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Archive for the ‘cosplay’ Category

Fairy tales are amazing. I love stories about the supernatural. I love stories about darkness and heroes overcoming obstacles. I also love sarcasm, dry humor, and bloodshed. For some reason, I have only recently found out about the Witcher franchise. I have started with Witcher 3 on Steam and I am so enamored. This game has everything I love, and so much that I wasn’t expecting out of a video game experience.

I have even begun my Ciri cosplay, including figuring out how to use makeup to look like scars and bruises, even though I am mostly clueless regarding all things makeup related. I am holding off on the hunt for the books that the franchise is based on, so I can enjoy the game for what it is. I may hold off on the books until after the Netflix series is completed.

I am a firm believer in not ruining the video by reading the books second. …That doesn’t make much sense. You get what I mean though, right? I mean, I read this one book about the feywild, a boy, and a star, and it was amazing. So many things about it worked because it was written like a fairy tale. In fairy tales, things happen a certain way. For instance, prophecies are made and then fulfilled. In the movie, and most movies based on stories like this one, there is a tendency to make things go a certain way to pacify the masses, or dumb stuff down so you don’t have to be paying full attention to all of the details. While this movie had its moments, I was saddened by it overall because it had ultimately taken out all of the fairy tale elements that I had so enjoyed in the reading of the book. Everyone who has seen a movie based on a book has had a similar experience. Reading creates the world inside the mind. Having that translate to the screen doesn’t always result in the same world for everyone. But, I digress. The point was that I will not spoil the experience by doing things out of order. This is not the Game of Thrones. That will be a different post entirely. For the GOT, I have read the books and watched the show. Each is good in its own right and I love them both. If more books could transition to the screen like that, it is possible that people would read more books. Or fewer, because they would be able to watch the stories unfold before them. Or more, to see what is different between the screen and print.

To get back on why I started writing this post at 11:30 at night, I am enjoying playing Witcher 3. It is very similar game play to Skyrim in that it is an open world and the actions that you take, the decisions you make, the way you interact with the people and environment around you, all have an effect on how the story progresses. The amount of detail in everything is staggering. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. There is so much game, and I have only barely scratched the surface. It is a dark world, filled with shadows and monsters. I enjoy spending my time there. People are people. Monsters are monsters. People are monsters. Monsters are people. It is fantastic.

I hope this post makes sense. I think I might need sleep. I’m headed off to bed. Until next time.

Update: Here are some links that I should have included earlier. This is the Reddit post with the casting scripts for the 8 episode Netflix series coming soon – https://www.reddit.com/r/witcher/comments/8xhn79/netflix_here_are_the_casting_scripts_for_two_yen/

Here is the link with more info about the Netflix series – https://www.pcgamer.com/netflix-witcher-series-date//

Also, I found out today that there are 36 different endings to Witcher 3. It will be interesting to play through and see what actions cause the different outcomes.

 

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DCCClogo

As I sit at the table in our hotel room at the end of day one, wearing the TETHER/Derby City Comic Con shirt, resting up for the Ford Theater Reunion show that starts at around 9pm tonight at the time of this writing, I am struggling as to exactly how to begin my review of the awesomeness that is Derby City Comic Con. I mean, sure, it has been a long day, but, I can at least get the entry started, right? (more…)

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20140530_155950

The Facts

Fabric: men’s button down shirt

Pattern: inspired by Threadbanger video about how to make a pirate costume

Year: recent-ish

Notions: ribbon and scrap fabric

Time to complete: one morning

First worn: To Ye Olde Cabaret – May

Wear again? Possibly

Total Cost: No idea

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Mrs. Uncommon Geek and I have been to every Steampunk Empire Symposium since it started in 2011. The first year, I was known as “Tee Shirt Guy” because I was the only one who wasn’t decked out in my finest Neo-Victorian dress. I was suffering from my back injury flaring up and was hopped up on strong steroids and opiate pain killers that did absolutely nothing for me. The second and third years, I volunteered to work security, and people think I did a good job at keeping them safe!

But, the primary reason why I went to the Symposium this year was to do a planel on the Jedi vs The Borg!

And Blog Monkey Neo was right there with me!

Mrs. Uncommon Geek and I arrive to the hotel and get as settled in as we can. She was there to help her Sister-in-Law work the Sylvian Creations booth and as I said before, I was working security, but, My shift didn’t start for some time. After I checked in at Con-Ops, I ask the head of the panels if I could see the room I would be in and if I could start getting things set up about 2 hours before my panel was scheduled. And since I was the first panel of the con, it was no problem.

I got everything set up, and Neo arrived about 45 minutes before the panel’s start time. We decided to go mingle with people for the sole purpose of telling everyone we could about our panel. And because I’m actually a very shy person, less people got told than what I thought. But, several people said that they were actually planning on seeing our panel! Even people in the registration line! And for a moment, I felt just a little important! More people showed up for the panel than what I thought would. Honestly, I thought I would only have maybe 4 people at most. But, we had about 20!

After the panel, which was well received, and was told that I did very well for my very first convention panel, Neo and I walked around the Symposium for a bit before I went on security duty. I introduced him to some of my friends, we ate some nibbles along the tea stroll, then after I went on duty, he left for the evening.

On Saturday, I participated in the Tea Dueling. Basically, competitive cookie dunking in tea. The last to eat the cookie wins the round. It may sound odd and easy, but it is actually a bit stressful! You are staring at your cookie, winching at every slight wobble of your hand and you don;t know if your opponent is staring at you trying to psych you out or not.

I was scheduled to work in the vendor hall for 3 hours on Saturday as well. It wasn’t all that bad since I could talk to the vendors and learn more about the wares they were selling. I was able to speak with a nice lady from Goblin Road Dolls & Masks who’s name I believe is Rachael. I bought some chocolates from War Pony Candies, and talked a bit with a nice lady who was selling small plastic guns that she had made with a 3D printer! It was the coolest thing! Sadly, I can not recall her businesses name. I also stopped by to speak with Mrs. Uncommon Geek from time to time.

Once my round in the vendor hall was done, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mrs. Uncommon geek and I went out to Japanese for dinner at a place called Ando, which was a short walk from the hotel. The food was amazing and the prices were pretty good as well! Since I had to be on duty in 2 hours and the restaurant was packed, I scarfed down my food and made it back in time for my next shift. Honestly, I wish I would have had more time to actually enjoy my food as well as the good company. I also wanted to try the green tea ice cream, but duty called.

Sunday, all I was scheduled to do was to help tear down convention items. I was tired, hungry, my feet were swollen and hurt, and all I wanted to do was take my shoes off and lay down in a bed that was mine. After a few hours of helping clear the stage where the song performers were, the Mrs. and I headed home.

It was good to be going home, but, we missed all of our out-of-town friends that we really don;t get to see on a semi-regular bases.

I know this turned out to be a short review, but working a con and going to a con are two totally different experiences. Each side of the ticket can be both overwhelming and gratifying at the same time. Doing the panel helped me realize that I want to focus more on being a presence at cons for my site rather than working on staff of the convention. I enjoyed geeking out with people more so than making sure that people had the right color wrist band. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being security as much as I could, but, in the end, I discovered that you can either work a con, or you can enjoy a con, but not both. So, in the future, I will have a table in the exhibitor’s area to promote the site and to ask people our traditional, standard question… Do you like and or prefer, Star Trek, Star Wars, both, and why?

See you there!

END OF LINE

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20140418_172941

The Facts

Fabric: Mystery content sheet from thrift store

Pattern:  Simplicity 4046

Year: Recent

Notions: Thread, elastic

Time to complete: 8+ hours

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? Hopefully soon

Total Cost: $1 for pattern, thread and elastic from stash, $5 for fabric

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vyv_cat

The Facts

Fabric: Old pair of jeans

Pattern: Self-drafted

Year: 2014

Notions: Thread, fabric paint, fabric markers

Time to complete: 30+ hours

First worn: N/A

Wear again? I hope so.

Total Cost: Most of the materials I had on hand because I had originally purchased them for other projects. To make this new, it will cost from $5-$20 for materials, depending on if you are purchasing new fabric and if you are buying studs instead of using fabric paint.

Someone had shared an article on Facebook quite some time ago that showed cats wearing classic punk denim jackets. (http://www.buzzfeed.com/sbkasulke/look-at-these-19-adorable-cats-in-punk-vests) I shared the article and asked the general question of what punk jacket would be best to make for a cat and my friend Kevin said Vyv from the Young Ones. Thankfully, this show is much loved and there are many research options available for reference pictures as I did not see the Young Ones as I was growing up. Scandalous, I know. I watched Are You Being Served?, Mulberry Days, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Black Adder, Red Dwarf, All Creatures Great and Small, and Fawlty Towers. Oh, and Doctor Who. It was alway fun watching an episode of All Creatures Great and Small and then watching Doctor Who and going, ‘wait, didn’t I just see him?’ But I did not know about the Young Ones existence until much later.

Anyway, this project presented many challenges. As I do not have easy access to a cat for pattern fittings, I had to guess on the sizing and shape for the best fit and cat comfort. My research shows most pet harnesses and jacket type items are kind of hourglass shaped and close in the back. The article shows jackets fitting the cats like they would on a person – closing in the front and pretty much a straight, somewhat boxy shape. Most of the measurements that I could find for cat jackets were somewhere around 16 inches long with a 9 inch neck/collar. So, I measured and I cut 17 inches off of the bottom of a leg of a pair of jeans, the extra inch to allow for seam allowance. I realized that the fabric was very long. I laid the cut fabric on my lap and realized that if a cat were to wear a jacket that was that long, it would probably not make a very good lap cat. Or it would be mad at its humans for putting it in a thing that interferes with the glory of its beautiful tail and would start destroying anything it could, provided it could get over the disdain of moving in such a monstrosity.

So, I cut the giant piece of fabric into two, more manageable pieces so I could make two jackets instead of one. Then I decided which side I wanted to be the front and I cut it straight down the middle. Then I guessed on where might be the best place for the front legs and cut out the sleeves. Then I cut out four collar pieces, using the tops of the jackets as a guide. I tried to make sure that I included the seam allowance, but I made the one too short. Then I sewed everything up. I did a straight stitch on the sleeves to help maintain the shape and to make sure that they will only unravel to a certain point, and I sewed the front of the jacket to create a clean edge and to prevent unraveling.  I sewed the two collar pieces together and attached them to the jacket, for each jacket. For the jacket that I made the collar too short on, I folded the front of the jacket in and hand sewed it down to make everything fit. Then I started the decoration process.

I elected to not use actual studs on these jackets for two reasons. One, I do not know if the cat who may one day wear this will decide to try to chew on the studs. Two, the studs that I was able to find that were not iron on, were $10 for a small box. I think there may be 90 or so studs in the box, but they are of a mixed variety and there is no guarantee that there would be enough of the same kind to complete one jacket. Plus, I am poor and did not want to spend that much money on a thing for a test prototype. Once I perfect the pattern, then I can justify the expense.

20140410_165214

The first patch shows the paint pen after repeated coats were added. It shows up better in this picture than it does in person. The middle one is what the fabric marker looks like. The final one is me practicing with the fabric paint. I painted a star because I was tired of doing anarchy symbols. Bonus: I now have three denim patches for future projects.

Thankfully, I already owned silver fabric paint, as well as fabric markers in various colors. Unfortunately, I could not get the white paint pen to work well, so I used glue. Once it finishes drying, I can attempt the same technique shown in this Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Vyvyan-Basterd-The-Young-Ones-Costume/#step0

There was some conflict in what Vyvyan’s jacket said. The reference picture that I was using said “Love Your Dead,” while the instructable shows his jacket saying “Love You Dead.” I feel that if I had watched the show I would know which one was correct. I’m mostly ok with my choice and too lazy to look up screenshots again. Of course, if I really wanted to make a screen accurate jacket, I would have included front pockets and chains on the back.

Anyway, here are the finished products, as they lay drying. Notice, the one that I made the collar too short on does not have enough room for the words on the front. Should the day come where I figure out the measurements to make a kitty coat, I will make sure that the jacket is more square and less skewed. However, for these I will say that it is entirely intentional. It was surely not laziness on my part. It was definitely an attempt at making the jacket as punk as possible. Right angles are for the man. Don’t follow the rules that society laid down for you. Blaze your own path! And such.  

 

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This is the shorter one.

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This is the longer one. I’m still worried that it is too long and that it has too much fabric in the front. I’m not sure that an animal that wears this will be able to move easily.

 

20140411_000007

This is what the little one looks like on a space buffalo. I’m hoping that it will fit an actual cat better, but it gives an idea of how it will look.

Happy sewing!

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20140331_183015

The Facts

Fabric: Curtain from the thrift store

Pattern: From instructions from a panel done by Jessica of Ties that Bynde

Year: 2013

Notions: Safety pins and twill tape

Time to complete: About an hour

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? Hopefully

Total Cost: $10 – $5 for the curtain, $5 for the safety pins and twill tape at the panel.

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