Wild Wild West Con

Wild Wild West Con – Tucson, AZ  March 4-6

We headed for Tucson and Wild Wild West Con immediately after packing up after AnachroCon. We made time for some fun stops on our westerly journey including the graves of the Gypsy Kind and Queen in Meridian, MS; White Sands National Monument; Carlsbad Caverns; and Roswell, NM! We arrived in Tucson on Wednesday night and were able to sleep in a bit on Thursday before needing to head out to Old Tucson Studios to set up for the weekend. After a few mix-ups about our booth were resolved we got to work setting the stage for what was sure to be a unique vending experience.

On Thursday night we gave a workshop on making military medals and met some new friends. Then we ran into our good friends and authors Nick Valentino and Liz Darvill in the lobby of the hotel and were thrilled to make plans to hang with them for dinner the next night. We managed to get a bit of sleep before heading out on Friday morning to see what the American Southwest Steampunk crowd would show us!

Old Tucson Studios was a pretty sweet venue for a Steampunk convention and everyone looked even more awesome in their outfits with the backdrop of the mountains, desert, and the old west town. The wind kicked up frequently throughout the weekend making it particularly inconvenient to the vendors, but we all muddled through. K kept reminding me that people used to live like this and drove their wagon trains through it all for weeks at a time so I shouldn’t be so cranky. She was right.

We were fortunate to meet Carol, the bartender working the bar right next to our booth, as she was lively and interesting and kept us on our toes by bringing us homemade empanadas on Sunday morning! Our booth was located right next to the stage and we were thoroughly entertained on several occasions by several belly-dance troupes, a few musicians, and M’s personal favorite: Steam Powered Giraffe!

We took advantage of the few slow times we had to get out of the booth and have look around. There was quite an impressive array of wares for sale by the vendors and we made some pretty great new friends! Margaret of Original Sin Jewelry was situated just across the aisle from us and we just love her woven wire jewelry and she loved our stash of skeleton keys! Kyla Kahn of Kyla’s Keepsakes was super fun and we spent a lot of time swapping stories with her. Maria & David of Flotsum’s and Jetsam’s Emporium out of California were the sweetest and loads of fun. You have to check out the boxes that David makes with working lightbulb tops and cool switches and stuff! We were also very excited to finally put a face to the name Alex Whisenhunt of Cracked Monocle and Clockwork Con! (It will be in Austin, TX next January and we have been anxiously anticipating it for months already!)

The lovely folks of Airship Isabella stopped by and let us ogle their massive gun and gorgeous clothing. They gave several panels and workshops over the course of the weekend and from what we heard were a smashing success! Ukulele Catfish Keith, one of the minstrel performers, stopped by several times and serenaded M with “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” when she managed to get out of the booth for a bit. We even had a gentleman by the name of Bruce Cooperberg come solely to see us and show us his amazing jetpack contraption! He is willing to make these on spec for the adventurer in need of a jetpack”¦ so if you are interested let us know and we’ll pass his contact info along to you.

Saturday night saw us giving a workshop on Mixed Media Art which was pretty much an awesome discussion with some other crafty folks about different distressing techniques and supplies and turning some old Bingo cards into mini works of art! Then we stayed in the room (after cleaning up) to hear Liz Darvill read excerpts from a couple of her romance novels. It was strictly an adult affair and was a fun way to wind down the evening. Afterwards we saw a screening of Nickel Children and were introduced to The Eye of the Storm by Levitt; two very different, yet interesting, takes on Steampunk short film.

It was fun driving through the Saguaro cacti every morning and stopping to watch the sunset over the desert on the way back to the hotel in the evenings. And the trip to In & Out Burger was actually kind of epic as we were still in our Steampunk corsets and it was the first hamburger M has had in over 5 years!

We got all packed up on Sunday night and began preparations for the trip back home to Ohio by way of the Grand Canyon, Jerome, AZ, and the Cadillac Ranch! What? You gotta make some time for the fun stuff along the route! Besides, Gingersnap and the Bok Choy Boys were clamoring for more cool photo ops for their own albums!

Footnote: we discovered upon our return home that we lost LOVE somewhere in the Tucson area! If anyone comes across the LOVE Bok Choy Boy, please give him a good home and occasionally send us pictures to show us he is alright and living the good life!

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