Day Ninety-Seven

I posted more costume info on this blog today. I'm going to need to organize this page again soon, I feel like it's too long, but whatever.

All of my spare time that should be used for cosplay is being used for playing WiiFit. But I'm getting bored with that game already =/ So maybe I'll start playing every other day or something.

COSTUME INFO: Misa Amane ~ Original Variant (Death Note)

Brief Bio: Misa Amane is an actress / model / singer and the second "Kira" of Death Note. Kira is what the citizens of Japan and many other countries called the cause of all the mysterious deaths of criminals. Misa has an overly-bubbly personality, often referring to herself in the third person as "Misa-Misa." For a full biography, check out Misa Amane's Wikipedia Page.

Why?: Much like Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket), I don't really like Misa, but I somehow ended up cosplaying her. It was the night before a convention, and I suddenly realized that my friends and I had no costumes. So we worked with what we had and threw together a Death Note group.

Construction: I literally grabbed clothes off of my floor and went "This will work!" That was it. Didn't dye my hair or get a wig because it was so last minute that I didn't really even care.

This costume is 100% complete. I might make a more accurate Misa Amane cosplay in the future, just because I like her style, but that's a big maybe.

Convention Info: This was worn to Animation on Display 2009, and probably won't be worn again. As far as I'm concerned, it's retired.

COSTUME INFO: Edward Elric ~ Female Variation (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Brief Bio: Edward Elric lost his right arm and left leg in an attempt to resurrect his mother with the use of alchemy, "the science that makes you feel like you're magic." After obtaining a state alchemy certification, Edward travels the country with his brother, a soul bonded to a suit of armor, searching for a way to get their original bodies back. Edward is hot-tempered shorty with a soft-spot for his loved ones. For a full biography, check out Edward Elric's Wikipedia Page.

Why?: My Edward Elric costume just sort of fell into my lap. At a certain point, I decided that if I found usable pieces, I'd make an Edward Elric cosplay, but I wasn't going to search for them. I've always had a fangirl crush on Edward as well. I did a variation because I debuted him at a convention where I expected a swarm of Edward's. The idea was to do a female variant, partially because I flat-out didn't feel like binding, and to make it look like I was a fight.

Construction: The red jacket was found at a thrift store, and I took out the lining and took off the buttons. I added the symbol on the back using iron-on dye crayons. I'm considering going over it with Sharpie though, to make it more solid. I just chopped off the leg of one of my pairs of pants and grabbed a belt. The shirt was from my Riza Hawkeye costume, and the boots were mine. My boyfriend was Roy Mustang at the time, and we went for the whole "dog of the military" thing, with me on a leash. The collar actually says "Edo-Kun" on it (it's my boyfriend's and his name is actually Ed), and I stole one of my dog's leashes. The scar / cut on my face is eyeliner and eyeshadow, the scar on my leg is Scar Putty, and my automail leg is silver body paint. I did not dye my hair or get a wig because, well, I just didn't feel like it. The final touch was an autograph from Vic Mignogna (Edward's English voice actor), and was obtained at Super-Con 2009.

This costume is 80% complete. The main point of it's incomplete-ness is the automail, I'd like to make some actual automail, but as far as I'm concerned, this costume is retired.

Convention Info: I only wore Edward Elric to Super-Con 2009, specifically because Vic Mignogna (pictured with me, left) was going to be there. I really doubt that I'll ever wear it again.

COSTUME INFO: Tohru Honday (Fruits Basket)

Brief Bio: Tohru Honda is a first-year high school student, whose parents have both died prior to the start of the series. She is taken in by a family whom Tohru soon discovers is cursed, and turns into an animal of the Zodiac when hugged by the member of the opposite sex.

Despite her hardships, Tohru is very happy-go-lucky, and she always looks out for others before herself. She is very hard on herself when it comes to work and school, and feels like she is betraying her mother when she gets bad grades or does poorly at work. For a full biography, check out Tohru Honda's Wikipedia Page.

Why?: I never really sat down and decided "I'm going to cosplay Tohru." In fact, I never even really liked Tohru. The real reason I ended up cosplaying her was that I wanted to be a schoolgirl for Halloween in 2004. Fruits Basket was one of the first mangas I ever read, and so, I thought it proper to model my school girl uniform after the ones in that series. Shortly after, I attended my first anime convention, and saw everyone in costume. At the convention after that, I decided it would be fun to dress up too, and most people just assumed I was Tohru herself.

Construction: The bulk of this costume was made in one night, mostly by my mom. The blue shirt was a jacket that my mom sewed shut in the front. The skirt was originally longer then cut short, but I later found one that was already short and properly hemmed. The white tie and back.. Umm.. Flap? Is actually a pillow case that my mom cut and hemmed. Later, I decided not to let a good costume go to waste and bought a wig. The Momiji(rabbit) backpack was bought at Comic Arts & Anime Teen Expo 2007

This costume is 95% complete.
I would like a new shirt because the fabric is all wrong, and I'd like a new tie because the lines got smudged.

Convention Info: I believe that this was only worn on one or two occasions, at Comic Arts & Anime Teen Expo and/or Holiday Anime Faire 2005. I don't know if I'll ever wear her again, though, especially not without a group.

Finishing Cat Girl (Day Ninety-Six)

I never thought that I would re-visit my cat girl costume. She was made on a whim and never saw the light of day. However, after writing a blog post on her last night, I could help but want to wear her, so I decided that I would be a cat girl at SacAnime Winter, instead of rushing to finish my Lolita outfit, and then worrying if it was "proper" or not.

So today, my boyfriend came over and was actually an amazing help to me in fully completing this costume. He chose the pants and helped me pick a vest, and completed the collar (the bell was entirely his idea), and that's almost the whole costume on it's own. Then after he left, I sewed up one of the ears because it was falling off, and strengthened the headband because it was coming apart a little bit. I also stuffed the tail with foam and finished sewing it to the skirt, because it had previously just been safety-pinned on.

COSTUME INFO: Marionette (Original)

Brief Bio: Thrown together for a photoshoot to increase the size of my modeling portfolio. No character base.

Construction: I don't really think I did anything here. I threw some clothes together really. my "strings" were purple yarn. Yay. The hat was borrowed from a friend. Just like my ninja, I barely consider this a costume. The shirt has since been destroyed by the wrath on the washing machine. Just as well, it didn't fit right anyway.

This costume is 100% complete.

Convention Info: Never been worn to a con, never will be.

COSTUME INFO: Ninja (Original)

Brief Bio: An original character made for a photoshoot to increase my modeling portfolio. Nothing more, nothing less.

Construction: There wasn't much done here, I barely consider it a costume. I cut off one pant legs and hemmed it, that wasn't even intended to be turned into a costume, it was basically just because I could. The shirt is actually from my Riza Hawkeye cosplay, with a black tank top under it. The "mask" is a black shirt with a hair clip in the back, and the swords were both purchased, one at FYE and one at the SanFransisco Cherry Blossom Festivale '09.

This costume is 100% complete.

Con Info: Never worn to a con, never going to be worn to a con.

COSTUME INFO: Cat Girl (Original)

(Better pictures soon to come.)

Brief Bio: There isn't much to say about the "background" for this character, seeing as it's an original design by me. I guess you could say she was inspired by Loveless, because I wanted giant-ass cat ears like the ones Loveless shows. But I do not consider her in any way related to Loveless. I will never write a fanfic about her, and she will probably never have a real character or specific personality, or even a name.

Construction: A large part of my cat girl's creation is owed solely to the fact that my mom basically tossed a giant bag of fur at me and went "Here ya go," and I had no idea what to do with it. There is foam inside of the ears, in an attempt to get the to stand upright. Even though this attempt half-failed, I find myself absolutely loving the one-ear-falling-over look. There is, if I'm remembering right, elastic inside of the white headband, however, it doesn't serve much of a purpose. The skirt is literally just the fur that my mom handed to me, minus what was used on the ears, tied at the side. I'm lucky it even fit. I used the pants of my ninja cosplay, with the leggings I use for my Amaterasu cosplay. The pants were just a regular pair of pants until I cut off one leg and hemmed it. That in itself wasn't a cosplay decision, it was basically just for the hell of it. The shirt is a camisole (spaghetti-strap) with a "wife-beater"(I hate that term; tank top) over it, and a black vest over that. I also used the fangs from my Amaterasu cosplay. The collar / bow was just thrown together with ribbon and a bell I had laying around. (I have lots of bells laying around...) The gloves were purchased at Hot Topic.

This costume is 100% complete.

Convention Info: My cat girl was worn to SacAnime Winter. She's the only costume I have that I would wear out and expect to get no pictures taken of me at all. it was sort of nice to lay low for a little while. It's a huge contrast to when I wear my Amaterasu. At SacAnime Winter, I wore my brown Tohru wig, just "for fun" (it was not fun).

I'm Scared... (Day Ninety-Five)

I shouldn't be allowed to watch anime anymore. For a multitude of reason, but let's start with the fact that most anime scares the crap outta me =[ xxxHolic is going to have me having nightmares for weeks, even though I just finished it. *sigh* As if that weren't bad enough, the more I watch, the more I want to cosplay. But since I finished xxxHolic, I'll probably pay more attention to this blog, since I don't have much else to do on this computer.

Speaking of my poor laptop, it's got a pretty nasty Trojan on it, so I may have to wipe the poor thing's memory completely =/

Day Ninety-Four

I almost didn't post today because I was hoping to get to bed at a "decent" time. AHAHA! I crack myself up. It'll never happen. In any case, nothing cosplay-related today. I'm too addicted to WiiFit to work on cosplay. Which is both good and bad, because I'm getting in spectacular shape, which, in my opinion, will make my cosplays looks better on me, but at this rate, I won't have any cosplays to wear. Hmm... What to do, what to do?

Anyway, I added some links to the blog to help organize the informative posts better. I'm also very seriously considering making a blog specifically for health and beauty post (makeup and such). Eh, gimme your thoughts if you care.

Next time I get the chance, hopefully some time this week or next, I'd like to update this blog with posts about each of my costumes, along with reference pictures, short biographies, links to more information, and pictures of my cosplays.

I also have a new costume I want to make *sigh* but it won't be until almost a year from now (next Winter) so no big deal really. I'll post about that some other time.

My boyfriend made me really happy today cosplay-wise. I was telling him about my ideas to better handle the money part of getting a hotel room for two says at Fanime, and he said he was really excited for it and wanted it to be now. I asked him why, and, to my shock, his first reason was because he wanted to cosplay! =O I'm so proud. He also wants a sword >_> As do I... Anyway, I guess this means that I can't ignore his costumes in a last resort attempt to save time and money. But it's a lot more worth it now to know that he really wants to do them. ^-^

Speaking of his costumes, I'm actually looking forward to making his boo (Super Mario Bros) costume, probably more than I should be. Surprisingly enough, I got the idea on how to make it from an issue of TOKYOPOP's free magazine. I read through the article several years ago just for the hell of it, thinking I'd never use it, but lo and behold, it will be put to good use! Let's just hope that I get better at paper-mache-ing things =/ It's not exactly my forte...

Took a Break (Days Ninety-One through Ninety-Three)

I decided to take a break from blogging because I've been feeling a little depressed lately. Probably hormones. In any case, I haven't been doing anything cosplay-related either.

Christmas Eve, I celebrated with my boyfriend's family, all fifty-some-odd of them. Spent Christmas with my boyfriend and my mom at my house. Today, went to dinner and a movie with my boyfriend. Avatar is awesome. If you haven't seen it, go. Now.

Thrift Store Fabric (Day Ninety)

Buying fabric at the thrift store or second hand shops can be a gamble. You don't know if it's the full three yards they claim it is, or if there's stains or tears, but in the past, I've had constant good luck with it. I trust my favorite thrift store to have decent-quality items, and it's rare to find gross, stained, or torn things.

So today I bought two types of fabric at the thrift store. One white fabric, which I've actually used before, though I have no idea what it's called, and one iridescent, blue-purple, sheer-ish fabric with moons and stars on it. The white fabric is for a Lolita shirt, which is to be worn with my Chi (Chobits) dress as a Lolita outfit until I can get the wig. The blue-purple fabric is just because it was really, really pretty.

Why Cosplay?

A forum topic popped up today on that caught my attention. The thread title was "The Flip Side of the Coin." The topic started asked three simple questions about the upside of cosplaying, "What's your most memorable Cosplay moments or experiences of 2009?", "Things you love about cosplay?", and "Who or what made you smile at a convention?" Once I started typing up my answer to the second question, I found that I couldn't stop. I don't think I even really realized how much cosplay means to me until I was flat out asked. The truth is, a lot of the benefits of cosplay could probably be met by quite a few other things, at least the benefits I get.

An obvious reason I cosplay is the anime and video game tie-in. I get to mimic my favorite characters, and own some of their outfits. I can wear them out and about (at conventions) and not be looked at like I'm a freak. Well, not too much of a freak anyway, haha. I also like being able to just have their clothes. I sometimes use bits and pieces in my everyday wardrobe just because I like the style. Although recently, I've been looking at cosplaying things other than anime and video games too.

Cosplaying has taught me a lot too. If it weren't for cosplay, I probably never would have bothered to learn how to sew. At least not at this age anyway. Cosplay taught me to be more understanding of different types of thought (though some people I'll still never understand). Furries are a good example here. Before I started cosplaying, my friends had conditioned me into disliking furries. I didn't even really know who / what they were, and yet I somehow "knew" that they were to be disliked. Now that I know that they're not always exactly what their reputation makes them out to be, I can accept and understand them much better.

Cosplay has also kept my love of theater alive. After high school, I didn't really have anything theater or performance-related to do. I ended up taking a costume construction class, for the sake of cosplay, and I discovered that I even love the behind-the-scenes parts of the theater in addition to being on-stage. Also, I get a chance to act and improvise every time I put on a costume (and even sometimes out of costume =O).

With cosplay, I can set and manage my own relatively minor goals and see them accomplished. Whether it be winning a contest, finishing a costume, or just completing a certain costume part, I always have something to work toward that I know for sure I can complete. It is conceivable that I could set and accomplish one goal a day, even if it is just something small. Having a lot of small, personal achievements really helps my morale and makes me feel useful, even if it is only to myself.

In addition to that, I honestly do love the compliments and attention I get through cosplay. It's a very strong positive reinforcement that pushes me to work even harder on my costumes and pursue my hobby.

I'm sure there are many more reasons why I cosplay, but I really feel like I'm writing an essay here. Look! It's even in essay format! I may or may not come back and add to this.

NEW COSPLAY IDEA: Pipe Fox (xxxHolic)

Why are there no good images of this thing? Seriously.

So, I've gone and done it again. That's right, I added yet another cosplay to my list. This time it's a human-form version of the pipe fox (transformed) from xxxHolic. I was drawn to the pipe fox when it first appeared in it's smaller form because of how adorable it was. I immediately wished for one of my own, from which came the desire to cosplay it. But, of course, such a simple cosplay would be, well, not very much fun. Not to mention a bit harder to do. I do not want to attempt to walk around looking like a fuzzy worm with cat ears. (I say "attempt" because I'd have no legs.) So I ignored the thought as much as I could, deciding it probably wouldn't happen and maybe I'd just make a miniature version of it for myself.

Then I saw the glory that was the pipe fox's transformation. My first thought was that it looked suspiciously like the nine-tailed fox from Okami (heh, what a one-track mind I have). Then I started noticing similarities in the art work of it, the markings on the face and the tufts of fur on the legs. That was the end of it for me. I knew I had to cosplay this thing.

Of course, it could just be an excuse for me to make another costume like Amaterasu's, because I fully intend to stick to that style. I think I'm looking forward to the mask the most, since I'd really like to take another crack at altering a mask. I'm still not entirely pleased with my first attempt on Amaterasu. I'm also looking to try making digitigrade hind legs again (with "backwards" knees). My first attempt, even though I had amazing instructions via, I really had no idea what I was doing and thought I could just wing it. Though I still do love my Ammy feet / legs, they're nowhere near what I had originally hoped for.

I also still want to make a little untransformed pipe fox for myself. I'll probably even keep with with me when I do the full-on cosplay. It sounds like it could be a fun / cute little side-project. I already know what I'm going to make it out of and how I'm going to do it. I just need the materials, which, if I remember right, are on sale at JoAnn's right now. I should probably check tomorrow. If they're not on sale, I could use some material I have now (it's the material I want, but not the exact color). Ah, well. We shall see =]

I'm excited about this (obviously).

Debt Card FAIL (Day Eighty-Eight)

Today has been.. Interesting, to say the least, and I barely did anything, so I guess that's saying something. First, allow me to backtrack. When I was born, my grandma, on my dad's side, told my mom and my dad that for every birthday and Christmas, she's buy my a savings bond worth fifty dollars. My mom was only sent one, and my grandma claimed the rest got lost in the mail. Then on my eighteenth birthday, I got more. But instead of having thirty-six of them like I should, I only had eight. Wtf? FAIL number one.

And they're not even worth fifty dollars each right now. FAIL number two.

SO, my mom and I went to the bank in hopes that our joint bank account had a higher interest than the bonds. (The highest interest on any of the bonds was four percent.) Well, our bank account only earns 0.2% interest. FAIL number three.

So we kept the bonds as they were, and I went to set up a debt card so that I could order stuff online, such as wigs, contacts, convention tickets, hotel bookings, and my boyfriend's Christmas present. (That's where this whole story begins to tie into cosplay.) Unfortunately, I didn't remember that I wanted to set up an account until after my mom and I had left the bank teller, so I had to go stand in line again. FAIL number four.

An while in line, this creeper, drunk and about as old as my dad (55+), smelling of cigarettes (also like my dad D=) comes up and starts hitting on me, trying to get me to sleep with him, and attempting to convince me that every woman in the place was checking him out. FAIL number five. Just because I'm standing in line at the bank by myself does not mean I want to sleep with some old creeper! Go find someone your own age or do the world a favor and die!

So I finally get to set up my account and the creeper goes to the teller next to me. Fair enough, there were only two tellers. then he starts taking up my teller's time because his teller can't cash his check and it apparently takes two people to do it. FAIL number six.

After taking forever on everything, I get my account and my number and am on my way. when I get home to order my boyfriend's Christmas present, my account number doesn't work. FAIL number seven.

So I try to buy his ticket for Fanime, since he's on his way over and bringing me the money. Well, that doesn't accept my number either. FAIL number eight.

So NOW I have to wait until my actual card comes in the mail in a week to do anything online with it. And I already gave my mom the two-hundred dollars I took from our joint bank account to put into my debt card account. So I have almost no money (or at least that's what it feels like) for anything else. Fail, fail, FAIL!

Yeah, that was barely cosplay-related, but the whole debt card thing was for cosplay-purposes and I needed to rant.

(P.S. I love the picture I found to go along with this post. It just works for me.)

Day Eighty-Seven

I almost completely forgot about posting. I'm completely re-addicted to Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection. I started playing about a year or so ago and since then I've forgotten how fun it is. I had the urge to play it last night, so I got right on it when I woke up today, and have been playing since.

Ammy's Wings & Chi's Ears (Day Eighty-Six)

I always forget how time-consuming Ammy was. I like to think it's similar to the fact that women have hormones that make them forget how horrible their pregnancy was after they had the baby. After I stop working on Ammy and wear her to a convention, I completely forget exactly how much time, money, and effort she took.

I spent three or so hours on Amaterasu's shoulder wings today, and I only covered one wing with fur, plus a couple of minor things. Although I do want to say again how thankful I am for this blog, both to my starting it and to my readers. If it weren't for my strange yet extremely strong desire to post something, I probably wouldn't work on my costumes until a week or so before their debut. Then today's setback with Ammy's wings would've been a big deal. It turns out that the wings are too heavy and need more than just the one arm band I have to hold them up. So I figured out how to fashion new arm bands that will be attached to the wings in addition to the ones I already have. The new bands won't be as visible though, so the overall look will stay the same.

In addition to all of that, I finally got fed up with waiting to buy a headband to put Chi's ears on, so I improvised. I used elastic, the same kind I used on the back of my mask, and made essentially a headband. I'm not thrilled with it, but it works very well and actually gives the ears a better shape, I think. I may tweak them a bit more, but if for some reason I run out of time or something, they're definitely usable. I also attempted to give them a metallic shine by painting them with an opaque silver paint. However, that may have only made them look dirty. I'll see when they look like tomorrow and go from there. If all else fails, I'll just paint over them with white paint and seal them. The sealant should give enough of a shine.

Back to Ammy (Day Eighty-Five)

So, believe it or not, keeping this blog and knowing that I have followers actually does motivate me to work on my cosplay more. I was sitting on my couch, contemplating what to do when I thought I should work on my cosplay things. The thought process went like this: "I should work on cosplay.. What do I have to do..? Oh, yes, Ammy. Ah, but I don't really want to work with fur... Oh, but I'm so tried of not having anything to post on my blog. I'll do it!" Then I laughed at myself for a good half hour while working because I'm more loyal to strangers on the internet than I am myself.

So, I worked a little while, half an hour, on making the arm "wings" for Amaterasu. I traced and cut out the right shape, but then I realized that I had cut it with the fur facing the wrong way. I fecepalmed myself for at least five minutes before I could even begin to accept the loss of all that fur. Sure, it wasn't a lot but it was enough to cover one entire side of the wing. I couldn't just flip it over either because it would be the wrong shape and I had cut details out of it.

So I went with my original plan of covering it with bits and pieces of left over fur, fitting them together like a puzzle. I still can't decide if I like the effect or not. The first time I tried this was on one of the toes way back in July of '09, when I just barely ran out of fur and didn't want to buy more. On the one hand, it looks like natural dog / wolf fur, especially if the animal were to live in the wild. On the other hand, it's not all smooth like everything else.

The good news is that the side that I did today is the side that will be facing my shoulder, so I didn't have to detail everything, and the flaws shouldn't be seen much. I'm going to consider it somewhat of a test run. I have enough fur to cover two sides with one solid piece each, so I'm going to use that on the parts of the wings that face away from my body, the sides that will be seen more.

I'm a little concerned about attaching the wings to the arm bands, mainly because the fur is going in two opposite directions. The fur on the bands goes down, toward my fingertips, while the fur on the wings goes up, toward, well, the sky, or ceiling, depending on your location. This is the way that it is in the game, as indicated by the move of the graphics in the game, but I don't see how. I may have to trim the bottom of the wings to round them out, the same way I did with the wrist cuffs. Or something. I'll figure it out eventually.

For anyone wondering, I'm feeling much better today =] I don't know what did it, but aside from being abnormally tired, I'm not too bad.

I Has A Sick =[ (Day Eight-Four)

I have allergies / the cold / the flu from hell. I don't know what it is, but it's killing me! So here's a cute panda.

Almost Forgot to Post >_> (Day Eighty-Three)

Where did the time go today..? Mom bought me a new video game, but I can't have it until Christmas =[ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Wii. I really want to play with the WiiMote light saber...

In actual cosplay news, I am dead set on making some of Yuko's clothes from xxxHolic. I somehow don't think I'll ever get a full, accurate outfit together because all of her pieces that I'm in love with are with different outfits, and the one that I'm seriously considering is very revealing and my boyfriend might disown me =[ No fair... I can't even find a picture of the version I'd want to make anyway xP I'd have to splurge on an art book, and I don't have that kind of money right now. Maybe in 2020 LOL

In less cosplay news, I HATE BRAS! The End.

I Has A Hat (Day Eighty-Two)

I bought a plain black beanie today and customized it =D Way more fun than it should be, really, and I didn't even do that much. I sewed on a double-heart design (pictures right =D) the way I saw it on some jean pockets at Hot Topic. It's messier than I'd like, but I like to think that adds to its character.

I also put on some safety pins and skull earrings (left), but I don't know how much I like them yet. For sure, they aren't comfortable though, so I want to tweak those more.

This fun little splurge started because my boyfriend has been wearing a beanie a lot due to the cold. And I, being the adorable little pain in the butt that I am, love to steal it every chance I get, prompting my boyfriend to complain, "Get your own!!! D=" So there. I did. But I still fully intend to steal his every chance I get, put it over mine, and proclaim, "My beanie is cold. D=" Ain't I a stinker? ;)

I got confirmation of my free Fanime ticket today =D It is in fact full weekend, which brings me endless joy. Well. Almost endless. Turns out I misunderstood the Marriott Hotel website when I was checking booking prices. It's not the blissful $160 for a weekend that I had so longed it would be. No. That was $160 per night. HA. Hell no. Fanime's discount for last year, I've been told, brought the price down to $88 a night, but is expected to cost more this year. So my boyfriend and I are looking at about $200 each for the whole weekend, as we are staying alone. And since my ticket was free, I promised I'd put my saved $50 to the hotel room. Meaning I'll have to pay my half, plus the deposit fee (estimated at about $50, of course). Bringing me to a nice total of $250 for a weekend. Hey. At least my ticket was free.

Late Night Ahead (Day Eighty-One)

Time to stay up late putting the final touches on my final project for Costume Construction I. Hopefully it doesn't take too long. Just have to label stuff and shorten things. I'm freaking out about presenting tomorrow because it has to be six minutes, and I've only presented for about that long once. And that was a long project.

I had a stroke of dumb last night. First off, I hate Hideki's ugly yellow work jacket. It's.. It's.. Ugly =[ So, I thought "Hey! Why not use is school uniform instead!" Then I searched and searched, and watched about an hour of English-dubber Chobits, which was not fun, only to realize that Hideki does not have a school uniform. LAME!

Should Be Finishing My Final (Day Eighty)

I really have nothing much to report today. Except for that I hate gamble chocolates that don't tell you what's in them. Those are a real good way to get an allergic reaction.

Mommy's Sick =[ (Day Seventy-Nine)

Today had it's ups and downs. I was supposed to go to the craft store with my boyfriend this morning, but when he called, I was too tired to get up. I really needed to get things too. Oh well. Knowing life, I wouldn't have had time to shop for myself anyway. Not that I exactly have a surplus of money.

I went to see my boyfriend in his college production of A Christmas Carol. It was good, I had fun. Except the kid next to me was rather antsy, and I got heat stroke about three-quarters of the way through. Oh, and since Mommy's sick, I couldn't stay long after the performance.

I wanted to work on stuff tonight, but instead I did some self-maintenance, plucked my eyebrows, painted my nails, and the like.

Maybe I'll clean out my cosplay closet again. I'm in a foul mood, and that usually cheers me up.

Meh (Day Seventy-Eight)

I finally got the stockings to go with my Chi dress =] They're not exactly what I wanted, but I'll live. I also got a "Tattoo Pen." It's not the greatest thing ever. I was hoping that it'd be cosplay material worthy, for pretty much anything that'd need a tattoo, but it's basically an expensive Sharpie. D= Dries better than a Sharpie though... And is harder to get off! xD

I was supposed to go see my boyfriend in his college play today, but noooo. We got looooost. Pfft. Going tomorrow instead. Meh.

RAWR (Day Seventy-Seven)

So, I stayed up until at least three finishing my Final Project for Costume Construction I last night, only for today to come and me to find out that it's not due until Tuesday until we actually present it. The class syllabus was misleading! I thought it was due today! *fume* Anyway.

I sketched some more designs for the group cosplay that I want to do, which may actually happen! I'm thinking Fanime 2011, LOL! Or Holiday Anime Faire 2010. It's too bad there are no conventions in my area between Fanime and Kin-Yoobi. And I can't do a group cosplay to Kin-Yoobi because I'm staffing, so I wouldn't be with my group, thus ruining the point of a group cosplay...

I'd also like to enter a costume contest with my group once it's fully completed, but that would mean entering in Fanime's 2011 masquerade. Oh well, at least I'd have time, some of which would be spent planning / rehearsing an actual skit, because walk-ons are usually rather boring, and I like to entertain.

That reminds me, I'm still really sad that I never got to do my Soldier A skit for Kin-Yoobi 09. I was too preoccupied with entering as Amaterasu to really put forth the effort and make it happen. And it won't happen next year because, again, staffing. And hopefully Emcee-ing the costume contest, leaving me no room to perform.

I still haven't heard from the Fanime peoples who were supposed to e-mail me about my free ticket. I'll give them a couple more days before e-mailing the coordinator of Holiday Anime Faire, who I believe would promptly kick their asses into next week if they scammed me out of a ticket.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (Day Seventy-Six)

My migraine went away! *cries of yay!* I went to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with my boyfriend and his family. It was rather short, but still very nice. =]

As for cosplay, I got nada. Except getting a couple more people to join my cosplay group and us all agreeing on a group cosplay. Hell yeah =D I'm more excited about that than I should be D= But I get to make giant fuzzy feet again! =D

It's pretty much my dream group cosplay, we need at least two more people, but we may actually need five, depending on how things go with a couple of people.

My designs for it aren't even finished yet, I feel like it needs more FUR! I really want this to be a combination of a fur suit and a traditional school uniform. I need to sketch out male versions as well, since the group was originally intended to be all female. Then it dawned on me that I don't get along with many girls very well. So now I'm just hoping we can get an even-ish amount of girls and guys.

I think I have an unhealthy obsession with fursuits. I mean, yes, sewing is easy and rewarding, but it's nowhere near as rewarding as completing a costume part with fur and hot glue. And I'm always cold and fur is always warm, so that's a real nice plus.

I'm really looking forward to teaching people how to make the giant fuzzy feet. They're my favorite part for sure. Plus, we get to go on giant group shopping trips =O I fully intend to freak the crap out of JoAnn's employees. "Yes, all eight of us need at least one yard of fur and a shitload of foam. Oh, no, this isn't for a school play, this is what we do in our spare time."

Back to Chi Again (Day Seventy-Four)

For the record, I'm not making the dress pictured here, it's just the closest one I could find to what mine looks like now.

Ah, Chi's dress is almost finished! It is definitely the frilliest, girliest thing I own. And I love it to pieces. Is it sad that it's probably the prettiest piece of clothing I own? I was shocked when I put it on after working on it today. I didn't expect it to turn out so gorgeous. It's definitely worthy of Fanime's Black & White Ball now, which was about eighty-five percent of the reason I wanted to spiff it up. All that's left is finishing a few loose ends. Like lace ends that need to be stuck together or covered with ribbon. They just don't look finished otherwise.

I'm thinking of adding some gold onto it too. Just a couple little gold ribbons or something, but it really depends on what color my Hideki's jacket is going to end up. I mean, I know it's supposed to be yellow / gold, but until we actually buy the fabric or jacket, I can't match a proper ribbon color to it.

In other, slightly related news, stuffing a bra is fun xD And surprisingly effective if done right. Even though I'm not flat, I feel like I make a flat Chi (I mean, come on, she's like an E or something). I can stuff so that I actually have cleavage showing and it doesn't look misshapen. =D Proud of my self for no real reason.

Tomorrow I want to finish off the parts of the dress that I can, then work on Ammy some more, since Chi will be in a wearable state and I will be wearing Ammy three weeks after Chi's dress.

Patching Ammy's Wounds (Day Seventy-Three)

As promised, I patched up Amaterasu today. She needed it more than I thought =/ Poor thing. While she was, in my book, an above average costume (okay, she was damn great), I still saw many flaws. I'm sure others noticed a few too.

I lined the inside of her leg pieces (led-warmer-lookin' things xD) because they were previously completely unlined and I had the foam parts against my tights and it stuck to them and made them not only to put on and take off, but difficult to move around in. I'm toying with the idea of completely lining the inside so that the elastic won't touch my tights either, but it's not an issue yet, so we'll see.

I added fur where it was needed on the shorts, there were some patches of jeans showing through, and some seams, basically. I covered them pretty well, now all I have to do is remember to brush my butt and crotch after putting the shorts on to be sure I'm covered. HA! xD

The bottoms of the feet were coming off, and the foam on one started to detach itself from the shoe, so I fixed all of that. I also added another layer of Shoe Goo to the bottoms of the black paw pads. I'm still trying to figure out Shoe Goo's properties though, so I may have to redo that again. I know for sure I have to paint the white bits or something, because the Shoe Goo I have for that part is clear, and the white is so dirty, I can't clean it off.

I also re-made the straps to the shield, as the ones I had BOTH fell off at Holiday Anime Faire. I actually had to remake them twice, but I think it was worth it. I used a fabric more suited to the job this time (it stretches =]), and I made them longer, so it's easier to put on and take off. Now if only I could get it to hover a few inches behind my back... Hahaha.

I also got my Heat 'n' Bond and my black lace today. =D As well as more white fur. Just in case I don't have enough.

Tomorrow, I really have to finish up my final project for Costume Construction, so Ammy will probably be left in her box for the day. We'll see how quickly I get done. My next task, before adding onto Ammy, is to finish, or at least make wearable, my Chi dress. While I won't be cosplaying Chi until Fanime, May 30th, I plan on wearing the dress To SacAnime Winter on January 9th. Which is the entire reason I needed Heat 'n' Bond so badly.

Holiday Anime Faire 2009

I am sooo glad I went to Holiday Anime Faire. Especially as Amaterasu.

I went in a browsed (okay, ransacked) the place for a wall scroll of Chi, which I did not find! *rage* Oh well. I bought the last two books of Chobits later instead.

I loitered around and ran into (or rather was pulled out of the crowd by) a couple of friends. We were disturbed by this girl... How do I describe her..? Insane? Heh. It was clear that she was excited, but from what I could tell, and what people who knew her told me, she's severely socially awkward. She just thought that she was the best thing ever and it was just awkward when she spoke. She walked up to my friend who was dressed as Sleepy Time Naruto, and she herself claimed to be Naruto and had a Naruto graphic tee on. She asked "Which one if the real one?" and my friend (not Naruto) pointed to her shirt and said "That one." The chick thought my friend meant her and started to say "Ha! I win!" When the Naruto I knew cut her off and said "No. You don't understand. That's the real Naruto," and pointed more clearly to her shirt. Heh. Awkward, but my friends are awesome anyway =D So I chatted with them and kinda stuck myself to them until the costume contest, which was the only reason I went in the first place.

Speaking of first place, I got it! Hehehehehe. Never has winning been this rewarding though. We were split up into three categories: hand-made(which I was in), closet cosplay, and store / internet-bought cosplay. Last time I competed at this convention, in April (same convention, different name and month, don't ask) the judging was based solely on audience reaction. If it had been like that this time, I'm not so sure I would have one. This one girl, I forget who she was dressed as, got a lot of cheers and screams, but I was told that a lot of it was her friends in the audience and people just generally fangasming. This time though, the convention head brought in an impartial judge who knew almost nothing about anime, and that's probably the reason I won. I thanked everybody, including the audience and random people who said they liked my costume so many times, it was crazy. I'm so grateful.

My prizes kick ass. seriously, best. prizes. EVAR. A jacket with the Shonen JUMP logo on it, estimated to be worth about $50, a keychain, which I already have, an iron-on patch with no significance to me, and a freakin' ticket to freakin' Fanime. My jaw dropped to the floor when they announced that as one of the prizes. I mean, seriously. They were listing the prizes "DVDs... A jacket... A ticket to AOD... A ticket to Fanime." and people just freaked. I was happy for the potential DVDs, that's what my prize was last year, the jacket didn't interest me, but they got my attention with an AOD ticket, and I nearly passed out when they said a Fanime ticket. And then I won the Fanime Ticket. OMG. I'm just really excited.

I plan on showing my Ammy lots and lots of TLC tomorrow because it won me so much today. I don't know if I'll finish any new parts, but I'll patch up what's falling apart and whatnot, because it managed to take a beating today =/

It Snuck Up On Me (Day Seventy-One)

I think Holiday Anime Faire really snuck up on me because I've been looking forward to Fanime so much. I was so preoccupied by planning, how to save money, deciding when and the best way how to reserve a hotel, starting a new costume (Chi) for it, there was no time for poor little Holiday Anime Faire. It's a good thing it's only $10 or whatever to get in, or I'd be pissed at how unprepared I am, haha. I mean, my costume's done, it's just not where I'd like it to be.

I had to do a last-minute patch-up job on Ammy's shield today, because the strap fell off at the last convention I wore it to (Kin-Yoobi Con), and it wouldn't stay up right with just one strap. Other than that, I didn't finish the shoulder "wings," I only got the arm bands done, so I'll be wearing those. And I didn't Finish re-surfacing the feet, in fact, one of them is falling apart. It should survive a few hours tomorrow though.

Boy, I sure hope I win that costume contest. I won before with a costume that I didn't think was that great (Lady Mario), so I'll be really disappointed if I lose with Ammy. Unless the people who beat me have really kick-ass costumes. Which I don't expect because I seriously suspect that the only really good cosplayers in my city are in my cosplay group, haha, all three of us xD That's not to say that there aren't other good cosplayers, they just don't seem to attend this particular convention. Or enter the costume contest.

Makeup Recommendation: Almay Blemish Reducer

In cosplay, a lot of people look at you and take your picture. So while you may not even care about how your face looks in everyday life, you may care while you're in costume. (Or you may not care what anyone thinks at all, kudos to you!) So every now and again, I might post some makeup info, but I may start a blog specifically for makeup tips and recommendations, in which case any makeup posts from here will be copied to the other blog (and deleted from here).

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a site, or even part of a site, specifically for the product I'm recommending, so here's the Official Almay Site.

I honestly didn't think this stuff would work at all. It's a compact powder that doubles as a cover-up and an acne / blemish reducer (it of course comes in a wide variety of skin tones). Liquid acne reducers (such as benzoyl peroxide) actually don't do much for me. Things like Clean & Clear work, but they usually stop working after a while as though I build up an immunity. I don't know if that's even possible. Also, Clean & Clear and other benzoyl peroxide-besed products dry out my skin like you wouldn't believe.

I actually didn't even notice much of a change when I first started using Almay
s Blemish Reducer either. I actually broke out a little more than usual first, but that happens sometimes. (For those that don't know, acne cleansers will usually bring out acne hiding beneath the surface of the skin before getting rid of it.)

After maybe a week or so, I noticed a significant reduction in not only acne, but also redness, blackheads, and enlarged pores. I've been having issues with my Godzilla-sized pores for a while now, so I was extremely happy to see those reduced.

I apply the makeup / blemish reducer two to three times a day. Once before putting on my makeup in the morning, I then put my regular makeup over it, but that's optional as it is also a cover-up; I do touch-ups during the day if I see a lot has come off; and then once after washing my face before I go to bed. Yes, you can leave this product on overnight, and it does say to use two to three times a day.

I'm not impressed with it's application method though, a cheap, fabric-y / sponge-y... Thing. I don't even know what it's called. You can apply it with a brush, but you'll need a rather high-quality brush, as anything low-quality will just cut through the compact powder and fling it into the air. Using a brush also doesn't cover the redness as well and the sponge-wannabe that comes with it.

The compact case that it comes in is rather convenient, as it has a mirror in it and is nicely sized, but it doesn't really have anywhere to keep the sponge-wannabe. (I just end up putting it on top of the makeup and closing the case, but it's not like there's a lot of extra room in there for it.) The case isn't small enough to fit in a pocket (it's about 2 X 2 X 0.5), but it would probably fit nicely in a purse or backpack and wouldn't get damaged or accidentally opened up other stuff.

On a side-note, I also use Almay eyeliner and mascara (too lazy to check what types right now), and normally I'm not one too be picky about makeup other than concealer, but Almay has yet to fail me. Their twist-up eyeliner is the only black eyeliner I'll ever use.

I definitely recommend Almay Blemish Reducer or Clear Complexion (yeah, there's two, might be wrong on the exact names though). It's convenient, useful, and actually works.

Special thanks to my cousin Katie (aka MoE) for recommending it to me. ♥

Addicted to the Wii (Day Sixtey-Nine(TeeHee))

So, I think I've finally accepted the Wii for what it is: A feeble attempt to get lazy kids off their lazy butts and DO something. Which I kinda need to do, haha.

As for cosplay... Meh. Blame Wii Sports. My mom was gonna take me to JoAnn's, but I started playing while waiting, and then my boyfriend found out and came over, and we ended up playing until nine at night, haha, my mom played too. The sad thing is, I'm going to be very, very sore tomorrow. =[

Day Sixty-Eight

Today in my costume construction class, I began building a pattern for a Lolita shirt. But that's about it. Oh, and Draping > Flat Patterning. Seriously.

Day Sixty-Seven

My mother so kindly brought to my attention the fact that Holiday Anime Faire is this Saturday. Oh noes! I need to finish Ammy's feet. Shoot. The arm bands I can do without finishing, but I can't very well go without feet. That would be indecent.

Using Sculpt It Clay

Scuplt It clay is an air-hardening modeling clay and comes in a variety of colors.

Sculpt It is fairly durable, it can, for the most part, withstand being dropped, and it's not too hard to work with. However, it dries out insanely quickly, but does not set. Meaning it will crack and not smooth over as you are working with it, but it won't be hard, so when you pres it, it'll bend and become misshapen, all the while cracking and crumbling. Some cracking may be smoothed over with water or even paint.

Yes, you can paint it, which is definitely great, because it doesn't come in every color out there, of course, and the colors don't blend especially well. When painting, though, the liquid in the paint (doesn't even have to be water), mixes with the color already in Sculpt It, and can give you some odd colors.

I suggest sealing it then painting it and sealing it again. Keep in mind, whatever sealant you use will change color while you're applying it. If you would like it to stay the same color, be sure to smooth out all of the sealant with your brush, so it will dry clear.

So far I've used Sculpt It twice, once for a very detailed necklace pendant, and once to make a dog nose.
The necklace pendant had pieces sticking off of it, as part of the design, and they would not stay on no matter how hard I tried, I ended up super-gluing them on, and then the necklace got dropped and I had to re-glue some things. Yes, even the almighty super glue fails on this stuff. Also, the pendant was small and took a lot of care when making, so the Sculpt It dried out before I could attach everything, which is what ultimately resulted in the super glue. I was however very glad that I was able to paint it.
I did like how it turned out for the dog nose, however. (Please note, dog nose, not muzzle. I'm talking about the actual black nose.) The cracks and imperfections of the Sculpt It gave the nose more depth and made it more realistic, as a dog's not is of course not completely smooth.

Overall, I would not recommend Sculpt It for most people, especially not beginners, mainly because it dried out too fast, so there's little room for error.

Working with Fake Fur

Before I start anything, I'd like to clearly state that most of what I learned about working with fake fur, I learned from Things that I learned from there that I post here will be linked back to that site, though not necessarily to where it was said, so you'll just have to trust me that it's in there. So let's start.

~ When working with fur, fake or not, do not cut it with scissors. Ever. This will cut the actual fur and you'll end up with fur shorter or even missing in some places. Use a razor knife and cut from the back. * Meaning turn the fur over so that the fuzzy side is facing the cutting surface, and cut using the razor knife on the underside. Do this with even extremely short furs, I know from experience (Ammy mask) that that makes a difference.

• On the back of the fur, before cutting it, draw arrows indicating which direction the fur lays in. * Check and double-check this before cutting, I've messed this up a couple of times. About ninety percent of the time, you can get away without doing this, but that last ten percent of the time will come all at once when you're almost done and running low on fur. Again, just trust me. It's better to mark it than not.

• When working with white fur, use a light-colored marker for any markings on the back. This depends on how thick the fur is, but it's generally a good rule. I ended up using a lime green Sharpie after the red one bled through on my Ammy mask.

• Light colored fur will take Sharpie ink. Meaning if you have a light-colored fur, and you want to make it a dark-colored fur using a permanent marker, you can. However, it takes a fair amount of marker to get total coverage. If you want to dye a large area, you'd be better off buying the color fur you want right off the bat, unless you can't find it.

* The asterisk indicates stuff I learned from

Ammy's Mask & Arm Bands (Day Sixty-Six)

I finished Ammy's mask with surprising speed today, or at least it felt like surprising speed. It was really more like several hours. I covered the mask with the fake fur / felt, which is really more like fur than I thought it was, and should have been treated as such. I really, painfully regret how wide and long I made the muzzle. I may make another mask some time down the road, but I still have moldy paper mache in my room. I'll throw it out tomorrow when my mom's not home to yell at me about it. considering the entire mask cost me less that five dollars, it wouldn't be too much of a loss to make a second one. However, the three or so hours I spent making it... That's another story. Which is why I won't be re-doing it any time soon.

I crafted the actual nose out of Sculpt It Clay. I don't really recommend the stuff, but it's not as bad as it could be. I then sealed it with I forget what brand of sealer, painted it (because the clay I used was purple O_o), and sealed it again. I really like the effect of the clay's imperfections as well as the sealed paint. It makes it look like the nose it wet, like a dog's should be, haha.

I started on the arm bands for Ammy's tufts of fur, or "wings," but they're kind of a paint in the butt. The bands are fur with cotton lining and quarter-inch elastic inside. I wish I had maybe half-inch elastic, but whatever, I work with what I've got. They're held together with hot glue, which isn't the best either, but it gets the job done and I hate hand-sewing on fur, and I'm not sure how my machine would handle that. My guess is not well. The actual fur tufts are a foam base with fur over them, but I haven't gotten to the fur part, I actually haven't even gotten both bases carved out yet. And I'm not entirely sure how I'll be attaching the tufts to the bands, so that should be fun.

Also, from this point on, I may be posting more than once a day. I will still post at least once to report in on any cosplay details of the day, but I may make a other posts with random-ish topics, as I to when there is no, or very little, cosplay news.

Anime on Cable (Day Sixty-Five)

I feel sooo lazy =/ I neef Heat 'n' Bond! Nows! I also need to finish my mask... That should probably be a higher priority than my dress. However, I'm still stuck on whether to use a felt / fur on the mask, or use the same fabric as I want to use for the gloves. In any case, I'll try to get back to work on something tomorrow or Monday. Most likely Monday, when my mom will be gone for work and work-related things. I hate when she bugs me when I'm working on cosplay...

In any case, I re-discovered something today. I don't like watching anime on cable TV. It's alright On Demand, it's not like I only watch it in Japanese or anything like that, it just bugs me to watch it on cable. Maybe it's the commercials, but it just doesn't feel right. I also think I have to be in the right mood to watch it. You can't just throw an episode of anything at me and expect me to enjoy it. That's why I like owning DVDs and manga, instead of waiting on the TV or library to have what I want. I'm so impatient, that's why I don't keep up with any TV series, haha. Waiting for manga is hard enough =[ Speaking of which, when the heck is the next Loveless book supposed to be published in the US? Seriously, it's been about three years. =[

Days Sixty-Three & Sixty-Four

Happy Thanksgiving all. I went to my grandma's and then to my boyfriend's. I got sick in the middle of all this, but I recovered. =D

Nothing cosplay-related. Again. I am exhausted though.

Day Sixty-Two

I got really, incredibly sick today, worse than before. Ugh, the day before Thanksgiving too. I just hope I can eat alright tomorrow =/

Day Sixty-One

I've seriously become so lazy... Although today felt a little crazy. I woke up and went to class, my mom was out of town all day, so my boyfriend came over because my mom didn't want me to be home alone at night. She's insane, I'm eighteen, but whatever xD At least I got to hang out with my boyfriend. =]

I don't really feel like working on any cosplay until I get more Heat Bond to finish my Chi dress. Maybe I'll get my mom to drive me back to the fabric store tomorrow so I can buy some...

Day Sixty

I have no idea where today went. Seriously. I feel like I did nothing.

Makeup Maintenance

I stayed up hecka late last night. Inhumanly awake. I didn't fall asleep until after six-thirty when my mom was already out of bed and the sun was coming up. So of course, I slept in really late too, until about three-thirty, I think. So, naturally, I did basically nothing all day. So, today's topic: Makeup Maintenance.

Please note that this is not about makeup application or brands. Maybe I'll do something like that later, but this isn't it.

Makeup & Conventions
I prefer to have two sets of makeup and brushes: my everyday, high quality makeup and brushes, and my convention, lower quality makeup and brushes. I usually use the high-quality makeup and brushes before leaving for the convention, and then pack the cheap stuff to take with me. (When I stay overnight for Fanime, I plan to take my good makeup and brushes and leave them in the hotel room.)
I have one high-quality brush that I take with me to conventions though. It it an eyeshadow brush specifically made for travel (retractable). It actually does make a difference what type of brush you use, as a higher-quality brush will give you smoother lines.
I keep all of my brushes and makeup together in my convention bag, in a small pouch that is easy to take out so that you don't have to take the whole backpack into the bathroom for touch-ups. I also bring a small, compact mirror.

Cleaning Brushes
I clean my brushes after each use (as opposed to before each use). The reason being that my brushes take at least twelve hours to fully dry. I don't clean my brushes if I use them for a costume's makeup and I know for sure that I will be using them for that costume's makeup the next time I use them. (Example: I use them for Mello's makeup and know that the next time I will use those particular brushes will be for Mello's makeup again.)
To check if a brush really need to be cleaned, rub it on the back of your hand, as if applying makeup, and see if anything comes off. If it does, you definitely need to clean it. If not, you could probably get away with not cleaning it.
So here's step-by-step on how I clean my brushes:
• Hold the brush in your dominant hand (I am right-handed), place the bristles on your non-dominant hand (in my case, left) and run it under warm water.
• Put a small amount of soap in the palm of your [left] hand, preferably something non-scented and with minimal chemicals, baby shampoo / soap is good.
• Move the brush in either a circular or back-and-forth motion in the soap until the soap changed into the color of the makeup that was in the brush.
• Rinse and repeat until the soap either doesn't change color or it's a really light color.
• Run the brush under the water and move it in the same motion as when washing it with soap. Continue until the water runs clear.
• Use your hands to wring out the brush and set it down so that a majority of the bristles are not twisted or curved. The brush should retain its full form once dried, even the cheap ones.

Storing Your Makeup
I have two makeup boxes, and I still don't feel like it's enough. I sort my makeup by brushes, eyeshadow & liquid eyeliner, face makeup (cover-up & glitter), lip makeup (lipstick & gloss), "crayon" eyeliners, mascaras, and extra makeup "parts" (sponge pads, eyelash curler cushions, etc.). I also have a separate box for makeup & brushes I use every day, and another box specifically for theatrical makeup (body / face paint, liquid latex, Spirit Gum, etc.).

I may come back and update this post on occasion. If you're interested, bookmark the page. =]

Green Luma (Day Fifty-Eight)

Feeling much better today than I did yesterday =] I was extremely surprise at my own quick recovery. I've never gotten better that fast.

So I went back to JoAnn's today for a better quality black lace, quarter-inch-wide elastic, cord elastic (which I wasn't even looking for & didn't expect to find, but did need), stretchy white fabric (which is luckily fuzzy too, which I like), and green fleece.

I made my cousin a green fleece Luma for Christmas (pictured left). Every time we play Mario Kart Wii, she plays Rosalina and says that she wants a Luma, so I made her one in the color of her choice. It was a pain in the butt, but it's not so bad for my first plushie, though you can definitely tell it was hand-made. The arms are all lop-sided, and the eyes are off-center, but I still hope she'll like it...

I also went back to work on Chi's dress. Added black lace, and I'm hoping to add more black ribbon before the end of the night. Tomorrow I need to clean my iron, haha. I like to use iron-on hems, I forget the real name, but it's like double-sided tape for fabric that you iron on to make sticky. However, you're not supposed to put the iron directly onto it, it's supposed to be sandwiched between the fabric you want to stick together. But somehow, I always manage to get it on the iron anyway. So there's all this burnt gunk on my iron. (Random, but I want to name my iron. I named my sewing machine, Koko, and I named the one I use at school, Kiki, but my poor iron has no name... I'll get back to that later.)

Day Fifty-Seven

I got really sick today, so I did nothing. I'm going to go get more rest now...

Chi Collar (Day Fifty-Six)

I feel like I did a lot more today than I did. I made a Lolita-style collar to go with my Chi outfit. I can't find a picture of what I was going for, but it's basically just a collar with rounded edges. It doesn't attach to the dress, it's just worn as a necklace basically. It's white with a big, black button. I'll get a picture on soon. I don't know if I'll wear it with the costume or not for sure, but it is rather cute.

I'm not finished with the dress, it needs more black accents, but I didn't have enough ribbon, lace, or fabric to come up with something, so it's back to the fabric store tomorrow.

I sorta of forgot about my Amaterasu mask today, but I checked on it and I'll probably add another layer of paper mache before covering it with the felt / fur, just to make sure it's stable. I'm hoping to get it finished over the weekend, but I never know.

I have a convention meeting tomorrow at nine and then it's off to the fabric store. After that, I have a doctor's appointment and I'm going to the mall with a friend who's fallen on some rough times. She needs a pick-me-up and I need a headband and white thigh-high tights. =]

Material Shopping at JoAnn's (Day Fifty-Five)

I intend to work on stuff tonight, but we'll see. I got a mask to use for Amaterasu, fuzzy felt stuff to put over it once it's altered, and a pattern and fabric to make bloomers. I forgot the friggin' elastic though! Ugh. *faints* I'm dumb.

So I figure I'll tackle the mask tonight, I have to alter it so that it look like it has a dog nose / snout, cover it with the fur / felt stuff, then draw the red circle and lines. I was going to make the red part out of red fur / felt stuff, but then I thought it would look weird and stick out funny if I glued it over the top, and if I cut out a space for it, you know it wouldn't fit in right no matter what I did. (You just know it wouldn't...) And I already know from experience that fake fur takes Sharpie quite well if you do it right, so theoretically it'll work on this fur / felt stuff too. I'll have to test it first, of course. I'm a little worried about molding the snout / nose because I have the feeling it's not going to want to shape right. I'll be making out of a toilet paper tube, cut to size with a vague shape, and then paper mache-ing over it to give it more definition and blend with the face better. So we'll see how all of that goes. Wish me luck!

Chi's Ears (Day Fifty-Four)

I like how "Chi's" sounds like "cheese" =] It amuses me all the time..

Anyway, Chi's ears are harder to make than I thought they'd be. The pink and white parts just don't want to fit together. And there wasn't enough foam to make the pink pieces long enough to go from the tip of the ear to lay flat against my head. In addition to all of that, 'm having trouble getting them to be the right shape. I'm hoping to finish them tonight, but who knows. I could be at this for weeks.

After they're built, I have some almost-clear silver paint that I may put over them to make them look more metallic, as they should be.

Chi's Dress (Day Fifty-Three)

I worked more on Chi's dress today. A lot more. This is probably the most detailed project I've ever done, and I'm not even making it from scratch, I'm just altering something.

So, I added some ruffles to the back of it to match the train of the dress. I did some detailing with black ribbons as well (I felt like it needed more black than just the bow in the front). And I ran out of lace T_T It was nice lace too. I have about six inches left of the five yards I started with. Never in my life did I ever think I would wear five years of lace. Doesn't even look like five yards...

Even though this dress is not an exact replica of Chi's dress, I am so proud of it. I love it's design (my mom helped a little with that), and I'm so proud of my creativity with it's design and the materials I had.

I can't decide if I'm done with it yet, I want to do more, but I'm not sure what. I may work on the fit of the dress some more, though that'll be hard now that it's one giant ball of POOF.

I'm also really glad that with it's new design, I don't have to wear a petticoat with it. Petticoats are ITCHY! No fun.

So now what I have to do is get a new wig (hopefully I good-quality one), Make the ears (which I'm really looking forward to for some reason) buy and possibly alter a pair of wight thigh-high leggings, and somehow get ahold of some bloomers. I hope they're easy to make, because I think the only place that'd have those would be a second-hand shoppe, and let's face it, ew.

Chi's Beginnings (Day Fifty-Two)

I sewed today! Yay! It made me happy =]

I spent several hours altering a dress just to make it fit! Ugh. I got really frustrated because I didn't feel like I was making much progress. But then eventually I finished that and got to work on making it look more like I wanted.

I will be cosplaying Chi from Chobits for Fanime on Sunday, May 30th. I will be going to Fanime other days, and I'll list what days and costumes when it gets closer. I chose Chi for Sunday though because this year, I really want to attend the Black and White Ball, and Chi has some formal-ish dresses. My boyfriend will be cosplaying as Hideki in his work uniform that day so he can attend in cosplay as well. I'm super excited! After high school, there isn't much opportunity to attend formal events, so this makes me really happy. =]

On a side note, I tried to make a collar that matched the dress, just to wear around my neck, not attached, and I kinda, sorta managed to super-fail a little bit, so I gave up, haha. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow when I'm thinking better.

I may wear Chi other times too, but I'm still in love with my Amaterasu costume and haven't had the chance to wear her with the wig yet, so that's set for Animation On Display in January for sure. I'll probably wear Chi for Kin-Yoobi Con in August, since I'll be staffing and want something comfortable and easy to move in. I need a new wig though. I completely messed up the one I had T_T

Day Fifty-One

I feel so lazy... I was going to sew today, but decided instead to paint my nails, which of course prevented me from sewing. Ugh. Maybe I'll work on some hand-stitching tonight or just get some stuff ready for tomorrow so I can work then. At least make a list of things to buy or something. Anything to get me more motivated.

Day Fifty

Woo! Fifty days! That's gotta be some kind of milestone. Oh, how this blog has grown. It started with no followers.. Now if has three! Yay! (Haha I'm probably more happy about that than I should be, I'm pathetic.) Now for some actual blogging.

I, of course, have still been slacking. I really need to get my Amaterasu costume finished up for Holiday Anime Faire, because that is definitely going to sneak up on me really fast.

I told my mom that for Christmas, all I want is for her to drive me to Sacramento (two hours away) so that I can go to Sac Anime Winter. She's not biting. I told her she didn't even have to buy me anything, and she's convinced that gas money would cost more than whatever I want. So I'm gonna push for a PS3 and see how that goes! (Man, I'm spoiled.)

What Not to Pack in Your Convention Backpack

This will be a much shorter post than the last, I promise, haha.

I didn't do anything cosplay-related at all today, but I have confirmed, for the millionth time, via my Costume Construction class, that I HATE sheer fabric more than anything else on this planet. Well. At least more than any other fabric. Today, I told it to go to Hell and stabbed through it with a pin. It's literally making me crazy.

So, today's topic: What Not to Bring to a Convention. Since yesterday was an extensive list on what to pack.

Real Weapons - Most cons specifically state "no live metal" in their rules on their website and convention packets (if they have them). Just don't do it.

Anything That Could be Used as a Weapon - Hammers, wrenches, large wooden objects. Most conventions have even banned yaoi paddles. (Of course lightweight props are usually alright.)

Spray Cans of Anything - Avoid them as much as you can. This means perfume, body spray, Axe, and even hairspray if you can get around it. If you must bring one of these, please wait until you get into the bathroom to use it. I don't need to walk through the hallways and come out smelling like a mixture of Irresistible Apple, Strawberry Passion, and Pine Sol. Thanks. (Not sure where that Pine Sol remark came from... Sorry.)

Large Quantities of Food - Snacks and water or soda are understandable, but full meals are a bit silly. I'd suggest using Google or MapQuest to find local eating places outside of the convention. Eat before arriving, and leave any other food in the hotel room or at home.

Giant Music-Players - Small speakers for you and your friends are one thing, I've done that myself. They were so quiet, you had to get at least close enough to talk to us in order to even hear it, and even then, sometimes you couldn't. There's no need to blast music down the hall. Just because you think it's good, doesn't mean everybody does, and I guarantee somebody will hate it and get annoyed.

FREE HUGS Shirts & Signs - They were fun for a while, but now they're old and obnoxious. After being borderline sexually harassed by a "Free Hugs!" guy (some say it was sexual harassment), I've come to dislike almost all of them.

I'm sure there's more, but I have a general rule: If you can't get it through airport security, re-think bringing it. Now, of course, airport security is much tighter, but with good reason. If you can't get it through airport security, it's because somehow whatever object it is has caused harm to someone. Ask yourself how that is possible, and see if there's another object you can take in it's place. (For example, I cheap, cardboard nail file instead of a metal one.)

I may come back and update this post on occasion, but I'm tired right now.

Packing a Convention Backpack

I may come back to edit this post every now and then, so if you find it helpful, you should probably bookmark it and check back before each convention. In addition, feel free to post anything that you bring to a convention that I have not listed. If I find it useful enough, I may add it to the list!

I bought two new mini bags to put in my convention backpack to organize it more and make things easier to find. Other than that, I didn't do anything cosplay-related, so here's today's topic: Packing a Convention Bag.

First, let's start with bags. Some people can fit everything into a small purse, others, like myself, need a backpack. It really depends on exactly how prepared you want to be and how much you can carry around all day. Most items that I carry are small and could probably fit into a small bag, however, I often pack for more than one person, and I like to be extremely prepared. So, I have a regular school backpack with three pockets, a mesh front pocket (which is nearly useless), and a mesh side pocket, supposedly for a water bottle. I also have two miniature bags that help me sort my items, each has two pockets, but one is about twice the size of the other. These can be substituted with plastic boxes for extra protection of fragile items, if you don't mind the extra weight and bulkiness.

Now for a break down of what's in each pocket, starting with the biggest pocket, and moving forward to the smallest pocket and then the outside. Wherever possible, I'll provide links to places that you can buy certain things. Remember, this is just what I bring and where I put it. How you organize it is totally up to you, this is just what works for me.

Main Pocket:

Lanyards & Badge Covers - I keep these safety-pinned to the top of the side of the main pocket so that they're easily accessible. I hate when conventions only provide a clip or safety pin to hold your badge on. It ruins my cosplay, and it's hard to hide them for pictures.
- I use the old badge covers and one lanyard from previous conventions, and I bought my extra lanyard really cheap from a place called Daiso Japan. You can also find lanyards, for a price, at Spencers and Hot Topic.

Small Bag with two pockets which includes:
(main / larger pocket)
Deodorant - I have a travel-sized, store-brand stick deodorant (as opposed to gel). I prefer my regular-sized, brand-name one that I use on a daily basis, but there have been way too many times that I've forgotten to pack it, so I finally broke down and bought a travel-sized one.
- They're harder to come by than I thought they'd be, but I found mine at Walgreens®. You can also probably find them seasonally (during the summer) at Target or Walmart.

Hand Lotion & Chapstick - This is just because I have dry hands and lips, but you never know.
- Chapstick can be found pretty much anywhere, and I think I got the hand lotions (mini bottles) as promotional giveaways, handouts at the doctor's office, or at Walgreens®. You can also probably find them at Target or Walmart.

Miniature Hairbrush - Whether it be for wigs or your real hair, it's probably a good idea to bring one. Clean it out after every convention that you use it at, though, just to be safe. I suggest a cheap one, since you'll only be using it a few times a year, and a small brush will be lighter and take up far less space, just be sure it's still functional, not like a Barbie brush (although those are handy for brushing out wig bangs).
- I honestly have no idea where I bought my miniature brush, I think it came with a kid's hair styling set, but I would check Walgreens®, Walmart, Target, Ulta, or any place that regularly sells cosmetics and hair products. Remember to check kids' sections too, sometimes stores hide the tiny, cheap stuff there.

Cheap Nail File - Just one nail file that will help you get through the convention. It doesn't have to be metal or especially well-made, just something to file off hangnails so that they don't snag and rip your nail off, or worse, destroy your costume.
- I bought twenty nail files for one dollar at Walgreens®, but I assume you can also find cheap ones at Walmart, Target, Ulta, or any place that regularly sells cosmetics.

(side / smaller pocket)
Miniature First-Aid Kit - Mine includes bandages of various sizes, disinfecting wipes, and pain-killers / fever reducers. I suggest a small handful (five to ten) regular sized bandages, three to five small bandages, and one or two large bandages. In my opinion, the disinfecting wipes are the most important. However, I'm a germaphobe at conventions. Disinfecting wipes (not to be confused with wet-naps) can be misplaced with a cream or spray, such as Neosporin®, but I would stay away from hydrogen peroxide, mainly because it can spill and requires either cotton balls or a sink for proper application. The pain-killers / fever reducers, (also known as Tylenol® or Motrin®) is purely optional, unless you suffer from serious ailments such as migraines, arthritis, or scoliosis. I am not entirely sure on the legality of bringing this to a convention either, as it is a drug. If possible, check the convention rules for this. If it is not specified, it's probably okay to bring. Please note that this does not have to be a full-sized first-aid kit, and I don't recommend that it be. My interpretation of it is that it just needs to be enough to take care of small cuts and scrapes and prevent infection for long enough to reach a first-aid station or get real medical attention.
- I got my first-aid kit from my mom, who I think stole it from a hotel room forever ago, so you may have to build your own. I would start at Walgreens®, of course, they have a large selection of first-aid products and are well-organized. However, you will probably be able to find any of these things at Walmart, Target,or any other place that sells first-aid.

Emergency Sewing Kit - My ESK includes two needles and black, white, tan, pink, red, and gray thread. You may choose to pack threads that match the color of your costume, but I personally would not pack a whole bobbin of thread. Get a small piece of cardboard (no larger than a 3X5 index card), and cut slits into the sides directly across from each-other. You may wish to widen the slits to more than just one cut to prevent it from cutting your string. Then take about one yard (three feet)* of thread and wrap it around the cardboard piece, tucking it into the slits you made on the sides. This will keep your thread separate and free from tangling, as well as making it far less bulky than a bobbin. You can store as many different colors on the cardboard as the amount of rows of slits you can cut, and you can also poke your needles into it in a way that they lay flat, saving space, and won't get lost. If you're really ambitious and organized, you can make one cardboard holder filled with string and two needles for each one of your cosplays. Then all you have to do is swap them out based on what you're wearing that day.
* Note: When measuring the thread, what I do is hold the end of the thread in my right hand and the bobbin in my left hand. I then pull the bobbin to around my neck or left shoulder. For me, this is a little less than three feet, and more than enough to stitch something up, even if I double the thread (tying both ends together after threading to make the thread thicker / stronger).
- I took my emergency sewing kit out of my mom's (formerly my grandma's) sewing cabinet, so you'd probably be better off making your own. I'd recommend Joann's or any other fabric store for thread and needles. Some craft stores, such as Micheal's also carry a few sewing materials, but not often. Walmart also has a small selection of thread and needles.

Manicure Set - My manicure set is actually a part of my emergency sewing kit, which is very convenient, but, again, I don't know where to buy one of these. This is just a simple manicure kit, tweezers, nail file, and things to clean under your nails with (I don't know what the technical term is for those). Yes, I know I mentioned to bring a cheap nail file, I'd actually suggest one of those over the metal ones that come with most manicure kits, because the one sold in kits are usually metal, and could potentially cause problems with convention security if for any reason you happen to get your bag searched. Tweezers are handy for if you get splinters or a loose string that's too short to cut and too long to ignore. Cleaning under your nails is just polite, and sometimes I know I get stuff stuck under there that really bothers me, and there's no room for any unnecessary discomfort when cosplaying.
- As mentioned before, I don't know where this was purchased, but hese items can probably be found at Walgreens®, Walmart, Target, Ulta, or any place that regularly sells cosmetics.

Miniature Roll of Scotch Tape - You never know when you'll need tape, and miniature things are always easier to carry.
- I believe I bought mine at Target during their annual back-to-school sale, but I'm sure they can be found other places, such as Walgreens® or Walmart, during their annual sales.

Medications That You'll Need During the Day - If these are prescription, I would highly recommend taking a copy of your written prescription, not the original. I don't like to take the original of anything not easily replaced at conventions, except my ID, which stays on my body at all times. These meds will vary from person to person, of course. For example, I am lactose intolerant, yet I still eat and drink dairy products. Most of the time, I'm actually okay, but sometimes I get massive stomach cramps, so I have packed my Lactaid® pills, which allow me to eat dairy with no consequence. Anything like that, which is taken on a case-by-case basis, I pack two doses of. I would try to avoid bringing liquid medications as much as possible, and check convention rules to be sure they are allowed.
- Obviously, where you get your medications varies, but Lactaid® pills are sold at any drugstore, including Walgreens® and Walmart, just in case you were wondering.

Second Pocket:

Pens, Pencils, & Other Writing Utensils - I have three pens - blue, pink, & purple -, a red pencil, and a silver Sharpie®. What you brig is up to you, but I suggest at least a blue or black pen, because they are easiest to read. I bring more than one pencil because I've ended up loaning them out to people at conventions before (they've always been returned :D ). The Sharpie® is in case I want somebody's autograph on something dark and they for some strange reason don't have one. The pencil is red because that's what I just threw in there. I'd personally rather have a regular-colored mechanical pencil and extra lead. the red pencil is mechanical, and i suggest mechanical so that you don't have to worry about carrying a pencil sharpener as well.
- Pens, pencils, and Sharpies® can be found pretty much everywhere, please don't make me list all of the places...

Tide to Go Pen - Brand is unimportant, but Tide to Go is the easiest to find, other than store brands. This is obviously for any accidental spills on your clothes.
- I bought my Tide to Go pen at Walmart, because that was literally the only place that I could find it. Although, I suspect Target of hiding them from me.

Hand Sanitizer - This may just be my inner germaphobe again, but there's nothing worse than touching something gross and feeling like miles away from the nearest sink. I have a Walgreens®-brand, spray-on hand sanitizer, but anything works in this case. Most people rely on Purell® I happen to like the spray one because it's easy to store with my pens and pencils, and it sprays the almost exact amount you need every time so you don't waste anything.
- These are found tons of places, especially in the winter and whenever there's a new flu (which feels like just about all the time in the US).

Mints - For the love of Pocky, please bring mints! I beg of you! I have what are basically a cheap knock-off of Altoids as well as Listerine Strips®. Don't rely on gum because chewing it causes you to produce more saliva, which makes your breath worse.
- These can be bought a multitude of places, in fact, I bought my Altoid knock-offs at a convention! So please don't make me list places.

Something to Write On - I carry a Death Note with me, but it's actually quite heavy for it's size and makes up over half of the current weight of my convention backpack, so I'm hoping to get something smaller and lighter.
- I bought my Death Note at Sanrio, yes, I know, hard to believe, but notebooks can be found anywhere.

Random Rave Stuff - Glowsticks, light-up things, etc. I have Finger Laser Lights, which I have yet to use, and I keep them in ring boxes (the kind you get when you buy a ring or necklace).
- I bought my Finger Laser Lights at Hot Topic. Glow sticks and light-up things are sold at conventions, but they're pricey, so watch out.

Third (smallest) Pocket:

Small Bag with one and a half pockets (one pocket is literally just for tissue), which includes:
(small / tissue pocket)
Tissues - Just a small pack of pocket tissues. These go in the small pocket in the mini bag because the one I have is specifically for tissues.

(main / larger pocket)
(If you're a guy, you can skip this part)
Feminine Care Items - I carry two full-sized pads, two panty liners (thin pads), two tampons, two feminine wet wipes, and two to three doses of Midol. Much like the first-aid kit, these should only be enough to get you secure enough to acquire more serious protection. If not for yourself, then for other girls who have forgotten such things. Even if you think you're cycle's not supposed to start or you're not on it, bring them. The one time you forget them, you will need them. I even have the bag for them on a chain attached to an easy-to-find place in the pocket so that all you have to do is un-clip the chain and you can take the bag into the bathroom. The bag that I have is shaped like a miniature purse, so you can also hang it on the back of the stall and don't have to hold onto it while taking care of business.
- The mini bag, I bought at Daiso Japan, feminine care items are most commonly found at Walgreens® and other drug stores, but you can also find them at Walmart and Target. The chain came with a purse, but I do not remember where I bought it, so you can buy chains at Hot Topic, or you can make one yourself by using an old necklace, a key ring, and a convention badge clip. You're smart, you can figure out how to do that.

On the Outside:

Water Bottle - My backpack has a special pocket for a water bottle, so I use that for one and put any other in the main pocket. I'd actually like to get a reusable water bottle, but I haven't gotten the chance to yet.
- Find water bottles, including reusable ones, at any grocery store, though I'd hope you already have some in your house.

Safety Pins - I pin them on the outside so that they're easy to find. Plus, they kind look cool. They've already saved one of my costumes, so now I refuse to go to a convention without them.
- I honestly don't know where my mass amount of safety pins came from, but I'd guess you could buy them at Joann's, a craft store, such as Micheal's, or Walmart.

I know it seems like a long list, but it's mostly small items. I can't say exactly how much I've spent on my convention backpack, as it is items I've accumulated over the years, but I'd guess that if you're nearing $50 for everything, you're spending way too much.

Also don't forget money, an emergency credit card (even if it's just a pre-paid one from Walmart), and some form of Identification. Also anything costume-specific, extra ACE Bandage Clips are a must-have for female crossplayers.

If you're staying the night in a nearby hotel, I'd suggest bringing a larger bag to leave in the hotel room that includes a complete feminine care bag, sewing kit, and first-aid kit.