December 11th, 2019
The final major Toronto Cosplay event for the year is now over and the Fan Expo Holiday Market was a fun experience. I like attending it for a chance to buy some geek themed Xmas gifts and just pick up some fanart, although this year I did not find any gifts to buy. XD I still did find some cute fanart prints from Madoka, Silent Hill, Pokemon and Sailor Moon and I even bought an adorable school uniform Madoka keychain to join my rather large merch collection from Madoka Magica. I bought an absolutely adorable water Pokemon fanart t-shirt although it's a little big on me. I also stocked up on some lip balms from The Geek Studio which should get me through the winter. Shopping was definitely the name of the game for the Holiday Market.
Fan Expo certainly delivered on the holiday aspect of the event. They had Christmas music playing in the main area and Santa was available for photos with a Star Wars command ship background. I skipped seeing Santa this year, but it was a fun setup. Personally, I prefer the setup being a bit more festive, but it really is a unique Santa photo op.
I did debut a "new" costume. Back in 2016 my friend Amber made me a Wendy Darling costume as a somewhat surprise Christmas gift. She had talked to me about wanting to do a Peter Pan group with her as Peter and me as Wendy earlier that year. Her whipping up the costume as my Xmas gift for that year was unexpected. The costume has been sitting in my closet for a few years and I decided that I should give it a test run before I wear it with her in the future. One of the reasons I didn't wear it sooner was because I was nervous about the wig. I bought an Epic Cosplay Phoebe wig and Amber styled the curls into it for me. The wig, unfortunately, is extremely back heavy and kind of styled tight so it really hurts and is super hard to actually put on my head. Pan came over a few days before the Holiday Market event and tried to help me test the wig out. She found it slipped back on my forehead too easily. Instead, we quickly went through my wig collection and found a wig I had bought to re-wear Hermione (and never used) which is curly. She clipped up the back of the wig and the waves had a great look to imitate Wendy's ringlets. The wig was a cheap eBay wig so it cost me less than half of what I paid for the Phoebe wig and only took 5 minutes of styling so I feel silly for buying the original wig. XD I think the colour of the replacement wig is a little better too. Not sure if I'll wash out the original wig and sell it or see if maybe I can loosen the ponytail so it fits better. It's a shame because Amber styled in the cutest bangs and it's a beautiful wig, but the new wig is much easier to manage.
My experience wearing Wendy was very positive! I've worn only a couple of floor length gowns in my life. I think it comes down to just Wendy and maybe Princess Peach for long gowns. No retailer ever makes floor length gowns for petite women so I never get a chance to wear long dresses. It was so much fun, though! The dress was extremely flattering! I can't thank Amber enough for making it for me although it was too bad she didn't make it out to the event to see it in person. It was pretty comfy since I wear it with flats. I got quite a few compliments, which was very nice and I felt like a princess. Wearing Wendy is tempting me to make an Alice in Wonderland costume for 2020 or 2021. The dresses from Disney movies are so cute! Even though Wendy is not a very Christmas themed outfit, I thought her long nightdress had a nice lux look to it, which had a bit of a Christmas morning vibe. I did bring my candy corn light up necklace to represent Halloween a bit at this very Christmas event. Holiday costumes were definitely a highlight of the event. I would say 80+% of costumes were Christmas themed if nothing else but with accessories, and it made for a fun atmosphere. I should probably wear Shinku one of these years. I would fit right in. XD
I did a photoshoot with Mekou. It was my first time working with her and she was very easygoing and open to suggestions so it was fun wandering around with her and Pan to find places to shoot. We went over to the Delta hotel and took some photos by the hotel's Xmas decorations and general decor. I'm pretty excited to see how those turned out as I think there will be some really beautiful pics to come.
I saw quite a few friends at the event and honestly, it was a really nice day. Pan, Adrien and I capped off the day by stopping at Kinton Ramen afterward for a post-con meal. My only real complaint is the lack of food options in the convention centre. I know it's a one day event so vendors like the lemonade stand or Bubble Tea place are not going to set up just for one day, but the con only had one cafe with some light food options available. I ended up getting a cookie and a can of coke. The con was a bit too short to want to venture out to find food during the day so I was pretty hungry by the time we left downtown. Oh well, I know things will be better in a few months for March ComiCon.
So that was the Fan Expo Holiday Market. I'll probably go back again next year as it's a fun chance to see friends, be festive and get some shopping done. It's not a con to really write home about. The cons I went to this year all went pretty well. I was at Toronto ComiCon for a day in March and re-wore Ashley from RE4 for a great RE4 group with Amber and her bf Sean. Anime North and the Nominoichi at the con were both really fun experiences in the spring. I did the best I've ever done at the Nomi this year and it was nice to have hotel space again at the Delta hotel. I managed to finish my one handmade costume for the year in time for Anime North. Homura's magical girl costume was a bit of an ambitious undertaking, but I honestly couldn't be happier with the results especially when I later added the shield that I commissioned from my friend Adrien. Pretty Heroes at the JCCC was a bit of a mixed experience. Kind of fun to be back at the JCCC for a different event, but I did feel the con was a bit cramped in the space. The vendors space was a bit too congested. I did shoot with Elemental at Pretty Heroes and got some really nice pics of my Homura costume. The end of the summer was Fan Expo Canada and I attended the con for 3 of the 4 days thanks to free passes that I won last year. I was kind of surprised by the lack of recognition for my Anime costumes as I wore both my Madoka school uniform and Homura at the event, but nothing beats the shopping options and variety at Fan Expo Canada. Finally, the year was capped off by the fun Fan Expo Holiday Market.
I did actually take a big city vacation this year, which was a first for me in a while. I went with my friend Pan to New York City in September. We had beautiful weather in NY and we saw some amazing sites. It was cool to take a ferry and pass by the Statue of Liberty, experience the exhibits in the New York Transit Museum and the American Museum of Natural History and explore Times Square. The trip was big highlight of the year.
That pretty much concludes 2019. I only made one new costume, although I got shoot photos back from 2018 of my Candy Corn Costume Quest costume that my friend Pan made for me and I finally got a chance to wear the Wendy costume that Amber made for me a few Christmas' ago. I'm hoping for 2020 to get photos of the Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that Amber also made for me several years ago and to do a shoot of my Dilandau costume, which has been a dream of mine for ages. I'm going to be making my Sakura Kinomoto Card Captor Sakura Clear Card cover art costume, which I would like to debut at Anime North and I plan to start working on it this month. If that actually goes smoothly, then maybe I'll start working on an Alice dress for the summer to debut at perhaps Fan Expo. I'm hoping 2020 will be fairly productive with sewing and for getting through a backlog of shoots. As for cons, I'll probably stick to my usual schedule so Toronto ComiCon for a day, Anime North, Fan Expo Canada, the Holiday Market and maybe Pretty Heroes for a day. We'll see if I find another con or two to add to my schedule, but they would probably have to be local conventions. Maybe I'll finally make it out to Yeticon? XD I would love to go on another vacation next year so we'll see if I can make travel plans. I'm hoping 2020 will be a year of transformation for me in a lot of ways and I feel like I have some fun Cosplay and shoot goals that should keep me busy throughout the year.
I think I'll be getting the Wendy shoot photos back from Mekou in the next few weeks so whenever I get those back I'll be sure to update here. I did create the write-up for my Wendy costume and I have a few photos from the Holiday Market of my costume courtesy of Pan that I added to the costume gallery so you can view the costume page here
. It's nice to finally wear one of my completed costumes that has been haunting my closet for years. I hope by the end of 2020 that I can completely clear said backlog. I do hope that anyone that has been following my ramblings on this site over the year has an amazing Christmas and a wonderful New Year! I'm crossing my fingers for an excellent 2020!
November 14th, 2019
It's been over a month since my last entry and I can't believe we're just a month and a half away from starting a new decade! This year has just been flying by! It feels bizarre to think that Halloween was just a couple of weeks ago. We had a snowstorm here in Toronto on Monday that has brought several inches of snow that have stayed on the ground over the last few days. That feels like it's unheard of for November! I feel like we don't usually get much snow until at least December. Where did fall go?? (;_;)
I was so worried about Halloween this year since the forecast for it was pretty doom and gloom. With rain and fairly cool temperatures, coupled with the fact it was a Thursday night, I figured we would have almost no trick or treaters. I was actually quite surprised that I think we had over 70 kids. It was possibly a better turnout than last year when the rain wasn't as bad. I was able to put up my usual Halloween display although I did dial it back a bit on the lawn since the rain would have wrecked my tombstones. I bought a giant 12 ft inflatable ghost which looked pretty awesome as a sign for trick or treaters to stop by. I was also able to get a Sam (Trick Ďr Treat) hanging figure from Spirit Halloween now that they have the Trick Ďr Treat license. It has an amazing head with the perfect design for him so that was fun to display. This year I used my AtmosFX projector again but this time I projected against my window from inside and used the Bone Chillers skeleton set. I think it looked quite eye-catching and paired nicely with some Halloween themed music I was playing. I always have so much fun setting out my decorations and lighting the couple dozen candle holders and light up figures I display each year. It's so much work, but I think parents and kids really appreciate the effort I put in to make trick or treating more exciting. The ghost inflatable was a popular spot for Halloween photos for the kids. Not a lot of houses in my area decorate and only one other house really went as hardcore as me so I just have a blast doing it. Even with the 5+ hours of cleanup, it's a fun experience each year. Hopefully with Halloween being a Saturday next year we have even more kids out. Just hopefully winter won't creep into October since it feels like it starts earlier each year!
Since Halloween, I've been trying to get my basement organized a bit. I'm still slowly working my way through 20+ years of storage in the basement. I'm proud of myself for being resposible enough to donate some of my old Halloween decorations to Value Village so I'm trying to be really keen to declutter. I tend to be a pack rat so it's good to fight back against my instincts. My dad is thinking about renovating the basement so organizing some of the things down there seems like a priority. I've also been organizing the room where I sew. I think I'm finally going to set up my dress form soon. With the holidays coming up it'll soon be time for the start of my annual sewing spree for next year's costume. I already have material for a Sakura Kinomoto costume. I'm hoping to start that next month and maybe get it done by February. I'm thinking about a second costume I might make next year so if I can finish Sakura early, maybe I can get started on planning a costume for Fan Expo. It's actually kind of ambitious for me to get two costumes done in a year. XD I meant to work on Sakura during the summer, but I got distracted. Winter gives me a good chance to focus so I'm looking forward to that.
Besides organizing the basement, I'm finally trying to catch up on some video gaming. I've barely played any video games over the last couple of years and I'm getting quite a backlog. My goal is to hopefully finish Rise of the Tomb Raider by December and then play through Dead Rising 4 around Christmas. I started Dead Rising 4 last year in December but I didn't get very far in it. If I can master both games this year I want to start Shadow of the Tomb Raider in early 2020. Then I just have Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy to play through. XD Hopefully gaming doesn't distract me too much from sewing. I suspect that's why I quit playing video games earlier this year. I was so busy sewing I didn't get a chance to play anything. Tomb Raider is pretty fun so it's nice to actually play something again.
Regarding Cosplaying, my friend Elemental sent me the photos from Pretty Heroes from the shoot we did of my Homura costume. There are a handful of pics from the shoot that I really adore. We had some tough conditions working against us. The sun was so bright outside and it was so hot that I was sweating like crazy and I was squinting in almost every outdoor photo. Meanwhile, inside the lighting seemed a bit harsh on me, but there are some really solid pics from the shoot and I'm so happy I could work with Amanda again. Over the years she's taken quite a few of my most flattering costume photos and there are a couple of Homura pics that I feel like are some of my best shoot photos ever. :3 I hope I can work with her again in 2020! You can find the new photos in my Homura costume page here
Finally, the year isn't quite up and there is still one more Cosplay event to go. Next month is the Fan Expo Holiday Market (the event has been renamed from Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show). I've had so few chances to wear some of my new costumes that are in my backlog that I'm thinking about debuting the Wendy (Peter Pan) costume that my friend Amber made for me as a present. The costume was a gift back in 2016 so it's been ready to go for nearly 3 years. I'll have to see if I can book a shoot with anyone. The costume is a bit tricky to wear since the dress is made of satin and wrinkles super easily. The wig is also extremely heavy in the back and has a small cap so I've barely been able to try it on. I'm definitely going to need to get my friends to help me put the wig on at the con. The wig might give me a headache so I might not wear the costume for long. There are a lot of ifs so we'll see if I do wear the costume. It would be nice to debut another costume this year. My only new costume in 2019 has been Homura so I feel like I've been slacking off. Whatever I wear, I must remember to get some Christmas accessories as 90% of the costumes last year were Christmas themed or accessorized. In my Orphea summer dress I felt like I missed the memo. XD Christmas Cosplay really has taken over that event over the last few years. It is a fun way to celebrate the season and I'm excited to Cosplay one more time in 2019!
October 8th, 2019
It's been a while since I popped in here with an update on things. In my last post I mentioned that I had plans for a vacation coming up in September. We're now into October so the trip is behind me, but I had a great time. I spent nearly a week in early to mid September in New York City with one of my best friends, Pan. It was a bit of a compromise as she had wanted to go to Japan, but we only had a little over a month to plan the trip so we didn't have time to research and make plans for a big trip overseas. NYC seemed like a simpler trip and I've been itching to go to the Big Apple for a couple of years now.
I was drawn to want to visit New York thanks to pictures I stumbled across of the massive blue whale model in the American Museum of Natural History. I was so intrigued by it and I really wanted to experience it in person. I convinced Pan to want to check it out too and that was one of our first stops of the trip! Pictures don't do the whale justice! The AMNH is filled with gorgeous dioramas and displays and it was refreshing to find such an extensive collection of taxidermy along with a section on Biological Anthropology. The planetarium there was amazing too! We also explored parts of Central Park, took a ferry to Staten Island and got to see the Statue of Liberty along the way as well as Manhattan in the distance. The Statue of Liberty really is an amazing symbol and kind of awe-inspiring to see in person. Other highlights were the Transit Museum in Brooklyn, riding the Roosevelt Island Tramway, seeing the view of Manhattan from the top of the Rockefeller Center, and a Super Hero themed bus tour of filming locations in the city including Wall Street, Washington Square and the Daily News Building. Finally, we did lots of shopping! Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from Times Square and it was truly a lively place! Even at night it was a beacon of light and sound. I reunited with one of my favourite clothing stores (Express) and it was cool to see some of the flagship shops in Times Square like the Disney Store, Macy's and the nearby Nintendo Store. We had a fun week and I was really happy to finally go on vacation! I haven't gone on vacation to a city in over a decade and I haven't travelled with a friend on a trip since 2012. Hopefully next year I'll go on another fun adventure!
In terms of Cosplaying, things have been pretty quiet since Fan Expo. I know that I posted here with hopes to do a photoshoot or two in September into October, but that's just not going to happen. Hopefully in 2020 I'll finally get photos of my neglected Dilandau costume. :( I did get the proofs back from my Homura shoot that I did at Pretty Heroes with Elemental and I picked my favourite pics. I should be getting my photos back in the coming weeks.
Something exciting did happen, though. Elemental finished editing the Costume Quest photos from last year's photoshoot and sent them out to us. I think the photos just fell by the wayside since it was a Halloween shoot and she didn't have time to edit them before the holiday last year. They sort of were forgotten, but now that it's fall again, she finished them up and sent them out. I got a ton of photos of my Candy Corn costume so I finally added a page for it here
. The costume was a Christmas gift from my friend Pan back in 2016. She organized the group and we managed to find 3 other friends that also wanted to dress up from the video game. My friend Jen was the Space Warrior, Rin was the Unicorn, Mackenzie was the Pumpkin and Pan was the Statue of Liberty. We explored a neighbourhood near Davisville station and took photos in front of decorated houses (with permission of course). We also decorated a doorway and took photos in the field at Upper Canada College. It was a really fun and spooky afternoon and evening and I remember this shoot quite fondly. The costume was super cute so I really appreciate Pan making it for me!
That covers about everything. I've heard that the Anime North JCCC Halloween event will no longer be happening so that's too bad. I was kind of looking forward to seeing if it would return this year after the event was cancelled last year. I guess the time for it has kind of passed. I suppose that means my next costuming event (if I bother dressing up) will be the Fan Days Holiday Show that will probably be happening in December. Of course, I decorate my house for Halloween, but I don't have plans to attend any major parties or events. I haven't started my next costume yet either. I'll probably try to get things organized in my sewing area and get started on things in November or December. I always find winter to be a good time for productivity with sewing. Guess it helps that not much is going on after Christmas until nearly Spring. XD I'll update here again when I get my Homura photos back from Elemental.
August 31st, 2019
Fan Expo Canada is over for another year and it was a fun weekend. I meant to write my con summary a little sooner, but I thought maybe I caught con plague and was feeling a bit under the weather. I feel quite a bit better now so I hopefully dodged a bullet.
I don't really go to Fan Expo to see celebrities so Fan Expo is a bit of a con oddity for me since that's such a big focus of the event. I ended up going to the con for 3 days. Again, normally I would only get a pass for one or two days since I skip a significant chunk of the con's programming, but thanks to the passes that I won last year, I had the opportunity to go any number of days. It was a bit surreal that way. Since Fan Expo disbanded the masq a couple of years ago, I pretty much decided I wouldn't find it worthwhile to get a weekend badge ever again. Having the option to come back for multiple days was nice, though. I definitely feel like the con is a bit much to do in one day, but I did feel like my final day at the con, Sunday, was kind of unnecessary although I did still find some things to do.
I attended Fan Expo on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I had originally hoped to come back on Saturday to see the panels for Brendan Fraser and The Boys guest panel, but after going on Thursday and Friday, I really wanted a day off. I did Cosplay on Thursday and Friday. I re-wore Madoka (school uniform) on Thursday and Homura (magical girl) on Friday. Both costumes flew a bit under the radar. I sort of forgot that Anime as a component of Fan Expo has really started to fall by the wayside these last few years. One gentlemen stopped me at a vendor table to ask me what I was dressed as when I was wearing Homura and he told me he had to take a second to remember the Anime since it's kind of old now. XD All I could think was that Madoka Magica is one of the most recent Anime series that I've watched so I'm pretty outdated apparently. lol I actually forgot to put my soul gem on when I got to con and I just never bothered to wear it due to the lack of recognition. At least I didn't have to worry about it falling off my hand like it tends to do. (^^);; I ended up not Cosplaying on Sunday. I talked with Pan on Saturday night about Cosplaying for the final day. I actually pulled my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform from the closet as an option and on Sunday morning had packed my Wacky Wavy Tube Man costume to Cosplay with Pan. Pan decided to wear a different costume she had been hoping to wear instead (with just minutes to go before we planned to leave) so I decided to not bother bringing anything. I was feeling a bit meh about Cosplaying after the lukewarm reaction to my other Anime costumes so I didn't mind being casual for Sunday. A lot of people commented post-con that fewer people were Cosplaying or more people were apathetic towards Cosplayers and I suppose I sort of felt that. It didn't feel like Cosplay stood out as much this year so maybe the number of Cosplaying attendees is down from years prior.
I did have a nice time in my costumes and on both days my friend Pan was kind enough to take some photos of me so I have some fun shots from around the con and a few pics of my new shield for Homura. You can find some photos of Madoka here
and Homura here
. I'm still waiting for shoot photos from Pretty Heroes that were taken by Amanda so it's nice to have some photos in the meantime. I got quite a few compliments on my Madoka costume, which was nice. Surprisingly, it was more recognized than the magical girl Homura costume despite being from the same series. It probably helps that my Madoka wig is so nice thanks to Nikki. I could wear that costume anytime. I love it so much. <3
Con highlights were Artist Alley, the Tokidoki booth and Tinsel Magic Imports' table. I actually ended up spending WAY more than I expected at Fan Expo this year. I knew I would end up spending quite a bit at the Tokidoki booth as they give me a chance to stock up on Unicorno and Mermicorno blind boxes for a pretty fair price ($10 a piece if you bought more than one). They had the new Mermicorno series 4 figures, which only released a couple of weeks ago, so it was my first chance to get figures from that set. I bought 6 boxes from series 4 and 4 from series 2 (to try to find 3 figures I really wanted from the earlier set). I ended up getting 5 figures that I didn't have, but 5 duplicates. XD I now have 3 Lei-las and 3 of the new Cavalina. XD Hopefully I can sell or trade my four duplicates. I did get Neptune, Lotus and Fantasma, which were all ones that I wanted so my luck wasn't too bad. I also got Patita, which I'm ok with trading and a duplicate of Acquaria. Still on the hunt for Corallina & Pacifica, Coraline and Cerluean. My friend Amy (who was running another table) also gave me 4 boxes of the series 4 Unicorno Metallico figures that she was kindly able to pick up for me at SDCC earlier in the summer. I ended up getting 2 Yukis, Lily and Yuma so I did pretty well. It was the weekend of Tokidoki figures. Now I need to track down some display boxes to display all my new figures (and people to trade me for some of my doubles). (^^);;
Shopping was definitely the name of the game for me at Fan Expo. Besides overspending at the Tokidoki booth, I picked up a Haunted Mansion mouse ears ornament and a beautiful Halloween electronic water globe candle from Tinsel Magic Imports. They're pretty much my one guaranteed shopping stop in the North Building. I've bought numerous Halloween collectables and decorations from their table over the years and it was nice to pick up a parks exclusive Haunted Mansion ornament from them especially since it was something I've wanted for a couple of years. I also bought some Madoka Magica, Bulma, Sailor Moon, Inuyasha and original design witch and mystical creatures themed fanart from Artist Alley. I did get some jewelry as well as my favourite steampunk ring seller, Catherinette Rings, was at the con so I picked up 2 new rings and a handmade Mickey popsicle necklace from another booth. Another one of my favourite Halloween themed tables was a must stop place for me and I picked up a mini pumpkin wreath. Pan gifted me a couple of patches from ALB as she makes iron-on patches that include a set of Halloween ones and even a Newfoundland mermaid themed patch. I'm Newfie on my mother's side so that was a perfect patch for me. <3 Finally, I grabbed a life size Detective Pikachu fuzzy plush from the EB Games booth. I actually loved the Pikachu interpretation from the live-action movie and I've kind of always wanted a plush from it. I probably wouldn't have bought it except it was incredibly soft and huggable! (^_^) It was definitely a fun con purchase.
Besides shopping, I did get a few discount coupons for the ROM and Ripley's Aquarium. I haven't been to the aquarium in a few years so I'm probably going to use the aquarium one. I also did check out Yaya Han's 20 year Cosplay retrospective panel on Sunday. It was a pretty fun look back since I've been Cosplaying for almost as long as her. I can remember a lot of the original websites she mentioned where Cosplayers would share photos and discuss costume and convention plans. Things really have changed in the last 15 or so years! It was lovely to hear Yaya's insight into the Cosplay scene and about her experiences.
Another con highlight was running into some friends like seeing Amanda's amazing prop work at the Cosplay Supplies booth in the north building. She built a Stranger Things Demogorgon bust to use as an example piece for thermoplastics and it looked amazing! I also got to see Aaron and Wendy from Married Makers who were running a booth to advertise their 3D printing prop services. I hadn't seen them since BlizzCon last year as Aaron worked on the relic for Orphea as part of the Henchmen team and he was one of my handlers at the event. They're absolutely the kindest Cosplay duo and it was nice catching up with them. I highly recommend their services as their props, which I saw at the event, are top-notch quality! I sadly didn't end up running into my friends Amber and Sean, which was unfortunate, but I did see a fair number of my other friends.
Finally, the food at the con was alright. I know they started a bag check campaign last year and now you can't really bring in outside food. I ended up eating at the con centre on Thursday. I had chicken teriyaki in the south building and the portion was pretty generous. I had the lemonade as well, which was nice, and I quite enjoyed Labothery's bubble tea offerings. The Kirby rose milk tea was quite refreshing! Even for the kind of high price point for a somewhat basic tea, I would totally love to see them back again.
That pretty much wraps up my con experiences and thoughts. Pan was kind enough to drive us on all 3 days. Parking at the MTCC was pretty pricey, but on Sunday we parked at Roy Thomson Hall and if an event is not happening at Roy Thomson, it's really a much more affordable alternative to parking at the MTCC. Like half the price and only a 5 minute walk to the north building. XD We'll definitely keep that in mind for next year! Overall, the con was alright. Nothing extraordinary but not terrible. I still enjoy the variety the con brings to the table with artists, exhibitors and vendors so I definitely see it being worth attending for a day or two next year.
Next up for me is my vacation! Going away to the States in two weeks. Looking forward to travelling for the first time in a few years. I guess I did go to a cottage last year, but that was basically a step up from camping and I don't count BlizzCon since that was technically work. XD I'm excited to be doing some sightseeing in New York City. :D After that I want to finally get sewing again and maybe plan a photoshoot? That sort of fell off the radar again, but I'm still at least hoping for a Dilandau shoot this year. Hopefully that's not expecting too much before the fall sets in too intensely, but I'll try to set something up.
August 19th, 2019
Summer is quickly coming to a close and there is no bigger indicator of that than Fan Expo Canada. I always feel like Anime North kicks off the summer and Fan Expo Canada ends it. It's crazy how quickly the last few weeks have flown by. I've been super busy these last couple of weeks planning a few things. I'm pretty excited that next month I'm going on my first city bound vacation. I'm really looking forward to travelling with my friend. At the same time, I've been trying to keep tabs on Fan Expo and plan for the con so the days are just melting away.
I'm in such an odd position because, thanks to the passes I won last year, I have a deluxe badge for the con, but thus far I'm still not sure what days I want to attend Fan Expo. So far I know that I'm going for sure on Thursday and Friday with my friend Pan. My costume plans are still my Madoka school uniform (as Madoka Kaname) for Thursday and my Homura magical girl costume for Friday. I am debating with Pan about returning one more day. I would love to see Brendan Fraser's panel on Saturday, but with the crowds, that's just about the only thing I would want to do that day. Sunday would be kind of nice to return to close out the weekend, but there isn't much I want to that day either except maybe one panel. Not sure if it's worth the effort and transit to return if we can see most of the con on Thursday and Friday. It feels like such a waste to not use my pass, though. (>.<);; If I did go back for a third day and I decided to Cosplay, it's a toss-up for me between Wacky Inflatable Tube Man, my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform or my Kagome costume. So many options so we'll see if I make it back to the con for a third day.
We're in the process of getting our air ducts cleaned here at home as well, which just potentially got postponed from tomorrow to Wednesday. My place is in a state of chaos so we could move things off of vents and I can't even find space to pull my wigs and costumes for inspection and ironing until I can put things back so the timing is really unfortunate. I might have a really frustrating night on Wednesday so I can prep for the con on Thursday.
I'm looking forward to checking out the con again this year, though. Not much programming is jumping out at me, but the Fan Expo artist alley is a nice diversified lot and there are some fun artists and retailers that carry Halloween goods that I love to see each year. Also, Tokidoki is vending at the con so I'm excited to see if I can pick up some of the new series 4 Mermicorno figures. Of course, I'm eager to see some of my friends at the con as well. Kind of a bummer, though, that none of the fun exhibitors like the Dragon Ball Tour are back this year, but I'm sure there will still be some fun things and displays to check out at the con.
July 23rd, 2019
Last weekend was Pretty Heroes and I did end up attending the con on Saturday. I actually stuck to my original plan and I wore Homura. I really amazed myself since it was one of the hottest days so far this year and Homura is definitely more of a spring or fall weather costume. The humidity was absolutely killer! Just stepping outside of my house it immediately felt like walking in soup. I'm definitely glad Pretty Heroes was an indoor convention!
One of my biggest reasons for wanting to wear Homura was because I picked up my new time shield prop from my friend Adrien the night before the con. He was able to finish printing, sanding, assembling and painting it for me and it looked super slick! We both weren't sure how the cuff would work out as we talked for a while about the best way for me to wear the shield. He downloaded the plans from Thingiverse. The shield was by Subzerofusion and the cuff was made by pnb4ever. In the end he lined the cuff with a bit of foam and made an inner ring that was tapered for my very thin arm and it worked out well enough. We also discussed for a while about how I wanted the shield painted as the colour changes depending on if the shield is active. In the end I decided to have the shield painted a uniform silver as I thought it would really make it look impressive and Adrien did not disappoint! He used a graphite powder so the design really popped! It made for such an epic prop and it stayed up pretty well on my arm. I had a lot of fun with it. :3
The convention itself was pretty chill. I hung out with my friend Pan. I was able to shoot Homura with Elemental and I bravely faced the weather outside for a few minutes for some photos. XD I could feel the sweat running down my back. ~_~;; I think the photos are going to be lovely so I'm excited to see how they turned out. :D I spent the rest of the con checking out the artists and vendors. I had some nice cheesecake and a ramune from the JCCC's snack stand and a fruit lemonade from a baked goods table. It was quite refreshing. I didn't buy a lot of stuff as I found the artist area to unfortunately be a little too overwhelming since it was such a packed section. It was hard to browse. I did get a sheet of the absolute cutest Halloween themed stickers! I also got a dessert and cats themed chibi style lanyard, a small Princess Serenity print, some little magical girl buttons, a reusable shopping bag from the con and an official Sailor Moon Crystal Secret Honey skirt. I'm looking forward to finding a cute blouse to match the skirt.
I saw a few people that I know at the con, which was nice. There were plenty of great magical girl costumes. Of course, 90% of the Cosplayers were dressed from Sailor Moon and it was amazing to see the variety of Sailor Scouts and beautiful fukus. I did run into my friend Amber and her bf Sean and we were able to chat for a while which was great as I hadn't seen Amber since Toronto ComiCON in March. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks at Fan Expo. Maybe we'll even have time to grab dinner then.
That pretty much sums up the con. I didn't really participate in any of the events and I didn't really see any panels or workshops that caught my fancy, but there were some neat things on the go. We'll see how I feel about attending the con again next year. It is a nice venue for photos and the con has a pretty chill atmosphere which is nice. I do love to see all the magical girl related costumes, products and art as Sailor Moon was such a big part of my childhood. I may have to give the con another try for a day in 2020. My friend Pan did snap a few photos of me on my phone so I've added a few shots to my Homura costume page
just to show my awesome new shield. More photos will be coming in a few weeks when Amanda gets a chance to edit my shoot photos. :3
Next up for sure is Fan Expo. I'm still debating about what days I want to attend the con, but it is looking like 2 or 3 days. So far I'm thinking about re-wearing my Homura costume with my trusty time shield and I want to bring back my Madoka school uniform. I know I should re-wear it as Homura but I adore the beautiful pink wig that I bought from my friend Nikki so I'll probably Cosplay Madoka Kaname again. Another option I have kicking around is Sam from Trick Ďr Treat if I feel comfortable wearing the mask. The ventilation isn't very good and my vision is severely limited so it's more of a stand somewhere for 10 minutes type of costume before taking it off for a period of time. I need to decide if I feel like going through that hassle, but it would be cool to see the reaction the costume would have at a con.
Finally, my friend Amanda has told me she is hoping to arrange a couple of photoshoot events in the next couple of months and I've already put forward shooting Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Dilandau with her. She was suggesting Rockwood Conservation Area for Dilandau so that would be pretty epic. I previously shot my Ashley Graham costume out at Rockwood about a decade ago. It'll be awesome to see what the conservation area is like now and it has a cool medieval vibe that I think will work nicely for Escaflowne so I'm crossing my fingers that the shoot will happen.
July 14th, 2019
I actually don't have a whole lot to update about. I'm not really working on any new costumes right now. I did get my dress form for my birthday and I was able to use it to test out the collar of my black shirt for Homura. I took apart the collar and took it in an inch or so. The left side of the collar was slightly bigger than the right so it looked a little wonky. Hopefully the fix will be notable when I get photos of the costume. It looks a little less bulky now.
I did also bring up my Sam mask. It's always had a wrinkle around one side seam so I wanted to see if I could even it out. I'm in the process of hand taking down parts of the mask to make it fall flat. I've been debating about actually bringing Sam to a con one of these days so it'll be nice to fix that up so it'll be good to go for whenever. I'm also fixing up my upcoming Wendy costume from Peter Pan. The costume was a gift from Amber, but the styled wig was stored in a bag and some of the curls and bangs got a bit crushed so I'm trying to fluff them up. I also want to add some sewn clips at the forehead so the wig will stay in place a bit better. It's a ponytail wig so it'll definitely try to slip back. I'm also adding some snaps to the bow at the back of the dress so it'll make it easier to put the dress on without the bulky bow being sewn down.
I do still have plans to make a new Sakura Kinomoto costume. I was thinking of starting it this summer, but I'm honestly feeling kind of burnt out after Anime North. Rushing to finish Homura was so stressful. Not to mention, 4 packages with little accessories for Sakura are still missing in the mail. They were all things I ordered back in March. They were buttons, 3 different styles of little star patches from two sellers and hair clips. I'm just shocked all 4 packages got lost in the mail. I kind of need the buttons to see how the front of the blouse will sit. I'll probably wait another month and start hunting for supplies again. It's super annoying. Maybe by the fall I'll feel like working on a costume at least.
My friend Adrien is in the middle of 3D printing me a shield for my magica girl Homura costume. I got to see the printed base yesterday and it looks great. He didn't make the shield from scratch but is using a print we found on Thingiverse, but he will be assembling and painting it for me so he's going to really make it pop.
Originally he was making the shield for me to wear the costume at Pretty Heroes which is coming up next weekend. I'm kind of rethinking wearing Homura, though, since it's such a heavy costume for a summer con and such a production to wear to such a small event. I'm thinking of rescheduling a shoot and maybe wearing it with the shield at Fan Expo. I was going to wear it to Fan Expo, anyway, but it feels more worthwhile to wear that to a bigger event. I'm still debating about it. I'm considering wearing my Madoka Magical school uniform instead as either Madoka or Homura. At least it's a short skirt so that's a bit better for summer and slightly more casual with less layers.
I have been waffling a bit about plans to go to Pretty Heroes simply because the programming is a bit sparse and nothing is really catching my eye. I'm still hoping to go because the artist alley has a nice mix of artists that suit my style preferences and my friend Ammie is a guest. I so rarely see Ammie now that it would be nice to see her locally even if just for a few minutes. If I do attend the con it will still just be a day trip for me so I'll post here afterward with my thoughts if I do go.
June 3rd, 2019
I finished my Homura costume page! You can find it here
. I'm actually quite surprised. I thought with all the stress and setbacks it caused me writing about it would take me weeks, but I wrote up my costume summary in just a few days. Putting Homura together was quite a complicated experience, but I am pretty happy with the end result. I really didn't think I was going to make it work. I thought everything would sit funny and look off, but it turned out pretty nicely. Only big setback in the end was losing my soul gem, but I did order replacements so I'm hoping I get those by mid-July so I can wear Homura to Pretty Heroes.
I am currently commissioning my friend Adrien to make me Homura's shield. I found some blueprints for a 3D print build of the shield online so I asked if he would be interested in taking that on as a project. I'm pretty excited to see how that's going to turn out. I think that'll add a cool dimension to the costume.
In other exciting news, it's almost my birthday and this year I asked my dad if my present could be a dress form. I thought maybe we could go 50/50 on it, but he offered to get it for me. I didn't even realize you could get petite dress forms so I'm hoping that'll make a big difference with future projects. It probably would have saved me a ton of time if I could have had a form to trace the collars on for Homura. That's really what drove me crazy with the costume. I do have fabric for a Sakura Kinomoto costume so maybe later on in the summer I can start using the dress form get a jump on that costume. I am getting a bit ahead of myself, though. I won't be getting it until the 9th. I'm really looking forward to seeing what a difference it makes with my costume construction process.
Things should be pretty quiet over the next few weeks until Pretty Heroes. I'll probably only go to that con for a day. I do have a deluxe weekend badge for Fan Expo already since winning passes last year. Still haven't figured out how many days I'll go to that con for or how many times I'll Cosplay. I do still want to get photos of Dilandau this year and maybe the Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that I have. There is also the matter of re-wearing my Madoka school uniform, but this time being Homura. It seems like I have too many costume options and not enough time to wear everything. XD There is always next year if I don't get through everything this year.
May 30th, 2019
Long time no post! Oops. I honestly meant to update here as I worked my way through my Homura costume in the weeks leading up to Anime North. Heck, I meant to post here regarding how things went with the Nominoichi lottery. I didn't even get a chance to post about my Anime North plans. I don't think I've ever not gotten a chance to post about my con plans before a big convention since I started running a Cosplay site (except of course Blizzcon, but the NDA kind of kept me from saying much there). Honestly, it was such a hectic period these last few weeks that I never really got a chance to just sit and write. I had so many different things going on that it either slipped my mind or I couldn't find a free moment to work on an update for this site.
First of all, the new lottery system for Anime North was disappointing. I get why it was implemented and I respect its purpose, but I hate that as a potential seller I no longer have any control over my chances of getting a table. It was so easy to get a table in the past. It was pretty much a guarantee every year. I know the statistics were posted about the success rate for the table selection process and there were a lot more people that applied this year so the odds of getting a table were down. I actually didn't end up getting picked for a table. I didn't even make it onto the wait list. I was, thankfully, helped out by another seller who was kind enough to offer me and my tablemate Adrien table space after all. I'm so thankful for them helping me out since there was no way that I would have had a chance to sell otherwise.
I did end up finishing my Homura costume in time for Anime North. I never thought that it would come down to the wire like it did. In my mind I figured I would start the costume in late March and get it done in early May. I just ran into a ton of setbacks. First of all, I struggled a lot with patterning the purple collar of the blouse and the black collar of the undershirt. I don't have a dress form so getting the angles and proportions just right was very frustrating. In the end my friend Pan helped me out a lot with the purple collar and she redrafted my pattern for it while I wore the blouse. She did that for me just two weeks before the con and gave me the confidence to keep going with it. I had actually given up for a couple of days and was putting the costume aside when she gave me a pep talk.
I also ran into problems with how see through the white fabric was for the blouse. I bought it from the same spot and was told it was the same cotton blend fabric that I had previously purchased from a store downtown, but when I went to use it, it was clear that it was thinner and had more stretch. I thought it was going to be fine, but the front zipper seam was like a beacon showing through the fabric. My original plan was to wear a dickey shirt under the blouse to reduce bulk, but I had to make a full undershirt to counteract the see through nature by blending what was underneath. Pan also gave me the great idea of using black bias tape as a cover for some of the big seam caused by the zipper. It was a great fix and really worked!
I didn't end up finishing Homura until the Tuesday night before Anime North. I never expected to be sewing so close to the event and after finishing Homura I started making surprise grab bags for my Nominoichi table. I wanted to collect some of the small items as well as some of my excess gashapons and sell them in fun bags so my table wasn't so cluttered. I wasn't sure if anyone would like the bags, but I had some cute fabric that I thought would be fun to use for magical girl themed bags. I had this nice metallic starts fabric that was something my mom had bought years ago. She passed away without ever using the fabric so I thought making crafty bags was a nice homage to her. I also used some of my leftover Halloween print fabric from the Halloween dress that I made years ago to create a Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas bag. I made 4 magical girl bags and I actually sold all 4 bags. The people who bought them were pretty excited about it! One person even asked me to hold a bag for her so she could get her wallet. I was so touched that I almost cried. (;_;) I didn't sell the Halloween one, though. Maybe next year.
That kind of brings me to Anime North. It was hectic packing up for the con. Finishing the costume and sewing the grab bags really set me back so I was scrambling to get everything done on Thursday and into Friday morning. Thankfully everything came together. It actually turned out to be a really great Anime North. You would think it would be a bad year given that we had some of the worst weather at Anime North that we've had in years on Saturday. It rained terribly in the morning and we had another 30 minutes of a big thunderstorm in the evening. At least there was some sunshine in between and Friday and Sunday were really nice days.
The Nominoichi went incredibly smoothly this year. Usually the sellers have to wait outside for quite a long time before being let into the indoor waiting area, but the waiting area actually opened up just after 4 and it was nice to be inside and out of the sun. The setup period went really well and I was able to run around and grab the items I had reserved. I really upped my Unicorno collection! I've gone all in with Tokidoki figure collecting. It all started at Toronto ComiCON! I bought 2 Mermicornos at that con and a Mermicorno keychain and now I have 25 Unicorno and Mermicorno figures. XD I managed to snag 4 Unicornos (Cornetto, Galactica, Liberty and Yuki) and 1 Mermicorno (Perlina) through sales and a trade at the Nomi. I was able to cross off a few from my wishlist like getting Galactica from Series 6 (who has a moon that glows in the dark) and the super cute Perlina Mermicorno. One of my favourites of the event was Liberty which looks so cute in mint green. My other purchases from the event were 2 small figure cases that I bought for Unicornos, a Lollipop Chainsaw promo poster and this year's Snow Miku mini capsule figure. I'm pretty happy with my purchases.
I was at table N112 this year. I had a pretty bad table placement with the table facing the back wall way away from the buyer's entrance. Thankfully traffic to the table was fairly steady even if moderate for most of the night. I actually did the best I've ever done at the Nomi this year. I think it helped that I sold a few larger scale figures so that brought in some money. It was nice to meet so many people and many of my friends knew I was at the table and stopped by to visit me so it was a busy night. Adrien was kind enough to 3D print and make me a little spinner for the table so I could display small gashapon items at eye level. I think it helped a lot with attracting customers. It was stressful as usual setting up the table and I totally ran around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find all my reserved items to pass on, but everyone was patient and friendly and it was a great night. Only 4 people didn't pick up their holds so that ratio was pretty standard and I sold some of the stuff that wasn't picked up so all and all it was a good experience. Although the lottery system will always be frustrating, I do hope that I have better luck next year and can get a table again. I'm sure I'll find more figures to sell. I always want to trim different parts of my collection.
After finishing up at the Nomi, Pan was a real lifesaver and actually gave me an old wig from her collection to use for Homura. She actually took the time to trim the front pieces like Homura's just before midnight on Friday night. I didn't really have a backup wig to use at the time. I had bought an Arda Venus, but we never got a chance to trim the bangs because of how busy Pan and I were. She really saved me so I could wear the costume the next day!
The rest of the con was fairly uneventful, but had some goofy highlights. I wore Homura on Saturday. It was too bad the weather didn't really cooperate. I didn't even bother wearing the high heel shoes that I had brought for most of the day since I had to do so much walking and there were puddles outside. I think the costume went over alright. There were quite a few other Homura Cosplayers so it was nice to see that Madoka is still somewhat popular. A couple of people asked me to pose with fake guns that they had brought so I thought that was amusing. I mostly spent the day wandering around the dealer's room mostly with Adrien. We stopped at Swiss Chalet for lunch and I had to deal with some comedic shenanigans. I had bought a soul gem prop for my hand. I used spirit gum to attach it and it seemed like it was holding pretty well. While eating I noticed that the gem had fallen off. It was annoying, but thankfully Adrien found it under the table and I just so happened to have some super glue so I was able to repair it while finishing my food. Just before leaving I decided to go to the bathroom and just as I was fixing my wig so I could use the facilities, the whole gem prop fell off my hand and into the toilet. A second later it was carried off by the automatic flush. ~_~;; It was quite startling. I'm glad it wasn't something I worked hard to make, but it still sucks that I lost it after just a couple of hours. I've ordered a couple of backup ones now, but I'm hoping they show up before Pretty Heroes when I want to wear Homura again.
I got another new Kuma Crafts necklace at their booth in the dealer's room. They now carry the new fine jewelry collection and I'm totally hooked on the quality of the pieces. That was just about my only purchase in the vendor's area besides a gift for a friend. I did enjoy the food trucks outside again. I love the lemonade stand! The cherry lemonade is the best and was so refreshing. I also loved the Tiny Tom Donuts. I wait all year for the nice treats you get outside of Anime North. X3 The Japanese restaurant's offerings in the Delta was also awesome. I love the gyoza and the chicken dango. I had that for dinner and then again for brunch on Sunday.
The other highlight of Saturday was using the hotel pool! This year I was back in the Delta hotel again after missing out last year. Pan was awesome and was diligent enough to get us a room. I never get a chance to swim so I really enjoyed that opportunity on Saturday night.
Sunday was a casual day. It would have been the better day to Cosplay, but I was just too tired after the Nomi and with Cosplaying on Saturday. It was nice to just wander the con halls. I got to see the Artist Alley and Crafter's Corner. I did most of my shopping on Sunday. I bought some adorable Pokemon with dessert prints. One artist specialized in pairing Anime animals with pretty foods and the drawings were too cute and mouthwatering! I bought Vaporeon, Flareon and Sylveon. I also bought the sweetest handmade cherry pie necklace in Crafter's! It actually looks like a mini pie! I also found a return artist who had beautiful fantasy prints. I had previously bought a Cinderella print from her and I was able to get Ophelia, Swan Princess and Pandora prints to add to my collection. I love her art style! Probably my favourite item of the con was the kindest gift my friend Pan gave to me! She pre-ordered a handmade jack-o-lantern kitty plush for me from an artist in Crafter's. I had wanted one last year, but by the time I found the artist on Sunday, she had already sold out of them. It turns out she makes them to order during the con weekend so Pan snagged a pre-order and we were able to have them made on Sunday afternoon. Kind of unorthodox, but it's the most adorable thing and so professional looking! Pan ordered herself a bat kitty so they make a cute set! My birthday is just a couple of weeks away so it was a very nice early birthday present. (^_^)
After grabbing a final lemonade it was time to head home. It had been a fun con weekend. There were some ups and downs with the weather and Cosplay malfunctions, but things overall went fairly well and I had a great year selling at the Nomi. I'm so happy that after all my hard work and stressing with Homura the costume turned out and that nothing disastrous happened at the Nominoichi. Hopefully things in 2020 will go fairly smoothly and it'll be another fun year. I think for next year I'll try to actually post before the con about my plans. I won't let time get away from me like this year. lol
Normally I would be linking my costume page since I did finish a new costume, but I have yet to write my costume summary for Homura. XD I think it's going to be a long one since the costume has so many parts and I had so many issues and quirks while working on it. Hopefully I can get that done in the next couple of weeks. Pan and Adrien both snapped some photos of me, at least, on my phone so I'll have a few photos to share once the page goes live. I didn't set up a shoot during the weekend so I'll definitely set something up for Pretty Heroes. I'm pretty excited to shoot Homura and I do believe I'll be re-wearing it to Pretty Heroes and probably Fan Expo too.
I do have most of the materials (the fabric at least) to start my Sakura Kinomoto costume that was another costume plan for Anime North. I think I might be getting a dress form for my birthday and I think that'll make my life a lot easier for patterning. If I do maybe I'll feel the drive to get working on Sakura and maybe I can get that done before the end of summer. Not sure, though, Homura was quite a taxing build and after a sewing crunch for most of May, not sewing for a while sounds like a nice prospect. I am also still missing a few accessories for the costume. I ordered buttons, little star patches, a petticoat and alligator hair clips and all of it has been MIA in the mail since mid-March from different sellers. Really hoping things will show up or I'll have to open disputes and find other sellers to order from. I'm not sure why so many things seem to be lost in the mail now. It's a bit worrisome. Good thing I could switch to making Homura for Anime North! I'll update here again when my Homura costume page is done. Look for that in June. (^_^)
April 7th, 2019
Where have all the weeks been going? It felt like just yesterday is was the beginning of March and here we are approaching mid-April. I can't believe the con crunch for Anime North is almost here. It's been quite a busy last few weeks. I was finally able to go on my epic journey downtown with my friend Pan on the 30th of March. I was able to get fabric for my Homura costume as well as my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume. It was a super busy (and expensive) day. It's been a while since I spent that much on fabric, but Pan helped me find the perfect purple for Homura's skirt and collar! I really wanted a purple with a bit of a lighter side to it and it's pretty much exactly what I envisioned. It really inspired me with the costume. I'm glad it was such a successful day. I had to find white, darker purple, pink and blue fabrics as well so there was so much to hunt for. I appreciate Pan (and special guest Paul) helping me pick colours and fabric types.
I spent most of last week slowly working my way through fixing some patterns for my Sakura battle costume that I wanted to focus on making for Anime North. I was actually going to spend yesterday cutting out the blouse fabric for Sakura, but I realized that I'm missing a lot of notions for that costume. I'm waiting on cording, the boots, buttons and ribbon. I even ordered the Nendoroid petit figure back in early March to use as a reference and it has yet to arrive. The stuff I'm missing is kind of key to finishing the project. Normally I wouldn't be too worried given that there is still a month and a half until Anime North, but I'm actually waiting on a lot of stuff from Asia right now and some of it I ordered in early March and it still hasn't shown up. I'm worried some notions might not show up before AN. I realized I have nearly everything for Homura so I've decided to at least shift my focus to Homura for now and work on that costume instead. We'll see if the major notions show up quickly and if I want to switch back to Sakura. The circle skirt is a bit intimidating, though, and I can't make the shoulder pads without the cording.
I did spend a lot of the weekend getting started on Homura. I cut out the white bodice pieces minus the sleeves (which I still need to pattern) and began putting that together. Today I cut out and started working on the pleated skirt. I want to get that done so I can use the remainder of the purple fabric to make the collar piece. I'm pretty excited to see how this will come together and I'm hoping it'll look nice. I modified my Sakura Haruno blouse pattern, which I also used for my Madoka school uniform costume so I know it's a nicely fitted pattern. I'm hoping to get most of the costume together by the end of the month if I decide to stick with Homura, but as it currently stands, it seems like the safer bet.
In other news, the Anime North Nominoichi is currently accepting applications for the table lottery which ends tomorrow night. I put in my submission back on Friday and I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that I get picked. I have so many figures and goodies that I want to sell. I'm really feeling the spring cleaning vibe so I guess on Tuesday or Wednesday I'll know my fate. Only downside is that if I do get a table I'll have to sideline my sewing a bit for a few days to get organized for taking reservations. With the table uncertainty I have yet to organize and photograph some of the larger figures that I want to sell. I don't want to store stuff if I can't take them to AN so I'm stuck right now in limbo. This week should answer the uncertainty and I hope the answer is positive!
Finally, I unexpectedly found that a photo of my Sailor Saturn costume (a costume that I commissioned from my awesome friend Amber) has been featured over on deviantART as a Daily Deviation.
It was quite a shock to notice that suddenly my feedback was spiking on the site. I'm not really active on deviantART anymore, but it was quite a pleasant surprise to be featured and the photo is one of my all-time favourite Cosplay photos. It was a nice pick-me-up as I've been attempting to math my way through some pleating (with some mixed success). It's nice to get a note of recognition when working your way through a stubborn project. Hopefully next time I update here I'll have more work done on Homura and I'll know my fate regarding the Nominoichi.
March 20th, 2019
I meant to update here before Toronto ComiCON, but my plans for the event were a bit up in the air. I ended up going to the convention for only one day and my group of friends (I went with my buddies Mackenzie, Pan and Adrien) voted for going on Sunday. The day was actually a big whirlwind for me. We didn't end up arriving until after 12PM and we basically had to rush through Artist Alley, which still took over 2 hours to go through. I barely had time to sit and grab a bubble tea before I met up with my friend Amber and her bf Sean.
Amber messaged me a week before ComiCON to ask if I maybe wanted to re-wear my Ashley Graham costume from Resident Evil 4. She had remade her Ada Wong dress and she had helped Sean put together a Leon costume. I wasn't 100% sure how my Ashley costume was holding together, but of course I was super excited to Cosplay from RE4 again and I've loved Cosplaying with Amber as Ada over the years. <3 The last time I wore Ashley was for a shoot in 2013 and the costume was made back in 2007 into 2008 so it's pretty old. Thankfully the outfit was pretty much ok. I wish I had thought about it weeks ago because I really should replace at least the belt since I just used a regular store bought one and Ashley's belt should really be much thicker.
I did run into troubles with the wig. I thought maybe I could salvage my original wig, which was a moderately priced wig that I bought back in 2008. Unfortunately, the wig was pretty thin and the fibres weren't that nice quality wise. It's really a product of its time. I should have replaced it years ago, but I hadn't given the costume much thought in several years. I attempted to wear the wig, but I had switch it out right before leaving for the con. The wig was puffing up funny and had a lot of static that wouldn't go away no matter what I tried. I ended up grabbing my young Sherry Birkin wig instead. It doesn't have a skin part, is a little darker blonde, the bangs were kind of flat and it's an angled bob which I wasn't keen on, but it's all that I had that was ready to go. I feel a little meh about how I looked because the wig was frustrating me, but the costume got a pretty nice reaction at the con. A decent amount of people recognized Ashley even though the game is well over a decade old now and people were pretty pumped when I met up with Amber and Sean as Leon and Ada. :3
I did do a shoot with a photographer friend of Amber's. I'm honestly not sure if the photos are going to turn out well because I wasn't feeling it with the wig, but it was nice to suit up from Resident Evil again. I honestly really miss survival horror Cosplay. There hasn't been much that's caught my attention in terms of horror video game costume options in the last few years. I do appreciate the remake of RE2 bringing RE back into the spotlight again, though.
That was pretty much my whole con experience. I wanted to do more shopping after the shoot, but we ran out of time. -_-; I bought some cute CCS prints in Artist Alley and I even got an adorable pad of note paper. My favourite ring seller, Catherinette Rings, was at the con again as a vendor so I bought a nice purple gem necklace and 2 more pretty rings. I have a dozen rings from them now. I'm pretty much aiming to get a range of every major colour combo to match with different outfits. I'm well on my way to completing that goal now. XD My other favourite purchases from the con were from the official Tokidoki booth. I had no idea they would have a booth at the con. I ended up grabbing a couple of Mermicorno mini figure blind boxes and a Mermicorno Frenzie keychain charm blind box. The prices were so cheap that I wish I had bought more! I ended up getting Uni-corno (who is super sleek and pretty) and Lei-la as the main figures and Cerulean as the mini Frenzie charm. I think I'm going to be addicted. I'm totally late to this party as Tokidoki Mermicorno, and more prominently Unicorno, figures have been out for several years as a brand, but I've never really noticed those blind box figures for sale at stores I frequent or recognized them at cons before. I think I'm going to be looking for some old figures to collect from the lines and I'll keep an eye on Tokidoki in the future. They're really cute and well made figures. I thankfully never became obsessed with buying Funko POPS and I only own a handful of them, but I could see myself getting a decent collection together of unicorn figures.
We left the con around the time it closed at five and all and all, it was a fun day. I wish I had more time to browse around and we barely ran into anyone we knew, but it was a nice experience wearing Ashley again. It was great reminiscing about RE Cosplay with Amber and I'm so happy that I got to see Amber again as well as spend some time with my con buddies. It's giving me hope that Fan Expo will be a fun con as well.
We're heading into the sprint towards Anime North. I know I originally hoped to wear my Madoka Magica school uniform again as Homura at ComiCON, but once Amber contacted me I thought it would be better to hold off on that. I'm going to get the wig styled for Anime North now instead. I'm actually changing up my plans for AN. I was going to make Homura's magical girl outfit as well, but I'm still working on the patterning and I don't have fabric so I'm planning to put that one a bit aside and maybe get it done for Pretty Heroes or for Fan Expo. Instead, I'm looking at making a cover design outfit for Sakura from the Card Captor Sakura Clear Card Manga series. I'm hoping it'll be a little more engaging and maybe doable for Anime North with the time I have left. I still need fabric for it, and I ordered a ton of costume supplies online so the wait for materials could still sink the costume, but with time really spiralling now, it seems like a more manageable costume. I already have a wig and I can reuse my props like the Kero plush, my Clear Card and my Dream Wand.
Finally, Anime North is changing up the way the Nominoichi is run. This year it'll have a sign-up period and they'll randomly assign tables from the pool of candidates. There is a decent chance that I won't get a table this year so I'm a little sad. I've been considering what I want to sell figure wise for months. I love the convenience of selling at the con especially since it means that I don't have to worry about shipping fees and the hassle of listing things online. I'll cross my fingers that I get a table. I was pretty proud of how much I was thinking of letting go this year and I could really use more space. My family's basement has been having a flooding problem this year. All the stuff I have stored in the basement to sell are totally fine because they're stored in plastic containers or are off the ground, but it would be nice to clear some space down there to not have all the clutter when things need to be repaired. I'm really crossing my fingers that I won't miss out on my favourite event at Anime North.
March 2nd, 2019
2019 is already starting to feel like it's flying by! I can't believe we're already into the 3rd month of the year. I can't say it's been a particularly productive year for me so far. I really intended to get going on working on Homura's magical girl outfit, but I still don't have fabric for it and just playing around with patterning has become kind of tedious and boring for me. I still hope to make that costume for Anime North but I'm getting a bit worried about the timing. Hopefully I can go downtown to hunt for fabric before the end of the month. I think I have enough sorted out that it shouldn't be too difficult to pattern, but time gets away from me so easily so I hope I actually have time to work on it. Once we hit mid-April I have to keep on top of things with the Nominoichi so I have to cross my fingers to have things in a good place for Homura before then.
I did snag a Venus silky wig in black for Homura when Arda Canada was running a weekend sale on some wigs a few weeks ago so I have a wig for Homura now. It still needs to be trimmed a bit so I'm still considering Cosplaying as Homura in her school uniform for Toronto ComiCON this month, but I know that con is creeping up pretty quickly! I'm only going to go to that con for a day and I'm still deciding which day to go. I'll post here after the con with my thoughts on the experience.
I've been hunting around the net over the last few weeks for more Orphea photos from BlizzCon. It's almost certain that I'll never Cosplay her again in the amazing costume that Henchmen made, so I've been hoping to beef up my gallery of Orphea costume pics from galleries I find around the internet. I was able to snag a few pics from Instagram sources, which I added to the Orphea costume page
. Sometimes reflecting on BlizzCon makes it feel like a dream. I still can't believe that I got a chance to attend the con and represent such an interesting looking new character. I still keep up with Heroes of the Storm game news hoping for new skins for Orphea. I do need to force myself to focus a bit so I can actually get sewing. I really hope I don't procrastinate on Homura. I'm not a fan of sewing during con crunch times. (~_~)
February 1st, 2019
It's well into 2019 now and I had a fairly busy January. The weather outside sure has been frightful lately with several snowy days and extreme cold temperatures, but it has given me a reason to stay in and try to be productive. I've actually been working on patterning for some costume options for the year. I've set my sights on making Homura's magical girl outfit from Madoka Magica. It's something that wasn't exactly on my radar, but Homura's magical girl outfit was my favourite design of the magical girl outfits from the series. I've collected a couple of figures of Homura in her magical girl outfit and looking at them recently is what gave me the idea to want to make the costume.
I'm thinking that I can modify my trusty blouse pattern that I've used for my Madoka school uniform and for Sakura Haruno's shirt to make Homura's blouse. A pleated skirt is pretty easy, but I know tailoring the blouse and undershirt will be tricky, but if I can achieve a nice fit, it'll be a beautiful outfit. I guess, since I can't find anyone to Cosplay Homura with me, I can just be my own Homura. XD I'm looking to buy a nice wig for the costume and then also use it to re-wear my school uniform from the series, but this time I'll be Homura instead. It helps me justify the cost of a nicer quality wig. My current aim is to hopefully get the magical girl costume done for Anime North and perhaps wear the school uniform version to Toronto ComiCON in March. I haven't ordered the wig yet and Arda USA and Epic Cosplay Wigs are both sold out of the wig options I was deciding between so that's a bit of a wrench in my plans, but I'll keep looking at options. I still have quite a bit of work to do with figuring out the patterning, but I'm hoping that I'm on the right track. I also don't have fabric for the costume yet. I need more of my go-to white fabric and I have to find nice lilac fabrics in two shades for the ribbons, skirt and collar so I really hope I can or the costume will be put on hold. It's too cold to go downtown for fabric shopping so I'll have to hold out that I can go in March or April and just get all the patterning set beforehand so it'll be easier to work on.
My friend Amanda got a chance to edit and send me copies of the shoot photos from when I worked with her at the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show event back in December. This was the casual Orphea outfit shoot. You can view the shoot photos in the costume page here
. The photos turned out really nicely and I'm quite happy that I have such cute pics of my little tribute to Orphea. It was nice to portray the character again and this time I kept things pretty light. I totally miss wearing Henchmen's gorgeous costume. I'm sad that I'll probably never see it again and it's too bad we weren't able to squeeze in a shoot so I'm glad I could at least sort of Cosplay the character again. I'll still keep an eye on Heroes of the Storm and see if Orphea is developed any further. Her design is still something that really speaks to me.
The cold winter season has at least had some bright spots. The Resident Evil 2 remake was released last week and for once I'm actually jumping at a game at launch. I have a huge video game backlog for the PS4, but RE2 jumped to the front of the line and I've had a great time playing it so far. Between that and trying to pattern for Homura, my evenings have been pretty busy lately. It does feel nice to have things to do and trying to stay productive during the winter. I just hope that I get a chance to get fabric for Homura before the spring so I don't have to rush things if I plan to finish it for Anime North.
December 27th, 2018
I was anticipating writing a summary post for 2018 and it would be a breeze since last year was such a tough year. I'm actually going through a family tragedy right now so updating here is just a chance to distract myself for a bit. Recalling this year in terms of costumes and conventions, it was quite a change from previous years. It seemed like things were going to be the same as usual and then I was given the amazing opportunity to work with Henchmen Studios and that became a highlight of my year, and of course, my Cosplay life in general.
My only Cosplay project that I worked on myself for the year was my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform costume. I worked on it during the winter between January until March. It was a pretty fun project as I love the final look that I achieved. The skirt didn't work out exactly as I wanted it to, but overall it looked really nice and I got a great photoshoot of the costume at Toronto ComiCON in the spring. I did intend to make one or two other costumes during the year, but with some major events like the Nominoichi at Anime North, the Nerd Market at U of T and then working with Henchmen, they all became big focuses for me. I did debut the Twinkle Snow Miku costume at Fan Expo, which was a costume I purchased from a Taobao seller back in the spring. That was a fun costume to wear since it was very flowy and pretty. I upgraded my Sakura costume in time for Anime North with Sakura's dream wand prop that I bought from another Taobao seller. It was a great addition to the costume and Sakura was really nice to wear at Anime North and Pretty Heroes.
I ended up going to six conventions/events throughout the year. The events were: Toronto ComiCON, Anime North, Pretty Heroes, Fan Expo, BlizzCon and Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. Anime North was interesting since it's always my major con for the year. It was the first year since 2003 that I didn't have hotel space so I got a lift to the con each day. That was kind of handy for the Nominoichi since it made it easier to take my leftover goods home and organize things. I thankfully do have hotel space for 2019, though. I did fairly well at the Nominoichi or at least as well as most years. The event was still extremely hot, but not as terrible as some previous years, but as usual it was an exciting and fun experience.
I attended Pretty Heroes for the first time in the summer. It was neat to finally see since my friend Ammie has been a Cosplay guest at it for years and she loves the con. It was at the Science Centre and the con ticket included access to the Science Centre exhibits and I always love exploring the Science Centre. I have a great love for a variety of magical girl Anime so I found a lot of the artists and vendors selling at the con were right up my alley and I had a good time. I know next year the con will be at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and I'll try to attend it again for a day since the con has a strong theme and was pretty fun.
Fan Expo was interesting enough. I loved the Dragon Ball Tour booth. It was fun to re-wear my old Bulma costume to get some photos with the Dragon Ball photo backdrops. I was also able to win tickets to next year's event so I'll definitely be going to Fan Expo again.
Post-Fan Expo was a very busy period for me. It was the one year anniversary of my mother's passing, which was quite solemn. At the same time, I was offered the chance to work with Henchmen Studios and that's when I learned about Orphea and I'm so glad that I took that offer. It was like a gift when I was feeling pretty low and it was so exciting working with the team and watching the costume come together in September and October. September was also the Nerd Market at U of T. It was my first time selling at that event and only the second event for the market. It was a neat experience. Not quite as busy as I hoped and I didn't sell that much, but I would consider trying it again maybe, if they run another one in the fall.
The end of October was super busy for me. I had a live interview with the MixerBlueShow through Skype regarding Silent Hill Cosplay and my horror costumes that was both very exciting and super terrifying. In the end it was a really cool experience.
Halloween was a decorating bonanza as usual, but then I had to quickly board a plane to go to Anaheim for BlizzCon on November 1st. I never expected to ever see that con and it was such a cool convention centre with such a cinematic feeling. It was truly an amazing experience to be the debut Cosplayer for a brand new character. I got to meet so many people who had been involved in Orphea's creation and I also met tons of fans of Heroes of the Storm. I'll carry the memories of that exciting weekend with me for a long time. I truly appreciate Henchmen Studios, Blizzard and Heroes of the Storm for picking me to portray the character and attend that exciting convention.
The final weeks of the year felt a bit overwhelming at times as I tried to catch up with my life after how busy I was with fittings and planning for BlizzCon and then dealing with post-con matters. I had fun wearing a sort of Casual Orphea costume as a homage to the character and my experience working with Blizzard and Henchmen Studios at the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. I owe my awesome friend Adrien a huge thank you for creating a crown for me so I could portray the character again.
That brings me to now. I had a fairly quiet and relaxing Christmas with my family, but things have become difficult since Christmas Day. Only time will really heal at such a tragic time. I can reflect on a year, though, that had some big highlights and some difficult lowlights. Like one of my best friends dealing with health issues, but triumphantly getting better after surgery. I've reached the stage in my life where years are pretty much a toss-up between grief and joy and you just have to hope that the joy can outweigh the grief.
Regarding 2019, I expect to attend my regular crop of cons. I'm not sure if I'll make plans to travel to a con. I actually was kind of hoping to look into travelling to a con right before I was offered the chance to go to BlizzCon so that was a nice treat. I definitely want to get a table at the Nominoichi again as I want to be a bit more pro-active with selling a few more figures from my collection to cut it down a bit.
In terms of Cosplay, I've been trying to think of new costume idea for weeks. I usually like to start a costume right around the Christmas holidays, but this year I just never settled on anything. I think I have an idea for something somewhat casual, but I'll need to wait to post about it until I find fabric first. I know that I plan to re-wear my Sakura Haruno costume if Pan finishes a new Naruto costume and I have a Dilandau costume from Escaflowne, a Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume and a Wendy from Peter Pan costume all ready to go that I need to wear at some point. I'm glad I got a chance to shoot my Candy Corn costume before Halloween to add least get that off my photo backlog although I'm still waiting for shoot photos from that. I think I'll settle on some costume projects early in the year and try to make 2 - 3 costumes throughout the year. Hopefully 2019 will be a productive, but chill year. 2018 was a bit all over the place so I could use a calm year after the chaos of 2017 and 2018.
December 8th, 2018
Today was the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. I've been looking forward to it for weeks, but I actually slept really poorly last night so I wasn't really running at 100% when I was getting ready for it. I debuted a new outfit. I decided to create a sort of casual costume based around the cute Orphea Cosplay dress that I bought at BlizzCon. I paired it with a pair of red contacts, some short boots, a white bob wig and a crown that my friend Adrien made for me. I was pretty excited to Cosplay as Orphea again even in a casual capacity so it was a fun experience. I just wish I had been a bit more on top of things when I was doing my makeup. I wish I had made my eye makeup a little stronger, but it still looked pretty nice albeit subtle. I did a shoot with my friend Elemental, so I'll look forward to getting those photos back in the new year.
Thankfully my friend Pan took a bunch of photos on her phone and mine so I have few pics of Orphea from around the con. A few selfies as well as a pic with Santa! I've been attending the Fan Days Show for the last 3 years and Christmas outfits for various characters have always been popular, but it was super popular this year! I would say 80%-90% of all costumes were Christmas themed or incorporated some Xmas bling. In my little Blizzard dress with no adornment, I felt a little underdressed. XD Maybe next year if I Cosplay I'll actually wear something Christmas themed. XD
The con was pretty casual. I checked out the dealer's room and artist alley. It was a somewhat small area, but there was still a lot to see. I bought some handmade lip balm, some cute Eevee and Pikachu stickers and a fanart pouch of Overwatch characters. My favourite purchase was a cute little plush jellyfish. It's dessert themed with little strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream on it and is coloured like chocolate. It has yarn tentacles to be a cute hanging decoration. It's already proudly hanging in my room. (^^) I got to see a number of friends in passing including my wonderful friend Ammie who was at the con with her bf Sean. So glad I could catch up with her. I was able to meet Santa with my friends Pan, Adrien and Mackenzie so spending quality time with my friends made the day a big success. The Toronto Fan Days event is super casual (or holiday I guess) and is pretty fun. I'll probably check it out again next year. (^_^)
I created a write-up for my new casual Orphea costume and I added it to my costume gallery with photos that Pan took of me from the con. You can find it here
. I'll add the pics that Amanda took when she gets a chance to edit them. They'll probably be ready to post in early 2019. One thing to note about the outfit was that the crown was 3D printed by Adrien. He found the model and sized it to my proportions. He cleaned it up after printing and he used a pretty sparkly clear coat on it so it's super cute! The crown was one of the things that I really loved about my original costume so I'm glad that I have a nice crown that I can now use to reminisce about Orphea.
December 3rd, 2018
Just a quick update after my last post yesterday. Henchmen Studios posted the Behind the Scenes video on YouTube for the Orphea costume that they built and I wore at BlizzCon last month
. It's a really neat video that includes shots from the various times that I visited the studio for fittings as well as some shots of the costume on the con floor. The most interesting shots are of the costume in progress. You can see the Henchmen team hard at work on the various aspects of the costume like the dress and the stunning relic. <3 I actually got a little emotional watching the video. There was so much of the process that I didn't get to see, but as a fellow costumer, it's incredible to see what the team was able to create and the process to go from the drawing board to the final outfit. I fondly remember the cute 3D printed model of Orphea. It was one of the first things that greeted me when I signed the NDA. That feels like so long ago! Seeing the Orphea model for the first time didn't prepare me for how amazing a journey it would be for the costume to come to life and it was a wonderful experience to be part of that journey. Hopefully that won't be the last time that I Cosplay Orphea. I have so many feelings about the character now! (^_^)
I also added a few progress photos of Orphea to the Orphea costume page
of pics that Henchmen Studios posted last week. I like the shots that we did in the Henchmen Studio of the costume a week before BlizzCon when it was pretty much done. The wig and makeup were tweaked afterwards so it's not the final version of the costume, but the lighting was quite pretty to show off the nice details of the costume. (^^)
December 2nd, 2018
Next Saturday is the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show, which will be my last event of the year. I'm still not 100% sure that I'll make it out for the event, but I'm planning for it. I have a mini photoshoot booked with my friend Elemental so I'm looking forward to working with her. I have a fun idea for a somewhat casual costume that I'm itching to put together for the event. The Fan Days Holiday Show (put together by the Fan Expo crew) is a pretty low-key event. It's really just an excuse to do some shopping for geeky stuff before Xmas. It should be a fun change of pace after the intensity of BlizzCon. I'm pretty excited to get photos of the outfit that I plan to wear so I can't wait to put together a gallery for it after the event. (^_^)
November 8th, 2018
I can finally talk about what's been simmering in the background of my life for the last couple of months. Back in August I was asked if I would like to potentially participate in a Cosplay project as a model with the ever talented Henchmen Studios for an event in early November. I didn't know much about the potential project, but I was curious so I said yes. A few weeks later I was told that the project was a go and after signing an NDA, I was told that the project would be for BlizzCon and I was introduced to Orphea who would be a new original hero that was being added to the Heroes of the Storm game that's made by Blizzard. I would be portraying her as an official Cosplay model for the character as part of her promotion at the event. I got to see the studio for Henchmen and I meet a lot of the team. Everyone was so sweet (especially the resident studio dog, the precious and stinky French bulldog, Pepper). :3 Throughout the months of September and October I was back and forth to the studio every week or two and it was a fun process. I got to see the costume come together from muslin mock ups of the clothing to the finished pieces and the gorgeous relic as it was being constructed.
Just a week before BlizzCon I came in for a makeup test and it was the first time I got to see the costume as a whole and try it on. It was an incredible experience. Prior to the con I only knew of Orphea through a few character reference images so trying the whole thing on made the character feel real. Kevin did an outstanding job bringing the character to life through my makeup.
Attending BlizzCon was quite an undertaking. I had a somewhat subdued Halloween so as to not get overwhelmed with decorating as I wanted to clean things up before my trip the next day. That also meant that I was quite busy the night before my trip and that definitely cut into my ability to get some sleep. It was also my first time flying in six years so I was a bit nervous. Thankfully the flight wasn't until after 4PM on Thursday, November 1st, so I had plenty of time to get ready during the day. I got to meet the lovely Tracy (Attyca) and Louisette at the airport along with more of the Henchmen crew. Louisette and Tracy were both going to be models for 2 World of Warcraft costumes that Henchmen had also made for the con. The studio actually made 4 costumes for BlizzCon: Jaina and Princess Talanji from WoW, Orphea from Heroes of the Storm and the new Overwatch hero, Ashe. Henchmen is pretty famous now for their Overwatch debut hero costumes so the hype was pretty intense for Ashe.
The flight down to the con was fine. It was somewhat turbulent, but I got used to it. I was also able to watch Tomb Raider and the Incredibles 2 on my Air Canada flight thanks to the onboard entertainment system so I couldn't complain about that. We got into LAX by the evening and I was super hungry. We had to wait a bit for a shuttle and it was after 8 before we made it to Anaheim. I was supposed to do another makeup test on Thursday night, but due to some airplane shenanigans, that got postponed. Instead I was able to join the WoW models and Henchmenís seamstress Kiga on a trip to Downtown Disney. Kiga was kind enough to guide us and we had a great dinner at Tortilla Jo's. It was really nice Mexican food. Afterward Tracy, Kiga and I wandered around Downtown Disney. Sadly, everything was closing or had closed. I was able to check out The World of Disney store for a few minutes and I was able to get a couple of Haunted Mansion ornaments that I had heard about and wanted. It was so nice to get the Haunted Mansion Bride ornament without paying scalper prices through eBay. I also got Minnie Mouse ears as a cute Disneyland souvenir. I had hoped to find Haunted Mansion ears, but they were probably long sold out before Halloween. ~_~ Iím a HUGE Disney Parks fan so it was amazing to see Downtown Disney. If I ever make it back to Anaheim I really want to check out Disneyland since Iíve never been before.
At this point it was already like 2AM back in Toronto and I probably didn't get to sleep until more like 3AM EST. Thankfully I had a really nice room at the Courtyard Marriott, which wasn't far from the convention centre. The call time to meet with Henchmen outside of the con was 7AM PST so needless to say, I didn't get a ton of sleep, but of course the excitement about the con gave me plenty of energy. Coming up to the con centre and seeing the iconic BlizzCon banners and sign was a very surreal moment! Everything was really epic to see in person.
It was quite a long morning. It took quite a while for all four of the models to get our makeups done and other costume accessories together. Thankfully Blizzard provided meals for us and the food was really good. It really helped with my energy level. Henchmen Studios had its own room within the con centre to use as a base of operation and a place for the models to take breaks. I had my makeup done first by the very talented Kevin. He played with makeup options for a bit until Stephanie, the Heroes of the Storm rep, came and was able to confirm the look was great for the character. Having my makeup done professionally was quite an experience. I've only ever had my makeup done once before working with Henchmen. I'm not particularly strong at doing my own makeup especially since I'm a tomboy so I don't really wear a lot of makeup in general, but the look Kevin achieved was quite a transformation. I definitely felt like a whole new character!
Gilly, Kiga and Aaron helped me get into costume. It was quite a complicated outfit. I wore a chest harness under the clothing to give the relic something to attach to when I wore it. There was nothing like the moment when everything came together and I was in the full costume. All the models had to be ready to go around 11 and once we were ready we all got to watch the livestream of the opening ceremonies from the Henchmen room. It was awesome to see the reveals for Orphea and Ashe. I cried a little when I saw Orphea's reveal! She's such a beautiful character and her appearance, characteristics and attacks all feel like something I would appreciate in the game. Needless to say, I felt an instant connection! It made the honour of portraying the character for Blizzard feel even greater.
My duties at the con varied. Mostly I was down on the show floor to give people a chance to see the costume, talk about the character and take photos with me or just of me. Gilly and Aaron were my handlers. They helped get me through crowds, got me water if I needed it and helped to take the relic on and off as needed. They were awesome helpers! Often, Stephanie the HoTS rep from Blizzard, also accompanied us and I really appreciated her directions. I definitely will say that I've never had a costume experience quite like Orphea! First of all, the number of people that asked us how we got the costume done so fast was very high. Not that I take for granted being given such an amazing and privileged position to have the blessing of Blizzard and a costume made by an incredible local team. People were so nice about the character, though. The cinematic reveal at the opening ceremonies got people really excited about her. If I was stopped for a photo I usually ended up posing for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It was constant flashbulbs.
I did get to participate in the traditional outdoor BlizzCon group Cosplay photo. For years I've been seeing photos from that shoot so it was an incredible feeling to be part of it. It also helped that the weather was gorgeous and back in Toronto fall is giving way to frigid winter temperatures. (-_-) The con centre is also such an interesting space. The way BlizzCon organizes itself and lights the areas creates such an immersive and almost cinematic-like experience. I can see why people are really drawn to the con.
I mostly spent my time in the Heroes of the Storm area. I got to meet quite a few members of the development team who helped to create Orphea. I have to say that it was so special to meet the people that were responsible for making a character like Orphea. I was even able to snag a signed Orphea picture from the signing area. I'm hoping to frame that eventually. (^_^) It was fun to see the reaction to Orphea in general. People really seemed to love the character. Of course, it helped that the costume was so show stopping with the way I could wear the relic and lights inside it made it glow beautifully.
I participated in a Orphea segment with the team filming for the virtual ticket stream. Stephanie talked about the character as I was a live model for her. That was pretty cool. I also did a shoot with the photography crew from Henchmen Studios. One of the cool things that I got to do was get a video on the Overwatch Payload Tour stage. Gilly suggested it and it was a ton of fun! Most of the day was spent going back and forth from the show floor to the break room until it was time to call it a day. It was kind of sad to take off Orphea. I was having such a good time and it was so nice to meet con attendees. Everyone was so friendly and made me and, as an extension, Orphea, feel welcome!
The final day of BlizzCon was much of the same. I did a quick photoshoot with a Blizzard photographer. I actually ended up being incorporated on the fly into some filming just before an Orphea feature panel started. That was totally unplanned and organized just 20 minutes before show time. It was very nice of the stage crew to squeeze me in and I hope I did alright. XD
I was also able to hit the Overwatch Payload Tour booth one more time and this time with the three other Henchmen Studios models. I'm sad that I didn't get a group selfie with the other girls. They were all lovely to meet and real troopers with their respective costumes!
Another member of the Henchmen crew, Kyle, was kind enough to wait in the shop line and picked up the key art magnet as well as the Orphea t-shirt and dress (that were revealed as BlizzCon merch after the opening ceremonies) for me. I was quite happy to buy all the Orphea merch! I hope Blizzard knows that I will buy all of the Orphea things from here on out! They've earned a lifelong customer! XD The dress is actually super cute and I'm excited to get a chance to wear it to a con in the future. :3
When it was time for me to say goodbye to my Orphea costume at the end of Saturday, it was a real bummer to take it off. I knew the relic would be taken to the HoTS office to be displayed. I've heard that they want a proper display cabinet made for it and I think that's going to be amazing. Stephanie also kept my costume so hopefully it'll also be displayed. I do hope that one day I can portray Orphea again, though.
Attending BlizzCon was like a dream. The only dark cloud for me was the fact that I couldn't tell my mother about this tremendous opportunity. I still wish I could tell her that her support of me with Cosplaying and teaching me to sew would one day give me this Cosplay modelling contract. I know she would have been so proud of me.
The trip home was not the smoothest. I had to return home solo. I was up and out of my hotel room before 5:30AM and I had 9AM flight to San Francisco where I took a giant Air Canada jet back to Toronto. It was a bit of a roundabout route. The plane was delayed in San Fran and the customs line was dreadful back in Toronto. At least the food at San Francisco airport was great (definitely check out Napa Farms Market in the International departures area of San Fran if you're ever stuck there). I was able to watch A Quiet Place and The Meg as well as some tv shows because the plane was so delayed on the way back. I didn't get home until after 10PM EST so it was a very long day, but I made it home in one piece.
If I was given the chance, I would attend BlizzCon again in a heartbeat. The convention almost had a glow to it. The community is quite vibrant and the con is cinematic. I can see why it's a fan favourite con and why so many people go back each year. I'll forever be thankful to Henchmen Studios for offering the modelling position to me and for Blizzard accepting me as their official Orphea Cosplayer. I think she'll add an exciting new dimension to the HoTS game and I can only see her popularity growing in the future. I'm so thrilled that she'll be headlining the marketing for the game in the future. It's awesome to see a girl character have a position like that. Now I have to return to my everyday life, but I'll definitely look back fondly on the dream come true that was BlizzCon 2018!
I've added a costume page for Orphea to my costume gallery featuring some photos that have been sent to me or that I've found around the net. If you're looking for more detailed information about the costume and my experiences with the Henchmen crew as it was being put together, then be sure to check it out here.
October 27th, 2018
My last update was just last week, but it's actually been an extremely busy week for me. The photoshoot that I did for my Candy Corn costume from Costume Quest went really well. At least I think it did. Last Sunday we gathered together five costumers for the occasion. My friend Pan was the Statue of Liberty, Slothcore Jen was the Space Warrior, my friend Rin was an adorable Unicorn and my friend Mackenzie put together the Pumpkin costume in the last couple of days before Sunday's shoot. XD We spent a lot of time outside and took some photos in front of a couple of random houses that were decorated. Our photographer Elemental was kind enough to ask each homeowner if it was ok. We also went to the field behind Upper Canada College and took some fun photos there. I have no idea how well the photos turned out in terms of how I looked. With the cold and the constant movement, my wig was probably a mess and the candy corn hat kept falling off, but we had a blast. It was fun to wear a truly Halloween inspired costume just a couple of weeks before the holiday because regular folks were so nice and understanding and it really gave me a Halloween feeling. I've been so busy since early September with a project that I haven't had that much time to get excited for Halloween so this shoot really hit the spot. We also have to thank Adrien as well as Jen's boyfriend, Brian for helping out with the shoot. It was a great evening! Elemental should be sending out preview shots from the shoot soon and I'll have the full set back in a few weeks. It'll be too late to share the pics for Halloween this year, but I'll have some fun pics to share on social media for Halloween 2019. (^^)
I still can't write about the project that I'm currently involved with, but I'll be able to talk about it soon. Just a few more days until Halloween and then afterward all will be revealed. I'm really happy that it's almost time because keeping things under wraps, especially now that the event is so close, has been driving me up the wall. I'm glad the cat will be out of the bag soon! :3
Finally, my contact from the MixerBlueShow team sent me a copy of my Cosplay interview segment from the Silent Hill MixerBlueShow episode from last week. I uploaded a copy to YouTube and you can find it here
. I added it to the Around the Web section of this site as well where I post videos and interviews that I've done over the years. It was such a cool experience so I'm still so thankful that I was contacted to participate.
October 18th, 2018
It's been a busy week for me. My friend Amanda finished editing the shoot photos of my Snow Miku costume from Fan Expo and sent them to me. I resized them and added them to the Twinkle Snow Miku costume page, which you can find here
. Overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out. She really transformed some pretty simple con backdrops into pretty settings. The spinning photo that shows the costumeís flow is my favourite. :3
Last night I had the exciting opportunity to participate in a live webcast discussion about Silent Hill for the MixerBlueShow
on the Mixer platform. I was asked to be part of the show to discuss my costume work and I even got into the spirit of it by re-wearing my Lisa Garland costume for the interview. I was originally approached because of my Lisa costume and it was a really neat experience. I was super nervous about it, but I got over my nerves just before show time and I think it went pretty well. I rambled quite a bit so I'm not sure if I gave the best answers, but it was a super neat experience. I know photos of my Lisa (Silent Hill), Sam (Trick 'r Treat), Maria (Silent Hill 2) and Heather (Silent Hill 3) costumes were included and it was cool to remember some of my older costumes. It's been quite a while since I made a survival horror game costume and I really do miss it! I'm excited for Resident Evil 2's remake. Maybe that'll give me inspiration to make something new! Thanks to the team at MixerBlueShow for including me in the episode! Everyone was super friendly.
In costume news, Pan and I have organized a small Costume Quest photoshoot for this Sunday with my friends Jen and Rin and Amanda will be the photographer. The costumes are basically silly Halloween costumes made by kids. Iíll be the Candy Corn and my costume was made by my friend Pan. Weíre aiming for an evening shoot so Iím kind of excited to see how thatíll go. Too bad itís going to be fairly cold that day! Hopefully we wonít freeze!
I wish I could say that I'm heading into a period of calm, but Halloween will be here before we know it and right after Halloween (November 1st) I'll be heading out on a business trip. It's going to be pretty exciting and I'm really nervous about it, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it goes (and talking about it once I'm there). In the meantime, I need to get things sorted out for Halloween and hopefully not get too overwhelmed with decorating. XD
October 11th, 2018
Just a quick update. The Nerd Market event at U of T nearly two weeks ago turned out to be a pretty fun time. Things ran pretty smoothly and setting things up and even getting to and from U of T wasn't horrible thanks to a lift there from my father and a lift back from my friend Stillvisions. It was a bit slow crowd wise. I had heard that the first Nerd Market back in March was super busy throughout pretty much the whole thing and was wall-to-wall people at times. Honestly, it was fairly empty throughout the whole thing this time. There was a fairly constant trickle of people and it was nice to be able to breathe a bit and chat with attendees, but it definitely was not as popular as the original event from earlier this year. I still sold alright. I made over $300 and did move a few trading items and gashapons. It was nice that several of my Pokemon Re-Ment Terrariums and some Sailor Moon capsule items were able to find new homes. My basement is happy. XD I've heard that the event will probably be running twice a year so another one will happen in the spring. I would probably skip the next one since it runs pretty close to when you can register for the Nominoichi at AN and I don't think the crowds will return with gusto again. I would consider returning for a fall event if I have enough things leftover from AN and accumulating to sell. It's a decent in-between event, but not really a good replacement for the crowds and experience of Anime North's Nominoichi (although, it was nice that it wasn't extremely hot like the inferno of the Nomi). My friend Adrien has an idea about how I can better display some of my small bagged items using a carrousel display that Iím commissioning him to build for me. Iím excited to see how that turns out and how it frees up some space on my future Nomi table and makes it better organized.
Cosplay wise, I'm still in a holding pattern. I have a lot on my plate right now and I have not had time to go fabric shopping. Iím kind of disappointed to go this long without picking up material, but once we hit November things will loosen up for me. I should be doing a Costume Quest shoot featuring the super cute Candy Corn costume that my friend Pan made for me for Christmas a couple of years ago later on this month. At least I have that to look forward to and of course, something else coming up in a few weeks as well as a potential exciting opportunity for next week. :3
September 27th, 2018
I actually had an update paragraph almost totally written up back in mid-September, but I never got a chance to finish it and update this site. September has turned out to be a pretty hectic month for me. I thought things would calm down considerably right after Fan Expo, but it's been like a cascade of new opportunities and an unexpected turn of events.
Firstly, a very interesting opportunity has come up that'll be happening in November. I can't say much about it right now, but participating in prep-work for the event has been really fun and also very surreal. I can't wait to talk about my experience after the fact when I can share details.
This unexpected turn of events has actually impacted my drive to Cosplay. I had hoped to get working on some costume stuff, but I've been a bit overwhelmed with everything going on. I also have yet to get the chance to go to the fabric district to look for fabric for my Hitomi (Escaflowne) costume. I'm a bit disappointed about that since the summer weather is now behind us. I'll have to brave colder temperatures when I get a chance to go to the fabric district. I do hope that I can make a trip downtown before Halloween. One of the hopefully better stocked Spirit Halloween stores is down in the Queen and Spadina area and I really want to check it out.
Over the last few weeks I've been exploring as many Halloween specific stores and stores that carry Halloween items as I can. So far I've been to Spirit Halloween, Michaels, Dollarama, Halloween City, Walmart and the Disney Store. It's so fun to see what stores carry. I'll be travelling immediately after Halloween, unfortunately, so I won't be able to create as elaborate of a display as I usually like to for Halloween this year. Hopefully I can still put together something fun for the trick-or-treaters. I say I won't be able to be that elaborate, but my love for Halloween decorating cannot be restrained so Iím sure itíll still be pretty intense. XD
I had hoped to do a Dilandau (Escaflowne) shoot this month or in early October, but I wanted to shoot with my friend Pan and sadly she doesn't have time to touch up her Merle costume. Itís getting kind of cold for her so I guess we'll hold off on that until the spring. Hopefully we might be able to do a Costume Quest shoot at least with the Candy Corn costume that Pan made for me last year. She has the Statue of Liberty costume from the game and my friend Jen made the Spaceman costume. We know a few people that wanted to do a shoot of that game so maybe this October we can actually make that work. I did hear that the annual Halloween event hosted by Anime North at the JCCC will not be happening this year so sadly thatís one less Cosplay event for the fall season.
Another thing that has been keeping me quite busy over the last couple of weeks has been preparing for the Nerd Market down at U of T. It's almost time for the event as it's happening this Saturday. It hasn't been quite as crazy as preparing for the Nominoichi as I at least don't have to worry about creating reservation lists and posting photos and item descriptions in advance online, but getting everything packed up and figuring out the logistics has still been quite time consuming. I didn't make it out to the first Nerd Market so I'm excited to see how the event goes and hopefully the things that I'm bringing will sell well. Would be nice to make a dent in the small items that I have so for next Nominoichi I can focus a little more on selling scale figures.
I have still been trying to squeeze in some me time some evenings. I bought the new PS4 Spider-Man game (I actually pre-ordered it from Amazon last year in the summer) and I've been really enjoying slowly playing it. I'm about halfway done now and it's a great game. Spider-Man has always been one of my fave Marvel heroes and I love that the game plays a lot like the Batman Arkham games. I so miss that franchise so this really scratches that itch.
Finally, I'm still waiting on my Snow Miku shoot photos from Elemental from Fan Expo. She posted a couple of preview pics that look super pretty so I'm excited to see the rest of the shoot pics. When I get the full shoot pics back I'll be sure to share them here. (^_^)
September 2nd, 2018
Fan Expo is still currently underway, but my time at the convention was over by Friday night. As I previously wrote here, I decided to only go for two days since this year my volunteer position as part of the stage crew of the masq was cut when the masquerade was scrapped. I do like a few aspects of Fan Expo so I thought it would still be worthwhile to buy day passes for the event. My friend Pan and I went on Thursday and Friday. Thursday was actually a pretty good day to go. It wasn't too difficult for Pan to drive down to the con in the mid-afternoon and it was nice to be able to get ready slowly since the con didn't get underway until 4PM. Getting our pre-reg tickets and going through bag check was pretty painless. Less than 5 minutes of waiting for both. I only ever went through bag check once a day, but it was all a very smooth process.
The con for the year was fun. Nothing too spectacular stood out for me besides some of the booths. The Dragon Ball North American Tour Booth was fantastic. It had plenty of spots to get neat character photos including a power up station, a food table set up to look like a meal fit for Saiyans and a Nimbus cloud. It was such a cool area to explore. The giant Shenron was pretty epic and the booth had some neat figure displays. I wore my Dragon Ball Super Bulma costume again and my friend Pan was kind enough to take some photos of me with my phone at all the photo spots. I even got some photos with the Vegeta statue (probably the closest I'll ever get to having a Vegeta to Cosplay with). XD My only regrets are not getting a photo angled up with Shenron and forgetting to heavily touch-up my lip gloss so it was pretty faint when we checked out the booth. I still got some really fun pics and it was definitely a con highlight for me. I posted a photo on Instagram so I was able to snag the giveaway lanyard which looked quite detailed.
Exploring the Artist Alley on Thursday was great! I honestly see the value of coming on Thursday just for that. I could almost see all the tables with ease and it made getting through it a much more enjoyable process. I got a Delores print that I had my eye on from seeing the artist post a pic of it on Instagram. I also found a great artist who made several original prints inspired by nature motifs and concepts of time. I bought her prints of fire and water and I definitely want to look for her work at future conventions. Other fun purchases included a pin that says "Dead in Con Years" with a cute skeleton which felt like my motto for the con. I purchased a really neat Halloween ghost statue bubble light from Tinsel Magic Imports, which should be a cool addition to my Halloween decor and I got the softest blue whale plush from The Littlest Gift Boutique when I was at the con on Friday. Another favourite purchase for me was a cute little bubble tea water globe toy. It looks like a mini bubble tea complete with boba and even little ice cubes! Everything floats within coloured water. I love getting bubble tea with a friend who wasn't at the con so I bought one for myself and one to give her as a gift. It makes me want bubble tea every time I look at it. XD
Most of my con was really just exploring the booths and shopping. It takes a while to get through everything. I actually wanted to get one of the con exclusive Funko Pops! (the Snowy Bigfoot) but I wasn't about to battle the long lines for the off chance I could get a general admittance slot to line up for the figure. I saw a couple of friends that battled the general admittance line and they were in it for over an hour. I'm glad I'm not a hardcore Pop fan because it was pretty disappointing to not be able to get the one figure that I was interested in.
I did run into a number of my friends briefly which was nice. I even found my friend Amber on Friday, which was a great surprise. I wore my purchased Twinkle Snow Miku costume on Friday. I purchased it from a Taobao reseller. It's pretty amazing quality to be honest. I paid $100 for the costume (minus the wig and shoes) and it has tons of details to it. It was a lot of costume for the price and I do quite like the patterning on the ribbons and the over dress. I had to make quite a few alterations to the outfit in spots to make it suit my frame and I do wish it was a little more fitted, but I can't complain too much for the price that I paid. It was definitely a costume that would have taken a ton of time to make and I still don't know how I could have managed to paint the star and music note designs so that alone was worth the cost. I did a photoshoot with my friend Amanda on Friday afternoon so I'm pretty excited to see how those turned out.
I had a fun celebrity encounter in my Miku costume. I had taken half of the costume off after my shoot because it was nearly time for the con to close. I was waiting for Pan to finish meeting a guest and I was walking by the autograph area with my friend Kira. A nice gentleman came up and asked me for a pic. He seemed to be trailed by a security guard but I wasn't sure what was up with that. I thanked him and turned to get my bag back. Afterward an enthusiastic fan asked me if I knew who that was and I had no idea. It turned out that it had been Austin Amelio (the actor who played Dwight in The Walking Dead). I actually stopped watching The Walking Dead after season 2 so I didn't know who he was, but it certainly was a neat experience and will now be a fun con memory. (^^)
I attempted to help Pan out throughout Friday with her efforts to meet guests from and go to a Voltron related panel. First she was late getting to a Voltron voice actor's panel so it was sadly at capacity. Then she wanted to meet the voice actor for Pidge, but they were going on break. She did meet the voice actress for Allura and just before the con ended Pan was able to meet the actor for Pidge after all. I'm glad that it worked out for her. (^_^)b
I do have to say that I wish the food was better at Fan Expo. Over at Anime North the food scene has become quite varied and accessible. With bag check you kind of wanted to stay within the con area for Fan Expo, but the food options in the buildings were so limited and overpriced. I had the most disappointing pretzel ever on Thursday night. It was literally cold despite being sold from a warmer. At least the lemonade was pretty good. Even the poutine my friend Pan picked up for me on Friday turned out to be disappointing. It had no cheese. ~_~ With such limited options I only ate those things and waited until I got home for a quick bite before bed. I do hope the food options are better next year.
It felt a bit weird not going back to the con after Friday night, but I will say doing both Thursday and Friday back-to-back especially with how late things ran on Thursday, meant that I was quite tired on Friday. Only going two days caused me to rush around quite a bit so I was exhausted by Friday night and the traffic leaving the con on Friday was quite intense. I'm glad that I could recover on Saturday. I didn't look out for celebrities or go to any panels. I did want to see the Back to the Future guests, but I didn't feel like paying an additional $20 for a 1-hour panel. I do wish I could have seen Tom Wilson and Christopher Lloyd's panel today, but c'est la vie. Overall, it was a pretty low key year for me. My costumes went over alright. A lot of people did recognize Bulma and talked about me or gave me a compliment, which was neat. Miku was quite an eye-catching costume and I can't really top the compliment of a guest wanting a pic of me. I did miss wearing a costume that I made myself, though, so I think buying that Miku costume scratched whatever itch I had to see what Chinese made, mass-produced costumes are like. I prefer making my own things so I can make sure the fit is a little more precise. It was still really neat to wear such a flowy costume.
I'm already thinking ahead to next year. I actually have something to look forward to as I was lucky enough to score two free deluxe passes to next year's convention thanks to the promo code contest in the app. I was able to grab the last pair before they sold out on Tuesday. After the cancellation of the volunteer position I had, not to mention, September being a tough time for my family, I'm pretty excited to be able to go to the con for potentially the whole weekend next time. I could definitely see myself going for 3 days next year so I can space things out a little better and maybe have one casual day. The possibility is really getting me excited for it. The con is also apparently switching weekends next year and will be the second last weekend of August instead of Labour Day. Itís kind of a bummer to lose that holiday Monday, though. It was a good way to relax before getting back to reality, but the switch might help improve guest content so we'll see. I did have a nice enough time this year so we'll see what next year has in store!
I did add a costume page for my new Snow Miku costume. You can find it here
. The photos were all taken by my friend Pan. I'll update the page again in a few weeks when I get pics back from Amanda. I've also added a ton of pics to my Dragon Ball Super Bulma costume page which you can find here
. It's all my photos fooling around the Dragon Ball tour booth. I hope next year some other series I like has a cool booth like that. (^^)
I'm still gearing up for the Nerd Market which is now less than a month away. I have to see what I have to sell and how I'm going to transport things to the venue and set things up. I hope I sell a lot of the clothing items and gashapons. XD I also hope that I can take a trip to the fabric district this month so I can get back to work on Hitomi and maybe more projects for 2019. I'm also crossing my fingers that I can work in a shoot with Amanda of my Dilandau costume now that it's been ready to go for about a year and the weather might cool down. It would be awesome to finally get some photos of that. I have a feeling September is going to fly by so we'll see how much I accomplish this month.
August 26th, 2018
It's taken me a while to finalize my plans for Fan Expo Canada next weekend. I'm going to be attending the convention with my friend Pan and we kept going back and forth about the days we wanted to go. We decided pretty quickly that we wanted to go more than one day, but we didn't feel like paying for and going for the full weekend. It's only really worth it to get a deluxe pass if you plan to go on Saturday and I definitely want to avoid the con on that day. In the end the choice was between going Thursday and Friday or Friday and Sunday and we've decided to go on Thursday and Friday. Going on Thursday means we'll get a chance to shop and browse some of the booths when they're hopefully not too crowded. Then on Friday we can Cosplay and work in photoshoots. The only guests I would maybe want to see are the Back to the Future guests for their Friday panel, but I don't really feel like spending $20 to have a seat at the back of a panel room. I'll just YouTube the discussion later. Someone with a decent seat is bound to film the panel.
My Cosplay plans are pretty much set. I've decided to re-wear my Battle of the Gods DBZ Bulma costume and seek out the touring Dragon Ball North American Tour booth on Thursday and get some fun DBZ backdrop photos of my costume. My friend Pan might fix up and re-wear her Videl costume to match with me so I might not have to Cosplay on my own. My plan for Friday is to wear my new Twinkle Snow Miku costume. This was a costume that I purchased from a seller on Aliexpress so it wasn't made by me. It was mass produced from China. The 2017 Snow Miku design is one of my favourite Miku outfits and my favourite Snow Miku design. I purchased the Figma last year and I've been entranced by the design ever since. It has a constellation print with a gradient on the dress and ribbons that were a big challenge to replicate so earlier this year I thought it would be fun to purchase the costume. I bought it during a period when I was facing a number of setbacks in my life so I did it to cheer myself up. Hopefully actually wearing the costume will be a boost. It has quite a number of details to it and is certain to take me a while to put on, but it should be fun. I'm going to book a shoot with my friend Amanda so after a few weeks I should have some nice pics of the costume. I had to do a bit of work to alter some parts of it and my friend Pan helped me trim the bob part of the wig so I'm pretty excited to see the costume when everything comes together.
That'll be it for Fan Expo for me this year. Two days is enough time to pretty much take in the whole con if you're not picky about particular panels or meeting certain guests. I'm just happy to take in the con atmosphere and I'm excited to see the Artist Alley. Hopefully it'll be a fun time. It will feel a bit weird to be done on Friday night when the con isn't really in full swing until Saturday, but Fan Expo gets pretty intensely busy on the weekend so going Thursday and Friday should maximize my con experience. I'll post here after the convention with my con memories. I should be able to get a page posted for the Twinkle Miku costume within a few days of the con happening.
Looking ahead to September, I have a table at the upcoming Nerd Market over at U of T on September 29th. I know a couple of people that participated in the first Nerd Market back in March that was hosted by the U of T board gaming club and they had a good experience. I'm looking forward to checking it out and seeing if I can sell some of the clothing and small capsule toys that I have leftover from Anime North's Nominoichi. My prices are going to be pretty cheap since I would like to clear out some stuff from my basement and closet. I'm hoping it's a successful day. After that we're into the Halloween season so the fall is going to be quite busy for me. I also would like to take a trip to the fabric district so I can get fabric for my Hitomi costume finally. I got stuck on the blouse because I don't have material for the skirt, cuffs and sailor collar. I also have ideas for another costume to work on over the holidays for cons in 2019. It's something I've debated about making for a few years so if I actually find fabric and can figure out the patterning, it should be a big, but very satisfying project to undertake. I definitely don't think I'm going to be too idle over the next several months once this convention season comes to an end next week. (^^)
July 31st, 2018
The last month has been pretty busy. At the beginning of the month I took a trip to Pontiac, Quebec with my father, younger brother and our dog, Persephone, and we rented a cottage by the Ottawa river. I had a very relaxing week by the river. It was quite private as the cottage was the last one on a small private road and the nearby cottages were all vacant. Persephone loved sitting in the water and exploring the shoreline. I had fun sitting by the water, floating on the river with a pool float and I even tried my hand at canoeing. At night it was super clear and you could go stargazing from the porch. It was an amazing view. The only downside was that it was extremely hot most of the days that we were there and the cottage had no AC. It was almost always cooler outside than inside the cottage even with fans in most of the rooms. There were also a ton of mosquitoes. In the evenings you would go outside at your own risk. I got a lot of mosquito bites that week! It was a nice recharge though! My first vacation in years and it really did seem like time stood still for that week. My brain still thinks it's only mid-July! Hard to believe another month is nearly over.
I did start working on my next costume project after my vacation. I found that I still had some leftover white fabric from the skirt that I made for my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform so I could start the new costume with fabric that I had on hand. I'm working on Hitomi's school uniform from the Escaflowne movie. I wanted to work on a simple costume over the summer and school uniforms are becoming an old hat for me at this point. It's pretty straight forward. I'm modifying the blouse pattern that I used for my Sakura Haruno and Madoka costumes. I ordered beads to make her pendant. I had to order a set of 9 of them so it was a little expensive, but I guess at least I can experiment. The only issue is that I was hoping to go downtown to check out the fabric district for blues for the bow and her collar and pleated skirt, but I wasn't able to go when I had planned to so I'm not sure when I'll get a chance. I was kind of thinking of making this for Fan Expo, but I still have to get the fabric, get the gems for the pendant and then make everything, so with just a month to go, that does not seem very likely. I'm also not sure if that costume would get much recognition at a more comic and sci-fi themed con so waiting to get it done for next year is probably a good idea. It's kind of a bummer, though. The costume would have been great for a summer con. I think I can finish it in 2 or 3 weeks once I get the fabric so whenever I get the fabric I'll work on it. If nothing else, I can wear it to Anime North 2019. Escaflowne is still one of my favourite franchises and I think Hitomi's movie outfit is quite a cute uniform (although a bit generic) but it should be a fun costume to put together. I'll just re-wear my old wig even if it is a tad dark for her movie design, I already have shoes and I bought navy socks. Hopefully I won't run into any snags trying to buy fabric for this.
It was my intention to make the costume for Fan Expo, but Fan Expo has become a little muddled for me. I discussed it with my friend Pan (who I've been attending Fan Expo with since 2014) and we've both agreed that despite no longer having masq positions for volunteering, we enjoy aspects of the con enough to get tickets. We both don't want to go for the full weekend, though. I still think the full weekend price is pretty ridiculous, but we both really love the Artist Alley and some of the exhibits. Therefore, we're going to buy Thursday and Friday one-day tickets. That way we can hopefully see the Artist Alley when it's not super crowded on Thursday night and take in more of the general sights on Friday.
I would like to track down the North American Dragon Ball touring exhibit that's supposedly stopping at Fan Expo (the only Canadian stop). Based on what it looked like at SDCC and Anime Expo, it looks like it has super cool backdrops for photos. I'm thinking of bringing back my Battle of the Gods purple dress Bulma costume one last time (probably for Thursday night of Fan Expo) with the hope of being able to check out the exhibit and snag some fun character photos.
My costume for Friday of Fan Expo is a bit up in the air. I did purchase a Miku Hatsune costume a few months ago. It's a costume with fabric that seemed a little out of my league to find or design so I thought buying the costume might be worthwhile. Itís also probably my favourite Miku design. I still need to style the wig a bit, but I'm hoping that Pan can help me do that in August. It doesn't look like I have any other pressing costumes that I made myself that I might wear to the con and I want to give my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform, my Kagome costume and my Madoka school uniform a bit of a break since I've worn all 3 costumes a lot in the last year and a half. If any of my other costumes jump out at me I might change my plans, but this Miku costume would be pretty cute to wear and with only a month to go, it would be tough to start anything else new now.
I'll post here again when I finalize my plans for Fan Expo. I'll continue to gather supplies for Hitomi and I'll hopefully get some work done on it before the end of the summer. The blouse is already close to being halfway done. I'm crossing my fingers that I do get a chance to find fabric for Hitomi even if I can't wear it for a while. It would be nice to go into the 2019 con season with a new costume already ready to go. :3
June 28th, 2018
Greg sent me copies of the photos that turned out from the Sakura Kinomoto shoot that he was kind enough to do with me during Saturday of Pretty Heroes. He took a few photos of me on the veranda outside so the natural lighting and forest backdrop made for some cute photos. He took several shots of me with my Kero plush and with my staff. He did take a couple of shots with my prop Clear card, but unfortunately, none of those pics turned out. Maybe I'll re-wear Sakura again one day to get some photos with it. It's not the worst thing in the world if I never get a chance to get photos with the card. Maybe I'll make another Sakura costume one day. (^^) I've uploaded the photos to the costume gallery which you can find here
. It was lots of fun working with Greg. He gave great direction so it was a nice experience.
I'm starting to plan out my next costume. I'm itching to get working on it, but I can't do anything until I get back from a family vacation at the beginning of July. I need to plan a trip to the fabric district so I hope I can arrange that fairly quickly once I'm back. My plans for going to Fan Expo are a bit up in the air because I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to volunteer with the masquerade again. It seems the masquerade has now been discontinued in favour of a cash prize Cosplay competition. It's pretty exciting for Cosplay and the con, but I have no idea if the ninja crew is part of the new show and will be needed. That'll impact if I go to Fan Expo and for how long. If I no longer have a volunteer spot, than I might look into buying a ticket for one day. I'll have to think hard about what day because the cost of Fan Expo is so high now. I miss when tickets back in 2001 (when it was still 3 days) were $40 for the full weekend. Times sure have changed! Hopefully I can still manage to go for a day and I get some clarity about working backstage in the coming weeks.
June 18th, 2018
Pretty Heroes 2018 is now in the past, but it was a pretty fun weekend. My friend Ammie has been singing the praises of that con since it first started up four years ago as Sailor Moon Celebration so I have been eager to see what it was like. The con had some hiccups on Saturday. The scheduling in one panel area was running behind by over an hour and there was no moderator to get things back on track, but I had to admire how chill and understanding everyone was about mishaps. I had a nice time checking out the Echo Three Star Wars group panel. Ammie is one of the founding members of it and it operates out of London, Ontario. They work with the local hospital network to run charity events and hospital visits so I admire the work that they do. I also checked out the worbla panel that Ammie was co-hosting with Dream Cosplay. I've never seen worbla in action before so that was really cool to learn about.
I spent most of the rest of Saturday hanging out in parts of the Science Centre like The Living Earth and Human Edge exhibits. I haven't been in the Science Centre since 2015 so it was nice to see it again. I also stopped at Kuma Crafts to buy another necklace. I have about a dozen Kuma Craft necklaces now and I just love how sparkly and well made they are. (^^)
Another big highlight of Saturday was meeting Greg of Very Frank Pictures. I've known of Greg as a photographer in the Cosplay community for a couple of years mostly through Ammie sharing pictures, but I had never met him. Ammie introduced us and he was kind enough to take some photos of my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. He was very nice to work with and I'm super excited to see how the photos turned out.
My Sakura costume was a blast to wear again. I got lots of compliments on the outfit and that really made my heart happy with how much work it was to put together. There weren't a lot of Card Captor Cosplayers at Pretty Heroes so it was nice to represent that series by wearing that costume. Another con attendee gave me a craft beaded Star Wand key that she said she was going to give to a Card Captor Cosplayer so that was touching. I also was given a "Momiji Loves Your Cosplay" ribbon from an Anime North representative when he took my picture so that was a very nice gesture. :3
I hung out with my friend Adrien on Saturday and thankfully we got to see a lot of my friend Ammie and Dee as well as they both came up from London for the con. It's so rare for me to see Ammie now so it was lovely to stop for a snack and chat over food for a bit and of course, see her amazing collection of costumes! She wore her Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw costume on Saturday and looked awesome. I still adore that game. I was also blown away by her Wicked Lady costume that she wore on Sunday. She looks picture perfect as that character!
I returned on Sunday in my Kagome costume. I did intend to wear something Sailor Moon, but I was pretty tired and testing out my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume just before the con was driving me batty. Some of the hairclips have started to become sticky as the resin is degrading (I bought the clips several years ago) so they were difficult to set in place. One even fell and broke and I did an ok job gluing it back together, but itís frustrating. Basically the costume was complicated and difficult to wear so I thought being more casual would make the day a little more enjoyable. I did have a good time wearing Kagome. I also received quite a few very nice compliments on the costume. Pan came with me to the con on Sunday and we mostly browsed the indie dealer and artist areas. I bought tons of prints! I barely bought any prints at AN or March Toronto ComiCON this year, but so many of the artists at Pretty Heroes had art styles that really caught my eye so I had lots of fun shopping and complimenting artists. I bought a beautiful Wicked Lady print. I also bought a very eye-catching group print of all the Inner Scouts in their school uniforms lying on the grass as well as a group Chibi print of all the Madoka Magica girls from the same seller. I purchased an Inuyasha and Kagome print from another artist and some really cute stickers from yet another seller. The only official merch that I bought was a cute stationary Sailor Moon magnet of the Crystal Star Locket. Such a cute design.
I spoke a bit more with Ammie and Pan and I explored some of the Science Centre. Pan was kind enough to go outside with me to get some photos of Kagome in the woods. I think they turned out really well and the lighting was super flattering! She even took a photo of me in front of the awesome DeLorean made to be a replica of the one from the Back to the Future movie that was on display in the POPnology exhibit. :D That was super awesome to see.
Overall, I had a great weekend. I think the fact attending the con gave you access to the Science Centre made it very good value and the con did have some quality content. I definitely can't complain since I got to see and spend some time with one of my best friends. (^_^) I'll definitely look into attending again next year. Maybe not for the full weekend if it ends up being 2 days again, but I'll have to see what the con has planned for 2019.
I did add a photo to my Sakura Kinomoto Cosplay page
. It was a picture I had Adrien take of me in front of a cool lit wall in the Science Arcade. I've also added the photos that Pan took of me as Kagome in the woods to that costume page
. I'm really happy with how those photos turned out.
Next up I would like to work on a new costume over the summer, but I'm a bit busy until a week into July so any plans will have to be put on hold for a while. Hopefully by mid-July I can go fabric shopping because I think I can put something together in time for Fan Expo. I guess we'll see if I have time. If not, I'll probably finish it over the fall and I have a closet full of old (and some unworn) costumes that I can pick through for Fan Expo. (^^);;
June 14th, 2018
It's almost time for Pretty Heroes and I'm really excited for it. I've been fairly busy these last few weeks since Anime North. Taking inventory of things that I had sold and what was left from the Nomi took several days and just a week after AN I had to quickly gather some things to sell at a garage sale my older brother was hosting at his new house. Needless to say, packing and sorting things has been my life for quite a few weeks. Pretty happy to chill out a bit after Pretty Heroes.
Preparing for the con has stalled a bit. I'm having a heck of a time picking a costume to wear. It makes sense to wear a fuku since this is a more Sailor Moon orientated event, but wearing a fuku is so constricting and time consuming. I really would like to wear the Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that Amber made for me, but it might be just too much if I also want to venture around the Science Centre. I will be wearing my Sakura Kinomoto costume on Saturday of the convention. That one I have my heart set on wearing. I'm hoping to get a few photos of the costume in the ravine area of the Science Centre, but that also depends on if I can find anyone to shoot with. Almost everyone that I know is going to Yeticon so itís going to be interesting to see how this convention goes in comparison.
For Sunday of the convention, I'll still consider wearing Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see if I feel up to it or if I would rather be a bit more casual and I'll probably re-wear my Kagome costume. Both options fit the theme of the con. I have tons of female heroine costumes so actually picking a costume to wear is difficult. I would also love to re-wear my Madoka school uniform. Maybe if I attend the con again next year, then I'll re-wear Madoka then. :3 I had a new purchased costume that I was kind of hoping to wear to the con this weekend, but I didn't get a chance to get the wig trimmed so that's unfortunately on the back burner for a few weeks.
I have a vague idea of a couple of fun costume options that I wouldn't mind working on over the summer. There is one costume that I might look at making over the fall for conventions in 2019 and the other a costume that might be fairly easy to make so I would consider working on it for Fan Expo. I only just thought of this new idea in the last 24 hours so it's still extremely tentative. If I do it, I already have a wig and shoes and the outfit is pretty simple. It's another school uniform (surprise) and this time it's a simple knife pleated skirt and short sleeve zip up blouse. It's from an older Anime now and I've already Cosplayed from the series once before (with another costume from the series waiting to be worn actually). It all really depends on if I can find the right fabrics for it, but it would probably be fairly cheap and quick to make. I would love to work on something simple for the days when it's too hot to really go outside. We'll see if I can arrange a fabric shopping day in the next few weeks to get started on this costume in July.
May 28th, 2018
My 17th Anime North is now behind me and all and all, it was a pretty good year. I was so worried about getting to and from the con and how that would limit my experience, but I usually went home when I was good and tired and it was nice to take time each evening to sort out what I had left from the Nomi as opposed to having to deal with that and unpacking all at once on Sunday.
My table, N122, at the Nominoichi, went over pretty well. I did about as well as Iíve done during the last couple of years (over $1,200) and I did make a pretty big dent in what I brought. I took with me four full boxes of stuff and a suitcase that was pretty stuffed and in the end the suitcase was half empty and only two boxes are left moderately full. I sold plenty of figures and quite a few little Re-Ment miniatures. I have quite a few gashapons left over, as well as most of the clothing and wigs, but hopefully I'll find more chances to sell some of that stuff during the rest of the year. I've heard a board game group at U of T does a garage sale event and will run one this fall so I'll probably see about getting a table there. I can't thank my friend Adrien enough for driving us down to the con, for creating our setup and for making the amazing sign that we had. It really was easy to spot our table. I had lots of fun talking with people as they browsed and I'm happy that almost all the people that reserved from me showed up. I'll hopefully be back again next year.
The Nominoichi took up the entirety of my Friday and I didn't Cosplay. It was quite hot in the Nomi venue. I was surprised that we got an early taste of summer for the whole Anime North weekend. Originally the prediction was for rain and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday, but besides it getting dark for a bit on Saturday afternoon, it was quite clear. Too bad it was so hot. It definitely wasn't the best weather to wear my costumes. XD
My Sakura Kinomoto costume, which I wore on Saturday, went over really well. I re-wore my school uniform with my new updates including new buttons and lace detailing on the skirt and I'm happy with how it looked. My new Dream wand made for an awesome Cosplay prop. It arrived on the 22nd, just a few days before Anime North, so I'm thrilled that I got it in time. That and my wig especially, got lots of compliments. I'm just really happy with how the costume turned out.
On Sunday I re-wore my Kagome costume. I was nervous about wearing it with the heat, but it wasn't quite as terribly hot on Sunday. The costume looked nice and I loved wearing my new wig that Pan had styled for me. There were quite a few Inuyasha Cosplayers at AN this year. I got a photo with a wonderful Sesshomaru and Inuyasha and the costume earned me quite a few compliments. That costume is something I still hold close to my heart given that I made it last fall when I was really struggling emotionally so every compliment was a treasure to me.
I spent most of the weekend at the Congress Centre in and around the various vendors. Usually I'm at the Delta quite a bit, but with no hotel space there for me, I only went there for a little bit on Sunday. I had to walk by the hotel pool and cry a little. I hope next year I get hotel space again, but I'm a bit torn because staying home was kind of nice.
I actually did most of my shopping for the weekend at the Nominoichi on Friday. I was able to get some Pokemon Center Halloween straps as well as the coveted Easter Eeviee and Easter Pikachu plushies from another seller at the event. I was a bit on the fence about collecting the Easter plushies, but they're super cute and soft and that adds an Eeviee plush to my growing Pokemon Center collection. From past events and online purchases, I have last year's Halloween Pikachu, the Christmas Vulpix and the Valentine's Day male and female Pikachu plush set from this year so now I've pretty much covered all the major holidays in Pokemon plush form. It was a nice surprise to be able to get those Easter plushies at the Nomi since the only other dealer for the con was sure to have sold out of them within a few minutes of the con opening on Friday. I also purchased a large Banpresto sleeping Vulpix prize plush from another Nomi table that's super fluffy! I've become a sucker for Vulpix plushies!
My only other purchases from the weekend were a couple of cute postcards (one of which is another Sakura print from the new CCS Anime) from Artist Alley, some sweet magnets from Crafter's (one magnet is of Lesser Dog from Undertale, which looks like my Samoyed Persephone). Finally, I got a cute Twinkle Snow Miku keychain from the dealer's room and I fed my Kuma Crafts addiction by getting 2 new necklaces - one a stuffed cookie and another a Halloween witch rabbit. So cute! Looking forward to shopping from them again at Pretty Heroes.
It was nice seeing the friends that I ran into during the weekend and checking out some of the cool exhibits like the awesome Pokemon statues in the Gallery Momiji. I'm glad all the food trucks and food vendors were back this year! I loved getting cherry lemonades and places like Swiss Chalet were quite prepared to handle the big crowds by rolling out special menus to keep the wait times down. I had a really nice Anime North. Nothing over the top happened and the Nominoichi went well so I have no big complaints. I'm definitely looking forward to attending again in 2019!
I didn't do any photoshoots during the weekend, but I did get a couple of hallways shots of my Sakura and Kagome costumes, which I added to those costume pages. I'm hoping to do a shoot of my Sakura costume at Pretty Heroes. My plan right now is to wear Sakura to that con on the Saturday and a new costume I have (that I didn't make) on Sunday. It's kind of exhausting and exciting to have another con coming up in just 3 weeks. I'm sure it'll be really fun. I keep hearing good things about Pretty Heroes and I'm excited to see Amber there. At some point I want to start working on a new costume (maybe something for Fan Expo). I have no costume ideas right now, though, so maybe something will come to me in the next month or two. Now I just need to focus on recovering from Anime North!
May 20th, 2018
I can't believe that Anime North is already less than a week away. Itís crazy how time flies. It's been a bit of a hectic month. Trying to get things sorted out for the Nominoichi is always a big part of my May. I'm in the final stages of getting everything packed up and getting all the supplies ready. Doing the final checks to make sure that I don't forget anything always makes me nervous. I don't stop taking hold requests until Wednesday so getting a final sense of how much I can manage at the table pretty much comes down to the wire.
Planning for the con this year has been difficult. Trying to figure out my travel plans has been a bit frustrating. I think I have Friday and Saturday sorted out. The plan that I thought I had worked out to get a lift with a friend on Sunday fell through. Thankfully it seems another friend can probably give me a lift or I was pretty sure I was going to just give up on going to AN on the Sunday. My exact plans are still a bit up in the air because I don't know about the timing. I have no idea if I need to get up to leave super early or if things can be a bit more casual. As it stands right now I'm borrowing my family's van for Friday and Saturday so at least those two days are a bit more certain.
I'm not planning to Cosplay on Friday of the con. I've done it every year in the past, but it's looking like it's going to be a very hot day and with my lack of a hotel room not giving me a reason to show up early, Cosplaying just seems like a hassle. The Nomi venue can get quite hot at times so I'm a little nervous about how warm it'll be this year. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't all cook. The Nomi has also been extended this year from 3.5 hours as it's now 4 hours, so that extra selling time should make the event interesting.
Saturday will be a test of how manageable commuting is after a late Friday night. I'm wondering how long it'll take for me to get up and get into my costume before travelling out to Anime North. My plan is to re-wear my Sakura Kinomoto Clear Card school uniform costume. I'm excited to wear it again after the little adjustments I made to it. Also, it looks as though the Dream wand that I ordered should arrive in time for Anime North so I'll have to see about potentially bringing it. It should make for an awesome prop. The only worry is what to do with it if I plan to venture into the Congress Centre. Hopefully I can stash it in the car after a few hours.
Sunday is definitely up in the air. I'll see how much of the con I get to explore on Saturday and if I can tackle the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley in full before the end of that day. Whatever I don't get done I can finish up on Sunday. I just have to coordinate with friends. I'll also see how tired I am. Right now I'm thinking of re-wearing my Kagome school uniform on Sunday. It should be nice to wear it again with my new wig. My only worry is the timing because I'm not sure when I can get a lift and I definitely don't want to inconvenience my friend. We'll see if I even have time and energy to Cosplay that day. It might not be so bad to be casual on Sunday especially with all the issues I've had to face making the convention work out.
Amidst all the confusion as well as the chaos of selling stuff on Friday, I am very much looking forward to another Anime North. AN has been my go-to convention for 17 years! That's almost difficult to fathom. It certainly does feel weird going this year without a hotel room, but who knows, change can be good. I'll see how it works out for this year. The last year of my life has been so challenging so I'm excited for something that's been a fixture in my life for so long. I sure hope that it's a fun year for Anime North and yields neat purchases and great memories with friends new and old. I don't have any photoshoots planned this year since I'm not wearing anything new and my schedule is so uncertain, but hopefully I'll get some pictures of Kagome and Sakura if I wear both costumes. I'll be sure to do shoots of both costumes at a later date. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to seeing the food options for the con this year. I was blown away by the new food truck and food vendor options that sprung up last year. If nothing else my stomach will probably enjoy the convention. :D Canít wait for Friday!
May 1st, 2018
Another month has gone by. 2018 just feels like it's melting away. I'm just happy that I finally have my laptop up and running properly again. I had to get a new solid-state drive for it, but that seems to have done the trick to get it working again. Hopefully I'll be able to get another couple of years out of this laptop before I need to replace it.
I can't believe it's almost time for Anime North! The next few weeks are sure to go by fast. It feels a bit surreal to not be working on a costume right now. I still have to decide what I'm going to wear to Anime North. Right now I'm leaning towards re-wearing my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform on Saturday of the con and maybe re-wearing my updated Kagome costume for Sunday. I have a new wig for Kagome now so it would be nice to re-wear the costume. Another idea I'm considering is my Shippuden Sakura Haruno costume or just being casual on Sunday. It looks as though I can find a ride to the convention on Sunday, anyway, so that means I can actually go all 3 days. I'm still leaning towards skipping Cosplaying on Friday though.
In other news, Kris Byers sent me copies of the photos from my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform shoot from Sunday of Toronto Comicon and I love how they turned out. I wasn't feeling great during our shoot so it's amazing what she was able to get from working with me. I adore the street shots and she found a great way to utilize the stained glass walkway in the Skywalk. It was great working with her again. You can find the photos here, in my Sakura Kinomoto costume page
I'm hoping to have the Dream wand that I ordered in time for AN so when I wear my tweaked Sakura costume again, it'll have some nice upgrades. The wand has yet to ship so we'll see if that turns up. I know the next month is going to be pretty chaotic and Anime North will be here before we know it. I just hope that everything shows up in time!
April 22nd, 2018
It's been a few weeks since my last update and things have been pretty busy for me. Firstly, the hard drive on my laptop failed a week ago and gave its final death cries. It's toast and I need to buy a new hard drive so I can try to salvage my computer. At the moment I'm making due with a laptop that had belonged to my mother, but I don't have any of my standard programs here for editing photos and what not so it's frustrating. It might be another week or two before I can properly replace it.
I was able to apply for a table for the Nominoichi prior to the laptop meltdown and my efforts were successful. This year I'll be at table N122. Sadly, I'm still off in the far reaches of the Nomi, but hopefully the table display Adrien and I come up with will get our table noticed. I've spent the last couple of weeks going through boxes and taking photos of a lot of the items that I'll be selling. I'm currently taking reservation requests over on the Anime North forum so that's keeping me plenty busy and I'm sure organizing for the table will keep me moderately busy all the way until the 25th of May.
I finally bought my ticket for the Pretty Heroes convention in June. I managed to get a weekend pass before the early bird pricing ended early last week. The tickets this year include access to the Science Centre as a whole so I'm pretty excited about hanging out at the Science Centre again. My friend Amber is a Cosplay guest again and our schedules have finally aligned so I can actually see her when she's here for the con. XD I've been meaning to go to Pretty Heroes (when it was still Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration) for 2 or 3 years now so I'm glad that things worked out this time and I can actually make it!
I did take some time to work on costume stuff over the last few days. I had ordered new buttons for my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform and some lace to test out on the skirt. Both arrived in the last couple of weeks so I bit the bullet and finally tried to incorporate them into my costume. I originally skipped out on adding the lace to my Sakura costume because I figured that I would wear a lace underskirt, but a lace underskirt added a lot of bulk and I didn't like how it would stick out at different lengths. I didn't have enough of any lace to test out partially adding a lace layer to the skirt itself. Once the lace I ordered arrived, I trimmed it and sewed it at the point where the red bias tape is so the lace stitching is camouflaged a bit. I was worried that it would still be bulky, but I bought very lightweight lace and I only stuck it out by a couple of centimeters so I think it looks nice. I had to no fray the whole edge though. The threading was a bit loose. Swapping the buttons was pretty easy. I was just super careful about sewing where the old buttons were so I wouldn't mess with the original spacing. The new buttons are much less shiny so I think it looks nicer. I finished up my sewing spree by adding a new snap to my Kagome skirt and attaching my old Konoha headband to my new Sakura Haruno wig. I did all this between Tuesday night and Friday night, but at least now I can relax until AN, that is in terms of sewing! The next few weeks are definitely going to fly by and Anime North is going to be very hectic this year. I just hope that it's lots of fun!
March 30th, 2018
It's been a crazy week for me. I was dealing with a medical crisis related to one of my best friends so needless to say I've been stressed and worried, but things are finally improving for my friend and looking positive so I can start breathing again. I haven't been thinking about Cosplay that much over the last few days. I did order a prop acrylic Clear card to have for the next time I want to do a shoot in my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. I also put in an order for a Dream wand. It was a little more than I expected to pay, but I just think it'll be such a neat prop for a Sakura shoot. Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to make more Sakura costumes in the future. :3 I rounded out my Cosplay purchasing by getting new buttons and some trim for that school uniform. I want to replace my current blouse buttons because they're too reflective and I want to see if I can add new trim to the skirt. I only just ordered those things a week ago so we'll see if I get them in time to update and wear Sakura to AN.
Something surprising just happened. My friend Stillvisions was able to edit and send me photos from a couple of shoots that I did with him back in October 2013. I honestly thought they were lost in the sands of time. It was from a day when my friend Ammie had been visiting Toronto so Kevin offered to do some shoots for us. The first was a Resident Evil 4 shoot and the other shoot was a Trick 'r Treat shoot. The Trick 'r Treat shoot was in honour of Ammie making a Laurie costume from the movie. Ammie and I got some photos together in which I was hidden in the background just as Sam would pop in and out of the different short films within the Trick 'r Treat movie. I added new photos to my Ashley costume page which you can find here
and to my Sam costume page here
. I'm really digging the nighttime Sam photos. Not as impressive of a shoot as my original Sam shoot with all the hordes of pumpkins, but this one shows off more of the costume and my updated lollipop which I purchased from a prop maker on eBay. It was a fun day and the photos are overall pretty nice so I'm really thrilled that he was able to dig them up for me. :3
I'm still waiting on photos from March Toronto ComiCON but I'm sure I'll have them by the end of April. I'll update here again as I fix up some of my costumes and when I know more about my situation with Anime North. The Nominoichi table reservations open up on the 8th and I'm already super excited to apply to get a table. I have plenty of things to sell and I'm looking forward to getting the chance to clean out part of my basement. XD Hopefully I do end up getting a table.
March 20th, 2018
Toronto ComiCON is over for another year. I did go to the con on Sunday. The day was pretty hectic though. I was quite disappointed that I wasn't able to go to the con on Saturday especially once I heard it actually wasn't all that crowded or difficult to get tickets at the door. I missed my chance to see my good friend Ammie so that definitely brought down my enthusiasm for the weekend. ~_~
My friend Pan was kind enough to drive a few of us all the way down to the con at around 11:30AM on Sunday and we parked in the north building parking lot. I don't know how crazy it is to get parking during Fan Expo, but it certainly was a fairly painless process to make the trip downtown on Sunday and find parking at the con (although the south lot was totally full). The con itself was nice. Not super crowded, but by the time we got there and got our tickets, we didn't have much time to wander around before Pan and I had a shoot at 1PM with Kris Byers. We both took turns getting photos of our costumes (I debuted my new Sakura Kinomoto school uniform and Pan was dressed in her new Pidge from Voltron costume). I wasn't feeling very well, though, during our shoot time. I felt guilty for being pretty low on energy, but I appreciated Kris working with us and I'm excited to see how the photos turned out.
We finally got a chance to go into the dealer's room after the shoot, but only for a few minutes, really just enough time to grab some food before we headed off late to Marina Sirtis' panel. She played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Pan mentioned she's quite witty and animated during her panels and boy were we ever in for a treat! She told lots of stories about the behind the scenes experience of working on Star Trek and her favourite topic, her local football team. Really glad I didn't miss the panel. She was amazing to listen to!
After that, we got to spend the last few minutes going through Artist Alley and the Dealer's Room. Honestly, we didn't have much time because the con closed at 5PM. I was able to buy a new ring from my favourite ring seller (I have 10 rings from Catherinette Rings now). XD I also found an artist selling a really cute Syaoran and Sakura fanart piece from the new Clear Card Anime. They were wearing the new school uniforms in it so it was an instant buy. The artist even asked me to get a photo with the fanart piece that I bought. (^^) After that we had to leave pretty quickly so I didn't get a chance to browse.
The con was a whirlwind and I spent half the day not feeling great, but between the fun photoshoot, seeing some friends and Marina Sirtis' panel, it was a nice experience. My Sakura costume went over well enough and I'm looking forward to wearing it again. I'm so happy with the fit I achieved with the blouse and that I finally made the pleated skirt work. Since the con, I did a bit more work on the wig to control the long strands of hair and I fluffed up the hair by the ahoge so it stands up better. I'm debating about buying more props for the costume for the next time I wear it. I'm looking at maybe buying her Dream wand. I can see some prop ones on sale that aren't too expensive and it could be fun for a shoot. I'm also thinking about buying a clear card. Finally, I'm debating about buying some lace to sew to the skirt. I have a slip to wear under the skirt, but I don't want to add another layer under my skirt so I skipped wearing it. You don't always see the lace layer so I think it's fine to skip it, but it might be nice to get lace to see how it would look.
My costume plans for AN are kind of up in the air now given that I don't have hotel space and I'm still debating how many days I want to attend the con. I'm strongly considering only going on Friday and Saturday. Friday will be nothing but the Nominoichi and I'm not sure I'm going to even bother Cosplaying that day. My plans for Saturday of the con are to re-wear my Sakura Haruno costume with my new wig and new boots that I ordered, but it all hinges on my friend Pan finishing her Naruto costume. She's not sure she'll have time to so I may switch to re-wearing my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. I may only wear one costume to AN this year. It's all very uncertain.
Regarding my new Sakura Kinomoto costume, I was able to get some photos on my phone thanks to Pan so I posted the costume page with my detailed construction notes on the costume. You can view the page here
. I should get photos back from Kris in the next few weeks so I'll update here again in April with more costume photos. Now that it's finally spring, I'm excited for the weather to start to warm up and for the greenery to grow back in again. I'm hoping to get a few costume shoots done this year. I'll cross my fingers that I can at least cross a couple of costumes off my photo backlog list!
March 17th, 2018
Super quick update. I should be at the con right now, but last night ComiCON posted on Facebook that they were sold out of advance Saturday passes and they were encouraging attendees who wanted a Saturday ticket to come after 2PM to purchase a day ticket. Having read that, at nearly midnight last night, Pan and I decided to postpone going to the con today so I will be attending ComiCon tomorrow. Sadly, a friend from out of town still went today and was able to easily get a Saturday ticket at the door at 11:30AM this morning so the con was being a bit alarmist with their social media posts. It doesn't sound anywhere near as crowded and frustrating as I expected today so I'm super disappointed that I changed my plans. We pre-purchased Sunday tickets so we're locked in. I have rescheduled shooting my new Sakura costume with Kris Byers to tomorrow so I should still have costume photos in a few weeks. Hopefully I can get a few pictures on my phone tomorrow. Still looking forward to seeing some friends and shopping so despite the setbacks, I'm looking forward to a fun con Sunday.
March 15th, 2018
My Sakura Kinomoto costume is thankfully done now! It's finally finished thanks to Pan stopping by tonight to trim my wig. I can't thank her enough for her help. I had to spend a few minutes reshaping the ahoge in the wig as well because I forgot that in the new Anime her hair antenna point to the back instead of to the sides. XD I also spent some time today adjusting a couple of buttons and cutting out a clear card for a prop. It's taken so long to get to this point. At least it's felt like a long time. All things considered, this was actually a pretty quick costume for me. It took nearly two months, but most evenings I only worked on it for half an hour or an hour and sometimes I took a couple of days off from working on it. I was kind of worried when I went to try the finished costume on about how it would fit, but it looks really sleek and nice. This is despite the fact it took me like 8 tries to finally get the pleats in the skirt figured out. In the end it was a fun project and I'm so glad that I got a chance to finally Cosplay from Card Captor Sakura. I can't wait to dive in and follow the new Anime. It's great to see so many classic series getting revivals right now.
Now I'm pretty excited for March Toronto ComiCON this weekend. Definitely looking forward to celebrating the fact that winter is nearly over and it's time to gear up for con season. I don't really have any major plans for the con but I'm excited to see some friends and check out the Artist Alley. I will be doing another shoot with Kris Byers of Sakura. It was lovely working with her last year on Madoka photos. I've been working on the write up for the costume so I'm excited to post the costume page when I get some photos of it. (^^) I will be attending the con for Saturday only, but I'm looking forward to having a fun day. :3
March 6th, 2018
I meant to write periodic updates here while I've been working on my Sakura Kinomoto costume. Instead I found myself spending a lot of time away from the computer sewing and not much time near my laptop. My Sakura costume is about 80% done now. I'm putting the finishing touches on the skirt now (fixing the pleats and adding snaps to close it up). It's been a journey getting Sakura done. The blouse is mostly done too. It just needs to be hemmed and to have the patch added to the shoulder. The tie is done as well. I had to adjust and recalculate the pleats on the skirt like 8 times. I even completely finished the skirt before going back to the drawing board because it looked really bad on me. The problem when you're dealing with really wide inverted box pleats is that they tend to open up as they flare out at your hips. Since I'm not a child, my hips really push them open so trying to manage 4 pleats like Sakura has looked laughable on me. My friend Pan eventually convinced me to compromise and now my finished skirt has 6 moderate sized pleats. It's not accurate, but it doesn't look as silly on me. I had to take artistic liberties with it, but for the sake of appearances, it was the right choice. I started with a rectangle piece so maybe pleating a circle skirt would have been better. I used up so much fabric that I didn't have enought to redo it. Maybe down the line I might try again, but the current skirt looks nice enough. Only issue is that I'm going to ignore the lace she has under the skirt. Still can't tell if that's supposed to be a seperate crinoline. I did buy a crinoline skirt, but I'm concerned that pairing up a crinoline skirt along with shorts will be too bulky under my skirt.
I'm pretty happy with how the blouse is looking, though, and the tie looks pretty cute. It was quite a bit of work to get everything together. Yet again I faced a costume that looked pretty simple to begin with, but somehow I faced a ton of pitfalls. The skirt should have taken like 3 hours to make from start to finish but instead took more like 15 hours over the course of three weeks. I still have to tackle fixing up the wig that I bought for the costume. It needs some styling. Still planning to wear this to MTAC so we'll see if I finish it up in time.
I ordered a new wig and boots for my Sakura Haruno costume. Things have changed in terms of costume accessories for sale since I made my costume a couple of years ago. I was able to find a cute wig that's a better colour and has a nice widow's peak which looks so much better than my original Sakura wig! My original wig was super heavy on my face because it was thick. The hairline on this wig looks really great for the character. I know I've been posting for weeks that I plan to make boot covers for Sakura. I even bought some spandex and sandals, but I noticed pre-made character specific boots you could buy look really nicely fitted. The sandals I had were kind of bulky and it seemed like a lot of trouble to go to when pre-made ones look pretty sleek and accurate. I was starting to dread working on the sandals so that's a load off my mind. They definitely weren't selling these particular boots back when I made Sakura or I would have bought them then for sure! XD Hopefully they turn out alright when I get them in a few weeks. I'll post here again when I finish my new Sakura Kinomoto costume. I'm crossing my fingers that everything works out.
February 15th, 2018
Just a quick update after this website's hiatus. I totally forgot to pay to renew my domain. Oops. I try to pay for two or three years at a time and I was paying manually and this time it totally slipped my mind that I was due to pay for my domain renewal. Guess it was only down for a few days and thankfully no harm was done. I set it to auto renew so that shouldn't happen again.
My laptop had a meltdown a week ago and I had to get help reinstalling Windows so technology wise, things have been on the fritz for me. Thankfully all my files were recovered so I didn't lose my website files. Lately I've been staying away from my computer working on sewing. I've really been trying to focus on at least working for an hour a day on my Sakura Kinomoto costume. I actually have all of the materials now. The wig, school patch, shoes, buttons, undershirt and slip arrived. The wig could use some work. I bought a prestyled wig because I liked the colour and it arrived with the ahoge pointing the wrong direction. I had to try to soak and scrub out the layers of hairspray glue so I can restyle it. Still need to tackle trimming it so we'll see how that goes.
The blouse is getting there. It still needs the cuffs, the school patch, the buttons and hemming, but it's mostly little things left besides the cuffs. I'm currently working on the skirt to decide the hem for the shirt. I have the skirt cut out, hemmed and the red ribbon added. I'm trying now to decide the best way to add the pleats, but the skirt is nearly half done. So slowly, but surely I'm making progress on the costume. Still quite a bit to do, but I'm hopeful that I'll get it done for March Toronto ComiCon and it'll be set for Anime North as well. If things go according to plan then the skirt and blouse should be done by the end of the month and then I can work on the tie. Crossing my fingers that everything works out and that life stops throwing distractions my way!
January 31st, 2018
It's almost the start of another month and I've been super busy lately. Deciding to start working on a new costume (Sakura's school uniform from the new Card Captor Anime) has really added weight to my days so I'm finding myself feeling a bit frantic these last couple of weeks. I was able to go fabric shopping last Friday with my friend Pan and I picked up some white cotton fabric for the skirt, cuffs and tie of the costume. It's actually the same fabric that I used for Kagome's shirt. It was the nicest opaque white and for the best price in the fabric district. Hopefully it'll make for a nice pleated skirt! The green fabric for Kagome's skirt was the same type of material and it worked out alright so it should make for a nice skirt as well.
I cut out the black fabric that I had for the blouse last week and I started working on it. I currently have the main part of the top together and I'm working on the facing for the collar line. I still need to figure out the sleeves. I had to play around with the sleeve hole patterning when making the actual version of the blouse so I'm hoping it'll work with the sleeves when I cut the sleeves out. First thing is first, I need to finish the facing and add the zipper in the back. So far the blouse is coming along alright. I just hope that my buttons, wig, shoes and undershirt show up before March Toronto ComiCon! I should be on track to finish it by then if everything arrives.
My wonderful friend Amanda finished editing her shoots from the Fan Days Holiday Show last month and she sent me copies of the pics of my Lolita Madoka outfit. I love how they turned out! We took the photos in a beautiful hallway in the nearby Delta hotel. The curtains there were pretty and soft and she even got some cute pics with my plush Kyuubey. It may not be an official outfit, but it was tons of fun to Cosplay as the character again! You can check out the new photos here
Hopefully I'll update here again in February as my Sakura costume starts to come together. I also picked up fabric last week to make new boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume so I'll have that to work on as well in the coming weeks. I should be plenty busy when it comes to sewing well into March and after that the madness of prep work for the Nominoichi begins again!
January 13th, 2018
We're into the new year now and I'm not going to lie, as much as I enjoyed taking a break from sewing, over the last couple of weeks I've found myself daydreaming about potential costume options to start working on in the next few weeks. It was actually hard. I've pretty much crossed off all my dream costumes from my wish list so I was kind of left thinking what now. That's when the new Card Captor Sakura Anime came along. I was actually considering making a battle costume of Sakura's from the original series. CCS is a series that I grew up with and is about the only series from my younger years that I really loved that I haven't done a costume from. That's not exactly true, my first ever costume was Li Syaoran from the series. Since that was baby's first costume, though, it wasn't exactly the most well crafted thing. It was almost entirely made by my mom and was from the days before wigs, contacts, binding and makeup so I don't really have many photos of it that I care to share. XD Syaoran is still one of my all-time favourite characters. I'm not much into Cosplaying as male characters anymore so now I'm interested in Cosplaying as Sakura instead. I was following news of the new series when I came across a splash image for Sakura in her new school uniform which shows many angles of it. The perfect Cosplay inspiration. It appears her skirt is a wide box pleated skirt and I had a lot of fun making the box pleated skirt for Madoka last year. I'm also thinking that the pattern that I used for my Battle of the Gods Bulma costume can work for her blouse with some alterations.
Over the last few days I started ordering materials for the costume. I have an undershirt collar coming in the mail along with buttons, a slip, mary jane shoes and a wig. I have a ton of black fabric leftover from my old Halloween Witch Rei costume that I can use for the blouse. I just need to get white fabric for the skirt, more red bias tape and a black zipper, but the costume should be pretty affordable and hopefully with two other recent school uniforms under my belt, I can get it done in just a few weeks. My aim is to get it done for March Toronto ComiCon or for Anime North. If everything I ordered shows up before March, I'm hoping that I can get it done fairly quickly. Hopefully I'm not cursing myself to mess up adjusting the pattern pieces, but I'll cross my fingers that it works out. (^_^)
December 27th, 2017
It's almost the start of a new year! It's been a pretty busy holiday break. Between finishing Christmas shopping, baking cookies and actually celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day, I haven't really had much time to take it easy. It's calmed down a bit since Christmas, but I seem to have caught a minor cold so I'm dealing with some tiredness and sneezing. Just what I needed for my holiday break. ~_~
Christmas went pretty well. It was a big change this year dealing with my first Christmas without my mom, but I didn't dwell too much and I had a nice time with my family. It still felt like a piece was missing and that void will never truly be filled, but we made the most of the day and made some nice memories. I still have new years to look forward to and hopefully this cold will be over by then. With how cold and snowy it's been lately, it's not like I'm going out much. >.<
Looking back on the year in terms of Cosplay now that we're mere days away from the start of 2018, it was all about quality over quantity this year. I handmade 3 costumes: Madoka Kaname's school uniform, a Wacky Inflatable Tube Man costume and Kagome Higurashi's school uniform. 2 major costumes and one silly side project. I was pretty ambitious this year. That Madoka costume has been on my to do list for several years and was really a dream costume. It was extremely daunting to take on, but I actually did it. I've always underestimated my sewing skills because I'm pretty weak at patterning, but I was able to adapt several commercial patterns to make Madoka work and it really felt like an achievement to finish it. The Wacky Tube costume was a silly side project with Pan that we tackled over a few meet-ups. It was purely for fun and we had a great time with it. It's a great memory for a year that's been marked with a lot of hardship and struggles. That's why making Kagome was a bit of a turning point for me. The fact that I worked on it just a few weeks after my mother passed away and I used the costume to help me cope, was useful for the grieving process. The costume was a bit of a legacy as I originally Cosplayed as Kagome back in 2002 and the costume was my second ever costume. It was 90% made by my mom and 15 years later I tackled the costume again on my own. It felt like a torch passing moment and going forward I'll continue with my mom's legacy through my sewing as she was the one who taught me everything that I know. Without her I wouldn't have been able to pick up the hobby.
In terms of costuming events, it was a fairly busy year. I attended the Toronto ComiCon in March for the first time in nearly a decade. It was nice to have another winter event. It was where I debuted my Madoka school uniform and it had a great reaction. Anime North was busy as usual and marked the last time I was able to get a hotel room for the con. Going forward I'll have to make arrangements later on or commute each day. I'm still bummed about that, but it is what it is. The Nominoichi was another highlight. I enjoyed participating for the 4th year. It's my big chance to sell a lot of Anime and Manga goods and lighten my load so I can fill up the space again. LOL Anime North is always my big con for the year and I had a good time. During the summer I attended Fan Expo which sadly fell a week before my mom passed. The con was a bit bleak because things at home weren't great, but it did lift my spirits. I was able to get a great projection system from AtmosFX for my Halloween decorations which I'm obsessed with now and the Wacky Wavy Inflatable Man costumes Pan and I made had a big reaction. I rounded out the year with the Anime North Halloween Festival at the JCCC and the Fan Expo Holiday Show. I debuted Kagome at the Halloween event and gave it a fun test run. I re-wore an old Lolita outfit with Madoka at the Christmas event. Got some fabulous photos of the outfit. It was fantastic working with Elemental Photography when I wore Lolita Madoka. I had a great experience shooting with Kris Byers at Anime North to get some beautiful photos of Madoka. Hopefully next year I can get more private shoots done of my costume photo backlog. Hoping for photos of Dilandau, Sakura Haruno and Super Sailor Chibi Moon for sure.
So it was overall a busy year. A sad one, but there were glimmers of brilliance to the year and some great success stories. I'm definitely excited to start off a new year with a clean slate. Not actually sure what I'll make next year though. I want to re-wear Sakura at AN as Pan plans to make Naruto to match with me. My friend Kevin has promised to fix up his Inuyasha costume to wear with my Kagome costume so I'm excited for that. I still have to wear the Wendy costume from Peter Pan that Ammie gifted me. Dilandau and Super Sailor Chibi Moon will definitely see the light of day next year... so it's already a pretty busy year. Just need to think what I want to focus on for sewing.
I have been working on some sewing projects this holiday season. I just finally finished swapping out the invisible zipper on the skirt of my Kagome costume. It should fit me better now. I finally finished wrapping my bow. I just need to tie the string. I need to create some arrows to go with the bow. Pan and I also still need to style my wig, but it's not a huge rush. I'm currently trying to create a base from some sandals to make boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. My old boots were SUPER painful so I'm hoping boot covers over sandals will save my feet. Hopefully I can get a test version done this week so I can buy black spandex to finish them soon. Usually at this point I would be sewing a new costume, but inspiration hasn't really struck me. Hopefully I'll figure something out in the next month or two. Sewing during the winter is a really productive way to pass the time.
2018 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Looking forward to another Nominoichi at Anime North and this year I'm hoping to attend the Sailor Moon Celebration event. Seems they'll be utilizing the Science Centre as part of the con so that's really exciting. Been meaning to go to that for years so hopefully the stars align so I can go this time. Otherwise my con schedule is pretty much the same as last year. Might pass on the Halloween event though. It was a little bland this year.
Kris Byers Photography
snapped a few lovely shots of me at the Fan Days Holiday Show a few weeks ago. Honestly, I'm floored by how nice they are! I added them to my costume page so you can see them here
. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll get the photos from my shoot with Elemental back. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and wishing everyone all the best for a fun New Years and a wonderful 2018! I can wait to kick off a new year!
December 12th, 2017
The Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show has come and gone. It was a pretty casual event. A great chance to do some Christmas shopping, but this year I'm already pretty much done my Christmas shopping so I mostly browsed. My only purchases were a cute little plush strap of the planet Saturn and a Christmas Pokemon Center Alolan Vulpix plush. I'm still addicted to Pokemon Center plush toys! It all started at last year's Holiday Show when I first saw and bought the Pokemon Center Vulpix plush. Now I have 6 more Pokemon Center plush dolls. XD Thankfully I've covered most of my favourite Pokemon at this point so besides special holiday ones for Christmas or Halloween (mostly Halloween honestly) I can probably steer clear of them now, but maybe my addiction will not be swayed! They're so well made and cute!
I did end up having the energy to wear a costume on Saturday. I wasn't sure I would. Getting into the Christmas spirit this year has been quite taxing and difficult with the death in my family, but spending quality time with friends has been lifting my spirits. I did wear my Sailor Lolita outfit again. It's been over 6 years since I last wore it so I was a bit nervous about how it would fit, but thankfully it was fine and looked nice. I was hoping it would look good with my Madoka wig and it did look quite cute. I got a few compliments on the outfit and some people even recognized it as being for the character. Sadly I didn't run into any other Madoka Magica Cosplayers. It feels like Madoka is fading on the Cosplay scene. I did get a chance to do a shoot with my friend Amanda over at the Delta Hotel. I'm looking forward to seeing how those turned out because the preview shots looked quite pretty! I spent most of the day hanging out with my friends Pan, Adrien and Kira and Pan and I even stopped to get a photo with Santa and a legion of Star Wars characters. It was a really fun day. Before heading home Pan and Adrien took some photos of me and Pan at the little Union Station Christmas display, which was really nice. At that point I was wearing my winter coat, but it looked flattering with the wig and Lolita outfit peeking out so I've added a few photos of that to the Sailor Lolita outfit page. It's all an original character outfit choice so why not. (^_^) You can view the photos in the updated costume page here
. The photos from my shoot with Amanda should be coming in the next few weeks.
So that concludes my Cosplay events for the year. 2017 feels like it went by both painfully slowly and yet super fast as well. It seems like just yesterday it was early October. The last few months of any year always melt away. Before I know it the holidays will be here! Definitely somber this year, but I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends and kicking off a new year.
I am hoping to fix Kagome over the holidays and Sakura so I can start fresh with making costumes in 2018. Still debating about my Cosplay options and I don't have my heart set on any particular characters to Cosplay so maybe I'll try to spend some time over the holidays brainstorming Cosplay ideas. I'll try to update again at the end of the year or start of 2018 regarding my thoughts on the overall year in terms of my costumes and convention experiences and plans for next year. It was a fairly productive year and I'm pretty proud of what I was able to do. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
December 5th, 2017
It's been a while since my last update. This Saturday is Fan Expo's Fan Days Holiday Show. I'm planning to attend it although the colder weather that's coming up and a TTC partial subway shutdown is really putting a damper on my plans. I haven't really been working on Kagome. Originally I was considering wearing that costume again but with the weather I didn't really put too much effort into fixing up the costume. I don't exactly feel inspired to wear a long wig and a short skirt now that it's cold. The wig still needs to be styled and I still have to swap out the zipper on the skirt. I did buy a new zipper, but the colour still isn't a perfect match so I'm debating about waiting to change it until I can get a slightly better zipper. It really shouldn't be a hard fix. Just a couple of hours for the wig and skirt, but I've been enjoying a break from sewing. I'll probably aim to get it done over the holiday season hopefully along with some boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. I still need to get black spandex fabric for that. I don't think I'll be sewing any new costumes over the next couple of months, but maybe I'll work on a Sailor Moon costume when spring gets a little closer (if I find fabric) for the Sailor Moon Celebration event. I think that might be my big costume for the year (if I find inspiration to sew that is). XD
I do think that I will Cosplay on Saturday. I'm thinking about wearing my Sailor Lolita outfit with my Madoka Kaname wig. When I finished Madoka earlier this year, I kept thinking that wig would probably look super adorable with that outfit because it has such a flattering fit and a cute design. Haven't really tried them together, but hopefully it will look nice. If not, I'll probably just attend the event dressed casually. It's really just a chance to shop, but if I do wear the Lolita outfit I may book a shoot with my friend Amanda for fun. The event does have an Artist Alley so that's a plus and I can see some of my friends so I think it'll be a fun afternoon and a nice way to kick off the holiday season. (^_^) After the event I'll post about experience here and if I do a costume shoot I'll be sure to update the Sailor Lolita outfit page and add photos in the coming weeks.
November 4th, 2017
I was able to go through the photos that I took during the Anime North Halloween Festival a week ago and I found a few highlight photos of my new Kagome costume that I could share here. Keep in mind that the costume is still a work in progress. I'm still making my bow and arrow prop, my actual wig needs to be styled and I need to fix the zipper on the skirt, but it was a pretty good test run. I added a costume page for my new Kagome costume which you can find here
. If you scroll to the beginning of my costume gallery, you can see my original Kagome costume from 2002. What a difference 15 years makes! I'll always look back fondly on my original Kagome costume because it was one of my first costumes and my mother helped me out so much with it. It feels great to re-make the costume, though, and really improve the design.
Halloween was earlier this week and I'm still recovering a bit from how hectic the day was. Pan and I decorated the front of her uncle's house in a very child friendly area. We spent about 3 and a half hours decorating (and about another hour and a half taking everything down) but we had a great afternoon and evening. We saw tons of trick or treaters. We probably gave out over 300 pieces of candy and we saw some adorable and creative costumes both handmade and store bought. Star Wars, Marvel (Hulk and Thor in particular) and animal themed onesies were popular costumes this year. I used my new AtmosFX projector, the Jack o Lantern Jamboree DVD in conjunction with 3 uncarved pumpkins to create a really cool display among a little graveyard. The DVD creates faces on the pumpkins which are animated and can talk and sing. We mystified quite a few kids and parents. One little kid dressed as a lion would not leave the display and sat for about 20 minutes watching the pumpkins sing. His dad kept trying to get him to leave, but he was glued to the display. It was adorable. XD It was a lot of work to move my decorations to a new location and I had to scale back my display, but it was a great neighbourhood that was really invested in the holiday. Better than my own area. It was just a shame that it ended so abruptly and fairly early. We had a huge rush of kids just before 8PM but after they left, the neighbourhood was quiet and every other neighbour had turned off their lights and gone inside. Everything ended so quickly, but it definitely was a really nice location to celebrate Halloween.
Next up is the December Fan Expo Holidays Show. I may re-wear Kagome to it. That's my big goal for the month. I would like to buy a new zipper for Kagome to fix the skirt and I want to work with Pan to style my wig. After that I need to make a new pair of boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. I'm hoping boot covers over sandals will be more comfortable. I also would like to trim my Sakura wig. I'm not sure if I'll get Kagome fixed in time for the Holiday Show but we'll see. Otherwise, I'll probably fix it up and wear it to March Toronto Comicon. Not sure if I'll sew anything else over the winter break, but we'll see. Right now I'll probably do some video gaming. I have to tackle the stack of games that's been building up un-played since the summer....
October 28th, 2017
It's the day after the Anime North Halloween Festival. I thought I would update here really quickly with my thoughts on my Kagome costume and the event. The event was alright. It felt a bit fresher last year, but that's probably because last year was my first time going in close to a decade. I think it felt busier this year too. It was a bit disappointing that the gourmet desserts did not make a return this year although the snack table was nice. I did have a fun evening seeing some friends and Cosplaying again.
I did debut my new Kagome costume. It didn't go 100% according to plan. I forgot to take into consideration that I always wear shorts under short skirts and the shorts made my skirt a little slippery. The skirt ended up being about an inch too big so the shorts made them slide a bit. I ended up having to pin the waistband so it would hold up a bit better. A bit disappointing, but better this happen now then at a con. So I'll have to take out the zipper again, bring it down to below the waistband and put a snap in the waistband to get a slightly tighter fit. Should only take a couple of hours, but I'm debating about waiting until I can go to the leather surplus store downtown that sells hundreds of different zippers before working on this again. The emergency zippers I got from Fabricland are slightly too dark for my fabric. The one I bought downtown (that I ripped) was pretty much a perfect match. I think it would be better to match the material more exactly. Therefore, it might take me a month or two before I finish fixing Kagome. It's not really a huge rush, anyway, the next Cosplay event that I'll be attending is the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show in early December. I may or may not Cosplay to that so my next costuming event might be March Toronto ComiCon. I guess we'll see.
In terms of this site, I do plan to add my Kagome costume page in the next couple of weeks. Pan took a few photos of my costume on my phone from the Halloween event so I can share some highlights. Although I have to keep in mind that this is just version one and it'll look nicer with my new wig when Pan and I work on that in the next month or so. It was fun to Cosplay as Kagome again. I first Cosplayed the character in 2002 and my mother did most of the work on it. Back then we bought a shirt that we just added the collar and cuffs to. The green material was just broadcloth and the white ribbon was loosely sewn on so it looked a little rumpled. It took a ton of trial and error to make my new Kagome costume, but I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished and how crisp the details are on the blouse. The skirts a little meh, but hopefully with the new zipper it'll sit a little nicer. So until I work on Kagome again, I'm going to take a sewing break. Halloween is almost here so I need to find my decorations and organize them and then I can't wait to start video gaming again. It's been too long since I played anything. XD
October 26th, 2017
It's been a few weeks since my last update. I did intend to update here as I worked on my Kagome costume, but I've been so busy with sewing and other things that I've barely turned on my computer all month. I guess I shouldn't see that as a bad thing as I've been quite productive.
October has been pretty bittersweet. I'm still really looking forward to Halloween and I've been gearing up for the holiday by stocking up on candy, some new decorations and buying pumpkins for the big night. At the same time as I'm excited for Halloween, I'm still grieving for my mother. It hits me a little every day in different ways. In terms of sewing, I had to consolidate the various sewing baskets and supplies that were my mother's with my own. Every time I use a pair of sewing scissors that were my mother's specifically, it's a weird feeling and just brings me back to reality, but I'm trying to soldier on. I've spent at least a little bit of time most nights since the beginning of the month working on Kagome. When I first started working on the blouse for real it seemed so simple and straightforward but I've run into so many little issues. I suppose that's just pretty typical with my sewing style. It's one big reason why I like to work on costumes weeks or months in advance since I'm very slow and I have a tendency to measure wrong and make mistakes. I'm definitely more right-brained so I struggle a lot with making calculations and visualizing as I pattern and sew. I usually have to guess and I end up reworking parts several times. Something that should take maybe 10 minutes will take me an hour and probably won't be perfect. Sometimes I feel really sad that I struggle so much with sewing, but at the end of the day, when I actually finish a costume and wear it, I really do have a great sense of satisfaction.
I struggled a lot with getting the cuffs of the sleeves to the right length and getting a decent gathering on the sleeve edges leading into the cuffs. It took some finicking to get the collar the right size and shape and making the red scarf was some serious trial and error. In the end the scarf halves are two separate pieces that are strategically sewn down within the tie so it'll hang properly. I'm pretty happy with the final look. The blouse sizing is a bit weird. I had to work with an oversized shirt pattern which I mostly traced out to enlarge the v collar and make the back a single piece instead of having room for a zipper closure. I'm fairly happy with the shape I achieved, but it is still a bit overly large on me. Kagome's blouse is not meant to be fitted like Madoka's. It's loose fitted, but that's kind of harder than making something fitted because it's difficult to tell if you're going too loose. The pattern I used had very low set sleeves so I'm not super happy with how the sleeves sit, but I was afraid that if I modified the sleeve holes too much the shape and fit of the blouse would be lost. At least the sleeves took to the gathered edges pretty well.
The skirt was a HUGE pain in the butt. I first started working on the skirt back in July. I actually completely finished it over a weekend, but I realized once it was done that I had cut back the waistband too much and the skirt was now about an inch too tight. ~_~ I wasn't 100% sure if I liked my pleat thickness so I decided to put the skirt on hold until I finished the blouse to check the pleat depth. I started the skirt again over last weekend once the blouse was mostly done and I nearly finished it on Tuesday night. I was putting the finishing touches on by adding the zipper when the zipper got caught and ripped the zipper fabric beside the zipper teeth. The zipper got stuck in that spot and I had to cut the zipper teeth to actually get myself out of the skirt. Ugh. I was a bit panicked due to timing, but thankfully my friend Pan helped me out a ton by going with me on Wednesday to Fabricland to buy more thread and a new zipper so I could finish the costume for the Anime North Halloween Festival which is tomorrow night. It was pretty much down the wire! I still had to redo one of the cuffs on a sleeve too (for the 4th time) because the cuff was a bit bigger than the second cuff. Nothing went according to plan and the ruined zipper was the first time I made such a big mistake that I couldn't work around last minute without buying more supplies. That'll teach me to try sewing the week something was due! At least the costume came together in the end and hopefully it'll be fun to wear!
Having said that, the costume isn't really done. I'm still working on the bow. I bought a bow kit from a Chinese eBay store. Adrien helped me assemble it and I painted it red. I have medical tape to wrap around the middle and I bought elastic string that I need to add. I also need to figure out if I want to make arrows although I don't plan to make Kagome's quiver. I also don't actually have my wig done for the Halloween event. I bought an Arda wig, but it's too curly at the moment. My friend Pan is going to help me adjust the bangs and straighten it a bit, but it'll take a few hours that I don't have. So instead I'm borrowing a black straight wig from Pan for Friday and sometime in November I'll work with her on the wig. Finally, I thought it might look nice to have slouch socks with the costume so I ordered a pair, but I doubt I'll have them by tomorrow night. I have regular white knee high socks in the meantime, but hopefully I can wear the slouch socks next time.
So I'm pretty much giving Kagome a test run tomorrow night. Hopefully the sewing is at least done so I can just focus on the prop work and the wig. I'm actually really looking forward to taking a break from sewing after Kagome. I have a big stack of PS4 games that I haven't played that I want to catch up on. I haven't played a video game since before Fan Expo and I still need to help with a TON of cleaning around my family's home. I've really put that on hold lately so that I could sew.
My only big plans for partying this Halloween season is the Anime North Halloween Festival tomorrow. I'm not participating in any other costuming events although I will wear a store bought costume on Halloween night. Too bad it seems like it'll be cold next Tuesday! I just hope it doesn't rain! My usual Halloween tradition is to decorate my family's house extravagantly and hand out candy. I've been decorating my family's house for the last several years since I stopped going to Youmacon (which was often held during Halloween). This year, because of my mother's death, my father has requested that I don't decorate the family home. Instead my awesome friend Pan has found a relative's house in a very trick-or-treat friendly neighbourhood who has agreed to let me take over the front for the night. I am sad that I can't be at home this year, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of transforming this different property.
As for other Cosplay news, I unfortunately never had time to look into doing shoots so sadly this year was a bit of a bust. I did do a shoot of Madoka during Anime North and that's about the only shoot that I did this year. Hopefully I'm more successful with my plans in 2018. I'm definitely going to aim to get photos of Kagome, Dilandau, Sakura (Naruto), Super Sailor Chibi Moon and my Costume Quest Candy Corn costume. Hopefully I'll get photos of more costumes as well. I have a pretty big shoot backlog. I would like to work on another Sailor Moon alternate outfit for cons next year. I might look into starting that during winter this year, but for the time being I'm just super excited to have a sewing break. I am pumped for the Anime North Halloween event. I'll report back here afterward with my thoughts on how it went, but if it's anything like last year it's sure to be a great evening. (^^)
September 27th, 2017
It has been a while since my last update. I've been complaining almost every update for the last couple of years that time flies, but for the first time in a long time this month has felt like the longest month ever. I've made mention of issues within my family in some posts in the past. Especially when it came to Fan Expo. I've mentioned that the con was a good distraction but there was a cloud hanging over the event. The cloud was my mother's condition. My mother had been in the advanced stages of heart failure since the summer of last year. She was in the hospital last year in October for nearly a month, but was able to come home. She wasn't exactly better then and was under palliative care here at home. I've spent a lot of time over the last year helping to care for her and just trying to be around for support. She did gain some strength over the winter and into the spring and she bounced back a bit. Unfortunately, over the summer her condition worsened and just a few days after Fan Expo, she entered the final stages and sadly passed away on September 10th. I am glad that I was able to be home with her for the weekend. Thank goodness it wasn't during Fan Expo. The end stages were both quick and yet prolonged, but it still felt like a surprise. I always hoped she would bounce back again, but realistically I knew she probably wouldn't make it to 2018. It was still a shock how quickly her condition would change. The only positive is that she is finally at peace after a long and difficult illness.
The last few weeks have been tough. First my family had to plan the funeral and then we had to start to organize our lives. I was trying to work on Kagome over the summer partially as something to distract myself when I could take some time to sew and partially because I thought she might pass and I wasn't sure how it would impact my desire to sew. Unfortunately, I ran into plenty of issues with working on Kagome so I didn't get it done before my mom was gone. I do still want to finish it and I am working on it slowly. Not sure if I'll still get it done for the Anime North Halloween event but I will try.
I still live at home with my family so I'm feeling the loss particularly hard. My mom was my friend, my rock and my supporter. She gave up a lot to make sure my brothers and I had good lives and I just hope I can make her proud. I wish I could have done more to let her know how much she meant to me in life and get to know her better. Hindsight is 20/20. I miss her a lot. Regarding costuming, she taught me how to sew and in the beginning made most of my costumes. It took me quite a few years to really take over sewing from her. Costumes like Princess Peach, my Halloween Witch Rei costume, Sakura from Naruto and my Madoka school uniform were pretty much all me in terms of sewing, but I still went to her for advice and when I got stuck (like when I was sewing the big puffy sleeves for Madoka she helped me baste the sleeves in place). I loved showing her my work whenever I finished something. It was always a great source of pride for me to get her approval on a costume piece. I'm going to miss that so much. :(
So a lot of my fall plans have been put on hold. Not sure if I'll do a shoot in the next month or so, but I would still like to get photos of Dilandau and my Costume Quest costume. I'm trying to move forward with my life, but it's going to take time to really find a new rhythm. I will still continue to work on Kagome and we'll see if I finish it for the Anime North Halloween event. Regardless, I am still planning to attend the event because I'm definitely excited for Halloween events as they should lift my spirits. The road ahead still feels pretty dark these days although this week is already better than last week in terms of the emotional impact. I can only hope that getting back into a routine will continue to make things feel more and more normal in the coming weeks.
September 6th, 2017
Fan Expo is over for yet another year. It was a pretty good year overall. I had a cloud overshadowing the event of a personal nature that I'm dealing with so I can't put my whole heart into saying that the convention was amazing, but I did have a good time and it was a nice distraction. There is something comforting about a local con which you can attend but still go home at night and relax. The early hours at which Fan Expo finishes really makes it an ideal commuter con.
Not a ton of obvious highlights for this year. My Madoka costume went over pretty well. I didn't see that many other Madoka Magica Cosplayers and sadly not one other school uniform Cosplayer from the series to get photos with, but I had fun. I actually felt like Anime Cosplay was a bit low key at Fan Expo this year, but maybe I just missed seeing where people were. Given that Fan Expo encompasses both the North and South buildings, it's super easy to miss a lot of people. I was able to stop with Pan at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge where we took some selfie photos and she took a few nice shots of my costume which show off the costume details including the back which I forgot to get photos of in the past. I added some new photos to my Madoka costume page
. We traded as I took some photos of her as she was dressed as Isabelle from the Shadowhunters TV show. There were some fun moments on Friday wearing our costumes such as when a random person quietly said "Madoka died for our sins..." under his breath as he passed me. Silly little things like that really make Cosplaying exciting. XD
We were able to explore all of Artist Alley on Friday of the con which was quite a journey! The AA at Fan Expo is so fantastically big and diverse. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of Madoka Magica art, but I did find a couple of nice original character prints from Artist Alley and a beautiful Ariel from The Little Mermaid print. I also found my favourite steampunk ring seller and purchased 3 rings from them over the weekend. I have 9 rings now from Catherinette Rings. I absolutely adore that shop's style!
Checking out AA and then the show floor over in the North building were the only things we managed to do on Friday. Pan was able to meet a Power Rangers actress she grew up admiring (Cerina Vincent) and was quite heartfelt about it. It was a nice way to end off the evening.
Saturday was a bit casual. We didn't rush to go down to the con very early, but we did bring our new costumes (Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Men) which conveniently fold up into simple carrying cases. The laundry baskets pop out so they're great
for changing into and out of. We explored a bit of the South building before changing into our costumes. They seemed pretty unrecognized until we started flailing our arms. As soon as we did it was instant recognition. We got TONS of compliments. Way more than I think I've gotten with any other costume. It was pretty flattering especially since last year my Barbara Gordon costume went completely unrecognized. We made a lot of people laugh and smile so it was mission accomplished. The costumes are fairly mobile (except for it being awkward to carry things) and we have great vision with the mesh of the laundry basket. Not sure if I'll bring my costume out to another con, but it's sure a crowd pleaser. You have to have a lot of energy when wearing it though. Once you start flailing a lot of people want videos and photos. Looking forward to seeing more photos and footage from the con of our costumes. I posted a costume page for the Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Man costume. You can view it here
. I have some photos from my phone of the costume that I added to the gallery that were taken by my friend Elliot. He helped Pan and myself out a lot when we were wearing these costumes so I appreciated the help.
The Saturday night masq went really well. It was a smooth show with some great performances. It was fun working it as a stage ninja especially since acting as a catcher for part of the show meant I could see some of the acts from the front row. Sunday was pretty chill. I was able to see the exhibitors area of the dealer's hall in the South building, which was cool. I finally saw the Thor: Ragnorak movie costumes display with the actual costumes of the actors in the main roles from the film. Pretty neat to see the details up close. I wanted to check out the It VR experience, but I didn't realize you had to pick up tickets early each day so I missed out. ;_; Oh well. Looking forward to the movie. My Achilles heel for the day was the AtmosFX booth. I had heard they would be there and wanted to check it out. It's a company that sells projections for Halloween and other holidays. They make amazing scenes that you project onto windows, on walls and into doorways, and look super creepy and cool. I first noticed the tech a few years ago and I've always wanted it, but I don't have a projector. Of course, I talked to a staff member at the booth and they told me about a total package deal they had that included several scenes and a projector. It was very expensive, but it's a been a rough few months with my family and I really needed something to cheer me up so I decided to splurge on it. I bought it only half an hour before the con closed so it was almost a last minute purchase. Pretty excited to see how it'll look on Halloween. They have a Trick 'r Treat version that I'm super interested in getting. Also, a super cute singing jack-o-lantern trio that I definitely want to get eventually. The tech will really bring my Halloween display to the next level. I just hope that it works with my front window. XD
That pretty much concludes my con experience. I tried a bunch of different food options in the food courts in the South building and was pleasantly surprised by the food quality. I ran into quite a few friends over the weekend especially at the masq (as fellow ninjas) or in the Cosplay Recovery Lounge so it was pretty exciting. Pan was my buddy for the weekend and we connected very well on going to see everything that we wanted over the weekend. Although all the Fan Expos I've been to really bleed together for me now, it was a nice fixture for my year and was a great way to end off the summer. The crowd control for the con was great and the crowds never felt crushingly bad even on Saturday. The organization of the con has really improved over the last few years and I look forward to attending the convention again in 2018. (^^)
The only disappointing thing was that on Thursday night leading into Friday, I was not able to secure a hotel room for Anime North next year. Both Pan and I tried to book the Radisson but failed. Such a bummer. I'm not sure if I'll try volunteering to be part of a staff room next year or give up and commute. I'll have to figure that out eventually, but at the moment it's pretty low on my priority list. I'll probably start working on Kagome again later on this month. I'm still catching my breath from Fan Expo and not looking to jump into sewing again just yet, but we'll see if I can finish it for the inevitable Halloween dance. I may also try to squeeze in a shoot or two with my friend Amanda if we can before the weather gets too cold. Maybe Dilandau and perhaps Super Sailor Chibi Moon. I also still want to shoot my new Candy Corn (Costume Quest) costume around Halloween this year, but we'll see if we can get the group together for that. I have 2 other friends with costumes already made from the game franchise and I'm itching to decorate for a shoot. (^^)
August 30th, 2017
It has been quite a while since my last update. Didn't really mean to take so long to post, but it's been a very haphazard summer and nothing has really gone smoothly. I've been dealing with some issues with my family that are not looking that great right now. Hoping for the best, but sort of expecting the worst. Cosplay has kept me a bit distracted from my problems, but I'm also really restless so I haven't been super productive. I did finish a mock of my blouse for Kagome. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with the fit for it. In the end I couldn't use the blouse pattern that I borrowed from Pan. The copy that I made of it was still just a little too off for my measurements. I made a mock instead with an old pattern from my early costuming days. I last used this pattern for the blouse for Sailand Cooro from +Anima. XD The fit is a bit wonky around the arm holes, but the overall design is ok in the draft. I might run with it, but I only ended up finishing the basics of the blouse mock last weekend and with Fan Expo being this weekend, I definitely shelved the costume. I'm putting it off now until Halloween. I'm thinking it would be fun for the Anime North Halloween dance if I can go. It gives me time to finish the costume and the wig actually needs work. Plus I still have to paint and put together my bow... so lots to do.
Pan and I did finish our silly costume project. The idea was kicking around for an entire year before we finally finished them. I can reveal what they are now... it's Inflatable Wacky Waving Tube Man costumes! The kind of thing that you would see outside of a used car sale lot. I've seen various costume interpretations of these costumes over the years and always found them to be hilarious and fun. I wanted to make the costume for Halloween last year and Pan was going to help me. Eventually she decided to make one too and we thought they might be fun to wear to a convention. Pan documented the whole making of in short videos on her Instagram and Twitter so it's not really a huge secret. We're planning to wear them on Saturday of Fan Expo. It's pop-up laundry baskets with cape lining fabric over top. We struggled to find fabric that wasn't too heavy and wouldn't weigh the costume down. They're pretty simple to wear so we have a lot of freedom to put them on and take them off when we have time to wear them and we wear normal clothes underneath. We'll see how the costumes go!
So my plan for Fan Expo is to attend the con on Friday - Sunday. I had hoped to go Thursday afternoon and skip Sunday, but that didn't work out so we'll see how much of the con I can explore on Friday. I'll also be volunteering with the masq. It's a little up in the air as to if I'll be helping at the masq or some other costuming event, but whatever it is it'll take up part of my Saturday. Then Sunday I'll be able to check out any parts of the con that I missed. My plans for Cosplay are for Friday and Saturday only. I'm going to re-wear my Madoka school uniform on Friday because I'm still thrilled with the costume. As I've already mentioned, the Inflatable Wacky Waving Tube Man outfit will be worn on Saturday. It's easy to take on and off so I'll be in and out of it all day depending on the crowds and how the costume is received. It'll be casual Sunday again so I'll just show up in street clothes of some kind. The goal for Sunday is to relax. I could really use a break. I don't have any shoots planned since I do have some nice photos of Madoka already. Not expecting much for the Wacky Tube Man costume, but hopefully Pan and I will get some silly hallways shots. That's about the best you can hope for with goofy costumes. XD
Hopefully Fan Expo turns out to be a fun and exciting experience. I'm looking forward to helping out again with a costuming event and I do love the vibe of Fan Expo. It always feels so lively being in the heart of downtown. It's such a neat backdrop for costuming. Fan Expo really is a fun way to end off the summer like Anime North starts it off. This will be my 16th year going and it has been interesting to see how the con has grown and changed over the years. Just a few days ago I posted a photo on Instagram of my collection of badges and tickets from most of the Fan Expos that I've attended. It's one way to see the con progress. If nothing else the Artist Alley is never a disappointment and it's always nice to run into friends at the con. Can't wait to see what the con has in store this year!
Tomorrow night is also when the Anime North hotel room block fully opens up. I'm still bitter about missing out on the Delta, but hopefully my friends and I will be able to book a room at the Radisson. Hopefully we don't miss out. This stressful hotel situation is going to make going to Fan Expo afterwards even more of a relief.
August 5th, 2017
Another month is behind us and honestly July was not as productive as I had hoped it would be. I've been dealing with some family concerns and I haven't really had the interest or will to keep going much with making costumes. Kagome's skirt is about half done. I did actually completely finish it before I realized that I made the waistband an inch short so it was too tight. I had to take the skirt apart and start again. It's sitting right now with set pleats, but I need to make a new waistband and add the zipper. I kind of want to wait on that to make sure I like the thickness of my pleats. They look good, but I feel like they might be a bit large. At this point I might as well wait until the blouse is basically together to see how it looks as a whole.
I did borrow my friend Pan's Sailor Moon school uniform blouse pattern to use for Kagome's blouse since they're similar. Unfortunately our proportions are a little different and the mock she gave me seemed a little too tight in the shoulders and bust area on me so I have to enlarge the pattern a bit. I traced my own enlarged copy, but I need to test it on a mock so I sort of lost steam to work on that. I don't think I'll have time to wear Kagome to Fan Expo because I probably would only be going for two of the days. Chances are if I am going to Cosplay I would rather wear Madoka again because that costume is still my pride and joy. I'm determined to finish Kagome of course, but I might just take my time and make it over the fall to wear to events next year like March Toronto ComiCON and Anime North.
I am actually working on a silly surprise costume with Pan so I'm not technically in a sewing slump right now. We got together last Sunday and worked on the costume project. We probably need a handful more hours to finish them. They're not from an Anime or video game, but something goofy from everyday life. If we do finish them we'll probably wear them to Fan Expo because they are ridiculous and are costumes we can slip into and out of really easily and hopefully won't be difficult to transport. I'll keep it as a surprise but I may post about it just before the con if we're going and we can bring them.
I was dealt a blow to my typical convention plans for 2018. I normally stay at the Doubletree hotel for Anime North (Doubletree being one of the hotel's many former names. It was also the International Plaza hotel). Now it will be the Delta hotel. There was a mix-up with the room block being released early and most of the rooms quietly sold out weeks ago. The last trickle of rooms were available on August 1st and none of my friends were able to book a room. :( Such a bummer. I've been staying at that hotel for over a decade. I'm crossing my fingers that we can book a Radisson room or I might just have to commute next year. It's not such a bad thing for Friday night so I can take home my leftovers from the Nominoichi and my cash box, but it would suck for Saturday night. I'm also super sad that I lost access to the Delta's pool. That was one of my favourite things about the con this year. I was looking forward to swimming again next year. ;_; At this point I just have to hope we get a hotel room period and it sure was a sucky way to start off August.
I also haven't kept up with my promise to do some costume shoots this summer and I missed the Sailor Moon Celebration event. The weeks just fly by and I've been so busy and occupied by other matters that I haven't even looked into shoot options. Hopefully I can slot in something for this month or next month. I would at least like to get photos of Dilandau with Pan's Merle costume. Maybe then a Costume Quest shoot with my Candy Corn costume just before Halloween. I will work on Kagome slowly but surely and hopefully get that costume done in the next couple of months. It's not really a rush thing. If I go to the Anime North Halloween dance maybe I can debut it there. I'll update again before Fan Expo to confirm if I'm going and set my plans. Hoping I make it out to the con this year. I'm starting to get antsy with a desire to Cosplay and Fan Expo was surprisingly fun last year. It would be a nice way to end off the summer.
July 2nd, 2017
Another month has flown by. I started working on my Kagome costume over this long weekend. I decided to celebrate Canada Day by starting to work on the skirt. It should have only taken me a couple of hours to make, but I keep getting sidetracked while I work on it. I have it cut out and I just finished ironing the pleats so I just need to cut out and attach the waistband and add the side zipper. So far so good so I should finish that in the next few days. I'm a bit stuck for the rest of the costume. My awesome friend Pan has offered to lend me her pattern for her Ami Mizuno school uniform blouse from Sailor Moon. It's very similar to Kagome's so with that pattern I would be set for the blouse, cuffs and sailor collar. I just need to pattern my own dickey undershirt and the scarf and tie. The thing is that I need to set up a time to try hers on and borrow the pattern. I'll probably grab that sometime this month. My goal would be to finish the costume fairly quickly, but it's not really a huge rush. The aim is still Fan Expo, but that's nearly 2 months away. I also did get my bow kit in the mail. I'm going to get together with my friend Adrien to paint and assemble it. Should be fairly straightforward so hopefully it won't take very long. It is nice after the long hours of Madoka to work on something that seems like it should only take a couple of weeks to put together. It's like a breath of fresh air. XD
In other website news, Kris Byers messaged me recently to let me know that my Madoka school uniform photos from Anime North are now done. I was able to resize the photos and add them to my Madoka costume gallery. You can view them here
. I'm so happy with them! She did a really nice job capturing a childlike essence as well as my fun props. My favourites are the photos of me sitting on a rock and a reflection shot in the window. Very awesome work on her part! It was my first time working with her and hopefully it won't be my last!
I do have to mention that I had planned to attend the Sailor Moon Celebration event last weekend, but I wasn't able to make it out this year. I've heard it went pretty well so I will make an effort to go next year. We're into summer now and I am hoping to do some shoots in the next 2 or 3 months. Dilandau is still something I want photos of this year when the weather cools off, but I'm crossing my fingers for Inkling Kid Splatoon photos this summer and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. XD We'll see what I manage to get photos of. At least I'll have a productive summer this year with sewing!
I did open an Instagram account that will mostly be Cosplay focused. I will post other random things there, but I'll try to keep the main focus on sewing projects, shoot photos and convention pictures. You can view it here
June 11th, 2017
The last several days have been really busy. Friday was my birthday and Thursday and Friday were a whirlwind of friend and family dinners for my b-day. Last night was another restaurant dinner, but this time in honour of another friend's birthday that falls just a couple of days before mine. It's been a birthday bonanza lately! Regarding Cosplay, I actually did go fabric shopping earlier on Saturday. I actually didn't think I was going to make it to the fabric district until the end of the month or later, but I managed to free up my schedule a bit to hunt downtown with my friend Pan. I helped her pick up Naruto fabric for her Shippuden costume. Her goal is to make that for Anime North next year. I already have my Shippuden Sakura costume, which I made last year, so one of my AN costumes for 2018 is already done. :D I've been itching for a chance to Cosplay with Pan so it's a no-brainer! We also bought fabric for our secret silly costumes. This was supposed to be for AN this year, but we ran into problems with the fabric that we originally bought. It was way too heavy so we bought cheap lining fabric and hopefully we can get the costumes done over just a couple of days this summer. Maybe bring them to Fan Expo? We'll see!
Speaking of Fan Expo, I did get material for my other costume project. I haven't mentioned what it was except that it was a throwback and the throwback is... Kagome! Kagome was my second ever costume (the first being Li Syaoran from Card Captor Sakura). It was mostly made by my mom way back when I was still in high school. I barely sewed back then. I mostly did little prop work and what not. I remember the white blouse was actually a shirt we just put a sailor collar and cuffs on. The green skirt was made from broadcloth. This was also in the days before you could easily buy wigs and it was before I discovered the joys of makeup so I don't have many photos of the costume. The only photos I have on the site were from a few years later when I re-wore the costume after borrowing a wig from Pan. This time things will be different! I can sew on my own now so I would be making everything from scratch. I ordered a Nina Silky wig from Arda earlier in the spring so I just need to flatten it a bit and fix the bangs. Of course, I need to actually make the blouse and skirt. I figure after Madoka sewing Kagome's uniform would be refreshing. It's a costume in a similar vein, but much simpler. I bought the skirt and blouse fabric today and all the notions so once I get a pattern I'll be ready to go. Not sure what to use for the skirt yet. Probably the pattern I had for my Saki skirt. Pan is offering me the pattern she made for her Amy Sailor Moon school uniform blouse so I'll see if that'll work for me. If so I can probably get this costume done in a few weeks. My aim is to finish it for Fan Expo so we'll see if that's a reasonable goal. I'll probably bring it to AN next year as well so that along with Sakura might fill up my Cosplay roster for the event. I might not even make anything over the winter holidays for the con next year. We'll just see how productive I am for the rest of the year. I am excited to get working on Kagome so that's a good sign!
I won't be going to Yeticon next weekend, but if things go well for it then I'll try to go in 2018. I'm also still hoping to go to the Sailor Moon Celebration, but we'll see. June has definitely been keeping me busy so I'm glad that I could fit in a chance to go fabric shopping after all!
June 1st, 2017
Anime North is over for another year. The con always goes by so quickly now. I keep planning to really savour each day, but it's almost like I would blink and it would be time to go to bed. XD Things did go fairly well though. I was able to borrow my family's van and my friend Adrien and I found going to the con with all of our stuff to sell at the Nominoichi to be a fairly painless experience this year. In comparison to previous years in which I would get dropped off by my family at my hotel with my Nomi stuff, which I would later have to bring from my hotel across the street to the Congress Centre. Instead we parked near the dealer's room loading zone so we just had to walk a couple of minutes to the waiting area for the Nomi. Then we had the car already parked nearby to load everything and Adrien brought the leftovers back to my area that evening.
The Nominoichi was a success. I didn't have the greatest table location this year. I was in the furthest column from the buyer entrance so the foot traffic was a bit lower than usual, but the venue was much cooler and I still made quite a few sales. Almost all of the people who reserved from me showed up, which was nice. The only disappointing thing was that it was quite cramped behind the table so I couldn't pull my chair out and I had to stand for the whole event. There were also confusing announcements at the tail end of the event which stated that the building had closed before the Nomi ended so there were very few buyers left at the end of the event. I was looking forward to making some deals to bring less stuff home, but there were no people left to sell to. Oh well. I thought my sales were a little low, however, when I did my final count after the con, I sold about as well as some of the other years so I can't really complain. I'm definitely excited about selling again next year!
As for Cosplay, I re-wore my old Young Bulma costume on Friday. Didn't do any shoots or anything because I already have plenty of photos of the costume. I mostly wore it to be a visual aid for people who had reservations to find my table. I still got quite a few compliments, which I appreciated, especially since my wig was coming undone a bit and I had trouble keeping it from slipping due to all the rushing around I was doing. I spent 90% of my day waiting or participating in the Nomi so I really didn't wander around in costume on Friday. I still had a good time with it, but I probably would consider this costume to be retired at this point due to general wear and tear.
The rest of the con was fairly chill. I would consider AN 2017 to be one of the best Anime North's in my history of going. Granted it was my 16th AN so at this point they all kind of bleed together, but everything went so smoothly. XD My one big complaint was that we had a corner king room in the International Plaza hotel that was connected to another king room by a closed door. The teenagers in the adjoining room had loud parties both nights and were yelling and swearing up until nearly 4AM. It really sucked and even calling the front desk didn't get them to quiet down. It's the worst hotel noise I think I've ever heard at any con ever. I barely slept on Friday night, but thankfully I was so tired on Saturday night that I mostly slept through it.
I re-wore my Madoka Kaname school uniform on Saturday of the con. It was pretty well received which I appreciated. I didn't really run into many other Madoka Magica Cosplayers and I didn't see any other school uniform costumers. One day I would love to be part of a group! I did request a shoot with Kris Byers Photography
on Saturday afternoon. It had been raining just before the shoot, but thankfully it stopped just before we met up. I'm super excited to see how those photos turned out. (^^) I spent the rest of the day checking out the dealer's room. I got to try the new crispy chicken special at Swiss Chalet, which was a nice meal. I was also super impressed by all the food truck options at the Congress Centre this year. I remember when we had just a couple of ice cream trucks to pick from. There were so many neat things! I got Tiny Tom donuts on Sunday and they had two lemonade stands which were both great! :D
The last stop of the day on Saturday was to the hotel pool and hot tub. It was pretty quiet there because the con was still in full swing so I was able to relax and swim for a bit. I haven't had a chance to swim in years and I really missed it!
I did quite a bit of shopping at AN this year. I spent about $100 at the Nominoichi alone. XD I was able to get a couple of figures that I had wanted years ago, but pretty much gave up on ever getting because they were hard to find and discontinued. I got a really nice Kotobukiya Kagome statue that was released back in 2010 and for just $15! It has some wear, but it was still a great deal. I also got a Sakura Haruno prize figure that I never expected to find for just $10. I got a Prince Diamond trading figure as well as two Nendoroid Petits of Ultimate Madoka and another school uniform Madoka Kaname to add to my collection. (^^) At the dealer's room I purchased a small Princess Peach figure, a new wig brush and detangler spray from Arda for wig care, and a crescent moon wand necklace from Kuma Crafts. It's a tradition at this point for me to buy at least one necklace from that booth each year. In the Comic Market and Crafters' Corner I got some Madoka Magica prints, a beautiful original design Cinderella piece and a cute vulpix pin. I was quite impressed by all the wonderful art this year! I always look forward to checking out the Comic Market on the Sunday with my friends Pan, Adrien and Louise and it was another good year for it.
So I had a really nice convention and although AN is always such a blur now, I do look back on it fondly each year. As I type this I'm already thinking about things I would like to accomplish for 2018! In the meantime I do still have things to look forward to this year. When I get the photos of Madoka back from Kris I will post them here. The Sailor Moon Celebration is coming up this month. I'm still not 100% sure that I can go, but I would like to. I would like to do one or two shoots this summer and I'm hearing there may be a Cosplay event at the Science Centre later on in the summer. Plus I still have Fan Expo to plan for. I would like to start another costume this month with the aim of completing it for Fan Expo. I need to go fabric shopping for that and who knows if I may pick up more events. My headlining con may be done for the year, but I still have plenty of things to get excited about. (^_^)
May 14th, 2017
Anime North is just a couple of weeks away now. Crazy how time flies! Not a heck of a lot to report, but I believe I have settled on my costume plans. I'm going to be re-wearing my Young Bulma costume on Friday of the con and for the Nominoichi. It's fairly easy to wear for the event. I was anticipating it being another warm year, but maybe it'll actually be kind of chilly. XD I might have to wear a sweater. My Saturday plan is still to re-wear my new Madoka Kaname school uniform. In the evening I hope to actually use the hotel pool so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have the energy for that. Sunday, as tradition, will be casual wear. So not a lot of costumes from me this year, but I'm still pretty proud of my hard work over the winter on my Madoka Magica school uniform so I'm excited to wear it again. I just hope it's a fun year! The Nominoichi keeps me so busy in the days leading up to the con and for Friday. It's been a bit challenging to handle the logistics of it this year, but I think I have everything sorted out for the Nomi now. Hopefully my things sell well because my basement is quite full of stuff for this year's event. XD I always find it to be a lot of fun. Sure making money is definitely a huge part of it, but I find it to be a really social experience. It's quite a hectic and very exciting environment so it's never dull.
The rest of the con should be fairly relaxing. Saturday will be the day to actually check out the con events and dealer's room and as per tradition, Sunday is the opportunity to explore the crafter and artist areas. This will be my 16th Anime North. The con has a lot of heart and charm, which makes me really excited about it every year.
I'll post here after Anime North with an event report and hopefully in June I'll get a chance to go fabric shopping for my next costume project. I think I'll be able to get it done within a month so I'm itching to get sewing. Not working on a costume right now with AN fast approaching is making me feel ansty. I sort of feel like I'm missing something. Not that avoiding the sewing con crunch should be considered something to be missed, but I am feeling a bit unproductive. Granted I'm spending several minutes each day sorting boxes and writing price stickers for the Nomi so it's not like I'm doing nothing. XD
April 28th, 2017
It's almost May! The months are really flying by now. Things have been kind of interesting these last few weeks! All I can say is that I'm glad I made March Toronto ComiCon my goal for finishing my Madoka school uniform costume! I did get a table for the Nominoichi at Anime North. It's N117. You can view my table pre-sale list here in case anyone wants to browse
. It's taking quite a bit of time to keep the list updated, but I hope I can clear out a lot of things from my basement and shelves. I have to push selling more stuff because I've been doing a lot of shopping lately. XD Out with the old and immediately things gets replaced with new stuff...
Beyond the Nomi table, things are pretty intense with my family right now. My older brother is getting married this weekend so getting ready for the weekend has been keeping me busy. Had to find and alter a dress and help my mother do the same. I'm not part of the wedding party, but I'm still obligated to go to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner before the big day on Sunday. I know I'm going to be super tired for a few days after this weekend!
In other more unexpected new, I actually got summoned for jury selection in May. I just so happened to be unlucky enough to get picked for May 24th. That was just two days before AN! As a potential juror you have to set aside up to five business days in a row for selection and with AN I really couldn't do that. I had to mail in a letter to get excused. Thankfully it was a quick process and I heard back earlier this week and I have been let off the hook. Granted I'll probably get called back in later this year. Hopefully not during Fan Expo, but I wouldn't be surprised with my luck!
So as you can see, I'm super glad I don't have sewing to bog me down right now. It feels a bit weird not to have a costume to work on just a few weeks before AN. I do still plan to re-wear my Bulma costume. I think it's in ok shape. My friend Pan is working on a Shippuden Naruto costume right now. Depending on how things go and if I have time for it, I'm tempted to bring Sakura to AN to match with her. Not sure how I could fit it into my Cosplay schedule, though. We'll see! I just hope once this weekend is over the next few weeks are fairly stress free. I'm planning to get back into sewing over the summer once I get a chance to go fabric shopping. At least I'm still excited to get back into the swing of sewing once AN is over! (^_^)
April 7th, 2017
It's almost time to submit applications for a Nominoichi table for Anime North and I'm getting pretty excited about it. I've pretty much prepped the first wave of stuff that I want to sell and my basement is pretty crammed full of goodies. Can't wait to free up some space in late May!
Over the last week I did start looking at my old costumes in the basement for Anime North options. I think I have settled on wearing Young Bulma for the Nominoichi. I pulled the costume from the basement to inspect it. I purchased a new watch from eBay for the costume. Hopefully that'll get here in time for AN. I spent about 3 hours over Saturday and over Monday night sewing down the lettering and numbers on the front and back of my Bulma dress. I used HeatnBond back in 2012 to secure the text details, but over the years the text started to come off. I didn't secure most of the lettering besides the white borders so I went around and sewed every letter and number down. Kind of tedious, but at least I don't have to worry about any parts sticking up now! I should have done that to begin with.
I was pretty proud of my costume back when I made it nearly 5 years ago, but it does have a lot of small sewing errors or details that weren't that well conveyed that seemed to not matter, but bother me more now. I did reinforce the blue pouch, but it feels a little overly large to me now so I might take out some of the cardboard that I'm using to hold the shape to see if it looks better in a more natural state. I'm also not super impressed by my gun holster. It looks a little misshapen and bulky, but since I'm wearing this costume to sit behind a table for several hours I probably won't bother to remake any parts from scratch. I am impressed that I serged all the edges of the dress which was pretty amazing when you consider the fact that I don't own a serger. lol I'm not sure which machine I used and managed to find a stitch that fakes a decent serge stitch, but I wish I could use that for more costumes! It will be pretty nice to bring out Bulma again. That costume gave me quite a bit of confidence with my sewing and I'm pretty happy with how far I've come since then.
Since I now plan to bring Bulma for Friday and my new Madoka school uniform on Saturday, that should be all my costume plans for AN. I'll probably wear a new Nightmare Before Christmas dress that I bought at Hot Topic last fall on Sunday of the con or maybe a geeky shirt. I guess I'll see how I feel closer to the con. Who knows maybe I'll even pack a 3rd costume! I think Pan is working on her Shippuden Naruto costume so that definitely means that I'll have to bring out my Sakura costume some time this year to wear with her. I do have my eye on a new costume to make over the summer. I have yet to actually buy materials for it, but when I do I'll post about it here. It's actually a remake of a really old costume that I made over a decade ago! I'm on a bit of a nostalgia kick right now so I'm pretty excited about this potential project. :D
March 25th, 2017
It took me a week, but I finally finished the written summary for my Madoka costume and it's a doozie! It's over 7 pages long in Word single spaced. XD I have quite a bit to say about this costume because it was in development for a really long time. I first fell in love with the school uniforms from Madoka Magica way back in 2011. I actually attempted to start working on the costume back in late 2014, but I had to give up back then because the pattern I was using for the blouse was way too big on me. It was my discovery of the great New Look sized for juniors pattern line that finally gave me a good base to work with and I'm really happy with the fit I was able to achieve with the blouse and the whole look of the costume. I added the costume page to the costume gallery (which you can view here)
and I have a few photos from Toronto ComiCon on display. Pan graciously took some photos for me with my phone. They're not outstanding shoot quality pictures, but they're fun con pics and show the costume fairly well. I'm definitely planning to do a shoot of the costume later this year and of course again when Pan gets a chance to make a matching Homura costume. :3
I'm already in the thick of things with Anime North prep. I spent much of today taking photos of things to sell at the Nominoichi. I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks on and off taking pictures of things and editing the photos. I'm gearing up for April 9th when I'll be able to apply for a Nomi table. I sure hope that I don't miss out!
I also need to do some old costume repair work. I want to make little black armbands for Dilandau to wear under my gloves where the gloves meet the sleeves because the gloves are a bit short. I'm also debating about what costumes to bring to AN. Madoka is a given, but I'm considering wearing young Bulma for the Nominoichi because it's pretty comfy and stands out due to the blue wig and pink dress. It also wouldn't be too uncomfortable if it's another scorching year temperature wise. The costume does need some TLC, though, so I'll fix that up soon. Hopefully the next few weeks won't be too stressful! It feels like the time before AN is really flying by!
March 20th, 2017
Toronto ComiCon is now over. I did only attend the con yesterday, but it turned out to be quite a bit of fun. The weather tried to put a damper on my plans. I got up at 7:20 yesterday to start getting ready to wear my costume and by the time I was finishing putting on makeup at 9:30, it was snowing rather heavily outside. It definitely wasn't the best weather to travel to a con in, but thankfully I didn't have to go too far to catch a bus. Running to catch a bus in a skirt while wearing a wig that I didn't want to damage after corralling the family dog who had escaped, was not exactly how I expected yesterday morning to go. Things worked out fine and I was able to get to the con with my friends Pan and Adrien by 12. I was honestly surprised that getting ready went smoothly especially since the last time that I Cosplayed was in October so I'm a bit out of practice getting suited up in costume.
We had some fun adventures. We learned that the Power Rangers movie promo booth at the con was doing a ticket giveaway at 12:45 for a preview screening of the movie so I kept track of the time so Pan could get a crack at the giveaway. Lo and behold, she won the tickets. lol We spent the rest of the day wandering around. I bought some pretty art prints from the artist area. I got a gorgeous mermaid print, a lovely piece of Wonder Woman art that has the caption "Fight Like a Girl" and two Sailor Moon prints. My favourite jewellery vendor came to the con so I was able to buy another steampunk ring. \o/ My last major purchase was a Pokemon Center Dragonair plush that's super cute and has a wire in it so it's poseable. It was my first purchase early in the day so I had my friend Adrien carry it around by wearing it on his shoulders. The Dragonair was really eye catching so between Pan (who was dressed as Harry Potter minus the school robes), myself and Adrien wearing Dragonair, Dragonair got the most compliments. XD
Madoka went over pretty well. I was really impressed by how comfortable the costume was. I'm so happy that it turned out really nicely. Since I've been working on it for so long and fretting over every little detail, it was hard to see the overall picture and recognize my hard work. Every time I got a compliment on the costume it meant so much to me. Madoka turned out to be pretty complex to make so working on it really took a lot out of me. Thankfully wearing the end result really made me feel like a million bucks. I of course owe a huge thank you to Technoranma
for selling me her beautiful Madoka wig, which really pushed the costume to a whole other level. It was such a comfy wig too! The only trouble that I had was that after a couple of hours of wearing them, my right contact was hurting a bit. I was wearing pink circle lenses. That was disappointing and it was a huge relief to take the contacts out at the end of the day. Hopefully that won't happen next time I wear the costume.
I didn't do a proper photoshoot of Madoka, but I did get my photo taken a few times by various people and my friend Ryan took a couple of hallway shoots that I may be able to post here eventually. Pan was awesome and took a few pictures on my phone so I'll probably post a few of my favourites in the next little while and write up the costume page. I'm pretty excited to share my experience with making Madoka since that costume has such a long history for me. I mean, I've been vaguely interested in Cosplaying the school uniform from Madoka for 5 years and I've been serious about it for 3 years. I slowly gathered materials and accessories for it over the years so it was a pretty cool feeling to finally put everything to use! I am looking forward to getting a shoot of the costume this year. Hopefully later this year or next year Pan will Cosplay as Homura to match with me. I'll be passing along my pattern to her. I may eventually get a black wig and Cosplay Homura as well. She was my second favourite character from the series and I wouldn't mind getting a lot of mileage out of this uniform.
Getting back to the con experience, I didn't attend any panels or see any guests, but I did see several friends who were running various tables and con activities or were also just wandering around. Sadly I wasn't able to see Amber, but I had a great time overall. Toronto ComiCon was a nice way to ease back into the convention season and given how productive I was with sewing leading up to the con, that's a good sign for the year to come. It was neat attending a March ComiCon event again. The last time that I went to one was back in 2009 and I think back then it was still only a two day event. It's now evolved into a three day con. Also back then the emphasis was more on being a smaller Fan Expo carrying forward all the major parts of the Fan Expo brand including Anime. Toronto ComiCon felt more like a general pop culture event and Anime was totally absent. I was also surprised that it wasn't super crowded on Saturday. I was bracing myself for wall-to-wall people, but it was much less crowded than the big summer convention so that was great. I'll probably try to attend the con for a day again next year.
I will be taking a break from major sewing projects for the next little while. I don't think I'll make anything else for AN. Madoka will be my major costume and I'll bring one or two other old costumes to the con. Pan and I were working on a silly costume project for AN, but we've run into some roadblocks so we might put that off. It's not a pressing costume anyway. Next up is prep work for the AN Nominoichi which looks to be time consuming. Out of one frying pan and into another! XD
March 17th, 2017
I planned to post here with my Toronto ComiCon plans a few days ago, but I was working on my Madoka costume up until a couple of hours ago. Talk about cutting it close! I'm so excited that the costume is done. I'm not 100% happy with it. The lace on the hem doesn't quite lie flat right in the front where the blouse makes a v point, but I tried to adjust it to sit as nicely as possible. I also ran into some problems getting the undershirt into the proper position to sew to the collar line. I had to re-sew parts of it a couple of times because of bunching, but I think it's alright now. The cuffs gave me some problems as well because the white fabric I used is really thick and heavy and sewing the red bias tape on was really painful. I had a lot of trouble passing the needle through both sides. I even had to re-sew half of the bias tape on one cuff and that was no picnic. One cuff is slightly too big for the sleeve, but I didn't want to kill my fingers re-sewing it so I'll see how it looks and feels when I wear it.
I am pretty happy with how my red bow turned out. After some finicky work last night I was able to place the front and back bows so I could sew snaps on the bows to hold them in place. I think they're finally not crooked. XD I am so happy that I stuck it out and finished this costume. At times I wanted to give up knowing that I could buy a mass produced version of this costume for cheap. In the end the blood, sweat and tears was worth it to make sure I had a version that actually fit me and reflected the outfit details as accurately as possible.
So now that the hard part is done, time to wear my work. The plan is still to wear the costume at Toronto ComiCon. I know the con is now underway. I will not be at the con all three days. I mean, I already missed Friday, but I will be going tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will be alright tomorrow despite the chance of snow. I was really hoping for more spring like weather for ComiCon, but thankfully the con is all indoors. I'll just have to bundle up prior to going and probably use the coat check at the con if they have one. It's just too bad that Pan wasn't able to make Homura so I'll be solo. I do have a cute Kyubey plush to keep me company as a Cosplay prop. I don't have any planned shoots for the day so I'll see if I get any photos to post of Madoka. If I do get some photos of the costume I'll add the costume page in the next couple of weeks. This is a good trial run for the outfit, anyway. I can get a feel for it and make any alterations for Anime North. At least I'm starting off the con season with an accomplishment!
I'm hearing that my friend Ammie will be potentially going to the con tomorrow so I'm looking forward to seeing her. I really don't have any plans except to wander around, hopefully run into friends and to check out the vendors and artist areas. Crossing my fingers that it'll be an exciting day!
February 26th, 2017
It's almost been a full month since my last update. February has really flown by! That's pretty much the curse of getting older. You start to feel like time is accelerating. Anyway, I've been working on and off on my Madoka school uniform costume over the last few weeks. I've been slacking a bit since early on in February due to some events as well as playing through Resident Evil 7, but I finished RE7 and I've been getting back into the swing of things again with sewing. RE7 turned out to be a pretty good game, by the way. I do miss the classic RE characters and the 3rd person perspective, but the plot was interesting and some of the scares were pretty terrifying.
Anyway, The blouse for Madoka is more than half done now. I need to put all the bias tape detailing and the lace around the hem and the bias tape around the collar as well as making the oversized cuffs for the blouse. Then the last thing to do is to attach the white undershirt and make the red front bow and this costume will be totally finished. At least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now! XD I didn't quite reach my goal of finishing the blouse by the end of February, but it's coming together so I can't complain. If I'm sticking to my goal of hopefully wearing the costume to March Toronto ComiCon, then I still have three weeks to finish the costume. Unless I run into a serious issue, then that should be a viable goal. I'm also going to be starting to take photos and organize the things that I plan to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North in the next week or so. It's actually kind of a time consuming process so that's why I want to get Madoka out of the way a.s.a.p.
I don't think I'm going to start on anything else major for AN before the con. I have a silly costume project that Pan and I did work on last Monday, but it's at a bit of a standstill due to issues with the weight of the fabric so we'll see if we can get that to work for the con. I'm still debating about what to wear to AN and when.
I almost forgot to post about this, but back on January 29th Pan gave me a late Xmas present and it was a total surprise. She made me the Candy Corn costume from Costume Quest! I've mentioned wanting to work on that a few times before. I was actually going to work on it last fall and I looked downtown for materials with Pan, but we could not find the right colours of polar fleece for the orange and yellow. I put the idea aside, but apparently Pan found the perfect colours in a Jo-Ann's in the States so she made it in January after her trip as my gift. She also made me the cute little hair clip the girl protagonist wears. We know in the game technically the Candy Corn costume is painted cardboard, but for versatility and cuteness I really wanted to do it out of fabric. It was such a sweet gift and I'm excited to wear that later in the year! Looks like I have an excuse to organize another Halloween shoot this year! (^_^)
March Toronto ComiCon is still the next event on the horizon so I'll be sure to post here before the event with my final costume and event plans. As it stands right now I'm only planning to go for one day, but I have yet to figure out what day that'll be. Probably Saturday or Sunday. I'm definitely looking forward to the day when I can update here that Madoka is finished. XD That's the costume that never seems to end and just keeps dragging on. Honestly, it seemed so insurmountable when I first started patterning it back in December so it's a pretty awesome feeling to think that it should be done in another couple of weeks!
January 27th, 2017
We're almost one full month into 2017 now and I've actually made quite a bit of progress with my Madoka school uniform costume. I've nearly finished making a dickey shirt to go underneath the blouse. It's nearly done because I'm not sure if I want it to be attached to the blouse or not, but I haven't made the blouse yet. I did just finish making the box pleated skirt and I'm super happy with how it turned out. I started it on Saturday and finished it on Wednesday after work. Next up I plan to start the blouse, which is the major part of the costume. All the detailing like the fake pockets, the puff sleeves, the lace and bias tape trim and the back bow will definitely take some time, but I hope it all comes together. I'm still aiming to get it done for the March Toronto ComiCon and with just under two months to go until the con, it does seem likely that I'll be able to get it finished. Knock on wood of course! I'll update here again once I start to make serious progress on getting the blouse done.
January 1st, 2017
It has only been a few days since my last update, but I just wanted to make a post regarding my Cosplay and convention experiences of 2016. I already discussed in my last update about my hopes for things to make and wear for this new year, but I forgot to discuss my overall Cosplay experiences of 2016. It's kind of nice to reflect on the year so here goes.
It's been a few years since I've had a busy con schedule for the year. Ever since I stopped going to US cons in 2012 and travelling to Montreal for Otakuthon in 2013, I haven't been attending a lot of events. Mostly I would go to Anime North and Atomic Lollipop, but in 2016 Atomic Lollipop was cancelled. That left a gap in my con year. Anime North went pretty well last year. It was a big improvement over 2015 when I was sick for part of the con. The Nominoichi (despite being a sauna) was a lot of fun and I sold a big chunk of what I brought. It was a really hot year overall so it was bit tough to Cosplay. Still, it was a nice con. Last year was the first year that I attended Fan Expo for multiple days since 2011. It was also my first time volunteering at the convention and working the masquerade. That was a fun experience especially since the masq wasn't too long. It was nice to see how the backstage worked and how everything came together to make a great show. I also attended the JCCC and Anime North's Halloween event and Fan Expo's December con (now called the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show). It was like a blast from the past attending those events because the last time I went to a December con or a Halloween event at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was practically a decade ago. Both events were great. I didn't Cosplay for the Holiday show and I remixed an old costume for the Halloween event, which was a nice choice.
Cosplay wise, 2016 was a pretty productive year, especially considering I only made one costume (Bulma's Battle of the Gods dress) in 2015 (and I didn't really get around to fixing up and re-wearing Dilandau in 2016 after debuting it in 2015). I worked on my Inkling Kid costume from Splatoon early in the year. It was mostly store bought clothing with some alterations, but it was fun working on the little details like the writing on the shirt and the mask. My friend Sierra did an amazing job on the hair tentacles for that. I debuted the costume at AN and it was really well received. Plus it was a great costume for the sweltering heat of the Nominoichi. My big costume for the year was Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden. It looks like such a simple costume, but trying to get a decent fit on the shirt and make the skirt was really tricky. I spent the tail end of winter and most of the spring finishing that costume for Anime North. In the end I'm pretty proud of it and it was great to wear (even though the boots were murder on my feet). XD
My other two costumes for the year were Barbara Gordon's casual outfit from DC Super Hero Girls and Hermione from Harry Potter. I made Barbara's costume over the course of the summer for Fan Expo. Sadly the outfit was too obscure for people to recognize at Fan Expo. It was a pretty comfy costume besides the wig, which was super not comfortable. I had fun getting photos of that from Amanda and I love Barbara so I enjoyed Cosplaying her again. I do dream of one day Cosplaying Batgirl properly! My final new costume, Hermione, was mostly just a re-wear of my old Harry Potter costume. Pan and I bought new Gryffindor sweaters at Fan Expo to upgrade the look and I borrowed her Hermione wig. I have a new wig and a skirt coming this year so I can Cosplay Hermione again. It's a pretty comfy costume and it was nice to have something warm to wear at the Halloween event.
I also did a wonderful shoot of my Shinku costume in early October with Amanda so I made a small dent in my Cosplay photoshoot backlog. Hopefully I'll have more luck getting photos of some of my older costumes in 2017!
That pretty much covers the year. I did finish off the year by finally working on the pattern for my Madoka Kaname school uniform costume. I feel like the number of times I've mentioned wanting to work on or attempting to work on that costume in this website diary are too numerous to count. XD This time I hope it sticks and I actually get it done. So far the mock is looking pretty good. I was attempting to craft the sleeves on the 30th and they look alright. I want to work on the undershirt next to solidify the collar line on the blouse. I hope it works out! If all goes according to plan hopefully I can start working on the blouse for real by the end of the month. At least I'm already starting off the year with sewing. It definitely bodes well for 2017!
December 29th, 2016
It's been a while since my last update and it's been both an eventful and yet quiet end to the year. We're in the thick of the holiday season now with Christmas behind us but New Years still to come. I had a goal of actually working on costume things over the holiday break and I've been a bit productive. I've been searching through my patterns for ideas of what would work best for that long delayed Madoka school uniform costume that I've been putting off working on for the last couple of years. I think I finally found something that will hopefully work. I'm trying to modify the New Look pattern that I used for my Sakura Haruno Shippuden costume earlier this year. I have to fiddle with the bottom of each pattern piece to match the way Madoka's jacket cuts up and down and meets at the front. I'm also tinkering with the collar line. There is a lot to plan out for with Madoka such us the undershirt, the puff sleeves and the bias tape and lace covering over all the bottom seams. I'm hoping it will all come together. We'll see if the pattern will work out. So far I cut out a mock with the new collar line and bottom and it might work. I don't quite have the fit worked out or the sleeves. I'm kind of hoping to get this costume done for Toronto ComiCon in March. If that doesn't work out then I can still aim for Anime North. We'll see. I'm trying to be productive but my patterning skills are still a little iffy. At least I'm actually working on a costume for a change! XD
I visited with Ammie yesterday in London. I haven't seen her since the summer of 2015 and I've really missed her this year. We usually Cosplay together from series like Sailor Moon and Resident Evil and she's a great Cosplay partner. We discussed some costume ideas. I might try to go to the Sailor Moon celebration event next June and finally Cosplay as Super Sailor Chibi Moon to match with her Super Sailor Moon costume. I've had Chibi Moon (a present from her) ready to go for 3 years now so it would be nice to finally wear it. (^^);;
We exchanged Christmas presents and Ammie gifted me a Wendy Darling costume from Disney's version of Peter Pan. She made it to match with her future Peter Pan costume. It's a super cute dress! I really didn't think I could look nice in an empire waist dress, but it's really pretty. I need to let the seams out a bit and get a wig, but I'll definitely be wearing that as well next year. Such a fun surprise costume!
I did attend the Holiday Fan Days Show earlier this month. I didn't Cosplay so I don't have photos to share from that. I did have fun checking out the vendors area and seeing some friends. I got a photo with Santa, some Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. Just your average holiday snapshot! XD I did a bit of shopping and bought some fan prints and a cute Vulpix Pokemon plush. I topped off the evening by having dinner with some friends at Jack Astor's. It was a nice way to start the holiday season!
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and that everyone will have a wonderful New Year's Eve! I got a couple of weeks off of work which is why I'm finally getting started on costume stuff, but I spent the first week off sick with a cold so I haven't achieved as much as I would have liked. I did have a very nice and calm Christmas with my family and I really couldn't ask for anything better. 2016 has been a rough year for my friends and family and the world in general. We're entering 2017 in a bit of a state of flux, but there have been a lot of unfortunate things that have happened in the last couple of months so it feels like 2017 can only be an improvement honestly.
I do have a lot of costume plans for next year. Definitely finishing up Dilandau and I'll wear it for a shoot at least. I've already mentioned Wendy and Chibi Moon. Madoka will hopefully finally get done for next spring. I also have a silly costume project that Pan and I plan to get done for Anime North. I'm still waiting for the new wig and skirt that I ordered for Hermione so I want to Cosplay her again in 2017 for sure. Seems like 2017 will really make up for the fact that I've been slacking off at Cosplaying and making new things over the last couple of years. (^^) Hopefully I'll also get photos of Sailor Mercury, Saki, my Inkling Kid and Celia too. That might be expecting too much but even photos of two or three of these past costumes would be making great progress. It'll be nice to get through some of my costume backlog so in late 2017 and into 2018 I can approach making costumes with a clean slate. I am looking forward to an exciting new year! Let's see if I can accomplish some of my goals!
November 26th, 2016
Just a quick update as my wonderful friend Amanda posted the photos from the private shoot that I did with her last month of my Shinku costume. I have posted them in the gallery for that costume. You can view them here
. I culled the gallery and removed some of the old photos of my Shinku costume as I was squinting in quite a few of the photos or my wig was a mess. I did leave up some of my favourite older photos including a couple of photos from Youmacon 2011 when I wore my Shinku costume to match Ammie's gorgeous Suigintou costume. The bangs on my wig were super messed up then, but I just had to save some of the photos of Ammie and me. The photos from last month that Amanda took turned out very nicely. We shot around a dining room table with a tea set as well as in a home library. I got a few shots outside with the greenery that was still hanging around then. I even posed with a beautiful Venetian doll. Definitely felt the Rozen Maiden vibe and I'm super happy to have new photos of that costume. Sure is a joy to have a wig that looks nice! Can't believe I went through 4 wigs for that costume!
Next up will be a bit of a lull. I may have a few more photos from the AN Halloween event to post in the coming weeks, but otherwise I won't have much to post about here. I am debating about going to the Holiday fan event Fan Expo is holding early next month. If I do go I'll probably go with Pan and we would re-wear our Harry Potter robes. I am in the process of buying a new wig for Hermione and a skirt for the costume. Hopefully they'll suit the character, but I doubt I would get them in time for the fan event. Over the Christmas break I do hope to get some costume work done so we'll see if I can stick to that goal.
November 6th, 2016
Another Halloween has come and gone and it was a pretty exciting Halloween weekend. Friday the 28th was the Anime North Halloween event. I keep referring to it as a dance, but it's really called a Halloween and Doujinshi Festival. It sure has changed from the last time I went in 2007! Back then it really was a dance and the dance floor was usually at least half full and it was in the largest room of the venue. Now the dance floor is in the entrance hall area, was always a ghost town and there were so many other things to do at the event. They had a dealer's and artist alley room (where the dance floor used to be). They had a screening room, panel room, crafting, video and board game areas. My favourite part was the booth selling desserts! I loved the soda jelly and the pumpkin pie crŤme brulee. I totally didn't expect to see anything like that. I had a really fun time! Pan and I hung out for most of the evening and made craft items. Well, I mostly watched Pan make bracelets and little pom pom and pipe cleaner spiders. It was tons of fun to Cosplay as Hermione with her as Harry! I borrowed her old Hermione wig and despite finding a skirt, in the end I wore black pants which was a much more comfortable choice! I loved the artist alley! I got a couple of cute hair bows.
I added a costume page for Hermione here.
The costume breakdown mostly covers my experience at the dance. The photos are mostly candid shots from the event when Pan and I were goofing around at the craft table. I kind of love that. It was pretty relaxing and the hours really flew by! Hopefully I can attend it again next year if the event happens. I could definitely go for more of the desserts! Hopefully I'll have a few more photos to add to the gallery of me with Pan. I'm already looking forward to updating this costume and wearing it again. I would like to get a wig to do movie Hermione. Maybe a better skirt to Cosplay her first year outfit. I'm definitely happy Pan and I splurged and got sweaters at Fan Expo. It really added to the grandeur of the costume (and the warmth)!
The rest of the weekend was pretty busy and fun. I carved pumpkins with my friends on the 29th. We then watched What We Do in the Shadows which is a hilarious vampire documentary movie. I highly recommend it! We had a little party on Sunday and played VR games on the Vive and the Betrayal at House on the Hill board game. We kept the spooky theme going! Then was Halloween. Took me all day again to set up my decorations, but the kids in the area enjoyed my house. It was popular for parents trying to get Halloween photos of their kids. I go all out with lights, candles and tombstones. It took all day on November 1st to put everything away. I had to use two vacation days to put up and then take everything down. XD It's always fun though! I also found out on Halloween that my older brother got engaged to his girlfriend of a year and a half in late October and they're getting married next spring so 2017 is already shaping up to be a busy year!
Next up for me is a lull between events! Gonna have to start working on plans for next Anime North. I'm already gearing up for another year of selling at the Nominoichi, but the important thing is to figure out my costume plans. Still aiming to get a silly costume done with Pan and to make Madoka's school uniform. Hopefully that'll happen. Then my slate will be clean to pick up more projects in the summer. Let's see if I can stick to my plans or if life will throw more curveballs my way! Either way 2017 is looking to be a busy year.
October 27th, 2016
Halloween is almost here and I'm getting really excited for the holiday. This month has really been a whirlwind. I'm looking forward to carving some pumpkins this weekend and I'm continuing the tradition I started a couple of years ago of taking a holiday from work on Halloween so I can really deck out my house. I need most of the day to get everything set up, but for the couple of hours when kids are out, it's super fun. The five or so hours it takes to put everything away afterward is a bit annoying, but that goes with the territory when it comes to holidays!
Regarding this website, as of a week ago, I decided to attend the Anime North Halloween dance that's taking place tomorrow night. This is my first time going in almost a decade. I was on the fence about going up until about yesterday when I confirmed that my friends Kevin and Pan are on board with going. I stopped going to the dance when it was either the same weekend or too close to Youmacon and that was back in 2008. I stopped going to Youma after 2012, but I lost touch with AN's Halloween dances until this year when it's falling a few days before AN and I could finally consider going again. It feels a bit weird going to an event again after nearly a decade, but it sure has evolved since the last time I went! Back in 2007 it was just a small dance floor with a couple of panel rooms showing Anime and this year the event has video game and board game rooms and a dealer's room and artist alley area. It's pretty much a mini con! I'm just really excited to attend another Halloween event.
I debated for a few days about what costume to wear. In the end Pan suggested we wear our Harry Potter robes again now that we have sweaters. Pan wants to be Harry this time and I'm going to be Hermione. I did want to Cosplay Hermione and it's a bit of a rush as I only decided to Cosplay her a couple of night ago. I had to rummage around for a skirt. The only thing that I have that works is my old Orihime skirt. I can't believe I could find it! Unfortunately Hermione has a knee length grey skirt and this is a bit short for that, but it's the best I could do on short notice. I'm borrowing socks from Pan and a wig from her as well. If I do decide to Cosplay Hermione again I'll probably get another skirt and buy my own wig. This will be a fun test run and I think Hermione and Harry are great fall costumes. Maybe a little bulky for a dance, but I'm not exactly one for dancing. I'm just looking forward to the Halloween atmosphere. This will be a busy weekend for me and after October 31st things really calm down. Pan and I have some silly costumes we want to work on for AN that should be fairly quick projects and then hopefully I'll get started on my Madoka school uniform. If Pan and I get a chance to get a few photos of our Harry Potter costumes tomorrow night I'll be sure to make a costume page for that and I'll add it to the site in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I hope that everyone has a wonderful Halloween!
October 8th, 2016
Fall is now upon us and I've finally made a bit of headway with my costume photo backlog. My awesome friend Amanda posted the photos from the Barbara Gordon (DC Super Hero Girls) costume shoot that I did with her back at Fan Expo 2016 at the start of the last month. I'm really excited to have some lovely photos to share of that costume. That means I've added the costume page for Barbara to my website. You can view it here.
Although the costume was a little obscure, I had a lot of fun shooting with Amanda in the park across the street from Fan Expo and beside the aquarium. The security fence made for a cool backdrop!
I also posted in my last update that it was my hope to do one or two photoshoots in September and into October. Well, things didn't exactly work out. My original hope was to get photos of Super Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Mercury and maybe Celia or Saki. The Sailor Scout costumes would have been one shoot. I finally set a date to do a private shoot with my friend Amanda, but sadly it was on October 1st, when it was both cold and rainy so Sailor Scout costumes were out. Instead I took things in a totally different direction and re-wore my old Shinku costume. It's been on my list of costumes to get photos of but it was a little bit further down on the list. I actually have quite a few photos of Shinku already, but in almost every photo I have some sort of issue with how they turned out. Whether it was because my wig was giving me problems (as I had to purchase 4 wigs for this costume due to the styling not working out) or the fact that I had a tendency to squint in almost every outdoor shot I have of the costume, I've never had much luck with Shinku. That's really disappointing because I wore the costume to several cons including 1 Youmacon when I wore it with Ammie who was Cospaying as Suigintou. I'm quite proud of how the costume turned out so hopefully my 4th wig was not a disappointment and I'll finally feel totally accomplished by a shoot for that costume. I think I can safely retire the costume after seeing the photos from this shoot. Would love to wear it again, but the wig tangles so easily and the fabric for Shinku is super fragile and a couple of seams have a tendency to tear. Anyway, I should be getting those photos back in about a month or two and I can't wait to see how they turned out.
If things work out I may try to do another shoot this year. Now that the colder weather is upon us, it would probably be something like my Harry Potter robes as I finally got a sweater for that costume. I do have a wig for Ron and Pan and I have been planning to get trio shots of Ron, Harry and Hermione with Sakura for years so maybe that'll happen this fall or winter. A girl can dream even if I'm not so excited to Cosplay as Ron. XD Gonna hopefully get working on my next costume over the next couple of months. Still aiming to start working on my Madoka school uniform because I've put that off for ages. We'll see if I stick to the plan this time!
In positive news, since it is October I've actually been to some Halloween attractions. Over the last couple of years I haven't been able to go to many Halloween events, but so far this year I've been to Halloween Haunt at Wonderland and I checked out Legends of Horror at Casa Loma. I haven't been to Halloween Haunt since 2013 so it was great to go again and see the new mazes as well as enjoy the old ones that feel refreshed after not going for the last couple of years. Legends of Horror was a new event. It's a series of scare areas that pass through the castle gardens and through the tunnels under Casa Loma. The production value was pretty high so it was quite impressive. I probably won't go to any other events this year, but hopefully it'll be a fun Halloween and I'll find the rest of the year to be productive.
September 5th, 2016
Fan Expo is over for another year and this was the first year that I actually attended the con for almost the full weekend since Fan Expo 2011. It was quite the experience returning to the convention again for a full length con. Back when I stepped away from the con it was always very crowded, there were concerns about con goers being locked out of the building due to it being over capacity, and there was a sense that the con brass didn't really care so much about the attendees and it was just about the bottom line. I'm not going to say that Fan Expo is no longer a corporate con because it certainly is. Guest autographs and photo ops are still extremely expensive and there are an ever growing number of extra expense events, but you definitely can feel that con staff are genuinely concerned about ensuring that fans have a good experience. The crowding never felt quite as bad as it has been in the past and new additions like the Cosplay lounge were excellent spots to allow Cosplayers a chance to rest and fix costumes if need be. Fan Expo really feels refreshed.
Having said that, it really felt like there was a decline in the number of Cosplay attendees from the days when I used to attend the con in full force several years ago. The ratio of Cosplayers to regular attendees was way down. I volunteered at the con as a stage ninja for the masquerade and there were only about 40 entries into the masq this year. I do remember watching the masq a decade ago and the masq had more than double that. I will say that being a stage ninja was a really cool experience. It was neat to see the show and help out backstage and it felt great to earn a badge for the con. I definitely would be up for doing it again next year!
I did Cosplay on Friday of the con. I wore my new casual Barbara Gordon costume from DC Super Hero Girls. Sadly it was a bit too obscure so no one recognized it. That also means that I don't have any photos of the outfit from hallway shots. I did do a shoot with my awesome friend Amanda, though, so I will have some photos to share of the costume in a month or two when she gets a chance to edit the photos. We shot photos in the Roundhouse park and by a gate near the aquarium. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out! People may not have understood the costume, but I still enjoyed the experience. I just wish the costume had been more comfortable. The outfit itself was nice. The boots did hurt a little bit because they were a bit wide, but my Jeannie wig was super painful. I kept having to take off the ponytail clip to ease the pressure on my head. Not sure if I'll wear the outfit again due to the pain of the wig, but it was still a really cute outfit to wear. I love Babs so I had a fun time with it!
I also wore my Halloween pumpkin kigurumi costume for a little bit on Sunday of the con. I mostly brought it to keep me warm in the overly air conditioned parts of the con. I was a little chilly during the masq and I thought it would be nice while I watched the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy panel. I wore it for an hour in the south building, but took it off before I got to the north building. I didn't want to disturb the Kevin and Mark panel by putting it on when I got cold so I suffered quietly. XD The panel for Mark and Kevin was nice! It was the only panel I saw besides catching the last few minutes of Kate Mulgrew's panel on Saturday afternoon. Kevin and Mark made my childhood and I'm so happy that they've continued working together in the Batman Arkham games. They are my Batman and Joker. <3 It was nice that Mark kept it an ensemble panel every time a speaker tried to aim it more towards him. Both guys were really great speakers and were really fabulous at handling the controversies that were brought up about their past work *cough*Killing Joke*cough*. Their panel was a great way to end the con on a high note.
I got a chance to see most of the north and south buildings and the majority of the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley. I got some beautiful prints. A really nice Batgirl print, a cute piece of fanart for Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, a beautiful mermaid print and even a Sam from Trick 'r Treat print. I got a gorgeous Pokemon fire type acrylic charm that's already proudly on my purse and a cute purple gemstone wire ring. I got the new Bulma Pop Vinyl figure to go with the Vegeta pop that I bought last year and Pan and I bought sweaters for our Harry Potter costumes. Now that must seem like a blast from the past! Just when I gave up on that. XD We bought them with the thought of wearing them for the next Harry Potter shoot we try to do this year. We've been vaguely looking for grey sweaters for years for this so now we have ones meant specifically for Gryffindor. I can wear it with my Ron costume if we ever get around to doing that shoot. I've had the wig ready to go for that for a year now. I'm also considering getting a wig so I can Cosplay as Hermoine. I've always wanted to Cosplay as her so I guess I have some Harry Potter plans to look forward to eventually!
That about sums up Fan Expo. I saw quite a few people that I knew throughout the con. It was really cool getting to meet all the stage ninjas and being part of that group. I owe a big thank you to my friends Amanda and Rin for hanging out with me for a lot of Friday and an even bigger thank you to Pan for attending the con with me the whole weekend. She put up with me forcing her to get up early each day. I dragged her to the Mark and Kevin panel and she was super supportive of my Babs costume and helped me handle my troublesome wig. Pan is such an awesome friend and her wonderful attitude and humour really kept me going throughout the con! Good friends really can make or break a con experience so it's awesome that I have such wonderful friends. (^_^)
Next up for me should be a photoshoot or two. Pan and I are hoping to work with Amanda this month. Hopefully I can get some shots of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Mercury. I'm still crossing my fingers for a second shoot to get pictures of Celia and Saki. Maybe Pan and I will try again to organize a trio shoot for Harry Potter next month. Of course, Halloween is coming up so hopefully I'll be able to participate in some Halloween events. Pan and I still want to do a fabric shopping trip downtown before winter. We'll see if we whip something up for Halloween. The con season might be over, but it looks like I'll be keeping quite busy!
August 28th, 2016
I can't believe that we're almost at the end of August! Time really flies! I just finished up my casual Barbara Gordon (DC Super Hero Girls) costume last night. My friend Pan helped me trim the wig yesterday and I spent last night sewing wig clips to the inside cap of the wig so it would stay on my head more securely. I forgot how heavy the Arda Jeannie wig can be! I've never used the hair clip before and even though Pan cut off about half of the hair from it, it's still really long and quite heavy. XD
I really appreciate Pan helping me with the wig! Cutting Jeannie wigs is super tricky with how easy it is for the wig to slip and slide due to the weight. I also decided to take in the sides of my yellow tank top yesterday. I tried on the whole costume last night for the first time. Seems like it'll be super fun to wear. Hopefully the wig won't give me problems!
So my plans for Fan Expo are pretty much set. I'm going to be spending the weekend hanging out with my friend Pan. She gave me the contact info for the masq staff for Fan Expo and I've been confirmed as a volunteer so I will be attending Fan Expo for most of the weekend. I'll be going on Friday for the full day and Saturday afternoon to help with the masq. I'm also tentatively planning to go to the con on Sunday afternoon. That kind of depends on how tired I am from working the masq. Really, the only reason I want to go on Sunday is to see the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy Q & A session. XD We'll see if I can make it out for that. It looks like the only day I'll be Cosplaying will be Friday of the con. That will be the day when I debut my new Barbara Gordon costume. I think it'll be pretty obscure so we'll see if anyone recognizes it as being from DC Super Hero Girls. Saturday is pretty much a write off for Cosplay because of how crowded the con is and the fact that I need to wear plain black clothes as staff for the masq. I'll most likely dress casually for Sunday since I don't really plan to attend the con until later in the afternoon. Hopefully I'll get a chance to stop at a photo booth so I'll have some photos of Barbara to share after the weekend. I'll be nice to add another costume to this site! It's been a while since I've done 3 new costumes in a year and the year isn't over yet!
I'm definitely looking forward to checking out Fan Expo in just a few days. It's been a few years since I've been this excited about the convention and I'm hoping that it'll be a really fun experience. (^_^)
August 11th, 2016
It's been a while since I posted here, but it's actually been a very quiet summer in terms of Cosplay. After all the work that I put into AN making my Splatoon costume and then all the work is took to make Sakura, not to mention, preparing for the Nominoichi, I haven't really worked on any costumes since May. I did take a few days to re-sew the bandages onto the shorts of my Sakura costume. I also added more stuffing to the tentacles on my Splatoon wig so they'll hopefully sit a little nicer next time I wear the costume.
It's been so hot this summer that I haven't really made any set plans to do shoots. I do want to get some shoots done this year. I'm still crossing my fingers to get photos of Sailor Mercury, Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Celia. Maybe even Dilandau or my Inkling Kid, but the months are ticking by. The biggest issue is that it's just too hot to wear a costume and the grass outside in most spots is dead because it has been such a harsh, dry summer. Not the best circumstances for photos. I'm hoping by early September things improve so I can get one or two shoots done then. Hopefully I'll have something to show for the year in terms of photos!
I have been working on a costume, though. It actually came out of the blue. Back in the beginning of July I decided to watch the DC Super Hero Girls web show and I immediately loved the casual outfit Barbara wears throughout the first season. I just bought new glasses in June and one of the pairs looks like the pair she wears so that sort of inspired me to want to Cosplay her. I adore Batgirl and I've been looking for a reason to Cosplay her again. At the end of July I settled on doing the costume thanks to Arda running a wig sale. I decided to get a Jeannie wig since that worked quite well for my braided Bulma wig. I actually have almost all the costume pieces now even though I only just ordered everything like two weeks ago. I'm just waiting on my purple hoodie. I had to buy a yellow tank top, a black off the shoulder top, a pair of jeggings, yellow boots and a purple hoodie. I just finished hemming the pants so next up I need to hem the tank top because it's too long and adjust the black shirt to make it more of a crop top. I kind of love the yellow and black tops and the layered look! Hope it looks good when everything comes together! Hopefully Pan will help me with her keen eye regarding cutting the wig, but I'm really looking forward to wearing this costume! It has cost me quite a bit due to the boots and wig, but I figure that if I decide to make the DC Super Hero Girls version of Batgirl, I now already have the boots to go with the costume. I might try to make that costume next year, but we'll see how this casual outfit turns out!
Next up for me is Fan Expo. I am considering volunteering with the masq so if that turns out I might end up attending the con for two or three of the days. We'll see if that happens. Casual Barbara is the only planned costume that I have so I'll need to decide if I want to bring anything else depending on the day(s) that I go and the weather. Anyway, it's been a while since I've been to Fan Expo in a serious fashion so I am looking forward to it. I know I've been going through a con draught so maybe that's making Fan Expo seem even more enticing, but it does make quite the spectacle every year so it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement.
June 2nd, 2016
I found a few photos of my new Splatoon costume so I was able to add the costume page that I had prepared for the costume to this site
. The photos are just hallway shots so expect proper shoot photos later! Hopefully at some point during the summer! My Splatoon costume was super comfy so I'm looking forward to wearing it again! I very much want to get some photos with my Inkling Kid friends. :3 I'm hoping that this will be a productive summer for shoots so I'll keep my fingers crossed for that!
May 31st, 2016
Anime North is over for yet another year. It wasn't exactly the most memorable con, but I still had a great time. Things went pretty well during the Nominoichi. I sold a good chunk of what I brought and made almost as much money selling as I did back in 2014. That's nearly $1,500! Can't say that I would repeat that next year as I have sold most of my highest valued items that I could see myself selling off in the next few years, but my Anime collection is ever expanding and I do appreciate conventions like Anime North giving me a chance to offload items in a controlled space. It sure beats an occasional sale on eBay and dealing with the hassle of fees and going to the post office! For the first time, though, the hall for the Nominoichi was unbearably hot so my friend Adrien (who was selling with me) and I were sweating like crazy throughout most of the event. I was sweating, though, mostly because we had lot of foot traffic so that was a good sign. I could definitely see myself selling again next year so we'll see if I get the chance!
I honestly can't remember an Anime North as hot as the con was this year, though! We've had warm moments for sure, but for it to be consistently boiling all 3 days of the con was really unusual. I can remember AN just a few years ago when I had to wear a sweater or coat over my costumes and this year even in my simple short and skirt costumes, I was still way too hot!
My Splatoon costume went over really well though! I spent most of Friday before the Nomi hanging out with Pan and Adrien. Adrien was Cosplaying as a Blue Inkling Kid and he had his awesome tank and Splattershot so we got lots of attention. I'm a bit of a poser when it comes to Splatoon so I was quite surprised by just how often we got stopped for photos! Pan was dressed as Merle from Escaflowne and she looked adorable! She was getting stopped left and right for photos. I was sad that I wasn't dressed as Dilandau. Merle is definitely the standout character from Escaflowne. I was glad that my Inkling Kid costume was comfy. I was on my feet for hours at the Nomi and wearing simple running shoes was great! I don't know if I can find anything better to wear next year given how unbearable the Nomi hall was. It's just too bad that I didn't get a chance to really see my fellow squids! My friends Andy and Michelle were running around as turquoise and purple and looked great! I only saw them for a minute at the Nomi so I missed out on getting photos with them. I didn't stop anywhere for photos of my costume so during the summer I'll have to do a shoot hopefully with more Inklng Kids!
I wasn't exactly feeling 100% on Saturday. I had a really rough time sleeping on Thursday evening and I only slept for a couple of hours. It was a rough way to start the con. I slept rather poorly on Friday as well so I didn't really get out of my hotel room in costume until about noon. I wore my other new costume, Sakura from Naruto Shippuden. I only lasted in the costume for about 3 hours because it was really hot, my leg bandages kept slipping and the boots were super uncomfortable. I was hanging out with Pan and Adrien and we decided to take a break by sitting down for food at Swiss Chalet, but there was a huge line so we got takeout and just ate in the hotel room. I decided to change then out my costume and relax for the rest of the day. The reaction to Sakura was alright. It's tough to standout when Cosplaying from Naruto when you're not part of a group. I definitely felt very complimented whenever someone asked me for a photo. Pan (who was again wearing Merle) and I stopped at conARTISTS' booth in the Dealer's Room before I changed and did a photoshoot there. We didn't have any shoots booked for the weekend so stopping at a photo booth seemed like a good idea. The photos turned out pretty well. Pan and I decided to purchase the shoot so I have photos to add here.
In the afternoon I checked out the Dealer's Room for interesting deals. I did some shopping at the Nominoichi the day before and bought a couple of Syaoran trading figures, a set of Ghibli Museum stickers and a cute Shinku Punit Collecton Doll. The Shinku Doll was really unexpected, but my table neighbour was selling it and it was staring me directly in the face throughout the event so I just had to buy it. XD In the Dealer's Room I purchased more cute Kuma Craft necklace. I love how sparkly they are! I also bought a Sailor Moon Crystal purple umbrella that I've had my eye on for months. I wanted to buy it online since it was about $15, but with shipping because it's a large item, it would have been over $30. The booth I found was selling the umbrella for $25. I thought that was pretty reasonable and it's super cute! I just have to work up the courage to use it on a regular basis. I don't want to wreck it! XD
There wasn't much to do in the evening so after grabbing Tim Horton's for dinner, I ended up just watching some of Wolverine 3 on TV. LOL I was pretty tired so I was happy to go to sleep fairly early even despite the bass from the rave carrying all the way over to our hotel room in the International Plaza hotel, which threatened to ruin my sleep.
The final day of Anime North was pretty casual as I didn't Cosplay. Once we got out of the hotel room and checked our luggage, Pan, Adrien and I checked out the Comic Market and Crafters Corner. I picked up more cute necklaces and I bought a few prints including an adorable print of Lesser Dog from Undertale. Lesser Dog is so much like my family's Samoyed Persephone in looks and personality so I couldn't resist getting the print!
That pretty much sums up the con! I saw quite a few friends and I had a great time in my costumes. I didn't exactly get the best sleep before and during the con so I was quite tried all weekend, but I soldiered through! The excessively hot days tried to put a damper on the very outdoor focused reality of Anime North, but the con still had a lot of bright spots. I owe a big thank you to my friend Adrien for helping me get my stuff to the Nomi and for selling with me and to my friend Louise who was nice enough to sell a few doll clothing items for me at Doll North.
I do hope for a little bit cooler weather next year! I also hope that I can do Madoka! I have the wig now from Nikki and I'm looking forward to Cosplaying her. If the hot weather repeats, though, there is no way I could Cosplay anything, but a super casual character!
Regarding this site, I have the write up finished for my Sakura Haruno costume so I posted it here
along with the gallery of photos from conARTISTS. If I find photos of my Inkling Kid costume I can post those a.s.a.p. because I do have the costume page also ready to go. Hopefully I can actually get some shoots done this year. Still looking forward to getting photos of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Dilandau as well as Shinku and Sailor Mercury. So many things to shoot, so little time! Hopefully I'll find some shoot opportunities for this summer!
May 18th, 2016
Quite a bit has happened since my last entry. Anime North is just around the corner now. The last few months have really flown by! Guess that's just how life goes as you get older. I wanted to make a quick update to discuss how my costumes have been coming along and how things are looking for Anime North and beyond.
Both my Splatoon (Inkling Kid) and Sakura (Naruto) costumes are done now. Sakura took so much longer than I expected. XD It took me 3 months to finish the costume and I only just put the finishing touches on it on Monday. I even used up all of the thread that I bought for it. I've never run out of thread before with a costume. Really didn't expect that. I ran into so many issues with various parts of the costume. Had to resew so many things including the collar on the blouse and the skirt openings. Deciding to use a knit fabric for the skirt and armbands was really problematic. It was not the easiest thing to work with for the skirt. I probably should have interfaced it as the fabric is quite finicky. It's hard to smooth out, the excess in seams can show through the fabric and it was a pain in the butt to sew down for the skirt front and back openings. I re-sewed the openings at least two or three times. In the end I had to abandon machine sewing top stitching on the back seam and I had to do it by hand. I'm not totally happy with the shaping on the back opening for the skirt. I might treat AN as a test run for the costume and if the skirt is frustrating me I may re-do it over the summer. I wasn't totally sold on the colour of my fabric to begin with. In the Anime her skirt and armbands are more of a lilac colour and in the Manga it's more of a white. My fabric is a light pink so it's a bit of a middle ground between both versions. If I'm not happy with the look I could re-do it. I already had to abandon using zippers for the openings because the fabric became bunchy with the lightweight zippers I bought. Nothing went smoothly with putting together the skirt.
I'm pretty happy with the costume otherwise! The blouse fought me over the fitting, but turned out pretty well. I made my own pouch for the back of skirt and I modified a pair of gloves. I also made a new band for the headband after buying a Konoha headband through Aliexpress. Pan helped me cut off the fabric and I glued it to the new band that I made so the fabric would match my blouse. I poured my heart and a lot of time into this costume. I hope in the end that it shows! I feel like most people would have finished this costume in just a couple of weeks. I'm so slow at sewing and I often have to backtrack and re-do parts. In the end I'm usually quite happy with the final results. I hope that I'll be content when Cosplaying Sakura at AN. She's such a kick butt character so I hope that I'll do her justice! I definitely have to thank Pan for helping me tame my wig for the costume. Without her help the wig definitely wouldn't remotely resemble the character.
I mentioned finishing my Splatoon costume. I know I said that I did that months ago, but recently new official images of the shirt design that I based my costume shirt on were released and I realized I messed up the design. XD I was missing a chunk from the bottom of the final letter in the front lettering and a small logo on the front of the shirt. I tried to heat 'n bond and sew in a piece to cover the missing part of the letter and Adrien helped me craft a logo that I used iron on transfer paper to add to the design. So I should be good to go now for Anime North!
Speaking of the con, the last few weeks have been going by way too fast. Between finishing sewing and sorting stuff for the Nominoichi, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off most evenings. I've been trying to label things I'm selling, wash any clothing pieces and of course, get things boxed and ready to display on the table. I have been offering pre-sales of the stuff that I'll be selling at table N133 and so far the pre-sales have been tremendous. I didn't realize it, but as long as people actually show up, the reserves that I have are about double from last year. I definitely appreciate the response. The more that I sell this year, the more shelf and basement space that I free up so I can feel a little less cluttered. XD Definitely trying to scale back on buying. I love interacting with people through the Nominoichi so I'm really excited for Friday night even if it is going to be very hectic and stressful.
I know the important thing about AN in terms of this site is Cosplay, so my plans for the con are to wear my Splatoon costume on Friday and Sakura on Saturday. Wearing my Splatoon costume on Friday should make my table very easy to spot. My friend Adrien (who will also be selling at table N133) will be Cosplaying as a blue Inkling Kid as well. My friend Kevin will be running his own table (N132) and will be selling a variety of prize figures, gashapon goods and lottery items from his recent trips to Japan. He'll be Cosplaying as a purple Inkling Kid. Should make for a fun little group. (^^)
Sakura is my Saturday costume. I'm hoping that the weather will be nice for the weekend given that I'll be wearing shorts and short or no sleeved costumes all con. I don't plan to Cosplay on Sunday so I can just be casual on the last day. I'm debating about bringing an old Lolita dress to wear in case I want to change at any point or if the weather is really cold. The other interesting thing is that I'll be purchasing my friend Quantum Destiny's old Madoka Kaname wig. I know I've been posting about it for ages, but I swear I'm going to get that costume done in 2017 and getting her old wig will give my costume a huge boost! I bought a wig for the costume in the fall of 2014, but I really wasn't happy with it. It would have taken a ton of work and it wouldn't look half as nice as Quantum Destiny's wig. Honestly, she makes an amazing Madoka! I really lucked out because she also included the red hair ribbons so that's one other thing to not have to worry about! I really appreciate her giving my costume a huge boost and hopefully the wig will motivate me to make the rest of the costume. (^_^)
Anyway, I'm really looking forward to Anime North. I hope it'll be an exciting year. I know the goal of the Nominoichi is selling things, but I hope that I meet a lot of people during the event. I look forward to wearing my Sakura costume during the con. I'll definitely have to make the most of AN since Atomic Lollipop has been cancelled for the year. If I don't pick up another con or event during the summer, the year is going to be a bit bland. I'll have to think about it after Anime North. Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the free time that I'll have once AN is over, but I'm really looking forward to relaxing! XD Getting ready for this con has really dominated my life for the last couple of months.
I hope everyone that's attending Anime North has an amazing time! Given that this will be my 15th year going, I sure hope that it's a memorable experience! (^_^)
April 30th, 2016
I've been meaning to update this site as I progressed with my Sakura costume and I really neglected it. For a costume I figured I would finish in
a month or two, it sure has dragged on. I set a goal of finishing it by the end of April, but I felt like that was more of a worst case scenario
and it was more likely that I would have the costume done well before then. Well, we're at the end of April now and it's not quite done. (~_~)
It's pretty close to being done. I probably would have finished it sooner, but I keep going back to fix or replace parts. It took me like 10
tries to properly finish and sew down the collar. I had to go back and add more interfacing to it. I made 3 versions of the Haruno circle for the
back of the shirt and after finishing the shirt, I went back and had to re-sew 2 of the seams. I've also struggled with finishing the splits on
the skirt part of the shorts. I've sewn the back part together three times and it took me a couple of tries to place and sew down the buckle
loops. XD This costume has often felt like I'm taking one step forward and then two steps back.
As it stands, the shirt is done, I've modified the gloves I bought, the armbands are done and the skirt/shorts are nearly done. I'm currently
fixing up the belt loops. There is a chance I might redo the entire back panel of the skirt because I've been having trouble getting the split in
the back to lay evenly and not look crooked. I actually originally made the skirt parts with zippers. I finished the front with a zipper, but the split
was curling up. I'm using a knit fabric that's quite flowy, somewhat thin and stretchy so it was not reacting well to a small zipper that's not very heavy weight. I scrapped
the zipper idea then, which worked ok for the front. In a lot of merchandise and some of the Naruto video games you can see the zippers in her skirt,
but it was not drawn in for the Anime so I'm going to roll without the zippers. XD I'll stick with my skirt as it stands for now, but I might
look for some advice to maybe replace the back later. I still need to make sure the leg bandages sit properly. I'm trying to make them stay up on
my leg using snaps mostly with part of the bandage being sewn to my shorts. Crossing my fingers that it will hold! My final project for this costume is to make a back pouch. I bought a pouch from eBay for a few dollars that I was looking forward to using, but because of the length and tight fit of my shirt, the pouch is too big and would sit too low on my skirt. (>.<) I'm trying to make up a new pouch on my own now that's about half the size of the one I bought. Hopefully it wil only take me a couple of hours, but it's still another example of how I step forward with this costume and then step back. I know for a fact I wish I had made my shirt about an inch shorter. I can't fix that without changing the zipper so I'll have to see how it goes at AN and consider maybe getting a slightly shorter zipper and replacing it after the con if I really dislike how the costume looks.
Anyway, when all is said and done, I should have the costume as it stands done by early next week. If I decide to replace the skirt panel I might do that later in May. My wig does need to be trimmed. My friend Pan is awesome and has agreed to help me cut it. Maybe she'll help me with my skirt problem if I still find it annoying. I might also replace the ribbon on my Konoha ninja headband. I bought a cheap one from Aliexpress. My red fabric might not be the best for a headband, but I'll see if it really makes the costume look nicer for the reds to be consistent.
My main reason for finally updating here, however, is to just comment about how sad I am that APOP won't be happening this year. It was just announced that the con has outgrown the Science Centre and they have not been able to find a suitable alternate location. They do intend to hold the con again in 2017. It's just too bad that it will never be at the Science Centre again. It was an awesome location for photoshoots and just such a cool place to explore. I know I can just pay to go there anytime, but it was pretty awesome to experience the Science Centre outside of normal business hours and in costume. APOP does still have some interesting draws like the crafting workshops, but it's not really my scene overall so I'm not sure if I'll bother attending it again. I guess I'll have to see what venue the con goes with next year if they are able to secure a location. As it stands, though, I do morn the con as it was. The last two years of APOP were such a blast! APOP being gone does leave a bit of a hole in my year. The only cons I have on the horizon are Anime North and one or two days of Fan Expo. Seems like a very bland year. I feel like I want something else to fill that gap. I might seriously try for Otakuthon this year or maybe actually take a vacation. I definitely want to do something so I'm going to have to start planning to get out of the city.
In the meantime, AN has been on the forefront of my mind for weeks. I did get a table for the Nominoichi. My table is N133 this year. I have plenty of figures, wigs, video games and fun goods for sale from various series like Sailor Moon, DBZ, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Resident Evil and Vocaloid. I posted a list of some of the things I'm selling on the AN forum and already a lot of my stuff is spoken for through holds. I hope everyone shows up to get the stuff they reserved! XD I know the next month is going to fly by so I hope I can get my costumes together and get everything packed up and ready to sell. I definitely have to squeeze a lot of fun out of Anime North knowing that I have fewer cons to look forward to this year. Hopefully it'll turn out to be a great year for this classic event!
March 9th, 2016
It feels a little weird to be writing my first post of 2016 and it's already March! I took a bit of a break from costuming towards the end of last year, but since my last post at the end of December, I have been working on a couple of projects. Firstly, my Splatoon costume is now done! I worked on it back in January and finished it at the end of the month. I didn't have that much to do for the costume. I had to add the pink stripes to the shorts, add lettering to a shirt, make a mask and attach the tentacles to the wig, but everything went smoothly and I was able to get it done fairly quickly once I found the motivation to work on things.
After finishing that project, I started brainstorming other ideas for the year. My Madoka costume is still on the back burner due to issues with patterning the blouse. I'm determined to finish it for Anime North 2017 so you can definitely expect that costume for next year! I'm not going to put it off for a 3rd year. In the meantime, I decided that I wanted to do something for AN. I started looking at my list of favourite series and characters and Sakura from Naruto kind of jumped out at me. I think she's underappreciated and she's a character that like Bulma, has a lot of talent and strength. She seems like a fun costume option for the year. I settled on working on her Shippuden outfit because it looks like one of her easier outfit designs. I have an old New Look Juniors pattern that I discovered while doing a pattern inventory. It has the right overall shape for the character and with minor alterations versus standard patterns, the fit is actually really great on me. I wish New Look still offered this pattern line! I have yet to find other patterns that fit anywhere near as well right off the bat!
I've already finished modifying a pair of boots for the costume. I performed Cosplay surgery on my old Maria and Batgirl boots. I haven't worn them in a couple of years and parts of the material was starting to degrade so I thought it would be ok to use them for this costume. I cut off the upper part of the tip of each boot. I crafted a new insole for the boots using felt and a comfy insole liner and I used electrical tape to hide any raw edges. It turned out really well and hopefully it will hold together.
I'm currently almost done a mock of the shirt using the New Look pattern. Just trying to set the separating zipper and draft a new collar. Hopefully it will come together and work on my first try! If it turns out then I can start on the real shirt in the next week or two. After that I need to make armbands, the skirt, the bandages for her leg and modify a pair of gloves. I'm going to reuse the pouches from my old Sasuke costume so those are already done. I already purchased all the fabric, notions and a wig so I have everything already although I am still waiting for contacts, the headband and gloves to arrive from online sales. The wig also needs some trimming work, but I'm pretty happy that I was able to get a wig with a skin part!
I need to draft a pattern for the skirt as well, but I'm hoping since the shapes are simple it won't be a problem! I guess we'll see if I'm right. My hope is to get the costume done by the end of April. I'm also still amping up to tackle another year of the Nominoichi at Anime North. I have plenty of Anime figures, video games, old wigs and other random Anime goods that I'm looking forward to selling. Every year I figure that I'll finish with the Nomi because I won't have much stuff left to sell in a future year, but I'm always surprised by how many old goodies that I dig up that I'm willing to part with. I've been trying to ease back on collecting figures and goods these last few months, but I still buy or pre-order the odd thing. A collector's collection is ever evolving! Anyway, at the moment I'm gathering the items, taking stock of their condition and taking photos for a pre-sale listing so that's been keeping me busy on the side.
It's still a little outside of the convention season. I am a bit excited for getting out and about with conventions again. I haven't Cosplayed or been to any sort of Cosplay event since Fan Expo last year. This year I definitely want to get some photoshoots done. Dilandau is still on the agenda and Sailor Mercury and Super Sailor Chibi Moon too. Dilandau still needs a bit of work. I'm going to be working with my friend Adrien soon on fixing up the belt. I kind of put that on the backburner until now as well.
My next convention is Anime North and I'm getting pretty pumped for it. I'm definitely going to be wearing my Inkling Kid costume probably on Friday of the con and Sakura Haruno would be my Saturday costume. I would consider bringing something else like Dilandau or Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see how ambitious I feel about costume changes. Friday is going to be super busy with the Nominoichi and Saturday always goes by way too fast! Sunday is my casual day so I try not to Cosplay so I can take in the dealer's room and artist alley quickly before they close for another year. I'm even hoping to make the trek over to Doll North this year. Anime North is definitely a con that you want to have a game plan for!
I am debating about attending more conventions this year. Another one day of Fan Expo is likely and if APOP is at the Science Centre again, I will most likely give it another shot for this year. I would like to go to one other con. I've heard whispers about the potential of a new con called YetiCon so I'm looking into that and with the dollar still being weak, I am highly considering taking another look at Otakuthon. Again, it's all very much up in the air, but I would definitely like to do something exciting this year so we shall see! I do like that I have started working on costume projects so hopefully the enthusiasm and energy will carry forward into the rest of the year!
December 29th, 2015
Popping in again with another quick update. Nothing really new to add to this site in terms of new costume galleries or new costume news. I have started outlining what I'm going to do to finish my Splatoon costume. Shouldn't take that long once I get started on it. Just breaking out of my sewing funk has been a bit tough though. I've kind of lost my motivation to sew. Not that I'm in a bad mood or anything is weighing me down. I did my second attempt to pass my final road test to become a fully licensed driver back at the end of November and I passed it with very few errors. The only really frustrating thing is that I probably would have passed no problem back in October if I had been able to take the test then and I could have avoided another 6 weeks of stress. It's over and done now, but getting back into the swing of my hobbies after all that pressure and stress has been tough. I am really glad that it's over though!
The current plan is still to get my Splatoon and Madoka school uniform costumes done for AN and finish the adjustments to Dilandau for the con as well. Getting Dilandau and the Inkling Kid costumes done shouldn't be a problem. I am concerned that I'll have to postpone Madoka again and honestly it's mostly because of a lack of interest in sewing. It's a bit of a long and complicated sewing project to get it done. Still definitely hoping to make it for 2016 but maybe just not the spring. A bunch of my friends have been talking about getting Costume Quest costumes done for Halloween every year for the last 2 or 3 years. I'm kind of hoping for Halloween next year we can all get our costumes done and so I'm hopefully going to have something new for that. Probably going to make either the pumpkin or the candy corn costume. We'll see if that gets done as well! It does look like 2016 will shape up to be a moderately busy year for me costume wise.
Reflecting back on 2015, it was a fairly light year for me regarding Cosplay. I didn't travel for any cons so I just stuck to the local events: Anime North, Atomic Lollipop and one day of Fan Expo. I didn't really do shoots or anything outside of cons either. I did debut one new costume that I made; my new Bulma Briefs costume
. That was a fun project for the spring. I did also wear my Diladau costume during AN that I commissioned from my friend Ammie. That's been a dream costume of mine for my entire Cosplay career (over a decade) but unfortunately it had some fit issues and I wasn't feeling well so I didn't really wear it for very long at Anime North. My friend Pan wants to make a Merle costume so eventually we'll Cosplay from Escaflowne together and it will be awesome! I'll definitely do a shoot of the costume in 2016!
My aim for 2016 is to have a fun year. Hopefully finally travel (be it for a con or just for a trip). I don't really take vacations so I'm thinking I should start doing that while I'm still relatively young. A trip to see the coast of British Columbia would be awesome. Don't really want to venture back to the States or US conventions until the dollar improves, but maybe the stars will align and I'll give Otakuthon another try next year. 2015 was a bit of a challenging year for me and some of my friends so I just hope 2016 turns out to be exciting and adventurous. So best wishes to everyone in these last few days of the holiday season and for the upcoming new year!
November 2nd, 2015
Just a quick update as a follow-up to events of October. I had mentioned that I wanted to do a basic version of my upcoming Splatoon Inkling Girl costume for Halloween, but I ended up facing some difficulties that really put me off from working on any costumes. I ended up being disqualified from my driving test on October 19th. The horn on my brother's car wasn't working so the car didn't pass the safety check just before I started the test. I had worried so much about doing the test so it was a tremendous disappointment. I didn't really have the heart to put work into a Halloween costume so I just re-wore the scrubs from my Lisa Garland (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories) costume. I do plan to work on my Splatoon costume, but I'm probably not going to start it until I feel a bit more energetic. I feel a lot better these days, but I wasn't able to book another test until the end of the month so driving practice and fretting about the test is going to keep me plenty busy until then.
I did have a fun Halloween, though, and I hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday! I decorated my family's house again and hung out with my friends Pan and Adrien giving out candy. I received quite a few compliments on the decorations. I have plenty of light up decorations, hanging ghouls and a lot of fun candle holders so I pretty much lit up my front porch and created a spooky atmosphere. It's nice to bring a little bit of spirit to the neighbourhood. At least it cheered me up.
When I feel motivated I will start working on my Splatoon costume. Shouldn't take very long to finish it once I get it started. Then Madoka is next on the drawing board although I might not start that until after the holidays. Hopefully my plans will work out better than the last time I tried working on Madoka. I definitely want to have it done for AN next year. Hopefully November will be fairly stress free. I'm still getting the house in order from the renovation so once the clutter is a little more clear I will bring out my sewing machine and get cracking on costume work.
October 10th, 2015
We're fast approaching the mid-point of October and it's been a bit of an uneventful month so far. Today was supposed to be a Harry Potter photoshoot for me along with my friends Sakura and Pan, but something came up for Sakura so we're going to postpone the shoot. Until when I'm not sure. Probably not this year, though. Haven't had much luck with photoshoots this year. Besides shooting at cons I haven't done any shoots at all. I'l definitely have to pick up the slack next year!
I did finally order and get a wig for my Splatoon costume. I ordered a magnum in hot pink from Arda when they were having their sale recently and it arrived very quickly. The colour match isn't 100%, but it was nice that I could save a few dollars buying a wig. I was able to get the tentacles back from Sierra (the costumer who I commissioned them from) and they look super neat! I'm thinking of putting together a very basic version of the costume for Halloween. Probably just the wig and maybe the mask. I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to make an accurate mask before Halloween so I might just use my Batgirl mask. The rest of the outfit would just be a hoodie and pants and probably a coat. Have to be prepared for the harsh reality of evenings in late October. Should be fun anyway. I'll actually work on the costume for real in November.
I've been stressing a lot about my upcoming G driving test. That's still looming on October 19th. Haven't been able to get in much practice on the highway this month, but I'm still crossing my fingers that I pass on my first try. My biggest fear is that I psyche myself out because otherwise I'm ready. I definitely won't get 100%, but I would be happy with any kind of pass. Speaking of stressors, the renovation here is finally done. Still lots of work to do to get the house back in order so I can start sewing and get that Splatoon costume done. I also just bought a PS4 so that might be a bit of a distraction. XD I've been meaning to buy one since launch and I finally caved so I could play Until Dawn. Looking forward to gaming with the new system and some of the games coming up in 2016.
September 27th, 2015
Just thought I should create an update because a bunch of my plans for working on costumes and doing shoots have changed. Originally I had a shoot planned with Elemental along with Pan of our Sailor Scout costumes. I was hoping to get nicer shots of Sailor Mercury and hopefully some shots of my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume. That was meant to happen on September 19th, but the weather was a bit dicey that day and there was a partial subway shut down for my area so we decided at the last minute that it wasn't worth it to proceed. Instead, we tried to re-schedule for this upcoming weekend (for Saturday October 3rd) but it seems like a bad idea with Pan's current schedule so that shoot will be put off indefinitely. If there happens to be a nice day in October I might take a day off for a shoot, but I'm not planning on it. I'm a little disappointed because I've been hoping to get more shots of Mercury for a couple of years. I really need to find a con where I can wear Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Definitely have to fit it in next year.
I do now have plans to be part of a Harry Potter group with my friends Pan and Sakura for a shoot that should be happening Thanksgiving weekend. For this group I'll be Cosplaying as Ron. Back when Pan first made our robes she made 3 for us with the hope of Cosplaying the trio, but Sakura was never able to wear the costume so her robe sat in Pan's closet for the last several years. In the meantime I Cosplayed as Harry. Can't say I'm that thrilled to Cosplay as Ron as he's not one of my favourite characters, but it should be fun for the group. I bought a wig for it years ago so it'll be nice to finally put that wig to use. Once that shoot happens and I get photos back, I'll make a new costume page. It's been a long time since Pan and I Cosplayed with Sakura so I'm looking forward to the group!
As for costuming work right now, I'm still waiting to work on my Splatoon costume as the renovation work in my house still isn't done. The kitchen is 90% done, but our dining room floor is going to be sanded and coated so we had to shift more furniture so I lost my sewing work space. I did buy another white shirt for the costume to make the default female Amiibo design as my costume shirt for my Inkling Kid costume. This is my 3rd shirt. The first was not opaque at all, the second one from Walmart was supposedly extra small, but was actually still way too big for me in every way. Finally, I decided to buy a plain shirt from Threadless as I like the quality and fit of their shirts. Still not 100% perfect, but it should work nicely as a base for the lettering design. I'll probably cut the design out from felt and Heat 'n Bond it on. Shouldn't take that long once I figure out the proportions.
Also, my friend that I'm commissioning my tentacles from has finished the commission so I'll hopefully be getting those soon. I'm still waiting to buy a wig, though, so this costume isn't going to be done anytime soon. I'm aiming to wear it at Anime North or Atomic Lollipop next year so it's not a huge rush anyway. I would love to complete a costume, though. I need to get working on my Madoka school uniform with Pan. That costume is really looming.
Speaking of looming, I have my final G driving test scheduled for October 19th and worrying about that has been weighing heavily on my mind. Once I've done the test (and hopefully passed) I'll be able to move on and start focusing on Cosplay matters. Granted, we're about to hit October (my favourite month because of Halloween) so you bet all I really want to think about is decorating and getting into the spirit for the holiday. XD I hope October turns out to be a productive and fun month!
September 7th, 2015
Just wanted to make a note that I did attend Fan Expo yesterday. A friend lent me a badge so I could see what the con was like on the last day. I wasn't really feeling up to wearing a costume, but I did sport my Halloween dress and I wore that to the con. I wasn't wearing a wig with it or anything because it was super humid yesterday. It's hard to believe that we're into September now! It sure feels like the middle of summer. I suppose I'll really miss it when the heat dies down soon, but right now it's pretty overbearing.
I was sort of late going downtown with my friend Pan so I was only at the con from about 1:30PM until it closed at 5PM. I mostly went to check out the Artist Alley, to see friends and to pick up a wig for my Splatoon costume. I did see a few friends including my lovely friend Ammie and it took a couple of hours, but Pan and I did see all of Artist Alley, but none of the wig booths had a wig that would work for my Inkling Kid costume. Was a bit disappointed in that. I'm not really sure what wig to order online, but I'll gamble and order something when I have some USD funds to spare.
I got some Halloween related art from some sellers. One booth had nothing but craft and vintage Halloween items. Definitely one of my favourite booths of the show! I also picked up a lovely piece of Princess Peach art and a gorgeous eerie piece by artist My Pet Skeleton. I expanded my rather small Pop Vinyl collection by buying the Vegeta figure. Now I have 4 Pop Vinyls. XD Not going to really get into collecting them. Not a lot of the designs really stand out to me, but I loved the little scouter on the Vegeta one. :3
All and all, Fan Expo was pretty good. I kind of wish I had gotten there around noon so I could have taken a more leisurely pace with checking out the vendors, but I still saw most of the show. Skipped the guest areas and panels and the exhibits, but it was nice to soak in the con atmosphere. I feel like Sunday this year was slightly less busy than last year. I could move around fairly freely. I heard that it was quite packed on Saturday. I think if I attend again next year, going on Sunday would be a smart move or paying to go on the Thursday evening to see everything before all the good stuff has been picked over and when things are just getting going instead of when the con is winding down. I don't see myself Cosplaying at Fan Expo again because of the cramped conditions, but I've had some great experiences with the con over the years.
Speaking of Cosplay, my Splatoon costume is on hold until I can get a wig, but my friend is working on my tentacles, which should be done soon. The costume overall is at a standstill until the home renovation is done and it still looks like that will take another couple of weeks at least.
I do have a shoot scheduled with my friend Elemental for September 19th. I should be shooting with my friend Pan and I believe we've settled on getting photos of our Sailor Scout costumes. I most likely will be getting photos of Sailor Mercury and I'm considering also bringing my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume and see if I can do a costume change to get photos of both. Pan should be wearing Sailor Mars. I'm pretty excited about shooting my Scout costumes. I've been hoping to get outdoor shots of Mercury for a while and I would like a chance to finally wear Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Looking forward to seeing if the summer weather holds out until mid-September.
August 29th, 2015
Just a quick update. Amanda sent me her edited photos from the shoots that I did with her at Atomic Lollipop so I now have over a dozen new photos of both my DBZ: Battle of the Gods Bulma
and my casual Hotaru from Sailor Moon Super
costumes. It was really nice to work with her again and we got lots of lovely photos in different areas of the Science Centre including outside, by some funky walls and around some exhibits. Amanda really made attending APOP worth it. (^_^)
August 27th, 2015
I've made a bit of headway with my upcoming Inkling Kid Splatoon costume. Not actually progress with sewing, but I did buy a second t-shirt from Walmart of all places for $3 that looks like it should be ok with some modification to use as a base for my default Splatoon shirt. I'm petite and although the shirt is an xs, I think I need to maybe take in the sides and at least reduce the sleeve length. I also bought a second pair of bike shorts so I can add the pink stripes guilt free and keep the shorts just for this costume. I'm in contact with my friend who is taking tentacle commissions and she's going to be making me my tentacles. Hopefully I can get those in the next month or so.
I'm hoping to perhaps pick up a wig at Fan Expo. Still not 100% sure if I'm going to Fan Expo, but if I do go on the Sunday, I would like to look at Arda Canada or Cactus Mafia to get a wig for the costume. The actual sewing parts still allude me. I can't really set up my sewing machine until the renovation work is done here and we probably have 2 or 3 more weeks left with that. Can't wait for it to be done so we can get the house back in order again! Once that happens I just need to make a mask, add text details to the shirt (probably with felt like what I did for young Bulma) and sew the pink stripes to the shorts. I visited my friend Adrien last weekend and he helped me put together a pair of headphones as an accessory for my costume. I'm still not sure if I'll end up with a gun or a tank, but at least I'll have a neat prop accessory to add to the costume. It's just made out of foam with various duct and electrical tapes, but it actually looks really neat!
Speaking of costumes, Elemental has started posting some of her preview shots from some summer cons and I have a few photos of my Bulma
and casual Hotaru
costumes. Really happy about the Bulma ones! The shot of me sitting down outside is probably one of the nicest Cosplay photos of me and I love it. I really appreciate the nice photo previews and a taste of the lovely photos to come. (^^)
I briefly mentioned Fan Expo earlier in this update and regarding costuming for it, I haven't worked on anything new so if I do go I'll have to pull something out of my closet. I'm thinking of re-wearing my Battle of the Gods Bulma costume given that it's super topical now that Dragon Ball Super is airing the Battle of the Gods arc. I'm just looking for a simple comfy costume because Fan Expo is pretty crowded. Heck maybe I won't even Cosplay. I'll have to see how I feel and what tickles my fancy. If I drastically change my plans I'll post here. Right now I'm mostly interested in going to see some friends and check out the Artist Alley and exhibitors area with Pan. That's become a fun con tradition for the one day I tend to go to Fan Expo. (^_^)
August 18th, 2015
It's been a month since Atomic Lollipop. Time really flies! I haven't really done that much regarding Cosplay in the last month. I did visit Ammie and she did help me fix up my Dilandau costume since it was rather big on me when I wore it at AN. I was visiting her for a weekend just after APOP last month. She took in the jacket and pants, reduced the size of the collar, painted the boots, added interfacing to the top of the boot covers and she helped me style the wig. She was so fast too! She did all the alterations in just a few hours. I just need to work with Adrien on making a belt that can work with the sword he modified for me and the costume will be good to go. Hopefully we can work on that this fall and I'll wear the costume again to AN next year.
Otherwise, it's been very intense around my house. My older brother will be moving out in a week or so and my family is currently having our kitchen remodeled and the renovation will take another 3 weeks to complete. It's very chaotic and I don't really have a place to work on costumes right now. Having said that, I've been following the progress of my friends Cosplaying as Inkling Kids as they worked on their costumes for Otakuthon. The group turned out really nicely and I was encouraged by members of the group to join up as they were missing someone to be pink. I really like the designs for the game so over the weekend I bought some thread and fabric for the tentacles. One of the members of the group made and painted all the tentacles for everyone and I love her technique so I'm going to be commissioning her to make me some Inkling tentacles. I want to blend them in with a wig I have yet to buy. I also bought a shirt as I want to make the default white shirt, but the shirt I bought isn't opaque enough so I need to get one that's better. I'm trying to keep the costume fairly cheap and casual so it'll be a fun summer costume to wear without much of a fuss. I should be able to get that done in the next couple of months if I can break out my sewing machine. As I make progress with the costume I'll post here about it.
Mostly I'm just looking forward to some calm around the house before I think about making costumes. Time for summer shoots is also ticking away. I have yet to make any plans, but I am still hoping to do one or two shoots before the end of September. As much as I love the fall, it's always sad when you realize summer is more than half over.
July 20th, 2015
Atomic Lollipop is over for another year. This was my second time going and I had a fun time. It wasn't quite as exciting as last year as the wow factor of the con being held at the Science Centre has kind of worn off, but there was still plenty to see and do. I was able to do shoots of both my casual Hotaru and my Bulma costumes with Elemental and I'm really excited to see how those turned out. We tried to incorporate a couple of science exhibits for Bulma photos so I think they'll look really cool.
I did get a chance to try making some crafts. I starting making a plush Luna-P on Friday evening. Didn't get a chance to finish it, though. Should be quite cute when it's done. I missed out on most of the other crafts, but my friend Pan was able to help me make up a kit so I could make my own plush poptart at home so I'm going to continue working on that for fun. Seemed to be a lot of really neat projects on the go this year. I checked out a lot of the Science Centre exhibits in detail and I even took a couple of walks in the outdoor areas. The Science Centre is quite gorgeous and a very unique con setting. It was quite surreal to watch the big nerf fight in the Weston Family Innovation Centre!
I was able to catch a glimpse of the Elijah Wood DJ set on Saturday evening. It was super crowded so it literally was just a glimpse, but it was cool to see him nonetheless. Still such an unexpected guest. I missed the Prozzak concert, but I heard the con hit capacity during the event and it was super popular. I remember that band being quite popular when I was in my early teens. The years really fly by! Finally, I happily paid to watch the Humpback Whales IMAX film. Whales in general (but humpback whales especially) are my favourite animals so it was a very exciting and moving experience to see a movie about them. The IMAX dome at the Science Centre is a really amazing theatre. It's so immersive so I definitely recommend seeing movies there!
I was able to get another 2 commissioned chibi art pieces of myself in my costumes for the weekend from a lovely artist including one with me and Pan (as Hotaru and female Magneto). The artist who offers to draw people as chibis is super talented and I really enjoy her work! Overall Atomic Lollipop was lots of fun. I again enjoyed the science exhibits and just the way the con blends in and is strengthened by everything the Science Centre has to offer. I do think I'll attend the con again, but I may not go all 3 days next year. It's quite exhausting. I do have to say, for costume shoots this is a really cool venue and for con atmosphere it's tough to beat!
Next is a break until I perhaps go to Fan Expo for one day. Again, I probably won't be working on any costumes over the next month or so, but I have talked to some friends who are working on Splatoon costumes for Otakuthon so I may Cosplay an Inkling Girl for Halloween this year. One of the members of the group has mastered making adorable Inkling hats so I might commission a hat from her. If I do that, I'll definitely re-wear the costume at AN or Atomic Lollipop next year. I am hoping before the fall that I can get some photos of my Saki costume from Onechanbara and also photos of Sailor Mercury and my Shinku costume from Rozen Maiden. It would be great if I could update some of my old costume galleries!
July 14th, 2015
Long time no update! I kind of hoped that I would be really productive this summer and get moving on something new for Atomic Lollipop, but despite coming up with lots of ideas, I just never had the time to execute anything. I considered making an Inkling Girl costume from Splatoon for a Splatoon group. A bunch of my friends are doing Inkling kid costumes for Otakuthon and my friends were encouraging me to join the group. Sadly, I'm not going to Otakuthon and I just didn't have the time to pattern out the hat for Atomic Lollipop. I might make a Splatoon costume for fun at a later day. It's kind of too bad because the outfits really fit the party atmosphere of Atomic Lollipop and I love the aesthetic of the game. Another costume idea was to re-wear my Sasuke costume with Pan who would re-wear her Naruto costume. Both of us need new wigs, though, and we ran out of time to order and style wigs that we liked. A third option was to make the blouse for a summer middle school uniform for Usagi from Sailor Moon. I have the skirt and shoes already from a previous costume. Shouldn't be too difficult, but I only thought about it with two weeks to go until APOP. Still maybe could have made it work, but I decided to soak and try to revitalize the pigtails of my Usagi wig as they're quite tangled and frizzy. I tried using a fabric softener tutorial online. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to do much to fix the frizziness although the wig does feel softer. Not sure how to fix the wig now. It needs some serious TLC.
So instead I've been looking through my costume history for ideas of what to wear at APOP next weekend. My hope is to wear some costumes that I need better photos of. I'm definitely going to wearing my Bulma (DBZ: Battle of the Gods) costume. I think the Science Centre is a really fitting location to wear a Bulma costume to. (^_^) It's topical now too as the first arc in the new Dragon Ball Super series is a retelling of the Battle of the Gods movie. The outfit that I made will feature heavily in several episodes coming up. Really enjoying Super so far! I love the comedic filler elements!
The other costume that I'm going to wear to APOP is a bit up in the air. I'll most likely re-wear my casual Hotaru costume from Sailor Moon. The costume was a gift from Amber a few years ago. I've worn it a couple of times already, but I would like more photos of it. I have other ideas for APOP. I could wear my Halloween Lolita Rei costume, my Dragon Ball Bulma costume or one of my many Scout fukus. I still have a Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that I've never even worn. XD
I'll probably wear Hotaru on Friday and Bulma on Saturday. Sunday will be casual and I won't be Cosplaying so I can just take in the Science Centre. I'll post again after the con with a report of some of my con experiences. There a couple of crafting activities and other con events that I want to check out. I think in future years I may only attend the con for a day, but I'm looking forward to taking in everything that the con has to offer this year and hopefully have an awesome time!
May 28th, 2015
Anime North is over yet again for another year. Overall I had a good time, but my weekend was overshadowed by the fact I caught a cold that progressed over the course of the weekend. I started feeling sick Saturday morning with sneezing, a sore throat and aching eyes and I got a little worse on Sunday. By Monday night I had a fever and dizziness. I didn't think much of it on Saturday, but it really impacted on my focus and ability to Cosplay. Ammie delivered my Dilandau costume to me on Friday night and I tried it on for the first time Saturday morning. It was a bit of a bad sign to try on a costume for the first time at a con. I experienced some fit issues with the jacket among other parts. My wig took a tumble and lost some of its styling. Things just worked against me. I was only able to wear Dilandau for a few hours on Saturday and I didn't do any shoots. I doubt there is much photo evidence of the costume online. I consider AN to be a test run. The costume, overall, turned out really nicely though. Besides it being a bit big, Ammie nailed the jacket details and the armour looked awesome. She has offered to help me tailor the coat at a later date so hopefully I'll be able to visit her in London to get help with that.
I had to change out of Dilandau because I was feeling very out of focus and my eyes were hurting. I thought it was the contacts, but it was just symptoms of my ramping up cold. It's very sad that after all the energy I put into the con my experience was dampened by a cold. I did have a great time on Friday before getting sick. The Nominioichi went really well and I think year 2 of selling for me was even better than year 1. My sales totals weren't quite as high, but I sold about 90% of what I brought. I made over $1,200 selling this year and it was nice to see some of my plush toy items and figures that I really cared for go to some really nice people that stopped by the table. Being behind a table at the garage sale event is a really social thing for me. It really makes me comfortable to chat with people who were passing by. I'll probably spring for a table again next year although it may only be a half one. I've depleted a lot of items I'm comfortable with selling at the moment, which is a good thing. The Nomi is a great event to help clear out clutter!
My Friday costume, Bulma from the DBZ: Battle of the Gods movie was really fun to wear. I had to wear a coat for a lot of the time I was in the costume as it was cold on Friday, but it was a really comfy outfit for the Nominoichi. Not a lot of people recognized the costume, but I loved how the dress turned out and how my wig worked for the character. It was a costume I felt great in because it was quite flattering. I'm definitely looking forward to wearing it again and I'll be wearing it at Atomic Lollipop for sure. My friend Pan was kind enough to get some photos of my costume in our hotel room. We had reserved a king bed hotel room, but our room wasn't ready at check-in time so we were offered an executive suite upgrade for free. Our hotel room was two rooms long and had a massive bathroom with space for everyone to do makeup comfortably. It was a Cosplayers dream suite! Only downside is that the pull-out couch bed was in a room with no real curtains. That was a bit of a struggle to deal with as there was nothing to block out daylight. (>.<) Still really cool to be on the 12th floor and have such a big room!
After changing out of my Dilandau costume on Saturday, I spent the rest of the weekend casually. I visited the dealer's room, the art show and the comics market. I bought a few pieces of fanart, a Halloween brooch, another Kuma Crafts necklace, and an Arda wig to potentially Cosplay as Moira from Resident Evil: Revelations 2 down the line. I bought a few neat things at the Nominoichi: a couple of the Sailor Moon gashapon wands, a light up Madoka soul gem and a Disneyland Haunted Mansion CD. My favourite find of the weekend was the Supergirl Bishoujo statue. I had been hoping to get Supergirl for over a year now especially after buying the new Wonder Woman statue at Fan Expo last summer as I also have Batgirl and I wanted to complete the trio. Supergirl is pretty hard to come by. She originally retailed for about $65, but online she usually sells for between $100-$250 depending on the condition. I wasn't willing to pay over $100 for her. I saw a few booths selling old Bishoujo statues for inflated prices in the dealer's room, but like a dream come true, I found Supergirl for $75 brand new at a dealer's room booth. Definitely a lucky find!
It was nice to see some friends I don't often see at AN. Every few minutes I ran into somebody I recognized or knew. Local cons are great for that. I thought the organization for the con was really good this year and most things went smoothly. I just wish I hadn't been sick for a lot of the con. I'm not really better now, but at least I don't feel as dizzy. Hopefully I won't get sick like this again next year.
Next up is Atomic Lollipop unless I do some sort of shoot before then. I'm hoping to at least get photos of Sailor Mercury and Shinku before the year is up. I think my other costume plans for the year will be pushed back due to a busy schedule and some potential reno work around the house. I will work on Madoka later this year, but the costume probably won't be worn until Anime North next year. Same thing with making the summer uniform blouse for Usagi. I'm pretty excited about getting Dilandau fully completed so that will be my focus until it's done.
Pan sent me the photos she took of my Bulma Battle of the Gods costume so if you're interested, the costume page can be found here
. I'll do a shoot of the costume at Atomic Lollipop so more photos will come then. I had rubbed off my lipstick before I did these photos and it was midnight at this point so I was quite tired. I also had my scarf tied over the wrong shoulder. XD Next shoot I'll be sure to check over the details, but it feels great to add a new costume to my site!
May 21st, 2015
AN starts tomorrow (although pre-reg badge pick-up is tonight) and I'm currently hard at work packing up my stuff and sorting out the goods I'm selling at the Nominoichi tomorrow. My Bulma costume is now totally ready to go as my friend Pan helped me trim the wig last wek. I'll be wearing Bulma tomorrow although I'm sad the weather is on the cool side for Friday. Bulma is a really fun character to Cosplay so I'm sure it'll be a nice experience to portray her again.
Ammie finished work on my Dilandau costume so I'll be getting that from her tomorrow. Adrien also finished up the sword prop. I'm so excited to wear Dilandau! The costume has turned out to be very expensive (the most expensive costume in my history of costuming) but the end result looks amazing and I can't wait to see how it fits! I've been working on styling the wig. It's not perfect, but hopefully it'll look nice with the costume. Dilandau is my ultimate dream costume so I'm pretty pumped for Saturday!
I feel a bit weird going to the con with only two costumes (one of which I don't have and I don't know how well it'll fit) but I'm going to try to take it easy once the craziness of the Nominoichi passes on Friday night. I feel a bit worn down with ColossalCon falling through and with a large number of events coming up in June so I hope I can just have some real fun this weekend. At the very least all the fuss over Colossal is over now. I was able to transfer my badge and my hotel room so I didn't lose any money (I actually made a few dollars getting a refund on my hotel room). Anyway, I hope everyone that's going to AN has an amazing weekend!
May 5th, 2015
Like every year since 2002 when I first started Cosplaying at cons and attending Anime North, May is shaping up to be a bit of a stressful month. Actually, Cosplay overall isn't the biggest stressor, but it is contributing. I'm still trying to work out the kinks in my upcoming Dilandau costume. Discussing costume progress with Ammie (who I'm commissioning the costume from) is keeping me on my toes. My boots finally arrived for the costume, but the wig for Dilandau (along with the wig for my Bulma costume) both still need to be trimmed. The biggest issue with Dilandau right now is figuring out the sword belt. My friend Adrien is making my sword, but Ammie lives in a different city so the costume won't come together until I get it at AN. Problem is that the sword is wooden and the weight of it needs to be considered. I'm not sure how the belt will come together and if I'll be able to use it at AN. I'm crossing my fingers that we can figure something out.
The bigger stress is sorting out holds and organizing my goods that I'm selling at the Nominoichi. I think if I sell again in future years I'm not going to bother posting my goods for holds in advance. It's a lot of work to upkeep lists and keep track of holds that come up or are cancelled. I'm powering through a lot of Anime goods this year anyway, to sell at the event so in future years I think it would be a lot more low key. At this point I'm looking forward to the moment when the event is over and I've cleared my table post-Nominoichi so I can relax. XD
My biggest current issue is the fact that plans for Colossalcon have fallen through. Sadly (unless something drastic happens) I won't be attending the con. It's a letdown because I was looking forward to the resort. The con itself seemed underwhelming, but I was looking forward to seeing some friends and relaxing at the pools, but some unexpected expenses on my end came up as well as some hotel roommates dropping out suddenly. That's made me change my mind on the con. Too bad I already bought a badge and the hotel is in my name. I'm looking to sell my badge and hopefully transfer my hotel room so I don't lose much money on the venture. It's really too bad it's gotten to the point where you have to book a hotel almost a year in advance to attend a con these days. You never know what your situation will be like in a year and real life happens.
I will say that since costume plans for Madoka have been put on hold until a mid-summer con, I wasn't really that pumped for Colossal in terms of Cosplay. Hopefully I'll have a great time at Anime North to make up for missing Colossal. I am definitely not skipping out on Atomic Lollipop so at least I have one other definite con to look forward to. Still, wish I could take a vacation this year. Maybe I'll try to actually go on a real vacation instead of just going to cons and calling that a vacation. Cons are so busy and complicated with Cosplay that they really aren't a holiday. XD They do have their charm, though, so I really do feel bad when I cancel plans to attend an event.
April 18th, 2015
I now have my wig for my upcoming Bulma Battle of the Gods costume. I just need to get it cut and the costume will be good to go for Anime North. I've decided to wear the costume on Friday of the con, which will coincide with the Nominoichi. Should be a fairly comfortable costume to wear during the busy event. I did get assigned a table (N172) and I'm currently preparing goods to sell. I'll have lots of figures, plush toys, wigs and Manga. Last year the Nominoichi was pretty stressful, but still lots of fun. Hopefully this year will be much of the same (but maybe a little less stressful!)
As for other AN plans, I believe Dilandau is still happening. Haven't really heard much about the costume progress, but I'm crossing my fingers for AN. My other costume plan for AN was Madoka's school uniform, which I was planning to make. I'm currently working on it with help from Pan. We started creating a pattern for the blouse, but it's taking some time. We've given up on getting our school uniform costumes done for AN and that means Colossal is pretty much out too. Our new goal is to try to get them done for Atomic Lollipop. The series has quite a bright and funky aesthetic especially when dealing with the witch worlds so the varying decor of the Science Centre would probably look really great for the series. I'll be pushing back working on my Sailor Moon Usagi summer school uniform until after Madoka so I might work on that in the mid summer or into the fall. I'll try to get sewing by mid-May or I might not finish my Madoka costume in time for Atomic Lollipop anyway. XD At least the costume should be done with plenty of time to spare before Anime North next year!
I'm still not sure what I might bring to Colossalcon. I'm thinking Sailor Mercury for the Sailor Moon group Ammie asked me to be in but my other plans are up in the air. I am considering bringing my Bulma Battle of the Gods costume and maybe some other old costume like my Dragon Ball Bulma costume. I'll make a decision probably by June. It's too bad Madoka has to be postponed, but I am still very excited to wear the costume when I finish it.
March 24th, 2015
As of last night I finished up all the sewing parts of my Bulma DBZ: Battle of the Gods costume. I finished the dress and I lucked out by finding some material in an old fabric bin to make the scarf out of. I also got my boots in the mail and painted the light pink boot details. I'm just waiting on some shoelaces and my wig. A friend of a friend picked up the wig from Arda Canada at Toronto Comic Con, but I'm not quite sure when I'll be getting the wig. I also still need my friend Pan to help me style it. Having said that, the costume is almost good to go.
Now that Bulma is mostly done, I'll be able to take a quick break from sewing, but I'm figuring that I'll try to jump back into sewing in early April after Pan finishes her class and we'll try to get things going on Homura and Madoka together. I'm hoping that our approach of working together will see us getting the costumes done without too much trouble with time to spare before AN. I'm getting a bit worried as it took me quite a bit of time to work up the motivation to get the scarf and dress done for Bulma and that was a pretty simple costume. The school uniforms from Madoka definitely have a very tailored and detailed look to them. Crossing my fingers that we won't get overwhelmed. I still need to focus on the Nominoichi as well. Wish me luck! Worse comes to worse, I put off the costume. My friend Ammie is still working on my Dilandau costume so if everything works out, I'll have a lot of costume options for AN.
February 28th, 2015
It's been just over a month since I started working on my Bulma Battle of the Gods costume and it's over half done. I'm nearly done making the dress, but I ran into some problems finishing it as I forgot to buy thread for the dress and I've been using a purple thread that's a little too light. I want to see if I can buy a better shade of purple for finishing it up. I just need to finish the arm holes and hem the bottom of the dress. I also still need to make the green scarf. It shouldn't take long, but again the thread I have is way too light for the fabric. I'm also not 100% sold on the fabric I have for the scarf. It's a darker shade of lime green than the scarf Bulma is wearing and I'm not sure I like the colour match between the scarf and dress. I may just make the scarf to figure out the length and look and if I'm not happy I'll buy more fabric and re-make it.
I did recently buy my badge for Atomic Lollipop as the con opened up early pre-reg. APOP was a lot of fun last year so I'm really looking forward to the con in the summer this year. It's actually going to be a very busy start to the summer for me. Besides Anime North and hopefully selling at the Nominoichi again, I'm still set to attend Colossal in early June. I was also just asked by a friend to be a bridesmaid at her wedding, which is in late June. Needless to say, preparing for the wedding and wedding events, on top of attending a couple of cons and sewing costumes is going to make the spring very interesting! It was quite an honour for my friend to ask me to be part of her wedding party so it's also going to make for a very memorable year.
I still have yet to start my Madoka costume. Pan will be working on that with me when she finishes school at the end of March so hopefully by our powers combined we can power through making the Homura and Madoka costumes in the last 2 months before AN. I'm also not 100% sure if my friend Ammie will be finishing my Dilandau costume commission for AN this year so I might need to be selective about what costumes I wear to the con. With Colossal falling so close to AN, at least I have lots of costumes to pick from to bring to both events!
January 20th, 2015
It's been a month since my last update and the start of the year is now well behind us. I was hoping to have accomplished quite a bit during the Christmas break, but sadly that just wasn't in the cards. I suffered from a lack of motivation regarding working on Madoka's school uniform. I did actually visit my friend Pan and I sewed together a mock I had made from a commercial pattern for the blouse, but it was just too ill-fitted on me. Pan and I came to the conclusion that I'm too petite around my neck and upper chest for the ratios of commercial patterns. That explains why I had to put so many darts into the top of my Princess Peach dress and why I never could quite get the fit right. It's tricky to adjust that area properly. Anyway, after trying to salvage the pattern, Pan decided to sort through her old costumes and costume patterns and found an old costume blouse that is somewhat similar to Madoka's uniform. Since she'll be Cosplaying Homura and will also be making the uniform, she's going to try to modify the pattern for us. We're both petite so the pattern will definitely fit me. So sadly I've suffered a setback, but with Pan's help later on I'll get back on track. I'm still hoping to wear Madoka to Anime North, but I'm not quite sure when I can fit it into my costume schedule.
Speaking of AN, I only just ordered my pre-reg for the con. I was totally not prepared for the new ordering system and I missed joining up with friends for group reg and also, the cheapest pre-reg rate. Very disappointed in that, but I know to be more on top of reg for next year. I was looking forward to trying out the mailing system for badges, but since I couldn't find enough people for a group, I missed out. Oh well, at least I was still able to get a pass! They have less than 5,000 weekend badges left and it's only January! AN is sure popular!
In the last few weeks I've been looking for inspiration for simple projects to get me excited to sew again and I stumbled upon some artwork for Bulma from the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods movie. I've wanted to Cosplay as Bulma from DBZ since I Cosplayed her from Dragon Ball and I thought her purple dress was super cute. Seems like a fairly simple outfit to make. I just need to make a dress and a scarf. I bought purple fabric for the dress last weekend and I dug up some old green fabric that I had purchased for a Syaoran costume I never made. The fabric is finally going to come in handy! Pan lent me a pattern to use for the dress so I'm hoping to make it quickly. Hopefully I'll have it done by early February so I can get back into working on Madoka after that. It looks like I do have a few costume projects for 2015 already so it should be a productive year!
December 20th, 2014
I just wanted to pop in really quickly to say that I'm not abandoning this website. I know I haven't updated it since the fall, but I have not forgotten my Cosplay hobby. I definitely am in the middle of a break from it though! I haven't been to a con or a costuming event since the summer. I've missed a few small cons and events. I kind of miss the years when I was more active, but I am getting older and busier and it's harder to get going on costume projects and find the energy to go to as many events.
I honestly haven't done much sewing and costume work in these last few months. I focused most of my energy and attention in the fall into my Halloween display at my house in October. I did get a pattern to alter for my Madoka school uniform and I began to make a mock-up with alterations for the blouse. I haven't been able to find the motivation to get out my sewing machine, though, so I've made very little progress. I did get some fabric last weekend with Pan for making my own front bow and hair bows and my wig came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Very underwhelmed by the wig as I expected it to be more pre-styled for Madoka. It's basically a long bob with hair clips. The hair clips are fine, but the bob is super long so it needs a lot of trimming. I also still need to find nice triangular trim for the bottom of the blouse and the cuffs. So I've made a minor bit of progress, but I'm in a bit of a rut.
This was a very light year for me in terms of Cosplay. Possibly the lightest year since I first started Cosplaying in 2001. I only made 1 costume this year (Tennis Princess Peach) although I did wear a couple of other new ones (Snow White Lolita and Usagi's school uniform) and I finally got photos of the China Sherry costume that I made last year. I think I meant to do more, but it's just been tough to find motivation. Maybe it's the fact that I've been Cosplaying for so many years nonstop that's catching up with me. Slowing down a bit isn't necessarily a bad thing either. I think I just find it hard to connect with people and feel connected to cons and the Cosplay scene now. It's a whole new generation of con-goers and there is a very different approach to both costuming and conventions these days. I just need to figure out my place with it or just step back a bit. At the moment I'm sort of stepping back. Not sure if that will continue in 2015. I am still looking forward to Colossalcon and I'm already brainstorming for organizing more things to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North. Hopefully I'll be able to Cosplay Dilandau from Escaflowne at AN. That certainly would get me excited about costuming again!
I did have some fun con experiences this year. Doing the Nominoichi at Anime North was very time consuming and stressful, but I really loved interacting with people and it was fun to find new homes for some of the Anime goods I really enjoyed and took care of. I had fun wearing my Princess Peach ballgown again too! It's still one of my biggest Cosplay achievements. Atomic Lollipop in the summer turned out to be a really reinvigorating experience. I loved the venue! The Science Centre is so much fun and the crafting events were really relaxing and social. I even enjoyed going to Fan Expo for the Sunday. Fan Expo has become a real beast of a con, which sucks in a lot of ways, but it sure is a nexus for con attendees, artists and Cosplayers in Toronto.
I'll post again when I get more work done on Madoka or if I make plans to go to a con or work on something else. I have 2 weeks of vacation from work for Christmas this year that just started, and I'm hoping to actually get some work done on Madoka. I'll cross my fingers that I'll be able to clear some clutter and I can get the mock-up done for the blouse.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! Wishing everyone all the best in 2015! It should be an interesting year!
September 13th, 2014
I stand corrected about the slow down of updates! SolarTempest just posted his galleries from spring/early summer events so I have some lovely shots of my Tennis Princess Peach costume
. I still definitely want to do a tennis court shoot, but for the time being I have some great shots of the costume in action. Unfortunately, I didn't get a full body shot with SolarTempest of the outfit so you can't see the shoes that I spent so much time on. I still have a sort of outtake picture care of Mai Sheri that shows the full outfit. Next time I do a shoot of the costume I'll be sure to get some dynamic full body shots. I'm glad the photos turned out, though! I was so worried that my wig would look silly with it being pulled back or that my wig would be falling backwards, which was an issue that I had earlier in the day during Anime North. I'm quite happy with the costume despite the dress being a bit droopy in the front due to the weight of the brooch. It was a nice costume to make and it was fun to wear another of Peach's outfits! I do love all the pink. <3
I actually did start drafting pattern pieces for the blouse of my Madoka school uniform costume. I hope I can start sewing a mock together later on this month. I do hope my attempts at pattern alteration actually work out!
I'm currently only waiting on a couple more shoot photos from two shoots last fall so soon I'll be totally caught up. That's giving me some motivation to plan out future shoots for costumes that still really need highlight photos.
September 9th, 2014
The updates keep rolling in! I did a shoot with Pan last weekend of my RE6 China Sherry costume in a nearby forested area. Getting photos of that Sherry costume was one of my goals for the summer so I'm glad that I managed it before summer ended. I wanted to include a couple of weapon props so options for shooting in public spaces were kind of limited. I know the part of the game in which Sherry wears this outfit is a very urban setting and is in China so a forest doesn't really work very well, but I still had fun with the location. Pan helped me get lots of great shots of the costume that highlight a lot of the costume details. You can view the costume page here
The last time that I wore China Sherry was when I debuted the costume at Anime North 2013. I couldn't remember that much about wearing the outfit because I only wore it for a few hours and that included the time that I spent as a panelist on the Resident Evil panel so the costume was a bit of a blur. I was quite concerned that the costume wasn't that great, but I did a pretty good job on the outfit and I really tried to capture all the little details. The costume is mostly bought clothing, but I did quite a bit of alteration work on it. Also my pouches, holster and shoulder harness were all gifts from my friend Jay. They look really awesome! Without his help the costume definitely wouldn't have happened. Finding a harness was a sticking point for the costume. I'm too petite to wear commercial ones and I didn't want to make one. Hopefully I'll wear this costume again one day for a group. We had a group at AN 2013, but we weren't able to do a shoot.
This will probably signal the end of the stream of updates that have been going on for the last couple of weeks. Things are calming down now that summer is almost over. There are only a few more photoshoots that I'm waiting for photos from and I don't suppose I'll get those shoot photos back for a little while. I'm still hoping to do a Tennis Princess Peach shoot, but the weather is cooling down now so I may have to wait until next spring for that. Hopefully this fall or winter I can get some shots of Shinku from Rozen Maiden. I really don't have a single photo of that costume that I love mostly because my wigs were always a disaster. I bought a new one and would love to get some costume photos that I can be proud of.
September 5th, 2014
It has only been a few days since my last update, but Stillvisions just posted photos of my Princess Peach costume from a shoot that I did with him during Otakuthon last year. I was a bit pressed for time and my feet were already starting to hurt so we weren't able to explore old Montreal for some photos amongst the old buildings, but we worked the area outside of the convention centre and we even got some nice shots in the colourful glass hallway. I'm happy to have some pretty photos of Princess Peach. I'll probably try to squeeze in at least one more shoot of the costume, but I do intend to wear it at least a couple more times. It was such a time consuming and difficult costume to put together, but I'm really proud of my hard work! You can view the costume page here
I just finalized plans with Pan to take some photos of China Sherry next Saturday so I should be able to post some photos of that costume in just a few days (provided that the photos turn out). I'm looking forward to suiting up in that costume again as I really don't have any nice photos of the costume right now. The photos from Anime North 2013 really didn't turn out very well because it was so dark and my camera isn't very good. If I have time, I might be able to pick Pan's brain so we can get working on our Madoka school uniform costumes. I cut out the commercial pattern pieces that I plan to use for the blouse, but I still need to modify them. I have definitely been procrastinating when it comes to sewing. XD I'm hoping that all the lovely photos I've received lately will jumpstart my brain so I'll finally get sewing.
September 1st, 2014
August was a quiet month Cosplay wise. I didn't really attend any events for the majority of the month. I did buy fabric
to make the blouse for my upcoming Madoka school uniform costume. I have a pattern for the blouse and I'm planning to
start making a test version of the blouse sometime soon. I still need a wig for the costume and some trim, but I have the
majority of what I need to make the Madoka costume happen. I even convinced my friend Pan to buy fabric to Cosplay as Homura in her school uniform and that is really exciting! I still don't plan to debut it until Anime North next year
unless I can do a shoot prior to that. That's really only because Anime North 2015 is my next planned con.
Thanks to my friends Pan and Leslie, I was given the opportunity to go to Fan Expo for a day this year. The last time I
was at Fan Expo was for the Sunday of the con in 2012. I didn't attend Fan Expo at all last year. The plan to go to the
con was sort of last minute. I actually debated about buying a badge to go to Fan Expo on Friday because there were a
few events that I wanted to check out, but I thought about it too late and I didn't have time to take a day off. Instead,
I went on Sunday and checked out the show floor.
I did enjoy a lot of the Artist Alley booths. I got a really cute Sam
from Trick 'r Treat mini knit plush, some cute geeky jewellery, and a jack-o'-lantern magnet. I mostly shopped, but I did
Cosplay with Pan. I re-wore my Batgirl dress and Pan wore Supergirl. We didn't do a shoot or anything, but we had fun
wandering around the con and meeting the occasional friend. Sadly, we missed seeing a bunch of friends at the con
(including my friend Ammie who I didn't realize was at the con at the same time) but it was still a nice time. The con
was kind of busy, but apparently it was a zoo on Saturday. I couldn't imagine going to Fan Expo for the Saturday or the
full four days. Kudos to people willing to constantly battle the crowds! I could see myself getting my fill of some of
the unique vendors and events by attending the con for a day in future years. Maybe go on Sunday or the Friday. I'll have
to consider it for next year, but it all really depends on my other summer plans and my level of interest in the con.
It was nice to be at a con again. I think I wanted to go and Cosplay mostly because I know it'll be a while before I go
to an event. Fan Expo was a big tradition for me from 2001 up until 2012 so it was almost nostalgic attending the con
again. It's definitely something else seeing that the con is now held in both the north and south buildings. The event is
huge and the crowds can be intense. It's both an exciting and kind of terrifying con reality. I would definitely not
recommend being at the con on Saturday when the crowds are most intense.
Fan Expo aside, my friend Elemental posted her photos from the Toronto Centre Island Cosplay Picnic and Atomic Lollipop
so I added 22 photos to the Snow White Lolita costume page from the Toronto Cosplay
and 12 new Halloween dress photos from Atomic Lollipop
. It's really great to have
some lovely new photos of both outfits. The Snow White photos are very pretty so I definitely made the right choice by
requesting a photoshoot with Elemental!
Next up I'm planning to get together with Pan next weekend and try to do a shoot in her backyard (that borders on a park)
of my China Sherry costume from Resident Evil 6. It's not really the most appropriate setting for photos of Sherry since that part of the game
is set in a very urban environment, but it'll be nice to get some outdoor photos. I just want a few costume
highlight photos so I can retire it. After that I would like to do a shoot with Elemental at a Tennis Court of Tennis
Princess Peach. We haven't made a plan for that yet so I might have to hold it off until next year since summer is almost over. I can't believe that it's already September!
I am still waiting on
a few photoshoots from the past year so there should be a few more photos coming of Sam from Trick 'r Treat, Princess Peach, Tennis Princess Peach and Ashley from Resident Evil 4. As the photoshoots are posted, I will continue to update this site.
July 31st, 2014
Welcome to the new face of Straywind.com! For the last three weeks I've been working on implementing the new layout. This layout was a gift from
my awesome friend Pan
. The original website layout that I used from 2008 up until now was never meant to be
a long term design. I made it really quickly when I got my domain so I could get my website up and running. I had always wanted to make something
new that incorporated more of my costume photos, but my knowledge of HTML is from the late 90s so I'm super out of date and couldn't really come
up with a solid design. Thanks to Pan, I now have this lovely layout which incorporates many of my favourite costumes. I can swap out the
pictures as well, if I really wanted to change things in the coming years. I love the fact she found a Halloween font to use for the background.
I think this design really speaks to me and does a great job representing my personality and my costumes. It's bright and cute, but still has a
creepy edge. (^_^)
I've changed quite a few things about the site. I merged some pages such as the Links and Link Me section. I removed the splash page for the
domain as well as the individual costume sections for various interests like video games or other media and everything is now listed in a master
gallery section. My favourite new addition is the fact that I added a scroll over effect on the costume page icons. For any costume that I have
nice Cosplay pictures of, I created a second icon of myself in costume so you can see the character and instantly, my costume interpretation before viewing
the costume page. It's in play for about 90% of the pages, but I don't have impressive photos of a lot of my older costumes so I skipped that detail for some of the icons.
Combing over my old pages I can really see how far I've come as a Cosplayer. A few costume pages have been taken down and a few costume photos
have been removed of some of my costumes if I felt the costume or photos were just too inferior. There are a couple of costumes that I didn't
remove that are on the bubble as I feel I didn't quite do the character justice. It's tough to be harsh because in a lot of cases the costumes in
question are nearly 10 years old so I need to cut myself some slack. I feel like in this day and age with the quality of costuming, it's hard not
to be a critic even when considering the time period and skill level that I had when I made some of my older costumes. I can't say that I'm not
proud of how far I've come and I'm definitely looking forward to my future projects. I might not make as many costumes these days, but it's all
about quality over quantity and enjoying the journey and it has been quite the journey thus far!
I'm still waiting for a multitude of costume photos from the past year. Some Tennis Princess Peach photos from Anime North, photos of Princess
Peach from Otakuthon last year and photos of my Sam (Trick 'r Treat) and Ashley from RE4 costumes that I did shoots of last fall. Also, photos of my Halloween
summer dress from Atomic Lollipop and my new Snow White dress from the Cosplay Picnic. You can expect to see lots of new content in the next few months. I will hopefully be planning a photoshoot of
at least Tennis Princess Peach before fall with Elemental. I still hope to get some photos of China Sherry from Resident Evil 6 as well. I'm not
planning to re-wear the costume to an event again, but before I retire it, I hope I can get a few photos so I can properly post photos to other
I did add a little bit of new content to this site. I read through every costume page and edited some of the text. Thanks for bearing with some
of my typos, which were kind of terrible in some of the costume pages. XD I did add a few new photos to my Watanuki costume page
. Just some old
photos from Youmacon 2008 that I never got around to adding. I also added a new outfit page for my Sailor Lolita outfit
. I've been meaning
to properly incorporate a Lolita section for a couple of years now as I own a few Lolita outfits. I wasn't quite sure how to add that one and the
photos are all from 2010 and 2011. It's one of my favourite Lolita outfits so I'm happy to add it to the site. (^_^) I do own one other Lolita
dress at the moment, but the photos I had of it have been lost. Not sure if I'll wear it again or just hold off and sell it at the Nominoichi
next Anime North. I would love to own more Lolita outfits, but it's too pricey of a hobby to keep up with as I'm already saddled down with figure
I do have an important Cosplay update. I was able to find a gorgeous wool fabric to use for Madoka's school uniform skirt from Madoka Magica so I will
be working on a school uniform costume for her in the next few months. So far I only have the skirt fabric so it'll be slow going with the
costume. My intention is to get the costume done this fall and wear it to cons next year. I think that's a reasonable goal. I also have fabric to
make a new blouse for the summer version of Usagi's school uniform from Sailor Moon. This fall Ammie will be working on my Dilandau costume so
there is quite a bit going on with me Cosplay wise! Too bad my next convention isn't until May 2015, but in the meantime I'll enjoy a bit of a
break. I hope you enjoy this new look of Straywind.com!
July 14th, 2014
Atomic Lollipop turned out to be a really fun con. Honestly, it was the most fun that I've had at a con in the last few
years. I've always enjoyed spending time at the Science Centre so getting the chance to explore it over the course of 3
days was awesome. I haven't been to the Science Centre in a few years so a lot of areas were new to me. I tried out the
exhibits, participated in some of the electricity demonstrations (that were one-on-one because it was after hours),
explored the grounds around the Centre and checked out a show at the planetarium.
I saw quite a few great friends at the con and I liked a lot of the programming. I checked out the bouncy arena, the
exotic animal meet where I got to pet a kangaroo and a Chinese chicken and I made several crafts. I created a felt crown,
made a Calcifer plush from Howl's Moving Castle and a Sailor Moon locket shrinky dink. I haven't made crafts in years so
it was fun. One of my favourite things was fanart that Pan and I had done at the night market. On Friday we were drawn as
Chibis and I love how it turned out. The artist was really wonderful. I would link her deviantART account, but the art
piece is currently with Pan.
In terms of costumes, I did wear my Halloween dress on Friday of the con and I did a photoshoot around the Centre, mostly
in the rainforest exhibit, with Elemental. I'm really excited about those photos because it was such a unique location. Not
exactly Halloweeny, but interesting. I did wear my Tennis Princess Peach costume on Saturday. I didn't do a planned shoot
with Elemental, but I might have a couple of photos to post later. I discussed doing a private shoot of Tennis Peach at a
tennis court with Elemental so I'll wait to do in-character photos. I did get together my school uniform so I could
Cosplay Amy from Sailor Moon, but I was a little worn out from Cosplaying so I decided just wear casual clothes on the last day of the con and I didn't regret it at all! Sunday was great for getting some crafting done and relaxing. I will one day wear the school uniform as Amy. Maybe I'll hold it off to bring to APOP next year.
I do hope Atomic Lollipop is at the Science Centre again. It sounds like the Centre enjoyed the con attendees so I have a feeling it'll be held there again. Not 100% sure if I would go the full weekend or just for one day, but I would definitely like to go again.
Since I had such a great time at the con, I decided to finally book a hotel room for Colossalcon next year. I've never been before, but after hearing how great it is for the last few years, I decided to take the leap and go. This was actually my first time booking a hotel room, but I'll be rooming with Ammie, Jay and Stillvisions so it should be a wonderful time. Atomic Lollipop marks the end of my con season for the year, but I'm already gearing up for next year. As new photos from past photoshoots are posted I'll update this site.
Pan was nice enough to make a new layout for my Cosplay site. My current layout is as old as the website. The new layout she has been cooking up looks really neat and highlights several of my costumes so I'm super excited about posting it. I should be able to get it up before the end of summer. Once she has a chance to code it, it'll take me a little while to edit all of the individual pages, but an update to the layout of this site has been a long time coming so I'll try to get it up as soon as possible. I'll be migrating this site to straywind.com instead of straywind.com/cosplay as it's the sole focus of my domain.
July 10th, 2014
I attended the Centre Island Cosplay Picnic a couple of weeks ago and I debuted my new Snow White Lolita costume that I
had purchased from Ammie at Anime North. I did a private shoot during the picnic with Elemental so some shoot photos will be
coming soon. In the meantime, I found a really nice photo from the event of my costume and I created a costume page for it
that you can find here
. I had a fun time wearing the costume on the island. The weather was really nice and it was great to just relax for a day.
Next weekend is Atomic Lollipop and I'm really excited to check out the convention. I'm still deciding what costumes to wear, but at the moment I'm thinking of wearing my Halloween summer dress on Friday. I have a nice candy corn themed wig to go with it and I'm hoping to do a shoot of the costume. On Saturday I'm planning to re-wear my Princess Peach Tennis costume. Given that it's a short dress, it should be comfortable for the summer weather. My plan for Sunday is to possibly wear my Sailor Moon middle school uniform again, but this time to Cosplay as Amy. Given that APOP is at the Science Centre, that seems like a good location to Cosplay that character. Things have been sorted out regarding the seller of the school uniform. I was able to get a refund for my friend's costume, but I had to force it through a case and the seller never really apologized. It wasn't quite the outcome that I wanted, but I'm satisfied so I'll make the best of it with the costume that I have.
There are quite a few costumes that I think would be awesome to bring to the Science Centre so I might still change my plans, but I guess there is always next year if the event goes well. After this things will quiet down, but I think I'm going to slowly work on costumes for conventions next year. I'll see if I can work in a couple of private photoshoots. There are a number of costumes that I would like to get some photos of so hopefully before the weather gets cold some shoots can happen.
June 13th, 2014
Mike sent me the photos from the shoot that I did with him during Anime North of my Usagi school uniform. The photos overall are really cute. I'm a bit
disappointed that the front bow looks a bit lopsided. I should have sewn down the bow as one of the snaps started to let
go not long after I had put on the costume. It's nice to have a few really nice photos of the costume as I'm not sure if I'll
wear it again. You can check the costume page here
for the photos as well as a detailed
description of everything that my friend and I went through regarding my experience getting this costume commissioned. I
was very disappointed in the way that I was treated by the seller I had commissioned my costume and a Rei school uniform
from. My costume was ok despite a few faults, but the condition of my friend's costume was unacceptable. Due to this fact,
I won't be providing credit to the store that I purchased the costume from. I don't think the seller deserves more
I have yet to start working on the summer uniform version of Usagi's school uniform. I'm still not sure if I'll make that
for Atomic Lollipop, but it will happen sometime in the next few months for sure. Now that I have a new sewing machine,
I'm starting to consider costume options for next year so I think over the fall and winter I'll try to get back into the
swing of things with sewing. I'm definitely not going to make a lot of costumes for every con like I was doing in the good
old days, but I would be quite content if I could make 2 or 3 costumes a year and if I can take my time with things.
Quite a few of my Canadian and American friends attended Colossalcon this year and after seeing photos of the con, I'm
getting so intrigued and excited about it. I'm highly considering attending the convention next year although I've made no
firm plans yet. In the next few months I'll look into hotel room options and see if I can secure a ride and if I can, I'll
probably add that con to my schedule for 2015. I still wish I could attend a con or event later on this year, but nothing
has caught my fancy so far.
June 7th, 2014
I've been looking through Anime North photos for the last couple of weeks and I haven't really been finding a lot of photos of my costumes. I have found a few highlights. I spent the last few days making a write up for my Tennis Princess Peach costume. Beware that it's really long considering that Tennis Peach was meant to be a simple costume. XD You can find the costume page here.
I have a couple of photos up right now, but when SolarTempst posts his shoot photos from AN, I'll definitely add a few more. I wasn't so happy with clipping up my wig so hopefully I'll get some more photos of the costume later this summer. I'm planning to bring it to Atomic Lollipop, but I'm not 100% sure how dedicated I'm going to be to Cosplaying the whole weekend. I'm toying with the idea of wearing my Halloween summer dress since I don't really have nice photos of the outfit and I bought the Arda candy corn wig last fall that I'm dying to wear with the dress. I also bought cute candy corn shoes so I'm sort of debating about bringing it for one of the days. Sailor Moon school uniforms should be happening one of the other days of Atomic Lollipop. Pan is going to help me pattern out the summer uniform blouse so I'm going to make a new blouse for the con. I'm not so keen on wearing the original costume that I bought again. I haven't posted the costume page yet. I haven't really collected many photos of my Usagi school uniform costume and I'm waiting on photos from Mike. I'm not quite sure how they may have turned out. In the next couple of weeks I should be able to add that costume page, anyway, to this site, so stay tuned for that.
May 28th, 2014
Anime North has come and gone for yet another year. It's hard to believe that was my 13th time attending the convention. Honestly, the joy that I've felt from attending the convention over the years has definitely dulled. It's not quite as exciting as it was, say 10 years ago, and it's getting harder and harder for me to open the program book and find events that I actually feel inclined to attend, but AN will always have a special place in my heart. I think trying the Nominoichi this year was a really neat experience although quite stressful. I sold a variety of Manga, video games, figures and plush toy items and I did really well. I made about $1,500 during the event and I managed to clear out several bags and a couple of boxes worth of stuff. I probably will do the Nominoichi again in future years, but I can see myself only getting half a table and being a bit more selective with what I bring. I kind of overdid it, but the profits were nice.
The Nominoichi really did take over most of my Friday and it wiped me out for most of the weekend, but I did still have fun Cosplaying. I was quite happy with how my Tennis Princess Peach costume turned out. The shoes weren't that great and I somehow immediately stepped in gum upon getting to the convention on Friday so I had to try to clean them up, but the costume was pretty comfy and fun to wear. I did re-wear my Princess Peach ball gown on Saturday for a few hours and I really loved wearing it. My Peach ball gown is definitely my most ambitious costume and I'm so proud of it. I hope I can find more conventions to wear it to even though the hoop skirt and wig make it a tricky costume to pack. I found a really nice shot of the costume that I added to the Princess Peach costume page.
I did purchase the Snow White Lolita costume from Ammie and I tried it on yesterday. It is quite cute and I'm looking forward to wearing it. I didn't end up wearing it to AN after all because I didn't want to change my wig and makeup after wearing my Peach ball gown. I changed back into Tennis Peach instead since I wasn't able to relax and explore the con in the costume on Friday. I was able to snag a shoot with SolarTempest of Tennis Peach on Saturday night so I'm excited to see how those photos turned out. I'll probably wear the Snow White Lolita costume later on in the summer. It could be fun to bring to Atomic Lollipop or some other summer event.
My final costume for AN was Usagi's school uniform and I did receive the costume in the nick of time (on Wednesday right before the con). I ordered it from a seller on Etsy and honestly, I'm very disappointed with the experience. The costume itself is ok. The bow I was sent was way too small and I thankfully had a red bow from my old Hitomi costume that I repurposed last minute for the uniform. Wearing the uniform I sort of questioned why I bothered ordering it. I really should have made it myself. My friend's Rei school uniform that we ordered at the same time from the same seller, turned out terribly and is super low quality. The quality is so poor that I'm hesitant to promote the commissioner. The whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth and I really dislike people that don't credit commissioned work. I'm still grappling with the seller, but I'll come to a decision later about rewearing the costume or just putting it on the backburner. My friend couldn't even wear her costume to the con. I did a shoot with EleventhPhotograph of the costume so photos of it will be coming later.
Anime North had some fun points like soaking in the atmosphere, seeing friends and participating in the Nominoichi. There were some definite lows and I only really checked out a small portion of the con. I only just realized I only saw half of the International Plaza Hotel event space and the only con venue that I went to was the Congress Centre. I definitely would like to expand my horizons next year. My friend Pan already had to book our hotel room at the International Plaza Hotel for 2015 so it's crazy competitive. I do know that next year I should be able to debut the Dilandau costume that I commissioned from Ammie. I think that will definitely make my 14th year attending Anime North quite memorable. (^^) I will be adding pages for my new Usagi school uniform and Tennis Princess Peach costumes to the site as soon as I have photos of the costumes.
May 19th, 2014
Long time no update! Just have to keep things in suspense before Anime North. XD I actually kind of forgot about my
website. Things didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped with my Princess Peach costume. Honestly, it's an outfit that I
should have been able to make in a weekend, but I just had the worst luck with it. The pattern I decided to use didn't
respond well to being modified. It ended up looking like a pleated dress instead of having a nice flared shape. I had to
scrap the entire costume, but thankfully my friend Pan had made herself a Power Rangers themed dress a couple of years ago
and the pattern was pretty perfect for Peach. I only had to modify it slightly. I also ran into troubles sewing the second
attempt at the dress because I couldn't make all the pieces grain perfect and the knit fabric did not want to work with
the 2 machines that I have. It was tough because if I had to rip a seam, all the sewing holes stayed visible and
could lead to large holes. I really couldn't make a mistake, but of course I did. I also had a heck of a time fully
painting the shoes. I can't say my Peach costume is very well polished, but it's pretty much done now. Thankfully, the
tennis racket my friend Adrien helped me paint did turn out really nicely so I'm really happy to have that prop for my
ball gown and the new Tennis Peach costume. :3
Regarding other costume plans for AN, the Usagi school uniform from Sailor Moon that I ordered a few months ago is in the
mail, but the person I commissioned it from sent it rather late and it's still not here. ~_~ There's on a few business
days until the con so I'm really crossing my fingers that it arrives by Thursday and that it actually fits. There really
isn't time to have alterations done if there is a problem.
In happier costume news, my friend Ammie is selling a bunch of costumes at the Nominoichi this year. I decided to buy a
Snow White Lolita costume that she made and I'll be picking it up at AN. I thought it would be fun because Ammie's work is
topnotch and I would love to get more wear out of my Snow White wig and shoes. Wearing my full Snow White costume is
rather difficult so I'm not sure if I'll ever Cosplay that Disney Princess again, but I guess I have a bit of an option
for her now. (^^) I may wear the outfit at Anime North, but I'm not 100% sure about that yet.
My costume plans for AN right now are to wear Tennis Princess Peach on Friday, my Princess Peach ball gown on Saturday
until the late afternoon. On Saturday evening I'm considering changing into Tennis Princess Peach again or wearing the
Snow White Lolita costume. My plan for Sunday is to wear Usagi's school uniform with my friend as Rei, but that really hinges on it showing up
and fitting. If it doesn't arrive I'll probably wear the Snow White Lolita costume on Sunday instead.
Besides driving myself crazy working on Princess Peach, I've been spending the last month organizing things to sell at the
Nominoichi this year. I decided to get a table and it's been a bit of a rollercoaster dealing with all the logistics of
that. The good news is that I'm making a sizable dent in the amount of old Anime merch that I've accumulated over the
years and thanks to reservations prior to the con, I'm guaranteed quite a few sales. The Nominoichi should pay for all of
my Anime North expenses and I should have some money left over that I can put away into savings. I'm hoping it's a really fun experience because I would like to get a table again next year. If you're looking for Anime goods from series like Evangelion, Pokemon or Sailor Moon or for Nendoroids and Figmas, I'll have plenty of neat goods for sale at my table (N141). (^_^)
Anime North has definitely been occupying my mind these last few months and struggling with the sewing machines that I have has been a real aggravation. My parents have decided to get me a nice sewing machine as a birthday present since my birthday is in just a few weeks. I'm really grateful because I only have a very low quality machine and an ancient machine to work with right now. I'm planning to take a sewing hiatus after Anime North, but maybe getting a new machine will encourage me to make it a short break. (^^) I may post again before the con, but if I don't get a chance, I hope everyone that's attending AN has a wonderful con! I'm looking forward to seeing what the con has to offer this year.
April 2nd, 2014
A lot has happened since my last update. I was able to order shoes for my upcoming Usagi costume from Sailor Moon. I'm still waiting on the costume that I commissioned, but Usagi's school uniform shoes have been modified and are ready to wear. I was also able to get fabric for my Tennis Peach costume. I started working on testing out the pattern that I'm going to use for the dress so hopefully I'll be able to finish the dress by the end of April.
Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to make and wear the Tennis Princess Peach costume to AN, but Ammie will unfortunately be unable to make my Dilandau costume for Anime North so I'm going to make Peach so I have something new to debut. I'm still deciding other costumes to bring to AN, but currently I'm thinking about my Sailor Moon fuku and maybe Princess Peach's ball gown. I'll have both wigs at the con, anyway, so might as well get a lot of wear out of them. I'll keep thinking about it. Ammie should be able to finish Dilandau for later this year so I'll definitely have it ready for AN next year.
Regarding this website, I would very much like to completely redo the design for this site, but I'm not quite sure about a new layout yet, that and now that AN is less than 2 months away, I'm heading into a bit of a time crunch. I'm hoping to get a table for the Nominioichi garage sale on Friday of the con as I've been selling a lot of Anime toys and figures over the last year. I'm getting a little tired of managing online sales while I've been working hard to deal with any customer concerns and the occasional scammer. My Tennis Peach costume should be a decent costume to wear while selling, but we'll see if I even get a table. If I do, I'm going to spend the next month trying to figure out all the stuff I want to sell. I bet I'll have so much stuff that I'll need to set some stuff aside to sell at Anime North 2015! XD
March 18th, 2014
It has been a while since my last update. I'm starting to get into the swing of Cosplaying again. I ordered Usagi's school uniform from a Cosplay commissioner at the end of last month so I'll hopefully receive the costume by early May. I ordered both a costume for myself and Rei's school uniform also from Sailor Moon for my friend so we're looking forward to wearing them together.
I was able to go downtown with my friend Amanda last weekend and I purchased some jersey knit fabric to make Princess Peach's sports dress that she wears in Mario Tennis and Golf. I decided to make the costume to get more wear out of my accessories and wig for Peach. I need to modify the pattern that I bought for it and figure out incorporating the scallop design and some piping for the bottom of the dress, but hopefully it'll be a fun project. I'm thinking of completing the dress to wear to AN at the end of May, but I might save it for the summer. It sort of depends on if the Dilandau costume I commissioned from Ammie happens. I'll post here when I start making progress working on Princess Peach.
January 19th, 2014
SolarTempest just posted his photoshoots from Otakuthon so I added 8 new images of my Sailor Saturn costume to the Sailor Saturn costume page. You can see the photos here
. I especially like the photos that were taken in front of the gorgeous purple and blue lit wall in the convention centre. This shoot was definitely the most memorable shoot that I did in 2013 and I'm really thrilled with how the photos turned out.
January 18th, 2014
Not a major update, but recently the summer convention Atomic Lollipop (that's held here in Toronto) announced that the venue for this year is the Ontario Science Centre. I was quite intrigued by that news since the Science Centre is near where I live and is an exciting place to visit in its own right. I've been interested in checking out Atomic Lollipop for the last couple of years, but it's always been rather expensive to register for it and they don't offer one day passes so I haven't been able to attend it. I took advantage of the earlybird ticket prices and ordered my ticket. I'm looking forward to attending the con in the summer. No idea what costumes to wear, but if I do Cosplay Usagi's school uniform from Sailor Moon that could be a good venue for it and it might be worthwhile to re-wear my Dragon Ball Bulma costume too. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to make something new in the summer! :3
January 8th, 2014
It has been quite a long time since my last update. I've honestly been taking a break from Cosplay for the last few months. The last time that I Cosplayed was for the fall shoots that I did in early October. I also haven't worked on a costume since I fixed up Princess Peach in the summer. I'm on a Cosplay hiatus right now mostly due to a lack of motivation and interest. I've Cosplayed most of the characters that have been on my dream Cosplay list so it has been hard these days to find inspiration to want to work on something new. Not that I don't still enjoy Cosplay and cons, but I just haven't been as interested in it lately.
Having said that, I do still have some Cosplay plans on the horizon. Over the Christmas holidays I took a trip to the fabric district and purchased pleather fabric for my upcoming Dilandau costume from Escaflowne. Dilandau is probably the longest standing costume idea to have ever been on my Cosplay wish list. It's been on my planned list since I first started Cosplaying in 2001. I've always dreamed of gaining the skills to make it, but I know at this point that I don't have the skills or drive to make it myself. I'm commissioning my wonderful friend Ammie to make it for me. I dropped the fabric off with her when I visited her last weekend and she's going to work on it over the next few months. I'll have to get together with her to do a fitting for parts of it, but I'm really excited about the prospect of finally Cosplaying Dilandau. If all goes according to plan I should be Cosplaying him at Anime North in the spring. I'm currently hunting down shoes for boot covers and a wig for the costume. I'm commissioning my great friend Adrien to make my sword for the costume as he previously made my accessories for Princess Peach and my Silence Glaive for Sailor Saturn. I'm definitely eager for AN to happen!
I'm also debating another costume project. I would really like to Cosplay Usagi's middle school uniform from Sailor Moon. I haven't decided if I want to make the costume or get it commissioned, but I am looking at options. That would be another fun costume for AN. I may also re-wear Princess Peach to AN since I'm pretty proud of the alterations that I've made to the costume.
Now that it's a whole new year, I'm looking forward to adding new content to this site. I did have a conference chat with SolarTempest a couple of weeks ago and we discussed which pictures of my Sailor Saturn costume should be posted to his site from the shoot that we did at Otakuthon. Hopefully he'll be posting those pictures shortly. When he does I'll add them here. My con schedule is still up in the air for the year. I only have Anime North planned. I'm not sure what other cons I might go to if any. I would like to attend at least one or two other cons so we'll see what happens. I just hope that 2014 is a really fun and exciting year. It doesn't seem like I'll be making a lot of costumes, but it will be nice to complete a little Cosplay dream at Anime North!
October 6th, 2013
I'm still in between costume projects. I've been trying to think for a while about something to work on, but nothing has really caught my eye. I did, however, just participate in a couple of Cosplay photoshoots. I did a RE4 shoot yesterday with my friend Jay. I wore Ashley to match with his Leon costume and we worked with Stillvisions. It was in a park near my house and hopefully the shots turned out well. The same day I also did a couple of shoots with my friend Ammie who was dressed as Laurie from Trick 'r Treat. I re-wore Sam. We shot some daytime photos in the woods and we tried to get a few jack-o'-lantern and Halloween decoration shots in the evening. I don't think we are able to get quite the effect as my last Halloween shoot as we only had 3 pumpkins as opposed to over 30, but hopefully they still worked out. Ammie makes such an amazing Laurie! I can't wait to see how the photos turned out! Hopefully I'll be able to post them later this year.
EleventhPhotograph just posted his Otakuthon photos a few days ago. It was nice to shoot with him. You can find the photos in the Princess Peach costume page
September 12th, 2013
It's been a while since I last updated here. I must admit that I'm in a bit of a Cosplay slump. I sort of feel like I should start a new project, but I'm at a total loss as to what to work on and it's a bit hard to feel motivated when my next con is likely over 6 months away. Hopefully with Halloween coming up I'll at least figure out something to work on. In the meantime, I'm still collecting photos from Otakuthon. SolarTempest has been running a daily photo series and over the last few days he's been posting highlight photos from Otakuthon. Today and yesterday he posted two shots from the Sailor Saturn shoot that we did and I must say, that shoot was definitely the highlight of my weekend! The photos are gorgeous! You can view the shots in the Sailor Saturn costume page. SolarTempest will probably post the full shoot gallery in the next few months. No word yet on the other shoots that I did at Otakuthon. I would figure EleventhPhotograph's photos will be posted in the next month or so. I'm definitely excited to see how the Princess Peach photos turned out! I do have one costume update. I purchased a new pre-styled wig for my Shinku costume and it just came in a little while ago. I need to figure out if I want to trim the bangs and I need to add the black ribbon hairties, but hopefully this fall or winter I'll be able to get some shots of the costume before I have to retire it.
August 21st, 2013
I had a bit of a mixed experience at Otakuthon this year. The con had some really low moments for me and some other awesome experiences. I definitely enjoyed hanging out with my friends that were there especially since I pretty much rarely see both my local and Montreal friends these days. My friend Kira who lives in Montreal is an absolute sweetheart who helped me out when I was wearing Princess Peach. She helped me get flat shoes when my feet were hurting and she brought me Montreal bagels on Sunday (which are so absolutely amazing... normal bagels have been ruined for me!) XD
Getting to the con went pretty well. I can't say Stillvisions and I ran into any major problems getting to and from the con except that it was really expensive as we travelled together with no other travel buddies so the cost of gas, parking and the car rental were really high. I stayed at the Hyatt hotel, which was a bit of a trek from the con. To get to the con involved taking some underground tunnels and a trip through a mall that was attached to the hotel building. That was quite the experience in Sailor Saturn and Princess Peach! Our hotel was hosting some sort of contest winner weekend for a beer company so our hotel was full of older women who had won a trip there for the weekend. XD It was quite a contrast to the con attendees in the hotel, but the hotel did have a great pool.
The con itself was both interesting and kind of typical. I liked how the con had a cafe that offered bubble tea along with Japanese snacks and dishes. I can't say I wasn't overjoyed to find the gaming room was offering the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill, which is one of my all-time favourite games. I had to sit down with some of my Montreal friends to try it since they had never checked out the game before. The video game concert on Sunday afternoon was awesome! The orchestra did an amazing job playing an assortment of music from series like Pokemon, Castlevania and Chrono Trigger. They also played one of the themes from Doctor Who, which was a treat! I did attempt to check out a video game music panel on Saturday night, but it was poorly run. I really didn't check out anything else. Anime content has kind of lost its appeal to me.
Speaking of Anime losing its appeal, I'm thinking of shifting my focus in the future regarding cons. It has become clear to me in these last couple of years that I no longer really care for Anime content like I did back in 2001 when I first started attending cons. My interests have really shifted to video games and the paranormal. What that means is that I'm probably going to start attending fewer cons and try to find cons that are a little more diverse with their programming and fandom focuses.
Not to say that Otakuthon wasn't fun, but I definitely struggled with the language barrier at Otakuthon as Montreal is a mixed language city with both English and French. The amount of times I was stopped and people tried to talk with me in French (to which I could not really reply) was a lot higher than last year. Not that it's a bad thing since Montreal is primarily a French city, but I definitely felt like a lot of my weekend experiences were lost in translation and at times it was incredibly frustrating.
I did wear all of the costumes that I said I was going to bring. I didn't wear Integra for very long on Friday of the con and I wasn't able to do a shoot of the costume. I'm not sure when I'm going to wear it again (if at all). Maybe I can do a private shoot of it at some point. I would love new photos with my new glasses, but it's kind of an incognito costume without a Hellsing group. I changed into Sailor Saturn in the evening and had a great experience with the costume. I met some lovely Sailor Moon Cosplayers and I did a shoot with SolarTempest that I think will yield some awesome photos! :3
I was so proud to be wearing Princess Peach on Saturday now that I updated the costume! It looked so much better. The new hoop skirt and the adjustments to the bodice made it look a lot more accurate and much nicer. I received quite a few compliments on the construction and how pretty I looked and I took all of the compliments to heart. It honestly meant so much to me after spending so many months working on the costume. Peach was a real leap in skill level for me. I'm not sure I want to tackle another project like it, but I'm really happy with how it turned out in the end. I was stopped for dozens of family photos and pictures with little kids. It was quite the experience like when I wore Snow White to the Cosplay Picnic a few years ago! I did a shoot with EleventhPhotograph and Stillvisions also photographed me so I'm really looking forward to the photos from Saturday. (^^)
I did wear Celia on Sunday, but I didn't do a shoot of the costume. I'm going to retire the costume unless I can do a shoot one day at a farm or in the woods. It was a fun costume to wear anyway.
At least I accomplished my mission of buying more rings from Catherinette Rings. I purchased one of their rings in AA last year and I absolutely loved it so I bought a few more designs this year. <3 Love their work!
I had some down moments while at the con on Friday when my confidence was down and I had to deal with a negative environment. I really appreciate my friends stepping up to help me out. A big shout out to my friend Mike for helping me out when I hit an emotional low. I can't thank my friends enough for helping me back on my feet!
Overall Otakuthon was fairly fun. I enjoyed wearing most of my costumes and I loved the video game concert. The language barrier was a real difficulty for me, though, and I struggled a bit emotionally during the weekend. I doubt I'll be returning to Otakuthon again. It's definitely off my schedule for 2014 unless I have a really good reason to go back. I can always visit my Montreal friends outside of a convention. For 2014 my only confirmed con is Anime North. I am considering expanding my horizons and perhaps attending MAGfest because it seems like it might better match my interests. What else I might do in 2014 I still need to decide.
I'm also not sure about photoshoots for the rest of the summer. I was planning to do a couple, but I'm kind of in the mood to take a break from wearing costumes. I know the fall shoots will definitely happen, but I might take the rest of the summer off.
I should have some of the photos from Otakuthon back in the next few weeks so when the photos are posted, I'll be sure to post some of the highlights here. (^^)
August 14th, 2013
It's almost time for Otakuthon. I'm leaving for the convention tomorrow afternoon and I'll be returning on Sunday evening. After the hassle of organizing the trip, I'm really hoping it'll be a fun weekend! It took me a while to decide my costume plans, but in the end I decided to bring Integra (Hellsing), Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon S), Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros.) and Celia (Harvest Moon). I had been hoping to bring Shinku, but my wig is in really bad shape. I tried to spend a few hours combing out the pigtail clips, but they never really looked better. In the end I decided the wig style wasn't really what I wanted for the costume and given that some of the seams of the dress are degrading with each wear, I want to make each time I Cosplay Shinku count. Every time I've Cosplayed her I've been really disappointed in the state of my wig so I've decided to purchase a new pre-styled wig that's pre-made with built in pigtails like my originally wig. I think it'll look nicer if I can keep from ruining the pigtails like the disaster that was my first wig. We'll see when I get the wig! I'll probably do a private shoot of the costume this year and then hopefully wear the costume one more time to a con next year. A new Rozen Maiden Anime is airing right now in Japan so it's nice that Rozen Maiden is getting more love.
Anyway, getting back to Otakuthon, instead of bringing Shinku, I've decided to bring Integra. I would love to get some photos of the new glasses that I bought for the costume. My old glasses were a little big for my face. I'll be wearing that for Friday afternoon. Towards the evening I'm going to change into Saturn. I picked Saturn over Chibi Moon because Chibi Moon's wig would be a bit difficult to transport to the con given that I also have to juggle Princess Peach. Peach is my big costume of the weekend so I'll be wearing it on Saturday. Aside from my evening shoot with EleventhPhotograph, any photos that I'm able to get of Princess Peach would be awesome! I'm bringing Celia for Sunday because it's really comfy and not too complicated. Hopefully my suitcase won't be too overwhelmed by my costumes! XD
I don't have a lot of plans for the convention. About the only con things I want to do are buy some jewellery from a booth that I liked last year, and I would like to watch the video game orchestra concert. I'm also looking forward to going swimming and hanging out with my friends that will be at the con. Hopefully it'll be a nice trip!
August 3rd, 2013
It's been quite a while since I last updated this site. Normally I would be in the thick of things with summer cons, various events and shoots as I work on new costumes, but this year has been quite different. I haven't
attended a Cosplay event since Anime North. The only costume I've worked on has been Princess Peach. I spent most of June
and part of July fixing the costume. I altered the bodice of the dress by pulling up the shoulder seams and the bust
seams to try to get rid of some of the excess fabric that was around the top of the dress. I also removed the old collar
and made a much nicer one. I had to refit part of the sleeves and I decided totally take apart the top and the bottom of
the dress so I could spread the gathering a little better. It was quite a pain in the butt to sew, but the new updates
really help the look of the dress. I also purchased a new hoop skirt. I originally had a 3-hoop skirt, but it didn't
quite support the weight of the dress so it was really hard to walk in. I bought a 4-hoop skirt and I took in the waist a
bit so it fits nicer. The flow of the dress is much better and I can walk in it with much more ease. It doesn't look like
I've done that much to the dress, but it took a lot of work. The fit is still not perfect, but it's much better.
Since I spent about 6 months working on my Princess Peach costume, I've decided to take a break from sewing for a while.
I'm not sure when I'll pick up a sewing project again or what I'll make next, but I'll wait until I find inspiration.
For the rest of the year I don't have a lot of Cosplay events on the horizon. It's currently Atomic Lollipop weekend. I had debated about
going, but the lack of a day pass option made it a bit too expensive to consider going for just one or two of the weekend
days. I was planning to go to Con Bravo for the Saturday last weekend, but I wasn't feeling well enough to go. At least
Otakuthon is coming up in a couple of weeks. For a while there it seemed like my plans for Otakuthon were going to fall
through as well because of a lack of hotel roomies and travel buddies, but my friend Stillvisions and I worked around it
and figured things out. It's going to be an expensive trip, but I'm glad I can still make it work.
Unless things change, Otakuthon will be my last con for the year. I'm not going to Fan Expo because it's getting way to
costly and I'm not a fan of Hobbystar and Youmacon is out of the picture because plans to get there fell through. I'm not
quite sure what con plans I might make for 2014. This year I only went to Con-G, Anime North and the upcoming Otakuthon.
It was my lightest year for con going since 2003. It's kind of nice to take it easy since I've been attending cons for so
many years. After a while they get kind of monotonous. Not that I don't enjoy conventions and everything that cons
entail. The only con I know I'll go to next year is Anime North. I'm hoping to make it to the States for at least one con
so I'll update here closer to 2014 when I start figuring out my plans.
I think my Cosplay calendar will heat up a bit in the next few months, though. I am hoping to do a couple of private
photoshoots probably with my friend Stillvisions to get some solid shots of my Saki costume from Onechanbara
since I only have a couple of photos of that costume and I would also like to get some photos of China Sherry. For
Otakuthon I'm still deciding what costumes to take with me, but I know I'll be bringing Princess Peach. I already have a
shoot booked with EleventhPhotograph so I'm sure to get some nice shots of the costume and I'm hoping to work with
Stillvisions and perhaps SolarTempest as well. I may bring Shinku as well to get some more photos of that costume
(hopefully my wig will cooperate) and I should be bringing a Sailor Scout costume and perhaps Celia from Harvest Moon for
Sunday. The Sailor Scout costume is undecided, but I'm debating between Sailor Saturn and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. I'll
probably try on both before I go and decide if I'm feeling pink or purple for the weekend. XD
Further on down the line, once late September hits and it becomes fall, I really hope that I can do a shoot with Sakura of
our Evangelion Halloween Lolita outfits. I have plenty of nice fall photos of myself, but I would love some duo shots.
I'm also crossing my fingers that I'll be able to do a Trick 'r Treat shoot with Ammie as she made Laurie's Little Red
Riding Hood dress and it would be awesome to get some photos of her with me as Sam. We're also hoping to do a Resident Evil 4 shoot. Ammie would be Ada, I would be Ashley and The Letter Jay would be Leon. Hopefully it will happen!
I'll update again next week before I leave for Otakuthon on the 15th with my final costume plans for the con.
June 6th, 2013
SolarTempest posted his photos from Con-G and at the con I happened upon him for the hour or two when I was wearing my Sailor Saturn costume and he took a few quick shots of the costume. I consider it a preview of the costume. I have Cosplayed Sailor Saturn before but this time the costume was made for me by Ammie. My previous Sailor Saturn costume (her first version) was borrowed from Ammie so it was a bit big on me. I'm looking forward to wearing the costume again and wearing it with my Silence Glaive. You can view the costume page here
I went and saw one of the fan sneak peek screenings of Star Trek Into Darkness the night before the movie premiered last month and I re-wore my Star Trek dress to the screening along with Pan. We got a few photos together before the movie started and I posted a couple of my favourites in the costume gallery
. Seeing the movie in costume was a lot of fun! It wasn't the greatest movie, but it was still really cool to see especially in IMAX 3D.
I'm still hunting around for con photos from AN. I added a couple of new shots of my Princess Peach costume to the costume page
from when I was hanging out with the awesome Mario and Luigi Cosplayers. I'm well into the process of altering the dress. I've pulled up the neckline a bit so the fit will be a little better for the bodice and more accurate for the collar. Next up I need to pattern the collar again and when the collar is attached I can tackle taking apart the bodice to fix the gathers. Wish me luck!
June 3rd, 2013
Anime North has come and gone for another year. It was definitely one of the better Anime North's that I've attended.
This was my 12th AN and I felt like it was a really smooth and fun year. There were no major setbacks and I had a nice
time wearing all of my costumes. Both of my panels went pretty well. We had a nice turnout for the Anime Figures and
Statues panel. I had a lovely discussion with the other panelists and the audience about various aspects of the
collecting hobby including websites for buying figures, spotting bootlegs and basic care. The Resident Evil panel went
pretty well and we had an awesome turnout. Although the special guest was added to the panel with very little notice to
us panelists, the coordination went pretty well. We had a great discussion from the guest (the Axeman from the RE movies)
about working on set with the major actors and crew and then the discussion about RE6 and the future of the game franchise
generated some great dialogue.
I'm glad that I switched some of my costume plans because most of the time it was quite cool at the con. Friday
especially was fairly chilly and rather windy. I didn't get photos of Hotaru, but it was super comfy for wearing to my
first panel. I was a bit disappointed that I was unable to do a shoot of my new China Sherry costume because along with
Colombian_Otaku (Jake), Ammie (Ada), Jay (Leon) and Natalie (Helena) we formed an RE6 group. Since everyone in the group
was from out of town I doubt we'll be able to do a shoot with all of us together and that's really too bad. They all did
a great job on their costumes!
My big costume for the con was Princess Peach and I wore that costume on Saturday of the con. It was a really fun
experience wearing Peach. I received quite a few really sweet comments about the costume and I took all the compliments
to heart because of all of the time that I spent to make the dress. I also ran into a really great Luigi and Mario duo
that I hung around with for a while in the evening. They were in character and really fun to pose with. Too bad we didn't
run into a Bowser! XD I still have quite a bit of work to do on the costume. I swore that I would leave it as is when I
finished it before con, but I saw quite a few really awesome looking Peach Cosplayers at AN that have totally inspired me
to fix up my costume. I'm altering the bodice to make it fit a little better as the bodice was a bit loose in the chest
which made it droop. I also want to remake the collar because the shape wasn't very nice. The biggest problem that I had
with the costume originally was attaching the skirt to the bodice, but I'm really not that happy with the shape that I
achieved. Although I really don't want to, I'm going to take apart the bodice and skirt and adjust the gathers. As it
stands, one side is nice and flat, but the other has about 5 or 6 major gathers that create folds that are pretty
distracting. Hopefully I can make it a little more even. Even though the costume did turn out pretty well, after working
on it for so long I really want to make it as nice as I possibly can. Wish me luck! My hope is to finish the alterations
this month so it's ready to go for Otakuthon in mid August.
I did re-wear Integra for Saturday evening, but by the time I changed I wanted to have dinner so I helped pick up
Japanese food from the awesome Japanese restaurant that's beside the hotel and I ate that in the hotel before changing
for bed. I really didn't venture around the con in costume. Bulma was well recognized when I re-wore my costume on
Sunday. I think Bulma is one of my all-time favourite costumes. It didn't take very long to make and despite the costume
being simple, it came together really nicely. I keep saying I'm going to retire the costume because I've worn it quite a
bit, but it's a great go-to costume for summer events.
Although AN is a bit of a stressful con because there is always so much to see and do, it's also pretty nice for hanging
out with friends. I saw a lot of familiar faces and I like that about AN. I was also able to sell a couple of figures
from my collection and one of the 2 ball-joint dolls that I brought to con (thankfully the large doll) which I'm really
happy for. It went to a good home and it's one less thing to worry about being stored in my basement. XD Checking out
Doll North did sort of inspire me to take a look at my BJD collection again. I might not be quite out of that hobby yet
as I still have 3 dolls that I can't bear to part with!
After some setbacks with my panels, I'm not quite sure how I'll approach my AN's in the future. I don't think I'll take
on being a panelist again although it has been a cool experience. I know for AN next year I'm hoping to Cosplay Dilandau
from Escaflowne. Maybe an Escaflowne group can happen... that would be epic! I hate to plan things too much in advance,
but at least I'm still pumped for the con despite the fact I've been attending it for over a decade. (^^)
Next up is Otakuthon in August. I would like to get some shots of a few costumes during the summer. Hopefully Saki
from Onechanbara and China Sherry since I have very few photos of both costumes. I may attend Atomic Lollipop for a day
since it's in my neck of woods, but I'm not sure. It does seem like Youmacon will be in the cards for this year, but I'm
still working out the logistics for it.
Regarding this site, I did get a few photos of my Sherry costume on my camera. I'll warn you that the photos are not very
good, but at least I have one group shot to prove that the RE6 group did happen. I added the Sherry Birkin costume page
to the Video Games Cosplay section
. I also added a costume page for Princess Peach
. I wrote-up a rather lengthy
description of the costume's construction although, as I've said, it's still in progress. I have quite a few "hallway"
shots of the costume as well as some pretty shots from the Cosplay for a Cure charity photo booth. I'm so looking forward
to getting photos in Montreal of the costume! It'll make spending so long constructing the costume totally worth it! I
should have a few more Peach photos to add to the page in the coming weeks so you can expect some more AN photos soon.
May 23rd, 2013
It's almost time for AN. The last month has really flown by! I'm really happy to say that after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, my major costume for AN is done. The only reason I kept it a secret is because I thought I would crash and burn with it before I finished. I nearly did, but it's done now. My Saturday costume will be Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros. I made her classic design that's featured in Super Princess Peach and in Super Mario Bros for the Wii. She was a favourite character of mine growing up so I thought it would be a really fun costume for me to make. I've always wanted to learn how to make a ball gown so it was a huge learning experience. After making one, though, I never want to make one again. XD I'm really glad I finished my Sherry costume back in February because I think I wouldn't have had the energy to make both costumes at once. Now that I'm finally finished the costume, though, (I just finished it on Sunday) I've been getting geared up for AN. Here is my costume schedule:
- Hotaru Tomoe (Casual) - Sailor Moon Super
- Sherry Birkin (China) - Resident Evil 6
- Princess Peach - Super Mario Bros.
- Integra - Hellsing or Sailor Saturn - Sailor Moon Super
- Bulma Briefs - Dragon Ball
I'm not 100% sure about wearing Sailor Saturn and part of my schedule. Only Sherry and Princess Peach are set for sure. I really want to wear Saturn, but I have a lot of costume pieces with Peach and Sherry and I'm bringing some figures and a couple of ball-joint dolls to sell at con so managing to bring Saturn with the staff might be too problematic. My hope was to wear it on Friday, but I'm part of the Anime Figures and Statues panel which will be at 7PM so that doesn't leave a lot of time to wear my fuku before I would need to change. Not to mention, it's only going to be about 13 C tomorrow and it'll be windy. Not really great weather for a fuku. My other panel on Resident Evil is Friday at 11PM so I'll be changing into Sherry in the evening for an RE6 group with my panel mates. I could possibly wear Saturn on Saturday afternoon after changing out of Peach, but I think I'll want to wear something simple after Peach since I wear a hoop skirt with my Peach costume and heels, which will make the costume rather cumbersome.
I'm really hoping it will be a fun weekend. AN is really my favourite con of the year. It's always pretty stressful, but I look back on it fondly and I always want to put my best foot forward (hence why I decided to test myself by making a Peach costume). I'm going to be sad when the con is over! I feel like after working on my costume for the last 3 months that my anticipation for AN has really been building.
I'm looking forward to hanging out with friends and creating some fun memories, at this, my 12th Anime North. :3 To everyone going, have an awesome Anime North!
April 20th, 2013
Stillvisions has finished posting all of the shoots that he's done so far this year so he updated his website with the photos from the winter storm photoshoot that I did with him in February. That was the day when we did shoots of my Lisa Garland (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories)
and Edonia Sherry Birkin (Resident Evil 6)
. It was a really memorable series of shoots for me as I actually worried that I might have gotten frostbite from shooting my Sherry costume. It was really cold and the snow from the storm was blowing in my face. It made for some cool photos though. XD We did a couple of really short shoots of my Lisa costume in the neighbourhood. Just quick shots because the costume was really not very winter appropriate. I love the results and I really appreciate Kevin taking the time to shoot with me. It meant a lot. Now that my shoot backlog has cleared, I look forward to the photoshoots that will happen this year. I can't believe Anime North is only just over a month away. Thankfully I'm really making inroads with the costume I'm working on for AN so hopefully I'll get it done in the next couple of weeks. At least the sewing will be done with the costume. I'm still trying to figure out some accessories that I'm getting commissioned, but I'll make some decisions about that soon.
April 12th, 2013
Stillvisions completed his photoshoot backlog from 2012 and posted all of the photos from the 2 Halloween Rei photoshoots that I did with him (one on Halloween and one just a little while after Youmacon). Therefore, I've added a bunch of new photos of my Rei costume to the Halloween Rei costume page
. The photos turned out really nicely and although the night shots aren't really epic like my Sam photos from a couple of Halloweens ago, they still have a fun Halloween vibe. At the moment my costume photo backlog has almost cleared. I'm just waiting for the photos from the winter storm shoot that I did with Stillvisions a couple of months ago of Edonia Sherry and Shattered Memories Lisa Garland. I'm also waiting to see if the quick hallway shot SolarTempest took from Con-G of my new Sailor Saturn costume turned out.
I'm still slowly working my way through my unannounced costume for AN. I'm almost to the point where I'll know if the costume will turn out or not and I'll post about what the costume is. I'll cross my fingers that it turns out because I've spent quite a bit of time and money on this thing! AN is just a month and a half away so I really need to get moving on this costume. I am hoping to get it done by the end of the month, but I've had a lot of setbacks.
March 27th, 2013
SolarTempest just posted his photos from Youmacon last year so I have a few really cute shots of my Halloween Rei costume that I have added to my Halloween Rei costume page. Up until now I didn't really have a nice photo of the full costume in natural light. I did make a few adjustments to it after wearing it to Youma so when Stillvisions posts photos from the shoot I did with him in November 2012 then I'll have some nice solo shots of the fully completed costume. I love the duo shots with Sakura, though! Her Asuka costume turned out so nicely! I'm so happy she made that costume to match me. It means a lot to me. :3 I look forward to doing a shoot with her next fall. (^^)
March 22nd, 2013
Mike sent Ammie the photos from our Sailor Moon photoshoot that we did at Con-G and she linked them to me so I've added the shots to my Sailor Moon costume page. I was really eager to see how the shots turned out and I'm super pleased with the results! We were only able to shoot against a plain wall background, but Mike made the most out of the space using different angles and coloured gels for effect and the photos look great! I really like the shots with Ammie and me. Next time I wear Moon I'll try to get some more silly shots, but this shoot was definitely the highlight of the con!
March 12th, 2013
I was waiting for con photos before I updated my website, but it doesn't look like the photos will be coming anytime soon so I just wanted to write a quick review of Con-G. I was underwhelmed by the con this year. There weren't really any events that I wanted to attend on the con schedule and the con hotel was quite crowded and small for the size of the con so I wasn't able to really do any shoots of most of my costumes for the weekend. Plus it was quite cold that weekend so outdoor shoots were pretty much out of the question. I had a fun time hanging out with my friends though. The Letter Jay and Ammie came from out of town (and out of country in Jay's case) to check out the con and we had a good time. The Sailor Moon shoot that I did with Mike (EleventhPhotograph) along with Ammie was really exciting despite the fact we had to shoot against a plain wall for the whole thing so I'm really eager to eventually see those photos. I did wear casual Hotaru for a bit on Friday night but I didn't do a shoot. I also didn't do a shoot in Sherry. I did, however, get to try on my Sailor Saturn costume which I plan to officially debut at Anime North. I only wore it for a couple of hours to test it out and so Ammie could see it. It's another Ammie made fuku. She did a great job on it! She even custom made my boots out of vinyl! SolarTempest stopped me for a couple of quick shots of the costume so if those turned out I can post a photo before AN. If you do want to see the costume and my Sailor Moon one too, I was a subject of a con video by Z Shall. You can view the video here
. I'm surprised that I agreed to go outside on both Friday night and Saturday night for the footage, but we were outside for literally 5 minutes at a time. It's cool to see my costumes in action!
On Sunday of the con I didn't end up Cosplaying. I've really enjoyed the con in previous years and I can see that the con is run with a lot of heart. I think I just missed the awesome pool at the previous con hotel. XD Anyway, I don't think I'll be attending it again next year, but I've heard next year will be the last year for the con as the con staff will be disbanding and ending it. I have some fond memories of the con in the past and I still had some nice experiences at the con this year. Best wishes to Con-G in 2014 for its last hurrah!
Regarding this site, I did manage to find a few more high resolution shots of my Bulma costume from the Cosplay Picnic last year that were taken by Joe Huang that I never got a chance to post before. I added the shots to the costume gallery.
I'm still hard at work on my secret costume for AN. It's coming along. I'm experiencing a setback in which I need to re-buy some of my fabric because I bought the wrong colour so I'll be rectifying that soon. As soon as I get a bit more work done I'll reveal the costume. I'm hoping it'll turn out ok.
February 21st, 2013
Con-G is tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to the con. I'm starting to miss cons now that I haven't been to one in a few months and the blah of winter isn't helping. It should be a fun weekend of socializing and Cosplaying. I'm planning to wear Sailor Moon on Friday along with Ammie as Sailor Jupiter. We have a shoot booked with Mike. For Saturday I'm hoping to wear Edonia Sherry and my Nurse Lolita Rebecca costume from RE: The Mercenaries 3D. I've only worn that costume once so I think I should wear it again. My current plan for Sunday is to wear my casual Hotaru costume again. I washed my wig so hopefully the bangs will cooperate this time! XD I only just realized that I'm not wearing a single costume that I made myself this weekend. I'll be sporting costumes made by my wonderful friend Ammie. Don't forget that she takes commissions! Her schedule is full right now but will open up again in June.
I finished up my China Sherry costume from RE6 a couple of weeks ago. Right after the snowstorm shoot. I'm not planning to wear it until May, but I may try to get a preview shot of it before then. I'm pretty happy with how the costume turned out. :3 I'm also working on my secret costume for AN. It's a rather expensive project which will be a big ball gown so it's a first for me. That's the only reason why it's currently a secret; I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. XD Once I get working on it I'll post about it here. So far I've already run into troubles cutting out the pattern pieces. I can't seem to fit the pieces on the fabric I bought despite buying enough so I may need to buy more fabric. >.< Anyway, I'll worry about that after Con-G. It should be an exciting weekend despite the winter chill. (^^)
February 9th, 2013
Toronto got hit by a major snowstorm yesterday and in the afternoon my friend Stillvisions texted me and asked if I wanted to shoot some costumes. I had to do some digging to get out of my house, but I used the snow day afternoon to get some much needed winter photos. I've been wanting to get winter photos of my Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Lisa costume since I made it a few years ago. Stillvisions was able to do some super quick photos of me on the street which really imitate Lisa wandering around Silent Hill with Harry while they're going to her apartment. We also headed to a local wooded area and took some photos of my Edonia Sherry costume just in case there isn't much snow outside during Con-G. He did take a few shots on his iPad of Lisa so I have a couple of photos with effects added of the costume that I added to the costume page. I'll have to wait for a few months to get the rest of the photos and the shots of Sherry. He also e-mailed me an iPad photo from the fall shoot that we did last November of my Halloween Rei costume so I added that to the Rei costume page. I'm still dying for a nice full body costume shot! XD
Con-G is just a couple of weeks away. I'm going to be re-wearing costumes for it and I haven't decided my full line-up yet. I'll update here again right before the con.
February 7th, 2013
January really flew by fast! I'm still waiting on old costume photos so I don't really have anything new to add here. I did just finish my China Sherry costume. I may take a preview shot of it to share online later. I'm really happy with how it turned out! I purchased a shirt that I was able to modify so the seams are all accurate to Sherry's shirt in the game. I went a little crazy with my attention to detail. XD It really helps that the harness, gun holster and pouch that Jay made for me are amazing! I'm so excited to wear this costume to AN in a few months! My Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume is also ready to wear as I purchased a wig from Ammie. I'm not sure when I'll wear it, but it'll happen at some point this year.
Speaking of this year, I just finished discussing with some friends and I'm happy to say that I should be going to Otakuthon again in August. A few of my close friends want to go so I think it'll be a fun time. :D I also have a costume in mind that I would love to shoot in the pretty areas outside of the convention centre. It's a project that I'm keeping a secret right now because I'm not quite sure how it will turn out. I purchased fabric for it and I will say it's very pink! My plan is to wear the costume to Anime North so when I get a chance to work on it and see how it's coming along I'll post about it here. :3
December 29th, 2012
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! I know I did. I spent a lot of time with my family and received some really lovely Christmas presents like some handmade ornaments from friends and a hand knit shawl from my mother. I also received a new laptop which is fantastic since my old desktop computer was a clunker because it was slow and couldn't maintain my internet connection. The new laptop has made updating my website a lot easier! Although it really wasn't a Christmas present, Stillvisions finished editing and posted the photos from my Trick 'r Treat photoshoot from Halloween 2011. I absolutely love the photos and I'm really happy to post them here! It was really a shoot of a lifetime and a real blast! Next year before Halloween Ammie and I will be doing a Trick 'r Treat shoot together. She's working on a Laurie costume right now and I think together we'll be able to get some great photos! I also just purchased a new lollipop for Sam. This time it's a clear resin so it looks like a real lollipop. I can't wait to wear Sam again! 2013 is almost here. Hopefully it'll be a really fun and rewarding year. Best wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year!
December 22nd, 2012
It's been quite a while since I last updated my website. I don't have much to report. I'm still waiting to receive a few photos from this and last year, but as soon as I do I'll be sure to post them here. I did start working on my China Sherry costume from RE6. It's going to be all found clothing that I alter so I ordered a shirt, pants and a belt online. So far the belt and pants have arrived. Everything needs to be modified so I'll be working on that costume soon with the goal of getting it done for February. I plan to debut the costume at Anime North, though, mostly because it seems like a warm weather costume.
As a note, the Cosplay calendar that I did a shoot for (of my Silent Hill Lisa costume) is on sale now from Futurecon. You can view the order page here
. Profits from the sale of the calendar will go to Epilepsy Toronto so it goes to a good cause. If you need a calendar, this would be a good one to buy! I've seen some of the other photos that are in the calendar and it's a very impressive collection!
Given that it's almost 2013, I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays! It's been quite an exciting year for me con and costume wise. I finally Cosplayed Sailor Moon, which was a real dream come true and I expanded my Halloween costume horizons by making my Halloween summer dress and then Cosplaying Halloween Lolita Rei based on a figure design. Plus over the summer I had fun putting together a Bulma costume. Probably the best Cosplay experience of the year was Cosplaying Sherry Birkin, though, thanks to the awesome coat Ammie made for me! I can't wait to see what I do next year! It looks like I'll be going to fewer cons next year, but I'll be sure to make the most out of the cons I attend and the costumes that I make in 2013!
Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you all the best in the coming year!
November 17th, 2012
Today seems to be the day for photos as I noticed SolarTempest posted his costume galleries from Otakuthon so I have a few really pretty photos my Sailor Moon costume now. :3 My friend linked me to a photo of my Halloween Rei costume that was taken during the Silver Snail Halloween Party so I added the costume page to the Anime/Manga costume section. The picture isn't really the greatest for the costume as it wasn't quite done at that point, but it's still nice to have something to share. I'm really proud of the costume and I'm crossing my fingers that more photos will be posted of it soon. (^^) DeathCom also posted their costume galleries from Youmacon and Ammie and I stopped at their booth for Sailor Moon photos so I added the photos to the Hotaru costume gallery. My wig wasn't really cooperating for the photos which is a bummer, but that just means I'll have to re-wear the outfit for more photos down the line. Finally, we stopped in at the DeathCom booth for a shoot in the afternoon of our RE4 costumes so I have a few new shots of Ashley. The photo of me on Jay's shoulder is probably one of my favourites from the con. X3
November 14th, 2012
I went through and updated my Future Cosplay Possibilities list as I haven't updated it in quite a while and a few of the costumes on my list I've kind of lost interest in making and they probably will never happen. I added and updated a couple of costumes on the list. I'm thinking I might commission Ammie if she has time next year to make me a Dilandau costume from Escaflowne as that's been a dream costume of mine for years and I really want to finally Cosplay him. I also updated my Silent Hill 3 Nurse listing as I've been meaning to make a Nurse costume for a few years now and I think I'm going to finally try tackling it at some point in 2013. I'm mostly concerned about all the makeup work, but it's about time I give it a shot. The final new addition is Sherry Birkin's China outfit from RE6. I'm definitely going to be making that costume for 2013. I'll probably debut it at Anime North. It's a lot easier than Sherry's Edonia outfit and The Letter Jay is making me Sherry's shoulder rig as a Christmas gift so that takes care of the one part of the costume that I really thought was daunting. I appreciate his help! (^^) I'm going to be taking a break from sewing for the next little while though. I need a break after spending most of the summer and the fall working on Bulma and then Halloween Rei. Sherry's not too complicated, though, so I'll probably start hunting for costume elements soon.
November 12th, 2012
Elemental posted her convention galleries and I added several new shots to my Sherry costume
page. I really appreciate her photos! We got some neat Jake and Sherry pictures as well as
individual shots. Plus we did a few silly photos because Resident Evil definitely can't be
taken too seriously. XD I also added a costume page for my Hotaru Tomoe costume from
Sailor Moon S to the Anime/Manga page. I have a hallway shot of the costume right now, but I'll
add a few DeathCom photos to the page when they post their con galleries. At least you can see
a full view of my costume and Ammie as well who makes an amazing Mistress 9. (^^)
The outdoor photoshoot of my Halloween Rei costume with Stillvisions did happen on Sunday and
I think we got some solid shots in a park near my house. I must have done something right
because in our haste to pack up I forgot a prop star wand that I had made in the park and I
only realized it was missing at 1AM when I was trying to sleep. After my initial panic, I went to sleep and got up extra early this morning to check
the park to see if it would still be somewhere we had been shooting. Figuring it would be a
lost cause given that lots of dogs and little kids frequent the park, I was surprised to see it
still lying in the grass among the leaves where I had left it. :D It wouldn't have been a huge
deal to remake it, but it's nice to not have to. It really made me smile. (^^) Stillvisions
has a photo backlog he's still working his way through so I doubt I'll get the photos back
until sometime next year, but it's nice to know that I'll have pretty fall photos to look
forward to. I'm still crossing my fingers that some photos of my Rei costume will appear
online. My costume page is ready to go I just lack photo evidence of the costume. XD I'll keep my eyes peeled.