Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dressed To The 9 3/4s 2019: Stepping Out For Universal's Potter-Themed Dapper Day

Last weekend John and I strutted our 'Puff at Dressed To The 9 3/4s, a fan-run event at Universal that's basically Dapper Day, only Wizarding World themed. You've heard me rave about this event for the last two years, so buckle up; I'm about to rave some more. :D

(I really love this shirt & skirt I found last-minute on Amazon, I'll link them in my Lists for you guys! They're both stretchy and SUPER comfy, but still flattering, I think.)


The official 9 3/4s meetup times were earlier this year, so we missed ALL of them, ha. Happily the weather was so nice that nearly everyone stuck around, though, so I was able to find plenty of dapper witches and wizards over the rest of the afternoon.

Cmon, I'll show you some of my favorites!

I know Aleta (on the left) from photographing her at Dragon Con, where her steampunk cosplays are the stuff of dreams. Love seeing her rocking blue and bronze - I know some Ravenclaws who will be happy to see this!

On the opposite end of the style spectrum, how about some Rockabilly Professor Sprout vibes?

(Hufflepuff At The Beach)

Eeeee, SO CUTE. I want this whole outfit, but mostly her shoes! (My yellow Chucks are too lemony-bright, I need this shade.)

Here's another fellow 'Puff wearing her wand like a hair stick(!!):

 I love her vest. Actually I love all their vests. Vests rock, we should collectively be wearing more of them.

I'm getting some Viktor Krum vibes here with the fur collar:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Our 2019 Party Theme Revealed! ...And It *MIGHT* Remind You Of Something

Since John and I got so carried away with our Ghostbusters Halloween we're pretty far behind on our Christmas party, which we host in early December. 

Yep, we've only got a month to go. EVERYBODY PANIC.

Not only that, we've decided we're not doing a Harry Potter theme this year. (I KNOW WHAT) I'm sure we'll return to the Wizarding World in the future, but I wanted to try a different fandom this year, just to shake things up and give myself some new crafting options.

Are you ready for this?

Here we go:

Aww yeeeeeah.

 If you've been with me a while then this is no surprise; I've been talking about a Labyrinth Christmas tree for years

The problem with such an obscure theme, of course, is that we have to make everything from scratch. Unlike Harry Potter, you can't run to the mall and pick up ready-made stockings or ornaments. (Plus do you know how expensive fake peaches are? REALLY DARN EXPENSIVE.)

Still, I'm trying to approach this year's party with a little more silliness and a lot less perfectionism, and just focus on doing what we can in a month while still having fun with it. Our Halloween builds reminded me just how fun crafting can be when you have zero expectations or pressures, so fingers crossed this new theme will help me realize I don't have to keep out-doing myself every year.

Plus, c'mon. A Labyrinth themed Christmas party? That's just BEGGING to be ridiculous.

So yes, we're absolutely turning our bathroom into the Bog of Eternal Stench, and we'll have a goblin-themed Christmas tree decorated with tiny pieces of armor and chicken feathers, and there will hopefully be games like "Pin The Leg On The Firey." Anything that makes me and John laugh is up for consideration, so if you have an idea, tell me in the comments!

We've started making some iconic elements from the Labyrinth, so let me walk you through some of our early failures and successes.

First, the failure:

It was around this point that I realized I'd made a tinfoil Sonny Eclipse:
Ha! Whoops.

I kept plugging away, though:

 Hopefully you recognize him more now?

Then my friend Karen came over and helped me start covering him in clay.

 I decided to try out Model Magic clay, since I'd heard good things, but this was a huge mistake. It doesn't blend very well, and it's impossible to carve since it has a rubbery foam texture.

 After a few hours of refining and smoothing Karen & I got it to look like this:

 .. which isn't terrible, but there were some definite problems with my ear placement, and the muzzle. Mostly, though, it was just still very lumpy.

Then I read online that the Model Magic was going to crack, and crack very badly. 


The issue is this: any air dry clay will crack if applied over a rigid internal structure like tin foil. And sure enough, by the next day deep cracks were appearing all over the knocker's face.

So John and I consulted a ton of people, both online and at our local Reynolds Supply, and have started over with a new game plan:

 John projected the knocker to scale on pink insulation foam, and then we traced and cut out 3 layers to build up the internal structure. This should cut down on the amount of clay I'll need to finish it off.

After this I'll be using Foam Mo, another foam-like clay that I'm *told* will not crack, because it stays extra flexible after it dries.

If that doesn't work, then my Plan C is to go back to an epoxy dough. The dough is SUPER soft and terrible for sculpting, though, so I'm hoping the Foam Mo comes through. I'll keep you guys posted in my Stories!

 Now on to some successes:

 John and I've each had our own projects this week - can you already guess what they are?