Ugh, ugh ugh ugh. Where do I even start with what’s been going on the last few weeks?
So much done, so much effort put into things, so little to show you guys at the moment. Well, I suppose I should begin at the beginning.
As you probably have gathered, I’ve had a rough couple of months, with having to re-adjust my career to not include dancing at strip clubs. I embarked on going full speed ahead on camming sites like streamate and chaturbate, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and I’m still trying to find the magic combination to use both to my benefit without each one hurting the other’s business. I have discovered that I can always make consistently good money on streamate, but the downside is that I have to stop and start shows depending on whether I’m in paid chat or not.
The advantage to chaturbate is that I get a LOT more attention, but the money trickles in and I feel like more freeloaders are viewing me, which ultimately makes me wonder if it’s taking away potential dollars earned on streamate. However, chaturbate is the ideal site from which I can do LIVE BROADCASTS of my shoots as they happen, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Also, I believe you can set up private password only shows on chaturbate, which also means I can offer those shows to website members only- effectively offering webcam shows as a perk and a feature to website members. And now more than ever, I really, really, really do need more members to my site, because my numbers are nowhere near the glory days of 2006, let me tell you.
So, I had been webcamming a lot the last few months, to make up for the shortcomings of not making the extra income I got used to getting when I stripped at Satin Doll. And well, I was convinced into attending the Pennsic War this year, when my better judgement had told me that maybe I should sit it out and worry about making money. But Pennsic is an event that I have regularly done with my sister for years, and it’s a great place to express my costume making talents, and it’s sort of a vacation too. If you don’t know what this event is about, I’ve probably described it best as this: It’s a Ren Faire with 11,000+ people, lavish camping (if you do it right), and pretty much parties every night. Oh, and I guess there’s a battle going on as well, but I haven’t even seen that for years. I’ve attended like 15 of these in the last 25 years or so, ever since I was a teenager, so it’s something I’m used to doing.
I missed it last year because I was getting myself out of a financial hole, and didn’t have the money for the pre-registration when it was due, even though when the event was held, I was doing well enough to have gone. This year the opposite was true. I had the money to go when pre-reg was done, but by the time the event came around, things had gotten pretty tight, but the money for attendance had basically been spent, at which point it was merely a question of getting there and feeding myself once there. And my sister had convinced me to go, back in April, because we both had been to this event separately, and realized we had more fun there when we both had someone to fall back on to hang out with. And for those of you saying “omg Tara Emory has a sister”, well, you can stop whatever it is you’re thinking about right there. My sister is very VERY different from me- almost quite the opposite, in regards to lifestyle (I’m far, far more outgoing and exhibitionist- I won’t say that she’s a prude- it’s probably more like she’s totally normal and I’m the abnormal one).
But as siblings of course we share a bond and at events like this you can kind of fall back into childhood patterns, which people often do with families. I was actually looking forward to having a more calm, less party-ing Pennsic. Less drinking, less sex, that sort of thing. (which of course, didn’t happen, but I did keep the drinking in check, I never got sick or hung over).
But this year it was a tricky thing trying to go to this thing together as it meant leaving our rather frail and elderly mom alone in the house for a week. So we had set things up so that people were going to come by every day or so and pretty much (hopefully) things were going to be on auto-pilot and no disasters would happen. The worst thing that happened the last time we went together and left her (which was like 4 years ago) was that one of my sister’s kittens got very sick and almost died and my mom was sort of at a loss as to what to do about him. I think really she just though he was going to die and when you’re old and live on a fixed income I don’t think she saw taking him to the vet as a high priority (plus she doesn’t drive any more so she didn’t really have a way to get there). So my sister had to basically force her to take a cab to the vet and everything worked out alright but it certainly left some hesitation to leave her alone again. The next 3 Pennsics my sister and I alternated but this year we were like “fuck it, we’re going, hopefully nothing bad will happen”.
So the week leading up to Pennsic (I left July 31st) was hectic. Of course, you have a year since the last one (or in my case, 2 years, since I last went in ’13), but as it ends up happening, everything comes down to the week before, or more likely, the 2 days before you leave. I had to alter a lot of my clothes to fit my new tits, and I had a few new/altered fetish outfits that I had done specifically for parties there. And of course, you always end up not making quite as much as you’d like, and any plans or chances I had to do a shoot for my website before leaving went right out the window. Basically we had a few stupidly hot and humid days so shooting under hot lights wasn’t going to happen. And then, to make everything worse, I foolishly gave myself a UTI.
Yep. That was dumb. Remember how I said I was camming a lot? Well, I was experimenting a lot with uretrhal sounding and it was a huge hit with the webcammers but I got really sloppy in sterilizing my toys. And after an aggressive of putting things where the sun doesn’t shine, I knew something was terribly wrong. Terribly wrong.
Kids, if you’re gonna do it, boil your toys (and wisely let them cool down), or something to keep bacteria down. After a few days of very painful urination, I broke down and went into the ER/walk-in clinic a few days before leaving, and said “Give me antibiotics, I’m 110% certain I have a bladder infection”.
The ran some tests, and yes I was right, but of course inevitably they asked how exactly I knew, because if you have a penis, it’s uncommon to have a UTI unless it’s from an std, and I was like “it’s not an std, trust me”, and eventually I had to tell them what exactly I was doing there. And that I was heading for a week of camping and porta-potties and being woken by HAVE TO PEE NOW and pain in a place like that is absolute HELL and something I didn’t want to deal with. This needs to GO AWAY now, and of course, after a day of antibiotics, it did.
So yeah, maybe that was all TMI about my UTI that wasn’t and STD, but guess what? OMG you should be glad I’m not FUBAR.
The cloud of this silver lining to the story is that my hospital co-pay is probably a huge chunk of the camming income I made doing the thing that put me in the hospital in the first place. At the very least, I was admitted and prescribed them very quickly, so it wasn’t a huge hit in my busy pre-Pennsic schedule.
So I was all ready to go. I didn’t get the chance to work on my tent or finish outfits too much, but hey, I’ll just wing it. So the plan was to leave at 7am Friday morning to drive the 600 miles west to Western PA and get there while there’s still enough daylight to set up your tent and get settled. It’s NOT the sort of event you can fly to, though some people do, and leave their campsite equipment in storage every year. For us, it’s always a huge car load of stuff, because if you’re going to spend a week there, it’s good to do it up to the lap of luxury.
Thursday night was spent finishing up things as much as I could, though many of the details to my new outfit would have to wait till I was there. Once you’re there, there’s always time to kill in the afternoon, in the window of time between being too hot to be in your tent, and too dark to see what you’re doing. The weather can vary greatly at Pennsic, sometimes it rains every day, sometimes it’s far too hot, sometimes it’s just awful. The last year I went (2013), it was the most amazing weather, like sunny and low 70′s every day, which is incredibly gorgeous. This year there had been abnormally high rainfall before the event, so there was a lot of worry that sites would be swampy, but as it turns out it was dry for a while all during the event so it wasn’t a concern at all.
Anyway, Thursday I also was “required” to do some repair work on a hole in my mom’s front porch, lest she fall into that hole into oblivion. So amidst packing the car or my stuff, and my sister’s stuff, I also had to dedicate 2 hours to this. Plus it was raining, and packing a car and working on a front porch in the rain isn’t any fun.
The car was packed, and it barely held everything of ours, and was dragging really close to the ground. Any reservations I had about driving a 28 year old car with 300,000 miles on it 600 miles were pushed into the back of my mind (and as it turns out, unfounded as this is of course, a Volvo, you can’t kill them), as I went back home to try to get a few hours sleep. I was instructed to not be a minute late in arriving to pick my sister up, because well, she gets really pissed if I’m late and whatever, I don’t want this trip to start off on the wrong foot.
So, 4 hours of not quite so much sleep, and at 6:40 am I get a call from my sister. She hadn’t been feeling well the last few days and felt even worse right now, and decided that maybe it’s not such a good idea that she goes to Pennsic. Well, that was information that would’ve been useful 6 HOURS BEFORE I LOADED THE CAR ALL UP WITH BOTH OF OUR CAMPING CRAP.
Of course I was pissed. The entire reason I got convinced to go to this event is because it was something to do together. She suggested that maybe I go alone, tomorrow, but didn’t seem to suggest that she would go at all. I threw it out there that maybe once we got going and got there she’d feel better, but this event can really take a LOT out of your physically and if you’re not feeling completely up to your game, it can be hell.
I also looked at the car with 900lbs of stuff in it, and the drive back to my house after loading it up the car wasn’t happy either (the nose was sorta pointing straight up, and the whole thing was handling pretty strangely). Plus the roof rack was a stock roof rack and on the flimsy side, and add to that the assurance that if she stayed home, I wouldn’t have to worry about mom, or having to come home early if my sister got tired, so I wasn’t angry for long.
About an hour later I had all my sister’s stuff out of the car, and the load was significantly reduced, and I was on my way. Any fears about the car making it sorta evaporated after a few hundred miles. About the worst thing that happened is that the temperature gauge died, but it’s a cooling fan driven my the engine, and there was no antifreeze or water pump leaks, so henceforth it could be ignored. I’ve driven on plenty of long road trips in dodgy old jalopies, and in most cases the best way to look at it is this: “Hmm, does this car have 1200 miles of driving back and forth to the supermarket still in it? Why yes, I think it does! Then in that case it’ll do 600 miles each direction if you baby it.”
So yeah, made it, got there, set up camp. Then went into town the next day to get all the stuff that was forgotten/figured out you needed once you get there. I also picked up my Roman arch that I made for the Blue Feather encampment, and during the event, I worked a bit on it.
I pretty much ignored the outside world for a bit, though I had access to a really nifty solar powered phone charger, which is one of the many benefits to the ever improving campsite of Clan Blue Feather (thanks papa Caleb!). There’s plenty of people with store bought (mundane) tents, but there’s a whole lot of period tents and a recent outbreak of Mongolian yurts (which are very cool, ~literally~ cool, though I don’t know if I want one), and all my campmates are great and they always make me feel welcome, even though I tend to just do my own thing. I did a lot of wandering at night and though I think I was more social this year than 2 years before, I was missing what was sorta intended on going with my sister- someone to default to hanging around with, if you want to go into “pennsic town” merchanting and all that.
Of course, once my sister had the weight of not being worried about feeling sick at Pennsic, she let me know she felt a lot better, and briefly considered just throwing all her stuff in her car and following the next day. But eventually she decided she didn’t feel quite well enough and stayed home, which I guess was the best. I advised her that the best way she’d not miss Pennsic was to pick some other activity that you wouldn’t have normally done during that time, that way you aren’t kicking yourself for missing out, and you have another experience in it’s place.
So here’s my tent, which every year I say will be the last year I’m going to use it. The skin is ripstop nylon that’s now nearly 30 years old (I made it from the skin and frame of two earlier homeade tents) and is no longer “rip-stop”. In fact, it’s very brittle and very rippable. We got very lucky with not having any more rain this year than about a minute of a sprinkle, so all my work patching and waterproofing it were never put to the test.
So, outfits! What did I make, and what do I have to show you? Well, I made lots, but sadly I don’t have a heck of a lot to show you right now.
The big outfit this year was that I finished up/made progress on the Valkyrie outfit I had started years back. Years back it looked like this, just a corset, panties, collar and helmet:
But there was always going to be a LOT more to it, and like too many of my current projects, I don’t want to shoot with it until it’s really exactly where I want it to be. Before leaving for Pennsic, I managed to get a lot more pieces done, actually so many that the corset part didn’t really work with it any more. Like I think it works better with a bare belly.
My finishing up work at Pennsic itself consisted of gluing on details. It’s hard to describe what sort of material this is, It’s like a super-heavy plastic/vinyl material. It’s not impossible to sew (and I confess I jam anything I can into my poor sewing maching) but you almost have to manually spin the wheel to push the needle into the material and sort of hand-sew with a sewing machine (if that makes ANY sense). But seeing how it’s a very non-porous plasticy smooth material, it’s actually one of the few things I’ve worked on where Super Glue works wonderfully. Liquid (not gel) super glue likes it when two surfaces are extra smooth, and there is no air gaps. So this stuff glues brilliantly, though it can’t take a lot of sideways stress. So the thing to do is sew it, and then superglue another layer of gold on top, covering the stitches.
Here’s some shots of the details in progress.
Sadly, I don’t have ANY shots of me wearing this at the Blue Feather Ball at Pennsic. Even though I had made all the individual pieces beforehand, and tried them all on seperately, having all of them on at the same time clearly revealed just how freaking uncomfortable this outfit really it. It’s pretty much the same material I made the Dildroid outfit that Mandy Mitchell wore in UNS, and as filming for that went on, it was so uncomfortable for her, that alterations were made (cutting out parts that chafe) and eventually whole pieces of the outfit were taken off just for comfort’s sake.
Add to that I was wearing 7 or 8 inch heels, and had to walk about 1/4 mile on dirt road to the event from the campsite in them. And then back in the dark. So just getting my ass there was the priority, bringing a camera wasn’t, though I’m sure someone took a picture of me, and that’ll surface sooner or later. Also, any pictures shot at Pennsic would’ve been in the dark/flash/icky lighting situations which also don’t do justice to this outfit. I look forward to the eventually shoot I do in my studio in this, because what you see here really doesn’t show how cool it is.
Another main piece of garb I have is a dress that’s evolved over the years to become some sort of Russian princess of something, and it’s an outfit that’s benefitted from my recent experimentations with the bimbo look. I had to alter this one to fit my new boobs but I think it looks cool. It’s not the sort of outfit one might do a porn shoot in, so it really doesn’t get used much outside of Pennsic (though if anyone ever wants to hit King Richard’s Faire, I’m totally game).
Other outfits I tend to wear at Pennsic are little scraps of fur and general naughtyness. For a Mardi Gras party they have there, I broke out my “Carnal Carnivale” outfit and I had a fun conversation with a much younger person about it the next day. I’m guessing she was in her 20′s, but maybe she was even younger but damn, these kids don’t know anything. I described to her that I was wearing a harlequin outfit the night before, and she kept reading it as “Harley Quinn”, and I kept having to repeat that it was “a harlequin outfit”, and she didn’t seem to know that there was this whole “harlequin” thing long before Batman came around. But I digress. Kids these days don’t know anything. For some reason this reminds me of years ago reading an article about those Saturn cars and the idiot in the article seeming to think they were named after the “Saturn V rocket” that put the Apollo capsule in orbit, when it’s pretty clear anyone looking at the Saturn car logo that it’s the goddamn planet with rings which I think pre-dates the rocket by about a zillion years (though I think the Roman god pre-dates the naming of the planet). Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah, so the harlequin outfit (which was literally like “oh, this old thing I threw on?”) was a hit, and for another party, I was something of an incursion from the medival future when I wore something decidedly Rococo. I made some panniers and trimmed a padded bra to match the old “Masquerade” outfit and came up with this:
Again, I’m sorry for the shitty quality of the photos. The drawback of Pennsic is that it gets pretty hot during the day, from the moment you’re basically forced awake out of your tent by the heat (I swear sometimes you can hear the timer going off on the oven.. Bing! Dinner’s cooked!), then you spend most of the afternoon trying to beat the heat, or just enduring it. Then around 5pm it finally cools down and you have precious 2 or 3 hours of tolerable temperatures/indirect sunlight that you can work on stuff. By the time it’s getting dark is when you have a small window to do make up and get ready for whatever parties are going on that night. And by the time you’re heading out, it’s already dark. Since I didn’t take a real camera (just the iphone camera) I didn’t really get decent nighttime photos. So, shitty grainy selfies and crappy phone flash shots will have to do.
Yes, that’s a ship sewed into the Marie Antionette wig. I really really want to make a Rococo tgirl porn sooner or later.
I actually censored myself my making a panel covering my usually exposed crotch area. I dunno, I must be losing my exhibitionist touch. Either that or I’m just being more sensitive to other people’s consent issues. It’s all fine and dandy to be an exhibitionist at the right sort of events, but sometimes other people don’t quite want to see so much skin so yeah, I guess maybe I’m a bit more grown up about it. In any event, I was told after the fact that my Valkyrie outfit was barely keeping my junk tucked, but I had much bigger things to worry about that night I hardly noticed amidst all the poking and plastic biting and pinching me.
But after about a week of Pennsic, I was feeling pretty exhausted. Despite wearing a gallon of sunscreen and using parasols, it’s almost inevitable that I get a bit too much of a suntan where I really don’t want it, and all that walking in the sun wears you down, not to mention feeling overextended and strung out. The event was over by Saturday, but by Friday morning I had had enough, and my allergies were in overdrive. Plus I knew if I could get back before Saturday afternoon, I could squeeze in a few hours of webcamming before the close of the next pay period.
So I packed up camp and blew out of there by Friday evening. I made the 600 mile trek home back in a respectable 10 hours (nowhere near my record time in 2013, when I made it there in 8~ hours – yes that’s an average of 75~), immediately climbed right into bed, to wake up Saturday afternoon to squeeze in a few hours of webcamming.
Then back to bed and lots and lots of sleep between Sunday and now. And lots of cleaning because my cats really aren’t doing their part to clean up the place while I’m gone (despite many failed attempts to show them how to turn on the vacuum, I mean, how hard is it? I swear they’re just ignoring my instructions).
So now it’s Tuesday and what’s next? Well, writing this and then figuring out what’s next. That’s what’s next.
Blagh. This is how i still feel days later.
I sorta need a vacation from the vacation…