mellymell: (Default)
Jumping on the bandwagon here and since I need to get my thoughts in order on what's coming up for the next, oh, 5 months, I need to pull all this together now. Wedding sewing is taking priority (even though [livejournal.com profile] branflake's wedding is not until November), so there won't be any new costumes except for perhaps what I can finish with minimal effort and purchasing of materials. Which basically means my list should look almost exactly like last year's.

I'm not going to make a wearing schedule just yet (or maybe even not ever). I'll figure that out once we get closer to time or wear whatever suits what's going on once I get there.

Things that are done and going for sure:
Arwen Blood Red gown
Arwen Dream gown
Pirate (though I might need to do some repairs to my corset, bones are poking out)

Things that are "almost" done:
POA Hermione (pink hoodie outfit): All I need is to dye my shirt, put my belt together and buy a wand and time turner.
Elseworld Batgirl - I still have a lot of work to do on this one, looking at it in list form, but not a lot of stuff I expect to be very time consuming and I have most all of the materials, so I'm still going to try to put it together.
Holyhead Harpies fan - I nearly forgot about this one, I don't think I ever picked up my shirt from [livejournal.com profile] sailingwest, need some accessories but since I've not noticed a Harpies group mentioned this year, I might not bother (apart from the shirt being comfy geeky day wear).

Long shot maybes:
Arwen Angel gown - I think I've got everything I need for it squared away except the embroidery I'm doing for the neckline. It would just take putting it all together (it's even all cut out) and finishing the embroidery, which really is a lot of work I suppose.
Steampunk - I've got so many steampunkish jewelry parts and pieces, I could definitely make myself some accessories and I found some lovely stripey lightweight cotton in my stash that's begging to be a blouse or chemise. I'd also need a skirt/pants and possibly some shoes. I'd use my pirate corset/bodice for it.

Those long shot maybes will get no attention until all wedding sewing and the almost done costumes are completely done. I'm going for the Dave Ramsey "debt snowball" approach to my costuming this year. Pick off the smallest projects first and work up from there.

Events:
I know I want to do the parade with Arms of Middle Earth.
I'll probably want to go to the Evening at Bree, because I'm sure I'll see lots of ALEP folks there.
If Batgirl is done, I'll probably want to do the DC photoshoot.
I'm going to try to hook up with [livejournal.com profile] amaz0n_princess for her video at some point.
I'll probably wind up at the Yule Ball.
Apart from that I'll probably find either writer's panels or costuming panels to fill my days.
The only "celebrities" I think I might want to see right now are Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick (of Venture Bros. creators/animators fame) and I'm not even sure what they're doing there yet (panel, signings, whatever?). If it's a panel, I'll go hear them talk, if it's signings, I could care less. But that's only after a very quick cursory glance over the guests as they stand now. I know, I know, Sean Austin, but I'm not going to kill myself to see him. Also, Stan Lee would be cool, but I can imagine how crowded any area he graces will be and I'm not such a fan as to put myself through that for him. Sorry, Stan.

Stark difference from last year's apprehension and "OMG what do I do?!" anxiety, eh? I think because last year fizzled into me not going, I'm a lot more casual about it this year. My roommates are squared away (which is nice to have worked out so easily this year) plus they're local and they're veterans, so we can probably coordinate beforehand and they can help direct me when I get confused. I just need to get my membership (yes, I'm a procrastinator and shall pay my share of procrastination tax in the form of rate hikes the longer I wait to get it). Then I need to start squirreling away money for it so I don't run into the same issue as last year.

ETA: Have acquired membership and procrastination tax has been paid. Pokes, friendly or otherwise, may cease... for now. ;)
mellymell: (elseworld batgirl)
Distinctive Fabrics is sort of on my shit list right now, but only in a mild annoyance sort of way. Does it really take a week from the time two swatches are ordered to mail them out in a little first class standard letter envelope? Really? Took less time in transit than it did for them to ship the order. Good thing I'm not in a huge hurry with it. Also good thing these are exactly what I need.

One is a 2-way stretch PVC vinyl in black. The knit backing on it will work just fine on its own for the matte outer side of the cape and of course the shiny side will be perfect for the shiny inside of the cape as well as the shiny kneepads. It doesn't ravel in the least either, so that means I won't even have to hem it. The other was a 4-way stretch spandex lycra to make all the other little parts and pieces that I need, like the fabric cowl, boot fakes and anything else that comes up. It also doesn't ravel and will not need hemming. I think I'm going to be lazy and just buy a pair of gloves. They only really need to be wrist length and I don't feel like making them. Both fabrics are very lightweight, which is fantastic (was worried about cape being heavy if it had to be lined or vinyl was too thick). So, I'll order a couple of yards of each today. Hopefully they'll get here next week sometime, but who knows. Yes, even though I was a little irritated that it took them so long to ship just some little swatches and they still have their silk/rayon velvet listed as 100% silk even though we all know it's not, I'm still ordering from them.

Went to Michael's after dropping Jonah off to school this morning. Of course after I bought a roll of white foam, they now have rolls of black in stock. My roll is still unopened and I still have the receipt, so I'm going to take it back when I pick Jonah up this afternoon. It doesn't really matter, mostly, but if paint or anything flaked off, I think I'd want black rather than white underneath. I've got to start remembering coupons when I go to Michael's. Picked up the paper clay I forgot to get on my last trip, for doing details on the helmet and smooting joint edges on the foam for the rest of the pieces.

From there, I pulled out my phone to figure out where the nearest beauty supply store might be to pick up a couple of styrofoam head forms (luckily there was a Sally's right down the street, love my phone when it's handy). As it is now, I've got my Arwen wig, elven headpiece and pirate hat all piled on top of each other on the one glass head I have. Plus, I need one I can pin into and form around for the helmet.

Speaking of the pirate hat, I need to put a band inside it to keep it from stretching out and consider getting a hat jack for it. Oh yeah, and need to tear it up at some point too, but need to have a camera handy when I do. I want to do a distressing tutorial with it.

In other news, after sleeping on it and looking at yesterday's horoscope again (mentioned working extra hard on career matters right now or regretting it later), I decided to do an elementary school craft fair where I was invited to be a vendor via an Etsy convo. It's the same weekend as the Superhero 5k. As much as I'm dying to do that race (2nd year I've missed it), I'm going to have to put it off another year. If I want to grow my business, I can't turn down opportunities like this. Booth fee is $50 (10% off if I get them payment by Friday), but I could stand to make a decent amount of money if I can build enough inventory by then. Perhaps more importantly, I can hand out lots of business cards and get my name out locally. I really want to get into doing shows because I think ultimately, that's how my jewelry is going to move. I'm lost in a sea of other jewelers online.

Batgirl work will not cease! I still plan to have it ready by Halloween and will probably just wear it then.
mellymell: (Default)
This is the second time this idea has struck me while washing and drying my insanely long hair that really needs to be cut, so it obviously wants to be written down. I want to save the hair I have cut off and make extensions for costuming use. Since this section of my hair is pretty damaged (leftover damage from dreadlocks, mostly), I was thinking I might dread it and use them as dread extensions to mingle with my own hair. As I was revisiting the idea of a Jadis costume, I was thinking, "yeah but the dreads. . ." and then it hit me like a lightning bolt.

Man, I must just have female villainy on the brain because three of my four next costumes are [hopefully] going to be female villains (Maleficent, Lamia and Jadis). Celeborn still gets first dibs on my time once I have a costuming budget again. Then I desperately want to have Maleficent done for Halloween next year. After that, who knows. I need to get faster. I also need more money. ;)

Jadis isn't the only one that could use the dreadlock treatment. I've seen some really neat steampunk stuff with dreadlocks. Pirates could use them. I'm sure once I get them done, I'll find uses.

As I told [livejournal.com profile] aranel13 a little bit ago, I also started thinking about how to write this up for her ezine, ConCraft. A "look everywhere for inspiration" sort of thing? A tutorial if it works out? A "y'all, I've lost my mind to costuming" anecdote?" As any good elf would answer. . .

Yes. ;)
mellymell: (Default)
Another list form will work best here, too, I think.

1. Pirate - I have no idea when I'm wearing this yet, but I'm taking it. I've been working on shaping my tricorn. I had been avoiding it, knowing the brim needed some trimming and well, I was afraid to jump in and do it, thinking I'd probably screw it up. But, it's going well and it's really fun to do! Hats really are fun. I really think I have more fun in the accessories than the full costumes. Which makes me think I might want to open a second Etsy store, but. . . later. Anyway, I'm using Elizabeth's from Dead Man's Chest as a model and a wool felt hat blank from here as my base. It's pinned in place right now and I need to hand tack it where necessary then beat the crap out of it. Thinking dirt, mineral oil (or something like it), sandpaper and saltwater should do the trick.

2. Black Crinkle Gauze Fabric - I can't even remember how I ran across it now, but I found 5 yards of it on ebay and won it for under $14 shipped. WIN! Literally. :P I thought it might work for Lamia's sleeves, but I don't think so now that it's here. It's too thick, for one and also, I'm pretty sure now hers is silk gauze that's been distressed. However, I'm not regretting the purchase. While it slightly ate into my budget for current costumes and isn't even going to work for what I thought it was, well, I know I can use it for something, be it a chemise or blouse or two or a skirt or whatever.

3. Angel Gown - I'm pretty sure I'm procrastinating the Angel gown until it's too late to get it done. If it shows up at D*C, it will be a surprise to all of us, especially me. I just don't feel like working on it.

I thought there was more, but now I can't think, so I guess I'm done anyway.
mellymell: (Default)
I wasn't expecting to get this yet. And since Katrina was so kind to offer up free tickets to the Ren Fest on Monday, I was actually kind of bummed thinking it wouldn't get here in time. But, I got my new sword today!! Yay! I must say, it's not as nice as the United Cutlery Lord of the Rings replicas. But I'm happy with it for the price. I don't think it's a full tang, since the handle feels so light. But it's nicely weathered and even smells old. The brass/bronze/whatever pieces on the handle and the scabbard are very thin. But for a costume/display sword, it's not bad and the nice leather on the scabbard makes up for it, in my opinion.

The only issue now is, since my baldric is a bit too long for me and cheaply made and overall kind of crappy, it fits into it weird. Luckily there are two rings on the scabbard which I think I can rig with some leather strips and thread them through my waist belt(s). That way it won't flop around so much as I walk.

I've been pricing exotic leathers (ostrich, alligator, etc.) and thinking about trying to make some belts/baldrics. Apparently there are also printed/embossed leathers that are made to look like ostrich and alligator skins. Still real leather, just something not so exotic, perhaps pigskin or something. I can get 22-28 cu. ft. of said printed leather for something around $50-$60 or a 10-14 cu. ft. of genuine grade 4 ostrich skin for somewhere around $200. The printed stuff might be good for practice and a budget version of whatever I come up with.

I've also been toying with the idea of getting some books on soft metal casting (bronze, pewter, stuff I can melt with a torch or a DIY system). I'd like to make some buckles. I just can't find what I'm looking for and what I do find isn't reasonably priced, even considering the work involved. I'm thinking other people might have similar problems and might be interested in the fruits of my experiments. Just some things to think about for now, really.
mellymell: (Default)
So, I've scratched Celeborn from the list of Dragon*Con hopefuls. I just don't have the budget or time to get him done and I don't want to kill myself trying or cut corners on fabric. I've still got a lot of work to do on the Angel gown (which, honestly, if I had the budget to start on Celeborn, I'd be more than willing to set the Angel gown aside to work on him). Celeborn isn't getting scratched from the list forever though, I promise. He's just getting postponed a little. I'm hoping maybe some things will turn around monetarily and I can work on him later in the year and maybe have him done in time for the unofficial ALEP gathering in the Smokies next March. But what does that leave?

I'll continue working on the Angel gown, definitely.

I've got the Blood Red gown and the Dream gown ready to go, more or less (couple of minor things to do that no one will notice but me).

I've got pirate garb, though I still could use some boots or rather better boots. But I don't think I'll be able to afford it before Dragon*Con. My hat blank for the tricorner should be here today and all I'll have to do to it is tack it up and distress it. My new sword should be here later this week or early next. It's a replica of Elizabeth's sword from At World's End, and unfortunately, I'm starting to love her Chinese battle outfit.

I'm also thinking about throwing together a Hermione pink hoodie outfit. I've been wanting a pair of Golas anyway. ;)

So, that's 5 costumes, which is a decent number for me.

I could possibly put together a steampunk outfit as well, but it would require some more money and potentially some more sewing. So, I'll just have to wait and see on that one.

But the point is, I'm thinking about costumes again and I'm starting to feel some motivation to work towards finishing up the ones I've got up in the air. However, I'm a little irked every time I go into the office and see the mess Chris left in there months ago now and hasn't cleaned up. He decided to pull all of his boxes of computer stuff out of the closet and go through them to weed out stuff he doesn't want or need anymore. That's great, except he left it all where it was and I have no idea what's keep and what's throw/give away. So, I can't really do much about it other than just pack it all back up and put it back in the closet. Since he's willing to get rid of so much of it, I really don't want to do that, in the interest of more storage space in there. I guess it's a good thing we're not going anywhere this weekend. I might will just make him get up there this weekend and help me clean it up. ;)
mellymell: (Default)
Since I've sworn off costuming and jewelry work until after the turn of the year (no matter how much I'm itching to fidget with the Angel gown on the dress form), I'm likely not going to finish anything else before December 31st. I don't think I made a public list of what I wanted to accomplish this year at last year's end and I'd probably only be embarrassed by the overly ambitious goals I'm sure I set for myself anyway. So, I'll just start this tradition now, since I actually managed to finish some costumes for once.

2008 Accomplishments )

2009 Wishlist )
mellymell: (Default)
Last night I sat down and made lists. I think I can be certified as the list princess, since J-9 is the undisputed list queen. I'm at the very least a list duchess.
Yes.

Anyway, here's what the next 3-4 weeks of costumed events look like for us (*sigh* costuming for one is so much easier than costuming for three):
  • Oct. 17th or 24th (leaning towards the 24th) - Ghouls at Grassmere (Halloween event at the zoo) - Arwen, Aragorn and Frodo or pirates if Jonah's costume is here in time

  • Oct. 18th - I run for the party Halloween costume 5k - Zombies

  • Oct. 25th - Tennessee Fellowship October Moot - Arwen, Aragorn and Frodo

  • Oct. 26th - Nashville Zombie Walk - Zombies

  • Oct. 31st - Halloween - Pirates

  • Nov. 8th - Super Hero 5k - Bat Mel, Robin for Jonah and I'm not sure if Chris is going and/or wants to dress up yet


More lists! )

After all that, I think I'm going to sleep until Christmas. Even still, I LOVE Halloween and usually feel like we don't do enough for it. Maybe this year I'm overcompensating for the past few years when we haven't done much.

Yes.
mellymell: (Default)
Ok, so I'm being a post whore today, so sue me.

We've got several costumed events coming up (four off the top of my head but two sets of costumes needed) and I feel bad that I always put a ton of time and effort into my costumes, but because Chris doesn't really care, we wind up throwing something passable together out of bits and pieces in the closet at the last minute. As such, I think I'm going to set aside the Angel gown for the moment and focus on his costumes for these events. I have other stuff I can wear after all and he doesn't. I'm trying to think of things I could possibly throw together in the next three weeks. I know I've made him a shirt before in less than a week without doing a mockup and I've already got a pattern for one if I want to do that one again. I'd like to get a hold of this pattern and try that one instead though, maybe minus the collar. I'll run it by him. I could even make it out of muslin (what I've got right now is a heavy unbleached muslin that would work well). I've also got 3-4 yards of black silk velvet that could be made into a surcoat for him and I even have Gondorian looking trim to go on it in black, gold and silver. Pants I would buy (thinking about the velvet pants at Museum Replicas). Boots I would buy too, except I'm not sure how much we have to spend on this stuff right now. I've got a long D-ring belt as well.

Now, that takes care of two events. Then there's Halloween. I decided I didn't want to sew for Halloween after scrambling to finish costumes for ALEP and thought we could do pirates, since I started collecting things for them for Ren Fest earlier in the year. I've got my ensemble done, with the exception of some details, but we could use a vest, some boots and some details for his costume. Again, I've got plenty of belts (even though my pirate belts are kind of crappy). We could use some weapons and maybe a tricorn hat. I'd like to get nice stuff, but I'm not feeling the need to spend a lot of money right now (there's a great hat on Ebay I've watched for a while, but it's $35, which is not expensive, except for all the other bits and pieces we need to get right now). I might just take a trip to Party City and see what they've got. I'm sure pirates are still a popular costume this year, so I should be able to find something decent.

Then there's Jonah. Chris agreed to do pirates only if I dress Jonah as a parrot. Yes, a parrot. And holy cow, I actually found one! I could add some feathers to complete the effect and be done with it! Freakin' awesome! I thought I was going to have to wrack my brain and come up with something creative, heh.
mellymell: (Default)
I picked up my package of Jack Sparrow replica belts on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week (can't remember exactly). Well, I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. The buckles are ok, not great. The one for the baldric belt seems way too small. I mean, it seems huge in the pictures of the original. That doesn't bother me a whole lot, since I'm not using them for a replica costume. But the belts themselves feel VERY cheap. Thin faux leather that I'm not even sure I can age without destroying. Granted, I didn't pay much for these belts, so I'm not expecting top quality and for my purposes, I think they'll work ok.

I guess I only mention it because [livejournal.com profile] belluthien and I discussed the belts since she was in the market for some for her dear Capt. Julien. Dear, for a costume as lovely as yours, I'd look for some nicer belts. Maybe even consider buying the buckles from the other seller I mentioned (I think it was costumebase) and getting some nice belt leather to make your own. I can't attest to their quality either though, since I can only go by the pictures. They at least seem like the right size (the baldric buckle is 4"x3"). They definitely seem better than the ones I wound up with, but you get what you pay for I guess. There is one seller that sells fantastic Jack Sparrow baldric belts on ebay but they go for about $150 on average.
mellymell: (Default)
Chris left this morning for San Francisco and we had decided he should pack the camera, since if he forgot it, I'd have the chance to remember it on Wednesday when I leave. Of course, he didn't forget it and of course I got two things in the mail today I wanted to take pictures of. So for now, I have to make do with the crappy 1.3 megapixel camera on my new phone. The things that arrived today were the corsair corset and the ring I made in my silver smithing class.

Ugh! These feel so myspace. )
mellymell: (Default)
Received my pirate boots in the mail yesterday. While the foot bed is quite loose (might require some extra thick socks or even a couple of pair), the calf area is quite snug and doesn't zip completely. Figures. Curse these Moore legs of mine! Unfortunately there's no hope of burning off the muscle that's in the way. My lower legs are one of the few areas of my body that are quite toned and not fatty in the least. :( Luckily, there's the lacing on the fold over cuff that I can use to keep it snug to my calf. The ankle area scrunches up nicely, though I'm not sure that's intentional. Now I just need to attack them with some sandpaper.

This morning, I was about to bid on the baldric belt and the set of two waist belts, but before I did was checking completed listings again for a fair price. I noticed one of the buy it now auctions for all three from another seller where he accepted a "better offer" of as low as $30 + $26 S&H. Well, no matter how those other two auctions were finishing, it looked like a better deal. Not to mention, it appears they're a little more accurate, should I ever decide to actually do a Jack Sparrow costume (which the itch is rising now that I've been studying the POTC pics for just general pirate looks). Not to mention, by getting it closed and paid for today, I have the potential to get the package before I leave on Wednesday. I still have enough in the budget to get the machete scabbard and then I'll be done, I think.

If Chris is game for dressing up, we've got pants and a shirt he can wear and we can split the belts between the two of us. I'm certain I have plenty of scraps of fabric that can be used for sashes for the two of us. If he wants some boots, he'll have to get some. And like Judy said, if we decide one or both of us wants a tri-corn hat, we can make a trip to Party City to see if they've got something cheap and doable. Other that that, a vest might be the only other thing he'd want.

Now to go start making all those lists to get ready to leave for two weeks.

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