Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Silk Bridal Bouquets

This was my favorite wedding project - making my own bouquets!

I used "silk" flowers from Michaels. I figured I probably couldn't get the blue color I wanted from real flowers! Since they aren't real flowers I was able to make them all myself, months ahead of my wedding date. I was also spared the hassle of dealing with delicate flowers and finding a way to store and transport them. These bouquets could easily be tossed in a plastic bag without suffering.

After placing all of the stems together the way I wanted the bouquet to look, I wrapped them together with masking tape and then hide the tape with green floral tape. Then I cut the stems with a wire cutter (this was the difficult, time-consuming part!).

Once all of the bouquets were made I created silk wraps with pearl buttons to disguise the wire stems.

I love how they turned out! Two anniversaries later, my bouquet still looks gorgeous in a vase in my kitchen!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Armour 0.4

Because these tutorial is already so long I’m skipping the details of obvious steps.

Painting with two colours of metallic grey will give it depth.  Just layer it on top of each other.

I made the basic shape of the front my guessing.  Added the gold embellishments

The collar.  I thought this was going to be hard, to by surprise it’s much easier than real sewing.  I started with a single sheet of foam and cut an ovalish shape out of the center.  Here I’m testing it’s fit.  Similar to a pencil skirt, don’t make the hole as big as you will assume you will need.  Because the material is malleable you can wiggle your way in.  A smaller hole will make it look more fitted.

Started to attach my front and back pieces to my collar base (which will later be painted).  I also made a neck collar which I wrapped around the opening.

I forgot to mention, those studs are just scrapbooking pearls.  I used all weird wild colours, but one spray paint makes them look like rivets.   BoYa!

 Time to attach the shoulder pads.  I use more foam to anchor the armor and the shoulder pads together.  It’s strong enough that it won’t fall apart, soft enough that the ‘heavier’ piece will weigh it down lay and move naturally with your shoulders. 

Ok now to attach this bottom piece (I don’t know what to call these random sections).  When you look at Lightning’s outfit closely you can see that these bars are actually separate pieces.   I wanted to keep that look so I used hot glue (solid and clear) to give structure to it on the backside.  Also notice that (in the picture below) that the foam I used was a lot thicker, also for structural integrity.

Here’s the finished piece.  The red pieces won’t be noticeable because those will be facing my skin.  Although I will need to go through the edges with a silver pen because it’s still weird to have random colours outlining your outfit like a cartoon character (which even Lightning is not).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

There is such a thing as to much embossing powder

I was experimenting with clear embossing powder.  For those who dont know what embossing powder is, it's a pigment plastic powder that melts at a very low temperature.  Popular for card making and scrap booking.  Hmmm I guess I should make a tutorial on how to use this stuff.

To come, a Tutorial on how to use embossing powder.

On with the story . . .

I wanted to see how CLEAR the clear embossing power really was, so i tried melting it onto one of my glass pendants.  This way I could test the clarity of my picture (in my glass pendant) and see if it has become foggy or warped.

Results:  Great
Well let's give a shout for Clear embossing powder because it truely is clear, it barely affected the visual appearance of my picture.  There are some weird blue lines though, but that's actually from the stamping ink I used to get the powder to initially stick on.  I'll need to get a different ink pad for the future.   And now my glass is coated in a plastic, you can feel the texture has become different.

Ok here's the word of caution.  You CAN use too much embossing powder.  As I melted the embossing powder I kept adding more, so I could completely cover the entire surface in a thick coat of this stuff.  Well as it kept melting and running down the side and adding more and melting and running down the side.  I melted a lot of plastic.  I couldn't move it while it was hot, for two reasons 1) too hot, 2) if i used any tools I'll make markings in the plastic that will be left there as it dries (like those kids who put their hand print into fresh concrete, and it's there for 30 years).

Well it cooled and hardened.  And I couldn't remove it!  The plastic had run onto the wood board I was working on and fused to it.  ~sigh~ my tray has a random marble stuck.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Easter Cards

Bunnies and eggs are for kids! I decided to stick with a spring floral theme for these Easter cards. Pastels and bright colors helped bring Spring to the cloudy gray rainy Sunday.

Cards are a great craft project for a crafting party! My friend Karen put the cupcake and chick designs together for her crafting party and then I got to make them and take them home. I love the little chick.

Little chick says "Cheep!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Non Stick pans are Gyoza's best friend.

I had a craving for Gyoza/Potstickers/Pan Fried Dumplings.

So first you start with boiling the dumplings. This just helps them cook throughly. Then you drain and you pan fry them with a ton of oil. Good and bad. Bad is pretty obvious, oil means fat. Oil is good because it helps create this nice sear, without it's basically cooked to burned with a 15 second window. So Oil is a create controller of browning/crisping, what we love about pan frying.

So I start frying. Ok time to flip, but what? It's stuck, no it's REALLY stuck, even though it's completely covered in oil, all lubercated and fatty, it's just stuck. Ok let's bring out the metal spoon and let's see if we can scrap. Oh crap, so I kinda get it off, but not in one piece. The seared pieces are still stuck to the pan, there is a giant rip or hole in all the dumplings. This is not the perfect gyoza. This makes me sad. No this makes me very sad. I'm almost about to cry. Ok so not THAT sad.

But I am really disspointed, and confused. Confused because last time I made them (from the same grocery store freezer pack) of dumplings they came out perfect. Rotated several times to be perfectly seared on three sides. Crispy on all sides that aren't on the bottom of the plate (where condensation softens the crisp texture.

What was the difference? THe Non stick pan? NO way. But then I tried it. I poured in a little oil and started frying. SUprisingly they got brown and crispy (thanks to the oil) and slid around the pan. Turn 2 more times. Aww perfect.

Now I need to get a bigger pan, you can only fry so many at a time in a 6 inch skillet


Thursday, March 17, 2011


I was asked to make a graphic for sunday school representing Fellowship.

Fellowship: A community of believers who grow together with Christ at the center.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vintage-Style Patchwork Quilt

Fabric squares! An entire year passed by between cutting out these squares and actually sewing them together. It's a long story.

After cutting out the squares, I put them all in a back and randomly picked them out one at a time and arranged them in rows. Then I moved a few around to avoid having two of the same color together and to purposefully spread out the yellow and red squares.

When working on a quilt project it is important to have a space that has lots of natural light (during the day, at least!) and lots of room to spread out your fabric pieces so you can see the end result before you start sewing.

I chain-sewed all of the squares together in two, then sewed the pairs into strips and then sewed the strips together to complete the patchwork.

I chose a soft plaid fabric for the back of the quilt and sandwiched the batting between the layers. Binder clips do a great job at holding the layers together. I also did my best to line up the plaid with the seamlines between the squares. Plaid can be tricky to work with that way. Once the layers were sandwiched in place and secured, I hand-stitched the "ditch" down the center lines.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cosplay Week #5 - Ciel in a Reconstructed Dress, Ballgown to Lolita

So I have this weird habit of picking out cosplay ideas before even knowing who the character is.  That's because I fall in love with the outfits, which leads me to go dig up the series.

So here I fell in love with this, later to find out it's actually a young boy playing detective and dressing up as a girl in desguise.  LOL, but the manga was still pretty good so I continued my pursuit in making this outfit.

So I made this outfit for SakuraCon 2010.  This picture was taken at University of Washington when all the Sakura blossoms were in bloom. 

The outfit consisted of boots, black glooves, a gown, giant hoop skirt that was dolled up to be a petticoat, choker, and hat (that covers one eye).

So another tidbit about me.  I dont repeat outfits, well at least to the same convention.  So I can't wear this for SakuraCon 2011. 

Meanwhile in a completely separate train of thought in my head.  There was this darling Princess Zelda who made her outfit into a Lolita style.  Here outfit was absolutely darling (note i used that word twice to describe her cause she was truely darling). 

Can you see where I'm going? Can you Can you????

Smashing my two thoughts together and this is what we get.  Yay for silly thoughts.
So I ripped up my dress. 
  • I cut off the whole bottom off my dress and reused the ruffles. 
  • I pulled off the ruffles from my hoop skirt and sewed it onto a new petty skirt. 
  • Using the material that was cut away from my dress I made a new hat.
  • Using the extra ruffles from the dress I made cuffs to wear instead of the black gloves

You might have already seen this picture from my AkiCon post back in Nov.  But I'm ready to show it off at SakuraCon this year.  I'm still deciding if i want to bring back the black gloves or keep working with the cuffs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cosplay Week #4 - Badges

Like a border on a picture, a sprinkle of sparkles on a fairy wand, the flutter of a dropping feather from flapping wings.  The little touches to a costume just make it all that more convincing that you are that character and not just a fanboy.

I have gone through many characters in which badges were a part of their being.

1) OS-Tan.  Windows Operating System Personas.  Being a Microsoft Employee I know what a MS Badge looks like so I was able to duplicate it and create a MS Badge for the OS Characters.  Being in the town of Microsoft, many employees recognized the badges as I walked past.  Even if they didn't know what character I was, they knew I had something to do with Microsoft.

2) Misato Katsuragi from Evangelion, I create a Nerv Badge for her to use to go in and out of the Command Center.  This design was pulled right out of the manga.

3) Harley Quinn in the Batman Arklam Asylum Video Game.  She steals the credentials from one of the employees so she can gain access into the Asylum. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cosplay Week #3 - Ultimate Otaku

So in a previous post I had shown a collection of anime card wrappers put together into a bag. Anime Trading Card Bag  But what to do with the cards?

I made a flapper dress out of the cards :)  Yea I know some of you are probably pointing at me and screaming "that's not cosplay".  Let's go back to the definition that had previously defined back in an earlier cosplay post.  Cosplay Week #1 - Melissa Seraphy

Old definition of Cosplay:  Dressing up as an anime (japanese cartoons), manga (japanese for comic book), or video character from primarily the Japanese culture
New definition of Cosplay:  Dressing up as any characters or persona

Thus this is a persona cosplay

So how did I make it?  (feel free to yell at me, I deserve it)
  1. I made a quick bag dress using stretchy material.  This served as a frame
  2. Then a took cards from about 36 different anime and video game series and made a tab off of the trading card using scotch tape (using scotch tape means I could remove them cleanly later
  3. Then the hot glue (eeep, i did get some on the cards ~sniff sniff~)  and glued each card onto the dress, starting from the bottom up.
Using hot glue was a bad idea, besides destroying cards by accident.  I was shedding cards like a dog sheds fur. People were trailing behind me picking up and returning my lost cards to me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cosplay Week #2 - Cosplaying Teddy Bear

Ever been without a cosplaying Partner? Why not make one? I've been known to dress up my teddy bears up in cosplay to go with me to anime conventions. If you remeber ba my Lock, Shock, and Barrel Cosplay we had our teddy bear take the place of one of the trick or treaters. 
Here we have Pelly dressed up as Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (Haruhi Suzumiya).  Just like any other cosplayer he's got the complete outfit including a prop (a wand) and to be ready for photo shoots at anytime so don't forget to practice your poses.

Just becareful that your partner keeps track of his prop or he might easily lose it just like you might walk off after putting down your prop

Poor Pelly lost his wand

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cosplay Week #1 - Mario Maids

Once a year Seattle has their Anime convention SAKURACON! And I have been attending this amazing convention since 2003. Every year it continues to grow (2010 had over 18 thousand attendees) and every year my cosplay count grows (This year I have at least 9). LOL

This week I will be present works from previous SakuraCons.  Instead of focusing on a the accuracy of a character I've decided to be more topical on cosplay enhancements and altered styles.

I may do an additional Cosplay Week after SakuraCon displaying some of my cosplays from this year. Dunno yet, see how I feel at that time.  Onto today's subject

I dont remember how me and Belinda (cosplay friend) came up with the idea, but I thought it was freaking hilarious.  We dressed up as female version of the Mario Brothers of Mario and Luigi (Belinda because she's taller).   Lolita Maid Style! 

Things that Changed
♫ Overalls became aprons ♫
♫ Hats became headbands ♫
♫ Gloves became accessory cuffs ♫

This that remain the same
♫ Giant buttons ♫
♫ ColoUr Scheme ♫
♫ Matching outfits ♫
♫ The 'M' and 'L' icons on our head accessory ♫

Belinda made some plushies to go with us.  She's throwing the turtle shell, you can tell she's a Mario Kart fan.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Anime Amigurumi

I found this deviant Artist PirateLuv who created this cute Amigurumi.

Amigurumi:  A Japanese craft of crocheting plushies 

Her plushies are fan pieces of popular series. Here's a sample of some of her work

Anime & Manga:  Sailor Venus from the Sailor Moon Series
I love how the hair is made from loose yarn, 
I also like how she does use a bead for her eyes, it's one of those items that does look better defined.

Nintedo Game:  Kirby
~Round and squishy~

Comic Book & American cartoon classic:  Harley Quinn from the Batman Series
I like how she keeps the fun red white pattern of Harley's outfit from the cartoon series

Game (First Popular as an App on the IPhone):  Angry Birds!!
She' made a real scene from the game, I love it!

PirateLuv has many more on her Deviant site, go check her out

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Affordable Custom Flower Baskets

Every flower girl needs a basket to hold her rose petals! However, bridal shops tend to charge a LOT of money for flower girl baskets. When I had to come up with flower girl baskets for my own wedding I found that the local Michaels arts & crafts store carried a Plain Ivory Flower Basket for a very affordable price (even more so if you have a coupon).

Michaels also had these ivory satin flowers and I found the pearl stems in the floral department. All I had to do was twist them in place! I added a matching ivory satin ribbon to hide the twisty wire as a finishing touch.

Two baskets for two flower girls!