March 12, 2016 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Meeting held at Diane’s house, Kendall Park, NJ

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Diane Kovalcin (hosting), Byron & Tina, Kathy, Rich & Stephanie, Marcy, Susan, Laura, Abi, Chris.

Meeting called to (dis)order at 3:43 pm., following the beading workshop (peyote herringbone pattern bracelet), which was participated in by Diane, Chris, Tina, Abi and Stephanie.

Official Stuph:

The preceding meeting, held in Whippany on 12/5, had such a small attendance that it was effectively a non-meeting. Tina made a brief verbal summary of the activities, which were a beta-workshop of today’s beading workshop, and some socializing and viewing of photos from LI Who (Kathy’s) and the Seattle Star Wars exhibit (Byron & Tina’s) .

President’s Report: ICG items: We will need proxies from members who are not going to be at CC 34. Proxy forms are available on the ICG web site. We discussed the five Lifetime Achievement Award nominees (names redacted to prevent early disclosure). Kathy read brief bios of their skills, achievements and awards. After a bit of discussion, we prioritized how we would prefer our chapter’s vote to be cast. Rich moved and Byron seconded, to list them as discussed. Motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer: Marcy reported that we have $349.29, plus $106 in undeposited (since we presently don’t have an account) checks for dues. We owe $50 for an ad in the Albacon Program Book, and the ICG dues for our members who belong to the ICG.

She said that she has found a possible bank to replace Wells Fargo (which was intent upon nibbling our account to death with fees). She’s looking at Fox Chase Bank, which has a location near her. She needs the ICG’s 501(c)3 and she also thinks that we need a corrected address on our EIN.

She was asked if we have received any dues from Aurora Celeste (not since ‘13), the Dallases, Trudy & Fiona Leonard, Elektra & Mike, or Devra Langsam. She said that at this point, we have not.

Byron: There is a new ICG Special Interest Group for Masquerade Runners. It will be called HeLPS (“Hey, kids, Let’s Put on a Show”). Its purpose is to improve the running of masquerades.

He also mentioned that the ICG needs a candidate for Vice-President, for the upcoming election of officers.

Discussion of library / book cataloguing software: On-line there had been interest in re-creating our old ‘union catalog’ of Pups books on costuming. Several of us have extensive collections of costume-related books, and have wanted to catalog what we have (the ever-hazardous ‘fail’ of forgetting what we have and buying duplicates). We discussed some of the options with Chris Needham, whose background / expertise is art history and records management. He was very helpful with his comments about various options. Byron led off by passing around a copy of our former Pups’ union catalogue, Spaz Library, which was organized by title, author and topic (sortable).

After a bit of discussion of possible options, we decided that we would be looking into 'LibraryThing' -- it's free for entry of small collections (200 or fewer), and the cost for larger collections is relatively cheap ($10/year, or $25 for life). The items entered can be tagged as useful, lendable, keep private, primary source, etc. We can all (those who are interested) look at it individually; it doesn't need an administrator. [Note: added after the meeting: Their website also alleges that it can be used to catalog movies and music.] Entering items is easiest (for newer items that have an ISBN number bar code) using a bar code scanner, which is available from LT for a nominal extra charge. Chris said that the second quickest way to enter data is by title; LT can search hundreds of on-line databases quickly.

He recommended as an alternative that those who want to share could put out to the group a 'collection profile' ("this is / these are the strong points of my collection") without details, so that someone interested in, for instance, learning more about tambour beading or pattern drafting could contact the owner of that collection for more info.

Roll Call Results: Kathy passed around a list of the Pups who responded to the roll call on Yahoo Groups. Byron will check the membership list on Yahoo, and pass names along to Kathy. Chris said that Anime USA looked for an alternative to Yahoo Groups, but couldn’t find anything better. We discussed other ways to get together with other Pups more easily. Meetups at cons are difficult due to conflicting schedules. Facebook sucks and not everyone is on FB. We need to reach out to Pups not on the list already.


Show & Tell: Diane and Kathy showed us some yummy new fabric acquisitions. Byron & Tina brought books – Erte, vintage Fashion Plates, Russian European Fashion. We were also shown (sorry, didn’t note who brought it) a neat string of (15) battery powered LED lights; product is called ‘Light My Bottle’ and is intended for turning a wine bottle into a decor item, but would work well for costume use as well. Diane showed us her new find: archaeological quilting fabric.


Recent Cons:

Arisia: Syd Weinstein has a DVD of the masquerade available.

Albacon 2016 (3/4 - 6): GoHs were David Weber, (Pup) Heidi Hooper, Dawn McKechnie & Ramsey Campbell. (Mr. Campbell attended digitally, from England). Byron said the con had budgeted for 200 members, and 199 memberships were sold. There were costume workshops in addition to literary items. Ramsey Campbell couldn’t make it due to health concerns, but attended electronically for 3 program items, including a guest interview. Chuck Rothman, as a fellow author, was a good interviewer. At one point David Kyle (First Fandom) came into the room in his wheelchair, Ramsey recognized him on the audience video camera, and it became an old-home-week get-together between the two of them. There was a fairly successful Hall Costume contest on Saturday. Not a whole lot of costumes, but they were good. Rich commented that he recalled a successful ‘Iron Author’ program item at a previous Albacon.


Museums, Exhibits, and Travel:

Kathy, Diane and Susan visited FIT, to see their current exhibits. Downstairs, there is an exhibit of Fairytale Influenced / Inspired garments. Visitors are now permitted to take photos, it was noted. Upstairs, there was a small exhibit on the uses of denim. Check the web page for dates. Sometimes there are as many as three exhibits running.

Diane, Susan and Kathy went to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Jacqueline de Ribes exhibit. One of them (Diane?) noted that there was a small side room with three masquerade costumes by her. Diane also went back the following week for the Vigee Le Brun art exhibit. Chris said that most of those paintings are from Versailles and don’t travel well, so we should try to see it while it’s here (through 5/15).

Rich and Stephanie went to the final showing of Allegiance. They said it was very intense. There are hopes that it will be taken on tour and not be allowed to die.


Upcoming Events and Cons:

Lunacon (3/18 - 20): Robert Sawyer, Naomi Novik, Rick Sternbach. Diane said that she got a note from Maria that the program will be ‘up’ this weekend. Abi said that Maria hasn’t responded to her e-mails, and she doesn’t know if Maria’s schedule includes rehearsal time. The staff schedule was supposed to be out on March 1, but so far is not. For the Masquerade, Syd Weinstein will be stage manager, and Paul Kraus will be doing tech, with Rich & Stephanie supporting. We still need an MC. Tina suggested asking Mike Ventrella (Heidi’s husband) as he is a trial lawyer and can handle public speaking. He’s also articulate and funny.

LI Geek Con (4/2 - 3), Holtsville, NY. Kathy plans to attend this time.

Costume-Con 34 (5/5 - 9) in Madison, WI. Byron will be running all of their Green Rooms, and Tina will be doing Repairs. He suggested that they include Masquerade Runners on their program.

Steampunk World’s Fair (5/13 - 15) Piscataway, NJ

Balticon 50 (5/27 - 30, Memorial Day weekend) Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace (downtown). Con hotel is full up – check their website for overflow hotels. They’re trying to get as many as possible of their former GoHs to attend. G.R.R. Martin is featured GoH.

MidAmeriCon II (WorldCon) (8/17 - 21), Kansas City, MO. The Masquerade Director is someone we never heard of.

Cloisters Medieval Festival (9/18) Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY



Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

4/9/16: Diane will host, Kendall Park, NJ

7/9/16: Byron & Tina will host, probably at the usual Whippany, NJ location

8/27/16: Diane will host, Kendall Park, NJ


Meeting was adjourned (relapse into chaos) at 6:34 pm.