Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animazement! 2011!

One of my favorite local conventions here in Raleigh is Animazement, which was just this weekend!
Animazement Friday, 2011: Black Butler Costume Group
Black Butler Cosplay Group - My Ciel costume is one of my faves! (Friday)

This year was the first year I reprised an old role at the same con (Ciel Phantomhive - but I had a new costume), AND the first time I'd made a huge part of my costume (sewing my Eruka Frog dress). Exciting! People were still excited about Black Butler, but they were *mostly* excited about the fact that we had a Tanaka. Ciel Phantomhive costumes are pretty common, but having a collection of most of the servants AND a male Sebastian - still pretty exciting for people. Michelle just started calling us "Tanaka and the Pips."

Animazement 2011 Saturday: Soul Eater Group
Soul Eater Costume Group (Saturday)
I'm not sure what it is about conventions, maybe it's just knowing you're surrounded by other geeks, or maybe it's having your picture taken and taking pictures, wearing costumes and checking out everyone else's ... I don't know what it is, but it's SO FUN.

Highlights include Stormtroopers dancing to Lady Gaga at the Saturday dance, watching Nick's face during the KuroPop panel, getting free photoshoots with Frost Photography - AND my friends Ruth, Alan and Stephanie won the Face-Off challenge - WINNING PICTURE!
Animazement 2011 Saturday: Face-Off Winning Team
Face-Off like the show! With a random bag of supplies they had an hour to do that. Awesome!

Other favorite costumes (in order): Ron Weasley (Very Potter Musical), Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony), Yotsuba & Cardbo (Yotsuba), and adorable Star Wars family and King Boomy (Avatar: The Last Airbender).

Animazement 2011 Saturday: Steampunk & Ron Weasley (Very Potter Musical)Animazement 2011 Saturday: Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

Animazement 2011 Saturday: Yotsuba!Animazement 2011 Friday: Cardbo!

Animazement 2011 Saturday: Star Wars familyAnimazement 2011 Friday: King Boomy (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Well, I think I've finally recovered from the convention. Now to get back to making non-convention related stuff - like jewelry and quilts and whatever else!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Refilling the Old Etsy Shop with Geekery

I've been working really hard on making new stuff for my etsy shop - especially jewelry, because I'm totally into that! Especially jewelry inspired by Game of Thrones or the Discworld. So, check out my shop, Futuregirl Leah Riley's Etsy Shop, if you're interested in perusing some new stuff, and here's a few samples:

Tears of Lys Necklace (Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire inspired)
Tears of Lys Necklace
Ned Stark: I've heard it said that poison is a woman's weapon.

Lord Vetinari Stamp Necklace!
Lord Vetinari Stamp Necklace - Ankh Morpork / Discworld Stamp

Reversible Discworld Bonk / Ankh Morpork necklace
Bonk / Ankh Morpork Reversible Stamp Pendant NecklaceBonk / Ankh Morpork Reversible Stamp Pendant Necklace

And, for the food lovers, Red Beans & Rice Bracelets are now in stock!
Red Beans & Rice Bracelet

I'm working on some new necklaces based on some other characters from the Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones series. If there's a Game of Thrones character you'd like to see some jewelry based on, then feel free to suggest it! (Also, sometimes the comments are wonky here, so feel free to email!)

Oh yes, and here's my shop one more time, for your shopping pleasure!
Futuregirl Leah Riley's Etsy Shop

Pony Creator on DeviantArt

Are you as obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as I am?
There's a Pony Creator over on Deviant Art and I am just completely wasting my morning with it! (As are several of my friends!)

Here's me and Nick as ponies, and my TARDIS pony:
Leah & Nick Ponies (he made his)


Here's a link to the Pony creator!
Pony Creator!
(Note: There are no cutie marks yet)

I couldn't figure out how to be a unicorn, so how does that work guys?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cosplay: Working on Eruka Costume

Not my picture, it's from here on DeviantArt

I'm dressing up as Eruka Frog (a good witch) from Soul Eater this weekend at Animazement, and I'm working on making the dress. I've got the wig from Epic Cosplay and I actually ordered the hat from Amazon (who knew?) - so I'm working on the dress.

Eruka Frog Cosplay - Dress Pattern Mess
Dress Mess
This is the first time I'm making a whole dress from a pattern, so it's kind of intimidating. Plus, of course, I'm altering the pattern, so it's not entirely straightforward. I'm using Vintage Vogue pattern #2267/V30 and shortening the skirt. We'll see how this turns out. I'll be sure to post pictures.

Also! Here's me in my wig:
Eruka Frog Cosplay - Wig Before Cutting (& me)
White hair would be so fun if it didn't take so much upkeep!
More posts soon!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Draw Your Cats

Cats with Wings
Cats with Wings by Foley

I love it when people take pictures of their pets, but I really love it when people draw or paint their pets.
Thank goodness, there's the meowoodle tumblr (which does not update nearly enough IMO) dedicated ENTIRELY to illustrators and artist's depictions of their cats.

The picture above is one I found on flickr from one of my friends (so not from meowoodle, though it certainly deserves to be there). I have even done a painting of one of my old cats, and I think I should make do more.

ANYWAY! Meowoodle! Here's some of my favorites:



I'd really like to encourage everyone I know to do a drawing of their pet - I think it really shows the personality of the animal that *we* see that may not come through in the blurry pictures we take!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Valar Morghulis Bracelet - v 2.0!

Valar Morghulis Bracelet - Song of Ice and Fire - Arya Stark - Game of Thrones
I am finally adding things to my Etsy shop again! Here's my Valar Morghulis bracelet (well, the second version of it). I really love how it came together. It's based on the storyline of Arya Stark from George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire series.

I just started reading them a few months ago and Arya is by far my favorite character. Part of the inspiration for this bracelet is based on what happens in books two and three (Clash of Kings and Storm of Swords) and it's a bit spoilery, so I guess I can't post about it? Maybe I'll add that on to the end of this entry under a SPOILER headline.

Anyway, I've been very inspired by the series, and I've made lots of jewelry and I can't wait to put it all online. I hope other people like it too. Even if they don't, I think leather bracelets with skulls and foreign coins are super cool anyway. More jewelry in the near future!
Oh, and here's a link to my shop so you can keep an eye on it if you want:
Futuregirl Leah Riley's Etsy Shop

Okay, so the strands represent the people left in Arya's "prayer" wherein she lists all the people that she wish would die, and the four skulls represent the four of those that she has killed - two through an assassin, one in a swordfight, and the Hound she left to die (so I assume he's dead) - so that's what the number of strands and skulls represent! Also, the coin is from when she gets the coin and phrase "Valar Morghulis" in order to get passage to Braavos.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

World Beard and Moustache Championships 2011

Gerhard Knapp, 2nd Place in the Freestyle Beard category, World Beard and Moustache Championships 2011
Second Place in Freestyle Beard 2011 (can you believe this is only 2nd?!)

In case you were unaware, last week (May 11) was the World Beard and Moustache Championships! I actually keep up with them a bit since I mention them in my illustrious best-selling mini-comic "10 Things To Do With a Fake Moustache" (it's part of number nine).

This year, the US took six gold medals, but they haven't really posted the details about everything yet, since I imagine everyone is still getting back from their Beard Tour of Norway (not even kidding, that's what they called it!)

Ghandi, 1st Place Winner of the Freestyle Moustache @ World Beard and Moustache Championships 2011
Ghandi, First Place Freestyle Moustache Category 2011

I have to say that my favorite is the freestyle categories.

Freestyle Moustache Category Description:
All moustaches that do not match other classes. The hairs are allowed to start growing from up to a maximum of 1.5 cm beyond the end of the upper lip.
Aids are allowed. <----- Not sure what this means, but AWESOME!

So, I'll be needing to update my mini-comic to once again be accurate (until I can make mini-comics out of psychic paper). In the meantime, if you need some moustache tomfoolery, here's a Category by Category Analysis of the World Beard and Moustache Championships and my favorite picture of me with a moustache:
HeroesCon 2006: Bleach Cosplay + Fake Moustaches
My Favorite Fake Moustache Picture

Monday, May 16, 2011

Absolutely Small's Adorable ABC Book (Friday Find, delayed due to Blogger outage)

I read a lot of other crafty and artsy blogs, and one of my current favorites is Absolutely Small. Just last week she posted pictures of the amazing ABC book that she made for her daughter Olive. The letters are all represented by pictures and it's a felt book so she can enjoy it now!

Check out this awesomeness:
Y is for Yoda, Z is for Zelda
Y is for Yoda, Z is for Zelda

S is for Sun and Stars, T is for Totoro
S is for the Sun and Stars, T is for Totoro

Including other awesome illustrations (X is for X-men, W is for Wookie, O is for Olive herself!) I am just thoroughly happy that this exists and feel inspired just looking at it. It just warms me down to the cockles of my heart!

You can check out all the letters here in Absolutely Small's Flickr group - Olive's ABCs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Screwing Up - Quilting Edition

Amish Brickwork Quilt - UR DOING IT WRONG (Does Not Compute)
I am getting better at screwing up. Though how I managed to put together an entire quilt block upside down is a little beyond me. It was really depressing for about a minute (because they take at least some work to put together) but then, THEN! I noticed it!

Here's a picture of the finished quilt:
Does Not Compute Quilt Pic
There in the robot tummy is Quilt Block Redemption! The design goes backwards there! I wasn't screwing up, I was unintentionally working ahead! So instead of doing blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, I'd done 1, 2, 18, 4!

This isn't exactly a lemons-to-lemonade style thing, but I'll take what I can get.
Just for reference, here's the design with the correct (new) quilt block:
Amish Brickwork Quilt (Does Not Compute)

I think Thursdays are just going to be either Fail Days or Thrift Days (if I can ever stick to a schedule) so be prepared for that.
Have you seen any good craft/art/sewing fails? Or created any of your own?
I'd love to hear about them (to further help me feel less derpy).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pegasus Bracelet

Pegasus Bracelet for Annie
Michelle had given me this pegasus brass stamping forever ago because we both agreed that Annie should have *something* with it.

I kept meaning to do something with it.
For the past two years+.

Finally, yesterday, I did! I combined some ribbon I had in very Annie colors, with a brass cuff bracelet from Ornamentea. I "aged" the brass stamping by first washing it, then painting on it and wiping the paint off (seems silly, but it makes sure the paint stays more in the creases, which makes it look older, so there you go).

Then I sealed it, and sewed it on! Voila!
What took me so long? Oh, you know, worrying that I was going to screw it up probably. It's not perfect, but I like the way it came out. Plus! I learned that patina-ing brass using vinegar takes forever/overnight, so plan ahead if you want to try that (I started, then went with the paint instead!).

Does anybody else have a project they've been putting off forever? Maybe we can have a "Finish it" week sometime soon to motivate us all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Same Hill, Different Day (by Paul Octavious)

This inspiring project is called "Same Hill, Different Day" by Paul Octavious. Paul found the hill in 2007 while walking around Chicago and has been taking pictures of it all the time since. He sums it up beautifully, “The hill is my stage and the locals are the actors in this daily play.”

Same Hill, Different Day by Paul Octavious

Boxy Bag (with a link to Tutorial)

Boxy Pouch!  With Skulls & Stars
I found this adorable boxy bag tutorial yesterday! I had this fabric that is perfect for my friend Michelle, but I didn't know what to do with it, exactly. I only had approximately one fat quarter, and I was tired of making drawstring bags, or the usual zippered pouches.

Googling about, I turned up this gem of a tutorial for little boxy bags by three bears. The end product is pretty small, about 4.5" x 3" x 2", so it's perfect for small things, or perhaps notes about how someone's birthday present hasn't come in the mail yet.
Boxy Pouch!  Sideview

I really like the instructions on how they handled the zipper, and it makes it go even faster since it's unlined (it's so small that it doesn't need it).

I also found a great tutorial for making a cute bag out of tshirts (of which I still have a pile, if you don't remember) so I think I'm going to try that next!

Monday, May 9, 2011

200th Post! Steampunk Jewelry!

Yay! I've made it to 200 posts! I'm kind of proud of myself because I wasn't entirely sure how well I would keep up with this blog, but it's fun to take pictures and share them, and I am pretty much constantly making *stuff*, so here's hoping for another 200 to rapidly follow!

I've been working on some new jewelry recently (besides the Game of Thrones inspired stuff). Here's what I've been working on:
Stardust Necklace - Work in Progress
Moon in a Dewdrop - Work in Progress
Tesla Necklace - Finished?
Time Curls Around Me Like a Coccoon - Work in Progress
This Too Shall Pass - Work in Progress

I'd been holding onto all these pieces of jewelry that I've been scared to use in case I didn't use them the "perfect" way, or complete a project with them that really held up to the idea/picture I had in my head. I've finally learned to combat this type of thinking in two ways:

1) Each time I make something, I learn something
Nothing is perfect, and even if the end product isn't anywhere near what I wanted
2) I am not using the very last (sparkly star pendant, mother of pearl bird) in existence
Just go for it. You can probably find another one online somewhere
Mostly, I tell myself to relax and have fun. Working on it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Week in Review: Clockwork Ball, Flowers & Stuff

Clockwork Ball: Steampunk Nick - B&W
Wrecking once's car, then finding the repairs were going to be more than the car was worth, finding a person to sell it to, and then going through the rigamarole that is involved in selling it - it takes a lot effort. Also, it kind of makes you feel like an idiot for being in a wreck.

Clockwork Ball: My Outfit is Stripey
That's part of why I haven't updated, I've been feeling like a big dummy for wrecking my car, and trying to figure out what to do next. Also, I've been sort of busy - we had our friend Rachel stay with us over the weekend, and we went to the Clockwork Ball. (This is Rachel, she is awesome)
Clockwork Ball: Rachel Super Lolita Stylez

There were auditions (for Nick) and a benefit dinner that we attended. It's kind of been a blur. But! I have been working on making some new jewelry for my etsy shop. That whole Ornamentea shopping spree will do that to you.

More updates on jewelry, quilting, and everything else coming soon! In the meantime, here's some pictures of my cheery flowers. Can anyone else who's watched Ouran High School Host Club manage to say "Lobelia" without singing it twice?
Lobelia - LOBELIA!