October 17, 2015 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Meeting held at Hyatt House Westchester

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

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

Meeting called to (dis)order at 2:52 pm.

Official Stuph:

This was Kathyu’s first time presiding at a Pups’ meeting since becoming Prez.

Review of Minutes: minutes from the July 1st meeting were approved, with correction noted of the correct spelling of Johnna (not Johanna) Klukas’ name in the Lunacon listing.

Toni Lay Memorial Recollections: Kathy read aloud Denice’s memorial of Toni. Those of us who had memories of her shared them. Toni was very active in both SF and SCA fandom. She went to the Pennsic War almost every year. She was a great masquerade MC, and was involved in, when she wasn’t the actual originator of, numerous well-known costume presentations, such as ‘Bodice Ripper’ and ‘Pumpkinella.’ Rich mentioned a picture of her on George Takei’s lap, from a con a long while back. She was innovative (she was the first costumer to appear on stage using Luminex) and very well organized. Susan said that her family said that she was the fashionista of her family. She was also the instigator of the ongoing ‘Baptistown’ hoax bid joke at Costume-Cons.

We discussed the possibility of establishing a (Pups) memorial award in her name, for those who work behind the scenes running costumer events. Something that exemplifies the work Toni did, helping to keep the mechanics of our art in operation. Byron said that it should not go to any person who has already won a Lifetime Achievement Award. Unlike the Spazzy, Pups would be eligible also, as this would be a service award. Diane said that Toni was very subversive and funny; we should also consider her essence. No decision was reached.

President’s Report: Kathy noted that her name is showing as Prez, but that Byron & Tina’s home address is still posted for the Pups – who has the permissions to make changes? Those of us present weren’t sure, but it is possible that Byron may have. She also asked if our chapter has By-Laws. Byron responded that we have Articles of Association that are on the same page as our minutes. The ICG has posted recommended By-Laws for chapters to consider adopting. Our concensus was that we were so small a group that we did not need formal By-Laws.

Treasurer: Marcy said that as of the end of September statement, we had $307.29 in the account. Tina commented that that was less than at the last meeting. Marcy double-checked the statements, and the bank is charging us a monthly service fee again. She will get after them, as we shouldn’t be being charged a service fee as a non-profit. Susan commented that website fees will be coming up again soon.

Kathy noted that we seem to be operating at a deficit now – expected dues are less than our expenditures. A motion was made to increase annual Pups’ dues to $10 a year, but with no increase to the present dues for additional household members. It was voted and passed unanimously. [N.b. The web site does not yet reflect this change.] Kathy gave her mailing list to Marcy, to check it against our active member list. She also asked who is responsible for sending out reminders / dues notices. Diane commented that dues are normally due in January, except for those who join later in the year. A notice will be put on the web site front page about dues coming due in January.

There was a brief break for pizza and beverages, and to enjoy seeing Tina’s grandmother’s vintage crazy-quilt.

Member Activities:

Recent Cons:

9Pi-Con: This was the last one. Byron commented that they had decent programming, it was well organized, and they had a masked ball. There were plenty of hall costumes. One woman received three hall costume awards (for three different costumes), as well as winning Best in Show at the masked ball. The con forgot to buy award ribbons, so we provided more of the Pups hall costume ribbons for the winners, and the con purchased a necklace from Carol Salemi to award to the Best in Show winner.

Sasquan: Sasquan acquired the name Smoke-Con, due to the many wildfires in the vicinity. Outdoor activities were affected, and numerous people had to stay entirely indoors due to respiratory problems. There were some 6,000 people on site, and over 11,000 members overall. There was great local advertising; the city of Spokane gave lots of support. It was the biggest thing there since they hosted the World’s Fair. The masquerade had 43 entries, all good. The stage, in a real theater with raked seating, was a block away from the green room. The green room was able to get video from the theater piped in, though the picture quality was poor, so contestants waiting there got to see some of the masquerade. There was a huge dealers room and a disappointing art show. They broadcast the Hugos, with David Gerrold as MC.

DragonCon: Diane and her family went. She said there were 65,000 people there. It was claustrophobic; the only way to move was to go outside in the heat and humidity. She advised if you don’t like crowds, don’t go; it’s completely unwieldy. Jim and the girls love it. Even small science panels were standing room only. She mentioned the Miss Klingon contest, and an operatic-quality singer.

Museums, Exhibits, and Travel:

Last week Kathy viewed a live stream of a fashion show at FIT about fashion in emerging capitals. There were four designers, from Seoul, Berlin, Mexico City, and Istanbul. Afterward there was a Q&A with the designers. She said it was much classier than the drama on Project Runway.

Prior to attending WorldCon, Byron & Tina went to Seattle, to see the huge Star Wars costume exhibit. There were also two other SF-oriented exhibits in the same building, and a Chuck Jones retrospective exhibit.

Diane mentioned the Indiana Jones exhibition at the National Geographic museum in Washington DC, which includes costumes and props. She also talked a bit about her recent travels. She visited Japan again, and went to Ireland, along with Kathy. They mentioned the Decorative Arts museum in Dublin (exhibits on evolution of sneakers, ethnic dress, two Worth gowns). Also part of the National Museum of Ireland is the archaeological museum, which includes bog men and Viking gold. Byron pointed out that Dublin was founded by the Vikings.

After Kathy returned home, Diane continued her travels to see the Merlin costume exhibit at Pierrefonds Castle, and a costume exhibit (opera and ballet) at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. Then on to Spain, where she didn’t go to any costume museums because they were too far out of town. In England she visited the Bronte parsonage. No photos were allowed, but she said it was one of the best exhibits of how real people lived. She also mentioned the China exhibit at the Met, which Byron & Tina had been to previously.

A couple of weeks ago, Byron and Tina went to Johnstown to see Sally Fink’s exhibition of (ball-jointed-dolls) costumes and sets. It was amazing! They took lots of photos. On their way, they visited Lisa Ashton at her new place, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater site.


Upcoming Events and Cons:

World Fantasy Con (Saratoga Springs, NY, 11/5 - 8): Lots of authors, artists, and publishers, a juried art show, limited programming. Byron & Tina will be going.

LI Who Convention (11/13 - 15)

Philcon (11/20 - 22 – weekend before Thanksgiving): Wen Spencer will be their Principal Speaker, and Richard Hescox their Art GoH. Marcy said that Philcon flyers are up in her local library.

Arisia (1/15 - 18, 2016 – Martin Luther King weekend): John Scalzi & Johnna Klukas are GoHs. Capping membership at 5,000. Same hotel as usual, with overflow hotels nearby. Byron will be running their masquerade Green Room.

Albacon 2016 (3/4 - 6, 2016): Guests of Honor David Weber and Heidi Hooper. Heidi and her husband were among the founders of the LARP movement. There will be a hall costume contest. Byron encouraged Pups to buy memberships and bring costumes. Byron & Tina said that there are numerous restaurants nearby, within walking distance or a short drive.

Lunacon (3/18 - 20, 2016): Robert Sawyer, Naomi Novik, Rick Sternbach. The con is presently running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money, as there is no financial cushion at all.

Costume-Con 34 (5/5 - 9, 2016) in Madison, WI. Byron will be running all of their Green Rooms.


Show & Tell: Books – Steampunk adult coloring books (Dover), a souvenir book from the Alhambra, Steampunk Soldiers. Kathy showed us the results of a beadwork workshop she attended – very nice ‘rope’ bracelets. She offered to do a future workshop on how to do these. She would make up kits with all of the materials, and provide them for a nominal amount (probably about $5).

Another suggestion for a future workshop (to be added to the list) was ice dyeing.


Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

12/5: at Diane’s house. (Note: due to a scheduling conflict for Diane, Byron & Tina will host in the Whippany, NJ, area, instead.)

3/12/16: at Diane’s house. Weekend between Albacon and Lunacon.

4/16/16: Byron & Tina will host, probably at Whippany.

Meeting was adjourned (relapse into chaos) at 6:05 pm.