Thursday, December 13, 2012

Obvious Tip #1

When doing needlepoint, always iron out the creases from your fabric before you start working. There's nothing uglier then crushed stitches because you had to press hard to get lines out of a piece.

I've been doing cross-stitch for years and I never remember this until it's time to wash/iron a finished piece for framing. The washing helps, but seriously ironing beforehand saves a world of frustration and curse words.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Banzaicon: Columbia, SC

(note: this is a repost from my personal blog)

Banzai was a first-year con up in Columbia this past weekend. Originally I was only going to go up for Saturday, but after some cajoling from friends and a free pass thanks to Nashicon I went the whole weekend. 

Friday I worked until 4pm, then bopped on up with Owen. We got there about 7 due to some CRAZY traffic. Three accidents on the interstate all within a mile of each other. Feh. Anyway, after a quick unload we headed to the room only to find our roomies were out at dinner. >_< Thankfully some sweetie friends let us stash our stuff until later. I claimed my badge, regged for the costume contest, then hung out with my beloved Owen and some friends at The Whig. It's a cool dive bar that in an old underground bank. We somehow scored seats in the Vault. It took me a second to realize it was an old vault, but the door was a dead giveaway. XD The food was good, Shirley kept me in booze (apparently I'm quite entertaining when drunk), and I had an amazing time with my friends. 

Saturday dawned awkwardly (surprise guy in underwear O_O), but I ponied up and put on Pinkie for the Ask-A-Pony panel. I took with me a giant bowl of candy and yelled 'Trick or Treat!' every time I saw someone. It worked really well till someone took the entire bowl. *le sigh* I got most of it back, but after that I wasn't too keen on continuing. Moving on. I had lunch with Ally, Kat, and Tohma in the hotel bar/grill. It was funny because we were sitting in front of the glass wall that opens to the con floor, and since we were all in costume it felt like we were on display. lol! During lunch Ally and I traded stickers from the ooold Sailor Moon pull packs we both bought in the Dealer's Room. They even had these long bookmark-ish ones that I'd never seen before. It was a bit of a shame to open them, but we're both the kind of collectors who buy for own enjoyment. ^_^ I also snagged a NRFB SMR Jupiter from the Bandai Asia line for $35. Squee!! 

(note: The costume I won with is Telma, pictured a few posts earlier)

(Skipping the pre-judging shenanigans) The contest started promptly at 7. I was hella nervous. It's been a looooong time since I'd been on this side of things, however I knew going in that I had a snowball's chance at winning anything. I was seated with the Beginners. I entered in that category, but I also told the judges they can bump me up if needed. The stage walk-on was very easy. They kept us to 30 seconds and three poses, which worked out well. Then came time for the awards. I knew I only qualified for a few so when those passed and I wasn't called out I started to calm down a bit. Again, I really didn't think I was going to get anything, but goodness knows we all get that little adrenaline push when the time comes. :) So next was the Advanced winners. John (wearing a GORGEOUS Sailor Cosmos fuku with staff) won Runner Up. I remember thinking this odd, but didn't have a chance to ponder it further because the judges were announcing the winner of Advanced. It took me a second to realize that they were possibly talking about me, but my brain kept going 'nopenopenope'. There's no way! I was completely and totally wrong. 

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. It took me FOREVER to get to the stage because I was too surprised to move quickly and it's kind of hard to see where you're going when you're crying lol. I do remember Matt saying 'I think we broke her' to the audience, lots of cheering and hugging the judges. On my way back to my seat there were even more hugs, fistbumps, and so many of my friends congratulating me. It took me a good 20 minutes to stop sniffling. :)

After a quick change I headed out with the Girls (and Owen) to the Ramen House a few blocks from the hotel. Much deliciousness was obtained. Then it was back to the hotel bar for BOOZE. Shirley kept me quite lubricated. Hehe! We played Cards Against Humanity until about 1am. Then it was bedtime for me because I was 100% wiped out. 

Sunday was mellow. More hugs, nummy crepes (thanks Shirley!!), and good-byes. We were home by 3 and napping by 4. :D

Overall it was a good con with good friends. TBH the con was really just an excuse to see my besties. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun at a con! Almost no stress and unlimited hangout time with my friends. Can't be beat! Although I did have a WTF moment involving Vic Mangina. We were waiting for an elevator right after the contest. He happened to be coming down/out. We didn't even move to get in (because hey we all know elevator etiquette damnit) but his PA threw out her elbows and started saying loudly "Let us through!" as if we were mobbing the man. *rolls eyes* Yes we were totally throwing ourselves at him. *facepalm* Oh! Bonus! Sunday morning Owen was waiting for me outside the restrooms. Apparently Vic was in there as well because his PA asked Owen if he wanted an autograph. I guess she assumed Owen was stalking Vic. O_o Talk about ego! 

The End. <3

Monday, October 15, 2012

Has it really been 4 months since I posted?

Wow, yes it has been. Woops!

Sorry for the stoppage folks. After ConTemporal things really kicked into high gear for me. I had 4 cons in 4 months so I haven't had much to talk about. However now that my season is over I'm hoping to get a few silly projects cleared up and posted here.

I did want to tell you that I've won my first award at a costume contest! It was at Banzaicon in Columbia, SC this past weekend, and I won for Best Advanced. I'll do a full write-up soon, but I wanted to share that at least.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

ConTemporal in Review

This isn't the post I wanted to make, but ah well. If I keep putting it off it'll never get done.

Contemporal was this past June 23-26 up in Chapel Hill, NC. I went specifically because my awesome friend and costumer-deluxe Kim was on staff and looking for suckers panelists. I stayed with her, Mary, my cousin Angela, and Chainmail Chick Allegra. Basically it was like a giant nerd sleepover with costumes. WEE!!

I got there Thursday afternoon and found the room easily, although the front desk people were oddly slow. There were four of them up there, only one person in line besides myself, yet it still took 10 minutes of waiting to ask for the key Kim had left me. >_< After settling in I wandered around till the girls showed. Angela, Allegra, and myself went to the Guest of Honor dinner. If it wasn't for all the steampunk costumes I would have though I was at a wedding. Cash bar and rubbery chicken FTW. We did have some interesting company. Ruben, writer and artist for <a href="">Masked Manor</A>, was at our table. Well, I should say that we hijacked his table, but he was alone so he had no choice. Apparently my personality was a bit...surprising to him. While I won't repeat what was said/done, I will note that apparently my ladies thought the best part was seeing the reaction on his face when I'd open my mouth and do what I do. Needless to say I don't need booze to act like a complete ass. XD Still, I made a lasting impression on him when he wrote "Dear Morgan, You're dead to me. Love, Ruben :)" in the front of the GN I bought from him. See, the smiley face means he still likes me! :D

On Friday my panels were oddly placed. I had a 4pm, 10pm, and 11pm. O_O In all honesty they were fun though. I had Wigs at 4 with Jeanne *brainfart*, who is actually a top-notch special effects/hair stylist. She worked on Hunger Gamers as well as freaking everything else that's filmed in NC. We had a good giggle when we realized upon trading business cards that we both used the same stock images from Vistaprint. My 10pm was a bust because it was directly opposite Jennie Breeden's Kilt Blowing, but that was good because then I got to go. Note: Owen needs a kilt NOW!!! My 11pm panel (A Costume for Every Body) was pretty darn full, which was shocking considering the time slot. We talked about a variety of things, and I'm fairly sure people enjoyed themselves. The guy with the 12 year old scotch to share didn't hurt either! I was finally able to see the appeal of Steampunking an established character. Scotch Guy made a point to talk about his Steam-Captain Marvel and how he made it work for his plus-size frame. SG needs to run his own panel because that stuff made sense.

Saturday was surprisingly mellow. I had a costume basics panel with some pirates (damn I love cons), then the rest of the day to chill till the costume contest. Kim did an amazing job!! I can't say that enough. GOOD JOB KIM!! It went smoothly although there was some behind-the-scenes drama, but that's normal. Aside from some miscommunication it was all good with my ladies. After that I kind of crashed (as I always do post-contest). I went back to the room to pack/order pizza while the others spread out to wreak havoc. Angela and Kim eventually joined me for pizza which was DELICIOUS.

Sunday was a bit of a downer since I had to say good-bye. After a few minutes of wandering I packed up and made the 5 hour drive home. I don't know if I'll return next year as my attendance is solely based on my ladies being there, but if it happens I'll be looking forward to it. :)

A few random WTF's and lol's:
~"Oh, so YOU'RE Morgan Skye." said by the volunteer when I picked up my Guest Badge Friday morning. Wow, didn't know I had a rep already! I guess I did more damage at the GoH dinner then I thought...
~Late night brownie parties need to be a thing at all cons forever because brownies at 11pm are heaven.
~Minor suck: a head staffer thought I was a volunteer because I was helping with Friday morning setup. When I saw her later in the ConCom room she turned snotty when I asked were the Green Room was. I politely showed her my Badge and asked again. She didn't apologize, but she did grumble something about making Guest badges bigger next year. *le sigh* I don't mind helping, and often do without being asked, but seriously LOOK before you assume!
~On that note the Green Room was so cool! Had a good chat with lots of people on all sides of Steampunk. <3 Also, bananas and apples! As many as you could carry!
~The emcee for the contest was HOT. James? John? Jason? Meh, whatever. He was from Penny Dreadful, was wearing SP Boba Fett, and had a sexy beard. I didn't flirt, and for that I'm proud of myself.

The End!
cross posted from Livejournal

Monday, June 4, 2012

Telma's Debut

Tah dah! She finally made it out to see daylight. Of course now I want to completely redo the jacket and fix the apron and change the armbands and and!

If you'd like to read my small con report you can check out my journal here. ConCarolinas was very stressful for me, but it's over now and I'm looking forward to next year.

For now I'm going to ignore my sewing machine until Friday, then start gearing up for ConTemporal in a few weeks. Wahoo!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Slacker is Me

I can't believe I haven't posted since April. O_O Sorry!

I have a few posts in the works, mostly for my 'Judge's Table' series, however they're all photo heavy and I have yet to take the appropriate pictures.

Next weekend is ConCarolinas. This will be my last year as the Contest Organizer. It's time to give up the contest to someone who can better tailor it to the CC crowd. My strength is in the basics, and CC is quickly becoming specialized. I'm seeing more and more Steampunk, which isn't something I'm into. Therefore I feel like I'm cheating the contestants since I don't understand their process. I know I sound a little weird with that, but it's true. Find me in person and I can explain better but I can't seem to get my thoughts about it in writing. Steampunk is great, but I find it hard to judge because it crosses so many of the classical rules I can't wrap my brain around it. So much is re-purposed and it's hard to spot purchases vs. home made.

Anyway...since this is my last year at the table I want to go out with a bang (assuming my a/c will work long enough for me to get anything done). I have 3.5 costumes planned.

Telma - Seriously I started her in 09 and I have yet to finish her for whatever reason. I think it's because I hate painting fabric. >_<
Closet Gotham City Imposter - It ended up way more custom that I planned. Way WAY more custom.
revamped Klingon - New shirt, remixed skirt, new arm bands
Hostess - She's my .5 since the dress was purchased. I am making a new apron though.

Will I see any of you lovelies there? I'll be hitting up Klingon Karaoke. Come watch me embarrass myself!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Costuming and the busted ego

If you follow me on Livejournal then please ignore this post. It's part rehash, part 'ah ha!'.

Believe it or not I have low self-esteem when it comes to my body image. Yes yes, I know you've heard this from everyone. What's interesting though is that I only have this problem when I'm in costume. Otherwise I'm fairly confident. I suppose it's because I HATE they way I look in pictures, and you kinda get your picture taken a lot when wearing something unusual. I never feel like I can pull off a good looking piece because I wear a size 28. No bueno.

I'm already taking steps to fix this, both physically and mentally. In the mean time, since repairs can take forever, I've decided to live it up with my Big Beautiful Body and make some fattie costumes. Please note: I use the term fattie as such: take an insult, claim it, OWN IT!

Costume #1 - For my shape as I am now.

Ms. Endive from Chowder

And no, I don't think I look this bad...all the time...just after waking up Sunday morning after a hard con. Although I do the 'I hate you look' really well! ;) This is a fairly simple costume, aside from the nose and the apparent lack of RMG makeup in burnt orange (yay prosthetics). Even better is that when I lose weight I can make a fat suit from my old clothes, thus making this a rewearable costume. 

Costume #2 - Down a fair bit
Tracy's roach dress from Hairspray

For some reason there's only two pictures of this dress on the web. Weird! Anyway, here she is in all of her revenge-getting glory. This was suggested my by good friend Wendy and the more I look at it the more I love it! 

Costume #3 - The final Fattie 
Clara from The Guild

Big Boobs, wands, and I look pretty damn good in blue. This is pretty much my goal weight costume (est 14/16). 

I welcome thoughts and suggestions!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nashicon 2012

First, I'm using blogger's new settings/views so if this is a little off I apologize.

Nashicon was a blast! Once again Lauren and the gang put on a great con!

Several big things happened for Nashi this year. First was the move off of USC's campus and into a convention center. We had to share the space with two other events, however we still had more than enough wiggle room (most of the time). Second was the addition of Voice Actors to the guest list. I didn't get to meet them aside from a quick room change (autographs to costume contest), but they both seemed really nice and laid back. Spike was joking around with the contest entries and they ate it up! Third was a full a most noticeable attendance rise. According to the powers above, they hit around 1300. Score!

I think my most successful panel was Sailor Moon Eternal. My judging and wigs panels were sparsely attended, but I think (or at least I hope) it was because most people were still in registration at that point. I think it's time to retire them from Nashi since I think they're too specialize for the crowd. I'll think on it later when my brain comes back into focus.

Overall I had bunches of fun with my hotel roomies and all my friends. I can't wait for next year! Woo!!

x-posted to LJ

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cross Stitching Fun!

Feast your eyes on a newly-completed piece!

This is a pattern I bought from PixyStitches on etsy, and I'm very happy with it.

I did this for two lovely friends. There's a progress shot a few posts ago. I just wish I had a better finished picture of it. :(

Progress shot GO!

Any guesses as to what or who this could be? :D
I also bought this pattern on etsy, but I won't say who till it's done.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Convention List

I realized after making this list that I will essentially have a convention a month from June till October...yes I count my cousin's wedding as a con. If I have to travel, wear makeup and put on a dress then it's a con. Shame there's only one panel. XD

Nashicon - March 31st and April 1st - Columbia, SC
ConCarolinas - June 1st-3rd - Charlotte, NC
ConTemporal (new!) - June 21st-24th - Chapel Hill, NC
Roundcon - August 3rd-5th - Columbia, SC
Dragoncon - August 30th - September 3rd - Atlanta, GA
Anime Weekend Atlanta - September 28th-30th - Atlanta, GA
My cousin Jeffery's Wedding - somewhere in NJ

Let me know if you're hitting any of these. ^_^

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ichibancon 2012

I'm a pretty orc!

I won't bore you with details. It was fun for the most part, however there were two cons for every pro this time around.

+ Saw many of my friends, and made new ones easily
+ Got to preform La Soldier with Cookie (although I'm sure it didn't look good since it was spur of the moment)
+ Busted out my improve skills in the same panel by butchering 'My Only Love'
+ Had a front row seat at the Cosplay Contest while only having to wait in line for 30 minutes
+ Was the guinea pig for a special effects makeup panel

- The hotel room was HORRID. 'Newly Renovated' wasn't a lie. There was still paint drying. However if I was in a new room then I'm the queen of England. Bad set-up, no cold water, the hardest beds known to man, and the worst bathroom configuration I've seen.
- The hotel itself was close to dangerous. All of the elevators were poorly maintained. Loud squeaking and poor timing affected every one. There was one who's doors would open nearly a foot before the elevator reached the floor. O_o
- The con space was AWFUL. Either freezing cold or burning hot. Very little sound dampening between rooms (The Sailormoon panel was flooded with yelling from the VicMig panel next door). Also the ballrooms were on the same light panels so if they lowered their lights, ours would dim.
- Not enough variety in programming. It seemed like every other panel was about Vic. The few unique panels I went to were fantastic (Bento 101, Special Effects Makeup, 20 Years of Sailor Moon), but that was only 3 over four days. Ichi needs to go back to 3 days and retool their panels. Another year of this and they'll lose attendees.
- I woke up with a very bad headache on Saturday. I got through most of the day, but after the contest I made the mistake of hitting the hotel bar with friends. I barely got through my drink when it kicked into migraine territory. By 11:30pm I was in my room and in extreme pain. Thankfully Owen and my roomies were very understanding. I told you that to tell you this. According to several people, those who had booked rooms on the higher floors (I was on 7) experienced a variety of problems. Headaches, dizziness, vertigo, and more. Apparently I wasn't the only one who was having issues.

While these problems won't stop me from going to Ichi again, I will think twice about staying at The Blake. I also think that without some massive revamping Ichi won't become the con they clearly want to be.