Best Thing Ever (Days 725 - 726)

Sitting at the computer, I glanced over to my sewing area, and I saw a roll of butcher paper. My mom's an art teacher and sometimes brings home butcher paper from her class, and I use it to make patterns. It's the same roll of butcher paper that's been in my sewing area for a couple of months, but for some reason, I got really excited that I had it.

On another note, I am finally going to be starting a vlog series this upcoming week. For real this time, it's gonna happen. I'm calling the series "Cosplay Life" as a tie-in to this blog, and it's going to be uploaded to the Game-Zone Recreation YouTube channel. It's going to be more about my opinions on (cosplay-related) editorial topics than it is about my personal cosplay experiences (except for the first video, which will be an intro about myself). I'm going to cover topics that I've already covered in this blog, and I'm hoping to still write new editorial things here too. I'm also going to do video tutorials, and I'd also like to keep doing written ones here. I'm going to post the videos here too as soon as they're uploaded.

I've never done a vlog series before, but I'm pretty excited to do it. If you have suggestions for tutorials or topics you'd like to hear me talk about, let me know! (You can leave a comment here.)

Avatar (Days 720 - 724)

I recently started re-watching "Avatar" The Last Airbender" because when it was on Nickelodeon, I only got to watch most of Book I, and it's still really popular (especially with the next series coming out). So, of course, I want to cosplay from it, and, of course, I have no money to do so. I'd love to cosplay Ty Lee, she's just so fun, and since I'm taking ballet again, by May (shortly before Fanime), I'll actually be able to do the splits again. I've always been really flexible, and even though I'm not extremely acrobatic, I think it would be fun to bring some of my random talent into cosplay. Unfortunately, as I said before, I have no money. My main money-saving strategy for this year is to just not buy any new wigs. Wigs are the most expensive purchases I make for cosplay, since I'm tiny, I don't need a lot of fabric, and I clip JoAnn's coupons like a maniac, and a wig for Ty Lee would run me roughly $40. So, yeah, that's probably not happening.

In any case, as I mentioned, I'm taking ballet again, which I'm extremely excited about. I took Beginner Ballet last year through school, and now I'm taking Intermediate Ballet. I remember most of the things I learned in Beginner, even if I am out of shape, and Beginner and Intermediate is actually a mixed class, so I still get the same instructions as if I took Beginner. The only difference is that I'm getting different credits, since I already have the credits from the Beginner class, I didn't want to take them again. It's not really a serious ballet class, it's not en pointe, but it teaches the basics, and it's really fun.

And I swear this related to cosplay. As much as I love just dancing ballet for the heck of it, one of my favorite parts of the class is that by the end of it, I will be able to do 20 pushups and the splits. At the beginning of last year's class, I could only barely do 10 pushups (on a good day), and I could to 20 by the end. This year, I can already do 15 pushups, so I'm actually aiming for 25 by the end of the class.

And here's the cosplay-related part. Two of the cosplays that I'm going to be finishing for sure by Fanime have my arms showing, and currently, my arms are spindly little spaghetti noodles and don't look very pretty. By Fanime, they'll at least be tones and not skin and bones. And then, of course, if by some miracle I can cosplay Ty Lee, I'll have improved flexibility, strength, and balance for at least some mild acrobatics.

AoD 2012 Panel Times (Days 711 - 719)

So the panels that my boyfriend and I will be running at Animation on Display were scheduled.
"Magikarp: A History" will be Saturday (February 18th) at 3pm and
"Rattata: Top Percentage" will be Saturday (February 18th) at 4pm.
Personally, I'm not thrilled with having to do two panels back-to-back, but my boyfriend's happy about it. The only perks that I can see is that we don't have to run back and forth between the panels and whatever else we want to do, and we only have to set up/break down once, even though there's not much setup or breakdown involved. I've been working a lot on both of the panels, I've added a lot of really cool stuff to the Magikarp one.

I stitch-ripped the tag off of the back of the shorts that I got for Mercedes. The tag was outside of the shorts on the back of the waistband, it was big and ugly and had to go. I tried to work on my Yoko belt, since I intend to cosplay Yoko at Animation on Display, but I can't find my glue. I might just buy more, it's cheap and really useful.

On a non-cosplay-related note, a friend of mine dyed my hair for me, and it looks amazing. I also visited a modeling agency for the first time. They were having open casting, and I have to call them on Monday to find out if they want to sign me or not. I think it went well, so I'm very hopeful! Getting to the agency was quite the journey, involving walking about two miles in the rain, but it was actually really fun.

The Usual (Days 701 - 710)

Change of plans! (As usual.) I'm postponing all new cosplays until I get some other stuff taken care of . Nothing major, just stuff I've been meaning to do that I haven't yet. So I'm just going to fix up some of the cosplays that I already have, since currently, I have no complete cosplays. Formerly complete ones have been taken apart for updates and were never put back together, heh.

I plan to work on:
  • Time-Skip Yoko Littner (Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann)
    • 80% finished - need to finish boots, jacket, and rifle
  • Mercedes (South Park)
    • 90% finished - need to fix/finish shirt and finish styling wig
  • Young Franziska von Karma (Ace Attorney)
    • 90% - 95% finished - need to remake cravat (again) and maybe get new boots
I also might work my Koffing gijinka (Pokemon), which only needs a wig and a prop hammer. My only backup cosplay is my genderbent Mario, which come to think of it, I've only worn to small conventions anyway.

I would still love, love, love to cosplay both White Mage (Final Fantasy I) and Ironette (Iron Man 2), along with a few other new things, but I just don't have the money right now.

Happy 2012! (Days 684 - 700)

Also happy 700th post!

I don't really have any New Year's resolutions, cosplay-related or otherwise. I have goals, sure, but they're not specific to this year or anything. I updated my 2012 Convention & Cosplay List, but it's still incomplete and is always subject to change. I'd love to actually stick firmly to my list this year and not spend bucketloads of money. I think I did pretty good at sticking to my plans last year, and compared to the year before, I did save a lot of money. I'd like to save even more this year. Cosplay and conventions take up so much of my time and money, I'd like to be able to do more things.

I updated a few things on this blog, but not really a lot. I tried to simplify things in the layout more and highlight features that people seem to like (mostly tutorials). I do this quite often, but I try not to make major changes that confuse people. I just want everything to be simple, easy to find, and relevant.

I recently got a WorldCosplay.net account in the hopes that it would be better than Cosplay.com. I'm not in love with it, but it is interesting at least, so I'll stick around for a while. There seems to be no way to communicate with other members, but I like that you can follow people and favorite photos, features that Cosplay.com either doesn't have or has inefficient versions of. WorldCosplay is mostly about this obscure ranking system that puts its users in order based on uploaded photos, people following, people followed, and photos favorited. I think it's to encourage people to be active in the community, but it will probably encourage more elitism. Ah well, we'll see how long this lasts.

My current cosplay project is still Callie Maggotbone (Ugly Americans). I'm hitting a lot of snags, though. First, that wig. I have a pretty solid idea of how to style it, but I can't even pick a color. Ideally, I'd like a bright salmon-colored wig, but I can't find one. My next choice is bright red, but usually bright colors are a no-no when translating a 2D design into real life. With Callie though, I mean, her skin is pink. I think a lot of elements of realism kind of go out the window. If I wanted to keep this, err, "realistic" (for lack of a better word), I'd go with a deep red wig, which would allow me to actually use my Yoko wig. I'd love that, considering the money it'd save me, but it doesn't allow me as much control as a new wig would. Callie has a widow's peak, a type of hairline that gives the face a heart shape, that I would have to create on my own. I couldn't do that with my Yoko wig. Also, using my Yoko wig, I would have to bring the rest of the color scheme down to darker colors to match. I'm not opposed to a different shade of pink for my skin (I'm looking into it) or a darker shade of lipstick, but I'm just not sure how that would work.

The skin is a major issue for me. Using makeup I have at home (powdered blush and white Ben Nye cream), I gave myself a pink face, and it was not pretty. It made me look really, really masculine (especially with slicked-back hair). I'm hoping that if I work on contouring, I can highlight my feminine features through the pink, but ugh, it just looked so bad. I'd probably drop the cosplay if I wasn't part of a group. It's a lot of work, and it may just be impossible to make it look good.

On a side-note, I did get a new white dress shirt to use for Callie, a more accurate one. It's actually not perfect, the sleeves are 3/4 sleeves instead of full sleeves, but considering the other issues I'm having, I consider this a minor problem. If I sort everything else out, I'll go back to looking for a more accurate shirt.
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