Yaaaay! The con is over! Time to get ready for the next one!

Sometimes, twitter just cannot contain all the things I want to say about a subject. This is one of those cases.

First off- AnimeFEST is awesome. It is one of my favorite conventions ever. The staff really care about the con, and are always trying to make it better. When I hear people complain about my favorite conventions, it makes me really sad! A lot of these people don't try to contribute to the con at all, and just bitch when things don't go their way. Some of them have legitimate concerns, but the vast majority of them are just people having a hissy fit. I'm not on staff. I run panels and have, on occasion, helped judge the costume contest. I won't even pretend to know ANYTHING about the amount of work that goes into running shows like this, but I've glimpsed a little of what goes on, just from hanging around the cons for so long. So about these people bitching about stuff....

Like about the coverage rule for costumes! LOOOOOOL. I hear people complain about this EVERY SINGLE YEAR. You have to have a certain % of your body covered, including vital areas like crotch, ass, and a portion of your chest. Girls complain when they are crossdressing that they can't have bare chests. Guys complain that they can't run around in just boxers. YOU KNOW WHAT? I love it. I love that it's fair and they expect the exact same thing from both male and female attendees. It's a family convention that wants to encourage a younger generation to come and have a safe place to play. I feel that what they are asking isn't unreasonable, but people complain about it every year!

If you have THE PERFECT NAKED COSPLAY EVER... maybe you should have a private photoshoot for that, get some good photos, and not get angry with staff for enforcing a policy.

Speaking of enforcing policies...

I had to go to security this year about a creeper! This is the first time that I've had the balls to report someone that made me feel uncomfortable. Security took my concerns seriously and immediately let two other people know about it and went to take care of the situation. I don't know what the results were, since all of us were seriously creeped out, but I am very thankful to know that AFEST is on top of this stuff. Apparently they even keep track of a list of top offenders from previous years so they can jump these guys if they show up again. Bravo AFEST!

That being said... I'm either more aware of this kind of stuff, or it's just getting worse, or I don't know. Maybe my tolerance for it is not that high anymore, but I'm noticing more and more stuff that I feel is unacceptable behavior.

My con roomie and I were wandering the floor when we were approached by a dude with a toddler in tow that really wanted a pic of roomie's costume. She was wearing Megaera from the Disney Hercules. Nice costume, flattering, etcetc. She said she ran out of fabric and didn't get all the draping in front, so there was a little more cleavage than she preferred, but she wasn't indecent. Now, when Hercules came out, I think I was in highschool or something? I wasn't that impressed by it. I was just like "eehhh... Aladdin/ Little Mermaid were so much better!" But apparently these kids at the con that were a good 10 years younger than me were going totally apeshit over it and singing songs at my roommate/etc. So all night people have been getting super excited about this costume, and it's great and whatever, and this dude with the kid shows up. He gets super excited. He wants a pic. He wants to promote this photography project he's working on. He maybe wants an interview! Ok, whatever. We listen to his spiel for a while, and it just keeps sounding more and more ridiculous to me.

He's working on a cosplay calendar. (Nothing new). He wants to promote women. The calendar is about powerful women. Women that cosplay powerful characters. Women that cosplay powerfully. Women. Power. Whatever. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and it sounds like the whole concept wasn't really thought out that well, but he keeps emphasizing women of all shapes and sizes while staring at roommate's chest. THE ENTIRE TIME. After a while, I snidely mention that I am a woman too, and he looks totally confused and says, "yes, but SHE has a lot showing on this costume, and you're covered up."


If you want to check out the website, (and it's not a website, it's a tumblr. lol) I would like to note that some of the ladies here list boobs as a personal asset.

I really hope this dude was like.. the husband of someone organizing it or something, because this amateur bullshit really undermines any sort of real message this project had. If they wanted some great feel good project, they shouldn't hire jackasses to promote it. Equality my ass. Power for women! All women are great! But the ones that show more cleavage are greater than others!

The baby started fussing, so we managed to get out of there before he pushed the whole interview thing again. I don't think he would have interviewed me, but had he decided to do it out of "fairness" or to not look like an ass, he would have gotten an earful. I'm too old for this bullshit, and I'm at a point where if I see something blatantly unfair, sexist, or stupid, I'm much less likely to tolerate it.

Anyway, my panel at Afest went pretty well. Once again, people just didn't want to participate, so I felt like everyone was sitting there out of boredom. Whatever!

I spent a lot of my time at AFEST promoting Ushicon. Technically I was cosplay director for about an hour last year? LOL. (I seriously only told my roommate about that because the whole thing was kind of silly)

Anyway, any time I met a cool person, I told them to come to Ushicon. I met a few cool people that are in Texas and need to come! I warned them that it's a tiny convention, but PACKED WITH AWESOME. Hopefully some of them come this year and then there will be even more cool people for me to hang out with :X I think after NDK, I'll have to look into getting preregged for Ushi or at least get my hotel room reserved. I have no idea how many roommates I'll have this year. I keep telling everyone to come stay with me, but they are all non committal. If they all say they want to stay at the last minute, I'll be screwed! :O I just hope the roads aren't icy like they were last year. Last year was fucking terrifying.

I did meet ONE person that was hilariously anti-Ushicon, though. And this story is awesome.

I was doing my usual, "Hey, you should come to Ushicon!" stuff, educating Dallas people that Round Rock is a real city, etc, and found this kigurumi booth. I was like, "Hey, the world needs more kigurumi! You should come to Ushicon!" Oh My God. The reaction. The lady running the booth got this really amazing look on her face and said "Oh, they don't have room for real vendors because of all the porn." I was like.. WHAT? XD

I tried telling her that it was 18+ to weed out the riffraff and give the older fans a more mature place to remember our old fart anime like Fushigi Yuugi and Ranma. (Seriously, this chick in the artist's alley had 3 FY pins and said she watched it in like middle school and didn't remember any of it. I had a momentary bout of hopeless depression)

Anyway, booth lady kept going on and on about pervert con and the porn dealer's room, and I started to wonder if I went to the wrong convention next door or something. It took a while to tease the whole story out of her. I know I didn't get it all, because it changed like 3 times while she was telling it. It was really special.

FROM WHAT I CAN TELL...(IE- I will piece it together as it makes sense to me)

So this kigurumi seller tried to get into the Ushicon like 3 years ago, but the dealer's room was full. She tried to get in the next year, but the dealer's room was full. The next year, Ushicon approached her to tell her there was room, and she apparently said something to the effect of "FUCK YOU CHUMPS, Y'ALL CAN SUCK MY TAINT."

But she also said that apparently Ushicon repeatedly approached her and told her that her products sucked, that her products were for little kids and didn't belong at their con, and all sorts of other stuff. This lady just kept getting worked up and going off about the con. I was trying soooo hard not to laugh.

I said, "well, that's a shame. I'm not looking to buy a kigurumi right now, but I might want one later." and got one of her cards. Her (younger) helper went on to say that she didn't understand why it was 18+ anyway, since they have such great stuff that would sell to people of all ages. (seriously, the stories made less and less sense in regards to the con) I just went on to explain that it's 18+ to keep out some of the problems the larger conventions have with younger kids just popping in to go to room parties, get trashed, and get in trouble. This chick goes on to say "Well, that's going to happen at any con." My only reply was "That doesn't happen at Ushi."


Like seriously. there is drinking, but I've never been harassed by a drunk kid wanting to "cuddle" and grope me at Ushi. This happens at EVERY OTHER CON. I haven't had problems with drunk people breaking the elevators and leaving potted plants all over the place at Ushi. THIS ALSO HAPPENS EVERYWHERE ELSE.

To be fair, Ushi is still very small, so if you just look at the percentage of douchbags that are likely to douche all over a con, you're going to have a larger number of them at larger conventions, and a smaller number at smaller conventions.

But honestly, Ushi is the only con I've been to in the last 5+ years that I've actually enjoyed going to other people's panels, hanging out, going to the freaking game room, etc. The first time I went back (After I realized that they were still around!), I was totally shocked at how small it was, but it was the best time I'd had at a con in ages. That's why I keep pimping this convention. If it gets big again, whatever. If it's bigger with just a larger number of cool people, that's totally awesome. I'm not afraid of it getting bigger as a convention, but I honestly don't think it will. It's not going to explode with growth like some other cons. AFEST had record attendance this year, and that's great. I love AnimeFEST, and I want them to do well. They also have a lot of younger teens running all over the place. Ushi is like.. my vacay con. I've been going to too many conventions lately, and it's wearing on me. I don't like doing 5 a year. I think I'd be happy doing just Ushi and AFEST every year, but Tania keeps dragging me out to others :X I mean yeah, I'll have fun, but I'm such a homebody, you know? I can't keep up some crazy costume making pace. And well.. with Waco now having two cons of it's own, that's like 4 cons a year, guaranteed for me!

Waco now has WACON, a tabletop gaming convention. I didn't make it last year, but they're growing and advertising a costume contest this year with hilariously plagiarized HEROES OF COSPLAY photos. It's organized by Q of The Game Closet, and frankly, I'm rather surprised that he knows what I do and hasn't asked me to be a part of his costume programming. If he doesn't want me hosting panels or judging the contest, I'ma probably enter the contest. >..> THAT'LL LEARN YA. It would be unethical to wear Kefka since I won 2nd place at THEHOTCON with him, but whatever. That's in October. I have months until then!

Then there's THE HOT CON. Or whatever it's calling itself. It hasn't really found it's identity yet, but it's a mini comic convention. They bring in actors& vendors and take up some space at the events center. They have 0 panels, 0 programming, but still had crazy numbers back in march. So crazy, that instead of waiting a year to do it again, they decided to do it in Sept. These guys are nuts, but whatever. I'll support my local con. They also don't know about me, so they didn't approach me at all about the con. With that con, I decided to google myself, and it looks like I did such a great job in keeping the creepers away that apparently Waco has 0 cosplayers. If I want to participate in more local stuff, I'd have to promote myself better. Sadly, I kind of don't care that much.

I might approach WACON if they decide to do any sort of panel programming, but THEHOTCON doesn't have space right now for that sort of thing. They have a creepy room with kiddie Halloween store cutouts stuck to the wall called "The cosplay corner" where no one goes. lol.

Anyway, I'm going to NDK next month against my will. It's going to be awesome, though, so it's ok. Then I have a special wedding to attend, then I'm free! I'll have to put some thought into WACON and USHI after that. Tania wants me to go out and visit her. Next year, we might spend money on vacations, so I'll think about AWA or something. Unless it's a con, I can't really go out there because she's never at home on the weekends. She's always at a con somewhere.

I still need to think about what our vacation next year will be. Now that we finally have a Texas DL for the husband, we can get passports and go out of country if we want. The idea is kind of terrifying, but I'm jealous of all these young bratty kids that talk about how they went to Europe when they were younger. My family didn't have the money for that kind of bullshit! If we go to France, I can get Jeremy to show us around. Probably. Maybe. We thought about maybe going to London, though. At least everyone there would speak English without pretending they don't. We could also have Jeremy come meet us there. lol. I don't know. it's all kind of terrifying, because we don't know much about what we'd need to do to prepare. Electronics, cel phones, credit cards, how much cash to bring, etc. It is a mystery. Thankfully, we have some friends that have done enough travelling to help us out with that part. I just have to decide where we are going to go.

(Also, I kind of want to see Disneyland/world/whatever and the Harry Potter theme park at Universal, but the new wing opened up there, so we're going to wait at least another year for that, yo)

....Maybe I should plan for us to go to Disney on goth day and not tell Matt until we get there. loooooooooooool

Oh wow, I haven't blogged in forever!

I kind of forget about Livejournal now. It feels so empty that I've joined a bunch of communities, but it's not really helping!

Since November, stuff has happened. Sound and fury, signifying nothing and all that.

The holidays with the family went well. They also went BADLY. Around that time, I started seriously struggling with sticking to my diet plans. I've put on some weight, and even that hasn't been without a fight. I've been fighting to try to keep my calories down, fighting demotivation for workouts, etcetc. Everything involving weight loss is going badly. I've put about 15lbs back on, and it's sat at about that for months. I thought things were getting better when I managed to ditch 4 of those, but I keep self-sabotaging so much it's not even funny.

So, as you can imagine, I've been pretty depressed about it all. Costumes that fit well last summer are uncomfortably tight now. I don't feel like I look good anymore, even though most people wouldn't even be able to tell that I put any weight back on. I'm fighting myself more than anything!

My husband has reduced his hours at work. That's great and all, but I have much much less time to myself than I am used to, and I feel like I'm cooking like 3x more than I used to. It's making food plans difficult, too. I haven't come up with a solution yet. I just feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water right now. I'm everyone's "fat friend," and I feel like it's going to be that way forever. I'm still categorized as obese, but it's a little comforting to think that many other people don't see me that way. I'd still like to get down to being "just overweight" again, though. I really hate how this is all messing with my mood, but I just can't feel good about myself.

I tried going Low-carb for a while back in January. I thought that it might help me break my sugar cravings and get me eating less so that it'd be easier to go back to living life in moderation. Low carb really screwed with my personal biology, though. I was on it for 5 weeks. During that time, I had 2 extremely heavy, unscheduled periods. The hair along my front hairline started to fall out. I felt weak all the time, and never really got past feeling gross like you are supposed to. I tracked things RELIGIOUSLY, so I know my numbers were where they were supposed to be, and I was in ketosis. On paper, I was doing everything right, but it was really screwing with my body. I had to give it up. The upside is that it totally helped me get rid of a strange, raging case of toenail fungus that also appeared over the holidays.

After that, I tried going back to what I WAS doing, with exercise and reduced calories, but I've been self-sabotaging left and right and overeating every day. I'm struggling hard and I'm really depressed about it, and I'm in one of those situations where it seems like there is no solution and no way out. I'm still fighting, every day, but it's totally exhausting.

I've been working on trying to make new friends locally, but that's also difficult. I went to that Waco comic con, though, and that helped a LOT. I met a bunch of new people, and a few of them seem like they will be good friends. I even went on a day trip to Dallas with one of them last week! We hit up the fabric district for cosplay supplies. We had a good time!

Also at the comic con.. well... I wore Kefka, because it's the "big" costume I'm most proud of for now. I actually decided to compete! I thought that the competition couldn't be that bad for a local con, but I wasn't really expecting to get anywhere in the contest because it's a video game costume at a comic con. I actually won 2nd place! It netted me 100 bucks and x2 VIP passes for the next con....


.... which is in Sept.

They decided not to wait a whole year, and they're throwing a 3 day in Sept. I suppose I'd better start thinking about what I will wear now! I don't know if I'll just dig something else out of the closet, or make something new. I really want an actual comic book costume, but that is insanely difficult. I'm not talking just construction... Trying to find a female comic book character that is dressed in something I would actually wear myself is like.. IMPOSSIBLE. None of the heroes have my body type, and I don't think anyone wants to see my gross, chunky thighs in some super hero costume. I've been made fun of by strangers enough on the internet to last me for the rest of my life. So what about male characters? I'm thinking about it. I don't have any problems with crossplay when only men get the costumes that cover their legs/thighs, and only THEY get the interesting costume designs. -..- It's making me more depressed just thinking about it!

I mean.. I have very few rules, but they are important ones.

1) It has to be from something I like, and I have to at least read/watched/played a good enough chunk of it to know the plot and the characters.

2) It has to be something I feel I can "pull off." In other words, I need to find something I think could possibly look flattering on me. I won't make something that I know ahead of time that would make me feel self conscious, or I know I would feel bad about wearing.. or I know the photos afterwards would make me want to gouge my eyes out. Seriously? Let's save all of that for after I see the pictures and hate how everything turned out, yo.

That's pretty much it. But I haven't found any female super heroes that meet those two criteria. Of the series I like, the vast majority of the girls wear things too skimpy for me that show off large ammounts of thigh and don't give me any sorts of options. OF the very very few that remain, (and I'm pretty much just thinking of Delirium and Death from Sandman,) I don't match the body types enough for me to feel like I would look good in any of those costumes.

Right now, I'm thinking about maybe doing a Dream/Morpheus costume from the Yoshitaka Amano-illustrated story, "The Dream Hunters." It looks like it's mostly a bodysuit, though, which doesn't give me much wiggle room. It is mostly black, though. I might be able to make it work, and you guys know that Amano style stuff is right up my alley. I haven't really decided, though, because I'm too worried about the bodysuit component of this costume. I would also have to make a specialized corset just for this costume to give me the shape I'm looking for. I'm not looking for waist reduction, but chest compression and straight lines, and with the bodysuit, I think it might be the best way to go for good lines. I don't know. Part of me wants to make a lot of stuff right now, and the other, emo part of me makes me want to mope around and not do anything and think about how I fail at life.

The eternal struggle, I tell ya!

Anyway, I'm back to hosting panels and judging again I think. I still need to submit my panel for AnimeFEST, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to that one. Going to probably bring Hikaru, Kefka, Kyoko, and a new costume. Maybe Yukiko. I'm thinking about getting my hair cut really short, so I don't think I'll be able to wear Marie again anytime soon without a wig. It's all still up in the air, but I really need to start thinking about the fall convention season now. Someone wanted to talk to me about a commission, too, and I'm really not sure since I've had such bad experiences in the past. I'll try to update more often for anyone that still uses LJ

November is almost over already?!?!

I've really enjoyed not having anything important to do for a while. I've been cleaning (a little bit), quilting (a lot, but in short bursts), and taking a break from a hectic fall con season. I don't even want to think about sewing or conventions! But... I've been thinking about going back to Ushicon next year, and that's coming up pretty quickly.

It was so tiny last year that I wasn't even sure I was at the con hotel when I got there. I had a good time, though, and I went to more panels than I had in years... It was mostly because there weren't a lot of cosplayers or photographers or the usual hallway things to do, but it was nice talking to people. They had a good dealer's room, and there was stuff I wanted to see/do that I didn't get a chance to, which is surprising for a con that small. I really wanted to go to the café and eat the mysterious rice burger, but I never got the chance!! I also heard there was a lot of late night stuff that I didn't even know about.

So, I'm thinking about going back this year. The hotel is cheap... which is good, because it was seriously dumpy. lol! It was very clean, but falling apart. I'm told it was undergoing renovations and we got the poo rooms while the upper floor got purtified. I'd stay there again! Even if I got an old dumpy room, as long as the water didn't run all night and the toilet worked, I think it'd be ok. Since the con was in the attached little conference center next door,

While I was there, I had a hard time coming up with stuff to do, so I even went to the gaming room and played Mario kart 64 with complete strangers. It was so weird, but fun. I guess I used to do stuff like that a lot at anime cons before I started cosplaying. I don't really have the stamina to stay up all night or get drunk, but I heard they have pub trivia at nights with adults getting drunk.. and that's a totally different atmosphere from underage raver kids getting drunk :P

So yeah. Ushicon. Hotel is totally do-able. I'm even considering driving all by myself. I rode down with friends last time. We had fun rooming together, but there's a certain appeal to maybe rooming alone. I'm not really good at talking to people, despite how much I love to blab, so being at conventions alone is really akward for me. The main reason why I wouldn't want to is because I wouldn't want to do the drive. People that know me well enough know how terrified I am of the car.. and the highway... and long trips alone. I've only ever done solo trips down to Austin once, and Dallas twice. The second Dallas trip was downright awful because my Mini ended up needing emergency service, and I had to go back and forth between Plano and Arlington a few times on top of the trip to& from Waco.

ANYWAY.. Ushicon.. yeah...

I dunno. I've thought of a few panel topics since G-fresh asked me about hosting some. Sounds like a pain in the butt, but I do want to give back to the community. I have things I'd like to talk about that I haven't seen in Texas panels before. That being said, I haven't been to many cosplay panels at all in the past few years, so I don't know what those kids talk about nowadays. :P Most kids have Cosplay 101 panels. That's like.. con staple. You have to have at least one. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I think the community has matured enough for more advanced topics. Ushi is small, so I don't think I'd want to do an ethics panel or race panel. You need bigger communities for successful round table discussions, and smaller cons are better for how-to type stuff.

So really, that only leaves me with one new idea, I guess, and that's my "What not to Wear" style panel that goes into alterations, dressing for your body type, how to change costume design to be most flattering, etc. It wouldn't be a negative panel where you pick people apart, but a learning panel where I'd teach what hem lengths are most flattering on X body types, X height, etc. How to alter a costume to make it look best on your own body without deviating from the design so much that it's unrecognizable, etc. How to look at a character design and block out the profile and fake it on yourself, you know.. that sort of thing. I have a little bit of experience in it, but not a ton. I do think I have things that are worth passing on, though. Little tips and tricks to make costumes more polished. I'm certainly no pro seamstress, so sewing/ advanced cosplay panels are really intimidating to me. Sometimes people interrupt you in the middle and tell you that you are doing everything all wrong.. and I'm like.. if you know so much, why are you here and not running it so I don't have to feel like this??? lol

Anyway, to qualify for a comp badge, I'd have to probably run like 2-3 panels.. I think that's what it's been with other cons in the past. Though, at some of those other past cons, I've judged the cosplay competition, so maybe that also counted towards my panel count. I don't know!

I would also need to decide how many costumes to bring. Since it's not a huge convention, I wouldn't be loading down with like 2 costumes per day. 4 sounds like a pretty good number. One for Friday afternoon, two for Saturday, and one for Sun morning/ afternoon... though I don't know how late I'd stay on Sunday. I used to leave these things when I had to check out at noon, but since the parking lot is right there and parking wasn't a huge problem last year, I'd just be able to chuck everything in the trunk and stay longer if I wanted.

That being said, what costumes?

Hikaru for CERTAIN. Since it's an older crowd, those people know how to appreciate old school costumes, yo! I also really really really want to finish my sword for this.

Arche from Tales of Phantasia? It's also great and oldschool, plus Greg loves Fujishima, so he'd appreciate my ridiculous wig for that costume. Also, it's comfortable. Downside? Midriff keyhole in February. It could be cold! Also, the wig is heavy, so it's not an all day costume.

KEEFFFKAAAAA if I had no roommates, they couldn't complain about the 2 hour dress time this silly costume has. It's also really warm because there are 8 million layers. This costume seriously needs some suspenders, though. I have problems with the pants falling off due to the weight of the beads that hang down on one side. It also needs a few minor repairs. Have I mentioned how much I love my Kefka costume??

I don't know what I'd bring other than that. I'm thinking maybe my Kyoko Sakura costume, but I remember those boots being downright awful. I do have some finishing work to do on the entire costume, but PMMM is a popular series, and it'd be cool to bring something new. It'd also be nice to get it 100% finished and take a few photos, but getting photos will be tricky if I'm by myself. Also, I talked to Jisha about making me her spear, so I'd want to bring it to Ushi if the spear got done. Not sure it will happen, though. We'll see.

Possible costumes...

If Jisha ends up going and possibly staying with me, we might be wearing Persona 4 and Bleach. I would tell him to bring Sabin, but he might whine like a bitch for me asking him to wear a tiny tank top in Feb. So maybe Yumichika and Marie or Yukiko. He wants me to let his girlfriend wear my Yukiko costume. He kind of planned it without talking to me, and I'm kind of not that happy about it. Also, she's much smaller than me, and I'm pretty sure the skirt won't fit properly. He should just get her a Naoto costume for Christmas and they can take dumb couples pictures together :X

I know my once-a-month LJ post is already super long, but one last thing.

I need to get rid of some costumes. I simply have no more room for the new stuff. I want to get rid of the old stuff that does not fit properly anymore for a few reasons.

1) To make some of them fit again would take a lot of work. Some are not alterable

2) My house can only contain so much stuff before it looks like hoarder paradise. I must get rid of old stuff to make room for new stuff.

3) I need to come to terms with the fact that I will never wear some of these again, regardless of whether or not they fit, will fit, can fit, or whatever.

I'm really kind of sad about it all because I don't want to get rid of anything that hasn't been worn a lot, or anything I'm particularly attached to. I got rid of about half a dozen or more costumes/ costume pieces a few years back when I decided I was going to be fat forever and the smaller stuff would never fit again. That was dumb, because it totally would now! :X But.. the quality of my earlier stuff is not that good. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, and as soon as the stuff was out of the house, I didn't miss it. This time, I have to get rid of some of the good stuff.

Final Fantasy III- Refia, Red mage version: This one was on the list to get rid of last time, but it was the only one I kept. I did too good a job with the color blocking and construction and just couldn't bring myself to do it. I tried it on a while ago, though, and I'm swimming in it now. It is not worth it to take it in. Time to let it go for reals, yo!

Cornelia Li Brittania- Only wore it once, to the big Geass meetup at Anime Expo... in... 2008? I don't remember what year I went, but I seriously haven't worn it since. The shoes were god awful. I was considering taking it in so I could wear it again with Tania's Lelouch costume, but it was going to be too much work to take in

Gogo- omg gogo. Gogo went everywhere and had many adventures. Gogo is falling apart in some places. Some parts of Gogo aren't safe to go in the washer and probably smell like sweaty crotch. Gogo is awesome? Now that I have Kefka, though, I'm never going to wear Gogo again. Time to pass on my safety hat to someone else or throw it away.

hide- I kind of don't want to get rid of this one. The goofy robe is free size, and I pretty much made the wig myself using a red base wig and a shitton of real human hair. I've worn it like 3 times, and it's awesome, even if only like 2 people have ever recognized it in the hall. My eyeball vizor is epic. Maybe I shouldn't get rid of this one? I don't know if I'll ever wear it again, though!!

Kurotsuchi Mayuri- I've made two different versions of his outfit. I don't know if I'll do any Mayuris again. The wig takes up a lot of room, and the hat for the first version is not collapsible. My wrestler masks are epic, but I've moved on to other Bleach characters. I dont' know!! I just don't know. >..< Kinda want to get rid of the gigantic hair head horns, though.

Rita Mordio- This one has been taken in once, and would be a pain in the ass to take it in again. It's a fun costume. The shoes are comfortable. I'm on the fence. I suppose I should see how much room I have after I get rid of the "for sure" stuff.

Tellah- Also a super epic costume. Warm... fun... I look like a fucking Muppet. It's awesome. I've worn it three times. How many more times am I going to wear it??? If someone offered me a good price on it, I'd sell it I think.

Yu~ki- Sadly, only worn once. Not going to sell or trash, though. Gonna cannibalize all that nice, expensive garment grade leather and make a proper waist cincher.

Rabi~en~Rose- My first costume! Sort of! Well, most like my second costume ever and my first group costume. This thing was made by my Mother in Law, so the craftsmanship is good! It fits, but I probably won't ever wear it again. I'd consider selling it, but since it was made for me by someone else, I don't think I'll ever be able to throw it away.

Also? I'm considering selling my wedding dress to a consignment shop. XD I'm never going to wear it again. I don't have a daughter to pass it down to. It's just taking up space. It would be kinda cool if someone else got married in it, though! I dunno what else to do with it. It's just sitting around, and I couldn't just throw my wedding dress in the trash. :X

I'm probably also going to retire all the Haibane costumes. They were great when AnimeFEST kept bringing over creative staff from the series, but I'd have to make a whole new costume to go with the wings since I cannibalized the Kuramori costume to make the Nemu costume, and I'm pretty damned sure that skirt is way too big now & the sweater doesn't fit properly anymore. hmm.. Maybe I should keep my wings and make a Reki or a Rakka costume! My love for Haibane knows no bounds! I would like to get rid of this extra pair of wings, but I don't know who would want ash grey wings! It's probably considered a super old series now, and I never see cosplayers actually wanting them. :X

Oh.. and the elephant in my closet.. Millenia. I know I should get rid of this. I won't ever wear it again as it is now. It has been sitting so long that it needs all sorts of repairs. I'd actually need to take in the stockings, which is kind of shocking XD Ugh. Millenia. Even if I don't ever wear it again, I don't think I'll be able to get rid of it.

The whole getting-rid-of-costumes thing is kind of a huge downer for me, but I am excited about having more space. What I have to do to get more space is depressing, though :(
Argilla fav

What have I been up to?

After NDK (and nearly finishing everything in time for it, too!) I came home and took a very short break before going to ACL Festival down in Austin. I had a great time, and the artists were all awesome. I went on Weekend 1, and didn't get flooded out. I did, however, flood out my liver on Friday making the rest of the weekend interesting. I mean, pretty much everything about that weekend was interesting since I'd taken a Greyhound bus to Austin, but hey! Everyone should take a greyhound someplace at least once. I did this because Ray and I planned a trip up to Dallas immediately after to go to the State Fair, and I didn't really think it was necessary to bring my car down and have two cars come up.

Anyway, I did the fair thing too, yay.

After that, I thought about how I needed to prep for last week's Halloween party and procrastinated for a few weeks. I farted out a mediocre costume in three days, and it all went ok. I had fun at the party. Hooray! I'm pretty wiped out now, though, and I'm having a hell of a time trying to be motivated with the whole weight loss thing. I've gained back some weight. Not a world-ending amount, but it eventually could be if I can't get things back under control. My lack of progress is entirely my fault. I know I am eating too much, so there's absolutely no mystery as to why I'm having trouble. The frustrating part is that I'm having trouble caring. I always feel like I'm going to be "the fat friend" no matter what I do, because my "goal" weight is still heavier than pretty much... all my friends! The worst part is that I don't have the confidence in myself anymore that I could even make it to that.

I've talked to a few (very few) people about the whole situation, and everyone is trying to be supportive, but their answers are frustrating. Most say I shouldn't stress about it because I've already done so well. Another person told me I should go volunteer at a shelter somewhere so I can get my head out of my own ass. Gee, thanks. ugh. But yeah, none of them are the "right" answer, and at this point I don't think there is one.

I'm to a point where I'm just so sick and tired of food. I'm tired of thinking about it all the time, wanting to eat the bad stuff, not getting hungry enough for the good stuff, stressing about trying to make things work when I'm out of town, stressing about trying to make it seem like no big deal at all when I'm out and about. I just wish I didn't get hungry or have to eat at all. Like, ever. I'm to a point where I'd give up all my favorite foods and my sense of taste if I just didn't have to eat anything anymore and never got hungry. It's all so.. ugh. Exhausting?

I dunno. At any rate, it's nice not to have any obligations. I'm trying hard to care about maybe going to conventions next year. I was seriously considering Ushicon, especially since I heard rumors that someone was asking the Colorado girls to guest or just come down or something? I don't know. I don't want to look at my sewing machine for like a year. I'm too burnt out. I can't keep up some crazy schedule of making a million things a year. And honestly, with as bummed as I've been feeling about my crap weight loss since July, I don't really feel like wearing anything either. As much fun as NDK was, it really discourages me from going to any other out-of-state conventions because the food situation was so bad. It's much better when I can drive and bring my own food. I felt like at NDK I didn't get to eat when I needed to eat, and ended up overeating when food was available because the situation was so crap. I kept finding myself in situations like that throughout the fall due to all the travel, though, and it's one of the contributing factors to me getting totally thrown off my game.

I'm still exercising, but it's not really doing anything for me because I'm eating back all my workout calories during the day. Boo. The whole thing is pretty depressing, so I guess I'll stop here.

Next year, I was considering Ushicon, A-kon, Animefest, and AWA. As of right now, I'm totally disinterested in all of them!! Maybe I'll feel differently next year. Ushicon wouldn't be too bad if I had someone to go with, but as it is, I'll have to drive myself and that really is a huge factor in me going. I have a lot to think about there. I wasn't particularly interested in doing A-kon again, but Tania was already reserving rooms, etc, so I figured I'd just get dragged along to whatever other cons she goes to in DFW or Austin.

Kefka was such a draining costume, I honestly don't have any passion for anything right now. It happens after every big costume I make so it shouldn't be surprising to anyone. I don't think I wanted to sew for an entire year after I finished Millenia, and that damned thing only got worn twice. Gogo, Tellah, and Arshtat were all the same, too. This year was like a double-whammy since I had to re-make a LOT of Arshtat to wear it to AnimeFEST this year, then I totally ruined the silk with bleach due to my ignorance. Thinking about that silk still makes me incredibly sad, and I can't even think about remaking it right now even though I'd wear it again.

I need to put away all the cosplay stuff for a while. The guest bedroom is a total wreck. There are costume parts everywhere from when I needed to empty the suitcase for ACL. I need to get everything put away, but the closet is completely packed. It means I need to throw some things away, and that's always incredibly difficult for me. I'm going to have to go through stuff and donate/toss some stuff. I hate having to do that... especially if it's something that hasn't gotten worn very often. There's just no more room, though. I'm tired of the house being so cluttered. I've been cleaning a little bit this past week, and it's been nice. I'm going to have to tackle that room eventually, though, and when I do, some things are getting thrown away.

I'm sure some of them will make me sad, and I won't want to get rid of them. Some of the ones I get rid of may make other people sad! Who knows! I just can't have crap lying around everywhere, though, so some stuff has got to go.

Well, I've rambled on for a good while, so now seems like a good stopping point. I have to figure out what I'm wearing to a Halloween party next weekend, and whether or not I'm actually doing anything this Thurs. I bought some candy for the trick or treaters in case I stay home. At this point, I'm more likely to turn the lights out and eat it all in one sitting. Things have gotten that bad! I'll do my best, though.

Sinus infection stalls progress!

When I got home on Mon, I kind of just vegged out. On Tues, I worked on unpacking. I also did a little bit of housework, including some heavy duty dusting. By the end of Tues, I had a sore throat. It got worse yesterday, and I spent a lot of the day sleeping. Today, full blown sinus infection!

This week hasn't been going well. I washed up the costume stuff that needed to get washed. The Kefka pants made it through great this time! I can tell that the iron-ons have come up again, but the hand-stitching I did kept it in place.

The polka-dots on the blouse that didn't get hand-sewed last time have come up, but it's not that many. I'm going to try ironing them down again, and using more paint. Since I'm sick and spending a lot of time sleeping, sneezing, and leaking, I don't know if I'll get a lot of time to work on stuff before I leave for NDK next Thurs. I'm going to try, though.

The worst thing that happened was when I washed my load of whites, though. I dumped all my white costume pieces in with some regular laundry, ran the water, and poured in a little bit of bleach to add some zip. Works great! Never done that before with Arshtat, but she was getting dingy. Now Arshtat is ruined. Why? Because I didn't know that you can't bleach silk. I've washed it and just hung it to dry many times before, no problems. I never added bleach before, though, because it was still pretty white. This last wearing really dinged up the hems of everything, though, so I thought a little bit of bleach would make it sparkle again. Instead, there are huge areas that are yellowed, or splotchy brown. The internet says that it's irrevocably damaged, and I'm pretty much screwed.

I'm still pretty upset about it, because I spent a LOT of time fixing up this costume, and it didn't even occur to me that I shouldn't put bleach in there. Is it because I didn't grow up with fancy textiles? I don't know. I just didn't know you couldn't bleach it. Twitter was very sympathetic while I bawled my eyes out over the stains, but not really anyone else was. I guess they all think I'm an idiot. I already know what mom would say. "Well, of course you can't bleach silk," in that kind of no duh, moron voice. Oh well. How am I supposed to know that? Osmosis of the greater subconscious stream of the knowledge of humanity?

I completely re-sewed the waist cincher for the AFEST wearing, as well as a bunch of other fix ups including: Taking in the skirt by a substantial amount, re-making half my crown, shortening the brown straps& a lot of hand-stitching.

To do all of that for one last wearing is very sad and unfortunate. I basically have two options: Retire the costume or Remake the blouse completely. (Seriously, I can't even salvage one sleeve or anything like that)

While it's not a LOT of sewing, it is a CRAPTON of hand-painting. The upside would be that I could re-size the new top and re-make the neck band in a way that works a little better. The downside is... CRAPTON OF HAND PAINTING. I'm pretty sure I don't have the stencil I made for the hem design anymore, and I'd have to remake that. I also hand-mixed the paint to get the proper shade, and I'd have to try to match that to the skirt hem. There is some yellowing on the skirt hem, but it's not that bad. The rest of the skirt doesn't seem to have yellowed at all, which means the blouse took the brunt of it.

It's just so damned depressing. I'm going to try not to think about it for a few months. I WAS planning on bringing it to NDK. I started to doubt myself as I worried about how the crown would hold up to the TSA in a suitcase, and I was kind of borderline by the time I ruined the silk. So, it doesn't really ruin any sort of costuming schedule at NDK or anything. I'd have plenty of time to remake it in NOV or DEC if I wanted to take it to an Austin convention. It's just so, so sad :(

Also, since I'm sick, it's really slowing my progress on Kyoko. I managed to get the Hikaru wig styled last night. It took a lot of trimming, and a lot of Got2B, and I'm sure I'll have to do it all over again in the hotel room.. but I think it looks pretty good right now. It's fluffy and huge and retarded, so it's basically accurate.

If I don't get Kyoko done, the remaining NDK costumes would be: Kefka, Arche, Hikaru, BLEACH of some kind. If that was the case, I'd probably bring a Persona4 something to fill some space. I'm going to try to get this Kyoko done. If it doesn't get done in time, though, I heard there's some other Kyoko that's going to be there, so whatever. I am currently talking to Jisha about getting her spear made. Since Madarame Ikkaku's spear is very, very similar, I chatted him up about it, and he things it'd be really easy compared to Hikaru's sword (lawl), so yeah.

If I end up going to an Austin convention, I'd bring Hikaru+ finished sword and Kyoko+ spear, and it would all be very exciting, I'm sure!

I just need to get through Oct, and things should get less stressful. I leave for NDK next week. When I come back, I've got another week off, then it's the Pharmacy conference in San Antonio Thurs/Fri and WACON Fri/Sat/Sun. I'll skip Fri at WACON, but I may go Sat. If I have friends come up for that, I'll wear Kefka and confuse the shit out of people, b/c people don't dress up at tabletop gaming conventions, yo!

The very next weekend after that is ACL. I'm going to bus down to Austin for that, most likely. Save some money, not have to worry about finding parking for the mini, etc. I'll come back from that with The Brother and then immediately head up to the Tx Stat Fair. AFTER ALL THAT.. then I have some time :P I need to make up my mind after NDK if I'm going to go to Onicon or not. Seeing Nobuo Uematsu's rock band would be kinda cool, but 4 hrs to Houston.. I MEAN GALVESTON? I'm kinda not wanting to do that. I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning no. Especially since Arshtat is trashed now. I mean, between NDK and ONI, I have like 3 Halloween costumes I may possibly have to make. The neighbor lady wants one for her 2 yr old, my hairdresser wants something FABULOUS, and I need to make a costume for myself, too.

Speaking of Halloween..

Matt is off for that this year, and there are two parties going on that we've been invited to. Vera really wants us to come up in costume to hers, and Sarah was saying there's going to be a costume party at her house, too. I don't really know what to do about that. Since S's is an Alice in Wonderland theme, I thought I'd make a White Rabbit costume. It'd have fluffy white bloomers and a little tiny tuxedo vest half red/half gold or something like that. I wouldn't have a lot of time or money to blow on that, but I have cute ideas. I just don't know if I'll have the time.

After Halloween, though, I'll be fancy free until I have to decide if I'm going down to Austin for any of those conventions! :O Getting super worn out with all of this, though... I haven't had a chance to concentrate on my health as much as I'd like. I'll probably take a break and limit my conventions next year. No NDK, no Dragon*Con.. maybe A-kon/ Animefest, but we'll see. I have a feeling that I'm not even going to want to think about conventions for a while after this fall season is over. I did have a lot of fun at AnimeFEST, but the stress of getting everything I want to get done, costume-wise, is pretty awful. I'm definitely not going crazy and making a bunch of new costumes next year. I've already decided that if I do make anything next year, I'm limiting myself to maybe 1-2 new things, and that's it. I have plenty to re-wear right now.

Afest is Over! Time to get ready for NDK!!!

UGGGHHH so tired!

Anyway, AnimeFEST was awesome, as always. That convention is always great. I brought a crazy amount of costumes to that con, and I don't ever want to do that again :P

Then again, NDK is coming up, and I'm already looking at a crazy number of costumes for that con. Potetntial costume list??

1 Kefka from FF VI
2 Yumichika from Bleach
3 Arche from Tales of Phantasia
4 Arshtat from Suikoden VI
5 Hikaru from Rayearth
6 Kyoko from PMMM
7 Marie from Persona 4

So..... Kefka and Arshtat both take up a lot of room. I was sooo excited to get Arshtat resized, and it wore really well on Friday. I just wore it a little too long and ended up with super sore feet, blisters, and all sorts of other foot issues because of it! (Also, maybe, because I wear gigantic platforms with it. lol)

Kefka takes up a decent amount of space, but it all compresses well. I mean, most of it gets laid completely flat and I don't have to worry about anything getting crushed! So, I can stick that in the big suitcase. Bleach only takes up room for fabric, and can be flat. Arshtat's crown& wig need special attention. Hikaru is light and flat. Arche is flat and doesn't need special attention.

Kyoko is not done yet! LOL

So.. the reason why this is the POTETNTIAL list is because I'm not quite sure what I am taking yet!

I'm only bringing Bleach if any of the other girls are wearing theirs again. I know Aya and Ringo were excited about it, so I'd bring Yumichika for them. I really kind of want to wear Hikifune again, but I don't want to mail a silly foamcore spoon all the way up there :P

I don't HAVE to bring Arshtat, but that costume is so pretty T..T

Marie doesn't have to come along at all, but I thought, "oh, I've only worn it once, and it doesn't take up much room at all, aside from the shoes!"

Kyoko isn't done. In fact, all I've really done is sew the skirt half together!

All that really means is that the only costumes that are coming FOR CERTAIN are Kefka, Arche, and Hikaru. I'm going to have to get with people on the others. I really want to wear Arshtat again, especially since the girls up in CO haven't had a chance to see that one in person yet, but that's the most likely candidate to get cut right now, since the crown is fragile and the wig stays on a wig head! (Well, the Kefka wig stays on a wig head, but it probably doesn't have to, you know? I can probably fold that one in half. We shall see!)

For now, though, I'm exhausted! I have to go down to Michaels and pick up an art print for the bathroom. It sucks, because I went and picked this stuff up on Thurs morning, and they'd LOST one of the prints! WTF! Apparently they found it and finished framing it, though, so it's there and ready now. I'll probably go pick it up as soon as I get some clothes on. I'm glad I didn't have to go down there and deal with drama, yo! Still, the extra trip sucks.

Also arriving this week (with any luck): My Hikaru shoes. I bought some second-hand Crocs in a mary jane style with high hopes that they will be relatively accurate, yet very comfortable. They're a wedge instead of a traditional mary jane, but I need the extra heel to make my legs look better. Especially since I'll be wearing the most unflattering knee-high socks ever with this costume :X

Contacts should also be arriving this week! I managed to get a walk-in spot at the optometrist's on Thurs, and ordered more colored contacts. I got green for Kefka and blue for Arshtat/ Natalia/ etc. I was hoping they'd happen to have some in stock so I could wear them for AnimeFEST, but they didn't. They should be here this week, though, which will be RIGHT IN TIME for NDK. Kefka has either blue or green eyes, I seriously don't remember. I'm thinking about doing one blue, one green, though, just because it'll be striking and awesome. It also might be totally inaccurate. We'll see!

At any rate, there's really no way in hell I'm bringing 7 costumes to NDK. I think 4 would be a good number, but I'd be up for bringing 5. Two for Fri, two for Sat, one for Sun.. or One for Fri, two for Sat, two for Sun. It doesn't matter. I'm leaving early mon morning, but most people leave the con by noon on Sun, so I might just go street clothes and hang out with people Sun evening. I'm not sure. I'm also arriving Thurs evening, though, so I'll have all Fri to change costumes like crazy :P It all really depends on what everyone else is doing.. otherwise I'd just bring Arshtat, Kefka, and Hikaru :P
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AFEST prep, NDKprep part 2: THE PREPPENING (-77ish)

Everything is pretty much done for AFEST now! I finished my belt for Arche last night and realized that I was like 99.9% finished with everything on a MONDAY. Crazy, right?

My AFEST costume schedule is pretty crazy, too. I am bringing a lot of stuff to this con, and despite the fact that L is bringing me up in an SUV, I'm still kind of worried about space in the hotel room, etc. I'm seriously considering bringing THE BIG COOLER this time because I can, even though I think it's going to be a huge pain. But hey.. I have a million things of luggage already. What's a gigantic cooler?? -..-

Here's the costume list, as dictated by Tania:

Friday- Arshtat (Suikoden V), either Pascal or Arche (Tales of Graces, Tales of Phantasia)

Sat- Yukiko (Persona 4), Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)

Sun- Natalia (Tales of the Abyss), Tellah (Final Fantasy IV)

Mon- either Pascal or Arche, depending on what got worn on Friday probably?

And that's like.. No Bleach! Also, talked to L about the schedule and she was worried about missing a photoshoot she really wanted to participate in. Originally, I was going to wear Marie from P4, and I was bringing Yukiko for her. Well, since her photoshoot is the same time as the P4 photoshoot, I told her that she should just go to the one she wants to hit up the most, and I'll have one less costume to pack! She chose the other one, which was kind of relieving. I know it's strange, but I was really sad that she was going to wear my Yukiko for the second time when I'd only had the chance to wear it once. I don't know why it weirded me out. L doesn't smell or anything :P I couldn't swap and have her wear Marie because I didn't buy a wig for that costume and she and I don't have the same shoe size, so yeah. I'll get to have more wears on Yukiko than anyone after this convention! (As in.. I've worn this particular costume twice, and she's worn it once, so I win on wears on this specific set of garments.. not cosplaying the character in total)

The only things I could possibly work on are small. Arche needs a large, bulbous earring for her left ear only. I can't seem to find my bloodberry stuff, or I'd just repaint one of those blue. If a more thorough search today turns up nothing, I probably won't bother with an earring. Because, you know, I'm a srs cosplayer and care about accuracy!

I could also work on Kefka more.. it seems I can always work on Kefka more, though. I never got around to making the tassle for the right sleeve, or making the brooch. The plan was to make a wire frame for the brooch and cover it in sculpy and see how that bakes, but I don't know. Not sure how it'd work out. If I have time to mess with it, I will. The wire needs to be inside because the ends of the brooch all have beads dangling off them, and it seemed like the sturdiest way to do things.

And now.. here's a public scam alert!

Jamil Sneed of Schizophrenic Studios owes me money! I got an email a week after A-kon from him saying that he lost/destroyed/whatever his memory cards with his paid A-kon photoshoots on them, and that he'd have to send me a refund. That never happened. I have emailed him multiple times on this, and while his communication was great initially, he's never refunded my money or replied to any of my emails in the past.. oh.. I don't know.. month and a half to two months!

He's Dallas based, and he told me he goes to A-kon a lot. He said he probably wasn't going to Animefest this year, but may decide to check it out. That means I won't be able to find him at AFEST for a refund, but I do plan on reporting him to the convention, starting a few negative threads on specific cosplay sites and persuing all my free options to give this dude bad press. If he's at A-kon next year, I won't forget about this! I will take time out of my day to hunt him down and try to get my refund! If he refuses to pay, I will warn people on the con floor not to go to him! It doesn't matter how much he owes me.. he's got to learn to be more professional. >:( I am not happy about all of this, because this is literally the FIRST paid photoshoot I have ponied up cash for. I was really looking forward to the results, too! It reinforces my own negative thoughts that all those "paid photographers" at conventions are scammers and con artists. Isn't it just my luck that the first one I take a risk with ends up ripping me off?

Ugh. The whole thing has left a horrible taste in my mouth. I just want a few nice photos of a few good costumes. Like Arshtat and Kefka! I think after all this craziness is over, I'm going to see if Matt can hit up his coworker that has his own studio in town. I just think that for so many months of work, I should at least have a few pro photos, you know?


All the stuff for AFEST is pretty much all the stuff for NDK! Yay!

Since we're doing default Rayearth costumes with no armor, I don't have to rush to get a lot of that stuff done. I'm thinking that since we aren't doing armor, the girls (probably??) won't have swords. If that's the case, I'm not going to rush to get this sword done& mailed. Because seriously? Tons of work for something that will be expensive to send up, a pain to get back home, something extra to carry, etcetc. I'll probably work on it throughout the fall and bring it down to Ushi or something like that. I still haven't decided 100% on Ushi, but I have like 2-3 panel ideas if I decide to do that.

What do you guys think?

How to dress for your size: This panel would be about modifying patterns to look most flattering on your body type and how to make yourself look your best with the costume you choose. I'd cover basic fashion rules like skirt length, etc and apply them to costumes. We'd talk about when to modify the costume's original design to suit yourself better, and things like that. Most flattering sleeve lengths, skirt lengths, heel height, modesty panels, shaping undergarments, the importance of tights, why quilting cotton won't get you waist definition, etcetc. This panel would not focus on weight or weight related issues, but more on the technical parts of making a costume look tailored& flattering. I could go for 30 min- 1 hr on this depending on how much material I prepare. I'd need like.. posterboard cue cards or something with notes& pictures on them to help show what I'm talking about. It would be like a condensed version of body dressing rules seen on "What not to wear" without actually telling people they can't wear what they want. XD

Social issues in cosplay: This is probably not for Ushicon. I would really like to have a public round-table discussion with a large variety of cosplayers about social issues pertinent to our hobby: Anime/gamer influence on body hate, racism in cosplay, etc. There would be a few lighter topics like how public people are about this hobby, how they explain it to people for the first time, etc. This is something I'd need a lot of help with, and I don't think Ushi has the numbers. They are heavy topics, but I've heard there are articles out there that talk about how the anime/ video game/ comic book subgenre has bred some of the worst female body hate out there. I haven't been able to find the articles yet, but at least 3 people have told me about them, so they're out there somewhere. This panel would need 4-5 diverse cosplayers and a moderator and, if lively, would easily eat up an hour. The best thing about this one is I'd just need name cards, microphones, and like.. a pitcher of water. My prep would be a bunch of moderator-type notecards with discussion topics. Yay!

Besides those, you know me. I love my fabric choice panels. I could probably make a whole panel on nothing but fabric choice! That's all best rolled into a 101 style panel, though.

When I get back from AnimeFEST, I'll have a little bit of time to prep for NDK. Since we aren't doing armor, I'll only have a little bit of wig styling to do on Hikaru, and that's pretty much it.

I'm thinking about making Kyoko after all. I bought all the stuff for this costume, but I wrote it off weeks ago when the bathroom remodel happened, because that ate up nearly a month of my time. I wasn't able to get much of anything done in that time because they were constantly interrupting me. I figured there'd be no way in hell that I'd get that Kyoko costume made. I wasn't ever even planning on having a spear! But now that it looks like I'll have that week between AFEST and NDK with only Hikaru bangs, I think I might put a larger effort into getting Kyoko done. The wig needs to be styled. I need to finish the pink skirt. After that, I have to start everything else. Black bodice, maroon jacket top thing, decide whether or not to make boot covers, etcetc. Lots of work to do, but I don't think it's impossible. I'll work on it at my own pace, and if it happens, it happens! We'll have to see. The goal today is to get all the Animefest stuff in one pile, get my checklists knocked out, etc etc. I'm leaving Thurs, so I know this is like.. way ahead of time, but if I can get the Afest stuff packed and off my table, I'll have more room to work on other stuff!

AnimeFEST prep, NDK prep... it's all the same thing! (-77ish)

Ok, so I'm done repairing Kefka, to my knowledge. Yay!

I'm done taking Natalia in. I'll just have to find all the pieces to pack her. Yay!

The Arshtat alterations are as done as they're going to get. I remade the waist cincher, took a bunch in from the skirt, and took in the brown strappy things... (though not by enough, I think). The red overskirt is still too big, but it's not something I think I can take in without remaking it. I've also repaired some small things, like the yellow loops that hold my scarves were coming a bit loose, there were Nugmarks on my crown...(dumbass cat chewed on them.. had to cut off the damaged pecies and remake them), and I had to remake the section of the crown that warped in the car that one year I wore it to A-kon. One of the brooch pins on the resin piece broke, but I've repaired that as well. That's all pretty much done. The straps on the yellow placard are still a little too long, and I think that's because when I took them in, I didn't account for the waist difference with the waist cincher on. I don't really feel like messing with it anymore, and I may have to just take a bunch of stuff in again if I wear it sometime next year, so I'm done messing with it for now. I will pack some fabri-tac and anything else can be glued or left alone!

Kefka is all repaired. I had a LOT of hand-sewing to do on this one. I still have two little things I never got around to making for the costume, and they still may not happen for Afest or NDK. I'm much more worried about the new costumes!

Hikaru's clothing is done. The sword will be at my house this weekend, giving me under a week to work on it before AFEST interrupts things and I need to worry about getting it in the mail. The armor.. oh god. Everything was going ok until I tried to cast out of my molds. There was some serious problem with the hardener, and it made the resin all crumbly and weird. Dad says I got a bad batch, since the previous batch that was used to make the molds seemed to harden up just fine. Boo! Anyway, the molds were ruined on my first cast. I learned a few things in the process, though, which is good if I ever want to try this technique again.

Things I learned about the fail of my fiberglass casting:

*I used the woven fiberglass fabric for the mold. It would have been much better to use matting here

*My mold was not thick enough. I needed at least two more layers of material

*When casting, one sheet of fiberglass cloth will probably work best for the first layer, if it's a broad form. I made the mistake of cutting the cloth into too many small pieces, and had some serious trouble with it. Part of the trouble was the faulty resin, but I could see that the cloth pieces were too small. It would have been better in one large sheet.

*Vaseline isn't the best thing to use as a mold release. I should look up some of that alcohol stuff that some of the crafters online suggested. Chances are, I can find that at autozone, too

All was not lost, though. Even though the resin was a disaster, I was able to salvage most of the shoulder armor I attempted to cast. There was a little damage on the top, but that was pretty much it. The girls up in CO said that it's something they can use the vaccuform table to cast more of, in plastic. YAY! The chest piece is too large, and was quite damaged, so I'm still not sure what to do about that, but at least the shoulder pieces were usable. I'm still bummed that the back piece turned out crap right out of the gate, but it was a learning experience.

That all being said, I still have a ton of work to do on Hikaru. I'm bidding on some mary janes on ebay & ordered some red kneehigh socks just in case the whole armor thing falls through. In the meantime, I still have to make the bracer, glove, and knee-high boots for the armor version. These are my biggest concerns right now. I will probably start on the canvas bits of Hikaru by the end of the week.

In the meantime, I've been finishing up Arche. I finished the blouse and got the body of the belt constructed. I ordered jewelry& scarf from Sam Moon, since I'm not 100% sure I'll get to go out there when I go up to AnimeFEST. That leave the closure on the belt (which will be like.. hook& eye or snaps or Velcro or something), belt buckle (which will just be plastic glued onto the belt), and the left earring, which I am still totally stumped on. I haven't been able to locate the rest of the Bloodberry stuff, which is a little weird because I know I didn't throw it all away. I have a few more places to look, then I'll have to just assume it got trashed.

It's a lot to do, but I know I can get that stuff done by NDK. The only thing I'm not sure on is whether or not I can finish my Kyoko (Madoka Magica) costume by then. It's not too complicated. The art seems to keep changing, so a lot of it is up to interpretation, but I'm not pleating the skirt. It's going to be a simple circle skirt with an elastic band. I can knock that out pretty fast. The black thing under her top is going to be a sleeveless, strapless bodice. I have a pattern for that. It's a dressy dress type pattern, and it shouldn't be too hard. Not after remaking the Arshtat waist cincher! That was a full-blown corset pattern that got modified!

Anyway, after that, the red top will be pretty tricky, and I'll probably skip out on boot covers. Boot covers would look best, but I just don't think I'll have time. I bought some red suede knee highs off ebay that are totally the wrong color. I have the option of making a cheap boot cover with elastic on the bottom that way I can wear the boots in the fall! I had to take them to a cobbler yesterday to get the calves stretched, though. He made fun of my calves :( There aren't any other cobblers in town, though! Piazza bros closed down a few months ago!

Anyway, I'll worry about Kyoko when I start her. I still have a ton of wig styling to do! I braided Hikaru's extensions, but I haven't cut or styled the short wig, and that will need a lot of POOFING. I bought some gigantic foam rollers, and I have my Got2B and a blowdryer, but I don't have much experience with poofing, so wish me luck.

Anyway, that's the big costume update. With the stress of the bathroom remodel and all these costume projects I've taken on, my weight loss has pretty much stalled. I gained back some weight, and I've lost that weight a few times, but I'm basically up 2-3 lbs from my lightest, so I'll have to re-lose that and a little extra in order to hit my -80lbs benchmark. Not much more to say about that, really.

I have the hiccups right now :/

I ate a bunch of chocolate

...and now I feel like barfing >..< Just wanted to share. I guess I need to do this every once and a while to remind myself why I don't do this! I seriously haven't felt this poo in months. Overeating is bad for you!!!

Other than sharing about how much I wish I could barf, I just wanted to post a general life update.

The bathroom remodel is finished and looks fabulous. I'm kind of spoiled with the ease of picture sharing on... well.. everything else, so I've decided it's too much work to upload stuff to LJ. I mean texts, twitter, email, etc.. it all seems easier than LJ's archaic upload system. Even my diet blog has a better photo upload interface, and they have the worst UI ever!

Anyway, trust me. The bathroom looks awesome. The shower is palatial and I am happy with it.

Now that the contractors are gone, I'm making more progress on costumes. Sadly, my Hikaru armor didn't turn out. I made the positives and the fiberglass molds, then had a bad batch of resin and everything got ruined. Dad says that I shouldn't buy fiberglass resin at hardware stores because the stock doesn't cycle as fast. He said my problem was with old/bad hardener, and that buying the stuff as I need it at auto parts stores will keep that from happening in the future. That may be true, but it doesn't help me right now :P I was able to destroy a mold and rip a shoulder armor out with minimal damage. Some of the shoulder armor ripped apart because the resin was inferior, but it was in tact enough to work with. The chest armor was totally borked, but the original positive was only minimally damaged.

Sooooo.. I mailed it all off to Colorado with the hopes that maybe the pros up there with the vaccuform table can make something out of it.

The good thing about Rayearth costumes? Armor is optional! All I need to do is buy some red knee high socks and some mary janes instead, and we can be pre-armor versions. Hooray! Even if we don't have armor, though, I'll still bring this dumb sword I've been working on with my brother's roommate. Maybe. I don't know. I'm starting to think trying to mail something so huge is going to be a gigantic pain in the ass, but if I don't have it for our huge photo group, then what is it for?? :X

Which reminds me.. I needed to stop by Sally's today and pick up some foam rollers and totally forgot. Whoops. I need them to make the Hikaru wig nice and poofy. I also need to re-watch that tutorial, yo.

Other than that.. I've had some repair work to do on Kefka. When I washed the pants& shirt, a lot of the applique came off. I wasn't expecting it to, because the applique on the pants was all like.. professional iron ons made to be ironed on, and the applique polka dots were ironed on with industrial heat 'n bond, then sealed on there with fabric paint. What I didn't take into account, however, was how slick the purple satin was. The heat from the dryer made the paint come right up, too! So, I had to re-do all the sleeve dots, then hand sew them all down, then re-seal them all with paint.

I'm also re-painting the yellow arm tights because the original ones became discolored in the wash. I know I can do a better job painting the design on there, so I bought some footless leggings from Target, and I'm going with that instead. I think it will be even better this time than the first time.

I need to glue two new finger nails onto the gloves, since I lost two the first time I wore it. After that, I think most repairs will be done? I didn't ever get a chance to make the feather tassel thing for the right sleeve or the brooch for the capelet. I thought that maybe I'd have time before AnimeFEST, but I don't think I will. We'll see. I still want to make that Madoka Magica costume, and that thing is the first one to get scrapped if I run out of time!

My main priorities right now are finishing the Kefka repairs, and finishing my Arche costume from Tales of Phantasia. Ray's old roommate was supposed to come up this weekend with my sword so I could finish it, but he said he had to work this weekend. I'm kind of bummed out/pissed about that, because I told him how important it was for me to get it early. I have a TON of work to do on it in order to have it ready to go, and I can't just work on it up until the Denver convention because I need to have it ready to be mailed a week in advance! For that to happen, I have to get it early enough to have lots of time to actually do all the work it needs. It needs fine sanding, putty, more fine sanding, primer, more fine sanding, then more primer and then paint. I don't think he realizes how much time that is going to take and how much I have left to do on other projects.

I am seriously stressed, and this dude's time management is awful.

Anyway, it's not worth getting upset about since he did me a big favor by offering to make the body of it. I probably wouldn't have a sword at all if he hadn't wanted to tackle this, so I'm very grateful for that. I just with he had more of a sense of urgency. He isn't going to these conventions, so he doesn't feel that pressing need to get it done, I guess.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm going to get everything finished. I was feeling a small glimmer of hope yesterday when I realized that I only had to finish Arche's top and make her scarf. Then I remembered that she needs jewelry and I was like OMGWTFBBQ. I wonder if I can find my Bloodberry earrings? Arche has big ones like that. I took two yoyo balls, hollowed them out, and then attached them to fishing line that went around my ears for hers. That way, you have the gigantic ball earrings without actually having to hang them off your ears. I can't remember the last time I saw them, though, so I don't know if I'll be able to find them for Arche. All my costume stuff is pretty well organized now, and I don't really think I have any of the Bloodberry stuff anymore. Except the bodysuit. I know for a fact that I still have that. I figured I'd still have everything but the rope thingies, though. The rope thingies broke, but the fiberglass knuckle spikes should still be kicking around here somewhere.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I have a sneaking suspicion that she only actually has one earring.. and I may not bother with it XD

Funny story:

Apparently the voice actor for Dhaos will be at NDK. And he's also the VA for Zaraki Kenpachi (Bleach). And I'm like.. I have Arche, and I'm probably bringing Yumichika... How many other costumes do I have that will match this VA???? LOL

It would be pretty funny to get some photos with him in costume, though. Apparently he's also the VA for Arthas!

Anyway, I've about run out of steam. I think I'm going to chug a ton of water and wallow in chocolate regret in another room. NEVAR AGAIN! (At least, not for another year or so)

August update (-77ish)

I'm really bad about updating this, I know. I figured since it's been about a month, I should probably update whomever still reads this with what is going on with us.

We're in the middle of a bedroom remodel. Actually, it's not the middle anymore. It's almost done. Yay! It's been really stressful, and these guys constantly interrupt me, so I can't get anything done. I'm trying to get some costume stuff done here& there, but it's slow.

Jisha came by a few weeks ago with my Hikaru sword. It's looking good. We didn't get it ready for paint, though, and that was a little disappointing. I also didn't get as far on my armor as I would have liked, since I wanted his help for mass-casting armor.

I decided to make positives out of expanding foam and bondo, then make a mold out of fiberglass. Unfortunately, the duct tape body double didn't turn out all that well, so the positives were a little off. There was no way to know by how much until I at least finished the molds& could hold them up to my body, so I had to continue to work on them. I usually just make a positive, and that's it. I'll sculpt it out, cover it in fiberglass, then finish it with some bondo, and that's that! I thought that since we needed 3 sets, it would be nice to be able to make a mold and mass-produce them, de-stressing the girls about the armor parts.

It took me two days to make the molds because it's too damned hot out. Temperatures during the day out on the deck are in triple digits, and I workout in the mornings, so outdoor prop work is only happening in the evenings right now.

The chest mold turned out pretty good! The edges aren't perfect, but it looks like the piece fits. It may be a little big. I'll need to actually use the mold to make a chestplate to know for certain.

The back positive didn't want to release from the mold, and I'm still bummed about that. I had to destroy the positive to get it out of the mold, and I was really trying to avoid that. The mold looks like it turned out ok, but not as well as the chest mold. It's probably because it didn't want to release :/ I probably tucked the fiberglass too close when I tried to get it to lay against the edges. I think my mistake was using a big piece of sheeting for the mold, and not a lot of little pieces. I may have had better luck with the fiberglass matting. I don't know! It's not a huge deal, though, because I think I can clean the mold out and use it.

I'm working on a contingency plan, though, since the rear plate seems to fit really poorly. I blame the bad foam blowout. It's warped all wacky around one side, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the back plate will be completely unusable.

If that's the case, though, I suppose the back piece could be made out of a matching fabric, and you'd get a much better, tighter, and more comfortable fit with the front plate that way. I need to talk to the girls about it.

I also still need to make a positive for the shoulder armor. You think I would have done that when I was making all the other positives, but I forgot to buy balloons at the store XD For shoulder armor, I always paper mache over a balloon and use that as my base. I've also hear that you can buy cheap plastic bowls from Wal-Mart and use those as bases, too. At any rate, the shoulder piece is going to require a more delicate touch, and I won't be able to hack away at it with an electric turkey carver. So.. I was kind of putting it off. I need to get to work on it soon, though, because I'd really like to be able to mail that piece with the chest plates as well.

It's been ages since I last made any sort of fiberglass armor, so it's been a huge learning/ re-learning experience. Like last night, when my fiberglass resin started getting REALLY hot and I realized WAY TOO LATE that I used WAY TOO MUCH hardener. lol. XD

While stinky chemicals set, I managed to re-paint my Arshtat waist cincher. By re-paint, I mean completely paint the new one I remade :/ Anyway, it could probably use a second coat, since white just doesn't go on well, but it's otherwise essentially finished. I still need to take like 6 inches in on the skirt, adjust the brown strappy things, and fix the sun flare on the crown. After that, Arshtat is wearable.

I need to take in Natalia, which shouldn't be too hard. I'm basically taking in a 6 panel tunic, shortening the shoulder straps... ( A LOT) and taking in the boot covers. The boot covers are going to be tricky, though, since they are glued down to the shoes. Really well. -..- I may have to do some hand-stitching to get a flattering fit on those.. We'll see. As long as the thighs come in by at least 2 inches, they should look better than they do now.

The other project that has to be done by AnimeFest is fixing up Kefka. Even if I get all that done by Afest, though, I only have one week between then and NDK, so I really need to try to finish Arche and make Kyoko if I'm going to get everything done that I wanted. That means I need to get my ass in gear, since I essentially have a month to do all of this. I'm a little stressed out. I'll probably end up dumping Kyoko for now, even though it makes me sad. I have the wig and everything!

Speaking of wigs.... -..-

My Hikaru wig & extensions have been on backorder all year. They are on the restock list for late July/ August, and I'm really not sure I'm going to have a Hikaru wig. That's a little stressful too. I could probably find some garishly bright red thing at a ghetto hair store at the last minute, but I really don't want to spend money on another wig when I've already ordered the wig& extensions from Arda. I kept it down to only two packs of extensions, but with the wig it's all still expensive! I think I'd probably be more stressed out about the wig situation if I wasn't so far behind on everything else.

I'll try to remember to update this thing some more eventually. I'm still posting a lot on my diet support group, so it's taking blog time away from LJ. And, well, LJ is dead :P