Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feathers plus glue= one stop closer to cosplay completion

I never actually thought I would see the day when I could say I was covered in glue and feathers, but I did. It wasn’t too bad really. The glue was messiest when it no longer wanted to squeeze out of the bottle and I had to use a brush and my hands but nun the less I managed to make this project work….”what project” you say? Well I was making wings of course!

They were not easy either. They were for my Yuna costume. But I didn’t want traditional angel wings like the Trinity Blood or Ah! My Goddess ones. I didn’t want them to look exactly like Yuna’s wings either as she has her wings curving around her arms much more than the normal curve in wings. I wanted cute little ones that I could use for multiple cosplays, or just to frame at the head of my bed (way better than deer antlers). This was probably the most tedious cosplay I have ever done. Feather by feather I worked. But I really don’t mind that kind of work anyway its relaxing and peaceful, the research and anxiety were NOT. The research I had to do in making these wings was ridiculous, but I finally settled on an online tutorial;
www.paper-wings.org/tutorials/wings/wings.html .
Just so you know this is the constructions process;
1. Gather materials (full list on tutorial at link provided)

2. Contruct frame (with copper tubing and chicken wire, picture above)
3. Add craft batting to frame with tacky glue or better but super expensive Fabritac (pic above and below)

4.Add Feathers liike crazy! (Not really, use the best ones with the fewist imperfections and make sure you have rights and lefts on proper sides, as well as the insides of the featers showing on the inner wing and the feathers layed normally on the outer wing).5. Once feathers are on add craft batting back ove the top to disguise the tops and have a nice place to glue the "fluff". (Notice the pretty layers and boquet in picture above and fluff and face in pic below)

Rare photo of my face *gasp* limited viewing! Short time only!...dorky smile, Bender on stomach..hehe

The wings turned out well but I still have to nit pick at it. My biggest gripes are that I used regular silver duck tape to hold together the frame and you can still sort of see it under bright light. Also the feathers are not perfectly white like my costume and may look…off, I guess. Also attaching the feathers is largely annoying. These wings while light are still heavy enough to be a problem for the skimpy dress that has to somehow hold them up. I figure hooks for attaching and blear straps for extra support. The project took me about a week of work but could of taken me less if I hadn’t been so nitpicky and hesitant to do anything or move on. I just wanted them to look purdy!

I am VERY happy with the results though. As for wearing them, crowded cons will get annoying, also they stick out far enough for me to have to grapevine through doorways, but that’s about it. I figure with the way I’m doing it they are detachable easily enough.

Yes my wings are Big and Bangin', but I prefer the Creation Narritive...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yes, I can draw...much better than I can write

I wanted a more complete or whole participation in Sakuracon this year. Sooo… I entered a contest! The mascot contest! I am obligated to not actually show you the picture…and I was considering asking them if I could show a draft or something, but then checking the forums they have actually just updated saying that people are not following the rules for not posting there entries and gave these explanations

“1. The art becomes Sakura-Con property-we want our mascot to be UNIQUE and NEVER seen before we announce it. 2. The most important reason: we want a fair contest. We've been criticized in the past because an artist won after first advertising the entry all over the web and asked staff for votes. So we made posting your entry against our rules.”

So Once I can get my scanner online I will gladly show you some of my work.

I’d show you something now but all I have currently is crap.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Takoyaki for everyone...or 7

Finally went to Daiso for another trip. This time I had a few kitchen aids in mind. First off I wanted a tamagoyaki pan, (checked off my list at the regular dollar fifty price) next I needed a cooking grill for making yaki onigiri (also $1.50) and finally the tamagoyaki pan…

No go. They sell out like, like, like…oh I don’t know, the sell out like anything on sale on the day before Christmas. They are never there. They are SO not in stock that I doubt the store ever had them in the first place…Anger.

So after much online searching I decided that 20 dollars was a suitable price…even though if I had waited a week I could have got one for 9 dollars on Amazon…but I am not that patient. Besides! I have wanted a takoyaki/abelskever pan FOR-EV-ER! I waited for an opportune moment but I could never get the 3 (under line the 3 five times won’t you?) dollar pan at Daiso. Okay! Do We Understand the Frustration? I payed 20 instead of 3!!! WTF!

But this really is the wrong attitude. I mean I have the freaking pan now. I should be, like, grateful. I’m so grateful I have already said the word “like” 5 times already. Bad form, bad form…ah well.

I am already scheming ways to use this pan. I have already made spherical crab cakes (yummy!) and will make cherry jam filled pancakes and lavender sugar pancakes tomorrow morning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Drunk on Anime

I have heard it said that it takes an annoyingly long time for animes be licensed and dubbed before they are ready to sell to us red blooded Americans. I knew it to be true of course as its only logical but I never really had the experience of going through the whole process with a series until XXXHolic. With XXXHolic I read the manga when it first came out, was overjoyed to hear that there was a not yet dubbed anime (which I sort of watched on youtube), and then a good…2 years later learned the Northwest U.S premier of it was going to be at Sakuracon. I mean WOW. 2 years later! The manga is insanely popular with its heavy emphasis on Japanese myths and all sorts of fairy tale and occult stuff. I really do love the manga. But I never got to watching more than…say 3 episodes of the fan subbed anime.

But the best part is not only is the English dub premiering at Sakuracon, but they have two of the voice actors from the series (Watanuki and Moru)!!!

Clamp really is amazing with the stuff they come up with. I remember I used to watch Card Captor Sakura as a kid (but never got to see the entire series) and they have so much stuff out there too. I personally only got into Chobits and XXXHolic. I like others as well, such as Tsubasa, but I like to think that XXXHolic is my thing and Tsubasa is my friends thing (yes it’s weird) just like the way the two mangas connect at certain points. XXXHolic actually connects to many other clamp series in the apperance of the occasional character or item thrown in at times such as the chobit ears used as a communication device or the apperance of Kazahaya and Rikuo from Legal Drug as workers at a Pharmacy (lol). I did finished Chobits with thankfully 8 volumes, but now that I’m older don’t like it as much. This is due to the fact that I actually think about the sex in it and am not as oblivious to the more adult stuff and the more controversial issues brought up in the manga. Chobits is like the anime version of the Notebook (movie) for me. I can’t like it because I’m morally torn between “should she have left her finace?” or “Its’ all okay, they were meant for each other.”

Okay, I’m way off topic now. My point is I’m super stoked for the Premier and can’t wait to hear one of my favorite mangas come to the “little” screen in English.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cosplay Crafts

So I was going over final cosplay preparations as Sakura con is approaching fast. I decided since Yuna is already my most expensive costume I would do all the jewelry for the costume. Now let me tell you I haven’t done any metal/clay/plastic work in a LONG time so the results were okay but not the granddaddy of all time. Yuna’s Wedding costume consists of her blue saffire drop earrings, and her silver flower necklace. The earrings were simple to make the hard part was finding the beads. The necklace was the most difficult clay work I have ever done and it took me a while just to me satisfied with it. Clayworking takes patience but is well worth it. I used a tutorial from cosplaywiki. OR you could go to the origional site http://www.thenoodlebowl.com/jongleur/index.html
This site also has plenty of other tutorials for clay jewelry that are quite stunning.

By the way the rest of my costume is almost done, I hate cutting my costume so close (what are you talking about Marie?? You have two more months!). I just ordered the feathers so I should be able to get the wings done soon. The dress is almost completed as well. Its…how do you say…amazing! My grandmother is possibly the most Amazing seamstress ever! This dress is gorgeous. It looks full bodied and not just thrown together. It is sturdy not flimsy yet still miraculously elegant. It looks like it could last the harsh 3 day con environment (I can’t say the same for my wings) and 10 more cons after. The top and bottom are pretty much done I just need to cut out the front of the dress and line with the wings (which are coming) and the top is just a few details away. I’m very excited! Why? Because my other 2 costumes I look like a complete dork! I’m wearing the possibly most abstract pieces of clothing for Miss Golden week and a purple wig, dorky glasses, and 90’s clothes for Arale. I’m very happy to be a princess for a day (not so happy about the heels or that it’s so skimpy of an outfit).