FenCon Preparations

Now that I have the car all checked out for the trip (and that’s always a dreaded ordeal because mechanics are only open 4 short hours on Saturdays and I’m not wasting vacation hours during the work week for something routine like oil changes and tires rotated and balanced), it’s time to get ready for the rest of the trip.

Most of the time, all I have to do is pack a couple of changes of clothes and Itzl’s potty pads, food, dishes, ID, bed, blankie, and clothes.

This time, because I need to test a couple of recipes and get pictures for a Steampunk cookbook I’m writing, I have to do much more.

I need to pack enough tea cups, saucers, and cake plates to provide for the invited guests (more can show up, but they must bring their own tea cups and plates). I need to pack 3 teapots, the tea kettle, the sugar and creamer (no lemon dish – I don’t do lemons and my guests this time will have to have cream instead of a choice of lemon or cream), the serving dishes and utensils, the tablecloths and napkins, and the camera!

These, I can pack in advance.

Thursday night, I will bake the Time Tarts, ginger snaps, tea bread, and prepare the rest of the treats and pack them so we can head out Friday.

Some of the tea treats will be made at the hotel. I have figured out how to make deviled eggs in a hotel room, so I may add those to the tea treat list. We are in the south and it just isn’t a party without deviled eggs. And I will make the finger sandwiches there, too, because those really need to be fresh.

I LOVE my Lawn Buddy rolling cart. Granted, it was made for lawn work, but I have adapted it to be a rolling tea box – it can carry the tea cups and pots and such safely and I can load the top with other tea things. I really ought to steampunk it up and maybe I will have time this weekend to do so… Right now, it’s lawn green and tan. Perhaps I can paint it? And attach tubes and gears to it? I have plenty of PVC left from painting the bedroom (don’t ask, but trust me wen I say PVC pipes were essential in painting the bedroom). I have gears. And old watches. And I’m going to a flea market in the morning. maybe I can find a broken cuckoo clock so I can rob it of the cuckoo? I could make it look all time travelly. All I need is sufficient metallic paint. I may have enough in my paint box.

I have 2 decent steampunk outfits, if I can find my black boots. One looks a bit more piratical than the other, and since Sunday is ITLaPD, I ought to wear that one then and the other one Saturday.

I also need to bring my notebooks on the Gosplodey Alchemical Laboratory to discuss with my partner-in-crime, who will be there (yay!).

It will be a busy weekend. Good busy.

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Steampunk Tea Party at FenCon

I know people are going to think it’s horrible of me for doing this, but I am going to hold my little Steampunk Tea Party at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Normally, I would not schedule anything during the GoH speech, I’d be right there watching, but this year, the GoH isn’t going to be there in person and I’m not good with electronic remote interviews, I always miss a significant portion and am left with a wha-huh? feeling. People are cheering or laughing and I missed it because I can neither see lips (a significant portion of my hearing is via lip reading any more – I’m not good at it, but it helps fill in a few blanks or bridge gaps) and I feel such a churl asking people with me to explain what I missed, making them miss the next good thing.

I know there are probably people who want to attend the little Steampunk Tea who can’t because they are going to be happily ensconced in the room watching the interview, and I totally get that. Were the GoH to be here in person, I’d be there, too.

For those who will attend the GoH interview, perhaps some other time?

That said, if people bring their own tea cups and plates, I can probably accommodate far more than the 8 people I originally said, as I only have 8 tea cups and plates.

I’ve settled on a menu: Time Tarts, Fairy Cakes, cucumber sandwiches, puffed curry, macaroons, and ginger snaps. The tea will be the last of this year’s Queen’s Garden Party tea blend (teas from India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya touched with bergamot and jasmine, and enhanced with cornflowers and rose petals), Baroness Earl Grey (more suitable for an afternoon tea than Earl Grey), a Windsor castle blend (Darjeeling, Assam, and Kenya teas), and will have available for the more adventurous a smoky pressed Yunnan tea, a pu-erh, and a Sichuan Ring Tea (the green leaves are hand rolled and curled so they form rings). And for those who must have decaf, I have a fruity Moroccan blend that will complement the snacks – a blend of hibiscus, apples, rose hips, passion fruit, raspberry, rose petals, jasmine, cornflower, and Assam.

I may still reschedule.

Nope – 4:00 pm, Saturday. Nearly everyone who planned to attend it agrees that’s an excellent time for it. We few shan’t be missed from the GoH interview.