Monday, August 25, 2014

NDK 2014 Costumes Part Four

First off, my wig is on its way. Yay! Of course, once it gets here, I still have to style it. Oh well.

Second of all, I am starting to hate this costume. Mostly because of my lack of pattern and issues with making a circle skirt with this particular fabric. I knew what I was getting myself into, though, so I guess I can't complain to much.

I tried to finish the skirt and other small, blue pieces, but got frustrated and decided that I needed a break. I wanted to work on my bows with my gold fabric.
The back of my handkerchief

Sorry it is so blurry. I threw together a little draw-string bag to carry my stuff around in.

This site: Cupcake Cosplay: How to Make a Sailor Moon Fuku has very good directions on how to make bows. I also used it for the waist band (thing) of my skirt, which, due to my fabric choice, sucked... Anyway, I basically followed the "bows" section of the page to make my bows. The only thing that I really changed was not stuffing the bows. I used interfacing (despite my hatred of interfacing) on all of the pieces instead. Of course, then I had to finish the skirt so that I can attach the back bow... Here are some pictures:

Back bow

Here are the tails of my back bow attached to my finished skirt.

It isn't sewn on yet, but here is how it will look!

My front bow!
I also worked on my leotard. Since I decided not to show my midriff, here is my solution in action:
I used my gold ribbon to separate the pieces. And yes, this is how I did it because I don't have a dress form...

I couldn't just sew it on because the leotard is stretchy and I would never get it back on. So I sewed the ribbon down in a few places like this.
Jasmine may not have been the best choice for a conversion to sailor scout mostly because of the style and fabric I decided on. Even the gold was slippery and made it impossible to get straight lines even with a ruler and pins. I think everything will look alright in the end, but it's been a tough one. I am still really worried about the skirt and wondering if I will have to re-do the whole thing. But I really don't want to. Well, you live and you learn, I suppose. 

Side note:I have worked on all of this in my living room where Remus is a pretty constant companion. He usually dozes under a blanket, but I tend to throw all of my costume pieces around and sometimes he gets buried.
My cute helper!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nerdy Ravings: Sailor Moon Crystal

It's been much too long since I did a Nerdy Ravings post.

I'm sure many of my nerdier followers are aware of the new(ish) release of Sailor Moon anime. The fourth episode was just recently released. It is basically the same story line (so far), but with different animation and not as much silly filler.

Don't get me wrong, I like the original Sailor Moon (and I own all of the DVDs). It was what got me into anime in the first place. But the original contains a ton of unnecessary filler, extra monsters, extra weird drama, and so forth. Also, I have read many of the manga and they are beautiful. I was always disappointed about how distinctly NOT beautiful the original anime was. Because it was supposed to be gorgeous. That being said, I took several screen-caps from the latest episode as I watched so that I could show you all the pretty art and tried to compare to the original. I suppose I should be more lenient considering how old the original actually is, but oh well.
Sailor Mercury's new transformation

Mercury's old transformation

Sailor Moon's old tiara detail

Sailor Moon's new tiara detail
The new series looks a lot more like the original manga and is finally as pretty as (I think) it deserves to be! Usagi isn't quite as obnoxious (which I like) and it moves faster than the original due to the lack of filler episodes and random extra monsters.

Top: original. Bottom: new. The new looks so much more like the manga!
For the sake of comparison, here are a couple of covers from some of my Sailor Moon manga:
First Sailor Moon manga

And the second

My one complaint is probably the music. I liked all of the original music for the Sailor Moon series, and I have not been overly impressed with the songs. Maybe they will grow on me, but I am not holding my breath.
The Generals are pretty, too!
In conclusion, I like it, so far. I wonder how far they will go. Dare I hope that the outer scouts will be included? They are my favorites. The live action one didn't go that far (another interesting and decent take on the story, if you ask me) and I am not sure if this one will. But here's hoping!

I have been watching the episodes on Hulu as they come out. I'm sure there are places on YouTube to watch it, as well.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Missing Romulus

Today I am really struggling with missing Romulus.

His memory is still so vivid that it is hard for me to comprehend him never being here again. How can he not be here when I can see him so clearly in my mind? If he were on the couch with me right now, I know exactly what he would be doing and where he would be going and where he would curl up to nap. And it's hard for me not to imagine him being here when we have been in this exact spot so many times before.

But there won't be anymore cuddles, licks, pictures, games, snacks, naps, and shenanigans. He was the best at getting into everything that I didn't want him to get into. And when I held him and scolded him, he knew I'd let him go if he reached out and licked my nose. Made my heart melt every time. I miss that. But I miss everything.

The vet called a few days ago for me to come pick up his ashes. And after three days, I still can't bring myself to drive all the way down there and walk through those doors again. It might make it all too real, and I can't decide if that is good or bad. I do know that it will hurt either way. That place is part of what made losing him so surreal. I never went to that office before, but ended up there three times in one week. The first time, my vet didn't have anyone available so they recommended I take him to this place to be checked out. A week later, I was rushing Romulus to their 24 hour emergency room at almost 9pm. I didn't leave until after 11pm. The next morning I went back to say good-bye. So the whole situation and the place don't seem quite real in my mind. I'm afraid to go back because it makes it all real again. And I'm not sure if that will help me come to terms with his loss or just make it worse.

His second birthday is two days away. I will have to do a little something for Remus, but it makes me feel Romulus' loss that much more.

My little heart is still so broken and there is not much that I wouldn't give to have him back. I know time will dull the ache and ease the pain. But for now, it still hurts and I still have to remember and cry. And apparently avoid that vet office. Maybe I will find some courage and go later. Seems better than going on his birthday, which is my next day off. Definitely not a good birthday chore.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NDK 2014 Costumes Part Three

I finally started working on my Sailor Jasmine costume.

I tried buying a wig at a local costume store, but it is way too cheap and thin to use so I am going to have to return it and order one online. I found the one I am going to use though: Jotei long black wig.

I decided not to a) bare my midriff and b) not replace the middle of the leotard with skin-toned fabric. I decided to keep it solid and put some gold under the bust. This idea was partially inspired by this: Sailor Jasmine by PinkPetalEntrance.

I bought a pair of while gloves. I thought gold or matching blue would be better, but those options weren't available, so white it is. I'm not sure how many people in our group will do gloves, but mine have the added benefit of covering the tattoo on my wrist. 

I fudged making a pattern for a circle skirt--how silly is this?
I know it is difficult to see, but this is my pattern that I measured and drew (it is 1/4th of the skirt) on several pieces of paper taped together...

But it looks nicer cut out. The waist is bigger than I meant it to be, but it has to be gathered and such so it will be OK.

I also cut pieces for the handkerchief, and the pieces for the top of the skirt, the tops of the gloves, and the bands for my hair.

A glove band.

I got some gold fabric, gold ribbon, and other miscellaneous things I will need, but haven't done anything with them yet.

I've been hitting some snags with this one. Part of it is the fabric that I am using. I am also using horsehair braid for the first time and feel completely at a loss. Another part is the fact that I am not using any patterns (except for the little one I had to make myself for my skirt), which is not something that I am used to doing. I figure that it is only a costume and most of my mistakes won't be visible in the end... These are the things I tell myself, anyway. I will post more when I have more to show for all of this work...

Here are some of my references for the skirt that I (and probably several of my group members) use:
By Hand London: Circle Skirt Maths - explained!
Tutorial-Putting in Horse Hair Braid/CLAMP Ruffles by RuffleButtCosplay

I will post more references as I get to them.

Oh, and in case I didn't tell anyone: we decided to do ruffle-y circle skirts instead of pleats because no one wants to sew those... In case anyone was confused.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Getting Ready for Baby!

My new little niece is due any time now! I am very excited!

I finally finished crocheting the baby blanket I was working on:
Yay! Finished blanket!

I used the shell pattern and went for an ombre look

I have also been collecting a few things to keep on hand when I babysit. I have some diapers, wipes, clothes, rags, blankets, and other miscellaneous items. My mom is going to bring me a little bed type thing (I don't even know what it's called, which seems sad) for her to sleep in.

Here is one of the cutest things I have obtained:
Pooh bear!!!
As you can see, I am pretty excited! I'm ready to babysit my niece! She can come anytime now!

We are actually in the hospital room right now. Poor Pamela and Arik (and my mom) have had a long day already. It looks like it's going to be a while longer and it may be a late night. I am ready, though! Wish us luck and send Pamela your good thoughts!

And while I still miss Romulus like crazy (I still can't quite believe he's gone), I am glad for something so happy to follow. I suppose not everything is wrong in the world.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Missing My Rat

Yesterday I had to put down Romulus. He got a respiratory infection, but his symptoms did not seem to indicate that. So I waited too long to bring him into the vet. We got him started on antibiotics and after several days, they weren't working, but I thought they just needed more time. So I didn't take him in until he was having severe trouble breathing (suddenly). I rushed him to the emergency room, crying and panicked. I kept him on my lap and basically refused to let go of him until someone finally came to put him into an oxygen box. That seemed to help and we added an antibiotic.

The next day he was struggling to breathe, even with the oxygen. Despite the care and drugs and oxygen, he was fading quickly. I had to make the horrible decision to put him down because I didn't want him to suffer anymore and there wasn't a chance of him getting better.

I feel like that was the right decision, even though it was a big one and I felt like I really shouldn't be the one to decide that. But it's hard. And my heart is broken.

The whole 24 hours or so seemed so surreal. I spent so much time in the ER waiting room and exam rooms and Romulus faded so, so quickly. It all happened so fast that I didn't get time to really adjust to his life ending and him being gone from my life. Usually when pets age, they decline slowly and you have time to prepare.

I put him down exactly two weeks before his second birthday. He didn't even make it to his second birthday. And that just seems horribly unfair. And I actually feel angry. I am used to my pets living a pretty long time and he should have had at least another year. So I can't help but feel that he is supposed to be here. I still expect him to be here. He was so cheerful and loving all the time, even when he wasn't feeling well (which is probably part of why I didn't realize how sick he was earlier). It is very hard for me to see my life without him. It was too sudden. And I know life isn't fair, but this seems so cruel.

To top it off, I feel horrible for Remus. He has always been with his brother. And I can tell that he is OK, but kind of mopey. I think it will be hard for him. And I feel like I should look into getting him a buddy (after some time), but he is really going to have to be the right rat. Romulus was SO easy-going and happy. Remus is sweet, but neurotic, anxious, and the dominant rat. I am pretty sure the only reason he was dominant is because Romulus let him and didn't care enough to fight for it. I would have to find a rat that would fit with him. Remus is kind of anti-social; its possible he will be OK on his own, but I don't want him to be sad and lonely.

Romulus and his little "meeps" when he was getting into trouble.

I keep expecting Romulus to be here. I miss him licking me all the time and playing with me. He was always the social one who wanted to come out and run around and be in the middle of everything. I will miss him trying to help himself to my food and drinks (Remus is too polite for that, the sweetie). I just miss him with an acute ache that makes my stomach tighten and my heart hurt. And I cry a lot. Sometimes randomly when a thought sneaks up on me. I also haven't been sleeping very well. I lay there for hours and just think about him. I feel lost without him.

Romulus kisses.

I'm glad I still have Remus and he still has me. I make him come out and sit and cuddle with me more (which he tolerates pretty well--he's not much of a cuddler). It's going to take a while for me to bounce back from this one. I try to keep myself distracted, otherwise I just cry all of the time. He was the best rat and he is sorely missed.