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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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.

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.

Cute Little Ninjas

Hot glue is evil, man. Convenient and useful, but still evil. Why do I bring that up?

Well, I just finished the TMNT key chains for CONvergence!

The boys are kicking back!

You can definitely tell they were made by an amateur, but I’m still happy with how they turned out. I might still try making some weapons for them, but I’m not sure I’ll have time in the next week to do so.  I’ve quite a bit of work to do for other stuff, after all.

By the way, if you’re a crocheter, I wrote the pattern down for the turtles, sans ninja accessories, and posted it here.

The other crafty thing I’ve done, other than making tea and old remedies for the cold I’m finally recovering from, is make the no sew skirt for my punk Raph costume! Here’s the one decent shot I could get of it today.

Not the full costume. I just didn’t feel like putting it all together and fighting with the camera.

I’d found the t-shirt I used to make it at a thrift store, and bought it for the dog art. After getting home, I noticed the “FAILE” in lights, and looked up what it was. Fittingly enough, it’s an artistic collaboration between two Brooklyn artists. As far as I can tell, they have ties to street art, as well. Here’s the online shop.

Fitting for a TMNT costume, huh? Anyway, the skirt is secured with a couple of fun buttons I had kicking around the house. I’d like to find a third, though.

Wonder if anyone will recognize Foamy the Squirrel, wielder of Squirrelly Wrath and our Lord and Master. (He hangs out over at Ill Will Press.) Raph just seemed fitting.

For a peek at (most of) the rest of the costume, here’s a very low quality pic I took yesterday with my web cam.

You can’t see my boots. The shell and mask I’ll be wearing are still in storage.

I was debating on forgoing the leggings, but after seeing what the skirt looks like without, I think I’ll probably go for them during con.

So, as far as costumes go, I might bring back the Red Shirt costume, depending on what my buddy thinks, which means I’ll be doing a bit of work on the dress to get it to fit a bit better. If I have enough red fabric, I’m going to try making a lining, or at least a slip, to wear underneath.

Still doing the Galactic Hitchhiker thing for one of the days. This is going to be such fun!

Right! By the way, I’m taking part in another Crafty Show & Sell over at Zzzonkowl! Check the link out here. Check it out, if you get the chance.

Busy Little Knitter and Crocheter

I’ve been pretty productive this week. Granted, I haven’t created anything earth shattering, but my inner geek has really shown through!

That’s right! I’ve finished my Deadpool gauntlets, and entered them into that Deviant Art contest.

At first, I wasn’t all that pleased with how they turned out, but so far, the reaction has been surprisingly good.

I guess this is just another case of me being my own worst critic, huh?

Self criticism aside, they are quite comfortable, and they were good practice. I had originally meant for them to be reversible, but I’d forgotten that when you turn a garment inside out, the patterns are reversed, too.

That means that when I turn them inside out, the words are backwards. However, as one commenter said, that’s in keeping with Deadpool’s character. I guess that adds some more awesomeness to them, huh?

This cute little Raph isn’t for me, but once I find some more tan-ish yarn, I’ll make one for myself. I like how his belt and mask turned out far more than Leo’s. I also like his shell more, too.

As for the renovations, hubby hasn’t made much more progress. We did pick up a vanity for the sink and whatnot, though. So, we have all of the fixtures we need, at least.

Of course, more as it develops!

Fun Friday…Crafts!

I couldn’t think of an “F” word with the correct meaning.

Ah well.

SO! This week has been the week for making adorable little dolls.

Remember that super cute kitty tutorial I tried last month? Well, I made another kitty for my mother in law!

Such a cute little surprise kitty.

She rather liked it. I also liked how this one turned out better than the first one. That sewing pin tip really worked!

Today, I finished the Leonardo Ninja Turtle for my hubby’s Valentine’s Day gift.

He turned out SO CUTE. Hubby got a giggle out of this little guy, too. I may need to make myself a Raph. His shell will be a little bigger, though, and his arms will be less lopsided.

As for renovations, hubby was able to redo the walls in the bathroom-to-be.

Basically, he just made some more room for the toilet and sink. We found a masticating unit, which means we won’t need to do much digging, if any at all.

Exciting stuff, huh?

Anyway, what are my big plans for the day? Hopefully grocery shopping, since the last bagel was moldy, and all we have to eat is ham, ramen, bread, rice and assorted condiments.


We’re such romantics!

Yule Tree, WIP and Cat

I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to this week. I ended up with a respiratory bug and had some snow to shovel earlier this week, so I’ve been moving a little more slowly than usual.

I did get a start on an experimental garland that I may end up writing a how-to about, depending on how it turns out. So far, I have most of two snow flakes made.

This one’s turning out much bigger than I thought it would. Khan also almost claimed it as his own personal play toy.

There will be a clearer picture of this one in a future entry. I just couldn’t seem to get one of it for some reason this morning.

Otherwise, my crafting hasn’t been very exciting. I did manage to replace my first zipper last night. Hubby works outside, and the zipper went on his jacket. Why get a new jacket when it’s just the zipper that went?

Guess who helped pin it in place.

Hah! Hah hah! Hah. It wasn’t a good idea to attempt this while utterly exhausted. This is an extremely busy time of year for the hubby’s work, and since he works outside, I wanted to get the thing fixed for him before he had to leave this morning.

Removing the old zipper and pinning the new one in place went alright, exempting the ‘help’ from Khan the Kitty Konquerer, but it took a while to do.

By the time I had actually gotten to the sewing machine, it was pretty late, and I was very tired. It was ridiculously hard to sew in a straight line, and I ended up with the seam ripper again a number of times.

When the bobbin ran out of thread, I wanted to scream. I couldn’t, since hubby was already in bed at that point.

I got it done, though! It’s not the prettiest of jobs, but it’s functional.

Otherwise, I did finally get our tree up! Here, have a couple of pictures.

Yes, we have TMNT ornaments.

 I feel this picture demonstrates Leo’s personality nicely. He’s got the gift of arrogance confidence, but still doesn’t see himself as good enough. Raph’s just in the background, annoyed at the whole situation.

Woops. Did this Raphael fan just irritate some Leonardo fans? Teehee.

Laser eyes!

Adorable little monster lurking under the tree. If I get the garland made, there will be at least one full scale shot of the tree.