Remember my last list of projects?  I made it back in 2012.  I’ve been updating it as I can cross things off the list, but let’s face it, some of the projects just aren’t ever going to get done – I’ve lost interest.  I think it’s time for a new list!

I might even try to put these in the order I plan to work on them!  Crazy right?  You’re all on the floor laughing, aren’t you?  I don’t blame you.

1.  Butterick 4571 – nice burgundy crushed panne velvet base with a white rose print velvet for the contrast. Trim will still be gold.  I am making this for my mother-in-law to wear to an upcoming Renaissance Fair in October!

2.  Simpliticy 4059 – a red paisley brocade for the top, possibly a gauzy shirt underneath, and the pants.  I am making this for my father-in-law to wear to the same Renaissance Fair! They are going to be looking mighty snazzy!

3.  Settlers of Catan dress – Simplicity 1356; I have the fabric and it’s already cut out

4.  Avengers dress – Simplicity 1418; I have the fabric and it’s already cut out

5.  Star Wars skirt -I have fabric and a pattern, but no pictures or numbers at the moment.

6.  Pajama pants – I have at least two pairs cut, and I know I’m going to need to buy cheap flannel on Black Friday, so time to use up what I’ve got!

7.  Simplicity 0577 – Cynthia Rowley skirt, but not sure what fabric to use yet.

8.  Quilt – I’ve been saying for about a year that I want to make a quilt, and I have a solid idea of what I want to make in my head (I even have some fabric) … it just keeps falling to the bottom of my list.

Somewhere in there, I have plans to decorate and coordinate a Harry Potter themed Halloween party, and organize the sewing room. I started this past weekend on the reorganization because this:

BeforeView1

 

And from a different perspective:

BeforeView2

Do you see a sewing machine in here?  No.  That’s because it’s downstairs still from the craziness that was DragonCon prep.  In all likelihood, I will have a hard time being completely upstairs until I have a small tv up there to watch while I sew.  But in the meanwhile, I am going to get the room prepped.  I’ve made a lot of progress since I took these pictures, but I’m not ready to share the results until I get everything DONE.

I’m also on a bit of a video game binge at the moment … last year I think I returned to games after DragonCon, too.  I’m playing WoW again, since I never played Panderia.  And I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming expansion to that as well as the new Civilizations title, Beyond Earth (due out on 10/24). I think I will likely wait to start any more costumes until 2015, though I promise my head is already brimming over with ideas.  I suspect that once again Halloween will be a day where I get lazy and wear one of my existing costumes – at the moment I am thinking Hades.

I want to add at least one Christmas craft project to the list, but not sure what yet.  Maybe a wreath of some kind??  I had a ton of fun making these wine glasses a while back, and this decoration, but been there, done that.  Let me know if you have suggestions!! :D

As usual, we spent the $5 on a board gaming pass at the Hilton basement during DragonCon.  This allows you to check out games from their library and play them – they take an ID from you and you take a game.  We played a few games Friday and Saturday night, but by Sunday I was worn out from all the cosplay, and we spent quite a few hours in the cool air of the basement learning some fun new games!  This post will be similar to my Orkfest games mini-review – nothing thorough, but hopefully enough of a blurb to let you decide if you think you should give the game a try.

1.  Coal Baron

photo 2 (11)

This was my favorite game of the ones we tried. It’s a worker placement game, but you begin with the max possible workers. Spaces on the board can also be reused if you are willing to pay the last paid price plus one worker. The premise is that you are mining different types of coal from your mine.  Here’s my play area with my starting cash, workers, and work orders.

photo 3 (11)

Spaces on the board include ways to generate money, ways to send miners to grab coal from the mine, ways to purchase tracks with carts to place in your mine (this is how you get coal), ways to get coal orders which you fill to get victory points, and ways to turn in your coal orders.   As you buy them, your carts go in the appropriate color spot of your mining shaft (above), on either the lighted side or the dark side (shown on the cart card).  You have to keep the light and dark side even by the end of the game or you lose points!  You play three rounds and score points between each one. Here’s a shot of the game in progress.

photo 4 (7)

I liked this game, but it didn’t stand out to me the way Keyflower or The Manhattan Project did. If you enjoy worker placement, Coal Baron is worth trying. I would give it a 4 out of 5 – a little better than average.

2.  Urbania

photo 1 (10)

I am not sure what type of game this one is – maybe tile based?  It was quite different from most things I have played.

You randomly place building tiles on the game board with the run down side facing up, except you put five tiles in the center space all with the spruced up side showing. Then players take turns doing 2 of the following actions – drawing cards, renovating building tiles, submitting plans, or hiring specialists. The cards contain hats and coins. Coins help you buy specialists and hats help you fix buildings. You gain points for each building you fix and for hiring specialists, which have a worth system that increases over time and use.  You get bonus points at the end for three plan cards that you submitted during the game (Ex: “Fix at least 6 blue buildings”).  The game ends when a certain amount of buildings are fixed in an area of the board.  There may be other winning conditions, but that was the one that happened in our game.

photo 4 (9)

I give this a 3 out of 5.  The first play through was not good, but it ended too quickly I think – my husband did not seem to like it and tried to end it as fast as possible.  I like games that are unique, so this has some potential.  The human factors engineer in me was unhappy with how difficult it was to tell which side of the building tiles were run down and which were renovated.

3.  New Haven

photo 2 (13)

This game box looked new and shiny, but that it where my enjoyment of this game ended :(  It is a resource management game ultimately, with some elements of Carcassonne as well.  I guess it is also a city builder.

Each player begins with two square tiles containing 4 resources – some may be the same, some may be different.  You also have I think 5 circles to start.  The game has a main board where players place the square tiles in order to collect resources each turn.  And then you have an individual board where you use the circle pieces you have and any resources you have gather that round to build your town.

Here is a shot of the resource board near the end of our game.  You place tiles wherever there is space, but you only get resources based on the number of connecting like symbols (also a little bit like some casual video games like Bejweled).

photo 5 (9)

There is a space to count resources for the turn, then you have the option to use your resources to buy circles / buildings for your town.  If you leave any resources unused, the other players have the opportunity to use them to build their towns.  At the end of your turn you pick up a replacement square tile, and a number of circles based on your resource quantity at the end of the round.

There are some rules for placing circles in the towns – if you turn the circles with the number facing up, that circle must go on a spot with a corresponding number.  Face down it can be placed anywhere.  The first piece of a type (these match the four resources) can go anywhere, but after that each type must build off where you started.  Here is a sample town board.

photo 4 (10)

 

You get bonuses based on how many rows and columns have the numbers facing up.  It was hard to do.

I give this game a 2 out of 5.  The random element of which city tiles you had and which resources you earned that round made placing city tiles a little too difficult for my liking.  I’m not certain what exactly made me dislike this one so much, but I enjoy Settlers of Catan much more, even though it has a random element involved.

4.  Giza: The Great Pyramid

photo 3 (8)

 

This game was a worker placement that had some collaborative elements, but ultimately an individual winner.  It also had a very long rule book.

photo 4 (4)

 

Each round, players used their workers to do 2 actions – farm, fish, art, worship, or lift.  After your actions, you nominated a sled with a piece of the pyramid to be moved.  Players with workers on that sled then used a bidding mechanic to decide how much the piece got moved – food is the resource being bid.  Basically do you feed the Egyptian slaves enough for them to move the piece or do they starve?   In this game, you can never do too much farming or fishing!  Food is important!  Points were scored each time a piece was moved into place, with bigger contributors earning more points.  Art is used to decorate the pyramid when levels are finished, again using a bidding mechanic to see who wins the most points.  Worship gains you points in a similar fashion, but based on how many people you have in the temple at a specific time – and your workers have too much other shit to do to be in the temple.

I was not a big fan of this game either.  I give it a 2 out of 5.  Something about it was not working for me, and it was very slow going!  There are way better worker placement games out there; however I did like the Egyptian theme.

 

I enjoyed our time trying out these new games on Sunday, but was disappointed we didn’t find anything we liked better.  I guess this happens when you play as many board games as we do.  The selection in the game room was way better this year, though.  Jesse had his eye on a Shadowrun deck building game the whole weekend, but ultimately did not choose to play it or buy it.  He read up on it a lot and watched some videos, but we didn’t pull the trigger on this.  Maybe we will soon, but I’m not a huge fan of deck builders so he will have to be the one to push for that purchase.  We did snag a copy of Splendor from the dealer hall, so I’m sure we’ll be playing that in the near future a bunch!

One of the other interesting things I did at DragonCon this year was purchase a Multipass with a professional photographer, Bryan Humphrey: Mad Scientist with a Camera.  It cost me $75, but for that amount I could go to his booth in as many costumes as I wanted over the course of the weekend to have photos taken.  And it included a small 2GB USB stick with the DragonCon logo on which they loaded the pictures.  I’ve put an album on my Facebook page with some of my favorite shots from this photography adventure, but I’ll share some here as well.

NasusBattlePose2

This was a great deal.  I wound up with 33 photos of 4 different costumes.  Bryan’s booth was setup on the Marquis level of the Marriott, in between the entrance and exit doors for the walk of fame, and within view of all the band tables.  They had lots of helpers – one for check-in, several to manage the line, and a few to help with loading photos to the USB sticks afterwards.

LadyASitting

Each time I went I had to check-in with someone so that they could track how many times I used my multipass and so that they could place me in line with a dry erase board.  The board helped them separate pictures out later, and included info about who I was, what character I was cosplaying, etc.  The first time I went for Lady Amalthea photos was when I stood in the longest line.  And they had some technical difficulties with the laptops and software, so there were a couple times where I waited for my photos to be put on my USB stick longer than I stood in line for the photos.

RainbowDashSide

It would have been nice to have several different background choices, but that would have made the wait longer for sure.  And I feel like the background he used was an excellent choice for showing both dark and light costumes.

HadesCloseWithPainAndPanic

Bryan did tell me that apparently crushed panne velvet is a frustrating material to photograph since it reflects the light so much.

LadyAHairPose

I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t manage to take a photo of Hades where you could see my el wire glowing.  Next time if I do something like this, I’ll be sure to ask for something like that.  Also, despite noticing everytime AFTER I took photos, I never remembered to remove my fitbit for the photography session.  Oh well.

HadesFullMysterious

I do have to say, having poses for costumes here is key.  And if you think you feel like an idiot in the privacy of your own home practicing poses in costumes, I promise it only gets better to pose while there are about 30 people in your immediate vicinity (though in all likelihood only a few of them are paying any attention to you).

NasusFistPose

Nasus was a great example of a dark costume that still popped with the gray background.

RainbowDashBackView

 

I like the perspective on this Rainbow Dash shot, and the view it gives of my styled wig.  But at the same time, you can kind of see that the wig is too small – near my ear a hint of my dark hair is visible.

This was a neat thing to do, and I was glad I participated.  Working with Bryan was great, and I would definitely consider purchasing this pass again, depending on how many costumes go with me to DragonCon next year.  I believe he also offers group passes or just individual shots of a single costume.

We did go to Trader Vic’s for a Scorpion Bowl on Friday night and didn’t go to bed until at least 2 am, but somehow managed to wake up by 10ish on Saturday without being hungover.  That said, we once again missed the parade, haha.  We did get to catch up with some friends who were watching the parade afterwards (Hi, Davis family!), which was awesome.  And I didn’t scare their young girls with my Nasus costume, so that was a bonus. :)

SATURDAY MORNING

I was in my Nasus costume by around 11:30 or 12.  Since I only had to paint my neck and face for this costume, I opted for some Mehron cake makeup instead of the liquid face paint, since it was so easily sweat off with Hades the night before.  It went on easily, but as I found out later, was also still easy to sweat off.  Here I am with Shane, the other Nasus from the LOL photoshoot (Kitty’s Cake) – she was awesome and very friendly!

photo (7)

This costume got a TON of attention.  Lots of people in the hotels recognized me as I heard shouts of “NASUS!” as I walked around.  There were also plenty of folks both at the con and just on the streets of Atlanta who wanted pictures but thought I was just an Egyptian Anubis.  Either way, it was nice to know people appreciated the hard work!

Whenever you make a costume that is more elaborate, there are going to be more problems.  Nasus had the lion’s share of my wear issues, so here it goes!

1.  Body Suit Caught on the Worbla / Wonderflex – My body suit fit me well (except in the ankles, which was weird … they were too big), but because I did not do the sandwich method with the thermoplastics, there were some rough plastic edges on the underside of the foam.  These caught on the bodysuit anywhere they could.  I doubt anyone noticed, and I could probably get another wear out of the bodysuit, but eventually the Lycra pieces will need to be remade.

2.  Leg Pieces Not Stable – I was least happy with the shape of the leg pieces on my Nasus armor, mostly because they didn’t show the shape of my calves well.  But these turned out to be even more problematic when I was wearing them.  As the costume got more and more hot and sweaty, the leg pieces started sliding around – spinning off center, falling down my leg, etc.  I had to pull over to the side while walking a few times to fix them.

3.  Clasps Not Good for Securing Armor Pieces – Along those same lines, the clasps that I decided to use to hold the armor together on my body were fairly annoying to actually put on.  They were hard to see and manage, and the worbla connections to the armor pieces were not stable.  I hot glued a lot of them down in the end, and when I took the costume off, some of the hot glue had been worn down or pulled off.  Furthermore, the cross piece of the skirt was coming undone so much on the backside that I had to make a repair run up to the 10th floor of the Marriott where Riot Games hosted a “Cospitality Lounge”, complete with glue guns (and all sorts of other supplies to fix costumes).  So thankful for that!

4.  Bracers Slightly Too Long – The bracers were a little too long.  I did this deliberately to achieve a look I wanted (wider at the elbow), but the pieces were too long.  They dug into my elbows all day, and left bruises there and on the outside of my hand / thumb area as well, since I was constantly pushing them down towards my wrists.

5. Can’t Talk Easily in Face Pieces – When I went to the League of Legend photoshoot, I wanted to talk with folks more, but as my husband pointed out repeatedly when I tried to talk to him wearing Nasus, it was very difficult to make myself heard through the noise pieces.  I had a few conversations with an Arcade Sona and another Nasus, but that was about it.  I was afraid to pull the nose pieces off to chat because the makeup underneath was certainly sweating off.  Below you can see me as folks got ready for the LOL picture.  My axe was nearly always visible in the photos.

GettingReady1

6.  Elastic Slid Outside my Helm – The clear elastic straps for the bottom face piece went at the top of my head, and by the end of the day one had fallen outside to my forehead.  This caused a panic that some of the puffy paint from the helm had started to peel off (because a tiny bit of this had happened on a bracer during the car ride to Atlanta), but it was easily fixable.  I probably should have tried to secure these with bobby pins before putting on the helm?

7.  Carrying the Axe – SUCKED.  A LOT.  The “best” way to carry it seemed to be almost military style like a rifle.  Two arms had to be used due to weight, and I had to position the axe head carefully or I would cut off even more of my vision than I already did with my helm and face pieces.  That being said, a random guy at a street corner asked to hold the axe and take a picture, so it must’ve looked cool?

I wore this costume for about 4 hours.  It was fun to wear, but I’m not sure if I will chance wearing it again.  If I do, 4 hours is about my limit!  And I have to be closer to the convention than I was this year – think con hotel!  My lights stayed on the whole time I wore it, but the hot glue that was holding the gems to the worbla completely failed on one of the axe gems and the cross piece gem by the time we got back to the room and I got out of the costume pieces.  Here is my favorite Nasus photo from the con, taken by Bryan Humphrey: Mad Scientist with a Camera.

NasusBattlePose

 

SATURDAY NIGHT

I wore Rainbow Dash from about 5 pm until we went to bed at like 2 am or so.  It was easy to wear, and I love being in this costume the most out of the things I have made so far.  It might even be inspiring me to make another of my My Little Pony designs in the near future.  And I liked the wig sooo much better after I styled it this time.  Here’s a comparison:

WigComparison

There were only a few minor problems with wearing this costume, in my opinion:

1.  Flimsy Wings – The foam wings are fairly well shaped, but the wire contraption holding them up that goes inside the back of my corset is a little wonky at this point.  They would have been better suited to Derpy than to Rainbow Dash whose wings are her pride.  That said, making a better harness for these before the next wear is very doable.

2.  Wig Too Small – While I loved my new spikey color-chunked style on the cheap wig I purchased from Amazon, it still does not fit my head well, despite lots of bobby pins.  I may try it one more time and see if there is anything else I can do to secure it, but my hair is about as short as it will ever be, and if it is still too small for my head … it may be time for a different wig.  I used the white eyebrow pencil and some yellow eyeshadow to lighten my eyebrows for this makeup run – I think it’s less distracting than black eyebrows – and I like being able to see the purple contacts instead of the darker soulless purple ones.

RD_Selfie

3.  Jacket & Pose Disagreement – When I salute for my favorite pose for this cosplay, I get an unfortunate wrinkle in the jacket part of this costume.  It’s very distracting in pictures, like below.

SkyCaptainRD

At Megacon, I tried to use fashion tape to hold it down, and I probably should have done it again, but I didn’t feel like it helped much.  After seeing photos like this, it makes me wish I had done it anyway – every little bit helps.  My bottom jacket clasp is undone too – fail.  I am not sure if there are any adjustments I can do to fix this in the jacket, but I am open to suggestions if you have any!  I am regretting it a bit that I did not go to the My Little Pony meetup that evening, but it had been a long day and I just wanted to relax and people watch.

Later this week, the final bit of cosplay posting I will do from DragonCon is coming up – my first experience having professional photos done.  Also, the gaming rundown from DragonCon.  Stay tuned!

Last week, my posts were focused on DragonCon in general – how it went and what cool cosplays we witnessed.  Today I want to focus on the costumes I wore and how my experience was wearing each of them.  I’ll probably separate this into a few posts cause I have a LOT of notes, hah.

FRIDAY MORNING

I wore Lady Amalthea during the early part of Friday because it was easy and required the least amount of makeup out of my planned costumes.  We stopped outside the hotel to take a couple photos.

LadyA

I did learn a few things wearing this costume:

1.  Leaving a short train in the back of the dress may have looked nice, but it was SUPER dirty after walking around the con.  The train was also easy to step on and so I had to bunch the skirt and carry it a lot, especially on the escalators.

2.  I wore some Spanx underneath this outfit, mostly to help prevent chafing on my thighs.  The Spanx went up above my waist, to right under the bust.  If you have worn these before, you probably know that they roll down to your waist easily and create icky creases on your body where you don’t want them.  I used fashion tape at the top of the Spanx to hold them just under the bust line and prevent the uncomfortable rolling.  It worked gloriously!

3.  Placing those tiny pink gems on the star on my forehead looks fantastic, but boy does it suck.  I used rubber latex to help stick them there, and that stuff smells horrible.  And then your hand gets in the way so you can barely see where you are sticking the gem. Big hassle.  But worth it.  You can kind of see the gems below in this selfie that was quite gloriously photo-bombed LOL.

LadyA_Selfie

I did not expect to be recognized much in this cosplay, and my expectations were correct.  While I loved The Last Unicorn growing up, it is a bit obscure. The handful of folks that did recognize me and come up to me were very excited about my cosplay choice.  One lady showed me a tattoo on her thigh of the riddle singing butterfly from the beginning of the movie.  I wish I had taken a picture of it!  I had fun wearing this costume even though not everyone knew who I was.  I also did see another Lady Amalthea during the convention while we were people watching – she had a Smendrick with her too. If I had not been a story up at the time, I would have tried to get a photo.

FRIDAY EVENING

I chose to wear Hades in the evening since it had the el wire on it and I wanted it to be seen glowing. I made Jesse take a couple of photos in the room before we left – they are the only ones I have where you can see the glowing.

HadesFingerPose

Hades was much more recognizable than Amalthea, despite my gender bent take on it. As we were walking down the street to the convention, a food vendor shouted, “Hades rules!! Can I take a selfie?” at me. This was one of my favorite moments in this costume, and I walked over with Pain and Panic and posed with him for a selfie.  I got plenty of other photos, but this one sticks out in my memory.

As usual this costume was not without wear problems.

1. Body paint. I opted for sponging on the liquid paint I had bought for the airbrush, simply because it was way faster. However, it took several coats, and in certain places, like my shins, it had a hard time sticking at all. Regardless, it looked good when done. But it washed off easily (I totally stuck my hands in the running water of the sink, and had to redo them), and sweated off a bit (I left gray streaks on my beer bottle). I did airbrush the darker gray highlights onto my face which went well. Overall, I am not sure what I could have done better. Maybe I didn’t use a good finishing spray to seal it? Or maybe I need higher quality paint? Not certain. Here’s a selfie we took while people watching that night at the Marriott.

Hades_Selfie

2. El wire short. Despite having redone the el wire after the first short, I had a second short on the left side, if I lifted my shoulders just right. It was fine for most of the time that I wore it, but made me paranoid and I know this costume won’t last forever without a fix to that.

3. I needed several safety pins to hold the toga piece in the right position on my body, and it was actually tough to pin the skull and drape piece on at all – I wished I had used a larger pin back. Maybe this will be fixed before next wear.

4. Pain and Panic made it there mostly intact, covered in bubble wrap and plastic bags to cushion them. I was glad I had brought my hot glue gun and superglue because their tails both fell off right before we left the room. Also, Pain lost a foot somewhere during the evening. Never getting that back lol. Panic’s flimsy neck made me nervous but it survived.

Surprisingly, the sandals stayed tied on my feet just fine all evening.

Ultimately, I was happy and pretty comfortable wearing these costumes at the con.  I wore them each for 4-5 hours, but could have worn them longer if I hadn’t been trying to fit so many costumes into my schedule.  These two went pretty well overall.  Cheers!

Happy Friday, all!  Today, I’ll finish up posting the rest of my DragonCon 2014 cosplay photos.

First off, let me cover one of the ones I did not catch with the camera.  The following photo was originally taken by and posted on Talk Amongst Yourselves.  You’ll want to head over there to take a peek at the video they captured as well.

CrazyDragon

We saw this dragon several times over the course of the weekend, each time with his handlers.  Once in the Hilton (pictured above) and once in the Marriott.  My biggest question is … how on earth did this get to the con?  I am very curious to know how it breaks down.  I don’t know who made this costume, so if anyone does, please let me know and I can credit them and post a link, etc.

All right, onto the rest of the photos we took.  I think we saw 15 of them yesterday, so we’ll start with 16.

16.  Behemoth robot – I have no clue what it is from, but it is really cool.  And it says “Behemoth” on the helmet.  Let me know if you can identify it, and sorry for the blurry dude who almost walked through the photo.

GiantRobot

 

17.  Young Doctor Octopus – This little kid was super cute with his fancy lighted doc oc cosplay!  Conveniently, he was nearby me while I stood in line for some photos to be taken by the professional photographer.

YoungDocOctopus

 

18.  What do you call a group of Jedi?  A gaggle?  A handful?  An Asswhoop?  A Force (*giggle snort*)?  I like that last one…

Jedi

 

19.  The girl’s suit of armor from World of Warcraft was my favorite from the WOW Costume Contest.  Her husband also had a matching set (possibly from arenas?), but he walked by too fast for me to capture him.

WOWCC

 

20.  This costume was also from the WOW Costume Contest – a warlock.  I love the handmade imp pet he or she is carrying, and the health and mana potion details on the belt.

WOWCC4

 

21.  This warrior looks like he is from Skyrim, but I am not certain.  Regardless, his costume is badass.

SkyrimDude

 

22.  There is nobody better to protect you from the brain-eating zombie hordes than a muppet.  I do like the creativity in this anti-zombie Beaker!  Also, that sign behind him reads, “These are not the doors you are looking for.  Move along.”  Tee hee.

AntiZombieBeaker

 

23.  Another stylized version of Groot.  This cosplayer was doing the Groot dance from within a pot on the Marriott Atrium level – super cute and in character :)  For the record, I saw a third groot, who had their OWN pot that they carried around, then put down when they needed to dance.  Didn’t manage to photograph that one though.

Groot1

 

24.  Another cool dragon costume on the right, and a tribal harem lady on the left.

Dragons

 

25.  Guardians of the Galaxy were pretty popular to cosplay this year.  Here’s a Starlord and a Rocket I captured.

Guardians

 

26.  This guy is from Warhammer and looks freaking awesome.

ArmorSuit

 

27.  A third nifty take on a dragon.  I love the color choices in this one.

AnotherDragon

 

28.  A bunch of Rockford Peaches from A League of Their Own!  Love!

RockfordPeached

 

29.  Sly Cooper!!  I had visions of making a Sly cosplay a few years ago, but became disinterested.  This lady rocked it!

SlyCooper

 

30.  Steampunk Ariel was quite popular this year.  I loved this lady’s rendition – her trident lit up, and she has a dinglehopper and a snarfblat hanging off her utility belt!

SteampunkAriel

 

31.  Fantastic Stained Glass Hat Lady – I’m not super sure what she is, but she gives off a bit of a steampunk church bishop vibe.  And THAT HELM!  *faints*  I am dying to know how she made it.

StainedGlassHelm

 

32.  A cute Tardis costume!

Tardis

 

33.  And last but not least, a terribly blurry photo of the Steampunk Tron Jesus we saw wandering the convention.

Jesus

 

Well, that’s the last of the photos I have for you folks.  I did better than last year, but I am sorry that the quality of a lot of these is low.  When in costume, I typically only carry my iPhone as a camera.  Regardless, I hope you enjoyed your peek into DragonCon!  Next week, more on gaming while we were there, and details of the professional photoshoot.

I promised to take more photos of other cosplays this year at DragonCon, and I kept my word!  So today, we’ll start with some of the cosplays that were my favorites.

1.  These seagulls from Finding Nemo were all happily squawking “MINE!”

MineBirds

 

2.  This male Disney princess group.

MalePrincesses

 

3.  These Tron costumes were super well done.  Maybe someday I will live my dream of doing a siren cosplay.  This lady’s rocked!

Tron 4.  These Star Wars ladies were super cute, and quite different from many of the other Star Wars cosplays I saw.

StarWarsBabes

5.  Some of the League of Legends cosplayers from the group photoshoot – Dark Valkyrie Diana, Soraka, Arcade Sona, and Heartseeker Ashe.

CloseUp4Better

6.  This Groot was AMAZEBALLS.  Bonus for having pretty dryads with him when I took the photo.  But even the expression on the face is wonderful.  I am not certain what the camera on his shoulder was for though.

Groot

7.  This Mary Poppins was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  (Hmmm, spell check does not wish to correct me on that one … or did I break it?)

MaryPoppins

8.  This is the Big Boy Burgers guy.  Quite original, and hamming it up in the gaming hall.

BurgerTime

9.  This girl’s Marjorie Tyrrell (from Game of Thrones) gown was beautiful.  There are TONS of seashells on the back of it, you can see some on her train.

TyrrellGirl

10.  This woman’s Zecora costume from My Little Ponies was fabulous!  Easily one of my favorites ever!  She found me in the gaming hall, so of course we took a picture together.

RDandZicora

11.  While we are on the My Little Pony topic, let’s make sure to check out this Discord, one of the villains from the show.  Discord is awesome, especially since he is voiced by John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek TNG).  I actually saw several versions at the convention, but only photographed this one.  Her cloud looks like cotton candy!

Discord

12.  My friends Michael and Lauren made quite a cute Hermione and Malfoy.

HermioneAndMalfoy

13.  My friend Kelly, as a Victorian-esque Pinkie Pie.  We made our pony costumes to go together, but wore them on different days of the con, so no pictures together :(  Ooops.

ResizedImage_1409331832125

14.  It’s Pam from Archer!  Jesse wishes he had his sploosh shirt on for this.  But it probably made up for it when Pam called him “Dicknuts”.  She has got the look DOWN for this, love it!

JesseAndPam

15.  This Olaf definitely liked warm hugs – we walked up to take the photo as someone was giving him one.  Well done for sure.

Olaf

Okay, that’s it for this post; I’ll put up some more tomorrow.  Which one is your favorite?  I am still awed with Groot, and tickled pink by those seagulls, but they were all very well done!

Well, DragonCon 2014 is over.  I’m glad we went – it was a fun weekend. :)  Last year, I did a retrospective post on the convention, and thought I would just make that a tradition. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of good DragonCon posts on this blog for the next while, as I have a ton of things I want to write about (including plenty of cosplay pictures).

 

WHAT WENT WELL?

  • Registration – We got to the Sheraton at about 11 am on Thursday to pick up badges.  They had changed the lines and how you enter the building a bit, but the biggest change?  Instead of waiting in line for 1.5-2 hours?  We walked right up to a station and were handed badges immediately.  Less than 5 minutes.  I was so confused.  We had planned on spending more time doing this, and miraculously gained back two hours of our day.  And from what I have heard, other people had similar registration experiences at different times – less than 10-15 minutes.  No clue what the organizers did, but IT WORKED!  Props to those folks!!  Here’s a shot of my badge – cute design this year.

Badge

  • Costumes – There will be another post on this, but I had a blast wearing four different costumes over the course of the weekend (yes, I did skip the 5th one).
  • Cell Network – Maybe it was because I went in with super low expectations based on last year, but phones, Facebook, and texting seemed to be working better than last year.
  • Packing the car – I was nervous about bringing so many costumes, but we did manage to get it all in the car.  And still see out the back window.  And the Tardis mini-fridge was a nice addition for keeping drinks cold both in the vehicle AND in the hotel room once we were there.
  • CarWithTardisPaint & Take Table – There was a miniature painting station setup in the gaming hall this year.  I believe it was sponsored by CoolMiniOrNot.  And after you painted your mini, you could take it home.  I liked this idea a lot, but as you will see below, the gaming hall is too crowded.  This piece should stay wherever the games with miniatures wind up.
  • Professional Photos – Again, I’ll do a separate post on this, but I spent $75 on a multi-pass for having photos taken with Brian Humphrey, Mad Scientist with a Camera.  This was very worth the price, I wound up with 33 photos of 4 of my costumes.  Here’s a sample from my Rainbow Dash costume.
  • RainbowDashBackView
  • League of Legends Photoshoot – I like to try something new each DragonCon, and this year for me it was participating in a large group photoshoot.  So Nasus went to a shoot with almost 200 people on the back patio of the Hilton.  It was fun and different, though I wound up leaving early due to HOT.  Also, couldn’t easily talk to folks in my Nasus costume since I had the nose piece on my face.  I did meet another awesome Nasus cosplayer while there, who was super sweet – that made the whole event worth it :)  Here is one of the group shots.  I’m in the middle on the left side.  You can see my axe and my head.
  • GroupShotWorkshop on Fabrication – I learned a lot at the Fabrication workshop I took on Thursday with Roy Wooley and RJ Haddy from FaceOff.  Mostly, I liked listening to them talk about materials.  They confirmed that the way I do my patterning makes sense and isn’t crazy – I watched RJ place tin foil on Roy’s head to make our helmet pattern.  I also got quite a bit out of interacting with the other workshop folks – everyone was a wealth of information and shared fun costume making tips :)
  • JenRoy2The Cog is Dead concert – I have been a fan of this band for about 5 years when I first looked up Steampunk music on iTunes and discovered them.  I love how well-themed their albums are, and their songs have wonderful story-telling lyrics.  I was very excited to get to see them perform Saturday night, and I REALLY hope DragonCon will have them back next year!  They sang The Copper War, The Depths Below, and even sang the Portal song as a cover, which I enjoyed.  I also liked their new song Space Cowboy.  One of my favorites, Mechanical Menagerie, wasn’t played, but at conventions their sets are fairly short it seems, so understandable.  Here is their lead singer, Captain John Sprocket!
  • JohnSprocket

 

WHAT NEEDED IMPROVEMENT?

  • Cell Network – Even though this was much improved from 2013, this could still be better next time around.
  • Bars on Sunday night were doing last call at midnight – WTF?  I know the South has Blue Laws, but I thought most of them had been removed at this point.  Since Monday isn’t the big church day, I would not have expected last call to be so early the last night of DragonCon.  Shouldn’t it have been between Saturday and Sunday?  Not that this would have been better, mind you.  It made no sense, and kinda rained on the last night parade for some of the folks we were hanging out with.
  • Gaming Hall space – This area of the convention has been getting more and more busy over the last 2-3 years.  It is now so hard to find a table, that you find people playing games on the floor.  I’m not sure what the solution is, because that space is perfect for gaming.  But maybe it’s time to split up the gaming?  Magic and Card games in different room of the Hilton, and keep board games downstairs?  I’m not sure when this was taken, but I wish I had actually captured a picture of folks gaming on the floor.
  • GamingHallNon-Convention Hotel – The hotel was nice, close enough to walk, and complimentary thanks to my husband’s Hilton Diamond Rewards – we stayed at the Double Tree, which is right next to the Westin.  However, we really missed being at the Marriott – let’s face it, we have been spoiled staying there for the last 3-4 years.  And it was totally our fault for deciding to go in May.  A non-con hotel probably is not bad at all if you are not wearing multiple costumes per day.  But since I was, we were often walking back to the room.  I walked about 20k steps each day of the con, according to my fitbit.  And boy could my feet / calves / ankles tell!  Regardless, it worked fine, and did save us a bunch of money.  But we’ll probably attempt to get a con hotel next year.
  • FirstDayWalkingDealer Hall – We tried going twice this year, and were not drunk / hungover either time.  It was still ridiculous, both times.  We did see some cool things (neat gaming table booth by Geek Chic), and even bought a couple items (yay new t-shirt and copy of Splendor, one of my favorites from Orkfest this year).  However, we tend to get frustrated with the experience and leave before we really do much shopping.  Also, I love Yaya Han’s cosplay work, but there was a giant line in the dealer hall for people who wanted to see her.  Time to add her to the Walk of Fame or something, folks – the dealer hall does NOT need more crowds!
  • DealerLootWorkshop on Fabrication – This was the first time Roy & RJ did the workshop, which they admitted to us, so it was a little disorganized. I imagine they will work those kinks out.  For example, I thought it was only 2.5 hours long, but the app said 4 hours.  And we spent the first 1.5 hours watching them doing the patterning part, when I think we probably could have used the time better to work on the foam helm.  My helm didn’t turn out great, but I pretty much gave up since our timeline was pretty short, and called the whole thing a learning experience.  Here are me and RJ wearing our helms.
  • JenRJ2

I had a great time at the convention this year.  It was nice to spend so much of it with my husband just hanging out and enjoying the geekery.  The only panel we went to was the WOW Costume Contest, so next year we will have to do a little better.  But we did attend the night time stuff a lot, like drum circle, concerts, and the gaming hall.  I’ll be doing some cosplay photo posts, a gaming review post, and maybe a few others over the next week, so be sure to check back.  Anyway, I hope everyone had as much fun at DragonCon as we did!!

I have determined that airbrushing in and of itself is not too difficult.  Figuring out the paint situation is a bit more of a challenge.

When I did my Nasus trial, I realized I bought paint that was not meant to be sprayed on the human body.  It was water based and easy to remove, but very latex-like and made my face feel … stuck.  Not sure why I didn’t think to do this originally, but I ordered some paint that is specifically for painting on skin.  Strangely, I have ordered this stuff before – it’s Mehron Face Painting Liquid, and I’ve got several small bottles of various colors in my makeup stash.  According to Amazon, this paint can be sprayed on with an airbrush.

When I tried it, I found that the statement is only somewhat true.  It does in fact go through the airbrush.  It’s just a little too thick to go through the airbrush WELL.  I tried adding some water and mixing it up in the airbrush cup.  I added too much and it didn’t seem like it mixed well as I had splotches on my face of drippy watery areas.  No good.

The next attempt, I pre-mixed my paint in a tiny cup (I have white and a medium gray, but Hades needs a light gray).  I measured how much was in the cup, and then I added only a couple drops of water to it (about 1/16 of an oz, according to the cup).  I mixed it for a while, and then poured it into the airbrush.  This was MUCH more successful, and allowed me to complete my trial run.

IMG_1125

The contacts I am wearing are supposed to be yellow.  But with my light blue eyes, they turn into a weird color.  Definitely different than blue, and the gray makeup seems to help, but not quite the glowing yellow I wanted.  My choices were limited for prescription yellow lenses :(  Maybe another time.

After the trial, I made some adjustments to my face with the leftover paint.  I removed some of the eye triangles, bringing them down to circles around my eyes.  And I used my crazy white eyebrow pencil plus some blue eyeshadow to turn the eyebrows blue.  I think I liked the way this looked a tad better.  I also discovered that it may be faster to apply the base coat of the gray paint to myself with a sponge rather than the airbrush, and then just do the darker accents with the airbrush.  Speed is everything with makeup at DragonCon.  I know I can sit in my room for 2 hours putting on a costume, and I’d really rather not.

HadesPainPanic

Above is the sort of exasperated look I am going for for my pose, though I intend to hold Pain and Panic out to the side / front a bit more.  I don’t quite have the sneer down, but dammit I can roll my eyes like a champ.  Sorry for the blurry iPhone pic.

photo 1-8

And here is a straight-faced, slight smirk, still blurry photo of it.

photo 2-6

The shoes aren’t yet finished, but they will lace up my legs like the ice fairy ones did.  The toga piece needs safety pins to hold it in place a little bit.  And there is a short in one of the el-wires if I raise my shoulders too much, but I think it will be mostly okay.  Obviously, three of my appendages are unpainted, and for the full costume I will paint them all.  And Panic’s neck?  Still slightly bendy.  Can’t put it back in the oven or I will remelt the hot glue.  Here’s hoping he stays in one piece!  Also, these photos don’t show the sparklies on the black fabric, which is a little sad. Maybe I will get some better photos at the convention that do show that.  The ones with my better camera show the sparkles more, so there is hope.

Well, that’s it until after the con folks!  Watch Facebook, Twitter, and Stre.am for convention updates as I am able to provide them!

As usual, I have about eleventy-billion things on my schedule in the DragonCon App. I will probably go to two or three haha. If you are going to con and want to meetup, shoot me an app friend code on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

Schedule

If, as in previous years, the internet gods frown upon us, here are a few of the things I will definitely be at:

1. The Cog Is Dead concert – midnight between Saturday and Sunday (aka 12:00 am Sunday) in the Marriott

2. League of Legends Photoshoot at 2:30 pm Saturday on the Hilton patio (this is not an official event so it’s not on the schedule)

3. My Little Pony Meetup at 7 pm Saturday on the Hilton pool deck (also not an official event)

4.  Trader Vic’s in the Hilton somewhere between 10:30 pm and midnight, Friday & Saturday. (Let’s face it, my guaranteed things are just not “official”)

I have a ton of other things listed, but these are fairly certain. Also, when in doubt, my husband and I wind up in the gaming hall in the basement of the Hilton, so that is a safe place to look for us.

 

As for my anticipated costume schedule, here you go:

8/28 Thursday night:  I might wear something to go have some photos taken at the Marriott.

8/29 Friday:  Lady Amalthea (morning), Hades (evening)

8/30 Saturday:  Nasus (afternoon), Rainbow Dash (evening)

8/31 Sunday: Elizabeth (morning), Hades/Rainbow Dash (evening)

 

Tomorrow will be my final post pre-DragonCon – the trial run of my Hades costume. Cheers!