Once Upon a Needle

Posted on: Saturday, September 7th, 2013 by Monica Hoel
Arielle Sprinkle Brents (’04) recently attended Dragon*Con in a handmade costume that was so gorgeous that Ralph Sbarge insisted on having HIS picture made with HER!

Arielle Sprinkle Brents (’04) recently attended Dragon*Con in a handmade costume that was so gorgeous that Ralph Sbarge insisted on having HIS picture made with HER!

For readers who may not understand this significance of this event, allow us to break it down for you.

Ralph Sbarge is one of the stars of ABC’s fairytale fan-favorite, Once Upon A Time. Mr. Sbarge plays the human incarnation of Jiminy Cricket who routinely interacts with the non-cartoon version of Snow White, the Evil Queen, and Rumpelstiltskin.

Dragon*Con is a huge convention held in Atlanta that celebrates comics, pop culture and cult favorites. Many celebrities attend to sign autographs, pose for photos, and sit on panels to answer questions. Those who attend are serious fans and typically dress as super heroes, villains, comic book figures, and fairy tale favorites.

Arielle is a realtor in Kingsport, Tennessee, whose mom taught her how to sew when she was just a kid. She worries that sewing is a dying art, and agrees that making pillows and rompers can get old. Fast. However, making elaborate costumes that mimic favorite book and movie and television characters is really exciting.

So, Arielle put together a Snow White costume for this year’s Dragon*Con   that was so splendid, that when she passed on the chance to have her photo made with Mr. Sbarge, HE called HER over and insisted that she pose with him for a photo.

And Arielle says he wasn’t the only one to take notice of her finery. “Kristine Sutherland [who starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer] called me over to tell me I looked beautiful. I walked out of there on Cloud 9!”

In fact, Arielle’s costume creations are so impressive they also caught the attention of CNN. The worldwide news organization asked for photos of some of the costumes headed to Dragon*Con, and they loved Arielle’s work so much they asked her to be part of their professional photo shoot. Their suggested theme was a steampunk version of “Rule 63” (Internet Rule 63 asserts that every fictional character has an opposite-gender counterpart). So her creations reflect the steampunk female versions of Sam and Dean from Supernatural.

If all this sort of thing is a new concept for you, you may want to do a little research, starting with Arielle’s blog. You can find it at www.mynerdobsessions.com and there you’ll find photos of her amazing creations and read her insights into books, movies and television shows. The blog is currently getting around 600 views per week.

Arielle is actually hoping to parlay this passionate hobby of costume design into something more like a career, and is looking to teach workshops and classes in creating costumes and accessories. It’s not the cheapest of hobbies, after all, so finding a bit of income from her talent would go a long way toward supporting her habit.

She does, however, have two eager wardrobe models at home who love the chance to play dress up. Her kids, Gillian (3) and Langley (6), love getting in on the act, and Langley has gone with Arielle to Dragon*Con for two years.  He gets to wear a costume, too, but Arielle says initially he wasn’t crazy about her choice for his outfit. “He really wanted to be an Army man. But when we got there and little girls lined up to have their pictures made with this handsome little Prince Charming…he suddenly seemed to like my decision!”

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