Monday, October 18, 2010

Costumery - Steampunk Goggles

I will attempt to explain in absolutely terrible detail how I made my lol-goggles.

Tutorials I've found on the interwebz:
These all looked great, but...

Yeah, okay. So while I wanted leather and metal, the whole nine yards (or at least four and a half yards would have been nice), I didn't have many things on-hand to futz with. I did however have a pile of polymer clay, some spray paint from my NERF gun repaint, and some old aprons and felt. ...And a toilet tissue roll. The heck did I do with this crap?

Pile of junk.

I cut two pieces from the cardboard roll the be the base of my eyepieces. Maybe an inch wide. I reinforced these with masking tape so they wouldn't be so flimsy, before rolling a sheet of polymer clay around the outside and trimming it to fit. (I ran the clay through my pasta machine so it'd be uniform.)
The fronts of the eyepieces still had to be made. I rolled out more clay and used something (in this case, an old salt shaker cap) to cut out circles from the middles, where I would later put in clear plastic for lenses.
Around the opposite edge, I poked holes through before baking where I'd later stitch.

Or something like that.
I don't care how the inside looked. Baked this per package instructions. Let cool, then applied a few coats of spray paint. I spent the time it was drying to dig around the house for some kind of fabric to use in lieu of leather.

This one was a huge ugly "No."
My wonderful mother however pulled up a pile of aprons she doesn't use for work anymore. Essentially black canvas (And an adorable red one I'm keeping) just waiting for me to decimate it.   I cut a rough "Whale" shape (As I saw it described in one of the aforementioned tutorials - I think that sounded adorable.) and trimmed it down how I wanted for comfort. I DIDN'T THINK THIS WAS ENOUGH THOUGH! It needed more color. I managed to dig up my old collection of craft felt. I cut a matching piece from it and put them together. I wrapped these two pieces around the now-dry eyepieces, and using the previously poked holes, I stitched (repeatedly) through the fabric and eyepieces to secure them together.
Like this.
Repeat for the second eyepiece.
I managed to find some clear plastic from some product's packaging. I cut circles from it to use for lenses and trimmed the edged down until they sat inside of the eyepiece snugly (from the inside. This is why I previously stamped out circles, leaving a place inside for the lens to rest).

As for the rest of the goggles' assembly, I used a scrap to join the eyepieces in the middle as a noserest or something. I cheated by using the adjustable strap from the apron as the strap for the goggles.

These look freaking goofy if I actually wear them on my face, but my main intent in making them was to wear on my hat.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Haunter hat completed!

I have finished the Haunter hat I mentioned in my previous post! It looks much better than it did initially and I'm much happier with the result, as is the friend I made it for. I went on and added a pink mouth instead of trying to make the band around the hat into a mouth, which greatly improved how it looked. It also made the eyes look less stupid with something else hand-quilted/sewn on with them.

Once again, BLEHHHH!
I must say (again) that the aspect I'm probably most unhappy about is the spikes not being big enough. That is something I'll have to improve if I make another one of these.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pokemon Overload. Maybe.

There is never a Pokemon overload.

I finished my Kanto gym badge set. All eight badges: Boulder, Cascade, Thunder, Rainbow, Marsh, Soul, Volcano, Earth. They weren't necessarily hard. Rainbow was time consuming in that I had to mix all of the colors. Cutting Thunder's shape right sort of sucked too.

I'm thrilled with how these turned out, sans the whole hex vs octagon issue.
Next up was... My best buddy asked that in addition to the Bellossom plushie I made for him that he would like a Gastly to hang in his car. Hell, why not?

Say hi, Gastly!

I did not make the Pikachu - he was purchased. ^_^
I'm extremely pleased with how they have turned out and currently have four of them sitting here with me. I sort of like it without the hanging loop, but as they are ghost pokemon, I figure they need to be suspended somehow. The bodies are fleece, faces are felt, and poofs are tulle. Machine and hand sewn. Some hot glue for facial attachment.

Also, the Bellossom are all felt. Machine and hand sewn. Hot glue for the face and flowers. Skirt petals all hand sewn on.

I, some time ago, made a Gengar figurine for a friend of mine with promise that I'll one day sell it to him when I was ready to relinquish him. Darn attachment I have formed with him. Gengar gave me much grief when the gloss I used to coat him turned into a swirly orange weirdness, causing me to repaint him and purchase a different glaze. I love how the backside turned out. He stands easily and even holds a berry of some flavor.

Gengar made from polymer clay
This friend wants a Gastly as well, but .... What good is Gastly and Gengar if you don't have a Haunter?

Commence concept sketch.

I nixed the tail and found out I'm terrible with anything that has a corner and needs to be turned out. .... That is to say, all of the spikes. They did not turn out nearly as spiky or large as I wanted. Also, I should have gone with the top mouth design instead of the bottom.

I mean, in short. This thing eats my head.

I've since added the eyes, which are felt and hand quilted on but I don't even like that. It's going to be up to him if he wants the hat or not. If not, I'll probably rip it apart and change it up some. I'm not sure. The band around the bottom is too wide. Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumkins, kitties and badges! Oh my!

Because "Lions, tigers, and bears" spoofs haven't been overdone. No, not at all.

Well, I put some more Halloweeny earrings up on my etsy (Link on the right panel!)
I really like my little pumpkins, but this time I've paired them with some relatively simplified looking black cats. I also listed a pair of earrings with just the cats on them.

I've always been a Pokemon fan, ever since the beginning. I've been heavily into it the past few months (my Platinum pokedex is almost complete! 10 Pokemon to go.), with a costume (a later post) and making plushies and figurines. I've just recently started watching the anime series from the beginning.

So, I bring you today's little project I started. The first three Kanto badges. I do realize that they're suppose to be octagonal, not hexagonal. I'm not really worried about it right now. I'm happy with how they turned out overall. I'll finish the Kanto set before I even look at which region I want to do next. I don't feel some of them will translate to polymer clay very well. Especially Sinnoh and Isshu's badges.

Boulder, Cascade, Thunder

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Costumery - Steampunk Mechanic

I went to Dragon*Con last month for my first time! Good times. The guy I went with (and by association his two friends) wanted to be all Steampunk. Firstly, I think steampunk is fascinating in itself. That is to say, in literary works such as things Jules Verne or HG Wells. Some of the theory behind it, too. Also... the Victorian style is gorgeous. HOWEVER that doesn't mean I want my life to revolve around steampunk dress and tech, as well as the nonfunctional, totally decorative, randomly pasted gears. Disclaimer: I'm neither bashing steampunk, nor the people who love it. As I said, I think it's fascinating in some respects.

That being said: He wanted to be a steampunk skypirate captain. I blurted I'd be his mechanic because every ship needs a mechanic, thus weaving myself into a trap. But okay, I wanted to make some kind of costume and I wanted to go, so if I had to appease the person by playing along with his costuming so I could bum a ride to Atlanta, I would.

Well, I didn't get into my costume hardcore mostly out of I didn't have money to embellish it how I wanted. I made due with what I had. Either way, I rough sketched the character. I had to deviate from my sketch as I progressed, of course. Things I had to create: Obligatory goggles (Although I find it more appropriate as a mechanic who would actually need goggles), a firearm, holster for said firearm, work belt, a big wrench. Minimum. Things I had or recently purchased: Vest, shorts, shirt, boots. Appropriate hat was necessary and Google serviced me well in that respect. Newsboy style cap that even looked slightly weathered.

Original sketch
I may make separate posts for ... like... creating my props and such because there were several components.
I didn't get around to making spats because I wanted such high spats and sewing is, still, beyond me. I didn't make any bustle or skirt-thingy. The waist cincher from the sketch wound up being my vest instead. Did a plain wrench instead of a monkey wrench. Couldn't find a leather I liked for bracers, so didn't do that.

"Chef", Captain, Mechanic, Navigator
No offense or anything intended, but you better believe next time I costume in a group that I'm going to make sure the group is reliable. He at least had the jacket, hat, and goggles thing going on. But really. Really. I'm not finding a flavor of steampunk elsewhere.

Anyway, I didn't pull off my costume entirely how I wanted. I was also too stupid to unholster my gun for any pictures, which is regrettable.
Except I found two R2D2s.
Also, not wearing these boots for another 18 hour stretch of constant walking. I thought I had made them more comfortable, but alas. Need new boots with less heel for future costumes. Boots are so multipurpose. (I did want lace up walking boots for this, but again - no money.)


Also, if anyone on the interwebz happens to see a picture of me in this costume that someone took, I'd love to see it. :< I know a couple people took pictures. Not many, but a couple.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Origami - Fishtail Curler

I love origami. Modular origami is even more fun. Kusudama balls are great and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are crazy, some are elegant.

I came across an image of someone's origami through Facebook. It looked really fascinating. The units used to make it are called fishtail curlers. The base is folded, but then the ends are curled. The units are assembled by locking these curls together. I made another kusudama out of normal curler units before, so I knew how this one worked. Just some different folds for a different shape.

Here's mine!
I made one. It's 30 units and 15 different colors. I used 50mm paper for this, so it's quite small yet equally awesome.

I used this diagram from this website here:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Costumery - White Mage

Yes, I'm doing several posts in one day for the mere purpose of making this look something like an actual blog.

I'd always wanted to cosplay. Not just dress up for Halloween, but for conventions or other such gatherings. I finally made my first costume-that-wasn't-for-Halloween last year. (As a side note, I also firmly do not believe in purchasing costumes. I have always - since a young, young age - had costumes that were made. By my mother. For me. And loved it!) It was for a sort of local event called Nerd Invasion, which in and of itself wasn't that great (however, that's another story). The costume in question was a redesign or customization or whatever you fancy calling what I did to it ... of a classic White Mage from Final Fantasy. Possibly a rendition of ye old 8-bit White Mage, maybe a little FF3 in with it. Possibly I just liked the excuse of using my own creative input and freedom to design this costume as I wanted it to be. Either way, I originally wanted to do a Red Mage, but it wasn't feasible at the time. Regardless! I sketched it up.
In reality, there's only so much you can redesign on a white mage.
I wanted a shorter dress with lacy poof under it (a petticoat or something) and a big waist sash/tie that had a big bow in the back. That's the gist of it.

Honestly, I never got into sewing before this point. I can't work a pattern to save my life, probably for the same reason I can't play Magic: The Gathering. Too many little technical things I'm worried about. I enlisted the help of my mother for this, showed her the sketch, and she made it go.
Well we messed up the first attempt at the entire robe, because some idiot is - well - an idiot. (That'd be me!) Just as well, because the material we used for the second go was lighter in weight - albeit a little transparent. A muslin of some flavor. I did, however, find an excellent red-orange-pink(I'm not sure its exact color, even after all this time) denim to use for the red-pink bits of this costume. Its texture was great. Not only that, but it makes the best sash for this costume. It's thick and rigid just enough to not fold over and I'm happy with how wide I cut it. Best of all, it creates the best bow in back when I can tie it just so. Again, because of how thick it is, it doesn't just fall down with gravity.
The scrapped first attempt was used to make the inside bit of the skirt for not only another layer, but to add the lace onto. Hooray, not see-through. I would love to line the bodice, sleeves, and hood with satin someday when I go back to remake this costume.
I wanted a full-circle skirt but my mom doesn't grasp that concept. Still. But that's alright. Unfortunately, though, she finished adding the pink bits to the skirt before I had come home one day and say that I wanted to skirt shorter than it was, so I'm stuck with it the way it is.
I would love to line the bodice, sleeves, and hood with satin someday when I go back to remake this costume. I still want the full-circle skirt and make it shorter. I'd love to work a proper petticoat into it perhaps.
Forgive me - I still have yet to get proper pictures of any of my costumes.
But check out the bow from even just the side view! It's great!
As far as accessories go, I picked up a drawstring canvas bag from Hobby Lobby and painted on two beloved Final Fantasy characters. Also, what mage travels without potions?

I endeavor to make an appropriate hammer for the next occasion I find myself wearing this to. Also, equally appropriate shoes or boots. I wore some tan suede-ish ballet flats which were good, and comfortable, but I originally envisioned white oxford-like boots for this. I gotta be honest.

All in all, a good experience, I have to say. I enjoy wearing this costume a lot. I may even wear it for Halloween this year, but it definitely isn't retired yet. My experience with this costume brought me to finally going to Dragcon*Con this year. My first real con experience, even with a complimentary case of confunk (or con-fluenza). And already making plans for next year's Dragon*Con, this time with my fiancé and BFFJill. More on this later, though.

Shameless plug

I guess first and foremost, I'd like to promote my little side-project - My etsy store.  Found here!  I'm definitely going to be trying to put in things seasonally, like I had intended to last year but never did.

Currently, there's two different kinds of earrings up for grabs for Halloween. I don't know about you, but I have a pair of earrings that I have worn every Halloween for the past, I don't know, at least 12 years. Earrings are great for that little bit of expression, I think. Just ask Luna Lovegood. ;)
I happen to find this one extra-adorable!

First post!

So. I have decided that I wanted to create a blog just to share thoughts and other such things. More expanded than the randomness of Twitter tweets or less restricted than Facebook updates in friends' news feeds.

Maybe some bits about things I'm working on at the moment, follow-ups on things I've done already. I would definitely love to share tips or hints I've found while doing the things I do, or maybe even learn something from someone else.

I can't really promise I'll even keep this thing updated even semi-regularly.

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of blogging, but I used to back in LiveJournal's time, before social networking really cropped up and ruined that. Although, I was also in middle/early high school at that time, so there wasn't much to be blogging about.

Let's get on with the show!?