What do you do: Creative Par-tees

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Throughout my convention travels I’ve been able to meet many creative people who I am now blessed to call friends, one amazing person is Angie Trombley of Creative Par-tees, a custom screened t shirt company that she started herself. After working with Dena and Bob Somerhalder and their company Built of Barnwood at various Vampire Diaries conventions they had received various requests for custom made t shirts, Angie decided that the best route to take was do it herself.

Angie is the creative mind behind all the designs, and also creates the screens and prints the t shirts herself, she’s a wonder woman. while many may be aware of her creations focusing on fandoms, the business also covers any custom designs a business or person would wish for; including shirts for special events and charities. As a firm supporter of indie companies Creative Par-tees is one of my favorites, as Angie is at the helm and her family is along to support her, with he husbands and sometimes her kids travelling to various conventions to sell their shirts.

Screen printing according to Angie is a very physical process and in hindsight she would have likely chosen to opt for a direct to garment printer as opposed to a screen printing press. And while she finds the process of printing the shirts therapeutic she is less than a fan of the clean up.

“When it comes time to clean those screens, or reclaim them for a new design, that can be tedious.”

Some of the aforementioned fandoms that Angie has represented on her shirts include Boondocks Saints, Breaking Bad,  The Vampire Diaries and the extremely popular The Walking Deadwhich happens to be one of Angie’s favourite shows. Most commonly requested designs usually feature either Damon Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries or Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead.

“I was never a zombie person. I didn’t watch zombie movies. My husband is the one who started watching it first and said I should. The opening scene. Addy Miller as this sweet little girl, turns around and is the bunny slipper zombie and Rick shoots her in the head. I was like, nope. No thank you. But he [my husband] said I should give it a chance. They had me at Daryl Dixon. Then Carol. Then Glenn. It’s about the characters. How do we retain our humanity in a world where it’s killed it be killed? How do we develop relationships in a world where death is so prevalent? It’s the character arcs that I love. The whole cast, the writers, the directors, the crew, the make up artists, everyone involved, put their all into making this show what it is. That is why it’s so popular. I started reading the comics after I started watching the show. I enjoy that they do mix things from the comic books. It keeps comic readers on their toes just as much as the non readers.”

 

Angie’s had the opportunity to get personal reactions from the members of the various casts of shows she’s represented on shirts including the cast of The Walking Dead. She has branched out to sell her creations at the extremely popular zombie, horror and sci-fi fan conventions run by the company Walker Stalker. One of her favourite moments involves Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead, who took a photo with her daughter on his personal phone, after seeing her dressed as his character Daryl Dixon. While the celebrity reactions are always great she has also been touched by how her customers have embraced her products, including one fan who used her custom baby onesie as her pregnancy announcement.

“All of the actors that I’ve given shirts to (which is the majority of The Walking Dead cast) have been lovely people. They’re all appreciative and amicable. Lincoln A. Castellanos, who plays Tobias on Fear The Walking Dead, was so excited about my Tobias inspired design. I gave a bunch to him for his family. Brian Mahoney and David Della Rocco, from The Boondock Saints, are great guys too. David asked for my autograph. Ross Marquand (Aaron) and Michael Traynor (Nicholas) both [from The Walking Dead] posted photos of themselves on their Instagrams wearing the shirts I gave them. “

The interactions at conventions has also allowed for great opportunities, and Angie has some new designs in the works, including shirts featuring the shows Arrow and The Flash.

 “Michael Cudlitz has been amazingly supportive to me. I have a friend, who is an amazing artist, working on a design for me right now, at the request of Michael Cudlitz (Abraham on The Walking Dead) and his agent. Not so much for themselves, but for the fans. I don’t want to say too much about it until it’s launched, but it’s going to be hilarious.”

Want to get up close and personal with Creative Par-Tees?

Here is their tentative 2016 convention schedule: (dates may be added/removed)
April 9-10 Walker Stalker Convention Nashville
May 28-29 Walker Stalker Chicago
June 25-26 Walker Stalker Charlotte
July 30-31 Walker Stalker Boston
October 1-2 Walker Stalker Con Philadelphia
October 28-30 Walker Stalker Atlanta
December 3-4 Walker Stalker New Jersey

In case you can’t see them in person and you want to purchase some of Creative Par-Tees creations they are available online here. Keep up to date with all their comings and goings by following them on Twitter and ‘Liking’ them on Facebook.

B.O.B and Somerhalder Secrets: Family Affair What do you do Bob and Dena?

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Over the past 2 years I’ve had the opportunity and in many cases privilege to meet some very amazing people(many I have featured on my blog) I would like to add to this list the lovely Somerhalder family, and before you get overly excited this post has nothing to do about the most well-known member Ian(in fact this will likely be the last mention of him, sorry)
Bob and Dena Somerhalder are the charming owners of both Built of Barnwood (B.O.B for short) and the gaming app Somerhalder Secrets. The intrepid and hardworking Somerhalder’s are truly delightful and always have time for the various fans who come up for autographs and pictures at each and every convention they attend. They’ve also created a Facebook group to help fans keep up with their various con appearances. Contrary to popular belief there isn’t a huge company behind anything the are associated with, Bob actually creates each of his pieces himself, with Dena’s help of course. It’s refreshing to see that they don’t just put their name on a product or use the popularity of other family members to create sales. Bob and Dena are genuine and have created products they are proud to sell.

Built of Barnwood is based in the charming coastal town of Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Bob Somerhalder’s focus is on reclaiming, recycling, and repurposing vintage wood and building materials. Once reclaimed, the wood is handcrafted into home decor, furnishings, and design accent pieces. Bob strives for a greener, more sustainable economy. With this green desire in mind, the Somerhalders have launched a clean and sustainable business of contemporary products with a vintage flare.

Though best known for their crosses B.O.B has an array of beautiful and unique pieces including the newest addition: the autograph boards (autographs not included) which can be customized if preordered, popular with convention goers and the celebrities have also endorsed them. If interested in ordering an autograph board or for more info on them you can email Bob at bobsomerhalder@yahoo.com
Their newest creation is the gaming app Somerhalder Secrets – Raised on the Bayou which is a highly addictive tile-matching puzzle game with a twist, after you successfully complete challenges you will receive secrets about the family, and these are little known facts provided by all the Somerhalder siblings, yes including the aforementioned screen actor. This game features sea creatures commonly found in the Somerhalder’s native home of the Louisiana bayou. The app is available for purchase on the iTunes and GooglePlay stores now.
You can keep up to date with this busy couple by following them on twitter: Dena, Bob, Somerhalder App

 

GI Film Festival World Premiere of Field of Lost Shoes

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I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the opening night of the GI Film Festival and the world premiere screening of Field of Lost Shoes. The GI Film Festival is a film festival which focuses on celebrating the military experience through the medium of film. The premiere was held at the Old Town Theater in Alexandria, VA, which has just celebrated its 100th birthday.

Before the film the festival opened with welcoming speeches by the co-founders of the festival and GI Film Group: Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millet. Following the screening of Field of Lost Shoes was a Q and A session with the filmmakers and actor David Arquette. The festivities then continued on to the Torpedo Factory for the after party.

Field of Lost Shoes is based on the Battle of New Market fought in Virginia on May 15, 1864 in the American Civil War. The film is a touching coming of age story that follows the experiences of 7 young cadets from the Virginia Military Institute as they (and their school mates) are enlisted into active battle to defend the Shenandoah Valley. The film has a stellar ensemble cast including Zach Roerig, Jason Isaacs, and Tom Skeritt. 

Luke Benward plays John Wise, a governor’s son who is now a general in the South’s army. John struggles with his conflicting views over slavery and the south stance in the Civil war and his loyalty to his friends, family and defending his home. Each of the young cadets is faced with his own internal struggle against the backdrop of the impending battle, you truly feel their passions and pains as the film progresses. The love story between Mary Mouser‘s Libby and  Max Lloyd-Jones‘ Sam is a heartfelt depiction of first love in all it’s beauty and awkwardness.

The film is filled with touching moments of friendship, camaraderie, and romance. Though the subject of the film is somber the film itself is gripping without being heavy-handed, there are many moments of levity in spite of the serious subject. The beautiful southern backdrop sets the scenes and the costuming allows the audience to be transported into the past.

Field of Lost Shoes is set for theatrical release in September 2014 for more information on the film follow them on their official twitter or Facebook page. Special thanks to the wonderful people of the GI film festival, and Tara for always being up for adventure.