Wanda…Wanda…Wandavision. Wandavision! with Tiff & John

Wanda…Wanda…Wandavision. Wandavision! with Tiff & John

Are you ready for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Are you greedy for content from some of your favorite JordanCon track directors and guests?

Well then do we have the panel for you! From the good offices and fertile imagination of Tiff, the JordanCon fantasy track director, and John Hartness, the publisher at Falstaff Books, who joined me in a recorded discussion of Wandavision, which debuted earlier this year. Wandavision picks up the story of the MCU’s Wanda Maximoff as she tries to move on with her life in the wake of the events of Avenger’s: Endgame and the death of Vision, with whom she had a relationship.

The following is a tiny bit of spoiler:

 

 

Tiff, John, and myself discuss Wandavision, focusing on the aspects of grief, trauma, and how it affects those around you. We all share our thoughts on the series and the characters, discussing our impressions and the moments that spoke to us as individuals. It is not a spoiler to say we all enjoyed the series, and we hope that you will enjoy our discussion of it. The talk does touch on trauma and loss, so a heads up if you are dealing with similar issues in your personal life.

We hope you enjoy this taste of what is to come. See you in July!

SanderTeen Reads – JordanCon Preview

SanderTeen Reads – JordanCon Preview

Love Spensa, David, Joel, Alcatraz, and their associates?  Tune in as the Sanderson track launches into discussing Branon Sanderson’s young adult and middle-grade works.  The focus of the panel is on Skyward and Starsight, but elements of The Reckoners, Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians, and The Rithmatist are discussed. Note: Full Spoilers are discussed for those series.

Some of the topics include:
Do the characters share similarities?
Will Sanderson give Brade a redemption arch?
Dion use of “they” as default pronoun.
Moments of squee in the worlds.

On the weekend of April 24, 2021, join a live Q&A session for the panel.  The panelists and moderator will be taking questions in the #SandersonTrack chatroom on JordanCon’s Discord group. The official session will start one hour after the panel goes live.

The Cosmere will return to take over discussions at JordanCon 2021 in July.  Join us then for speculations about The Lost Metal, our thoughts about Rhythm of War, and more!

Panelist:
Ashley Chappell (callsign: Cat Lady)
Daci Cole (callsign: Blue)
Paige Vest (callsign: Blade)
Deana Whitney (callsign: Braid) – moderator

If you want your own Doomslug toy, visit the JordanCon Worskhop blog: Space Slugs.

If you are wondering “Why are they wearing tiaras and hats?” JordanCon loves its shenanigans, even from a distance.

Send questions or comments to the Sanderson Track: sandersontrack[at]jordancon.org

Seven Stripe – Not A Stole – Scarf

Scarf and supplies

Scarf and supplies

By Amelie Downing

No man may wear the Amyrlin’s stole.  Fine.  This isn’t a stole.  It’s a scarf.  I came up with this pattern as a quarantine “thinking of you” gift for a friend.  I liked it so much I made one for myself.

Here is what you will need to make one:

  • US size 8 needles on an 30” chord
  • About 65 yards of medium weight yarn in each color. I used Loops & Threads Impeccable and have yarn left over on all 7 skeins after making 4 scarves.
    • Brown (18920 Soft Taupe)
    • Grey (01757 Classic Gray)
    • White (1005 White)
    • Red (1532 Claret)
    • Yellow (01616 Gold)
    • Green (1242 Deep Forest)
    • Blue (35011 Lapis)
  • Suggested but optional – stitch markers

Start by casting on 250 stitches in brown.  They will bunch up and probably twist a bit on the chord, but that is OK.   I put as many stitches on the needles as I could fit.  You can place markers to help keep count while casting on, but you don’t need a specific count and will want to remove them once you start kitting.  This is the length of the scarf so don’t be stingy.   But since there is no repeating pattern to the stitches, you can make your scarf with as many or as few stitches as you want.   If you want more length and can find longer needles, I say go for it.

Start by casting on as many as you wish.

Start by casting on as many as you wish.

The pattern is 6 rows repeated once per color.

  1. Knit
  2. Purl
  3. Knit
  4. Knit
  5. Purl
  6. Knit

You’ll end up with two strips curling in opposite directions – one facing the right side, the other the wrong side.  The purl bumps will be on the wrong (back) side at the color change.

Color change line

Color change line.

 

Color change line

Color change line reverse view.

Work from the bottom up in color order

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • White
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
Color two change.

Color two change.

2 color change.

2 color change, reverse view.

3 color ring.

Three colors, the scarf is starting to flatten.

At first there will be gaps between the color strips.  As they come off the needles and the overall shape of the scarf flattens, the curls will constrict together.

5 colors with ends.

Halfway done with loose end.

 

6 colors

Almost done with 6 colors.

After completing the pattern in blue, bind off knitwise.

I averaged about one color a night while watching TV and knocked this out in about a week.  Yes, that probably means I have been watching too much TV while social isolating, but I take productive where I can find it these days.  That leaves weaving in the ends.  As you can see, I had a break in the white yarn and had bonus ends to weave in.  But no blocking is required.  The end result…

Two Views

Make with scarf / stole and JordanCon tiara

 

Making a Decorative Sword Mount

Making a Decorative Sword Mount

By Paul Bielaczyc

Want a nice way to properly display your Heron Mark Blade on the wall… and all the other swords in your collection? This step-by-step guide will show you how to make a magnetic sword mount using some basic products from your local hardware store… and a little bit of time, which most of us all have plenty of right now!

You’ll have to excuse some of the photos. Many of them were taken after the project was complete, not during the construction of my original project. And during these crazy times, I didn’t want to go to Home Depot to buy more.

Supplies:

Tools used:
Below is the list of tools that I used for this project. However, I will also list non-power tool alternatives in case you don’t have access to some of the ones I used.

  • Miter saw (alternative: miter box with hand saw)
  • Router (alternative: wood chisel)
  • Brad nail gun (hammer and brads)
  • Dremel with various bits (alternative: keyhole hangers)
  • Clamps (might not be necessary)
  • Sandpaper (200-300 grit)

Step 1: Cut and Mark the Trim Board

First board cut

First board cut

Cut the 1”x8” board down to 24”. I recommend cutting both edges, as the raw edge from the store can be very rough and almost impossible to sand. You will want both ends to have a nice, smooth surface for staining. I recommend cutting off a thin sliver of wood from one end, and then cut the other end at 24”. Use some sandpaper to clean up any splinters from the bottom edge of the wood (seen in the photo below).

Rough board, pre-sanding

Rough board, pre-sanding

Smooth board, after sanding

Smooth board, after sanding

Line up the molding.

Line up the molding.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut 1 piece of moulding at approximately 25 inches in length. Laying this along each edge of the poplar trim board, mark a line for the inside edge of the moulding. Using these 4 lines, position the magnetic holder on the board, and mark the areas that will need to be recessed in Step 3 so that the length of the magnetic bar will lay flush against the poplar.

After cutting, the Poplar should now be approximately 7.25” by 24”.

 

Step 2: Cut the Moulding
Using your miter saw or miter box, make the first 45-degree angle cut in the moulding.

First 45-degree angle cut in the molding

First 45-degree angle cut in the molding

Moulding profile

Moulding Profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After carefully measuring and marking based on the length and width of your 1”x 8” board, proceed to cut 45-degree angles in alternate directions, until you have 4 trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding. Make sure the narrower edge for each piece of trim is along the same edge of the trim.  (After making all these cuts, you should be left with a bunch of small triangular scraps since the 45-degree angle cuts have to be alternated.)

Trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding

Trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding

Clean up any splinters and rough edges with some sandpaper, sanding in the direction of the grain (always!).
Even with a good miter saw, the 4 boards might not perfectly form a tight rectangle, but that’s okay, that’s why we have wood putty.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Mount the Magnetic Holder

Magnetic holder

Magnetic holder


Before we mount the angled trim from Step 2 to the board, we need to prep and mount the holder to the board. Take a strip of black electrical tape, and cover the ugly yellow tape that is on the magnetic holder. This way your swords and the trim are the focal point of the sword mount, not a gaudy yellow band.

Magnetic strip covered.

Magnetic strip covered.

Now we need to carve out the 2 recessed areas so the magnetic holder will mount flush to the board. I used a handheld Ryobi router, but not everyone has one of those available. A simple wood chisel set should suffice. Remember that it is okay if the recessed areas are larger or slightly deeper than necessary, that will be mostly covered up by the moulding anyway.

Start of routing out the magnetic holder.

Start of routing out the magnetic holder.

After you are done routing (or chiseling), position the magnetic holder on the board. Use a piece of trim cut in Step 2 to ensure that the tabs are countersunk such that they don’t prevent the moulding from sitting flush to the poplar. Also make sure that the magnetic holder isn’t crossing any of our marks from Step 1.

Once this is verified, mount the magnetic holder using 2 flat head screws.

And finally, one last time, take a piece of trim and ensure that the screws don’t prevent the top piece of moulding from resting flush against the board.

 

Step 4: Mount the Trim

Now that we have mounted the holder to the board, it is now time to mount our 4 angled trim boards. Using a liberal amount of wood glue, adhere the 4 boards in position on the 1”x8” Poplar. At this point, we are only using glue so that we can adjust and reposition the moulding to get the tightest joints possible.

Position the moulding with just glue.

Position the moulding with just glue.

Once we have the 4 pieces aligned as best as possible, carefully use your brad nailer (or old-school hammer) to tack each board in place. I suggest shooting a single brad closer to the end of one of the shorter boards. Make sure the boards are all still in alignment, and then shoot a second nail at the other end. If using the Moulding I suggested, aim for the little dots or any recessed line in the pattern to help hide the divots created by the brads.

Design elements for screw placement.

Design elements for screw placement.

Double check the alignment of the boards after securing the first piece of trim, and shoot the first brad into one of the adjacent longer trim boards. Check alignment, and shoot the second brad at the opposite end. Continue doing this for all 4 boards, making sure to check alignment at each step!! This helps ensure that you don’t get to the 4th corner to find all your boards are horribly out of whack!

Note: It is better to play with and align the 4 boards all at once like what is described up above, than to align each corner with a perfect snug fit individually. One way will get you 4 pretty good corner alignments. The other will get you 3 great alignments, and one pretty ugly one. Trust me, even with an awesome miter saw that can assist with those 45-degree angle cuts, they probably aren’t going to be perfect, and thus you won’t have a perfect alignment on all 4 corners.

 As you can see in this photo, I assumed my cuts were going to be perfect, and when I got to the 4th corner the gap was pretty obvious and required a good amount of wood putty to fill.

Alignment of corners.

Alignment of corners.

Step 5: Prep the surface

Now that the trim is mounted to the poplar, it is time to do any necessary clean-up to the raw wood before we can paint/stain.

  • First thing, clean up any wood glue along the seams that might have oozed out when the boards were nailed together. A damp paper towel works fine.
  • Second, if anything doesn’t look like a tight fit, you can use a variety of clamps to press the boards together snugly. If you do use clamps, you will probably need to wipe off any excess glue again. If if didn’t squeeze out before, once clamped, it will!
  • If you do need to clamp the boards together, set it aside for about 2-4 hours (read the instructions on your particular wood glue for working time).
  • The next step is to fill any voids using wood putty. Make sure your putty is stainable, not all wood putty is! I prefer to use wood based products found online instead of the DAP plastic wood options found at Home Depot. The smell and Prop 65 warnings are a little scary on plastic wood. Use the wood putty to fill in any gaps in the corner joints, or in any gaps between the trim and 1”x8” Poplar board.
  • Set the project aside depending on the working time for the particular putty product used. When it’s time, come back with some high grit sandpaper and clean up and smooth any areas that required putty. Also go ahead and sand the entire surface and sides that will be stained just to clean up any rough patches.

Step 6: Staining and Painting

Follow the directions on the stain, and apply the stain to the front and sides of the project. Try to avoid getting any stain on the magnetic holder, as it will leave a sticky residue on the metal.

Typically after applying stain, you will leave it on the surface for a few minutes and then wipe it down with a paper towel or rag. When wiping, try to wipe perpendicular to any grooves in the moulding (grooves highlighted in green). This technique will wipe more stain from the raised areas of the wood, while leaving more in the grooves, resulting in darker recesses.

More stain will remain in the recessed areas.

More stain will remain in the recessed areas.

After the stain is dry, use some inexpensive black, acrylic craft paint to paint any of the recessed areas near the magnet that are not stained. Unlike stain, if you accidentally get some acrylic paint on the magnet, acrylic paint will dry and can be easily scrapped off, instead of being a sticky mess!

Black paint to hide missed stained areas.

Black paint to hide missed stained areas.

 

After staining the sword mount, I like to leave the project in an out of a way place for a few days to allow the stain to off-gas and fully dry. A covered back porch or a basement both work well.

Step 7: Cutting a Keyhole Slot

We want our sword mount to be flush against the wall. First this looks very clean and professional, but a flush mount is also more secure as the mount is more solidly resting against the wall behind it.
There are a few options for making these keyhole slots:

  1. They make a keyhole router bit for routers and Dremels. This option is pretty self explanatory; follow the directions that come with the bit.
  2. You can use a drill, a Dremel, and a few more common Dremel bits to achieve the same effect. You will need a larger drill bit, a smaller drill bit, a Dremel cutter bit, and a Dremel straight router bit.
    Needed Dremel bits.

    Needed Dremel bits:

    • Drill a large hole with the larger drill bit.
    • Drill a second hole with the smaller drill bit approximately .5 inches above the larger hole.
    • Use the straight router bit to connect the 2 holes along their centers.
    • Finally, lower the cutter bit into the larger hole, and follow the same line as above. This will create a groove for the screw head to slide along.
  3. Lastly, if you don’t have access to a router or Dremel, you can use something like this piece of hardware to achieve the same effect using only a chisel (I think).

Step 8: Mounting to the Wall

Most likely you will not have wall studs directly behind where you cut the keyhole slots. Even if you space the 2 keyhole slots 16” apart, to center your sword mount, they probably will not align with hidden studs. But that is fine. That is why they make some truly incredible drywall anchors. These are my personal favorite. Rather than drilling a hole and tapping them into place, they are self drilling, and stop once they are flush with the surface of the wall.

Once you shoot the screws into the anchors, they split open and lock the anchor into place. You can also play with the depth of the screws in the anchor to ensure a nice snug fit between the wall and the sword mount. Some other types of drywall anchors don’t give you the flexibility to adjust the depth of the screws, another reason that I prefer these.

Step 9: Mount the Swords

Now it’s time to hang your collection on the wall.
A few things to keep in mind to avoid injury or a scary crash in the middle of the night.

  • If you used the recommended magnetic holder, it should have no problem holding the weight of most swords, allowing you some play in positioning them higher or lower on the mount.**
  • If you use a weaker magnet, the cross guards might have to rest on the upper lip of the wood. This can severely limit the space on the mount, which is why I suggest the holder that I listed up above.

**No matter what, this is IMPORTANT… you want to make sure that the weight of the portion of the sword above the magnet is about equal to the weight below it. If you attach the swords too high so that the swords are top heavy, a good door slam, or any vibration really, can cause the imbalanced sword to pivot like a pendulum with the magnet working like an axle. As it swings, it will most likely knock the others swords around, or off the wall, stabbing anything and everything around. I speak from personal experience. I had to patch a 2 inch gash in the drywall (and put on a clean pair underwear!) after hearing a frightening crash about 10 minutes after proudly hanging the swords on the wall.

Finished Sword mount

Finished Sword Mount

The Land RPG Charity Event

The Land RPG Charity Event

Aleron Kong is putting on a charity event to promote his RPG, The Land. The event will be held the Saturday of Jordan Con, and details are as follows:

ARLA01-01: Hoof & Arrow The Virsmen grow ever bolder in the Tor’Valek Valley, and their raids upon the farmers of Arladon have sparked fears of famine and strife. One noble house wants to reestablish a defensive border against these raiders, and seeks help in raising awareness to their cause. Will you help defend the people of Arladon, or seek to profit off their lack of security? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters set west of the Principality of Arladon.
When: Saturday 4/18, 10am-2pm

FALD01-01 Glitterhearth Hark and Horror! A Gnomish home has been overrun by foul beasts. Armed mercenaries are needed to make it habitable again, but how can they honor you without access to their prizes? Will you enter the Hearth of Herronton and give the Gnomes a happy jubilation? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters set near the Sovereign City of Faldspar.
When: Saturday 4/18, 3pm-7pm

DURG01-01 Missing Links In the Red Venom Plains, food is as valuable of a resource as any sparkling metal or mineral. A flock of pigs has gone missing from the stocks of Durgendale, and a call for mercenaries has been issued to retrieve them. Can you return the pigs to their pen, and bring their captors to justice? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters that begins in the Commonwealth of Durgendale.
When: Saturday 4/18, 8pm-12am

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

While reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I fell in love with many of the characters. Spensa and Skyward Flight are fun worth spending time with, if you have not read the book already. The non-human characters became my absolute favorites. After Isaac Stewart created an amazingly cute depiction of Doomslug, I had to create one for myself. The little yellow and blue space slug can pull at you with her gentle fluting. This November, readers find out more about Doomslug in Starsight. In support, I thought others might enjoy creating their own space slugs.

My mission was to create a slug pattern to create a cuddly Doomslug that mimics Stewart’s design. After some experiments with dart lines, curves, and other sewing tricks, I hit upon the proper shape to mimic Stewart’s rather rounded artwork rather than using a pattern that looks like an Earth slug (footnote 1).

Making your own space slug requires a handful of tools and a moderate skill level at sewing. The included pattern and instructions will walk you through the process.

Sewing Supplies:

Required:

  • ½ yard of primary material
  • ½ yard of accent material
  • ½ yard of fusible interfacing medium weight
  • Spools of thread of matching colors
  • Cotton or polyester stuffing
  • Black fabric material for eyes
  • Black and white embroidery thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Bobbins

Optional Supplies:

  • Walking Foot for your sewing machine – Highly recommended.
  • Roller cutting blade
  • Metal ruler/flat edge
  • 1/8 yard Double sided interfacing for eyes

More Optional supplies for an internal weighted pouch:

Reason – This gives the slug more heft and allows it to balance on its own better.

  • ¼ yard of third cotton material
  • Poly-fil pellets – up to 1 pound
  • Cotton or polyester batting

Note on Material:

Any material can be used to create your space slug: cotton, fleece, flannel, velveteen, etc. When working with the thicker sections, a walking foot will save you a number of headaches. If your fabric has a nap, including velvet or micro fleece, it’s best to cut your pattern pieces one layer at a time. Double check that the nap direction is the one you want. Ideally the nap will flow smoothly from the front to the back. If you plan to use velvet, please read this helpful tutorial before cutting your pattern pieces.

I bought a bright polyester velvet for many of my space slug creations. The one shown with straight spines was made with pure plush fleece, which is incredibly soft.

Pattern:

The pattern is printed on three pages of 11”x17″.
It will create a slug approximately: 6” tall x 13” long x 16” around.

Scale up or down to change the size of the slug. The ruffle and spines pattern need to be altered less, they are fine for a 15% +/- in size change. Brandon Sanderson said my original design was “just a tad too big.” The original design was 10% larger, creating a slug: 8” tall x 15” long x 20” around.

Cutting Directions:

Lay out the Body Pattern pieces on the main fabric. Match the nap of your fabric if applicable.
Cut matching pieces on interfacing as well. The second cut should be a mirror to the first.

Body Pattern pieces are:

1D Pattern PIece

Mirror of the pattern pieces 1D.

 

  • Body Side (1A) – cut 2
  • Body Base (1B) – cut 1
  • Face piece (1C) – cut 1
  • Top curve (1D) – cut 2
  • Top side (1E) – cut 2
  • Head Top (1F) – cut 1
  • Eye (1G) – cut 2

 

Accent Pattern pieces cut on accent fabric:
Body Ruffle (2A) – cut 1 – Cut on a double fold – Needs to be at least 40″ to go around the body with extra gathering. For a fuller ruffle, cut a longer piece or sew two pieces together.

Spines (2B) – cut 4 – Zig-zag spines should be cut on a double fold – Need to be between 50″ to 60″ to have enough length for deep loops.

Internal pouch – no pattern, no interfacing – simply cut a rectangle 20” long by 4” wide.

Note: The accent pieces are all long rectangles. It’s easiest to square up your fabric on a self-healing mat. Cut in strips with the help of a straight edge and using a roller blade cutter.

Design Choices:
Before you start making your space slug, you need to decide which style you are going to make. Besides fabric choice, each creator chooses the style of eyes and spines they want to make. For the eyes, pick if you want to use fabric eyes or if you will embroider them.
The spines are the harder choice, and often driven by your fabric choice. Thicker fleece will be very difficult to turn into the zig-zag loops.

Spine option 1: Zig-zags – Requires more material and more sewing skills. Your spine strips will each need to be between 50” to 60” in length. Thus the “cut on the fold” note for the pattern could represent a double fold. This design better mimics the official Doomslug design, but are not true spines.

Option 2: Straight Tubes – Requires the spine stripes to be the length of the slug’s body, about 14” each, if you don’t resize the pattern. These are much easier and quicker to attach.

Spine Opt. 1 (right) and Opt. 2 (left)

Two different spine designs. Opt. 1 – Zig-zag (right) and Opt. 2 – Straight (left)

Sewing Directions:

Body pieces have a seam allowance of ⅜”

The full sewing directions with helpful images are found here and can be printed easily.
The basic sewing order of operations are:

  1. Sew the spine tubes together – four of 2B
  2. Sew the Ruffle – one of 2A
  3. Iron the interfacing to all the body parts – 1A to 1F.
  4. Pick the type of eyes you want to create.  Attach or sew them onto the face piece 1C.
  5. Sew the lower body together: 1A (2 pieces), 1B, and 1C
  6. Sew the ruffle 2A onto the lower body piece.
  7. Pin the Spines 2B to first 1D for each side.
  8. Lay 1E on top of the spines, sew together.
  9. Attach a Spine 2B to Half of 1F.
  10. Attach 1F to one side of the top body.
  11. Layout and attach the Spines to the joined 1F and 1E piece.
  12. Attach the other side of the body to finish the top half of the slug.
  13. To attach the two halves together – Right sides of fabric together, line up the center of the piece 1F to the face 1C. Pin around the body. Be sure to leave an opening at the back or on a lower side for turning the body right side out.
  14. Create the internal weighted pouch by sewing a simple pouch.
  15. Fill with poly-fil beads, then sew closed.
  16. Wrap pouch with batting, stuff into the slug body.
  17. Use cotton or poly fiberfil to stuff the slug body to the density you wish.
  18. Sew the opening closed. I hand-stitch mine.
Slug body before finishing

Bottom and top half of the space slug body before joining them together.

Enjoy taking your space slug on adventures!

Sanderson and Doomslug, 2019

Brandon Sanderson with Doomslug at DragonCon

 

Doomslug group, DragonCon 2019

Gathering of Doomslugs at DragonCon, 2019.

If you make a space slug, please share your creation with me, Deana Whitney, either by emailing me at Workshop@jordancon.org, sharing it on Instagram at JordanConInc or Doomslug_Adventures, or showing it directly to Isaac Stewart at Izykstewart.

Note: This Space slug pattern is for fun and personal use only. You may not use this pattern to create a for-profit item. Deana Whitney is the creator and owner of the sewing pattern. Copyright of Doomslug is held by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Inc.

All photos copyright by Deana Whitney, 2019.

Footnote 1:

My first version of Doomslug was made for the signing party, but it looked like an earth slug.  To create it, I enlarged the Delilah Iris by 200% to create a 8” long slug. The back spines are a rectangle piece accordion folded, whipped stitched closed, attached to the back piece, then cut in random spikes. The bottom ruffle was another enlargement of the base pattern piece.

Earth Slug

Slugs from the Delilah Iris pattern.

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