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.

Cactus 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 - May 2017

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

Creative Commons

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.

May 16, 2017, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

This year, the theme is books that have been adapted to other media. Read the book, see the movie, listen to the audio drama or watch some of the TV episodes. Come and talk with us. How well does the story work in different formats?  Which is your favorite?

month's book is Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

First in the Women of the Otherworld series. Elena Michaels is the only known female werewolf, but she grows tired of spending her life pursuing rogue werewolves (mutts) and trying to control her temper and violence. She decides to leave her Pack and live in Toronto as a human, but the Pack leader calls in a favor, which leads Elena to try to help quell an uprising. Compare to the Syfy TV series with Laura Vandervoort (available on Netflix).

MAY 19-21 - Mad Monster Phoenix - Horror/SciFi/Fantasy at We-Ko-P Resort, Casino & Conference Center, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community  http://madmonster.com/

MAY 25-28 - Phoenix Comicon - Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/

June 4, 2017 - Get Ready for WesterCon*  SWCG meeting at Jean's place, "Chronos Lodge." Get ready for next month's WesterCon. Get the last details together for our presentation.

June 20, 2017, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

This year, the theme is books that have been adapted to other media. Read the book, see the movie, listen to the audio drama or watch some of the TV episodes. Come and talk with us. How well does the story work in different formats?  Which is your favorite?

month's book is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is the only Wizard listed in the Chicago telephone directory, but don't lend him your smart phone. Compare the novels (beginning with Storm Front) to the comics and the sadly short-lived SyFy TV series with Paul Blackthorne. James Marsters reads the audio books, all available at your local library. You can buy the TV episodes from your favorite online store or watch them free (with ads) on Vudu. Phoenix Public Library has the DVD boxed set.

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

July 2, 2017 (Time TBA) - WesterCon* SWCG Social. We will do some sort of social gathering during WesterCon. Look for SWCG members on stage at the masquerade.

August 9-13, 2017 - WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland. http://www.worldcon.fi

August, 2017 (Date and Time TBA) - Pool Thing* SWCG Social. Annual costumed swim party. Theme to be announced.

September 1-4 2017 - Saboten-Con - Phoenix AZ http://www.sabotencon.com/   Arizona's Premier Japanese Pop-Culture Convention 340 N 3rd St Phoenix AZ 85004 

September, 2017 (Date and Time TBA) - Metal Enameling* SWCG Workshop. Experiment with metal enameling techniques.

October, 2017 (Date and Time TBA) - Brass Etching* SWCG workshop. Randall will demonstrate a simple technique for etching patterns on brass and other copper alloys.

November 10-12, 2017 - TusCon - SF Convention at the Radison Hotel Tucson Airport in Tuscon, AZ - http://www.tusconscificon.com/

November 17-19, 2017 - Arizona Fur Con at Scottsdale Resort, 7700 E. McCormick, Scottsdale AZ http://www.arizonafurcon.com/

December, 2017 (Date and Time TBA) - Glitter Walk* SWCG social. Meet for an early supper at a downtown Glendale restaurant, then walk the Glendale Glitters street festival.

December 9, 2017 - LibCon West at the Glendale Public Library, 59th Avenue & Brown. This is a teen-oriented SF/Fantasy/Anime/Pop culture festival hosted by the Glendale Public Library. http://libconwest.weebly.com/

January 27, 2018 - Tempe Library Con at Tempe Public Library (SWC Rural Road and Southern Avenue).
The Library Comicon is an annual event featuring costume contests, artists & authors, shopping, and activities for children and adults alike.  Fans of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Star Trek and more are invited to gather at the Tempe Public Library in costume for a celebration of pop culture. http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/community-services/tempe-public-library/special-events/library-comicon

March 30-April 2, 2018 Costume-Con 36 in San Diego, California

March 22-25, 2019 - Costume-Con 37 at the Doubletree Boston North Shore hotel in Danvers, Massachussetts.

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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. Click the link to see some pictures from the "Sick Pups" archive.

At Tempe Library ComiCon in

Tasha at Tempe Library ComiCon in 2016

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

Jean & Randall at Steampunk Street
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 Mahala Sweebe
(president@southwestcostumersguild.org) .

Vice President Sharan Hoyle

Treasurer and Newsletter Editor Tasha Cady

Secretary Sharan Hoyle

Archivist Jean Palmer

Webmaster 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 May 13, 2017 by Randall Whitlock.

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