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2017: It's Gonna be a Big One

The list for this year is quite lengthy. Almost too lengthy. It scares me a little if I'm honest. But I am learning to face those fears in life and give everything a jolly good go!

I decided to split up the plans into 3 groups, in the hope that this will allow me to focus more easily on the cosplays that are at the top of the list. The first list is cosplays that I'm wearing as part of a group. These are definite (beyond the entire group being cancelled) because I don't like letting people down. The second is cosplays that I 100% want to do for myself this year, but I am willing to let these plans change in favour of others. The last is a list of cosplays that I want to do as long as I have the time and money to do them, on top of everything else. I can tell you now, not all of this group will be done this year, but hopefully I can get a few of them done in between times!

So in no particular order, we have:

Alphinaud - Final Fantasy XIV (Heavensward version)
Ash Ketchum - Pokemon
Edea - Bravely Default (Spell Fencer version)
Steampunk Kairi - Kingdom Hearts
Uzuki - The World Ends With You
Plus a secret plan for the Kita ball - only secret in case it doesn't end up happening!

Red Mage - Final Fantasy XIV
Zelda - Hyrule Warriors
Yang - Rwby

Lightning - Final Fantasy XIII-2
Fang - Final Fantasy XIII
Viktor - Yuri!!! on Ice
'Stormblood Monk lady' - Final Fantasy XIV (The one from the Stormblood trailer)
Rikku - Final Fantasy X-2 (undecided dressphere, possibly White or Black Mage)
Cinder - Rwby


Which doesn't seem so many broken down like that. Kind of. However, I'm not going to pretend that's a complete list, even if I do somehow magically manage to get all of these done! There will inevitably be additions and subtractions. To go with the many cosplays, I'm planning to attend quite a few events this year, which I suppose makes sense.

In calendar order:
Midlands MCM (maybe)
Final Fantasy XIV EU Fan Fest
Liverpool MCM (maybe)
Japan Expo
October MCM

Even if I manage to make it to all of these events - which seems likely, there's generally no reason for me to back out of an event - I have no way to know if I'll get all those cosplays done. If I do, it'll be a record year for me. If I don't, well, I'm sure I'll have given it a good go. Either way, it looks like it should be a fun year ahead :)
Continue reading 2017: It's Gonna be a Big One

17 Before 2017: The Results

Well, the end of 2017 went a bit skew-whiff for me, to say the least. If you know me, you know the details, if not, well, I'm moving on in life and everything's gonna be fine. Anyway. That's why the blog went just a little bit quiet, but as life goes on, so shall my blogging.

My last post - here - happened to be at the point things went upside down, so though I really genuinely had wanted to get all of those 17 things done originally, I soon changed my mind. But hey, let's why not focus on the ones I did manage to complete instead :)

1. Clear out wardrobe - By virtue of moving out, I basically achieved this, even if not in the way I expected to! Several things did go to a charity shop though, so I'm calling it a win. Plus a bonus of clearing out the wardrobe in my parents' house.
16. Watch more anime - I'm giving myself this one, because there was no number on it ;) I've continued with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (until Netflix took it away, but I got the boxset for Christmas so I can continue that shortly), fallen in love with Yuri!!! On Ice (haven't we all) and started Code Geass.

Oh, was that it? Still, I've managed to get some other stuff done in the last 3 months, so it's not all bad! A few of the items became obsolete and a few more I'll be working on early in the new year and others will become on-going projects. At another time, with different circumstances, I think I would have achieved several more things on the list. I really like it as a way to motivate you to get things done before the year ends, so I'm fully planning to give it another go at the end of 2017. I just wonder what those 18 things will be!

Now it's time to bring in the new year and let's try to make it the best yet shall we? :) I'll see you on the other side, with some cosplay plans for 2017!
Continue reading 17 Before 2017: The Results
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2016 Cosplay Look Back

I'll start with something different this year. 2016 wasn't an odd year for me, but it was a difficult one, in many ways. I went to some amazing conventions (Minami for example <3) and then some downright terrible ones (Kitacon why, why do you do this to me?) so that's a mixed bag. But hey, I'm always hopeful that next year will be better :)

In terms of the cosplays I'd planned? Whoops. 2/8 isn't the best score, but there were decent reasons for all the ones I skipped out on and most of those will make an appearance next year instead! I'll post my plans early in the new year though. I did 7 in total, which is 1 more than last year, and not too bad a number :)

Meiko | Rikku | Winry | Hinata
Shion | Luna | Sora
There are oddities like Sora. It's a cosplay I've wanted to do for ages, but it wasn't until the middle of the year when I had the crazy idea of entering ECG with him that I turned it into a reality. Hinata barely counts as I bought the uniform to match Nesabi's Kageyama, but we had fun as those dorks. To be fair, I did also make a start on Hyrule Warriors Zelda, but unfortunately she has ended up being pushed back to next year, so I won't count her for this.

To be honest, I actually thought I'd done more than this! (Am I going to say that every year as well?) But thinking back, after Kitacon life was quite busy in general and I didn't have much time to do stuff before Amecon, and after that I was pretty much just working on Sora (or not making cosplay). So I guess it all makes sense really.

I did however sew a few normal clothes, so there's always that as well :)

Continue reading 2016 Cosplay Look Back
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17 Before 2017

The idea of this is something that's been around for a few years - I honestly have no idea when it started or who even started it - but it seems to come out of the woodwork around this time of year. I've managed to catch on early this year, or at least earlier than I might usually, so I actually stand a chance of getting these done!

I'm not going to hold myself to account if I don't get all 17 items ticked off the list. These are things to aim towards, that range from sewing, to household tasks, to personal affairs and some gaming. It's not a failing if I don't get them done, it'd just be nice to be able to tick off these before the new year starts :)

Writing up the list in my bullet journal makes it feel official!

  1. Clear out wardrobe
    This is a 2 parter really. I have lots of old clothes I barely wear any more, for various reasons, and it's about time I sorted through them and sent them to a charity shop. But I also have a habit of dumping stuff in the back of my wardrobe, mostly shoes and cosplay bits, which could definitely also do with a clear out.
  2. Completely sort spare room
    Our spare room is also my sewing/cosplay room. It's a difficult balance to maintain, because the room is quite small and most of the space is taken up by a double bed. Every time we have someone to stay, I make sure it's as tidy as possible (not always that possible), but I'd really love to have it tidy and clean 100% of the year round. Where all of the sewing and cosplay stuff has a place to live, that definitely isn't the floor, and is all sort of 'hidden' away.
  3. Get Wordpress up and running
    My blog is currently hosted on Blogger, but I'd like to make a switch to Wordpress next year, in order to expand the customisation I can do here. This task is mostly about committing to spending the money on a Wordpress plan and making the most of it. I may yet decide to leave this for another year, we'll see how the next task goes!
  4. Stick to a blog schedule
    Life gets busy and I find it hard to find the time to post up new blogs. Really, the only thing holding me back is taking photos to accompany the text! As of writing this, I currently have 19 drafts in various stages of doneness, but I know at least 3 of them are just waiting for photos. The aim is to have 1 post a week (currently on a Saturday), but I won't give myself a hard time if that slips now and then!
  5. Sew new clothesI have a stack of patterns that I've bought or acquired over the years most of which I still haven't sewn up. If #1 goes well, I'll be able to replace some of those clothes with things I actually like wearing. I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping, because I find it hard to find stuff I actually like or stuff that fits, so I'd really like to get into the habit of making my own clothes more often.
  6. Use up fabric stash
    Leading on, somewhat directly from the previous, I have a large(ish) fabric stash that is currently sitting unused. The majority of it is left over from previous cosplays but I inevitably always find myself needing to buy new fabric for my next cosplay. So I need to use it up, hopefully on some clothes for me!
  7. Complete Unity course
    I bought a Unity course on Udemy a few months ago, and though I've dabbled with it, I haven't got very far. I'm not aiming to become a games designer or programmer, but I do have a couple of game ideas that I'd like to work on in my spare time.
  8. Finish FFXIV questline (up to 3.4)
    It took me a year to finish the 2.0 storyline (but that beast is lengthy), then it took about 6 months for me to reach 3.0, which I am currently on. I often get distracted by crafting or other classes, so if I try to make a push with my White Mage, I'm sure to make it to the end of 3.4 (which came out this week), by the end of the year. It helps that the 3.x patch storylines are considerably shorter!
  9. Open an Etsy shop
    This is something I'm a little scared of doing, but I'd like to see how it goes. One day, I'd love to be sewing full time as a job, and opening an Etsy store is just one step towards that. I need to plan some good makes and see if I can get my name out there a little. Which does mean I need to come up with a good store name, it's not as simple as you think!
  10. Stick to a chores scheduleI am pretty good with getting my chores done, but they do sometimes get left for a week longer than they should. Really, all need to do is sit down and make a list of everything I need to do on a regular basis (washing, cleaning the bathroom etc.) and then assign days and stick to it. Simple!
  11. Use exercise bike regularly
    I bought an exercise bike last month in an effort to get a bit fitter and to lose some weight. Though I was pretty good in the first 2 weeks or so, after that I was quite ill and couldn't really use it. I think half an hour 3 times a week is an acceptable aim. This should probably go on the list I need to make above.
  12. Complete a Duolingo course
    This one isn't particularly high on the priority list, but at the beginning of the year I was doing pretty well with the French course and then I stopped for a couple of days (for some reason) and never managed to start up again. I also started the German one, because I'm going to Germany in February for the FFXIV Fan Fest. So I'd like to finish either one, or at least make a good start again at doing it every day.
  13. Get wedding photos printed
    It's over a year after the wedding and we still haven't got any wedding photos printed, aside from a photobook I created last year! The photobook is great and is basically our wedding photo album, but we got several frames as presents and I'd like to be able to fill them with single photos from the day. I also have a large frame that's made up of individual frames which I've had for years, that I'd like to fill with a range of wedding photos. We just need to find some time to sit down and chose our favourites.
  14. Handmake (some) Christmas presents
    Frankly, this is something I want to do every year, but usually think of it far too late. I don't know how many presents I'll be able to make this year (hence to 'some'), but hopefully this is early enough to start thinking that I will be able to get some made!
  15. Grow nice nails
    I often struggle with my nails and go through periods where they're really not very strong and seem to stay permanently short. Somehow magically, I managed to grow them nicely for the wedding. Since then? Not so nice and I think I need to give them a bit of help towards growing strong and staying long.
  16. Watch more anime
    Usually it feels like I'm spending so much of my time making cosplay that I don't have time to watch anime any more. I have a backlog of half watched series or things I want to start, nevermind the new ones that come out every season. I need to get back on watch them, hopefully whilst on the exercise bike!
  17. Finish in progress games
    Basically, I spend too much of my gaming time playing Final Fantasy XIV. I need to give other games a go (whilst I still want to catch up with the quest in XIV, we'll see how that goes). On the list of games I've started and need to finish are: Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XIII (sensing a theme?), Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Assassin's Creed Syndicate (a Christmas present last year) and Little Big Planet 3 (on loan from someone at work, so I should really make it a priority!)
    Not to mention the pile of games I haven't even started yet, for now, I want to concentrate on finishing the started ones.
At the end of the year or the beginning of the next, I'll update you with what I was able to get done. Here's hoping it's all 17 of them!

Continue reading 17 Before 2017

Pokemon TCG (Oh no)

You may be coming here from Youtube (which you can watch here if you haven't already - opening the Darkai Mythical Collection box), or you may have no idea what I'm about to say, but sit down and let me tell you a story - it's a short one, don't worry.

A few months ago, a friend of mine was posting pictures of some of the new Pokemon cards he'd got. I was vaguely interested because, well, I like Pokemon. That night I had a dream about the cards. I can't exactly remember it now, from what I can remember I was simply opening up a bunch of booster packs. And thus, a very tiny seed was planted, one I didn't notice at the time.

Then, a couple of weeks later, I was watching a vlog on YouTube (from BayleeJae) and she was opening Pokemon cards or talking about them. I thought about the dream I had and I thought 'well, it'd be nice to collect cards again, but I have no one to play with!'. I tweeted such a thought and a couple of people replied to me. Good news! But what would I collect? I'd probably just want one of every Pokemon, I'm not interested in collecting the sets' I said to myself.


I watched a few more videos about Pokemon cards, branched out to some random searches. The urge grew. I happened to be planning to pop into Game later that day to trade in some games, and thought whilst I was there I might as well get some cards for the fun of it. I even got a cute little Gyarados pin!

Settled. I opened them, enjoyed them. Watched some more videos. The next day I was definitely becoming hooked. So much so, that by the afternoon, I'd decided I wanted to start collecting sets, I just didn't know which ones! Then the fact that they have a 20th anniversary one did it for me. I proceeded to have a poke around, and ended up buying 2 of the anniversary sets.

Now I'm totally hooked. I've branched out into other sets. I've bought a couple of premade decks to play with people.

It was my intention to start opening them in videos in order to a) give me an excuse to actually start my YouTube channel, something I've been meaning to do for a while and b) perhaps just very slightly legitimise the buying of the cards. Yeah I know, that last one is a little shakey, I admit! But I haven't been able to stop myself just opening them when I get them, instead of waiting to record it, oops!

Still, I don't intend to stop buying them any time soon, and I certainly want to complete the Generations set. There'll be plenty more to come, and there can definitely be some videos if I get off my but. You just wait =)
Continue reading Pokemon TCG (Oh no)