Graduating in Style!

Steampunk style that is! This proud homeschool Mama just awarded her firstborn with a high school diploma. Of course, since we homeschool, there was no formal graduation with a cap and gown. My son didn’t want all of that hoopla. In fact, he didn’t even want a party, but since my niece was also graduating from high school, and her little sister was graduating from Kindergarten, it was decided that a party must be thrown. So throw one we did. My sister and I went shopping and managed to come up with a pretty good little party for our graduates, if I do say so myself. Pretty good for last minute anyway.

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Of course, being a photographer, I couldn’t let them have just any old regular party. We needed something with a little pizzazz that was photo worthy. So with a few things we already had and a few new things, we did this party up steampunk style!

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Now my son loves to frequent a local bar with his friends on karaoke night, so we headed over to Celtic Tavern to make arrangements for our little party. The people there are amazing, and they all know my Jonathan, so we had no trouble procuring a table reservation for the evening and setting up our little party. It was even live music night, so we were able to enjoy some guitar pickin’ and singin’ as well. (Live music night is Friday by the way, and karaoke is Saturday…just in case you’re ever in Old Towne Conyers, GA. Just tell the folks at Celtic Tavern that Jonathan’s mom sent ya. They’ll take care of ya.)

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(This is Jonathan with Kristen, the beautiful bartender.)

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(And this gentleman is Greg, the co-owner of this fine establishment.)

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After the grads arrived, I stole them away from the party for a photo session. Old Towne Conyers ended up being a great place for a few Steampunk cosplay shots.

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The kids were a little concerned that I was going to get them arrested for climbing up on the side of that building, but no one said anything…except for that guy that hollered something at us when we were on the railroad tracks, and there was that guy on the motorcycle who told my niece she dropped a feather (she was wearing a feather boa). All was well, and we didn’t get into any trouble.

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Old Towne Conyers made for a good place to find a few out-of-the-ordinary graduate gifts for our out-of-the-ordinary young adults as well. They film The Originals here, so the town has its share of New Orleans-style curio shops with a witchy, vampire flair. We found our treasures at The Black Cat Curio. The young lady running the shop was super sweet and had lots of stories to tell. And her fellow shopkeepers, Peanut the cat and…well, the other cat whose name I can’t remember…helped us find the perfect gifts for our graduates. The gifts we found had nothing to do with graduation, and they may have seemed a bit odd to most. Our graduates, however, thought they were perfect.

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And the rest of the family…well, they were just miffed that we went to the shop without them. My other sister headed out the door with the kiddos after we ate to see if the shop was open. It was closed, unfortunately, so they headed over to Creamberry’s for some yummy ice cream. Our beloved tavern doesn’t have much of a dessert selection, but I’m not too sure how they felt about those crazy people I call family bringing the ice cream in there to eat, and I know how I felt about the fact that they didn’t bother bringing me any! And it was cotton candy flavored! They did let me have a taste, so it was all good.

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Ah, but a great time was had by all, and we managed to leave early enough for the regulars to have their bar back for the evening.  I’m sure they were quite relieved when our crazy crowd left.

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And there was this one thing with wearing the mini-hat like a unicorn horn that I never quite understood.

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There are so many great people and places in this area we call home, and I am glad my son got to grow up and graduate here. Now he has the task of choosing what the next chapter of his life will be, and his sister…well, she had so much fun she started making plans for her graduation party which won’t happen for three more years yet.

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And before I sign off, I’d like to say:

Congratulations Class of 2015! May the road before you be filled with love and adventure!

Dragon Con!

Yes! After years of saying, “I really want to go to Dragon Con and see (insert actor/actress here)”, this geek girl finally got the chance to attend the biggest sci-fi/cosplay event in America. And what’s even better, Mama Bear has trained her padawans well, as they were more than excited to attend the convention. Costume talk went on for several weeks, and in the end, we opted for the cheap, whatever we could put together from our closets, route. As it was our first time, this seemed the best thing to do. However, plans for next year are already underway.

We only attended one day this year (it’s a four-day Labor Day weekend event). We road MARTA into town early, early to get our Saturday ticket and make it to the parade. We found a place right next to the street which was AWESOME! However, it was also close to the end of the parade route, which was not so awesome considering we had to wait forever for the parade to reach us, and it was hot. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but that was possibly the longest parade I have ever attended. My camera, however, was ready for every minute of it, and my vantage point allowed for some great close-up shots.

Now, I am a geek girl at heart, but I am not exactly familiar with all of the games, shows, and fantasy realms of fandom. My darling padawans had to educate me during the parade and later when going through the pictures. I am now considerably more familiar with the new sci-fi/fantasy elements, and I am eagerly awaiting next year’s convention when perhaps I may get a chance to actually peruse the vendor hall. For now, however, I will share with you the treasures of my adventure.

My greatest treasure, to the joy of all of you Star Wars fans, was this awesome shot of a very well-done Darth Mal who stopped and posed for me.

Darth Mal

There were some great Star Wars costumes, and I caught some pretty good shots of a couple of wookies, a storm trooper, and an emperial fighter. My daughter came home with a not-so-great souvenir from this portion of the parade. She learned that it is not a wise idea to fist bump a storm trooper, as trooper gloves are a little rough on soft girl hands.

Chewbacca Emperial Fighter Pilot Storm Trooper

For the Star Wars spoof fans, there was, of course, Spaceballs.

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And somehow, Jack Sparrow managed to get himself caught up in all this Star Wars business. I’m not quite sure how that happened. Too much rum would be my guess, however.

Jack Sparrow as a Storm Trooper

Of course, being a Whovian, I was waiting for the Doctor Who portion of the parade. I had already caught a glimpse of The Doctor and Rose before the parade…

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And we were seated behind a cute,red dalek (I thought she was a ladybug at first, until she stood up to take pictures.)

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Eventually, the Whovian portion of the parade came around, and I got a few decent shots.

Dalek K-9 The Blood Family Army Dalek The Doctor

Later in the day we ran into Amy Pond. She had tally marks all over her. We weren’t quite sure why, and then we noticed that we had them too. I wonder what it was all about. Let me find the pic.

A Silent and Amy Pond

Oh…it was because of that guy. I totally forgot him. Why did I forget him?

Sadly, we missed the Time Lord Fest. It took place on Sunday, so we were a day early. However, we did get to see the Premiere of Episode 2 of the current season that evening with 2000 other fans. That was “Fantastic!”

As the parade went on for quite some time, I will refrain from boring you with the details and simply share some of my favorite photos with a little snippet about who they were perhaps. Every fandom I could think of and many that I had never seen before were represented, and it was a blast.

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Mandelorian Mercenaries:

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Halo (I think):

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And some Ghostbusters…

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And a few ghastly creatures for them to vanquish (though I’m pretty sure Sam and Dean Winchester might be better equipped to handle these guys)…

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Disney:

Mr. Fredri;ks Ursula

Steam Punk:

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Planet of the Apes:

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A few super-heros:

Robin Tony Stark White Ranger

A few more I don’t know but got good pictures of:

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And the Star Trek crew had a band:

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My son and I also got to attend a session on cryptography and a panel with the Ghost Hunters. Our whole family got to see the Warehouse 13 crew, and we ended up the day with a little karaoke at the Hilton. It was an awesome day, and we had tons of fun. Can’t wait till next year!