Katsucon is a yearly tradition for me where I look forward to seeing amazing work while also catching up with friends. With those two things in mind my mission was accomplished. I was really worried I wouldn't finish my projects in time but luckily I was able to pulled through without pushing myself too hard. The grind to finish Katsu costumes, aka "Katsucrunch", got the best of many people this year, which serves as a good reminder to take a step back and reevaluate things with high stress projects. I learned that lesson the hard way at WCS.
I have to give special thanks to a few people who made this weekend great. First off to Kurumasha for helping me finish my projects and lending me her wig. Second to VickybunnyAngel for being an amazing roomie, helping me in and out of costume, and also helping with makeup. Third to Jayuna, for helping me out of costume when Vicky wasn't there. Lastly to everyone who I caught up with ans shot with over the weekend. Thank you for your time and sharing it with me.
All right let's dive in!
All in all I had a good time despite the crowding. Honestly, I expect this every year from Katsu so it was not a surprise and honestly I thought it would be worse. I wore my cumbersome outfits on Thursday and Friday to avoid the worst of it. Crowding makes it difficult to get good photos but a little ingenuity, courtesy, and determination goes a long way. I would agree with some friends with the point that some of the usual photoshoot spots are getting overused but I think that is part of the deal when you attend a con several years in a row. However, it's still leaps and bounds better for shoots than conventions held in warehouses every year. I will be returning next year so long as my friends will be there since that is the bulk of the fun for me.
How was your Katsu? Did you run into any issues?
WHAT I LEARNED
The Sawsbuck collection of costumes hit a sweet spot for me: I got to rekindle my love of design, I got to make a bunch of fun capes, I fell in love again with crafting headpieces, I got to embellish the crap out of each design, I had fun shopping for complimentary accessories, I got to be thrifty by reusing certain parts of the costume, I improved my corset making skills, and I got to play around with some intense makeup. All-in-all good stuff, 10 out of 10 will do again.
I also did another cosplay trip out west to visit my friend the super talented Lichon Photography. We shot 5 costumes over 7 days all around Southern BC, mainly Kelowna. It was amazing and the photos are to die for.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to judge masquerades and to be invited to events, so I would like to thank everyone who put my name forward, those who came out to see me or buy prints. Your support means a lot to me. I`m glad my costumes could bring a little joy to your day. If you would like to see me at an event near you, get in touch with your organizers or contact me.
Forward to 2018
Since I have fewer events planned for 2018, hopefully that means I can create more costumes. I have quite a few projects on the go, but the biggest one I hope to finish is Lilith from Trinity Blood. I have also been dragging my feet on a Storm for years that is finally coming together. Hopefully I can knock out some more outstanding projects in 2018.
I have another cosplay photoshoot adventure planned and it is going to be even more intense than the last ones. More details on that to come. The plan is also to produce more regular content from home. I`ll do my best to work some magic.
The urge to return to NYC is also strong, the fabric district is calling me, although I`m not sure if I can swing either NYCC or AnimeNYC in 2018.
If you want to know what I`m up to, please check out my Planning page or you can find me posting progress pics on my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. If you want to support my work, you can buy me Ko-fi. I hope your 2017 went well and see you in 2018!
Nothing beats fresh air and doing super cinematic photoshoots in the mountains. I had such a great time in Banff last year that I figure I would pay Lichon Photography a visit in Kelowna this year. I've never been and I had a hankering to go in the mountains again.
If I had to summarize the trip I would say: Mountains, fresh air, road trip, girl's trip, and cosplay goals. I I had to summarize the shoots, I would simply say cold. I was freezing through all of them. Windy cold, wet cold, hail cold, snowy cold... You get it at this point.
I somehow packed 5 costumes in my luggage so we did 6 shoots over the course of 7 days. It was intense but fun. Here's a quick recap.
We went to Myra canyon to check out some beautiful fall foliage. We had to take a logging road up there and it felt like me were off roading most of the way. I got to see some unique pine tree that turn neon in the fall. Lichon also taught me some stellar tree shaking skills to level up our practical effects in our photos. I also learned the art of dodging prickly bushes and carefully detaching fabric from said bushes. I wore my Fall Sawsbuck costume and it was the first time I wore it in a seasonal setting. I'm so happy that my headpiece survived the flight. I got some serious cape action going, and I curious to see how the photos turn out.
Busy but fun. Otakuthon is one of my staple events for the year and it delivered good times with my friends. I came into the city on Thursday evening and I was able to grab a few drinks with a friend on a patio and catch up after a few years apart.
On Friday I wore Nidalee, I didn't forget my necklace this time, and I got to shoot with White Specks. I immediately had to run to my panel afterwards and it went surprisingly well considering I thought it was cancelled and I had to make due without my notes.Afterward I had an amazing seafood dinner at the Captain's Boil. It's a pirate themed restaurant with bibs, gloves, and food in bags. It was glorious and delicious.
On Saturday I got dressed in my Fall Sawsbuck costume after attaching some last minute flowers to the skirt. I'm so stoked to get photos back for this costume. I felt majestic af in this. I love it so damn much with its warm colour palette. I also hung out in the Otakuthon lobby for a bit and I was pleased to see how warmly the costume was received especially since it's an original gijinka design.
The rest of the day was spent judging the masquerade and Otakuthon always has stiff competition. This year was the year of WOW. There were so many talented Sylvanas cosplayers, in addition to a lot of Hakuouki and Madoka Magika.
On Sunday I wore Ducklett and I took it pretty easy. I watched the WCS Canada performances, then jetted out for a fashion inspired shoot, then came running back for the award ceremony. I spent the rest of the day eating great food with friends and catching up with them.
All in all it was a good weekend despite the questionable weather.
I brought the sea goddess to Mechacon, and I was happy with how well received Tia Dalma was.
Friday was busy since I was doing craftsmanship judging for the masquerade for the most of the day. I was amazed at the amount of talent I saw in the cosplay competition. After a few hours of that I went to the opening ceremony with my fellow cosplay guests Chinasaur and Starbuxx. I was really impressed with how well produced the opening videos were for the event in addition to the talent on stage since many of the musical guests preformed throughout the ceremony.
Afterward we had a meet and greet with the guests (ambassadors) and VIP con guests. It made for a great time to meet new people and socialize. It set a great tone for the weekend.
I wrapped up the evening by grabbing dinner at a great Colombian restaurant and calling it an early night.
On Saturday, I wore Kida. Earlier in the day I was judging more entries from the cosplay contest then I got to spend some time at my booth. I met so many interesting and nice people. Thanks again to anyone who stopped by to say hi and buy a print.
Later in the day I got to watch the cosplay competition and boy was it intense. There was a crazy amount of craftsmanship on display and it was hard narrowing down the winners. I'm also used to having lengthy deliberations to determine the awards but we had to pick the winners within 15 minutes! In the end, we came to a consensus and the contestants really put on a good show.
After the con I got to catch up with Hane Cosplay over dinner and frozen rosé. Yum.
Weekend Cosplay Gallery
Sunday & Monday
Sunday was the most relaxed of the weekend. I was mostly at my table in my Ducklett costume. The AC is not a joke at this con so I was sporting a jacket most of the day.
I had a great time socializing with the attendees and the other guests in the guest table area. I've got to say that Queen D is a great cosplayer and a joy to be around. I would love to see her MC a Canadian masquerade.
Chinasaur and Starbuxx were lovely and I had a great time hanging out with them over the weekend. Also thanks to Most Flogged for swapping X-men stories and taking me to the aquarium on Monday.
Stay awesome New Orleans!
I had a great relaxing time at Montreal Comiccon. I'll take any reason to go to Montréal!
I only wore one costume, Pharoah Nidalee, and it was briefly on Saturday for a photoshoot with Erik Paredes. Note to self: do more test runs of costumes before wearing them. It was surprisingly uncomfortable to wear and a few pieces didn't stay put.
Most of my time was spent hanging out with friends, exploring the dealer's room, grabbing food in Chinatown, and going on little Pokemon adventures.
Notable events: I spotted Patrick Stewart twice over the weekend. Once in the dealer's room on his way to his signing and again while he was walking through Chinatown.
It was my first time at Yeticon and it did not disappoint. I decided to go at the last minute and I'm glad I did. It was quite a relaxing event. It was a bit of a downer that there was rain throughout the weekend but otherwise it was fun.
I drove in with some Ottawa cosplay friends and arrived at around 4pm. It quite the scenic trip, much better than driving to Toronto. I threw on Sharla in a rush and did my makeup in record time. I grabbed my badge at the event, ran into almost all my Toronto cosplay friends, then went straight to a shoot with Anna and Kay. I can't wait to have some good photos of Sharla with her prop. This costumes has been collecting dust for a few years since it doesn't travel easily. Some parts were coming apart since the glue worn down after a few years. After taking off my costume I rode the mountain coaster and hung out with friends for the rest of the day. I took it easy for the rest of the night since it was pouring rain.
Despite my best efforts I could not sleep in, so I lounged around my suite with my roommates until around noon when I got dressed in Summer Sawsbuck. I got to shoot some video with Ackson and then did a photoshoot with Anna at the top of the mountain. Even though I doused myself in bug repellent I still end up with 4 mosquito bites.
I got out of costume and was killing time until the pool party except it got cancelled due to thunder, rain, and tornado warnings. Instead I went to go visit friends in their rooms getting drenched by the rain every step of the way then headed to a suite party for the rest of the night,
There was a forecast of sporadic rain so I decided not to wear Ms. Fortune on Sunday. It was stupidly humid as well so I only imagine all my fake scars would be peeling off within a half hour. I took another ride on the roller-coaster and said goodbye to as many friends as I could.
It was nice drive back to Ottawa filled with pitching questionable skit ideas.
The resort is beautiful and great to wander around. There are tons of activities you can do in the resort for free thanks to getting a badge. There is a plethora of great photoshoot locations. The con has a lot of interesting events happening. I missed out on my free drink and open bar :( but others got to take advantage. there are a lot of food options and the hotel rooms are all great. It is very relaxing. In comparison, Colossalcon is a fun partycon while Yeticon is a laid back party con.
I want to return next year. I just hope they don't put it back to back with Colossalcon!
Being invited to Anime Matsuri was a dream come true. After hearing so many good things about this event for years and having it on my "to visit" list I finally got to experience it. Everyone was kind and polite which made my first trip to Texas a blast!
Being able to make your own gems for projects can be a good way to save money plus get the exact look you are aiming for. You can buy resin casting sets in custom colours, however, colours are limited (red, green, blue and that's all folks) and resin dye can be expensive or hard to come by. You can also cast clear gems and paint the backs, but the colour is not visible from sharp angles. After some testing I found this method works great.
Casting resin with acrylic INK!
The colour options are limitless since you can mix your own shades and you can control the opacity of the gems. It's also cheap since a bottle of ink costs about $6(CAD). In addition, the ink can be used for many other purposes such as dyeing wigs, whereas resin dye has one specific purpose.
I've made a video tutorial below but you can also find all the steps and materials listed below.
At 1 drop per 10ml of mixture the gems are relatively clear. At 2 drops per 10ml, the gems were more opaque or milky in appearance. The thicker the gem the more opaque it was.
For the glowing gem look, place a metallic backing to the gem. In the 2nd and 4th photos, as well as the completed armour below, I use metallic wrapping paper. Embossing foil and silver foil will also work. The effect is very nice and noticeable at 1 drop per 10ml and visible but not as vibrant at 2 drops.
Here are the gems in action. Happy crafting!
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.