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Jul. 12th, 2013

proplady chris sword

Pants.

Had some trouble getting home from the convention --my car needed a new fuel injector and thanks to the insane generosity of my brother, (whose mechanics shop I should really give a shout out to), I was able to get it fixed for far less than it would have cost if I'd had it done in St. Cloud. I also swung by Lewis' place and recorded some more dialog for his show. Really stretched my acting chops. Some good stuff, although you'll have to wait a few months to see the storyline play out.

I'd link to the AniMinneapolis panel video I was in, but I look really horrible. Like I just had my Driver's License photo taken. I'll link to the info page for his new DVD instead. Plan to go to MetaCon but I would like to be a little better prepared next time. Maybe bring some actual stuff to sell.

Managed to find one picture of me in my Rita Repulsa costume at least. (Been kind of busy since I got back so I haven't had time to search for more.)

I'm tackling some complex clothing/armor projects now. It's just like Final Fantasy 11 rose from the dead and started kicking my ass this past week. Took me three whole days to make a pair of pants. A PAIR OF PANTS!!!!!!!! ARGGHHH!!!!! (Not as bad as the Zam Wesell skirt, but pretty close...)
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Jul. 1st, 2013

proplady chris sword

AniMinneapolis 2013 Mini Report.

Oh yeah! That's right! I have a Cosplay Blog! Remember when I used to post pictures and tutorials of actual real life costumes and props, most of which I made myself? And remember when I used to go to conventions and take hundreds of photos, (all of which I carefully labelled by subject matter and day taken) which I then uploaded to an online gallery replete with exhaustive and detailed breakdown of my convention experience, including types of meals consumed and the number of respiratory viruses contracted from sick, snot-nosed babies dressed up in cute Sailor Moon outfits?

No?

Hunh...

It's odd. Now that I've become more convention-savvy and have grown to know more fascinating, highly regarded fanwork creators than ever (and thus, have far more interesting stuff to report on than I did in my early, gawking newbie days of anime/sci-i fandom,) I just don't seem to be able to muster up enough energy or drive to actually RECORD any of my convention-doings. I didn't even bring a camera this time around. I just..... didn't remember to. (Of course, when your car decides to throw a cylinder on the day you plan on leaving for a big trip, and you're trying desperately hard to try to get it into a driveable state AND you're trying to remember to bring all 387 components of the massive costume you plan on wearing, all the while hoping like hell that you didn't forget something, you're bound to forget something.)

But Amethyst, you say. Why didn't you just use your Smartphone to take pictures like 99.997% of the population living in the 21st Century would do?

Because I don't have one. Because I spent all of my money on my costume. (No...really...)

And I dunno... I'm also a Luddite when it comes to newer technology, I guess. (Ooh! Thick-armed girl SCARED of tiny talking box with moving pictures that captures soul! Get it away!!!)

Aaanyway....

I agreed to come down to the convention to help my friend Lewis (whose DVD has just come out, by the way, you should buy it if you like being cool and awesome and owning stuff that's as cool and awesome as you will become when you buy it.) Lewis had a booth in the dealer's room and I helped him man (woman?) it. He was selling plushie cybermats, and would have been selling copies of his DVD if they had been shipped to him on time. (Curse you, laws of Temporal Reality!!!>_<) Lewis had a sewing box and a bunch of fleece on him, so I was able to (at his request) design and make him a small plushie Weedle. And then make a pattern for him so he could make a similar Weedle. Which will in turn inspire all of his fans over the internet to make their own Weedles, and soon the Wheedle virus will spread throughout the land, like a meme involving a fat Asian guy and a stupid dance, and then, AND THEN... the world will become engulfed in orange fleece and fiberfill and I WILL RULE IT ALLL! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Sitting in the booth cross from us was Lewis' friend Martin (who, though I heard of him, I hadn't yet met) and his wife Marianne. They were both very nice people, although I didn't want to geek out and bother them too much since they were both working (and since the venue we were in was pretty loud.) I spent most of my time on Fri and Sat. in Lewis' booth (and helping out at his liveshow.) I did manage to walk around the convention, catch the sights and watch Martin's liveshow/panel on Saturday, which was lots of fun. After the panel, Lewis, myself, and our fellow AT4W alumnus Will, went with Martin and his wife and friends out to TGIFridays. I was hoping to get a chance to geek out and talk during this interlude, but the restaurant was (like the dealer's room) pretty loud. (At least, it was louder than the level at which I could carry on a coherent conversation. I'm a severe mumbler and I also tend to sound like this while I'm trying to make off the cuff conversation, so I can only hope everyone else understood what I was trying to say.)

After dinner, Martin and company bid us goodbye so they could get nice and endrunkened for their 18 plus panel which was to take place later that night. Will, Lewis and I headed for my car to get....the costume.

Then we talked to Con Ops and requested a room to ourselves so I could put on...the costume....

And no, I don't have pictures of "the Costume" unfortunately (although my friends took some. So did a great many con-goers as well, so I expect to have a few pics to post here soon.) The character was Rita Repulsa, and I have to say it was the best damn costume I've ever done. Not because of its complexity and level of skill, but because of the emotional reaction it got from those who viewed it. You would have thought upon seeing me, that those twenty-something kids were seeing their own childhoods sauntering up to them with large gray hair horns and a scratchy voice. Never have I worn anything that received such a warm reception. Kudos to Will and his awesome makeup job (which was so effective that one of the women who dined with us didn't even recognize me when she saw me in the hall.) I was invited into Martin and Marianne's Adult panel to do a little Power Ranger improv, but I fear it went about as well as that scene in Ed Wood where Bela Lugosi tries to do a TV appearance with an off-script comedian. (BTW, if you haven't seen that movie, DO SO. NOW. I'll put off writing the rest of this entry until you finish it and get back...)

......

Are you done?

Wasn't it AWESOME? The Burton/Depp team-up at its finest! A celebration of everything weird and wonderful!

...which pretty much describes me and everyone I know. ^_^

Anyway, I didn't get a chance to wear the Rita costume as long as I would have liked, since the drawstring to my crinoline skirt broke and the armor started getting a little damaged. (It was pretty much a test run, so I got to see the costume's strengths and weaknesses.) I did get a chance to say goodbye to Martin and Marianne after their panel was finished. (Although I don't know if Martin was able to remember me. I was in my street clothes by then, but I think I still had my eye makeup on. He might have thought he was talking to a giant sentient raccoon.) I'm grateful I got the chance to meet talented new friends and I'm thankful for the help my current friends gave me. (Here's another pluggy-plug for Lewis' DVD.) And get on Anime Detour's ass and tell them to invite Lewis and Little Kuriboh to their convention (once their suggestion form opens up again.) Seriously, they need to get on the ball about that...

On Sunday, I went to see my mother at the hospital she's staying at. (You'll recall she had a heart attack about a month ago.) She's doing much better (feeding tube removed, not in the hideous death coma she was in the last time I saw her) and she'll hopefully be moved to transitional housing soon. I also went out to dinner with my sister for her birthday and then walked around outside a bit, enjoying what I'm sure will be the last few hours before the monsoons hit us again. I should be back home and back to work by tomorrow. I'll get those Rita pics (that I'm sure exist) posted as soon as I can...

Jun. 1st, 2013

proplady chris sword

Back Home...

I went down to the Cities to see my Mother in the hospital. She had a heart attack and her recovery has been a very slow process to date--I worry a lot about my Dad who's in a deep depression and will probably continue to be until mom's condition improves quite substantially. I tried to help him out as best I could (I do have brothers and sisters down there helping him so I'm glad about that. Still would have liked to have spent more time down there although I know my obligations up here would've made that difficult.) I did finally manage to pick up some styrene while I was down in the Cities (as well as finish up some long running clerical projects that needed doing. Wasn't able to update the website like I've been wanting to--I've got tons more pictures to add, but I need to play catch up with my prop projects first.) I have managed to finish a lot and I feel that keeping busy is probably the best thing I could do for myself right now.

Well that and getting adequate sleep, which has been tough lately. (Having random plumbers pop in to reinstall drains just as I'm laying down to sleep in the late morning isn't helping matters.....)
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Feb. 19th, 2013

proplady chris sword

Coming up for air....

Just letting you know I'm still alive and will try to get all of my e-mail answered soon. I've got my nose to the grindstone trying to finish up my old projects. I took time off from my outside job to try and finish up everything I have on my plate (and back burner) before spring and summer convention season sets in (as well as bridal-and-prom-dress-season, which is when things at the outside job tend to get busy.)

Wanna know how busy I've been around here lately? So busy that I actually cleaned out every store within a mile radius of hotglue. (Every project I do these days seems to require at least three packages. Sigh.)
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Feb. 2nd, 2013

proplady chris sword

I'm back!

Did some interesting things down in the Cities this past week. (Some top secret stuff that you'll find out about eventually.) I also picked up some more styrene. (I will answer all e-mail inquiries as soon as I can. The price of styrene and postage went up so I might have to adjust the shipping prices on my styrene price list a little.)

I'm finishing up about 6 or 7 things now. Not sure how I get into the habit of finishing a bunch of things at a time. It makes actually getting stuff out the door kind of bothersome. It's easy to spend an entire day just packing things and not doing much else. Which makes me feel as though I haven't really accomplished anything for the day at all. Sigh.

It is so flippin COLD. I always turn into a Sasquatch this time of year, developing extra layers of fat, hair, and wearing the kind of clothing which makes me look like an Eskimo with a cocoon fetish.) It's tough to create a good impression on someone when you look like that. -_-...

Enough complaining. For now.
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Jan. 16th, 2013

proplady chris sword

Yowza. Been so long since I posted, I almost forgot my login info.

Been busy with my projects--trying out new methods and materials. (Well, better to experiment with those kinds of things now than struggle with them during the Summer Convention Rush.) It's been awhile since I tried my hand at sculpting and silicone mold-building, but here are some results:







You can guess what game/series those were from, can't you?

I did revise my armormaking book while I was home during the Christmas break. It was mostly updating links and references. I'm trying to finish book five, but I've had to play catchup after Xmas break. I did get some nice stuff for Christmas--money mostly, since I have little need for material things (other than shelving and storage boxes.) My employer did a clean-through of our workspace and gave me a ton of old buckles she didn't want any longer. (Mostly plain utility buckles--perfect for making belts and straps for armor.) She also gave me some netted and ruffled petticoats so that was really nice. (Since THOSE things can cost a ton even if you find them in a thrift store.)

Don't like winter. Car froze solid the other day and I had to take out a glovebox fuse just to get the interior lights of my car to shut off and not drain my battery. If we can get a warm day one of these days, I'm hoping it will thaw my car doors out so they'll return to normal. At least I have an engine block warmer in this car (not that that helps when I forget to plug it in...)
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Dec. 10th, 2012

proplady chris sword

Starting to look like the place where I live...

Aww. The 1-1/2 year run of snowless winter was nice while it lasted. We got ourselves about 8-9 inches in the recent blizzard. It's supposed to get cold tonight and turn all of the snow into concrete. I've already cleaned off my car and I managed to locate the block heater inside it, but I'm guessing it will do one of two things - (a)not work or (b)set my car on fire. I do hope I'm joking there.

I finished a big casting project, but since it was supposed to be a gift for somebody, I can't post pics until after Christmas. Been working on about 6 projects simultaneously (which is always fun.) Thanks to the nature of enamel and epoxy putty (which I'm using a LOT of lately), I can only work on each project a little at a time before I have to set it aside to draw, harden, whatever...

Christmas came a little early for me. My boss at the alterations shop decided to throw away the vast collection of buckles her predecessor had saved up over the years and I volunteered to take them home. I go through a ton of buckles, especially in armoring projects, and I managed to snag a huge amount of doll sized buckles. (I've sorted through all of the weird buckles and clamps which I don't think I'll need and I was thinking of placing them for sale on etsy, along with a bunch of other stuff I really should get rid of. Once I have the time.... -_-)

I've been doing a lot of projects involving lighted panels lately. (I wish thatscoolwire.com would get with the 21st century and accept paypal already. It's because of businesses like them that I have to keep a credit card around. (A Ring of Power would have a far less ominous influence on my life... I'm always sooo tempted to use it, but I know I shouldn't, unless I know the only alternative is being eaten by Ringwraiths...)
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Oct. 30th, 2012

proplady chris sword

Luna Plushie

Hiyo. This month was pretty brutal for me. (In the last week alone, I worked 100 hours and slept for about 10. After sending off my last pre-Halloween package, I collapsed and slept for about 24 hours so I'm kind of a wreck right now. But I am trying to pull myself together and set up my schedule for the next few months, answer e-mail, etc.)

I did manage to finally finish my Luna Plushie.



I've been working on it since April (it took months since I had so little in the way of free time thanks to my working two jobs.) God only knows when I'll have the time to make another plushie. This one is MASSIVE in size. You can see more pictures of the plushie here at my DA gallery:

http://amethystarmor.deviantart.com/

I have the plushie up for auction. ( I really need the word to get out on this. I waited until the plushie was posted on Equestria Daily before starting the auction, but it doesn't look as if many people have stumbled upon it so far.)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140876143839

Please bear with me, as I try to get things sorted out. (It was a busier than usual summer and Halloween. I took some time off from the local job to finish things up around here, so hopefully I'll be up to 100 percent before too long...)
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Oct. 15th, 2012

proplady chris sword

Styrene Update

I did finally manage to get more of it this past week (after being delayed by an illness for about a week or so.) I think I've got it all shipped and ready to send to everyone who ordered some (as well as answered all styrene inquiries) but if you haven't heard back from me in awhile, (or if you've paid for the styrene and haven't received it or a message from me yet,) please let me know and I'll get back to you asap!
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Oct. 4th, 2012

proplady chris sword

More Aries Armor Pics

Here's pictures of the Aries helmet:





I've been absolutely devastated by a head and chest cold these past couple of days so I haven't been able to pick up the new styrene yet. (I hope to by this weekend.) I'm one of those people who, thanks to her hermit ways, only gets sick every 5 years or so. (Unfortunately, every time I DO catch something, it always turns out to be a doozy thanks to my lack of exposure to disease. Sigh.)

I've found a local Walmart that has stretchy gold foil (it was what I used for this project.) If you want to experiment with some, you can try looking there. JoAnns should have out it's metallic/shiny PVC fabric in the Halloween/costume section this time of year as well.

The local Menard's hardware store has its Christmas decorations out already . I can buy 10-12" plastic Christmas ornaments again. (If I had more money than I do, I'd stock up on them as they come in handy for making rounded armor/masks...)

I want to finish my Luna plushie before Nightmare Ni--I mean, Halloween. I really need the Spare Time Gods to smile on me for this to happen, though...
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