Tag Archives: works in progress

Master* of Puppets

*Maybe someday I will carry this title but honestly I just needed something witty to name this post. Then again, it’s no different for the rest of this blog!

Oh hey wow it’s June! That sure went by quick. Sister’s wedding was amazing and I’m so happy everyone had a great time! Not a dry eye in the house either.

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I’m on the left as her Maid of Honor, and the bride is on the right! (But you probably figured that out already!)

(I really want to upload one with Nick but he’s super camera shy for such a handsome fellow! In case you’re wondering why he’s always under some helmet or mask here.)

For shop news, the Etsy has been back up and running. Thank you for your patience and understanding! It will still be open while I’m at CtCon in July, so no worries. Speaking of other expos, I finally checked out BookCon with a few friends on Sunday in NYC! I’ve always wanted to go, but other plans kept popping up at that time of year. It was funny to see the Javits so quiet, but it was such a lovely con! I plan to come back next year for even more free loot! I think I will be going to it more often than NYCC at least.


Anyway, I meant to do a tutorial for my puppet, but then realized that I forgot to do progress photos, and also had no idea what I was doing half of the time so I was pretty sure I would mess up a lot. I also really did not have time to finish it properly – this year, CtCon wanted photos of submissions including events like the masquerade, and then announced a deadline at a ridiculously short notice. (Apologies on the rough build!)

I never had done any sort of puppetry before, but I have made plushies, and noticed that the steps are similar to a degree, just hollow, lighter, and mobile. Since I will be the only person operating him, I had to keep some parts and functions in mind.

Reapfield’s head tilts around, and he can also hop/jump and move slightly to indicate more emotions easily. Due to the view of the audience, I only had to focus on one arm to operate. Right now it’s a simple sewn glove over a dowel, but later on we plan to not only give it better range of motion (joints), but he will also get a second paw.

I couldn’t figure out how to rig better facial expressions at the time (I wanted his brows to move), but when he gets angry or upset his eyes light up like in the photos! This was probably the one step I knew what to do already, because I had rigged simple LEDs before for Ultra Sword Kirby’s hat. I was so happy I upgraded to a AAA battery pack this time for 50 cents extra, as the coin battery setup was a little loose for Kirby at that time. I buy my kits from Model Train Software, no soldering required! They’re amazing and I highly recommend them.

Best of all, I wanted to make storing him a breeze, also to make traveling with him easier. His body is made of cardboard, and is assembled in a way where it’s fast and easy to put together, and then folds back down neatly. His body is simply a fleece cover with the mask attached already to save time. There are also holes for his arm and LED eyes. Eventually I want to give him a proper and more permanent body with the green high-density foam.

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Take my Shopkin, my seafood, and all of my craft foam! Shining Bucket!!

Now that I have your attention, I can explain why it took me so long to post some progress again!

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I really own a Shopkin now! He’s a cute little book! A co-worker gave him to me ^^.
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I also finally went to the legendary Pop’s Seafood Shack on Long Island. I still dream of doze oystehz.

I am happy to announce that my Phasma costume is about 95% completed, just in time for CtCon in 10 days! Wow!! Aside from a holiday 3-day weekend, it’s the only other weekend I care about throughout the year. Hey, I’m honest.

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The craft foam armor actually reflects! Say whaaaaaa
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My blaster holster. Really is just pleather glued together. Glue is my best friend.

If you saw my Instagram eons ago, you saw the helmet getting its layers of gesso and sanding….and more gesso and more sanding….I basically lost count after 6 layers and decided enough was enough. So I whipped out my other favorite glue besides Fabritac and Krazy, which is dimensional fabric/3D glue.

The bottom-right is the helmet after the 3D glue, and then the finished results going counter-clockwise. (Sorry for the weird order, it was how the site compiled the collage.) Some battle damage got scuffed on before I glued in the lenses! In regular photos you don’t see my eyes and the lenses don’t reflect, so I tilted my head here so you can see them better. I’m really excited to wear this for the con!!

Of course, on my journey to find references of her gloves so I could start on the armor plating for that, I saw someone made a pepakura pattern for her helmet! Oh well. It basically is almost the same as the standard First Order troopers anyhoo.

For my next post (unless the con happens before then, then after that!), I hope to bring some exciting news! Here is a preview:

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Coming soon…

Mother’s Day, Phasma’s blaster, and LIPopCon

I’m not feeling very successful on the topic-naming department today, so I took the guesswork out for you. Yay for being lazy thoughtful!

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I whipped up some yummy breakfast for the lovely lady.

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A breakfast isn’t complete without a heart-shaped hamsteak and loving support for indie comics!

More celebrations will happen tomorrow since it was a busy day for some on the actual day, so we kept it light instead. I got her the blu-ray/DVD combo set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and a replacement pair of gardening gloves in her favorite color (purple). The latter sounds like a complete stereotype, but there’s a legitimate reason for the gift choice – I busted one of our pairs the other day while helping with some yard work. Now we can be pretty AND hard-working~! (And enjoy a kickass movie afterwards.)

Speaking of galaxies far, far away, Captain Phasma’s blaster is completed!

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Hit me with your best (hip) shot!

After spraying the chrome paint on the Nerf gun and quoting Spongebob the entire time (I can blame this on the fumes all I want, but I was wearing proper safety gear, so…), I painting accent parts with black acrylic and touched it up with silver Sharpie for crisp edges. Then I sealed it with clear acrylic sealant (the one that they sell next to the Mod Podge) since I had it lying around and also wanted to experiment how the finish would turn out. Not only did it preserve the chrome’s shine, it also slightly weathered it! Perfect!! I plan to use the same technique for the rest of Phasma’s armor, to make it feel more worn-in.

As of the armor itself, I hadn’t been able to make much progress significant enough for photos, but I am surprisingly on schedule despite the fact that CTCon is less than 2 months away. (::girlish squeal::) I’ve been able to salvage pieces from a costume I bought from another cosplayer who was retiring it years ago, so those parts will be reused for the pauldrons, upper arm guards, front chestplate, and kneecaps. I’m also reusing parts meant for my Ultra Sword Kirby costume that were never finished on time, so those will form the backplate and waist guards (is there a word for those? Let’s use that for now). I also have my jumpsuit on the ready, though I’m ashamed to admit it’s not the official one with the ribbing. I’m not making this to enter in the 501st Legion anyway, though I would be mighty flattered if I was ever asked.

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I’m the lady in the pink blazer. Look at us, hiding our product placement! jk, we didn’t get endorsed. Thank you Laura for the photo!

(UPDATED 6/2/16 I found a photo of me at LIPopCon 2016! Yay!) It was a lot of fun participating in my first year, though a lot of the day I was running around jumping from panel to panel, assisting with any setup as needed. In the morning I was in a cosplay panel, and a lot of my things from the NYCC panel was covered in it, though in more detail. It was fun talking to other librarians about it ^^. We got some good questions too!

The second panel was on the state of diverse cons and other issues happening in the world of fandom. I admit by this point in the day I was exhausted, and I’m pretty sure I zoned out at one of the questions ><;;; I felt horrible about it but I was told I did well! I got to speak with fellow artists and overall I would do this again for sure! Next week I’ll be meeting with the committee to discuss plans for next year.

Sorry for not having a photo-heavy post today! When more of my armor is done I plan to show off more stuff! Normally I’d plug what my cosplay lineup is for CTCon by now but I keep changing my mind on what to bring for Friday (aka what level of lazy I plan to be). Phasma’s my main for Saturday of course, but I plan to give Parasoul a break since I’m already taking along armor and a blaster in terms of props. This leaves me with either Villager or some sort of Luka Megurine streetwear, besides my Mismagius dress for the dance. I’ll just wait until the week before to announce I guess, lol!

The final countdown! (featuring some wedding dress with 25 spikes too many)

It’s been a while since I had a cosplay update. Though I guess in the world of blogging it’s like talking about dog years; while my last update here was 2 posts ago, that also happened to be well over 3 weeks ago, and we all know in the land of DIY a lot is done in between. (Assuming your muse falls in alignment with the stars, because even I have days where I just want to watch Food Network with my cat/shop assistant after work.)

I showed the emblem the other day for El’s dress, so here it is in a better view on the dress itself, complete with her adorably spiky hemline.

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Dress is a bridal polyester-blend, the skirt here is lined with red knit. The hemline has wire to help the spikes stand out better. Emblem is painted with acrylic mixed with fabric medium, heatset.

Speaking of spikes, here were the cones of doom I mentioned also. I say it endearingly though, because they were really easy to make actually, and look fantastic!

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Simply paper cones painted with silver acrylic. The paper used was brown packing paper, slightly thicker than regular printer paper.

Besides all that, her “ears” and veil are just about done, they need to be assembled though. I also prepped the Nerf gun for its repaint, got a bouquet of fake roses from the dollar store, and just put in an order for red bridal gloves since I despise sewing gloves.

Speaking of things I despise, have I mentioned I also dislike paper mache? After my Ultra Sword Kirby..um..sword, last year, I not only realized I’m bad at it, I also just don’t like it ^^;. Like anything involving it. Shaping, layering, painting, the sheer amount of time involved, the way it basically destroys and prunes my hands every time… Yeah.

I attempted doing her buckles in this method, but it just looked weird. After looking at alternate methods, I found papercraft, and since I did the spikes in a similar fashion, it was time to redo these ones as well. Shown below are the first versions (in the trashcan where they belonged the whole time), and also the new papercraft versions. Or one side of the first buckle anyway. Already an improvement!

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First version of the buckles done via paper mache. Lol um no.
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Second version of the buckles done via papercraft kudos to cardboard. Much better!

I didn’t really find a tutorial for papercraft buckles, I just went with regular crafting ones, so I may even go ahead and just make one using the second set as the example. A lot of folks really like my tutorials it turns out; I even got featured around Tumblr soon after my Bullet gauntlets debuted on deviantArt at the time, and I only found this out 2 weeks ago too! I’m happy other people find them very helpful, though I also would not be able to do them without other tutorials I used to build upon those techniques in the first place. So kudos to those pioneers! They’re the true geniuses.

As ConnectiCon draws closer, I may have a final cosplay progress post before that weekend, but I may not remember. So aside from the tutorial above, there might end up being just a jump to post-con photos. My lineup however is more finalized, for those who are curious or would like to meet up.

Friday: Parasoul (Skullgirls; I will have Krieg as my prop!)
Saturday: Elphelt Valentine (Guilty Gear Xrd: SIGN)
Sunday: Allenby Beardsley (G Gundam)

What’s new in the shop? (June 20 edition)

Finally, perler bead magnets are available at the shop, starting with cameras. And not just any camera, but one inspired by the retro Instagram logo.

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Other colors and patterns will soon be available, or you can request your own too!

My silver prototype was kind of boring so I will keep it as a pattern reference. The lavender one from the other day ironed very strangely and was basically ruined, so I plan to do that over. I will also have more pastel/neon colors, as well as some fun patterns too. Poke ball, anyone?

Also as a sneak peek, jewelry will be returning to the shop as well! I’m almost done assembling some boho bracelets together; here are the pendants so far.

Pendants with smaller beads will also be made so you can mix and match!
Pendants with smaller beads will also be made so you can mix and match!

I generally am very critical with my jewelry work, so I only have made so many pieces in the past. I’m very pleased with the end result here though, and the final product also looks stunning already. (I didn’t even clean up the ends on those yet!) I always preferred skinner/simpler bracelets myself, since I like stacking different colors and textures together. Besides these ones featuring beads, I plan to do simple crochet bracelets as well, which feature scrap fabric and yarn. These will also be made available to give you folks lots of options!