If you read my 2019 wrap-up post, you'll know that I had a tough year creatively. A large part of that was wanting to do things other than cosplay, but having committed to the costumes and getting stuck in in-progress-purgatory. This year, although I'm starting out with these plans… I'm trying to place no pressure on myself to finish anything except Rosalina. My main goal is to finish UFOs, only start costumes I already have materials stashed for, and just take on less. I love cosplaying with groups and will always make efforts to join people when invited, but I have to get better at not pushing my limits this year.
...So here is how things look as of January
Rosalina (redesign by Dessi-Desu) is part of a sponsorship with Cactus Mafia, so that's top priority to finish ASAP. I'm close… it's mostly hand finishing and a couple of accessories left to do.
Mom/Grace from Umbrella Academy was supposed to be a simple, easy, basic sewing project which really ended up being more work than I expected (story of my life). The skirt is almost finished (I’m trying to engineer a simple hoop for the hem) but there’s some wig styling left to do and the shirt to sew. At least I don’t have to paint any more polka-dots.
War is almost done; I just have to style the hairpiece so I don't have to spend a couple hours styling my own hair every time I want to wear her. The wig fiber has been dyed, so I just need to get over the intimidation factor of building a fauxhawk from scratch.
Captain Marvel has been stuck in progress limbo for at least 4 years. It would be nice to get that done.
Milotic is another bigger-than-expected project… I just wanted to make a mermaid tail and change up the aesthetic of the Milotic gijinka I made a few years ago. It would be nice too be able to bring her to Yeti this year.
Espeon: again, I have had fabric for YEARS. I know Kurumasha has been working on her coordinating Flareon so Espeon might get started this year.
Basically I really want to finish the top row, and will be satisfied with any amount of progress on the bottom row. I'm definitely going to end up working on things not on the list though (including partnering with Stark for his new costume this year, and probably something for munchkin too).
Along with fewer costume plans, I'm making fewer convention plans too. I'm definitely going to Costume-Con 38 in Montreal, Anime North in Toronto, and Yeti Con at Blue Mountain. Kitchener Comic Con and Pretty Heroes are maybes because munchkin wants to be there. It would be nice to visit a US Con again this year, but budgeting for that is hard.
In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing lots of you this year!
2019 is over!
In terms of cosplay, I succeeded well beyond my expectations for my small goals, but failed big-time for all the big ones. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to do 12 new casual cosplays/makeup tests over the course of the year because I miss putting together “slothplay” costumes (since I can’t stream with Dan the Video Ninja anymore). In terms of long-term plans, I wanted to finish Amaterasu, make something for the Costume Con 37 Single Pattern Contest, work on some older unfinished projects, and of course add new things because I have no self-control. The slothplay went great… the rest of the year was a mess of missed deadlines, over-shot budgets, and getting bogged down in tedious work.
Real talk: I’ve always struggled to keep up my motivation and energy for making cosplay, but this year has been worse than ever and some days it’s been exhusting just convincing myself to put on the finished costumes. I’m probably going to be changing how I do cons in 2020; but that’s a discussion for the next post.
Let’s look back at 2019!
Yuletide Cersei is a bit of a cheat since the costume itself was finished previously *cough2017cough* but adding all the festive decorations took a few days of work so I’m counting it. I had wanted this to be my holiday cosplay for 2018 but those couple days of sewing got in the way, and so I had to wait until January to get it all together. I added the garland around the hem and faux fur muff with matching collar, and then decorated it all (and my wig) with lots of berries, poinsettias, and pinecones. I think it’s really nice aesthetically, but the garland was really uncooperative and sadly I probably won’t wear this variation again. Photo from Mr Stark.
“Imperial Phase” Amaterasu was another delayed project; I had originally intended to finish it for Halloween 2018, but between my first attempt at draping, and all the little armour-y bits I was pushed back to March 2019. Fortunately that meant I got to wear her throughout the spring, including pairing up with Kurumasha’s Morrigan! Photo from Elemental.
Plague Doctor was a surprise for the year. In February I needed a mask for a party so my Slothplay for the month was a plague doctor mask… which then evolved into this Darkest Dungeon costume. This particular skin is from a mod, but was chosen to suit the Single Pattern Contest rules… which of course I missed the deadline for since the costume turned out to be more work than I expected. (see the theme here yet?) Photo from The Video Ninja.
Vanellope Von Schweetz and Shank were unexpected projects (and could easily be debated that they should be Slothplays since it’s mostly altered clothing). The Munchkin decided that she wanted to cosplay Vanellope this year, so I helped out by making the pleated skirt, painting the pants, and decorating the wig. While I had always assumed that if I ever cosplayed from Wreck It Ralph I would be Calhoun; but it turns out that Shank is a lot easier! I had a lot of fun putting the outfit together even though the only thing I made was a belt buckle. Photos from Elemental at Cosplay for a Cure.
Android 18 was another surprise. Mr Stark spent a big part of the year making a Perfect Cell costume - and watching the Dragon Ball Z Cell Saga on loop for most of that. By the time his costume was done, I decided that I enjoyed 18 enough to cosplay her (especially when I figured out that everything I needed to put the costume together could be thrifted). I hope we get to keep wearing Cell and 18 together in the future! Photo from Skyleaf at Cosplay for a Cure.
While those were my “big” costumes for the year, here are the smaller “slothplay” projects. Plague, Shank, and 18 all started out as Slothplay costumes too, but they graduated LOL. Definitely hit my goal of 12 (and then some).
Amanda Ninja goes back to the source of all this Slothplay nonsense - a costume for streaming a playthrough of Dream Daddy with Dan the video Ninja
Hufflepuff… thing (Casual? Yoga? Sorority?) because I wanted to be very comfy but also vaguely witchy for the CC37 Friday night Social, and it turned out cute.
Beauty and Flycatcher from The Wolf Among Us - this literally happened because Mr Stark is very good at catching flies. It snowballed a little. And I’m proud of that frog hat.
Michael and War are both from Good Omens - that book was my introduction to both Prachett and Gaiman and so of course I was going to fall in love with the show. Michael is likely never getting further than the makeup test, but War is in progress as a full costume. She should have been done this year, but I just couldn’t manage.
Astarte a.k.a “Lady Moontits” is a costume made by Bethany Padron which I got to wear in the Historical Masquerade at CC37. The group won Best in Show for stage presentation… and I’m still super intimidated by historical costuming hahaha
Mom/Grace from the Umbrella Academy Nexflix adaptation is another costume that should have graduated from the Slothplay category this year but somehow didn’t. I missed like 4 deadlines to cosplay with friends in this costume so at this point finishing feels like a much bigger obstacle than it actually is. Fingers crossed for 2020
Jessica Jones is a costume I wore to Tri-City just because I didn’t feel like putting on anything else from my Tickle Trunk and it’s almost the same outfit as Shank ~_^ I don’t like how I looked in the costume (my first instinct was that I did a bad job with my makeup but it might have just been the wig…) so I’m kinda glad that all the photos are super dark.
Lup happened for Halloween at work since my coworker (Icephoenix Art) and I wanted to coordinate and landed on fantasy/D&D type characters. Since I don’t play, The Adventure Zone: Balance was in the front of my mind for inspiration, and I had a lot of fun pulling parts from literally 7 other costumes and only having to buy a hat.
The next look doesn’t have a name. I just wanted to have a spooky look for a Halloween party instead of putting on a costume.
Sonia is wrapping up the year - as soon as she showed up in Pokemon Sword/Shield, Mr Stark challenged me to closet cosplay her. So I borrowed Amaterasu’s wig and I did. It’s not perfect but it is fun and I’m hoping to make a few small upgrades to keep wearing her next year.
At this point I would usually reference my plans from the beginning of the year… but I didn’t make one this time and it’s pretty much already been covered above.
I stopped writing blog posts for conventions over the last couple of years, so this time I’m going to summarize with the costume I wore to each event instead of post links:
Anime Shogatsu (attendee) Milotic
Costume-Con 37 (attendee) Hufflepuff, Amaterasu, Marvellous Coat, Astarte
Sarnia Pop Culture Show (attendee) Plague Doctor
Anime North (Masquerade staff) Betty Cooper, Amaterasu, Plague Doctor
Niagara Falls Comic Con (with Cosplay for a Cure) Marvellous Coat, Wendy
YetiCon (attendee) Wendy, Plague Doctor, Amaterasu, Mom
Pretty Heroes (attendee) Shank
Fan Expo (with Cosplay for a Cure) Hufflepuff, Rock Alice
Unplugged Expo (attendee/handler) Android 18
Tri-City Supercon (attendee) Jessica Jones
London Comic Con (attendee) Android 18, War
Hamilton Comic Con (with Cosplay for a Cure) War, Android 18
Fan Expo Holiday Market (attendee) Sonia
Moving to KW has really decreased the number of other cosplay events and shoots I can attend. Toronto isn’t that far away, but it’s far enough that it’s unrealistic to visit often and for short events. There really isn’t much of a cosplay “community” here like I was used to having around. However, I did make it out to a WONDERFUL “Women of the MCU” photo shoot that NerdCred Cosplay arranged and wore versions of Hufflepuff and War to a Witches and Wizards market in Stratford and a Cybertronic Spree music video shoot in TO respectively. And of course I made sure to visit Ottawa for the Heroes and Villains party with Kurumasha again.
Overall… I feel like this post got a little negative. More than I meant it to be. But sometimes mental health makes hobbies a bigger challenge. Sometimes photoshoots have to be cancelled due to the weather. Sometimes we can’t afford to pay for photos. Sometimes we have poor experiences at cons due to event staff, other attendees, or our own bad planning (all of which happened this year). There were good things too though - I got to cosplay together with a bunch of my best friends this year. I met some awesome new people (looking at you, CC37), my costumes were generally really well received, I won a stage award at CC37 for Amaterasu and an Honourable Mention at H&V for Plague Doctor. I took on a big project for a sponsorship opportunity with Cactus Mafia (Rosalina is going to be awesome when she’s done!) and I’ve gotten a lot more confident with wig work (even if I’m still very slow and nervous). Let’s not forget about my Slothplay success too! And I’ve started following some super cool artists and media which inspire me… and which I hope I can continue to tell myself “no” to starting more cosplay for. LMAO
Watch for my 2020 plans post coming soon!
I know that just about everyone in Toronto went to the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2017 and so most of my friends will have already taken their own (better) photos, but I thought I should add mine to my Costume Exhibit reference collection just in case someone else might be able to make use of the photos and info for their own costume creations.
The whole collection is on this page here, just a couple of highlights below, and feel free to message me if you want larger versions of any particular shots!
Well, this is awkward. Six months with only one update. My life has been consumed by all kinds of adult things lately like new apartment, new city, new job, new car etc etc. And my computer (a necessity for site updates) has been offline this whole time. So this is my “clean slate” post… I have updated the galleries for all my photo shoots from 2017, and I have previews (which link to the galleries) below for quick catch-up.
Fortunately (???) I haven’t done a lot of cosplay in 2018, and catching up on all the newer stuff should be taken care of by a few weekly posts and then I really want to get back to my old schedule of con coverage, tutorials, and photo posts. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Since I’m back to posting here, I’m going to take a moment to plug my ko-fi page… right now all ko-fi support is going towards the cost of my site hosting, so if you appreciate my content (and appreciate that it is ad-free!) please consider buying me a drink and helping me keep the lights on here ^_^. Thanks!
Milotic gijinka photos from Kew Beach cosplay day
Holtzmann photos from Fan Expo
Rock Alice photos from Fan Expo
Professor Burnet photos from GTA Comic Con
Warm Bodies photos from a Halloween shoot with Dream Land
Betty Cooper photos from DTAC
The last (?) #teamninjasloth stream series
Shortly before Kitchener Comic Con this winter, the munchkin got really into Undertale. Since making her a Frisk costume was as easy as sewing some stripes onto a shirt, it was an easy decision to put that together for her (and toss on my Temmie Twitch costume again too). I also added a face to one of the flowers from my Warm Bodies costumes and Mr Stark miraculously found a perfect-colour striped shirt for me. I'm not super happy with my makeup but since I drove in from Toronto in the early morning before the con, it could have been a lot worse hahaha
Very Frank Pictures was awesome and grabbed a few cute photos, which I have added to my Casual Cosplay gallery.
I'm also adding in the very few photos I took at Kitchener Comic Con here... every year KCC presents a different sent of challenges and this year was no different between schedule conflicts and having a table to hold down. Regardless I got to spend some time with Olivia's Atelier and a few other locals, which was nice.
Things have been quiet over here at Slothcore... in the post-move chaos my computer hasn't been hooked up to the internet (and still isn't) which makes updating my website challenging, nor do I have space for crafting so I haven't made anything new. All I've been doing so far this winter is knitting.
But I'm trying to get back on track, starting with a substantial gallery update covering ConBravo! Both my "Ain't No Pretty Princess" Alice gallery and my Amaterasu gallery have had photos added, courtesy of Cosplay for a Cure and Dream Land Photography. I hope that this will be the start of a big batch of gallery updates, even if cosplay creation itself is still on hold for another few months.
I almost decided not to do a "cosplay plans" post this year... since I don't have any kind of studio space set up now, and life will get messy as we're planning to move again in the spring so I have no idea what my possible productivity will be, let alone my motivation... but I'm a sucker for tradition. Despite the mild negativity of that intro, and the rest of the following post, I do have the attitude of the title - this will be a great year... even if I don't get ANY new cosplays finished.
Choosing what to prioritize this year has been difficult... there isn't much that I'm really really itching to get to (at least, not as I'm writing). So I started with just carrying over the unfinished costumes I had on my list last year - because of how I organize my fabric, these costumes are at least accessible (vs. being in storage). So Gwenpool, Captain Marvel(s), Sam Sparks, and Nightingale are all back on the list.
I'm adding Princess Buttercup - it struck me only very recently that I never even thought to cosplay her, and as a life-long Princess Bride fan, I should.
From my long, ongoing list of plans are Tizzie from Rat Queens and Espeon by Cowslip - I have fabric/supplies for both of these, and since I know that Kurumasha is going to be working on her Flareon this year, I should probably do Espeon to coordinate.
Finally, Lycanroc Midnight Form... I don't have any actual design interpretation in mind yet, but it's likely that I will want to make an additional Pokémon costume this year, and Lycanroc is at the top of the list.
For a change of pace, I want to talk about the state of my "to cosplay" list for a bit. Last year, I was determined to finish more costumes than I added to the list... and I was somewhat successful. In actuality, I added many more costume ideas to my list than I usually do on a yearly basis, except I added them fully knowing I probably won't be following through, buying fabric and wigs, starting to sew and then moving on. But the ideas are still there, in case I find the perfect materials, or a group comes up and friends of mine want to cosplay, or there's a perfect convention/photoshoot opportunity etc. So, minus the costumes already mentioned above, here's what my actual list looks like right now (not differentiating between things I've already bought-in to and fluff plans):
Archer (Vice) - Pam Poovey
Bayonetta - Joy
Cybersix - Cybersix
Darkest Dungeon - Plague Doctor
Dragon Ball Z - Glacia/female Arcosian
El Hazard - Miz Mishtal
Game of Thrones - Ygritte
Iron Man - Rescue/Zombie Rescue
Journey - Traveller
Only Lovers Left Alive - Eve
Sparks Nevada - Ginny West or Red Plains Rider
The Wicked and The Divine - new/update Amaterasu - Imperial Phase Cover
The Wolf Among Us - Snow White
Thor Ragnarock - original design based on Hela
Thor Ragnarock - original design based on Loki's Norway outfit
Thor? like legit Thor?
Twilight Princess/Hyrule Warriors - Twili Midna
Undertale - Undyne
Vikings - ???
... plus whatever awesome new stuff I get into this year. That's how it goes - the list always gets longer, but at least I have finally stopped buying tonnes of supplies for costumes I never get around to making. One day my goal is to be like my friends who somehow manage to focus on a reasonable number of projects at once - and actually finish them.
As for conventions, I really don't know how things will go this year. I have tentative plans for Toronto Comic Con, Anime North, and YetiCon... but there are a lot of new factors I have to consider this year when attending cons so I'm not 100% committed to anything yet.
It's that time of year again! (well it's past that time of year but I'm fudging the date of this post to squeak it in on time. Try and stop me!) The year didn't quite go as planned - but that's hardly anything new. On the other hand.... until I hit July, I had been working surprisingly on schedule! I managed to finish all my "mostly finished" holdovers from 2016 plus a few brand new projects, but then I burnt out, and my free time started getting channeled into other things; mostly trying to figure out my upcoming move. Still... I'm going to focus on the positives here!
Positives like: actually hitting several of my cosplay deadlines, especially for Costume-Con since I entered two costume contests and won awards for both my costumes there!!! I kinda feel like it's some sort of validation since I don't have the opportunity to enter contests often anymore and I also spend a lot of my time on casual costumes instead of show-pieces.
Professor Burnet was the only one of these six which I hadn't been planning at the beginning of the year. But Mr Stark gave me Pokemon Moon for my birthday, and I totally got sucked in. It was a relatively easy costume (wig aside) since it's entirely modified purchased clothing, but it was fun to pair up with Mr Stark to be professors together. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Veber.
Milotic wasn't on my list at the beginning of the year, but that was mostly just wishful thinking that I might have finished the other 10 costumes before getting to summer and beach costumes... HAH! But I got mitotic done anyways! My deadline was YetiCon to do the pool party with my friends in their water Pokemon swimwear outfits, and while it was wearable at the con, I managed to *actually* finish it in time for a great shoot at Kew Beach in Toronto! Photo courtesy of OOC Photography.
Rock Star Alice was mostly finished in 2016, but I spent time this year putting the finishing touches and additions on the costume, plus actually making my flamingo bass. The bass isn't perfect, but I still love it, and took it to so many cons this year that it now needs repairs from the wear and tear XD. Photo courtesy of Paul Hillier.
Cersei, like Alice, was wearable in 2016, but didn't actually get finished until this year. I put hundreds of hours into hand-painting the lion appliqués, hand-sewing them on, replacing the belt, and making a ring for her this year and got it all done by my deadline of Costume-Con 35. Photo courtesy of Dream Land Photography.
Holtzmann is the third costume which I had been able to wear in 2016 but which didn't get finished until 2017, which meant finishing all the accessories on top of making myself a placeholder "prototype" proton pack. Photo courtesy of Elemental Photography.
A Marvelous Coat was my Costume Con project - I put my own spin on a pre-selected commercial coat pattern and took my design inspiration from Captain Marvel of Marvel Comics. Even though I incorporated some tedious design choices, it still ended up being a surprisingly smooth and enjoyable sewing project, and a real nice change of pace to spend less than 2 weeks on a single costume. Photo courtesy of Very Frank Pictures.
While those were my "big" costumes for the year, I also did a lot of smaller/casual costumes, accessories, and other projects; a lot of which were for my weekly streaming nights with Dan.
1 Ghostbusters jumpsuit for Mr Stark, made to match the rest of the group (sorry this is the best photos I have LOL)
2 Julie from Warm Bodies - total closet cosplay just for a special Halloween-y photoshoot.
3 Betty Cooper from Riverdale - I customized the sweater with the crown appliqué and liberal adjustments for fit, but the rest of the outfit is from my closet.
4 light-up Navi headband (LoZ: Ocarina of Time) for Twitch streaming.
5 Gremlins-inspired closet cosplay for an 80's theme party - I mad the ears out of felt, pipe cleaners, and a headband, and the rest is purchased clothing.
6 Captain Marvel shrug - I bought the shrug from We Love Fine, not realizing that all the yellow parts were lace... and not only that but it was the scratchiest lace EVER. So I replaced the lace with a nice buttery double-sided faux suede.
7 Zelda's crown from LoZ: A Link to the Past for Twitch streaming. Made out of craft foam.
8 Temmie ears from Undertale for twitch streaming. Made out of cabbage swirl fabric and a headband.
9 & 10 Jughead hats based on Riverdale - I've actually made 3 versions in grey now for various friends in addition to the colourful one for myself ^_^
11 Thor hat for Twitch streaming - I used a papercraft template and the shiniest paper I could find to make the wings to glue to a touque in one of my more ridiculous Twitch costumes.
12 #DRINKIT shirt in the style of Tee K.O. for Twitch streaming.
13 #DRINKIT shirt in a much cleaner style painted as a raffle prize for Extra Life.
14 Rose Red shirt based on Fables for Twitch streaming.
As usual, now we compare to my plans back in January:
I have to fight my instinct to scold myself here for only finishing half the list... because if you compare to my track record in 2016 and 2015... five completed out of ten planned is great! Plus a little bit of progress on Captain Marvel and Gwenpool even though neither was finished. I'm staying positive: on top of all the extra little projects and Pokemon costumes, this is good! Besides, I even said last January:
And if I happen to actually finish those 10 costumes? You bet I have a list of 30 more just waiting for my attention. But let's be realistic here, there's no way I'm getting more than 5 of these done in 2017.
..and with that, my "workbench" sidebar progress tracker gets wiped clean in the annual re-set.
Going into 2017 I was working on the assumption that I would be attending fewer conventions this year, simply because I was planning to leave Toronto during the summer, and with less easy access to conventions comes fewer cons. However, since my move didn't end up happening until December, I was at just as many this year as I was in 2016! Just like last year, I was at most of them either as a volunteer for Cosplay for a Cure or for costume contests... and also spent a few behind tables in the AA or as a guest!
FrostCon - with Cosplay for a Cure (blog)
Toronto Comic Con - Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest staff (blog)
Kitchener Comic Con - attendee (blog)
Costume-Con 35 - attendee (blog)
Anime North - Masquerade staff (blog)
Niagara Falls Comic Con - with IcePhoenix Art's table (blog)
YetiCon - attendee (blog)
Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration - with Cosplay for a Cure
Toy Con (July edition) - attendee
ConBravo! - Masquerade staff (blog)
Fan Expo - with Cosplay for a Cure (blog)
GTA Comic Con (November edition) - cosplay guest (blog)
Toronto Fan Days - attendee (blog)
Toy Con / City of Kitchener NYE party - cosplay guest
I did end up going to fewer "cosplay hangout" type events this year, keeping my non-con stuff to just Free Comic Book Day, TCAF, Kew Beach, Niagara Wine Parade (blog), and Halloween parties (blog). In addition, I spent almost every Thursday night this year streaming games on Twitch with my friend and neighbour Dan The Video Ninja... I made a lot of very simple "costumes" for those nights ^_^
Other Big Changes:
Did you notice that you're on slothcore.ca now?
Well, the big one is something I haven't posted about directly but slowly over the last 6 months or so I've re-branded all my cosplay stuff to "Slothcore"... no more Mai Sheri. I think that Slothcore is much more "me" these days, and I also like built-in reference to how slowly I tend to work on my costumes.
The other thing, as I alluded to earlier, is that I moved from Toronto to Kitchener, Ontario in December. While I already miss all my friends in Toronto and it will be much more challenging to go to photoshoots now, it was all for the good cause of moving in with Mr Stark and doing that whole "next step in the relationship" thing XD. As a side effect of the move, I don't have studio space anymore... and while I might be able to do smaller projects in the space we have now, most of my sewing and crafting supplies are in storage because there's just not enough room. We will be moving (again) into a larger place in the spring where we will have room for cos-making so I probably won't be making much progress on anything until that happens.
I somehow met a lot of new friends through all the cons I went to this year, and I'm doing my best to keep up with everyone, old friends and new. You're all so talented ^_^ I hope to cosplay with you or at least say hi at cons again next year! Speaking of which... expect to see my 2018 plans post in a few days!
With the end of the calendar year sadly come the end of weekly twitch streaming with my friend and neighbour Dan the Video Ninja. For over a year now, we've been gaming (almost) every Thursday night, and I always dress for the occasion, but once I move I won't be able to just drop in anymore. At least not for a while.
In any case, this is a "part 2" post to follow my first twitch cosplay collection - "costumes" from August to December 2017.
And a small bonus: While Dan didn't record all of our games, he did save a lot... and he put together this awesome farewell/best-of video to commemorate all our fun times streaming as Team Ninja Sloth. I'm going to miss him and our game nights... so hopefully I'll figure out a way to come back and visit regularly!