SP Snow White-Part 3: Accessories

Steampunk is one of those genres/cultures that detail matters. That’s part of the reason I was extremely apprehensive about starting this cosplay. It had to be unique… but it had to also work with steampunk. The main outfit works well with the genre… but it needed those details to really make it work. That’s when I added in accessories. Each accessory has a unique part in the story.

Oh… did I not tell you?  I wrote a story about her! Don’t worry, you’ll get to read it as soon as I finish it. For now… here is a synopsis.

The Kingdom of Landel in the land of Aldoran was once ruled by fair a King; his daughter, Snow White, along side him. They were joyful and at peace until the King married. The new Queen sought to rule the kingdom on her own. After the passing of the King all that stood in the way was her step daughter… the most fairest in all the land. The Queens mission… remove Snow! She had a plan to conquer the kingdom… little did she know the true hearts of those that served the King.

Sounds a lot like the Original right? Well, almost. I mean she is Snow after all. However, in this story there is magic, potions, and deception! Forget the apple… it’s a thing of the past.

17015674_1449430778414064_3938004586006908426_oOne of the first accessories I needed to get started on was the hat which I made out of stiff stabilizer, red velvet fabric, a fake birdie, black head band and some gears and chains. The hardest part was making sure all the little details stayed on the hat and wouldn’t keep falling off. They did just that… quite often. I had to use a glue called quick-bond that worked better for metal. Here is the link to the YouTube video I made for the hat: SP Hat Instruction.

20170710_23043420170518_234324The necklace I wanted to make took a lot of tries and a lot of mistakes. Tip: #1 ModgePodge in a thick layer will crack, #2 Do not put Dimensional Magic on fresh ink, #3 Don’t get stressed. The drawing for the pendant came from a lady in my cosplay group I am in on facebook. I had asked if anyone could draw out a steampunk anatomical heart and she took up the project. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that she did cause it turned out amazing. The picture is on a base made out of baking clay. I tried using metal pendants but none of them were big enough. This pendant is what spurred quite q bit of the story line as well so it’s a very pivotal piece.

20170524_230212The bracer with the nautical compass was a little bit of a challenge. Trying to put a flat metal object on a small rounded forearm is not that easy. Luckily I have an engineer for a husband. He cut out two pieces of light wood that sat underneath the compass and took up the space between the base. I added a coil to give it a bit more steampunk flair but it was a last minute detail so it is not pictured until the completion.

20170521_163755The watch bracer has a particular part to the story. The hunter gives it to Snow to protect her. It makes her invisible to the Queen for a certain amount of time. When the clock stops the spell is no longer active and the mirror in which the queen uses to determine if there is anyone fairer than she, will know that Snow is alive. This brace involved a few layers of gears, clock face, and clock hands. The two glass bottles on the sides is what houses the potion to keep the spell active.

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Base painting!

On to the gun! Goodwill or any thrift store that sells toys is an amazing place to find cheap Nerf Guns. It doesn’t have to work, but you do want it to be the right look.

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Honestly I could’ve got a smaller one, but I really liked the revolver idea. I did a couple base paints with some Krylon spray (best stuff for plastic) but I ended up painting over that as well. One thing that is problematic is the paint you use to do the detailing with. I tried to used normal craft paint and it does not stick to plastic well, especially the metallic or chrome kind. It is definitely possible to accomplish, just be sure to do a few coats over it. When I mean a few… it may take a lot.

I added a few old O2 canisters from the little spray duster cans and put on some silver jar cap looking things. This allowed me to add a bit more in the way of aesthetics. I also added a scope. The scope made me very frustrated. The first time I did it I used wine bottle corks, painted them and drilled a hole through them. I then glued them together and added flat copper wire around each end and in the middle covering up the seam.20170526_221729 Getting the wire to stay attached to the cork and the corks themselves staying together was not working. So instead I cut the length I wanted out of a 1/2 inch pvc pipe, painted it and then added a couple pipe clamps to each end. Now the scope is a heck of a lot sturdier.

I unfortunately do not have a finished pic of the gun with the new scope, but once I get my photo shoot pictures I will.

Every steampunk character needs a pouch to hold whatever goodies they are in. So I made one for snow.

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20170521_163719.jpgIt holds the keys that belong to her heart. If you need to look back at the pendant for this… do so. It also holds some mapping tools and a few potion bottles… oh… and lets not forget a map of the Land! The leather pouch was my own pattern and it is hand stitched. Before stitching leather… be sure to make holes first. Much easier. Less painful. I also created the belt at this time so I could add the extra keys, a holder for the spyglass, and a place to hang the birdie in the cage.

20170521_204209The bird in the cage is done by modeling clay. I’m honestly surprised it has stayed intact but that’s good. The map, which is placed in the pouch, was something of my own design.

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I had never once made a map from scratch before, but I had to try it. I love how it turned out and I coffee stained it the night before the photo-shoot. However, when I got home and when to take out my belt… my map was no where to be found. Yep… that’s right… I’m making another one.

Right next to the bird cage is a strap that goes from under the skirt and attaches to the belt to bustle the skirt up.  At first this was going to be a mechanical piece. We were going to have a pulley system that I could crank and it would come up or go down. Despite our dozen efforts to get it to work, it was just not doing what we wanted it to do. Oh well. Sometimes you have to just move on when things get too stressful and change it up.

There you have it! A complete cosplay.

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There are still a few things I may be adding but it’s finished and I could never be happier.

Remember that these things take time. Do not rush yourself. Take it one step at a time and NEVER stress on something for too long. Take a break and do something else. Then see what you can do.

Keep a weather eye out… I hope to reveal some photo-shoot shots soon!  Take care and … live long and nerdy!

SP Snow White – Part 1: Design

Never, in all my years of sewing, would I have ever dreamed about doing anything Steampunk related. Why? Well the culture for steampunk is quite unique. You get one thing wrong you may as well say bye bye to your cosplay career. Okay, so it isn’t all that harsh, but it is very specific to certain things and I really wanted to get it right. However, thinking that way made me stress out a lot and at times I didn’t even to work on it. I would stare at my designs and think ‘What am I getting myself into!’. My dear husband who is my supporter, my engineer, and the one who thinks I can do anything, told me I should just go for it and not worry about what others may think. So that’s what I did.

Before any good cosplay there comes a design. Whether it be from an already known character or one that is made up entirely by the cosplayer themselves. We call these originals, which is what Steampunk Snow White is. She is an original. She has her own story line, she has a unique to herself costume, and best of all… it’s the only one that looks like this in existence.

I started out by going through different pattern designs for steampunk. Simplicity Patterns has some of the best so I picked a few of them.

The first two patterns didn’t really fit with what I was going for, but I kept them for future uses (I have plans for more Disney style steampunk).  The other two I looked at more and tried to decide which one would best fit my character. This included drawing out and recoloring to come up with what I wanted.

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The first design was a basic recoloring of the third pattern. This was simple and easy to do and the color scheme was quite nice… but the more I looked at it, the more I felt something was missing. Now, I started this design process in October of last year. It didn’t stare at it every day or spend every waking moment trying to figure it all out. No. I took my time, cause I knew that Rose City Comic Con was another year away.

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 My next step was trying to figure out what was missing. I then decided I would go with out the short jacket, create a cape with collar, add short puffy sleeves, and give it a bit more of a steam punk flair. Note.. this drawing was not as good as my first cause I was rough sketching it while doing something else. 🙂  I showed this to my husband and he liked it… but thought it just wasn’t quite there yet. I agreed. 16708473_1431515353538940_7812896027988799963_nSO I thought… why don’t I mix a couple patterns. I liked the skirt from the first design so I wanted to stick with that.. but I did want something more cape like.

I was FINALLY getting closer!  I loved the jacket in the fourth pattern cause it was longer, like a cape, but still had steampunk flair… and it covered my arms! That was a huge plus. The corset is from the fourth pattern as well but the bottom would have to be changed to a point rather than the upside down V the pattern was.  I almost called this my final design but something was still off. I wasn’t sure if it was the coloring or the design on the skirt or the corset that was wrong, it just wasn’t perfect yet. By this time it was around May and I needed to start sewing and getting to making it as I only had a few more months left before RCCC 2017. So back to the drawing board I went. 16711868_1431515370205605_8912810837188683293_nMy husband was a huge help as he gave me ideas to help me think of other ways I could do this. One thing I did know is that the ruffle front, below the corset, would probably be the one fabric item I would want to throw out.. so that’s when I came up with this!

Although this design says “final” on it… it really wasn’t. However, it was a heck of a lot closer then all the rest. That’s when I started sewing and getting the big part of the costume done. Now i still wasn’t finished. There was a lot of steampunk details that I needed to add. The hat was one of the first things I created… but trying to do the veil was a pain in my butt. I decided not to do the veil which made it possible for me to add other little details to the hat. 20170608_085829Once I was finished sewing the corset, skirt, jacket, and collar piece I needed to work more on the detail. By this time it was around June… my kids would be visiting for the summer and we were about to go on vacation for a week in Kansas. I wanted to get the majority of all the detail work done before they arrived.

This was only a few details but it was finally coming to fruition. I had a bigger and better idea of what I was going to do, to really make this character come to life. The details were as follows:

Necklace with anatomic heart design
Leather belt with Pulley attachment to lift up skirt
Spyglass
Potion bottles
Chains
Nautical compass on Leather Wrist band
Leather wrist brace with clock on it
Gun
Leather holster for gun
Map

The more and more I added, the more excited I was getting about the finished product. I did not get it done before the kids arrived, like I wanted to, but I did finish it while they were here. There were some details that got changed, for example; Leather belt with Pulley Attachment to lift up skirt. We tried very hard to create a pulley system and nothing was working, so I opted for a leather strap that is on the inside of the skirt that comes out and up to the belt. You will see pictures of that later.

No matter what project you are working on Design is always an important step. Your finished product my not look at all like your first idea, but you have to start somewhere!

Don’t forget to follow the blog to stay updated with the next post SP Snow White-Part 2: Sewing Construction. Also be sure to like my Facebook page Angell Cosplay and follow on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

 

What I’ve Been Called For

This weekend I get to work with a Cosplay group called Cosplay Characters for Kindness. They raise money for different charities and attend many charities events for children and adults. At first I was nervous about trying to submit my cosplays to the group, but I just had this gut feeling that it was something I really needed to do. They approved them quickly (I submitted Tinker Bell and Peggy Carter) and I’m now finally a part of a wonderful group for some wonderful causes.

We are raising money for Magic Wheelchair at Cherry City Comic-Con in Salem, OR. This is one of my favorite organizations as they make cosplays for kids who are in wheelchair. I don’t mean they make their clothes… no… they make the WHEELCHAIR a costume!  It is incredible!!! It started off with them having two kids in wheelchairs that really wanted to be involved in Halloween, so they created their chairs into costumes! This was one of their first ones:dragontitle
(Source: Google Images-Magic Wheelchair)

AMAZING right??  But wait… there’s more! Last year at Rose City Comic-Con in Portland, OR they revealed a Green Arrow bike for a little girl!  🙂 Although we didn’t get to witness the reveal while we were there it was wonderful getting to see her in it going around the convention center… biggest smile on her face!!Green-Arrow-Wheelchair
(Source: Google Images-Magic Wheelchair)

Just one more! This one they did for a little boy who was battling cancer. They asked me to show up as Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and asked the 501st Legion to join us as well. It was such a pleasure and an honor to witness this reveal and meet the little boy and his family. screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-7-30-58-am
(Source: Google Images – Magic Wheelchair)

At the Harvest Hustle was where I finally realized why I cosplayed in the first place. It wasn’t for me or the compliments I get, it is for the kids. The reaction when they get to see their favorite character is a huge moment for them! It’s like when you go to Disneyland for the first time and you see the one character you adore the most!!  My fan-girl moment was when I finally got to meet Captain Jack Sparrow!!  I will always remember that time.  It’s the same way with cosplayers… we do it for the memories that we can give others!

I will update about how this weekend goes sometime next week… maybe when Esther is napping! 😀  Being a mom is hard work. Being a mom and a cosplayer… THE BEST JOB EVER!!

 

Please visit these pages, like, and give them some support!!  We can make a difference!
https://www.facebook.com/cosplaycharactersforkindness/

https://www.facebook.com/magicwheelchair/

https://www.facebook.com/cherrycitycomiccon/

https://www.facebook.com/RoseCityCC/

Into the heart of Gaming!

Getting away from cosplaying for a bit as I talk about that a lot, we will move on to something else that I truly enjoy. What’s that? Gaming! Any type of gaming! When I went to Mt. Hood Community College back in 2003/2007 I started to play Yu-gi-Oh. I really enjoyed learning it and playing it with all my other gaming friends, however my interest slowly died out as I got into MMORPG games.

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. That is a mouth full. Some examples would be: Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and Diablo. There are many more out there but these are the four I am most familiar with. As far as MMORPG games go World of Warcraft is my favorite. It’s the first one I was introduced to and it will probably be the one I stick with. I’ve tried Starcraft and Diablo which are both made by Blizzard, however I was not nearly as enthused about them as WoW (short for World of Warcraft). I liked the idea of being able to create  a character that I could somewhat personalize and gallivant around  an entire fantasy world with Ogres, Shaman, Dragons, Gryphons… etc.. the list could go on and on. A couple MMORPGs that are not nearly as big as others is Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Trek. Both are really fun to play. There is also Lord of the Rings MMORPG which is amazing if you love that world, which I do!!

Of course, there are other gaming platforms as well. Nintendo (recently WiiU and soon to be something new… 🙂 ), Playstation, Xbox, and the once great Sega; just to name a few. We can’t forget about card games as well like Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering. Out of gaming platforms Nintendo and Playstation have been my two favorites. However one of the only games I really liked on Playstation was Alias. On Nintendo some of my favorite games are Zelda (any of them), Mario (any type), and Lego (all of them). I told ya I like gaming!

Anyway, all this to say that I just got to talking to two amazing men who have a YouTube Channel called Consuming Fire Gaming. They talk while playing games and they also read scripture!!  It’s pretty awesome and I enjoy watching them. Take a look and subscribe to it.

Oh and a quick spot on Cosplaying. I finished my Elsa cosplay. I was going to wear it to the Harvest Hustle tomorrow, however they needed me in a star wars outfit, so I get to wear Rey again!!  YAY!!

Consuming Fire Gaming You Tube Channel

Consuming Fire Gaming Facebook Page

 

by: Janice AngellWoWScrnShot_102116_235119.jpg

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Quit

​Is there anyone else, aside from me, that gets made fun of for cosplaying or going to comic cons? I thought for sure that after becoming an adult (which was 16 years ago) that I wouldn’t have to deal with immature people making fun of me just to make themselves look and feel better. Just recently I heard someone say that cosplaying and going to comic cons was childish and immature. 
Cosplaying is an art. It takes time, focus, and a great deal of talent in order to create something that you don’t really have a pattern for. It’s not just a costume, it’s a masterpiece. When I go out dressed in whatever I have made, people get to see an art form. It’s like going to a gallery filled with sculptures and paintings that you’ve never seen before. You stop and admire the art that someone put their whole heart into. 

The first cosplay I fully made was the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time. It’s what started it all. The day I finished that costume was the day my father passed away. He always told me that I was talented and that I could do anything. So I did. He never got a chance to see my finished work, but I can hear his voice saying “that’s amazing”. So when I hear someone saying that cosplay is childish and immature, it hurts. It cuts deeper than some could ever imagine. When I was faced with that, I almost gave up until those that were the closest to me reminded me just how far I have come.

I’m 34 years old. I enlisted in the US Navy when I was 18 and honourably discharged on September 11th 2001. I’ve moved to 3 different states since I married the love of my life and best friend.  I have my bachelors in Creative Writing and English, graduating with the highest honours. My husband and I own a house, have a 6 month old baby girl, 2 beautiful and amazing step kids (one who loves to dress up as well and asks me every year to make a costume for her), and I started my own business. I have accomplished a lot, but it wasn’t on my own. I believe in an omnipotent God who guided me and saved me through many areas in my life. He blessed me with a talent to sing, play guitar, write, act, and create beautiful costumes. Through Him I am able to Cosplay and I use it for His Glory! 

Imagine being in a place where people think that Christians look down upon comic cons and cosplayers. This is what happens today. At Rose City Comic Con last year I was walking into the front door when a sidewalk evangelist was protesting the comic con and saying that everyone who went was going to hell. I was shocked. I’m a Christian. I’m a follower of Christ. This disgusted me more than anything that someone could mislead so many people just because they don’t think its right. I don’t see anywhere in the Word of God that says a person can’t have a hobby, read comics, or make costumes. If your a Christian and you do read comics, go to comic cons, or cosplay, be aware of the characters you are portraying. Make sure they are good and clean, and that it doesn’t take away from the Lord. 

When I go to a comic con it’s almost like my mission field. God has blessed me with being able to create some amazing projects and has given me the strength to remind people that it wouldn’t be possible without God. I know what you are thinking… here she goes with that Christian rhetoric… yes, I talk like this, but I’m also there to make friends and to spread the love of God without judging.

To those of you who feel drag down by others because they don’t understand what you do or why you do it, don’t let it get to you. Keep going. Push forward. DON’T QUIT. It’s easy to quit and let them win, but you can’t do it. And for those of you who are the ones that make fun of this craft and the comic conventions… do me a favour… you try to do what we do. It’s not easy, but it sure is fun!! 

Cosplayer 2.0!

It has been awhile since I’ve written anything. I do apologize for my lack of keeping up with my blog. I do have a good excuse, I promise!

Because of being pregnant I have not been able to work on any of my cosplays. I was not able to try anything on or do any photo shoots for that matter. I was, however, able to wear my Queen Gwenivere costume for Halloween. 20151031_113812

I used the wig I am going to be using for Galadriel, but without the extensions.

Since then, my husband and I moved from our townhouse into a home of our own in November, just after thanksgiving. My craft area has become somewhat of a disaster. I don’t have a specific room for everything just yet, however I am making do with what I have.

On January 30th, 2016, my little COSPLAYER 2.0 arrived at a whopping 6lbs 4 oz and 18 inches long!

She doesn’t know it yet, but I have some major ideas for baby cosplays! In fact, I recently made her a Tinkerbell outfit to match mine! I have not made her wings yet, but that will come with time. The pattern for her Tinkerbell outfit is really simple and will not take much to make it again as she gets bigger. Now her Snow White one I have in mind for her, that will take a little longer and I have to wait till she is the size I want her to be for that one.

Now that I am back to my original size (actually I am 15lbs less then when I started) I’ll be back to making and doing photo shoots of my cosplays. I hope to do a photo shoot of the Evil Queen very soon. I still have my Peggy Carter skirt to finish and work on my husband Captain America costume, all before September for Rose City Comic-Con.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

To Cos-play or Not to Cos-play…

Last year, sometime in the summer I believe, I attended my first ever Comic-Con in Boston, Massachusetts. I wasn’t really set on Cos-playing at the time, but I was sure that I wanted to dress up. I decided, since I had beautiful long brown hair at the time, to cos-play Vala Malderan from Stargate SG-1 (the last three seasons). I already had the SG1 black combat uniform because I was Samantha Carter for Halloween a couple years before that.The only thing I really needed to do was straighten my hair and place it in pig tails.

Vala Malderan Cosplay - Boston Comic-Con 2014
Vala Malderan Cosplay – Boston Comic-Con 2014

Who knew that this would start me on a long journey of Cos-playing that has a never ending future. From that time on I have been contemplating many different characters to cos-play. Recently I have gotten involved in a Lord Of the Rings Costuming group on Facebook, which I met at Emerald City Comic-con this past February. After my SG-1 Cosplay I wanted to step up the game and make my own.

Sewing is not new to me. I have made many costumes/outfits in my time but cos-playing is a bit different. It’s a lot more about accuracy and characterization than it is about just making a costume.  I had picked up a pattern for the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time, and knew in an instant that was my next adventure. I started by searching many fabric types that could possibly work and be accurate. I also needed to keep it in my price range, which made picking out fabric quite a challenge. However, thanks to the wonderful 50% off coupons I get from Joann Fabrics, I was able to find a brocade fabric that would work perfect. It was still a bit on the expensive side since I needed almost 9 yards of fabric, but thanks to my mom and dad for a generous birthday gift, I was able to splurge a bit.

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Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time Cos-play Rose City Comic-Con September 20th 2014

Tuesday, September 9th, I started to make the Evil Queen Cos-play. I was planning on wearing it on Halloween  since I wasn’t sure when the next  comic-con was that I could attend. That day I got a call from my mom saying that my dad had passed away from a heartache. This news came as a complete shock and in order to keep my mind off of it, I continued to work on the cos-play. It took me two days to finish it, just before I would fly out for my dads funeral and memorial service. The day of my fathers Memorial was the Rose City Comic-con in Portland. Well, since my dad had given me the money to purchase the fabric for this cos-play, I figured, what better way to remember my dad then showing up in my cos-play at comic-con. As I walked around and people stopped to get pictures of me, I was constantly reminded of my dad and how he would be saying, jokingly, “You ain’t got no talent”. It was a phrase I heard quite often from him when I finished a new project or decorated another cake. He said it to remind me how much talent I do have, and I can’t thank him enough for that.

After this I was so excited for the next comic-con and all the things I could possibly do. However, the next comic-con I went to, I didn’t cos-play at. Instead I went, supporting my F-Cancer shirt from Stephen Amell, and got to meet him as well. It was a huge moment and I do not regret not cos-playing for that.

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Tauriel from The Hobbit Cos-play Photo by: Jenelle and Jan Newton

The next plan was to invade Emerald City Comic-Con with my two cousins. My cousin Jenelle Cos-played Batgirl and I cos-played Tauriel from the Hobbit. This cos-play took the longest to make and had much more fabrication involved. My brother-in-law helped make the leather waist guard and arm bracers after I created the design to be imprinted on it and i made my own bow and arrows out of pvc pipe, craft foam, clay, and other materials. The finished work was amazing and it was the first time I ever had to wear a wig.

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Tauriel, Thandruil, and Bilbo Emerald City Comic-Con 2015

At Emerald City I made a couple friends who cos-played as Bilbo Baggins and Thandruil. Their cos-plays were amazing. I was basically in awe of how much work they put into it. I also knew that I needed to step up my game a bit. They were the ones that told me about the Lord of The Rings Costuming group, which I am now involved in and enjoying the many updates of the cos-plays that people are working on.

I liked my Tauriel so much that I decided I wanted to make another Lord of the Rings character, so I chose Galadriel.

20150505_224852I have not worn this cos-play at any convention, yet, however I have plans to wear it to the next Emerald City Comic-con. For now, I am finished with it and will be doing a photo shoot with my cousin sometime in the near future.

My future cos-play endeavors include: Tinkerbell, WWII Peggy Carter and Captain America (with the help of my dear husband), Storm from X-Men, The Winter Sisters (Frozen), Disney Snow White and the Once Upon a Time Snow White, and Cinderlla.

I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing art form. I’ve met many wonderful people along with seeing some amazing cos-plays that I can’t even begin to imagine how to do it. I’m still new to all of this, but its a growing fascination and I’m getting more involved in understanding what it is to be a cos-player. May I never loose sight of what it really means!