Sunday, 14 September 2014

Oz Comic Con, Veronica Mars, and me

The Oz Comic Con is happening at the moment, with days in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and, for the first time ever, Brisbane!!

So I went.

Of course I went. Was there ever any doubt I would? 

With my brother, waiting for one of the Q&As to start
October last year I went to the London MCM Comic Con.  I had so much fun I decided I wanted to go to one in Australia with one or more of my brothers as there was a lot of anime and computer game stuff that they are into and which I don't understand. Found out it was on in Brisbane, gave my brother a ticket for his birthday present (which is in January, so he had a bit of a wait!) and booked my flights.

I had a great time.

In the lead-up when guests where being announced, there weren't any that I was really excited about. There were a couple of people from Stargate coming which was cool, but no one else. Sorry William Shatner - I'm just not a super-duper fan.

Nicholas and Emma in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
Image from
This all changed about two weeks out (when I realised that I hadn't actually bought tickets, I just thought I had, but it all worked out okay), when I found out that Nicholas Brendon (Xander) and Emma Caulfield (Anya) were going to be guests.  I have loved Buffy The Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager.  The wit, the sheer cleverness of it, plus the great characters... What's not to love? Joss Whedon is a brilliant writer, and Xander was always one of my favourite characters. So I was pretty excited.

The cast of Veronica Mars.
Image from
But not as excited as when I saw that Jason Dohring (Logan), Percy Daggs III (Wallace) and Michael Muhney (Sherif Lamb) were coming to Brisbane. Veronica Mars, people.  Check it out.  Buffy was my high school show.  Veronica Mars was my uni show.  Intrigue, plot, characters, dialogue, one-liners, twists and turns, heartache, plus utter cuteness of the male cast.  I was sad when it was cancelled.  I backed the Kickstarter campaign for the movie.  I waited in anticipation for the movie's release and the book and enjoyed both.  It's not Doctor Who or Discworld, but it's pretty damn good.  And I was very excited to see the cast were coming to Brisbane.

Finn the Human

Oh, and Orlando Bloom was there too.  Quite a coup for Brisbane.  I was excited, but not as much as for Veronica Mars and Buffy. My brother was pretty excited about Orlando. And about the guy from Game of Thrones, Jason Momoa.  I don't watch Game of Thrones, so can't comment.

My Comic Con costume

I enjoyed Oz Comic Con. I loved looking at the costumes and admiring the cosplay.  I enjoyed wandering around the stalls and checking out the games and merch for sale.  Bought my brother's Christmas and birthday presents. I had fun chatting to other fans and getting the chance to wear my Harry Potter cloak.

I really enjoyed attending the Q&As with Michael Muhney, Percy Daggs III, and Jason Dohring. So much fun.
Percy and Michael's Q&A
But the major Fangirl, squeal-enticing, shaking-so-I-couldn't-sit-down moments: having a photo with the three Veronica Mars boys.
With Percy, Michael and Jason
Oh and one with Emma Caulfield and Nicholas Brendon.
With Emma and Nicholas
My brother went back on Sunday for a photo with Orlando Bloom and to listen to the Q&A with Jason Momoa. I had to fly back home. Downside of living in a small town in Central Queensland.
With Orlando Bloom!
But I got to hug Percy, Michael and Jason, so it all works out I guess!

Some more pics from our adventure:
My brother's Comic Con buys
I'm now a toy!

Facing off against the Black Knight
(Monty Python's Holy Grail)

My other brother posing
Finn and I in line
How do you finish up a day at Comic Con?
With Magic the Gathering and dodgy cartoons of course!
Happy Stitching and Geeking!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Who and the ABC

Have you been watching the new Doctor Who?

For the first episode of the new season, the ABC decided to air it at the same time as the UK. Which was 4:50am Sunday morning.  They also uploaded it straight to their online site ABC iView, and re-aired it at 7pm that night, which is when they usually show Doctor Who over here.

Yes, I got up at 4:50 to watch it.  I was in Brisbane with my parents at the time- we'd flown down to see David Suchet in The Last Confession. (Which also stared George Spartel from Play School, and Stuart Milligan from Johnathon Creek- not sure who I was most excited about!). Anyway, we were all staying in the one motel room so my parents also had to get up to watch the episode.  They would have done so anyway I'm sure! 

What was really awesome though was that, in response to how popular the early morning airing and the instant iView upload were, the ABC have decided to continue to do this for the rest of the season!

Which I love.  It shows that a) the viewing world has changed and b) that television stations can adapt to suit the new market.  Someone at Comic Con said that Australia has the highest download rate per head of any country in the world.  Which I readily believe. With the internet and social media, information on new episodes is readily available at a mouse click (or a touch if you're a tablet user). It's hard to avoid spoilers.  And people don't want to wait.  We know instantly when a new episode of our favourite international show is released in The UK or USA.  The chat forums, blog sites, and social media pages go crazy with spoilers and memes.  It's hard to avoid.  Fans become frustrated. The TV stations can take up to 6 months to aire new shows, and iTunes is just as bad, if not worse. It's relatively easy to find illegal copies of episodes and watch them online.  So many people I know would rather watch a show on TV (minus the ads perhaps) or pay for a legal copy on iTunes or the like, but they become frustrated with the wait and so look elsewhere. Which means the TV stations don't get their ratings, and iTunes (or the like) don't get their profit. The same goes for DVD sales when people buy from overseas for the same reasons, but that 's another story.

So good on the ABC for leading the way.  Good on the ABC for showing how it can be done.  For showing that it does work, that it is worth it, that people want to do things the right way.  Good on the ABC for letting us.  Now if only the Australian Government would stop cutting the ABC's funding, maybe they can continue to bring us brilliant, quality international shows in line with other countries.  Oh and some good old home-grown stuff too (ANZAC Girls and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries being perfect examples).

This was going to be a blog about the New Doctor and my take on the new episodes, but it got off track.  Will have to save that for the next one!

Happy Stitching!

P.S. No, I didn't get up at 4:50am to watch the next episode.  Instead I watched it at 6:30am when I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.  The third one I watched at 7pm with my Dad for Father's Day (I was in Brisbane again but at my brother's house so decided to wait to watch it with Dad).  Yes, I may get up early to watch next week's episode :)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Happy Father's Day with a free pattern!

Dad and I in 2012
Things have been a little quiet from me of late.  There are reasons why, which I will share and explain (or much as possible anyway!) in the next post.  I've more important things to talk about at the moment.

It's Father's Day in Australia today, so a big Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there wherever they may be. But most specially a massive big Happy Father's Day to my own Dad.

My Dad is an amazing guy.  He has always been an inspiration to me and a guiding light.  I've always looked up to him and tried to live up to his example. He's a very quiet, reserved man but always worth listening to.  And he has taught and given me so much,

Dad painting the roof in 2002
He taught me to ignore society's gender-specific roles. Dad helped out with the cooking and the cleaning, the washing, the child minding - well, when he wasn't working or studying! Dad taught me to change a tyre, how to check the air pressure, and how to check and top up the oil in the car. He taught me how to build and make furniture (I'm no good at it, but at least he tried!), and how to fix things around the house.

Dad never told me I couldn't do something because I was a girl.  He always believed I could do anything if I would only try and give it ago.  Which is why I'm e one saying "you need to get a new washer for the tap" when I visit my brothers and they're saying "we thought we'd wait for dad to visit." Which is also why he one day told mum I was the "best boy" he had (and I've never let my three brothers forget it!)
Our family in 1993

Dad taught me how to drive a car, how to change gears and how about hill starts; and I taught him how to be a good teacher: how to explain things in laymen terms and how to give step-by-step instructions so that when he had to teach my brothers he had the knowledge and the patience to deal with their more stubborn learning styles.

Dad taught me to tinker with computers, to keep trying to get Word and Excel to do what I needed them to do.  He taught me how to create commands to change the Excel box colours.  He taught me to appreciate maths and science, and how to think logically, although I still think he's crazy for saying I had to study physics in high school so I had a "fun subject".

Dad and Mum in 2012
More importantly, my Dad taught me how to be patient, and how to serve without asking for praise or reward.  He taught me how to love others, how to hold my judgement in check, to not jump to conclusions. He taught me what respect is, what values are important.  From his relationship with my mother and my brothers and I, he's taught me what a father and a husband should be.  He taught me how to give to others, how to be generous with my belongings, my money and my time.  He taught me what a work ethic is. When I needed to leave a job that was destroying me, he told me it was okay and didn't judge. When I needed an actor for a play I was directing, he stepped in and took on the lead role for me (and learnt his lines quicker than anybody!).

Dad, me, and my cousin 2002
He also told me when I was an idiot, carrying on too much, or digging myself a hole.  Not in so many words.  Well, not in any words.  My father has a "look". It's known in certain circles as "a dad look". There's a tilt to the head just-so with a little turn to the side, a certain raising of an eyebrow and slight squinting of the other eye.  It's hard to explain.  But when you see it, you know.  And you know exactly what he's thinking at that moment.  My brother's have tried to copy it but it can't be done. It's a dad look.

Like I said, he's an amazing a person, and I probably don't tell him often enough.

Oh, and he taught me about Doctor Who.  Enough said!

Happy Father's Day Dad!

To celebrate Father's Day, I've created a cross stitch card pattern featuring Arthur Weasley. It's hard to find strong Fawther characters in the world of fandoms.  There are a lot of father-figures or surrogate fathers, but not too many actual fathers.  I wonder why?

So things have been a bit quiet...

So things have been a bit quiet of late.  I haven't been posting many blogs online (there was a 2 month gap in there!) and haven't been posting too many new patterns, or doing things on Facebook/twitter.

I'm sorry.  I do have a couple of reasons why... or excuses... But mostly I've been slack.  So I'm sorry.

Back to my excuses.

First of all:

I moved house.  In July I moved house, back into the share-house I used to live in before I went to London. This was very exciting.  The first 6 months I lived with two girls who didn't really communicate or talk or socialise or anything, so I spent a lot of time in my room.  Which was good for Fangirl Stitches business, less good for my sanity.  So I moved into my old house with a good friend and another girl who did talk and hangout and socialise and were friendly.  So much nicer! There was lots of moving and unpacking and sorting, and socialising and hanging out. Better for my sanity, but did mean not a lot of time was spent stitching!


I bought a house.  This happened very suddenly.  I wasn't really looking, but then I drove past one I liked, went to the Open House, and put in an offer.  In a week I went from "maybe, someday, possibly" to putting in an offer.  Which was accepted.  And then my finance was approved.  It's been a fast paced five weeks with a lot happening - meetings with mortgage broker and solicitors, building and pest inspections, packing, measuring for curtains and shopping for furniture... It's been a very steep and busy learning curve. But also a lot of fun. I'm now in the process of buying furniture and choosing colour schemes, working out the best walls to hang my cross-stitch, and working out how to best inject my geeky style into the new house.

Move-In Day is Wednesday so there is still a lot going on- curtains to make, packing to do, washing machines to buy...

Those are my excuses.  As a reson for absent brain-ness I think they're okay.  As a reason for being slack for the last 3 months.... maybe not.  I'm looking forward to investigating all the geeky house decorating ideas and would love your suggestions.  I'll be sharing what I find, and what I end up doing :)

I also have several cross stitch patterns in mid design which I'm hoping to get finished "soon" so keep an eye out for those.  No guarantees as to when though!

Happy Stitching!