SWCG LogoThe Southwest Costumers Guild

is a loose and informal educational society of persons interested in all facets of historical, cultural, science fiction, fantasy, and humor costume. Members are often seen on stage and behind the scenes at Science Fiction Convention masquerades, historical reenactment events, and theatre. SWCG is central Arizona's chapter of the International Costume Guild.

Upcoming Events
SWCG Activities
Meet the Guildsters - Mail Links and links to Member Web Pages
Links - Web Sites of Interest to the Costumer

Hints and other "How To" Articles

Join the Southwest Costumers Guild - Printable membership form

Recruiting and PR Materials:

"Victorian Ball" Foldover Flyer
"Science Fiction Convention" Foldover Flyer
"Renaissance Faire" Foldover Flyer
Quarter-Page Flyer
Color Bookmark (Newly Updated)

SWCG Bylaws

Southwest Costumers Guild has a "Yahoo Groups" e-mail discussion forum. Contact the webmaster for information on how to join.

            Needles Logo

SWCG members in good standing  receive Cactus Needles, our monthly newsletter, by mail or e-mail.
Regular contributors and newsletter editors from ICG chapters and allied organizations also receive Cactus Needles.
Not getting your newsletter? Contact the Editor to make sure he has your current address.

A few weeks after its initial publication, we post Cactus Needles to this web site for all to enjoy.

Current Issue - January 2016

Back Issues
(All the way back to the Cactus Needles premiere in 1994)

Creative Commons License

Cactus Needles
is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please print the newsletter and give it to your friends, but print the entire newsletter and don't make any changes or charge any money. Go to www.creativecommons.org to view the license. Individual articles and pictures belong to their authors. If you'd like to reprint an individual article or picture, please contact the Editor for appropriate permission.

Upcoming Activities

Usually, the Southwest Costumers Guild meets on the last Sunday of each month at a different member's home in the greater Phoenix area. This rule of thumb is often changed to avoid schedule conflict with other events. Guild business is followed by a demonstration or workshop by a guild member or an invited guest. Sometimes we cooperate on a costume project. Sometimes we just socialize. Special SWCG gatherings are sometimes held at science fiction conventions, street fairs, and other public events. E-mail the Webmaster for directions to meetings and events.

Here are some upcoming guild meetings and costume-related public events. E-mail the Webmaster if you know an event that should be on the calendar. A more detailed calendar is included in Cactus Needles.

* Red Text indicates an SWCG activity. Unless otherwise noted, SWCG Meetings begin at 1:00 PM.

January 23, 2016, 10-3 – Library ComiCon at Tempe Public Library, SWC Rural and Southern in Tempe, Arizona. FREE EVENT! ALL ARE WELCOME! Fans of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Wholocks and even Trekkies are invited to gather at the Tempe Public Library in costume for a celebration of pop culture.  Speakers, artists and writers will be present to discuss and sell their work. There will be a costume contest sponsored by Phoenix ComiCon and activities for children too. www.tempe.gov/comicon  SWCG will run a fan table.

January 28-30, 2016 – Phoenix Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. http://quiltcraftsew.com

January 31, 2016 – Wrap Up* at Tasha’s place. Let’s finish up some of the various garment construction projects began in 2015.

February 5-7, 2016 – Two Rivers Renaissance Faire Pirate and Faerie Festival at Yuma County Fairgrounds, Yuma AZ. http://www.tworiversfaire.com/

February 6-March 27, 2016 (weekends + Presidents’ Day) – Arizona Renaissance Festival on US 60 east of Gold Canyon, Arizona. http://www.royalfaires.com/arizona/

February 12-17, 2016 – Amazing Arizona Comic Con at the Phoenix Convention Center http://amazingarizonacomiccon.com/

February 12-14, 2016 – Phoenix Chinese Week at the Chinese Cultural Center, 44th Street and the Red Mountain Freeway, Phoenix http://www.phoenixchineseweek.org/

February 13-14, 2016, 9-4 – Annual Winter Tractor Show at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, 9802 N. 59th Ave., Glendale AZ. Enjoy tractor pulls, displays and more! $5; Ages 12 and under free. Presented by Arizona Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association. This event is operated in conjunction with the Glendale Historical Society.

February 19-21, 2016 – Tucson Quilters Guild 2016 Quilt Fiesta at Tucson Convention Center
260 South Church Street, Tucson, Arizona Hundreds of quilts, vendor mall, raffle quilt, small quilt auction, quilt appraisals, door prizes. Tucson Convention Center, $10 per day. http://tucsonquiltersguild.com/quiltshow.htm

February 20-21, 2016 – Button Show at Hilton Garden Inn, 11460 W. Hilton Way, Avondale Arizona State Button Society’s Annual Show includes educational exhibits, workshops, competitions, and more. 928-778-7299

February 20-21, 2016- Annual Apache Junction Rock and Gem Show at Skyline High School Gymnasium, 845 S. Crismon Rd., Dealers sell handmade jewelry, gems, beads, slabs, rocks, minerals, fossils, and jewelry-making supplies. www.ajrockclub.com

February 22-28, 2016 – Winter Range at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd., Phoenix, Arizona. The Single-Action Shooting Society’s annual cowboy action shooting shindig. First-rate sutler’s row to stock up on your wild west/steampunk costume supplies. http://www.winterrange.com/

February 23-29, 2016 – Estrella War at Schnepf Farms, Queen Creek, Arizona. The Society for Creative Anachronism’s annual week of medieval arts, sciences and whacking each other with sticks. http://estrellawar.org/

February 27 & 28, 2016, 10-5 – Matsuri Festival of Japan at Heritage & Science Park, 7th Street & Monroe in downtown Phoenix. Free admission . www.azmatsuri.org

February 28, 2016 – Mardis Gras* social at Tasha’s place. A bit early, but do it in costume please.

March 4-6, 2016 – Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention at Old Tucson Studios https://www.wildwestcon.com/

March 12, 2016, 10 AM – St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Phoenix Staging Area Location: 3rd St. from Virginia to Sheridan Route: 3rd St. South from Sheridan to Moreland.


March 18-20, 2016 – Con Nichiwa anime convention at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S Church Ave Tucson AZ 85701. http://www.con-nichiwa.com/

March 19-20, 2016 - 52nd Arizona Scottish Gathering & Highland Games at  Steele Indian School Park,  300 E Indian School Road in Phoenix. http://www.arizonascots.com/05games.shtml

May 6-9, 2016 – Costume-con 34: The Wonder of Nature at the Marriott West in Madison, Wisconsin http://www.costumecon34.com/

June 2-5, 2016 – Phoenix ComiCon at the Phoenix Convention Center http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/

June 23-26, 2016 – LepreCon 42: The Meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything at the Embassy Suites North (SEC I-17 & Greenway Road) in Phoenix. http://leprecon.org/

November 11-13, 2016 – TusCon 43 at Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, Tucson, AZ 85714. This year’s guest of honor is George RR Martin. http://tusconscificon.com/

April 20-24, 2017 – Costume-Con 35 at the Hilton Mississaugua/Meadowvale, 6750 Mississauga Road, Mississauga (near Toronto), Ontario, Canada http://costumecon35.com/

July 1-4, 2017 – WesterCon 70 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. Guests include Julie Dillon, Larry Elmore, Gini Koch and Weston Ochse. www.westercon70.org

April, 2018 – Costume-Con 36 in San Diego, California 

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Here is some of our events information in the form of a Google calendar created by Margie:

Guild Activities

SWCG hosted Costume-Con 30 on May 11-14, 2012 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. Check out professional photographer
Richard Man's images from the event at http://www.rfman.com/SF-and-Fantasy-Conventions/Costume-Con-30 .

SWCG at Steampunk: An Exquisite Adventure
At Steampunk: An Exquisite Adventure in November, 2013.

Jean & Randall
        at Steampunk Street II
Randall & Jean at Steampunk Street II in downtown Mesa, April, 2011.

We had a fine turnout for our Barbecue Mixer in April, 2009, with folks from SWCG, Sunacosu,
Arizona Ghostbusters and The Rebel Legion. Photo by Mike Contos.

At the Arizona Renaissance Festival, February 2008.

Walking about the Glendale Glitters street fair in December, 2007.

A Duct Tape Mannequin is a useful tool for patterning custom-fitted garments.

Mucking about in Victorian attire at CopperCon 25. A little image magic by Mike Cassidy shifts us to a more appropriate setting - a table setting.

Meet the Guildsters - Mail Links and Web Pages

Click on the highlighted text to send an e-mail message or visit a personal web page.

President Jean Palmer
(president@southwestcostumersguild.org) .

Vice President Mahala Sweebe

Treasurer Tasha Cady

Secretary Randall Whitlock

Archivist Jean Palmer

Webmaster and Newsletter Editor Randall Whitlock runs MoiRandall's featuring his "Randwulf's" line of sewing patterns.

Member Anna Caggiano shows how she built her Galadriel gown at www.fivemilecreek.net/anna/anna.htm.

Check out member Nola Yergen's theatrical and film costumes at http://designbynola.com/  or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Design-By-Nola/128444573852616

Last updated January 22, 2016 by Randall Whitlock.

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