Photo Diary 2

I’ve been away for a while again but maybe instead of NaNoWriMo-ing (and failing) like I do every other year, I’ll take November to get back into the blogging swing of things.

Here are a few snapshots from life since we last caught up.

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Cosplay Wishlist 2020?

A looooong time ago, before I started actually participating slightly in cosplay, I made a little costume wishlist of characters who I wanted to bring to life.

With many conventions getting cancelled this year, I have been thinking a lot about the cosplayers who I have been following and befriending, whose plans and potentially incomes have been affected by the convention circuit being derailed. However, they have been trying to stay positive and are sharing their cosplay plans for whenever they are able to start attending conventions again.

In that vein, I have been thinking a lot about new costumes I want to make a reality for myself, eventually!

Designing The Dresses For BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth (And The ...

Elizabeth's Burial at Sea Outfit Analysis | REAL OTAKU GAMER ...

From the original list, I still haven’t done Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite yet, actually! This game is pretty old now but I hope I get to do wear it soon, because it’s maybe the first game I’ve played all the way through, with my husband. Read More »

Halloween 2017

Happy Friday everybody! Can you believe this warm weather we’re having? Yesterday morning, I walked to the metro seeing my breath in the cold air, and I walked home in spring. I wish we could have crisp autumnal days but I’ll just take what I can get, I guess! Don’t forget Daylight Saving ends Sunday so get ready to fall back and get that hour back!

I hope you all had a fun Halloween! Halloween in the middle of the week always throws off the week a bit. At work, we all dressed up in costumes, and it was a fun and silly atmosphere in the office, but it was a Tuesday and there was work to be done. It felt weird to go back to work the next day… and the next day… and the next day…

Last year, my team at work did a group effort by showing up in adult onesies. This year, we split into 3 sub-teams, so we set out with the ambitious goal of having a large team-wide group costume with more specific sub-team costumes. (My original suggestion was we do a team-wide Harry Potter theme, with each sub-team choosing a different Hogwarts house or all being Death Eaters or Hogwarts professors, etc.)

Here’s the result:

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Group Star Wars costume!

And for each sub-team, we split by trilogy! I claimed the sequel trilogy for my team, despite only one movie from that trilogy having been released. (Also, yes, one of my teammates trolled us by dressing as Spock from Star Trek. Classic troll.) (And on the far right is an Angry Birds Vader. The troll force is strong with this team.)

I originally had different plans for Halloween, and compared to my crazy lofty 3-costume goals from last year, I was very derailed and very off-schedule this year. My Rey costume, while seemingly easy enough to make, was just a costume-in-a-bag option that was pretty inexpensive but turned out, in my opinion, better than I thought! (Minus the belt+bag thing that was just… drawn on? In the future, I’ll be replacing that first.)

Rey costume
“I think I can handle myself.”

It was a bit of a relief to just get a cheap big store costume from a bag, and people still thought I put a lot of time and effort into putting together my look! (Which I still did as  my arms were so sore from attempting to get my hair to stay in Rey’s dumb triple hair loops with my hair being about twice as long as hers…)

Fun story: We went to dinner in costume on Tuesday night and found out the restaurant was actually hosting a costume contest about half an hour after we arrived. The manager stopped by to ask if we’d like to participate as one of the few parties in costume, but when the time came, we were – I believe – the only people who agreed to participate. So we won by default! I didn’t even have to get up and be judged by a restaurant full of strangers or stop watching the world series.


Did you dress up for Halloween? If so, what did you wear?
What were your favorite costumes you saw this year? I think I’m a sucker for a good meme costume, despite how poorly they age, because they just transport me back, you know? I also love crossover pun costumes. (E.g. “Dumbledora the Explorer” or “Edgar Allen Poe Dameron”, those are my FAVORITES)

Also, do you get trick-or-treaters? I’ve seen the number of kids at my house take a sharp decline to zero over the past few years. I heard that parents now take kids to shopping malls and centers for trick-or-treating now, but when did that become a thing? And why do stores still sell candy to us civilians then?

Ghosts of Halloween past: 2016 | 2014 | 2013

P.S. NaNoWriMo anyone?

First Cosplay Reflections

If you’ve been following along with my AwesomeCon recaps (days 1, 2, and 3), or reading this blog for a little bit, you’ll know that I really relished my first convention cosplay experience. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time.

FirePose.jpg

It was truly an experience and I wanted to detail and document what it was like to finally get to cosplay at a convention after years of hyping it up for myself.

Prepping the Costume

Let me just throw this out here now so there is no confusion later: I don’t sew. Outside of mending clothing when the need arises, I don’t currently possess the skills necessary create clothing out of fabric.

I’m also not particularly crafty. DIY is usually not my forte, and I still marvel at people who own a ~hot glue gun~, as that seems to be a hallmark crafty-type thing to have.

What does all that mean? I bought everything. One day, I’d like to be able to make my own accessories, at least, or DIY things so that they are more accurate to the character I am portraying, but at this beginning stage of my cosplaying, I buy everything I can afford. Here’s what that included:

Ariel:

Aquaman and Ariel

Sailor Mars

SailorJupiter

  • Dress, gloves, choker, and tiara all from ProCosplay (formerly cosplayforce, which was the name this shop used when I actually purchased the costume)
  • Earrings + clip-on converters for my unpierced ears
  • Red pumps
  • Wig (that I wound up ditching)

Logistical Issues

Because my hair is red right now, I did spend time touching up the color with Overtone colored conditioner and then… attempting to curl my hair the morning of Day 1. Lemme tell ya, one of the reasons I started exercising this year is because of how sore my arms feel after curling my hair with my super cheap-o curling iron I got at at TJ Maxx a while ago.

On all 3 days, I did makeup before leaving for the convention. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, so this is always a bit of a struggle before a special event. I was trying out a BB cushion for the first time, and that was actually really nice to use (although I may look for an oil-free formula next time), but the real problem was my eye makeup.

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I need to practice doing eye makeup. Winged eyeliner? It never matches! And on day 3, I actually ran out of eyeliner in the middle of trying to line my second eye so… I just ditched the eyeliner altogether. This was a huge bummer because the eyeliner is fairly key to helping me achieve the anime eye look…) Speaking of anime eyes, I don’t really know how to apply false lashes, and yet there I was… wearing them to the best of my ability?

Because of the false lashes, I wasn’t able to wear my glasses during days 2 and 3 of the convention; the lashes would push up against my lenses and look ridiculous. There was a lot of squinting and asking Ben to scan crowds and read signs for me.

SailorMoon

I had small things happening with my Sailor Mars costume, like the gloves starting to get dirty because I touch things often but they were white fabric. At one point, I realized I was causing pilling on the costume because of how often my bag was rubbing against the fabric, so for day 3, I had to shave off those pills. It was a good thing I had a Tide pen with me because I did have a few small stains on the costume and had to spend a fair bit of time addressing them ASAP.

AND YES THE WIG PANIC WAS SO REAL. I was so traumatized by the whole experience, I don’t know how I’m going to ever attempt to wear a wig again.

The Pain

Cosplaying Sailor Mars was… a little bit painful, I’ll be really honest. Here were the major pain points:

  • The heels – Even though my heels are designed to be comfortable, I don’t know how many shoes in general are comfortable after 12 hours on your feet. My feet were KILLING me by the end of day 2 and 3, and I was frequently found taking my shoes off to rest my feet for a bit. On day 3, I became very fond of taking my shoes off in the Exhibit Hall to rest my feet on the cold floor. Ahhh… sweet relief. My feet continued hurting at work the next day because they just had suffered so much and were not done suffering yet.
  • The earrings – My limited experience with clip-on earrings is that they will hurt your earlobes at some point, either immediately when you clip them on in the wrong place or hours later. My ears ached incredibly by day 3 and they actually hurt for DAYS after the convention ended. Those little clips clamping onto one spot on my skin for hours and hours on end did not make my earlobes happy.
  • The tiara – You may be familiar with this struggle if you’ve worn a hard headband, but the tiara was DIGGING into my temples and it was extremely painful. I frequently was moving the tiara up so that my temples could get a break from being crushed. It was especially tricky when I was wearing the tiara with the wig, but I could’ve sworn that at one point, my head was visibly dented from where the tiara had me in a vice grip.

Despite the pain from my costume components, cosplaying was one of the best experiences of my life. All the pain and effort and time was worth it every time someone recognized my character and lit up or asked me for a photo. Call me vain but I really loved taking photos with people who were fans of my character or my costume. And if none of that was worth it, meeting that young girl and her dad on Father’s Day easily made everything worth it. I will cherish that specific memory for the rest of my life, and it will guide my future cosplay and convention experiences going forward.

WithAFan

Weird Things That Happened

One thing I wasn’t expecting at all was how many people would recognize that I was a Scout but not what planet? In fact, I think I heard almost every single planet name guessed over the course of the weekend, even Outer Senshi names, which really surprised me.

A man came up to me at one point with his phone as he was livestreaming to his audience on Instagram or Facebook. He looked at his phone and as I waved to his viewers, he said, “Oh, no one is giving you any likes!” and walked away. I am very sorry to him and his social media following that my 3 seconds of face time was not like-worthy.

DeadpoolHearthands

A guy was looking at me with a big smile on his face. “Do you want a photo?” I asked. He nodded and got his camera out, so I handed the fries and chicken tenders I was holding to Ben. The dude’s smile dropped and he said, “Oh, I thought you were eating fish fingers.” I was dressed as Ariel, so I guess he thought it would make for a good photo. Sorry, bro.

As I was leaving the convention center, a man asked me what my cosplay page was. I laughed because it was my first time! In hindsight, I should’ve just pointed him to this blog, since I’ll be sure to document any other cosplay here.

Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and Sailor Mars... wigless...

On day 3, I got stopped for photos multiple times as I was trying to catch my Lyft home. Even as I was stepping into the car, someone asked me for a photo. I felt like a freaking celebrity getting mobbed by paparazzi!

Also being handed a leash, that was definitely very weird.

Shawna The Maid
This is @shawnathemaid and he was so nice! Even though I was so confused as to why I was being handed a leash!


I had such an incredible time, and I absolutely cannot wait to cosplay at a convention again. I’ll be wearing Mars out again eventually, but I am already thinking about my next costume. Of course, Halloween is a ripe opportunity to bust out a costume, too!

Who should I cosplay as next?? I don’t want to spoil my Halloween costume, but it is a character from a popular TV show and that’s all I can say right now!

 

AwesomeCon 2017 – Day 3

Last time on AwesomeCon 2017, I cosplayed as Sailor Mars and got to experience my first celebrity Main Stage event after losing several battles with my wig.


My original plan for the last day of AwesomeCon was to see the Stan Lee Q&A in the morning. But with queuing for a seat starting sooooo early, we decided to go easy on ourselves and leave just a little bit later.

I debated for a while about what costume I’d wear on day 3, but ultimately I decided to rewear Sailor Mars because people responded so well to it and expressed how happy they were to see my character. Somehow, no one else was dressed as Sailor Mars, even though I think I saw most other scouts in person or on social media, and I would have interactions later in the day that reaffirmed I made the right choice here.

Our first stop of the day was The Guild Reunion. This year marked the 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of maybe the first web series I ever watched, The Guild. I absolutely loved watching those 6 seasons, so seeing the entire cast in reuniting in person was one of the highlights of my con experience. Again, a lot of questions were still directed towards Felicia Day (tellin’ you, queen of the nerds) but all of the actors were really great. (Really sad that Amy Okuda didn’t make it though…) If you haven’t seen The Guild before, I highly recommend it AND the amazing bonus videos that accompany it. (Those music videos are A+++.) It also made me happy to see Codex costumes at AwesomeCon (see Day 2). I probably wouldn’t have seen them at a con where Felicia Day wasn’t a guest, so I really lucked out with that.

The Guild Cast Reunion Panel
L to R: Jeff Lewis, Robin Thorsen, Sandeep Parikh, Vincent Caso, Felicia Day

After that panel, we skedaddled back over to the Main Stage to catch the Catherine Tate Q&A. I loved Donna Noble on Doctor Who and Catherine Tate is such a fantastic comedian. I somehow forgot about all the clips of The Catherine Tate Show, her sketch comedy show, that I watched on Youtube until someone asked what one of her most famous characters, Lauren Cooper, would think about AwesomeCon. She was so lovely and kind and funny, and I hope that she takes a fan’s advice to ask her agent about putting a Christmas special of hers on Netflix because I’m sure it’s great.

Catherine Tate on the Main Stage
Terrible photo of Catherine Tate up on stage

Although there were still other celebrity Q&As left to see, we were only a little bit interested in them and a lot more interested in spending the last hours of the convention at the Exhibit Hall. We had been hedging on a few purchases the past 2 days, but Ben finally walked away with a really beautiful Skyrim map and I was able to pick up a really cool gift for my dad. (Day 3 was on Father’s Day, so the gift was to make up for missing it and for his upcoming birthday as well!)

Spice Girls
These amazing Spice Girls were blasting “Wannabe” and were basically perfection

I had a lot of strange interactions with people on Sunday. There was the guy who came up to me while streaming to Instagram/Facebook Live and informed me that while I was on camera, no one gave me any likes, before walking away to find someone more like-worthy, I guess? A woman really loved my costume and told me I looked just like Sailor Mars and “You could be her twin!”, which is similar to her first statement but different in a way that left me feeling a little perplexed. A woman asked me for a photo and then handed me a leash to which this man was attached:

Shawna The Maid
This is @shawnathemaid and he was so nice! Even though I was so confused as to why I was being handed a leash!

My favorite interaction, by far, was with a girl who was about 10 years old? She was with her dad and timidly approached me to ask for a photo. I’ll admit that I actually really love when people ask for my photo, even more when children do, because I basically go into Disney park princess mode and momentarily stop feeling the pain of my heels and my clip-on earrings to be look and be happy with a stranger. This girl looked so in awe because Sailor Mars was her favorite Sailor Scout! She told me that my costume looked great and I looked pretty in it, so I’m here feeling very good about myself as we take some photos together. Her dad then came up to me and thanked me himself because he knew how much his daughter loved Sailor Mars and said that they had been looking around the entire weekend for Sailor Mars, so they were very happy to have finally found me. With that, any regrets I had about rewearing Mars (and her heels) (and her earrings) completely vanished. I was SO happy to have been able to make this girl happy, and I’m only sorry I didn’t remember to say Happy Father’s Day to this great dad who knew what his daughter loved and was there supporting her to love those things.

WithAFan.jpg
This is a different woman but I loved meeting everyone and only wish I got to see more of the photos we took together!

Day 3 cosplay did not disappoint.

SailorJupiter
Found Sailor Jupiter!

TchallaBucky
Awesome T’challa and Bucky Barnes

Korra
Super cool Korra

Belle
Provincial Belle

Elizabeth
Post-escape Elizabeth

EmmaFrostLogan
Emma Frost and Wolverine

RavenBeastBoy
Raven and Beast Boy

DeadpoolHearthands
When Deadpool asks “Do you wanna do heart hands or something?”, it’s hard to contain your excitement!!!

Avengers
THIS AVENGERS FAMILY GAVE ME SO MUCH LIFE THEY ARE EVERYTHING I WANT TO BE RIGHT DOWN TO THE PASSED OUT BABY HULK AND THE SASSY THOR

Slade
I am not 100% sure who this is, is it Slade?

We were able to meet up with my coworker Joe again and I was able to convince him that he needed a throw pillow. (I didn’t realize how well I could anticipate what Joe wanted and how much influence I had over him until I realized that I was able to persuade him to attend AwesomeCon to see David Hayter in the first place… and then to buy this pillow.) I was also able to meet up with my Instagram friend, Eric, who is a co-creator of the #strideby hashtag and took this fun Boomerang of me:

A post shared by eric brammer (@eric_le_reveur) on Jun 18, 2017 at 5:39pm PDT

 

Before we knew it, the Exhibit Hall was closing and the con had come to an end. As I walked out of the convention center, I still was getting photos with folks, with one person even asking me for my cosplay page. I laughed because this was literally my first time cosplaying someplace! (In retrospect, I probably should’ve just given him my social media for this blog right here.) People were still trying to ask me for photos as I walked to meet my ride home, and I closed the car door just in total amazement at how AwesomeCon exceeded my expectations.


With that, I wrap up my AwesomeCon recaps. If you’ll recall, I was in a bit of a funk since… May? While I don’t know if it’s over, AwesomeCon was definitely a high point during that prolonged low. I was so happy during those 3 days, even through the wig panic and the hanger and the strange dudes and the foot pain. I am also so grateful to Ben, who had a great time himself but definitely placed my desires above his own the entire weekend. (After all, he watched so many celebrity Q&As for people he didn’t have a clue about at all! We only recently watched The Guild because he was drawn in enough by the actors to be interested in watching.) (It’s good, go watch.)

What are your favorite cosplays from Day 3 that I managed to snap?
What convention should I attend next??
I wish I could go to NovaCon, because it’s another local con that has some cool guests, actually, but I have a conflict that weekend. I was considering trying to go to New York Comic Con but Saturday passes are already sold out, and I don’t know if I can handle a con of that size so soon after my very first one. I am currently thinking about some of the anime conventions (namely Otakon, which is coming up soon) but I am so out of the anime scene that I’m not sure I’ll be hip enough to understand the panels and stuff!

Let me know about conventions that you love and think I should attend! I was so in love with the entire experience that I am already considering traveling just to go. This could get dangerous…