New Year; New Features
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.
2017 Cosplay Year in Review
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!
Team Ninja Sloth - the end?
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!
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!
(Selfie) Con Wrap-ups
The end of 2017 is approaching and there's just a couple of cons that I haven't blogged about yet: GTA Comic Con in November, and Toronto Fan Days last week. So let's get them all tied up with a pretty bow!
GTA was an interesting experience - Mr Stark and I were invited as cosplay guests, but instead of doing panels like we usually would, we were asked to do something interesting/creative/interactive with our table space. Since I don't normally have a table to begin with, and Stark gets one occasionally, we pretty much had a blank slate to work with and it took us a little while to finally decide on a theme. So what did we go with? Pokémon. Specifically the Alola region from the most recent Sun and Moon games. We already had our Professor costumes, so the concept was to wear them, and battle/trade pokémon with attendees, as well as having some colouring pages available. We even did a (probably) one-time-only set of pokémon theme cosplay prints. I wish I could say that our table was bustling with Pokemon fans all day... but it wasn't. Sadly the colouring pages got missed while packing for the con and we needed a flashier sign for the table, but we did meet one very enthusiastic young pokémon fan who we were very happy to chat with about the franchise. I hope that we have the opportunity to use what we learned to improve and attempt a "Taste of Alola" table again at another event in the future.
Table business aside, it was nice to see a handful or friends there and have prime seats for the costume contest (since we were right next to the stage) and our table-neighbours Joshua of the North and ReyGrey Cosplay were both awesome and fun to be sitting with. We even all traded photos at the end of the day. And speaking of photos... here are mine from the event!
And now the last con of the year (unless New Year's Eve counts... does it count?).... the event that used to be called D-TAC and is now Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. Or DTAC for short. I didn't go to do any shopping, but just as one last time* to see a lot of my local cosplay friends, all in one place. I was hoping to get a little Riverdale cosplay group together but in the end half the people couldn't make it but I chose to wear Betty anyways since it was easy and available.* I wasn't as festive as the last couple of years, just adding some antlers, but that was partially because Betty is such a simple costume that I didn't want to cover up any details, and also because I was short on prep time.* Anyways, the mission of seeing friends and cute holiday costumes was successful and I took lots of photos: see below!
And to wrap-up, Betty ended up in this cute Fan Days cosplay montage ^_^
*what's with all these notations? Something I haven't really posted about yet - at the end of December I'm moving from Toronto to Kitchener! So a lot of my costumes and cosplay supplies are packed or just inaccessible right now, and I won't be able to make it out to as many Toronto events next year. Related.... I'm selling a handful of my costumes and other assorted supplies, check here for all the details.
Despite doing "couple cosplay" together since we met, it's actually pretty uncommon for Mr Stark and I to do photo shoots together, mostly because it's been difficult to get our schedules to match up to actually go to cons together! So I'm extra happy that we got to shoot with Amaleigh Photography at YetiCon this year in our brand new Pokemon Professor costumes. And as a happy coincidence, we ran into 50 Shades of Fandom in her adorable Lillie costume, so we totally adopted her for the shoot! It was a lot of fun, despite occasional rain and my wig falling apart! Previews are below and lots more from the set are up on my Pokemon gallery page.
Singular Marvelous Coat
If you've read my various con reports, you will have already heard the story of my "Marvelous Coat", AKA my entry for Costume-Con 35's Single Pattern Contest. but I've finally posted the awesome photos that I took with Very Frank Pictures back at Niagara Falls Comic Con in the spring! I love them all, and the full set is up on my Captain Marvel gallery page now ^_^
Did I plan a far-too-busy Halloween seaon once again this year? You bet! So without delay, let's get to the opener:
EPIC HALLOWEEN BATTLES OF 'SEVENTEEN!
I've been going to Toronto's main geek Halloween party - Snailoween - since 2012, and have been hearing about the closest equivalent in Ottawa via Kurumasha for almost as long. This year I owed Kurumasha a visit, and the parties didn't overlap, so we decided to hit up both. Because I'm such a party monster >_> *ahem* Thus, I figured that I would write about Halloween by pitting the two parties against each other!
Who are you wearing?
First off, Heroes & Villains had a theme this year; it was actually "Heroes & Villains That Came From Space", which I thought was brilliant. It gave people an optional costume theme, and they carried the space theme through all the decor, drinks, music, and even some of the prizes! I decided to be on-brand with my only "alien" costume, Izabel, which also happens to be one of my faves (but I don't get to wear her often). Kurumasha was AMAZING and pulled off a last-minute and also totally legit Alana to go with my costume ^_^
Originally, Kurumasha and I were thinking about taking some new Marvel costumes to Snailoween this year, but in the end neither of us had enough time to finish anything, so we picked something party-friendly from our closets: Chihio and Lin from Spirited Away. As a bonus, it was going to be easy to make a No Face mask for Dan to join in!
But what did you think of the actual parties?
I'll start with the down-sides of Heroes and Villains: the venue was very hot, and the music was very loud. So between music volume and wearing the big fake ears I have for Izabel, I couldn't hear anyone unless they were yelling into my ear (and then: ouch). And while my makeup (somehow) survived dancing in the heat, the uncomfortable air plus use of smoke machine did force us to leave early - which means that we missed our photobooth time. But still, they had a pro photobooth to take everyone's photo; that's awesome! There was a large variety of prizes, everything was on point with the theme, music was awesome, and the venue was cool, even though it wasn't cold ;) Bonus: a lot of people recognized and liked my costume!!
The following weekend, I left the Snail party feeling satisfied, but I saw a lot of complaints about it in the week that followed, and while at first glance I was dismissive (things like "the music/DJ sucked" are completely subjective) the more I considered it, the more I realized that this year was pretty disappointing. The new venue was too dark to see everyone's costumes, lacked seating, and was generally a boring big box. My experience with the washrooms was worse than the previous venue - and they weren't even signed! I hesitate to describe the drinks as "expensive", but they weren't cheap and with only one bar, the lines were long.
While I wasn't directly affected by them, the policy of absolutely no re-entry, no ticket sales at the door, and controlled entry to the patio area? That sucks. I won't comment on the catering since I ate right before the party so I didn't bother with their food. I don't know who was awarding the merch prizes this year but the table was still weirdly full by the time we left. And while music taste is subjective, I enjoyed it up until the contest a announcements, after which the DJ switched to painfully slow R&B type songs which I could not dance to.
Ultimately though, not many of my friends went to Snailoween this year. And despite H&V being both too hot and too loud for my taste (and the prizes mostly unappealing since they were all specifically local) I had more fun there and saw just as many friends. Weirdly... Snailoween couldn't compete. So while I don't know if I will be able to make it back to Ottawa for Halloween next year, I will probably be looking at Snailoween alternatives closer to home.
I didn't take many photos, but here are some from both parties:
Wait, there's more?
Well, less "more" than I planned... I had wanted to go to the Kitchener Zombie Walk in my R costume, but unfortunately I came down with a cold that weekend and had to duck out. I had also been planning a Halloween-y photoshoot but it needed to be rescheduled until November for a variety of reasons. But that brings us to Halloween proper.
SHAKES AT POP'S
As in previous years I wanted a subtle/stealth costume to wear to work for Halloween since I don't like being the only one dressed up. So of course I went with my latest trashy addiction and put together Betty from Netflix's Riverdale. Nobody at the office recognized it, but I went to Fran's Diner downtown for dinner with a few friends and had fun ordering shakes with Iamwintermute who wore her Jughead stuff, and TrickyLove also arrived in time to get the hat I made for him and also be Juggy! (though I forgot to get a photo with him T_T) Yay for friends indulging me ^_^
And finally, the big post-Halloween "party" - Dan the Video Ninja's Extra Life stream, AKA:
This totally counts as part of my Halloween-a-thon because it was Nov 4, and because I dressed up. So there. As I'm sure you already know if you're reading this, Extra Life is a 24-hour gamaing marathon fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Dan's done it 4 times now and I've dropped in to help out every year! I'm not sure it really needs more description than that, so my photos are below, and Below that is Dan's highlight reel from the day. Enjoy!
Safety Lights are for Dudes
Back in the spring there was a day when Dream Land Photography and I (and Piratica and Dan the Video Ninja) went down to Toronto's Graffiti Alley to test out my latest inventions - I mean, take some Ghostbusters photos. I've updated my Ghostbusters gallery page with the full set because they are all amazing and I'm so glad I got to shoot there. Next time I better have the whole team with me!
In addition to the photoshoot, Dan and I gave my studio a pseudo-science makeover and recorded a cosplay interview video! It feels like for ever since we last did one of these projects and it was fun to be able to do it for Holtzmann, even though it wasn't an especially labour-intensve costume. Check it out below to hear all about what I did and why ^_^
I have one last bonus video to squeeze in today: musician Brigit O'Regan (who I met last year) surprised cosplayers at Fan Expo Canada by playing their theme songs - and she ran into me at the Ontario Ghostbusters booth! Try and spot me hahaha...