Cosplay Brainstorming!

A blurred picture of a woman in a homemade cosplay with the words "Cosplay Brainstorming!" superimposed over her.I realize the convention I’ll be attending isn’t until July, but last year, my friends and I talked about doing steampunk TMNT this year, and I’d like to carry through on that. Since my budget is next to nothing, that means I’ll be making everything.

I have a few ideas in mind.

Crochet Gear Shell
Since the steampunk look is all about gears and intricacies, I thought it’d be a good idea to incorporate that into the shell. Turtle shells naturally have different sections, so why shouldn’t I crochet some gears, make a little shell-shaped backpack and sew them on in an appropriate pattern?

It should be interesting to see how it turns out.

DIY Goggles
Much as I’d like to pick up a pair of commercial goggles, maybe like these gorgeous things, I’ve found quite a few DIY tutorials. Most of them are completely doable, and although the results wouldn’t be quite as intricate as some of the ones on the market, they should turn out well.

Corset – Maybe
I like corsets. I’ve always liked how they look, and one style I’ve tried on was actually pretty comfortable. That said, the vast majority are way, WAY out of my price range. A good corset may be amazing, but there’s no way I can afford one.

That said, I still have the notes from a panel my buddy and I attended last year about costuming on a budget. One of the topics that came up was DIY corsets. I still have to check out the web page, but if I can try my hand at making one, even a faux corset, I will.

A turtle plastron painted onto a lighter colored tank top.
It might be neat to see if I can incorporate this into the corset.

When I think “steampunk” I think of skirts and intricate patterns. However, when I was chatting with another friend, she mentioned she liked how women dressed in steampunk style look in pants.

After looking at some pictures, I agree. But the thing is, this will be in early July, so a skirt might just be cooler. I don’t know. There’s still time, anyway.

Now, I should really break out the yarn and experiment with crochet gear patterns.

Self-Care Bonanza – The Geek Side

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This has been one of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a while. Beyond the regular stresses that come with budgeting and running a household, we discovered one of our kitties had something wrong with her on Tuesday night.

Fortunately, our awesome vet was able to get us in on Wednesday, and with fears of something terrible fluttering in our chests, we brought her in. Our sweet little tabby had something going on that’s seen much more often in dogs – impacted anal glands. Gross, I know. Not much fun to treat, either, but nothing serious.

A tabby cat curled up on a white, plush chair.So, she’s enduring sitz-baths for the next few days and some rather uncomfortable salve application for four more days. At least she’s slowly starting to feel better and getting more treats than usual.

The vet also suggested giving her a little fish oil once a day, so I’m looking for something she won’t turn her nose up at, since the stuff I take is pretty strong smelling once out of the caplets.

Anyway, although it was a huge relief to find out she’ll be alright, the stress was bad enough to cause me some pretty nasty pain this morning. I woke up with upper back, neck and headpain, all of which happen when I get stressed out.

Fortunately, I was able to sleep in a little bit this morning before enjoying coffee out of my new favorite mug while watching an episode of Quantum Leap.

A clear glass mug filled with coffee with a picture of the Ninja Turtle Raphael in front of a slice of pizza on it and the words "All I want for Christmas is Pizza!" in red.Quantum Leap has some great episodes, but I’m getting to a few that are pretty mediocre. I continue to be entertained at what the writers think people dressed like in the late 20th century, though.

The character Al from Quantum leap in red pants, a white shirt with black cuffs, a black vest, a black and red striped tie and a red fedora.It’s hilarious looking back at what science fiction writers thought people of the future will wear when you’ve lived through that future. It’s pretty obvious this show was written in the late ’80s and early ’90s based on Al’s wardrobe alone.

I’m feeling much better now. After a little stretching, I was able to get on with my day.

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#CVG2015 Cosplay in Review

There’s a line from Michelangelo in the second TMNT movie, “This way, dude. It ain’t the Hilton. Um, let’s face it, you’d be better off staying at the Hilton.”

..yeah. It’s not a BAD hotel, but since I couldn’t remember my HH Rewards info, and didn’t feel like bugging my friends for theirs, I tried making do with the complimentary internet. Not so great.

So, no updates from me this weekend.

That said, the convention was great fun, as usual! Enjoy the few pictures I remembered to get!

…I was hunched in fear. My posture is usually better.

For those of you not familiar with Welcome to Nightvale, this person’s dressed up as The Glow Cloud. The Glow Cloud is a glowing cloud that randomly appeared over Nightvale, a small desert community, and dropped small, dead animals on anyone who approached it.

Apparently, it later returned for good and became the president of the local PTA, since the town seemed like a good place to raise a family.

This glow cloud dropped this on me –

Ran into Toph and Fire Lord Ozai in the Dealer’s Room, ’cause why wouldn’t they be hanging out together? I think I saw the entire cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender over the course of the convention.

These two were great! She’s wearing makeup and a prosthetic nose. I saw her a while before taking this picture, too, and thought she was wearing a mask at first. His mask and jacket were fantastic, too. These two are some of my favorite costumes.

Friday night, we ran into some male TMNT cosplayers! Way too funny. We kept running into them throughout that and Saturday night. We’d greet each other with hugs and cries of “BROTHERS!” and “SISTERS!”

I love con.

The male Don had the idea of ordering pizza, so this happened:

No comments, unfortunately. We did get a few puzzled looks, though. It was pretty great. They had pre-recorded a bunch of TMNT related music and had it playing the whole time.

Doctor Horrible and Laura Croft hanging out, because why not?

SPACEBALLS!! I have so much love for that movie. These two were so much fun.

And, on a related note…

BARF! Ah, mawgs. Their own best friends. He had Cheeze-Its in the box, so he could snack out of it. So great.

It took me WAY too long to figure out where this guy’s from. He’s one of the bad guys from the second Hellboy movie. I think? Well, I’m pretty sure. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. He looked great, though.

Zombie Sailor Moon going after Tuxedo Mask! Mwahaha!

Jack Skellington and Sally! His fingers really creeped me out, and I always admire the dedication that goes with body paint. We ran into these two on one of the shuttles to the convention.

I don’t know if this guy is from something specific, or if he was just running with the dystopian theme. I noticed first that he was smoking a pipe, but when I saw the sign, I about fell over laughing.

When I asked him if I could get his picture, he asked if I wanted to try some fresh air. It was then he showed me what was on his back.

Yes, those are live plants in there. He’s wearing a terrarium on his back. So cool.

These two were awesome, too. She controlled what colors his suit had with her phone, as well as what showed up on his face plate. The poor guy had to be dying in that suite though.

Good thing we were in the Fan Service room.

While in that room, I noticed this lineup:

Kisuke Urahara flanked by creepy clowns. What’s not to love? Hehehe.

Again, not entirely sure of which character he’s dressed up as, but that prop is impressive. Very cool and glowy.

What’s a convention without a Deadpool or three?

There were so many great costumes I didn’t get pictures of. There was a massive dancing Groot, a man-sized Toothless with Astrid, Lego Batman and Han Solo, plus a score of Leeloos and so many other characters I’m not familiar with.

The rooms were well decorated, too. I had a nice conversation with this guy from the Star Wars room.


Try to shoot me, will ya? Hmph.

It was a great time. This year, I even got to spend a little money in the dealer’s room.

The knot work ring is handmade. Even more impressive, it actually fits my middle fingers. My hands are small enough that the only rings I can ever find without having them custom made only fit my pointers. Even then, most places don’t carry that size.

Those earrings are mystic topaz, and also handmade.

The Renji charm is meant for cell phones, but he’s hanging out with Raph on my purse, right now.

That mood ring was actually a freebie from one of the party rooms.

Yep, we confused hitchhikers are going off planet until next year!

Dystopian Raph Cosplay!

Yeah, ok, so it’s not super dark, but I did what I could with my current skill level. I’ll also be wearing a different bra, since today’s a sports bra day for me. Why?

‘Cause this is my getup –

TMNT pride? Why, yes, yes it is.

And I didn’t feel like changing completely.

Anyway, on to the costume! Tank top will be more flattering with a different bra, and I’m sure pics from the convention will be better.

I think I’m gonna make more of those fishnet arm things, and maybe turn them into actual shirts. I really dig that look.

I really like how the shell repaint went.

Had thought about dying the hair black again, or refreshing the henna, but that didn’t happen.

Couple of notes –

I think I need to find a figure smoother or something in the next couple of days.

I was thinking of finding fishnets or wearing some black leggings in a bid to hide the horrid bruise our coffee table gave me not pictured here, but judging from how hot I got from just this little test run, I don’t think that’ll be happening.

Visible injury is dystopian, right? Maybe that kneecap will be fully green by then. That’d be fitting. Right now, it’s a combination of purple, blue, red and brown.

I don’t know if I’ll be going with that particular lip color and mask. If I can grab the time and energy, I might try my hand at making a more fitting mask, but…eh. Eye makeup will be different, though. Didn’t feel much like messing with it today.

Also, hair. No idea what to do with it. Maybe up in a messy half-bun or something. Again, gotta think of comfort along with looks.

I’ll also be wearing these things on my nails –

TURTLE SHELL NAILS!! How cool is that? I stumbled across them during an online Jamberry party and had to get them. They’ll probably be going on tomorrow.

This will be my night party costume, so the other three can get in on the fun without potential daytime boredom.

On Saturday, I’m doing the Hitchhiker’s costume, which is basically just pajamas, a towel and an expression of confusion/wonder. Also a craving for tea. And peanuts. If I can grab a little time, and I have the materials on hand, I may put together a “guide”, but hey. I won’t be devastated if that doesn’t happen. I’ll definitely be hanging out with a buddy that day.

Friday, I’ll probably just wear my Always Keep Fighting tank top and shorts, since I’ll be solo a good part of the day. Also hauling a big bag around until I can check into the hotel.

…wonder if I can do a last, last, last minute cosplay to embody some wanderer character…

Eh. Quiet, mind.

If you’re attending, and would like to see me in person, I’ll be on the following two panels –

Friday at 11:00 am – How We Change the Stories We Tell About Disability
Saturday at 11:00 am – Writing While Female

I’ll try getting there on Friday around 9 or 10. I might show up on Thursday at some point, too, but that depends on how much of my workload I can get done at home.

Fabric Paint TMNT Costume Shirt: Attempt One

Disclosure: This entry has an affiliate link to Target.

Every year, the convention I attend, CONvergence, has a theme that relates to the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Panels are built around it, and cosplayers are encouraged to make related costumes. This years is dystopia.

Since my friends and I are big TMNT fans, we’ve been going as our own versions. This year, we’re doing dystopian versions. Should be fun, right?

Last year, our Leo and I tried Punk!TMNT, which I don’t think a lot of people recognized, since we didn’t really look very turtle-ish from the front. This year, I’m thinking I want to try for a plastron look on a shirt.

At first, I thought I’d find one of those costume shirts at a low price and just use something from my Generation T book to alter it. After looking around online, the least expensive I could find was $15.99, and I didn’t care for the pattern.

If I’m going to cut a shirt up, I’m not paying over $10 for it. So, unless I can find something I like in that price range, I’ll be trying my hand at painting a tank-top or shirt. Today, I figured I’d give it a try on a tank-top I’d delegated to the rag bin.

It doesn’t look too bad in this pic, but it’s threadbare and has holes in it.

I pulled out my old fabric paints (got most of ’em from Target), spread newspaper out on a table, and pulled the tank top down over a Coca Cola box sacrificed to craft. Since I’d already had sponges in the box, I figured I’d give them a try instead of hunting down my brush set.

First, I mixed orange, tan, red/pink and black to make brown, and dabbed a rough outline on.

At this point, I realized I should have cut the cardboard larger, but oh well. This is an experiment, after all.

I then tried mixing the paint to a shade lighter.

I’m no expert with paint. In fact, I’m pretty sub-par when it comes to visual art in general, but I can figure out how to mix colors together.

From there, I dabbed paint inside each square, progressively getting lighter as I got to the center.

This is what I ended up with:

Meh. It…sort of looked ok.

After some deliberation, I picked up my black puff paint, hoping I still had enough, and outlined each square with black.

I then blended the black paint in an attempt to create the illusion of shadows between the “plates” and around the outside. That done, I dabbed lighter colored paint in the center of each section and gradually blended it out.

Here’s what I finally wound up with:

That’s…actually not terrible.

If I can find a dark green tank top, I think I’ll give this another try, but this time, I’ll do the edges with an actual brush, so there will be a cleaner look.

As it is, I will try this one on, once it’s dry. Depending on how it fits, maybe I’ll go with it? I don’t know yet.

If you do decide to try this yourself, be forewarned – you WILL make a mess, and your hands will get full of paint, so put newspaper down beforehand and wear something you don’t mind getting paint on.

Fortunately, this paint washes off pretty easily, and what doesn’t wash off will peel off.

Bat’leth Bunny? The Klingons’ softer side.

Sorry for the silence this week, folks. I’ve been feeling pretty terrible, and this blog has paid the price. Next week will be better, I promise.

On the up side, a good friend of mine dropped by last weekend, and we got to do some communing over crafts, pizza and a movie. As a result, I’m almost done with a couple projects.

I am SO close to finally being done with this bat’leth scarf. All that’s left is to attach the two pieces, weave in the ends, wash and block it. Once it’s finished, I promise to provide better pictures.

This little snowman looking thing will be a bunny for one of my nieces. I just need to track down the tail and sew everything together.

Otherwise? I have a couple of things brewing at the back of my head, but I don’t know how many will actually be done. The last week of November will be madcap, plus I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo, so we’ll see how much crafting will actually be done.

Knitting with HONOR

‘Cause, y’know. Klingons and their honor.

The bat’leth scarf is taking shape!

Between the counting and hopping around the pattern, this thing has been taking more time than I thought it would. So far, it’s been worth it, though.

This is going to be a good sized scarf, too. Probably not very warm, but still cool looking. If you’re interested in making one for yourself, I’m working off of this pattern over on Ravelry.

Otherwise? Well, this has been it, as far as crafts are concerned.

Hope everyone enjoys their Halloween!

Friday WIP. So much yarn!

I may or may not have spent most of today knitting, instead of sticking to my to-do list.

Yeah…well. I have a lot of work to do on gifts, so I guess it still needs to be done, right?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve accomplished this week:

This is what I’ve been working on today, the bat’leth scarf. I kinda screwed the first blade up, since I had a hard time getting the hang of the pattern, but didn’t feel like unravelling it and redoing it. It’s not TOO terrible, and I don’t think it’ll be noticeable when it’s worn.

Anyway, if I have enough yarn (and time) after finishing this scarf, I may keep it and make a better one to give the person I have in mind. Otherwise, I doubt they’ll mind the imperfections. I will have to block this thing like crazy, though, which might help with the shape a little.

 I got almost halfway through this goodie when I ran out of yarn. So frustrating. So, I ordered more and started on the bat’leth scarf.

And guess what arrived in the mail today!

Ooooh, yeah. Maybe I’ll be able to finish the goodie next week or this weekend.

And lastly, but not leastly, my pretty blue pumpkin:

I think I’ll name him Puffer the Pumpkin. Or maybe Frank. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. With it is Bob the Zombie and my first attempt at making a little Leo doll. Bob and Leo hang out with us year ’round.

Now, I should probably get more done on this to-do list, huh?

Inspired by Geekery

Since I didn’t get the chance to put together another Crochet Basics entry for today, I thought I’d participate in Inspire Me Monday, hosted by Create With Joy.

Basically, you share what’s inspiring you at the moment, or in general. It can be anything, writing, photography, crafts, art, food, whatever.

So what inspires me? Lots of things, but in general, great stories, great art and general geekery inspires me to be creative.

DON’T PANIC pouch is inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
Leonardo is from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He and Donnie are still hanging out in my Storenvy Shop.
The gauntlet to the right is inspired by Deadpool, an off the wall character from Marvel Comics.

A small selection of the many books that inspire creativity.

So, what inspires you?

Wordless Wednesday – Costume Previews and Outdoor Shenanigans!

This week has been full of preparation for the upcoming convention and an extended period of time spent outside. Why not mix the two?

Galactic Hitchhiker. All I’m missing are the salted peanuts.

Fat little monarch caterpillar hanging out with our morning glories.
Punk female Raph costume! Gonna find some tights or something, since I think the leggings might be too hot.
I like shadows, especially when they make me feel tall.
Star Trek red shirt! My buddy made the dress and pin. I just need to take the dress in a bit and do some hemming. The brown thing is a tribble. If I can put a little extra time aside, I might make a little bag to go with this.
Lovely wildflowers.