Thursday, July 7, 2011

Otakon Progress... Small but Mighty?

Oh man... I've done very little to prepare for Otakon. I've been so busy! I can't believe it's this month! Here is the small progress I have made as broken up by costume. I'm taking a light load this year since I'll be working in the dealer's room all weekend. I have to be comfortable! I think I'm most excited about the Ranma 1/2 group, it's such a classic anime and one of the ones that got me into anime. Also excited about Faris and the pictures at the harbor I'll get!

Friday Morning/ Dealer's Room Hours: Ukyo- Ranma 1/2
  • Have:Wig, pants, shoes, spatula
  • Need: Fabric for top, accessories
Friday Evening: Faris- Final Fantasy V, Amano Concept Art
  • Have: All fabric for jacket, shirt, and skirt, boots, pants, wig
  • Need: time to make it
Saturday: Sophitia- Soul Calibur IV
  • Have: The costume done
  • Need: to fix boots so I won't have an allergic reaction again
Saturday Evening: Lottie- Princess and the Frog
  • Have: fabric, hair/wig
  • Need: pattern to arrive
Yeah... this is about all the documented progress I have... next week I'll do more, promise.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animazement 2011

So here it is folks: my convention report for Animazement 2011! Dun dun dun. I'll include pretty pictures to entice you to read this.

This AZ was the first ever that I didn't have to plan a road trip as well as everything for the convention. Living in the same town as the con you're going to also proved really handy... more on that later. Basically I sat around my house on Thursday until my friends let me know they were arriving and then I drove over with my roommate. I met up with Marci first thing because she was storing one of my costumes in her room since I wouldn't be getting my room until Friday. Then I headed over to Bish and Natalie's room so we could have a skit costume try on party. Due to unforeseen set backs Natalie didn't finish her costume for our skit but I had three Amano inspired Final Fantasy costumes so the day was saved! So I basically taught the girls how Celes and Lenna are worn and then skipped off in Celes to the bar with everyone. No drinking for me however since my debit card information was stolen... >.> Great timing guys. Nothing was taken from my account but they turned my card off. Blerg. After chilling for a while with Nat, Bish and their husbands I ran off to meet Sonja and Marci for a photoshoot!

Sonja takes lovely photos! It was alot of fun to do a shoot with Marci too, usually I'm taking photos of her!

After the shoot Michael made it to Convention and I changed ever so classily in the parking deck then we stood in the long pre-reg pick up line! I was lucky that Corey held a spot for me because she already had her badge. I heard some people waited 2 hours! I think I waited 30 minutes and they were grand minutes of catch up with friends.

After getting our badges several of us walked over to the Flying Saucer to start the party! We got the back room again! I met some new people, had lovely moments with old friends and made Natalie escort me to the bathroom several times... Flying Saucer on Thursday of Con is really my favorite tradition about Animazement. After sufficient drinking and catching up Michael drove Corey and I home.

Friday: Started by day at 6:40 am...oh dear. I got into makeup and then Michael drove Corey and I back to con where I yet again changed in the parking deck like a classy broad. I had intended to change at home but forgot several important aspects of wearing my costume in the car. Corey and I then ate a lovely pop tart breakfast in front of the convention center before heading up to Marci's room where I finished my makeup and left my box with her.

Then basically I wondered around convention alot, I took very little photos I'm a failure. I did a photoshoot with Jayce...

I was talked into trying my luck for Cosplay Chess, I also entered Rydia in Craftmanship with Ellie as my amazing Rosa. We didn't win anything but it was alot of fun to talk about our costumes. Shortly after I went back to my room (that we finally had!) to change into clothing of Lindz's so I could brave the rain and get my stuff from my car. I made good friends with the parking deck attendant that let me move my car and not pay upon reentry! I then decided I couldn't wait any longer to wear Sophitia!

But then I discovered I left her dress at home... Good thing I live 15 minutes away!! It pains me to leave the convention center during the con but at least it was only a 30 minute detour from the fun. I got back in time to change and catch some of Karaoke. People really seemed to love my Sophitia costume and that made me happy!

I ended my Friday with some Anime Hell before I got too cold and decided to head up to the room for the night. Lindz and Amy had the same idea and we cuddled on the bed watching TLC and fell asleep.

Woke up early and got into Sophitia then ran with hash browns in hand to the mandatory cosplay meeting. So thrilling right? :-p

But it wouldn't be Animazement for me without participating in skits. I then met up with the rest of my Soul Calibur posse (Cosplay Mob FTW). Dee, Sonja, Regena and I did a shoot with Jayce and I absolutely cannot wait to see those photos!!

I took one of Sonja! I think cosplaying with those ladies is my new favorite (other than my Pirates of course!) I had alot of fun and I LOVE my costume. I'm excited to wear it again for Otakon.

Sadly my Sophitia time was cut short when I had to change back into Rydia because I was accepted into Cosplay Chess. Cosplay Chess however was a ton of fun! I was a Pawn and I was on the side of the board that got very little action but I got to hang with Courtney, my new Scott Pilgrim buddy Matthew, and I got to heckle Angel who was on the other side of the board as me.

I got to take out another pawn and in the end I met my demise at the hand of Marci as Black Rock Shooter. So really, it was a great way to go! :-p

After Chess I ran and got food and then back for Masquerade! Our skit was short, sweet and pretty clever. Most of all it was fun to be in. I was a bit disappointed that they divided us into categories for the contest and then didn't divide for awards so there were less awards. But Pippin's skit with End of Forever won as they should have! It was amazing. After all of this my poor eating habits throughout the day caught up with me and my blood sugar crashed hard. I ended up missing the dance and playing Catan with Bish. Instead I packed up everything except my Sunday costume and Michael drove me home because he's the best.

Sunday: I came back to the hotel and changed into Psyduck! This costume was alot of fun to wear! I usually never dress up on Sunday but I'm glad I did. I got to say my sad goodbyes and scour the dealers room dressed as my favorite Pokemon! I also made an appearance at the Pokemon shoot.
Kristina Wheeler got this shot of me and I love it! I feel pretty.

After the shoot we enjoyed sno cones and decided it was time to go. But my fun day was not over! We had Bish and Mike over to our new place and then we met up with Lina, Scott, and Roger for dinner at Orchid! All you can eat SUSHI! It was amazing as always. Then we had dessert at Yogurt Mountain.

Overall this convention was as expected from Animazement and I am only dissapointed in myself for not taking better care of my blood sugar and missing out on Saturday night. I had a great time seeing friends, meeting new ones, and cosplaying of course! I can't wait till the next con... OTAKON!

Swag: Domo Purse, Domo Magnet (from Bishie), Dice Set (from Michael)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Apartment = NEW STUDIO

So some exciting announcements Blog readers! I just moved into my brand new apartment! I am typing this in my garage while I wait on paint to dry on Sophitia's Sword and Shoe pieces. This garage is the most amazing studio space! I've never had a place to keep all of my cosplay supplied before and a place to easily work on a multitude of different media. I can easily shift from sewing to props now! And the best part? I can keep my mess in one place!

Because of moving craziness I've been lazy about posting. But I have been working! I've been modeling as well! Check out these teasers from the Super Girl and Celes shoot!
Another excellent item of note: yesterday I was featured on the Game Informer Cos Blog! I'm feeling pretty excellent about that.

Sorry for no progress pics this time! Not entirely sure where my camera has gone with all the moving madness. Animazement is in one week though!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sophitia's Accessories

Got alot of work done today, mostly the painting of Sophitia Accessories, which put Sophitia at almost done!

Just a teaser for now, these are the arm bands which are craft foam heated and molded over Mason jars so they'll fit on my arms right. Then painted with hammered silver spray paint, blue acrylic, and puff paint. The jewel was found at Michael's in the flower arranging section. I then covered the whole thing with a clear gloss.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sophitia's Shield

I know I haven't posted much progress but I have been making some. I actually finished a whole costume and wore it!

Here's a terrible picture for your enjoyment:

I'm of course on the left as Celes Chere, Amano styled. I brilliantly forgot my arm bands on this occasion but they are done. I'm wearing her to Animazement of course and even though she was a last minute weekend cosplay that was not at all planned. I might even be wearing her in our skit this year! Whoa now.

In other cosplay news I'm FINALLY making headway to finish Sophitia. Here's her most excellent shield.

Now everyone that knows me knows I am not a prop master. I tend to avoid costumes with props. I did have to enlist my family for this one. I needed the help, her costume just started intimidating me with all it's armor pieces and props. So my mommy came to my rescue! Have I mentioned she's the best Cosplay Mommy ever? (Which I am making the equivalent to 'Stage Mom' just not as scary). This beauty is thin plywood with spray insulation foam sprayed on top then cut to shape. We then stretched white craft foam using heat over the concoction. Mum left me to pain the shield. I used silver hammered spray paint for all the silver bits. The blue was a mixture of flat and metallic acrylic paint. The gold was painted with standard yellow gold spray paint then on top with gold metallic spray paint. Valspar makes the best stuff, it has glitter in it! I then covered the whole thing with a clear gloss.

Next up is... everything else. >.<

Monday, April 18, 2011

Celes Chere- Amano Version

I was so ahead of schedule on costumes I added a new one. Yeah, I know I'm crazy. But I found that I had everything to make it after finding some amazing sale gold brocade.

I have an obsession with brocades and patterns. I love adding just a little more detail to my costumes with fabric.

I used some of the five yards of yellow gold jersey knit I had for Psyduck and made pants and lined the vest made from the brocade. The corset is something I had in my closet and the pink belt is made from the obi of the kimono I cut up for Rydia. Recycling!

There are so many details I've added since taking this picture, including EXCELLENT boots, bias tape around the vest and others... But you'll have to wait to see the final result!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can I Get a "HELL YEAH?!"

So I finally got off my beautiful ass and made the central piece to the entire Rydia costume.

I used a Green Pepper pattern for figure skating costumes. The leotard pattern was in two pieces but I elected not to do that and butchered the pattern to my own desires. I used olive green jersey knit which is soft and glorious!

It turned out to be alot simpler than I had in my head. Thank goodness. That is one more costume mountain made into a molehill. It fits perfectly with no adjustments. I elected not to finish the edges because the fabric won't unravel and I feel like it would look clunky with finished edges.

The straps are brought together with a gold metal wire star with jewels on either sides. The capes are also attached at the shoulder.

The gold sash was a cop out. I was going to use the same fabric I used for Lenna's sash and then realized I can't two costumes at the same time, and Katherine won't be wearing Lenna at AZ after all so I borrowed it from Lenna.

As for the capes... they're probably my favorite aspect of the costume. I used 30 yards of wired Christmas ribbon I got on sale after New Years. The base fabric is a light green crinkle fabric that is light weight and sheer. It's close to the white most people elect to use while doing this costume but without the harsh contrast. The ribbon is patterned and frankly it's pretty amazing in person.

Now left on the Rydia TO DO list:
  • Arm bands for under sleeves.
  • Thigh highs, this will require a friend to draw/paint on them while I wear them.
  • Hair beads.
  • Earrings.
And that ladies and gents will conclude Rydia!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rydia's Sleeves

I have a huge stack of fabric from which to draw from for Rydia. I have collected since last fall for this costume and I've amassed quite a collection. But the fabric for these sleeves came to me while sitting in my closet.

Yes. While sitting in my closet.

I got terrible nostalgic one day and allowed myself to be floored by a green kimono in my costume collection. I made this kimono my senior year of high school. I hadn't worn it often and it wasn't very special to me. While I may say I did do a tremendous job on the stitching of the garment. The last time I wore this kimono however was the last time I spent with a good friend of mine, one of my first friends I made while attending college at Lees-McRae. Last summer she passed away.

I don't think I ever got the chance to fully mourn her. I did so in that closet last week.

While touching the fabric I was flooded with memories of her, of our time together, of her amazing strength. She was one of the few people I could always count on, and truthfully I think I took her for granted half the time.

So I took the kimono down and I cut the sleeves off. I figure if I am to put so much time, energy, and love into this costume it should hold just as many memories.

So Kasey... this is for you.

I began by cutting off the bottom edge of the sleeve. I then took spray fabric paint to the first sleeve. It literally just painted one sleeve. Don't waste your money on spray fabric paint, it's great but there isn't enough in the bottle to make it worth it. Instead I moved to using watered down acrylic paint.

I painted it nearly perfectly, I let it dry overnight. The next day I decided it was way too stiff and to my absolute stupidity I stuck it in the washer.

Needless to say, it washed completely out.

So the next day again with a blank slate I set to paint the sleeves again. This time I set the paint with heat and it wasn't nearly as stiff this time around.

I then attacked the sleeves with great vigor using a hot glue gun (out of laziness) and spray painted plastic beads. I created pretty swirly patterns to mimic the stars on Rydia's sleeves, but to put my own spin on the look. I then finished the sleeve bottom with trim.

I attached crystal like gems to each side of the sleeve and hanging stars onto the trim.

I am thrilled with the result! Here are some teasers. I also think Kasey would approve and yet think I'm completely nuts as she did.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rydia Wig and General Head Progress

So the constant struggle with this costume is to decide which version to do. The classic Amano concept art version or the DS Re-release version. I still haven't decided but I needed to start working and since this week is the week of giving good cosplay head (lawls) then I decided to start. At this rate I'll have both versions >.<. So without any further ado:

General process here:

Starting with the feathers, the largest feather was an after Christmas sale find at Michaels. I painted a black feather gold with gold leaf for the second feather. The third non feather thing was a fake flower arrangement I attacked with gold spray paint back when I was doing Lenna. I love gold.

The flower is a clip I got at Claire's last September as part of a 10 for $10 deal. It was an odd shade of green and involved feathers and rhinestones. Not something I'd actually wear outside of costume mind you. So I added gold leaves from the fore mentioned flower arrangement, tipped the blossom with gold leaf and glued on a once white, now red rose also edged in gold.

The crown is foam and hot glue spray painted gold. I glued on green beads as the jewels, and attacked to two pins that hook to m hair under the wig.

As for the wig, I haven't done anything to it. I saved this beauty from my friend Stephanie who didn't love it as I love it.

So that begins Rydia! Lets see if this weekend between apartment hunting, bike riding, and website updates I can get some more progress on at least one of my costumes done!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Psyduck Headband

Whoa! Two progress posts in one night?! Crazy... guess I got off my lazy ass.

So this is quick... ribbon tied around the forehead to meet a hair comb in back with three hot glued feathers and a cute bow in the same ribbon. This creates the feather's on Psyduck's head and gives it a cute flapper look! I hope it's more flapper than cliche cartoon indian >.>.

Sophitia's Hair Clip (Do Da Diddy)

So as most of you know with Soul Calibur if you're not actively playing the game and pausing alot (which I'm not) then you have one basic reference photo. In this case:
Which is great for almost every other aspect of the costume... but what is up with that hair clip?! From this I could deduct that it is silver and has three things jutting from it. Word...

So I searched teh googles and found some fan art...
Okay... still have no clue what to do. So when I don't know what something look likes... I MAKE SHIT UP. So for this one I channeled all my own creative energies I had in this current point of the day (which honestly wasn't much) and I took things I already owned in my craft arsenal.

First was the silver glitter leaves, I chose these because I could build the look of the three silver jutting items and they seemed Grecian (leaves and all), they were also feather shaped. I edged the leaves with gold leaf to have them translate better to the next piece.
Then I added a pink piece of molded plastic leftover from god knows what, I painted the top gold with gold leaf (I use so much of this stuff I'm going to get cancer one day).
Then a blue glass bead to pull from the other blue details in the ensemble. I aged the bead with more gold leaf to give it a battle scorn look.
Glued it all together and then glued on a hair comb and voila!

Pictured on my brand new wig bought for the costume. It was super cheap (less than $20) and it's so soft, thick and beautiful! I got really lucky. The wig is un-styled, I just braided it really quickly and fastened with a flower since I have ONE ponytail holder to my name now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Psyduck Progress

I'm trying this new thing where I take more photos of my costumes while in progress and take more detailed records of how I make them. Here goes!

Before I dive into today's project, here is the original design by Katherine Stocking (Cosplay Pirates and Best Friend)
It's adorable right?! I don't plan on deviating much from this design other than the wig. I'm opting for a more flapper feel to go with the head band so a short blonde bob wig.

So today I started at the bottom with Psyduck: the shoes.

I began with an old pair of gold flats I loved to death but they were starting to look rough. Because they were still comfortable and I'm a fan of recycling and cutting costs with Cosplay I saved them from a trash can fate.

I started by making a pattern with construction paper then I used the pattern I created to cut out pieces of craft foam. One for the sole of the shoe and one for the top. I hot glued them onto the shoe and brought the pieces of foam together with black gaffing tape (photographer sign numero uno). I then covered the shoe and foam with a natural cotton fabric of a khaki color using hot glue (my one true love).

Here's the end result:

I chose to photograph the shoes with the fabric for the main garment. Perfect colors in my opinion.

So stay tuned for the next part of Psyduck... or any of the other costumes on my docket.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What the Hell?! Con 2011

Did the whole local con thing again this weekend. Traveled to Guilford college yesterday with some new buddies. Overall, tiny con, but it had a big heart /cliche. No really, it has a huge chairty event in the form of a geek auction that made over $800 and everyone was just awesome. Totally sweet and fun. I had a great time. I would have had more fun but I wasn't feeling very well.

I did debut Steam Punk Alice however. Go me! It's about time I finished that! So here it is ladies and gents:

This is the only decent picture I have currently but fear not! I have TWO shoots this week in this get up. One tomorrow in studio and one Friday at a local arboretum. Very excited about seeing how those pictures turn out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

After Ichibancon, before Katsucon

So here are the latest costumes added to the resume:

Here is the Tokyo Mew Mew group with me up top as Berry, and Katherine as Mint, Sydney as Ichigo.
Here is the new happy dance costume: Chii from Tsubasa Chronicles!

Also a new group with Katherine:

Not even talking about panels, our craftsmanship contest and hosting masquerade (which was awesome) the costumes were win. A major success! Now let's buckle down and focus on Katsucon.

So I'm in the maid cafe which is exciting but it's cramping my super cosplay planning style. But I have decided to make BB Hood. Maybe Maetel if I find the time. And I'm waiting on the word from Hannah to finish/make one of two costumes. So I guess we'll see what happens.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Berry & Chii

So Ichibancon is in 6 days and I am very much not ready, but I will be. I work best under pressure. The main dress for Berry is done. The only thing left is all the accessories. Which will be easy enough to knock out before the convention.

As for Chii... yeah... I start that tonight... I do have everything I need though to make it happen! Including a box full of Christmas ornaments to deck this bitch out right. I'm much more into decorating and accessories aspects of costuming so I know tonight's basic construction will be torture.

Also the projected Cosplay list is up to 37 costumes... oh dear god. 2011 should be a busy year.

I'm selling a costume:

Buy it, I'm poor. Kthanxbai.