For those that saw the Instagram giveaway (or may have entered it), I will be moving the contest instead over to here! There were some entries that were disqualified since they didn’t follow the giveaway rules, so it resulted in there being no winner. Keep an eye out for full giveaway rules and info in my next post. Thanks, and I apologize for the inconvenience!
That said, there’s a new exciting item in the shop!
Lately, I’ve also had requests for other characters such as Zarya and Tracer, so I will be working on those next, and will let you know when those designs are ready and available! Thank you everyone for your kindness and support! When I first started rehauling the shop, I just wanted to make something fun that I would honestly buy for myself. It’s amazing to see how much it’s grown since last autumn! I look forward to seeing what comes in the future :).
Shop goodies aside, I know a lot of you like my little cosplay updates (and I thank you kindly for following!). So you’ve probably been wondering ‘What are you working on next? I wanna see more stuff!’. This year is a little quiet with cosplay progress mainly for budget and time reasons; my sister is getting married later in the spring, and I also was to have a library conference today but the blizzard here canceled it.
Instead, as CTCon is coming up again in July, I’ll be making Mei’s ice blaster and pack for my casual outfit, and I also got knockoff Uggs at Old Navy when the winter shoes when on pre-sale. I also decided to retire Parasoul (though I had a lot of fun cosplaying her!), and gathered together stuff from my closet and her red wig for a new redhead cosplay – Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3; left)! I’m still trying to find a cheap musketeer toy rapier to spraypaint for her. I also was asked to help with Mercy’s chestplate for a friend, so expect some fun photos later in the summer!
Jeez it feels like forever since I did one. CTCon was a no-go last minute due to a death in the family 😦 so I had to hold off on debuting Phasma until AAC (which is why you didn’t see much of it after midsummer). I ended up skipping the other con unfortunately, but I am in for 2017! That said, I had an even better time this year at the New Hampshire gem, and I feel enough has happened that set it apart from the year before that would warrant its own review post.
This time around, I achieved overall success at AAC! I had a double-date over pizza with my brother and his girlfriend, in which they finally met Nick and approved of him, hooray! We also matched for a little bit on that Friday with our Overwatch cosplays, though I didn’t get another photo of my finished Mei, sorry! I’m wearing it again next year anyhow. All of my costumes were so comfy ^^.
I’m so happy the mask worked out for him! He loved it! One of his friends had made him his gun as well, it came out amazing! We were quite popular that weekend, also because of our matching Star Wars cosplays the following Saturday. I did a more casual Phasma since the armor was not going to survive the train commute up to meet him halfway, and as it is the post office near my workplace was a total pain in the butt with my box for my helmet and his Soldier mask. (It did arrive to him thankfully but I was ready to murder someone if it didn’t ^^;)
This time around, I agreed to enter the Masquerade with Nick and give my acting chops a shot. I usually have really bad stage fright, so I never really did anything with theatrics before. I really liked the concept for our skit though, so I persevered and ended up winning us a trophy in the category XD. (Someone uploaded the whole show, and we are here at 97:35!) We forgot they even gave for the misc. category so it was a pleasant surprise!
So I guess I’m doing more masquerades in the future, guys! Gotta keep the train going now that it’s started :o. Between all the costumes and performances though, we met a lot of great people within the fandoms, and fellow nerd/top voice actor Matthew Mercer also signed my crit-20 light-up dice. I only recently began DMing my own campaign over the summer (he runs D&D but I’m doing Pathfinder), so it was an honor to get something special signed from him as a player and fan as well, not just as a professional.
The one major difference that also warranted this post though, was that I roomed over at the Hilton this year, which at the time I didn’t think it would’ve been a big deal since it’s a 10-minute walk. But when you’re literally running across the downtown to not miss an autograph or other deadline for an event, it’s a pain in the ass when there are no taxis or shuttles in sight to help out. I’ve commuted to plenty of cons in the past (the ones here in NY just don’t justify me in staying near or at the venue) and most of the hotels for CTCon have been awesome. But I just think I’m used to doing my own transportation by car or LIRR here at NY, and that Hartford has amazing city shuttles for special events.
Unfortunately, Manchester’s shuttle service is only complimentary by certain hotels (as far as I know). The Hilton is one of these that offers it, but I really think its schedule runs like that Spongebob episode where he can’t get back to Bikini Bottom on time, because I never saw any shuttles and when I did it never went back to the hotel ^^;. Again, if you’re not in a rush this is not a dealbreaker by any means, but just something to consider. Otherwise, the Hilton’s complimentary coffee/tea in the morning was a lifesaver!
That aside, I still felt the con was run extremely well and I hope to be back next year, funds permitting! Yes, I even will accept the weirdo new policies that AAC had to go through. I did the formal dance and got dapper, so I don’t even miss the rave at this point! I heard CTCon moved their rave offsite though? Not sure how I feel about that… I think more places need more dapper dances.
You probably noticed by now, but as of late September, my Etsy has finally been reopened! It will be featuring top fabrics from my Spoonflower shop (and items made from those textiles), and other cute made-to-order items such as amigurumi. I’m also in the process of cleaning through supplies I don’t use, like beads, so sometimes you may see art/craft supplies. So far I already sold a zipper pouch, internationally!
With AAC right around the bend, I’ve been finally working on my Mei cheongsam. Normally I don’t rush to get garment patterns for a project (I like to make it myself, especially since a lot of cosplay has to do with crazy designs that just don’t normally exist unless you customize a pattern anyway!), but with only one yard of my Mei fabric on me, I really didn’t feel like messing up ^^;. Fortunately, Pinterest didn’t fail me like it did Soldier, and the pattern I found for my cheongsam was a perfect fit!
I paired it with a polyester sherpa for a wintry look, and it is SO comfy! Definitely the best dress I ever made! Now I’m kind of sad I didn’t bother biting my pride and use a pattern for my Elphelt gown way back. I’m a stubborn goof like that.
As of the Soldier mask for Nick, the base paint is done and the gesso did a great job reinforcing it, the frame especially! I’ll be adding the finishing touches this weekend so I can ship it to him Monday with my Phasma helmet. (Between transferring trains to get over to him for the con, I was nervous I would damage both of them.) That way, he can bring the box of them over in the car when we drive up! Life hacks!
UPDATE 12/10/16: After experimenting and using both sizes, I really disliked the original A5 size and redesigned it so it’s easier to use! Download at the link below!
It’s been such a long time since my first printable (the Roost Animal Crossing cup cover), and I was so surprised by how successful it’s been. So far it’s had the most hits out of any page here on the blog and at Pinterest, where people are still repinning it! So for a while I wanted to do another printable again, but had a hard time thinking of what.
But then over the past few weeks I noticed my mini planner from work was running out of pages, and suddenly before I knew it, I was downloading pages to fill in for 2017. Long story short I now have somewhat been bitten by the DIY planner bug, and it may or may not be my friend Maggie’s fault. (Btw she has amazing planner ideas, please see her blog!) Though even before that, I always liked stationery, and especially to-do lists when it comes to packing for trips. I’ve had so many nightmares where I forgot components for my costumes that I can’t imagine how someone would pack for a convention without keeping tabs somewhere!
So this is where my next free printable comes in! Somehow there haven’t been printable cosplay packing lists out there, and I was so shocked that I ran to Photoshop to fulfill this need. Whether you cosplay once a year or five times a year, know someone who cosplays and wants to keep track of their stuff for their trips (or maybe you’re that person), or even dress up your own planner or not, here it is! Two common sizes are available (8.5″x11″ letterhead and A5, more common in Asian countries), though with how the lists are set up you can easily slice the letterhead size in half if you want a precise half-page design.
Oh, Pinterest. It’s a treasure trove of discovery and creativity, but like everything else on the Internet, you need to take it with a grain of salt too. Usually I’m pretty good with spotting what obviously is not true or does not work when it comes to Pinterest posts and ideas, but this one has to take the cake.
For AAC this year, boyfriend Nick and I want to do another quick couples’ cosplay besides our Star Wars one. (I am taking along Phasma for Friday since I wasn’t able to go to the other con due to a family emergency.) We decided on Overwatch, despite the fact that I lack the systems to play it (my personal rule of thumb for cosplay has been that I need to know/play the characters’ source material before doing the costume, but I will admit there have been a few exceptions in the past). When we first saw Mei’s design I probably screamed and thought Blizzard was stalking me.
As of Nick, he’s taken to Soldier:76 (left), though Reaper was honorable mention. I decided for an early birthday gift that I help him with his visor, since I really had fun making Phasma’s helmet and it turned out so well.
So we split the project up, him purchasing the LED visor from a fellow Etsy seller, and I with the mask’s papercraft. This is where the Pinterest fail came in, as there’s a pattern circulating the boards advertising as a “lifesize” “cosplay” pepakura pattern.
A photo posted by Cindy (@bmdartstuff) on Jul 25, 2016 at 9:03pm PDT
I was basically livid. I can go on about the horrors of that pattern. You had to scramble through pages to find matching pieces, the print was tiny, and then apparently it was blown up to 500% ^^;. I don’t get it.
Fortunately, I came across a different pattern thanks to good old Google searching! I was so elated with the success of this pattern than I actually gave a little tip on the author’s Patreon page, and usually I don’t do that sort of thing. A big shoutout to Silvarruxx! This was the finished result.
I may look like a headcrab got me, but hey – it fits, it was far easier to assemble, and a lot of the times I had no idea paper could even fold that way! I say it in a good way though. This pattern was far superior, and for you Overwatch fans, Silvarruxx has tons of others for your cosplay goodies. I grabbed Mei’s little droid just in case I decide to stick her on my ice pack, and Reaper’s skull mask for another day.
That aside, I’m happy some of my Spoonflower designs are getting favorites! Thank you! It means a lot! I slowly have been adding more to the shop for availability, with a new crop of swatches on the way as well. Some new upcoming patterns are also more vintage oriented, but also Animal Crossing-inspired. You know, like the funky shirts you can buy at Able’s? Well, now you can make them! Reverse customization! Let YOUR sewing machine be your real-life QR reader!! (I was born in the wrong decade. If this were 50 years ago I’d be making bank with all the jingles and slogans I come up with.)
Anyway, for now here’s a design based on Mei’s accessories, sprays, and so on. I’m turning my yardage into a cheongsam dress for my more casual costume to match my Soldier. I’m really excited! A grey variant will also be available soon. These would make cozy lounge pants!