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

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 - February 2019

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 first 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 and an asterisk indicate an SWCG activity. Unless otherwise noted, SWCG Meetings begin at 1:00 PM.

February 9-March 31, 2019 (weekends plus Presidents' Day) - Arizona Renaissance Festival near Gold Canyon, Arizona. http://arizona.renfestinfo.com/

February 17-25, 2019 - Estrella War at Schnepf Farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. The Society for Creative Anachronism Kingdom of Atenveldt's annual festival of armored combat, arts and sciences. http://estrellawar.org/

February 18-24, 2019 - Winter Range at the Ben Avery shooting facility, NWC Interstate 17 and Carefree Highway, north of Phoenix. This is the Single-Action Shooting Society's annual tournament of cowboy action shooting. Excellent "Sutler's Row" to stock up on your wild west/victorian/steampunk costume basics. http://www.winterrange.com/

February 19, 2019, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch
From Amazon.com: Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly.
But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien.
In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began.

February 23-24, 10-5, Arizona Matsuri Festival at Heritage & Science Park, 115 North 6th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004. 35th annual celebration of Japanese culture.

February 24, 2019 - Rathyatrat Festival of Chariots at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. http://www.iskconphoenix.com

March 2-3, 2019 - Phoenix Scottish Games at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. http://www.arizonascots.com/05games.shtml

March 2-4, 2019 - Kikori Con anime convention in Flagstaff, Arizona. http://www.kikoricon.com/

March 8-10, 2019 - Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention at Old Tucson Studios. https://www.wildwestcon.com/

March 8-10, 2019 - Chandler Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, Arizona https://ostrichfestival.com/

March 10, 2019 - Costume Academy 2019 at
Language Studies International, 2015 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704. Presented by the Greater Bay Area Costume Guild. Advance registration required. http://www.gbacg.org/costume-academy/

March 16, 2019, 10AM- 3 PM - Apache Junction LibraryCon at Apache Junction Public Library,  1177 North Idaho Road. https://www.ajpl.org/

March 17, 2019, 12PM - Potluck of the Irish* SWCG social at Tasha's place in Glendale (e-mail the webmaster for directions). Irish-themed costume encouraged.

March 19, 2019, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
From Amazon.com: Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

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

March 22-23, 2019 - Gila Valley Comic Con in Safford, Arizona.  https://www.facebook.com/GilaValleyComicCon/

March 30, 2019, 12-11PM - Tucson Time Travelers' Masquerade at 160 S. Scott Avenue, Tucson (Scottish Rite building) Theme is "Heaven and Hell." (21 and over, please) https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3194731

April 7, 2019, 11AM - Make Stuff*  SWCG workshop at Tasha's place. Make our stash of donated fabric into bags an other items suitable for fundraisers and prize donations.

April 16, 2019, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
From Amazon.com: There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.
Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . .
First published in 1990, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's brilliantly dark and screamingly funny take on humankind's final judgment is back -- and just in time -- in a new hardcover edition (which includes an introduction by the authors, comments by each about the other, and answers to some still-burning questions about their wildly popular collaborative effort) that the devout and the damned alike will surely cherish until the end of all things.
The Amazon Prime miniseries should be available by April. Watch Party?

April 18-21, 2019 - LepreCon 45 a
t Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North at 10220 N Metro Parkway East, Phoenix, AZ. http://leprecon.org/

May 5, 2019 - Personal Projects* SWCG Stitch and B___ at Jean and Nola's place. 

May 21, 2019, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein
From Amazon.com: The Stone clan is off to the asteroid belt to educate their brood and find a new life away from stuffy, bureaucratic Luna City. But, as a great man once said, ''There Isn't Any Such Thing As a Free Lunch.'' The Stones know that making a living in deep space and facing the dangers of exploration are the pioneer's great challenge—and the only path to a hopeful tomorrow for humankind!

June 2, 2019 - SWCG Meeting* at 35th Avenue Sew & Vac (35th Ave & Northern Ave, Phoenix). Meet up on a public place. Specific topic to be announced.

June 18, 2019, 7 PM - CASFS Book & Media Social at Denny's 9030 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix (NWC I-17 and Dunlap Road).

Milk Run by Nathan Lowell
From Amazon.com:  Academy graduate Natalya Regyri stood first in line for her pick of Engineering Officer jobs, until, at the graduation party, a classmate turned up dead. Now, betrayed by her friends and framed for murder, she must flee beyond the reach of the Confederation...and any semblance of civilized society.

With a damaged second-hand ship and TIC interceptors dogging her step, she nets a smuggling contract that might just get her back on her feet and in control of her destiny. But only if she's willing to make an ore run back to the place she's wanted for murder, and into the arms of the authorities...
...who somehow know she's coming.

June 21-23, 2019 - Con-Nichiwa anime convention in Tucson, Arizona. http://www.con-nichiwa.com/

July 12-14, 2019 - Medieval Mayhem Renaissance Faire at Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex, 1101 N. Woodland Rd., Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ. https://www.azmayhem.com/

July 14, 2019 - Pool Party* SWCG social at Castle Cady Classic. Swimmable costume encouraged. Theme is fantasical sea creatures.

July 20, 2019 - Itty Bitty Fur Con at Mesa Convention Center. http://www.ittybittyfurcon.com/

August 30 - September 2, 2019 - CoKoCon at
Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North at 10220 N Metro Parkway East, Phoenix, AZ . http://cokocon.org/

August 30 - September 2, 2019 - Saboten Con www.sabotencon.com 

September 1, 2019 - Brass Etching* SWCG workshop at Randall's place (tentative). Randall will demonstrate a technique for etching brass, copper or bronze using circuit board fluid.

September 8-10, 2019 - TusCon 46 at Sheraton Tucson Hotel & Suites. https://tusconscificon.com/

October 6, 2019 - Dyeing to Meet You* SWCG workshop at Paula's place. Paula will demo one or more fabric dyeing techniques.

October 25-27, 2019 - Arizona Fur Con Music "Furstival" at Delta Hotels Phoenix Mesa - Mesa Convention Center. http://www.arizonafurcon.com/

January 25, 2020 - Tempe Library FanCon at the Tempe Public Library at Rural Road and Southern Avenue.

Return to Index

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

Randall, Tasha and Paula
at Tempe Library ComiCon in 2018

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 Paula Lary
(president@southwestcostumersguild.org) .

Vice President, Secretary and Webmaster Randall Whitlock

Treasurer and Newsletter Editor Tasha Cady

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

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
Check out Nola's YouTube channel, "CostumeTrek." https://www.youtube.com/results?q=costumetrek+channel&sp=UBQ%253D

Last updated February 12, 2019 by Randall Whitlock.

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