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Cactus Needles Back Issues


Cactus Needles has been the official newsletter of the Southwest Costumers Guild since 1994.

Here are all of the issues as Adobe Acrobat .pdf files. Feature articles are noted.

Click the link to view the issue or right-click to download the file to your computer.

The first five volumes are contained in one file each. Since these files are quite large, it will probably work best to download them before opening.

24.10 October 2017
Eulogy for SWCG founder Patti Cook. Interesting purchases at WesterCon 70.
Photos from Baroness Dalla's Viking Apron Dress tutorial.

24.09 September 2017
Oh what a tangled web we weave when we try to get yarn from Sharan's knitting sleeve.
More pix from Westercon 70 masquerade. Tasha schools to be a mermaid. (or is it pods?)
"Costume Trek" is Nola's costuming Youtube channel.

24.08 August 2017
Tasha's pictures from Mongolia.

24.07 July 2017
Shiny silver pix from WesterCon71 and Moscow's Central Museum of the Great Patriot War. Cosplay information for the upcoming LibCon West.

24.06 June 2017
Pix from our spray makeup and lighted costume meetings.

24.05 May 2017
Baroness Dalla demonstrates Viking garb.

24.04 April 2017
ICG Press announced.

24.03 March 2017
Pix from Sharan's loom-knitted hat demo, Paula's family, Estrella War.

24.02 February 2017
SWCG at Tempe Library ComiCon. Tasha tells us about Matadors and the "Suit of Lights."

24.01 January 2017
Hands on with the Wardrobe Supervisor by Pat Swope.

23.12 December 2016
Some pictures from LibCon West at Glendale Public Library. Diane Harris remembered.

23.11 November 2016
A few pix from Halloween and Tasha's visit to Spain.

23.10 October 2016
Sharan demonstrates hair braiding. Informal pix from Fort Bliss.

23.09 September 2016
Larry demonstrates sewing machine maintenance.

23.08 August 2016
Paula's hair wreaths. Pic from LepreCon 2016 masquerade. Prescription dive mask.

23.07 July 2016
Link to images of 14th Century statuary at the Church of San Fermo Maggiore in Verona, Italy. Folded Business Card Display Stand. The Evil Hanger (reverse-engineer that hanger from "Raiders.")

23.06  June 2016
Link to Clare Danes illuminated gown. Intro to LibCon West.

23.05  May 2016
Flying Spaghetti Monster mash-up mask. Advice from 1949 sewing machine manual. Follow-up information from boot moccasin talk, Huntsman: The Winter War review.

23.04  April 2016
Tasha reviews Barony of Twin Moons' Mideast Drum & Dance Symposium with pictures.

23.03  March 2016
News (with photos) from your Estrella War correspondent. "Gods of Egypt" movie review. Pix from Mardi Gras social.

23.02  February 2016
Tasha's first issue as editor. SWCG at Tempe Public Library ComiCon.

23.01 January 2016
Remembering this year's holiday dinner. Randall retires from newsletter editor job.

22.12 December 2015
Tasha presents "No Sew Costumes" at Tempe Library, with lecture notes. Robin's TusCon costume. Make a Dive Skin. Get ready for the holiday potluck.

22.11 November 2015
Randall presents "Capes by Chalk and Line" at Tempe Library, with lecture notes. Tasha's Viking Shoes pictures. Wedding picture.

22.10 October 2015
Frances presents "From Concept to Pattern" at Tempe Library, with lecture notes. New bookmark flyer.

22.09 September 2015
Welcome L.A.C.E., the new ICG chapter for southern Arizona.

22.08 August 2015
Arizona CosFest reviewed with many pictures.

22.07 July 2015
Jean's satin costume at LepreCon. Randall's 1864 ancestor.

22.06 June 2015
Costume-Con 33 Reviewed. "Flat Stanley" visits Arizona.

22.05 May 2015
Silver satin project begins. Houppelande wraparound revisited.

22.04 April 2015
Brainstorming the silver satin project

22.03 March 2015
Medieval Irish shoes photos

22.02 February 2015

Make a kitty bed


22.01 January 2015

Julie’s Quilt Shop, Hill Street Mall and other Globe/Miami Highlights


21.12 December 2014
Steampunk moves to Sky Harbor

21.11 November 2014
Scuba diving costume

21.10 October 2014
A simple phone pouch pattern

21.09 September 2014
Farewell to a feline friend.

21.08 August 2014
Local theatre companies reviewed.

21.07 July 2014
Nola featured in Desert Shamrock. Elaine explains the CC33 quilt contest.

21.06 June 2014
Photo from LepreCon masquerade. A Giant Tiki Head of My Own. $2 Fabric Store returns.

21.05 May 2014
Hollywood Costume exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum reviewed.

21.04 April 2014
Victorian tea at Tasha's.

21.03 March 2014
Learn to make vambraces. Meet VP Mahala. Leather classes at local shops.

21.02 February 2014
Davy Jones' Locker. Pix from DarkCon Steampunk Masquerade. New officer slate.

21.01 January 2014
Paula reviews the Chandler Light Parade

20.12 December 2013
Help Nola's video project. Pix from Steampunk: An Exquisite Adventure. Jean is moving. Poppy Dog passes. Yahoo Groups explained. Picture from TusCon Masquerade.

20.11 November 2013
Pictures from The Browncoat Ball. Field trip to the AZ State Fair and Star Trek: The Exhibit

20.10 October 2013
Upcoming winter events in Globe. Pix from Phoenix Art Museum cape exhibit. What's a Rash Guard? Local fabric and craft shop reviews.

20.09 September 2013
Many internet links.

20.08 August 2013
Marty Gear remembered. Crocodile Hat. Dalek Cupcakes. Robin's "Magenta" costume.

20.07 July 2013
Literature Display Display Banner. Much Ado About Nothing review. In Stitches Fine Fabrics store review.

20.06 June 2013
Robin's lacy masks. Elaine reviews Costume-Con 31. Randall reviews Funtasma Captain's Boots. How to make a display stand for bookmark flyers.

20.05 May 2013
Ninety Degrees of Robin Hood (hat pattern). Animal Hats Workshop.

20.04 April 2013
Pix from Wild Wild West Con 2. David's review of Digital Print Fashion exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum. Cathie's Trailer Trash Tour in Globe.

20.03 March 2013
Pix from Estrella War and Fez workshop.

20.02 February 2013
Reprint of "Fezzes Are Cool."

20.01 January 2013
Crochet a "Jayne Hat" from Firefly. Antique Apples.

19.12 December 2012
Ruffler's Roost store review, Holster workshop pictures

19.11 November 2012
So, How was your Halloween?  Free e-books from the Met.

19.10 October 2012
Nola in Grand Canyon University magazine! Duct Tape Dummies from 1914, Monster Pincushion pattern

19.9 September 2012
CopperCon 32 Masquerade review, Headphone mod using fast food packaging

19.8 August 2012
Plans for CopperCon 32 Masquerade, Nyki's T-Tunic

19.7 July 2012
Over the Hanger Accessory Bag Workshop

19.6 June 2012
Reflections on Costume-Con 30 with masquerade winner lists and photo links

19.5 May 2012
Beetle Boot Jack

19.4 April 2012
Randwulf's One-Snap Tool Strap

19.3 March 2012
Nyki & Blaine's wedding photo, Top Hat Fascinator Workshop

19.2 February 2012
New Officers, Lifetime Achievement Award nominations open

19.1 January 2012
Wonderflex, What's a Costume-Con?

18.12 December 2011
Silk Painting Workshop pictures, Dorito Gown picture, Phoenix Fireland Faerie Festival pictures, Victorian Fantasy Fashion Show pictures, Farewell to Evermore Nevermore

18.11 November 2011
Robin's Tophat pattern pictures, Halloween pictures

18.10 October 2011
Steampunk Tophat Fascinator Hat Pattern, Preview of Silk Painting Workshop, AZ Centennial Quilt Revealed, CopperCon Costume Show reviewed, Make your own pre-loaded coffee filters for camping, local haunted house attractions for Halloween

18.9 September 2011
New Bookmark Flyer, Sister Organizations proposed standing rule, CopperCon Masquerade group picture, Fabric World new location, Mike's Renovation (WorldCon) pictures

18.8 August 2011
CopperCon Costume Show Preview, Second North American Discworld Convention reviewed, Duffel Bag pattern

18.7 July 2011
Sash Bag first results, Invitation from Heatsynch Labs

18.6 June 2011
ICG Gallery offers Photo Display space to chapters

18.5 May 2011
Michael Holland's pewter Dinosaur Skull pins, Mesa Second Friday Steampunk street fair reviewed, Make a Belly Dance Hip Scarf/Belt

18.4 April 2011
Pix from Festival of the West, Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention reviewed

18.3 March 2011
Guild Sash Bag Project begins, Winter Range group photo

18.2 February 2011
Joe's Farm Grill restaurant review, Lovecraftian pillow picture, Merry Merchant Musketeer (cloak/change apron), Stage Ninjas are the Real Ninjas!

18.1 January 2011
Dillinger Days at the Hotel Congress in Tucson

17.12 December 2010
Mini-Time Machine Miniatures Museum reviewed, TusCon pictures, One-Hour Hat workshop picture

17.11 November 2010
Pix from Plastic Painting workshop, Construction Site Costuming

17.10 October 2010
Materials and Advice for Plastic Painting workshop, Membership Cards, Prescott Western Heritage Days reviewed, Fezzes are Cool! (with pattern), Man-Bra?

17.9 September 2010
Jewish History Museum reviewed, iPod Origami (fold a display stand from cardboard), Pool party pix, Bits and Pieces from Costume College

17.8 August 2010
Confirmation (Pasadena WesterCon) reviewed, Vintage Clothing Fashion Show at Matilda's Closet, Save Your Sole (hint for comfy historical faire shoes), Grand Canyon Renaissance Faire and Medieval Mayhem reviewed, Begin The Biggin (medieval skullcap pattern), Trek-Themed Wedding, Grand Canyon University Costume Shop Rebuild

17.7 July 2010
Stand for Duct Tape Dummy (reprint), Steampunk Style Jewelry book review, The Function of the Masquerade Repair Table

17.6 June 2010
Duct tape sock and boot pattern, Review of the new Musical Instrument Museum, SWCG Incorporation announcement, Costume-Con 28 review, Pix from Apache-Style Beading Workshop, Fry Bread Recipe, Phoenix ComiCon reviewed

17.5 May 2010
A Bolt from the Past (Reviewing SWCG's first newsletter from 1987), Lep 36 stage plan, Meeting minutes become a regular column

17.4 April 2010
Duane & Kathryn Elms Museum Exhibit, Photo EZ Stencil reprint, LepreCon 36 Masq Preview, New Jester Cap pattern

17.3 March 2010
Remembering Nancy Webber, Renfair  & Estrella War pix

17.2 February 2010
SWCG to host Costume-Con 30 - Elaine is Chair, Skullduggery (skullcap patterns), Costumer' Guide to the 20th Street/Camelback Neighborhood, Pix from DarkCon

17.1 January 2010
Steampunk 101: Get Schooled, We Came We Saw We Glittered

16.12 December 2009
Chemistry: A Love Story, Pictures from AZ State Fair and Clown Makeup Demo

16.11 November 2009
Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios Halloween event reviewed, Yipe! is a new online costume magazine!, Cherry Frequency store review (now closed), inexpensive chef jacket as base for costume?

16.10 October 2009
Fantasy Fete Fantastique reviewed, The Pause (restarted), Kayak Rack, Water Jug Cover

16.9 September 2009
North American Discworld Convention Maskerade reviewed, A Quick Rolled Hem, Molas - A Turista in Panama

16.8 August 2009
Bead Crown Demo, Review of Bead, Steampunk classes

16.7 July 2009
Boots, Glorious Boots, FiestaCon photos

16.6 June 2009 "Cone Heads" - Wizards, Hennins and other conical hat patterns

16.5 May 2009
So Your Want to be a Cowboy/Cowgirl, "Silent Hill" photos from AniZona, Barbecue Mixer, Destination Libation photo, Swine Flu cartoon

16.4 April 2009
Care and Feeding of Cowboy Boots, Corset Workshop Handout, Sarge remembered, Festival of the West, Renfaire pictures

16.3 March 2009
Winter Range reviewed, Airbrushing demo

16.2 February 2009
Edouard Mesert remembered, Karnak turban photo, Phoenix ComiCon reviewed

16.1 January 2009
Freeway the "Cat Burglar" remembered, Zoolights pictures

15.12 December 2008
KikiCon and Maui Wowie Dance reviews, Forrest J. Ackerman remembered, Faerie Festival reviewed, Yule-Gi-Oh cartoon Christmas card

15.11 November 2008
Domino Delivered in Less than 30 Minutes (quick mask pattern), Electric Renfaire Camp Light, More on Cell Phone Covers, Steam Punkin photo

15.10 October 2008 
Conjecture 2008 reviewed, How do you Sell Your Cell (cell phone cover contest)

15.9 September 2008
Some basic advice on Costume Design, CopperCon 28 Masquerade reviewed

15.8 August 2008
Devention Masquerade reviewed, Gothic Lolita patterns reviewed

15.7 July 2008
Stage Plan for CopperCon 28 Masquerade, WesterCon Masquerade reviewed, Renfaire tent lighting system, Guildsters at West Valley Art Museum

15.6 June 2008
The Halfling Pavilion (medieval pup tent disguise), First Saboten-Con reviewed

15.5 May 2008
Pictures from "Steampunk for Dummies" roundtable, Sunacosu first meeting, Living Libraries and Living Jewelry web reviews

15.4 April 2008
Stargate Arizona photo cartoon, Photo EZ Stencil silkscreening technique

15.3 March 2008
Two-For-One Cape pattern

15.2 February 2008
Exploring Steampunk

15.1 January 2008
The Steampunk Workshop web site reviewed, Firefly Costuming Part 2, Photos from TusCon 2007

14.6 June 2007
Dealing with Mal-Wear (more Firefly/Serenity costuming), Renaissance, Pirates Fairies book reviewed, India in Illinois photos

14.4 April 2007
SewStylish magazine reviewed, The Pavilion Book reviewed

14.3 March 2007

14.1 January 2007
Easy Cutting Table, Randwulf's Swag Bag (collapsible backpack)

13.12 December 2006
Costume College class notes part two, Western repro eyeglasses, Full-Size Belt Pouch Pattern

13.11 November 2006
Costume College 2006 classes reviewed, Frank McShane remembered

13.10 October 2006
Adventures with Captain Tightpants (Costuming for Firefly and Serenity), New banner, Propeller Beanie Cartoon

13.9 September 2006
Costume College 2006 reviewed, Los Angeles Opera Company tour, new Cabela's store reviewed, The Complete Fashion Sourcebook reviewed, CopperCon 26 reviewed

13.8 August 2006
 Belly Dance Shoppe reviewed, Preview & Rules for CopperCon Masquerade, Facing Jeopardy!, More pix from Devonshire Luncheon

13.7 July 2006
The 42-Year-Old Costume-Con Virgin, You Know You're at Costume-Con When. . . . , Tour of the Iowa Amana Colonies historic woolen mill

13.6 June 2006
The Science of the Round Hat, Ice Cream in 1890, LepreCon costume events reviewed, Consider a Cooler Cover

13.5 May 2006
Pix from Devonshire Luncheon, Sockulator sock knitting software reviewed, Bottle yarn dispenser trick, Pom Pom Makers, AniZona 2 reviewed

13.4 April 2006
A History of the Parasol, Language of the Fan, Glove References

13.3 March 2006
Estrella War 2006 reviewed, The Cadys do February, Hobbyist's Paradise web site reviewed, Resources for Glove Making

13.2 February 2006
Choosing a Pattern Size for a Woman's Garment, How to Find the Bra Size You Should be Wearing, Glendale Glitters and Glows reviewed, Spectacles Through the Ages reviewed, Parasols are Period! , Diane Ribbon & Notion Company reviewed

13.1 January 2006
"Of Kilts and Yardage" online article reviewed, Working with Silk Taffeta, Beads: Vintage vs Contemporary, Get Medieval on Your Popup (altering a modern tent for medieval/renaissance events)

12.12 December 2005
Mike's Photo Art (artfully doctored costume photos), Antiquing Silks with Bleach

12.11 November 2005
The Pause (Make your costume presentation more friendly to photographers), Truly Victorian French Vest Bodice pattern reviewed

12.10 October 2005
CopperCon 25 Masquerade Wrapup, The Jedi Belt Project, Barry Bard remembered

12.9 September 2005
Swap 'til You Drop, We Make History reenactment group reviewed

12.8 August 2005
Remembering Ray Gish, Propeller Beanie cartoons, Pix from July photo shoot, A Visit to the Pendleton Woolen Mills

12.7 July 2005
 Houpellande Wraparound

12.6 June 2005
Cosplay Cosplay Revolution one-day convention reviewed, Thrift Store Costuming, The Finished Costume: How to Accessorize for the Complete Look, Valley of the Moon: Tucson's Historic Fantasy Land, LepreCon masquerade review

12.5 May 2005

12.4 April 2005
Lessons I Learned from Sewing, First AniZona Anime convention reviewed, 5th Texas civil war reenactors

12.3 March 2005
Optimo Custom Hat Works reviewed, Hat Stretcher, Stretch Glove pattern reviewed, Duct Tape Dummies, Stand for Duct Tape Dummy, Cosplay Comes to Arizona -- Cosplay: The Illegitmate Child of SF Masquerades, Costuming a World Apart: Cosplay in America and Japan

12.2 February 2005
Rayon Thread

12.1 January 2005
Carry On at Conventions

11.12 December 2004
Store reviews of Woodcraft, Bead World, Paint-On Pottery, 1865 family photo, Flyers and business cards

11.11 November 2004
WorldCon masquerade reviewed

11.10 October 2004
Coppercon 24 Masquerade reviewed, Some Thoughts on Hall Costumes, Family Halloween party photo from 1890

11.9 September 2004 
Wild West Mercantile moves to Mesa, Build a garment rack from swap meet parts, "35th Avenue Fabric" store review, Online wig supplier review

11.8 August 2004
Chemise supply list

11.7 July 2004
WesterCon 57 Masq winners, Open letter from Carlos, "Knit One Felt Two," "Felted Knits" book reviews, A2Z Beads & Sportsman's Warehouse store reviews, Family cane photo

11.6 June 2004
 Kim & Rick wedding, Pirate Soft Wear, "419" e-mail scams hit the costuming community

11.5 May 2004
Egypt part 2, Needles & Pins (bowling)

11.4 April 2004 
Tasha & Chuck in Egypt

11.3 March 2004
Materials list for buckram hats, "Bead Box" store review

11.2 February 2004
Nehru jackets, pix of Galadriel and Captain Jack costumes

11.1 January 2004
April Rice remembered, Brass Etching, Dickens Night revisited

10.12 December 2003
Remembering Cris Martin and Jim Cryer, Tights: The Tree Method, Materials list for parasol covering

10.11 November 2003
Mexico fabric trip, Duct tape dummies, Remembering Diane Elliot, Expanded "Dryer Trick"

10.10 October 2003
Middle eastern dance belt pattern, Jester Cap Pattern

10.9 September 2003
Mask Making, Costume College 03 reviewed, CopperCon 23 Masquerade reviewed, H&R Sales store review

10.8 August 2003

10.7 July 2003

10.6 June 2003
Face Painting and Costuming, Renaissance in the Pines reviewed

10.5 May 2003
Intro to Southwest Legends Gunfighters performing group

10.4 April 2003 
Tongue-in-cheek April issue - "Love's Savage Bindings," Battle of Picacho Peak reviewed, "We are Not Amused Sir Guillaume" book review

10.3 March 2003
Introduction to Battle of Picacho Peak civil war reenactment, Kids and Costumes, Dark Fantasy costumes


10.2 February 2003
Introduction to "Winter Range" and "Festival of the West," The Dryer Trick (laundry technique for dryclean-only items)

10.1 January 2003
The Versatile A-Line Robe

9.12 December 2002

9.11 November 2002
Some Thoughts on Hall Costumes

9.10 October 2002

9.9 September 2002

9.8 August 2002

9.7 July 2002

9.6 June 2002

9.5 May 2002
Randwulf's Quick & Dirty Shopping Bag

9.4 April 2002

9.3 March 2002
Review of "Fine Machine Sewing" book

9.2 February 2002
Reviews of Milieux.com web site and "Crafting Handmade Shoes" book

9.1 January 2002

8.12 December 2001

8.11 November 2001
Store Review - Wild West Mercantile (store moved to Mesa after review was written)

8.10 October 2001

8.9 September 2001

8.8 August 2001

8.7 July 2001

8.6 June 2001

8.5 May 2001
Quick middle eastern fantasy skirts

8.4 April 2001
Tips for making hoops

8.3 March 2001

8.2 February 2001

8.1 January 2001

7.12 December 2000

7.11 November 2000

7.10 October 2000

7.9 September 2000

7.8 August 2000
Hints for masquerade entrants

7.7 July 2000

7.6 June 2000

7.5 May 2000

7.4 April 2000

7.3 March 2000

7.2 February 2000

7.1 January 2000

6.12 December 1999

6.11 November 1999

6.10 October 1999
CopperCon 19 Masquerade post-mortem

6.9 September 1999

6.8 August 1999
Cape Cutting: The Mark of Zorro

6.7 July 1999
Costume Project Phases or Evolution of a Costume

6.6 June 1999
Advice to costuming newbies

6.5 May 1999

6.4 April 1999
Laundry Trick - make felted wool

6.3 March 1999

6.2 February 1999

6.1 January 1999
Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

Volume 5 1998
Official Guild Cloak Pattern reprinted, Cloaks Provide a Dramatic Costume Accessory

Volume 4 1997
War!,The Official Guild Cloak Pattern, Quick Tip on Shoes, Victorian Beaded Hat Pin Workshop, Kumi Himo Braid Workshop, Silk Ribbon Emroidery Workshop, Hall Costumes and Atmosphere

Volume 3 1996
Victorian Corsets workshop reviewed, Working with Stretch and Metallic Thread, Some Hints on Trains, Ribbon Embroidery at the Quilt Club, Sewing with Glued-On Sequin Fabric, Scalloped Ruffle, Short Button History, Gores, You May Be a Costumer If, Costumes for Fun & Profit, Estrella War, The Fang Master, Working with Feathers, Get On With It (costume presentation), The Business of Costuming, Beads & Buckskin, Quick Alterations for Rounded Shoulders, The Adrian Empire

Volume 2 1995
Silk Dyeing and Undyeing, Costuming by Simplicity (pattern buying guide), Suggestions for Better Masquerades, Victorian Bathing Costume, Keep it Simple (3-part article on lighting and sound for stage costume presentations), 12-Step Program for Beginning Costumers, Making Beaded Appliques, Proper Care of Weapons, Sewing Through the Ages (inventions timeline 1100-1992), Disneyland Costume Shop Tour, Hunting Costumes.

Volume 1 1994
Randwulf's Quick & Dirty Cavalier Gloves, Making Tassels, Slipping Shoulders Solved, Costume Accessories of the Sharp Pointy Kind (knife and sword etiquette)