Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nikki Jaye!

I had mentioned (didn't I?) that I was making a costume for my friend Nikki. She does super cool flag routines in all manner of stage shows. And she always looks awesome! :D

I couldn't make it to the latest show, so luckily there's a video. The song is "Wish I Had An Angel" by Nightwish, who are one of my favourites. It's pretty awesome, so you should watch it. I think she looks cute in the dress I made her :3

I'm going to see Lady Gaga next week! I wish I had known earlier, I would've made a costume. Hmm.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jobs, Jobs...

Man, that cosplay post never happened! We worked overtime for a few weeks at work, which left me little time or energy to do... well, anything.

I'm almost done with a project for a friend - a costume for her performance in a stage show, Kalliope's Karavan, "An Evening of Sideshow Delights"! If you'd like some information, click here.

I'll be posting some photos, if she'll permit me :D

Aside from this, I haven't had the funds to make any new costumes for myself. My job situation is rather up in the air. However, I'm going to take the opportunity to fix up existing costumes, and look into my fabric archives to see what else I can drum up. I've probably bought supplies for something and forgotten about it... >_>

You'll hear from me sooner this time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A bit of cross-self-promotion...

I'm working on a new cosplay post, but in the mean time, I wanted to take a moment to promote a new podcast I'm co-hosting. It's called The Gamecrafters Guild, and our goal is to create a community-based podcast mostly aimed at people looking to get their start in the game industry, at-home game development, etc.

If you're interested in working in the video game industry at all, or if you already do, please take a few minutes to check us out at www.thegamecraftersguild.com. We have two episodes, with a third on the way, but we want some listener contributions so that it isn't just the two of us rambling on at you each week! Tell your friends!

Alright, that's that. Look for a new cosplay post later this week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Connecticon 2010 Cosplay Highlights

Or, cosplay highlights that I bothered/managed to take photos of.

I mostly roamed the halls this year, spending a lot of time in the dealers room getting some good deals and looking at cosplay. I went to a couple panels, played some cool board games, and generally mozied around.

I'll only post a handful of photos directly in this entry... find the rest here:

I regret that the more front-pointed photo is slightly blurry... her costume was VERY well made! And she was super nice, on top of it all :D

This made me happy ^_^ She was cute, and the wig was amazing!

The staff was awesome... I love props!

A very well-done Tamari costume. A lot of Naruto cosplayers don't have this attention to detail and finishing, at least not lately. She looked great ^_^

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's Nearly Over...

I've actually been taking quite a few costume photos at Connecticon this year! I'm pretty proud of myself. However, I neglected to think about how I'd get the photos to my computer while in CT... oh, dear. I suppose there won't be any photos until Sunday or Monday. Sorry. :<

I picked up a lot of Pokemon-related merchandise this year, and dropped some money on some hardcover volumes of Black Jack (discounted heavily... awesome!), nice prints from the artist alley, and a Totoro piano book. And a handful of Japanese goodies, since Connecticon lets vendors sell them :3

I also was gifted a Jirachi on my Pokemon Diamond game! And here I had thought I'd missed my chance to get it. So cute, and with a crazy 140-power move. o_o;

That's all for this little update. I'll be hitting the con un-costumed tomorrow for a few hours. I'll be going to a makeup panel, and maybe try for an autograph. A relaxed day.

Hope everyone attending has been having a good weekend.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Connecticon is here!

...why am I still awake? It's Connecticon time, I should be sleeping! Oh, well. I'll be quick here.

This year I'll be going to CTcon for all three days, and I have what I believe is a functional camera, so I'm going to try to post some pics and notes throughout the weekend. I don't have any particular goals this year... my friends aren't really around for entering the Rock Band tourney again or anything... so I'll be floating, which is, frankly, pretty awesome. I'm going to try to get a mix of experiences. I might even try out the scavenger hunt ^_^

Poor Mike's wig still makes him look a bit like a Beatle in this photo... oh, well. I still like it. It's from Anime Boston last year, but the costume is relevant... read on... ._.;

The costume situation is a little sad. My wig never arrived (I still haven't heard word about it despite sending emails... I'll provide updates on this saga for the sake of helping those of you considering making a purchase at limebarb... I'm trying not to judge, yet), so no Pokemon this time around. That was okay and planned for. I spent some time today ironing my Souseiseki costume, hemming the cape (the only thing I had time to fix on this costume for now, which is fine), and getting everything else together. I planned meticulously! I organized, as I do best! And yet, somehow dropped the ball and left the clothing parts of my costume hanging on my fridge door. Oh, my. I guess that black plastic bag made it blend in... you know, to the white fridge... >_>

Not my finest moment. >______> Uh... I blame work-related stress?

Fortunately I have some other costumes here, and for the sake of comfort and cuteness, I'm going as space commander Haruhi Suzumiya again. I really like the costume, so I'm not exactly upset about it ^_^ Look for me in red, if any one is ever at all looking for me. I don't think Kyon will be making an appearance this time around.

And, from now on, my checklist goes with me into the car for a once-over just before pulling out of the parking lot. Just in case.

I'm going to rest up for the big weekend. Hope you're doing the same!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oh man, am I actually making a post? Yeah. Don't fall out of your seat.

Life is nuts right now. Really. Here's a costume-related update.

  • Connecticon is this weekend! Yay! Since I already ordered the wig from limebarb.com (I just can't do wigs, at least not now >_>), I decided to bring out my Pokemon Gijinka costume for the occasion. I only have a few days to fix it up. I did a test run the other night with what I have done, and, well... it makes me look fat! D: Let's just say it needs a little help. Additionally, everything still needs fasteners and the like. I'm going to try to fix up the vest to give a little more waist definition. The nice thing about this costume is since it's based on someone's interpretation of a Pokemon, I can modify it however I please! I'm thinking of a lower vest neckline, and maybe ribbon or some other kind of tie around the waist. The shoes are also a bit problematic, but they will likely stay as they are, unless I find some kind of miracle solution at the craft store today. The stores in this state are awful, though, so I'm not holding my breath.

  • My job future is a bit uncertain, so I've had to stop production on my WoW Druid costume. However, I've already bought lots of planning materials and books, so the planning will continue. Patterns will be made! Techniques will be learned (in theory at least)! Horray. Horrah. In this vein, I'll be making one or more posts about leatherworking techniques in the future, so look out for that.

  • I ended up with no photos from Anime Boston this year, as I broke my camera about half an hour into the event. Boo! It was a complete whirlwind this year, anyway... so strange...

  • And, finally, once I DO have some certain money again, I will be posting a list of upcoming projects. It seems I won't have anything done for Blizzcon this year (again >_>), but hopefully I can still pull off a costume for the Harry Potter premier!

That's my world right now... a bit all over the place, but the costumes are finding their way into the shuffle. Hopefully things will stabilize for me soon. I also have some tutorials in the works, which I know I always talk about and rarely post. But they're in progress. Truthies.

Leave a comment if you're going to be at CTcon next weekend... we'll look for each other!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Post-AB Brief!

This is just a quick note after Anime Boston this past weekend, which was great! I wasn't really there for very long compared to my usual attendance standards, but I had fun while I was there. I went to Nobou Uematsu's QA panel... so amazing ;_;

Anyway, for now I will leave you with this pic of me in my costume. Needs a little tweaking, but it's totally one of my favourite costumes that I've done... not least of all because of the prop, which I'm pretty proud of. :D

More later!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yay, slacking...

Yeah, I totally slacked off on the creation of this costume. But, I'm working my butt off to finish it to wear on Saturday. I'll be damned if I don't get to carry around a big shiny pair of scissors for a day. In a top hat. I'm just saying.

I'm going to wait on dumping progress shots (what of them I've managed to take in the rush) until after the con, along with pics from said con. I'm REALLY excited about the weekend... Nobou Uematsu, AGH. I'm completely geeking out about it.

Scissors are just about ready for paint. I still have a fair bit of sewing to do. I'm going to be up late, but I think things will get done. It's all part of the magic of cosplay...

Leave a comment if you'll be at the con! I'll be hard to miss on Saturday with my prop, so stop me if you see me, oh 5-or-so readers of my blog.

I'm going to try to find a few more at the con... I have cute cards! Bring yours to share!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scissors are Progressing...

I finally had some time to really crack down on working on the scissors for my Souseiseki costume! The first step was making a pattern, which has involved a lot of sketching, erasing, measuring, and pencil lead (as it were) on hands. I measured a small picture I have of the scissors, then scaled it up to figure out the appropriate ratios. I think they're maybe even a little bigger than I had planned, but I think they look good this way. Giant props are fun!

I'm nervous about cutting out the foamcore, because I know it is going to be tedious. Since it's thick, I'll have to make several passes with the knife, and I have a lot of pieces to cut out. But, such is the plight of prop creation. Large amounts of effort are usually expended upon it. I think the results are worth it, though, ne?

I've been being lazy about the shopping post. It'll get up here some time this week, along with some progress shots of my costume. Hope everyone else's are going well. I'm starting to really feel the crunch... this is the last free weekend before BAMBAM two cons in a row! Agh. My wig isn't here yet. I don't have shoes. Aaagh...

... ._. I'll be fine! Do your best!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Progress. I made it.

Costumes are coming along splendidly! Hope yours are, too. ^_^

My cosplay partner-in-crime is learning much about the trials and tribulations of cosplay, but I think she's enjoying it overall. It's nice to have a girl to cosplay with. We're already planning our next endeavours...

Meanwhile, our prop making keeps getting pushed back in the schedule, which really isn't good. We'll be starting them this week.

I'll post some progress shots before the end of the week, too. How's that? Awesome. Yes. I know.

Stay tuned for the second in my series of costume prep posts: Shopping. Agh! Scary! I know. But don't worry. It will be great. You will be fine.

If you're not quite ready for that, check out part 1 first.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Scissors and Stuff!

My costume creation adventure begins this weekend with wig shopping and pattern making on Sunday. Before that, tomorrow, I'm off with my friends to the Museum of Science to see the Harry Potter exhibit. I'm very excited about it! I saw the Lord of the Rings exhibit many years ago when it came around, and was completely taken by it. I wanted to take photos of all the beautiful props and costumes, but they don't let you. Boo :<

Sunday, I'm off to my favourite, Dorothy's, to look for a wig. And in the surrounding time, I will be creating patterns for my giant scissors. I've got one of my cameras up and running again, so there will be all sorts of lovely documentation about it. Horray!

Oh, and one more thing. Months and months ago, my blog was mentioned on another, over at Star Costumes. I meant to mention it earlier, but completely forgot! Anyway, the article is here. Thanks for the mention, Star Costumes!

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

How To: Plan Your Costume

There are a lot of people out there on the 'nets that are new to cosplay, as I once was, and come seeking advice on said 'nets, as I once did. I hope to help those people with this post. It's also for anyone who finds that they often can't seem to get themselves together, end up forgetting bits of their costumes, or aren't satisfied with their costume results on a consistent basis. I hope it helps!

The preparation stage of costume creation is probably the most important. If you plan well, overcoming the inevitable hiccups will be much easier, and on the whole your experience will be less stressful and more successful. It's all about researching, organizing, and lists, lists, lists! I'll be using my upcoming Souseiseki costume as an example, since I'm going through this process AS WE SPEAK.

• Gather References

Hit the internet or screen-capture device of your choice. Find as many images of your character as you can from as many angles as you can. Save them all into a folder on your desktop, or into a special Cosplay folder in your documents. Make a bookmarks folder in your internet browser and stash links to how-to's, material resource sites, and anything else you come across.

Be critical when looking for reference material! There is a lot of fan art out there, most of which have slight or major changes in your character's costume. Know what you're going for and make sure the materials you're gathering coincide with it; or, at least, know what bits are different so you can ignore them.

Print your references. 

Print them in colour. I'm not talking full-quality, glossy photos or anything here; they won't be that great of a resolution to begin with if they came from the internet, generally speaking. Put 1-6 pictures per page and print them out at at least medium quality. If you don't have an adequate printer, take them to a Kinko's or similar and print them.

Look at the colours when they're printed out! Printers can interpret colours differently. Compare them to the images on the computer and write notes on your print-outs if you need to remember how they differ: "actual costume about a shade lighter" or "a little less yellow, a little more red" are simple notes that will work for you when you're shopping.

Put the print-outs in a folder to keep them neat and clean. You will use them a lot and you might as well not waste the ink printing them several times.

Make an itemized list of the costume parts.

Look at a full body shot of your character, or a few images that together show the whole costume. Go literally from head to toe and write a list of each component. For example, with my Souseiseki costume, I wrote a list that read: hat, wig, cape, shirt, vest, pants, stockings, shoes, scissors (prop).

Then, go back to each item and really break it down. For example, my first item is the hat. Am I going to make the hat from scratch? Buy it? What is it made out of? I decided I'll probably end up making the hat, so I listed "cardboard, black fabric, blue fabric". Do this for every item. Think about all the little things.

For my shirt, for example, I'll obviously need white fabric, ruffles (or more white fabric to make ruffles) and buttons for the sleeves. But I'll also need something to close the shirt, either buttons or a zipper, as well as interfacing to keep the cuffs in shape. These are all things that are easy to forget in the moment when you're shopping, so really take the time now to think about your costume in as much detail as you can fathom. The fewer trips you have to take, the less stressed you will be.

Fill in the blanks.

There will sometimes (okay, often) be bits and pieces of the costume that you aren't able to find reference material for, try though you might. It becomes your job to fill in the blanks and decide what to put in the unknown areas. Common missing links are the back of a costume and the bottom of the costume (shoes, etc). Look at the rest of the costume and try to think about what makes sense here. If you're scared to make something up, go with the simplest solution: mimicking existing elements. Don't know what the back looks like? It's possible it looks the same as the front, within reason. Or, it could be simply plain. Try to keep within the character theme. Please, DON'T use this as an excuse to wear your big shiny platform boots just because the shoes are an unknown. Think about the character and the costume. What goes with it? What would he/she wear? Do your best!

Turn your list into two usable things: your task checklist and your shopping list.

First, your task checklist is a big master list you can carry with you or post on the wall of every tiny thing that must be done. Don't gloss over anything! That can lead to BAD STUFF such as: forgetting to do something, thinking you don't have as much left to do as you actually have, skipping a step and having to redo something, etc. Make headings for each costume component and start listing them. For example, for Souseiseki's cape, I have the following:
  • Purchase materials
  • Sew ruffles
  • Sew collar
  • Sew cape
  • Attach collar to cape
  • Attach ribbon
These are all little steps that add up to creating the overall cape. Each one gets a checkbox next to it and doesn't get checked off until that part is TOTALLY complete.

Breaking this part into little pieces also helps you feel like you're making progress (which you are!) because you can usually check off a few of these little things each day.

The second part of this step is the shopping list, which is pretty self-explanitory. Take all the little things you wrote down and make them into a practical shopping list to take along. Divide the items up by store (craft store, fabric store, hardware store, online, etc), and remember to include quantities!

We'll talk more about the shopping part next time, but for now, I hope these steps can help you to clear your head and feel super-organized going into your project. I've found taking the time to do these things at the beginning helps me feel less stressed and allows me to have FUN making my costume... don't forget, that's what cosplay's all about!

Oh, and One More Thing...

So, remember when I said I wasn't going to make a costume for Anime Boston? Yeah, I lied. The day after I wrote that last post, I spoke to my (new! :D) friend from work, and found she was interested in cosplaying. I mentioned that I always wanted to do Souseiseki and Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden with someone, and she was completely on board! I couldn't pass that up. So here I am, making another costume. Wee! I'm going to be Souseiseki and she'll be Suiseiseki. I think it will suit her quite well.

Luckily, she has sewing skills of her own, so I don't have to make two costumes. Also, as far as difficult sewing goes, this costume doesn't have a lot of it. It's pretty basic. The most difficult sewing-related things will be the usual closures (boo) and probably the ruffles.

We're going to do their props as well, because it really adds something to their character, I think. They should be fun. I've always wanted to wield giant scissors!

Sewing will commence in about two weeks. I hope to have gathered everything I need before then so I don't have to keep running out in the week before the con.

Next up, I'll be writing a post on costume planning. I hope someone finds it useful!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Costumes for the New Year!

Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but I've had a crazy couple of months. I'm ready to start fresh and break open the packaging for a fresh new 2010. That last decade is old news, man.

I've graduated from school and even managed to get myself a job (for now), so things are going pretty well. The only unfortunate thing is that I'm still in the tiny living space I was last year, which makes costume creation extra-challenging. I'm hoping to be in a larger space by halfway through the year, but... who knows. I'm sure I'll be moving at least once this year.

So what's on the cosplay docket for Triene this year? Well, let's see!

The big news in the convention community of the Boston area and, honestly, the east coast as a whole, is that PAX is coming to Boston! We're all very excited about it. I haven't decided if I actually want to cosplay for it... I might just ride it out and use it as a networking and learning opportunity, as games are my career of choice, and I think I could learn a lot at the con without having to think about costuming. Plus, it could leave me more free to report on any cosplay there for your enjoyment! :D

Anime Boston is immediately after PAX. I think it's finally time to pull out the Pokemon Gaijinka costume that I created oh-so-long ago! I can actually afford the wig commission, and there is very little other work to do on it, so I think it will be perfect for a con that's so close to already being here.

Further down the line are the "up-in-the-air" cons... i.e., the cons I plan on going to unless something (new job, moving, sudden loss of funds) prevents me from going. These are Blizzcon (woo!) and Connecticon. Will I be able to create my Stormrage gear by Blizzcon? In this little room, probably not. But I'll see how it goes. For Connecticon I usually pull a costume out of the costume closet that hasn't seen much love lately, or that is convenient for me to wear. My friends and I will likely enter the Rockband tournament again this year... will we come out on top again? We shall see.

The idea of Otakon this year was batted around, but like the aforementioned two cons, I don't think I'll be able to commit to it as early as I'll need to to make it happen. Next year, then.

Finally, if you didn't know, the second-to-last Harry Potter movie comes out (it had better!) in the fall of this year. I have wanted to make a Bellatrix Lestrange costume, and I may seize this movie as my opportunity. Or, it may have to wait until the last movie comes out next summer.

At any rate, we shall see how this unpredictable year unfolds for me. What are your cosplay goals for the year? What cons are you going to?