Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nerdfighter Wedding

I featured blushing bride Amorae last February because I just adored her purple and teal Chucks and petticoat:

Well, it turns out, she also had one of the most nerdtastic weddings I've ever seen. For their one year anniversary last week, Amorae made a video showcasing the ceremony and all the fun geeky touches, like concocting a love potion at the alter, video game and LEGO decorations, and vows that include references to zombies and dementors. So. FUN.

Check it out:

{sigh} Don't you just love watching geeks marry?

Congrats on your anniversary, Amorae and Jonny, and here's to many, many more.

And thanks to Sadie for the link!

PS: Also, check out these photos of Harry Potter themed weddings! So much pretty!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Costume Details!

Thanks to John and another quick photoshoot in the backyard, I finally have some good photos of my steampunk costume to share!

So, here we go:

Most of the elements came right out of my closet, including the comfy boots. I didn't plan on wearing the orange skirt originally, but after our first photos before D*C I added it and nixed the itchy and abnormally long striped tights.

The beige dress was worn as-is with the top unbuttoned:

The faux leather vest is from one of the teeny bopper stores at the mall, and used to be double-breasted. I just sewed the larger side under to make it symmetrical, and so I could wear it open.

The orange undershirt was from Ross. Because it's jersey I could cut a new neckline and shorter sleeves without any hemming. I also soaked it in a bleach to lighten it up a bit and make it seem a little more worn.

The neat thing is it has light metallic threads through it, which give a little shimmer:

The necklace I made the night before Dragon*Con with a few odds and ends lying around and a simple ball chain necklace.

My waist cincher was a fun project: it's made from vinyl, and I patterned it off a black corset belt I already own. Then I wrapped the thick band of vinyl around me and used a wet piece of chalk to mark the curve over my hips to get the shape right. I trimmed it to size, added grommets, and used a spare brown shoelace to lace it all up. Because it's vinyl it did stretch over the weekend, and it was hot, of course, but considering it only cost a few dollars to make I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

My little hourglass charm is a necklace I found at Forever 21 for a whopping $2.50. (And it really works! Although it's more a "5-second" glass.) I made it into a single chain strand, sewed a small necklace clasp to my cincher belt, and hung the chain from it. The chain looped around one of my vest buttons, and I dangled a little seahorse charm from the other end.

The ray gun and holster were my pride and joy, of course, and hung from a smaller leather belt. I know you're all still waiting on a gun tutorial, but I promise: it's coming!

(Can you tell John and I had too much fun with this photo shoot? He's the only one who can take a pretty picture of me. I think it's all the tiger growls. [Although I am usually cracking up the whole time.])

My green bustle is actually a ruffled skirt I already owned but had never worn. It zipped up the middle, so I simply folded the two sides under, sewed them down, and attached a D-ring fabric belt to tie it around my waist. My large woven belt covered the buckle. (And if I wanted to, I could take out the stitches and have my original skirt back.)

On the other side of my belt I made a simple vinyl strap with a snap to hang some antique keys, and the antique French opera glasses are hanging from a painted shower curtain ring. (The glasses usually sit on our living room end table; I scoured the house for accessories.)

I tend to buy a lot of antique gloves because they're the only ones that fit my tiny hobbit fingers, but they're almost always white or cream colored. So, I dyed one pair brown (and it turns out antique gloves dye beautifully - which means now I'm going to be buying even MORE), cut off the finger tips, and added a decorative necklace chain looped around the two middle fingers:

The three chain ends are held in place by a small brass brad poked through the fabric of the glove. Easy, but kind of a fun extra touch.

Here's one of my favorite parts of the costume, just because it's so practical:

I planned to wear a leather belt cross-wise across my chest just for looks anyway, but then I realized I could cut it and make it a strap for my bag!

I already had this beautiful steampunk bag that reader Amber B. made for me, but it was a double strap, not cross-body. So I carefully removed the two straps:

Sewed the seams back down:

And then hammered grommets into the sides of the bag. I also added grommets to the cut belt ends, and hooked the two together using hinged S hooks we found at Home Depot. It worked out beautifully, and now I'm excited to modify some of my other two-strap bags, since I only wear single strap purses these days. (I also took the original purse straps and made them into one long strap to use later.)

I wore the bag with both outfits, and it was comfortable enough on my hip that I never took it off, not even to sit and eat. Still, I can easily wear the belt without the bag by hooking the ends back together with an S hook.

You probably remember my bracelet from earlier sneak peek:

The winged crown was on a chain bracelet I already had, but I like it much better as a cuff. To make it I had John dremel off the chain, grabbed some spare gears, and cut up an old belt:

The crown charm has two posts jutting out from the back, so I cut slits into the leather, pushed the posts through, and drowned the whole thing with epoxy adhesive. So far, so good: it's holding together like a champ!

And finally, I pinned my hair up in a messy bunch, pinned in some green highlights, covered the pins with my goggles, and finished the whole thing off with a pretty feather clip I found at Dragon*Con two years ago:

I've had several people asking about the colored clip-ins - they're from Etsy, and cost about $10 or $12 over a year ago. I'm too lazy for permanent color, so I used to wear clips like these all the

My second outfit you've already seen:

Again, the actual clothing pieces all came from my closet, so there' not much to say here. Except I obviously like to dress a little steamy even when I'm not at conventions. :) I used all the same accessories, so it was just a fun extra outfit to pull together last minute.

Now let's all drool over John again:

John's outfit, I mean. Yeah.

Again, most came from his closet, although we scored those great pinstriped pants at a thrift store. They were massively too big, so he took them in himself, even trimming down the leg widths (he is an *excellent* sewer).

I replaced the plain black vest buttons with some nice gold military style ones:

And I sewed another necklace clasp to his vest to hang his pocket watch from.

Other than his goggles John's only accessories were his gun and holster...

(Note: Do NOT make a holster out of vinyl. It stretches. And your guns sinks. And then your gun gets stuck. That is all.)

...and this neat old leather case I found at a Restore for a dollar:

I jazzed it up with more brass buttons (use a hammer to bash in the back side so they'll sit flat) and small wooden filigree pieces painted gold. The back of the case has loops, so it slid nicely onto John's belt.

And finally, here he is again, looking cute:

Or possibly about to sneeze.

Hope you enjoyed! Personally, I'm enjoying the thought of returning to posts with less than 20 pictures in them. But that's just me. ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 2011 Dragon*Con Steampunk Exhibition

Sunday at Dragon*Con was the Steampunk Exhibition. The line to get in was pretty long, but at least there were costumes to photograph along the way:

Steampunk Green Lantern - he dyed and handcrafted all the leather pieces himself.

We all dressed for the occasion, too. Here are my parents again:

Mom and I both had different outfits for the day.

This reminds me: it was raining on Sunday. Hellooo, limp hair. Heh.

Here's a later picture of my outfit:

(You guys have been quite nice about all these pictures of me, by the way. Thanks for that.)

Despite my hair issues I was later spoiled again in the art room: artist J. Corsentino liked my costume so much that he insisted I have this print, claiming I reminded him of it:

As you can see, he was being way too kind.

(You can see more at his website, Time of the Faeries - although I couldn't find this print there.)

Corsentino was also really enamored with my steampunk flux capacitor pin - the one thing I got more compliments on than any other all weekend. People would literally stop in the middle of the street, point, and yell, "THAT IS EFFIN' AWESOME!!" Ha!

Ok, getting back to the Exhibition:

This is one of the costumes by Penny Dreadful Productions that they were advertising all weekend. They just unveiled them at D*C, so there aren't even photos on their website yet that I can see. They had a large section of them in the parade as well, called Remnant:

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In addition to those guys, there were foot soldiers:

Scary nurses ala Silent Hill:

And this big guy:

We got to chat with one of the guys from PDP for a while, and it turns out they're hoping to mass produce these costumes to sell. The pieces are made of lightweight foam rubber - even the giant weapons - and the guy told John they'll range from around $1,500 to $3,500. I happen to adore everything PDP makes - they're amazing artisans over there - but the thought of mass-produced steampunk costumes, which are almost by definition extremely personalized and anti-mass-production, made both John and I scratch our heads. You can't deny they look great, though.

Moving on, inside the room we were greeted by some folks from the League of Steam:

Mr. Crackitus Potts himself!

Zed the zombie butler was there, too:

Every 10 or 15 minutes an alarm would sound and he'd try to attack the person in front of him. The others would have to rush over and "subdue" him and get his collar back in place. It was pretty funny. :D

They also had the best way of handing out business cards:

Giant extendable boxing glove ftw!

Like everything else at the con, the Exhibit was crazy crowded. You had to fight to even get close to the tables, so often I'd just stick my camera through a gap between elbows and take pictures of the tables that way:

Most of the time I had no idea what I was looking at, but it all sure looked cool:

Oh! This was really clever:

The guy had me turn the crank to press those metal plates into the paper - a fancy paper punch! Then he wrote their website on the paper glasses to use as a business card. Like I said: clever!

This guy (girl? Not sure) - scared the bejeepers out of a lot of people:


This is actually a mask; someone wore it in the parade:

I want one of these:

Isn't it pretty?

There were lots of big guns, of course:

And finally, I found this later in the vendor rooms:

Goooorgeous. I'll take one of these, too, please!

It's by Brute Force Studios, who also make that laser-cut leather you see in the picture. Neat stuff.

There's quite a bit more which I'll be uploading to my Flickr account, if you want to check it out!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011, Day 3

We started Sunday at Dragon*Con with the Steampunk Exhibition - a collection of great steampunk gadgets and personalites - and John and I and my parents all went in costume again. I'll post those photos separately, though, since I took quite a lot.

That afternoon we had a little Cake Wrecks party in the ConSuite, organized by CW fan Priscylla. I had no idea if anyone would even show up, so it was wonderful to have a good sized group packing into the tiny room:

Some of them were even there to see us. (Or they faked it well for the cake, any way.)

Priscylla had arranged for two cakes and lots of ice cream, which all went fast. Here's the one she decorated:

John and I served cake slices and bowls of ice cream, and then spent an hour or so squeezing between tables in order to talk with everybody. At one point I was thrilled to discover I was sitting with the girl responsible for the famous Doctor Who Weeping Angel Costume. You know, this one?

Go here for more pics and a link to her amaaazing in-process shots.

I totally geeked out when I realized who she was - I've been drooling over her foam armor tutorial for weeks - and she reads my blog! And now I can't remember her name! Ack! Penwiper, if you read this, jog my memory?

[update: Penwiper has spoken, and her name is Gen! Hi, Gen! You're awesome!]

Plus, she had this AMAZING K-9 purse that she made herself:

Check out the circuit-board fabric for the lining! Genius!

I took pictures with several fans, and another gal even gave me a fun gear necklace she'd made for me.

My parents, I should mention, were having an absolute blast mingling with the Wreckies. My dad later related that someone excitedly asked him if he knew me, and he replied with a grin, "Yes, actually, I know her pretty well." In fact, I think he was grinning the entire weekend. I'm pretty sure he got a bigger kick out of seeing fans find me than I did - and that's really saying something!

Sunday night was the Masquerade, aka the big costume contest, and the crowds outside the contest hall were INSANE. No, really. Worse than Saturday, even. Which is why the few photos I did get there are mostly from the waist up:

I had to take the pictures so close I could reach out and touch the costumes.

We had better luck on some of the lower levels:


These two were fantastic:

Their bowls fit on their helmets with Velcro, so they whipped them off for this action shot when I asked for a pic. Love it! (Anyone else out there remember Double Dare?)

I would blame this next photo's lack of detail on lousy lighting, but to be honest, this is exactly how it looked if you were there:

The girl's skin was so matte it seemed to absorb all light. I'm still not sure if it was body paint or a body suit - and I was standing within ten feet of her!

This guy actually won second or third place (sorry, can't remember!) in the Masquerade later:

First place went to a demon named Cuddles [smirk] with big extendable wings. I don't think I have a picture, but I'm sure you can find one on the Dragon*Con website.

Earlier in the food court I found this Portal Turret gal:

You can't tell here, but she was wearing vivid red contact lenses. Nice touch!

Female Captain Tight Pants:

And a really LARGE cunning hat:


I think this is my favorite Batgirl costume:

And it's not a con 'til you see Dark Helmet!

Or Westley!

To be honest, this cosplayer kind of scares the crap out of me:

It's hard to take it all in, there's so much detail in her costume:

After the masquerade I finally - finally! - got to say hello to Paul from Paul and Storm, who I'd been texting all weekend trying to arrange a meeting. John and I wandered over just as they were coming out of a panel late that night, and before I knew it I was being introduced to geeky greats Jonathan Coulton ("Oh my gosh! Cake Wrecks! I love Cake Wrecks!"), Bill Corbett, and Drew from Fark, in addition to Paul and Storm. They were all incredibly nice, even though my knees were knocking and the most eloquent thing I managed to say was, "Oh my gosh! OH MY GOSH!" Plus, the fact that most of them know CW and Paul was telling me how much he loves the site made it a pretty ridiculous-sounding mutual geek out. Heh.

Speaking of mutual geek-outs, I also got to meet up with Len Peralta, the artist behind the Geek a Week trading cards, earlier on Saturday. He was super sweet, and a big CW fan - aaand now I have trading cards. :D

Oh! And I have to mention - with extreme pride - that my friend Christie won the D*C Comic Book Babe's Costume Contest on Saturday night! I can attest to the fact that she did everything herself, and put countless hours into it:

Isn't she gorgeous? And isn't it kind of sickening? (Love ya, Christie!)

Christie designed a cable system for the wings so they could collapse or extend, and also hand-dyed the wig and sculpted the crown and hair pieces. Just amazing. Oh, and the character is Soulfire, for those of you who (like me) hadn't heard of her:

And finally, here are two blurry pics from the Wil Wheaton panel on Monday morning, which was the last thing we did before leaving to drive home:

Being cloaked with the Cape of D*cks (with Paul & Storm serenading him on the side).

He shared the story of William F***ing Shatner, which is hilarious and poignant and NSFW due to language. It was awesome. (Ooh, and someone put the whole thing on Youtube! Check it out.)

If you've seen my post over on CW, then you already know what happened during the Q&A: a CW fan called me out at the mic, Wil was very gracious, and I nearly died from embarrassment. But it was all good, because Wil also said I was awesome, which made my whole month even if he was just being polite, which is very possible. (The same fan, Morgan, later got a picture of Brent Spiner putting on a carrot jockey necklace and...oh, just go read the post, why don't you?)

And finally finally, here's a cute picture of my mom from Monday morning:

Yep. I'd say Dragon*Con is the place for her.

Hope you've enjoyed this year's Dragon*Con coverage, guys! Stay tuned for pics from the steampunk exhibition, and the final detail shots of my own costume. (And THEN I can collapse. Right?)