Tag Archives: costumes

A chilly and Faire day. (Costume reveal!)

15 Apr

Sorry for the belated post! I’ve been sick for the past week or so with some kind of super cold/sinus infection combo, and I’m just starting to feel like myself again.

Tom and I made it out to Scarborough Ren Fest on 4/5, and it was the coldest, wettest Scarby experience we’ve had yet. I’m not going to lie – we were huddled together and sipping on hot coffee and tea most of the time. We were dressed for warmer weather, but you just can’t rely on Texas to stay in season for too long at a time.

We got lots of compliments on our costumes, and were even photographed by total strangers! Here’s how they turned out:

When we realized how cold it was going to be, we rushed to add some warmer elements to our costumes, like the sheep skin Tom is wearing on his back. The night before, I cut strips of cloth to hand sew to a rug we already own, so that he could slip it on like a backpack. He wore long johns under his peasant pants, too, since the fabric my mom used to make them is pretty thin. I wore leggings under my skirt, and I bought some tall socks at the dollar store on our way to the festival to cut into arm warmers for both of us. I, ahem, had to buy a very pretty velvet shawl as it got colder to help keep my upper body warm, which I ended up gifting to my mom at the end of the day.

I also bought some yummy smelling Fresh Peach perfume oil from Majikah Perfumery, which I love because it’s not alcohol based, and is chemical-free! I also found a dainty, hand-carved wooden wand to go with my fairy costume. We had good food, ran into old friends, and had an overall good time, but headed home early when the drizzle became rain, and the chill became downright cold. Maybe we’ll be able to go again when the weather warms up!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

 

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Shamans and Fairies, Oh My! (an update on our Scarborough Costumes)

2 Apr

So, we picked up our tickets for Scarborough Ren Fest last weekend, and we’re planning on making it to opening day (for the first time!) this weekend. I’ve been working hard on finishing our costumes, and, fortunately, my mom agreed to make Tom’s peasant pants, so I could concentrate on the other stuff.

Now, they’re not your typical renaissance festival costumes, exactly. Tom is going as a shaman/green man combo, and I’m going as a dragon fairy. There are nods to renaissance attire, but they’re in no way meant to be historically accurate.

I finished Tom’s “breastplate” (for lack of a better word.) It went from this:

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… to this:

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I embroidered Nordic designs onto a pleather-y fabric (it’s felted on the back, which I hope will be comfortable for him to wear all day.) There are runic compasses, symbols for guiding you to a specific outcome or trait, and a border design I found online. I’ve hand sewn on faux fur trim, and leather fringe and trim, and added moss and acrylic paint for a lived-in look.

I also made antlers/horns from Sculpey clay to add to his headdress. I painted the antlers with various colors of acrylic paint, and sealed with Mod Podge. Then, I attached them to their own cord to be worn underneath the band of the headdress, which I cut holes into for the antlers to “grow” out of.

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I tried out some makeup looks for my dragon fairy costume yesterday:

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I plan on dyeing my hair purple before Saturday, hence the purple eyebrows. I still need some practice with using fishnets to produce a “scale” effect on my skin, but I like the way the colors coordinate with the headdress.

To view more photos of our costume pieces, go to this post. You’ll find more of my fairy costume, and some other in progress and inspiration pics!

Gentle hugs,

Chelsea

Burly men in skirts, rats, fire and mead, oh my!

23 Apr

The hubs and I made our yearly trek to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival over the weekend. We’re fortunate enough to have a friend who’s working there this year, so we were able to score free tickets. We walked our little tushes off, ate decadent faire food, and were thoroughly entertained!

I wasn’t able to take as many photos as I would have liked, but at least I get to share all the cute animals we encountered! The rats from Cirque du Sewer were very friendly. The Highland Games were impressive (who doesn’t enjoy men in kilts lifting heavy objects?) and the Kamikaze Fireflies put on a wonderfully funny and dangerous show full of fire, acrobatics, hooping and juggling.

The food was delicious, with the exception of the Scottish egg, which had a slight hint of tea tree oil … this is what you get when you mix copious amounts of natural products with food vendors. Tom purchased a couple of bags of sugared pecans and almonds for himself, and I found a pretty ear cuff to wear. I also found a little something for my mom, but she reads this blog, so, sorry, Mom! You’ll just have to wait for your present.

Of course, I’ll be paying for our little excursion for a while (we walked a good 3 miles or so on gravel and muddy grass,) but we had a good time, and, thanks to some effective sunscreen, we’re sunburn-free. If you’re in the DFW area, I highly suggest making it out to one of the themed weekends. There are scooters for rent, and lots of beautiful handmade canes for sale, if you need a little boost making it around the park. There’s plenty to experience just by sitting and watching the fun happen all around you!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

“An Evening In Paris”

7 Apr

So, last night was the night to reveal our Victorian inspired costumes at the UTA library’s “An Evening In Paris: Dancing at the Moulin Rouge” celebration. I was working down to the last minute, y’all, and I have the craft wounds to prove it. (It’s been a while since I shoved a pin so far under my fingernail that it only bled under the nail … ouch.) After working on my fascinator, jewelry, and beading my bustier for the past couple of weeks, I was down to the wire sewing Tom’s double breasted vest from scratch, sewing my skirt, which, thankfully, only involved tearing apart an existing velvet dress and adding taffeta at the hem, stitching button holes to tighten them, and adding finishing touches. Picture Tom and I standing in our kitchen, eating Wendy’s hamburgers at the counter, trying to avoid dripping condiments on our outfits before walking out the door.

Here’s what the finished pieces look like:

We walked a few buildings down the campus to the library, dressed to the nines, and catching some funny glances and a few laughs. By the way, that’s right – I said library. The librarians and members of the student organization La Societe Francophone transformed the 6th floor of the library, after hours, of course, into a sparkling, red and black spectacle. There was a large dance floor in one room (with professional DJ playing mashups of modern beats with old fashioned piano and horn, including the obligatory hip hop and “Gangnam Style,) and the parlor next door was filled with tables surrounding a red and black themed candy bar, and “Moulin Rouge” playing on a screen in the background. There was a free, professionally run photo booth in the corner, so we took full advantage.

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Our friend, Troy, and his date, Cynthia, were there, dressed in Cynthia’s Napoleonic-inspired costumes. She made all of the medals on Troy’s jacket!

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There was a costume contest, featuring 40 entries (there were more guests in costume who didn’t participate.)

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We had some serious competition, but we won first place! The couple standing next to the Groucho Marx lookalike, in the brown dress and lacy hat, and black top hat, won second. They were so sweet, and we all spent about the same amount of money on our costumes – a whopping $30.

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As we were narrowed down to the top six looks, each person or couple stepped forward to receive applause from the audience. The man next to us twirled his date in her beautiful dress. So, naturally, when we stepped forward, I twirled Tom in his beautiful kilt.

Here are some more photos of the fun:

We had a blast, but I am definitely paying for it today. I think it was worth it, though, to see all the creativity, and to win first prize for all that hard work! The library was very generous with their prizes, by the way – we won an iPod Shuffle!

Gentle hugs (and dancing feet,)

Chels

Escaping reality & forming alter egos (in the neverending world of cosplay.)

14 Jun

Reality and I are very close. Too close sometimes. So, to balance things out, I play dress up.

You heard me.

My neice looked at her mom one day last year, after she had gotten dressed and put on her makeup, and said, “Mama, you look fancy like Aunt Chelsea!” That, my friends, is the best compliment I’ve ever received. (That, and that I could be the first female president.) On days when I don’t feel well, even on days that I don’t feel well and don’t even have to go anywhere, I put on something that makes me feel good. Sure, it’s great to learn how to cope, and to work on your mental viewpoint of yourself, yada yada … but let’s be honest. When you think you look good, you feel good, as you should. It especially helps when you get compliments from others, Hottie McHotterson.

When I say that I put on something that makes me feel good, that can be anything from one of my favorite funny t-shirts to pajamas to a dress or skirt to .. yep, you guessed it, a costume. (Or at least part of one.) What says “escape from reality” like dressing up as someone or something else? I used to have this really funny book called “The Bad Girl’s Guide To Life.” One of the suggestions was to spice up your cleaning routine by wearing a tiara. A year or two later, around my birthday, I bought said tiara and wore the heck out of it. I wore it on my birthday, around the house, and, knowing me, probably to the grocery store once or twice. I had decided long before then that if something made me smile, whether someone else thought it was ugly or not, I wore it. Not only did it make me happy, but it made plenty of my friends, and probably quite a few strangers, laugh. You can’t really have enough laughter in the world, right?

When I met my husband, my small amount of comic world knowledge, his larger amount of knowledge, and his older brother’s even bigger amount of knowledge combined like a smaller but equally as cool Captain Planet team to turn my slight fascination into near obsession. Add to that my love for anything in the Whedonverse (Joss Whedon, that is,) and I’m not just a nerd, I’m a bona fide geek, thankyouverymuch!  Then there’s the happiness I get from watching the behind the scenes footage of nearly any movie to see how makeup and costumes were made. I’m pretty much done for.

Then, lo and behold, I discover a world that used to only be occupied my anime characters has now expanded to nearly any sci-fi, comic book, movie, and book character you can think of. Oh dear. All I can say is: look out, cosplay world! Here I, my seemingly useless knowledge, my amateur acting skills, and my awesome craftiness come! It’s a match made in heaven, really. Good old reality is still there, but it’s been downgraded to friend status. This world of imagination, creativity and play is my real love.

If you love dressing up for cosplay, or if you just want to see a bunch of really cool costumes, check out DeviantArt. (I’m “loveandeyeballs.”) You can search the submissions, or submit a cosplay picture or two to their latest fundraiser for child burn victims!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Dallas Comic Con 2012

26 May

This past weekend, Tom and I went to Dallas Comic Con, something we started doing just this year beginning with their Sci Fi Expo (where I got to meet Eliza Dushku!) This time, we dressed in costume, and were nowhere near prepared for the massive turnout. We didn’t get to see or meet any celebs, sadly. It was a blast, though, despite the heat and long lines, so I thought I’d share some pics.

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Gentle Hugs,

Chels

P.S. – Sorry for the late update! I haven’t been well for the past couple of days, so it was even more delayed.

Hi, I’m a geek.

18 Apr

My husband likes to work out. I mean, he reeeeallly likes to work out. He lifts rocks and logs and scales walls and things like that, and it give him this crazed satisfaction.

I make stuff. All kinds of stuff, but especially costuming (cosplay) and making props and acessories give me the same type of crazed satisfaction.

Tom and I are going on our yearly trip to the local ren faire, Scarborough Faire, at the end of this month. When I checked the site for special events, imagine my elation when I read there’s going to be a costume contest! Not just any renaissance costume contest, though, but a time traveler costume contest. This means anything from Dr. Who to steampunk time traveler. Now, I love Victorian and Edwardian style, but I’ve never really done anything steampunk, though I’ve admired it from afar (drooling.)

So, that’s what I decided to go with, because I’m crazy and I like a challenge. So far, I’ve made my skirt, a couple of pairs of goggles, a mini tophat, put together our outfits, and started on some weapon props and a wearable time machine.

If you’d like to learn how to make the mini tophat, you can check out my other blog, Buy Me Love. It’s all there, with pictures and a step-by-step tutorial.

If you just want to oggle my goggles (I couldn’t resist,) here’s some DIY eye candy for you:

Mini Tophat

 

Baubles and beads on the back of the tophat.

 

Guns and goggles!

Guns and goggles!

 

Tom's time machine repair goggles.

 

Tom's costume. I changed the buttons, and added a heart at the breast of the vest.

 

For quick, inexpensive costumes, using mostly things we already had around the apartment, I don’t think they’re half bad. We hit up my favorite thrift stores to find the skirt I’m using, his scarf and belt, went to the dollar store for swimming goggles, and Wal Mart for the knockoff “Nerf” guns. All in all, we spent less than $25. The rest of the stuff we found in our toolboxes and my and my mom’s craft rooms. (For instance, the “bolts” on the goggles are actually furniture tacks with the tack cut off. Tom did that part.) Believe it or not, the tophat is a plastic cup and a circle of wire covered in fabric. I can’t wait to wear it all to the faire! I’ll post pictures of the finished costumes later.

Gentle hugs,

Chels