My YetiCon photo-dump has been on my to-do list for far too long; I know posting it at the end of August is late - but better than never!
I didn't end up doing as many mountain activities as I would have liked because I was too busy hanging with friends... but really that's not a bad problem to have right? I wore Amaterasu on Friday night for the (unofficial) glow parade. Saturday ended up being 2 versions of Amity Blight, though one didn't end up leaving our suite. I brought Clay with me to the con once again, and he very much enjoyed his first convention cosplay experience (as evidenced by the photos lol). Sunday was the weather-wise choice of Tennis Rosalina, and it felt like everyone else was on the same wavelength because there were so many Mario (Tennis) cosplayers around! I never seem to pick the popular stuff to cosplay so that was quite the treat.
This may end up being my last convention post for the year, which feels very strange, but since Youmacon doesn't look like a great choice anymore, that might be it. I'm definitely going to try to find some other events to attend though since I definitely miss the scene
Anime North was back to business as usual this year, if not even bigger than before the pandemic. And as usual, I took very few photos... it seems like the bigger the event and the more people are there, the less I want to take out my camera. I need to work on that LOL.
With the long drive in to Toronto from my hometown I arrived later than usual, but did manage to (barely) make it to the "Hot Moms" cosplay meet-up wearing Grace from The Umbrella Academy. Afterwards I ended up spending most of the evening in the Greenroom for the fashion show with Kurumasha and Sarcasm Hime (along with running into a handful of other friends between that and the drag show). After dinner, we wrapped up the night having a dessert party with the ninja crew.
Saturday was very by-the-books as AN goes: get in cosplay in the morning (season 1 Amity Blight), browse the artist alley/dealers room, visit friends where I find them, then change into the bathhouse uniform to work the masquerade. This year I ended up running for the Master division, which was a nice - it's cool to see friends competing again! Overall I think the masq ran as smoothly as usual, but there was a notable difference - there is always a sense of camaraderie, fellowship, and friendship in the greenroom, but this year the contestants had cranked the positivity and support up to 11 and the vibe was just amazing. So very glad I get to play a small part of the event every year.
I decided to double-up on Amity this weekend, so Sunday was my (relatively) new season 3.1 version. I hadn't planned to go back into the vendors hall but somehow ended up there anyways, mostly chatting with friends. Dan the Video Ninja and I found ourselves watching the idol showcase - I've never gone before and I'll admit it was a much more polished show than I was expecting. The showcase was followed by the Masquerade Awards presentation, and then I wrapped up the con by attending Zee and Stillvisions' Caramelldansen throwback panel. Good weekend, good con, good friends.
And now here's my photos from the weekend:
This year was my first time attending CKExpo, and it was a good time! I went to see some friends, hang with new ones, and enter the costume contest. The contest was an experience... not quote what I was expecting but then new events often have surprises. I suspect it would benefit from having audio available to the contestants like most masquerade-type contests, given the performance focus. Most of the photos I took were of the contest, and most of them turned out quite badly, but here's a selection of the best shots
April 16 2023 marked the return of the Sarnia Pop Culture Show a.k.a SPCS, which I had previously attended in 2019. Now that I have moved back to my hometown, I've been happy to see the local shows return since I've really been missing meeting new nerd people. There wasn't much programming to comment on (aside from a MtG pre-release tournament), but it's designed as a vendor-type show, and that's certainly better than nothing. There was a really good turn-out, and I got hall-photos of as many of the cosplayers as I reasonably could... so here's the gallery! Enjoy!
This doesn't happen so much anymore since most shares are on social media sites only, but sometimes my work has gotten a little more "press" which is kinda fun...
Pixivision (February 24, 2017)
Paul Hillier Photography (November 21, 2016)
Kotaku (November 22, 2016)
She Does The City (November 3, 2016)
We Got The Geek podcast (May 4, 2016)
The Sheridan Sun (December 1, 2015)
Anime Ushi (November 2, 2015)
We Got The Geek podcast (September 28, 2015)
Andrea Schewe (July 24, 2015)
Cosplayers Canada (Niagara Falls Comic Con 2015; page 21)
Geek Girls (May 18, 2015)
Chicagoist (May 1, 2015)
Women Write About Comics (April 27, 2015)
Chicago Tribune (April 25, 2015)
Arda Wigs (April 3, 2015)
Adafruit (March 17, 2015)
Adafruit (February 16, 2015)
Comics Alliance (November 4, 2014)
Comics Alliance (September 22, 2014)
Geek Inked Magazine (Cover) (April 22, 2014)
Comics Alliance (March 3, 2014)
Geek Inked Magazine (January 29, 2014)
Geek Girls (October 30, 2013)
All That's Epic (May 6, 2013)
Kotaku (March 23, 2013)
Debs & Errol (March 6, 2013)
Comics Alliance (October 15, 2012)
Hmmmm, my last post was at the beginning of 2020... I wonder what happened there?!
The pandemic has hit us all differently, and while in a perfect world I would have used the break from conventions and new costumes to get all my photo folders organized and my website up-to-date, that's clearly not what has happened. I didn't quite stop cosplaying altogether during 2020 and 2021, but pretty close. I buried myself in Animal Crossing, Drag Race, working (not from home) and didn't leave much room for anything else. 2022 brought big life changes and a moderate return to cons and cosplay, but also trying to deal with the nightmare my digital backlog has become. And now here we are. One month+ late with my previously annual New Years post and a lot of "coming soon" galleries. But the important thing is that we are here. Let's take a little look at 2022...
Rosalina by Desi-Desu became my white whale during quarantine. The wig was sponsored by Cactus Mafia and I was supposed to finish her by the end of 2019, but had bitten off much more than I could chew on the deadline I had committed to. Then... well you can guess. I managed to put the bulk of the work needed into finishing her in time to enter the Con-G Virtual Masquerade (right after a big move), and then the final finesse was added before Meagan's Walk in the spring. She finally got her convention debut at Youmacon 2022. Photo from Elemental.
Megara happened because I watched Disney's Hercules for the first time near the end of 2021, and really liked Meg. When I was looking for a new cosplay I could put together before Yeticon (as opposed to something I started years ago and was feeling stale), I found the perfect base wig on sale from Arda, and Meg plans were sealed. I was even able to cosplay in an amazing group at Yeti with Ice Phoenix Art and Lulu Rush Cosplay as Hades and Herc respectively. Photo from the Video Ninja.
"Tennis" Rosalina was the result of wanting to cosplay Rosalina (and make use of that labour-intensive wig), but being fully aware that the fancy costume would be a bad idea in both heat and high winds. So I did something I've never done before and bought a costume online. Of course, I had to make myself custom accessories like the racket, shoes, and shorts for under the dress. Photo from WCES.
Amity Blight "3.1" was a relatively unplanned costume. I was thinking of a comfy costume to wear to YoumaCon as a break from Rosalina and Megara, and landed on one of Amity's costumes from the recently released Owl House special "Thanks to Them". It's mostly a closet cosplay but I hope I can take her to at least one bigger Owl House meet-up. I'll have to put together her season 2 outfit sometime so I can have one cosplay from each season hahaha. Photo from WCES.
Miss Elizabeth wraps up the year - I've never been a wrestling fan but this is what happens when you let other people choose your Halloween costume: expanded horizons. Again, very much closet/thrifted but a lot of fun. Photo from Valius.
Let's face it - there isn't even a legit reason to have a separate section for slothplay this year, but it's not up there, so here we are. I only did one costume which I think qualifies, and it was Fierce Deity Link for April Fools posts. Enjoy.
Obviously I don't have any blog posts to link to (unless I sneakily write them now and post-date them hmmmmm) so we'll stick with the very brief summary versions of "con reports".
Con-G Geeks @ Home (panelist and virtual masquerade entrant) Android 18, Rosalina
YetiCon (attendee) Plague Doctor, Megara, Amity Blight (S1)
Anime North (Masquerade staff and Craftsmanship contest entrant) Android 18, Megara, Tennis Rosalina
Youmacon (attendee) Megara, Rosalina, Tennis Rosalina, Amity Blight (S3.1)
My non-con highlight of the year was definitely being invited to Meagan's Hug - a fundraiser for paediatric brain tumors. Every year cosplayers are asked to attend as entertainment/morale boosters and it was a fun event, even though doing a 5km walk in Rosalina in the May heat wasn't my wisest decision ever. I very much hope that I am invited to return again next year.
Otherwise, I'm still trying to find the local cosplay scene in my new city. I have a couple of leads, and our local con is returning again in 2023, so wish me luck finding them.
Let's move on to bigger and brighter days!
My calendar year started off a lot slower than I would have liked (*ahem caught Covid for Christmas ahem*) but I'm ready to work hard (OK, not too hard) at keeping up better this year. In the past month I've already got the ball rolling on finishing some projects which have been neglected too long.
Much like in my last post, I'm going to tell you that I really want to complete some unfinished projects, with a few new things tossed in to keep my motivation up and to join groups with friends. I'm at a point in my life now that most costumes made/started before the pandemic hit no longer fit, so I'm also trying to be logical about which costumes are even reasonable to attempt. I'm also hoping to stick to my guns better than I have in the past and not multitask cosplay (finish one before picking up another). Maybe I'll pull it off.
So here is how things look at the beginning of the year:
Mom/Grace from Umbrella Academy was on this list in 2020, too. But this year, she's finally getting finished. No question. 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 was a bit of a debate for this list for me... I'm not feeling super motivated to finish her, mostly because I don't know when or where I'll have the opportunity to wear the costume. On the other hand, at about 75%, she's so close to done that it almost feels like a shame to not just do it, and then she'll be ready to go for some Good Omens get-together in the future. The to-do list includes making a hairpiece, replacing the pants, and making a cool flaming sword. NBD.
Emi from DDR is a new addition because I just can't resist a fun group. Already dreading a repeat of the Umbrella Academy custom-painted polka-dot hell.
Cybersix. Yeah. The costume which has been on my bucket list almost as long as I've been cosplaying. I got motivated by Zeekay's Adrian cosplay last year, bought some new fabric and a pattern on an impromptu trip to Joann's, so now I just need to find the time to build it.
Midna has been on my list even longer than Cybersix. That bodysuit is basically done (if it still fits). I have the supplies for her outfit (since 2010). I can do this.
Milotic is on this list because I have access to the beach again, and where else are you going to cosplay a Pokemon mermaid? Only hundreds of hours of painting scales stand between me and that shoot XD
As always, I'm sure lots of other fun things will pop up along this journey as my whims take me elsewhere.
I have the first half of the year planned out so far: Con-G Geeks @ Home virtual con again, then my local-ish SPCS and KCExpo, followed by my standbys Anime North and Yeticon. I'm definitely open to doing Youmacon again, and maybe even Fan Expo if the timing and costs work out. I'm a lot farther from the GTA now though, so I have to be a bit pickier about what I can travel for than I used to be.
As always, I would love to connect with people - visit new cons, join new cosplay groups, shoot with new photographers, and have new experiences. You know how to reach me ;)
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