Notes from August 2017 meeting

Called to order at 11:28am, Saturday, August 19, 2017, at Allan Kent and Pat Vandenberg’s house in Mendon, MA.


Alexis Berlinguet, Ann Catelli, Debi Chowdhury, Donald Eastlake, Jill Eastlake, Allan Kent, Judy Mitchell, Sharon Sbarsky, Susan Smith, Betty Trugman, and Pat Vandenberg.

Officer reports: 

President – Judy Mitchell – Reporting from the Board of Directors:

Marianne Pease, President, is reopening the Fairness Guidelines Revision committee.

Lisa Ashton volunteered for an archive project by Bruce and Nora Mai, interviewing long-time & retired costumers.  This is be comprised of 15-30 minute interviews at convenient conventions.

Also, back in June the Madison Wisconsin group closed due to going bankrupt after CC34.

Marianne started a discussion on what makes a chapter work (we lost the Minnesota group). Not many responses. I was hoping there would be good info to pass along, but it kinda petered out.

Byron mentioned about the Pups: 1/3 attendance is considered good attendance. They run the masquerades at 2 conventions. Problems they see are aging of the group and lack of people willing to take leadership positions.

Time Travelers in Oregon said: their president knows a lot of people through Renaissance Faires, and cons to pull in, they try not to create event conflicts, they are more about events/activities rather than meetings though they have a monthly business meeting. They hold monthly consistent sewing/crafting meetups open to the public at local fabric store, strong social media presence (Facebook, meetup).

Bruce said of the SLUTS, St. Louis, Missouri: They have a lot of activities either to amuse themselves or promote the chapters fun side, including group costume projects, photo shoots, international dinner where they wear various ethnic clothing in relation to the dishes, and recently a music video as well as getting together for dinner at a different restaurant once a month. They provide programming at cons, worked masquerades, give talks to local chapters of the American Sewing Guild, the Romance Writers of America and one of the local historical societies. They like to hold meetings at public venues. Bruce suggests for outreach: find an age-appropriate media character and go to anime cons, work the anime green room, make up business cards and hand them out to every cosplayer you talk to (be sure to compliment them), workshops with hands-on and/or handouts (hand out cookies to people who answer questions posed to the audience!), have a table with lots of photos of your chapter, run a video, partner with other groups in the area (LARPers, Steampunk…)

Nothing is up for a vote at this time.

Vice President – Jo Mary Orttung – not here.  No report.

Treasurer – Susan Smith – as usual, our stuff got into the ICG on time.  Susan will be submitting the paperwork for the GEL report by the end of the week, (for the IRS).

Secretary – Jill Eastlake –

The website is in transition and changes occasionally (but not lately) as Jill and Sharon have the time and inclination.  Send suggestions to the email list. See

This is the address for email: Jill is maintaining the mail list.

Again, the website is at

Alexis and Debi will post to our Facebook.

Old Business: 

The Service Your Own sewing machine workshop went very well.  We were pleased to see some members that haven’t attended a meeting for a while, and a lurker or two.  We had 15 people servicing 13 machines in Charlton.  There were 11 people at breakfast together in Sturbridge beforehand.  The workshop was presented by Cathy Racine of the Charlton Sewing Center,  We were able to donate at least $30 to the Laundry of Love charity that CSS supports.

A Bollywood movie is here, “Bride and Prejudice”.  Debi has been inviting some new people into the group.  We’ll look at the video this afternoon so that people can get ideas.

The Essence of India is in Acton from 2 to 7:30 today.  (We had plenty to do at the meeting, workshop and movie that no one when to this event.)

For our December 10 party – Pat would like suggestions for teas.  She wants 18 teas to be sampled during the day.  Hot chocolate is welcome too.  There will be more emails about this party forthcoming over the next few months.

New Business:

Arisia’s webmaster is looking for information about Hall Costumes for the Arisia ’19 website.  We definitely want to sponsor Hall Costume award ribbons.  Judy is looking at the old wording from the Arisia ‘13, which needs our new url.  Again, our url is

There was a discussion about getting a table in the Arisia ’19 Expo and what might we might sell, and different ways to conduct an auction, swaps, recruiting.  The Expo is an experiment that Arisia is trying to see if we can incorporate more groups into Arisia.

Betty suggested giving people some free, 3-month memberships with some info about us on a piece of paper. Pat volunteered to make up some new flyers based on the flyer on our website.

Pat volunteered, with Alexis and Allan, to lead advertising for the upcoming foreseeable future.

Susan will look into free advertising in local newspapers.

We formed a committee for website maintenance – Jill, Sharon, and Alexis.

Convention Reports/Announcements:

NASFIC‘17 – the “Masquerade” was a party.  With a bit of help from lots of friends including Sharon, Donald, Debi and Juan Sanmiguel directly for the party, Rick Kovalcik and Kristin Siebert for Tech, and Pablo Vazquez (chairman) as the DJ.  We had 11 presenters go across the stage in costume.  There was food, dancing, chat, music, and costuming!

There was also a 2-hour “Build a Costume” program item with things to make from donations from Bruce Farr, Silicon Costumers a box of supplies.

Worldcon 75 in Helsinki – Masquerade co-Directors Debi Chowdhury and Christine Doyle.

Debi learned that you treat your judges right, and treat them to a meal beforehand.  W75 was generous with funding which was helpful.  Donald was the Green Room manager.  26 entries, 25 went on stage.  The entries were all singles or pairs, no groups.  You can watch the show at  We had people from around the world that we don’t usually see in North America.  The sword that we awarded for Best Workmanship in the Novice Division was given to someone at the post-masquerade programme item.

Olivia Flockhart got Best in Show for Presentation, portraying a comet.

Another Novice got Best in Show for Workmanship, portraying Grimli.

Attendance was much higher than expected.  The committee adjusted room crowding and room assignments to correct for lesser expectations.

Debi’s sari panel was well-done and three people were used for demos (including Jill).

The next Worldcon is Worldcon 76 in San Jose, CA.  See  Aurora will be Masquerade Director.  Sharon is one of the two Events Division Heads.  And, Jill is the Exhibits Division Head.  If you aren’t busy, there’s lots of volunteer opportunity for the convention.

Dublin was selected to run the 2019 Worldcon, 15-19 August 2019.  See

Costume-Con 36 will be held in San Diego, CA 11-14 May 2018.  See

Costume-Con 37 will be held in Danvers, MA, 22-25 March 2019.  Aurora and Sharon are co-chairs.  They brought registration forms.  The hotel has an indoor waterpark.  See

Some of the highlights are:

  • there will be a One Pattern Contest
  • there will be a Future Fashion Folio
  • there will be a Future Fashion Show
  • there will be an SF & F Masquerade
  • there will be an Historical Masquerade
  • there will be a Dealers’ Room
  • there will contests, fan tables, and more…

Show & Tell:

Helsinki was awesome.  Jill and Donald brought a cute, fluffy reindeer, some chocolates, some pamphlets, and some ribbons to show off  and share (the chocolate to share).  Jill also brought some NASA swag.  People could take pins and stickers.

Ann is making a test crochet including cute, little baby sweaters..  She brought 5 and based on them, 2 hats and booties.   Then one sweater and hat of Ann’s own design.

Today’s workshop is an introduction to needle felting.  Judy did a short demo on how to do the needle felting by hand without injury to yourself or your tools and work.

After there will likely be a Bollywood movie showing.  “Bride and Prejudice” was shown at a low sound level so that we could all chat about the costuming.

Next Meetings:

There will be no September meeting.

The next meeting will be on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the Eastlakes’.

Our December Tea themed party will be on Sunday, the 10th at Allan Kent and Pat Vandenberg’s.  More information will be forthcoming on emails to prepare for the food.

Adjourned at 1:17pm.


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