Exhausted (Days 566 - 570)

So I've been run ragged with ballet practiced for an upcoming dance performance at the college that I attend. The ballet piece in the performance isn't really that big, but it is hard, and regardless of our less than five minutes of stage time, we all still have to be at the stage for the full two to five hours of practice (no joke). Just being there is exhausting for some reason, it's probably the high energy level and low lighting. Anyway, because of all of that (and lack of money) I haven't done much.

My mom helped me gather the last $60 that I needed for Fanime hotel and badge, so that's fantastic. I just have to be sure not to spend it. I also counted change to build a cosplay fund for my Koffing cosplay. It's about about... nine bucks, which, actually, if I forgo the wig will cover just about everything.

However, I completely forgot until today that I have to see a ballet performance and write a reaction paper for my ballet class. And that'll run me about $30+. So... There goes my Fanime fund again. T_T I need to sell more hats.

Speaking of which, I did sell another Link hat! I think that's the third Link hat I've sold, actually. It sold to someone in Florida, so I'm feeling kind of awesome now, having three hats on the other side of the country (two in NY and one in FL). Oh, I hope they're being treated well...

It occurred to me fairly recently that I could probably get a lot mmore publicity if I put my hats up on Etsy, but I've just been too lazy to set up an account, list things, and re-link everything on my website. Hopefully I can get that done before Fanime and print out business cards, because every time my boyfriend wears his Magikarp hat out, it's amazing publicity and a lot of people ask where he got it, but they never end up ordering anything. Also, the online store that I use right now (UShops) requires an account to buy from and is rather difficult for me as a seller to navigate.

Cherry Blossom Festivale (Days 557 - 565)

I originally wasn't even going to post for day 557, because that's when I posted my skin care recommendations, but then I missed a day or so before posting about my fantasy sewing room, so I figured I'd just post for all of the days I hadn't yet.

In any case, I went to the Cherry Blossom Festivale! It wasn't overly eventful, so I'm not doing a full write-up for it. I didn't even hang out with my cosplay buddies that much. =/

The best part of the day was probably getting chocolate tayaki and strawberry mochi cake. Mmm, love that strawberry mochi cake. Which, of course, I can only find during festivales.

Most random part of the day? The same guy coming back to talk to me twice after getting my picture. He was very nice and polite, it was just odd of him to do, heh. Also, when asking for a picture, he just said "I think you're very cute, may I have a picture?" which was very nice, but I don't think I've had anyone say exactly that, so I was caught off guard, haha. The second time, he asked for my e-mail address so that he could e-mail me the picture, and then the third time, he asked if there was a costume contest. I dunno why he came back to me to ask about the contest when I was standing in the middle of a huge crowd of cosplayers, but I guess he figured since he already had spoken to me, it was okay.
I never felt threatened or anything, it was just... Different, haha.

The worst part of the day was just how uncomfortable I was watching the parade because it was so cold! And then the person standing behind me (I was sitting) had their foot practically under my butt the entire time and kept wiggling their toes, and whenever I scooted forward, they moved forward too! Ugh. I didn't even watch the whole parade because of the cold. We (my boyfriend and I) went to get chocolate tayaki instead, and they gave us red bean instead. T_T I was so upset, he had bought for of them too. We ate two and gave one to a friend, unfortunately, I had to throw the last one away because no one ate it and I forgot to refrigerate it. We got chocolate tayaki later anyway, but only two of them. =[

Anyway, saw some awesome people, even if we didn't talk much, ate awesome food, and had an overall good time.

Also, I did finish my femme!Link cosplay in time (at 4 in the morning), but it was so cold, I had my jacket on the whole time. At least it was my green Legend of Zelda jacket, but that may have made it worse, I get the feeling that some people thought that the jacket was intended to be my cosplay. I have never endured that many dirty looks from girls, though, holy cow. I wasn't even that naked, I had tights and a jacket on. Yeah, the dress is short and there's quite a bit of cleavage, but even when I had my jacket zipped, I got dirty looks. It was... Unnerving, to say the least, especially since I saw girls who were at least as naked as me, if not more so, and I didn't see them getting dirty looks. As one girl was walking past me, she (very loudly >_<) said, "Is that.. Link!? As a.. What!? WHY!?" For some reason, that bothered me more than the dirty looks. Probably just because she was so loud and right next to me, it was extra rude.

When I first arrived, the first thing I heard (actually before I put my jacket on) was "Hey, look! It's Tinkerbell!" a cosplay buddy of mine who cosplayed Link as well said "Welcome to my Halloween." Haha. Only heard that once, though. Another guy (when I had my jacket unzipped) sang/hummed the LoZ theme song from the first game, that was fun. He continued singing it after I had walked pretty far past him too.

But, yes, good times. I do have some left to finish on the costume, but it's mostly maintenance stuff, fray-checking unseen edges, sewing small things closed where they've opened, stuff like that.

My next cosplay will be Koffing. I just need to find a wig and extensions and the rest will be so easy!

Fantasy Sewing Room

I'm always trying to "complete" my sewing area/room. There are so many different things that go into it, I feel as though I'll never really get everything that I "need", however, it's an interesting concept to think about. So here's a list of everything that I think a sewing/cosplay room needs (so far).

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Stuff I Already Have...
sewing machine
overlock machine / surger
ironing board
iron (+ distilled water for steam or a spray bottle)
steamer
dress form
computer
sewing cabinet
fabric scissors
miniature scissors
clear ruler
seamstress measuring tape
hot glue gun
pins + cushions
magnetic pin cushions (or just a large magnet)
thread (in almost every color imaginable)
sewing patterns
lint roller
canned air + cotton swabs
pens, pencils, markers, etc.
work table (for drawing out patterns, etc.)
bulletin board


*~*~*~*~*~*
Stuff That I Really Want...
clothing rack
sleeve ironing board
ham (for ironing darts)
disappearing ink fabric pen (these are a Godsend)
white board
full-length mirror
a folding screen to create a private changing area







*~*~*~*~*~*

That's all that I can think of for now. Let me know if you think something should be added! I put as little description as possible to avoid cluttering up the list, but please feel free to ask about the necessity of any of the things mentioned.

Skin Care

I've been thinking about posting about skin care for a while now, but I couldn't really figure out how to relate it to cosplay. I finally decided, you generally want to look good in your cosplay/at conventions/in photos, in addition to in general, and I definitely believe that it starts with good skin. So here goes.

(Please note that because of varying skin types and conditions, this advice may not work for everyone.)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

For the body
I lotion everything. Yes. Everything. However, I think the most important body parts to lotion are your face, chest, arms, and legs (see? everything). I'll address the face later though. I always try to lotion after shaving. Your skin is most vulnerable after you shave, because the razor scrapes off of a layer of skin. If you use chemical hair removers (Nair or Epil Stop), some don't damage skin as much, but you're still putting chemicals on your skin.

Tip: If you're using lotion or body cream without shaving, rub the lotion in the direction that you want the hair to grow/lay, so if you're using it on your legs, rub downward, toward you foot. It will take a few times doing this, but eventually the hairs will lay in the same direction.

Now, when I said lotion your chest, I did mean what you think I meant. I mean the collar bone area and the breasts, so the whole chest. It's important to moisturize the collar bone area, just as it is important to put sunblock on it, because it's prone to sun damage. The breasts, well, supposedly lotion helps prevent sagging. I have no information to confirm or deny this.

I've used a variety of body lotions, but I think my favorite so far has been Ulta's Berry Crush Hand and Body Cream (which of course I can't find online anywhere). I like the scent and consistency of it, and I got it at a really cheap price when it was on sale (I think it was $2 for a small tube that lasted a few months of weekly use).

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

For the face
I have tried, and still use, so much stuff on my face, trying to find what's perfect for my skin type and particular issues. So, again, this may not work for everyone. The picture to the left is the best, most recent picture that I have that shows the skin on my face (click to enlarge). It's pretty smooth, and this is all of the stuff that I do to keep it that way.

At night before bed, I wash my face with Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser©. I have major issues with my pores, they're huge! Like craters! So of course I'm bound to go for a pore scrub. It also of course helps with typical acne, but because it has micro-scrubbers, it can be rough on pimples, so if you're issue is more with pimples than pores, you'll definitely want to try something different. The micro-scrubbers also help smooth skin in general and get rid of any leftover dirt or makeup that regular showering or makeup cleansers leave behind.

Tip: Before using this wash, I wipe off makeup with Walgreens Make-Up Remover Cleansing Cloth Towlettes©. They work just as well as the (more expensive) Neutrogena ones and get off all of my makeup, including my water-proof eyeliner.

For my acne, I have a $5 tube of 5% benzoyl peroxide cream (Kaiser Permanente brand). I'm fairly confident that any brand of benzoyl peroxide will work just the same, though, and you can also get 10% by prescription. Whenever a particularly bad pimple shows up, I dab this on it, and it speeds up the healing process. I do not recommend using this on your whole face, as it will dry everything out horribly, even if you use moisturizer.

Twice a day, once before applying makeup and once after washing before bed, I use Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer©. It moisturizes and (supposedly) fights acne. Since I haven't had any horrible bouts of acne in a long time since beginning using this, I'm fairly confident that it works, and it definitely makes my skin a lot softer.

I also have horrible under-eye bags and wrinkles. In an attempt to combat them, I use Garnier Skin-Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller© two to three times a day. After using this product for about a year, I still can't come to a conclusion about it. The up-side is that one roller has lasted me this long, the down-side is that I still have under-eye bags and wrinkles. However, I'm also Vitamin D deficient, anemic, and an insomniac, all of which contribute to this issue. So, I believe that the eye-roller does help as much as it can, it just can't completely get rid of my under-eye bags.

Tip: For covering under-eye bags, try using a yellow-tinted concealer, the yellow contrasts the purple/blue. If your under-eye bags are puffy (like mine) use slightly more/thicker concealer in the lower creases, usually near the inner eye/nose.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A while back, I posted about Almay Blemish Reducer. I have since stopped using it, but I can't fully figure out why. I still fully recommend it, I think that the powder just got annoying to put on or something, I also couldn't sleep with it on, so I couldn't use it at night like I can with the scrubbers and lotion that I use now. I've also expanded my daily makeup routine and had to cut a few things out that just didn't work with everything, and unfortunately, this was one of them. I still fully recommend it for how well it works, it just didn't fit into my daily skin-care routine.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

So that's about it, then. I'll either post again or come back and update this if/when I find new things. I also may or may not post about my varying makeup routines and recommendations. I'm really wanting to at least post about my basic cosplay makeup routine (with theatrical makeup).

Link Progress! (Days 552 - 556)

So I actually did make some progress, for once. I finally finished detailing the sides and bottom of my femme!Link dress. Anyone who says that I chose to genderbend to make it "easier" is dead wrong, that embroidery was hard. I also hemmed the sleeves, but I don't know if I like them hemmed. It made the edges too thick, so now they don't flow like they originally did, and I kind of liked the flow.

I began to detail the sleeves, at least I took out my old detailing, but I can't really decide on how to do it, and in my practice detailing, I kept messing up, so I decided to quit while I was ahead and will work on it some other time.

I'm still worried about getting flack for doing such an, erm, "extreme" genderbend, which is leading me to hesitate on some design choices. The original image (which I posted some time ago) has diamond cutouts on the chest (to show cleavage), but Link's actual tunic just has a cut straight down the middle of the chest (where you can see his chainmail). I'm still completely torn as to which design to go for. On the one hand, the diamonds would be a lot more modest, and potentially get me less flack, however, the straight cut is more accurate, which could earn me bonus points for accuracy (and less flack that way). I know that either way, I won't be able to please everyone, and that I should just choose whichever one I like, but I can't even decide which one I like. So, yeah, still completely stuck, and I have less than a week to decide and finish.

Days 516 - 521

I'm disappointed in myself that I can't come up with a title for this post. Ah well.

So here's the second part of my last post, about WonderCon and such.
Recap: My boyfriend's brother (aka "S") said he'd take us, but then was super flakey and wouldn't give us any details, so I finally decided that I just wouldn't go because "planning" (or lack of it) was getting too stressful.

So I totally called it. S was up and ready to leave at 9:30am on Sunday. My boyfriend woke up just as S was about to leave and asked him where he was going. S said, "I'm gong with [fiance] to WonderCon, you guys aren't coming?" No. No, we're not coming, because you are lousy at planning these things!

But, wait! There's more!

Later that day, I decided to hang out at my boyfriend's house because I was promised barbecue steak (they only had hotdogs, which I hate, just the cherry on the craptastic sundae). S and his fiance came home around 8 (they were at the con for a decent 8 hours at least), and S starts showing us his pictures and swag and talking about how awesome it was. I'm pretty sure he didn't realize how incredibly rude he was being, but it was really hard to listen to, I was half-way between yelling at him and breaking into tears out of jealousy. I just sat quietly, avoided eye contact, and said nothing.

Ohoho, this was beyond the best part though. In regards to cosplayers, he said, "Man, so many people were there in costume! It made me wish I had brought my Kung-Fu Panda costume, I would have been everyone's hero!" This warranted a double facepalm the likes of which you have never seen from me. Yes, he would have been well-loved (it's a full-body fursuit), and yes, he would have been stopped for pictures a lot, and he would have been a lot of people's favorite of the day, but really, he began acting like he would have been a God-among-men if he had worn it, and... No. Just no.

And it get's better! Later (after I had gone home), S told my boyfriend 'Yeah, I know me and [your sisters] make fun of you behind your back for your costume stuff, but I totally get it now.' Ouch. I mean, maybe that wasn't directed at me, but it feels like it was, and ouch. Uncool. Even if he "gets it" now, ouch.

In other news, I've been using italics a lot. I think I'm mad. Anyway, my boyfriend and his family are going to Mexico for 5 days for a wedding, and to kill time, I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish my femme!Link dress, because I've decided that I like it again, haha. There's not a ton left to do on it, it's just a bunch of detailing and fixing some seams that keep ripping, it just feels like a lot because the details are very meticulous and take forever.
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