Thursday, June 30, 2011

Visit to X Factor Taping

We saw the X Factor auditions in Seattle!

It was the first round of auditions with the judges and we had AWESOME seats right behind the sound guys. We were totally geeking out about the sound system... and had a laugh because it looked like they were running Windows XP on at least one of their laptops.

These people look familiar...

We had three favorites of the night, but the one I am rooting for is Taura, who is in college studying automative engineering so she can one day open her own auto body shop. She's a great representative of a strong female AND has a great voice.

For show info, check out

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tear Drop Leaf Earrings

Tips for beading earrings or pendants

  • Just pick up a random set of beads that have similar shape and coloUrs.

  • Whenever working with a frame, make sure everything can fit inside, only outside, or make it purposeful (exaggerate) if it’s an overflow look.

  • Thursday, June 23, 2011

    A Wee Unicorn

    Here's a little drawing I made.

    I started with a pencil sketch, scanned it into my computer, and then inked and colored it digitally using my Wacom tablet.

    Here is the original pencil sketch on a scrap of paper.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Inspiration - Yarn Bombing

    Also known as "Knit Bombing" and falling under the category of "Random Acts of Art", Yarn Bombing is the act of decorating something with yarn, typically by knitting or crocheting. I shouldn't bother trying to explain this concept, a simple Google search of "knit bombing" will get you plenty of colorful results. This is a great example of a picture speaking louder in words.
    Google search results
    People have used yarn to decorate anything from trees and sign posts to bicycles and TANKS. Yes, that's a tank covered in pink yarn.

    Recently I have been knitting a lot and have conquered the basics of knit and purl, but I know there is a lot more to learn like yarn overs and yarn unders and how to make a pretty cable knit sweater.

    However, I shouldn't need to learn all of that in order to decorate the neighborhood in yarn. After I finish this scarf I am working on I'm going to have to choose my first target! If I am successful I will be sure to blog about it, of course.

    This is a world-wide phenomenon.
    Check out these other sites for more information!

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Cosplay Week Sakura 2011 #5 - Hina likes to Draw

    Another STORY

    So for those who have seen me cosplay before will notice I like to cosplay from RozenMaiden, and often known as the "girl with the box".  Basically I'm a victorian doll and I sleep in my doll case.  Through the years I have made several Rozen Maiden outfits (different characters from the anime).

    This year was time for me to do Hinaichigo.  I dont really like her character because she's that annoying toddler who acts like a total brat.  Oddly this was one of the funnest to do.  Besides sitting in in the brief case like I had done in many years prior.

    I put on cat ears and paws.  I'm not a Neko, but Hina is cosplaying a Neko (emphasis on that the doll is cosplaying but making the paws obviously gloves).  This is because there is a popular episode in which she dresses up as a Neko.

    Also Hina, being a toddler likes to draw, although she doesn't well.  So I grabbed a box of crayons and drew pictures for people.  I made sure to make the pictures as childlike as possible.  Here I met a Shinku, so I drew a picture for her while she drank her tea.

    Here's another picture I drew for some photographers.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Cosplay Week Sakura 2010 #4 - Sailor V Manga Cover Tutorial

    What's more awesome than cosplay photos?  Making cosplay photos look like trading cards or Manga covers!  "woot woot"  So here's my photoshopping tutorial on making a manga cover using a Photo I took at SakuraCon.

    Start with a good cosplay picture.
    Also start with a good Manga picture as a guide

    From that Manga picture I stripped out the Title (Sailor V) and additional text, in this cause the author's name

    I layered a blurred version of the title to give it some depth

    Now cropping out the cosplayer and resizing for this project.

    Adding a colourful background.  A lot of manga covers might just have some colourful but not extremely busy background so to not distract you from the focus character.

    For the SailorV covers I noticed the artist liked using lots of action lines to draw towards the super hero.  So I'm adding some here.

    Adding the white bubbles, I also noticed the artist likes to do that with a lot of her manga series.

    Adding more emphasis with the action lines drawing focus to the center.

    The colouring of the cosplay was a little dark, lighting up the colours so match the background feel.

    Adding in the words

    Generated the cropping lines by aligning the original manga picture with the words. 


    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Cosplay Week Sakura 2011 #3 - TianZi

    So how does one attract attention to their cosplay? 
    • Accuracy
    • Detailed outfit
    • Character personality

    These are the most well-known ways for a cosplay to shine, but one day I was walking around at SakuraCon (previous year) and my eyes were immediately drawn to a cosplayer.  Her outfit was amazing and beautiful.  But it wasn’t because of the details or the accuracy.  It was the fabric choice she made.  Instead of using a single colour cotton material, or shiny taffeta, she used Chinese Brocade.

    Altering fabric choice made a dramatic difference.  So I tried it out on TianZi from Code Geass

    I can say that it made more people comment on my outfit.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Cosplay Week Sakura 2011 #2 - Nurse Joy

    Ever wanted to cosplay a boring outfit?  Here's a great tip of how to make your cosplay fun.  Create a story!

    Me and a friend wanted to cosplay as Nurse Joy from Pokemon.  Unfortunately she was unable to attend the convention so it was just me. Nurse Joy is basically the veterinarian of the Pokemon world.  Her outfit isn't terribly exciting, nor is she an exciting character. 

    For Nurse Joy I decided to make my role interactive, play the part.  I got the idea from a JigglyPuff cosplayer from last year.  She was a larger person, so obviously not getting a lot of those “sexy” pictures.  But she played with it, making a Lolita representation of JigglyPuff, with a puffy petticoat, jiggly puff ears, and a microphone (from the anime).  Then she sang everyone to sleep and got mad.  She played the anime character of JigglyPuff that it was so much fun to hang out with her.

    So I’m Nurse Joy.  What does Nurse Joy do?  She heals Pokemon.  ~Ding~ (idea lightbulb above my head).  I cut out some band aids out of craft foam and glued some knock out symbols onto some sunglasses.

    Here's one of my friends is wearing the Dizzy glasses  (there is another pair of Pasted Out glasses you'll see below). They are comfortable since they were meant to be eye wear.  But you couldn't see through them that's ok, since you can't see clearly anyways when your knocked out.

    So I walked around the convention floor to find pokemon to heal (and random stranger cosplayer that was dressed up as a pokemon).  They I would freak out "Oh No your hurt!  Let Nurse Joy fix you" then I would proceed to put the glasses on them since they are hurt and put band aids on them (with double sided fabric tape as to not ruin their outfits). 

    Found a Pikachu and a Raichu with their trainer Ash.  As you can see my outfit isn't made very well.  I was hoping that my play with the character would outshine the tragedy which is my sewing project.  I think it was rather successful at that.
    Some of them were freaked out by me, having a stranger touching them.  But others found it absolutely hilarious and played along. 

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Cosplay Week Sakura 2011 #1 - Final Fantasy Lightning XIII-2

    Another Cosplay Week, each of these costumes were made for SakuraCon 2011.

    So this week I wanted to do something special in each post instead of just showing off a picture.  We'll cover topics like how to glam up your cosplay, Photo manipulation project, and how to make your cosplaying experiance more fun.

    I'll be a hypocrite for today's post though Showing the results of the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lighting outfit I've been working on for several months.  I'm very curious to see what the game is going to look like.

    There was a freak snow storm into spring this year in Seattle so I ran out quickly to get some fun shots.  Unfortunatly the shadows on the snow match closely with the grey on my gunblade and armour that my character doesn't stand out well.  Lesson learned

    If you are new to this blog, I covered the process of making this cosplay throughout the months.  Refreshers of how to make the components

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning 0.1

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Belt 0.2

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Wing 0.3

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Armour 0.4

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Sleeves 0.5

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning GunBlade and Shield 0.6

    Cosplay Progress - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning Leggings 0.7

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Reusing a Bridesmaid Dress

    I have two bridesmaid dresses in my closet that I've only worn once. I have a wedding to go to next weekend so I was trying to think how I might add to my pink bridesmaid dress that I wore to my sister's wedding. I need to do something to it in order to make it look less like a bridesmaid dress.

    The question is, what makes a dress look like a bridesmaid dress?
    - all one color
    - no patterns
    - no accessories
    - use of cheap fabric, or a very basic, mass-produced, one-color fabric (satin, silk, chiffon, polyester)

    I started by making a sketch of my dress, then layered on accessories. I think the biggest way to change the dress would be to add a big belt. Maybe do something a little victorian/steampunk? Lace, chains, a dangling pendant?

    I'll be sure to post pictures if I do make this belt, or something similar based on this idea!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Queen's Party Hat - Happy Birthday Crystal

    My friend Crystal wanted to go to Chucky-Cheese for her birthday, with Party Hats.  So I made her a special hat just for the birthday girl.

    I was looking for some kind of "paper lace" that I read about in a book, and walking through a craft store I found the closest thing.  Paper doilies for a tea party. 

    I cascaded it out like scales on a mermaid, pulling it out to give it some depth.  Next time I might buy white dollies and paint it sea green and aqua marina to really go for a mermaid look.

    I couldn't use a store bought party hat as a base because it was just too small, so I used some scrapbook paper (in this case from a 8 bit video game theme).  It actually makes it pretty cool linning for the inside.

    I used some ribbon instead of an elastic to let it stay on the head.  Unfortunatly I used some cheap ribbon so it wasn't very comfortable (lesson learned).  I also added some strings of pearls to make it more wild.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Ribbed Knitting

    For beginning knitters, the first two things to master (besides cast on/cast off) are Knit and Purl. You can knit one row, purl the next row in order to get a straight, uncurling weave, or you can knit one row, knit the next row for a stretchy knitted fabric that curls in on itself.

    Or you can do stockinette stitch, rotating knits and purls across the row, and this gives you a fabric that bunches in on itself, like the cuff of a sleeve or sock, making it thicker but stretchier.

    Knit 2, Purl 2, Knit 2, Purl 2... to the end, finishing with Knit 2
    Flip it over and start the next row
    Purl 2, Knit 2, Purl 2, Knit 2... to the end, finishing with Purl 2

    I decided to make a purple scarf using this stitch. It's going to be really thick and cozy.