Happy Holidays!

No matter what holidays you celebrate, I hope that you enjoy them and get to spend them with people you care about.

Happy Holidays~!

Holiday Anime Faire was also today, but for the first time in years, I didn't get to attend. Instead, when I had time at home, I dressed up as a Christmas-y White Mage and took some photos. Enjoy~

Days 994 - 1038

Well then, it's been a while, hasn't it? Well I've been working on a variation of this Ho-Oh (Pokemon) gijinka.
Pretty, isn't she?

I've been wanting to do this for at least a year now, and I finally started. I'm changing some colors around to more closely resemble Ho-Oh, and I'm changing the wings to small Isis Wings (like the wings pictured here). I'm changing a couple of other things too, but I don't have a sketch of what I'm doing available. However, here's a couple of pictures of what I have done so far.
This picture shows the color best.
Here the wings are just folded over.

Here's the pleating done on one wing.
I'm not 100% thrilled with it, but I haven't decided
whether or not it worth it to change it.

Catching Up (Days 879 - 993)

I know I blogged a few times in-between the last time I did a number post and now, but I figured I just do a cover-all post. I haven't been up to many cosplay things recently though. Halloween's coming up, and I've decided to be a flying pig, so there's that. I bought all of the pieces of the costume from Spirit Halloween, Thrift Town, and Hot Topic. It's a pretty cute costume, I think.

Great Fairy from
"Ocarina of Time"
I am however facing a bit of dilema that I'd like some input on, so I figured I might as well post about it. I've been wanting to cosplay Navi from "The Legend of Zelda and the Ocarina of time" for a long, long time now. I really love Navi, and I really want to come up with a good design for her. I came up with an original design, based on the general idea of a fairy, but then I thought about it more and thought that it would be a lot nicer to come up with a design based on the game, rather than whatever I felt like. My first idea was to make a design based on "Ocarina of Time"'s Great Fairy, since that's the only fairy really shown in "Ocarina of Time". What I don't like is that her design makes her look like a drag queen, which I could pull off quite well, to be honest, but I feel like because of her voice, many people, including myself, imagine Navi to be very cute. I don't think "Ocarina of Time"'s Great Fairy is very cute. When I researched "Great Fairy" to get reference pictures, I realized that there were a lot more Great Fairy designs from other games. It occurred to me that I could incorporate some of the other designs as well, but I'm still torn because I really like the idea of only using "Ocarina of Time" designs.

Fairy from
"Minish Cap"
So here's all of that simplified, which would make the most sense:
using my own original design for Navi,
basing the design only off of "Ocarina of Time"'s Great Fairy,
or basing the design off of several of "Legend of Zelda"'s Great Fairies?

Of course what matters most is how I feel because I'll be the one wearing it, blah blah, I'd just like an outside opinion or two.
Great Fairy from
"Twilight Princess"

SacAnime Summer 2012 (Sunday)

Super special shoutout to the girl who came up and told me she reads my blog. That totally made my day. I wish I could have talked to you more, but I was so surprised and flattered that I had no idea what to say. Get in contact with me if you can though, I'd love to chat sometime!

I attended SacAnime Summer with my boyfriend on Sunday, September 2nd 2012. I cosplayed as maid Chii from Chobits. My cosplay was super last minute, I began working on it around 11pm the night before and finished at 1:30am. So it's not super accurate, but it looks really good regardless, so I'm pleased with it. I wasn't going to go to SacAnime this year, since it's not really worth the two-hour drive, but a friend of mine wanted to buy my old Fullmetal Alchemist books and DVDs from me, and I decided that that was worth the trip. Since we were only going to be there for a few hours on Sunday though, we decided against buying badges.

We left for the convention around 12pm and were making excellent time getting there until, oh yes, you guessed it, we got lost. Getting lost on the way to cons is like a tradition, I factor the time into my plans. We drove for several minutes in the complete opposite direction without realizing it. While we were driving, we passed by a group of cosplayers and a guy with a Tepig backpack, so we knew we were in the right area, we just had no idea which was to go.

We arrived at the convention, and I sent a text to my friend to let her know we were there. She was busy at the time, so my boyfriend and I decided to wander around. The weather was really nice, so we stayed outside in the shade for a while to partake in one of our favorite past-times, people-watching. There was a line for special guest autographs, so there were plenty of people around. A young girl wanted to a take a photo with me and was very sweet. She was also hanging out near us, but I'm too socially awkward for my own good and couldn't figure out how to strike up a conversation with her.

After more wandering, we ended up near the memorial service that was happening. I know that this is a very sensitive and personal topic for a lot of people, and I would like to properly show my respect, but for now, I'll keep it short. There was a memorial service held for Harison Randall, a regular SacAnime attendee who passed away earlier this year. He was in a hit and run accident and saved his girlfriend's life. Many attendees spoke during the memorial, and it was apparent that this man had touched so many people's lives. I only overheard some, but I was very touched by everything I heard and got very choked up myself, even though I didn't know the man. I can be extremely emotional at times, and I couldn't listen to much before I had to leave the area.

It was heating up quickly outside, and more wandering around aimlessly found us inside the hotel with air conditioning. We hung out with some friends for a little while, but didn't really know what to do. We ended up sitting on the floor in the hallways somewhere. At some point, two young girls and their father spotted me and the little girls wanted to take a picture with me. The girls seemed really excited, and after the photo, one of them exclaimed, "Thank you Chii!"

After we got bored of sitting inside, we walked around more and ended up sitting outside in front of the hotel at the fountain. There was music playing courtesy of Team LoveHate, and they were also having a raffle. $5 got you one raffle ticket and a chance to win a pair of Nekomimi, and the money went to the Harison Randall foundation to help people who have been injured in hit and run car accidents. When Nekomimi first emerged on the convention scene, I didn't understand them, they sounded silly and pointless, but eventually I saw so many people with them, I wanted a pair of my own. Nekomimi are costume cat ears that are controlled by the wearer's brainwaves. Unfortunately, they run about $100 per pair. $5 for a chance to win them was excellent, and the money was going to a good cause. I bought two tickets and entered the raffle.

About five minutes later, the raffle began, and I ended up not winning anything. I'm sure pretty much everyone feels like it was rigged though. The same guy won three prizes in a row, and he was friends with the organizers. Just before the raffle started, I saw someone (either one of the organizers or another friend of theirs) give the eventual winner a bunch of tickets. I heard him say, "Here, whatever you win, you can keep, I bought a ton of tickets since no one was buying any." The guy won three prizes, one person won another prize, and it looked like there was supposed to be a fifth prize, but there was no number called for it. Someone walked up to the booth and was handed the fifth prize without a number being called. I'm not sure what happened there at all.

I was really upset that I lost, but the money still went to a good cause, so I shook it off as best as I could. My boyfriend and I found a new place to sit in the shade until my friend called and told me that we could put the manga and DVDs she bought from me into her car since she was leaving. We took them there and said our goodbyes. On our way back to my boyfriend's car to put the container we kept the books in away, we walked through the hotel area we had walked through earlier. We walked past a couple with their kid in a stroller, and I heard the man saying, "I just want to go somewhere we can just relax." I figured that he wasn't affiliated with the convention and the family was just staying at the hotel on vacation, so I thought nothing of it.

A few steps later, my boyfriend gets really serious and says, "That was Johnny Young Bosch." I had already forgotten about the couple from earlier and was really confused. My boyfriend said, "The guy with his wife and the kid in the stroller. That was Johnny Young Bosh." What. We geeked out for a few minutes, even though we actually had no interaction with the man (and most of the geeking out was done by my boyfriend). We put the container back in the car, took one more walk around the convention, and then left. We stopped by Starbucks before getting on the freeway and heading for home.

Somehow, I actually had a really nice time at SacAnime. I might return again and still not buy a badge. Maybe go on a different day and actually plan to hang out with more people instead of playing it by ear.

*Special road trip bonus story!*
On the way home from every convention and gathering, I end up half disrobing in the car. I took off my wig, petticoat, apron, and stockings in the car. After a while on the freeway, we were hungry enough to stop for food. We passed by several McDonald's, I finally convinced my boyfriend to get off at the next exit and promised him that there would be a McDonald's there. He didn't believe me at first, but sure enough, a block away from the freeway exit, there was McDonald's.

We drove around but for some reason couldn't find a drive-through. As I mentioned, I had taken off a lot of my costume, so I was just down to a shirt and my skirt (which was way too short, but usually fine with a petticoat). I begrudgingly got out of the car to go inside McDonald's figure that food was more important than my embarrassment over my half-dressed self. The world had a different plan for me however, as soon as I stepped out of the car, a pickup truck pulled up nearby, and a huge gust of wind picked up my skirt.

I thought I had caught it in time and adequately held my skirt down, but I guess I was wrong, the pickup truck didn't leave. I thought I was imagining things and maybe the guys in the pickup truck were looking at something else other than me. My boyfriend and I walked toward the McDonald's and then spotted where the drive-through was. We hopped back in the car, but not before I noticed the two people in the pickup truck intently staring at something. I still thought it was in my head until the second I got in the car and the pickup truck drove away.

Dear Pickup Truck Guys,
You are nasty creeps, and every fiber of my being wishes to punch you where it hurts.
Sincerely, Me

Baccano! in Historic Niles

I live near the historic town of Niles. Some short time after watching "Baccano!", I visited Niles, and from then on, all I could think of was getting a "Baccano!" cosplay group together there and riding on the steam train. Shortly after that, my mom brought home a steam train schedule, and I decided that this would happen. The decided date was August 5th, 2012. It went so much better than I ever could have imagined.

Planning began through a Facebook event. I invited a few of my friends who I thought might be interested, and they in turn invited a few more friends who might be interested. Really a vast majority of the people-finding was done by my friend, she is absolutely amazing at getting cosplay groups together, and this would not have been nearly as amazing as it was without her. We had sewing parties, which sometimes included Skyping with people who couldn't make it, and we all managed to get everything done in time. Our final group included Miria Harvent (myself), Isaac Dian, Jacuzzi Splot, Nice Holystone, Nick (aka Jacuzzi's lackey), Lua Klein, Chane Laforet, Ennis, and Czeslaw Meyer. My boyfriend also tagged along as an appropriately-dressed (1920's-style) bystander/random black suit, and three photographers.

Since I was doing Jacuzzi's tattoo and Nice's scars, it was decided that a few people would meet at my house before going to Niles. Somehow, this turned into, "Hey, everyone, let's all go!" Now, my house isn't super tiny, but it's not huge either, and ten people in my living room and bathroom as a lot. To top things off, of course, a fair amount of us were running late. Luckily no one else in my house was home, it would have been absolute pandemonium then. A bunch of people didn't want to drive over while in cosplay, so they needed to use the bathroom or my bedroom to change or do makeup. It took longer than I had anticipated to do Nice's scars, and I had to have Czes seal them. I had forgotten that I was lending Isaac a belt, and I had to scramble to find that. Jacuzzi had to spray-dye Chane's hair in the front lawn, and Jacuzzi was also lending Nick a pair of suspenders. I kind of wish a photographer had shown up to my house too, the candid shots would have been amazing.

Somehow, we made it to Niles relatively on time. On the way there, I saw what appeared to be a severed arm hanging out of the back of a pickup truck. I pointed it out, but apparently no one else saw the truck. We could have turned around to follow the truck, but it was long gone (and we were running late). I think it was fake anyway. (I hope.) In NIles, we met up with the photographers, who had all been there at the designated meeting time (at least a half an hour before we got there, if not longer), and we caught the bus that would take us to the train.

The line to get tickets seemed surprisingly long, even though it actually only took ten minutes tops for our group to get our tickets. Train rides in Niles are fairly popular, but for some reason, I had assumed that the tradition was dying down some and there'd be next to no line. We took the time waiting for the train to try to get into character some (within reason, of course, we were in public after all). I'm not an overly outgoing, energetic, or loud person, so getting into character for Miria was kind of difficult. Luckily, I felt really comfortable with the group, so eventually I picked up the character and ran with it.

While we waited, we also tried to decide which train car to ride on. Since we were essentially doing a photoshoot, we wanted a nice setting, and it was hard to determine what car was going to give us what we wanted. I had done some research in advanced and found that the dining car appeared to be the nicest/fanciest. When the train arrived, it was easy to pick out which car was the dining car (it said "Dining Car" on the outside). Unfortunately, it was one of the cars that you could board directly onto, so we were worried that it would be crowded.

We got on, and at first it looked like there wasn't going to be enough room for us. Our group easily took up half of the entire dining car. Thankfully, a nice family moved a couple of tables over so that our group could all sit together. The photographers claimed a table and bench seat for themselves, and the rest of us attempted to organize ourselves by character. We had a really random assortment of characters, so it was pretty difficult, but it all worked out in the end.

Czeslaw and Ennis
Isaac and Miria
Also Chane and random black suit

Nice and Jacuzzi
(Across the aisle from Jacuzzi)
(I think across the table from Nick)
One of the conductors passed through the dining car on the way to the engine and stopped to compliment our group on our outfits. He thanked us for dressing in period-appropriate clothes. He told us that it shows respect to the train and its history. While this wasn't our intent, I was ecstatic that we had made the conductor happy and that our getup was well-received by staff.

Once the train began moving, shenanigans ensued.
I had previously made Isaac and myself
some clever disguises.
We didn't directly interact with any other passengers on the train and tried our best to keep to ourselves, but unfortunately, due to just how many of us there were, we were pretty loud. On top of that, there's no denying that we were weird. We had strange in-character conversations and were just generally rambunctious. We couldn't help it, we were excited and having fun. Eventually, we looked around and realized that we had the entire dining car to ourselves. Of course, this was excellent for photos and more shenanigans, but I think all of us felt that pang of guilt that we had essentially scared away the other passengers because we were weird and possibly obnoxious, if only due to the volume. (Luckily, the train wasn't actually too full and there were plenty of other places for the other passengers to go, so it's not like we pushed them out into a crowded train, but I still felt pretty bad.)

Once we had full run of the dining car, we began taking more pictures since we could use more space and be more in-character.

Whee! Adventure~
This is my favorite photo of the entire set. The train had stopped to let another train pass by (so we did this while it was safe). We're also on the opposite side from where the other train passed. We're eccentric, not stupid, haha.

I had originally wanted to actually arm wrestle,
but it turned into just fake arm-wrestling.
When we got to the end of the train ride, we were told that we could either stay on the train or get off to walk around Sunol for ten or fifteen minutes. We didn't want to lose our excellent dining car seats or gather up all of our stuff, so we stayed on. Once the train emptied some, we more or less had free run of the entire train (except the engine and caboose). We left a couple of people to watch our stuff in the dining car and then wandered the train a little. I thought that it was pretty cool that each train car had an entirely different look and feel.

We stopped in a very nice, empty passenger car to get a couple of group photos. Once again, organizing ourselves was pretty difficult, but we managed.

The train ride back was much less in-character than the ride there, but our group's size and volume once again scared a majority if not all of the other passengers off of the dining car. A few of us ended up in a sunflower seed-shelling contest, which ultimately ended in the two teams eating each-others shelled seeds in an attempt to decrease their numbers. We never did find out who won really, I don't think anyone was willing to count the seeds anyway. Another highlight was when Isaac and I managed to say "How" in perfect synchronicity with straight faces and appropriate hand motions. I'm still not entirely sure how much of our group heard or saw it, but we accomplished my goal of the day, so I was happy.

Miria plays tricks on a sleepy Czes.
We took the bus back and managed to all cram into the back of the bus to leave room for other passengers near the front, and so that we would bother less people.
Ennis is not amused by Miria's hijinks
(but Czes is).
When we got back to the main street of Niles, we walked to the caboose that sits in the park for some more photos. We attempted to re-organize ourselves (still an impressive feat in itself) while we waited for other people to finish taking photos on the caboose.

Our group on the caboose

Don't worry, Czes! Isaac and Miria will save you!
Trying to "break in" to the caboose
After a few photos, we decided to look at some of the shops in Niles. Jacuzzi had promised to buy me fudge as payment for putting his tattoo on. Of course, that'd be too simple. Instead, Isaac and Miria helped Jacuzzi pick out a type of fudge to buy for Nice, then stole it. (It was delicious, by the way.) After that, we pretty much dispersed and went home. I was pretty tired, being Miria is really energy-consuming. I can only imagine how tired Isaac was, I was just feeding off of his energy most of the time. It was a really fun day though, I'd love to get everyone back together and do it again some time. Maybe on another train, or another location. A historic speakeasy, one that's not operating anymore so we don't have to be 21 to be in there, would be nice maybe.

Cardboard Crafting

I absolutely love making things out of cardboard, it's amazing what you can do with it. I'm no expert on it, but I'm still amazed at the things I can do. Here's some tips that may help people who are just starting out.

1. Sharpies
I used to lose a lot of pieces of cardboard when I was crafting things. I'd mistake smaller pieces as scarps and large pieces as unused pieces and cut them up, but I figured out a way to keep them straight. I mark each piece that I need to keep with a star. Assuming you're going to paint over your project anyway (which you should), the sharpie shouldn't show through. You'll need several coats of paint to cover the cardboard, and it should be enough to cover the Sharpie. If you're using a light-colored paint and are still worried, you can get a light-colored Sharpie like silver or light green. Using pieces of painting tape as tags on the pieces you need could work too.

2. Cutting Tools
A typical box cutter is pretty much a must-have, I have a few that have breakable blades that you just snap off when they get dull. Be sure that the surface you're cutting on is one that you don't care about. If you can't find an old surface to cut cardboard on, put a piece of scrap cardboard under your project. Also, be careful not to slice your fingers!

There are other ways of cutting cardboard too though. I have two of these Black & Decker cardboard cutters. They're not very great for cutting out small things, but they're excellent for cutting out large pieces quickly and rounding edges. There's also virtually no way to accidentally cut yourself with them! The drawback is that they take a long time to charge and then don't hold a charge for very long. Also, you can't use them while they're charging.

3. Clean as you Go
This is so simple, yet so difficult. Keep your working area free from scrap pieces, and everything will go a lot smoother. Put cardboard that you haven't cut yet off to the side.

4. Paper Mache
Cardboard can be used as a skeleton for paper mache. I'll make a tutorial on this later (even though I suck at paper mache), but basically, you make the shape you want out of a flat piece of cardboard, then cut smaller pieces or cardboard in the width that you want the project to be. You cut half-way through both pieces and put them together perpendicular to each-other. It'll make a lightweight, sturdy skeleton that you can then cover with paper mache. (Also, if you're making a large prop like a staff, you can put air-drying clay on the bottom of the cardboard before you apply the paper mache so that it's more sturdy.) Like I said, I'll make a tutorial some other time, but it's something to look into if you're interested.

Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 Day Two

(I'm splitting this overview into parts because I did a lot of things so each part will be long.)
I attended Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 as a staff member, Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th. The convention took place at the Hilton hotel in Newark/Fremont. Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 kind of hit me like a tornado. It snuck up on me, flipped me on my head, drove me insane, and then left. I'm not going to spill all the dirty little secrets of staffing this convention, here's a little insight into what went on.

Photo by Winter Wish Cosplay Photography
Maid Namine and Aqua
(My makeup's a little harsh from the fashion show.)
On Day Two of Kin-Yoobi Con, my friends and I were cosplaying as Kingdom Hearts maids. Our cosplays were based on fan art (just like my Link cosplay, haha). I ran late to the convention (again), btu I can't for the life of me remember why. Probably had to print things or something. The first event that I ran was the Anime Dating Game. Unlike the Dating Auction, the Dating Game is just for fun, not for dates. It's similar to the old dating game shows where one Bachelor would ask three Bachelorettes questions and then choose who he'd like to date based on only their answers (they can't see each-other). Usually we don't play for prizes, but we had extras, so the bachelor and his chosen winner each got a prize. The game is really fun, and people get really creative with their questions and answers. I didn't host, but instead did minor things like blindfolding the bachelor and handing out prizes. I like running the behind-the-scenes stuff, I actually feel like I'm doing more that way for some reason. Also I get stage fright, so I never like hosting things.

After the Dating Game, my boyfriend and I ran off to host "Magikarp: A History". Like with "Rattata: Top Percentage" the day before, our audience was very small. Nevertheless, our panel went well. I think we ended about fifteen minutes early, but that was alright. I think that the panel lasts longer at bigger conventions because more people are laughing or cheering, and it takes longer to calm them down and move on with the panel. I like hosting for more enthusiastic audiences, but every now and then, a small audience is nice too.

From there, it was back to the main stage to run "Anime Feud". Anime Feud is like the game show "Anime Feud", we put out a survey a few months before the convention, collect the answers, and use them as answers in the game show. I, being the genius that I am (haha sarcasm), forgot to print out an anwer key for myself. I quickly made one and we had time for both rounds of "Anime Feud" that I had planned. We cut the rounds short though, not for time, but because the players seemed to be getting bored. A lot of people were frustrated with the answers, and all I can say to that is that if you don't like it, you should answer the survey next time so that your answers will be on the board.

"Anime Jeopardy" followed "Feud", and of course, I forgot an answer key for that too. To make matters worse, I was supposed to get ready to walk in the fashion show at that time. One of the volunteers (who was actually a great help throughout the entire weekend) volunteered to make an answer key, and I had a chance to get ready for the show. After I was ready, I was able to go back to the main stage to make sure that everything was still going relatively okay. I had already designated a volunteer to help my boyfriend run things (my boyfriend was hosting), and the answer key got finished with enough time to play one game. As a special surprise, Vic Mignogna came to play Jeopardy! I didn't get to watch the entire round, but it seemed like people were having fun from what I saw.

Also during this time, I found out that a lot of the food that was designated for the cafe had been given away and eaten. We lost almost all of the Hi-Chews we had bought, several pastries, and the entire case of water.  After I was told several times by several different staff members that the food would be okay and safe where it was, and it ended up getting eaten anyway. A couple of the girls who were volunteering for the Cafe pooled their money (with the promise of reimbursement) and we sent another staff member to get a few things.

Photo by Winter Wish Cosplay Photography
I don't even recognize myself!
I helped with what I could to set up for the fashion show, and things went well from there. Getting ready for the show was a little chaotic, but then again, fashion shows are always chaotic. Learning how the designer wanted us to walk was the hardest part though, it was really confusing, and everyone seemed to be being told different things. Eventually we figured it out though, and everything went well. Following the fashion show, the models were called away to a photoshoot. This was a little bit of a problem for me and my friend, since we were supposed to go set up the Cosplay Cafe, but I got word that the Cafe setup was pushed back an hour because Karaoke (which was being run in the same room) was running late. Well that was great for me, but not so great for the convention, events had been running late all weekend, and pushing something back an hour looked awful, I'm sure. We had our photoshoot and then scurried off the the Cafe.

At the Cosplay Cafe was wear I hit my breaking point for the weekend. I was told ahead of time that we would have between 4 and 6 tables for the Cafe. I requested that no more than 4 be brought, and I planned for four. When I walked into the room, there was one table. One. And there were a bunch of staff members and volunteers standing around doing nothing, waiting for me, I guess, I don't know. I flat-out screamed. I was tired and angry and frustrated. If I've learned one thing from my entire time at Kin-Yoobi, it's that if you want anything done, you have to do it yourself. After some yelling and some cursing, we got a total of four tables together and got the decorations up.

While we were setting up, the doors were open, and an attendee tried to walk in. The girls who were near the door told her that we were still setting up, and the attendee rudely pulled out here phone and said, "Nooo. Nooo! It says 'Cosplay Cafe, 5:00!'" She started shoving her phone in the girls' faces, I can only assume she had pulled up the schedule on her phone as "proof". The girls told her that we're sorry, but Karaoke ran late, and as a result, we were running late. I didn't see the rude woman for some times after that, I'm not sure where she went. We closed the doors after that, but for some reason, they kept getting left open at random times and a few attendees tried to get in. We knew we were going to have to thin out the crowd somehow, and we weren't allowed to charge for food, so we made a few announcements that there would be a $3 charge to walk into the room.

Once we were ready, we opened the doors, and two girls at the door collected money and kept count of how many people walked in the room. The rude woman from earlier was somehow first in line. When she was told that it was $3, she loudly proclaimed that she wasn't told about the charge, and "We have no business here!" before storming off. I was told later that as she was walking out, she was loudly complaining that she had wasted forty-five minutes waiting and she wasn't told about a charge, and she and her friends appeared to be angrily texting or tweeting about it. Frankly, we were glad she left, she had been a pain at different events all day, and we didn't want to have to serve her. Also, we had made several announcements beforehand that it would be $3, it wasn't our fault that she didn't hear, we used a megaphone for at least one announcement.

After the room was filled, we quickly decided on a time limit (twenty minutes) so that we could let a new wave of people in. A staff member who wasn't directly involved in the cafe until that point used the megaphone and told everyone in line to leave and come back in twenty minutes. That would have been fine if they actually came back, I would have preferred to make them wait, or at least not tell them to leave, but more on that later.

I decided that I would once again be better at running behind-the scenes stuff, and had the volunteers handle the tables. It was one volunteer per table, they were to take everyone's food order, and then play a card game or a board game with their table. Meanwhile I set up the food to be taken to tables, refilled the tables' candy dishes, helped the girls carry things to their tables when there was a lot (I usually took bottles of water to the tables), and tried my best to make things easier for the girls serving tables. It sounds like a lot, but it was really a lot of small things, so it was pretty easy.

The girls did an outstanding job serving tables and entertaining them, I was really impressed. I'm really glad that I didn't serve tables because I would not have done as spectacular of a job as any of them did.

When the twenty minutes was up, everyone left (except for the few people who joined the first group late), and we cleaned up a bit. Some of the servers switched tables, and we actually got a fifth server as well. Since we now had five, we split one of the tables into two, and the girl who had the largest table in the last wave now took a much smaller table that sat four. The next wave of people was considerably smaller than the first, and things appeared to go well during it.

Unfortunately, one of the tables (which sat two girls who came in late in the first wave) had no one serving them. I didn't notice until I heard one of the girls say something along the lines of, "They're taking a long time to let more people in." The girl who had originally served that table had switched to a different table, and the server who was supposed to take over was never told. I told the girl who had no one at her table, and she took over. We still had a server not serving anyone, and they went to play games with the previously ignored table too, to make up for them being ignored. After the food was served, I cleared empty plates and trashed, refilled the candy bowls, and also went to join the previously ignored girls. The five of us (myself, the two girls, and the two servers) played Apples to Apples for a long time. Apples to Apples is one of my favorite games, but I never get to play it because I don't own it, and I usually don't hang out with groups large enough to play anyway. A couple of people came to our table and left, and the two girls still stayed.

Eventually they left and it was me, the two servers, and my boyfriend (he had left for food and then came back). I made up a game out of distributing the green cards in Apples to Apples (they have adjectives written on them) to people in a semi-random order. Theoretically, the cards you get describe you, and some of the cards are really funny. We took turns distributing the cards to each other with the way that I came up with, and then we each distributed them in whatever way we felt like. Hilarity ensued, and we played until the Cafe closed down. We cleaned up what we could, the extra tables were taken away, and we put the room back the way it was for Karaoke again.

After the Cosplay Cafe, I had no more events to run. My boyfriend and I decided to wind down by going ballroom dancing at the main stage. There weren't many people dancing at all, but we had fun anyway. At once point, we sat and people-watched (my favorite past-time ever). I watched as a group of boys talked among themselves not six feet away from a group of girls talking among themselves. I commented, "What is this, Jr. High?" I tried to come up with a way to get the two groups to dance with each-other, but I couldn't. Eventually some of them began dancing though! I was going to stay for Closing Ceremonies, but decided that I had nothing to say, so my boyfriend and I said goodbye to our friends and went home.

This year's Kin-Yoobi Con was the most frustrating year yet. I knew that things would be stressful, this being the con's first year at a hotel, but I feel like a lot of the things that I had issues with were things that could have been avoided with better planning and people doing what they say they'll do. As I said before, if I've learned anything from Kin-Yoobi Con, it's that if you want something down, you need to do it yourself. All of that said, I did have a good time this year, and I hope everyone else did too.

Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 Day One

(I'm splitting this overview into parts because I did a lot of things so each part will be long.)
I attended Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 as a staff member, Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th. The convention took place at the Hilton hotel in Newark/Fremont. Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 kind of hit me like a tornado. It snuck up on me, flipped me on my head, drove me insane, and then left. I'm not going to spill all the dirty little secrets of staffing this convention, here's a little insight into what went on.

Photo by Kei Tsubasa Photogaphy
On Day One of Kin-Yoobi, I cosplayed as female Link (The Legend of Zelda). (*My cosplay is based on an "Ocarina of Time" fan art that I found, and I added details from Link's outfit in "Twilight Princess" to it to make it more interesting.) My convention day began when I was still at home and got a text message that we didn't have the Bingo cards we needed for the first event of the day. I had asked about these months in advance, knowing that I was the one hosting and not wanting to look like a fool. I was told that they were taken care of. I asked multiple times and was occasionally even told that they had already been printed andw ere ready to go. So much for that. To add to this spectacular start, both my laptop and my boyfriend's laptop refused to read my printer, despite it working just fine the night before when I printed cosplay cafe menus and cosplay contest certificates. As much as I didn't want to, we left for the convention without Bingo cards and agreed to improvise once we got there.

We arrived just in time for Opening Ceremonies, which I didn't really participate in, but I felt I should be there because I was running the main stage. Even though Opening Ceremonies was supposed to last for half an hour (or maybe it was even an hour?), it only lasted fifteen minutes. This gave us a few minutes to decide what to do, even though we were interrupted when we were told we couldn't use the laptop that we thought we were using. Luckily, my boyfriend had his because we were hosting a panel later in the day.

We decided to make giant Bingo cards by hand with a sketch pad and Sharpies. It took about half an hour to get five done, and the event was only supposed to be an hour and a half long. We involved more people by having them play in teams of two, but an attendee who didn't get to play and had apparently been waiting got kind of snippy with me. She had watched me rally as many people as I could to make the cards and berated me the entire time, claiming it "wouldn't work" and telling me that I was doing things wrong. I don't know if she thought she was helping or if she was intentionally rude, but I don't know why she thought I'd want her to play after all of that.

Anime Bingo is played by watching an episode of an anime and marking things that you see or hear off on your Bingo card. This was pretty difficult because we didn't have a sound system, and players could only hear if they were close to the laptop, but we managed. We decided what anime to watch by taking a vote, which took up a bunch of time. We ended up watching an episode of "Soul Eater", which I had never watched before, actually. It was pretty good, but I barely watched because I was trying to figure out if there was time to make more cards and play another game. We ended up only having about fifteen minutes after the game was over, so we just finished watching the episode of Soul Eater.

After Bingo, we had Anime Comedy Hour, which ended up being more of an Anime Improv Hour. People seemed to have fun, though I was disappointed that there was no standup. The next scheduled Main Stage event was Vic Mignogna's panel, so I scurried off to set up for the Swap Meet.

The Swap Meet was so tiny! It was also really far away from the convention, out in the parking lot, and the view of it was obscured by parked cars. I was the second person to set up, and only one person set up after I did. I picked a spot next to the other seller in the shade, but of course when the sun moved, I was no longer totally in the shade. I sold a good deal of things and chit-chatted with the seller who set up after I did. She seemed to enjoy giving me a hard time for "being cute" and selling a lot of stuff, especially after I was asked to do an interview for someone. She was really nice though, and we traded off watching each-other's stuff when one of us needed to get food or use the bathroom.

I needed to leave the Swap Meet early to set up for the Cosplay Contest.The cosplay contest was sort of a blur, since I was really rushed. We ran late. Super late. I'm not sure how it happened, but it did. Vic Mignogna was supposed to guest judge but ended up not doing it, mostly because we were running late. He came down from his hotel room with the staff member that was working with him, and the staff member asked me if we really needed Vic. I ended up speaking with Vic, and he told me, "I don't like being put in a position where I judge the fans, because then if someone doesn't win, sometimes they upset and make me out to be the bad guy. Plus, if you're running late..." I legitimately did not mind that he didn't want to do it. If we had been running on-time or had been waiting for him, I probably would have asked him to do it anyway, but we were running so far behind, and he didn't want to do it in the first place, so I wasn't about to make him wait around to do something that he didn't want to do. Plus, he didn't have that much pull over the contest anyway, I had two other judges, and it wasn't advertised that he would be judging, so it wouldn't let down the attendees if he didn't. I'm not even upset with him for not doing it. I am however upset with whoever told me that he would do it. I don't even remember who told me he would, especially since I'm pretty sure I asked multiple people, but whoever it was is a jerk. If I had known that he wouldn't do it, I would have taken the time to find a third judge. Luckily one of my friends (a cosplayer, of course) stood in as a third judge.

Outside of the judging situation, we hit a few more snags. In my rush to keep things moving, I mixed up everyone's audio. A lot of people gave me their phones or iPods as their audio, and it was really confusing. I had the audio sitting with the matching contestants' entry forms, but I had to give the forms to the emcee and keep the audio for my boyfriend to play, and despite my best efforts to keep the organized, I failed. On top of that, most of the cell phones and iPods didn't work with our audio system. Usually I emcee the contest, but I didn't want to, since I'm not a good emcee, and my boyfriend also didn't want to, especially since I had him running audio. We got another staff member to emcee, and while he's an excellent emcee, he's never hosted a cosplay contest before, and ended up taking too long talking to each contestant, which made the contest run even later.

Before the contest was over, my boyfriend and I had to run off to host "Rattata: Top Percentage". Our audience was incredibly small, probably the smallest we've spoken to. I attribute this to a lot of things, including the fact that the cosplay contest was still running, but also I think that not many people knew where the panel room was. The main stage, dealers' hall, and game room were all near each-other, and then the panel room and the viewing room were elsewhere, kind of out of the way. Anyway, our panel went pretty well, we ended early as usual, we're still not sure what to do about that. A member of our audience was also very informative and helpful and filled in some information that we were missing. Sometimes stuff like that annoys me, but the way that he told us was very respectful, as opposed to the way other people have told us things. Normally people start their "helping" with the words, "Umm... Actually....!" and then end up coming off as a know-it-all. This guy more often used the phrases, "I read that" or "I've found that" and never interrupted us when we were talking. I'd actually like to find that guy again to thank him and possibly ask for his help with future panels.

After the panel, my boyfriend went to participate in "Anime Con of the Dead", a zombie run. I had time to kill, so I hung out with friends and watched the Anime Dating Auction. I was told that I couldn't participate in the auction this year because it was for singles only (a rule I'm pretty sure was made just for me). A couple of my friends were sold together as Panty and Stocking, and I'm pretty sure they got the record for the night at $65! I was really disappointed that a lot of people didn't sell for more. As usual, most people didn't take the auction seriously enough, and some people ended up not getting to spend time with their dates because they disappeared somewhere.

I changed my outfit into a schoolgirl to get ready for Hentai Nights. I don't know why it amuses me to dress up for it, but it does. I went to set things up and the door was locked. Con of the Dead had been in there and locked the door behind them. (This made sense because they left their stuff in there, but we needed the room!) Once we got in, we found that there was no laptop. Out of principle (because we were told there would be one to use), my boyfriend and I didn't want to use his. There was a laptop in the panel room, but surprise, surprise, that got locked too. Hotel staff came to unlock it and we got the laptop fairly quickly. Meanwhile, I was managing the small line that was forming. Once we got the laptop, we found that the laptop didn't have a VLC player (which we needed), and then there was no sound system. I started checking IDs and letting people in while they downloaded the VLC player. We started playing the hentai, but there was very little sound, thank goodness for subtitles.

Once we got a sound system, everything went smoothly. I alternated checking IDs and sitting inside making sure everyone was behaving. I also sat people, since everyone was too socially awkward to find a seat and opted instead to stand in the back. A majority of the time, I sat outside and chatted with people. I had some interesting conversations, though I can't for the life of me remember a single one, haha!

After Hentai Nights was over, I wanted to dance at the rave. My boyfriend was exhausted, but he went with me and sat off to the side while I danced with a group of attendees and volunteers. I was peer-pressured into dancing in the middle of a dance circle, even though I'm really shy, but it was fun anyway. I ended up having a good time and ending the day on a high note, but the entire day was very stressful and frustrating.

Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 Day Zero

(I'm splitting this overview into parts because I did a lot of things so each part will be long.)
I attended Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 as a staff member, Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th. The convention took place at the Hilton hotel in Newark/Fremont. Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 kind of hit me like a tornado. It snuck up on me, flipped me on my head, drove me insane, and then left. I'm not going to spill all the dirty little secrets of staffing this convention, here's a little insight into what went on.

On Day Zero, I was supposed to work in the morning, but I had a pretty high fever and felt dizzy. I work in the food service industry, so I called in sick. I was supposed to work until noon and miss the 11am pre-con staff meeting with the hotel, but even though I was no longer working, I intended to skip it because I was sick. I needed to go to the hotel to discuss the food for the cosplay cafe though, so I headed over around noon. Imagine my surprise when the meeting was still going on. I wasn't dressed for a business meeting, since I was told it'd be over by then, so I sat awkwardly, using my Link (Legend of Zelda) backpack to cover my cleavage, and keeping to myself so I wouldn't get anyone sick. It was an excruciating time and seemed to last forever, even though it was probably only a half an hour or so.

I was supposed to be meeting a friend at the hotel after I talked to staff, and my boyfriend was waiting to drive us to the mall to get the food for the cafe. I got a text from my friend and ducked out of the meeting to touch base with her for a second. When I went back, the meeting was over, and I hadn't gotten a chance to ask about the food. I asked another staff member who told me to just ask one of the hotel staff right there. I was told that as long as we weren't selling the food and everything was individually wrapped (including drinks) there was no problem.

My boyfriend took my friend and I to the mall and dropped us off (he had to go to work), and my friend and I shopped for food and small decorations for the cafe. I think we did spectacularly given our budget, time, and transportation restraints, and I owe that mostly to my friend and her miraculous ability to find exactly what we needed. My friend's mom picked us up and carted us over to Food Max to pick up a case of water, then it was back to the convention!

When we got there, all of the senior staff members (meaning anyone who knew what was going on) had mysteriously disappeared. We waited around until someone showed up and then stashed the food and decorations in the soon-to-be game room. I was really wary of leaving it there, I was afraid the food would get eaten, but everyone told me it would be fine.

The next couple of hours, we ran around moving small things like bags and badges, and I also assisted with sorting and handing out pre-reg badges. Around 7pm, things wound down and it was time for the pool party. The pool party was open to staff, volunteers, and any attendees who had reserved a hotel room. We hung out for a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hot tub, I think I managed to sweat out whatever was making me sick.

After the pool party, there was a staff meeting, during which I felt like my fever was coming back a little. As rude as it probably was, I tried to hurry the meeting along as much as I could, but that mostly consisted of being really quiet and waiting for it to be over.

Kin-Yoobi, etc. (Days 867 - 878)

(*This is not my Kin-Yoobi Con review.)

So I managed to make it to Kin-Yoobi without staying up stupidly late the night before, however I was ridiculously sick. I had a fever the day before and the morning of. Luckily, on Day 0 of Kin-Yoobi, there was a pool party, and I managed to sweat out a majority of whatever I had in the hot tub. That certainly helped me survive the weekend.

Since Kin-Yoobi, I haven't been up to much cosplay-wise. I have things I could work on, but I'm still in wind-down mode. I have a couple of projects planned to complete by Fanime, but it feels so far away, I have no motivation to start.

Here's some cute Rattata for your troubles.

My Top 3 Makeup Secrets

This doesn't have much to do with cosplay, but I always enjoy sharing beauty secrets.

#3 - Mascara
Mascara is a subtle way to bring attention to your eyes and brighten your look. I recommend also using an eyelash curler, but since this is Top 3, I left it out of the list. I've been using Covergirl mascara, since it doesn't clump nearly as much as other mascaras I've used. I also recommend Ulta mascara.

#2 - Concealer
Garnier Roll-On
For everyday wear, I usually use concealer without foundation over or under it. It works well if it's blended enough. I prefer Garnier's anti-dark circles roll-on concealer, but mine got misplaced, so I've been using Smashbox concealer. To use the Garnier roller, roll it under your eye from inner corner to outer corner on each eye, then let it dry for about thirty seconds (it's kind of runny straight out of the roller). Then use the tip of your finger to gently blend the concealer outward. To use Smashbox concealer, squeeze a tiny amount onto your fingertip or a makeup sponge. (Makeup sponges are more hygienic.) Put three small dots under each eye and dab gently to blend outward. I recommend using a powder makeup sealer with the Smashbox, but I've never needed it for the Garnier.

#1 - Exfoliating Lotion
My number one makeup secret isn't even makeup! Clean & Clear Oil-Free Morning Glow moisturizer is probably the best beauty product I've ever used. It moisturizes, exfoliates, and has SPF to protect skin from the sun. It gives my skin a clean glow that's better than any makeup I've used. I also use Clean & Clear Oil-Free Dual Action moisturizer at night to fight acne and as an extra moisturizer at the end of the day to replenish my skin.

(That wasn't intended to sound like a commercial, whoops! I swear I don't get paid for this, I just really love it!)

Maid Aqua Progress (Days 862 - 868)

The ruffles on my Aqua apron are almost too cute. This picture really does not do them justice, they're just so cute, I don't even know what to do. They're not even finished, they're just pinned.

For the ruffle, I bought ribbon instead of fabric or bias tape because it was cheaper. I began by hemming the edges. I accidentally bought ribbon with wire in it, but it ended up working out in the end. At first I thought I'd be able to gather the ribbon using the wire, but then the ribbon started to slip off of the wire. I couldn't get the wire entirely out, so Plan B was to sew next to the wire and gather it that way. Plan B turned out to be genius, and the ribbon automatically gathered as I sewed it.

When I went to attach the ribbon, not only did I pin it backwards, but I also hemmed the edges on opposite sides, and of course the ribbon was too long, but that's not too much of an issue, as I'll just trim it to fit. I re-pinned the ribbon the right way and then left it at that, since I was no longer in the mood to sew.

I have about a week to finish Maid Aqua for a Kingdom Hearts Maids group at Kin-Yoobi Con 2012's Cosplay Cafe. For a while, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it to the cafe, I thought I might be staffing another event, but it turns out I'm not, so that worked out well. I'm really excited for this now, and hopefully I'll finish soon! All I have left is to add the ruffle to the apron, hem the bow, make the skirt, and glue the pin onto the back of the nametag.

Backlog (Days 843 - 861)

Alright, so here's what I've been working on as of late and haven't really posted about.

First, Kingdom Hearts Maids Group:
I'm being Aqua (far right)

Amazing fabric purchase at the thrift store
I'm doing this as part of a group that includes Kairi, Namine, and Xion, and we're wearing it on Sunday of Kin-Yoobi Con. Kairi, Namine, and Xion were all going to volunteer for the cosplay cafe, but Xion has to leave the convention before that time, so it's just Kairi and Namine. I would also volunteer, but I have to run a different event at that time.

The first thing I made was the name tags, since I had all of the materials and they were easy. They're roughly the same size, Kairi's and Namine's only look so much smaller because of the angle the photo was taken at. Just today, I found pins to put on the back. Originally I was content with sewing mine directly to my apron, but since I already own the pins, I have no reason not to use them. The name tags are felt with the lettering and outline done in white puff paint. The paint is the same paint that I used on my Pac-man pants, which puffs up when you steam it. I made a test tag and puffed it, but it looked absolutely horrible, so I decided not to do the rest. 

I've also almost finished the apron for Aqua. The color is much better in the previous picture of the fabric. The apron is too long, but it'll be easy to shorten. I already have the fabric cut for the skirt, I just haven't sewn it yet. I'm using the shirt that I used for Maid Yoko, and I'll wearing a white tank top underneath to cover the rest of my back (as Yoko's was bare midriff). I already own the petticoat and thigh-high black stockings (both of which were also used for Maid Yoko).

We're altering the designs slightly, since no one seems to like the random stripe of color on the bottom of the aprons (doesn't really bother me), we're doing colored ruffles instead. I bought ribbon for the ruffles, since it was cheaper than fabric or bias tape.

Next, Baccano! Group!

Miria from "Baccano!"
 I can't even begin to explain how excited I am for this. I live near historic Niles, the place where Charlie Chaplin shot a lot of his movies, and it's also an old train town. On weekends, they run steam trains (other times, they run diesel trains, which earn't ass exciting). So after watching Baccano!, I got the idea to go on the steam trains as the characters.

Now, normally I agree with the widely-accepted idea that cosplay in public (outside of conventions) is a bad idea, however I believe there are a few conditions that this falls under. The clothing in Baccano! is hardly conspicuous, other than being old-fashioned. Niles being the historic town that it is, people dress up to go there very frequently, I have been there on several occasions, not even during festivals or events, and seen people (both men and women) walking down the street dressed in historic clothing. In addition, there's an event going on the weekend that we chose to go, and other people will most likely be dressed up as well. When I went to the train station to get an updated steam train schedule, one of the men working there told me that people come dressed up on the trains quite frequently. I believe that as long as we are polite to other people and more or less keep to ourselves, we will have no problems and everyone will have a wonderful time.

The thrift store never fails!
I decided early on that I would cosplay Miria, as Isaac and Miria are by far my favorite characters from Baccano!. If it weren't for them, I would have stopped watching after probably the third or fourth episode. I chose to do the red dress that she wears on the train, since we're going to be on a train, and it's her most recognizable and least conspicuous outfit. (A close second choice was her Charlie Chaplin outfit because we're going to be in Niles.) I invited a couple of friends along for a group, and before I knew it, my group of four or five grew to about 8, including the photographer (we also have a lot of people saying "maybe").

My original plan was to buy a red dress from the thrift store and alter it, however, many trips proved fruitless, and I nearly gave up. I decided that if one more trip to the thrift store didn't provide anything, I'd just make the entire dress myself (I already had a pattern anyway). Well lo and behold, the perfect dress appeared. Even though it's a size 8 (and I'm like a size -5, I tiny), I tried it on, and it fit! It's a little loose around the waist, but it's doesn't even matter. I went home and discovered that the red fabric that I used for the red triangles on my White Mage robe is a perfect match for the extra ruffle. I love when a cosplay just falls directly into my lap.

The dress as it is now.
I bought black fabric from JoAnn's and long black gloves from Daiso. Also while at JoAnn's, I picket up my first pair of pinking shears, which are the best thing to ever happen to sewing ever. Seriously. I have no idea how I ever did anything without them.

I began by altering the dress adding the extra ruffle. That was super easy. My boyfriend had to hold the dress while I pinned it on though, and he didn't enjoy having pins anywhere near him.Then I took a new friend's advice and cut the top ruffle down the middle and across the top and added it to the sleeves. The black trim around the top will hide the cut edges left from the ruffle.  I cut out the black fabric that I needed for the top and the trim on the sleeves, and added the trim to the sleeves. After that, I did a strange combination of gathering and pleating to get the sleeves where I want them. In the photo, only the sleeve on the left is finished, the one on the right is only partially pinned, which is why it's hanging lower.

Group Cosplays

I've realized that I'm involved in a group cosplay about once a year, and it got me thinking, what are the pros and cons of group cosplay?

The most obvious advantage, I think, is that I get to enjoy my hobby with my friends, instead of by myself. Now, a majority of the time, I enjoy solitude/small groups, more people usually means more drama, but it can get lonely sometimes, so occasionally being with larger groups is really fun! We can sew (read: procrastinate) together, do photoshoots together, and we have an excuse to stick together during a convention. Sometimes it's hard to stay together with bigger groups at conventions because everyone wants to do different things, but if I'm cosplaying with someone, I tend to want to stick with them.

Another advantage is that I get recognized and photographed more! My hard work gets more attention and praise! Groups of people are easier to spot than a single person, and multiple characters together make everyone more recognizable. Also when a group is stopped for a picture, they take up more space and more people notice. In addition, it's more impressive to have a whole group for some reason. It definitely takes more work to get a group together than it does to make a cosplay by yourself.

Being in a group cosplay motivates me more to finish my project than just being by myself. I feel like I have to finish or I'll let other people down. I can live with myself if I don't meet my personal goals, because if I wasn't motivated to finish them, clearly they didn't mean that much to me in the first place, but I can't stand to let other people down. Plus, I definitely know what it's like to have cosplay group members bail, and I don't want to do that to anyone. As I mentioned earlier too, it's fun to work on things together, even if progress is usually slow, at least it's progress!

On the flip-side of things, getting a cosplay group is hard. In the past, I've tried multiple times and failed miserably to get groups together. Luckily, I have a good friend who somehow manages to keep groups together, and she's kind enough to include me in them. (She always seems to suggest really good characters for me too, but that's another story.)

To start, finding people to be in a group is hard. It's best to have people who live nearby so that you can get together to help each-other out and work on things, but cosplayers seem to be scattered pretty far apart. Then you have to keep everyone together. Some people run out of funds or time, some people lose interest, and before you know it, your group of ten has dwindled down to three, and then it just dies. Or at least that's what tended to happen to me.

When I would try to keep people on-track, I always felt like I was nagging, and things no longer became fun. Keeping track of everything and everyone felt like a chore, and I lost motivation quickly. I also ended up choosing people who needed a lot of help, which was fine, but we could never coordinate schedules, and I'm horrible at giving instructions, which resulted in me doing most of the work myself (through my own fault, really).

With a group, I feel like everyone's costume has to be made out of the same materials and in the same style so that it doesn't look like we all just ran into each-other and we look like we belong together. I find that it makes the whole group look cleaner and like it had more purpose. However, in a group, no matter how tightly-knit and skilled everyone is, there are always differing sewing and crafting styles and different ways of looking at things. For example, I choose fabrics based on what the garment is intended to be, like when I cosplayed Yoko, I chose bathing suit fabric for her top, because it's supposed to be a bathing suit. (I didn't always choose fabrics this way.) I have a friend that chooses fabrics based on the way the shine, fold, hang, and move. Both are completely valid ways to choose fabric, both are "correct", and both yield beautiful results, but put the two of us together, and we could probably argue about fabric for a good hour without any results.

Did I mention drama earlier? Because I definitely meant to. Any time you get any group together, there will be drama, cosplay-related or not, it just happens. There's really not much else to say on that.

Number-wise, the drawbacks of cosplaying in a group outweigh the advantages, but life isn't a numbers game, and whether or not cosplaying with a group is "worth it" is completely up to the individual. Personally, I enjoy it about once a year, that's frequent enough for me. The rest of the time, I enjoy cosplaying with my boyfriend, the two of us managing our costumes works out well, and I can get all of the sewing done easily. The times when I cosplay by myself are fun too, I have less to work on and less to worry about in general.

I think that everyone should give group cosplay a shot at least once, because you can't know if you don't like it if you don't try it! I don't mean start a group and then give up or drop out, I mean follow it all the way through to the event where you're wearing all of your costumes. I think it's totally worth it.

Fairs and Bazaars (Days 841 - 842)

Over the last couple of weeks, of course no progress had gotten done, I've been enjoying summer! I went to the county fair a couple of times and went to a small Japanese bazaar put together by a local Buddhist church. I had no idea what to expect from the bazaar, but it ended up being a lot of fun! I actually found the exact fabric that I wanted for my semi-secret cosplay for a great bargain! Eight yards for four bucks! Woo!

Days 836 - 840

In light of the recent furniture-moving extravaganza, I'm making an attempt to clear out a bunch of stuff in my room so that I can put my sewing things in there. Wish me luck!

I don't feel much like writing right now, so here's some photos of current and possible future projects.
Photo by AnimeCraft Entertainment