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Sep. 29th, 2012

sun headdress

MY LIFE IS NOTHING BUT GOLD

GOLD





GOLD



GOLD AND INSANITY



(Please right-click the images and select "view image" to see the pictures in full.)

I used the same technique as seen in my embossed vinyl tutorial, only I used gold foil fabric instead of PVC vinyl. (The foil, being thinner than vinyl, tends to allow for crisper detail in the decoration. Plus it's more reflective.) I also used a layer of 3mm craft foam to make the raised decorations instead of hotglue. It's very labor intensive, but it's also one of the only ways I know of to make a surface this shiny (without requiring even more labor or far more expensive materials.)

I ran out of styrene this past week but I should be getting more as soon as I can pick it up. (Mucho thanks to the friends who are helping me out with that, since I find my schedule restricted during the workweek now.) If you've ordered or are interested in picking some styrene up, I will get back to you on that. (Last week was just brutal, workwise, so I'll try to recover and get back on track as soon as I can.)
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Aug. 24th, 2012

proplady chris sword

August Update

A lot of mechanical/digital type stuff failed on me this month (my internet went down for awhile--I had to call in the Cable Guys to replace my outdated internet modem AND take away the phone modem they inexplicably hadn't taken away back when I had cancelled my phone service. It was still spliced into the internet cable draining away the internet....juices...or whatever....) My e-mail provider also went down for awhile--I'm trying to catch up with the e-mail backlog now (and I sent out a lot of styrene this week. I'm not sure I got everyone so if you haven't received it after ordering it, please let me know at dietzt@cloudnet.com)

(Yes, yes, I know I should have switched to a browser based e-mail provider long ago. It's tough to switch e-mail addresses when you've used one for 15 years or so, not to mention all the stuff it's currently associated with and the HUGE number of old webpages it's listed on. Hopefully there will be no more outages in the future...)
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Aug. 8th, 2012

proplady chris sword

(no subject)

I've learned an important and very expensive lesson tonight--the odds of the el wire you bought to install into your costume project actually working when you test it for the first time is inversely proportional to the amount of time and money you've already spent on your project plus the amount of time you have due before it's finished. Odds are also good that the part of your project containing the el wire will be the part of the project which you choose to do last, thus guaranteeing that when you finally open the package of el wire and test it, it will be far too late for you to do anything about it once you discover that it doesn't work.

In other words, don't use fucking el wire on your costume projects. Use reflective tape or glow in the dark paint instead. Or if you MUST use el wire, take it out of the package and test it as soon as you receive it in the mail. Don't be a fool and assume it'll work. If anyone out there can profit from my pain, I'll feel a little better...

Oh, and another thing I've recently learned-- Final Fantasy XIII costumes are every bit as soul taintingly, free-time crushingly horrible as Final Fantasy XI costumes (*coff* Samurai Relic armor *coff*). About the only FF13 cosplay items that don't suck my will to live are Noctis swords, but I've pretty much got those down to a science now.

Jul. 16th, 2012

proplady chris sword

It's a Little Late to Do Spring Cleaning...

...but I couldn't put it off any longer. I literally could not work because of the mess. I wound up filling five garbage bags (of mostly plastic scraps) by the end of it all. I've also got a lot of props which I'm working on all at once and I've been trying to make another version of Fang's Lance (which I felt compelled to redesign since I didn't like my old design for the hinge blades). All of this plus the hours spent cleaning has led to me feeling as though I wasted this whole past week, even though I know I've been working my butt off.)

I discovered something while vacuumforming today--you can take failed attempts, leave them in the frame, put them back in the oven and try using them again once the heat smooths out the styrene sheeting. (Said styrene will melt a lot faster the second time around so you have to be careful.) I didn't know molded styrene could be reuseable when you heated it up again. (Yes, my apartment was well-ventilated. That's why I had to keep the fans running and my windows open despite the heat. -_-)
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Jul. 11th, 2012

proplady chris sword

Convergence 2012

Hello! I've been busy ever since I got back from the con so only now have I been able to upload my pictures. You can see them here:

http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/231050/

Will and I wore our Trinity Blood costumes to the masquerade. (We didn't win anything-- either our costumes had eligibility issues or our presentation was crappy or the judges had a seething hatred of hotglue roses and lacy collars the size of drive-in movie screens. I'm not sure what happened.) But we got some great feedback on our costumes. And all of the people who did win did a fantastic job on their costumes. The bar was set really high.

The thing that really bummed me out about the evening was the fact that I couldn't stay and allow people to take pictures of my costume after the Cosplay Contest was over. I was in far too much pain. It had been years since I last wore the costume and apparently I gained a little weight--enough for the now-too tight sleeves to cut all of the blood off to my upper extremities. If our friend and con roommate Chase hadn't been in the parking lot of our hotel doing an outdoor photoshoot right as the masquerade was ending, I wouldn't have gotten any pictures of my costume at all. (I wanted to wait for Chase to set up an indoor photo studio so I could get additional pictures, but I was afraid of my kidneys shooting up and out of my armpits thanks to my corset. I just couldn't spend any more time in that costume.)

I'll have to ask my friend Will to send me links to the websites/galleries of our con roommates. They were all extremely helpful and super nice. (I'll need to get and/or post the latest pictures of my Trinity Blood costumes as well one of these days.)

Yes, that is Linkara in my convention pictures dressed as the Seventh Doctor Who. He had been at AniMinneapolis the week before but as soon as he heard that his favorite TV Doctor companion "Ace" (or the actress that portrayed her) was visiting the convention, he had to come down and get her autograph. He also posed for some pictures with the Masquerade Best in Show winners, the Victorian Steampunk Doctor Who Ladies. (They did a stunning job on designing and implementing their costumes, and when you consider the sheer number of people involved in the skit, the fact that they were able to pull it off is mind-boggling.)

Lewis has some new interview and summer movie review stuff posted on his blog. You should watch it when you get the time.

There's so much more stuff I want to report, but I don't want to overload you with information. I've got some interesting projects in the pipe that I hope to finish soon. Thanks again to everyone who helped me out at the convention!
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Jul. 9th, 2012

proplady chris sword

I'm Back

Got back from Convergence today and am playing catch up rather furiously. I did get some nice pictures and will try to post a wrap up soon. Thanks to everyone who helped me over the weekend!
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Jul. 5th, 2012

proplady chris sword

COnvergence

One convention down, one to go......
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Jun. 30th, 2012

proplady chris sword

AniMinneapolis

That's where I am now, folks. I almost didn't make it since I had some huge projects clutching at me, keeping me at home for most of Friday. I don't think I've been as insanely busy as I have been during the past month. (Lots of armor projects were to blame, plus I've been experimenting with new materials, including various types of surface finishes, etc.) I should write up some sort of picture summary of things that I've done so I can show you what I've learned.

I'm down here to help my friends and to work on various costume projects. Things should be less busy for me when I get back home since most of my armor related projects are done or mostly done. I went through and answered most of my e-mail, but now I've got to reply to the replies (once I get back home. I do have e-mail access here so I should be able to answer new messages.)

I'll be helping Linkara at AniMinneapolis. He's got a panel tomorrow that should be really interesting. (One idea for a panel I'd like to see is to watch Lewis do an MST3K of some of the old Spiderman cartoon from the 1960's. Those are prime, grade-A, thick cut riff fodder.) I'm not doing any cosplaying at this con because I want to save my energy for CONvergence. (I HOPE I can still fit into my masquerade costume. Three years of stress eating and butt-sitting haven't been good to my figure.)
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Jun. 23rd, 2012

proplady chris sword

Hi folks!

Wow. I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted. I felt I didn't really WANT to post unless I could write a detailed, several-page explanation of all the things I've been up to in the past few weeks, accompanied by several project pictures so you could know that, indeed, I've been up to something not just sitting around acting all mopey and complainy. (Of course, I haven't had the TIME to make such a presentation, hence my not posting.)

Things got extra busy for me the past few weeks. Wanting to supplement my income when business got slow, I applied to a local vocational rehab program to try and find some outside work. They found me a position with a local alterations/sewing repair shop. (The pay isn't spectacular,--although it is better than what I make at home--- and I've been picking up a lot of new skills and learning to work with new equipment. These sorts of things should help me greatly with my own projects.) Unfortunately, it's been a struggle trying to integrate outside-work time with project-work time. (The job is flexible, so if I need to take days off to finish cosplay-related projects, I can. But most often, I find myself forgoing sleep and free time because I want to please my new employer and get everything I need to finish done on time.) I figure it's a busy season and I'll muddle through it, but I feel like crap most of the time and I need to put my foot down and make sure I don't make my life too intolerable.

June conventions are mostly over and, aside from some back-burner projects, my schedule should be opening up a bit more. I'm also currently trying to get all my my e-mail answered. (I have to spend a lot of time on it, making up quotes for projects or doleing out advice so it was a struggle trying to keep up with during the Busy Time.) I think I answered most requests for styrene, but if you've asked about it and haven't heard from me, please e-mail me at dietzt@cloudnet.com and let me know.

I am planning to attend AniMinneapolis (http://animinneapolis.com/) and CONvergence (http://convergence-con.org/) mostly in a helping capacity for others who are attending. (I don't think I've made a costume for myself in over a year. The Shoemaker's Children Have No Shoes and all that...-_-) But I still have fun helping others and spending time with them. I'm hoping to wear an old costume to the Convergence masquerade, if all goes well...

I'm working on the mane and tail for my Princess Luna plushie. It's going to stand about 36" tall once I'm done. (I had to create an elaborate wire and plastic skeleton for it just to get it to stand--the wires are all coated so nothing should poke out....I hope.) I'd like to sell it soon (AND have it sell for more than the cost of materials this time *sigh*) because I am going to be in need of a great deal of money soon. Another of my teeth is going to need crowning and I have no insurance for it. (I won't even have any health insurance until July thanks to my screwing up my state insurance renewal forms. And my premiums will be going up too thanks to the new job. Yay.)

I recorded a TON of webcam footage of my making projects. It's taking up most of my harddrive, but I haven't had any time to edit it. I almost feel as though I'll never have the time to work on tutorials again (outside of a kickstarter project, which I can't really post because I don't have any examples of videos that I've made before, because I haven't made any, besides the ones I posted on Youtube, which suck.)

Anyway, I'll try to post more here and on my gallery site. Just e-mail me if you have any questions and I WILL get back to you as soon as I can...
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May. 5th, 2012

proplady chris sword

Crap...

Why is it the only time I remember to update my blog is at 6 am in the morning before I go to sleep? I can't even think straight much less explain what's happened to me in the last busy couple of weeks. Oh well. I'll try later...
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proplady chris sword

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