Finished Labyrinth Cosplay @ The Groovy Geek Gathering

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Even though we were starching sleeves and gluing on jewels the night before, we finished on time for the Groovy Geek Gathering. Our costumes were a big hit. I can’t wait to take it to an Indy Con.

We had a good time meeting up with other friends in costume and purchasing from vendors. Rylee got an Ash hat for his next cosplay and Kylie got a Supernatural vanity plate. My son even learned how to play love letters.

Here we are with some of our friends who also cosplayed at the event as Rambo Bright, Star Wars and Young Justice characters.

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I think they all did a fabulous job on their costumes. Here are some of my favorite pics from the con.

And a few where we were just goofing around. That dress barely fit in the car.

As you all know, I’ve been practicing contact juggling for this event. Here are a few pics of me doing the tricks and a link to the video on Facebook if it will work.

Please watch and let me know what you think. Now I promise, no more cosplay post for awhile, except for the final installation of my centaur DIY that I promised some of you I’d post soon. Sorry for the delay.

I have thirteen hours to solve the Labyrinth

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Only one week left to finish our costumes, but it feels like thirteen hours. There’s still so much to do and so little time.

We need to finish the Hoggle mask, close the back on the  corset, finish the skirt, attach the sleeves to the dress, and glue jewels on the jacket.

Here are some photos of our finished work. We finished the brooch and the dress skirt. The corset just needs grommets and the sleeves and it’s officially done.

With one week left, I doubt I’ll get a lot of down time–or sleep. I can’t wait to share pictures of the finished project.

Time is Short: Such a Pity

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I’m starting to worry we won’t get finished on time, but I always feel this way before a con. We got a lot done with week, and it’s all finally starting to come together.

For starters, I’m sorry I haven’t shared a lot of pictures of my sister’s dress. We just haven’t had time. It’s so pretty. We compared a lot of fabric before choosing the three we did. We really wanted to be authentic to the movie. After playing tv pause to get a good look at it, we were dismayed to find that the dress, down to the sleeves, is an iridescent, Barbie nightmare.

We did use iridescent organza; however, we toned it down with a lace and sparkly organza. You still see the multiple tones, but it makes it look more like an elegant ballgown instead of a Barbie birthday dress.

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The beads were hand stitched by my sister, using the same beads I used to make the necklace so it will all tie in. Needless to say, this was very time consuming.

Speaking of time consuming, I started glueing the jewels to my jacket. I also glued jewels to my  brooch.

 

We also got a lot of work done on the Hoggle mask. I’m hoping to have it ready to paint by the weekend.

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As always, let me know what you think. Hopefully next week I’ll have more pics of the dress.

Three weeks left: Tra-la-la

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Time is short. Such a pity.

Last week was very successful considering I had a lot to do and some personal matters to take care of. I finished attaching the tailcoat of the jacket to the top. I also attached the lace. It just needs lace on the cuffs and jewels. Picture this: everywhere you see black lace will be covered in jewels.

I’ve bought enough jewels to put a dragon’s horde to shame. I didn’t want sew-ins because that would be too time consuming so I opted for glue ons.

BTW: Did you spot Hoggle in this picture. Hoggle loves shiny things.

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MAS IMPORTANTE!!!

For any of you wanting to embellish with jewels, choose a glue based on how you will wash your costume. I would like to dry clean it, so I had to order a dry clean only glue.

Speaking of Hoggle, we finally started the Hoggle mask. Sorry, no pictures. I haven’t gotten very far. I was really tired and depressed this week, all things considered, but I anticipate this week will be better.

We also cut out the patterns for my sister’s dress. Below is a picture of the kitty cats “helping.” We also did a dummy pattern out of a table cloth. If the table cloth looks that good, I can’t wait to see what it looks like with the satin.

Below are pictures of the fabric cut and stacked on top of each other. When it’s done, the bodice will be five layers: interfacing, lining, satin, lace, and iridescent organza. The skirt will be at least three layers with a hoop skirt underneath.

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Well, I’ve got to get back to work if I’m ever going to solve this labyrinth–er finish this costume.  Let me know what you think.

Labyrinth Cosplay: Progress Update

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I’ve honestly lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working on this project and how many there are left.

This week, I made a lot of trips to Jo-Ann’s. Not that I don’t usually, but this one required more. It seemed like every night I was missing something–something required to work on the next step.

For starters, Somehow this fabric hoarder ran out of interfacing. And I also had to buy shoulder pads–how 80’s. If I’d read the notions section of the pattern, I would have known this, but I tend to ignore this part until I’m ready for it.

Then the clear coat for my brooch didn’t work, so I had to go get more of that, and it’s very hard to find in a gloss.

I also messed up my cuffs and had to start from scratch, which meant cutting more fabric, more interfacing, and more lace.

I was worried the week was going to be full of setbacks, but then towards the end there was a complete turn around.

I almost finished my jacket. It is looking super awesome. I just need to attach the bottom and glue on the jewels. I also found one of those stands to put it on instead of a hanger. That will come in handy when I sew the dress.

My favorite part is the lace. I just love how it ads depth and tones down some of that blue. I can’t wait to ad the jewels, though I’m sure that will be a pain in the butt.

I can’t wait to be done. It’s been a total headache. I’ve had to stock up on ale, snacks, and binge watch Supernatural just to get through it.

The other  major accomplishment: my sister finally chose fabric for her dress. We cut out the patterns and I’m super excited to get started on this.

I also finished spraying the brooch and it’s ready for jewels.

Note: If you ever need a super silver shiny spray paint, Krylon metallic silver is great. My brooch and the keys look like real metal.

My goal this week is to finish the jacket, work on the Hoggle mask, and maybe, just maybe, start sewing the dress.

 

Cosplay Progress: Sewing Party

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This week was hectic, but in a good way.

So my son’s costume is almost finished. This week I finished the pants and sis started some of his accessories.

I also finished my silver, ruffle-necked shirt. I sewed dozens of buttons down the back before realizing they made snaps in the same style. Ughh! I also started the shiny silver, jewel encrusted brooch that pins to the collar.

 

 

Over the weekend, we had a sewing day with my friends, who are also working on a family cosplay. They are all going as DC characters. It was crazy and fun. We set up a long table in the kitchen so we could use two sewing machines at once. In the family room we cut patterns and fabric, and measured everybody. We had pizza and drinks (of the adult variety) and sewed like crazy. After the party, there was faux fur and fabric pins everywhere. It was hectic, especially since my friend Shelly and I are the only ones who sew. We taught her daughters how to cut patterns, so this was a great learning experience for them. I’m hoping to have another get together in a week or so. Here are some pictures from the party of my stitch’n bitches. I wish I had more, but I was too busy sewing.

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.

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.

 

 

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?

Most Romantic Songs in Fantasy and Sci-Fi

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I’m no love expert, but I do consider myself to be a pretty good judge of music. Since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, I thought I’d share my favorite love songs from Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

As the World Falls Down: Labyrinth

Despite what you might think, I didn’t put this song on the list because of Bowie’s recent death. I’ve actually had this post drafted for a while but decided to wait to post it until closer to Valentine’s Day.

For the record, I don’t consider this a romantic movie (unless you count the disturbing attraction that Jareth has for the much younger Sarah or the creepy uncle attraction of Hoggle). Either the song is a wink to the illegal attraction that Jareth has for the MC or–like many of the songs Bowie wrote for the movie–it just has nothing to do with the story and is a complete deviation from the plot altogether. Regardless, listening to this song gives me a similar feeling that I get while listening to Boyz II Men  “I”ll Make Love to You.” It’s the lyrics–the ones Bowie articulates anyway. He can be pretty hard to understand at times.

What girl wouldn’t want a man who promises to place the moon within her heart and the sky in her eyes while painting her mornings of gold and leaving his love in the stars. So many beautiful celestial references–which I’m a sucker for.

I’m not a huge fan of this movie … I’ll just pause a moment and let you get it out of your system.

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As I was saying, I’m not a huge fan, but I thought the scene where she’s in the dream world dancing with Jareth was just fabulously fun to watch with the masks, the costumes, Sarah’s hair, and all that Bowie glitter. I kept thinking what a neat cosplay this would be.

Well, if you love Bowie and 80’s love songs, you’ll just “fall” for this one.

Aniron: Lord of the Rings

This song doesn’t need English lyrics, or maybe it’s the absence of English lyrics that make it so moving. You don’t have to speak elvish to understand the meaning of the words.

It’s just so tear-jerking beautiful. Not a surprise since the song was composed and sung by Enya and conducted by Howard Shore, creators of some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard (says the woman who ran out and bought every Enya cd after hearing this song).

The song is the official love theme of Aragorn and Arwen and can be heard during their love scene, which is a little trite, especially because of their stilted dialogue. However, the romance hardly feels forced because of the song. Omit the music, and you just have two people stiffly facing each other exchanging bad dialogue. Total scene saver.

Tell Me Now: King Arthur

King Arthur is a B movie with an A movie soundtrack. If the screenwriters wrote the movie half as well as Hans Zimmer wrote the music, we’d have a contender for Gladiator or the Lord of the Rings.

To be clear, this is a list of my favorite romantic songs–not romances. The Arthur/Gwen ship was just dreadful and forced to put it kindly, but this song … it just reverberates with feelings and emotions I really don’t think were conveyed by the actors.

What do you think? Tell me, tell me now if you like this song.

That’s All I’ve Got to Say: The Last Unicorn

Poor Prince Leer didn’t know what to say or do to win the love of the Lady Almathea, so that’s what he sang about. What a beautiful, heartfelt song it ends up being for a man who said words were not one with him. Though if he was looking for the right words, he could have borrowed some from Jareth though it sounds like he may have tweaked some lines from Forrest.

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This is just one of those songs that makes me all warm and sappy. If a man ever sang this to me, I’d marry him in a heartbeat.

That’s really all I have to tell you about this song. That’s all I’ve got to say.

As Long as You’re Mine: Wicked

This counts as fantasy right? Anyway, I’ve never seen Wicked, but I don’t have to in order to love, love, love this song. It’s just so sexy. You can tell they want each other badly.

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How can you hear this song without imagining two people locked tightly in each others arms? To be honest, I was a little let down when I finally watched the video. The scene played out a little awkward compared to what I imagined.

This is my favorite song from the Broadway. Yes, even above Defying Gravity. Norbert Leo Butz and Idina Menzel are such a sexy vocal pair–better than when she sang with her husband (cheating bastard–also not as good a singer as Norbert).

Princess Bride: Story Book Love

It would be a crime to exclude Princess Bride from any list having to do with love, considering this movie is all about love, twu wuv, that will fowow you foweva and eva …

This song completely captures the movie’s heart and style. It’s as heartwarming and tender as the film’s happy ending.

It’s one of my favorite love songs of all time. Needless to say, I own it on iTunes, and I will be playing it this Valentine’s Day.

A Love Before Time: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

If this was a list of my top favorite romances, Le Mu-Bi and Yu Shu Lein would definitely make the list; however, this is a list for songs, and as you can see, their song makes the list.

This is a song about love transcending time and death. I dare you to listen to it without being moved. If you aren’t, you have no soul. How can you not be moved by cello music. From the first instrumental note, I was sold. The chords, the lyrics, the instruments. Did I mention the cello? I’m a sucker for cellos.

Then You Look at Me: Bicentennial Man

I’ve never seen this movie, but as a huge fan of Celine Dion, I’ve heard this song–at least a hundred times.

Is it any wonder it’s a romantic song. Written by James Horner and Will Jennings–the writers of Celine Dion’s more memorable hit, “My Heart Will Go On.”

If you haven’t heard of this song, it’s because the movie was a flop, and Celine’s (far inferior song) “That’s the Way it is” was a huge hit on the radio at the time, so sadly, this one was not played on the radio, but included on several of her albums.

If you haven’t heard it, I encourage you to. I think you’ll find it just as memorable as many of Celine’s other hits.

Well, there you have it. Those are my favorites. Which are yours? Any I left off the list?

To all of my friends and followers, have a wonderful Valentine’s day.