Labyrinth Cosplay: Week Two

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Even though I have 7 weeks left, I feel like time is running out, much like the thirteen hours in the Labyrinth. Probably because I’m moving a lot slower than I thought. It’s taking me roughly a week to finish one article of clothing. Considering I have a shirt, gloves, jacket, and dress to sew, this is too slow.

But I’m going to focus on what was accomplished and not what’s left to go.

It’s Hoggle

his shirt and vest is officially done. I’m really happy with the vest. I love the fabric, and the patterns were not as hard to sew in as I thought they’d be.

I was going to start the Jareth shirt, but I lost page one of the instructions, so I had to re-order the entire pattern for the instructions. I did cut the pieces out so they are laying in a silky pile waiting to be sewn.

Other than that, I attempted to sew the gloves, and I cut the patterns for his pants and the dress. This was a week with a lot of setbacks. But I’m going to keep plowing forward.

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Labyrinth Cosplay: Week One 1/2

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I don’t usually dig the 1/2 thing, like Lion King 1/2, but this is technically not week one since I started a little bit before last week, so roll with it.

So what have we accomplished so far.

Goblin King

 

jareththegoblinkingI found the fabric for my shirt. It’s so shiny. I’m excited/not excited to start working on that. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be perfect because only the collar shows. That’s this week’s project. Other than that, my wig came in. I have mixed feelings. It’s a little dark. But it seems like the wigs either come in too dark or too light. What I’m more annoyed by is the length. It’s way too long on top–another common problem with Jareth wigs. I’ll probably have to take it in and have it trimmed.

My third crystal ball came in, so now I’m going to start practicing some new tricks.

Sarah

On a positive note, all of the jewelry pieces for Sarah are done. I’m so excited about this. I like to consider myself artsy, but jewelry making was just never something I excelled at. Cosplay has given me a chance to really test myself. I re-created the earrings, bracelet, and the necklace that Sarah wears in the film. The necklace was a real challenge. My sister wanted to order it, but I just wasn’t happy with the ones online. For 70 dollars, they really skimp out on the beads and they are more “inspired” by as opposed to being replicas. For probably the total cost of $20, my sister now has a replica that I think is pretty spot on. Let me know if you find one online that is more of an exact replica. I know that’s pretty egotistical, but I’m a stickler for detail.

Hoggle

I cut the fabric for Hoggle’s vest. I had a hard time finding a fabric that has multiple colors. I don’t like painting fabric. I think this one looks great. I also almost finished his shirt. All i have to do is ad the grommets and ties at the neck.

On another note, my sister purchased a baby doll for Toby and ordered him a striped onesie. It’s coming along. I’m hoping to have the Jareth shirt done this week and maybe the vest. More next week.

 

 

Read what sells: Write what sells

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I was reading one of those “How to Write” books when I came across some interesting advice. “Read what’s currently selling.”

So I got on Amazon to check out the best selling books and here’s what I’ve deduced.

Fantasy readers want:

Vampires, shape-shifters, assassins, time travel, forbidden magic, and dragons.

Ok, my book has . . . none of those things.

I know I’m not selling myself now. On the plus side, some of the top selling books were more like Game of Thrones or Fools Quest, books mine might be comparable to.

You know what I saw none of in the top 100 list. Elves. I guess people aren’t reading about elves anymore. I guess I can see why. The books I’ve read recently are just dreadful and hokey.

For those of you who thought the vampire fad is dying out, go check out this list. It seems like the logical thing to do would be to turn my elves into vampires or shape shifters and–tada–I’d have a best-seller.

But I can’t do that. I don’t like to write about vampires.

So what’s a girl to do.

Time travel is big now with Outlander and The Winter Sea.

So … a time-traveling vampire falls in love with a shape shifter.

But that’s not enough.

This is the book I should write.

9734da2af1e6154e709fc711dca5e25dA vampire, hired to assassin shape shifters (because their power is forbidden), falls in love with the shape shifter he is hired to kill (using dragons that travel through time.).

 

There you go.

I wouldn’t read that, so why would I write this.

This is why I believe in write what you want to read. Hopefully at the end of years of hard work and the birth and death of many words, someone will be interested in reading it too. So if you like the vampire assassin, traveling through time on his dragon to assassinate a shape-shifter, my book is not for you.

But if you like adventure, epic fantasy, battles, dynamic characters, romance, epicness, and awesomeness, you will like my books when I’m finished.

For those of you who haven’t checked out Amazon’s best seller rankings, I encourage you to do so. You won’t find my books on that list … yet.

Next Cosplay Officially Underway

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In March, my city is having a con. I believe it’s being held in a ballroom or some form of reception hall, so what better cosplay than Jareth and Sarah from the Ballroom scene of Labyrinth.

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With David Bowie’s death in 2016, it seems like a good time to honor his memory with a cosplay of one of his most iconic roles.

Even though the movie was made in 1986, the year I was born, I didn’t watch it until I was almost thirty. The first time I watched it, I remember thinking what a great cosplay this would be, particularly the ballroom scene.

So I will be cosplaying as the Goblin King. My sister will be Sarah, and my son will be Hoggle. I was hoping he’d go as Toby, partially for the easier costume, but he’s 8, so he’d be embarrassed to be a baby.

I have roughly two months to complete this cosplay. It will be particularly time consuming, requiring wigs, mask, sewing, props, etc. The costumes are elaborate. The dress and jacket are glittery and diamond encrusted. Everything Bowie is glittery and shiny, like a diamond in the ruff.

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Once again, I want to make as much of it as possible instead of ordering it.

The Wow Factor

We always like to have a wow factor. For this cosplay, it will not be enough to look like Bowie, but I must be able to play the part. We are going to learn how to dance and I will learn how to perform all of his crystal ball tricks. This is known as contact juggling.It takes several years to master it, but I’m hoping to be good enough by the con to at least do several tricks well. I’ve seen many cosplayers carrying the crystal ball, but none of them juggling them. So far, I have two balls and a third is in the mail. I’ve been practicing for about a month now, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I love learning new things, so this is exciting for me. I think it will come in handy at birthday parties or while I’m waiting at the dentist.

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I haven’t started sewing yet, but I found patterns for all of the costumes. The dress, believe it or not, was the first one we found. It is almost perfect, requiring few alterations. I also found a pattern for Bowie’s jacket. I already have the boots and pants. I could not find a pattern for a shirt with a jabot or a pattern for my son in his size that I could use for Hoggle. I finally found some online. For Rylee I will modify a pirate pattern circa 1986.

My hair is the right color for Bowie, and I wish I was brave enough to cut it, but my hair grows so slowly, I went ahead and ordered a wig.

I am brave enough to do the makeup, however. It will take some practice to get it right.  here’s round one.

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My sister was going to order the jewelry pieces but I made the earrings and the bracelet. I’m still struggling to make the necklace. Jewelry making is not one of my specialties. I think these turned out good. Not to brag, but I think of all the bracelet replications, mine is the best. I’m a stickler for detail and selected beads in the right color and shape. It’s harder than you think to find beads the right colors though.

 

That’s pretty much what we have done so far. It’s not a lot, but we’re trying to settle on fabrics and purchase those so the real work can begin.

Why I Cosplay

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So as you all know, my blog is where I share my passions–mainly writing (though lately my post haven’t been about writing so much). Right now my greatest passion is cosplay.

What is Cosplay?

Some of you probably cosplay yourselves or at least have heard about it. I’m really not sure what the etymology of the word is, but I know it has “play” in it. It means costume play or something of that nature. I like to call it adult pretend, though children can certainly cosplay as well. It means something different to everyone. Cosplay may be synonymous with weird to some of you who are no doubt looking for the unfollow option on my blog.

Cosplay gets a bad rep for being considered some sort of adult dress up where those who participate are in some sort of stunted state of adolescence or refuse to grow up.

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None of that is true. It’s not just dress up or pretend, it’s a creative outlet and a way of expression.

What Type of People Cosplay?

You’ll find all kinds of grownups, some serious adulting types even. A doctor, lawyer, or insurance agent by trade could be Batman, Iron Man, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Gandalph, or Hermione at a con.

Whatever they do for a living, your typical cosplayers are artist, nerds, geeks, dye-hard fans, actors, etc.

Let’s look at some of my favorite cosplayers.

thgJoshua Dart: Thranduart: Here is an example of a man who took a character and made him his own. He has celebrity status for his Thranduil cosplay. He is the perfect example of cosplaying from the inside out. Not only does he look like the character, but he acts like him. While he still cosplays as Thranduil, he has also cosplayed as Nick Wylde, Woody, and he’s currently working on a new project. You can follow him via Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about him and his cosplay, read all about him in my blog interview here.

14702315_10154198864517955_4740621950542902139_nElysia Vaughan: I met her at my first con, and now I see her every year. The first year she won first place in a costume contest and rightfully so, as she made her costume the year we ordered ours. We won second place, but she certainly deserved first for her Predator cosplay. I wish I had a photo to share, but I can’t find it. She was very friendly and willing to share information about the process of making her costume. She really inspired me to try my hand at making my own. She made it sound easy. I always look forward to seeing her and learning more about her as a person instead of just a fellow cosplayer.

Even some famous people have cosplayed, even if it was just to disguise themselves at cons: Masie Williams, Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Hiddleston, and Henry Cavill. Chances are, if you see someone just wearing a spider man mask, they’re a celebrity in hiding.

Here are a few of my favorites who, sadly, I don’t know their names:

Why Cosplay?

 

There are many reasons to cosplay. Many of us just want to share a passion either for a fandom, a character, for makeup or costume art, or something else that can be expressed through the art of cosplay.

Yes, I just called it an art. And it is. It involves certain skills in arts, crafts, engineering, mathematics, textiles, etc.

I’ve always loved art: theatre, painting, drawing, crafting, textiles, music.

Cosplay gives me an outlet to do all of these things. I get to work with wood, fabric, makeup, do crazy hairstyles, create, and act. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to escape the stresses of normal adult life.

I’ve been doing this about three years now. The first year, we literally had a month before KokomoCon. I wasn’t going to do it but my sister wanted to. A month doesn’t give you time to make your own costume (or so we thought), so we ordered them. There are a lot of websites if you’re interested in ordering costumes, wigs, or costume accessories: Etsy, AliExpress, Amazon, and Ebay to name a few.

I did make the crown and we painted the ears. That first year was experimental. I wasn’t confidant enough to sew yet. I didn’t believe in myself and I hadn’t discovered I’m awesome and can do anything. We decided to be the Mirkwood elves from the Hobbit. Making the crown reconnected me to the artistic side of myself that had been on hiatus. It also reminded me of theatre, which I hadn’t been a part of since Highschool but meant to get back into. This got me involved in local theatre the following year.

My next cosplay started off as a theatre role. As some of you may remember, I was the centaur in the Lion, the Witch & the Wardobe. After spending over a month working on it, I decided to take it to the con. I learned how to sew a little in high school but this costume told me how to apply what I learned to go above and beyond: creating something they don’t make patterns for. I also learned a lot of shop skills from creating the body and learned to work with mediums I’m not that experienced with like foam. I used parts of my brain I didn’t even know existed, and I’m a lot more savvy than I gave myself credit for.

This year I went as Lagertha from Vikings. This cosplay has a special place in my heart because I feel like we all went as characters we can identify with. I hate to say it, but my kid probably relates to Bjorn. He’s a boy who’s parents split up and he struggles with accepting that while learning new responsibilities as he becomes an adult. I’ve always identified with Lagertha. She’s a protective mother who still has dreams outside of being a parent. Her ex screws her and so does every man she knows, so she becomes a fiercely independent lady boss. I’d say Kylie went as Porunn because she’s a bit wild, independent, and wants to be free.

For this cosplay, I learned to make chain mail, wooden swords, shields, and lace leather. It was fun and daunting at the same time. And we learned something we didn’t think possible when we started our Mirkwood elves cosplay–you can get a costume done in a month. I just don’t recommend it.

For our next cosplay we’re giving ourselves a little more time. I’m going to be The Goblin King from Labyrinth. Again, a lot of sewing involved, and glitter, so much glitter. But all our cosplays must have the wow factor, and the educational one, so I must learn how to do all of his crystal ball tricks. I’m not sure how long it takes to learn how to contact juggle (well) but I have several months to get good enough, so I’m going to try. My son decided to be Hoggle, which will give me practice doing a creature mask, possibly with moving mouth and blinking eyes. My sister will be Sarah. The ball gown should be a bit of a challenge, but I’m up for it.

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Do you cosplay. Share some photos. Why do you cosplay? Who have you been? Who are you planning on being this year?