ladyofthethread: (D kimono)
Slowly getting back to planning costume stuff. Last Tuesday, I went into the city for a bit to pick up some embroidery floss for the cross stitch piece I’m working on and browse for potential costume things. Went to visit [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink afterwards and we discussed cosplay plans for NYCC/NYAF. We settled on doing Curse of Monkey Island versions of Guybrush and Elaine. That one is my favorite of the older games. The costumes should be simple and I’ve already got a huge plastic diamond (we sell them at my family’s store!) for Elaine’s ring. XD




And I’ve watched all of the Saiunkoku anime over the past few weeks. I’d gotten the first disc long ago since it had a setting similar to Twelve Kingdoms and thought it was okay but not interesting enough to get the rest. But a while back, [livejournal.com profile] athena_chan told me that it got better later on and I found the first season on sale at Amazon so I decided to give it another try and found it entertaining. It turned out to be a lot more humorous than I would have expected for something with a lot of scheming and political intrigue. Although I thought Shuurei was a bit too naïve for someone wanting to be a government official, I did like that she had a very strong will and seldom got distracted by all the handsome guys getting thrown at her. :-P

I still like the Twelve Kingdoms better though; even with all the political intrigue, I just can’t take Saiunkoku that seriously with all the silly moments and how so many characters are hiding unlikely secret identities. cut for spoilers ) I actually find Twelve Kingdoms to be more of a believable story overall despite having lots of fantasy creatures, which Saiunkoku lacks. ^_^;

I would say that Saiunkoku beats Twelve Kingdoms in the costume department though; there are a lot more elaborate designs than there were in Twelve Kingdoms. There were relatively few more detailed costumes in Twelve Kingdoms and most of those seemed to be for minor characters that only appeared for an episode or two.

And speaking of costumes… I want to cosplay Ryuuren, the eccentric genius who is always wandering around and driving people nuts with his awful flute playing. XD; It’s so bad it can make birds fall out of the sky, unconscious! He’s usually wearing flashy clothes and it’s amusing to see what strange things he’ll stick on his head next. For once, the default outfit is my favorite instead of something that just appeared for an episode! ^_^; Definitely want to make this one. It’s so colorful and looks like it would be lots of fun to wear. Would like to do a photoshoot of this somewhere woodsy if I finish it by Halloween. If not, I guess it’ll be for cons next year.



alternate outfits )
ladyofthethread: (Ekaterina)
Verizon finally put up fiber optic cable in our neighborhood recently so we had Fios installed yesterday. It’s about the same as what we were paying before for separate DSL and phone service so my parents were eager to switch now that it was finally available here. Plus, we only had regular network TV before and now we suddenly have like hundreds of channels. o_o; I haven't taken the time to sit down and try flipping through all of them yet to see what there is.


Cosplay-wise, I need to get started on Lia this weekend. I got the JP Ryan Robe a la Francaise and Robe a la Anglaise patterns in the mail last week but have been feeling lazy. ^_^; I’m going to mainly use the Anglaise pattern since the skirt in the reference looks like it should be polonaise style but I need to alter the bodice to have a stomacher like the Francaise pattern. Definitely doing a mockup of the bodice and overskirt first.


And I’ve watched some new anime lately, which I hadn’t done for a while. Started on Hetalia a while before Anime Boston as research for cosplay chess since my part involved a Le Chevalier/Hetalia crossover. I guess it’s amusing but too ridiculous and weird at times. O_o;

I watched Baccano while doing the finishing work and kanzashi for my Sakura Matsuri outfit. With all the jumping back and fourth and so many characters, it was a bit of a challenge to figure out what was the real order of events and how they fit together. And I suppose that aspect was what kept me interested although it was a bit overly bloody for my tastes. I finished it and it was okay but I don’t really see myself watching it again.

I finished Umineko last weekend and liked it most out of these three but have mixed feelings about it. I liked the skit for it at AB and figured it might be a good series to check out since I’m a mystery fan. I was kind of dubious though since I couldn’t help thinking that it sounded like an “And Then There Were None” ripoff. People trapped on a private island and everyone getting murdered according to a piece of writing that’s prominently featured? It hasn’t just been done before; it was done 70 years ago by Agatha Christie in one of her most well known novels! >_> I reread the book this week and there was a storm and a message in a bottle explaining what happened, too. There was even a dead woman named Beatrice mentioned. And one of the characters, who was going a bit crazy from the situation and dozing off while writing in her diary, wrote Beatrice was the murderer. That makes me wonder if the name came from there, too, although there’s also a reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy with Beatrice and Virgilia’s names.

So, I started it and it was okay at first although it was a bit overly gruesome for my tastes. (I do read a lot of mysteries but prefer the cozy type without lots of gore and violence.) About halfway through, I got more into it, wanting to see what new twists would be thrown in and who would win in the end. I didn’t end up liking many of the characters though. The family was kind of messed up. And most of the witches, especially Beatrice… Ugh. Pretty/cute costumes but such cruel and ugly personalities. I really wanted Battler to beat Beatrice since she was such a bully. And that ending, after hurrying through the second half of the series to see what happens. ARGH! So, I sort of liked the series but it also left me kind of miffed. -_-X


Anyone have suggestions for other anime series to try? It seems hard to come up with stuff I’d be interested in since I’m not really into action or sci-fi and things focused too much on romance bore me. I also tend to like series with continuing storylines over episodic ones.
ladyofthethread: (Cecelia)
Our heat broke down over the weekend. Of course, it had to be Friday when it was the coldest and like 15 degrees out. -_- Luckily, my father was able to replace the broken part (which cost less than $10) himself that evening so it’s fine now and we didn't have to pay a repair bill.

Costume-wise, I’ve gotten a lot of work done on my corset for Ekaterina. Here’s a progress pic from last week when I was working on the boning. The outer fabric is off-white silk shantung and inside has a layer of canvas interfacing and broadcloth. There are lots of parallel lines stitched into the layers to form casings for the boning. I got 28” long cable ties to cut up for the boning and used up nearly 30 of them; I have over 80 pieces of various sizes in the corset! The boning and the main construction for the corset are done. The main things left are to finish the eyelets, sew the top and bottom edges of the lining in place, and bind the edges with bias strips.



I’ve been watching quite a bit of anime the last few weeks while I work on costume stuff. I went through the first season of Emma, which I got myself for Christmas. I saw a little bit at NYAF and wanted to check it out because of the Victorian setting (some of my favorite book series are set in Victorian times). While it was kind of charming, I didn’t like it as much as I hoped. I think I just don’t like romance enough to be a big fan of it. There are other things I like that include some romance but I tend to get bored when the main focus is just a love story. ^_^;; I doubt I’ll get the second season.

And now that I’ve found how much stuff Funimation has up on their video site, I’ve been watching things there. Saw the first half of Ouran. It was one of those series I was meaning to look into more for a long time; I read the first volume of the manga a couple of years ago but never followed up because I can be such a procrastinator. ^_^;;; I usually don’t like episodic series that much but this was such silly fun. XD I liked it enough to order the first part from Borders (had a 25% off coupon) and I’ll get the second half the next time I have a good coupon. So far, I don’t see myself cosplaying from it though; even with all the costumes the host club wears, nothing has especially jumped out at me and I don’t think I’d fit any of the main characters that well.

Currently, I’m watching xxxHolic. I’d read the first couple of volumes of the manga long ago. Yuuko and her shop reminded me of Count D and his pet shop but I didn’t like it nearly as much so I didn’t continue. I’ve gotten two thirds of the way through the anime and it seems kind of blah to me since it’s episodic and I’m not especially fond of any of the characters. Maybe the manga is better? From some of the crossover glimpses of it in Tsubasa, it seems like there should be a bit more to it than just the episodic stuff. I’ll probably finish watching it but not interested in buying it.

Oh, and I noticed Funimation posted the first couple of episodes of Le Chevalier D’eon recently. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t seen it yet. *hopes to tempt people into cosplaying it with her* :-D
ladyofthethread: (Renrin)
Hmm… It’s been about 2 weeks since I last updated because I’ve been lazy. >_>; So, this is going to be a huge collection of random stuff… Update for the Anime Boston PSOH group next time.

To [profile] selphie84 and [livejournal.com profile] ngmaster: Thanks for the call yesterday. It was a nice little unexpected surprise. :-D Sorry I didn’t actually make it into the city to meet up with you guys.


Next, it seems I need to note a correction to something I posted after NYAF. Shortly before Christmas, I wrote to Peter Tatara for clarification about the awards and got a reply a couple of weeks ago. The only award he has me listed for is 1st Place Craftsman and he says there wasn’t a Best of Show for the hall contest, only Best Craftsmanship. I’m not really upset about it or anything but it makes me wonder a bit if I’m losing my mind since I could have sworn they announced a Best of Show tie between me and one of the novice winners at the end, after I went up to the stage. ._.;


On to a more serious matter, I’m kind of questioning how well Chase handles their statements. The other week, they sent a letter saying that they mistakenly listed $0 balances for some accounts on statements they sent out in December (of course, I caught it when the statement first arrived). This is the second time they’ve messed up on one of my parents’ statements within the past half year. -_- And their statements already annoy me because they don’t seem that user friendly. I don’t claim to be a financial genius but I did take finance as one of my majors at NYU and graduated with honors; yet, their statements still don’t make complete sense to me at times! >_<

Since it’s the beginning of the year, my family’s mailbox is being crammed with tax return documents and it’s my job to keep track of them all; it adds up to a lot of mail with 6 of us here. I found it pretty silly that my bank sent me a separate mail for the $1.02 of interest that I had from my checking account instead of just tacking it onto the one from my savings account!


I recently finished watching Le Chevalier D’Eon. cut for spoilers )


And I got the 5th volume of the Petshop of Horrors sequel the other week. Not completely sure what’s going on at times since I don’t know any Japanese but a couple of parts were pretty darn weird. O_o; cut for spoilers )


I’m finally getting back to working on cosplay stuff now and have been sewing the underskirt for Sarah’s Cinderella costume. I made it with some leftover white cotton and attached a few layers of netting near the hem to make the bottom poofy. Still need to put faux fur over the netting but I’m thinking I should get new material because the fur I have now has a rather short pile and doesn’t look fluffy enough. I’d bought it because I was having trouble finding anything else in white other than fun fur (the stuff I used for my T-Chan plushie) and I thought the backing on that might be too stiff. Don’t know what I’d do with the yard and a half that I already have though since nothing else I want to cosplay calls for fake fur.


And the other night, my siblings and I randomly got onto the subject of old computer games at dinner. The 7th Guest, Myst, Monkey Island, Laura Bow, lots of lesser known stuff and even text games! My favorites from those days had to be the adventure games which didn’t require much combat (if any) and mostly involved collecting items and using them to solve puzzles and advance the storyline. Never got too much into games that involved lots of combat since my coordination is terrible. Like I remember we had a PC version of Street Fighter and I never used the special moves because of my awful coordination with such things. ^_^;; And I think I usually failed miserably when trying to kill the monsters in Alone in the Dark. XD; I wonder if there are still any good adventure games released these days… I don’t play games as often now and I don’t think I’ve played any as involved as the ones from the ‘90s for a long time.

Okay, I’m done. I did say this post was going to be random, didn’t I? :-P

Update

Aug. 14th, 2007 12:18 am
ladyofthethread: (Terra)
Let’s see… Other than that unexpected tornado, the past week hasn’t been terribly exciting but it has been productive. Much of my paperwork backlog has been taken care of but there are still some things to reorganize. I’ve got another little needlework project in progress now and I’ve been spending the last few days helping my mother paint the basement, including the room my parents are letting me have for a sewing room. ^_^

The main part of the painting in there is done already; only the door and some touchups are left. The wall color is a medium purple and the ceiling, window, door, and trim are white. Mostly, I’ve been painting things like windows and edges with a little handheld brush because I’ve discovered I’m not very good at getting paint even with those large rollers. ^_^;

I’ve also finally managed to get around to watching a couple of the DVDs I bought at AnimeNext. First was volume 3 of Le Chevalier D’Eon. It’s kind of weird and more gory than I’d normally like but the artwork is gorgeous *_* and it has the type of mysterious puzzle-like plot that I love. But considering that I don’t care for politics at all, it’s kind of funny how I end up liking series like this and The Twelve Kingdoms which have lots of political intrigue. o_o;

I’m getting interested in possibly doing a cosplay from it (always wanted to do a period gown type costume) but want to see the rest of the series first. Unless it’s something super long, I like to watch/read an entire series before deciding if I’ll cosplay from it. I sew slowly and only manage about 4 costumes a year so I’d rather see all the outfits before deciding what to make! ^_^; So, I won’t come to a more definite conclusion until around the end of the year.

Also watched the first volume of Tsubasa. I’ve read the first 5 volumes of the manga, too, and I don’t think there have been any big differences between the two so far. (It's been a while since I read the first volume.) It’s interesting enough that I’ll keep watching/reading but for now, I’m not into it enough that I’d consider cosplaying from it.

I suppose it would be more fun to watch if I knew more about Clamp stuff since there are lots of cameos from their other works. I have to admit I don’t even know much about CCS. I just vaguely remember seeing a few episodes of the dub when it was on TV, before I was particularly interested in anime. ^_^;;

Still have volume 3 of Paradise Kiss to watch. Maybe, sometime this week...
ladyofthethread: (Layla)
Blah… Now that I haven’t really got a project going, I’m feeling kind of bored. I suppose I should take a stab at finally giving my room and the living room (where I usually sew) a thorough cleaning but it’s not exactly an exciting project. ^_^;; Actually, the whole house could probably use a cleaning since there’s so much clutter; if my family ever had to move, we’d never make it because we would never finish packing! >_>;

To try to alleviate the boredom, I’ve gathered my bits of shaggy orange fur and am starting to figure out how to make my T-Chan plushie. I have some yellow scraps left from my Tohru sundress that I’ll use for paws and the horns but still have to look through my fabric stash to see if there’s anything good in beige for the face. I’ve gotten the tail done and have ideas for the legs but the head is going to take some figuring out.

Hmm… Maybe, I should consider doing my kirin plushie, too, after I get T-Chan done. I meant to make Taiki to carry around while in my nyosen costume but never got around to it since other costume stuff kept me busy.

I got the final volume of Kaleido Star: New Wings this week and watched it. ^_^ It was great! Cut for spoilers )

Hmm... And now, I guess I need some new anime to follow since I've finished both Gankutsuou and Kaleido Star.
ladyofthethread: (Layla)
Let’s see… The last couple of days I’ve caught up with some of the household paperwork and made some more progress on painting the peacock dress. Also put in an order for the last volume of Gankutsuou and volume 5 of Kaleido Star: New Wings from Amazon. I usually only collect a couple of anime series at a time and was wondering if anyone had suggestions for what I could check out next since I’m almost done with these two.

I find I usually tend to prefer shojo but don’t like things focused too much on romance. Also, I’m not really into sci-fi and not a big fan of action stuff. I tend to like series with continuing plotlines over more episodic ones and I love pretty artwork. ^_^ Some of the series I like are The Twelve Kingdoms, Kaleido Star, Fruits Basket, Witch Hunter Robin, and Gankutsuou. I’ve already tried Fushigi Yugi because of the similar setting to Twelve Kingdoms but found it too romance-y for my taste. I’ve also seen the first volume of Revolutionary Girl Utena and didn’t care for how it was animated even though I loved the manga. Suggestions, anyone?

And I finally got my old evening gown out of the closet and fixed the zipper so I’ll have something to wear for that wedding reception I’m supposed to go to on Saturday. I made this several years ago, back in late 2000 or early 2001, so the inside is kind of messy although it looks decent on the outside. I broke the zipper a few years ago and was lazy about fixing since there aren’t many occasions I need a fancy gown for. So, it’s just been hanging in my closet since then. >_>; Here’s a picture of it. Don’t mind the clutter in the background… Cleaning obviously isn’t one of my talents. ^_^;;



The gold brocade is one of my favorites out of all the fabrics I’ve sewn things with and I still have a few yards of it stashed away somewhere. I’ve been wondering if I could incorporate it into a costume sometime. It sort of makes me think of Celes’s opera dress from FFVI but I doubt there’s enough left for a big poofy gown.
ladyofthethread: (Layla)
I got a couple of DVDs from Amazon yesterday, vol. 4 of Kaleido Star: New Wings and vol. 5 of Gankutsuou. An optimistic girl pursuing her dream of being a circus star and a bitter man bent on revenge… What a weird combination. LOL

There were 5 episodes on the Kaleido Star disc this time, which was nice. Sora seems to be bouncing back and we’re getting some hints about Leon’s past now. He certainly seems to have some obsessive issues, regarding a girl named Sophie. o_o;

Gankutsuou was kind of depressing, particularly the second episode on the disc. ;_; Not sure if it was just me but I found myself wondering what some of the characters were doing while certain events were going on because we don’t see them/their reactions.

I’ve been meaning to talk a bit about books since it’s been a while but I’ve been so busy with costume stuff lately. I finished rereading Dianne Day’s Fremont Jones series the other day. It’s 6 books long and mostly set in California during the early 1900s. The main character is Fremont, an independent-spirited girl from a wealthy Boston family who leaves home after her widowed father gets remarried to a woman she despises. She moves to San Francisco with the intention of making her own living by starting a typewriting business and soon finds herself involved in a mystery when one of her clients is murdered. The series follows the adventures she gets involved in through her typing business and later, the detective agency she starts with her lover Michael Archer.

It’s too bad the series didn’t go longer since I liked the characters; Fremont is probably one of my favorite mystery heroines ever. Like a lot of mystery series I liked that ended, I had assumed there would be more but a next book just never came. The author has only published one book since the series ended, a Civil War era mystery based on the life of Clara Barton, and I just wasn’t interested enough to finish reading it when I tried a few years back. :-/

Next, I’ll probably read “Death at Glamis Castle” by Robin Paige. Kate Ardleigh, the protagonist in this series, reminds me of Fremont since she was also an unconventional woman who wanted to earn her own living. In her case, it was by writing gothic fiction and the series is set in a slightly earlier time period than Dianne Day’s books, about a decade before. It’s a decent series but I don’t love it nearly as much as the Fremont Jones series.

And in costume news, 5 flowers left to go! I’m finally getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel! XD

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