Saturday, May 30, 2015

Anime North 2015

Wow! Anime North is already over, my 11th time attending. This month has just flown by. I'm a little sad it's done already...

AN was a really weird/very different experience for me this year. Starting with the fact that my sister Alex--who took me to my very first AN 11 years ago--and her boyfriend Mike (aka EleventhPhotograph) both moved to Japan in the last year and did not attend the con with me. They were missed! D,: But I get the pleasure of taking my boyfriend Blayke to his very first Anime North! He had fun I think!

My other big regret is that due to issues getting Vaporeon (Pokémon--Cowslip's Gijinkadex) finished, I was unable to compete in the Masquerade this year--the first time in many years!

To explain; I suddenly gained full time employment working on a feature film (as a scenic painter) starting at the end of April, which took up the vast majority of my time this month. The course I took on fabric painting and dyeing took up the rest of my minimal free time. With all the interruptions, I am amazed I managed to finish 2/3 costumes. (Though admittedly they were the easy ones!) I am happy that I finally got to debut Toph (Avatar: The Last Airbender), and that I was able to throw together a Tomoyo Daidouji (Cardcaptor Sakura) outfit at the last minute.

An overview of my con weekend:

Friday: I arrived around 7, wearing my Toothless onesie because it was pretty cold/windy out and I was super tired from work. Wearing Toothless takes less than 5 minutes to get ready, so it's a pretty great casual costume. It's also very comfy.

 We had luckily gotten our badges through a group purchase and they had been shipped to our group leader--long story short, we already picked up our badges from a friend a week before the con and didn't have to line up when we got there. I recommend this method of getting badges, because not lining up rocks. I ran into several friends at the con, and got to hang out and chat for a bit. I got to look at 80% of the Artist Alley/Crafters Corner before leaving to get some much deserved rest. Not a bad night, all things considered.

Saturday: Perhaps this should go down in family history as the earliest I have ever managed to make it to AN on a Saturday. We were at the con by 10:30. Probably because my costume wasn't super complicated to wear, I wasn't prepping to compete in Masq, and I only had 1 minor costume piece to fix. I wore my Toph (Fire Nation Disguise) costume. I won't go into detail here, but the shoes I made for that costume are the comfiest cosplay shoes I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. Ever. No sarcasm.

Blayke and I toured the dealers room and Artist Alley, then went to a panel called Stupid Comics-- which was hilarious--before meeting the rest of the family for lunch at Swiss Chalet. We hung around for a bit more before heading over to the Masq to get our seats. I photographed the Masq, if you are interested in checking out the pictures go here! If you want to watch all the Masq entries go here! Or if you just want to watch the Masq highlights, go here! It was a bit weird for me being on the audience side of the Masq, but I enjoyed it anyway. Inspired to compete again next year. I really have to up my game! Was surprised by the change in MC this year. The new "Hawaiian shirt guy" wasn't bad, but I miss Gravely...

Sunday: We got to the con a bit later (noon), as I had 3 full costumes to iron, and I needed a bit of a sleep in (super burnt out). My sister Elanne and I were dressed up in our Sakura and Tomoyo pair! Super cute together! We had a photoshoot in the afternoon with Kevin Chan Photography which went really smoothly (except for the part where I stupidly dropped the Clow wand and chipped the paintjob...). Very excited to see the pictures from that shoot and look forward to possibly shooting again with him in the future! The rest of the day was spent hanging around and making a few last purchases. And being super over-heated. It was really unpleasantly hot. I left a bit early, as I had 2 major projects to finish and I had to get up at 4:30 for work the next morning.

Overall, a great con, if a bit unusual. Was glad to see all my cosplay friends, and some unexpected other friends! Good times were had!

Coming soon: detailed posts on Sakura (FINALLY), Tomoyo and Toph! (Not necessarily in that order.)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hooped Embroidery Ornament

Just something I made for my sister as a birthday gift! She loves goats, so I made her a cute goat. I think he is considering the flower a tasty snack. Pretty cute right? I got to look up lots of reference pictures of adorable goats for this project.

This DIY project brought up fond memories of building the Forest Guardian costume, but with less pressure. I would like to do embroidery more often if I could.

I embroidered using embroidery floss on muslin reinforced with non-fusible interfacing. I trimmed off the excess fabric.

Making sure the screw was at the top, to hang it from later, I glued the fabric in place and tightened it. My glue of choice was Weldbond. I used a smaller bowl to hold the fabric in place while the glue dried.
Lastly I cut a circle of red felt to protect the back. This I glued onto the back. Then I just tied a string to hang it from! Easy!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cloche Hat with Kanzashi

Today is a short entry about a project I did for school! The goal was to change the shape of an existing felt hat using steam, and decorate it. I created a 1920s inspired cloche hat that I decorated with kanzashi flowers. Pretty cute right? ;D

For doing this it is very important that the hat is 100% wool, otherwise it won't really work. I found this nondescript black hat at H&M for about $25.

I cut off most of the brim, and from the cutaways I created the second brim layer. Using a tea kettle I let the hat steam and continued to stretch it by hand and over a metal bowl to change the shape. I did this until I was happy with it/the crease was gone. Then I hand stitched brim #2 on, then I wired the edge.  I finished the inside with a gros grain ribbon. This is so the hat wouldn't stretch later.

Once that was done I began to create the decorations. I found this great tutorial on making kanzashi flowers--Japanese style folded flowers. Using the same method I folded the leaves as well. It's basically like origami for fabric.

I finished the edge of the hat with a bias tape I had in my scrap bin.

I finished them by adding a couple of beads to the center, then I sewed them to the hat. I had a lot of fun making them and they turned out pretty great. I got the fabric when I was in Tokyo this past winter.

Then I had a cute hat to hand in! And to wear later! ;D