Sunday, November 1, 2015

November is here...soon I shall age again.

Happy All Saints Day! 10 days before my 31st birthday. I'm finally old enough to drink ten years later.

No progress on costumes or crafts really. Except I got more supplies. I'm in the stock pile stage of stuffing animals. Joann's had a sale on fluffy plush which I'm going to use for stuffed animals.
I also ordered some proper minky for ponies. The fluffy plush would work but minky has much shorter pile length than the fluff I'm currently using.

I'm also learning how to hand embroider. It's a slow process goes well.

However, there is much to update about digital art. I updated 7 Eldest after several months of hiatus.
I've also been drawing characters for a tabletop game I'm part of. Here's some of the party portraits I made.

I'm playing as Angelo. Old Angelo. Poor guy. I've had this character for only 17 years and he's aged to 50 something. He was a baby first! D:

The GM is also making his own game system. I'll be the artist for the book. ^^ 

This month I'll focus on stuffed animals most likely. And playing Dragon Age Inquisition. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Monthly Update

Has it really been a month since I last updated? Guess so.

Well things progress at a snail's pace with the Dalish Armor. FINALLY got a stretchy vinyl that will cover the bodice. One of these days I'll get back to it.

In the meantime, I've been keeping busy with sewing stuffed animals.

I've sewn Orange Dinosaur about 3 times now.
This was actually the first try. Still looks better than some of the other attempts.

I've also sewn 2 ponies but they both turned out crap so I unstuffed them and will start again. 
Other than that I'm replaying Inquisition and will probably get some DLC for it. I've also opened up digital art commissions again just for fun. 

Too many hobbies I swear. I just get into moods about certain art forms. With Halloween coming up I've been slowly getting back into costume mode, but because of my weird work hours (namely evenings ON weekends) I won't attend any parties. :( Sadness. But I'll dress up for work because why not. Probably just going to do a make up only costume...or sport my Yukata. We'll see how adventurous I'm feeling. Probably not very. It's not fun if there's no party. Sigh...adulthood....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Check out my

Boo-boo-be-doop. I have been thinking and rethinking the bodice armor for the Dalish Inquisitor. I may have finally...FINALLY arrived at A solution. Here's what I did.

First, I got inspired by the bodice design for Anna's winter dress in Frozen.
That design just looked very similar to the design of the armor itself. 

(Focus on the neckline really.)

So I learned a thing or two. First how to block out a bodice pattern.

It's similar but not quite the same as the Frozen dress. My next debacle was figuring out which material to use. 


The vinyl has the right color but sooo wrinkly. :(  So I went with the foam. 

SO MANY PINS! The foam was heated shaped and glued. I need to make some adjustments to the seams so like they're not there at all. Then I can cover it with the fabric. :D I also got my airbrush paints ready to go on this one. ^^ Can't wait to use it. But first...have to get the right fabric to cover this. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rethinking the Elf Bodice

So here's how this happened. I'm at work on a slow Saturday night and decided to play around in my test store. (I do tech support and my test store is custom pony based!) I created a new line of items in my store "Fluffy Ponies" and created a product for a plush pony. Which got me into research on how to actually make them and what kind of fabric is used and so on.

 So I was neck deep in research about how to make the eyes, the hair, and stumbled on someone's project for a life-size Rainbow Dash. They had a journal listing how they made it. It was amazing. One thing that caught my attention was how she made the Element of harmony...

THIS tutorial
And then I god...I've approached this all wrong. Well...not completely wrong...I just got the wrong kind of vinyl when I started.

My current vinyl is felt back and very stiff (Which will be great for the hip leaves). But the bodice has a lot of curves...particularly in the breast region. This would also allow me to add the detailing. I've also figured out how the pattern should look. know...I don't think I have to count my stiff vinyl as complete waste. I'll just cover it in the shinier stuff after I make the bra parts out of foam. Everybody wins. Except my bank account. Bank account never wins. :(

 Also I'm getting tons of ideas for sewing plushies. :) Yes...plushie raptors and dragons and unicorns and ponies and kitties and bunnies and weeeeeee....^^

For real ideas for plushies:
>> My Cat Lucius (Might need long pile fur since he's long haired.)

>> Kirin: I want an excuse to use bubble minky

>> Fluffy raptor - because dinosaurs

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Faux Chainmail and Bodice Armor


 I've made some progress on my Dalish Inquistor. The bodice is in progress (pics soon)

 So I had a round about way of figuring out how to do this. First, I thought that the vinyl I purchased would be thinner and a bit more flexible. So I went about creating the base of the bodice in craft foam and cover it in the vinyl.
But that wasn't quite working out because the vinyl was too thick and stuff. So I took out the craft foam save for the bra cups. Which I placed too high up at first. Then I realize that I'd have to cut and sew the know like an actual pattern of a bodice. it fits and looks nice-ish. I'm just glad the belt is so thick. :P So I have some more detail to put on this as well as a way to lace it up in the back. Then I'll work with my new airbrush to get some battle damage!

Then there's the chain mail which was going to be made out of a grey net mesh. I cut out pieces for a turtleneck shirt and leggings, pinned them to the dummy and let it sit there for weeks.
I kept looking at it and thinking: "This isn't right. It looks dull and not like metal at all. AT ALL. So I decided to get new fabric that was shiny. Now I have metallic fishnet fabric that I have to make into a pair of leggings and a turtleneck shirt.

I plan on ordering some worbla after my next paycheck or two. I have the pattern for the helmet cut out. I'll have to make a test in foam.

In other news, I'll be heading out to RTX this year. I don't think my pink halo armor really fits anymore. Damn these hips not lying about how much cake I eat! Truth...I eat a lot of cake. I might just wear the helmet. THAT fits.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Where is she now?

Been awhile since I've updated. You can thank my new job for that! (It doesn't have as much downtime as other jobs I've held.) But I'm happy making money regularly.

So many of the costume projects have been on hold since starting work. I seriously get way tired after work and I was dealing with a minor pest problem with pantry beetles. :P

So far I've got my "chainmail" fabric pinned to my dress form. Yes...a dress form. SO happy I have one. I still have to sew those pieces together.

Just this week I've been switched over to night shift too which I've heard is a bit slower but I'll believe it when I see it.

Anyway, so that's been my life for the past couple months. It's been pretty art blocked and writers blocked too. (It's the worst.) I've also got a bad case of side-project-itis. :P I suppose if I start playing Dragon Age again I'll be more inspired to work on my armor. (Well, okay I also had a break-up which has its affect on my tender, artist's soul.)

Some neat things though, I have an airbrush system now! I don't have something to practice on yet but I've had a lot of projects where having an airbrush would be awesome. For some of my current costume plans it'll be perfect. Now I won't have to keep buying expensive spray paints.

For now here's what I've got on my artsy project plate.

>> DA:I Dalish Armor
>> Turian Mask + Costume
>> Visual Novel (it's helping me deal with the breakup.)
>> 7 Eldest which I haven't worked on in ages. :(

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Female Turian Mask

Been doing a bit of an experiment craftwise. It may become a cosplay but we'll see.

So here's what's I've done.

Supplies: 5mm foam, googly eyes, plaster bandages, wire, cutting tools, and markers.

Also a plastic mask. I cut the mouth and traced the plates. 

Cut the eye holes to be a bit bigger. The googly eyes to size to the eyes. 

Cut the back of the googly eyes and colored the white part of the tape. The thick foam for the eye shape.

Used the molding mesh to shape the nose

Foam for one plate. I wrapped the mesh with masking tape.

More plate work. Mesh with tape wrapped around it.

Added the eyebrow plates with more mesh with tape.

Shaped the top of the mouth with mesh and tape.

The lower jaw was shaped with foam and tape. 

Mandibles 5mm foam.

I wrapped all the pieces with the plaster bandages. 
Here she is all put together....ish.

Another view.

 I still have plenty to do on the mask but it looks neat. :) I plan on putting on another layer of Plaster of Paris and sculpt and smooth things out a bit more. Then sanding and painting.

Today I was researching how to make the eyes "follow-Me" eyes and I got some good tips. I'm still using the googly eyes but I'll probably mesh the mask eyes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Budgeted Omni Tool Prop

Some cosplayers made a very excellent replica for this prop out of acrylic or plastics or something that had to do with laser cutting. And of course he sells them for about $200 a prop. DEFINITELY WORTH IT if you want to drop the cash and go for high quality. Simply google omni-tool prop and you'll find it pretty easily.

But I want to do it MYSELF even though I'm a terrible prop maker...worse than costumes.
So I'm going to make a low cost omni-tool and share how YOU can make it too!

 Here are the materials I plan on using.

  • Heat Gun/Blow Dryer
  • Scissors
  • Exacto Knife
  • Box Cutters
  • Glue Gun/Clear glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • Printing Paper
  • Invisible Mounting wire
  • References
  • Two 2-liter Clear Soda bottle smooth sides
  • Orange, smooth transparent folders/binder dividers
  • Clear Snaps (optional)
  • Orange Sharpie (optional)
  • Orange Enamel paint (optional)
  • Testors Window Tint Spray paint (optional)
  • Orange Vinyl Headlight tints (optional)
Here we go.


 Either print or draw the pattern for the omni-tool. Make sure you scale it to your arm.
Check out my Armor Pattern making video to do this with masking tape and paper.

Then cut your pattern out.

Clean the bottles and get all the labels off. Try to get all the gluey stuff off.

ALTERNATIVE: Instead of soda bottles you can use those transparent folders or binder dividers, preferably one without a texture. They are very flexible so you can form them into the right shapes easily with your pattern.

The Making

Using the bottle, lay your pattern on the body of the bottle and tape it down. Usually this size of bottle is long enough for the forearm and has a pretty good girth to it. You might be able to find a 3 liter bottle if you need more girth.

Alternatively you can trace the pattern but due to the clear nature of the bottle I prefer not to mark it up.

Here's how I've used my bottles. The cylindrical shape of the bottle makes it ideal for making the round bits without seams.
(NOTE: You can use a smaller bottle for the smaller cylinders of the pattern if you choose to do so.)

Use your cutting tool to cut out the shape you've taped down. Do this for all your pieces.

With my binder dividers I've also taped down a few pieces to cut out Preferably those things that didn't need a curve. Granted, the soda plastic is very pliable and with the right amount of coaxing it can take a flatter shape. It takes low heat and heavy books.

Before we attach all the pieces it needs to be the right color.

The Tinting

Here are a couple of methods I thought of for coloring this bad boy.
1)The cheapest way I've found so far is to simply use Sharpie marker. The downside is that you're most likely going to get streaks.

2) Glass Paint. There are several brands at craft stores that you can try out. Check by the model car section that might have what you're looking for. Simply water it down and brush right onto the clear plastic.

4) Headlight Tint Stickers/Window Tints. The application might take some practice but hey, it's got a nice effect if you do it right.

5) Window Tint Paints...I found this video that lists what supplies to look for. Tamiya is the brand I noticed has the tinting.

Or skip the whole color thing and just use the folder/binder material. ;)

The Construction
Now the hard-ish part. Connecting the pieces together.

For some pieces, I just use hot glue around the edges. I find it best to prevent glue seams to tape the pieces together first. That way the glue seam is on the inside of the piece.

Some pieces can be more flexible, such as the hand piece of the omni tool or the retractable blade of the omni blade.
A couple of suggestions:
Eyelets: Unfortunately very visible But even the pro looking ones have a screw in them.

Invisible Thread/Fishing Line: Tie a knot at the top and on the bottom and add a bit of glue for good measure. A little more subtle. I did this for my omni-tool

Clear Snaps: Either sew on with the invisible thread or glue on. SNAP it's done.

The Finishing Touches

Details: Using a thin paint and fine brush or even the tip of a push pin, you can "etch" some of the design in.

The absolute cheapest way to go on this is getting orange glow necklaces at  a party favor store.
But the effect is pretty obvious. UNLESS, you wrap it around the circular area only.

LED Shoe Laces: I found these at Target once for like 4 bucks. It's a DEAL. The battery pack is pretty small so you can be discreet about it. It can flash and hold a constant glow if you press the button. Again, It's a bit thinner than a glow necklace so you can get away with more. It's highly versitile.

Install your own LEDs. To be honest I don't know how to do this. Which is why I go for the cheap stuff. I don't know if the material used to make this item would work with intense wiring. Proceed at your own risk.

Use and Care

It's designed to slide on and off your arm. The omni-blade obviously has a different design to it. Invisible thread may be useful again or some velcro pieces that attach to your costume may help.

It's very flexible, and because it's so cheap you don't have to worry too much about being rough with it. I would not recommend extreme heat as that can change the shape of the plastic. It should be mostly water proof. I haven't gone swimming with it so what can I say?

Enjoy your prop that cost you (hopefully) WAY less that $200.

Here are a few of my attempts:
- Binder dividers
- Thin binder

- Soda bottle

Friday, March 20, 2015

Transparent Worbla or TranspArt


This is the answer for so many of my prop issues for Tali!

It's also a fantastic way to make casting molds. Seriously...if I could make a visor with this!!
This would be way easier than thermoplastics. Downside is that it is pricey.

I want to make an Omnitool out of it. Also redo the visor. :D

Why haven't I updated this!?

Ha so it's been awhile since I posted progress. And progress had been made! First I'd like to show off my Grey Warden costume that I "debuted" at PAX South. Some of it broke off before I got this picture taken. :P

Grey Warden...missing elbow armor.

Tali's cosplay has been retired early as I rethink the design. The helmet is the only part that really came out nicely. Well...the metal arm stuff was pretty good too...and pants. Okay but my issue is that it had too many moving parts to put on by myself. I'm rethinking some of my take on the costume design. Like I probably will sew the bandeau onto the shirt directly and make the neck thingy out of fabric instead of foam. I still have plenty of leftover fabric so I can do it.

And I'm still unemployed. :P Much sadness. I have the fabric for the Inquisitor but little motivation to work on it. Currently, I have some very serious things to think about for my life in terms of work. We'll see how things go.