February 29, 2014 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Hosted by Byron & Tina at Whippany, NJ

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Byron & Tina, Diane, Marcy, Rich & Stephanie, Kathy D.

The meeting was called to disorder at 2:53. There was no workshop; meeting business will be to brainstorm future workshops/demos.

Official Stuph:

Tina distributed copies of the 1/25/14 meeting minutes, which were approved unanimously.

Treasurer: Marcy reported that as of 2/28/14 the treasury was at $366.13. Byron asked if any members still have unpaid dues. Marcy said that Bruce is in poor health and isn’t attending anything. Also Kathy Leeson in Canada.

President’s Report: Byron talked about the Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund. Documents have been sent to the IRS for approval. IRS rules prohibit managers of the fund and their immediate relatives from receiving grants. It is possible that the IRS will say “all managers and voting Board members.” Lisa is going ahead with founding a local chapter; so far she has a dozen members, plus Byron & Tina as associate members. The purpose of her chapter is to stimulate knowledge of historical dress through vintage photography. She has an extensive collection, as well as vintage garments and accessories.

There are three people nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The ICG Archives has a new video trailer, and now has a fairly extensive presence on YouTube. Diane said that she has lost almost all of her photos, due to a basement flood. The new Spazzy ribbon will premier at CC 32, and Byron & Tina have ordered more hall costume award ribbons, as well.

Byron will be attending the CC 33 con-com meeting on the weekend of 6/28-29. It is his understanding that the con still needs a tech director and crew. Stephanie said that she would put the word out on the tech list. Byron asked her to copy Sandy on that, so he stays in the loop.

Activities and Con Reports:

Byron & Diane both talked about the new Downton Abbey costume exhibit at Winterthur (in Wilmington, DE). Timed tickets are available on their website; Winterthur members do not need timed tickets. There will be an evening lecture on 4/11 about the Castle Howard renovations. Diane said that Castle Howard has the largest private vintage costume collection in England. She will be visiting there soon.


Diane also told us that Cooper Union will be putting on “Figaro” – Diane is lending some costumes. Deanna will be part of the cast. Diane also went to a quilt show, where she learned how to do origami quilting. She took lots of photos at the quilt show; the topic this year was Fantasy. Byron encouraged her to send copies of her photos from the quilt origami workshop to Susan for the website. He said that the Pups have one of the best Chapter web sites for content and photos.

Kathy recently went to see the new Disney “Aladdin” musical. She said it was very enjoyable, appropriate for both children and adults. Glitzy costumes, and the “Cave of Wonders” was eye candy. The actor playing the Genie is very good – he steals the show. She also went to see “Twelfth Night” just before it closed. It was everything Diane said about the production (the actors getting dressed on stage, etc.).

Diane told us about plays she went to see in London. Next trip, she will be going to see Titus Andronicus and Julius Caesar.

Recent Cons:

Lunacon (3/14-16): The con was small. Diane said registration took way too long, and Rich & Stephanie said that some people never did get their badges. It was suggested at the bitch session that the con adopt Congo for registrations in the future. A lot of the program items were changed or rescheduled after the program was printed. The masquerade had 12 entries. The stage was small. There was a lot of counter-programming opposite the masquerade. The hotel was undergoing a lot of construction – part of the Westchester wing was out of order, and contractor dust set off two fire alarms. Laura & Deanna enjoyed it more this year, and brought new friends. Abi said that she is willing to run the masquerade next year, if Lunacon returns.

Upcoming Cons and Events:

Costume-Con 32 (4/25-28), in Toronto: Who’s going? Byron & Tina, Kathy, Toni, Lisa, Debi (who will be Byron’s judges’ clerk for the Historical), Rae, Rob is going but not Sandy. The con hasn’t announced any programming yet (only a month before the con). Byron felt that communication from the committee was poor. They have over 600 members pre-registered at this point.

Balticon: (5/23-26 - Memorial Day weekend): Diane will be going for Friday and Saturday, and coming back on Sunday.

Other upcoming cons:

LonCon 3: (WorldCon, London) (8/14-18)

Philcon: Elektra is PSFS treasurer this year. There isn’t any website up yet for this year’s con (so no dates, GoH info, etc. so far). For those who go and want a good meal Byron recommended Caffe Aldo Lamberti, which is a good Italian restaurant about a mile down the road from the Crowne Plaza. Not real cheap, and reservations are probably a good idea, but very nice.

AnimeNext: (6/6-8): Again at the NJ Convention Center in Somerset.

ChessieCon: (new, replaces Darkover Grand Council) still on Thanksgiving weekend (11/28-30)

Arisia: (1/16-19/15): They still have no masquerade director yet. Doctor Karen has moved to the Raleigh NC area. They still have a contract with the Westin for 2015, but if they then move to the Hynes due to large membership turnout, there are plenty of places nearby to eat.

Costume-Con 33: (5/15-18/2015): Byron will be running the F&SF masquerade. He hopes to get the masquerade rules up on the web site by the end of CC 32. Lin Daniel (jan finder’s life partner) is their webmaster.


Old Business: Darren Bost’s address: Byron found out that he lost his condo in the recent flooding in Colorado, and is presently living with his mother.


New Business:

Do we want to resurrect the Puppy Puddles newsletter? Kathy said we’d need an editor and contributors. Byron felt that a lot of what would go / used to go into a newsletter, we are putting on-line (event listings, minutes, reviews).

Byron polled to group with the question “do we meet too often (i.e., every 2 months)”? The general reaction was No, that’s about right.


Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

May (5/31): Marcy will be hosting, at her apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Hopefully some of our members who have been having difficulty in attending at our usual locations will be able to make it to that one.

July (7/19): Location and workshop to be announced. Election of officers.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:45 pm.

Suggested possible workshop (or demos): We will post on the web site and ask if members are interested in participating / would come to a meeting for / not interested at all.

Scrounging for Materials

Fabric Origami

Alternatives to Sewing

Beading Techniques

Dryer Lint (Uses)

Repurposing Shoes (and other footwear)

How to make surfaces look like metal

Stage Presentations / Group Presentations

Sewing with Electronics

How to wear a sari / how to wear a kimono

Preservation of Fabrics / Costumes

Spats & Boot Toppers

Costume-friendly Tech

Resizing Costumes

Running a Masquerade / Masquerade-related jobs / Repair Table Basics

Things to look for in shopping for/buying a sewing machine

Things to look for in shopping for/buying a serger or embroidery machine

Good Gadgets / New Gadgets

Where to find historical fabrics

Aging / distressing fabric and surfaces


Paper Costumes

Costumes made out of unusual materials

Recycling household items as costumes



How to put together music for stage use