Thursday, March 28, 2013

Coffin in the Grass

I wanted to try out a wood stain so I stained a couple of coffin-shaped trinket boxes. I really liked how rich and aged it made the wood look.

Before I stained it, the coffin looked like this, just plain light-colored wood.

Start with a trinket box and sand it down before you do anything else.

The next step for this coffin was distressing the wood. I took a hammer, chain, and screwdrivers and gave it a good beating. It's good to do this before staining the wood, then you can get the stain down in those distress marks to darken them up. If you distress it after you stain the wood, you could end up with light wood showing through, and that ruins the effect of the stain.

I rubbed wood stain into the box both inside and out. Watch your fingers when staining! The oil from your hands can mess with the finish. If you have some latex gloves, wear them.

The coffin box was still quite plain after all the distressing and staining. I loved the look but it needed an artist's touch. So I used a fine-tip brush to hand-paint grass all around the base of the coffin.

Tips for painting grass: 
  • Start with a dark green (tint your medium green with a tiny bit of black), then gradually layer on lighter colors
  • Paint grass in clumps!Think crab grass. Natural grass can be varying in height and density of ground coverage.
  • Vary the lengths of the grass, and let the blades bend in different directions and cross each other.
  • The top of the grass should taper to a point. Practice your paint strokes, lightly using the tip of a fine-tipped brush.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steampunk Batman Mask

I saw this mask in the store and though that's a pretty decent Batman Mask, could I Steampunk it?

Yes I can.

So here's the Mask I started off with.  the background is actually two types different tissue paper with different prints that I'm going to use on it.  I took off the stretch elastic used for wearing as I dont want in the way during my process, but saving to add back later

I 'primed' the mask with some white paint, just cause the tissue paper is a little see through.  So instead of putting several layers of more expensive paper, I can make sure that the print shines through by starting off with a white mask.

Next, Mod Podge the crap out of the mask. WO Ha Ha Ha Ha.  I used my own home made Mod Podge (water and white glue, why spend so much money for Mod Podge when it's just a White Glue with a fancy label).  

Add back the strap and vola. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Homura Akemi - Cosplay Shirt

My friend asked me to cosplay with him characters from  Puella Magi Madoka Magica.  He wanted me to go be his Homura


So let's see how to make the shirt.

I started off with a shirt from the thrift store.  One that is super long.
Then I trimmed off the bottom to follow the cut from Homura's outfit.

Added some black trim with some cotton ribbon. 

Next I need to make a little caplet.  But instead of measuring of my shoulder, I thought I would use the shirt as the guide.

Folding before cutting so that it would be symmetrical.

Even though the bow should be created by tying the sash of the caplet, but to make sure I had a perfect bow every time, I just created a bow that I'll button on.

Another bow for the back as well.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Golden Snitch Prop

It's the Golden Snitch!

This is a really quick project but requires a few tools. Here's how to make your own Snitch like this one.

  • hot glue gun & one hot glue stick
  • electric drill (e.g. a Dremel with a drill bit)
  • scissors
  • fine-tipped paint brush
  • blunt/wide-tipped paint brush
  • a wooden ball
  • two yellow feathers
  • gold acrylic paint
  • light yellow acrylic paint

All of the above (excluding the drill, perhaps) should be available from your local craft store.

  1.  Using a drill bit the same size as your feather stems, drill two holes in the wooden ball, angling the hole in the direction you want the feather to come out.
  2. Stick the feathers into the holes to make sure they fit. Use scissors to trim the feathers to your desired length. Then take the feathers back out of the holes.
  3. One hole at a time, squeeze hot glue into the hole and then shove the tip of the feather in. Before the glue cools, twist the feather so it's facing the right direction. Then repeat for the other hole and feather and let the glue cool.
  4. Using a blunt-tipped brush, paint the ball gold. To minimize brushstrokes and keep the nice wood grain visible, paint on a very light layer, let it dry, then add one or two more layers of paint until the wood color is covered.
  5. Using a fine-tipped paint brush and light yellow paint, detail on a design to give your Snitch an aerodynamic, athletic, or magical appearance. I just made up a design, but if you want you could find reference photos from the Harry Potter movies and try to create a movie-accurate Snitch. You'll note the "real" Snitch is not a completely smooth ball. To add texture, you could use gold puffy paint to "draw" the design on.
  6. Finish with a light coat of gold over the light yellow. I also edged the yellow with a darker gold to give it the illusion of depth.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cosplay for Pregnant Geeks

I haven't been working on a costume for myself in a while because I'm expecting! But I did do some research on cosplay options for pregnant ladies and I wanted to share some of the best ideas I found. Here are my Top Five:

#5 Zombie Baby

I prefer the subtle, yet genius approach

via Reddit
 Look no further than Pinterest for more disgusting options.

#4 Paint the Bump

via Geekologie

If you're just going to paint your tummy, you gotta find an artist to help you out (unless you think you can do a good job of it looking in a mirror). Also, Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the only way to go.

I have yet to see someone pull off a M.O.D.O.K.

#3 Death Star Bump

 More than just a painted bump, you can add Darth Vader or Imperial Officer costume pieces for a little more geek fun. And don't forget to add a tiny spaceship or laser. This has been seen in at least three different variations, which you can find here on Pinterest.

#2 Pregnant Amy Pond

This would be a great cosplay for a couple! Since Amy's costume looks like mundane clothes, you really need a Doctor or a Rory with you to help put it in context to pull it off well. Also, you need some fabulous ginger hair and a cute Scottish accent.

Pregnant Bella from Twilight could also be acceptable, but only if your costume includes a bloody vampire baby bursting out of your bump.

#1 Pregnant Padme Amidala from Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

concept sketch
- via Padawan's Guide
Padawan's Guide has an excellent list of her costumes with reference pictures including fan-made replicas and close-up hi-res costume exhibit photos.

My favorite would be the "Sleeveless" outfit.

I mean, how cool is this? It's action-hero maternity wear! Sure, you can always wear a loose nightdress or a cloak, but the best maternity outfits include leggings and knee-high boots, IMO. The top of the dress is flattering and form-fitting, curving under the bust and then giving you lots of room in the tummy area for any stage of pregnancy. Heck, this outfit would even look good on someone that's not pregnant.

All you really need to make to pulls this off is the dress with harness (including the sculpted brooch details) and a pair of fingerless gloves. Buy a pair of off-while/taupe leggings and brown boots that fit.

The hair is a little tricky if you don't have long hair, but you could fake it by pulling your hair back and adding a custom braid extension. This type of extension shouldn't be too difficult to make, even for someone like me who is not a hair stylist. Alternatively, you could get a super-long dark brown anime wig and style it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Creativity at Emerald City ComicCon 2013

Hanging out with Avalyn at the Emerald City ComicCon watching all the amazing cosplayers.  Wanted to share some creative cosplays I got to see.

Deadpool cosplaying Pikachu

Jake from Adventure Time, as a Playboy Bunny

OMG I had to chase down this Hogwarts student to check out her hand made Knight Bus!

Pokemon Ivysaur.  I love how the flower bulb is a converted backpack.  Awesome way to carry your stuff around at a con in cosplay.

Sexy Xmen Cyclops.  I'm really in awe of how accurate this cosplay still is.  

Iron man and Loki dancers.  I love how Loki's horns are feathers on a fascinator.  

Alright, my last photos aren't of cosplay, but of my prize possession I got at ComicCon.  
Will Wheaton signing my Sheldon Cooper toy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Geeky Cookie Cutters

Artist WarpZone on Etsy uses 3D printers to generate these Pop Culture Geeky Cookie cutters. The two level prints include the cutting of the shape and the imprinting of additional details, how adorable.  Of course there are many sorts of Geeky fans out there, so they have Video Games, TV Shows, Anime, and Cartoon among many others.  

Moogle from Final Fantasy.

Tardis from Dr Who

Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony 

Portal Video Game and Companion Cube

Sailor Moon

You can find all of their wonderful pieces for order at

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Avalyn's Emerald City Comicon 2013 Report

This past weekend SmallRiniLady and I were at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA. We shared a table in Artist Alley, equipping con-goers with cosplay accessories and meeting lots of fellow geeks over the three days we were there. 
Best Mario cosplay of the day!

Avalyn Artistry & Small Rini Lady booth in Artist Alley
Our table was in the very back corner of the main hall. But we filled it with lots of exciting, colorful things to grab attention!

Lots and lots of crafty things!
Many cosplayers stopped by our booth (or got flagged down for a picture)!

League of Legends Vayne and Orianna cosplayers

Jedi Master Luminara
(SmallRiniLady is behind her!)
R2D2 lady (hand-appliqued dress!) getting photo-bombed by Deadpool in sneakers

Compare this photo with the one above. Whoa.
Doctor Who cosplayer with TARDIS face paint
Hell Girl & Steampunk Poison Ivy

Mike, Jerry, and Robert of Penny Arcade - the Strip Search panel
Captain America - cool scale texture on his chest.

Don't blink!

Scariest Costume at ECCC.

Original Hunger Games costumes were on display for the upcoming auction. Effie Trinket's costume was clearly the most amazing.

And now I leave you with this hat.

It's a ship. On her head.
Her hair is like kraken tentacles attacking the ship.
Bonnie Burton's twin?