Cersei in July
Back in July one of the monthly "Toy Con" event was held in Toronto for the first time in years, so I put on my Lannister gear and checked it out. While the event itself wasn't quite what I look for in a convention, Very Frank Pictures was also there and we grabbed some nice photos. My favourites are in my Game of Thrones gallery!
Hear Me Roar
I haven't had much motivation to work on cosplay projects lately (there's been a noticeable drop off in progress photos posted to my social media feeds) but I have been slowly working my way though my backlog of cosplay photos. As a result I'll be doing more feature photo posts as I work on updating my gallery pages.
First up: Cersei photos by Dream Land Photography from Costume Con 35. It took almost 2 years to finish this costumes and I am so pleased to have these beautiful photos from Nathan to show for it. Full gallery with lots of info and tons of information is here: Game of Thrones
FanExpo: Relax Repair Refresh
Despite spending most of my time at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge at Fan Expo this year, the weekend was somehow a whirlwind blur of old friends and new faces. I wish I had been able to go to some panels or celebrity Q&A's, but as usual, I was just too busy and/or distracted by the rest of the con.
As the last big con of the year, I had to bring out my favourite costumes of the year. Friday was Cersei, Saturday was Holtzmann, and Sunday was Alice for the Ain't No Pretty Princess group (I couldn't make it on Thursday because of my work schedule). Friday was a very early morning for me but somehow I managed to arrive at the MTCC in full costume in time for my opening shift at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge. I didn't take many photos during my shift (since the room is a "no photography" zone) but I did have a chance to talk with some awesome cosplayers who visited the room and had fun with Alex and Kat - my coworkers for the early shift ^_^ Once the afternoon shift arrived for the lounge I ran off for lunch and then sadly missed getting to hang out with The Marvelous Girls of KW. Boo: timing. However, I ran into Snowhawk and King of the Freaks instead and spent the rest of the con mostly checking out the North building with them, which was a nice chill way to wrap up Friday.
I started off Saturday with a photoshoot with Elemental, who is always a blast to work with. As always, I'm looking forward to seeing the photos from the set! Once we parted ways I decided to visit the Ontario Ghostbusters table (because of course) in the time before my shift at the lounge. It was nice chatting with them (and hopping in on some photo requests) and of course I took advantage of the opportunity to try out their equipment! After that I was off to work again, this time with Alex, Megan, and Kiga. Despite being busy, fortunately we had things covered and it was a chill afternoon/evening of helping people and making more new connections in the community, which are two of my favourite cosplay things. I didn't hit up any of the after-parties, but I did go out for dinner with Ragz and Jonathan afterwards which was certainly better XD
Sunday was my day of relative freedom to actually see the South building. We started the day off with an "Ain't No Pretty Princess" shoot with the fantastic Paul Hillier - I'm super psyched to see the shots he got! We had the largest gathering of the band yet - Merida, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Kida, Ariel, Belle, and me in Alice! I had to change up the details of my costume a bit this time - my feet were rejecting the black boots I usually wear, so I swapped them out for my new red chucks...and of course my art-brain screamed that I couldn't just wear red shoes with a blue and white outfit so I added the red rose, lipstick, and Easter-egg-esque Queen of Hearts stuffed in my top. I think it works, and the forced creativity gave me some ideas for next time I wear her.
Then I finally got to see the South hall! I needed to visit my friends at their tables (unfortunately I only found Ice Phoenix Art and Chibik3r0, but hey, at least I found them!), and I wanted to check out the Vikings booth (last year I spent a lot of time in front of it but now I've actually watched a few seasons of the show so I HAVE CONTEXT), but the thing I was most psyched for was seeing the Thor Ragnarok costumes on display. I'm not planning to make any of them, but I just love seeing costumes in real life, and I took TONS OF PHOTOS. I think some friends might appreciate the reference material... >_>
Here are my selfies and other photos from the weekend for your entertainment:
Let's finish up with a few of my fave photos that other people took ^_^
Evolution of Cersei
It seems appropriate that in the wake of the Season 7 finale, and prepping Cersei to wear again this weekend at Fan Expo, I should make a post about her. And so I present to you the evolution of this costume from "cheap and quick for a party" to the almost 2 year project it became.
It might be preemptive to call CC35 the convention highlight of my year, but it might well have been. Because, while I didn’t get to attend nearly as many panels as I would have liked, or eat and sleep well, or take almost any photos… I managed to finish all my projects on time, enter not one but TWO contests, and run an imperfect but apparently successful panel/demo. And, as always, spend 4 days with my cosplay fam.
We arrived Thursday evening to have time to chill and prep for an early start on Friday. I didn’t cosplay during the day on Friday to save my energy (and outfit reveal) for the evening. I did hit up a couple of panels though, including the always entertaining “Costume Horror Stories” and “Vinyl Cutting” (the latter of which wasn’t relevant to my budget but was interesting as a higher-tech version of my own Freezer Paper demo). Then it was time to prep for the Single Pattern Contest.
My entry for the contest was using the coat pattern option (#M7025), and even though the “costume” was just the coat, I had decided to do some character and runway appropriate(?) hair and makeup which was time-consuming (but worth it). Luckily I still got to the greenroom on time and judging/photos went smoothly. I was really impressed by how elaborate some of the Single Pattern entries were, and was feeling pretty intimidated considering that my own coat felt very simple or too close to the original design once I could check out everyone else’s projects. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was thrilled to see someone else had picked a Marvel character for their inspiration - check out this Loki Coat!
In the end the runway/stage section went smoothly, although I had a hard time hearing the MC and could definitely have timed the “reveal” of my coat’s lining better. Regardless, it was fun and a nice relatively chill warm-up event before the Sci-Fi masquerade. And…. [drumroll, please]..... I won best coat!!! I was really, really shocked considering what everyone else had brought to the contest. I got to bask in the crowd admiration (hahaha) with friends briefly at the social before it was time to pick up Mr Stark and Little Stark and get them checked in to the hotel. We went back to the party, but sadly it was pretty empty by that point in the night.
On Saturday I had a similar plan to Friday - casual wear during the day (this time my twitch-quality Link cosplay) to get me through masquerade tech rehearsal and any panels I wanted to go to before changing for the sci-fi masquerade in the evening. In the end I spent the afternoon socializing and instead of going to panels, but nothing wrong with that. I got into costume a little earlier than greenroom call time to shoot with Dream Land Photography so I have some great photos of the finally-complete Cersei!!!
The masquerade greenroom was chaotic but ultimately everything got sorted out, as it always does. One of the cool things about Costume Con is that very few masquerade entrants are first-timers, so just about everyone knows the greenroom drill. I have to admit that workmanship judging was nerve-wracking, not only because this is Costume-Con, but because the judges really really had their game-faces on and when they didn’t seem impressed by what I thought were the best parts of my costume I panicked just a little. At least the stage portion went smoothly - better than I had expected (especially since I was shocked to discover that I would be entry #5 which meant that I didn’t have as much time to practice as I had assumed). The audience reacted well, and I could hear laughing as soon as the second track kicked in, so that was a big relief that at least some of the crowd knew the song well enough to know where it was going. So without further ado, my masquerade entry “Set the World on Wildfire” (video courtesy of Dan The Video Ninja, as usual).
Luckily, since I was so early in the show, I was able to join the Starks in the audience to watch the rest of the show! That never happens! Once the show was over I joined the line to return to the stage for photo ops, though this time I was at the end of the line (probably because I was coming from the audience instead of the greenroom hahahaha. Once that was done, I ended up chatting with a bunch of people in the hallway about my costume while waiting for the awards announcement. And at the awards…. I WON TWO! “Honourable Mention for Fabric Painting” in workmanship, and “Future Arsonist” award for stage!!! I felt so validated in terms of the hundreds of hours I put into painting, especially since the judges hadn’t seemed to like it at the time. I also hadn’t realized until the awards that one of the workmanship judges is the head of the ICG >_> oops/yay?
On Sunday Little Stark and I both dressed up as Ghostbusters, though sadly we didn’t get to actually spend a lot of time together clearing the hotel of spooks and spectres. I stopped by the Future Fashion Folio to see what people had made, and then took my Cersei dress and belt to the masquerade show and tell panel (where I got to hear praise from the judges so that was nice), and after that the rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for my stencil demo in the last panel time slot of the day.
As for that demo… we started late because the panel ahead ran long, and I’ve never tried to do a stencil in an hour before (the fastest I have done *without* teaching/answering questions is 90 min) so I tried to have as much pre-traced and pre-cut as possible. And while only half the shirt actually got painted I think that I effectively demonstrated the technique, and with minimal derailment. Unfortunately, I hadn’t actually downloaded my photo references to my computer and poor Kurumasha was left with the futile task of trying to get my laptop to connect to the hotel wifi so I could show other examples… and it never did. I felt worse knowing that the wifi had been working right outside the room in the hallway as I did my prep work. In any case, big props to her for trying anyways and helping out where she could. The demo had a full room and everyone seemed to take something away from it.
After that the evening was chill - I watched the Historical Masquerade for the first time and was happy to cheer on my friends who went on stage! I’m also glad to have a much better idea of what is expected of a Historical Masquerade entry now, just in case I ever decide to finish my “in progress” period costume and want to compete at CC38, (which will be in Montreal, as was announced after the show Sunday night! Yes, I have already bought my membership). The night wrapped up with a late but delicious sushi dinner and discussions about fandom, con-running, life, the universe, and everything late into the night.
I didn't get up to any convention activities on Monday - just packing up and saying our goodbyes and being unsure as to how I accumulated so many ribbons over <72 hours.
Queen of Everything
Back in the summer Paul Hillier and I paid a visit to the University of Toronto to borrow their campus for some King's Landing photos. Every picture is perfect. What else can I say? The set is up on my Game of Thrones gallery page.
No blog posts since Bravo? Whoops! How the time flies by!
I was going to post about Fan Expo, but it turns out that I don't have much to say this time. I spent most of my weekend working at the Cosplay Recovery Lounge, which was fun but didn't leave me with any stories to share. I also wasn't able to take photos - definitely not a selfie-con this time around. I spent a little time on Thursday doing some shopping, but other than that, when I wasn't at the Lounge, I was at home being exhausted (real-life job has been keeping me on my toes). However, I was extremely fortunate that I was able to meet up again with Asgard Barbie (and Mr Asgard Barbie) on Sunday for some fun #TeamPepper photos and then being a terrible tour-guide as we explored some of downtown Toronto's sights ^_^
Some other things happened this summer which I haven't commented on yet, like getting to co-host a Game of Thrones themed trivia night with the fab Bear Sailor Moon. While admittedly I was dying of heat in my dress that day, I still had fun and it was great to hang out with "Jon Ho" and meet BrigitFiddle among others!
August also included Mr Stark's birthday, which was a cosplay-filled affair. I pulled together a more complete version of Ammy from The Wicked + The Divine, and had fun spending foreverrrrr doing my makeup LOL
As for off-camera stuff, I've been working away on finishing Cersei for the last couple months, as well as upgrades or additions to the other costumes in my current rotation. That percentage counter over to the right is climbing, but it is so painfully slow T_T. Right now I'm trying to stop myself from working on anything else until Cersei is actually complete, but a couple new projects for other people have popped up unexpectedly and I might have to break for them :/ In any case, my instagram (@maishericostumes) is the place to look for current progress updates until I have more time to post collections here.
I've gotten back several sets of photos from photographers recently which I will be posting soon (I hope!!!) because they're gorgeous, so that'll be the next few blogs.
As for events: I thought that I was going to be finished for the year after Fan Expo, but I just can't turn down working with Cosplay for a Cure, so I will be with them at the Niagara Wine Festival parade again this year (Sept 24), as well as Hamilton Comic Con (Oct 1-2) and probably Forest City Comicon (Nov 5-6) as well! And can't forget about Halloween either. It's going to be a very busy fall!
July Progress Update
Like I did last year, let’s check in on how I’m doing compared to my plan in January…
Now, just looking at that image, it doesn't seem good. I mean, just a couple of projects worked on and nothing finished???
While, granted, main cosplay projects Midna, Nightingale, and Captain Marvel have been more or less untouched, I've gotten a lot done on Alice and Cersei! Not to mention the unexpectedly large amount of time I spent at conventions and other events (which is time not spent working on new costumes)!
~Alice's whole outfit was designed and made, and although the wig needs a little styling work, she's been worn to a couple of cons already. The main thing which is slowing me down now is making her prop bass, because I'm not a props person. As of this writing, the base has been sculpted and base coat of paint applied, and I hope to get back to painting and adding hardware in August.
~I got a huge chunk of work done on Cersei's lions in June but I had to take a break because it's a very tedious and very large job. As soon as I get the hoodie (see below) finished, Cersei's embroidery is moving back up to the top of my priority list though.
~Espeon, Miz Mishtal, Captain Marvel Gown, and Journey are all no change, because they were only for after the top 5 are done XD
BUT, I did complete a long list of smaller projects, many of which were owed to various friends.Clockwise from top left:
~I completed a new (casual) costume - flashback Tizzie - which I blame Needle Panic for and for which I finally started to play with Worbla's TranspART
~Weirdmageddon version of Wendy
~Makeup tests/closet cosplay of Ammy, Badb, and Luci from The Wicked and The Divine
~A kid-size Pink Knight (from Castle Crashers) winter hat for Little Stark
~Character Lumas including Cosplay for a Cure, Hawkeye, and Luna & Artemis
~Wooper (Pokemon gijinka) bathing suit for Hikarimoro
~Several stenciled t-shirts for friends including the two shown
.... but that's just the stuff I finished.
Cosplays in active progress but not on my January plan:
~I'm currently sewing away on a Blastoise hoodie for Mr Stark (which I want to finish this week). Despite only having started work on it recently, it's been on my to-do list for over 2 years.
~The WicDiv closet cosplay thing worked out so well that I'm fleshing out Ammy a little into a wearable costume
~since some jewelry and accessories from Flashback Tizzie were originally intended for "proper" Tizzie, she's on the list. I have all the fabric/supplies for the costume because my original plan was to make her for Halloween, but at this point I think that would take a minor miracle. So... she's pending.
~surprise-new-thing-oh-wow, Gwenpool, because last week I won a dye-sub suit pattern from The Symbol of Hope, so why not? It'll be something new to experiment with since I've never worked with custom printed fabric before. Depending on how the higher-priority stuff goes, I might try to put her together for Fan Expo XD
Anything else which might show up in 2016? I've got wigs to work on for Chihiro and Pepper Potts; and a half-finished Sam Sparks costume which has been sitting in my apartment for far too long. Oh and another potential little project for fun, somewhat related to this. If you want to watch my random progress as it happens, everything is currently going to my instagram (and cross-posted to twitter and facebook). Hope you're all having a good summer and I'll see you again at Fan Expo!
Charity and Community
Playing catch-up some more… late in 2015 I got involved in a couple of events which were new to me - the Parkinson Superwalk and Niagara Wine Festival!
Etherbloom invited Mr Stark and I to join her hero-themed group for the Parkinson Superwalk in Burlington. I had hoped to get my Captain Marvel costume finished in time for the walk, but nothing ever works out so I threw on the next-most “superheroic” (looking) costume I have - Sally Impossible from Venture Bros. For all intents and purposes, I was an alt-colour Mrs Incredible for the day and although I wasn’t as awesome as Batman, Supes, Wonder Woman, or Iron Man, some of the kids were thrilled to see me. I wasn’t just there for entertainment though; I did the fundraiser walk in costume! Unfortunately I never got to see the official photographer’s photos, but below are a bunch that my friends and team-mates took. Featuring Stark Reality, The Real Toronto Superman, Amazon Princess Wonder Woman, London Batman, Etherbloom, and the rest of the Harvey's Heroes team!
A week after the Parkinson walk was a very different (still walking-heavy) event: I joined Cosplay For A Cure at the Niagara Wine Festival parade! I wore Cersei because it’s one of my few readily-wearable and non-casual costumes, is recognizable for anyone familiar with the show, and I thought a wine festival was just too appropriate for her. The group ended up being fairly small (there were a few conflicting events that weekend) but so many of the kids on the parade route loved seeing us (especially the princesses and Spidey) that we were one of the most popular groups! Even Cersei got a lot of hugs from little girls ...and laughs from the parents who knew the character. Featuring Skyleaf Creations, The Symbol of Hope, Last Minute Cosplays, and more friends who I don't have links for XD
I hope that I can attend both events again in 2016 and that we have even more cosplayers joining in!
Toronto ComiCon 2016
Before I talk about this year's Toronto ComiCon, it's been a while, so I want to catch up on a few things real quick:
I'm going to lots of cons this spring! Every other weekend, in fact, starting last week with MTCC. Here's what it looks like:
I'm making lots of things! On top of costumes for myself and collabs with friends, I'm pushing my boundaries with props, which includes having entered Worbla's TranspART contest. I really hope I manage to succeed at actually making something which isn't a disaster!
... That's probably enough of a brief catch-up for now! Moving right along....
Toronto Comicon a.k.a MTCC a.k.a MTAC!
I went in to Comicon this year with a plan: buy some makeup, buy a wand, cosplay with friends, and take selfies. I had even avoided scheduling any shoots ahead of time, because I just didn't feel like it. Anyways, neither of the makeup or wand vendors which I had hoped to shop at were at the show this year, which was disappointing. I didn't get my new costume done on time so I wasn't part of the group that i had wanted to join. And I kept forgetting my camera at home, so I only grabbed a few selfies with friends and cool people on Saturday.
BUT, I did get to hang out with friends for most of the weekend, saw lots of great costumes, and was kidnapped for mini shoots by Dream Land Photography, Santiago Ortega, and a huge group of Game of Thrones cosplayers. Stopped by the body-painting panel by Evie E and Shelle-Chii and picked up one new thing to try with my makeup in future. Oh, and I got lots and lots of street-passes ^_^
As usual, here's a little gallery of my selfie-con pics as well as some of my favorite shots which have popped up so far Additional photographers: OOC Photography, Tim Bermingham, Michelle Flannigan, Very Frank Pictures. And bonus content: I got the opening shot in Neffy A's video!