Live & Learn... (Day 129)

So AOD taught me a couple of things. First off, no more entering costume contests by myself. It's dreadfully boring. Sure, there's other people around, but they're all discussing their own skits and performances. And there's really no one to "SQUEE" with if / when you win. You just sit there by yourself while everyone around you talks to their friends. I mean, that's not to say I was completely ignored, the girls near me did talk to me a little bit =] They were very nice, but it's just not the same as when there's someone there that you know. I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm an introvert and very shy.

Also, Comfort > Everything. Always. I mean, really. I'm not even sure I want to wear my full Amaterasu again because I was in so much pain by the end of AOD. I'll wear it to Fanime once for sure, but after that, I'll have to think long and hard about it. I definitely have to do some tweaking to the mask no matter what though. It just puts too much pressure on my forehead...

And, bad planning and coordination can ruin anything. Referring of course to the costume contest. I'm just taking what I saw and applying it to when I run one later this year though. I'm actually worried about Emceeing now.. I forgot, Emcees have to be funny =/ Or at least moderately entertaining. I'll probably just end up thinking on the fly and pulling stuff out of you-know-where to try and be funny. And if I bomb, hey, who really cares? xP I'll just go home and cry later LOL. *sigh*

No more conventions until Fanime o.o I might go to the Cherry Blossom Festivale in San Fransisco, but not in costume... Definitely not in costume. Unless I come up with something that would be comfortable in both warm and cold weather, because weather is so unpredictable in SF! I'm rambling.

I'm seriously considering (again) starting a separate "Convention" blog. Then I can move a lot of stuff over there. Yes? No? Maybe? Perhaps? I feel like I had more to say, but I guess I'll save it for tomorrow.

Animation On Display (AOD) 2010

Oh, man, I don't even know where to start with this one. We left way later than I wanted to, due to a lot of things really. Then we hit some of the worst traffic I've ever seen, and then we got lost. So we ended up not making it to the convention until about 5:30.

We met up with my cousin and her friends, whom I sold stuff too, and my cousin gave me gifts =] We then ended up in the tabletop gaming room where (hahaha) my friend got hit on by some random guy. It was hard to watch, but still so hilarious. Poor girl D=

Then I went to sign in for the costume contest (as Amaterasu), which I thought was at 6, but was actually at 5! Oops. I still got to participate though, they just had to do my judging later.

We wantered for a while, and I ran into Foxberry in her completely awesome Dr. Franken Stein (Soul Eater) costume, which I won't link directly to because I'm not sure she wants her picture all over the interwebs. I know I wouldn't mind, but I'm weird like that. We talked a bit, in-between being asked for pictures and whatnot.

Then my group went for food and Foxberry and I went to the masquerade pre-gathering organization thing to ger seated and receive info on how things would be run. It was... A little chaotic in there. Loud. very loud. But they got the job done. I had to be pre-judged, and, oh my goodness, stress! I don't know why, but I completely froze up when they asked me questions. "How did you make this piece?" "I.. Umm.. I... Made it..? *dies*"

The masquerade itself went fairly smoothly. There were a few audio malfunctions, and one group ended up knocking the mic stand (with microphone still in it) completely off the stage. Heh. That was also hilarious and painful to watch. I got the worst headache ever during the "halftime show." I think it was a combination of my tight wig cap, my mask pressing against my forehead uncomfortably, my fangs not allowing my to relax my jaw completely, and bad jokes on the Emcee's part. Okay, the jokes weren't bad at all, I would've rather enjoyed them if it weren't for the immense pain.

I ended up winning runner-up for construction, which I"m a little butthurt about, but I'll get over it. I'm sure that the guy who won best for construction deserved it. I believe those judges were very fair. Foxberry got a Judge Favorite award because of her awesome clicking screw-bolt-thing (I don't know what it technically is, but it's awesome! D=). We went to collect our prizes and get more pictures taken of us.

And then Shiek found me! I had been looking for her as Ayame all day, but it turned out that she had changed into something else. I was looking forward to seeing that too =/ That's what I get for being so late, I suppose (though parts of that were beyond my control). By the time she found me, I had taken apart my costume because my fangs, wig cap, and mask were killing me, and I was starting to get hot flashes and the fur didn't help.

After that, I bolted to the swap meet where a friend of mine bought a game she's been wanting for hecka cheap. A couple of things caught my eye, but I resisted the urge to buy useless things. I wanted to keep my money. I brought $30 to the con and ended up leaving with $100 xD That part was totally awesome. Usually cons completely drain my money, so this was a nice change. Though I remember profiting from Kin-Yoobi too when they gave us cash as a costume contest prize.

I might go back to AOD next year, in a simpler, easier-to-wear costume, and at a decent time (not 5:00 o.o). I think AOD's main downside is that there's nothing to do and not enough space to do it in. I liked the venue last year more, the "Main Hall" was a very large open area where people could just chill. But this year, there were actually chairs and tables, so that's always nice too. I guess it's sort of a trade-off.

Quote of the Day:

Random Guy: You're not making any sense!
Random Girl: Your face doesn't make sense!
Me & My Friends: Ohhhhhhh!
My Friend: Are you gonna take that?
Random Guy: Who the hell are these people!?
*my group walks away*

Cosplay Daze (Days 126 & 127)

Woah. Today was crazy. In a good way =]
I went to the mall with my friend, I dressed as Mario and she dressed as Ash Ketchum. It was pretty much awesome. Little kids freaked out when they saw us, haha. Little kids are awesome sometimes. Y'know, when I don't have to put up with them. Yeah, a couple of people make rude comments, but whatever. I don't really let it get to me.

Then when I came home, my boyfriend came over and we took pictures of my Amaterasu and Chi cosplays. Got some decent ones and came up with a pose for me to do at the con tomorrow. It's kinda meh, but whatever xD

Stolen from Shiek le Cosplayer (Survey)

• Who did you first cosplay as?
Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket

• When and where did you first cosplay?
Holiday Anime Faire (Fremont, CA) in 2006

• When and where was the last time you cosplayed?
SacAnime Winter, January 9th, 2010

• Who have you cosplayed as in the past?
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)
Amaterasu (Okami
Chi (Chobits)
Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
L Lawliete (Death Note)
Mihael "Mello" Keehl (Death Note)
Misa Amane (Death Note)
Mario (Super Mario Bros.)
Triela (Gunslinger Girl)
Pikachu (Pokemon)
Cat Girl (Original)
Marionette (Original)
Ninja (Original)

• Who is your favourite person to cosplay as?

Amaterasu, for sure.

• Who do you REALLY wanna cosplay as?
Ugh, the list is endless. I can't even choose my next costume.

• How many of your friends cosplay?
Other than people I regularly talk to online? 4 =]

• Have you ever walked around in public in your cosplay outfit?
Oh, of course. I have to get to conventions somehow. It's not so bad, if you don't mind rude stares or comments.

• Have people in public ever recognised you and asked for photos?
Only at cons. I don't go many places in very recognizable costumes. Though I've had a strong urge for a while now to go to the mall dressed as Mario.

• Have you ever made your own cosplay outfit?
I make a majority of them, yes =] And I'm very proud of myself for that.

• When and where did you first learn of cosplay?
At my first anime con, Comic Arts & Anie Teen Expo (CAAT) (Fremont, CA) 2006

• What did you think of it then?
Totally. Wicked. Awesome!

• What do you think of it now?
The coolest thing EVAR! =D

• Where do you usually cosplay?
Only at conventions. Though a couple of time to school. <3 college.

• Have you ever done a cosplay skit on stage?
Once. It was mediocre at best, and totally and completely made up on stage *applauds improvising* but it was still really fun, and the audience had a great reaction.

• Have you ever won a prize for said skit?
Not for a skit, but I've won three prizes for walk-ons =]

• Do you plan your cosplay outfits waaay before you're meant to wear them?
Yes. Wayyyy ahead of time.

• Have you ever been to a convention and cosplayed?
Many times =] It's probably the most fun I've ever had.

• What is the best thing about cosplay?
Showing off, haha. And expressing my creative skillzors.

• What is the worst thing about cosplay?
Elitist cosplayers and cosplayers who don't even try. Boy, that statement was contradictory.

• Why do you cosplay?
I think I like the creativity and problem-solving skills the most. Plus, getting stopped for photographs at cons makes me feel like a celebrity. All in all, it's just good fun.

Styling Chi Wig (Day 124)

I styled Chi's wig (put the spools in it). It was a pain in the butt, but it looks bretty good =] I'm all set for both AOD and Fanime, even registered for the costume contest at AOD, I just need to print and sign the consent form. I'll probably try and get that done today. I have to print a reference picture of Ammy too, but that's pretty easy.

Ammy's Almost Finished! (Days 122 & 123)

I thought I was done with Amaterasu's gloves, but I made a tiny mistake, so I'll fix that soon. Probably tonight. Somehow, the first glove is better than the second. It just fits better. Ah well. I'm sure nobody will notice, or care. Except the costume contest judges. They might care a little...

Cat Ears! (Days 120 & 121)

So, it turns out my closest cousin and a bunch of her friends are also going to AOD =D So I cut a deal with her friend through her. I'm giving them a discount on my home-made cat ears & bell necklaces, as long as they wear them around the con. So far, I'm getting paid $24, plus my cousin's buying Volume 1 of Chobits from me (I had an extra), and two of her friend's friends may buy ears & necklaces, so I may be making a total of $49 =O Almost enough for the rest of Fanime! Yay!

So I've just been working on making ears and necklaces, I haven't worked much on my own stuff, heh.

If anyone's interested in buying at AOD, I don't have a booth, but you can find me, I'll just be selling out of my backpack xD (Not sure on the legality of that... >_> Hush..)

Spools (Day 119)

There's some irony in here somewhere. I made the spools that go in Chi's hair out of Sculpt It! clay. Damn, I really hate this stuff. I wish I could've just used real spools. but I don't have two the same, and that'd be a waste of thread =/

So, somehow, even though the seal was never broken, my white Sculpt It! was completely dried out. How massively inconvenient. The lightest-colored, least-dried-out was yellow, so now I have two little yellow clay spools. I'll probably paint some of them tonight, but I have to put sealant on them firs to smooth them out a little, since Sculpt It! is lame and cracks. I'm a little worried about threading the hair through the spools, but at least I have a general idea of how to get them to stay.

Days 117 & 118

I got my wig for Chi! And that's really it D= There's not much styling to be done, other than adding the spools to her hair. I don't want to cut the back of it, since it'll be doubling (tripling?) as my wig for Triela (Gunslinger Girl) and Riza (Fullmetal Alchemist). To get the effect of the cut hair in the back, I'm just going to tie the bottom of the wig into two "pigtails" which will keep it from tangling too badly during the day too.

Ammy Paws (Day 116)

I made one of my gloves for Amaterasu. For my first glove, it's really not bad at all. I mean, it's a little snug and a couple of parts fit funny, but overall, I'm really, really proud of it. Hopefully the second one will turn out better. Then when I have nothing else to do, I can re-make the first one.

I somewhat stole the idea for these from a jacket I saw in Hot Topic once. On the sleeves of the jacket, there was a hole for your thumb and claws on the edges. I just upgraded the idea to a glove. Basically, they're fingerless gloves with claws coming out of the finger holes. When I tuck my fingers in (as pictured left), my hands look like dog feet. There is black fabric for pawpads on the font of the glove to complete the "foot" look. Now I must come up with more poses so that I can show these off properly.

I also (finally) bought new white tights today. They're for my Ammy and Cat Girl, since my other ones were too small, which made them super tight and appear almost flesh-toned (in person, anyway, they were fine on-camera). Now most of the stuff I have left to buy is stuff for my boyfriend's cosplays. In face, other than ordering my contacts and picking up my wig for Chi, I'm almost finished with all of my cosplays! This hasn't happened since I started cosplaying o.o; What will I DO with myself without cosplays to work on!? Oh, I know. I'll come up with something else to cosplay.

Actually I've already chosen when I'm doing next. A friend of mine keeps encouraging me to cosplay something "totally badass." But I personally am not the "badass" type, so I never really took it seriously. But I've pretty much decided that Halloweentown Sora (Kingdom Hearts I & II) is pretty damn badass, so there we go! My first crossplay in a while. I won't go too much into it though, I think he deserves his own post.

Day 115

I didn't do any cosplay today, because I went with my mom to see Avatar. Second time for me, first for her. James Cameron needs better writers! How do you spend that much time and money on a movie and wind up with a plot like that? All those acclaimed "subliminal messages" or "sub-plots"? PFFT! I'm rambling. I want to cosplay a Na'vi *shoots self*

I Has A Mario (Day 114)

I actually worked on my Mario hat today *gasp*! I crudely sewed on the white circle, heh. I really don't care enough to spend hours doing a "good" job on it. It's decent, and no one will care. Lady Mario is one of those costumes that I don't care for attention in, despite winning an award with it.

I may later sew yellow or gold buttons to my overalls, but if I don't have them already on-hand, I probably won't bother. Maybe after purchasing the fabric for my boyfriend's Hideki jacket, I'll use some scraps and cover the buttons. Or something. I don't care enough to trouble myself over it.

Working with Dritz® Fray Check

Dritz® Fray Check is used to stop the fraying of thin, usually sheer, fabric edges. It is also used on intricately-shaped pieces of fabric, or any garment edge that would be generally difficult to hem.

I recommend this to anyone and everyone, regardless of sewing experience. Despite the fact that it does slightly change the color of the fabric it is applied to, it gives a much cleaner finish and saves huge amounts of time.

There are, however, some downsides. As mentioned, it discolors the fabric a little. The site linked above states "Because Fray Check is a plastic, it will sometimes appear white on darker fabrics (black, navy, etc.)." I personally have never seen it dry white, and, in fact, on one sheer fabric (in both red and orange), it actually made the edges darker.

It will also make the edges stiffer. It doesn't allow for a full flow or fold. Also, Fray Check is not a friend of your iron, and you have to re-pierce the top of the bottle every time you use it, because the Fray Check dries inside the nozzle and clogs it.

There is the small matter of the smell as well. Fray Check smells strongly of alcohol, which doesn't bother me personally, but other people have complained.

Overall, I still say it's a very sound investment for saving time, money, fabric, and frustration.

Day 113

I'm only about $70 away from having all the money I need for Fanime. Food excluded, because, psh, who needs it. I'll feed off of the energy of the con like a parasite! Or convince my mom to buy me Cup Noodles to last the weekend. >_>

Last night, I received a second confirmation of my free Fanime ticket. Seems my information has been forwarded to the correct departments, and it should be finalized soon.

Funny thing, I keep looking forward to the convention after the next one that I'm going to. I looked forward to AOD before SacAnime, but now I'm looking forward to Fanime, even though AOD is only a couple of weeks away. Hmm..

In any case, I'm almost hoping that I don't win the costume contest at AOD now. Turns out, the people who gave me my Fanime ticket (P.M.B.Q.) are also going to be at AOD. I have not idea whether or not they have any connection to the costume contest or Fanime during AOD, but it makes me a little nervous. Though I could just sell the ticket at a reduced price to a friend. I think o.o I'd probably pass it off to the runner-up for my category. Or something.

In other convention (sadly not cosplay) news, I was told be the convention head for the con I'm staffing for, "I have important info on the con date. Shall I e-mail it to you later?" I said yes, of course, and have not received an e-mail. In all fairness, I didn't e-mail him either, and I said I would. I should get on that.

Fanime Housing! (Thanks Sheik) (Day 112)

Big thanks to Sheik Le Cosplayer for posting that Fanime's housing prices were up. Otherwise I probably would've never known =[

So, of course, I'm all booked and ready to go. Except. Well. Y'know. That money o.o

Also, today I bought new fangs for Ammy, actual werewolf ones this time. I now have both top and bottom fangs, and they're way more noticeable than my vampire fangs. I also bought black lipstick to wear as Ammy, because wolf's lips are indeed black, and it makes my lips more noticeable when I talk, even with the mask. I previously wore red lipstick, but it just wasn't cutting it for me.

Ammy AGAIN (Day 111)

I know, I'm posting a day late. Well, since it's after midnight, it's two days late. In any case, "today" I finished up Amaterasu's wing / fur tufts. They're don't look how I originally planned them, but I like them better the way they turned out than I did when I planned them. Funny how things turn out, isn't it? =D

Mom was none too happy about the mess I left on the kitchen table though. Fur EVERYWHERE! I only did it out there to spend time with her.. *sniffle*

I still have a few things to buy and make before I consider Amaterasu to be 100% done, but as of now, I consider her to be ready for competition at AOD.

Days 108 & 109

Nothing! Ha.

Typing up the rules for the cosplay contest I'm running later this year >_> Any ideas would be lovely.

I also played Left 4 Dead for the first time today. Yup. I still don't like first-person shooters. Even if I did kill a Tank. I think it was a fluke.

SacAnime Winter 2010

Not worth the two-hour drive. Worth the $25 sure, but not the two-hour drive.

Somehow, we managed to leave about half an hour late, so it kinda started out suckish. By the time we got there, the first panel I wanted to go to (Chris Saradon) was over. So we hopped in line for his autograph. Which, of course, made us miss Vic Mignogna's panel *cry cry sob sob tear*.

After getting autographs, we grabbed a snack and got in line for Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham's panel. Now, their panel almost made the whole trip worth it. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. (Even though I didn't get called on to ask my question. D=) After that, we immediately went to get in line for autographs from Vic, Laura, and Travis.

Worst. Two. Hours. Of. My. Life. We had to wait outside in the cold. Keep in mind, this is in winter, a little after four four, so it's starting to get dark, it's cloudy, and right by a lake that's in the middle of the hotel grounds. Then the guy behind us (who had a mental handicap, literally, I'm not being mean), was yelling, butting into everyone's conversations, cursing, meowing, and growling. Yes, growling.

We were told that the voice actors were all leaving at six, but at five minutes until five, we were told that at five, they were cutting off the line at where it met the doors, regardless of how many people were left. So, of course, six feet away from the door, they cut it off. They told us "You can wait and see if there's enough time for you guys, but you probably won't be able to get your autographs." (May I point out the bad grammar? "Your autographs". If I wanted my autograph, I'd get it.)

So we waited. And waited. While the guy behind us is yelling louder and cursing more. So we stood outside in the cold, even though there was plenty of room to stand behind security guards inside in the warmth.

(At some point during this time, we were notified that Laura and Travis left, and only Vic was still there.)

Then at around five-thirty, another security guard comes out and tells us that the next six groups can go in and will get autographs. We happened to be the fifth group. *le gasp!* So we inched up in line.

Then as the guy in front of me in getting his autograph and picture, Vic's cell phone rings and he answers it. It's his girlfriend and they talk for about two minutes. Now, two minutes is a long time when you've already been waiting for almost two hours. Then I take a picture of the guy in front of me with Vic for him, get the autograph (which apparently comes with an UBER hug *yay*) and a picture.

Then we left and drove the two hours home.

All in all, it was a good convention, even though I only got to do three of the seven things I wanted to do. It's just really not worth two hours for only one day. I will probably return next year for all three days, and if it's no better (or, God forbid, worse) I won't go again.

Group Time! (Day 106)

Shortened the day numbers into actual numbers. Meh. It's ugly, but oh well.

The group came over today, and we actually worked on things =D Even though we're not all cosplaying from the same thing. I finished one of Amaterasu's "wings" but that was it. It took longer than I expected.

Coooookieeees (Day One Hundred and Five)

I has cookies! =D Oh, yes. Be jealous. They is teh nomzors.

So nothing really going on today. The group is coming over again tomorrow to actually work on stuff. =]

Happy Day~! (Days One-Hundered and Three & One-Hundred and Four)

(Note to self: If you miss a day posting, you will have a ridiculously long title, and it will look silly.)

Oops, missed a day, but no matter. Nothing happened that day anyway, except PayPal finally went back online and I got my boyfriend's Fanime ticket payed for =D Now he owes me fifty bucks, ahahaha! Anyway, on to today~!

Got together with the group =D Finally. The plan was Wig Store > Fabric Store > Home > Cosplay. But, uhh.. Somehow we spent three hours in the wig and fabric stores. Oops. And then mah buddies had to leave. But I ordered my Chi wig! From the store! Turns out the store in my area can order CosWorx wigs =D And they take cash. And you can haggle price, easy. They wanted sixty-six dollars for a wig, so I told them I'd have to think about it, I was only looking to spend around fifty, and they said they'd take fifty.

The wig I ordered isn't from CosWorx, though, I'm just excited that they can get them from there. I don't know the brand or name or type of wig I got though, haha, I'm such a n00b. I just likes the color, style, and texture, so I went with it. I like that they have sample colors there in the store. Helps a lot.

I also got a long-neck wig head and another wig cap, since I accidentally gave mine away when I returned a friend's wig >_> Good thing they're relatively cheap. Plus, the one I gave away had some scar putty and liquid latex on it from when I did Mello's scar. And my new wig head came with wig pins o.o Which they didn't give me last time I bought one <_< How rude..

So we're planning on getting together Friday to actually work on stuff, so we'll see how that goes. And SacAnime Winter is this Saturday~!

Day One Hundred and Two

Nothing really happened today, Re-scheduled when our group's gonna meet, hope it works out this time. My boyfriend attempted to drive me to the wig store. "Attempted" being the key word. Somehow, we got lost. So we'll be going Wednesday =D I hope D=

Ack! (Day One-Hundred and One)

So. Turns out my group couldn't come over to work on stuff today. Not to sound cynical, but I kind of knew this would happen. Such is my life. Ah well. I'm only upset because I had to get up early, I guess. Well, early for me anyway.

Mom and I have been busy trying to turn half of my room info a walk-in closet. It was going well until the clothes rack fell off the wall. Yeah... And I still don't have enough room for everything. I need one of those rolling clothes racks. That'd be great. Oh, and a clothes dummy. That'd be great too. 'Cause, y'know, this costuming stuff is a pain without it.

Days Ninety-Nine and One-Hundred =O

Yay! Hundredth day! *happy dance* And at a decent time! *happier dance*

I am pleased to say that I actually feel like I have a solid cosplay group now =D Some of us plan to get together tomorrow to work on things, even though we're not doing a group cosplay. I wish my boyfriend could make it, but he has to spend time with his family.. *sigh* I figured as much, but it's still disappointing.

In other news, I'm surprised at the amount of people I know going to Animation On Display =O Any thoughts of me skipping it to save money for Fanime are gone now, heh. And I've decided to enter the cosplay contest at AOD. Unless there's a fursuiter entering. I have way too much respect for them, and they'd crush my chances of winning anyway. I'd like to do an actual performance, take some form of martial arts, make them more fluid like dance moves, and put them to music. However, I can't choose a martial arts or music style, and AOD is approaching quickly. Walk-ons are boring though and I like to entertain =D So we shall see.

Happy New Year! (Day Ninety-Eight)

So with New Year's Eve and yadda, yadda, yadda, of course I didn't do any cosplay things. However, since the turn of the new year, I feel like all the conventions I'm planning on going to are so much closer o.o

BLARG! My boyfriend has to drive us to SacAnime Winter instead of my mom D= He doesn't like driving on the freeway, or at night, and it's two hours away. I feel bad... But my mom wants to leave at six, and that's when the FMA autograph panel starts! Nyaaaa! I refuse to leave before then. I'd sit down and throw a tantrum like t two-year-old if I had to, but I am getting those dang autographs. Yes. I need Vic Mignogna's autograph twice. STFU.