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Hi guys, I'm going to the convention in Barcelona manga-xix.ficomic.com/ OCTOBER 31ST TO SUNDAY NOVEMBER 3RD 2013. This is the first time when Im going to the festival abroad (don't mention the festivals and conventions in Russia and Belarus) I hope I can find new friends. Maybe I'll find some of my watchers on this convention. I'd be happy to meet, to communicate or to make photos.
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After my last essay, I decided to springboard off my paragraph about Hope and Vanille and go into why I like them together so much. This is my opinion. If you think you might not like something here, there's a back button for a reason. But don't be afraid to read on, either...

Let me start off by saying that I didn't like Hope all that much at first. People kept saying he was a whiny emo kid and, having not played the game yet, I believed 'em. Then I played the game and read other stuff and saw hey, he actually behaves like a fourteen-year-old kid. OH DEAR ME. It's not exactly common in the series for people to act their age, so this is probably why it and all the other characters threw so many people off. They all acted their age. Except maybe Fang, she was a little more mature. But I digress.

I've been following this couple for a long time. So long that I don't even remember where it started. It probably started with this, though.

It helped that I loved Vanille from the start. She had a fascinating story arc, she was beautiful, adorable, and a great warrioress. You know her binding rod? It has hooks on it. Do you know what hooks do when attached to something with enough tensile strength? They cause a lot of pain. Vanille is no weakling, nor is she a typical chipper genki girl. She does, however, have a very sweet side and she's often very vulnerable, shown by how Fang comforts her (and in turn uses her for comfort) during the game. She came from a community where everything is shared and everyone lives together. That's just how it is. Having no one is probably very strange and lonely for her. As a result, hugging Hope isn't a big deal to her, nor is touching him in general. At least, at the start of the game.

As for Hope... yeah. Let's talk about Hope a second. He's fourteen, and he just lost his mother. The one person he was closest to. Estranged from his father, and deeply attached to his mother. He got dragged along with the Purge. Then he loses her. And he doesn't just lose her. She's shot in front of him by a weaponized airship, then DROPPED hundreds of stories (through no real fault of Snow's, but that's another matter). And he's screaming, goes through a MASSIVE blue screen of death, and has absolutely no idea what to do next except stand there. No direction. No mother to comfort him. No one to tell him everything will be okay. No reason to think everything will be okay.

Then this girl shows up. Years later Hope will admit to missing her smile. Why? It's the first real comfort he saw after losing his beloved mother. And it comes from a very pretty girl who not only embraces him, comforting him, but understandingly tells him "it's too much" and to "face it later" before running off very cutely. And he's fascinated, and drawn to her, and he goes after her, forgetting what had just happened in favor of this girl who smiles and makes everything better for a second. And why not? Stop and think about it, just for a second. Hope just lost his whole world. And then THIS GIRL shows up, gives him all the comfort he could want, and trots off looking mischievous and girlish and very adorable, and he just can't help it.

One could argue that it's the maternal stuff that draws him to her. I disagree. Lightning has maternal feelings for both her sister and Hope. She demonstrates it very clearly in the game, going so far as to assert "[she'll] keep him safe". She taught him how to fight and helped him to his feet. That was the whole point of their trek together through the Gapra Whitewood (SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE OH DEAR ME) and the Nutriculture Complex (and the BSOD Lightning had there). But she doesn't demonstrate more than a mentor/maternal/sisterly nature toward him, and this extends to the almost complete lack of mention of anything about them come XIII-2.

But Vanille still gets talked about. Vanille HELD him up. Assertive when she needed to be. Really chipper when he was feeling angsty. Come on. Grabbing his hand and making him wave and look stupid in Lake Bresha? Hugging him in the Pulse Vestige? Getting dead serious when he says she doesn't understand? Always smiling and cheering him up when he needed it the most? And what about this famous scene in the Yaschas Massif?

He tells her he likes her smile, then says he's just teasing. But is he really just teasing? I'm not so sure. I don't think he is - or, if he was, he wasn't later. Not when he says he misses her smile in the Paddra ruins (the same geographical area where they had their "talk" and confirmed a nonexistent promise). And it probably DID make him happy when she smiled. I mean, look at that SMILE! She has one of the most adorable smiles ever, and it's as bright and cheery as the sun, no matter what. Even in the ending, when everything goes to pot, she's smiling, and it's beautiful. And afterward, Hope asserts that they can change their fate again and see Vanille and Fang again. Of those two, though, who do you think he wants to see most? The woman he barely interacted with? Or the girl who picked him up off the floor whenever he fell on his face?

In the second game, he lost his mentor Lightning, eventually lost his father, lost Fang, and lost Vanille. Eventually, he loses most everything he cares about, and soon the only thing that matters is saving Cocoon and making sure Fang and Vanille are safe. What if he'd hoped they would wake up once they were safe again? What if he'd hoped to be reunited with this girl who probably means a lot to him? He'd be older than her now, but not by a freakish amount, and who knows what might have happened?

But now, she's being held hostage by a group that worships a thing resembling a scary snake-god. That's not cool. But he can't care, because the creepy snake-god took Hope's emotions, I guess to make him a more effective tool or something, and Hope can do nothing except go along with it. He's become the exact thing he always hated: a slave and a tool of monsters. If he knew Vanille was in trouble, would he go after her? For all we know, for the first 331 years he lived in Nova Chrysalia in his (presumably) adult form, he searched for her. Maybe he eventually found her, but in her crystal form, and could do nothing about it.

Ultimately, what draws me to these two is that the development of their relationship is so... how do I put it? Almost like it's "obvious". Kind of like a typical Final Fantasy romance. The good girl to help the gray protagonist. Sure, Lightning was a big help, but she couldn't fulfill all his needs. Vanille lost her entire community except Fang, and Hope lost everything in the end, too. But they helped each other up. I mean, he even tells her to "keep smiling", something she'd told herself on the way to the Pompa Sancta earlier in the game. For all of this, and the crazy amount of "cute" that comes with them, I like to think of it as less of a pairing and more of a key part of both characters' development that, if taken out, would take quite a bit of their respective stories with them. Honestly, I don't like shipping them when Hope's fourteen and Vanille's nineteen (kind of an awkward age gap there) but twenty-four and nineteen, respectively? YES.

And on that note, I'll leave you with this. Because Vanille says it best.

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Hi guys!
I thought it would be a good idea to go through and make a journal entry on how to make an Ahri cosplay. OR pretty much just how I did it:)

This
*** This is just a tutorial on her TOP. There will be another tutorial on her tails, hair, and shoes and skirt. ***

What you will need:
*3d model is GREAT. I loved having it, since I used her in game art that is! But keep in mind there are differences in the in game models and in the splash art! I use this one ---->
lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin…
*About 2 yards of your choice of white and red fabrics. I used silk because I really liked the way they looked- it was a little harder to cut because it frays a little- but I like the way it turned out.
* Red and white thread.
* Sewing machine
* Red zipper


(1) You will start by constructing a pattern out of poster board. Allow yourself a few inches on the sides for cutting and for sewing. (You also have the option of making the chest a bit bigger if you feel like being over the top with it and doing cosplay boobs. - I didn't do this, but at some point I may remake the top with this in mind) Also cut out the pattern for your sleeves. They should be a little wider at  both ends.

After you cut out your fabric for the shirt, start by placing the inside part of the fabrics on the outside and than sewing the seems together about 1 cm from the edge. Make sure not to sew all the way to the top or bottom so that you can also sew the top and bottom of the shirt.

(2) You will want to cut a strip of the white and make sure once you sew the edges it will be about 2 inches wide. This should be long enough to wrap around the top of your chest. Start by attaching the white and where they meet in the center of the back cut a line as long as the zipper. ( don't mind the Velcro just yet- has to do with attaching the tails.)

(3) Once the zipper and white strip are sewn into place you can then work on the tassel hanging from the front of her dress. I found a lovely slightly large button at the fabric store which I attached using hot glue to a long strip of red fabric. I also used a white wedding key which matched her bow type thing as much as I could- I painted it red to match. (I sewed the edges) that I painted a gold strip on the bottom.

This completes the first step of Ahir's dress!

Pics below corresponding with the numbers above:)

-Feo


(1)  Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(2) Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(3)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Please let me know if you have any questions -

xx
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In the LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII Contest, we asked you to create a complete customization of Lightning in a first-of-its-kind challenge. The three winners were selected by none other than Final Fantasy legend, Tetsuya Nomura. Not only did the winners get their art displayed in a billboard on the deviantART homepage, but they will also receive $1,000 USD, a LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII customized Xbox360, an assortment of memorabilia associated with the game, and a signed original sketch from main character designer, Tetsuya Nomura. We would like to congratulate our winners and thank everyone who participated in this contest.

TETSUYA NOMURA’S COMMENTS

At first glance it looks like a CG, and it has a level of quality that makes it look like it was captured as a screenshot. While there were many heroic costumes for Lightning, I was drawn to the femininity of this costume and her hairstyle.

TETSUYA NOMURA’S COMMENTS

With one look I was hooked. The costume itself is sophisticated, and it's also very well done as an illustration. The background that reminded me of the Japanese flag (Hinomaru) matched well with the piece and was beautiful. As an artist, when I look at different works of art, I think to myself "If it were up to me, I would do it differently," but that thought didn't cross my mind once when I saw this picture.

TETSUYA NOMURA’S COMMENTS

It's wonderful as an illustration, but in addition to that, the artist drew in both the front and back views, so I felt the artist's clear intent when they created this piece. The red and blue color scheme was very beautiful, too.



In the LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII Contest, we asked you to create a customization of Lightning in a unique challenge. The three winners were selected by Final Fantasy legend, Tetsuya Nomura. The winning entries were featured on the deviantART homepage, and each winner will also receive $1,000 USD, an original sketch from Tetsuya Nomura and more. See who took home the prizes!
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Hi again loves!

So sorry it's taken me so long to post on here for the next section on the Ahri cosplay. I have already done a tutorial on her sleeves, skirt and her top. I started her tails first and finished them last because well, they were rather frustrating, and I am in the process of reworking them. Once I completely finish my rework on her tails, I will post another how to!
As always, the pictures will be numbered ;3

What you will need:
*At the very minimum you will need 2 yards of white fake fur. I am lucky enough to have an enormous fabric place called Fabric Depot which has it's own section for fake furs! I got one that was long, straight, soft and beautiful! Fake fur can be pretty spendy, I got mine for 29.99 a yard (1)
*Needle/thread
*Firm Foam (I cut mine appropriately) (2)
*Stuffed animal stuffing
*Wire
*Industrial Strength Velcro
*Some fabric or a small belt.
*Some hot glue and a hot glue gun
*Some (preferably) white velcro

First you will decide how large you want your tails to be. I wish I could have made mine bigger but the fact is that I wanted to be able to move freely and not knock anyone or anything over while at conventions, etc. (They still tend to be a bit in the way regardless!) so I made them each about 3 feet long- and they are cut in a shape where they are thinner at the tops and bottoms and thicker in the center. 

You want to always make sure you sew something inside out, so that the pretty side has no seems showing, etc. It can be kind of hard to transition it once it's been sewed - but with perseverance and lots of work you will be able to put them the right way XD

Once you have made them into empty sleeves, you will be able to start stuffing. Put some fluff into the tip top of the tail, and then place one of the foam strips into the sleeve of the tail. (I made sure to carve out all edges on the foam strips because you can see the shape very well through the fur that I purchased. You will then stuff the remainder of the tail and around the foam piece to create firmness (but not too firm!!) and full softness.

Next you will take the wire (3) and cut about 1-2 feet long strips. You will place the wire into the tail, through the foam piece, ad back down and then twisted a round the other wise of wire. You will take those two end pieces sticking out of the tail to attach to the belt and the tails together. (4)

After you have attached wiring to all the tails, you can decide the way you want to place them. I chose to put 5 tails on the bottom, and then 4 tails on the top. I attached small amounts of the hairs together with hot glue. (5) This allows them to still be attached to one another for structure and support but also it allows them some movement and freedom. You may also choose to line the tails with wire so that you may place them accordingly, I have yet to do this because the wire I picked up wasn't strong enough- and I decided to make do with what I had!

Once they are attached to each other you can place the wire into the belt and bend it off. This will hold the tails to the belt.

Once you have this completed you will then attach some of the industrial strength velcro to the tails  first putting a layer of felt for more traction (6) and to the back of your shirt (7) this will allow them to be up and attached to your back! If you choose you may also get some strong wire, and line the tails before attaching them to the belt so that you can position them however and now have them be attached to your top. I however, chose not to do so! But I would love to see how it went if you do! :3

What I did to make sure that you couldn't see the velcro when I had the tails down, was hot glue a strip of fur to cover so that if I felt like it they could hang down behind me ad not look awkward! (8) You may also do so to your top, but I have yet to do that yet!

Here is a tip on how to wear the tails, the belt goes on in between the two layers of the skirt. It makes things look okay and it hides the belt fairly well!

I hope you guys got some useful information or that I helped out!
:3


And here is the finished product on!

-Feo




Pictures:
(1)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(2)This was the only picture I could find of the foam I bought, sorry! 
Image and video hosting by TinyPic (the paint is the same paint I used for the detailing on my skirts/shirt)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(3)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(4)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(5)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(6)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(7)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(8)Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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Hi again guys!
Here is the tutorial for the skirt. I started similalarily to how I did with the top- But first! Let's talk supplies.

You are gonna need:
*White fabric (I used some satin)
*Fabric paint- I use Jacquard brand - Gold an a red. (5)
*Paint brushes of all sizes- primarily smaller and thinner ones.
*Red ribbon
*White thread of course

----I will correspond the bottom pictures with the points below----


You can start by taking your measurements- using the pattern method from the shirt create a pattern. Make sure to make the pattern about 2 inches larger than you are to allow enough space for sewing/breathe room. It is also important that you make sure to make the top layer of the skirt larger at the bottom so that it sticks out in the nice points like she does in game:)

I made my skirt in 2 different pieces. The top half and the bottom half.

1) First I will talk about the bottom half of the skirt;
I first created two pieces to sew together in the front and the back (The seems will be covered by your top half of the skirt. The outside of your thighs will have a seamless point after you attach the two pieces together. Along the bottom of the skirt- about to inches from the bottom I painted a thick line of paint (the gold and red mixed to give it a pinkish tone) after you paint the bottom, you can sew the ribbon along as well.

2) After you let that dry, start painting the swooshes in the red paint on top of the previously dried shade. You will also do a thin line of gold along the top, and on either side of the gold you should line very carefully the gold in red. I generally do about 2 coats of paint.

3) Now you can move onto the top half of the skirt. The skirt will be resting at a high point of your waist so it may seem short- and that's okay!
Make the pattern into two pieces- the front should have a pointed tip (3) in the center and the back should be straight across (4). You will now paint along the bottom of the top half with gold paint- lining the bottom edges with the red ribbon as you did with the bottom section of the skirt.

I used one of Ahri's 3d models to map out what I was going to paint. Here is that link again-
-----> lol.zones.gamebase.com.tw/skin…

Unlike most I just free handed the designs which sorta messed me up but was also really nice to have that freedom. I definitely recommend that you do design out where you will paint before hand to eliminate any mess ups! Make sure on the top half of the skirt that you invert a point and line it with gold paint (also some red on the outside)

I can't stress how important it is that you take your time on these designs. The paint doesn't come off very easily- so mess ups won't be forgiving sadly! But I found that the small amounts of the gold will come off with soapy water.

That pretty much wraps up the tutorial on the skirt.

1) Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
2)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
3)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
4)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic (back details)
5)Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Finished skirt with both halves together. ) Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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Hello again!
This is the tutorial for the sleeves of her dress. It is debatable whether or not her sleeves are attached to her top or not. I personally made them separate because It would be even more constricting than it already is XD. I would have liked to made the top of my sleeves a little bigger and I may redo them- but that's for something else. :3

In my first initial post about Ahri's top I posted a picture of the patterns I made, the stencil on the left is the one I made for the sleeve. I know it looks big, but it should! You want to leave enough room at the top and the bottom of the sleeve so it will flair out.


--- As always, pics coordinating with numbers! <3 ---
What you will need:
* Red fabric (I used satin)
* Red thread
* A strip of your white fabric
* Your fabric paints
* Paint brushes and some water/ a paper towel or two
* Optional; Wire (used to shape the top of the sleeves)

First you will make your pattern, measure the top of your arm and stretch it out so that you can visualize how far you want the top of the sleeve to point out. Then measure near your elbow, making this a bit closer to the skin so it pulls in and measure around your wrist the length that you want the sleeve to be.

You will want to sew the white strips into rounded edges so that you can place it at the top and bottom of the sleeves, and once you sew the sleeves together you can flip it to the outside and begin painting! Yay!

So, I used the same two paints I listed in my previous tutorial about the skirts. I used plain gold, a dark mix of more red, a mix of more gold and just the plain red. I didn't make a stencil, I just worked free handed on her sleeves, I tried making one, but it wasn't working out so I decided to be patient and try my luck!

Once you have your colors mixed you can begin the painting process. I cannot stress how important that 3D model viewer is if you're wanting to go my the in game art (which I always do). That is how I did the sleeves, by looking back and forth and trying to keep my hand steady. It can be very tedious and time consuming- but it's really worth it if you have the time.

Near the shoulder you can see that she has some designs in a more red coloring, and down further she has the designs that start at her wrist and move around and up her arm.
The coloring you will use will be the bright gold as you work your way up the arm with the pattern you will start to shade into the other colors accordingly increasingly getting darker.

If you decide you want to use the wire option - I got some fairly thin, pliable but also very strong wire, stupidly I threw the wrapper away before taking note of what the size was and brand :(

But with that said, I used the same wire to make part of my tails so it will come in handy either way!
What you will do is cut the wire with some wire cutters that is the length as the sewn white strip that you attached to your sleeve- you will slip it into the space created by sewing it to the sleeve.

That pretty much sums it up, most of it is patience, and a steady hand. Unfortunately as I mentioned I didn't use any stencils and it worked out for the most part for me- but you are welcome to try your hand at some patterns and I would love to know how it comes out!

Pictures:
1)Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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FFXIII-2 Lightning ~*The Chest Armor*~

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 7, 2012, 5:54 PM
  • Mood: I Have To Pee
  • Listening to: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
  • Watching: My XNALara screen...
  • Playing: Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • Drinking: H20


On today's update of Lightning progress, I would like to share with you a couple of DO's and DON'TS for this armor.

I would also like to direct your attention to :iconyuuri-c: who has started writing her own helpful tutorial on Lightning's Valkyrie Armor. Her work is really stunning and I highly recommend the tips and tricks she provides.

And for those of you wanting to cosplay Serah from FFXIII-2, yuurisan's twin :iconyuuri-k: has also written a great tutorial. CHECK THESE OUT. YOU WON'T REGRET IT.

Anyway, yesterday I began work on the front chest piece for Lightning, and let me just say, it was a bit of a learning experience. I knew what I was getting into but I didn't know how to go about some things a certain way. It's kind of that thing... "Hey, I think this will work great this way." But it really doesn't go exactly how you envisioned it. This is one of the ways:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
  Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


As you can see in the image above, I assumed that wiring would be best to make the ribbed curves at the bottom of the chest plate. I was thinking I would be able to slice into the top of that to give it an angled look.

WRONG.

It created a bony texture, something that looked nothing like Lightning's sleek geometric design at the base of the torso armor. This first version also had a problem with bending to the right shape.

After a disheartened night, I went to work the next day (today) and thought it out more in my head. I eventually decided the best way was to dissect the areas and then glue them back together to get an angular look.

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   Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


WELL THAT DID THE TRICK.

The image is a little squished here, but it came out BEAUTIFULLY. It's very geometric at the base, and with the help of my loving fiance I was able to get this piece done. All that's left is to make some minor adjustments here and there and then modge podge the hell out of it, make a fabric base backing to hold it all together and I'll be set.

For those curious about the armor tutorial:

entropyhouse.com/penwiper/cost…

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