Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cosplays and Conventions Winter- Summer of 2011 to 2013

Here are my cosplays and some of the fun shots from my Conventions from 2011-2013 (Otakon 2013 will be coming soon!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Hobby

          Well, I've started up a new hobby. An expensive hobby, but an awesome one. Why is it that awesome hobbies have to be expensive? Anyway, I've finally taken up archery. I love this sport! It's so amazing and addictive! I love the feeling of holding the bowstring taught and then releasing it, allowing the arrow to sail gracefully through the air to meet it's target. It took way took long to find an archery club close to my home.

         Long story short, I took the beginners class there and got hooked. So now I'm saving up for all the equipment I need to become a serious archer. I have some money right now, but I still have yet to get more. So, I'm selling off old instruments and trying to open up (finally) my etsy shop to start earning some money for my stuff.

         I can't wait to feel the wood of my own bow in my hands. I'm going to get a longbow along with beginner level aluminum arrows. I'm getting a good quality archery glove and arm guard. I have enough money for just the bow at the moment. I need to save up more for the arrows, quiver, case, glove, arm guard, and targets. this is all I really have to say on the subject.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Current Projects

          Well, since I haven't much to do, since being stuck at home, I've been doing projects to keep myself busy. One of my biggest projects is sewing costumes for my anime conventions that I go to three times a year. They are (and I put them in order by time of the year) Katsucon (Feb. 15-17), Otakon (Aug. 9-11), and Anime USA (Oct. 16-18). So the current costume I am working on is for my con. in August. I actually picked it so I wouldn't die in the humidity that I get where I live(and of course because I really like the character too!!). The work on the outfit is slow but sure because of my health condition. However, I am starting to feel better so things are moving along at a faster than usual rate (the usual rate being really slow and not much work done at all unless I'm in a rush and that is no good). So I'll show you the progress I made so far. 

         The character I picked is from one of my all time favorite series that I loved since childhood(though when the anime was translated the English dub stunk!). The anime/manga I picked was Sailor Moon; the character: Sailor Jupiter (pictured below); the style: From the manga(which came before the anime).
Sailor Jupiter's Manga look

             As you can see her outfit is very summer friendly. My advice to any beginning cosplayer is to  always dress to the season. If you don't you'll truly regret it, trust me. I did an Organization XIII cosplay last summer and almost died from the heat! Do not follow my bad example!!! Anyway, as you can see her outfit is a bit complex. There's the tiara with antenna, her green hair tie, the sailor suit itself (bows included), The broach for the bow,  the green ankle boots, the gloves and the rose waist chain. What I have completed so far on this costume is the tiara, the waist chain, the broach, and the hair tie.

              The tiara I made (pictured above) out of gold glitter craft foam, floral wire, gold acrylic paint, Mod Podge, gold beading wire, a single green plastic gem, clear elastic beading chord and a gold bead (for the top of the antenna). I cut out the basic shape of the tiara for a base. If you watch the anime or read the manga you know that the tiara for all the Sailor Scouts is the same. It's a slight v shape. So I took that shape and tried my best to cut it the  right way. Needless to say I had to redo it a few times until I got it right. From one of the bad cuts I got the backing of the tiara and the little rim you see in the photo. To make the foam less glittery and more gold I used gold (Martha Stewart brand) acrylic paint. So I painted the trim and the main pieces of the tiara with it. After letting that dry for a while I painted on over the gold paint with Mod Podge to give it more of an actually metallic shine. 
             Once, the drying from the few coats of Mod Podge was done I began gluing the pieces together. While gluing the front and back of the main piece, I glued a far sized piece of floral wire to give the tiara stability and flexibility to fit my head better. After the glue was dry I curled the ends of the wire that stuck out into loops so I could at the end put a clear elastic chord around the back of my head to hold the tiara on my head. Then, I took the trim piece I'd made and glued it down. I layered over it a few times with the Mod Podge to help it stick. I let it dry for a while and then returned to put the gem on in it's proper location. I let it dry and after a few tests (and one or two times re-gluing the darn thing). While I let the glue set more I cut about a twelve or thirteen inch piece of floral wire to make the antenna. I got a cheap, metallic gold bead and put it on one end to make the top of the tiara. Then to cover the stiff, silver floral wire I got a smaller gold colored beading wire and slowly wrapped it around the floral wire and a little of the bead at the top to hide the hole. Feeling confident everything was dry I took a small piece of scrap foam and made it into a backing that would hold up the antenna. I used hot glue with the Mod Podge this time to keep the heavy floral wire in place. I painted over the hot glue with the gold the best I could to hide it. Then once everything was dry I took the elastic beading chord and two crimping beads and made the tie that keeps the tiara up on my head. Finally, it was finished and you see my finished product above.


                The next pieces I made were the hair tie and the broach. I made both of them at the same time. They are made from high quality polymer sculpey Premo clay. I got two different greens to match the picture of Sailor Jupiter. I took the light green clay and worked into a flat/rounded circle (or as close as I could get). I put it on a flat piece of cardboard and then started to work on rolling the dark green clay into balls to make big beads from. I rolled them until I was sure they were round enough. Once that was done I took an ice pick and slowly stuck it through the clay balls to make them into beads for the hair tie. When the holes were both done I started to make the smaller balls to be the flower petals around the bigger balls. After finishing them and placing the smaller balls on the bigger ones I again put the ice pick through them to make the bead have an easier hole to see. I placed beads on the card board and turned the oven on in my kitchen to bake them. I let them cook as directed on the package. When they came out they looked like this:

As you can see they were a bit flat and dull with no shine so I pulled out my old pal by Mod Podge to shine them up. 

              As you can see it was a lengthy project to get these clay beads and broach to get the right amount of shine. After the Mod Podge had dried and I felt I'd achieved the desired shine I took the same clear beading chord along with two crimping bead and made an elastic hair tie with the two beads. To make the broach able to stay on the bow I took two pin backs you can buy at any Michaels or Walmart and super glued them to the back of the clay gem I had made. I made sure not to get any glue on myself or anything else. Super glue is a very dangerous glue to handle. Once all was dry I was finished!

             The most difficult accessory to make was the Rose Waist Chain that Sailor Jupiter has. I studied the design of it in the manga before buying anything. Once I was sure of what I needed I got to work. I already had on hand I fake rose of the right color pink and the gold beading wire to tie the chain together. All I needed to buy was the capsule for the rose, the pink glass beads, and the chain links to make the chain look right. So, I set out to my nearest Micheal's and got (in a few trips I didn't always have all the money or the store didn't carry enough of what I needed) the round pink glass beads, the plastic ornament capsule, and the gold chain links needed to make the waist chain.

           At first, I tried to link the chain together but that didn't work so I took the beading wire and threaded the crystal beads and chain links together to form the body of the waist chain and I used the clasp from an old necklace to serve as a kind of hidden buckle to hold the belt up. It turned out really nice! (pictured below)

           The parts of the costume that are still being made are the actual sailor suit itself and the gloves. The gloves I made from some prom gloves I bought at Claire's and fixed to fit my hand. I took the same green satin fabric that I'm using for the skirt and collar of the sailor suit. I cut out a few strips about thirteen/fourteen inches long and three inches wide. I sewed up the strips on one end and up the sides. Using a pencil I turned the tubes right side out and began stuffing them lightly with poly-fiber fill stuffing. Once they were stuffed I sewed up the open end and pinned the first tube to the glove. After the first tube was hand sewn down I pinned the next tube on top of it. This continued until all three tubes were sewn down onto the glove. I currently have the right glove done. I still have to finish the left glove, I have to cut out two more green tubes. I'll post a picture of them when they are finally finished.

           The sailor suit is slowly but surely coming along. I'm using a pattern I found at Joann's Fabrics. However, I am making some major modifications to the pattern so it looks the way I want it too. Right now I'm working with the skirt and trying to figure out how to pleat it  the way I see it in the manga. Well, talking about that part will take up another post so I'll do that when the whole thing is done. Wish me luck on looking awesome for Otakon 2013!  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Introduction to Me

         This is my first blog post on here so I'm going to give you a little information on myself before I start telling stories of my life and giving advice. I'm 21 and have been ill for the past year. I've been slowly getting better but it has been a challenge not to slowly go insane from being trapped in my parents' house. They say that which does not kill you makes you stronger, in my case it did. I have a greater understanding for those who have it worse than me. I also know that I learned a lot and hope that the experience and maturity I've gained will help me to cope well when I finally transition from the comfort of home to the dorms out in college. 
         Well, tomorrow I'm heading to my best friend Kat's house to hang out. She's on spring break right now and her college isn't to far from where she lives so we get to hang out and talk a far amount. We often go to conventions together and we like sewing our costumes and drawing pictures. I'll start posting pictures of my costume that I'm working on now soon to show my progress. I also have an etsy shop with the same name of this blog.(Once I get it up and running) You guys can look over my merchandise and see if you like what I'm making. 

      Until next time! Keep doing the hard things, they are worth it!