Saturday, November 18, 2017

Moon Princess Derpy Power!

Whew, it's been busy, but I'm being as productive as I can be! I'm a little dazed that Anime LA is only a few months away! "Technically" I've started, but I'm not where I want to be. Obviously with the holidays coming up, I'm going to be doing my very best to keep my eyes on the goal!

On top of that, I start school again this upcoming week! It's kind of weird starting when my friends studying are on break for the Thanksgiving week here. I'm here just hoping I can brave through the holiday sales and crazy store hours, but we can get through this!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer!

It's been such a crazy summer, and while I don't intend to get too carried away with this post, I wanted to share some pretty fun updates that have been going on.

Over the summer, I competed at Anime Expo for the World Cosplay Summit USA finals! It was such a crazy experience and while we didn't get the title, just being close in this race was more than enough for me and Shii this round. I definitely have plans to try again since it's still a brightly burning dream to do it, but I will admit how much work it went into to get this rolling in such a short amount of time!

Needless to say, it really tuckered me out. While I've been organizing my plans for the year, I haven't really done much sewing since AX given how much of a boot camp-like experience it was, but I sincerely don't regret. We had such an amazing wealth of friends, fellow cosplayers, family, and people in our community who showed nothing but love and support for us. Most importantly, we had such a wonderful mentor who made this process absolutely enjoyable.

Even though my current WCS plans for 2018 are underway, I wanted to at least try this time to get the rest of my cosplay schedule in order. To be quite honest, this past year was indeed a slower time for me but a period of growth. In a short amount of time with Sakura for WCS, I learned so much more about what I want out of cosplay and sewing that's been missing in more of my recent projects. I went through a period of time where I was productive and constantly at one picnic or another with a new uniform, but there comes a point when I realized that there wasn't much of a learning stretch after making the same seifuku over again (not to say that you can't have too many seifuku).

Originally, my goal was to start on Rose Witch from Shiei no Sona-nyl for this upcoming autumn, although a few factors came into play when I made a slight bit of a sudden change. Since Sakura, I wanted a real challenge and something that I felt would take what I've learned over the year and really transform my entire cosplay process. Naturally, Rose Witch felt perfect for it, along with the fact that I've wanted to make her for over 9000 years.

However, going back to AX, my group and I before Shii and I were going to do WCS was planning on competing at the AX masquerade to present out group collaboration for Final Fantasy XV. We ended up having to postpone this, which also allowed for Shii and I to independently compete. So now coming ALA this January, we will be finally presenting FFXV, since it's always been in the works and will be throughout the end of this year. Yet therefore, this pretty much leaves us with the open time we usually use in the fall to plan ALA and Fanime concurrently.

While working on our annual Fanime brainstorming, I came across some music that we all absolutely loved, and since last year our group has talked about wanting to do a skit idea from the visual novel, Code: Realize. When Amanda and I were thinking of cosplays for WCS, this originally was one idea, although we always loved the idea of sharing it with more of the characters. I've had Cardia on my list for quite a while now, so I was so happy when we pieced our audio together with the series, as well as came up with some preliminary sketches for some of the cool prop and set pieces we want to utilize.

The next part is difficult to admit, but besides WCS being a tiring experience, there's been a lot of difficult decisions during this time in my life, most of which affect school, work, and general life, all of which have had an profound impact on my creativity. While I'm constantly working on new ideas and am trying to keep as inspired as possible, it is a very exhausting time too. I've taken the summertime to rest and not force myself to love a project and turn it into an obligation. I'm also hoping that with this time, I can make a smoother transition into my new school and find a workable schedule that won't impede on my education or my creativity.

Thankfully, it's not a super dire place, and as always, you just need time and lots of reflection to make sure that you're going the right path. I've been vocal about being part of the game industry and work generally in a field that promotes storytelling and creative visual design. That goal is definitely there. <3

On the upside, there's also a possibility that I may be traveling abroad for a small trip soon, either at the end of this year or early next. It's been a dream of mine to go to England, so there's a lot of planning on my end that I want to have done so I can properly enjoy it, and also finish Cardia on time so I could have a photoshoot in London (or somewhere, anywhere)!

So besides Noctis for our FFXV project for Anime LA, and while our skit won't be till next year, my next major sewing project is CARDIA from CODE: REALIZE! <3

I caved in and did a makeup test for her tonight! I've been buying so many new cosmetics over the summer and since I'm a bit weird about wearing makeup to work, I've been afraid to just let them sit there and wait until Anime LA. I'm honestly happy with the direction of my makeup test and my overall plan on this cosplay, which I also think is due in part of how strongly I relate to Cardia as a character.

Last week, I purchased my base fabrics for her as well, and I've started working on files to properly design her headband. I also have several stills from the game to make sure I get all of the extra little details in, which are all quite exciting.

It's super awesome too that the anime will be out for Code: Realize in October! I was really happy with our timing on that. I've mentioned to friends that I'm weird with not watching a lot of anime during the summer, so I'll mostly watch Japanese and Korean dramas then but will be teeming with anime by autumn and winter.

Beyond Code: Realize, I'm insanely excited for Dies Irae and Dynamic Chord. I was a massive derp for Dies Irae back when I first played it in high school, and it later got me following light's games and into Soranica Ele. I was behind that Kickstarter 1000% because it's one of those awesome VN titles that really got shafted into never having a series back then. I don't play as many eroge VN as I do otoge nowadays, although I recently got into some new titles and there's supposedly another project by light that only has the splash site up, and it has me curious since their stories tend to be pretty well-done.

I played Dyanmic Chord last year, and admittedly I'm probably terrible for loving the feat. kyosho game the most. I'm also pretty sure that Idolm@ster Side M and a few others will be on, and I'm crossing my fingers for Dream Festival sometime soon because I neeeeeed Kurofune back in my life. I did start playing Sengoku Night Blood though, and I'm still deep into Kirameki Note. I picked up Code: Realize also in English because it felt weird not at least supporting the US copy, and I'll be picking up Collar x Malice soon.

As for other cosplay plans, I kind of have a pretty eclectic plan of, whatever I want to make whenever I have the time and money for it. I'm pretty sure on Cardia for the winter, Noctis and a few other FF details for our skit, both of which might buy my time until ALA, and then for sure a WCS costume that we'll have for the summer, and this pretty much leaves that open spot for another project during the springtime which I will tentatively give to Rose Witch.

I do have a few other plans:

- HANA - Collar x Malice
- Amamiya Yuuko - EF: a fairy tale of the two (the school uniform since I have a derpy version of her nun outfit from like over 9000 AX's ago.)
- Alice Liddell - Alice in the Country of Hearts
- Yuuki Asuna - Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale (the true version I wanna do because yes)
- Hino Kahoko - La Corda D'Oro (for a project with Mikari of Takeriya Samurai <3)
- Takemoto Hifumi - New Game (given that I work in games...making characters...best girl...)
- Kohana - Magic Kyun Renaissance (I wanted the uniform but I cannot find it and it was supposed to be my, 'I don't wanna sew it, I just wanna wear it' cosplay)
- Maybe this will be my year for Lovelive or Nanoha or some Gundam 
- Maybe some more CLAMP or an Utena remake, or something Sailormoon? My year always has at least one of these to hit bingo.

It's been a year since Anime California. I'm being reminded of my Utena shenanigans. <3 

Also Happy 1st Anniversary to Mystic Messenger this past summer! My Jumin-oppa dakimakura is on its way soon, so this is the year I will finally have a husband. <3

And Happy 3rd Anniversary to my Lime Project! <3 I'm planning on having a launching site opening soon to get the ball rolling. It's my first independent project, and I've poured a lot of work into it, and there's still so much to do. Clearly when I'm not sewing, I'm doing something else! Thankfully, it keeps my creativity going!

It's crazy how this time of the year was close to when everyone got into Yuri on Ice?! If only it was really winter and not 104 degrees here!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tips on Attending Your First Convention!

Happy June! We're officially in that good ol’ summer con weather!

I just returned from Fanime this past weekend and definitely, the weather's been really nice lately! Here's hoping that it won't be too overbearing as we get into the heart of the summer cons!

While I will have a separate post for my positive Fanime experience up soon, I wanted to actually dedicate this particular post in honor of a much-anticipated convention coming later this month:  The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con! It will be held this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center from the 23rd of June to the 25th. They have already announced a slew of amazing guests, from Adam West and Burt Ward of the original Batman fame, Veronica Taylor (my childhood hero), the voice of Ash from the English dubbed Pokemon series, to Rob Liefield of the Deadpool franchise, and Stan Lee himself!

I'm really excited that Las Vegas has a comic convention on top of being such an exciting place to visit! Conventions like these are also some of the best for first-timers to attend for several reasons, primarily because they show the potential of what the world of cons have to offer - great guests, a guaranteed great dealers hall, exciting media and panels, and like-minded guests and fellow cosplayers who are surely going to welcome your first cosplay or even just your first excursion to a con!

Thinking back to my first convention experiences, these were some of the aspects that also made me feel welcomed into the world of conventions and cosplay, and a significant reason why I continue to attend as many conventions as I can throughout the year. I've also had the experience of inviting several friends to their first conventions as well, since there's nothing more magical than attending for the first time and truly discovering a place that makes you feel excited, welcomed, and energized to share your fandoms with.

Therefore, I wanted to share a few tips in hopes of answering some common questions about your first time attending a convention!

First, let's lay out the convention basics!

Conventions are an amazing space to really discover yourself and engage with a world around you that's likely much more different than your everyday experiences. After all, most comics, anime, and media delve into some sort of fantasy, so most conventions do their best in creating a place that captures the essence of multiple fandoms, intricate universes, and a variety of unique types of attendees. There’s no pressure to know what type of attendee you are: Are you a cosplayer? Are you the first in line for guest autographs and panels? Are you there to take lots of photos? Or, are you looking to hit the stalls for some of the latest comics and toys?

There’s no one right way to experience conventions.

There’s multiple ways, many of which overlap one another. It’s in your power to enjoy whether you want to cosplay for one day or all weekend, or choose which panels you want to see, and make your own schedule! Much like a visit to a theme park, the choice is really yours!
I know however that it can get overwhelming at times, so some of the things to consider when trying to plan that special convention weekend!

HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Depending on which convention you’ve selected, my first suggestion is to always do a little research beforehand and check out the con’s official site for some of the most important pieces of information: the convention dates: to get your weekend plans organized, the location: which you’ll need to figure out transportation and lodging for, and registration options based on how many days you want to attend, your age, how many friends are going, and what other extra offers are available. This is your first stop in determining whether you are able to attend the con, register for your badge, which guarantees you access to the event and all of its perks, and serve as your starting point for getting to know about the convention and what it has to offer. Conventions like Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con or Anime Expo feature their guest lineups, vendors, and other highlights on their webpage to share with their attendees what to be excited for.

HOW DO I PLAN MY CONVENTION TRIP?
I’m probably a minority here, but I really love the planning process for conventions! Ultimately, it’s up to you how far in advance you want to consider planning for the convention, but my recommendation is usually within the 3 to 6 months to get organized about what you need to attend and enjoy your con. There’s a lot of potential factors however where you happen to find out that you can attend at the last minute, so by no means should you be discouraged from making a quick getaway if you have the chance to!

Definitely begin by determining whether you have the time off for a convention. While a typical con lasts from 3 to 4 days, you’re at your own choice on whether how many days you would like to attend. In the past, I’ve regularly attended conventions for the full weekend, or sometimes will do a partial weekend if it’s at a city where I’d like to spend a few days doing other tourism. Anime Expo years ago used to be located in Anaheim right next to Disneyland, so it wasn’t uncommon for people to attend the con for 2 or 3 days and hit Disneyland on the last day. Likewise, Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is another great example of attending the convention for the weekend and considering to extend it into a real vacation by adding a few days on the Strip to really get the most out of the city.

If you know you can attend, the next step goes into figuring out another big question: Where are you going to stay for the weekend? Nearly a decade ago, conventions were more commonly held in hotels, so the natural choice was to stay at the hotel where it was taking place for the weekend. However, with so many new fans out there, conventions have expanded and require a larger space that better supports their activities. Large conventions typically have options on their website for either signing up for their hotel block, which offers custom room rates at local hotels they are partnered with. Alternatively, conventions may also offer a list of hotels which are within walking distance to the convention (a huge advantage for cosplayers), or are located near convenient destinations that allow you to enjoy your convention experience without much hassle.

For those looking into visiting Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, one great resource to check out is Las Vegas Travel Deals! They provide some great package options which may not only providing lodging for your weekend stay during the convention, but also some other exciting perks to enjoy Las Vegas as well!

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
This definitely varies depending on what your objective is at a convention, but to cover the basics, the most important essentials for any convention attendee include:
-          Water and some snacks to keep you tied throughout the day. Water is your friend at a convention, and it’s easy to not notice through all of the excitement when you’re hungry of thirsty, but you don’t also want to get sick! I usually keep a water bottle around me at all times and protein bars, since they are light to pack and can usually keep me sated until my next meal.
-          Try to wear comfortable shoes for as long as you can. I know cosplay doesn’t always guarantee the chance to wear a decent shoe, but try to make the most out of those moments. You’re going to be doing some walking, roughly about as much as you do at a theme park, so you’re bound to feel a little sore and tired.
-          Keep an organized budget for what you’d like to spend on souvenirs and other goods. It’s definitely up to you on how much you’d like to spend, but make sure you have a good sense of how much you need for the rest of your necessities!
-          Consider bringing a small day backpack to hold your items for the day. You can pack your water, wallet, your convention guide, and any cool items you might pick up along the way. I have a small bag where I also bring some cosplay emergency basics as well, like my wig brush and repair kit just in case.
-          Bring your charger and or have an external charger with you. Some conventions have the benefit of providing charging stations, but I recommend having some sort of external charger with you to recharge your phone without disrupting your convention schedule. It also helps especially if you’re taking lots of photos and video on your phone. With so many cosplays and guests out there, you definitely don’t want to lose a chance of a good shot!
-          Sunscreen is your friend. If the convention takes place in the summer, you definitely want to plan on making sure you bring sunscreen to keep from the heat. Most conventions are indoors, but some provide some great outdoor activities or cosplay events that will have you outside taking photos.
-         Convention guide or Convention App! I strongly recommend to keep an eye out on the con website or their in-con guide for their day schedules, especially if you are planning to attend panels. Some conventions provide an option to download a guide app that helps you organize and notify you of events throughout the weekend. I also rely on the guidebook for references and details on some of the main rules and features of the convention.
-          Keep a handy Cosplay Emergency Repair Kit! Obviously, this applies to cosplayers, but it’s always resourceful to have some sort of emergency kit consisting of a hand sewing needle, thread, tape, safety pins, hairpins, and whatever else you think you’ll need just in case a cosplay malfunction happens on the floor. If you have a hotel nearby, thankfully you have the option to head out and make your repairs, but just to be safe, you always want to consider having something to fix your cosplay temporarily until you reach a safe time and place to make your actual repairs.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR? SHOULD I COSPLAY?
When I attended my first convention (over 9000) years ago, I didn’t actually know much about what to expect, so I wore just jeans and an anime t-shirt and hoped that it’d be enough. The following year, I brought my first cosplay to the same con and hope that that would be enough too. Truthfully to this day, both were more than enough. 

It’s completely your choice whether you want to cosplay or not. Cosplay has always been a fun tradition at conventions, but it’s also heavily dependent on what you want to do and whether it’s part of how you want to enjoy the convention.

I usually recommend for people to try their very first day without a cosplay, since there’s lots of things to consider when having to wear a costume for more than five hours. For your first day, consider wearing some comfortable clothes, your fashion tastes all up to you. It’s genuinely encouraged to wear something that shares your love for a certain fandom, so Spiderman hoodies and Sailor Moon shirts are all definitely welcome and also a great way for a fellow attendee to recognize some of your general interests.

For your first cosplay, the best thing to know is that you don’t have to set an unattainable standard for yourself and for what kind of impression you want to make. The best impression at a convention is the most genuine one, and the one that shows that you’re proudly wearing your costume because you love the character, you worked super hard on it, and it’s the beginning of your journey into a very fun and creative world.

Definitely consider picking a costume that you will be able to wear throughout the day for the first time without too much hassle, or a costume that doesn’t require any strange headgear, footgear, or large appendages if you don’t have much experience walking around a crowded hall in them. I typically recommend for beginner cosplayers to also try to wear some of their costume pieces out at home or at a smaller, local event if available in order to get to know how it feels to wear some of these materials and figure out how long you’ll likely be able to last in your costume.

Once again, don’t set insane expectations for yourself. If you need to change out of a costume after a few hours, that’s totally okay! Always do what you need to do to make sure you also have a comfortable experience!

If you’re unsure what to cosplay, here are some questions to ask: What fandoms do I like? Which characters do I like and why? What will bring a smile to my face? Remember, cosplay is a great icebreaker to make new friends and share interests with others. People notice your energy in a costume and are most definitely drawn to positivity and the care and attention you place to capture your favorite character’s look!

To get started, there’s lots of great resources to look at on Youtube for cosplay makeup, wig styling, sewing tutorials, and prop work. First time sewers have lots of great options as well through McCall’s and Simplicity Patterns for sewing guides on how to make some of the most popular character cosplays, and the instructions are very friendly for beginners and provide a wide range of sizing and customization options. Talking to other cosplayers on convention forums or social media groups may also help provide some insight on where to look for your materials or what steps you might need to create your cosplay. Also, there’s lots of amazing shops online that provide well-made costumes from numerous titles. I’ve also seen some great cosplays also done with modified clothing, so I recommend it for first timers on a budget too!

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT A CONVENTION?
There’s lots of different options that conventions have to offer, including some of my favorite parts:
-          A colorful and creative cosplay scene – Look forward to seeing lots of amazing cosplays around every inch of the convention! My favorite activity is to walk around and take photos and even ask fellow cosplayers how they made various parts of their cosplays. Many are proud to share their innovation and creativity, and most will allow you to take their photos if you are polite and respectful. I advise you to also keep in mind that if they’re eating, resting, or preoccupied, to consider waiting until they are available to take photos. I also recommend to always ask before touching a part of a costume and never handle a prop without their permission.
-         Amazing guests! – Depending on what type of convention you’re attending, guests will likely pertain to some of the media that’s being showcased. Several Comic Cons will bring comic and pop culture guests, while anime conventions tend to bring guests from overseas or Japanese musical guests. Whomever they may be, expect to enjoy some great Q&A discussions with them as they answer questions about the industry, their creative endeavors, and their latest projects. As always, be respectful and also bear in mind that they are happy to see your support for them, but don’t monopolize their time or forego any photography or autograph rules set by the guests and convention.
-         The Magical Dealer’s Hall and Artist Alley – The Dealer’s Hall and Artist Alley are two of the main highlights of any convention, and most likely the reasons why your wallet might be crying by the end of the trip while you’re all smiles. The Dealer’s Hall offers lots of local and international vendors, online shops, and shops of all kinds selling all sorts of goods, from comics to collector toys, books, films, games, figurines, clothing, accessories, etc. If you’re at a Comic Con, expect to see lots of amazing artwork at the Artist Alley, which is comprised of official artists and fan artists alike selling quality prints and artwork.
-         Programming for Everyone – One of the things I like about conventions more recently are the variety of panels and activities available for all types of people. More fans are attending as families, so panels tend to be family friendly while still providing that punch of excitement. Panels can range from discussions about the industry, a specific fandom, or even address the cosplay and convention community as well. There’s also lots of options for nightlife events, dances, parties, and other fun activities for adults. For those looking to really share their crafting skills, the costume contests are always a highlight to look forward to and provide cash prizes for the best costumes by divisions from beginners to experienced cosplayers.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING
-         Cosplay is not consent. You’ll hear this whispered around cons, because it’s true. Cosplayers and even general attendees should always be respected regardless of what they are wearing. Most conventions have a no tolerant harassment policy, and most importantly work hard to provide a place for people to enjoy themselves without feeling uncomfortable. A person cosplaying doesn’t mean that they welcome any sort of intimate touching, words, or gestures without their permission.
-         Unless you’re a paid cosplay model for a booth, cosplayers aren’t entitled to any special perks at a convention and should still abide convention rules at all times. They aren’t entitled to any front of the line perks or special guarantees, and should do their best to support their fandoms as they can.
-          Be courteous to guests and fellow attendees. As always, be respectful and much like any place, there’s lots of different types of people with a wide variety of interests. Not everyone agrees with an opinion about a fandom, but that’s okay as long as you are respectful to one another. Also, refrain from heckling during costume contests or starting an argument during a panel for the sake of arguing.
-          Expect some waiting times like a theme park, but make the most of them by catching the sights and sounds of the con life. Guest panels sometimes have a bit of a wait or a line, but even so, just be courteous, don’t cut in line, and keep positive, since you’re almost there!
-          Don’t “ghost” a con. Ghosting a con is when you attend the convention without paying for a badge, and when caught, may result in being removed or banned from future attendance. While some people might question why it’s harmful when there’s lots of other attendees out there, it’s also genuinely a disrespect considering the convention has paid for a proper space to allow people to freely cosplay and make their own experiences. Having guests, vendors, a working staff, and activities costs money, and it’s just the same as purchasing a ticket to a theme park.
-          If you can, go with a group or friends or family! I usually have a fun time traveling and going to conventions with my friends since we all share similar interests. It’s our time to cosplay and spend some quality time together. Usually going with at least one other person reduces the first-time jitters as well, so you also have someone there who can help you sort out through your experience and plan a duo cosplay together! Over time, there’s a chance that you might make new friends at your next convention too!

I hope that these tips have been helpful in answering some common first-time questions about conventions! As always, I’m always open to answering questions and sharing information, and providing some fun stories about my own convention experiences to help you plan for your own.

I also encourage you to check out some amazing conventions coming out this summer season, which is the perfect time to get a vacation plan going and travel to a cool new convention, share some amazing cosplays, and make some amazing memories! 

Check out the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con site for more information on their upcoming event, guest lineup, and exclusives!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dreaming of a Magical Girl Dream Crate!


Happy May! 

I’ve been a bit delayed in being able to update as often, but the school term is almost over and Fanime is upon us! I’ll be providing more updates soon on my ongoing process for the spring to summer season, but I wanted to make a special post that I had the pleasure of working on for the past weeks!

If you’re into a number of fandoms, I’m sure you’ve heard of Loot Crate before! They are a monthly subscription service that sends a box filled with goodies from specific fandoms and interests, from films to video games, and (my favorite) anime. Their monthly box contains a variety of items, from wearables to collectibles, and figurines to trinkets, which have been carefully selected to satisfy the true fan. 

Recently, I was asked to come up with a Dream Crate with special items I would love to ideally see in a fun crate for fans to enjoy. There were so many themes to choose from, but ultimately I ended up sticking with one I felt was the closest to my interests and one of the major reasons why I really love anime, manga, and cosplaying. 

CLASSICAL MAHOU SHOUJO/MAGICAL GIRL DREAMCRATE!

As you can tell from a lot of my cosplays, I absolutely love magical girls, and I know most of us have grown up with most of these girls, if not all of them! I could go on forever about magical girls. Their essence, compassion, purity, and determination to do their best for the sake of others and the world make them stand out in comparison from other anime archetypes. The 80’s and 90’s brought a great class of magical girls, from Sailor Moon and her cosmic group of Sailor senshi, to fanciful Miaka and her journey to save ancient China in a storybook, or Utena, a student-turned-duelist who becomes part of an enchanted game for the sake of the world. 

This crate is designed to highlight some of my favorite magical girls both from growing up and my ongoing love for anime, manga, and cosplay with various items and accessories that would complement any aspiring magical girl’s wardrobe and palette.

I definitely hope that others will also be inspired by this fun take on the classic mahou shoujo genre!


CARDCAPTOR SAKURA HAIR PINS
Cardcaptor Sakura is a classic shoujo series by acclaimed manga team, CLAMP, with a global following and particularly well-known for her dozens of intricate outfits and her mission to collect the mysterious Clow Cards. It was a massively popular series back in the 90’s, and I’m really excited that the story has once again resumed with a new arc that will become an anime soon! To commemorate Sakura’s love of accessories and dressing up, these pins by The Snow Ball are absolutely adorable and the perfect way to show off your inner magical girl in a small but cute way! They would come in a set of 2 to 4 pins, with different designs consisting of the magical cards for Clow and Sakura, her two wand designs, or her cute sidekick Kero-chan!


MAHOU NO TENSHI CREAMY MAMI JACKET
This Creamy Mami printed jacket is inspired by the series, Creamy Mami, a classic magical girl series from the early 1980’s. I’m happy to see that she’s still really loved, especially since she is a magical idol! The bright pastel palette on this jacket really captures her bright and bubbly spirit, and would be perfect to have as part of your magical girl wardrobe. There’s also so many ways to style with this jacket, from going with a Harajuku-inspired look with lots of neon, pastels, and prints, or putting on a colorful headband and getting into that 80’s idol vibe. I’m over the moon for this jacket, and I definitely would love to see it in a crate!

BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON FIGURINE
This dream crate can’t be complete without a figurine of some kind, and I feel that it’s an absolute given that there has to be a Sailor Moon figurine, like the one by S. H. Figurarts. It especially has to be Super Sailor Moon, who appears in the S and SuperS seasons, where her outfit is vibrant, colorful, and has an even more beautiful silhouette than her original version. Growing up, this was my favorite version of her. Sailor Moon is a classic series, and she’s been part of so many lifelong fans’ dreams, so having her figurine on a desk, a room, or even a dedicated magical girl display would be a perfect way to express your love for Sailor Moon, who is known among many as the ultimate magical girl.


MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH STATIONERY
Magic Knight Rayearth is another beloved series by CLAMP that I loved reading when I was younger! They follow many elements of the magical girl genre, but these girls have a lot of spunk and personality to them, and most definitely had some of the best battles. I’m also really fond of collecting stationery, notebooks, and other accessories from various series to add a touch to my daily work, so I would ideally love to see some Magic Knight Rayearth stationery as an option! It really adds a touch of a magic even when writing the simplest of notes. 


FUSHIGI YUUGI WALLET
Continuing on with another classic series, Fushigi Yuugi is one of my favorite manga series and another headlining title in the genre. The story follows Miaka’s journey into a storybook as the priestess of Suzaku as she collects the seven celestial warriors in an effort to save their land of ancient China, all while trying to find her way back home (and resist the temptation of falling for these dashing warriors). Wallets and bags are always handy to have and a great way of sharing your love for a series, and it would be fun to envision wallets with Miaka and even some variations of the different celestial warriors, who are all really special in their own ways. You could definitely take it to a convention and I’d guarantee it would be a great icebreaker for another fellow mahou shoujo enthusiast.

SHOUJO KAKUMEI UTENA MUG
I saved my all-time favorite series for last, but it’s no surprise that my Dream Crate would have to include an item from Shoujo Kakumei Utena, which I could spend hours discussing but most importantly, is an absolute gem in the mahou shoujo genre and of anime itself. It’s stood the test of time with some of the most intriguing imagery and a beautiful take on fairy tale conventions that have inspired me throughout the years. I also chose the mug because Utena and Anthy enjoy having tea together.  I absolutely would love to have an Utena mug like this one by Tee Public, which features a beautiful illustration of Utena and Anthy and bearing that clean, iconic style. I’m admittedly a huge coffee drinker, so one of my favorite ways of showing my love for any series would be to have a fun cup to have my morning coffee with, or even my tea whenever I’m working and sewing. 

I had a lot of fun working out the details and choosing these items for my Dream Crate, and I would love to hope that it might become a real one someday! I know I’m definitely not the only one who appreciates and loves magical girls, especially when they’ve brought a great deal of inspiration, courage, and heart to become the best person you can be. 

Special thanks to Loot Crate for reaching out and sharing the project! It’s been a wonderful chance to be creative and explore some fun options! For more information, visit their site: https://www.lootcrate.com/

Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 is the Year of the Crossplay

Or so I say, as I see how this year pans out with the rest of my plans.

Anime LA was last weekend and I have to stop and say how absolutely awesome it was! It's great to see this convention grow over the years, especially since it's my favorite convention next to Fanime. I spent a chunk of Saturday admittedly dealing with masquerade, but overall, the convention as a whole was absolutely great. I talked to so many people, got to take lots of pictures of amazing cosplays, and I love how it hasn't lost that fun convention vibe. Even the weather was on our side!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Cosplay in Review

I'm here, I promise!

And with lots more good news and lots of hope for 2017. I know that everyone's probably heard the phrase, "Please let 2016 be over already", and while it's pretty true, it's hard to also not look back and realize that with lots of difficulties comes some of the best moments. 2016 was a difficult year for most people, and was quite the rollercoaster for myself.

I feel saddened by the loss of great celebrities and heroes, but I also mourn greatly the loss of the real people in my life and changes which, with some transitioning, will hopefully bear better news and promise as the new year begins. It's important to remember, as I often have to remind myself personally, that happiness is oftentimes the byproduct of living, which means for as much difficulties and pain we hate going through, happiness is usually the small, twinkling moments we have to live for.

So in light of this and given that it's the end of the year, I wanted to take the time to sort of make a little review of my cosplays and convention results of 2016. I'm honestly surprised and humbled to say that I never thought that this year of all years would be by far my most productive in so many ways, and it encourages me to look forward to some even bigger, better, and satisfying projects for the next year.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Best in Show @ Anime California 2016!

A happy way to kick off the cosplay season!

It was a total surprise, but I'm so happy to say that Lyric and I won Best in Show at Anime California 2016 this year! I think I'm even more over the moon by the fact that it is my first Best in Show and it had to be with Utena. It's so picture perfect. I promise to put up better pictures soon!

Shoutout to Shii's Peter Pan for letting me be part of the "No Grown Ups Allowed" Crew.