Black Canary Photo Shoot

I had another wonderful opportunity to work with my friend Beth of Early Bird Photo (formerly BWPW Photography) in January. I told her I wanted to do a shoot featuring my Black Canary cosplay (based on the art of Ed Benes), which is not one I wear all that often. Beth found some awesome locations (very industrial looking but still colorful). One was a car mechanic shop that was being renovated and the other one was, I think, a former gas station or convenience store. Both had interesting colors or patterns painted on their walls, which created a lot of visual interest.

I can’t wait to work with Beth again. If you are ever in the Durham, NC area, I highly recommend booking a session with her.

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Black Canary Photo Shoot

Photo Shoot

Francaise Dinner 2017

I’m still behind on costume event recaps, but I just finished processing photos from this year’s Francaise Dinner, and I didn’t want to wait to post. This year Jess and Isabella organized, and they chose a new location in Annapolis, O’Brien’s Steakhouse. It was nice to have a change of pace and to get to eat crab cakes. Thank you for organizing, ladies!

I debuted a new dress, which I had been working on for over a year, since before last year’s Francaise Dinner (which is when I was originally planning to wear it…but I obviously didn’t finish it in time). I wanted to emulate the dresses seen in some 1780s paintings, where the bodices are fitted tightly with long sleeves. I opted for a round gown style, because these paintings often don’t show a petticoat opening in the center front. I was very pleased with how the dress came out.

First, the group photo. Unfortunately the indoor photos are a bit yellow because the light fixtures in the dining room had red shades and very warm-colored bulbs. Thank goodness we shot in raw format.
Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

I made the glass cross I wore on my choker necklace by combining several vintage German cabochons using epoxy clay.
Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

Here is my sales table setup for my Etsy shop.
Francaise Dinner

Chelsea in her lovely new Francaise
Francaise Dinner

Doug and Mike
Francaise Dinner

Rebecca and Kristin
Francaise Dinner

Jess and Kat (and her amazing pink wig!)
Francaise Dinner

Kat, Maggie, and Judy
Francaise Dinner

Francaise Dinner

Kristin won a beautiful tiara in the raffle!
Francaise Dinner

Mike won a great informal cap made by Fashions Revisited.
Francaise Dinner

And Judy won a gift certificate from American Duchess!
Francaise Dinner

All of my photos are here.

Riversdale Twelfth Night Ball 2017

This event snuck up on me. I bought tickets months earlier when I was in the middle of a frenzy of busyness at work, and then the ball took place a week after that project ended when I was still recovering. I nearly forgot I had this on my calendar! This meant that I had nothing new to wear, but I was fine with re-wearing one of my favorites anyway. As usual, the Riversdale House Museum put on a lovely evening, with dancing and a dinner made using historical recipes. The house was beautifully decorated for the holidays, too!

Twelfth Night Ball

The free waltz, with our dancing master Jim Wass in the foreground, wearing the striped waistcoat
Twelfth Night Ball

Twelfth Night Ball

After dinner, each guest was given a playing card. Then two cards were randomly pulled from other decks to choose the king and queen of the ball. Doug was picked!
Twelfth Night Ball

Mike in festive red
Twelfth Night Ball

Twelfth Night Ball

Twelfth Night Ball

Jess in her striking orange sari gown
Twelfth Night Ball

Maggie wore a beautiful light green dress.
Twelfth Night Ball

Twelfth Night Ball

Twelfth Night Ball

This collage is courtesy of Maggie. We were lined up for a group photo, and Mike said, “Gloria, try to look less dead inside.” This was the result!
Riversdale

Mulan at MAGFest 2017

Last day of the con, last costume. I went with a casual option because, let’s face it, I’m usually exhausted by the Sunday of a convention when it’s three days long, much less four days. During the holiday sale season I found a dress at Hot Topic that was Mulan themed and less than $30. Score. All I had to do was accessorize. I made a necklace out of jade-colored Czech glass beads (and a pair of gold dangle earrings, though they are hidden by my wig in the photos) and a hair flower out of an organza flower base, some ribbon, and rhinestones. Topped it off with a Diana wig in black from Epic Cosplay.

Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Bombshells Batwoman at MAGFest 2017

I need to do a proper post recapping how I put this costume together, because I actually bothered to take pictures of some of the process. I was lucky and was able to snag one of the Batwoman dresses from Hot Topic before they sold out, but then I went on an odyssey searching for proper socks and how to make a con-safe bat. It turns out that if you look for black and red socks, nearly all of them are black with red stripes, not red with black stripes. Until you specifically search for soccer and rugby socks made in the UK. Go figure. I was fortunate to find a foam bat that I could draw on with Sharpie markers. Some cons let you take in wooden props, but some do not, so I wanted something that was even less likely to fail a weapons check. I also assembled the hat (sewing the ears and attaching a logo patch) and made the mask (using techniques I learned at Costume College last year).

MAGFest

MAGFest

MAGFest

MAGFest

MAGFest

MAGFest

When a fountain interrupts your photo shoot…
MAGFest

Princess Luna at MAGFest 2017

This year’s MAGFest took place right after I finished a large project at work, which for some reason meant that I decided to cosplay all four days of the convention. It was my way of letting loose, I guess!

To keep things manageable, a couple of my costumes were on the low key side, starting with this version I put together of Princess Luna from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

This costume was inspired by these galaxy tights I got from ModCloth. I was wearing them at PAX East last spring while also wearing some Yaya Han fox ears, and a lady asked me if I was dressed as Princess Luna. I said no, but I also said that it was a good thought. Fast forward to late last year, and on a whim I ordered a Hestia wig in the Blue Black Fusion colorway from Epic Cosplay and a dark blue alicorn ears/horn/wings bundle from Yaya Han. Then I found a beautiful Luna necklace from We’re All Mad Here. Throw in a simple t-shirt dress, and I was good to go.
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Thursday, MAGFest 2017

I’m in the process of making a crown to go with this for the next time I wear it, but other than that, I’m very happy with the result!

MAGFest 2017 Cosplay

Here are photos of some of the many, many cosplayers we saw at MAGFest. I was really impressed by the great variety of fandoms represented. Characters from movies, comics, video games, cartoons…. Compared to the other gaming convention we go to (PAX East), the cosplay community at MAGFest appears to be larger and much more active. This may be because of the size of the greater DC market and the high number of cons that take place here.

We rented two prime lenses to try out that weekend, both Nikon f1.8’s, but one was a 20 mm and the other was a 24 mm. We liked them both, but in the end decided to purchase the 20 mm. It should be a nice addition to the line up.

BB-8
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Imperial officer
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Lara Croft
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Newt Scamander
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Nathan Drake
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Link
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Hawkeye
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Gandalf
Friday, MAGFest 2017

The Purple Man and Psylocke
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Snorlax (Black Meadow Studio)
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Ganondorf (Mythril-Arts)
Friday, MAGFest 2017

The Smash Bros Photo Shoot
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Red Hood
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Loki
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Link
Friday, MAGFest 2017

I don’t really know what this is, but points for effort!
Friday, MAGFest 2017

Fix-It Felix (Fix-It Jim Cosplay)
MAGFest

Captain America
MAGFest

Rom as Vyse from Skies of Arcadia
MAGFest

Katie as Crash Bandicoot
MAGFest

MAGFest

Samus (Jazmine)
MAGFest

Dragon the Keyblade Maker as an original character Jedi
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Cosplay Repairs
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sheik
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Spider-Punk
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Original character faun
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Original character ram
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Aku
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

McCree
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Travis Touchdown
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

David as Duke Thomas
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Judy Hopps
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

MAGFest 2017

I am very behind on event recaps, and there’s nothing I can do except just try to catch up. I will start with MAGFest (The Music and Gaming Festival), which took place the first week of January. This post will be on the convention itself, but I will also follow up with cosplay photos (and there were A LOT of cosplayers this year, more than last year, I think).

Beth and Michelle joined us in attending on Thursday and Friday (Michelle also stayed for Saturday), and then on Saturday and Sunday we hung out with Kate, Liz, Katie, and Rom. It was great to be able to see so many friends, including those from out of town. We split a lot of our time between playing table top games, playing arcade games, and shopping. I only saw a couple panels (a talk on cosplay makeup and the costume contest), but they were both enjoyable. I feel pretty fortunate to have a con like this less than an hour from me. The DC-area con scene is really awesome.

On to the photos!

Michelle playing Rampage. The mechanics of this game, which involve physically tossing or launching game pieces at the board, are ridiculous. Hilarity usually ensues.
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

Beth scrutinizing her move in Rampage
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

The Rampage game board. Part of the point of the game is to knock over those multi-floored structures built of meeples.
MAGFest

Mike playing a skiing game in the arcade
Thursday, MAGFest 2017

The cosplay contest had a nice twist: the judges started by choosing a pool of costumers that would then advance into a tournament. Each round two cosplayers would be pitted against each other and would have to execute an action (such as “best taunt” or “best combat move”). Audience cheers would decide who advanced. So people got points both for their costumes and their acting ability. The two finalists both had great costumes but were even better at acting out their characters. Teresa of Fire Lily Cosplay was one of the judges.
MAGFest

There was a computer museum room that had a number of old machines running 1970s-early 2000s games. Remember this one?
MAGFest

Me playing Alhambra
MAGFest

The Gaylord Hotel lobby was packed with cosplayers, photographers, and folks socializing each evening! This was Saturday night.
MAGFest

Unlike most cons, MAGFest goes over four days, not three. By Sunday morning I needed some extra caffeine. In my Mulan mug, while wearing a Mulan dress, of course.
MAGFest

Katie and Rom in the arcade
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

An example of the humorous signage posted throughout the con
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Playing Scotland Yard, with Rom as Mr. X
Sunday, MAGFest 2017

Sunday selfie with Liz, Katie, Rom, and Kate!
MAGFest 2017

MAGFest 2017

Our purchases: a Japanese-style Legend of Zelda print by Jed Henry, a Rainbow Dash tote by Argibi, a Hamilton pin by A Sunny Disposish, and a fox pin by Naomi Romero
MAGFest

2016 Year in Review

Looking back at my costumes this past year, they lean way more towards cosplay than historical. There’s a pretty easy explanation for this: I started a 10-13 hour per day work schedule in August (including working weekends), so I could only do projects that use more pre-made components. Thankfully, that schedule ends this next week. Which means I can hopefully shift back to more sewing-intensive projects. That’s the hope at least!

2016 goals
-Finish yellow regency ballgown (I did a lot on New Year’s Day, just needs some interior seam finishing)–Yup!
-Finish ruby Queen Anne-style necklace–Yup!
-Finish Kiss the Girl Ariel costume (the wig and hair bow need work)–Yup!
-Make a new dress for the Francaise Dinner (I have some purple silk laid aside)–Nope, though I am about 75% done with this.
-Hipster Dude Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel costume for Mike–Yup!
-Finish Ed Benes-era Black Canary costume–Yup!
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike–Nope.
-New regency day dress–Nope.
-Jim Balent-era Catwoman costume–Nope.
-Arrow TV show leather jacket–Nope, on hold because Mike ended up purchasing a jacket he liked.

-Yellow regency ballgown
Riversdale Ball

-Ruby Queen Anne-style necklace
Williamsburg

-Rainbow Dash v1.0
MAGFest

-1760s John Hesselius necklace
Necklace

-Rainbow Dash v2.0
PAX East

-Kiss the Girl Ariel
PAX East

-Hipster Dude Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel
Baltimore Comic-Con

-Ed Benes-era Black Canary
Baltimore Comic-Con

-DC Comics Bombshells Batwoman
Bombshells Batwoman

-Officer Judy Hopps
Judy Hopps

2017 goals
-Finish 1780s purple silk dress
-Jim Balent-era Catwoman costume
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike
-New regency day dress
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume
-Something either 18th C or late Victorian for me, but I’m not sure what