Thursday, September 26, 2013

Taobao Order has Arrived!

Gah, perfect timing!

My Taobao order arrived while I was asleep and feeling rather sick with a sore throat. I kept dreaming that I was opening up my package and looking through all my stuff.

Eventually I woke up and walked to the kitchen to find my package sitting on the floor! My mother had brought it in while I was asleep. So immediately, I opened it up like a kid during Christmas (durrhurr, I'll be making a Christmas order!) and running around looking for scissors to open my items with.

So here's a collage of what I ordered (you could probably click to view the full size):

So I mostly bought for myself, my mother, and my sister, yet there are two wigs belonging to Emi, and my two other cosplay friends.

Everything was absolutely nice!!

Things my friends got:
- The Stocking wig and the pink Yuno wig belong to my friend Emi, who's cosplaying them for PMX.
- My other friend got the two sets of Junko's hairclips for her Junko cosplay from Dangan Ronpa.
-  My last friend got the eyeball patches, a GEEK beanie, and a super cute cupcake dessert hoodie.

Things I got for my sister and mother:
- I bought my sister the assortment of different headbands, and the dolphin ones were definitely the cutest!
- I also bought her a really cute little pink rabbit purse, and it's bigger than I thought!
- For my mother besides the makeup, she chose a really pretty pink purse. When we opened it, it was actually like the picture!

Things I got:

- A new purse and wallet! They are both from different stores, but I think they are actually from the same brand. They make the most adorable purses, and the stores were also filled with alternate styles with princes and English guards. I originally had selected another British-inspired purse but it was sold out everywhere. So, I chose this one instead after seeing hoe closely it resembled my old circus vector project, which is also responsible for my site's header. I found the cute matching wallet after some searching, and it's surprisingly really convenient! Has several large pockets and some awesome compartments. 

- New lip tints of various colors, though I regret not getting the orange. That probably would have been really cool. The pinks were especially cute, and I rarely ever had a decent red tint! These tints are also really wet and stronger than most tints, but I feel like with the proper foundation, they're going to stick around much longer than my usual tints. I also recently bought a blood red tint and an orange one that looks all right!

- Little trinkets and items. I got a pair of super cute Union Jack earrings in the shape of hearts, some little ball hairbands (they only had blue at the store but I love them so much!), some small add-on gifts, and a red Soul Gem I bought extra for my Yuki cosplay, since I wanted to opt for one instead of a red blood vial. 

- Various other makeup for my mother and I, including new compact powders, eyeliner pencils (which are super good as usual!), eyebrow mascara that's really nice, eyelash glue, and sponges. I also bought a really cute makeup travel bag so I could put some of my regular touch-up makeup in there for work (the little polka dot bag). They threw me in an extra light toned balm, which is super nice for casual days.

My Yuki Vampire Knight cosplay was included!! It's actually really nice, but when I opened it up, I noticed that two of the little crystal gems are missing from the collar. I'm going to be able to fit it though, so it'sno worries! The fit is also really nice, and it's made of a standard uniform fabric. The style is really nce too, and the jacket fits perfectly. I'm so happy that it's super comfortable and I wore it with my derpy bangless Yuki wig for now, and gah. I am happy. I even have Yuki's boots, which are my daily shoes, and I bought the tights for them too.

- I bought two collars, one that's made out of faux fur and has lace and ribbon trims. This is for putting over winter coats to make them look cuter! I also bought a cute lace one for my normal tops, and it's very soft and lovely. From the same store, I also bought the plaid bow, and it has a safety pin so you can add it anywhere.

-  I bought an assortment of really cute socks - 1 pair of white ruffled ones, two pairs of grey kluni knitted ones and one chocolate brown, and a pair of black short polka dot ones. They are all super cute and are of thick quality.

- I bought three wigs:
    - The first one was my long chocolate brown one for my Yuki Kuran cosplay, and it is from Grand-Young wigs. I love the long wigs that I have from them already, and I wasn't disappointed.  The fibers are smooth and don't tangle very much, and all it really needs is some bang trimming.
    - The second wig is a curly dark brown one from Rain Cosplay, where I also buy a lot of my wigs. I like the wig but I'm not wowed by it. I think I might have to fix the bangs a little before wearing it, but the curls are super nice. I might fiddle with the wig a bit to get a good shape. The color is lovely!
    - The last wig is my favorite! It's been edited in color and a bit of the fluff is probably from teasing it on the picture, but it's absolutely adorable! It's a really nice light honey brown color, and the bangs sit nicely and can be teased a little. I could probably fluff out a lot more of the wig after combing through it, but it's just adorable that I cannot express. It's probably one of the longest of my natural wigs, and I just can't get enough of it.
Without any editing, the wig is actually a little darker and  really nice. I love how smooth it is up top and how natural the waves start to take over. I put on a pair of sunglasses because of two derpy reasons:

1. That Coconuts model makes the glasses + wig combo look massively cute.
2. I'm sick and I look massively derpy.

I think this one might be my new regular go-to wig. <3

Overally, I'm super happy with all of my items. I'm probably doing an order soon, though I'm saving up my money and buying things that weigh way less because the shipping was ohsnaptoomuch. But it's so worth it, and I able to buy really cute things that I'm going to be regularly using.

Hnnng, now to wait till Christmastime to shop!

Romeo x Juliet Shots

So I just wanted to quickly post a couple images that we got back from the event!

Credits to Kayumi Lam for the images, they're actually really lovely!

The beginning of the sit, and a pretty good view of the full dress!

Shii then entered the stage and she and I both unraveled the flower veil. There was a lot of wind, so it caught a great deal of air, an this is a pretty good shot of how high we got it to go. Shii also looks wonderful as Romeo!

Our standard Romeo and Juliet pose. xD Might I add that this is such a cool angle of the layers Shii cut into her Romeo wig. It also doubles as her Ciel and Sohma Yuki wig. <3

This is my favorite picture ever, because of how beautiful the light is casted on Shii and I look so ambiguous. You can see a great deal of flow on the dress, and we just look so tranquil and happy!

A super special and heartfelt thanks to Mikarin and Hagi, who were absolutely wonderful and gave us the pleasure of being part of this amazing group. All of the other cosplayers did an amazing job and were so inspiring to hear about. We all come from different backgrounds, yet we're all united together through cosplay.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

And the verdict is...


I fnished Juliet, cutting it super close, but it was very much worth it! The day feels like a bit of a continuous blur to me at the moment, but I wanted to take the moment to post about the Cosplay Exhibition today, which went wonderfully regardless of some challenges!

So since that previous post, yes, the cosplay was finished! It was a bit of a painful challenge at the last minute, mostly because the cosplay is still quite oddly constructed. I do plan in the future to challenge myself and remake Juliet following a bit more rules when sewing, but nonetheless, the dress actually looked remarkably clean and well draped, especially with the new white skirt additions I made. In all honesty, I didn't get to fix up the collar and the sleeves the way I had wanted them to be, but they were optional at this point. A lot of my time had been devoted to making sure the peplum and the skirts looks all right. Surprisingly enough, it looked pretty decently draped.

Shii and Yukito arrived while I was finishing up and had gone to the store to buy soe last minute white flowers for a costume prop. I ended up buying several small bouquets of fake white lilies and irises, and then a light sparkling cream organza. We made a "scroll" out of wooden dowels, the organza, and the white lilies covering the edges of the wood. I came up with the prop idea the night before after trying to figure out what to use for my dance.

 The traffic was absolutely terrible on the way there, and it was already a two hour drive, but Shii made it as smoothly as possible. We hadn't gotten a chance to eat and rest up, and I had been very tired from not sleeping. I only had about an hour of sleep that I took from 9-10am because by that time, I was referring to my sewing machine as Claire Daines, and figured that that was the sign to take a break.

We were so massively delayed but Mikarin was absolutely sweet and understanding about the situation. When arriving, she and Hagi were so kind and supportive towards all of the cosplayers there, despite that there was clearly a lot of delays coming from the festival itself that they had to deal with. The festival was in a cool area with some nice food stalls, vendors, and a performance area.

Some of the cosplays were absolutely amazing! They all had a wide range of selections, from very cute characters, to fighter characters, video game characters, and really elaborate ones too! It was so awesome to be part of the group. Mikarin was also absolutely wonderful and allowed Shii to participate during my skit as Romeo to my Juliet since she had worn Romeo to accompany me during the trip there. We ended up reworking the dance last minute to feature the two of us holding the scroll together!

The event ended and Mikari and I made plans for some future cosplays we have planned together, and she was happy to have met Shii as well. I'm so glad! We'll be doing a fun cosplay coming soon in November for Pacific Media Expo!

So on the side, I wanted to really just use this as a great landmark on how awesome things worked out for my cosplay, for having Shii be a part of it since we've cosplayed for so long together now, and just how much dedication and timewe've shared together throughout the years.

She mentioned something to me that I had totally forgotten all these years. Originally as I mentioned in a previous entry, Juliet was meant to be worn for Anime LA 2012. I didn't finish it even though I brought parts of it to the hotel room, and Romeo was never even worked on at all. But Juliet had several components done, most of them that are still purposely intact because of how oddly yet decently put together they are. Nonetheless, I actually didn't get to spend much of the convention's Day 2 morning because of some unforseen circumstances, so by the mid-afternoon, I had pretty much given up even wearing a cosplay and we had dropped out of the masquerade. So my friends and I watched the event and during the halftime show, we actually heard the theme to Romeo x Juliet, to which I started to cry because of how overwhelming it was to not finish Juliet due to so many reasons, and how overwhelming everything had been at the time.

I told people that the cosplay was hard to finish because it as a painful memory, not from leaving it unfinished, but because it was created during such a hectic time in my life. However, seeng it now, I realized that the cosplay represents something that helped me change throughout the years. It does surely contain all of those tough memories, but it'sc reated new ones too. I wore Juliet as my first masquerde experience, even if unpracticed and derpy. The red fabric was actually a great deal of extra fabric I had from my old Furudo Erika cosplay from AX 2011 that I finished in the hotel room. The original shapes were freehanded patterns that I made in literally 24 hours and rival some of my better pattern drafting pieces. The new elements also included white satin from Belldandy's remnants, which represents the original cosplay cocie I wanted for this even as well as it being one of my favorite cosplays. The wig is Asuka's wig, because Mari's was too deep and straight. The flower hairclip was from my Yuno cosplay from Anime LA 2011.

This cosplay is special to me for these reasons. They remind me of how much practice I've had in learning how to make costumes for myself to enjoy them to their fullest. I felt happy to be wearing Juliet not only because I love her character so much, but because the cosplay represents the ideal cosplay character I've strived to work ahrd to achieve towards. There's still so much to improve, but it's like a checkpoint towards a greater goal and greater results. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Almost there, Juliet!

So some progress before I go back to sewing. Side blog story time moment, but it was actually a fun and fulfilling day! I thought it was going to be a quiet day till I woke up to an amazingly cloudy and cold day! Then, had a much-needed lunchtime and sweets break with Shii, and left with another good friend to go see a local company's rendition of Shakepeare's Cymbeline, which was absolutely awesome! Topped it off with a wonderful dinner and now I'm all back to work!

I'm in for a massively long night and day tomorrow, and somehow on Sunday will have to squeeze work and some homework on the side. Thankfully, not a long day for that, I hope!

Progress has been slow but all right this week on Juliet. I have till 2ish to finish her, and realized last minute that I will have to shop for the items for my rose baton tomorrow. ~_~

I actually had to stop working for one night on it because I had a commission to fill for the new League of Legends Finals here in downtown Los Angeles! Justin, our Zelgadis, of Just OK Cosplay commissioned me for a vest for a new project he's got going on, and it's absolutely crazy awesome that I had the chance to finish nearly 80% of it already! Once this is all said and done for my festival performance, I'll be finishing up his items and then moving on towards Yuki again.

 Nonetheless, the process for Juliet's gone a little different than I had imagined. Originally, I noticed that some of the parts were oddly sewn together to the point that I didn't want to try sewing it but alas, it actually sits in pieces at the moment. I took it apart. I had to, and it was slightly painful but becaue of it, I managed to fix the peplum as best as I could and added horsehair braiding it for a little bounce.

I also removed what I ca only describe as a bizarre purple half-bustle thingy I made when I misinterpreted the design of the dress. It was this light cotton flap of purple that had no business being there. I'm going to be sewing  light white fabric skirt with some light ruffles. Then I'm hoping to add a string of violet ruffles along the bottom if I can get to them.

Then another favorite new part of mine is adding some lace to some of the designs! I am fixing the collar a bit more, and then added a new center gem instead of the small one I originally had. It's actually a stand-in jewel for Belldandy, but it seems so perfect for Juliet!

And then I combined two pieces of really pretty cluny lace that I found to make her lace decorations for her sleeve. These are actually inspired by the design I originally found:

Looking at this all over again, I want to remake the peplum. WHYYYY.

Here's the current progress I have by combining the nice cluny lace though:

So by some magical miracle, this will be done! And I'm so excited! I will be doing a dance as Juliet, so it'll be something wonderful to remember!

Now to hope for the best and wish that everything will be wonderful!

If you're around the Southern California area, come to the Asian Pacific Festival to come and support the cosplayers, as well as see all the wonder other exhibitors and events going around! I learned recently that the location is called the Newport Dunes Resort, and it seems like an absolutely beautiful place for a festival!

Edit @ 9AM: Sweet Moholy Nagy, I'm still awae and thriving! Taking a quick break, but this is progress now:

I ended up redoing this piece a few times, and there's still some ruffles and horsehair left. I love though that I was at least able to get the white skirt to look flowy, as well as the peplum!

Still left to do before 2pm:

  • Add lace to the sleeves
  • Fix Cuffs (I have no idea how I made them last time...well, this applies to a lot on this costume.)
  • Add the bottom ruffles if I can get to it
  • Add more back ruffles and then horsehair braid
  • Fix collar if I can get to it, and replace the gem
  • Clean bits here and there
  • Iron the massive heckles out of it!
So here we go! Crunch time!

For more information, schedules, and ticket pricing:

And please come and support Takeriya Samurai and the other awesome cosplayers who are part of this event!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Updates and Cosplay - Juliet Capulet 1.5 - Romeo x Juliet

Taking a quick break from Yuki's cosplay progress, I wanted to make a quick post that I was invited by the really lovely and talented Mikarin of Takeriya Samurai Cosplay to be a participant in her Cosplay Exhibition at the Asian Pacific Festival in Newport Beach, CA on September 21! It was an absolute honor to be asked to be one of the cosplayers, and her entire premise of the exhibition is absolutely wonderful and honest. Each performer will get about a minute or so to present their costume and do a mini-skit while having a narrator talk about their cosplay background. My biggest focus was on how much I love to teach panels and help others in cosplay.

I often write about how I love cosplay as a hobby that helps others and myself grow from it. I love being able to look back throughout the years and see how I've improved skill wise, but personality and my ability to make friends with others as well. I'm very blessed that I have a wonderful amount of friends and connections from this hobby, and I do everything I can to try to give back to the community as well.

So, Mikarin's exhibition focuses on why we love to cosplay, why it means to us and how hard we work on oru cosplays and share our love and support to the craft and hobby with each other and other members of the community. It's about how we help and strive to make this community a fun place for those of all experiences and interests to come together and remember why we cosplay in the first place: to have fun, learn about ourselves and others, make friends, learn a skill, challenge the way you see your life and the world.

It's quite nice to have this kind of event happening right during all of this Heroes of Cosplay drama. I don't want to go too much into it, but clearly it's brought up a great deal of debates within the community and particularly how the cosplay culture has shifted towards different intentions. Yet this exhibition is a great way to draw our attentions to the positives and remember those good feelings about cosplay!

I originally wanted to wear Belldandy for the event, although I felt that to wear her, I'd need a complete rehaul of all of the jewelry and the details I wanted to fix, including the underdress. While i have a bit more time this wee to get some sewing done, I feared that I wouldn't get supplies in time without grinding against the clock. While going through my cosplays, I sat there wondering what would make me feel the happiest and most comfortable to wear. Although I like Yuuko, I think I might need a bit more time till I wear her again. I love Cecilia and my other uniforms, but I feel like they're missing something more.

Then I remembered about Juliet after spotting the bag in a lonely corner. Juliet was one of my dream cosplays after seeing the series in high school. I completed her actually in summer 2012 after working on her initially for ALA of that year, and then wore it to AX for a whopping two to three hours (however long masquerade takes). Based on the nature of the event, something inside me brought me back to this nostalgic and powerful feeling. Even though the cosplay has a long story filled with memories, there was something so special to me about it that I tried to deny but cannot any longer.

It must have been like sophomore year when the series came out, but I absolutely loved the premise and the setting of Neo Verona. I think Romeo is one of the handsomest anime characters ever, and Juliet's one of my favorite since she reminds me so much of Utena! I didn't read the manga till years later when a friend at the time gave me her copy of it after finishing it. I took it on a plane ride when going out of town for the winter, and all I did was reread through the manga. At the time, I thik I also connected with Juliet much more because of where I was at the time, and my friendship circle was going through so many changes, good and bad.

Coming back from my trip, ALA was near and I knew I wanted to be Juliet for the convention.To this day my friends and I joke that I actually "sewed in my sleep" for some parts of the sleeves because it was such an arduous time for all of us. I didn't think twice to buy all my materials, though in a rush I ordered the wrong colored wig (it was like a crimson red!) and I had to settle with a cotton material instead of something more evening-wear. Nonetheless, I worked with what I had and actually don't remember how I even tackled most of that dress. I wasn't thinking when I worked on it apparently, but there were so many "first tries" and "hail marys" done on it that I'm still shocked to this day that it fits so nicely. Some of the more complicated parts of the costume were done so quickly on the first try, yet I have yet to remember how I actually did them.

I asked a good friend to be Romeo, and I was going to finish sewing it until that convention got very side tracked with unrelated issues. I missed like half of the convention time and by that point, I was so tired and burnt out that I couldn't bear finishing Juliet. I hadn't sleptin days, everyone was stressed, and we eve pulled out from out other skit to just rest and refresh to enjoy the rest of the con. Because of how difficult that time was, I put away Juliet and didn't think twice about how poorly I cared for it. I feel so terrible now admitting this. Eventually, I wanted to wear a new cosplay for AX after how ALA had gone, so I forced myself to bring back Juliet. With my other friend unavailable to be Romeo, Shii took on Romeo and sewed him with the fabric we had initially purchased back in January.

I finished most of Juliet in the AX hotel room after taking Day One off. It had been a long few months, so I took my time and I didn't fare too well with the crowd on Day 0, so I figured to just stay behind and finish her up. It was well worth it, since I got the chance to work through it and help Shii complete Romeo till the very last minute. We wore it for a ballroom dancing skit that we made with a lare group of our cosplay friends. It wasn't anything serious, but we just wanted to do a skit for once. Needless to say, that's what got us into making better skits together!

There's so much more behind the cosplay and what it means to me than I want to elaborate on here, but after seeing it yesterday, I felt so moved about what the character and costume mean to me. It's ironic that I didn't make that cosplay in the most peaceful of times, yet it reminds me of something warm and innocent. I think it's also because I just secretly want to be a princess in a ball gown. ^^' However, I feel like it's so appropriate to wear her for this event. Granted, while it fits like a glove still after all this time, there's so much I have to remake. The jewels had fallen from me simply putting the cosplay away, and I am tempted to remake some of the flounces. It needs a great deal of ironing, cleaning, and hemming, and then I might add a little bit of new details to it with whatever budget I have left over. And also, I think I've improved significantly on my makeup and I have at least a better wig this round. And I think confidence. I think in the past, I let the cosplay wear me, but I think this time it'll be the other way around, or at least a good balance.

I took a massively derpy picture of me wearing it after all these years, and there's so many painfully obvious details missing. The jewels are missing except for one, and urgh, it's begging to be ironed. I have another picture where I'm holding the cosplay up, and it looks absolutely bonkers and wrinkled. I think it's my big goal to transform this piece into something neat and while it may not necessarilythe most hardcore level of my work, it's something that's a balance of a cosplay I love, a pretty decent job ad a learning experience, but also something that is special to me.

And on other unrelated news, I finally added some extra profile links on this site! I decided to finally update my own Facebook page after having made one months ago. I'm so bad at being up with the times and making pages and whatnot, but it'd be nice to have a place to put all of my plans and work outside of these long essays I write here. I'll try to update frequently! I also have a lovely photographer and friend helping me coordinate a few shoots to showcase some of these cosplays I've been working on. Hopefully I'll have more pictures of Juliet!

So tl;dr! If you're around the Southern California area, come to the Asian Pacific Festival to come and support the cosplayers, as well as see all the wonder other exhibitors and events going around! For more information, schedules, and ticket pricing:

And please come and support Takeriya Samurai and the other awesome cosplayers who are part of this event!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cosplay - Preliminary Yuki Kuran Progress

So to be honest, I've had dozens of progress photos throughout the months of all the work I've done and talked about here, although most of it's on my phone. ^^' I didn't bother to realize I could photobucket a massload of those photos from my phone so here's to hopefully having more recent posts! I'm hoping to make a couple more updates on older cosplays with better pictures.

I want to start out by saying that I've never been a huge fan of vampires outside of reading Dracula and Carmilla. It's mostly because I have a issue with blood and when I was younger, I was scared of vampires in general. In high school, I read through a good amount of Vampire Knight however because I was a fan of Hino Matsuri's work (MeruPuri) and gave this one a shot. I liked it enough that I watched the two seasons of the anime, and occasionally used scans for some of my desktop graphics and a web layout for a site I staffed at. A few months ago before Fanime, I bought the artbook after seeing an extra centerfold about the process Hino-san used to color her illustrations. I love all of the pictures in there, her art is gorgeous and beautifully detailed!

It wasn't until after watching the World Cosplay Summit event and specifically Team Germany's Vampire Knight skit that I was reminded of how beautiful the story was and how lovely the cosplays were. I ended up rereading the entire series the next day and was extremely moved by it. I connected with Yuki so much more now than I did years back, and that meant so much to me.

Personally, I think this is a hard cosplay to make a skit from depending on what the skit is, especially for WCS. However, the idea they had was amazing and was enough to inspire me to revisit my VK artbook. One of the cosplays featured was Yuki's detailed dress when she's a vampire, complete with roses and beads. It has such a rich Gothic feel to it! While I really loved their final version of this dress, I also felt that I had some of my own personal twists and ideas on how to create certain parts of it.

Because the illustration doesn't contain a bottom look for the skirt, Team Germany's CherrySky Cosplay designed it containing a beautiful slit with several rose elements along the bottom for embellishments. I decided that I wanted to have my own spin on it with a romantic style. Given that I really feel that I have yet to tackle a very intricate cosplay, I decided to make this my project and to test my patience on it.

So far, I've ordered the wig along with the school uniform I commissioned from the same place I got my Homura cosplay. I wanted the school uniform to wear one days when I don't want to wear the whole outfit because I still love Yuki as a vampire. Hopefully those will arrive by early October!

And finally, I got the chance to visit the fabric district to find my first batch of supplies to tackle this cosplay!

Ahhh~ the fabric goodness!

I originally had the headband from a sale at Joanns when I obsessively bought a number of headbands to keep around the house for whatever reason. I thankfully had a wide one I could use as a bade for the headband, and not featured in this picture is actually a rose I later that night bought at Joanns for the main headpiece. I also purchased a number of strands of gray beads.

Basically, I purchased a nice black and charcoal fabric, which I have yet to sit down and properly identify. I think it is a polyblend, although I'm not 100% sure. I also bought some lovely gray chiffon for the details. I have yet to buy the pleated white trim, since the store I knew that had them was closed for the day. I bought some lace pieces and a front lace piece that's a mild off white to gray color, which I will likely turn gray. Then, I purchased a strand of white beads initially thinking I'd use white ones till I found the gray ones. Then instead of a Fleur de Lys, the girl at the Michael Levine's suggested a silver cross, which I really liked! I think it pays homage to Yuki "Cross". It's awesome also that the girl was a Vampire Knight fan too!

Finally, the ROSES. X_X Sweet Moholy Nagy. The roses are actually a bit way more expensive than I wanted to go. They run about four dollars individually and I'm looking for a pretty decent sized order of them. They cost way more than the fabrics themselves, possibly times some more. I've seen this dress done with the roses as embroidered patches, and I interpreted them that way, but I felt that to have more tangible, three-dimensional roses felt more up my alley. I didn't want blatant gray roses on there, so when I went into the Michael Levine's, my mother pointed out these beautiful fabric roses with little bits of lace inside them. They looked so perfect! To counter the heavy price of the roses, I also bought a little stem of velvet flowers as well.

I ended up cutting up the stems and replacing them with the small gray peals I had purchased. I also did the same with the main rose for the headband as well!

And my early progress so far has been mostly figuring out the patterns and working through to develop strategies for each step of the way. While I have a tentative dream to finish this by November, it really depends on how quickly I work while not compensating the details.

Currently, my main focus has been practicing some better techniques for the puffs on her sleeve and headband. I followed a small tutorial I have and cut up a stand of chiffon, sewed it and I machine basted the puffs first. Then I went back and individually sewed them by hand, which made a huge difference. I played with the length of puffs and distance, and so far it was reat to test my patience and to develop a rhythm. I usually dislike handsewing, but this was absolutely fun!

So, off to a great start! I have some time off from work to be able to get more done!

New Domain Soon!

I wanted to quickly make a separate update to announce that I have purchased a new domain soon for my site! It's likely that the new site will not be available till late December/January, which is the time when I will be having the proper time to work on my graphics and get a lot of things ready to make it post-friendly and to compile a lot of my cosplays and whatnot.

I don't want to attach a new link already, mostly because the current domain is being used for classroom purposes for a project that will also go well into December or so. However, if you know the name of this blog, you're all good!

I've only previously had one solo graphics site before when I was given some hosting by a wonderful online designer name Rain. I was referred to her by a good friend named Sana, who made some really great graphics back in my high school days. When I was really into making graphics online, I participated as staff for a number of sites and after meeting Sana, she heped me get some hosting from a very reccommended host, Serene Illusions. The site was called, "Excalibur Overture Designs". I think I have a really derpy screenshot of the old site, or at least the layout. I painfully admit that I wish I had used more the site, but I was so slow to constructing it.

Unfortunately the only picture I can find doesn't have the host information, so this is just a very old screenshot (haha Windows XP) I took when I was originally making the layout. I do remember having some other screenshots of the actual site, although like I said, it was short-lived and derpily not that different. The site was mainly a graphics resource, although it's kind of hard to find those kinds of sites. Every once in a while I get hit with a creative moment and look around to staff temporarily somewhere, although it's rare to find a graphics resource site that is strictly anime oriented.

I'm so embarrassed now to share this because I'd like to believe that I've massively improved from this. Even with more experience however, I think I probably might still be infuriating over 9000 Bauhaus enthusiasts with my graphic style.

Some of my more recent work has been dedicated to other projects and personal use, with the exception of a few client-based projects. I was honored to have been able to help create logos and flyers for a Help for Japan relief fundraiser in Torrance, hosted by a good friend, and then some other design logos and business-related projects. Other non-business work is dedicated to desktop wallpapers, friends' graphics, and my website header (which was based on a little class project turned header idea).

So back on topic! Because I really like my simpler layout so far, its very likely I'll be rolling this layout (or a basic idea of it) towards my new site. I probably will be toying a bit more with some ideas and new experiments, but my focus is to have a cleaner website I can showcase some of my cosplay endeavours, have a bit of blogging/commentary moments, and personalize my work a bit more.

So here's to a start of a new project!