Shmuberry

Where to begin – Montreal Comic Con was a roller coaster of emotions, thrills and adventures. I had been excited about MCC for a while. It’s been some time that I almost only exclusively read comics, making MCC so much more excited than any other conventions!

I had been working on all week so I arrived late Friday night to our hotel, which I was sharing with Aree, Nayel-ie and her boyfriend. As per tradition, Aree and I ordered some Saint-Hubert and called it a night.

Saturday was the big day, I got suited it in Katniss and on my way to sign up for the masquerade. On my way, I stopped by Weapon check to get it approved. Little did I know, I was off to a really bad start… As I was explaining to a volunteer that I had designed the bow in a way that it was too tight to shoot anything and that the string was purely decorative, he pulled on it with all his strength! It caused the bow crack down in the middle! I lost it! I made a scene but he said he couldn’t approve it “because he was able to pull on the string”. I started to yell so the Master of Weapons, Aaron, got into it after almost 20 mins and simply said “obviously if it cracks down the middle, it can’t handle one pound of tension which is what we want so it’s alright, I approve of this”. I still complained about the fact that they broke my bow – not even 5 minutes I had walked in the convention center but they could barely muster an apology.

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I rushed to the masquerade sign-up room but, of course, the women right before me… grabbed the last entry. I left defeated and angry. I had worked so hard on Katniss for so long… to not be able to enter the masquerade because I was late… because some jerk broke my bow on purpose… it all sucked! After wallowing for a bit in a corner, I ranted on my personal Facebook and it caught the eye of friend who works for MCC who brought it to the attention of the Masquerade Director. The Masquerade Director decided that if the Master of Weapons was not going to make it right by me, he would. And so, this is how I was able to get into the Masquerade after all!

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The green room was great! A lot of times, green room lack organization and are too long for our own good but it started later, giving us time to do other things. During the day, I was able to shoot with Pithier Photography and Theorem Productions! Having the masquerade later made Saturday not just about the masquerade anymore.

Finally, when it actually was my turn on stage, something magical happened…

Funny story about that skit. I had that track planned for 3 months but over the last 4 weeks I thought it was not good enough so I had 2 more and I was stuck with 3 audio tracks for a hypothetical masquerade… so the night before masquerade, I bothered my friends asked their opinions. Are, Ray, Nathan, Olivia, Alexia, Jaspinder, Elisabeth and many more. I owe this one to you all! When I got on stage, I just had in mind that I would lipsing, salute, maybe do something with my bow and bounce. But then… I saw the hands saluting back, I almost lost it! All I could think about was “OK WHAT IS HAPPENING… THIS IS HAPPENING. KEEP SINGING. OK. ARROW. BOW. POSE. OK. WOW. SALUTE “

haha

I really didn’t see it coming!

Sunday, Aree and I went for dim sum to start out the day just right and we spent most of our days just picking around with friends :3

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I nervously attended the awards ceremony. I was so pleased that all my friends won an award! I was extremely surprised when I was awarded the Best Evocation Prize for my presentation and a Special Ninja Award for Best Ninja Use!

As usual, I had a wonderful time at Montreal Comic Con. Like any cons, it had some downs… but the ups were so phenomenal it makes everything else seems like white noise À l’année prochaine, MCC !

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17. 04. 2015

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now and here it is!

What is in my purse!

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For a while, I’ve been using this Well Acquainted bag from JustFab :) I like it since it quite large and I’m able to carry a lot of things in it!

IMG_0029Here’s all the stuff I need for work; my glasses, some vinegar wipes to clean my shoes, a t-shirt and a pouch. The pouch contains some random cables, keys and whatnot that I need for work. Instead of having them just being a mess in my purse, they are in this cute little pouch from Forever 21 :)

IMG_0030Then of course you have the essentials. Wallet, with your boring cards. Mini wallet – which contains my business cards and subway pass. Keys (home, work, David’s Tea card, emergency tag) and my meds!

IMG_0035And finally the fun stuff! I like to carry around my new Instax Mini 8 and a packet of extra film. I also never leave the house with hand moisturizer (my colleagues are probably sick of me offering moisturizer… oops), lipbalm and a water bottle.

Not pictured is your usual change, receipts, rescued bobby pins and random papers… I actually did take a picture but yeah… not worth posting XD

14. 04. 2015

* Disclaimer: While my blog is often a source for pink hair advice – this post discusses taking dietary supplements. Before making the decision to take any of the mentioned supplements, please check with your doctor 😉

IMG_1020Well it’s not a secret that I chopped my hair off last summer. And once again in November…. however how I am suffering from the incurable syndrome of “omg I want my long hair back”! So I decided to take my hair regimen out of the window and do a little bit of research on how I could improve my hair growth since it’s never been really good before…

First, I talked to one of my colleague. She has beautiful, long red hair and pointed me in the direction of Biotin supplements. It helps keep her hair long and strong.

A lack of biotin would not be crazy – I’ve been working a lot and not eating really well. So a supplement was the way to go – after getting the ok from my doctor. After doing a bit of research, it appeared that these were the most popular supplements with the most positive reviews ( NOT from Facebook ads *cough*)…

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 Natrol Biotin Maximum Strength & Phytophanere Dietary Supplement

Here are the benefits reported for both supplements;

In short – both supplement bring to your body Biotin, Calcium, Vitamin A, B & C and some omegas. In the end, all that helps with hair growth and nail growth.

I’ve been taking these for a month now and I’m happy to say that I’ve noticed a difference both in my hair and my nails. My hair has grown approx~ 3-4 cm in a month and my nails have been breaking less (albeit my nails will always break – work hazard).

Overall – I would say ; yes, biotin supplements work for me! The growth is not quite noticeable at first so it takes patience but it’s slowly noticeable and I can’t wait to share with you progress pictures when it becomes quite apparent :)

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I’ve been a fan of Zatanna for a long time. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the first comic book characters I feel in love with: she so witty, smart, strong and intelligent. I’m so proud to say I own all 16 volumes of her series + and the alternate covers ! I’m not much of a collector but when it comes to Zatanna, I get a bit crazy.

I had originally cosplayed Zatanna back in 2012 in a very last minute cosplay and I decided that she was worth a proper hommage.

I kept the corset I had used in 2012 – I had originally bought it on ebay – slightly modified it so it would fit me better. The shoes are actually my high school uniform shoes (!!!) which are well over 10 years now… The blouse and the bow tie are my pieces of old bartending uniform.

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For the jacket, I used Simplicity #2525 pattern. I LOVE this pattern – it was really easy to follow and I made the jacket in one day. I realized that I used the wrong collar pattern but it didn’t bother me so much… one day I will go back and the one I meant to use. On the back on the jacket, I decided to add a “butt bow” since I really like the jacket material I had picket and I thought that bows just look nice on everything and everyone XD I added some dangly pearls and gems to the bow but it is barely noticeable ^^”

For the bottom, I used our Green Pepper pattern we used for our Sailor Moon leotards and transformed it into a high waisted panty – so I can tuck in my shirt under the corset.

For the gloves, I cut long white gloves I had around the house, sew a lace trim on them and added cute gold buttons with gems.

Finally,  for the flower, I used scraps of heavy matte satin Aree and Lolipuff left at my house when we were working on Sailor Moon and made a rose ^^!

As for the top hat, I ordered it from the lovely hat makers at Patterns of Time and the wig if a Black Matilda from Arda Canada!

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I hope this is everything you’ve wanted to know about how I made my Zatanna cosplay! I hope to make from cosplay of her in the future! 😀

Photo credits: Eleventh Photograph, DarkainMX , Novii

18. 02. 2015

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Ever since MCC ended – I have been looking forward to Katsucon, like a child looks forward to Christmas. With Aree, Lolipuff and Vilya, we started planning our trip months ago. This time around, we chose to drive in (instead of flying in) and to stay extra days to accommodate our long travel hours.

We arrived on Thursday night, after nearly 12 hours of driving – thought I didn’t drive, I took my DJ role very seriously. I was quite annoyed when my Itunes match got disabled the minute we crossed the border and ended up busting my American plan over re-downloading my music but oh welp… it’s not like I was going to listen to nothing for 12 hours. We did our best to minimize stops – American fast food no long impresses us.

Since we couldn’t finish our Love Live cosplays (damn you Canada Post) I decided to stick to cosplays that I had completed months ago and I believe this is what made my Katsucon, once again, really enjoyable! My fellow Idolm@ster girls changed their plans so I ended up not wearing Miki but I was quite happy wearing my new and revamped Zatanna.

On Friday, we headed out to the con quite early and were luckily able to obtain our badges really fast – unfortunately, I hear it was very problematic this year again for a lot of people :( Then off to the con floor we went! I was happy mingling and meeting friends I hadn’t seen in a long time – or friends I had until now only talked online.

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KiraKira Cosplay was particularly ravishing with her Armoured Little Ponies, I had to contain myself when saying hi to her >_<” I have so much respect for her work and the quality of her craftmanship, it was hard not to fangirl when finally meeting her!

Vickybunnyangel also had a wonderful group of Sailor Senshi designed by NoFlutter

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It was hard to take my eyes of such wonderful groups. When people say “Cosplayers bring their A-Game at Katsucon” they really mean it. Everyone looks so amazing <3

I ended up having a lot of fun taking pictures here and there as well as helping friends with their shots. Eventually I had my share of the con (and the corset) for the day so I headed to my room and met Gina at hers. We had planned to head out to a party but ended up drinking wine and helping Mao-chan with her castanic cosplay. I had a lot of fun sewing her panties and wearing them on my head… of course.

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On Saturday, I wore Zatanna again; running around with friends, photographers, videographers. Finally, my partner, Nathan DeLuca, met me in his Robin cosplay but quickly change – in a Ironman cosplay haha. We were supposed to meet for the DC meetup but I suddenly felt ill and faint so I headed back to my room and rested for a bit. We then changed into Eternal Sailor Scouts, a much more comfortable cosplay and proceeded to twerk on everything that moved.

Rolled saturday night, we made our way to Nando’s, as the Katsucon traditions oblige and indulged in delicious spicy chicken. All while we were planning on what parties to attend – we noticed the strong winds outside and got word that the Gaylord was not letting people out because of the weather. I’m not sure if this was ever true but it sure made us reconsider partying our butts off. We decided to rest our tired butts instead and headed back to our room, with Flaming-Goddess and joked around until no one could stand up.

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On Sunday, we geared up in Sailor Scouts again and decided it was time for the twerking scouts to make one last appearance at Katsucon. We crashed a lot of cosplay footage (sorry not sorry) and had a lot fun teaching Mao-chan how to twerk (results: she can!). The adorable CosplayGhouls were one of our unfortunate twerk victims… or maybe they rather enjoyed it?

We then had a late lunch at Nando’s (again) and I started feeling faint again so I went to bed and rested for a while. I ended up missing a dinner party but oh welp; you’re no good company when you feel ill… I needed to rest before leaving on Monday morning for the long ride back home.

Overall, I had a wonderful time at Katsucon. While I hate comparing a convention to a previous, I find that my time at Katsucon this year was much tamer, with no wild parties but I still had a wonderful time. Katsucon is one of those conventions where I know I will have fun <3

Bonus pro:

Bumps:


Recently, I was asked this question and I realized how complex the answer was. You can cosplay with your friends or with strangers but either way… it can either be a great experience or it can be a train wreck.

Here are a few things you need to know before you sign yourself up for a group cosplay…

Whether it’s because they lost interest or something else came up, people will not be able to finish their cosplays. As a member of a cosplay group, you have to accept that everyone in the group is likely to drop out for whatever reason and you shouldn’t hold it against them. It’s always a bit disappointing but sometimes, it’s best to lack a member than have a member who didn’t want to do a costume and ended up botching it.

Several brains is better than one. It also means, several opinions on several ways of doing of part of a cosplay. It’s important to not impose YOUR way and to discuss with your teammates and research what everyone would be comfortable with. If you vehemently disagree, let it be known in a fashion that won’t upset your peers.

Aree at my place, working on our upcoming Love Live cosplays

One of the fun aspects of group cosplays is that you can work together and get things done faster, especially if your outfits are similar. It not only speeds up the process but it’s also more fun to work with peers. Whenever it’s not possible to work together, make sure you share your notes and updates so that your peers are not only aware the techniques you are using but also feel motivated by your progress.

Every group I have been part of were planned months ahead of time. This might as well be a general cosplay rule but I feel that for cosplay groups it is particularly important since working until the very last minute on a cosplay can add unnecessary tension to the group members.

Keep in touch with everyone in your group. In all of my groups, we liked to create hidden Facebook groups and keep everyone update as well as converse almost daily regarding our progress. Never leave anyone out of the loop!

Be proactive and be a leader; if nothing is happening and no one is making progress, take it upon yourself to organize an outing and go fabric shopping or get together to craft. However, just because you show signs of leadership, that doesn’t make you the leader of the group. No one likes to be bossed around, especially when they are doing something that is meant to be fun. Just because you’re cosplaying the main character, it doesn’t make you the leader of the group!

Overall, just have fun!

Groups can be a lot of fun and they can also be a nightmare. Overall, it all comes down to communication and respecting your group mates. If you take it too seriously and you’re not having fun, maybe a large group isn’t what you need 😉

09. 12. 2014

White Canary was a bit of a last minute project. I’ve been reading Birds of Prey for a long time and I’ve been wanting to cosplay Black Canary for a long time. The only thing is, when I do, I want to cosplay Black Canary’s new 52 outfit, as the original is really popular at conventions.

Recently, Aree and I teamed as White and Black Canary and had a photo shoot with Lexa One and Beevii as out make up artist. We were able to produce these amazing photos!



White Canary turned out to be a great challenge. I had never done a bodysuit. I had never done a duster. I had never done boot covers. I had never worked with PVC stretch. Overall it was a lot of first and there are a few things I’d like to improve (like the booth covers… they were not how I wanted them to turn out) but overall, it’s was fun to challenge myself.

Lately, I feel a lot of my cosplayer peers have been taking an easier route with armoured cosplay as worbla is becoming an easy material to work with. I’ve decided to step away from armour and improve my sewing skills instead. I want to challenge myself, I want to grow as a cosplayer and I feel that sewing is the way to go for me. It may not be as flashy and as impressive as armoured cosplays but my true love is in sewing, where it all started! <3

05. 11. 2014


Is it talent?

I’m quite lucky. I have a really cool job in real life. Ever since I dropped out of college (oops, did I forget to blog about this? maybe I will later), I’ve realized how much I love my job and how much I love my coworkers. I am blessed with coworkers who are creative and who embrace cosplay. Often they ask me:

Fred, why do you work here? you’re so talented… you should be in costume design, behind stage or designing costumes for people.

I know this is flattery but ever since I was young, I never liked being told I was talented. Maybe because I had drill-sergent piano teacher, she thought me that most talented people are useless; it’s the hard working ones who make it and get what they want. So when someone tells me “You’re so talented”… I know they mean well, but in the back of my head, I’m yelling “IT’S NOT TALENT, IT’S HARD WORK! ” It makes sense tho, right?

And I know most people are thinking that cosplayers are so lazy… of course we are lazy! We procrastinate, we rather watch 200 episodes of Naruto than actually work on a Naruto cosplay but when we actually get down to work, we defeat the huns faster and better than Mulan!

So do me a favor, next time you want to highlight the work a cosplayer did – don’t say they are talented. Say they are hardworking; admire how much work must have went into their art! It’s probably the best compliment you can ever give us :3

photo by Bret DR, featuring Vickybunnyangel, Gebgeb & Mao-chan

Here it is, the annual Otakuthon. This convention feels like home and has always held a special place in my heart since it was the first convention I attended back in 2006. This year, you could feel how much Otakuthon has grown has the staff and organizers clearly did not expect the high number of attendants which reflected in a linecon. Surely something we can improve on next year as well as the badge pick up process…

This year, I actually decided to stay in a hotel. Last year, I didn’t and regretted it – Janna was not a public transit friendly cosplay. Knowing my lineup this year, I roomed with Deltaree, GebGeb and Usagi-chan. We checked in on Thursday so that we could relax one night before the convention and get to the convention Friday. However, it didn’t exactly pan out that way. As we were getting ready in our Eternal Sailor Moon cosplays, Mao-chan was delayed and thus we had to wait since she had the last of our accessories. When she finally made it, we rushed out to respective shoots; GebGeb and I with ONE Photography. We all met up later at the fountain for a fun video shoot with Kevin Zhao! We shot of a lot of silly scenes and had a great time. We then shot with Mike from Eleventh Photograph until I rushed to give my panel on Cosplay and Social Media.

I hadn’t given a panel in a while so I was really nervous, furthermore my partner got held at her booth in her merchant alley… but I think it went rather well. 30 mins into my panel I was already done and I was surprised but thankfully, there were a lot of questions and discussion so we were able to use all the time that was given to us!

Saturday, our day started early as GebGeb and I were both cosplaying Drakenguard 3 alonside Mao-chan and Vickybunnyangel. We got up early to get ready since both of our costumes were not only complicated but they were also exhausting to put on XD; We met the other girls at 11:00 and started shooting as a group! It was a lot of fun to be the 4 of us, finalle united for this group. Last time, at Anime North, it had been just me and the game was newly released so it felt quite lonely… so it was great so be surrounded by my friends, in cosplay, from the same game!

At 3:00, we lined up for the dreaded masquerade green room. I don’t love green rooms. Aside from judging, which is can be pleased, the rest is a bore. Our judge was Niq (DetailedIllusionCosplay) and he was a delight to explain our cosplays to. After judging and all  your regular green room processing, we settled down for a bit before rehearsing… for 10 mins. The staff wouldn’t let us practice. Wtf, stating that if they let one group practices then they would need to let everyone practice… so we had to improvise and drill the cues in my head (so I don’t forget them…)

We were able to get on stage quite early – thanks to the comprehension and kindness of the staff, I would not have lasted hours in the green room… and from there, it was showtime.

Overall, we did a great job. I was angry with myself because my ribbon got stuck so I turned around a bit early to get it unstuck. You can’t notice it but I know and it made me really annoyed after the masquerade… After the masquerade, all I could think about was to get out of this armor and eat! I then met up with Mike Kowalek and lovely bunch of cosplayers from Toronto. I was supposed to cosplay PJs Ymir that night but my body was rejecting lenses and my wig so I changed out quickly and went out for drinks with friends and ended up partying all night and only coming back Sunday morning!

Sunday morning… I was hangover and barely got any sleep. I ALMOST cancelled my Miki Hoshii cosplay but I was too bummed by the idea so I got a bit of rest and some coffee in me and prayed to the cosplay gods! I made it to the shoot and seeing my group looking so beautiful, I got all the energy I needed for the day!

We shot with Mike Kowalek and than Michaelle Charette. Then, we few of our girls had to leave for the award ceremony… not feeling confident about my performance the day before, I decided not to go and stay with the group. We shot a music video with Kevin Zhao instead!

Than, when we were done filming, I got wind that Vicky, Mao and I won something! An honourable mention for craftmanship — which is really cool because I didn’t expect to win anything. Overall, my hangover Sunday turned out to be the best hangover I’ve ever had haha. Of course, I was really tired and I called it a day at 4pm without really saying goodbye to anyone and went home 😉

Otakuthon had very few downs… but mostly lots of ups! I got to work with photographers I love and admire, cosplay from my all time favourite series, cosplay with friends and just overall had a lot of fun. Cons are supposed to be about fun and fun is something I had a lot of fun that week end! 😀

oh I almost forgot.

Sailor Twerk.


It’s no secret that at Otakuthon, I was part of a great Drakenguard 3 group. My friend Geraldine (Gebgeb Cosplay), who was cosplaying Zero, had her work cut out for her: not only was she cosplaying Zero, she was also part of our Eternal Sailor Moon… as Eternal Sailor Moon. In July, it was clear that time was running and that she was likely not going to be able to make the sword so I decided to make it for her. I wanted our Zero to have a sword… and I like making things! I had all the materials on hand so why not, right? That’s the spirit of cosplay group!


I first printed out a template that we of the sword and discussed with Papaberry how we could realistically do this in wood. Since Geraldine is quite short, we decided that the finished sword should not be longer than 100cm : 70cm for the blade, 30 cm for the handle. My father cut out the blade and out of spare wood we had. The handle was cut out of my Janna staff (sorry Janna lovers!) . We had a bit of am unspoken rule my family – all the wood cutting is done by my father. It’s fine by me since he’s enjoying helping me with cosplay prop making lately!

Once he was done assembling the blade to the handle, I got to work! I initilally thought I wanted to sculpt the round handle out of expanding foam… big mistake. After fighting  with it for 3 days… I realized it was simply not the right material for want I wanted to it and I ripped it all apart to replace it with EVA foam. For the detailing on the blade, I used good ol’ craft foam and plastic pearls.

Once the blade was painted, I had the idea to had blood to it. In the game, whenever Zero is in battle, she is always covered in blood. Obviously, we were not about to cover Geraldine and her brand new cosplay in fake blood but I thought it would be cool to make her sword stand out!

and it was a lot of fun 8D

The last thing I did was applied worbla details: the pommel, the vine strips on the handle and the cross. The flowers were made Géraldine: some are in craft foam and some are in fabric! We added the matching velvet ribbon at the same time too :)

Looking back, I’m satisfied with how this sword turned out! There definitely things I would love to improve… like the pommel – I’m not happy how it turned out >> and the handle… in some reference it’s white and in some others it’s black! Oh, the ever changing references game~ But overall, I think we were able to make a pretty cool prop… in like… no time!

And then, we had a Drakenguard 3 group <3

Images by Novii photograhy

Cosplay by Shmuberry, Gebgeb, Mao-chan & Vickybunnyangel Cosplay