so this week Sharing Saturday is dedicated to the Draenei that once called Argus home. I’ve collected a selection of Draenei products from around the internet so you can share your Draenei pride or show your support as they take the fight to the Legion!

 

Draenei Products

 

  1. World of Warcraft Ladies’ Draenei Robe, $129.99, from Think Geek.
  2. Gift of the Naaru *LIMITED EDITION RUN* Holographic Print, £15.97, by LSmithIllustration.
  3. Yrel – Worldof Warcraft fanart earrings, £57.49, by Tishaia.

 

 

 

  1. World of Warcraft “Draenei” Tree of Life pendant, £5.99, by AllTheShiningStars.
  2. The Naaru have not forgotten us T-shirt & other products, various, by Skye Alexandra Bulmer.
  3. Exodar University Top & other products, various, by gedaldra.

 

 

  1. Azuremyst Isle – World of Warcraft ATLAS Staring Zone Travel Poster, £3.59, by DCMJS.
  2. World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor inspired Elekk Plushie, £13.37, by MacroCrafts.
  3. Will Is My Weapon – Print – Yrel World of Warcraft Draenei Alliance, £9.58, by BrandiYorkArt.

 

 

  1. Icon of Argus sticker & other products, various, by Tzsycho.
  2. Shem Reznict art print, £19.99, by Glenn Rane.
  3. Phadalus the Enlightened art print, £19.99, by Glenn Rane.

 

Your Thoughts

I noticed in my hunt that poor Draenei are one of the most under presented races when it comes to World of Warcraft products. Do you have any Draenei products to share? Would you like to see other race and/or class specific products? Let me know in the comments!

A few of my favourite World of Warcraft Things

Geek Blog Unite Theme - Ready Player one!

From 11th – 17th June I’m taking part in The Geek Blogs Unite June Theme, Ready Player One – Video Games. I’d already decided to do a World of Warcraft post, however, I was convinced by Kayla to do a whole week of posts (ok, it didn’t take much convincing at all…). So instead of one big post I’ll be posting mini posts each day. I decided on World of Warcraft because it is my main game, and I’ve been playing since it’s EU launch. I have a character of every class, and it’s also responsible for me meeting my fiancé, Chris, and many good friends.

 

Sunday 11th

Introducing my World of Warcraft Characters

I’m going to tell you all about each of my characters, their history, personality and maybe even a few dirty little secrets 😉

Monday 12th

My Favourite World of Warcraft Pets

Anyone who knows me knows I love animals and my fondness for living creatures has transferred to battle pets! I’ve already talked about my favourite pets for battles, so this time I’ll be talking about my favourites in terms of themes and aesthetics!

Tuesday 13th

Transmog Tuesday & My Favourite Raid Tiers

As normal there will be #TransmogTuesday and as a bonus I’ll be telling you what my favourite raid tier is for each class. Boy, that’s gonna be a hard one!

Wednesday 14th

My Favourite World of Warcraft Mounts

There are so many mounts to collect, and I’m over the 250th mark personally. I’ll be whittling down the list to tell you my personal favourites.

Thursday 15th

My Favourite Locations in World of Warcraft

So many different zones, from multiple expansions and I’ll be telling you which ones I love to visit.

Friday 16th

My Favourite Questlines in World of Warcraft

From the epic, to the heartbreaking and with some hilarity in between, here’s my favourite storylines and quests from the game.

Saturday 17th

My Favourite World of Warcraft Art

A change of plans, and to coincide with Sharing Saturday, I’m talking about my favourite art from the game, TCG, fanart and Hearthstone!

Screenshot Challenge Wrap up & June’s Prompts

Screenshot Challenge

May was a total whirl and some of these got posted a bit late due to life and technical issues! But here’s the full months wrap up and June’s prompts for Screenshot Challenge!

 

Favourite Hero

Wooo it’s the first prompt for May for #justgeekingbysc #screenshotsunday ! As it’s free comic book time I picked favourite hero for today’s prompt.
World of Warcraft, like all games, is filled with heroes and yet one stood out to me straight away. Maybe it’s because I just watched this cinematic the other day, but Anduin was the clear winner of this title for me. We’ve watched Anduin grow up, get kidnapped, find his way and lose his father and thus, becoming King of Stormwind – and leader of the alliance? I’m not 100% sure on that one, but either way he has a heavy mantle on his young shoulders.
I won’t lie; I cried when I watched this cinematic. The whole questline dealt with Anduin’s loss, as well as the loss of his whole Kingdom in terms of the soldiers that perished that day alongside their King. As players we can just res and run back, and we don’t often really think about the amount of losses. There’s been a few examples in the past that have been horrific, but Legion is really pushing the emotional boat out and making it clear just how dire the circumstances.
Anduin is one of the few priests amongst the leaders that I feel I can actually relate to. I love Velen, but lets face it, he’s thousands of years old and a prophet. I love how we’ve been on every step of Anduin’s journey alongside him, like we have our own characters, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him. He has so much power, such an amazing grasp of the light and the world around him. He’s not his father and that’s good, it’s what Azeroth needs.

 

 

 

Cherish

 

Week 2 #justgeekingsc #screenshotsunday – Cherish.This prompt was inspired by Mothers Day, so all the best to mothers of all kinds today. I couldn’t really find a mother screenshot that also worked for ‘cherish’ so here is some adorable cuteness along with some Cullen hotness from Dragon Age: Inquisition! Treasure is my 2017 word of the year, so cherishing the ones and things I love is something on the forefront of my mind right now. It’s really easy to forget what we have, to get lost in the pain and darkness of every day life. Cherish the good things you have and those you love.

 

 

 

Pastels

Week 3 of #screenshotchallenge #justgeekingbysc and the prompt is pastels. Here is a gorgeous pastel sunset/moonrise I came across in World of Warcraft tonight. The view of the mage city of Dalaran across the sky from Suramar.

 

Water

The prompt was water, and as one of the primal elements if features in pretty much every game ever and in so many different ways. From pets, to creatures, to gorgeous scenery like this shot from Guild Wars 2.

 


June’s Prompts!

 

Screenshot Challenge - June Prompts!

 

I had some fun with this one! 4th June is National Cheese day and as tempting as it was to pick just ‘cheese’ I went with the more general Food for the first week. It’s the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and that seemed like a good excuse to ask you to share some Royalty for week two! Week three sees things hotting up as we head towards the Summer Solstice, so Sun seemed like a natural choice for the third week. Rounding off the end of the month is Rainbow to represent June as LGBT Pride month.

 

I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading through my wrap up, and would love to see some others joining in! It’s a fun thing for me to do on my own so while I can keep flying solo, I’d love to see what everyone else is doing too! 🙂 As always follow me on instagram to see my posts every Sunday!

 

8 Artists I Want To Commission

Sharing Saturday - Artists I want to commission

I would love to commission a million different artists for work, but sadly it’s not in my budget just now. So this is a list of awesome artists that accept commissions, and hopefully one day I can request one from them! As usual all copyright and credit goes to these wonderfully talented artists. Please do check out their Patreons and follow them on social media if you like there work.

I also have a pinterest board where I’ll be adding any new artists to, so feel free to follow along to find new and amazing artists!

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 Noxychu

PatreonTwitter  |  Deviant Art  |  Etsy  | Twitch

I first came across Noxychu from her work on Wowhead/ZAM and fell in love with her unique and colourful style. Here’s some of my favourites.


Lunar Sparks by Noxychu on DeviantArt


Maiev Chibi by Noxychu on DeviantArt


Frostfire Yrel – altered version by Noxychu on DeviantArt

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Frenone

Patreon | Twitter | WWW | Instagram | Twitch

I can’t remember if I came across Frenone on Twitter or somewhere else; all I can say is that I’m so glad I did! Her work is absolutely crazy gorgeous and every new work or WIP she shares I am drooling over. It was so so hard just to pick 3 pieces to showcase here.

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 Straya Obscura

PatreonTwitter  |  Deviant Art  |  WWW  | FurAffinity

I think another artist on this list shared Straya’s work at some point and it is so utterly unique that I KNEW that one day I would have to commission something from her. What, I have no idea because as you can see from these examples the scope of her skill is massive.


WoW Class Crest: Priest by StrayaObscura on DeviantArt


Ysera by StrayaObscura on DeviantArt


Tian by StrayaObscura on DeviantArt

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Zaelli

FacebookTwitter  |  Deviant Art  |  WWW

There is just something timeless about Zaelli’s art, and the way that you can see the soul of the characters in the eyes of her portraits drew me to her work.


Steller’s Jay Study by Zaellii on DeviantArt


Veliaa and Pepe by Zaellii on DeviantArt


Draenei by Zaellii on DeviantArt

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Kay Nyman

FacebookTwitter  |  WWW  |  Instagram

I met Kay through the Geek Girl Bloggers group and have been happily following her blog and her work ever since! I love her style and the range of different subjects that she features in her art. Right now she’s taking part in #MerMay and her creations are just super!

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Liana Kangas

PatreonTwitter WWWEtsy  | Instagram

Today’s 10/100 of my #100dayproject is my bff witch babe and art twin and future wife, Briana Mora. Her and I both freelance now (yay!) so I get to annoy the shit out of her again!!!! We met when we used to work at hot topic and I was too shy back then and not aggressive enough to try and be friends with her but luckily she probably noticed and showered me with compliments which broke down my shy barrier. Thank you for being so great to be Bri! . Created in photoshop / Kyle Brushes snappy inker and paintbox bristle bomb with gradient map . #noboringmedia #noboringfam #lianakangas #patreon #illustration #portrait #comics #girlswholikecomics #comicart #creativehappylife #creativepreneur #comicbooks #cintiq #Wacom #photoshop #communityovercompetition #abmlifeiscolorful #risingtidesociety #the100dayproject #100daysofportraits #100daysofportraitslk

A post shared by Freelance & Comics (@lianakangas) on

Today’s 3/100 #100dayproject is actually a fictional character. I wasn’t planning on doing any but it’s #ncbd and I just read issue 5 of #MotorCrush! You guys… it is SO GOOD! This is Lola, a mechanic! She holds a special place in my heart now bc her character design is /amazing/ and side note, I almost went to an automotive vocational school! (Weird fact about me I guess? My dad is a mechanic. Oh well!) Anyways, go check out @babsdraws @cameronmstewart and @brendenfletcher’S motorcrush series at your local comic shop! photoshop / MattyDraws pencil brush / Kyle Brushes paintbox glazier #noboringmedia #noboringfam #lianakangas #patreon #illustration #portrait #nerd #comics #girlswholikecomics #comicart #girlboss #creativehappylife #creativepreneur #comicbooks #cintiq #Wacom #photoshop #communityovercompetition #abmlifeiscolorful #risingtidesociety #the100dayproject #100daysofportraits #100daysofportraitslk #imagecomics #motorcrushfanart #motorcrushmonday

A post shared by Freelance & Comics (@lianakangas) on

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ImaginaryKarin

  Twitter  |  Deviant Art  |  WWW  | Instagram

I’ve been following Karin’s pixel art and blog for years now, and have loved watching her work grow in leaps and bounds.


Green-eyed elf – pencil version by ImaginaryKarin on DeviantArt


Inktober/Drawlloween 2016 – 5-8 by ImaginaryKarin on DeviantArt


The Yule Goat by ImaginaryKarin on DeviantArt

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Lady Rossë

FacebookTwitter  |  Deviant Art  |  WWW

Lady Rossë is one of the many wonderful World of Warcraft fanart creators I have come across on Twitter. She has a unique and colourful style, and her chibis are absolutely adorable and so detailed!


Eternal Hate by LadyRosse on DeviantArt


Portrait Maaya by LadyRosse on DeviantArt


AnnVen new design by LadyRosse on DeviantArt

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Do you have a dream list of artists you would love to commission work from? What would you get them to create for you? Do you have an original character (OC) in mind? Or is there a fanart idea you’d love to see on paper?

Are you an artist that offers commissions? Whether you have slots open right now or not, let me know! I want to check out your work and I’ll be doing another Sharing Saturday in the future featuring artists with open commissions slots!

Pin - 9 Artists I Want to Commission