Tag Archives: cosplay

How to Con a Queen

So in my last post i kind just walked through my first MCM comicon experience. I know it was long, and I appreciate people taking the time to read it. But also, if you didn’t? I completely understand.

So basically in my last post, i mentioned the length of time that we were waiting to see ‘the talent’ and honestly, calling them that feels …. odd. I mean, it really just turns them into objects?

How many times have we read that someone is difficult or awkward in an interview, that it felt that they were not bothered, interested, invested. That we hear about how they are doing ‘press’ surrounding a movie release, that they are doing appearences, that this is part of the package?

Well I never really thought about it before, not really. It isn’t that I hadn’t met famous people before. While living in London, I frequently brushed shoulders with ‘famous’ people, from TV, or film. But because of the situation… they were off duty, its the UK, you kinda just let them be? There are a couple of notable exceptions, but generally speaking I find it easier to pretend to be above all of this instead of acting like the flailing fangirl that I really am.

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Now what I have become more and more bothered by, over the course of meeting 3 celebrities in such a way, is that they cease being people. They cease having their own life outside providing a service. I PAID TO SEE THESE PEOPLE DAMNIT. .. i sat on the train home, having spent all day on my feet, thinking about how much I ached.. and then it hit me. The celebrities (or talent as people kept referring to them as, but I find weird…) had been on their feet for the same length of time.

When I was waiting for Jason, I was in batch 23, they have opened up over 30 batched. The demand was certainly there…. while we had been asked to stand against the wall by his security (I get it, honestly I do) I looked over at the photographer. She was waving one hand around, and looking unhappy. I mean… how many photos had she taken by this point. It is just a production line. There was little or no personality. All the people involved, they just had to make sure that we all go what we wanted. A photo with someone we loved, admired, lusted after? But there was no break for them.

So as much as I was complaining about how much I ached and hurt, how annoyed I was at standing so long, all the people in the booth, taking photos, hearding, securing, hell Jason himself, they had all done it for as long. But he had a big grin on his face, he was generous, hell he gave my boobs a thumbs up (I will actually scan the photo on the make it clearer). Now I know that this is all down to good customer service, and they are all there providing a service, and that there was a lot of money made.

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But this is still bothering me a great deal. We are all used to consuming what we want, we want our celebrities to be accessible, to be relatible, to be viable. We want to be able to follow, to see, to be able to use our knowledge and experience of them to make informed decisions. We base our choice of movie, of entertainment, hell we even base medical decisions like whether to vaccinate our children based on celebrity culture.

We sit on SC, IG, Twitter, we consume everything, we want to have what they have, we buy what they tell us to buy, we want to look like them, live like them, we mimic their diets, their fashions. We have almost forgotten that these are people, just like us. Lets not layer this up. They are like us. Their jobs may be different, and we really won’t understand their lives looking in. They do live in a glass house. There are held accountable for everything that they say and do.

Speaking of which, I adore Jason Mamoa, I really do. I won’t lie, he is very attractive, he is physically my type. Along with 80% of the population. But there is more to it, he comes accross as just… so nice, he has just a life force, he is passionate, he appears to be fun to be around. Right? These are all qualities that we manage to pick up from various appearances, interviews, videos. But a couple of years ago, at a panel, he made a comment about his time in GoT which I think we are all aware of. I am not going to condemn or defend the comment. He is one of many who have been caught up in an age where things are shared instantly.

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We do not own these people, we do not ‘pay their wages’, a phrase anyone working in customer services will have heard numerous times. I am incredibly grateful that I had an opportunity to meet these people, all three are very special to me, for different reasons. I am happy that they exist, that they have made a difference. And that I have something to remind me of the time i got to meet them.

But they own me nothing, not at all. I don’t have a hold over them, I don’t even want to know how much money even goes to them at these appearances. But you know, it has given me a much better respect for the hard work they do, that they sign up to do, are contracted to do, that they are expected to do.

I honestly can’t say if I will ever do another photoshoot at a convention, whether I will buy an autograph. Getting to meet someone you admire is always scary and exhilarating. But we all need to remember, that they are giving their time to do this, and it is not easy. Just a little sense of prospective.

Queen at a Con

So on Saturday, 27th July I finally made it to MCM London Comicon. I have only been to local ones previously and honestly my anxiety was making even the idea of such a big event impossible.

However, I had a lovely FB friend who invited me along and we even cosplayed together! This is not to say that i wasn’t utterly terrified about everything, meeting new people, the sheer amount of people there, the cost, let alone the cosplay.

Now i am no stranger to cosplay, but there is a big difference between taking photos and sharing them (albeit publicly) and having to worry about everything looks and how it will last.

So lets go back to the costume, I had a dress which i had bought last year, for a cosplay. Now I am fairly sure it was always destined for a Cersei cosplay but you never know with me. Now, as it stood, it was plain and a little frumpy. I sat down and tried to see what I could do to it, how it could start to look like something she would wear, while staying within my ability. Also please note, I am bloody lazy.

I had a few ideas, bought a few bits but shipping was taking too long, so i had to come up with some new ideas… and eventually it all started coming together and took shape. Now the final bit was sewing into the panel at the front of the dress.. but more on that later.

Because, as I have mentioned, I am lazy, I also procrastinate and I was still working on the dress a couple of days before the con, and the wig… well it was a little hot this week and i can tell you, doing wig restyles in a bathroom in the heat… it leads to a very melty face and a tiny bit of frustration. For this reason, I really didn’t do a dress rehearsal before putting it all on, on Saturday morning.

And now. Now we are on the day of the con, because of the weather, I had planned to wear a maxi dress and get changed at the con, get changed and changed again when I was on my way home. But of course when Saturday rolled around, I was met with a lot of rain. Instead I got on a train in my outfit sans the wig. At the station, I had a member of staff ask what was going on in london as a lot of people had already left for London dressed in costume.

Now, the train, the train was on time (unlike the 2 trains that were running vert late) and not all that busy, and journey was quick. I got a message to say my friend was meeting me at Victoria so it was a shot couple of stops from Euston. So far, so good. Although while chilling at the station, she called to say that there was a burst water main and delayed. Added was trying to find somewhere to park… but we figured it out, headed toward the Olympia and …. tried to find a space to leave the van.

And so we join the queue to get in, which moves quickly, and enter the con. Already there are a lot of people standing around and so many amazing costumes, but in a panic over when the photoshoots would be taking place I ran off upstairs to find out who was when.

Now I finally manage to locate the list of when, and where people are having shoots, and spend far, far too long looking for my first, with Sylvester McCoy. I finally find him, and try and work out when his shoot would be taking place. A guy I am standing with, leaves his son with me and goes to find out. We get told that we are early, come back in 45 mins. Fine, no problem.

I go for a walk around. get stopped by a gentleman with a camera asking for a photo (quick possibly by best.. ) and get offered a chip. I head downstairs to see what is going on. As I walk past a group I hear ‘is that supposed to be a slutty Cersei?’ and move along. Now the reason they are asking is that my thighs are viable when walking. This was not intentional, but a symptom of my leaving things to the last minute and not realising that the waist of the dress sits higher and therefore I needed to pin the panel in further down.

Now a few seconds after the above comment, while i am debating how annoying my dress is going to be, I get chased down by a Daenrys who asked for a photo. Now she was gorgeous, and cute and we had fun taking photos. While we were having a play, a few people snapped photos and suddenly we had a Arya running toward us. Who I proceeded to strangle. Luckily I managed to control myself long enough to rope her friend into taking photos and we eventually made our own way. I went back upstairs, and there was a massive queue still waiting for Sylvester, as there was yet another photoshoot going on and over running. Eventually I got in the queue, and got talking to a few of the guys who agreed that McCoy is pretty damned amazing.

Now I had no idea what would happen, basically we are called in, still in a queue, and got to briefly speak before a photo is taken and printed out. I was super excited by the photo and that I had managed to meet one of my childhood heros (true story, while I don’t watch Dr Who now, I loved it growing up and McCoy was most certainly my doctor. although I was most certainly expecting someone taller!).

After McCoy, I had to shoot over to the other side to the venue, difficult given the sheer amount of people and having no bloody idea where I was going. Eventually I was somewhat sure that I had the right place, and asked a girl if I was in the right place. I was – but I was batch 9. Luckily so was she, and we got chatting. It really is great to meet people who understand your desire to dress up, and fan girling etc. Her SO was having to keep half an ear out for her on another photo shoot. You see, you couldn’t pick a time for these things, they are batched out. So you might end up having 2 at the same time and have to make a mad dash. Another issue, is with so many people, it was hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and it was gone 14:00 and I had been on my feet since 9:30am. We also couldn’t hear what batch had been called, it got to batch number 8 and we joined, knowing that we were in the next batch. Well our batch didn’t get called which just shows how much stress and confusion was involved.

Now, Christina Ricci might seem odd, I mean I don’t often mention her, or suggest I have a deep love for her. But its Christina FUCKING Ricci. As we got closer, we started getting excited. She was so gorgeous and doll light up close, and I … I may have told her that she was beautiful. As I grabbed our bags while waiting for the photos…. we hand flapped our excitement at having met Christina Ricci. We were feet away from her, and I honestly would be surprised if she hadn’t noticed.

Now, at this point, I have a break, I went to find the toilets, find one set with men and disabled. While waiting, a disabled person joined and I couldn’t wait longer so I ran off to find an alternative. Heading over, I ran into my friends hubby waiting for her – I ran in, found her and we decide to have a little walk around while I waited for my final photoshoot of the day. This was pretty much the only time I spent with her – how awful?

At 16:00 I trotted upstairs and attempted to find the right booth for Jason Mamoa, basically I kept going around in circles, until I came accross a Mamoa lookalike asking for… well Jason. He was being told that we were in the wrong place and the steward went off in search of answers. However, a couple of people in front of us turned around and told us were in the right place. Apparently another photoshoot had overrun so Jason was moved at the last minute. I get chatting to a couple of people and suddenly I was aware of something behind me… that something turned out to be Jason Mamoa, which led to a lot of cheering, clapping, and chanting. It really was quite something. Now, during this time, a lot of people were coming and going, asking where we were. Another steward escaped the scrum and for reasons that now escape me, we collared him. He mentioned not having had a bio break since 7:30am so we suggested he gets on. He was collared by a deaf couple looking for another photo op (basically the one that had moved since Jason had taken up residence) and it was causing a deal of frustration.

Now at this point, the crowd had gotten worse, more people turning up and melting away when they realised exactly how long a wait they would have. We started getting concerned that we wouldn’t be able to hear the batch being called. This had been an issue for me earlier, and clearly others. Well, nothing to worry about, we had a Scottish steward who happily stood on a stool and bellowed. He got standing ovations for his services to geeks. And caused backlash from our escapee steward working accross the room.

As I stood, and stood, and stood some more, a couple of friends that I had made, while standing, and were in the same batch had agreed that there was really no point in moving forward until our batch was called. I am not going to lie, I nearly expired waiting, it felt like there was no air conditioning, and between the outfit, wig, and amount of people… my mood was really heading south. We then had a guy trying to make small talk, and when his batch got called, stating ‘well, you should have bought a ticket earlier’ .. riiiight. It was at this point that I gave up entirely and sat down. I was joined by one of the people who peeled off earlier on realising that they had a long wait. My friend, who I had all but abandoned for photo opportunites, needed to go, and was trying to find me which as I have pointed out, I had no idea exactly where I was. And amongst all of this, my new friends looked over when our batch was called. I said good bye to my new friend, left her on the floor and ran to join my friends while basically also cutting in.

Now, the queue moved pretty quickly, I was surprised by the number of people bringing babies to meet Jason because it wasn’t really an environment i would personally have bought such young children. As we got our ticket scanned, we nervously waited, but got told that we had to wait with our back against the wall by Jason’s security detail. Now we joked about Jason not wanting to see what was coming… on reflection, it is more likely a safety precaution. My friends went ahead of my, and the female half was extremely tall. As she had her photo taken as I was called forward Jason joked with her, and they realised that they are the same height. That is pretty impressive (side bar, Peppa Pig is apparently 7ft tall?). I completely lose my cool, realise I am sweating buckets, don’t get a chance to really pose and it is over before I realise.

So now, I have lost my friends, I have my photos, I am leaving the con… I am wondering if there is any chance I can make my train…. I decide a taxi as I hadn’t really spent any money…. could I find a taxi? Nope. No problem I think… I can hop on a tube….. the district line… being the district line… was FUBAR. After waiting for what seems FOREVER, it moved.. but not far. After 2 stops it was the end of the line, so I switch to the circle line, and finally get a seat (been on my feet since landing in london at 9:30) and … well of course this is stopping early. I get off at Paddington and head out for a taxi. Clearly, nothing is easy, so I end up walking against traffic to flag one down.

As I near Euston, I mention my travel woes, the driver quipped, ‘ there was me thinking you liked taxis’ … dude where were you outside the venue.

Now, I get into the station, and of course. More delays, apparently nationally. So I start walking to pick some food or drink up. As I had only had breakfast and a cola during the day. I am on the phone when I start listing trains off… and … and there is one leaving imminently . I start heading down to the platform… I feel it is a good time to mention that I don’t even run my tights. I made it, just… and collapse in a seat near the toilets. In a world of my own but a little people watching, I settle into the relatively short journey home, letting Pete know that I have made it onto a train, albeit an hour late. Now the toilets on the train are quirky with a rounded sliding door. A couple are sitting opposite. As the journey leaves MK, a girl uses the toilet, she sits next to me, and she is closely followed by a guy. On exit he announces ‘And tonight Matthew….’ which just shows how ingrained some things are in a national psyche. This ended up turning into a rambling conversation involving his friend who had then used the facilities, leaving Trip Advisor reviews for the toilet and how no-one is ‘from’ Northampton and having abandoned one of their friends in MK. Which I have to be honest, is standard on this journey. Every time I make the trip, random conversations erupt around me.

I am going to end it here for now, it really got away from me, but I wanted to get it all down while it was relatively fresh in my brain. As always the time between writing and publishing is … yep!

Wigs to the rescue

So, it has been well documented that I love wigs, I wear them as often as possible. I have my favourites, I have wigs that I wear more often, or that I wear for longer periods of time. I also have wigs that may not be treated as well as they might, I store them all over my house, on the stairs, on my desk, on stands, in bags. On top of that I style my wigs, and use them around special effects make up. 

So, as much as I love my wigs, I have to be honest and admit that they sometimes need a little TLC. You might remember a while ago, a lovely friend took in one of my more problematic wigs after it got ruined on a night out. Well, that we so well, I thought I would give her a much bigger job, and this is my review of the work on the wigs! 

The lady in question is Scarlett Von Trapp Eco-Uture CLICK HERE for her Facebook page. She also makes costumes and general dress making, up-cycling and re-purposing material to make sure it is as eco-friendly as possible as well as unique.

But that isn’t what we are here to discuss, we are here to discuss wigs, before and after! I sent 3 wigs to Scarlett, 2 were well loved wigs, and another was a poor quality Ebay wig that needed attention desperately. I only have photos of the first two, which were bought from Geisha Wigs, Watermelon and Red Riding Hood :

These were (and are) 2 of my favourite wigs and therefore the ones I would reach to immediately. I started to notice that the crimp was slowly dropping out of Watermelon, as you can see in the photo, and Red Riding Hood was a slightly defective wig from the outset but I had waited so long for it to come into stock, I rolled with it. As they started to wilt, I stopped wearing them which was sad. The third wig in the batch was another crimped wig, which was unmanageable from the outset. I attempted to straighten out the ends to help but this i also didn’t work so I ended up leaving it in a bag to be forgotten. 

I happened to be discussing this with the lovely owner and woman behind Scarlett Von-Trapp who suggested that she would love to give them a make over, so off I bundled them knowing from our previous transaction, that the wigs would be in good hands. I didn’t discuss exactly what needed doing or what I wanted prior to the wigs being received as I wanted to get an honest opinion on the wigs and what would be possible so I wouldn’t be going into the transaction is misguided expectations. 

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Once she confirmed receipt, we discussed the wigs, and initial thoughts on what she could do with them and what she felt would be best. We agreed for a simple re curl on Red Riding Hood, and she suggested tight curls on Watermelon. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was pretty excited to see what she would come up with. The last wig, the taro, I again gave her a pretty free reign on, I really just wanted a wearable wig.

At every point, I was kept in the loop, I got progress reports and pictures. Every step was discussed with pictures being sent so I could see what the wigs looked like. This is pretty important when you are dealing with people online, it isn’t as simple as popping to your local high street.  

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As you can see, quite a transformation and I really do love the progress photos, it is interesting to see the stages of the work! I am so happy now the wigs are happily back with me, and I cannot think Scarlett Von-Trapp not only for the care and attention, but for the work that she has put into the restoration of the wigs. And there are the little touches with the packaging, it is always feels as if it is an actual present you are receiving in the post. And seeing the care in the wigs, considering that Watermelon has had a complete restyle, she has made sure that the tracts and the wig cap is still in perfect condition. And I have to say, although it looks as if it should be super heavy, it is light and very easy to wear! 

A brief interlude to appreciate the wigs as they are now :

I honestly cannot recommend this lady enough, she cares deeply for her craft, for wigs, and is amazing at restoration and restyling. There is not a safer pair of hands to place your wigs in. She does do international work, and is very responsive to messages. If you are curious about what she can do and what the charges are. At no point is there any pressure to commit to anything. And like I said earlier, she also does other work so it is worth checking out her Facebook page to see what else she can help you with 🙂

Two faced? No, I have many!

No secret, I don’t have one, I don’t have two, there are many faces that I show to the world. This really isn’t a surprise to many of you, as I have been fairly open, well, prolific in my love of make up, making up and changing the image you show the world. I have been equally vocal on my feelings toward body shaming of any type.

I have had comments directed at me over the amount of selfies I take, if you go onto my makeup page, and combine that with my IG … well it is the tip of the iceberg. I rarely take just the one and think it is perfect. In my defense, I am trying my best to capture whatever I managed to create with makeup. But you know, sometimes, like the last couple of days, I just feel fabulous and take a selfie. I have said it before and I will say it again, I often don’t recognise myself when I have put makeup on, and that is part of the reason.

There is nothing wrong with using makeup, wigs, extensions, corsets, padding, colour, anything that makes you feel good. Confidence is key, if it takes a dash of red lipstick, or a full contouring routine, it makes no difference. 

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So who hasn’t seen this MEME over the last few months? It has been shared, tweeted, copied, updated more times that I care to guess at. I will be the first to admit at commenting on someone else’s heavily/badly edited picture. Okay, so to me, it didn’t look so good. So what. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have no real control over how we are perceived by others 99% of the time – no matter how hard we try, something may go wrong – I for example, ran into one of my consultants at work, looking bedraggled. I had just been swept in and he asked if I was okay. It wasn’t until 10 mins later looking in the mirror, that I realised that my hair gave the impression I had been dragged backward through a bush on the way to work. (as much as I normally love my short hair, not being able to tie it up into a pony tail is testing at times!)

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My current hair style with end of day makeup, so you might say, a little different from how i look in most of my photos. Et voila :

So this isn’t a vanity post, this isn’t a post asking you to bask in the glory that is my face. (although you are more than welcome to!)  This is just a post stating, it is okay to look how you want, wear as much paint, synthetic hair, layers of clothing. Don’t let others make you feel bad for doing it. Most of the time people won’t realise what they are saying is upsetting, it is just a thoughtless and throw away comment.

Cosplay by Beth

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached was Beth Yuka. Beth is a British cosplayer, the only one in this line up! Sorry guys, next time I will drag some more local artists into the love in! Beth is cute as a button, and so sweet! We met through wigs – but I really love her attention to detail and the fact that she shows the entire process. It gives you a glimpse into what it takes and the skill involved.

Beth is a really sweet person, go give her Facebook page a like for gorgeous costumes, some great art work and possibly posts dedicated to noodles. I can’t promise poetic dedications to noodles… but I am sure if you ask Beth nicely! Anyways, enough of my waffling, this is what the lovely lady herself had to say !

 

  1. How did you first get started in cosplay
  2. Why do you cosplay?
  3. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay
  4. How do you find the community
  5. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type
  6. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?
  7. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?
  8. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?
  9. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

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  1. I first got into cosplay back when I was 12 years old, I didn’t fully know about cosplay at this time but I was a textiles student and I had begun making bags and pillow cases ect and I was getting really into video games, anime and sci fi at this time too. I remember when I was around 14 planning out to dress at Princess Peach for Comic con in London but because I was 14 I wasn’t allowed to go.
  2. I cosplay to become awesome characters. To leave behind boring Beth and bring to life Korra, Lady Loki, Thor or whoever I want to be. Also it gives me a pretty good reason to own a load of wigs.
  3. My favourite aspects would be a majority of the community. They’re very loving and welcoming and accepting of anyone. I also love the fact that there are companies out there who have pre made costumes for people who don’t sew or build/craft like me. It means it’s available to everyone.
  4. The community for the most part is great, there are a lot of people who are very supportive of you and the costumes you make/wear and will give you advice if you need it. However there is a side that’s become more apparent as cosplay ha gotten more popular and that’s the ugly side of it. There are a lot of people who will put others down for no reason and that can be really off putting for a lot of new comers but it’s all a game of just ignoring the haters (lol). You need to be tough and prepare yourself because there are people who will be dicks for no reason.

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  1. I don’t really have a process of selecting costumes. I mainly just fall in love with a character and want to be them so I go ahead and make that costume.
  2. I sew/build all of my costumes, I’ve never bought one. I also like to stay true to the source material however I do enjoy seeing steampunk versions or armoured version and even mashups too, I’ve just never gotten around to making one.
  3. I personally haven’t faced it yet but I feel it’s inevitable. At one point I think someone will start following my page and sending messages telling me I’m ugly and my skills are bad but I don’t care. I do it for me not to please them.
  4. I haven’t found myself in bad situations before but I’m also a very safe and cautious person when it comes to conventions and what not.
  5. Be part of a group, and make sure that the group are your friends. Whenever I’ve been in costume to a convention I have been in a group with people who care about me and help keep me safe. Also never send pictures to people over facebook, tell them that if someone wants to do business so photographing/doing a shoot then make sure you use email as it’s more professional and you can keep emails as proof just in case something bad happens. And something that every cosplayer in general should know is to always carry a bottle of water with you. If you’re in heavy armour it can get hot and in the summer it can only get worse so drink water and keep yourself hydrated. ❤

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Cosplay by Roxy Lee

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached was Roxy Lee – like Mistress Zelda, I first found Roxy Lee through Geek Girls and now spend most of my time stalking her on her Facebook Page.

If you recognise the name, it is because Roxy Lee is my mentor when it comes to make up – her skills are fantastic, what first attracted me is her ability to put together some pretty epic special effects looks using items found in the average makeup bag. She is always there to answer questions and a mother bear to her friends as well as putting together some ass kicking cosplays – which you will find on her page. And now over to the lady herself :

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  1. How did you first get started in cosplay
  • I was actually a booth babe for a known comic series called “Bad Kids go to Hell” Funny enough I was modelling at the time and looking to branch out into something more interesting and answered an ad! I did it voluntarilly and had the time of my life and found a culture I never knew existed. You could say I kinda accidentally fell into this world and thank god for that!
  1. Why do you cosplay?

– Honestly there are times I don’t have the motivation, drive or energy to cosplay and that goes hand in hand with what is going on in my life at the time. But mainly I cosplay when I am in a great place mentally and emotionally as it helps me feel creative and express myself. But mainly I just enjoy the artistic side of it, I love the feeling of accomplishment I receive once completing something I am proud of, and the outpour of support from viewers and those who share my work is beyond a feeling I can express. I also love attention. Not many will openly admit that but I do. I am a born performer lol. It also helped me meet some of my greatest friends, people whom have accepted me for me and not bullied me for my interests.

  1. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay

Easy, people, creativity, feeling of accomplishment, pride, attention, fun!!! Performance, love and a feeling of being understood and accepted.

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  1. How do you find the community
  • We would need a lot more than this page to explain my stance on this at the moment but I will say it isn’t a very good one lately. The community is becoming something different and as sad as it is I still remain accepting of peoples choices and direction. But it is making it extremely hard for certain artists to be noticed in their work to create a business out of it. And the negativity, bullying, harassment and judgement is starting to get to me. Call me jaded I guess. The things I stated above of why I loved this community and this hobby are slowly diminishing. Which adds to the lack of motivation to create new costumes. It is vicious cycle. I got into this community for acceptance and quickly realized that was the last thing on the list for a lot of people. I think I will mainly stick to my makeup for the time being as that is my happy place haha.
  1. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type

I wear what I feel best in, comfort and mobility are huge factors as I love to really get into character and move around a lot in photo shoots. I tend to pick characters I can easily portray as closely as possible or resemble as much as humanly possible also. I don’t like to wear wigs all that much so a character that I can fit my hair into, or dye or cut to resemble is a plus. But for myself personally I costume to my comfort in my body, not my body type. If I cosplay as a character, say my arkham asylum ivy, she has an open exposed shirt. I am not comfortable with that but still wanted to wear her outfit, so I simply wore a buttoned up blouse instead. Bam problem solved! But I also tend to wear costumes I can add my spfx background into, and basically every costume I wear I add blood and cuts into anyway haha.

  1. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?

Little bit of all worlds. I don’t stick to one type of cosplaying. I have bought pieces from thrift stores and modified them or pieced them together, I have made entire cosplays from scratch, I have commissioned others to create armor and guns for me and I have borrowed other costumes from friends just to try something I normally wouldn’t for shits and giggles. I don’t hold a standard to any one cosplayer. Their cosplay is their cosplay experience. It is all personal. I do however tend to add something of my own into every costume for creative purposes.

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  1. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?
  • Sure, I was once told I was fat as Lara Croft even though I was probably at my thinnest and felt really great about myself haha and was an athletic ass kicking lara croft, I knew this. So it didn’t affect me as much as it might have. I am a curvy girl and I am perfectly ok with that but it did not make it right for this stranger to try to make me feel uncomfortable about my own body. I was also in a situation where two people were taking about how they wanted to rape me in a costume as if I wasn’t even present on my own page reading it as a person, that one upset me and I spoke out about it, it kinda received a viral amount of support from people so that was awesome to see so many people stand up to these bullies. But other than that my page is an extremely safe place with wonderful people that I admire and respect and adore. But as an admin at Geek Girls and manager at Super Cosplay Girls I see the harassment every single day, and it starts to weigh on you.
  1. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?
  • Myself and many of the Geek Girls faced a sick man who was stalking, harassing and threatening us with horrible murderous actions and rape for months. Simply because we cosplayed and simply because some of us (many of us didn’t do this) had sexualized images. He was horrendous in what he would say and I wont repeat it but it scared us. He would make new accounts and harass us for weeks at a time non stop. He actually threatened to come kill us at our events. We went to the police with that one and it is an on going case. It is sad because he finally admitted to myself and another girl that he did it because he felt rejected by women like us and just wanted to see us naked…. Da fuq? I didn’t sign up for that.
  1. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

Never ever let someone tell you to just deal with it. And to not stand up for yourself or that you deserve it or encouraged it because of what you do or who you are. They are absolutely wrong. Everyone will react differently to an unsafe or potentially harmful situation. We all have different coping mechanisms. You deal with these problems as you see fit. Never allow someone to make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in your own environment and do not be afraid to speak out about it or call them out on their behaviour. Do not condone it. Ban and delete them as soon as possible, do not give them the option to repeat their behaviour or defend their actions. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom to harass. You are the boss in this situation. You control it. Never forget that you are in control. The worst possible thing you can do is allow these people to take that away from you.

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Cos play by Jonny Ruckus

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached is Jonny Ruckus. He replied, which – and I am not afraid to admit, caused arm flapping and generalised fan girling. I first came accross Jonny in his LV Stormtrooper armour – or was it the Ghostbusters outfit? I don’t know! But I fell in love! Jonny is an incredibly talented prop builder, with an amazing attention to detail… including his Hello Kitty proton pack. He also doesn’t take himself seriously (you already got that with the Hello Kitty and LV reference though…. right?)- this makes the page engaging and entertaining – and he gives some amazing photo opportunities. Let’s hear it for the worlds okayest cosplayer!

If you haven’t already, give his facebook page a like. But enough of my waffling, here is what he had to say :

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  1. How did you first get started in cosplay

I was building props from Ghostbusters just as something to have in my house to display and wear for Halloween; it was during the building process it was explained to me about cosplay and doing so a cons.

  1. Why do you cosplay?

I got into it for the charity aspect; always had booths at cons raising money for charities or doing charity events. I still enjoy going to cons for the sake of being a ham and showing off my costumes

  1. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay

Easily meeting new people and seeing kids reactions to your costumes, to them you’re real, they don’t know it’s some guys dressed as Superman; to them they just met the real Superman

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  1. How do you find the community

I had friends explain to me what cosplay is and having a local comic shop I was frequent to gave me the heads up on cons that are worth starting at.

  1. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type
    I only do characters I have a connection to, body type plays into that as well but Cosplay has certainly helped me stay healthy and fit to continue doing the characters I love.
  1. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?
    I build everything myself, it’s my favourite part of the hobby is building props. I’m very be into accuracy and staying as true as possible. I’ve also had some fun doing some funny mash up costumes too.

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  1. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?

Oh absolutely, it’s a very competitive hobby, even if you’re not completing in contests. Everyone wants to be the best and they’ll bring people down to do so.

  1. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?

I’ve had a hand full of times I was pretty sure I was getting knocked out for what I was wearing. Usually they were people outside of cosplay who didn’t understand what I was doing and were also drinking.

  1. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

Big fan of traveling in packs or pairs; The average Con goer is friendly and nice, but like in everything there’s always that weirdo who can’t handle social scenarios. Always be with friends and people you trust.

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Look good getting sweaty

Wait…. hang on a moment, is that even possible?!

Well it is that time of year, we have all eaten and drank with abandon over the last couple of week, or even the month with various socialising we all do in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

So this isn’t going to be one of those preachy articles you read at this time of year telling you to get into a gym. Hell, I haven’t been to a gym for a while – actually, can I tell you a secret, I cancelled my sub today.

But you know what, I have said it before, and I will say it again. Gyms and working out is not a bad thing, and yes people will look at you. I mean you notice people in the street, this is just another excuse for people watching. And I know a lot of my friends have commented on how they prefer to work out at home because they prefer not to be noticed.

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And my answer to this is, wear something that makes you both look & feel comfortable. People are going to look at you, well give them something to look at.

So with this in mind, instead of telling you all, get to the gym, get healthy, feel great. Although I full encourage you to do this. No, I am writing this to give you some ideas of how to look kick ass while at the gym. Or in your own home 🙂

I am going to start at the top – now, I am a geek *gasp* and so I do follow cosplayers – one of which Pipa Wolf Cosplay has recently opened an etsy store – which I obviously had to check out. And I am glad I did, she has some really cute accessories, there are a couple of gym t shirts available – both vest and standard t shirt style. Gym as in Pokemon gym 🙂 I had to buy both in the vest style as I really couldn’t decide which I prefer. Her etsy store is called Side Quest Designs – please go check it out.

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I wasn’t sure what the quality would honestly be like, having no idea where the base was being sourced. So I am happy to confirm that the quality is good – I also washed the shirts when I got them – which is another standard test which many screen printed shirts fail. And again, aced the test, no sticking or stretching. So if you want a couple of cute tops to wear, and show your geeky side while working out – I highly recommend them. And how knows, might help you make new friends with similar interests at the gym!

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So you have your top sorted out, what about your bottom half? Now, I am a leggings kinda girl, I have got jogging bottoms but I have never felt entirely comfortable wearing them. And while I appreciate the billions that goes into designing yet another pair of black exercise leggings, I am going to have to go with Wild Bangarang to complete my look. They have got a dedicated fitness wear section – Wild Storm Fitness. But I just wear a pair of the basic leggings – any which are at hand when I put them out of the leggings basket. Yeah judge away, I have a basket full of leggings 🙂

I won’t bore you massively, as my love for these leggings are pretty well documented – but there are a couple of new lines which are very different but also perfect for the gym – I can only review on, although I am lusting after the other!

The first line is Kokonuzz which are just a cute fun, cartoony line of leggings – both in children and adult lines. The colours are bright and the characters are fun – I have Finn and Otto and they make me smile just wearing them. So if anything is going to make you feel more upbeat about going to the gym….. well possibly the walking back out high on endorphins – these leggings will be it 🙂 So if you want something bright to cheer up a dreary day in January…. well look no further!

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The second line that Wild Bangarang have recently released the Geekweave Collection which are armour based designs which initially started a kickstarter project. I am so happy that WB have taken them on, and really the only reason I haven’t bought any yet, is I am genuinely struggling to decide which ones! If you are on the fence about armour style leggings, which are not traditional style you may be expecting. I fully support your decision to buy the entire collection. Go. Go now!

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Well okay, you may want a little more information that about the leggings that ‘hey they look cool’ … which they do. I have been wearing WB leggings since the brand launched over a year ago. Honestly, I would not have seen myself as a nylon, bright prints, kinda girl. Staying safe with jumpers, and black legging.. However, I am a complete convert. I will generally be found in a pair of leggings at any opportunity. What I do love about this brand especially is that the pattern doesn’t fade out. I don’t have to worry about it dispersing over my generally booty. The length is great for me – I am an average 5’7″ and there is legging to spare which is great when prancing around a gym. I never find myself pulling them up or creeping up my calf. And a lot of their newer ranges like Geek Weave are produced in the UK – the cut is so nice and comfy.

So when you are putting together your gym kit, have a moment’s pause – do you want to fit in with the crowd wearing bland greys and blacks. Or do you want to wear some bright colours and show a little geeky side off? Not a difficult choice is it 🙂

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Adam rocking a pair of Wild Bangarang leggings!

And if you are wondering, I signed up to a new gym today – closer and cheaper – win win.

New Year …. New You ?!

I hate New Year resolutions. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas and it is getting worse with ever passing year. Whereas once it was a lovely time to spend time with family, share gifts to make someone smile. Now there is a lot of pressure, both financial, pressure to find perfect gifts, family members causing additional drama, have you forgotten anyone, getting them posted in good time, work pressures…. Yeah okay, being an adult sucks. 

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But there are ways of combatting this – to try and remember the good things, positive vibes, even spread some of the positivity around! 

So to keep with the season, I have seen some suggestions about using the 12 days of Christmas to post twelve things that are nice, good, happy, beautiful etc. There have been many incarnations of this – posting a super hero, 3 positive things a day, pictures of baby animals, a week of flowers etc. Not only does it prompt you to look for happy things, seeing it crop up on your news feed will also encourage others. And I feel that the one positive a day, is entirely more manageable than 3 + per day for a week. Sorry, that sounds negative but it might seem a lot for people and stop them from even joining in. And as one friend on my news feed pointed out, it can be anything, including seeing a beautiful sun set/rise.

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Another thing, that I have enabled in others, is a hope/wish/cheer jar. It comes in many names, and formats. I enjoy glass painting so I have made these for friends before. On New Year’s day, you start writing out on a note, scrap, anything, something happy, positive, something that made your day, made you smile. You pop it in the jar. Now this is a long haul kinda thing, you then keep going all year. And when, like many of us, you are starting to feel the pressure of the last year, all those things you didn’t do, all those resolutions long forgotten, all those missed adventures, you open the jar and all those happy memories are brought back to you. There is nothing stopping you from looking at them throughout the year – It is a personal thing. 

Something else, that I do on my makeup page – giveaways. This has no personal gain for me, although it is a selfish act. I like to see people happy. So every so often I announce a giveaway. It mostly involves makeup (funny that) and anything else that takes my fancy – I don’t plan too far ahead as I want to make sure that the recipient can use it – so I ask for any allergies, dietary restrictions etc. There really isn’t any reason other than I want to make people happy. Often we don’t treat ourselves so having a surprise turn up in the post can make someone smile. I have been lucky enough to make friends out of this so that is another bonus. In the last giveaway, I had a couple of pairs of Wild Bangarang leggings to give away and a voucher for Revenge Wigs which went down really well. 

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And something else I started this year, well 2 fold, I started writing to pen pals again. It is a lot of fun getting to know people and sending little gifts to each other. It isn’t regular, and can be a while in between but it is always nice to come home to a letter, and making time to stop and read! And there are ‘swap projects’ being organised – some local, or international where you write a short piece, state if you would prefer a local or international partner and write a short bio so your match partner is a good fit but has something to go on when writing to you. I joined the Oh Comely Magazine Perfect Strangers swap project and recently had a care package from my partner. I really enjoyed the whole process – not the bio part of it, because I always end up reading someone else’s and thinking.. WOW they put that so much better. But this particular project is great because it gives you a theme as well as guidance. I loved reading my partners letter, and her stocking was full of amazing things. It was also really nice putting together something for her. And in fact have another little package and letter ready to go out. 

What I am trying to say, is … don’t be hard on yourself, don’t pressure yourself to do or be anything. And it is nice to share and spread the love. Giving to others, even if it is just a postcard, can make you feel good 🙂 

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Ps. I will be holding a give away again this week on my page – so comment here or on my page if you are in the UK and interested 🙂

 

And if you do pop over to revenge wigs, use GILL15 for 15% off your total order – Happy Shopping xxx

All tangled up!

So, I have done a couple of posts recently on caring for your wigs. Well…. I don’t always care for mine. I try my best, and what I have previously shared is best practice. But what if you have something in mind for your wig? 

I bought a long, blonde crimped with in the sales early last year, I love crimped wigs, but having naturally dark hair, I wasn’t sure what blonde would suit. This blonde for me, felt too light… so it wasn’t ever going to be in my daily rotation. As you can see from the featured image, I have had a little fun with the wig 🙂 And that I am the Queen of derp faces – I cannot take myself seriously, clearly not a model heh

I was asked by a neighbour if I could come and help at her daughter’s birthday party, and we somehow agreed that I should do it dressed as Elsa from Frozen… so the wig was transformed, which to be honest was pretty easy! 

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The only thing you really need to be aware of when styling a wig like this, is making sure that the wig cap is covered. As these wigs are not really designed to be pulled up and around you can easily show the cap, and even worse (especially if you have dark hair) your own hair line!

I don’t think I made a bad Elsa, all things considered, and thought that would be the end of it. I could drag the wig out for make up, if if anyone needed an Elsa wig (or a plus size Elsa LOL).

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Early last year, I got talking to Wechselberg (Wechselbalg Facebook Page – give him a like!) about Hazel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and we were both inspired by the witches, more so the concept art attached (which is another post!) and I knew exactly which witch I would tackle first. You see, I like a challenge – I had a wig I didn’t really care for, so it was the perfect excuse. 

So I set about making the wig resemble the hair of my chosen witch, including plaits and braids, tangles and general untidiness. I had no intention of ever returning her to her former … glory? So I really had a lot of fun, back combing, pinning, sewing… just treated the wig as badly as you can imagine!

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And this is the result of my hard work! I really had a lot of fun, and it felt quite liberating treating my wig with such disregard. The worse I treated her, the better she ended up looking. It was the first time I really put together an entire outfit to complement my makeup, and it turned out rather well!

I haven’t really had any cause to use the wig again, but figured it would be beyond my capabilities to get her back to normal, and that I might need a message up wig again. Into a cupboard she went.

Until thursday, when my friend called and asked if she could borrow my ‘elsa wig’ … well, like I said earlier, I do like a challenge. I knew the basic principles, combing out gently, fabric softener, steaming, washing in warm water, and praying to the gods of good hair. 

The wig started out like this:

 

And I honestly thought I would be at it all weekend, I figured I had four days to get it to the point it could be put back into a braid and look like an ‘Elsa wig’ again. I sat down in the bathroom with my trusty backcombing brush (ironic I know) and slowly started brushing the messy dreads out from the bottom. I then started on the various braids that had been backcombed so they would stay in place and not unravel. It took 40 mins, and then I brushed out my wig. I was honestly expecting to take long, it was a lot of fluffier but washing would help that. Because I had not applied heat while restyling the wig, it bounced back so to speak. 

After it had been brushed out, I soaked the wig in a lukewarm bowl of water with wig shampoo – any mild shampoo or fabric softener works equally as well 🙂 and dried it overnight.

As you can see, she turned out pretty nicely, and is now braided up as an ‘Elsa Wig’!

(please excuse my lack of a top, I was about to do some body painting!)

While I am not for a moment suggesting that would should all back comb your wig to within an inch of it’s life, it is doable, and you can get some great results, and wigs can be rescued! 

If you have found that your wig it damaged, nearing the end of it’s life, and you are lost as to what to do, you can always speak to Scarlet von Trapp who did an amazing rescue on a wig, which really was beyond my ability!