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What is casual cosplay?

casual cosplay:

Cosplay or costume play is the art of creating a costume based on or inspired by a character from media. Casual cosplay is a term used to describe a low key or relaxed cosplay, casual cosplay is all about using what you already have, making things you don’t, and finding the rest easily to embody a character you love! Cosplay can seem intimidating if you don’t know how to use a sewing machine or wrap your head around how to make armor from cardboard. In the 4 week class at the STEAM Lab different techniques and approaches to cosplay will be broken down in to accessible resources for kids.

Doggie cosplay:

The STEAM Lab is offering a dog cosplay building class on Saturday the 19th! Have a non-traditional shaped dog? Or a not common dog costume idea? This class is for you! You bring your dog’s measurements (or a dog sweater that fits them) and we can help you create the dog costume of your dreams! Whether it be a large dog or a small dog we can help you make your dog’s cosplay come to life!

Cosplay can be fun, accessible, and inexpensive! Casual cosplay is all about figuring out how to make something that reflects your passions and works for you!

Create your own wings:

The STEAM Lab will also offer a wings making class two Saturday’s in October! These iridescent faerie (or dragon, or bug, or sprite) wings will help take your costume to the next level. These realistic and life size wings are fun, durable, and magical. Parent child duos who want to take the class will be offered a special discount for signing up together! Shoot us a message for more details!

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Starting a Foundation (or why we’re an LLC)

When starting Los Alamos STEAM Lab, we had a real debate about whether we would be a non-profit or LLC. We have a strong desire to serve the community and make our classes accessible to everyone (you can see one part of that desire in our post about diversity). We finally settled on LLC because we weren’t ready to bring a Board into the decision making process. Four women, each with their own strong vision, is plenty to navigate.

HOWEVER, we still very much want to serve the community and that includes folks with diverse incomes. To that end, we’d like to start a STEAM Foundation that will fund scholarships to our classes as well as programming at the libraries and schools of Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico.

In addition to funding activities at our space, we anticipate that the foundation would support other STEAM activities in town, particularly Mathamuseum, another community focused LLC.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in running this foundation (including raising enough money for a decent salary), please get in contact with us. Besides there not being enough hours in a day, we don’t feel it would be ethical to run this ourselves, but we’d be happy to sit on the board. We expect that it would involve about 40 hours a month of grant-writing and schmoozing.

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Book Review: Frontier Magic Series by Patricia Wrede

Let’s just start by saying I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Patricia Wrede. Even though her series can be vastly different from each other, they are all just fantastic. I particularly recommend The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, featuring a princess who offers herself to the service of dragon because she just can’t handle being as vapid as her sisters, and the Cecelia and Kate Novels featuring the letters two regency era cousins send back and forth to each other as they piece together a dastardly plot and try to stop it.

Anywho, this book review is actually about Frontier Magic, a series set in an alternate history just after the secession war in Northern Columbia. The world is filled with dangerous creatures, both magical and non-magical and only the mysterious magic of the great barrier keeps the pioneers safe. Many who cross it to explore or create settlements never come back.

In The Thirteenth Child, we meet Eff. In a world where Seventh Sons are powerful and the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is nearly legendary, it is really pretty awful to be a twin to a double seventh, especially if you are the older twin and a seventh daughter, for that makes you an unlucky Thirteenth Child. This is the story of Eff, a child so unlucky that her parents had to move the whole family from their safe existence to the frontier when she was only five. In this story, we learn that maybe superstition is only what you believe it to be and if you just look at something differently then maybe the unlucky can become lucky. Eff grows in confidence, and does amazing things even proving that she has abilities her brother can only dream of, but she still does not shake off her feelings of inferiority.

I won’t review Across the Great Barrier and The Far West in great detail, as the continue the life of Eff as she grows into herself and becomes a young woman. I will say that what I love about this series is its slow pace. Very little happens in the way of great excitement, or rather exciting things happen, but they are rarely the focal point of the story. Instead, we get to see a brow-beaten five year old turn into a lovely, strong young woman because one person has faith in her at a time and she works hard to prove the faith warranted. There is no defining moment or major climax where she suddenly realizes that she is worthwhile. Instead, she is constantly surprised when people give her their faith. She is the ultimate example of imposter syndrome and in the end she has faith in herself and that is lovely.

Because the book is much more about the character and much less about the action, it is probably more suited for a mature and introspective reader. I would totally hand it to my current 10yo, but my 8yo probably won’t be ready for it for another five years. The Amazon reviews agree with me, ranging from love of the book to complaints about it being ‘boring.’

Mature Content/Spoiler Alert: The books are pretty pristine and true to their era except for reference to a bit of math that explains an elopement and an unchecked ego that ends in an accidental death and a lot of guilt.