Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kraken Got Your Card?

It's a business card holder. No, really...

Kinda random, right?
I was thinking, for that someday when I have my own artist table I will need an eye-catching place to put my stack of business cards. What's more eye-catching than a couple of purple tentacles?

I had a bit of foam leftover from my [Staff of Infinite Mysteries] and Riven projects. I started by sketching a rough shape on the foam with a pen, then carving the foam with a hot knife. First I carved the shape with a long wire knife, the kind they sell to cut floral arrangement foam. Then I carved the details with a smaller, sharp, angled hot knife.

Then I attacked it with sandpaper.

When working with foam like this, you can cut a very rough shape, then fine-tune the shape with rough sandpaper and finish with a finer sandpaper. This foam is very easy to shape by sanding.

After sanding, I applied a quick coat of white primer.

Painting was an experiment with purple, black and white acryllic paints to get the desired look.

Business cards fit easily in between the grasping tentacles!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vintage Lace Fingerless Gloves

I made these gloves to wear with my Steampunk Superwoman costume. The lace was something I found in a box of assorted lace my grandma had given to me, so the materials for this project did not cost me anything.

First I made one glove with my sewing machine. I draped the lace over my hand and wrist to estimate the size, cut a rectangle, then turned down the edges about 1/8" and straight-stitched them down. Then I sewed the seam (the inner wrist) with a thumb hole, tried it on, and adjusted. This took a while, but eventually I ended up with one glove.

Did I mention I finally got a serger?!

This baby is already making my sewing life SO much easier. I haven't used one of these since college and I didn't get one until now because 1) I didn't want to pay full price for a good one and 2) I didn't want to buy a really cheap one. I purchased this one from my mom's friend. Normally I wouldn't recommend buying sergers second-hand, but I knew owner, it had a manual with it, and I was able to give it a test run before hauling it away.

I digress. Back to the lacey gloves... I used the first glove to make a paper pattern for another glove. I cut out the piece of lace, trimmed the edge expecting a 1/4" seam allowance, then ran both edges through the serger (separately) in about a minute flat. Lastly, I placed the edges together and ran it through the sewing machine, leaving the thumb hole. Done!
I then changed the thread to black and made an extra black pair for Steampunk Batgirl.

That was over so fast that I made a third glove with the serger. The serged glove turned out much better than the straight-stitched glove! So then I fixed the first prototype glove by running the seam through the serger (keeping the thumb hole open). I have enough lace to make 7 extra pairs of white gloves, PLUS some black lace... this may be the start of a future Etsy store for me.

More information about sergers and how to use them:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 7 Playing Around

During a photoshoot people are focused on getting the perfect posed shot that they end up missing some fun candid shots.

Don't forget to have some fun.

You might not have a character photo, but can still end up with some great memories

And sometimes something still artistic

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 6 Lighting and Cropping Changes

I wanted to share with you how a small change in the Lighting and Cropping makes a significant difference

The photo on the right makes you look at the faces of the character to see their emotion.
The photo on the left makes you focus more on their stance and position, to get you to think about what they are doing.
Same pose and angle, yet they make you think different things.


The photo on the left is slightly darker, giving a more sinister, mysterious look
The photo on the right is much brighter.  Can't help but notice her smile and happy eyes.
But the model in both photos is doing the same thing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed Part 5: Non Portrait Photo

Tip number 5:  

There's a difference between a Portrait, something you send to grandma with smiles, and an artist photo, which is hung in a gallery or printed in a design book.

Who says that a cosplay picture needs your face?  Are you taking a photo as you the person dressed up in a costume or are you taking a photo as the character (I'm very opinionated about this subject when it comes to cosplaying).  The character can be defined by their clothing, their stance, their environment.  

So let's play with angles again.  

By looking at the photos you immediately know who you are looking at (granted you know these characters already).  But these photos give a a certain mood, a vibe.  As they say "Less is More"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 4 ColoUr Contrast

What's up with the coloUr? You might have already noticed my photos don't look quite natural in color, and I wanted to share with you how I did it.

First I augment the tone of the photo a little to the yellow/brown color.  This gives it a bit of the aged photos look, since these characters were from historical times.

Some photos I darken slightly to give it a somber look

Some photos I lighten to give it a a faded sun bleached look.  Once again to give it the photo an aged look.

Than I boost the contrast to make the light colors lighter and the dark colors darker.  This gives the object's shadows a darker frame which brings out a outlining drawn look.

Than I boost the saturation just to make sure the coloUrs pop a little extra for that added artistic feel

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 3 Bad Lighting

So like many people, I'm just beginning to learn and practice photography. And as I learn, I make mistakes. These photos I ended up with bad lighting because I didn't know how to operate the settings on my camera.

But why not make it look as if it was purposeful?  Promoting the photos as a dark mood style, these became some of my more popular photos of my series.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 2 Style Focus

This one isn't for everyone. I wanted to focus on the character, while still keeping the wide shot of the background. To emphasis the character in the photo I used two different techniques to do so

First technique is to shadow out the photo leaving the bright spot around the character.  I like the feel of this photo, but this style it's not that popular.

This technique is quite common (in my opinion is overused).  The focus point is the only bright color in the photo, while the background is washed out.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photograph Assassin's Creed: Part 1 Angled Shot

I've talked about this before in an earlier post.  But let's go over it again.

Want something different than your traditional shot?

Why not try taking something for a different angle, like from Above

Or from Below

Or Slanted from the Side

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Steampunk Dragon Dude


Meet my new friend. He began his life as one of the Color Blanks, lounging on a clearance shelf at Target, all pale and pasty white... until I brought him to life with acrylics and a paintbrush!

Will he soon be joined by new friends?

Help me name this little guy. Post a reply with your suggestions!

Monday, May 14, 2012

MiniComi 2011

I"M SOOO SORRY for those who I promised to blog about this ages ago.

In Summer 2011 I did my first show.  Mini Comi was a one day event where artist could get together to sell their anime related work at Univeristy of British Columbia in Vancouver, a mimic of Comiket in Tokyo Japan

I wanted to make a Wai Lolita outfit, which is a cross between a Lolita and Kimono.  Of course my hair is crazy covered with a Lolita Headband and Cyberloxs as I was displaying the work I was sell.

Me, Hannah (Myth), and Evelyn Wong set up a booth together and called ourselfves the "Sample Wives"  Just a random name that we thought was rather funny

Here's Hannah wearing some of her wings she was selling and eating a rice bowl for lunch.

an interesting take on Panty and Stocking Cosplay (actually probebly my favorite cosplay that day)

These two girls were holding the booth behind us.  They bought lolita headdresses from me.

P-Chan from Ramna 1/2, she is way cute

Did an art trade with the girl in the booth next to me.  We were both bored and it's a fun way to make a new friend.  I drew her a picture with my Hina style.  She had trouble drawing my hair cause it had too much stuff in it

Evelyn is wearing two pairs of Hannahs wings and they fell down.  But I thought it actually looks like a cool fallen angel look. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Whimsical Purse Pattern

Every girl needs a cute purse to go with their outfit, even when cosplaying! Isn't this adorable?

See, look, it matches my Sunday Afternoon Capelet!

I just came up with the idea and the pattern myself as I thought of what kind of purse I would want to carry around all day at a convention while in costume. There is an open slot in the back of the back (for quickly sliding handout flyers and business cards), plenty of space along the top of the front flap and on the strap for pins and your name badge, and ample open room inside for a wallet, phone and camera. I added an extra slip-in pocket inside as well.

I saw this pink and white button at JoAnn's and thought it was adorable and it just happened to match my pink-and-green plaid fabric. I'd been looking for a good place to put it, since the cloak didn't have a place for it!

I added the ribbons on the side to make it fun and flirty and nod to the ribbon on the front of the cloak.

Here is my concept sketch and pattern piece:

I used this one pattern piece as the pattern for all of the fabric pieces just by folding it in different places or turning it over. If you want to make your own, just pick a width and height and make it squared and symmetrical. The folds determine how wide and how tall the purse will be.