June 29th, 2023
I had a pretty good time at YetiCon this year. It definitely felt like a bit of stretch to consider YetiCon a convention. The programming was pretty limited, but I did find some neat things in the vendor room. I bought a bunch of keychains, an art print, a pin and patch from a table that was almost exclusively selling Resident Evil and Silent Hill fan art. I love the Robbie the Rabbit patch I got from them and I was able to get keychains of RE6 Sherry and of classic Rebecca Chambers so those were cool finds. I bought a couple of necklaces and also some stickers and a print from Mermaid Melody. There were some interesting things to find. I also did some shopping in the Blue Mountain Village. I bought a new hat and some chocolates so I came back with some great souvenirs.
I did purchase an explore pass through the con for the weekend and that gave me access to the gondola and the hiking trails. I went up the mountain a couple of times during the weekend. It's quite a nice view from up there and it's very peaceful. I was staying at the Mosaic hotel with two other people. We got in on Thursday and since we got there mid-afternoon, we were offered the Presidential Suite as our standard suite wasn't ready yet. That was a pretty cool surprise. Really nice to have 3 bathrooms and everyone got their own bed. We had a great view of the pool and we used that a few times during the weekend. I loved the chance to swim. The weather was pretty nice for most of the weekend, but even when it was cold, the pool was heated so it was never uncomfortable to swim. I also did use the hot tub and met a lot of people while soaking there.
A big highlight of the weekend was the glow walk on Friday night that Stillvisions organized. I didn't Cosplay for it, but I brought a light up jack-o-lantern and a candy corn light up necklace and joined in. It was a chance to have a bit of a parade in which everyone wore costumes and/or accessories that lit up. It was a nice walk around the Village area of Blue Mountain.
I brought three costumes with me (Dilandau from Escaflowne, Super Sailor Chibi Moon from Sailor Moon SuperS and Dorothy from The Big O) and I did wear all three. I almost brought a fourth costume -- Ashley from the RE4 Remake, but I took it out last minute as the car I was in going to the con was packed. A bit sad to not have Ashley while we stayed in the Presidential Suite. lol I wore Super Sailor Chibi Moon for a couple of hours on Friday evening and got some nice photos in the Village area with Stillvisions. The costume is a bit passed its prime on me as it was a bit small, but I made it work. Considering the costume is a decade old, I'm impressed that I could still squeeze into it! I think I'll retire that costume now and see about selling it. The wig (styled by Ammie) is gorgeous and would definitely be an amazing addition to a Chibi Moon Cosplayers costume. Stillvisions sent me a couple of photos of Chibi Moon post-YetiCon so I was able to finally complete and post a costume page for it. You can find it here.
On Saturday afternoon I finally got a chance to wear my Dilandau costume. It was made for me back in 2015 by my friend Ammie and my friend Adrien modified a wooden sword to look like Dilandau's. I only wore the costume once before at Anime North 2015, but I didn't get photos of the costume then as the costume needed some alterations. It never seemed like a good time to plan a shoot for the costume until I finally realized during the pandemic that the fabric (since it's made of faux leather) would start breaking down eventually. I tried it on before YetiCon and the costume still looked great aside from a bit of cracking in the pants around the zipper, but after wearing it for a few minutes at the con, I could see stress creaks in various parts of the costume. The material especially started breaking down on the gloves, around the waist in the coat and in the pants. It was very bittersweet to finally wear it for some epic photos, but watch it crumble in real-time as I wore it. At least I shot with both Stillvisions and Elemental so I have plenty of photos to come of the costume. Stillvisions sent me a few really nice photos already so I created the costume page, which you can find here.
I got some photos near the gondolas and around the Village area. I had hoped to go up into the hiking trails for photos, but I'm not sure if the costume could have handled it. Sadly, I have to consider the costume retired, but at least I finally did get one more wear out of it before it totally fell apart.
My final costume for the weekend was Dorothy from The Big O. I wore the costume for a few hours on Sunday late morning during a final trip to the vendor hall. Stillvisions took some video and photos of me around the convention space and in the hotel room suite. It was nice to finally wear Dorothy after making it last year, but not wearing it at all in 2022. I think for next time I want to get a slip for the costume so the skirt will hang a little nicer. It was very nostalgic to Cosplay from Big O. All of my costumes for the weekend were nostalgic to be honest. Stillvisions had wanted me to wear the costume again in the evening for some late night shots that would be a bit more film noir, but the group went swimming and hot tubing until after 10PM, so by the time I was done with that, it would have been super late to get back into costume. Some other time! I was just glad to have a fun weekend and actually wear all the costumes I brought. At least I can definitely wear Dorothy again (unlike Dilandau and Chibi Moon). Stillvisions hasn't sent me any photos of Dorothy yet, but when I get some pictures I'll upload the costume page.
I had some great food during the weekend. I had poutine twice from the Mile High Poutine restaurant and had a lovely steak dinner on Sunday with some friends at the Northwinds Brewpub. I wasn't much of a party animal, but enjoyed hanging out with friends in the evenings and checking out some movies on TV like Blade and John Wick 3. After a final stroll around the village on Monday morning, we made the journey back to Toronto. It was a great trip and was a much needed break from reality. I don't know if the con will return next year, but if it does, I definitely think I'll go again for some more good times with friends, wonderful spots for photos and nice chances to swim.
Next up is Pretty Heroes. I should be going for a day. I'm not sure which day yet, but I'm hoping to wear my Naruto Shippuden Sakura Haruno costume. I need to find time before then to get the wig trimmed, but otherwise it should be good to go. I'm looking forward to that con being chill, but exciting. I always enjoy the atmosphere at Pretty Heroes so it should be fun.
June 14th, 2023
Just a quick update. I've changed my costume plans for YetiCon. Currently looking at bringing my Dorothy (The Big O) costume along with Dilandau (Vision of Escaflowne) and Super Sailor Chibi Moon (Sailor Moon). I'm swapping out Sakura Haruno and Ashley (unless I can find some space to bring Ashley's boots). I just figure it would be nice to bring a homemade costume (Dorothy) and I've never had a chance to wear it after making it last year in the spring. No one will recognize it, but it would be fun to wear and maybe nice for the weather. Seems we've moved away from summer and it's feeling like early spring these days. Hopefully it's not too cold and rainy this weekend although it sure beats the smoky air. I just wish packing wasn't so intimidating. Dilandau is such a big costume that it takes up a lot of space.
I have no specific plans for when I'm wearing my costumes or shoots booked. Just hoping for a fun and relaxing weekend away from the city. As long as the weather is nice enough for me to be able to use the pool a few times I'll be happy. Crossing my fingers that it will be a great con!
June 7th, 2023
I know I only just finally posted my con report and thoughts on Anime North, but I was offered hotel space and a car ride for YetiCon and I’ve decided to go. Things have been so hectic and chaotic in my life lately that I think it'll be a fun break (as much as packing for a con and preparing and wearing costumes is considered a break that is).
I'm trying to decide what to bring. Currently I'm thinking my Dilandau costume from Escaflowne along with Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden and maybe my new RE4 Remake Ashley costume. I've posted many times before worrying about my Dilandau costume as it's several years old and made of pleather so I feel like it has a shelf life and will probably fall apart soon. I'm pretty desperate to get photos of it as I only wore it once and that was before it was fixed up and the wig was styled. It was a very expensive costume too, so I really want photo evidence of it. I've only worn Sakura once as well. I bought new boots for the costume and a whole new wig and I've never worn it with the upgrades. I realized during the pandemic that the blouse barely fits me now. I had to open the seams to give it a little more give. I'm hoping to wear it to Yeti as well as a last hurrah. The wig is actually too long so I'm going to ask my dad to help me trim it. If I bring Ashley, that's just for fun. Too bad it's not fall. That would be a great location for photos if the leaves were changing colour.
I'm just looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I'll be going on the 15th and staying until the 19th. I can't wait to use the pools and try out the resort amenities. I'm a little miffed at how complicated things are this year with the reduced convention offerings as well as the pay options for Blue Mountain amenity passes, but I'll figure it out. Can't wait to see some friends and enjoy some beautiful summer weather!
I forgot to say in my post yesterday, but I have added a costume page for my new Ashley costume. You can find it here
. Not many photos of it currently as I didn't really get a chance to shoot it at AN. I'm looking forward to maybe going to Black Creek Pioneer Village or just getting some photos in the woods when we hit the fall.
June 6th, 2023
Anime North is over for another year. I do have to say that all the ANs have started to blur together for me even though I am happy the con felt like a return to form this year. I'm still taking some COVID precautions so not totally normal, but it was great for it to be back in May.
Even though it's been several years since I last stayed at a hotel for Anime North, it still feels weird to commute daily to the con. It takes away some of the mystique and I do miss staying at the Delta hotel and using the hotel pool. I did only end up going on Friday and Sunday. I heard that parking at the Congress Centre was pretty crazy on Saturday and I'm sure the con floor was quite busy so kind of happy I stayed away.
The Nominoichi went pretty well on Friday. I tabled with my friend Adrien again. I thought we had a great table placement by the doors for buyers, but Congress Centre maintenance put up a big curtain in front of the doors just before the event and it blocked the aisle in front of my table and all the light from the ceiling lights and natural light from the doors. It was very frustrating and I do think it cost me some sales due to a lack of visibility. A couple of people even used the flashlight on their phones to illuminate the table because it was so shadowy. Thanks to pre-selling, I still did really well, but it was a challenge at the event. Would be nice to get a discount next year if I get a table again, but I doubt anything will be offered. Really hoping I don't end up with a table by the doors ever again. Still happy with the amount of stuff I sold and that for the first time since COVID, nothing was stolen from my table! Kind of a low bar, but I'm still pretty hurt to remember the Sailor Moon gashapon items that were taken at the AN Halloween event and at Nerd Market. I sold a few Tokidoki figures, some Pokemon Re-Ment blind boxes, a few Sailor Moon trading figures and gashapons and a handful of figures among other things. I cleared out quite a few of my childhood Anime posters. I used to buy tons of posters from Pacific Mall from series like Gundam Wing, Inuyasha, Sailor Moon and Tsubasa. I had over 25 for sale and I now have less than 10 left. Kind of hoping AN offers garage sale tables at the Halloween event again, so I'll keep an eye open for that, but it's nice to take a break from selling in-person for a few months. I enjoyed having the table, chatting with people and clearing some things from my place, but it was an exhausting experience. Besides grabbing food at Tim Horton's, lining up and setup were my entire con experience for Friday, but I definitely can't complain about getting a chance to sell.
I didn't get back from AN on Friday until around midnight and due to a family matter, couldn't go to bed until 2:30AM so needless to say, I wasn't feeling up to going on Saturday. I used the time on Saturday to relax and prepare my costume for Sunday. On Sunday, I got a chance to wear the Ashley costume that I had put together. It was fun to finally wear it. It felt a bit weird to wear a costume from China since I do tend to make my own costumes, but I am happy that I put in a lot of effort to piece the costume together and improve it before wearing it. Only the weekend before AN, Pan was kindly helping me trim the bob wig. It was just a cheap wig from Aliexpress. It was the first wig I bought for this Remake Ashley costume. I bought a second wig that looked a little nicer (as the first wig I bought had some light streaks I didn't like and the hair was a bit thin and tended to shed) but it looked nothing like the promo picture as it was meant to be styled specifically for Ashley. The wig I got was definitely a bait-and-switch. I got a refund for it so now I'm on the hunt for a better wig.
The costume did go over pretty well. A few people recognized it and I did run into one Leon. Hopefully next time I wear Ashley I run into more RE Cosplayers. I found some fun things to buy at the con. During the Nomi, I bought 3 Tokidoki figures I had been hoping to find and at Artists and the Vendors hall, I mostly found fun Halloween and gothic themed goods to buy. I got a cute witch themed sweater, a really cool skeleton mousepad and a beautiful Alice fanart print. It was a really successful con. My friend Lenore was kind enough to sell some doll stuff for me at the Doll Marketplace on Saturday so I cleared a few more things through her. She sold all the large cumbersome things so I was really glad for her help
I finally got a cherry lemonade from my favourite lemonade stand on Sunday afternoon. I waited outside with Adrien in the blazing sun for a poutine from the poutine food truck. It was quite the experience while wearing a wig since it took about 30 minutes to get through the line and there was no shade. The poutine was pretty good in the end! I ended the con by checking out Zee and Stillvisions' con history/Carmelldansen panel, which was a nice blast from the past about con life in the last 20+ years. All and all, it was a fun con. It felt a bit brief since I was so busy and focused on Friday and I didn't go on Saturday, but from what I did get to do and see, it was another pretty good year. I'm already excited about next AN and my con plans for the rest of the year. :)
May 15th, 2023
It's almost time for Anime North! I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by! I had my badge mailed and it was a pretty big shock when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. It felt like AN was still so far off and now it's next week.
I haven't posted here in a while. Life has been challenging lately as a close family member is at the start of a difficult separation from their spouse. There is child custody involved as well questions about the stability of the ex, which has brought untold levels of stress and concern into the life of my family. Hopefully we've reached a turning point, but it's been extremely chaotic lately. On top of that, I did thankfully get a Nominoichi table. I'll be at N219. With an extra family member staying with me, it's brought even more demand for clearing out space and selling some of my pop culture and Anime stuff just so I can accommodate the new person in our house. It's making it extra stressful to prepare for the event, but I am extremely excited to be able to attend the Nomi again and for AN to be back in May. Last year felt so weird as the con was quite chaotic. This year feels like a return to the good old days.
As for Cosplay, I actually decided just a month ago to put together a new costume. With all the chaos here, I really wanted something to look forward to and with the Resident Evil 4 Remake; I thought it would be fun to Cosplay as the new version of Ashley. With everything going on, though, I really didn't want to make the costume from scratch (that and because making a well-constructed blazer in a rust colour really didn't inspire me to want to sew) but I did excitedly look for costumes pieces online. I watched as numerous variations of pre-made versions of Ashley's costume were posted for sale from Chinese sellers. I cherry-picked through the options to get her skort, scarf, blazer and turtleneck, as well as accessories like her brooch and tights. Hardest part seems to be finding a decent wig to style. I'm on the hunt for my 3rd wig for the costume as even buying a "pre-styled" wig for Ashley turned out to just be a bad wig with a really weird colour choice. Hoping I can find a nice natural colour option to style, but that might not happen for AN. Not sure if I'll try to make a wig I already have work temporarily or just delay the costume until I can get a better wig. I did do quite a bit of work so far to upgrade the costume. I had to alter the brooch I got to make it a little more accurate as well as I hand stitched topstitching to the blazer to give it a contrasting stitch element. Her jacket in the game has a contrast stitch or some sort of ribbon detailing over most of the seams that almost none of the pre-made costumes incorporated. I liked the look of the jacket I picked the best so I figured I could add the detail myself. Took a few hours and it's not the most visible detail work, but I think it looks good. Despite being a pre-made costume, it was quite a lot of work to put together in the end.
Still not sure about my overall plans for AN. I most likely won't Cosplay on Friday as the Nomi is always super hot and I'm not sure if I'll go on Saturday or skip the con and rest that day. I'll definitely be back on Sunday so I'm debating between wearing Ashley or finally wearing the Dorothy costume from The Big O that I made last year but never wore. So many choices, but so little time! If I go on Saturday then maybe I'll wear Dorothy then and wear Ashley on Sunday. It's all a bit in flux. I guess I don't have much more time to think about it as before I know it, it'll be Anime North. Looking forward to some rest before the con, but I'm sure it'll just be pure chaos. Anyway, can't wait to be back at Anime North for the 20th time!
March 28th, 2023
It's been a couple of weeks since the Nerd Market event ended. It was my first event of the year. I had a pretty good time. It was nice to be back at the U of T campus again and I loved the architecture of the Great Hall where the event was set in Hart House. It's a beautiful space. I brought way too much so setup and teardown was a challenge, but it was nice seeing some familiar faces and chatting with people. I sold a few things, not a ton. It's always hard to tell what people are going to like at different events to decide what's worth bringing. Stuff that was eye-catching and sold well at the Anime North Halloween event was not what really caught people's interest here. There was really no one thing that I cleared out at this event, but I did sell a few Tokidoki Unicorno figures so that was nice. A couple of people did want to trade Tokidoki figures, but I unfortunately already had the figures they were offering. One Sailor Moon item was stolen from the table, which made me sad. I've never dealt with table thefts before and ever since the pandemic and events restarting, at both events I've been selling at so far, an item has been stolen. Interestingly, they were both Sailor Moon gashapon items. I guess they're from a recognizable series and very small to just secretly hide and walk off with, but it's very frustrating. This time it was a Sailor Moon Star Locket and I was selling it for a very reasonable price. It makes me very disappointed in people especially since it had been an item I had debated about keeping. Anyway, all and all, I had a good time. I would consider going again, but I would really have to bring less and make the table a little more cohesive.
Other than that, things in my life have been a bit crazy. I've been dealing with some difficult family matters, so it's been a bit hard to relax. The RE4 remake came out, but I've barely played it. It looks great from what I've seen so far. I really want to Cosplay Ashley. I miss RE Cosplay so much. Hopefully things will calm down in my life soon, but it seems like it might be something that drags on for months and gets pretty nasty so I'm not optimistic.
The application period for the Nominoichi lottery for AN start at the end of this week. I can't believe it's already time to start preparing for that! I kind of wish I still had more time before the madness of pre-sales and tabling starts, but I'm really hoping I get a table and I can return to selling. I always do so well at AN and move a lot of my Anime collection that I would like to sell. Even though I'm in for a crazy spring, hopefully I can still make the best of things and have a fairly smooth process preparing for Anime North. I'm very much looking forward to attending a convention again and making Cosplay plans.
February 24th, 2023
The weeks have really been flying by! I can't believe we're already almost two full months into 2023. It's kind of a weird winter for me. Usually I spend a lot of the winter sewing a new costume, but this year I decided not to since I have such a big backlog of costumes that I need photos of. I haven't even worn the costume I made last year. I do feel a bit listless, though, but my job has been keeping me very busy, so all I want to do in the evening is relax and turn my brain off.
Not much to report in terms of Cosplay news, but Nerd Market has finally solidified the details of the upcoming event and I was able to sign up and pay for my table. The event will be held at U of T in Hart House on Sunday, March 12th. I'm not sure how it'll go and if it'll be particularly busy, but it'll be fun to get out of the house, meet people and hopefully sell a few things. I haven't fully figured out exactly what I'll bring, but most certainly some Pokemon Re-Ment figures, some Tokidoki figures, a few gashapon items and maybe a handful of scale or action figures. I'm seeing if I can bring a couple of Resident Evil Hot Toys figures. I'm in the process of selling my Hot Toys figures as they're very large, I really need to downsize my collection and the boxes are hard to store. I had seven Hot Toys figures (including one Sucker Punch figure) and I've sold two figures so far, so I'm making some progress with selling already. Would be nice to at least sell a couple locally because the shipping boxes needed to mail Hot Toys can be quite large, but I definitely don't ship anything without tons of protection in the box. Anyway, looking forward to seeing how the event goes.
Next month is also March Toronto ComiCON. I'm probably not going. I haven't been to a Fan Expo related event since before the pandemic. One of these days I will be return to their events. I really do miss the vibe and the Artist Alley. I have purchased my ticket for Anime North and I'm already hyping myself up for getting a table at the AN Nominoichi. Really hoping I get lucky and actually get a table at the event. That's pretty much my plans for the next few months. I have a few costumes I want to bring out of storage to wear to events and get photos of. I'm hoping to get a shoot or two in before the hot days of summer. These days I'm just looking forward to the idea of summer. I can't wait for the warmth and sunny days, but with the way the weeks have been flying by, it'll be May before we know it!
December 26th, 2022
It's been a while since my last post and we're right into the thick of the holiday season. I hope everyone that celebrates had a nice Christmas. Mine was a little chaotic as I couldn't see some of my immediate family since they came down with a horrible stomach flu, but we still made the best of things and had a nice holiday and we're planning a bigger family gathering for later.
I don't have much going on in terms of Cosplay work. My biggest geeky accomplishment of the year was probably passing Horizon Forbidden West a month ago after logging something like 90 hours playing it since I started the game at the end of the summer. I haven't touched any sewing since I was fixing up older costumes in the summer. It's been nice to take a sewing break.
I just wanted to post here a little review of the year. There was a return for me to some staple Cosplay activities. It feels like a return to normal, but at the same time, it's been a slow crawl to really get comfortable again with things. To be honest, I've been tremendously busy with work these last few months. I've definitely taken on more responsibilities and have been thriving in my role as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager at an indie game studio here in the city, but it does leave me feeling done with anything that feels like work by the end of the day. It's something I'll have to work around mentally to get back into an inspired headspace to sew again. Since sewing takes so much concentration and planning. I'm hoping to find a balance with that in 2023.
I did quite a bit this year even still. I attended YetiCon for the first time back in the early part of summer. It was quite an interesting venue and cool vibe for a con. Definitely felt like a con where you need to make your plans in advance or you'll miss out on things like booking shoots. I got to wear my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume, which was really nice. I'm so glad I finally could wear it in public after making it two years ago. It was annoying that the harsh wind at the resort jostled my hat off my head and made it a challenge to get photos of the costume. I also got to wear my Alice (Alice in Wonderland) costume to the con and I got some fun shots of my Inkling Kid costume by the pool, so I can retire my Splatoon costume. I had a good time and loved the alpine coaster, the zip line, the unique location and the heated swimming pools. I'm undecided if I would go again in 2023 if anyone had hotel room space for me. It was fun, but the con is being stripped down for next year with only a dealer's room, so it's even more so a con where you have to plan your own activities and feels a bit unfocused for making costuming plans. It is a cool location, though, and I do enjoy swimming, so maybe I will try to go again if I'm able.
Anime North finally returned and with extreme fanfare as the con was very busy and well attended. I know that created some chaos. I went to the con on the Friday and Sunday. Friday was going to be a chance to get my badge and see the artist alley, but registration was so backed up and chaotic that I only got my badge just as the Congress Centre was closing. At least Sunday of the con was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It was in the middle of the summer for the first time ever and was extremely hot, so I skipped Cosplaying. That felt pretty weird. I also skipped entering the lottery to get a Nominoichi table and I really missed that. Would have been great to sell some stuff, but hopefully I can return to the Nomi next year. I definitely want to declutter and refocus my Anime and pop culture figure and toy collection, so I still have plenty of goods to sell (a never-ending struggle).
Next up was Pretty Heroes. It was nice to see the return of a smaller, local con. I do love visiting the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. There were some cute things to buy there and the con gave me a chance to fix up and re-wear my Madoka Magica school uniform costume. That costume had some serious wear and tear due to age, so it took me quite a few hours to fix it up, but I do love that costume so much. It's still my favourite costume I've ever made. This time I changed out the wig and was Homura instead of Madoka. I got some photos care of my friends Pan and Stillvisions and it was a fun day. I didn't participate in many con events, but the con had a fun vibe.
Last up for pop culture events was the surprise Anime North Halloween event, which took place the Friday before Halloween again at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I was so surprised that they made it free. I was even more surprised that just a couple of weeks before the event, they announced that they would be hosting a Nominoichi event at the party. I applied for a table and thankfully got one. I made a little bit of money and got a chance to clear out a few Anime goods from my basement storage. To be honest, it was just nice to have a basecamp and a reason to chit-chat with people. It's much easier to chat with people when they're looking at things and you have a conversation starter. I wore a Sam Cosplay dress I had purchased from Spirit Halloween and had a fun evening. It definitely felt like a neat Halloween outfit for the occasion. It was great to be back at a Halloween event and Anime North put on a pretty good show.
That pretty much catches me up to now in terms of events. I did make one costume from scratch this year. I made a Dorothy costume from Big O. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. I would have worn it to Anime North if it had been in the spring. It's a pretty old school Anime costume now. I doubt many people will recognize it, but Big O is one of my all-time fave Anime series, so I feel so nostalgic thinking about it and I am excited to get a chance to wear it next year. I didn't attend any Informa cons this year. They felt a bit too big and crowded, but I might try to go to Fan Expo next year. I do miss how all-encompassing Fan Expo is for pop culture content and the fun downtown location.
Regarding costume plans for 2023, aside from finally wearing Dorothy, I want to get photos of the Dilandau costume I've been off and on mentioning here and hopefully Super Sailor Chibi Moon if I can still squeeze into the costume. I also want better photos of my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume. I do have all the materials to make a Wendy costume from Peter Pan. I'm undecided if I want to make it over the winter just because I have so many other costumes I need to find time to wear already. If I don't make it for 2023, I'll definitely make it for 2024 when my Cosplay backlog of older costumes I need photos of will hopefully be cleared. Who knows, maybe I'll join the trend of buying costumes. Sure would save me a heck of a lot of time and energy. It's really hard to find time to get cracking on planning new costumes, but I do still love conventions and Cosplay.
The next upcoming event is Nerd Market 3. It's been delayed so many times, but it seems a date of March 12th has finally been settled on and the event will be at the U of T campus. I believe that since I had a table for the original cancelled event in 2020, they'll offer me a spot by default. I'm hoping to participate and I'm looking forward to it. I think I'll have more than enough stuff that if I sell well at Nerd Market, I'll still be able to fill a table at Anime North. Hopefully by the end of this year I can really reduce my collection enough that I can start skipping selling events.
That pretty much summarizes the year and looks ahead a bit to the start of 2023. It was an interesting year and I started to get back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to venturing out more next year and perhaps leaving the country or at least the province for a trip. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see what excitement 2023 has in store. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful New Year!
November 2nd, 2022
Halloween is now behind us and it's been a somewhat eventful last few days. I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I just decorated my house, handed out candy and watched some horror and Halloween-themed movies. I took the day off work so I could have a relaxing afternoon and evening (as relaxing as running around putting up decorations can be). Not the best weather for Halloween this year here in Toronto and it was a Monday, but we still had a great turnout of trick-or-treat and that's always fun to see. I would say over 100 and maybe over 150 kids and teens stopped by. I wish I had bought more candy.
Last Friday was the free Anime North Halloween event at the JCCC. The Halloween event was a bit of a surprise announcement early in the month and an even bigger surprise was announcing they would have a Nominoichi (garage sale) section this year. They literally announced the Nomi event and started taking table requests on Wednesday the 19th. Thank goodness my friend Pan told me about it. It was first come, first served and it took me a couple of hours to apply, so I'm surprised I got a table, but super happy I did. The only annoying thing was that table acceptance emails only went out on the 22nd, so I had to rush preparing goods for my table over just a few days. Thankfully, I was able to make an inventory list and price things with a day to spare, but it was quite a busy week for me on top of doing my job.
My friend Stillvisions was kind enough to run the table with me and he also sold a few things. I wasn't sure what to expect. I usually sell pretty well at the Anime North Nominoichi, but this was a much smaller event. It was hectic to get setup and it was slow at first, but I did pretty well. I sold a few scale figures, some Pokemon trading figures, a couple Amiibos and some Pokemon cards among other items. The only letdown was that I didn't sell more Tokidoki figures. I have so many duplicates and I was hoping to sell quite a few figures from what I brought, but there didn't seem to be that many Tokidoki fans at the event. I hope I have more luck at a future Nomi.
The only downside of the night was a mother and daughter who stole a Sailor Chibi Moon Gashapon item from my table. I know exactly who did it and it was so sad and frustrating that it was a child. Otherwise, everything went smoothly and I had a great time. If AN runs the Halloween event again next year, I probably wouldn't mind getting a table again. I suppose it depends on if I sell elsewhere and I have a lot of stuff left. It didn't really feel like a venue for big ticket items, but prize and trading figures did sell pretty well. I didn't see much of the rest of the event, but I like that you can do some crafting or play some board games. It might be a small event, but there was quite a bit to do and it was really kind of Anime North to make it free.
I wore a Sam (Trick ‘r Treat) themed dress that I got from Spirit Halloween. Since it's a small event, it didn't really feel like a place to make a big costume debut and with managing a table, I had to wear something simple. The outfit is adorable and was a fun way to celebrate the holiday. One year I need to get photos of that dress around some Halloween decorations.
That might be the last event of the year for me. I know Nerd Market is supposedly still to come, but I hear that pinning down a venue has been a challenge, so it sounds like it might be pushed back again or cancelled. The latest I've heard is maybe it'll be postponed until January. Such a shame, but that makes me happy I managed to get a table at the Halloween event after all. I did miss just casually hanging out at the Halloween event, but it was sure nice to finally clear out a few things that I had stored in my basement! It was my first chance to sell in person since the 2019 AN Nomi and the opportunity was much appreciated.
I guess I can start looking forward to events in 2023 and, of course, this holiday season. It'll be interesting to see what cons are like next year. I'm still figuring out my comfort level with big events, but it sure was nice to socialize with people at the Halloween event on Friday and see Cosplayers. Definitely great to see community events returning, so I'm excited to see what next year has in store.
October 12th, 2022
Wow, we're already well into spooky season. I haven't updated here since August and that feels like it was just a couple of weeks ago. It was a fairly quiet end to summer. In terms of Cosplay, I've been taking a bit of a break. I was planning to arrange some photoshoots, but I just kind of lost my motivation to rush things. Hopefully next year I'll still be able to fit into Sakura Haruno, Dilandau and Super Sailor Chibi Moon, so I can get some costume photos of those three costumes and maybe actually wear the Dorothy (The Big O) costume I made this year.
My friend Stillvisions sent me the cellphone photos he took of my Homura costume during Pretty Heroes. I was able to export and edit them and I've added them to the costume gallery. Nothing too incredible because it's just phone photos, but I think we got some really nice shots with cool Japanese themed backdrops. You can see the photos here
I do still have a couple of planned events to attend this year. Not entirely surprising, but fun to see that Anime North has brought back their Halloween event. I went to the last couple that they did, but of course, they haven't run one since the pandemic started. The tickets were free and I managed to get one before the event sold out. I haven't decided what I want to wear yet. I did just mention wanting to wear and get photos of a bunch of costumes. I would probably wear Sakura Haruno, but the wig needs to be trimmed and I have to ask a friend for help with that. I doubt I can get that done before the event. Dorothy is a strong contender, but I did buy a dress costume version of Sam from Trick 'r Treat at Spirit Halloween last year and I haven't worn it yet. It's pretty casual and might be fun to wear instead of putting on a big costume. I'm still debating it, but that'll be happening on the 28th. I think that is it for major Halloween plans for me. I feel a bit lame, but it feels like the big night will be here before I know it. I'll probably decorate my house and give out candy. It won't be as exciting as last year, but I always look forward to Halloween nonetheless.
Nerd Market 3 was supposed to happen at the beginning of October, but was pushed back until late October and then was moved to late November. If it actually happens, I do intend to go and sell some Anime goods, but at this point I'm not sure what's going on. Hopefully there won't be any more delays and the weather will be ok in November for the event.
I actually bought some fabric last month for my next costume. I bought materials to make a new Wendy costume from Peter Pan. My friend Ammie made me a Wendy costume several years ago and I only wore it once to the Holiday Fan Expo event that was held in 2019. I loved how it looked and I only did a quick shoot in the costume. Unfortunately, I outgrew the costume during the pandemic. :( That made me so sad that I decided to remake the costume. I bought fabric and notions already. I don't like the fabric I bought as much as the material Ammie used, but I'm hoping it'll work. I have some leftover blue fabric from my Alice costume that I think I might be able to use for the bows as well. I would make it for next year, but I have so many old costumes I want to prioritize re-wearing and I'm afraid if I make it soon, but don't wear it until 2024, it might not fit. I'll probably start this costume late next year or early in 2024, so I'll most likely take a sewing hiatus for the next year. Kind of feels nice to take a break after stressing about fixing up costumes over the last few months. Hopefully my old costumes will still fit and I won't need to let out seams. That's pretty much my greatest fear right now. Anyway, I'll try to enjoy the fall atmosphere and Halloween vibes over the next few weeks before winter takes hold. Hopefully the Halloween event at the JCCC will be a lot of fun.
August 18th, 2022
It's now post-Pretty Heroes. I went to the convention last weekend just for the Sunday. I only stayed for a few hours. I mostly just wanted to see some friends and check out the vendors. I did wear my Madoka Magica school uniform that I made back in 2017, but this time I Cosplayed as Homura. I was originally going to shoot with Elemental Photography, but she ended up only going to con on Saturday so our paths didn't cross. Instead, my friend Stillvisions took a few photos of me on his camera and with his cellphone. Pan also took a few photos of me on my phone. I was able to put together the costume page for Homura thanks to Pan's photos and you can find the new costume page here
. The costume took a lot of work to actually make it wearable again. I had re-sew various parts of the blouse to tighten up loose threads and remove the red bias tape and then sew it back on after I had washed the shirt. The blouse is actually quite tight at the shoulders and in the elbows, so I think my days of being able to wear this costume might be numbered, but I am hopeful that I can wear it again at least one more time in the next couple of years.
I also owe my friend Mackenzie a huge thank you for helping out when I was shooting with Kevin. She held a light reflector and was kind enough to blind me when I was being photographed. XD Hopefully some of the photos turn out nicely in case I can't ever wear Homura again.
The con overall was pretty fun. It's a small event with a cool focus. I do love series like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura so I enjoyed the ambience. I did pick up some fun things in the vendor hall. I got a Universal Studios Japan Sailor Moon Silver Crystal light up charm that looks stunning. I also purchased an Escaflowne animation cel at the same table. It's of Dilandau, which was crazy to see given how old the series is. Dilandau is still one of my all-time fave characters so that certainly was a cool find. Pan bought me some Halloween themed fanart stickers and I got a nice paper art Alice in Wonderland piece, so I got some really neat things. Not a huge haul, but quality over quantity.
That pretty much covers the con. Mackenzie, Stillvisions and I stopped afterwards at a bubble tea shop for a celebratory drink. It felt well-earned after a day of Cosplay. It's a real chore to get into costume. It took me about 2 and a half hours to get ready. I do miss when getting into costume was just a matter of throwing on a wig and your outfit. Elaborate makeup and contacts have really slowed things down. Hopefully some of the con photos turned out.
My next plans are kind of up in the air. I'm probably getting a table at Nerd Market, which should be about a month and a half away if the current date of October 1st stays in place. I know Fan Expo is next week, but I don't know anyone who wants to go with me, so I'll probably skip it. That probably covers the local cons for the year. Elemental Photography did suggest she could do a shoot with me locally to make up for cancelling my Pretty Heroes shoot and I might take her up on that. I still have Super Sailor Chibi Moon, Sakura Haruno and Dilandau that I would like to shoot this year. Maybe I can do a shoot day with her and at least take care of small shoots for Sakura and Chibiusa. Dilandau will have to wait for cooler weather. Hopefully things don't cool down too quickly! I've been enjoying the sunshine and I will miss it when the weather patterns change and it gets cold next month. I definitely will try not to waste the next few weeks!
August 12th, 2022
Quick update! I should be going to Pretty Heroes on Sunday. I think I've settled on re-wearing my school uniform from the Madoka Magica series except this time I'll be portraying Homura. I had to fix up quite a bit of the costume in order to wash it. Hopefully I can get another couple of wears out of it, but it's getting quite tight around the shoulders and in the arms. I will potentially be shooting with Elemental Photography so I'm looking forward to that. Pretty Heroes has some really fun artist vendors so I'm really excited to check out the sights of the con. Hopefully it'll be a fun day!
August 5th, 2022
Here we are now in August. This summer has been rushing by. As much as I love Halloween, I'm not looking forward to the colder weather that's sure to start hitting us in a few more weeks. These bright and sunny days have been really rejuvenating (even if we could use some more rainy days now and again). August is a pretty busy month for local events and cons. Things sure have surged back now that people are just shrugging and moving on regarding the ongoing pandemic. I'm still conflicted about that. Fan Expo is at the end of the month and Pretty Heroes is next week. I sort of wish I could go to Fan Expo for just the Thursday or Friday. I know it's bound to be super crowded, so it's better not to go, but I really do miss the vibe of that con and all the fun artists and crafters in the Artist Alley section. I'm 99% sure I'm not going to go because I would have to be lame and go solo, but I do miss it! Pretty Heroes, on the other hand, I am hoping to attend for a day. I haven't solidified plans or exactly what I might Cosplay, but I will try to go. If I do go, I'm considering wearing my Madoka school uniform as Homura or maybe my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume that I last wore to YetiCon. Once I figure it out, I'll probably post about it here.
My friend Stillvisions did send me the cellphone photos he took of me at YetiCon in June. He took some shots of all 3 of my costumes. I really appreciate that since I didn't book shoots with anyone and otherwise I would have nothing to show for the con. We got some fun photos of my Splatoon costume
by the various resort pools and some super cute photos of my Sakura costume, so I was finally able to post my costume page for that costume and you can find it here
. He also got a couple of nice pics of my Alice costume
It's nice to be able to post one new costume page. I still need to get photos as Homura in the school uniform from Madoka and photos of my Dilandau, Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Dorothy costumes. I'm also still crossing my fingers that I can squeeze in a shoot of my Sakura Haruno costume this year. Dilandau, Sakura Haruno and Super Sailor Chibi Moon are top priorities, so I'll try to get photos of those costumes this year. Even cellphone photos would be great just so I have some photo evidence of them. I'll see what I can arrange before we hit late fall.
July 18th, 2022
I'm back from Anime North and it was bit of a surreal con. I had hoped to get my badge on Thursday night, but plans for that fell through. Pan and I were going to go on Friday in the evening, assuming the line to pick up badges would have cleared up by dinnertime, and we turned out to be totally wrong on that. Just before we were going to leave, I stumbled across videos of the line, which literally spanned the entire parking lot beside the Congress Centre. I still ended up going with Pan and Stillvisions, but we basically just walked around outside and said hi to friends. Since it was so late, I didn't bother Cosplaying, although Pan was dressed as Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service. Just a few minutes before the dealer's room closed, the lined cleared enough that I was able to get my badge, but I didn't get to actually see the con at all on Friday despite having a weekend badge and getting there before 8PM.
I came back on Sunday with Stillvisions. Given that the con was being crucified for long waits outside, virus cases are on the rise and the temperature for Sunday was really high, I decided not to Cosplay. Felt kind of weird because I've always Cosplayed at least one day of all the AN's that I've gone too and I've been attending the con since 2002. Being casual made it faster to get around (and gave my feet a break with non-costuming footwear). I did a whirlwind tour of the Congress Centre over the course of an hour just before noon. I was able to get some cute Lolita macaron necklaces from BB & B as well as a fall cat themed lanyard, which will be nice for work and a couple of interesting blind box figures from Mr Surprise Toys. I also grabbed an Anime North souvenir mug, although the AN merch table had been totally plundered and I got the second last one. I didn't get to see the Comic Market really, because it was too crowded. I did go to one panel. My friends Stillvisions was running the Caramelldansen panel so I went to support him. I never partook in that dance craze that swept Anime cons over a decade ago, but the panel gave a nice snapshot of con life back then and the craze itself. When the attendees got to dance to the song at the end of the panel, they really got into it and the room was quite packed. I was able to get some food from the Japanese food vendor at the Delta hotel (which is pretty much a con tradition) and delicious lemonade from the lemonade stand. I definitely missed the con vibe and seeing friends so it was nice to be back and to be able to run into a few friendly faces around the con.
I did skip going on Saturday due to the crowding. Apparently the con had the highest reg it's ever had, which is amazing given the con was sidelined for two years. I also skipped the Nominoichi so hopefully next year when the con returns to being in May, I can Cosplay at the convention again and go back to selling at the garage sale event. I definitely am feeling a bit freer with skipping Cosplaying. I may start to slowly back away from Cosplaying over the next few years. I'm not super young anymore and it takes a lot of effort to get into costumes with how demanding Cosplay is regarding perfection. I kind of like being chill and I can see why a lot of my friends have moved away from the hobby in the last few years. I definitely don't see myself quitting completely anytime soon, though!
Next up is maybe Pretty Heroes? Seems like a chill con to go to for a day. I have a ton of magical girl or kick-ass female costumes I can wear. I am also hoping to book a couple of non-con shoots with friends before October. I'll post here if I can make arrangements. I should be able to get some YetiCon photos from Stillvisions soon so I can share a couple of pics of my Sakura costume as well as some new pics of my Inkling Kid costume. I'll update here when I get my hands on them.
July 13th, 2022
I've been totally blindsided by Anime North this year. I know the con moved to July, but in my brain, I always thought it was the end of the month and I had tons of time to relax before it would come around and yet here we are and it's only a couple of days away. I'm feeling kind of meh about it. I'm not staying at a con hotel. I passed on doing the Nomi this year and I haven't made any new costume plans. I kind of wanted to play it by ear, but that was sort of when I thought Covid might be receding a bit and maybe the event would be somewhat safe. I mean, AN is taking tons of precautions, which is nice, but it has a huge number of attendees and we're now supposedly in another wave. Not to mention, it's going to be a pretty hot weekend, so it's not fun Cosplay conditions if you plan to be outside. AN is mostly wide open parking lots, so it's a recipe for boiling.
I have been contemplating my own plans for the con and I think I might go for a few hours on Friday. My badge rolled over from previous years so it's a bit of a non-choice. I had thought about attending the con for multiple days and settling on various costume plans. Right now, I'm feeling pretty uncertain about Cosplaying at all. I floated the idea of my new Sakura Battle costume that I still haven't posted photos of or re-wearing my Alice costume. I spent a few days over the last week fixing up my Madoka school uniform. I mentioned on Instagram the costume had developed some stains during storage and my attempts to spot clean it didn't clear the staining. I also got some red dye from the bias tape hem on some of the white lace from the hem. I spent a few days taking the red bias tape off the bottom of the blouse. I washed the blouse and also repaired the zipper seams that had come loose and re-sewed the black bias tape at the collar of the beige blouse, which had also come loose. I then sewed back on the red bias tape and cut out a new piece of lace to replace the part of the lace that was damaged by dye. I also opened up the sleeve seams because the sleeves were feeling pretty tight on my arms. My thought was to wear my school uniform again to AN and Cosplay as Homura, but then I realized with it being around the mid to high 20s all weekend, that's a little overkill. It was nice to be able to revitalize the costume. I was pretty sad to see the big age staining on it.
In the end, IDK. Pan suggested we just go to the con for a few hours on Friday. That way we can be outside for most of it and maybe run into Artists/Crafters for a few minutes to actually see part of the con. I'm not super stoked to be inside with thousands of people so trying to make a trip to AN just a short while on Friday doesn't feel too outlandish. She suggested we maybe bring our Wacky Wavy Arm Flailing Tube Man costumes, which could be fun. They require no makeup work and pack easily so I'm warming up to the idea. It feels sort of surreal to be getting ready for con, but not really having much to prepare. Normally I'm scrambling to pack for the hotel and sort out boxes and item lists for the Nomi. I kind of miss the excitement of it, but next AN is only 10 months away and it'll be here before we know it (hopefully under better circumstances). I still hope that whatever my AN plans turn into, it's a fun event and I see a few friends and some nice costumes. I really can't ask for more from an event this year and I look forward to the return to a more normal reality in 2023.
June 30th, 2022
YetiCon is in the rearview now. It took me a while to post here after the con. I jumped back into work the day after getting back and there was so much to catch up on that it was tough to find a minute to gather my thoughts. It was interesting returning to a convention after being out of the scene for over 2 years. Yeti did feel like a good event to make a return with. The con itself was fairly small. I assume it was probably a couple of thousand attendees so definitely not as grand of a con as Anime North or Fan Expo. There was quite a bit to do outdoors and the con centre was rarely super crowded. I didn't actually know beforehand exactly what genre YetiCon was targeting for its convention aim. It was interesting to see a mix of Anime, Cosplay and board game programming. A lot of people call it the summer camp of Anime cons and I could understand that. It definitely had a laidback vibe and lots of fun outdoor offerings to explore.
I did end up wearing the 3 costumes that I brought. I wore Alice on Friday and both Sakura Kinomoto and the Splatoon Inkling Kid costumes on Saturday. I was originally thinking about wearing the Inkling Kid costume on Sunday, but it was super windy all weekend and kind of cool at times so that really messed with my plans. It was a mess wearing Alice as the wind kept whipping around the hoop skirt for my dress and flipping up my apron. It also messed with the rather thin bangs on my wig. The worst part was the dust in and around the village and con centre. The massive parking lot for Blue Mountain was unpaved, so with the super windy weather especially on Friday, it was sending dust all over outdoors. The second I got outside of my hotel on Friday, I got dust in my eyes. It was brutal. It made it hard to stay outside for long.
I did have fun wearing Alice. I didn't pre-plan any photoshoots so I was disappointed that I never got a chance to get really high quality costume photos. My friend Stillvisions brought some video gear and was kind enough to take some video footage of me in Alice and Inkling Kid and also took a few phone camera photos of my costumes so I do have some photo evidence from the weekend. I'm just waiting for him to review the pictures he got on his camera so I can get them and post a few highlight photos here.
I will say the weekend was a nice vacation. I was rooming with Stillvisions and another long-time friend of his (Nicole) and her bf. We shared a large suite and we had plenty of space with our room being just four people, which was nice. We stayed in the Grand Georgian. I wish we had a suite facing the village to be able to experience the hustle and bustle of Cosplayers walking around, but we were facing the parking lot (just one room short of facing the village area). I suppose it wasn't too important with how cool and windy it was all weekend as it wasn't pleasant to sit outside. We stayed for four nights (Thursday until Monday) and it made for an extra relaxing weekend. I got to go swimming in the Grand Georgian pool, which was quite nice. I tried the alpine roller coaster, which was very invigorating and gathered my nerves to try zip lining. I expected it to be scarier, but the worst part was the whiplash when you get to the brake at the end of the line. I didn't end up partaking in the waters of the aquatic centre, although I did explore the space in my Inkling Kid costume and got some photos and video there. The Blue Mountain area was really beautiful. If the weather had been nicer, I might have bought a pass for the gondola and explored the mountain top.
As I stated before, I did debut my new Sakura costume on the Saturday of the con. I used magnets to hold my little hat in place and the wind actually managed to move one of the magnets enough that the hat wouldn't stay on my head. I ripped some of the foam I had under the hat to support the shape as I was fiddling with it. I had to use hot glue from the Cosplay Medic in the con centre to repair my costume. I appreciated the assistance, but with the wind, it was too much of a hassle to wear the costume for long. It was hard enough to keep my skirt down (although I did wear shorts). I ended up only wearing the costume for a couple of hours, but I'm looking forward to wearing it again down the line. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I also enjoyed re-wearing my Splatoon costume. I quickly changed into it when I got frustrated with wearing Sakura since the Splatoon costume is much simpler. Kevin filmed me walking around the village area and by the pool. I was even asked by Ackson if he could shoot a couple of seconds of footage of me to use in his con video
, which was neat.
I ran into a number of friends while in my Inkling Kid costume too including my friend Dan who also took some footage of me and included it in his con video
. That was fun. I'm so glad that this con gave me a chance to reconnect with some friends that I haven't seen in over 2 years. I really did miss seeing people and being able to go somewhere fun and unique as a trip.
Since I was able to squeeze in wearing my Inkling Kid costume on the Saturday, I decided to be casual on Sunday and not Cosplay. I went to the tea party event and helped Stillvisions terrorize the con and village area in an inflatable Hello Kitty costume he brought. I turned into a handler for that and it was interesting helping guide him around and direct him for taking photos with tourists. On Sunday evening I got to try Rusty's for the first time, which was pretty good BBQ restaurant. Most of my meals were stuff we got from the grocery store and prepared in the hotel since we had a kitchen, but I did enjoy the BBQ restaurant as well as some Swiss Chalet that I got on the way into the con on Thursday afternoon. After grabbing a nice breakfast at the Sunset Grill on the Monday morning and stopping for some Starbucks, it was time to return to reality. It was a really fun convention and a neat experience. I'm glad that I was finally able to experience the con and check out Blue Mountain. I can see why everyone speaks so highly about this con.
No con photos to post here yet, but I should have some photos to share of Alice, Inkling Kid and Sakura down the line. I'll update here when I get them! I would definitely consider returning next year if the con makes a comeback!