The Ultimate Pre-Con Checklist

Hello honeys,

I am absolutely over the moon with excitement for the upcoming weekend.

And why you may ask?  Well, two reasons actually.

First, pre-law will finally over.  Pre-law is a summer school program for incoming law students.  For the last month of my summer I’ve been working as a teaching assistant for the program.  It’s really fulfilling, helping the incoming students and passing on the knowledge I have acquired over the past school year.  But I’m looking forward to it being over and getting to sleep late and spend time in my craft room before school starts in August.

The other reason is Mechacon.  Mechacon is a big local anime and gaming convention in New Orleans.  This will be my first and only convention of the summer.  I’m only going Saturday, though the convention will be Friday to Sunday, because I have to work Friday and I don’t want to pay for the half day Sunday.  But still, I haven’t been to a convention in months so I am not complaining.

Anyway, I was getting ready for the convention and I thought about how much planning I do pre-con.  Conventions can be miserable if you don’t pre-plan.  Stuff like tickets, parking, food, seating, photos all affect your con experience.

  1. Location: I need to know where the convention is.  Is there parking on site, is it covered or on the street?  What is the neighborhood like, should I feel safe leaving my car and walking around, day or night?  What about public transit?
  2. Tickets: Obviously I need to know the price of the tickets and most of the conventions I have been to offer reduced prices the earlier you buy the tickets and they are stratified as the convention date gets closer?
  3. Dates:  Seems self-explanatory that you would look at when the convention would be held but that can affect a whole lot of other things too.  What ticket you buy for example, maybe like, me you have plans for one day of the convention, so you don’t want a full pass.  Or what you wear, like I wouldn’t wear a Suicide Squad Harley Quinn costume in the winter, or an Ice Climbers costume in the summer.  That’s what planning is for.
  4. Food: What kind of dining does the convention provide and what is the upcharge for it?  Are there restaurants around the convention site? What type are they, fine dining, family dining, fast food?  Can I realistically bring my own food or not eat at the convention?
  5. Key Events and Panels: I know what categories of con activities I show up for.  I like the Lolita stuff, the Steampunk stuff, the costuming tutorials, and the cosplay fashion shows.  Those are the things I have to plan around.  I have to organize my day around these events on the schedule but I also have to plan my outfits around it too.  The day with the most Lolita events I want to wear my coordinate, but what if I’m doing the cosplay fashion show and the Lolita tea part is the same day?  That’s why we pre-plan.  Plus some of these events full up fast.  It’s not such a big problem with the genre stuff, like Lolita fashion shows and costuming panels, but for the big ticket activities, like the Cosplay contests and the guests, I like to know where I’m supposed to be and when so I can get there early and get the best possible seat.
  6. Budget:  Sometimes I go to conventions outside of my state and those require a little more planning.  Where will I stay, by myself or with a group?  Is there a discount for staying at the convention hotel or a better deal somewhere else? How will I eat every day of the convention, will I buy food and feed myself or go to restaurants all weekend?
  7. Transportation:  Most of the conventions I go to are in my home state but transportation is still a big deal.  When I’m home in Arizona, my siblings and I take the city bus to and from the convention and leave our car at a park-and-ride stop during the day.  Here in Louisiana I’ve only been to one convention and it was right here in my city so I just drove.  This convention is in New Orleans which is over an hour’s drive away from where I live.  It makes a difference, especially to my con budget.
  8. Wardrobe: I’m very simple with convention wardrobe, for the most part.  I tend to pick one outfit per day.  That makes packing, when I have to travel, much simpler.  I can put all of the pieces that go with any outfit in a ziplock bag, the big quart sized ones, and keep it all together in my bag.   But also, I consider what kind of convention I’m going to when I decide on my convention wardrobe.  Big conventions tend to have less restrictive dress codes, which means more daring costumes. Smaller conventions are good place to test new costumes or coordinates, there are fewer people to see and remember the outfit but you get to con-test it for durability and wearability.
  9. Bag: This one may seem a little weird but trust me. What bag to carry is always a serious concern.  And not in an “I’m a girl, I must accessorize” kind of way either.  When I’m at a convention there  are a few things that I always want to carry with me, my cellphone, my makeup, my emergency sewing kit, wallet with cards and money.  These can all fit in a little purse right? But what if I go to the dealer’s room?  I need a bag big enough to carry anything I buy.  What if I’m cosplaying and wearing Lolita in the same day?  I need a bag that can hold my costume or my coordinate.  What if I’m carrying my own lunch?  I need a bag that can hold my food.  Then there are the costume or outfit concerns, like how is this bag gonna look in pictures, will I have to put it off to the side or can I be photographed with it?  Does this character carry a bag or an accessory I can make out of a bag?
  10. Con Buddy: The last and final, and probably the most important part of my con plan is my con buddy.  My con buddy is the person I wander the convention with.  I am a super introvert, and I don’t do big crowds but I like to have someone to experience the convention with.  Sitting in panels isn’t as much fun by myself and neither is coordinating my schedule and setting timers in my phone so for big conventions, I need an equally as neurotic friend to overthink and obsess.  At smaller conventions, when I can be more laid back, I like to have someone there to talk to about what I see, since I’m going to spend the majority of my time in common areas people watching.

So, there you have it.  My definitive guide to pre-convention planning.

What are your pre-con rituals?  What questions do you ask yourself before you head into the fray?

I would love to hear all how you plan your convention weekend.  But, now I have to go make a spreadsheet of panels to attend Saturday.

DeeDee

And a little about the blog.

Hello again,

In my post yesterday I told you all about myself, the things I like and what I do.  In my post today I’m going to tell you all about this blog, the things it covers and what it does.

What I hope you got from my post yesterday is that I’m a very simple gal.  I was put on this earth to do just a few things: to love and care for my friends and family first, and besides that just to study hard, to make beautiful projects and to look pretty.  See, it’s not complicated.

It’s what pretty.black.&.nerdy is all about.

I need a place where I can feel comfortable doing the things I feel I was created to do.

Like with knitting.  Yeah, I might have started knitting because I needed something to do with my hands for 8 hours on a Saturday so I didn’t go absolutely bonkers, but that’s not why I knit now.  Now, I couldn’t imagine not knitting, not being able to reach for my needles while I’m watching TV or reading textbooks.  What I’m saying is knitting has become, over the last 11 years, a part of my identity.

It’s the same way with sewing, with papercrafts, with Lolita, with vintage fashion, with conventions, with makeup.  I don’t think that I exist without all of those things thrown in.

The blog gives me a place where I can organize my thoughts, give reviews of products I try, make a record of projects I start, and maybe even finish and a place to share what I know, what I think and what I learn.

The plan is to post everyday, except Wednesday.  Today doesn’t count.  There’ll be something, a craft, a recipe, a story, a review, a printable, a link, a suggestion, a wall of text I think is important, something.  If there is anything you would like to see,let me know.

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored, I do not have any affiliate links, I buy and pay for everything that I use, unless it was a gift and even then I’ll disclose that.  If I ever have anything that I didn’t pay for or that was given to me from a company to use I’ll let you know.  Except for my own businesses, there aren’t any companies giving me free stuff though.

Welp, I think I’m all talked out now so that’s all for today.  Thanks for playing and I’ll see you tomorrow.

DeeDee

Just a little about me.

Hey there,

I’m DeeDee, the nerd that powers this blog.

Hello and welcome to pretty.black.&.nerdy.

I figured proper introductions were required, since we’re going to be such good friends after all.  I want to let you know all about me and all about the blog.

I have an About Me page that can tell you generally all about me but the back story is so much more fun.

So, let’s begin at the beginning.  I’m 25, from Arizona, daughter of an electrical engineer and an elementary school teacher.  My parents have 5 children, my older sister is 9 years older than me, then there’s one 3 years younger, and the twins, a boy and a girl, 10 years younger.  I’ve almost always been the oldest at home.

In my heart, I’m just a nerd girl.  I’ve gone to private schools all my life.  I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Arizona and a small Baptist college in Alabama.  Now, I’m a law school student in Louisiana.  And, actually, to be honest, I love school, I have always loved school, I will probably die loving school.

In my off time, when I’m not reading, studying or TAing, I’m a craft addict, a knitting, sewing, needle-pointing, card-making, decoupaging, craft addict.  I have no regrets.  Not many regrets?  Nope, no regrets.

I guess I’ve always been doing paper crafts.  Right now I’m into decoupaging.  Before that I became obsessed with making cards.  Before that I made scrapbooks.  Before scrapbooks, I don’t know, do coloring books and crayons count?

I started sewing in the seventh grade when I begged my mama for months to buy me a sewing machine for Christmas, even though nobody in my family knows how to sew.  I am an entirely self-taught seamstress which is code for I make it all up as I go along. I’m not as good as I want to be but I’m getting better at it.

I have been knitting since high school.  I used to get Saturday detention in high school and I needed something to do for 8 hours on a Saturday so I bought a book at Wal-Mart and made it work.  Now, I’m kind of, pretty much, a professional knitter.  I can knit with my eyes closed, I can knit while I drive, I can knit in a movie theater while eating popcorn without missing anything.

And when I’m not doing any of that, then I get to be a fan girl.  I’m a really good fan girl.  I’ve been going to comic conventions with my siblings since high school, mostly Phoenix Comicon and Anime Weekend Atlanta.  We cosplay, all handmade by us, please read as me.

I love Lolita fashion, too.  I have a whole handmade wardrobe right now and probably forever because I love to make myself new things.  I actually have an indie Lolita brand, Princess Dee-Licious.  I design and hand make all kinds of Lolita items, one pieces, jumperskirts, blouses and hair accessories all available in my shop.

Did I mention I’m a planner girl.  I don’t know if you know what that means but trust me it’s awesome.  I have a custom-made planner and I design and create stickers for organizing and decorating.  I have another shop for planner goodies, Creative Blerd.  I sell handmade planner stickers for the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Happy Planner, along with some other stationary items.  I do so enjoy stationary.

I have vintage taste.  I love 50s styled clothes.  I spend entirely too much money at Doll Me Up, Inc., my personal favorite vintage inspired online boutique.  But any opportunity t o spend money, I’m not choosy.  And, I am obsessed with makeup.  Too Faced is my prestige brand of choice, obviously with all that pink and glitter.  Most of my collection is from the beauty supply store though, because I love those places.

Huh, well if you’ve made it to this point you know everything there is to know about what this blog is about.  I keep saying there is something for everyone because there really is.  If you are a crafter, if you’re a nerd, if you’re a fashion & beauty junkie, if you’re a planner addict, I  can probably help you out.

Well, I’m all done for now.  I really need to get to work on, I don’t know, something productive.  I’ll be in touch tomorrow.

DeeDee

The First Blog Post

Well, I’ve done it.  I’ve started a blog, or rather, another blog, a new blog, a better blog.

 

And, I guess, since you’re reading this you have indeed found your way to my blog, my new blog, my better blog.  So, welcome, thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you came to play.

WP_20160521_17_23_14_Pro

 

 

I’m DeeDee, the nerd around here.  And, to be honest, I’m liable to do just about anything.  Wardrobe overhaul, probably, makeup review, maybe, DIY silicone mermaid tail, very likely.

 

 

If you’re gonna stick around, maybe become a follower, then I hope you like crafts, I hope you like make up, I hope you like high heels, I hope you like pink and glitter and staying up all night studying and eating Skittles because that’s what I’m all about.

 

And, if you like what you see here, you’re gonna love what I’m doing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, so check me out there too.  We can be friends!

 

All right, that’s all for now.

DeeDee