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Just wanted to make a headliner post for the rest of the year regarding my planned conventions and Cosplay projects. I'll edit this journal throughout the year as I make plans to attend more events or work on costumes. If you would like to read about my convention and Cosplay experiences, check out my website here. I will continue to add new photos to my DA account when I get photos back from shoots, but I will no longer be writing detailed journal entries.

I now have an Instagram account. You can view it here.

2017 Conventions:

Toronto ComiCON | Anime North | Fan Expo Canada | Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show

2017 Planned Handmade Costumes:

Madoka Kaname - School Uniform (Madoka Magica) [Complete] | Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Man [Complete] | Kagome Higurashi (InuYasha) [Complete]
I meant to post here again after Toronto ComiCon, but I never got a chance until now. Anime North is almost here and I've been super busy over the last few weeks gearing up for the con. April was a big whirlwind as my older brother got married at the end of the month so things were a bit hectic for several days. 

I haven't been working on any costume projects over the last few weeks. It's a weird feeling to not be sewing in the last few weeks before Anime North given that I see AN as my big con of the year. I've been so busy in other ways that not having to worry about sewing is kind of a big relief. Regarding costume plans, I've decided to re-wear my Young Bulma costume from Dragon Ball for Friday of Anime North. It'll be my first time re-wearing the costume since 2013 so it's a bit of a blast from the past. I'm mostly wearing it as a comfy option for Friday's Nominoichi. I figured it would be another hot year given how warm it was in much of April, but it looks like the con might be slightly chilly and possibly rainy on Friday so I'm regretting my decision a bit. >.< At least with the bright pink dress and the blue ponytail wig, the costume will make it easy for people to spot the table I'm sharing with my friend Adrien. I'll be at table N117 on Friday night from 7 - 10:30 PM. I have lots of figures, gashapon items and trading goods from Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Vocaloid and Madoka Magica along with toys, games and plushies from several other series so be sure to stop by! I'm taking reservations until next Tuesday night and you can see my sale list here. That covers quite a bit of what I'm bringing, but not everything! Packing boxes and writing price lists have kept me super busy over the last few weeks! I hope the Nomi ends up being a productive and fun event, but I love talking to people who stop by the table whether or not they buy anything as I find the event to be quite social. I'm really looking forward to it! :3

My Saturday Cosplay plan is to re-wear my new Madoka Magica school uniform and Cosplay as Madoka Kaname again. I'm really excited to re-wear it after finishing it for Toronto ComiCon. I'm still super happy to have finally finished that costume as it was a dream costume of mine. It took a very long time, but it was worth the blood, sweat and tears! After finishing with Cosplaying for the day, I'm looking forward to hitting up the hotel pool and relaxing. Once the Nomi is over my schedule is wide open. I'm a bit bummed that I don't have enough network connections to know any photographers to book for a shoot of Madoka, but I'll try to go to the photo alley on Saturday to get some pics. Hopefully in the summer I'll organize a private shoot of Madoka with my friend Elemental.

Sunday will be casual for me. I usually try to check out the dealer's room on Saturday evening and then artist alley and the crafter's corner on Sunday when I'm out of costume. I am pretty excited to see my friends at the con and all the fun craft items and prints in the artist alley and the crafter's area. I'm not sure how much shopping I'll be doing in the dealer's room as I already have several figures on hold from tables in the Nominoichi so I probably should ease back on shopping. I'm finally clearing some of my shelves with the Nomi and here I am immediately filling them back up again. XD The life of an Anime fan indeed!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to another fun Anime North! In June I hope to go fabric shopping to get started on my next costume project over the summer. Despite finding sewing my Madoka school uniform to be quite gruelling, after taking a couple of months off from sewing, I'm itching to get back into it again. My aim is to finish another costume before Fan Expo so we'll see if I can do that.  Plus I would like to do one or two other shoots of older costumes over the summer.

Finally, I do still plan to open a Facebook and/or Instagram account. I've been so busy lately that I haven't had the time. I'll probably do that in the next few weeks so stay tuned for that! 
First of all, we're well into 2017 now and I've actually been quite productive in terms of my Cosplay goals for the year. The last time that I updated here I had just started working on my Madoka school uniform costume and although it took me 3 months, I just finished it on the 17th. I did debut the costume at Toronto ComiCon and I'm so happy that I finished it and with how it turned out! I do have a full costume write-up on my website. I didn't do a shoot although Pan took some photos of me on my phone so I have some photos of the outfit on my website as well. 

My main reason for updating here is that I'm noticing that over the last few years things have become quite quiet here on DeviantART. General activity has really dropped off. DA was my main way for sharing my costume photos and convention plans socially and I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions for other places that would be great sites to share costume pics and what not through social media. What platform is best? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Something else? Not that I'm planning to abandon DeviantART, but I'm wondering if I should join some other site too. I know Facebook is pretty popular, but I've avoided joining that site even on a personal level. Is it worth it for Cosplay? I'm not sure if there are enough people left here to give me a good idea of what's best, but I would appreciate any input on this. I'm like a dinosaur when it comes to joining social media sites. XD

I'll update here later with a bit more about Toronto ComiCon and my thoughts on finishing Madoka, but I would love to get some advice about social media platforms first.

It's been a while since my last update and it was both an eventful and yet quiet end to the year. I had a goal of actually working on costume things over the holiday break and I ended up being moderately productive. I’m working on modifying the pattern that I used for my Sakura Haruno blouse for the shirt and under shirt for Madoka Kaname’s school uniform. I’ve been working on a mock so I’m hoping it will come together. Wish me luck. I’m cobbling together a few patterns to try to make this work. I know I’ve mentioned wanting to do this costume for the last few years so we’ll see if it actually happens for 2017! I'm kind of hoping to get this costume done for Toronto ComiCon in March. If that doesn't work out then I can still aim for Anime North. 

I visited with Ammie last month. I haven't seen her since the summer of 2015 and I've really missed her in 2016. We usually Cosplay together from series like Sailor Moon and Resident Evil and she's a great Cosplay partner. We discussed some costume ideas. I might try to go to the Sailor Moon celebration event next June and finally Cosplay as Super Sailor Chibi Moon to match with her Super Sailor Moon costume. I've had Chibi Moon (a present from her) ready to go for 3 years now so it would be nice to finally wear it. (^^);;

We exchanged Christmas presents and Ammie gifted me a Wendy Darling costume from Disney's version of Peter Pan. She made it to match with her future Peter Pan costume. It's a super cute dress! I really didn't think I could look nice in an empire waist dress, but it's really pretty. I need to let the seams out a bit and get a wig, but I'll definitely be wearing that as well this year. Such a fun surprise costume!

I did attend the Holiday Fan Days Show back in December. I didn't Cosplay so I don't have photos to share from that. I did have fun checking out the vendors area and seeing some friends. I got a photo with Santa, some Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. Just your average holiday snapshot! XD I did a bit of shopping and bought some fan prints and a cute Vulpix Pokemon plush. I topped off the evening by having dinner with some friends at Jack Astor's. It was a nice way to start the holiday season!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and a wonderful New Year's Eve! The holidays were pretty relaxing for me. I got a couple of weeks off of work which is why I finally started on costume stuff, but I spent the first week off sick with a cold so I haven't achieved as much as I would have liked. 

I do have a lot of costume plans for this year. Definitely finishing up Dilandau and I'll wear it for a shoot at least. I've already mentioned Wendy and Chibi Moon. Madoka will hopefully finally get done by the end of spring. I also have a silly costume project that Pan and I plan to get done for Anime North. I'm still waiting for the new wig and skirt that I ordered for Hermione so I want to Cosplay her again in 2017 for sure. Seems like 2017 will really make up for the fact that I've been slacking off at Cosplaying and making new things over the last couple of years. (^^) Hopefully I'll also get photos of Sailor Mercury, Saki, my Inkling Kid and Celia too. That might be expecting too much but even getting photos of two or three of these older costumes would be making great progress. It'll be nice to get through some of my costume backlog so in late 2017 and into 2018 I can approach making costumes with a clean slate. I am looking forward to this being an exciting year! Let's see if I can accomplish some of my goals! 

Summarizing my convention and Cosplay experiences of 2016, It's been a few years since I've had a busy con schedule for the year. Ever since I stopped going to US cons in 2012 and travelling to Montreal for Otakuthon in 2013, I haven't been attending a lot of events. Mostly I would go to Anime North and Atomic Lollipop, but in 2016 Atomic Lollipop was cancelled. That left a gap in my con year. Anime North went pretty well last year. It was a big improvement over 2015 when I was sick for part of the con. The Nominoichi (despite being a sauna) was a lot of fun and I sold a big chunk of what I brought. It was a really hot year overall so it was bit tough to Cosplay. Still, it was a nice con. Last year was the first year that I attended Fan Expo for multiple days since 2011. It was also my first time volunteering at the convention and working the masquerade. That was a fun experience especially since the masq wasn't too long. It was nice to see how the backstage worked and how everything came together to make a great show. I also attended the JCCC and Anime North's Halloween event and Fan Expo's December con (now called the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show). It was like a blast from the past attending those events because the last time I went to a December con or a Halloween event at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was practically a decade ago. Both events were great. I didn't Cosplay for the Holiday show and I remixed an old costume for the Halloween event, which was a nice choice.

Cosplay wise, 2016 was a pretty productive year, especially considering I only made one costume (Bulma's Battle of the Gods dress) in 2015 (and I didn't really get around to fixing up and re-wearing Dilandau in 2016 after debuting it in 2015). I worked on my Inkling Kid costume from Splatoon early in the year. It was mostly store bought clothing with some alterations, but it was fun working on the little details like the writing on the shirt and the mask. My friend Sierra did an amazing job on the hair tentacles for that. I debuted the costume at AN and it was really well received. Plus it was a great costume for the sweltering heat of the Nominoichi. My big costume for the year was Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden. It looks like such a simple costume, but trying to get a decent fit on the shirt and make the skirt was really tricky. I spent the tail end of winter and most of the spring finishing that costume for Anime North. In the end I'm pretty proud of it and it was great to wear (even though the boots were murder on my feet). XD

My other two costumes for the year were Barbara Gordon's casual outfit from DC Super Hero Girls and Hermione from Harry Potter. I made Barbara's costume over the course of the summer for Fan Expo. Sadly the outfit was too obscure for people to recognize at Fan Expo. It was a pretty comfy costume besides the wig, which was super not comfortable. I had fun getting photos of that from Amanda and I love Barbara so I enjoyed Cosplaying her again. I do dream of one day Cosplaying Batgirl properly! My final new costume, Hermione, was mostly just a re-wear of my old Harry Potter costume. Pan and I bought new Gryffindor sweaters at Fan Expo to upgrade the look and I borrowed her Hermione wig. It was nice to have something warm to wear at the Halloween event. 

I also did a wonderful shoot of my Shinku costume in early October with Amanda so I made a small dent in my Cosplay photoshoot backlog. Hopefully I'll have more luck getting photos of some of my older costumes in 2017!

That pretty much covers the year. At least I'm already starting off the year with sewing. That definitely bodes well for 2017! 

Fan Expo is over for another year and this was the first year that I actually attended the con for almost the full weekend since Fan Expo 2011. It was quite the experience returning to the convention again for a full length con. Back when I stepped away from the con it was always very crowded, there were concerns about con goers being locked out of the building due to it being over capacity, and there was a sense that the con brass didn't really care so much about the attendees and it was just about the bottom line. I'm not going to say that Fan Expo is no longer a corporate con because it certainly is. Guest autographs and photo ops are still extremely expensive and there are an ever growing number of extra expense events, but you definitely can feel that con staff are genuinely concerned about ensuring that fans have a good experience. The crowding never felt quite as bad as it has been in the past and new additions like the Cosplay lounge were excellent spots to allow Cosplayers a chance to rest and fix costumes if need be. Fan Expo really feels refreshed.

Having said that, it really felt like there was a decline in the number of Cosplay attendees from the days when I used to attend the con in full force several years ago. The ratio of Cosplayers to regular attendees was way down. I volunteered at the con as a stage ninja for the masquerade and there were only about 40 entries in the masq this year. I do remember watching the masq a decade ago and the masq had more than double that. I will say that being a stage ninja was a really cool experience. It was neat to see the show and help out backstage and it felt great to earn a badge for the con. I definitely would be up for doing it again next year!

I did Cosplay on Friday of the con. I wore my new casual Barbara Gordon costume from DC Super Hero Girls. Sadly it was a bit too obscure so no one recognized it. That also means that I don't have any photos of the outfit from hallway shots. I did do a shoot with my awesome friend Amanda, though, so I will have some photos to share of the costume in a month or two when she gets a chance to edit the photos. We shot photos in the Roundhouse park and by a gate near the aquarium. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out! People may not have understood the costume, but I still enjoyed the experience. I just wish the costume had been more comfortable. The outfit itself was nice. The boots did hurt a little bit because they were a bit wide on my feet, but my Jeannie wig was super painful. I kept having to take off the ponytail clip to ease the pressure on my head. Not sure if I'll wear the outfit again due to the pain of the wig, but it was still a really cute outfit to wear. I love Babs so I had a fun time with it! 

I also wore my Halloween pumpkin kigurumi costume for a little bit on Sunday of the con. I mostly brought it to keep me warm in the overly air conditioned parts of the con. I was a little chilly during the masq and I thought it would be nice to wear while I watched the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy panel. I wore it for an hour in the south building, but took it off before I got to the north building. I didn't want to disturb the Kevin and Mark panel by putting it on when I got cold so I suffered quietly. XD The panel for Mark and Kevin was nice! It was the only panel I saw besides catching the last few minutes of Kate Mulgrew's panel on Saturday afternoon. Kevin and Mark made my childhood and I'm so happy that they've continued working together in the Batman Arkham games. They are my Batman and Joker. <3 It was nice that Mark kept it an ensemble panel every time a speaker tried to aim it more towards him. Both guys were really great speakers and were really fabulous at handling the controversies that were brought up about their past work (like how terrible the Killing Joke is). Their panel was a great way to end the con on a high note. 

I got a chance to see most of the north and south buildings and the majority of the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley. I got some beautiful prints. A really nice Batgirl print, a cute piece of fanart of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, a beautiful mermaid print and even a Sam from Trick 'r Treat print. I got a gorgeous Pokemon fire type acrylic charm that's already proudly on my purse and a cute purple gemstone wire ring. I also bought the new Bulma Pop Vinyl figure to go with the Vegeta pop that I bought last year and Pan and I bought sweaters for our Harry Potter costumes. Now that must seem like a blast from the past! Just when I gave up on that. XD We bought them with the thought of wearing them for the next Harry Potter shoot we try to do this year. We've been vaguely looking for grey sweaters for years for this so now we have ones meant specifically for Gryffindor. I can wear it with my Ron costume if we ever get around to doing that shoot. I've had the wig ready to go for that for a year now. I'm also considering getting a wig so I can Cosplay as Hermoine. I've always wanted to Cosplay as her so I guess I have some Harry Potter plans to look forward to eventually!

That about sums up Fan Expo. I saw quite a few people that I knew throughout the con. It was really cool getting to meet all the stage ninjas and being part of that group. I owe a big thank you to my friends Amanda and Rin for hanging out with me for a lot of Friday and an even bigger thank you to Pan for attending the con with me the whole weekend. She put up with me forcing her to get up early each day. I dragged her to the Mark and Kevin panel and she was super supportive of my Babs costume and helped me handle my troublesome wig. Pan is such an awesome friend and her wonderful attitude and humour really kept me going throughout the con! Good friends really can make or break a con experience so it's awesome that I have such wonderful friends. (^_^)

Next up for me should be a photoshoot or two. Pan and I are hoping to work with Amanda this month. Hopefully I can get some shots of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Mercury. I'm still crossing my fingers for a second shoot to get pictures of Celia and Saki. Maybe Pan and I will try again to organize a trio shoot for Harry Potter next month. Of course, Halloween is coming up so hopefully I'll be able to participate in some Halloween events. Pan and I still want to do a fabric shopping trip downtown before winter. We'll see if we whip something up for Halloween. The con season might be over, but it looks like I'll be keeping quite busy! 
It has been a fairly quiet summer. It's been so hot this year that I haven't done any photoshoots. I'm still hoping to get some photos of some of my costumes before the cold weather starts to set in. Crossing my fingers to get some photos of Celia, Saki, Sailor Mercury and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Kind of forgot to finish fixing up my Dilandau costume, but hopefully with help from my friend Adrien, I'll do that soon. I probably won't get a chance to shoot that costume this year, but I would like to get photos of it in the spring or fall in a season when I won't boil in the costume. XD

In terms of Cosplay, I've been on a hiatus from sewing. Making my Sakura costume for Anime North and preparing for the Nominoichi really took a lot out of me. Once I was done making some alterations to Sakura and my Splatoon costumes, post-AN, I stopped thinking about costumes for a couple of months. It wasn't until the end of July that I thought about working on something new. I started watching the DC Super Hero Girls web shorts in early July and I really liked the outfit and character of Barbara Gordon. In the first season of the show she acts as the IT person for Super Hero High. I just got two new pairs of glasses in June and one of the pairs resembles the glasses Barbara wears with her casual outfit. Her civilian outfit has some hints of her new 52 costume design and looks really comfy. I decided to try to Cosplay it so I ordered all the outfit pieces through eBay, Walmart and Amazon. Everything came super fast! I ordered a tank top, crop top, a pair of jeggings, boots and a wig from Arda. The costume turned out to be expensive thanks to the boots and wig, but hopefully it'll be fun to wear! I had to shorten the pants, tank top and crop top. All that's left is getting the wig trimmed. I'm planning to wear the costume on Friday of Fan Expo.

Since it's been a very light year for me for conventions as Atomic Lollipop is no more, I've decided to volunteer to help with the masq at Fan Expo. I'll be getting a badge for the con this year so I'll actually be attending the convention for more than one day. I will be attending Fan Expo for the full day on Friday. I know Saturday of the convention is extremely crowded so I'll probably head down to the con just for the masq itself and if I'm not too tired from helping out with the masq, I would like to go to the con on Sunday afternoon for the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy panel. Looking forward to seeing the Halloween and Anime goods for sale and being able to see the Artist Alley and Dealer's Areas earlier then the last day so more goods will be available and won't be sold out already. XD It should be a fun event and I'm looking forward to Cosplaying again. Fan Expo 2001 was the first con that I've ever attended so despite its corporate nature, Fan Expo does make me a bit nostalgic. I've made lots of friends through attending Fan Expo so hopefully I'll run into a lot of people that I know there this year! I'm only planning to Cosplay on Friday of the con because of my volunteer commitment on Saturday and the relaxed nature of Sunday. Hopefully I'll be able to go to a photo booth so I can get some photos of my Barbara costume to post here later.

I'll definitely post here after Fan Expo about my experience. As I've already stated, I am hoping to get some shoots done in September. Pan and I have a goofy costume idea in mind that we might try to get done for Halloween or for AN next year. I won't spoil the surprise on that one just yet. We still have to get some fabric for it. I still have the Madoka school uniform on my radar hopefully for AN. I'm still determined to get it done in 2017. Another costume option that I'm considering is Batgirl from the DC Super Hero Girls series. Her outfit is super cute! I know I've wanted to properly Cosplay as Batgirl for years so this version of Batgirl is looking pretty tempting! She has such a cute hoodie and I love the bat jet pack. There is a lot to the outfit that I would need to plan out, but I definitely have it on my wish list!

This may be a quiet year for me in terms of cons, but it does seem to be a fairly productive year for Cosplay. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how much more I can accomplish before we head into 2017! 
Anime North is over for yet another year. It wasn't exactly the most memorable con, but I still had a great time. Things went pretty well during the Nominoichi. I sold a good chunk of what I brought and made almost as much money selling as I did back in 2014. That's nearly $1,500! Can't say that I would repeat that next year as I have sold most of my highest valued items that I could see myself selling off in the next few years, but my Anime collection is ever expanding and I do appreciate conventions like Anime North giving me a chance to offload items in a controlled space. It sure beats an occasional sale on eBay and dealing with the hassle of fees and going to the post office! For the first time, though, the hall for the Nominoichi was unbearably hot so my friend Adrien (who was selling with me) and I were sweating like crazy throughout most of the event. I was sweating, though, mostly because we had lot of foot traffic so that was a good sign. I could definitely see myself selling again next year so we'll see if I get the chance!

I honestly can't remember an Anime North as hot as the con was this year, though! We've had warm moments for sure, but for it to be consistently boiling all 3 days of the con was really unusual. I can remember AN just a few years ago when I had to wear a sweater or coat over my costumes and this year even in my simple short and skirt costumes, I was still way too hot!

My Splatoon costume went over really well though! I spent most of Friday before the Nomi hanging out with Pan and Adrien. Adrien was Cosplaying as a Blue Inkling Kid and he had his awesome tank and Splattershot so we got lots of attention. I'm a bit of a poser when it comes to Splatoon so I was quite surprised by just how often we got stopped for photos! Pan was dressed as Merle from Escaflowne and she looked adorable! She was getting stopped left and right for photos. I was sad that I wasn't dressed as Dilandau. Merle is definitely the standout character from Escaflowne. I was glad that my Inkling Kid costume was comfy. I was on my feet for hours at the Nomi and wearing simple running shoes was great! I don't know if I can find anything better to wear next year given how unbearable the Nomi hall was. It's just too bad that I didn't get a chance to really see my fellow squids! My friends Andy and Michelle were running around as turquoise and purple and looked great! I only saw them for a minute at the Nomi so I missed out on getting photos with them. I didn't stop anywhere for photos of my costume so during the summer I'll have to do a shoot hopefully with more Inklng Kids!

I wasn't exactly feeling 100% on Saturday. I had a really rough time sleeping on Thursday evening and I only slept for a couple of hours. It was a rough way to start the con. I slept rather poorly on Friday as well so I didn't really get out of my hotel room in costume until about noon. I wore my other new costume, Sakura from Naruto Shippuden. I only lasted in the costume for about 3 hours because it was really hot, my leg bandages kept slipping and the boots were super uncomfortable. I was hanging out with Pan and Adrien and we decided to take a break by sitting down for food at Swiss Chalet, but there was a huge line so we got takeout and just ate in the hotel room. I decided to change then out my costume and relax for the rest of the day. The reaction to Sakura was alright. It's tough to standout when Cosplaying from Naruto when you're not part of a group. I definitely felt very complimented whenever someone asked me for a photo. Pan (who was again wearing Merle) and I stopped at conARTISTS' booth in the Dealer's Room before I changed and did a photoshoot there. We didn't have any shoots booked for the weekend so stopping at a photo booth seemed like a good idea. The photos turned out pretty well. Pan and I decided to purchase the shoot so I have photos to add here. 

In the afternoon I checked out the Dealer's Room for interesting deals. I did some shopping at the Nominoichi the day before and bought a couple of Syaoran trading figures, a set of Ghibli Museum stickers and a cute Shinku Punit Collecton Doll. The Shinku Doll was really unexpected, but my table neighbour was selling it and it was staring me directly in the face throughout the event so I just had to buy it. XD In the Dealer's Room I purchased more cute Kuma Craft necklace. I love how sparkly they are! I also bought a Sailor Moon Crystal purple umbrella that I've had my eye on for months. I wanted to buy it online since it was about $15, but with shipping because it's a large item, it would have been over $30. The booth I found was selling the umbrella for $25. I thought that was pretty reasonable and it's super cute! I just have to work up the courage to use it on a regular basis. I don't want to wreck it! XD

There wasn't much to do in the evening so after grabbing Tim Horton's for dinner, I ended up just watching some of Wolverine 3 on TV. LOL I was pretty tired so I was happy to go to sleep fairly early even despite the bass from the rave carrying all the way over to our hotel room in the International Plaza hotel, which threatened to ruin my sleep. Hopefully next year I'll get a chance to go swimming on Saturday night given that the hotel has a pool.

The final day of Anime North was pretty casual as I didn't Cosplay. Once we got out of the hotel room and checked our luggage, Pan, Adrien and I checked out the Comic Market and Crafters Corner. I picked up more cute necklaces and I bought a few prints including an adorable print of Lesser Dog from Undertale. Lesser Dog is so much like my family's Samoyed Persephone in looks and personality so I couldn't resist getting the print!

That pretty much sums up the con! I saw quite a few friends and I had a great time in my costumes. I didn't exactly get the best sleep before and during the con so I was quite tried all weekend, but I soldiered through! The excessively hot days tried to put a damper on the very outdoor focused reality of Anime North, but the con still had a lot of bright spots. I owe a big thank you to my friend Adrien for helping me get my stuff to the Nomi and for selling with me. He helped me out big time by watching everything when I had to run to the bathroom because one of my contacts fell out. I'm also grateful for my friend Louise selling a few doll clothing items for me at Doll North. I do hope for a little bit cooler weather next year! I also hope that I can do Madoka! I have the wig now from Quantum Destiny and I'm looking forward to Cosplaying her. If the hot weather repeats, though, there is no way I could Cosplay anything, but a super casual character!

Now that the con is done, hopefully I can actually get some shoots done this year. Still looking forward to getting photos of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Dilandau as well as Shinku and Sailor Mercury. So many things to shoot, so little time! Hopefully I'll find some shoot opportunities for this summer! 
It's been a while since my last entry. Anime North is just around the corner now. The last few months have really flown by! Guess that's just how life goes as you get older. I wanted to make a quick update to discuss how my costumes have been coming along and how things are looking for Anime North and beyond. 

Both my Splatoon (Inkling Kid) and Sakura (Naruto) costumes are done now. Sakura took so much longer than I expected. XD It took me 3 months to finish the costume and all of the thread that I bought for it. I've never run out of thread before with a costume. Really didn't expect that. I ran into so many issues with various parts of the costume. Had to resew so many things including the collar on the blouse and the skirt openings. Deciding to use a knit fabric for the skirt and armbands was really problematic. It was not the easiest thing to work with for the skirt. I probably should have interfaced it as the fabric is quite finicky. It's hard to smooth out, the excess in seams can show through the fabric and it was a pain in the butt to sew down for the skirt front and back openings. I re-sewed the openings at least two or three times. In the end I had to abandon machine sewing top stitching on the back seam and I had to do it by hand. I'm not totally happy with the shaping on the back opening for the skirt. I might treat AN as a test run for the costume and if the skirt is frustrating me I may re-do it over the summer. I wasn't totally sold on the colour of my fabric to begin with. In the Anime her skirt and armbands are more of a lilac colour and in the Manga it's more of a white. My fabric is a light pink so it's a bit of a middle ground between both versions. If I'm not happy with the look I could re-do it. I already had to abandon using zippers for the openings because the fabric became bunchy with the lightweight zippers I bought. Nothing went smoothly with putting together the skirt.

I'm pretty happy with the costume otherwise! The blouse fought me over the fitting, but turned out pretty well. I made my own pouch for the back of skirt and I modified a pair of gloves. I also made a new band for the headband after buying a Konoha headband through Aliexpress. Pan helped me cut off the fabric and I glued it to the new band that I made so the fabric would match my blouse. I poured my heart and a lot of time into this costume. I hope in the end that it shows! I feel like most people would have finished this costume in just a couple of weeks. I'm so slow at sewing and I often have to backtrack and re-do parts. In the end I'm usually quite happy with the final results. I hope that I'll be content when Cosplaying Sakura at AN. She's such a kick butt character so I hope that I'll do her justice! I definitely have to thank Pan for helping me tame my wig for the costume. Without her help the wig definitely wouldn't remotely resemble the character.

I mentioned finishing my Splatoon costume. I know I said that I did that months ago, but recently new official images of the shirt design that I based my costume shirt on were released and I realized I messed up the design. XD I was missing a chunk from the bottom of the final letter in the front lettering and a small logo on the front of the shirt. I tried to heat 'n bond and sew in a piece to cover the missing part of the letter and Adrien helped me craft a logo that I used iron on transfer paper to add to the design. So I should be good to go now for Anime North!

Speaking of the con, the last few weeks have been going by way too fast. Between finishing sewing and sorting stuff for the Nominoichi, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off most evenings. I've been trying to label things I'm selling, wash any clothing pieces and of course, get things boxed and ready to display on the table. I have been offering pre-sales of the stuff that I'll be selling at table N133 and so far the pre-sales have been tremendous. I didn't realize it, but as long as people actually show up, the reserves that I have are about double from last year. I definitely appreciate the response. The more that I sell this year, the more shelf and basement space that I free up so I can feel a little less cluttered. XD Definitely trying to scale back on buying. I love interacting with people through the Nominoichi so I'm really excited for Friday night even if it is going to be very hectic and stressful.

I know the important thing about AN in terms of this site is Cosplay so my plans for the con are to wear my Splatoon costume on Friday and Sakura on Saturday. Wearing my Splatoon costume on Friday should make my table very easy to spot. My friend Adrien (who will also be selling at table N133) will be Cosplaying as a blue Inkling Kid as well. My friend Kevin will be running his own table (N132) and will be selling a variety of prize figures, gashapon goods and lottery items from his recent trips to Japan. He'll be Cosplaying as a purple Inkling Kid. Should make for a fun little group. (^^)

Sakura is my Saturday costume. I'm hoping that the weather will be nice for the weekend given that I'll be wearing shorts and short or no sleeved costumes all con. I don't plan to Cosplay on Sunday so I can just be casual on the last day. I'm debating about bringing an old Lolita dress to wear in case I want to change at any point or if the weather is really cold. The other interesting thing is that I'll be purchasing my friend Quantum Destiny's old Madoka Kaname wig. I know I've been posting about it for ages, but I swear I'm going to get that costume done in 2017 and getting her old wig will give my costume a huge boost! I bought a wig for the costume in the fall of 2014, but I really wasn't happy with it. It would have taken a ton of work and it wouldn't look half as nice as Quantum Destiny's wig. Honestly, she makes an amazing Madoka! I really lucked out because she also included the red hair ribbons so that's one other thing to not have to worry about! I really appreciate her giving my costume a huge boost and hopefully the wig will motivate me to make the rest of the costume. (^_^) 

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to Anime North. I hope it'll be an exciting year. I know the goal of the Nominoichi is selling things, but I hope that I meet a lot of people during the event. I look forward to wearing my Sakura costume during the con. I'll definitely have to make the most of AN since Atomic Lollipop has been cancelled for the year. If I don't pick up another con or event during the summer, the year is going to be a bit bland. I'll have to think about it after Anime North. Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the free time that I'll have once AN is over, but I'm really looking forward to relaxing! XD Getting ready for this con has really dominated my life for the last couple of months. 

I hope everyone that's attending Anime North has an amazing time! Given that this will be my 15th year going, I sure hope that it's a memorable experience! (^_^)

Greetings! I’ve been on a “hiatus” from Cosplay for the past few months. I did finally pass my final road test that I took at the end of November so after that I took a break from costume work in December. Since the Christmas holidays, though, I have been working on some costume projects. My hiatus has pretty much only been from actually wearing costumes I guess. I finished my Splatoon Inkling Kid costume back at the end of January. Granted that I didn’t really have a lot to work on for that costume. It was attaching the tentacles to the wig, creating and sewing pink stripes onto the shorts, making a mask and adding lettering detail to a shirt. It should be a pretty comfy costume to wear and the construction process was fairly smooth.

After I finished that costume, a few days later, I started brainstorming for other costume options for the year. My Madoka school uniform costume is on the backburner. I'm definitely going to make it for Anime North 2017 though. I've been putting it off for too long so I'm setting that as a goal that I want to stick to. For costume options for this year, I looked through my list of favourite characters and I landed on a bit of a throwback. I'm currently working on a Sakura Haruno costume from Naruto for Anime North. I'm going to be making her Shippuden outfit. The costume seems a bit out of left field at this point, but I have Cosplayed as Sasuke in the past along with an Anbu and Haku. I've always liked Sakura, though. I don't think she gets enough credit for her awesome abilities. I figured the costume shouldn't be too difficult and it should be fun to wear on Saturday of AN and to various cons in the summer.

I'm almost done modifying a mock of the shirt. I'm using an old New Look Juniors pattern that's for a Chinese style blouse. I finally found a pattern brand that actually works with my petite frame! Too bad the pattern line has been discontinued for years so I can't find more patterns of that type! I picked up this pattern probably a decade ago and I re-discovered it as I did a pattern inventory. It needs a bit of work, but I'm hoping that I can work out the kinks! It has a great fit for the overall shape that I want. I've already finished modifying a pair of boots so the costume is definitely happening. I also already have material purchased for the costume and a wig so once I actually get the sewing done, the costume will be good to go without tracking down any more materials. I'm hoping to get the shirt done this month and hopefully at least start patterning the skirt. Adding bandages to the shorts, modifying gloves and making armbands shouldn't be too difficult. Wish me luck! I hope the fabrics that I'm working with prove to be easy to sew! I'm hoping to get the costume completely done by early May.

I'm still amping up to tackle another year of the Nominoichi at Anime North. I have plenty of Anime figures, video games, old wigs and other random Anime goods that I'm looking forward to selling. Every year I figure that I'll finish with the Nomi because I won't have much stuff left to sell in a future year, but I'm always surprised by how many old goodies that I dig up that I'm willing to part with. I've been trying to ease back on collecting figures and goods these last few months, but I still buy or pre-order the odd thing. A collector's collection is ever evolving! Anyway, at the moment I'm gathering the items, taking stock of their condition and taking photos for a pre-sale listing so that's been keeping me busy on the side.

It's still a little outside of the convention season. I am a bit excited for getting out and about with conventions again. I haven't Cosplayed or been to any sort of Cosplay event since Fan Expo last year. This year I definitely want to get some photoshoots done. Dilandau is still on the agenda and Sailor Mercury and Super Sailor Chibi Moon too. Dilandau still needs a bit of work. I'm going to be working with my friend Adrien soon on fixing up the belt. I kind of put that on the back burner until now as well.

I am very excited for Anime North. I'm definitely going to be wearing my Inkling Kid costume probably on Friday of the con and Sakura Haruno would be my Saturday costume. I would consider bringing something else like Dilandau or Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see how ambitious I feel about costume changes. Friday is going to be super busy with the Nominoichi and Saturday always goes by way too fast! Sunday is my casual day so I try not to Cosplay so I can take in the dealer's room and artist alley quickly before they close for another year. I'm even hoping to make the trek over to Doll North this year. Anime North is definitely a con that you want to have a game plan for!

I am debating about attending more conventions this year. Another one day of Fan Expo is likely and if APOP is at the Science Centre again, I will most likely give it another shot for this year. I would like to go to one other con. I've heard whispers about the potential of a new con called YetiCon so I'm looking into that and with the dollar still being weak, I am highly considering taking another look at Otakuthon. Again, it's all very much up in the air, but I would definitely like to do something exciting this year so we shall see! I do like that I have started working on costume projects so hopefully the enthusiasm and energy will carry forward into the rest of the year!

Just wanted to make a quick update to let everyone know that I'm going through a bit of a hiatus from Cosplay. Not that I'm not going to be working on stuff, but I won't have photos of new costumes or con experiences to share until sometime next year (most likely sometime in May or June). I'll pop in here every once in a while with a journal entry about costume progress and what not.

In the meantime I do have some projects on the go. I'm still working on my pink Inkling Kid costume. My friend Sierra finished the tentacles and I bought a magnum wig from Arda during their recent sale so I have the key parts of the costume. I have the shirt and shorts so I just need to add the detailing, make the mask and sew the tentacles to the wig.

My Madoka school uniform costume is still hanging in the background as well. Haven't sewed it, but that costume will be happening for Anime North next year. I also would like to re-wear Dilandau and get photos of it and finally wear my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that was a gift from Ammie. I should have a lot of new stuff to share next year. (^^)

In not so good news, I had what should have been my final driving test today so I could be fully licensed and I was super excited to get it over with, but the horn on my brother's car that I was using wasn't working so I was disqualified. Lost half the deposit for my test and I won't be able to give the test another shot until November 27th. I'm extremely disappointed. Kind of lost some of my motivation to be excited for Halloween and to work on my Splatoon costume. I was going to get the wig together and make the mask so I could wear the key parts of the Splatoon costume for Halloween, but I'm really depressed by how things turned out. I've been stressing about that test for 2 months and now I have to go through another month of stress and practice and this time I have to worry about the potential for snow or ice. Hopefully I can get the test bumped up to a sooner date, but I'll just be happy if my brother can get his horn fixed.

So with the way things are I'm kind of looking forward to turning my brain off anything stressful, but once I get over the shock of what just happened, hopefully I'll get my motivation back. With the cold weather approaching I probably won't be doing any photoshoots for the next several months so that's another reason for the hiatus. I do appreciate the favourites and comments that I've received here. DA is my main site for sharing my Cosplay work and I always appreciate the feedback that I receive.
Atomoc Lollipop is over for another year. This was my second time going and I had a fun time. It wasn't quite as exciting as last year as the wow factor of the con being held at the Science Centre has kind of worn off, but there was still plenty to see and do. I was able to do shoots of both my casual Hotaru and my Bulma costumes with Elemental and I'm really excited to see how those turned out. We tried to incorporate a couple of science exhibits for Bulma photos so I think they'll look really cool.

I did get a chance to try making some crafts. I starting making a plush Luna-P on Friday evening. Didn't get a chance to finish it, though. Should be quite cute when it's done. I missed out on most of the other crafts, but my friend Pan was able to help me make up a kit so I could make my own plush poptart at home so I'm going to continue working on that for fun. Seemed to be a lot of really neat projects on the go this year. I checked out a lot of the Science Centre exhibits in detail and I even took a couple of walks in the outdoor areas. The Science Centre is quite gorgeous and a very unique con setting. It was quite surreal to watch the big nerf fight in the Weston Family Innovation Centre!

I was able to catch a glimpse of the Elijah Wood DJ set on Saturday evening. It was super crowded so it literally was just a glimpse, but it was cool to see him nonetheless. Still such an unexpected guest. I missed the Prozzak concert, but I heard the con hit capacity during the event and it was super popular. I remember that band being quite popular when I was in my early teens. The years really fly by! Finally, I happily paid to watch the Humpback Whales IMAX film. Whales in general (but humpback whales especially) are my favourite animals so it was a very exciting and moving experience to see a movie about them. The IMAX dome at the Science Centre is a really amazing theatre. It's so immersive so I definitely recommend seeing movies there!

I was able to get another 2 commissioned chibi art pieces of myself in my costumes for the weekend from a lovely artist including one with me and Pan (as Hotaru and female Magneto). The artist who offers to draw people as chibis is super talented and I really enjoy her work! Overall Atomic Lollipop was lots of fun. I again enjoyed the science exhibits and just the way the con blends in and is strengthened by everything the Science Centre has to offer. I do think I'll attend the con again, but I may not go all 3 days next year. It's quite exhausting. I do have to say, for costume shoots this is a really cool venue and for con atmosphere it's tough to beat!

Next is a break until I perhaps go to Fan Expo for one day. Again, I probably won't be working on any costumes over the next month or so, but I have talked to some friends who are working on Splatoon costumes for Otakuthon so I may Cosplay an Inkling Girl for Halloween this year. One of the members of the group has mastered making adorable Inkling hats so I might commission a hat from her. If I do that, I'll definitely re-wear the costume at AN or Atomic Lollipop next year. I am hoping before the fall that I can get some photos of my Saki costume from Onechanbara and also photos of Sailor Mercury and my Shinku costume from Rozen Maiden. It would be great if I could get some nice photos of some of my older costumes!
Just a quick update regarding Atomic Lollipop this weekend. The summer has really been flying by! It took forever to get through winter this year and we had a rather cool spring that seemed to hang around. Even now most days it doesn't really feel that summer-like. Still, can't complain about the greenery and the warmer days.

Unfortunately I have not been very productive in terms of working on costumes. I actually considered a few costume ideas for Atomic Lollipop. Pan and I were thinking of resurrecting our Naruto and Sasuke costumes. Sadly, we both need new wigs for our costumes and we ran out of time to buy and style wigs. Another idea I had was to join a Splatoon Cosplay group. A few local friends are organizing a Splatoon group for Otakuthon and I was considering working on an Inkling Girl costume for Atomic Lollipop, but time got away from me and I didn't get a chance to pattern out a hat. Would have been a perfect style of costume for the heat of the summer and the party atmosphere of APOP. Finally, I was considering making a summer middle school uniform blouse for Usagi from Sailor Moon. I already have a skirt and shoes from a previous costume, but once I thought about making it I only had a few days left until APOP. Also, I tried washing my Usagi wig because the pigtails are quite frizzy and tangled. I used a tutorial for soaking wigs in fabric softener. Sadly, it didn't seem to do much to improve the look of the wig beyond making it feel slightly softer. Not sure how to repair the wig now. That put a damper on my plans to wear any Usagi costume any time soon.

In the end I had trouble picking an old costume to re-wear, but I think I finally settled on wearing my Casual Hotaru costume from Sailor Moon that Ammie made for me. It's very simple and comfy and I would like to get a few more photos of the outfit. I'm thinking I'll try to bring my Silence Glaive, but I'll see if I can manage it. I'm hoping to do a shoot with my friend Elemental so it would be nice to have the Glaive with me. The other costume I'll be wearing at APOP is my Bulma DBZ: Battle of the Gods costume. I'm really looking forward to getting some photos of that costume in and around the Science Centre. Seems like a great setting for Bulma! I've been watching the new Dragon Ball Super series and I'm really enjoying the cute filler family time for the characters in the series. The first arc of the series will be a retelling of the Battle of the Gods movie so the outfit that I made of Bulma's will feature heavily in several episodes of the series. Looking forward to seeing an expanded version of the Battle of the Gods arc!

Anyway, I'll only be Cosplaying on Friday and Saturday. My current plan is to wear Hotaru on Friday and Bulma on Saturday. Hopefully after APOP I'll get some motivation to sew. There's a lot going on in my household right now. My older brother is preparing to move out at the end of summer and there will be a kitchen renovation happening at my family's place in a few weeks. It's not really the best time to pick up a sewing project. Definitely still going to make my Madoka school uniform, but I probably won't work on it until the fall. That's really all that's on my radar. The Usagi school uniform is on hold until I can figure out how to save my frazzled wig. Dilandau also still needs work, but that's a side project that will hopefully come together before next Anime North as well. Nothing else is jumping out at me as possible sewing projects, but I'll keep an open mind for costume ideas.

Anyway, Atomic Lollipop was a lot of fun last year. I went into the con not knowing what to expect, but I loved how the con elements blended in with all that the Science Centre had to offer. Hopefully I'll find some fun craft projects to work on at the con as well as see more exhibits at the Science Centre. This year the Centre has an IMAX film about humpback whales I'm looking forward to seeing. It should be a fun weekend! (^_^)

Anime North is over for another year and I’m kind of glad it's done. I spent a lot of April and May stressing about costume plans and organizing my goods for the Nominoichi. I would say I'm enjoying a lot of free time now, but I caught a nasty case of the flu during Anime North that got worse in the days following the con and I’m still getting over it now. I haven’t been this sick in years! I've been battling dizziness, sneezing, fever, coughing, nausea and even laryngitis. I’ve never had laryngitis before, but my voice was almost totally gone last Friday and Saturday. It’s getting a bit better today. Needless to say, it's a good thing Colossal was cancelled for me! I doubt I’ll be back to 100% by Thursday when I was supposed to have left for the con. Not that I’m still not a little sad that I couldn’t go. I hope everyone that’s going has an awesome weekend!

Getting back to Anime North, it was still a good con this year, but getting sick did put a huge damper on the weekend. Things went really well on the Friday. I wore my Bulma DBZ: Battle of the Gods costume and had a lot of fun with it! Not too many people recognized the costume, but it was super comfy! It's just too bad it was quite cold that day! I had to wear a jacket when I was outside and a sweater.   

The Nominoichi went wonderfully for me this year. Pretty much every reservation was picked up and I loved talking with people that were passing by. I sold about 90% of what I brought and I was quite impressed that I sold a lot of the little things like small plush items, jewellery and DVDs that I brought. I sold all the Nendoroid items and almost every Figma and I only have 2 plush toys left. I was so impressed that I only had about 1 box worth of items left. I made just over $1,200 and I can’t help, but start to pick out what items I might want to sell next year. XD For every one figure that I buy now, I feel like I should sell one or two just to even out the space concerns. Anyway, it was wonderful to see so many of my treasured items go to nice people!

Saturday of the con didn’t go so well. Ammie gave me my Dilandau costume on Friday night, but I just felt really off trying to wear the costume on Saturday. I battled with dry eyes and I had trouble feeling comfortable wearing contacts. I also had a sore throat and I was sneezing. The uncomfortable contacts was the primary reason I changed out of Dilandau after just a few hours. I didn’t realize I was starting to get the flu. The costume looked really cool! I appreciate Ammie's hard work on the outfit pieces and the amazing work Adrien did on the sword! Wish I had photos to share, but I just wasn’t feeling comfortable enough to get photos of the costume. There isn’t much photo evidence of Dilandau. Ammie is such a sweetheart and offered to help me tailor parts of it and I definitely want to wear the costume again when I’m at 100% and I can put my heart into it. Maybe for Anime North 2016 I can organize some sort of Escaflowne group. I know Pan want to Cosplay as Merle. (^_^)

The rest of the con from mid-afternoon Saturday until I left mid-afternoon Sunday was pretty chill. I was able to buy some nice Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon fanart. I also found some Halloween related art pieces including a cute pumpkin brooch that I got from the crafter’s area. My favourite purchases of the weekend were gashapon Sailor Moon miniature wands that I got from another seller at the Nominoichi, another Kuma Crafts Sailor Moon necklace and I was finally able to complete my DC Ladies trio by buying the Kotobukiya Bishoujo Supergirl statue from a vendor in the dealer's room. Got a pretty good deal on it given that it goes for over $100 sealed online. She now stands proudly with my Wonder Woman and Batgirl.  

It was nice to see some friends and relax for much of Anime North. The only things keeping me going on Sunday, though, were an antacid, a Tylenol Cold and Flu pill, throat lozenges and a gravol. I'm glad I didn’t get seriously sick until Monday, but it’s too bad I had that cloud hanging over me during AN. I’m already looking forward to next year and hoping it’ll be better. Pan battled the bonanza that is reserving a hotel room at the International Plaza Hotel for 2016 and won so we have hotel space for next year.

Next up for this year is Atomic Lollipop! Gonna put working on new stuff on hold for a bit as June is really busy for me with wedding stuff I'm helping out with for my friend. I'll dig up some fun costumes to wear for APOP and we’ll see where else I go from there. Madoka’s school uniform will happen, but I'll probably hold off on debuting that until AN 2016. 

The con season is pretty much here at this point and sadly my plans for the year have changed drastically. I'm still excited for Anime North and that is happening next week. Unless something happens, my plans for the con are set. I'm planning to wear my new Bulma (Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods) costume on Friday of the con. I have my table for the Nominoichi. It's N172. Anyone looking for gently used Anime plush toys, DVDs, figures and wigs, please stop by. :3 I have things from series like Rozen Maiden, Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, Vocaloid, The Legend of Zelda and more. Hoping to drastically clear out things so maybe I'll just split a table next year. I went overboard trying to manage holds on the Anime North forum and it hasn't really felt like it's been worth the time and effort I've been putting in. Next year I'm just going to pack a couple of boxes and show up the day of to sell my goods instead of accepting reservations in advance. Should make the event less stressful because it's driving me up the wall this year. XD

My other costume plan for AN is Dilandau (Escaflowne). It's being put together by my wonderful friend Ammie and the sword for the costume is being commissioned from my friend Adrien. Really excited for the costume! I hope everything comes together nicely and fits. I won't be getting the costume until AN and it sounds like AN will be a test run for the costume. Not sure when I'll wear it again after AN, but I plan to get lots of wear out of it. Kind of breaking the bank a bit with this costume so I have to get a lot of mileage out of it. (^^)

Speaking of other cons, sadly I no longer will be attending ColossalCon. I had booked a hotel room and I bought a badge for it, but circumstances have just worked out in such a way that it's not feasible for me to go. Between having some dental work done, my upcoming Dilandau costume, the cost of events pertaining to a friend's wedding next month (a wedding I'm a bridesmaid for) and Anime North, budgeting for Colossal really wasn't in the cards. Didn't really think so many things would hit me at once when I made a reservation for a room at the Kalahari last summer. It seems unlikely I'll ever be able to go to Colossal. It's a more expensive con and you have to reserve a hotel room almost a year in advance. It's really impossible to plan out so much in advance and it runs so close to AN. Things definitely would be more feasible for 2016, but I don't want to take on the responsibility of booking a room again. Anyway, that's life. Thankfully I have found takers for my hotel room and my badge. Just waiting to be paid and to figure out the logistics of transferring the room. It's really too bad that I couldn't go. The venue looked amazing and I was excited to see some of my American friends I hardly ever see. With the exchange rate I won't be taking on some other US con this year so I'll just have to see if things look more promising in 2016. Something tells me I won't be travelling to as many cons in the coming years though.

Last time I updated here I mentioned planning to work on my Madoka school uniform. Work has kind of stalled on that. Pan is doing me a big favour by helping me pattern out the blouse, but the days are going by really fast and neither of us really have time to work on it much in the foreseeable future. A few weeks ago we decided to delay the costume until after AN. I had been looking forward to wearing Madoka at Colossal so Madoka getting delayed was another blow to Colossal for me. The current plan is to work on our Homura and Madoka costumes for Atomic Lollipop, but with the way June is filling up for me, I'm 90% sure that costume is going to get delayed until Anime North 2016. I would probably work on it during the summer and fall. Would love to get it done in time for Atomic Lollipop, though, as the Science Centre exhibits and the outdoor courtyard would be lovely for photos of the uniforms.

So yeah, after Anime North I'll be attending Atomic Lollipop. What I'll wear to APOP is up in the air, but probably nothing new. I'll post about that con closer to the event. I might make a quick post about AN next week, but my plans are tentatively set. I only plan to bring Dilandau and Bulma unless I want to bring a Lolita outfit or something. If something happens and Dilandau gets delayed, I'll have to dig through my costume bins. Maybe I could bring out my Halloween Witch Rei costume or something. Otherwise my only other potential con might be Fan Expo for a day. Would love to have more things to do this year, but I'll hopefully do some private photoshoots to get photos of some older costumes that are lacking in the photo department like Shinku (Rozen Maiden), Saki (Onechanbara) and Celia (Harvest Moon). We'll just have to see how the year goes, but I am crossing my fingers that I won't run into more complications and issues!
It's been a few months since I last wrote a journal entry here. It's still a couple of months until con season really heats up and I'm getting a bit anxious. In my last entry I mentioned that I was going to start working on my Madoka school uniform. I did make a mockup of a blouse over the Christmas holidays using the pattern I had, but after getting help with fit issues from my friend Pan, we really couldn't get the pattern to work out. I put that costume on hold until I can work with Pan on the costume in April. Not 100% sure if it's doable for AN, but we're going to give it a shot. We had a pretty brutal winter here in Toronto, Canada so I had a lot of trouble getting motivated to think about and work on costumes.

I did pick up a costume idea in early January. After the holidays I set my sights on Cosplaying Bulma's DBZ: Battle of the Gods costume after seeing gifs of her from the movie on Tumblr. Gonna have to track down and watch the movie later. I picked the costume because it's like her red dress from the DBZ series, but she's wearing not so complicated boots. Pan helped me get fabric for the costume in late January and she also lent a pattern to make the dress. I just finished all the sewing parts of the costume a few days ago. I only had to make a simple dress and a scarf. I also ordered, received and painted boots. The costume is pretty much done now, but I don't have my wig yet. Still, it's nice to have finished most of a costume and I'm looking forward to wearing it to Anime North or Colossalcon. I also bought a scouter for the costume so I'm looking forward to wearing that. Bulma is one of my favourite characters so it'll be fun to Cosplay her again.

Ammie is currently working on my Dilandau costume with the aim of getting it to me at Anime North. I have a wig and a tiara for the costume already. I'm commissioning my friend Adrien to make Dilandau's sword for me and I just ordered boots for the costume so I hope everything comes together for the con. Dilandau is my ultimate dream costume. It's been on my dream costume list since 2002 so it's going to be awesome to finally Cosplay him!

It's actually going to be a super busy spring and early summer for me. Besides preparing for Anime North by making Madoka as well as organizing for the Nominoichi at AN, I was asked recently to be a bridesmaid for a friend's wedding in late June. I can foresee a lot of fun events as well as sewing days coming up in my future.

The only other costume I currently have planned for this year is a summer version of Usagi's school uniform. It's just the blouse so that should be a lot easier to make. I'll probably work on that in July or August once my schedule clears up. I'm not even sure what other costumes I may make this or next year for that matter. I've worked through all my major costume dream ideas. Not sure if this might spark the slow road to my eventual pull back and semi-retirement from Cosplay. I definitely want to refocus my life with ambitions of more general travel and home ownership in the next few years. I might ease back on Cosplay to point of making maybe one or two costumes in a year if I work on things at all. At the moment I have quite a few costumes to look forward to and plenty of costume favourites I'm looking forward to wearing again. I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished in the last few years and how far I've come.

Not so sure about travelling for cons after Colossal this year. The dollar has become so weak lately that I'm actually regretting deciding to go to Colossal. Probably won't return to a US con for the next year or so after my trip in June. I just hope the Canadian dollar evens out in the .90 cent range in the next year or two.

Anyway, hopefully it'll be a fun year! I hope working on Madoka doesn't drive me up the wall. I love the uniform design so I hope I can do it justice! Looking forward to Cosplaying with Pan! :3
Long time no post! I actually don't have a heck of a lot to say because I haven't actually been to a costume event or con since the summer. XD I've totally been neglecting my hobby. In ways I'm kind of sad about it, but in other ways I'm kind of happy because it's nice to take a break from how intense the hobby can be.

I honestly haven't done much sewing and costume work in these last few months. I focused most of my energy and attention in the fall into my Halloween display at my house in October. I did get a pattern to alter for my Madoka school uniform and I began to make a mock-up with alterations for the blouse. I haven't been able to find the motivation to get out my sewing machine, though, so I've made very little progress. I did get some fabric last weekend with Pan for making my own front bow and hair bows and my wig came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Very underwhelmed by the wig as I expected it to be more pre-styled for Madoka. It's basically a long bob with hair clips. The hair clips are fine, but the bob is super long so it needs a lot of trimming. I also still need to find nice triangular trim for the bottom of the blouse and the cuffs. So I've made a minor bit of progress, but I'm in a bit of a rut. 

This was a very light year for me in terms of Cosplay. Possibly the lightest year since I first started Cosplaying in 2001. I only made 1 costume this year (Tennis Princess Peach) although I did wear a couple of other new ones (Snow White Lolita and Usagi's school uniform) and I finally got photos of the China Sherry costume that I made last year. I think I meant to do more, but it's just been tough to find motivation. Maybe it's the fact that I've been Cosplaying for so many years nonstop that's catching up with me. Slowing down a bit isn't necessarily a bad thing either. I think I just find it hard to connect with people and feel connected to cons and the Cosplay scene now. It's a whole new generation of con-goers and there is a very different approach to both costuming and conventions these days. I just need to figure out my place with it or just step back a bit. At the moment I'm sort of stepping back. Not sure if that will continue in 2015. I am still looking forward to Colossalcon and I'm already brainstorming for organizing more things to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North. Hopefully I'll be able to Cosplay Dilandau from Escaflowne at AN. That certainly would get me excited about costuming again!

I did have some fun con experiences this year. Doing the Nominoichi at Anime North was very time consuming and stressful, but I really loved interacting with people and it was fun to find new homes for some of the Anime goods I really enjoyed and took care of. I had fun wearing my Princess Peach ballgown again too! It's still one of my biggest Cosplay achievements. Atomic Lollipop in the summer turned out to be a really reinvigorating experience. I loved the venue! The Science Centre is so much fun and the crafting events were really relaxing and social. I even enjoyed going to Fan Expo for the Sunday. Fan Expo has become a real beast of a con, which sucks in a lot of ways, but it sure is a nexus for con attendees, artists and Cosplayers in Toronto.

I'll post again when I get more work done on Madoka or if I make plans to go to a con or work on something else. I have 2 weeks of vacation from work for Christmas this year that just started, and I'm hoping to actually get some work done on Madoka. I'll cross my fingers that I'll be able to clear some clutter and I can get the mock-up done for the blouse.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! Wishing everyone all the best in 2015! It should be an interesting year!
The fall season will be upon us in no time and things have actually been a bit busy for me lately. I know that I said I wasn't going to any more conventions this year after Atomic Lollipop in July, but I did actually go to Fan Expo for a day (Sunday of the con) last week. I didn't go to Fan Expo last year, but I was feeling a bit sad that I missed out on Otakuthon the week before and I decided to look over the Fan Expo schedule. I was curious what the con had to offer and I found some of the panels on Friday of the con piqued my interest.  

There were a couple of guest panels that I wanted to see, but I didn’t leave myself enough time to plan to go by the time I thought maybe it would be worth attending the con for a day. Instead, my awesome friend Pan was able to get a badge for me to attend the con with her on the Sunday so I could still check out what the con had to offer. I had found that some of my favourite local Halloween/horror artists had art booths at the con in Artist Alley so I spent much of the afternoon searching for goodies. I did find some nice jewellery pieces and one figure that I wanted to buy in the dealer’s area. I didn’t get a chance to check out any panels because I was only at the con for a few hours and the day went by in a bit of a blur. Fan Expo is one of the most commercial cons in Canada so the atmosphere is quite different from most of the cons that I attend. There were some impressive exhibits and I may consider attending the con for a day in future years.

Pan and I re-wore our original design Supergirl and Batgirl dresses. It was nice to get a chance to Cosplay again before the end of summer. Fan Expo used to signal the end of the con season for me and the start of back-to-school for the first several years that I attended the con as I went to Fan Expo for the first time back in 2001. The con has grown exponentially since then and there are a lot of negatives to the event. I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting a full weekend pass, but I can still see the benefit of attending Fan Expo for a day because of the large variety of genres that Fan Expo encompasses.

Besides Fan Expo, I got together with my friend Pan last Saturday and we took some Cosplay photos of each other in a park near our house. I decided to wear my China Sherry costume. I’ve been hoping to get some photos of my China Sherry costume from RE6 for well over a year now and with the guns involved with the costume, it’s sort of hard to find a space that’s secluded enough to work with for a photoshoot. The shoot with Pan was lots of fun and we got some great character shots. Thanks to Pan for spending the day with me! I took some photos of her as a Teen Wolf character and that was a neat experience. I’m not much of a photographer, but it was fun to try my hand at it.

Now that it’s September, the con season has truly wound down for me. I’m still hoping to do a couple of photoshoots this year. I was planning to do a Tennis Peach shoot as I still don’t really have photos of that costume, but the temperature is set to drop in the next few days and I doubt I’ll be able to arrange for a shoot before it gets too cold. I have a new wig for my Shinku costume so I’m hoping to set up a shoot for that costume. I have zero photos of Shinku that I truly love because the wig has always been a frustration for me (that and squinting in pretty much every outdoor photo that I already have). ~_~ Hopefully I’ll figure out a shoot for that sometime in the next couple of months.   

I did just get shoot photos back from Otakuthon last year, the Cosplay Picnic and APOP so I’m really happy to have so many lovely photos to share. I’m finally working my way through my backlog of costumes that I need photos of and it’s nice to finally be catching up with things. Thanks to all the wonderful photographers that I’ve been working with in the last few years! It’s always such a triumph to see nice photos of a costume that I poured lots of blood sweat and tears into!

Firstly, I never got a chance to write about it before, but I had an amazing time at Atomic Lollipop. I went into the con with moderate expectations, but I came out of it feeling reinvigorated regarding conventions.  I had the most fun at APOP that I've had at any con in years. I loved checking out the exhibits at the Science Centre. A few new galleries had opened since I had last been there several years ago so I enjoyed seeing the new things and I really liked the con events that I attended. I participated in a few crafting sessions. I made a plush Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle, a Sailor Moon locket shrinky dink keychain and a cheesy felt crown. I checked out the bouncy arena and some of the exotic animals that had been brought for the event. Pan and I had an artist draw us together as chibis and I loved the resulting picture. Everything came together to make it a lovely weekend! I did wear my Halloween summer dress and my Tennis Princess Peach costume. I didn't bother Cosplaying on Sunday and that was a great decision as it made the last day stress free. I did a shoot with Elemental of the Halloween dress so hopefully those photos will be coming in the next few weeks. I can't wait for the convention next year! If it's back at the Ontario Science Centre then I will definitely go back again!

Having such a good time at APOP got me excited for conventions next year so I finally figured out car and hotel roommates for Colossalcon and I booked a hut room. I'll be travelling with Stillvisions and Ammie. After attending Atomic Lollipop, I have high expectations that with the resort amenities, it'll be a wonderful weekend! (^^) I've been meaning to go to Colossal for several years so I'm glad it's finally happening. Too bad so many of my Canadian friends won't be going anymore, but I think it'll be a great weekend regardless.

In other news, last night I launched a new look for my Cosplay site over on my domain, Straywind.com. My awesome friend Pan made the layout and it took me a little while to edit all the pages so I could post it. There are still a few bugs to work out that I'll be working on tonight. Some rollover image effect code in the costume gallery breaks while viewing the site on mobile devices so I need to whip up an alternate page for the gallery. Other than that, I love how it turned out. (^^) I have full galleries of my costumes and costume descriptions. You can really see how far I've come as a Cosplayer.

As for the rest of the summer, August is looking to be pretty relaxing as I'm not going to Otakuthon this year. I'm hoping to do a Tennis Princess Peach shoot with Elemental at some point this month or next month at a tennis court. I'm also really hoping I can get some photos of my China Sherry costume. I would love nice outdoor photos of Princess Peach, but given how big and bulky the dress is, I don't think that's going to happen. Not sure if I'll try to get pictures of anything else, but those are the costumes that I want to focus on. I can't believe summer is already half over! 

Finally, I went fabric shopping with Pan a couple of weeks ago and I was able to find a really nice wool fabric to use to make Madoka's school uniform skirt from Madoka Magica. I've loved the look of the uniforms from Madoka since I watched the Anime a year or two ago so I'm planning to make the costume this year and I'll wear it to conventions in 2015. I don't have a wig or any other fabric for the costume yet so it might take a while to get this costume off the ground, but I'm really excited to Cosplay Madoka. I also now have fabric to make a new blouse for my Usagi school uniform. This time it'll be the summer version thanks to a pattern Pan has drafted. I may not be attending many Cosplay events now, but it's going to be a busy fall with sewing!
Atomic Lollipop is coming up this weekend and I'm still a bit on the fence about my costume plans, but I'll just let the experiences that I have guide what I Cosplay and if I bother Cosplaying all weekend. I've never been to this con before so I'm not quite sure what the atmosphere is like.

As it stands, I'm planning to wear my Halloween summer dress on Friday. Gonna hopefully get a shoot of the dress. I bought some cute candy corn themed shoes and the candy corn themed Arda wig last fall so I'm hoping all the elements will come together for a cute outfit. I know it's totally out of season, but it should be fun to wear.

My plan for Saturday is to re-wear my Tennis Princess Peach costume. I don't really have many photos of the costume from Anime North and I'm still waiting for shoot photos from SolarTempest so I'm hoping to do a shoot with Elemental at the con. Seems like a good choice for a summer event.

I'm not sure if I'll Cosplay on Sunday of the con. I'm debating about re-wearing my middle school uniform from Sailor Moon and this time Cosplaying as Amy. The Science Centre does seem like a good location for photos of the studious Sailor Scout. Pan and I would love to wear our Sailor Mars and Mercury costumes, but it would be too difficult to wear our fukus to a con where we can't change in a hotel room. I have a bunch of fun costumes like my Star Trek dress or the Batgirl dress that would be great to wear to this so I feel a bit overwhelmed with choices.

This is my last major event for the year. I may try to do some private photoshoots before fall. I would love to get some photos by a garden of Princess Peach and I desperately need photos of my China Sherry costume from RE6 as I never did a shoot of the costume. I don't really have nice photos to share here after debuting the costume at Anime North 2013. (^^);; I have a big list of costumes I would like to re-wear for proper shoots. I bought a new wig earlier this year for my Shinku costume from Rozen Maiden so at some point I would like to wear that costume again and I still have a Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that I haven't worn yet either. XD I'll have to try to chip away at my costume photo backlog if I can find photographers to do private shoots with. I'll post here again as plans come together.

I am looking forward to checking out APOP this weekend. I haven't been to the Science Centre in a few years so it will be neat to see the exhibits and I'm sure it'll be a fun location for photos. There are a few con events and workshops that sound really cool so I'll definitely keep busy during the weekend.

As an aside, I did attend the Cosplay Picnic two weeks ago. It was a fun time on the island. It wasn't too hot and the weather cooperated, which was wonderful. I did wear the Snow White dress. I posted a photo here. I did a private shoot with Elemental and the previews on her camera that I saw were lovely so I'm super excited about those photos. It's always nice to Cosplay a Disney Princess, but I'm glad I brought a change of clothing so I didn't wear the full outfit to and from the event. Last time I wore my full Snow White dress to the island I had a blast, but I was swarmed no matter where I went by people wanting photos. It was very flattering, but very overwhelming. I learned a lesson for this time! (^^)
Just a quick update because the next few weeks are going to be a little busy.

First of all, thank you to the Trick 'r Treat official movie Facebook page for doing a fan feature on me because of my Sam costume that I made a few years ago. Halloween is my passion so the feature means a lot to me. You can see it here. I'm still looking forward to the photos from another Trick 'r Treat shoot that I did with Ammie last fall when she wore her Laurie costume. That should be something to look forward to later this year.

I am planning to attend the Cosplay Picnic this weekend. Still not 100% sure if I'm going, but I'm hoping to. I would love to re-wear my Tennis Peach costume, but the wig is kind of fragile so I couldn't take it off and I don't want to put that much stress on the wig. Instead I'm hoping to wear my new Snow White Lolita costume that I bought from Ammie. It would be nice to get some photos of it while on the island. (^_^)

As for Atomic Lollipop in a couple of weeks, right now I'm definitely planning to wear my Halloween dress and Tennis Peach. Making a new blouse to Cosplay summer school uniform Usagi from Sailor Moon has been put on the back burner, but I'll still try to make that later this year or for next spring. I have a couple of other costume ideas that I'm considering for next year if I can find fabric so we'll see what I can whip up.