Monday, 10 November 2014

Halloween and Quinte Mini Con Journal

Ever since MCC ended my cosplay progress has been put on hold.  Halloween came up super quickly and I managed to put together a pretty awesome costume in only two days!  I decided that I would be a wind up doll.  I used my Mokona dress as the base for the costume, made a cardboard key that was held in place with a sash and wore my unstyled white wig that I bought for Delphine :)  The makeup for this costume took me two hours (with minimal help).  Everyone thought I was Annabelle from the film that just came out.  I hope to get a decent photo shoot of it before I have to style the wig, it was a really cool costume but I was unable to get any pictures of it :(

Just this past Saturday I attended Quinte Mini Con with my boyfriend and two other friends.  I won free tickets to the con due to winning Best in Show at Coticon so I figured that I might as well use them!  We arrived at the con in the early afternoon and decided to go sign up for the masquerade before getting into our costumes.  We got there only to discover that the masquerade sign up hadn't started yet so we went back to the car and occupied some large washrooms for a good portion of an hour :P  it took me about twenty five minutes to get suited up as Sheik and I was already wearing some of the layers.

We had to do some last minute cosplay repairs which we did in the hallway.  Luckily my friends brought a hot glue gun which I used to fix something that had just broken during the bathroom break.  Once our costumes were repaired and set, we started out by wandering the dealers room.  There were a variety of artists and dealers which was pretty cool to see.  We signed up for the masquerade eventually and I got bombarded by Sheik love.  I had so many people ask for hugs it was kind of ridiculous :P

So I was all ready to sign up for the Journeyman category for the masquerade when I was informed that I was in fact an Artisan after winning Best in Show at CoTicon.  That kind of threw me out of the water and of course since it was a small con I was most probably the only one in my class.  I entered as an Artisan anyways and went on with my day.  We attended a few panels, one of which was a cosplay Q&A where funny stories where shared and another which was a voice actor who related stories about his experiences.  Our evening was taken up by the masquerade where we hung out with cosplayers in the green room and stressed over our presentations.  I feel like I didn't have a good performance this time but I am still pleased with the overall event.  I ended up winning Best in Class Artisan (with a gift certificate for Arda Wigs) and my friends won Best in Class Journeyman (with a crafting package).

Quinte Mini Con was a fun con to attend with friends and I would totally go again, next time for both days :)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Montreal Comic Con Journal

I was originally planning on finishing three costumes in two weeks (plus schoool) for Montreal Comic Con (Sept 12-14).  I was working on Twilight Princess Zelda for a friend, Twilight Princess Concept Art Sheik for myself and Ocarina of Time Link for my boyfriend.  I couldn't even complete one of those costumes in time, which was disappointing.  The con however was far from disappointing.

Friday:  My boyfriend and I arrived at MCC before the panels started.  The line for pre-registration was super short which was a plus :)  My boyfriend left right after getting his badge to go to a meeting.  I decided that I would get in line for Yaya's panel.  I was an hour early and I got to talk to some cosplayers who were also keen on attending the panel.  Because I was early I got to sit in the front and even managed to save a seat for my bf (whose meeting prevented him from arriving to the panel at all).  All the questions that people asked were interesting and useful and everyone thoroughly enjoyed all the answers.  I got to ask Yaya a question (which in itself is amazing that I was actually able to formulate a question) and she said that my cosplay was very cute :3

Right after the panel I went to get in line for Kamui's panel.  My bf managed to meet up with me while I was waiting in line.  This was the second panel of Kamui's that I saw and it did not disappoint!  Her English has improved a lot since last year and she is super funny!  I am very glad that I was able to listen to her lecture :)

Saturday:  The convention center was incredibly packed on the second day of the con!  I've never seen it filled with so many people!  Apparently the day passes sold out and there was a three hour line to get in!  I was very glad that I had a weekend pass.  It was a very cold and wet day and of course I had the brilliant idea of wearing Sakura Kinomoto.  It was fine for indoors but as soon as I had to leave, it was freaking cold!  I went to the con with my bf and a friend of mine (it was her first convention).  We attended the Billy Boyd and Stephen Amell Q&A's.  I was expecting to fangirl hard in Billy's panel but I managed to remain calm and collected, even when I went and asked him a question!  We actually had a bit of a conversation because he had no idea what my costume came from.  To top things off, he said that it was cute!  Eeeeeeeee :D

Between the two panels I got to meet Kamui and Monika Lee at their booths!  I splurged and bought all of Kamui's books right on the spot!  We took some pictures, her holding my clow staff and me holding her battle axe!!!  (OMG)  We went to see Monika Lee after and it turns out that she really liked my Sakura costume as well (I got lots of compliments at this con).  We browsed her prints and took photos with her.  Then it was off to Stephen's panel.  My friend whoc was with us got to ask him a question which completely made her day!  I am so happy she got to talk to him briefly as it was her first con and I was worried that she would be let down.

We ended the day by shopping in the dealer's room (I found my Kero!) and attending the masquerade.  The costumes were awesome but the MC's were a little inexperienced and were kind of awkward.  
Sunday:  I spent most of my morning finishing up my Rosie Cotton cosplay which I had started the day before the con.  We got to the con after lunch and mostly wandered the dealer's room.  When people asked me who I was, they often commented that I was too tall to be a hobbit.  I laughed it off but those comments kind of stung.  I realized that comic conventions have a slightly different culture when it comes to cosplay.  I didn't let it bother me though because I understood that those people didn't understand cosplay all too well.  I got to meet Yaya Han in person at her booth and bought one of her calenders.  I can't wait to post it on my wall and be inspired by her amazing costumes all year round!

All in all, MCC was an awesome con, I got to debut new costumes and meet awesome people and hang out with friends!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Chibi G-anime and Coticon Con Journal

This past summer I was able to attend two tiny cons within a reasonable driving distance.  Chibi G-anime was held in Gatineau and Coticon was held in Cornwall.  Despite the smallness of the cons, they were both very cute and boasted some pretty good cosplays.

Chibi G-Anime was held on July 26 2014.  The day started out with my boyfriend and I driving from Montreal to Gatineau.  Along the way he showed me a landscaping display put on by his municipality: it was a hobbit house!  I was dressed as Sheeta so I ended up having a mini photo shoot with the display before heading to the con.  We got there around 11 am and signed in.  The first half hour we spent wandering the hotel and getting to know the layout of the mini con.  I was quite displeased with the location, mostly because the hotel was weirdly shaped and caused a lot of awkward angles.  I didn't let the location ruin my day though.  There was a little courtyard with a beautiful ivy covered brick wall and lovely tall hedges which was the perfect place for a Laputa themed photo shoot.

We attended a few panels, one of which was all about Magi.  I went in thinking that the panel was going to be an analysis of the anime (the anime does bring up a lot of interesting and sensitive topics) but it ended up being an open discussion between the panelists and the audience.  I learned a few interesting things but my boyfriend who never read/saw Magi was bored.  We attended two other panels both hosted by Messy Mia, a Gatineau-Ottawa based cosplayer I met at Otakuthon 2013.  Her first panel was hosted in French and the topic was cosplay 101.  It was well presented and I was surprised that I understood everything without too much effort!  Her second panel was all about Clamp and unfortunately because it was at the end of the day there was no one in the panel except for us and her friends.  Again, my boyfriend wasn't really into it but I enjoyed the panel (I love Clamp)!

Coticon was held in Cornwall, a short 45 minute drive from Montreal.  It was the smallest con I have ever been to!  The whole convention was held in a few rooms and a hallway.  There were five or six booths, a cafeteria area, a panel room, a video game room and a screening area.  Even though it was super tiny (less than 200 people) it was pretty cozy.  The location was excellent for photo shoots and had lots of outside space.  They definitely have room to expand!  We were also able to mingle more with con goers as there were very few of us and we kept bumping into each other.

I was dressed as Sheeta for this con as well and I was quite surprised to see a couple other Studio Ghibli cosplayers!  We had our own mini photo shoot together :)  I even managed to convince some of them to enter in the masquerade last minute!  I of course was told I should enter by the con organizer so I did.  I ended up being the only person in my class and thus won by default.  I also won Best in Show which resulted me in winning two pairs of tickets to Quinte Mini Con 2014 and Frostcon 2015.

After the con ended a bunch of us went out to eat dinner together.  We had a really nice time hanging out together and got to know new people in the con circuit.  I look forward to the next post con hangout I might get to be part of!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Otakuthon 2014 Con Journal

I have three words to describe Otakuthon: Oh My God.  It was amazing!!  I had the most fun this past weekend at any con I’ve ever been too.  I didn’t get to do all that much in terms of panels, but I talked to some really awesome people, made new friends and felt 100% magical in my costumes.  Here is a brief rundown of each day.

Friday:  The day started out with me frantically styling my Sakura wig.  I woke up late and only started working on things around 1:30 ish.  I spent two hours working on the wig until I was satisfied with it.  In the meantime we determined that my apartment was not going to have water in the morning.  This made us look into booking a last minute hotel room for Friday night, which we managed to get!  I spent another couple of hours packing and getting everything ready.  My boyfriend came over with his stuff and we got a ride to the hotel with our friend.  We checked in, I got changed into Mew Zakuro and we headed to the con. 

We got there around 7 pm just in time to check out a few cosplays and head over to the World Cosplay Summit.  The show itself was a little short but the cosplays were awesome!  I was really looking forward to seeing Melting Mirror/Calamity Cosplay and Detailed Mess’ skits.  Personally I found some of the skits a little too wordy; I prefer to see flashy things.  We ended up staying up super late in the board game room playing Click-Clack Lumberjack (which was surprisingly amusing) and Dixit which was super cute.  Once everyone beside my roommates decided that they were leaving, my boyfriend and I went and did a little photo shoot of my Zakuro.

Saturday:  I woke up super early to get ready for masquerade registration.  Being the person I am I wanted to get into costume before heading to the con just to reduce the number of trips to and from the hotel.  I ironed my costume, showered, put everything on, packed and head out the door.  I got to the convention center and checked my weapon.  I was given the wrong directions to the masquerade registration line and I almost didn’t get in!  I was number 77 out of 80 in line.  And it was only 9:40 am!  The masquerade registration (from my understanding) was only supposed to open at 10:00 am!
Once I finally got through the registration line I walked around a bit and went into the dealer’s room.  I wanted to try and find a small Kero plushie to bring on stage with me.  Of course I never did find one but I did run into somebody who I was not expecting: Jesse from Midnight Armour!  I wasn’t keeping tabs on the guests because I’m not normally one who follows that kind of stuff so I was kind of surprised.  We talked and I showed him my first large prop I made (Sakura’s staff).  He wanted to know if it was light so I let him hold it.  He agreed with my statement of feeling 20% more magical J  I then determined that he was going to be a judge for the masquerade which I thought was awesome and scary at the same time!

After meeting Jesse I met up with my boyfriend and we went to attend Jesse’s panel, “Meet the Hero”.  It covered a lot of what the cosplayers had to face behind the scenes and how the show actually worked.  It turns out that the cosplayers were only told one or two weeks before the con that they were being flown out to a specific place and they had to make a costume for it.  So all that drama of being last minute in making costumes wasn’t their fault!  He also revealed some funny incidents involving a mechanical bull.  After the panel we went to a cheap Italian place to eat before rushing me to the green room space.

The green room at Otakuthon this year was so fun!  It made my weekend!  We walked in, had our dens assigned and our judge’s photos taken right away.  I was placed in den 12, entry number 72 alongside my friend Bandit Spurs.  We made friends with everyone in our den and even with people in different dens.  I got to meet Shushuwafflez who was wearing her gorgeous Queen Esther gown, Anniechie dressed as Maiden Zelda, Piratica in her Nonon cosplay and many others!  There were three craftsmanship judges, one of them being Detailled Illusion, and three performance judges which included Jesse from Midnight Armour.

Sometime before I was judged the food arrived.  I was distracted by food (they have good cookies!) and then even more distracted by a couple of guys who were cosplaying Ashura Ou and Yukito from the Tsubasa artbook.  I had never seen those cosplays done before so I decided to chill with them for a bit.  I apparently stayed too long away from my den at this point because my den mom came and scolded me, telling me to get back.  It was not going to be the last scolding that night.

Eventually the show got started and participants were able to show off their costumes and skits on stage.  Since den 12 was one of the last dens, we were in the green room with nowhere to go for a long time.  A few of the participants stayed in the green room to watch the rest of the show after they finished.  A few of my den mates and I went on a paparazzi spree to pass the time.

By the time our den was called to line up, I was starting to get the jitters.  When I get the jitters, I tend to bounce… a lot.  So I was trying to refrain from bouncing which resulted in me vibrating.  All along the line the girl behind me kept trying to calm me down.  I only became calm the moment before getting up on stage.  I had only a vague idea of what I was doing, namely that I had to pick up my staff and book off the stage and that I wanted the mood of my skit to be emotional.  Being on stage everything seemed to move in slow motion.  The music to me seemed like it was going too fast and I had to exit the stage a little bit before the music finished.  Heading back to the green room I was welcomed by my den exclaiming how beautiful my skit was.

After the masquerade I met up with Henrickson for a private photo shoot, my very first one.  I was unsure of how to proceed with things and I was also pretty tired at this point.  I think things turned out well though, I’m looking forward to seeing the edited photos J After the shoot my boyfriend and I went up to the hotel room that we had booked as a large group (a different hotel).  We stayed up pretty late playing games and hanging out.

Sunday:  I had a very good complimentary breakfast Sunday morning.  The only thing that was missing was the bacon but they made up for it with chocolate brioches.  Since we didn’t have to check out of the hotel until 1 pm we headed out to the con early.  I wore Sakura as I had way too much fun being magical the day before (and I had decided that the white rabbit was going to be pushed back to another con).  My boyfriend and I attended a leather working panel for an hour before heading back to the hotel to check out.  The panel was pretty interesting and informative.  I asked a few questions, mentioning that I am a klutz and got told that maybe leather working wasn’t meant for me (jokingly of course).
We had to run to the hotel earlier than expected because we were given the wrong message regarding hotel check out.  Luckily we had packed up all our stuff before we left that morning so it was quick and efficient.  We check in our baggage and hurried off to the masquerade awards ceremony.  It was in a tiny panel room with people sitting on the floor and standing up along the back and sides of the room.  They announced the award for the World Cosplay Summit first and the team Detailed Mess won!  I am so happy and excited for them!  Bandit Spurs was late getting in and she missed them announce her award she won for craftsmanship!  I ended up winning the Most Touching Performance award!  It is official, Bandits and I are now Journeymen!  The awesome Tsubasa group also won an award… for best in class for craftsmanship!  Aww man, so many deserving cosplayers got recognized for their effort and work!  Congrats everyone!

After the ceremony was done, we spoke to Jesse lagers for a bit and asked him if he would be willing to take some photos with us (Bandits wanted at least one picture with a judge).  Detailed Mess unfortunately had to run to catch a train so we couldn’t talk to them.  Jesse was super fun to hang out with though and he even said that I had really good stage presence!  Looks like I know what my strong point is now!


We decided to wander the dealer’s room one last time before the con closed up.  I got a cat collar with a little bell on it J  We found one of the people who came to our room party in the artist alley and I supported her by getting two adorable digimon buttons!  We searched the entire room for prosthetic ears but in the end we didn’t find any.  Once everything closed up, Bandits headed back home and my boyfriend and I decided to go and take some pictures along the way to the hotel.  We got some really great shots of my Sakura cosplay!  It was a good way to end the con.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Anime North 2014 Con Journal

Man I am super late in posting this!  Things have been crazy since my last post!  I have also been very lazy :P  So to make up for it I am going to post like mad this month to cover everything that has happened in the past couple of months, starting with my first con journal of the year!  Here it goes!

Friday

·         My friends and I left Montreal early Friday morning to head to Toronto
·         We stopped in Kingston for breakfast
·         We ran into some rain on the way and hoped that by the time we got to Toronto it would clear up
·         Got to the congress center two hours before the con opened and managed to get our badges in a timely manner
·         Went to check in at the hotel and I changed into Mokona Modoki
·         We attended the armouring panel and learned how to shape metal sheets into curved forms
·         I left after the first panel to go meet up with a friend, who I never managed to meet up with
·         Masquerade registration was open so I got in line for it figuring that I wouldn’t be able to get to the con early enough to register for it Saturday morning
·         I got to meet some awesome cosplayers while in line
·         I didn’t have my music on me so I promised the masquerade staff that I would bring it to them first thing in the morning
·         On my way to the dealers room I bumped into one of the guy from my group and we decided to eat something
·         Afterwards we wandered the dealers room and artists alley
·         We took quite a few pictures of cosplayers
·         I got a lift back to the hotel early while the rest of my group went to the rave

Saturday

·         I woke up super early and got back into Mokona for the morning and carefully packed Mew Zakuro into my boyfriend’s bag
·         I got the hotel to order a taxi for me and got to chat with a cute Dutch couple about cosplay (apparently their son cosplays back home!)
·         I got stuck in traffic which resulted in a very pricey taxi ride (it took double the time!)
·         As the masquerade staff asked me to bring them my audio asap I went to the registration desk first
·         After handing in my music, I wandered around a bit and took more cosplay pics!
·         At noon there was a CLAMP photo shoot, Mokona had lots of fun!
·         I met up with my friends after the shoot and ate with them before heading into the dealers room
·         I found Worbla but managed to resist buying it
·         They had a cosplay changing area in the dealers room which was awesome because changing in a bathroom stall is not fun
·         Walking around the con I discovered that the top I had made was slightly too small and that the snaps were not strong enough to keep it up if I breathed too deeply
·         I managed to discover a way to keep my top from falling (without relying solely on safety pins)!
·         Before I had to go to the green room I took a little nap on the grass while my friends hung out with other cosplayers
·         I woke up with a little sunburn L
·         Anime North organizes their masquerade with all the entries in order so I was assigned a den with other novices
·         Once all my judging, audio, and photos were completed I started to wander the other dens and talk to some other cosplayers
·         I was one of the earlier entries and I completely improvised my walk on
·         I found that once people went on stage, they didn’t stay to hang out but rather left to go do other things
·         I got to meet some really cool cosplayers!  My den dad was also pretty chill
·         After the masquerade (none of my friends watched my performance L ) I met up with my boyfriend and got something to eat
·         I decided to try and stay up with my friends but I was so exhausted that I ended up having to make them bring me back to the hotel

Sunday

·         As we had to check out of the hotel, we all got up at the same time and packed our things
·         I had two things to do on my agenda: attend the Ghibli photo shoot at noon as Sheeta and go to the masquerade award ceremony
·         My friend and I barely arrived at the shoot on time but I was one of the first on site; nobody seemed to know where it was exactly
·         The location wasn’t the greatest as we had large power lines overhead but we still had fun J
·         After the shoot I attended the ceremonies (alone, again) and it turns out that I was awarded an Honourable Mention for tailoring in the novice division!
·         I met up with my group for one last tour of the dealers room and I finally caved and bought a roll of extra-large Worbla
·         We were sad when we had to leave the con L We decided that we would have a nice large dinner all together before heading back to Montreal

Overall Anime North was an amazing, super fun experience.  It was the con that I wandered around alone the most and at times I rather liked it!  I hope that I can go back again next year!

Monday, 10 March 2014

White Rabbit

"I'm late!  I'm late!  For a very important date!  No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"

I managed to convince one of my friends to cosplay as the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland and I promised him that I would be his white rabbit :)  I didn't want to cosplay as Alice because I donèt really like her outfit from the cartoon and her outfits in the latest film are just plain crazy!  I mean, I would love to do one of those but I don't have the time or money to go off on a crazy fabric shopping adventure to find the right fabrics!  I had also decided that the white rabbit would be a closet cosplay for me as I had come up with an original design for it which would be cheap and easy for me to make.

Recently I saw an artwork depicting Alice and I fell in love with her costume!  I will eventually do that version of her.

Conception:

I wanted to make my rabbit costume a little odd and punky (steampunky that is!).  The accessories and the costume bits are not supposed to match, rather they are supposed to make a jumbled, unfashionable mess!  I had played with a few versions of the white rabbit and I still haven't decided what it is going to look like in the end.  I guess it will be a surprise even for me!  Spontaneity is awesome!

Construction:

Shirt - Originally I made a leotard to go with this costume but I was unhappy with how it looked with the waistcoat.  Fortunately I own a really cute white blouse that worked perfectly with the costume!

Waistcoat - The pattern for the waist coat was hand drafted by wrapping myself in saran wrap and tape, then drawing the pattern and cutting it off.  The pieces were laid flat on some paper to trace the pattern.  I added some ease and seam allowances as well as some extra width in the front for the buttons.  The tail patterns were improvised using the width in the back as the only measurement.  I used a red satin for the lining and a black matte sateen for the outside.

The waistcoat was sewn together with the right sides together (lining and outside).  I ended up having to slip stitch in the armholes.  The buttons were hand sewn and the button holes were done by machine.  I didn't really like how it turned out but it was my first time trying to do something like this.  Next time I will have to add in some shaping features like darts or princess seams.

Skirt - I bought a pleated white skirt at Hot Topic while visiting Toronto last fall.  It was super cute and I figured that I would get to wear it during the summer.  Once I started working on the white rabbit I figured that I could also use the skirt for the cosplay!

Work in progress

Ears and Tail - I was talking to my cosplay friend Bandit Spurs about her bunny Bulma ears and asked her how she managed to make them.  I was just going to line them with wire and hope they would stay up.  She told me that I should use craft foam as a base and then build on that.  Taking her advice I cut out craftfoam ears, glued jewelry wire to them on the back, glued pink and white fabric over the base and attached the ears to a thick headband by gluing the excess wire to the band (it was curved to match it).  With the wire in the ears I was able to bend them to get that cute half open ear look.

The tail was made using a foam ball, glue and the same white fabric I used for the ears.  I covered the ball with the fabric and it attaches to the skirt through the tails of the waistcoat with a safety pin.

Pocket Watch and Chain - I was going to make a chain link to match my steampunk inspired pocket watch I purchased at a previous con but I was too cheap and lazy to buy the tools and links required.  Instead, I opted for a premade chain link which I just attached to the watch and a little loop inside the waist coat pocket.

Top Hat - I followed a simple wiki how tutorial for making a cardboard top hat.  It consists of fabric covered cardboard glued together to form a top hat.  As I wanted to try an add a little steampunkery to my costume I added small clock gears as decoration for the top hat.  The hat was then glued to the ear-band.

Socks - The socks are knee length socks that were bought at Hot Topic.

Shoes - I already own a pair of black pumps so I'm going to use those in this cosplay.

References: Mini Top Hat Tutorial

Completed Costume

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Cosplay/Con Plans for 2014

This year is going to be fun if I can get everything I want done in time!  I have a good number of cosplays that I plan to make and a decent number of cons to attend.  I don't know if I'll get to do everything I want to do.  School has to come first and when summer comes around my job will take over my life (and I need a job if I want to fund future projects).  This list might be a bit ambitious but I will give it my best shot!

I would really love to attend Costume Con as it is in Toronto this year and its super cheap for students!  I haven't booked anything yet however as it is scheduled in April which is my final exam month.  I have to wait until the exam schedule comes out before I decide if I can attend it.  Anime North is a for sure con on my list!  I have yet to book the ticket but I am pretty sure that I'm going.  Of course I will also be attending my local cons, Otakuthon and Montreal Comic Con.  If I can attend other cons I will go but I doubt that it will happen.

Last year I started working on Sheeta (Castle in the Sky) so I guess I will finish it this year and wear it to one or two cons.  I started working on Mew Zakuro (Tokyo Mew Mew) which I am planning on competing in.  I managed to convince a friend of mine to cosplay as the Cheshire cat while I will cosplay the white rabbit (Alice in Wonderland) so I started working on that as well.  Sakura's shadow costume (Cardcaptor Sakura) is another project that I would love to make and enter a masquerade in.  Shunki (Saiunkoku Monogatari) and Sakura's cherry blossom kimono (Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles) are plans for winter cons such as G-Anime (which I missed this year).  I would also love to finally finish Padme!

Mmmmm seven cosplays for this year?  Let's see if I can do this!  Bring on the thread! :P