Etsy Shop on Break: Off to Worldcon 75!

Ahem Ahem!, Geek out!

Since contributing to the Helsinki in 2017 campaign to get Worldcon to Finland, I haven’t spoken much about Worldcon 75 here; my W75 Kermit-flailing has taken place at my hobby blog.

Well, the time has come. We’re about to set off to Helsinki!

My August 2017 Desk Calendar W75

The Playfully Grownup Home Etsy shop is in vacation mode. I will make it available again on Monday, August 21, 2017.

I’m very, very excited! Not only do I get to visit friends and relations, I get to hang out with my geeky friends and hopefully make new ones.

In the meanwhile, hope to see you in Helsinki – but if not, I hope you enjoy your August!

HOORAY!

Geek out!

Last Saturday at Sasquan (Worldcon 73), members voted on their preference for the location of the Worldcon in 2017, and overwhelmingly chose Helsinki!

To say I’m overjoyed is an understatement!

Worldcon 75 Initial Reaction

Worldcon 75 co-chairs Crystal, Jukka and Saija.

Tero Ykspetäjä, writing in his blog Partial Recall, puts it nicely:

“Worldcon is a wonderful event that always brings hundreds of authors and thousands of other sf fen together, and I’m glad many new people get to experience it in a couple of years. And when the opportunity rises (as it will), participate—Worldcon is a group effort. It’s not a trade show to sell stuff to consumers, it’s what we all together make it to be. Worldcon is a convention for sf fen, organized and paid for by its members, so don’t miss this opportunity to take part in something unique!”

I already tweeted my personal thanks to Crystal Huff, who coordinated the Helsinki in 2017 bid effort here in the States, but I’m going to say it here, too: Thank you, Crystal. Your efforts were instrumental in the success of the bid. Suurkiitos! And best of luck to you, Jukka and Saija on co-chairing Worldcon 75!

P.S. Did I say I’m OVERJOYED! 😀

Last Hurrah for Helsinki in 2017

Geek out!

The in-person site selection voting for Worldcon 2017 ends tonight at this year’s Worldcon, Sasquan, at 6 p.m. PDT.

If you’re present at Sasquan, please vote. It takes a village to make any Worldcon happen, and it all starts with voting. Vote for your favorite, or if you’re open to suggestions, vote for Helsinki in 2017.

Helsinki in 2017 Logo

Helsinki in 2017.

Helsinki is a beautiful, safe city full of English-speaking people, with great connections to Europe, clean and efficient public transit and many attractions. The Finnish fandom is inviting and hardworking, and Finnish SF/F writers (e.g. Itäranta, Rajaniemi, Sinisalo, Krohn) are gaining more and more recognition internationally. And, Finns are just plain fun!

Results will be announced at the beginning of the World Science Fiction Society’s Site Selection Meeting at 10 a.m. PDT on Saturday. I know I will be keeping my fingers crossed and my thumbs up (which is the equivalent of crossing your fingers in Finland) all morning!

Let’s make Helsinki in 2017 happen! Kiitos!

P.S. Find relevant posts on this blog with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Sixth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

The site voting period for the Worldcon in 2017 is almost up! Only ten days until the mail-in ballot deadline closes, and three weeks till the end of in-person voting at this year’s Worldcon, Sasquan.* My last contribution to the Helsinki in 2017 bid is a batch of coasters:

Bear Project Coaster w GlassI quite like them, even if I say so myself. 🙂 They were already put to use at Readercon 26:

Twitter Arisiacrystal Readercon26 Hki Breakfast

Readercon 26 breakfast sponsored by Helsinki in 2017. Crystal Huff / Helsinki in 2017 on Twitter.

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets, book bags, bookmarks and small storage bins. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

Again, here’s the voting How-to:

Some info on Finnish SF/F, Finnish fandom or the Helsinki bid:

And a final collection of praise for Finnish cons:

“’It’s too far away.’

“Too far away from where? WorldCon hasn’t spent much time outside of North America (I’ll come back to that), but it has been held in Australia and Japan. They weren’t ‘too far away’. Helsinki has excellent global transport links.

“And hang on. Too far away? Really? I thought we were SF & fantasy fans. The whole point of these genres is that they take you far away. Here’s a chance to visit somewhere a little different, and quite special, with no spaceship or portal required. I promise you, once you come to Finland you’ll fall in love with the place.

“’Finland is too small for a big convention.’

“This one is easy because Finland has been hosting FinnCon for nearly 30 years. If you haven’t heard of it, this is one of the biggest European SF&F conventions, and is about the same size as a WorldCon. These guys have done this before. A lot.”

“The Finnish fans are second to none, and we had plenty of Swedes on hand as well, and a strong BWB contigent who taught them all how to party. It is events like this that remind me what fandom is all about — a celebration of science fiction and fantasy, of friendship and family.”

“[…]Finland has once again proven they know how to put on an amazing show. The organizers were friendly and efficient; everything worked; the atmosphere was cozy and intimate despite the fact that the con had 800 members. Helsinki in 2017 is the only way to go.”

“And I got the strongest sensation that these people, the people at the con, they are my people. For someone who’s never been to a con, I could liken it to a book fair: there are panels and interviews, some of them about literature, others about movies or comics or other SF/fantasy-related stuff. And there are vendors, and parties, just like at a book fair. Yet it is nothing like a book fair. Because there is no prestige. Everyone is on equal footing; we’re all fans. It’s not about selling stuff, It’s about celebrating stuff. And that makes all the difference.” [original emphasis]

“[…] holding a convention in conjunction with the [annual Sodankylä, Finland] Midnight Sun Film Festival. We’d have to persuade them to have an SF theme for the event, and get the Wachowskis as Guests of Honor, but it seems a suitably mad project. Finnish fandom can do anything, it seems.”

I voted for Helsinki in 2017, because I have every confidence that the team would put together a Finntastic con (pun so intended!) and because it’s high time to put more world into Worldcon.

*) The received-by deadline is Aug 10, 2015 for mail-in ballots. If you want to vote and are not attending Sasquan, now is the time!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Fifth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I prefer trying something different every time I make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. Luckily I had just enough materials for two small storage bins:

Bear Cube Desk

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets, book bags, and bookmarks. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Fourth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I’m continuing to make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid with two kinds of bookmarks. One is your basic flat, long rectangle…

Bear Bookmarks White Turq

…and the other is round with an elastic band to loop around the book:

Bear Bookmarks Round w Book

Both, naturally, come with an appliqued polar bear from the bid logo. The round one has apparently already inspired other uses as well:

Bear Bookmark Pirate Arrrchipelacon

Unknown at Archipelacon; via Helsinki in 2017 on Twitter.

LOL! 😀

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets and small book bags. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

My Worldcon 2017 Site Selection Vote Is Away!

Geek out!

I’ve blogged before about volunteering my crafting skills for the Finnish fandom’s bid to bring Worldcon to Helsinki in 2017. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

The site selection voting for the 2017 Worldcon has been open for a while now. Husband and I filled and mailed our ballots yesterday.

Worldcon 2017 Site Selection Ballots

My reasons for choosing Helsinki, in a nutshell, are as follows:

  • 2017 is Finland’s centennial year as an independent nation. Hosting a Worldcon would make our celebratory year even more awesome, and I bet it would be a great year to visit, culture-wise.
  • Helsinki is international, clean, quiet, and well maintained with excellent public transit (which will be free for con attendees!) and magical, light summer nights*. Practically everyone speaks English, and the Swedish-language signs help in navigating the town.**
  • I’ve been to numerous cons in Finland in the decade-plus before moving to the States. Every single one was run smoothly and professionally. Not only that, the Helsinki in 2017 bid team has more than a few experienced conrunners in it.
  • Worldcon needs more “world” in it! (See voting instructions in 7 languages at the bid site.)

The bid chair Eemeli Aro says it perfectly in his cover letter for the official bid paperwork:

“If selected, Helsinki in 2017 would be the northernmost Worldcon ever, the first Worldcon in continental Europe since 1990, and the fourth ever held in a country that doesn’t hold English as its native tongue. We believe it’s time for this, that it’s time to put more world into Worldcon, and to give European fans a chance to participate in a way we’ve not been able to before.” [original emphasis]

 

Helsinki in 2017 Logo

Helsinki in 2017.

I proudly voted for the bid, and would love to see the con in Helsinki!

And I’m not the only one. To pick a few I’m excited about:

“For one thing, it’ll be nice to have a Worldcon someplace where it’s not hotter than the surface of Mercury* during the summer months. For another, the free hotel breakfasts in Northern Europe have to be seen to be believed. This is a twenty-five dollar buffet in the U.S–and some of them serve tea (the meal, not the drink, though they also have the drink) as well. That stretches your congoing food budget!

“Additionally, there’s the little mater [sic] of the venue. Helsinki is a beautiful, fascinating city full of culture and history and very fine public transportation. If, like me, you have a tendency to sneak out of the con and sightsee a little, there is plenty there to view.

“I’ve have heard some concern about the language issue. There is no language issue.

“If one of your languages is English (I’m going to assume, since you’re reading this) you will have no issues at all navigating. (It’s sort of a running joke with my agent and I that while my books sell very well in the Nordic countries as imports, we can’t get a translation deal there. Because everyone speaks English…”

How to add your voice:

Lastly, a few Helsinki links for the curious:

  • A Quick Guide to Helsinki by Mel, a New Zealander living in Finland, with city walks, places to visit, cultural sites, markets, daytrips and more from the point of view of an English speaker learning the city.
  • Author George R.R. Martin’s recap of his Finncon 2009 experience and his reasons for backing the 2015 Helsinki Worldcon bid.
  • Creative commons licensed photos of Helsinki in Flickr. Gorgeous shots!
  • John Kovalic (of the Munchkin illustrator fame) reports on his experience as guest of honor at the biggest role-playing con in Finland, Ropecon, back in 2004. I had the pleasure of seeing him talk at the con. Even though held in Espoo, not Helsinki, Kovalic covers some of his experiences as a visitor to the greater Helsinki area which might be useful.
  • Randall Munroe’s book What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Situations gives Helsinki as one of the safest places to wait out hypothetical supersonic winds created by a hypothetical stop in Earth’s rotation. 🙂
2.-Helsinki-Global-Windstorm-WHAT-IF-640x527

Randall Munroe: What If? Via Mashable.

 

* Well, -ish. Helsinki is too far south for “proper” midnight sun in August. Sunset will probably be around 10 p.m., but that’s something, too.

**Swedish is our second official language; English is the unofficial third.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Third NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I’m continuing to make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. Small felt book bags have joined ornaments and rosemary sachets:

Bear Project Bags WhiteBear Project Bag Turq Bk

The bags were really fun to make! More info on the event itself on bid website, and on the voting process on Crystal Huff’s blog.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Second NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

You may remember that I made small felt bear ornaments for the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. For my second gift item project, I made sachets with the bear logo.

Bear Project Sachets3

The sachets are filled with organic dried rosemary from Egypt and rice from the USA. They are great for sock drawers, off-season clothing storage or glove compartment. Also, as rice is a natural desiccant, slipping a sachet into your shoes helps keep them fresher longer.

I’m also tickled by a shout-out in File 770. Mike Glyer reported on the craftiness of the Helsinki in 2017 bid, with photos of the cool items that bid supporters have made. I had heard of some of them, but there were several surprises, too. (Helsinki 2017 bear bubble wands, anyone?) The variety is quite impressive; love it! Thanks, Mike! And thank you for the link to my Helsinki in 2017 Flickr album – appreciate your spreading the word.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

NotWork Bear Project for Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon Bid

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I’ve been working on an exciting NotWork project! The Finnish SF/F fandom has mounted a bid to host the World Science Fiction Convention (or Worldcon) in Helsinki in 2017.

Helsinki in 2017 Logo

Helsinki in 2017.

To help the bid, I’ve been adapting the logo – a running, anthropomorphic bear – into small gift items. The first is a felt ornament.

Bear Project 2nd Attempt

After a few attempts, I got the materials and technique down to make a first batch of bears.

Bear Project 2nd Attempt Finished

Now I just need teal felt to match the official bid colors. And look – they were already featured on the Helsinki in 2017 Twitter feed:

Yay! If you’re at a convention and see a Helsinki in 2017 info table or party, I encourage you to stop by. Besides info on the bid, there’s Finnish candy (which is gooood!), fun people, photo op possibilities with Moomin trolls and sometimes even a bear by yours truly. And in 2015, when the time comes, vote for Finland! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.