Tag Archives: cosplay

What’s New in the Shop? (June 16 edition)

Hello again! It’s just lil old me blowing in with the wind, sharing some exciting (and slightly alarming) news!

As an update from the post before last, a few of my proofs came in for some experimental designs I created earlier in April and have since been available for purchase. If you saw my Instagram, you got to see how well the gauze chiffon gave the Watermelon stripes a lovely texture, and got rid of the other variant since it looked too similar. I also remeasured the spacing for the Dot Grid and realized it’s a whoppin half inch! That is kind of big lol! Great for gift wrap or wallpaper though. I’m saving my swatch for a day I can set aside to make some of my shelving less dark. In the future, I plan to make smaller sizes and an inverted variant though.

Lately, I’ve been entering Spoonflower’s design challenges at last! Minted’s are fun… until I got tired of the rules and brand outlines crampin up my style! Designer fonts only? No Photoshop files?
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I knew it from the lukewarm reaction and from my gut feeling that I could do way better work than what I had put out for the challenges I submitted! While I will keep an eye on future Minted challenges, I enjoy Spoonflower’s free-form style a little more, especially since the ones I just entered are very much me! So you will likely see more added to my shop over the next couple of months, especially more original stuff!

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Inspired by iconic typography and the Latin default text used over and over as text filler in the design world!

That said, voting is going on right now for Spoonflower’s Bauhaus Movement challenge! Please look out for the design on the left and place your votes now through Thursday! Unfortunately, there is no direct link so..you will have to keep on scrolling. It seems Likes help upvote as well but I can’t say for sure, since this is the first time entering their challenges.

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Aw snap it’s dim sum time!

I also entered this adorable number into the upcoming July challenge, Food Frenzy Coloring Book! It was a lot of fun making cute little doodles based on the best brunch meal ever! I plan to add this into a new collection along with other fun doodles based on things like emojis, travel, and work – aptly named ‘Dumb Doodles’. (Hey, they may not be totally dumb, but they are cute and relatable!)

I think my favorite part of these challenges though, is that all of their entries are still available to purchase like any other design afterwards. In Minted, only the winner’s circle gets to be added to the shop, and the artists finally have the chance to open their own digital storefront there. Spoonflower is very ‘power to the people’ in comparison and I like that! Why should someone work so much over something that may never see the light of day and that others can’t enjoy?

Sorry for turning this into a little soapbox! Wasn’t my intention. I guess just for other designers out there, if they’ve been looking for places to enter and create their work on widely-used platforms, it may hopefully be some food for thought. Both have their advantages of course – I’m sure there are designers who have more of a passion for stationery over fabric or wallpaper, or don’t want the frustration of having a design repeat properly, or don’t want to worry about covering costs to proof swatches if they’re not sure if a design will even sell well. Ultimately it’s up to what you are comfortable with and what makes you happy!


I want to squeeze in a tiny cosplay update while I’m here! If you’re just here for that and scrolled all the way down shamelessly, that’s fine by me!

Unfortunately, my Catherine group will not be able to finish in time for CtCon, so I am putting Katherine on hold for another time. Since I need as much space as possible in my car for additional passengers to Hartford, I decided to only bring 2 costumes for the weekend, since I no longer dress up on Sundays (I only stay there half a day anyway to beat the NYC traffic).

Friday and Saturday AM: Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night)
Saturday PM: Deborah Kim (Friday the 13th: The Game)

The other 2 costumes are basically done, Deb is streetwear anyway and for the most part so is Mitsuru. It’s crazy to think the con is less than a month away now! I can’t wait!

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Fast Times at Cosplay Progress

 

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Voting for the Birthday Party Invitation challenge at Minted is live! Please vote for my design if you can ^^! Thank you!!

 

So last week, a few of my CtCon usual crew decided to chill out with some Switch hilarity and work on our cosplays. I brought my sewing machine and kit, supplies aside of course.

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I use a Brother XL 2600i and I love it! Highly recommend and fairly afforable too. The fabric I am using is the stretch pleather from Yaya Han’s cosplay line at Joann Fabrics. Btw never use pins on pleather like I did! I forgot to bring tape 😦

 

My friend Freddie also brought her Pipimi (Pop Team Epic) cosplay to tailor up. She swapped the main shirt out for a more comfortable cotton, and put the uniform cuffs and collar on it instead. It came out awesome!

Adorable and badass! A deadly combination 😮

I am happy she succeeded with her progress though, because I failed hard lol! I decided to double-up on the stretch fabric for Mitsuru’s boot covers, but I did it in the dumbest way possible. So the machine had a hard time gripping the fabric, eating up way too much selvage, and in the end I only had one leg in decent form ^^;.

 

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The other puckered too much and some parts never made it in the seam…. It was pretty bad.

 

Fortunately I used a coupon on the yardage but regardless the boot covers are pretty much useless as a pair now. Eventually I will go back and fix them another time, but for now at the con I will just use my leggings like at the small gaming con from last month. But at least I learned a lot about using stretchy fabrics, let alone pleather on my sewing machine. Normally in the past I’d forgo the material or just sew/glue by hand.


Anyway, the other day was Star Wars Day (May 4)! Normally I don’t do much for it, but this year I decided to bring my Phasma helmet to work since it fell on a Friday and people could use some cheering up. It’s very fitting I’m mentioning this on the 6th however!

 

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*Admiral Akbar voice* It’s a pun!

Too bad there’s not enough occasions where I can just always bring my cosplays around. But I am fortunate to be in an environment where I can if the timing fits. Are any of you guys working on anything new for cosplay?

 

Belated Blog Birthday (sorry for the radio silence!)

This past Monday marked the 3rd birthday of this blog! Yay woohoo confetti time! I wanted to write something more substantial about it, but I kept second guessing my drafts and eventually ended up discarding those. I just haven’t been really happy with things I want to post or share since my last post here, though maybe with the weather finally warming up I will get myself out of this rut.

I decided this year that I want to make more original designs for my fabrics, and I have a few in mind that are still geek-related too. Eventually I’d like to phase out what I currently have on Etsy for this newer stock, but I will make a formal announcement of when I’ll really be pushing that.

Speaking of announcements, did you hear?

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I’m so happy this finally is a thing! (At least for those here in the U.S.) If you’re a maker or DIY-er who always wanted a D.Va bedsheet (or whatever else on Spoonflower really) but cried in your pillow just thinking of the shipping charges will be relieved! Go make those sheets! Or blanket fort! Or whatever else you need a lot of yardage for like just simply buying in bulk Cindy not everyone is 5-years old like you!

 

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babybabybabybabyyeahhhh!

Oh! I finally have a better progress photo of my P3 Dancing Mitsuru! I checked out GeekFest 2.0 in Brooklyn this past weekend and it was a fun small con! They mostly had retro games but there were also other artists too. I wouldn’t mind coming back again next year if they decide to hold it again. I mainly wanted to wear Mitsuru for it since I also needed a photo to submit for CtCon’s Cosplay Deathmatch, so it works out! I doubt I’d even get in, but I always wanted to do a cosplay deathmatch so I hope this is the year!

 

Cosplay Cardboard Tutorial II – Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

IMG_20171004_194849_961To make up for the old tutorials I cleared out, here is a new one that’s more of an intermediate level in the world of cardboard pepakura/papercraft for cosplay. If you’re new to make 3D objects for your cosplays using cardboard or a similar medium, please see the Elphelt belt buckles tutorial first, since it’s a little more beginner-friendly.

This project arrived for me from a very excited Nick and his new Jason costume for AAC this weekend – the 13th falls on a Friday this year in October. I’m skipping the con this year due to a busy November (and opting to return to the NY Ren Faire at last), so when he asked I felt it was my way of being there in spirit!

You will need…

  • Cardboard (I used corrugated here for the thickness)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Elmer’s/School glue
  • A toothpick
  • Dimensional fabric/3D glue
  • Acrylic paint and 2 small paintbrushes (a good one and a beat-up one)
  • Paper towels and water for cleanup and texturing

The key to making anything from 2D/reference into 3D is to break down the item you want to make into simple shapes and layer them accordingly.

The first step is to start sketching what you’re making and its approximate measurements, based on the scale of the character and the scale of yourself/the person it’s going to. The tip of this spear might look complicated, but it really is just a bunch of triangles, cylinders, and curves combined together.

 

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Be sure to number your pieces! You can always trim afterward for a neater shape too.

 

If your object is symmetrical, the easiest solution to keep things looking ‘right’ is to just draw out half of the template, and then cut out your pieces with the paper folded down its middle. Once you’re happy with your template, begin cutting out your pieces on cardboard to build the basics of your object.

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For the fleur, I wanted to keep it simple with a tapered layer for the tip, the 2 sides for the petals at its sides, and then 2 lower shapes that will form part of its shaft (and will get glued onto the PVC pipe on Nick’s end). You’ll notice one is more curved than the other;  in the reference, that piece is slightly conical and gradually becomes a little skinnier as the petals form. (Not shown is a second strip of cardboard, which I added later to hide the ‘seam’ from gluing these two bottom pieces. Also great for adding details! Lifehacks!)

The key to a seamless closure is to glue along one vertical end of the piece that you’re closing, and wedge that into the other side. It’s hard to do with cereal boxes, which is also why I went with corrugated this time.

Start gluing your pieces together sections at a time, and you should have the petals, tip, and shaft pieces ready to be attached. Keep in mind that the petals taper as well, so fold it in half to round it out before gluing/taping to each other. The center should be rounded so it can attach onto the shaft pieces.

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You’ll notice the pieces aren’t completely closed yet, so now is the time to cut and glue on any filler cardboard to help close the fleur. If you have to do it in smaller pieces that’s fine too, since anything that still can’t be filled completely will just get covered with the 3D glue anyway! Be sure to also add cap pieces wherever possible, because this will help strengthen the project and prevent it from collapsing after all your hard work!

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Don’t forget to glue along the toothpick when you do this, as well as when you stick it into the item. Those gap pieces help it grab onto something too.

 

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One way to revamp a horror movie franchise – add glitter to everything!

 

(Sorry about the glitter glue, it’s the only 3D glue color I have left and I almost always end up painting over it for a project anyway.) Now your piece is ready to be filled completely before painting! I ended up going over a few areas twice, especially by those middle sections on the tip so it slopes nicely. Let it dry overnight before the final and fun step.

I didn’t paper mache before painting because we all know how much I love doing that, but it will result in a smoother finish. The rightmost photo is without flash.

I never painted a rust texture before so it was really cool getting the opportunity to do it for Jason’s spear! I experimented with mixing some brown and orange acrylics with copper metallic for the base layer, but it didn’t show up well, even in person.

Once the base layer is set, start scuffing on orange gradually when the coat is DRY for a weathered effect (don’t oversaturate your paper towel or dry, beat-up brush). Nick didn’t want it too rusted, so I stopped after one or two layers of the rusting.

I tried to be as even as I could when I glued it together, but one side does seem a little slanted than the other. Not sure how this happened, but I could have put too much pressure when I was gluing and taping pieces together. I’ve designated the side above as its ‘cosmetic/camera-ready’ side though. Either way, Nick was a happy customer!

 

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The final product, at home with its new owner and looking ‘killer’!

 

It was awesome to see the final prop all finished and ready for the convention! I was shown the spraypaint color of the bronze for the PVC pipe prior to painting the fleur, so it was amazing how close I came to replicating the paint color. The fleur is glued onto the shaft with Loctite, which is a brand of superglue/epoxy glue (anything similar will adhere well with the cardboard and PVC).

Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you understand more about how amazing cardboard is, and what you can do with it. Is it possible to make anything out of it? Probably. Try for yourself, and happy cosplaying!

Post-con review: Long Island Retro Gaming Expo 2017

My committee wasn’t able to man our table due to lack of staff (weekends have been kicking our butts lately!) but I still wanted to enjoy the Expo anyway and attended on Sunday with a friend. We made like bandits! The selection from these collectors was amazing, and in incredible condition on top of that. These are no ordinary vendors who just pile in bargain bin GameStop fodder regardless of what state they’re in. If you’re on the hunt for something to start, continue, or complete your gaming collection, this is a perfect spot to go to without the hassle of navigating the boroughs and NYC.

 

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Shoutout to the Tuxedo Mask for our quick ‘skirmish’! 

Since there’s a lot of long-awaited Persona standoff titles coming out next year in Japan (I am excited for all of them!), I decided to be Mitsuru for the day and had no idea I’d get stopped so much for photos! Unfortunately I only have the one on my phone here above, but I’m still trying to find ones from CTCon, let alone from Sunday. (Over the years I’ve realized I will never get to see most of my cosplays online, so I don’t bother digging too much anymore. The fun is in the experience with friends and making new ones anyway!)

I’ve had bad experiences with Eternalcon at the Cradle of Aviation a few years ago, and was relieved to see their floor plans at the Expo here made way more sense of the space. (I know that the Cradle is a museum and was not really meant for stuff like this when it was designed, but still.) To this day I still kind of cringe when I hear an event wants to use the Cradle as their venue of choice, but I’m happy the Expo didn’t fall in that trap. Compared to its first year when I attended it briefly at the Upsky out east, there was way more room for them to really show what they had to offer.

Aside from navigating everything and checking out the selection of goods, I also appreciated that there was actual music playing throughout the Expo that weekend from live bands covering tracks of popular game themes. It made me a bit nostalgic for Video Games Live (which every fan should attend at some point in their life!). I still hover their tour date list for when they’re in New York again.

As a wrapup, I definitely will be returning to the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo! Hopefully they stay within the county since it’s centrally located for me and I know that area well (which means food isn’t an issue at all; the towns nearby all have really good restaurants). But even if they return out east it’s still only a drive away :).