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Looking back on cosplay in 2014

It's been a strange year for cosplay and me. This time last year I was attempting to get some things done sooner rather than later and not leave everything until the last minute. It didn't work so well in the end, I was making stuff right up until Kita and still had a couple of things to finish in the hotel room. I also ended up disliking 3 out of 4 of my cosplays, for different reasons. (Rikku is the exception and I still love wearing her.)

Then I gave myself a break, of about a week, and dove straight back into making Joker. I was so excited to be doing it with my friend Katy and I really enjoyed entering the ECG prelims, but I ended up hating the cosplay. Something I seem to do quite often. I don't know if it was the inevitable stress of trying to finish it before a big competition or what, but I didn't feel like I suited him at all. Maybe it was just my frame of mind, because after we wore them at October Expo I felt much better about him. I'm still not convinced I really suit him, but it is at least nice to wear a matching cosplay with my best friend for the first time.

After ECG my attitude towards cosplay took a hit. I felt like I hadn't stopped for months, and to be quite honest, I hadn't. My personal life was pretty busy too, so it just felt like any spare moment had to be given over to cosplay. Tokonatsu was wonderful as a convention without a heavy cosplay focus and was just a chance to spend a fun weekend with some awesome people.

So I took another few weeks 'off' cosplay. It's sad when it starts to feel like a job. Like you have to do it because there's this event coming up and it's all you can think about. I'd already decided not to make anything new for October Expo - although I did end up buying bits to do Haru from Free, but as this was all bought I had no issues with it. I'll be honest, my resolve wavered occasionally, such as wanting to get Midnight Mauve wear-ready. In the end, I managed to stop myself doing that. I wore it for Distant Worlds - incomplete - which had always been the event I was planning to wear it to.

And then along came Auchinawa, which suddenly leapt on me like a Scottish goat. I was entering MM into the masquerade, and wanted something I knew I could be proud of and so I set to finishing as much as I could. But, I didn't rush. In fact I did quite the opposite. I strived to make everything properly to make sure it was something I could be pleased I made. I started making a sword and had every intention of making a shield as well but it got to the Sunday before the con and I only had half a sword. At that point I realised I'd never be able to finish them properly, certainly not without a lot of stress and sleepless nights which is exactly what I didn't want. So I stopped. I went wearing just my dress and something must have been right, because I won a judges' award. It was the boost I needed. I've since spoken to the judges and understand completely about the things I could do better next time. But actually, speaking to them was another boost because they did seem to be honestly impressed with what I'd done.

So that's what I've learned this year. What I've been trying to learn for about 2 years.
Rushing is not worth it. Take your time. If something isn't done 100% either wear it anyway, or stop with what you have and continue when you have the time. It's not the end of the world, it's only cosplay =)



PS. Sorry for the text heavy post! I'm going to be back on track now - hopefully - with a wider range of posts and will try break up that text a bit =p

Upcoming posts will include my plans for 2015 =)
Continue reading Looking back on cosplay in 2014

Musings

Sometimes I struggle with what to write here. I follow a couple of beauty blogs and I think that I'd quite enjoy doing that. But it's not something I can dedicate my blog to, because cosplay is obviously such a bigger part of my life. I also don't want to be just another blog in the crowd, as it were. On the other hand, makeup does definitely play a role in cosplay, so maybe I can take it in that direction? A specifically, helpful reviews and makeup for cosplay way. Obviously there would be crossover, especially since I do wear makeup every day.

I know I'm not going to get lots of readers overnight, but until I know people are enjoying reading what I post, I don't know whether I'm posting the right things or not =p Which means I may end up with a somewhat random mix of things. I think there's always going to be a cosplay bias, but whether that's something that people will really want to read about remains to be seen. I'll try to alternate some things between cosplay progress, photoshoots, makeup and whatever else I happen to think of.

Con season is ending very soon in the UK which means it's almost time for me to hit the great big pause button on cosplay for most of next year. But hopefully that'll give me more time to spend blogging and doing photography and perhaps even some videography. So I'll very definitely still be around =)
Continue reading Musings
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EGX 2014 Video!

Today I'm sharing with you what my steadicam at EGX London managed to produce for me. I still definitely need a lot of practice, plus I didn't get that much footage. I tried to make the best with what I had and I think I've managed to pull it off. There's one clip I'm especially proud of out of all of them, I wonder if you can tell which?

I quite enjoy taking a view of cosplay from the other side of the lens, and going further in doing videography as well is just another way of expressing creativity I think. You can never have too many outlets for it. At the moment I'm finding it more tricky than photography, since I don't have the steadiest of hands. Obviously the steadicam goes a long way to helping this, but it's not perfect. Perhaps just with more practice I can get it so.

Not only that, but I tend to be a bit shy and/or awkward when asking people if I can take photos or a video. So I often end up with mostly photos/videos of my friends and even then I don't get quite as much footage as I would like. Hopefully, at MCM Expo in October, I can kick this habit of mine. I'm always surprised by the amount of footage I do get - I reckon I have about 30 seconds, but it's actually 4 or 5 minutes, which when cut down makes about 3 minutes of useable footage. I'd love to be able to actually pick and choose which clips I chose though, since at the moment I end up using everything I have that's half-decent =p So asking more people for video shots will give me more clips to work on. I'd still try to include everyone, but it would mean if I had a slightly wobbley shot that I wasn't that proud of, that I wouldn't have to use it.

Anyway, enough of the ramblings, enjoy the video =)

Continue reading EGX 2014 Video!

EGX London 2014

Or Eurogamer as I still insist on calling it.

I first went 2 years ago as Lightning with a friend of mine as Auron, and we were probably 2 of only about 10 cosplayers there. This year felt so much bigger, and though cosplay wasn't the main focus, it was good to see lots more people cosplaying. They also now have a cosplay area and a stage and events going on all day, so it's become a proper part of the event now.

It still remains though, that the focus of the event is gaming and playing games. I feel like when I'm cosplaying, I get very little chance to play the games - partly just because it's often inconvenient if you have (large) props or not the most comfortable of cosplays. Last time I went, we didn't play anything, we just looked around. This time, we got to skip the queue to play Call of Duty (yay?), which we basically failed, miserably, at =p But it was nice to actually play something!

We stopped off at a couple more games (a new Project Diva game, some indie game based of Triple Triad from FF8 which I can't for the life of me remember the name of) but mostly we were walking around and chilling.

I think in the future/next year, I'd like to go 2 days. One exclusively for looking around and gaming, and the other for cosplaying and whatever else there's time to do! It's a great shame to go to such an awesome event (and it really is quite awesome!) and not actually get to be involved with anything there!

I did however also get the chance to try out my steadicam, which I was quite excited for! I took some shots - though only of a couple of cosplayers - and hope to edit them together soon. I'm not looking for a fabulously amazing video, I just wanted to get a feel for doing it. So hopefully for MCM I can pull together a proper CMV =)

PS Sorry for skipping last week's post! I was away all weekend, came back and I was really tired. I realise this week's is also a day late, but shhh.
Continue reading EGX London 2014
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The Rest of 2014

There aren't many months left in this year and there aren't many more cosplay events happening. But I've still got a few to do, and I thought I'd do a run down of my plans for them =)

EGX London
Warrior Rikku - Final Fantasy X-2
Although to be honest, I'm highly considering dropping the cosplay, in order to focus on photography, but, in all likelihood I'll end up trying to juggle the both of them! Hoping to try out my new steadicam =)

October MCM Comic Con
Saturday: Joker - Kuroshitsugi
Sunday: ???
In all honestly, I'm not 100% set on what's happening for Expo, but I should be there, if only to keep an eye on the SEC on Saturday =) Which is why cosplay plans are kind of up in the air =p The two cosplays I had considered wearing, I'm now putting on hold. So it'll probably end up being Rikku (again) or the Midnight Mauve garb if I get it done!

Distant Worlds
Lightning (Midnight Mauve garb) - Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Okay, so I know Distant Worlds isn't a convention, but there's a bunch of us going and I'll be in cosplay so I'm just going to count it anyway =p This is my aim date to get Mightning Mauve at least wearable for. It should definitely be possible, as long as I don't get distracted or procrastinate!

Auchinawa
Ooo, what I'm most excited for! I really don't know what I'll be wearing for this yet, it's a case of seeing what's finished and ready to wear! I may try to sneak in another cosplay between the end of Midnight Mauve and Auchi, but we shall see!!

And then comes a long break. And it may be even longer than you think....
Continue reading The Rest of 2014
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Lightning: Makeup Test & Garbs

A large proportion of my past blog posts seem to be about Lighting, I wonder why. Current ones aren't going to be much better!

I kind of feel like I've hit a brick wall with cosplay, and without going into detail about that now, I decided to stop making the cosplay I was doing yesterday and start something new today. I feel like I need a new project to start on, rather than trying to finish things that have been ongoing for a while. And I'll get to that in a minute.

Anyway, so today I decided to do a makeup test for Lightning, since I needed to style my wig properly and why not?




And this is all because I want to make a start on all the garbs I want to do from Lightning Returns. Each one fits into a category or group so I want to make one from each group =) Midnight Mauve (the purple one in the middle) is the first one on my list at the moment! Hopefully I can start making it in the next couple of weeks, and then fingers crossed it'll be wearable for Distant Worlds in November!

Continue reading Lightning: Makeup Test & Garbs
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August Favourites

To be honest, there aren't a whole lot of favourites for this month, I guess mainly because it's the first. Maybe one day these will become videos, but for my first monthly favourites lets just stick to a blog =)

Seaweed Facial Wash
This is perhaps an odd favourite, because I haven't actually used it this month. It's something I've been using for several years, but I decided to branch out and try some other face washes. I've been using the simple face washes, but to be honest, they're not really doing it for me. The seadweed wash seems to be the only thing that keeps my face mostly spot free. I am very much looking forward to using up the Simple stuff, so I can justify buying some more of this and having nice skin again.

Rimmel Kate Matt Lipstick
I bought one of these lipsticks - 110 - for a makeup test for Miss Fortune. And then I decided to start wearing it on a daily basis, and I've suddenly fallen in love with wearing red lipsticks. The other one of these I really like is 107, which is a bit darker. These lipsticks are pretty long lasting and I really like the matt look.

Carmex
I got this as part of my Glossybox last month. I've always stayed away from Carmex, since I wasn't a big fan of the smell and it made my lips feel funny. But since I got given an entire pot, I thought I might as well start using it. Although there probably are better lipbalms out there, this is so much better than the vaseline I was using. It actually lasts for one. And now I don't mind the smell as much =)

Wilko
Best shop for cosplay supplies, just saying. This is a forever favourite really, but I'm forever going up there for paints and tapes and random bits and bobs. They also have pic'n'mix.

Now I'm going to go try to make September a more interesting month =p


Continue reading August Favourites

Starting Fresh

I thought I'd start fresh with an introductory post about what you may find on here =)

First off, I'm not deleting any of my old posts, so they'll just sit there. But this is no longer going to be purely cosplay progress. I imagine I still will post an awful lot of cosplay since it's a pretty big part of my life (or before 3 weeks ago, I seem to be having an extended break). Other things you may find on here are:

- Beauty/makeup
Recently I've really got into doing more with my makeup and trying to improve my skin - mostly after watching Zoella on Youtube. To that end I may end up posting some product reviews or favourites. Admittedly, a lot of it will apply to cosplay more than every day makeup, but since I use different things everday and for cosplay there will be some separate bits! And of course, some things, like skin care, apply to whether you're a cosplayer or not =)

- Every day life
Okay, so I know that's kind of a vague topic, but it will inevitably find it's way here, and since I don't actually spend 100% of my free time cosplaying, and I do actually plan to start having a life outside of it, hopefully I will have some interesting things to say!

- General geekery
Because I do play various games and I like to read and enjoy the 'nerdier' side of life.

And, hopefully, if life permits, I'm also going to start some bi-weekly (maybe, perhaps?) Youtube videos. I may find it good to write a short blog post to expand on the video, but that is mainly going to depend on the video!


So, there you go. That's roughly what you might expect to see on here in the future. I'm aiming to update every Sunday to start with so I can see how that goes. If it needs to become more or less frequent or not constrained to a day, I shall try to keep myself flexible.

In the mean time, I hope you like what you see, and I hope to see you every Sunday afternoon from now on =)

Continue reading Starting Fresh

Hello...

I'm still getting views and I don't know why, but thank you, dear random people, for at the very least clicking through.
I'm terribly sorry I gave up. I felt like I didn't have much to write (still pretty sure I didn't).

BUT!

I'm gonna rebrand - as it were, I'm clearly not actually a brand - this summer, and see how that goes =)
Continue reading Hello...