Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Cosplay

Since it's Oct 31 and Halloween, I thought I'd be super-clever and write about Halloween today; I thought I might also add a little at the end on how our Halloween party went this past Saturday, since preparations for that took up a large chunk of Friday's post. XD Growing up, Halloween was my absolute most favorite holiday. I loved dressing up, and the candy was a great added bonus. I made my first cosplay when I was 11--years before I ever even heard the word cosplay. That year, I dressed up as Brin Ohmsford from the Wishsong of Shannara. Absolutely nobody recognized me, but I had fun trick-or-treating with my cousin who was dressed as a black cat. I decided that she should be Whisper, Brin's black cat from the book. It wasn't anything super fancy--the costume involved a lot of heavy borrowing from my aunt's closet for belt and boots. For the green tunic, my mom found a cheap Peter Pan costume, and the purple drape was just a piece of scrap fabric with a piece of costume jewelry found at a yard sale for the clasp.

Considering my early interest in cosplay, it's really no surprise that I latched on to anime conventions once I discovered their existence in 2000. On the downside of that, though, once I found anime cons, Halloween has slowly lost it's luster. For the last 10 years, we've hosted a Halloween party for our friends, family, or whoever shows up. We include a costume contest, a murder mystery, a ton of food (some of it is actually healthy), and lots of other fun games. As we've aged though, we put less and less effort into costumes for Halloween--most of the time, in my family, we just recycle old convention costumes. This year was the first year since 2003 that I actually made a costume just for Halloween, although I do plan on wearing it to conventions--it may not be anime, but who cares? Each year I see more and more non-anime costumes at conventions, and really it would be a sad thing for a costume to only be worn once.

This year's Halloween party was fun. I did get our costumes finished. I did not get the Tim Burton badges finished--can't have everything, especially when I had such unrealistic goals. For those that wanted them as a collectors item--some of our regular attendees have collected the badges for the characters they've played in the mystery over the years--I would finish a badge for them and have it ready for the next D&D game, or mail it to them for the people who aren't part of that group. So, you can expect to see at least a couple more of those coming up. I think I'd still like to finish most of the set, although I might change around the character selections since I don't have to match them to the murder mystery now. It may take time, and I may be late, but I do like finishing things. I will do the rest of the Tim Burton designs, turn them into bookmarks, and print the requested ones as badges. =) We had our first ever 3-way tie in the costume contest. No one managed to solve the murder mystery, so the prize for that went to the kid who played the corpse of Tim Burton--one of our friend's nephews decided he'd be the corpse, and he actually laid on the floor in the middle of the circle of players with a white "sheet" (technically it was a lab coat from someone's costume) over him for more than an hour without moving, not even shifting positions. We were all very impressed that a 9-yr-old kid could do that. We watched lots of movies (Tim Burton's of course), played lots of games (especially Zombie Munchkin and Munchkin Bites), and generally ate way too much. I meant to get pictures, but that didn't happen. XD One of these days I'll get better at remembering to pull out my camera. In the mean time, I hope everyone has a fun Halloween. ^_^

Friday, October 28, 2011

Work in Progress No. 4, Vol 7.

 So this is going to be a short, belated work in progress post. I don't have a lot of time today for a super detailed post, but here's a run down of what I've been working on.

For art, I'll admit I've been moving slow. I have 8 badges I'm supposed to have finished by tomorrow, and right now I only have 2. On the positive side, I am doing these almost entirely with traditional pen and pencil, so I can skip the long hours working with Photoshop. This means I do have a chance of getting them finished on time. These badges are for our murder mystery game that we run at our Halloween party every year. Each player will get a badge representing the character they're playing. I will not be turning these into official badges for my art tables or Etsy shop, but I am considering altering them and making them into bookmarks. Here are the two that are finished.

This is Alice from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Our theme this year is Tim Burton, and these are two of the playable characters. I will also be drawing Batman, a martian from Mars Attacks, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, and the bride from The Corpse Bride. I will be posting these to my Tumblr account today and tomorrow morning as I get them finished.

After this week, for art, I will be working on my new set of Sailor Moon bookmarks for Anime USA. Because of how things have ended up, I will probably forgo trying to get anything else finished for AUSA. I guess we'll see what happens there.

Outside of art, I've been working on Halloween costumes for my husband and I. We are planning on going as Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. So far, it's been slower going than I'd like though. I do have Jack's jacket finished. That still leaves pants and the collar thing for Jack and Sally's entire dress. @_@ I will be posting updates on these as well on Tumblr, along with decorations and food any all the other fun stuff we're putting together for tomorrow's party. Here's hoping I can pull it all off. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ouran as Promised

I said I was going to write about Ouran High School Host Club, so that's what I'm going to do. Nevermind that I also said that I was going to post that this time last week. =P Plans change. In the last couple of weeks I rewatched OHSHC for the 3rd or 4th time. This time, I made my mom sit through it as part of an anime-marathon vacation. We started the marathon with the first 2 discs of Ouran and ended the main part of the marathon with the last 2 discs of Ouran. In the middle we watched all 10 discs of FMA:B. Needless to say, my mom loved both series. Her favorite host was Tamaki. Mine has always been Kyoya. Who's your favorite host?

What do I like about OHSHC? Honestly it's a kind of silly little series, and it's not the kind of thing I'd normally pick up and really latch onto. For starters, the basic premise behind the series with the super wealthy (and beautiful) getting glimpses into the lives of normal people, or commoners as they are called in the series, interests me. I like how OHSHC approaches that juxtaposition. It's like Titanic but infinitely better. For another, I can appreciate the low-key approach to telling the story. This really became apparent while watching the last 2 discs of OHSHC after watching FMA. After the fairly intense pace of FMA, Ouran's pace was noticeably more relaxed. That said, the story may move at a slower pace, but it still has one. To me, it is very important for a series to have a continuing plot. Although it's still possible that I will like a series where the episodes are unconnected, it is less likely. It's why I generally prefer reading novels to short stories. I just prefer longer more in-depth stories.

Ouran's story-telling pace is not only more relaxed, but the story itself is fairly simple. The series starts out with a frivolous appearance. However, as the story progresses, we start to see glimpses into the interpersonal relationships between the characters, their families, and their pasts. We see that, although on the surface they live very pampered and spoiled lives, they have their share of stresses. We get to see how the friendship that develops between the members of the Host Club helps each one of them grow as individuals and support each other in the face difficult situations. It is a very touching story in the end. I enjoy Ouran's story-telling style as well. I think, if it tried to take itself too seriously, the story would have fallen flat. At the same time, I appreciate that it had a story to tell and wasn't just the crazy antics of the Host Club. All in all, it's a well told, lighthearted story. It is a story designed to appeal primarily to girls, but I made my husband sit down and watch it back in the Spring, and even he said it was a good series. Ouran High School Host Club is definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it before.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Happened to This Week?

This is a bit of a continuation of last Friday/Saturday's post. XD My plans to do a lot of crafty things went completely out the window, as did keeping up with my normal web stuff, which included my blog. I pretty much spent the entire week in vacation-mode. It was a weird, but good experience. Usually even when I go on vacation, I'm working on art or crocheting something. Instead, I slept.... a lot. And, I watched anime... a lot. This was a very good thing because I also spent most of the week feeling ill, so it was nice to not have any immediate demands on my time or energy so I could rest up.

Now, if I was a much better organized person, I'd have had several pre-written blog posts that I could have snuck in, but that fails at the organized-requirement. I've never been a super organized person, so yeah... no pre-prepared posts here. Everything's written pretty much real-time. The plus side is that everything I post is pertinent and recent. On the down side, there will inevitably be times where I miss posting. Usually it won't be as bad as this where I miss a whole week--I think final count is this: I completely missed posting anything Monday and Wednesday, and today (Friday) and last Friday's posts are just random, why I didn't post anything pertinent posts. There will probably be vacation periods where I miss posting. Also, around convention times it's entirely likely that I'll be missing 1-2 posts right before the convention. That's just how things are around here.

This past week, my mom and I watched all of Ouran High School Host Club and all of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. We also watched a couple of episodes each of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Soul Eater. She enjoyed all of it, especially FMA. It was fun rewatching both series. To any who have not seen them yet, go watch them.... now. For real. That's about all we did though, so that's about it for this post. =P We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming Monday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What Happened to Friday?

Yeah, I know I was kind of supposed to post something here yesterday. XD Clearly I didn't do that. So, what happened to Friday's post? I got lazy. Sort of, but that's the blunt way of putting it. Right now I am at my parents' house. I am working on some art projects, and my mom and I spent yesterday watching the first two volumes of Ouran High School Host Club. She was hooked after the first couple of episodes. I have a feeling finishing the second half of the series as part of our plans for today. =P So, I planned on posting a nice well-thought out review of OHSHC last night for Friday's post. However, after being overfed with lots of good food, I kind of spent most of the evening in a stupor in front of the TV. I could do that post today, but since I'm treating this trip is a kind of vacation, I'm going to say to heck with it; I'll write it for Monday's post instead unless something more interesting pops up to write about. =P I'm determined not to stress about any of this stuff this week. =) So, you can look forward to my take on OHSHC in a couple of days, and I'm going to go watch more anime and maybe finish up that Dr. Who commission I'm working on. Hope everyone else has a great weekend too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Works in Progress No. 2, Vol. 8

This is going to be a slim week after the extensive WIP post last week.

I've gotten work done on a Dr. Who badge commission and a Sailor Moon bookmark. I think that's about it. XD I blame burn-out from AWA. On the plus side, I should have a lot of stuff to most for next week. I'm leaving this Friday to go visit my mom for a week, and we are going to watch Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Ouran High School Host Club and work on crafts. Personally, I think my mom is awesome for liking anime. =) I'm personally looking forward to the vacation. My husband is on break, so he'll be watching the kids for me the whole week. =D Not that my kids are bad or anything; it's just nice to get a breather from the whole 24/7 Mom job every once in a while. Anyways, I expect to get a good amount of art and plushies and whatever done since I will have very few distractions. So, here's a pic of the lineart for the in-progress stuff (the Dr. Who will have a Tardis behind him in the final version, but I haven't added that yet. =P).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Carolina Renaissance Festival

This past weekend was a lot of fun. We started Saturday with a D&D game. This is of course, always fun. The highlight was me, my cousin (GodsLilTippy on Etsy), and an artist friend of mine (Sempaiko on Etsy) getting distracted by Shimeji and ignoring at least 50% of the game (which involved our group screwing up a significant plot point and us nearly getting eaten by a pack of 10' crocodiles). Shimeji is a Japanese (I'm guessing--it's Asian and looks like something that'd come out of Japan, but I could be wrong here) program that causes a little chibi character to walk around the edges of your computer screen, or across the top of a browser window, if it's not maximized. They crawl, jump, occasionally do other things, and multiply. You can also click on them, drag them, or throw them. I should have gotten a screenshot of the hoard of Mustangs running around my desktop, but... I wasn't thinking, so I didn't. XD

That was Saturday; Sunday we left not as early as we should have to go to the Carolina Renaissance Festival just north of Charlotte, NC. This was a real treat for me since I'd never been before. I have been to a Ren Faire before, but it was about a decade ago, and it was a much smaller event. Because we left so late, it was after noon when we got there (it's about a 3.5 hour drive to get there from our house) and got caught in what I'm guessing was the after-church arrivals because we sat in traffic for nearly 1.5 hours just to get into the parking lot, and most everyone was trying to get into the Ren Faire. Aside from that delay though, the whole day there was a blast. Being the dork that I am, I, of course, forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures from the day. Failsauce.

The set-up at the Carolina Ren Faire is absolutely awesome, at least by my standards. =P It was fun just walking around and looking at all the great arts and crafts and people in costume. They had about a half a dozen stages with various performances going on, not including a bunch of random street performers scattered throughout the festival. The first presentation we watched was the last part of a "bird of prey" thing; Logan was especially fascinated by this. I think his favorite was the vulture. I learned that vultures can eat 100x what would be a lethal dose of salmonella poison for an adult and not only survive, but process it and poop out non-contaminated poo. They can do this with anthrax as well. I did not know this, and although it's kind of gross to think about, I thought that was a really neat fact.

After that we met up with GodsLilTippy (and her brother and mom). They were all in costume. I especially loved Josh's costume; I really want to get Shaun a hat like that. Next time I go, I definitely want to be in costume too. =D (Cosplay addict ftw.) They took us to see London Broil, a juggling comedy act. They were goofy, and I think they were Luke's favorite part of the festival. After watching London Broil, we went to watch the last joust of the day. This was Ty's favorite part. There were three knights participating: one with black and red colors, one with black and gold, and the last with blue and silver--guess which one was supposed to be the good guy. =P Yes, it was the bishie knight in blue and silver--he looked at least 10 years younger (probably more) than the two "evil" knights, had long flowy sandy blond hair, and a well-chiseled face. The evil knights were of course dark haired, scarred, and mean looking. It was cliche, but it was still fun. Our side of the bleachers got the Black/Red knight. Honestly I thought he was the best; he was crazy, while the other two just acted like peacocks. Ty really got into the match though, enthusiastically cheering our knight and loudly booing the other two.

After that we spent the rest of our time there exploring and checking out all the corners of the festival set-up. We're fairly broke at the moment, so we couldn't let the boys ride all the rides or play all the games they wanted to, but we did let them go through the maze, which they enjoyed. Ty and Logan found a couple of plastic golden coins that they got to keep. A street performer snagged all three boys and a couple of other kids, lined them up in order from tallest to shortest, then got them all to hold sticks and pass around a spinning plate. Ty and Luke, I think, enjoyed this. The poor guy performing had trouble getting Logan to cooperate; Logan didn't want to keep holding his stick up vertically. XD Those are the highlights from the day; we left exhausted, but happy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

10 Years of Halloween Fun

This year marks the 10th year for our annual Halloween party, shindig, or whatever you want to call such social gatherings. You may be wondering why I'm writing about this when Halloween is still most of a month away. I'll get to that. =P For the last decade, we've picked a theme and put together an evening of fun for our friends, relatives, or really whoever wanted to show up--we've always had an open invitation. We've had rules--keep it PG and no alcohol or drugs. Yes, most of the adults have been over-age, but we disallow alcohol for two reasons: 1) We have kids, wily kids; I know Luke would get into it no matter how well we watched him. 2) A lot of our friends travel 4+ hours to come to this gathering, and I do not want to be responsible for anyone getting into alcohol-induced accidents. That said, we feed everyone enough sugar to guarantee they're bouncing off the walls by the end of the evening.

Each year we've given our party a theme. For our first year, it was roughly based off of Final Fantasy I. Subsequent years featured Lord of the Rings, Trigun, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Ninjas, Classic Nintendo and Classic 80s. Each year Shaun would write a murder mystery role-playing game to match the theme. The mysteries were fun and easily became one of the highlights for the evening, to the point of where when we threatened to quit making them, there were voiced complaints. With the 2nd year, the one with the Lord of the Rings theme, we introduced "powers" to go with the characters which involved players usually playing jun-ken-po (paper-rock-scissors) to gain access to hidden information on character cards. For that particular year, there was also the "One Ring" which would allow the one player who held the ring to become "invisible"--essentially avoid answering questions for the duration of a round. We also usually added a twist that made things a little tougher to solve, or sometimes just made it sillier. For the Lord of the Rings year, everyone had been partying at the Prancing Pony Inn in Bree, and Gollum had slipped magic mushrooms onto the pizza, so everyone was hallucinating during the events leading up to the death of Mr. Underhill.

The next year, for Trigun, the twist was that someone had created 9 Vash clones, so the goal was to figure out who really killed Vash so they could collect the $$60,000,000,000 reward. For the Star Wars year, we added the additional theme that the mystery story read like a bad fanfic, complete with the narrator named Maria Suevo. In that story there were potions everywhere--love potions, poison potions, even a polyjuice potion (Chewbacca was really Harry Potter in disguise--this was mostly to explain why Chewy could speak English in the mystery but the extra potion made for a nice red herring). I don't think anyone ever forgave us for slipping Harry Potter into that one. The twist to the Ninja theme year was that the goal was to determine which ninja killed the most pirates, but if someone else figured it out, the "winner" had to jun-ken-po battle the one who figured it out to defend their title because they clearly weren't sneaky enough about it. You get the idea.

This leads into the point behind this post and why it's so early in October. Starting with the Classic Nintendo year, I started making badges for players to wear to make it easier to keep straight who was playing what character. This is of course where the Nintendo Noir set came from--all of the characters in that set, minus Zelda and Kirby who were added later, were playable characters in the murder mystery game that year. The ones I made for the Classic 80's year were only roughly finished; those badges featured characters like Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Jareth (Labyrinth), Ray (Ghostbusters), Doc Brown (Back to the Future), She Ra (She Ra), and Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones). The mystery was named "Who Killed Roger Rabbit" and the game came with a Clue style map featuring rooms named after other 80's films. The goal was to determine who did it, with what weapon and in what room. That was a particularly fun game, and we're working on publishing the whole game under the title "Crazy 80s" through Team Sidequest. As much as I like the original title, we'd hit copyright problems if we left it as is. We're of course altering the characters, loosely, and turning it into a parody. But that's something for another post. Moving on.

Well, with this being our 10th year, we're going to aim for something extra fun. This year's theme is Tim Burton movies. This week I started working on the badges for the murder mystery. Now you see the time-appropriateness of this post. =D Took me long enough to get to the point right? I'm going to try something a little different with the badges this year. I'm going to keep them mostly black and white with very muted color, with a few exceptions, mostly reds, which I'll make really stand out. This is to keep it artistically close to the Burton theme. What I will probably do is draw and ink them all by hand, then use pencil to add shading and details. From there I will either add small splashes of vivid color digitally or using markers--I haven't decided on that point yet. The mystery game will feature 8 characters from 8 different movies that Tim Burton is associated with. =) I'm really looking forward to the badges for this year; they should be a lot of fun to design. I'm kind of curious to see how they come out. Watch the Wednesday WIP posts for glimpses of those as we get into October and maybe a few more posts on some of the fun stuff I'm planning for this year's Halloween party.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Works in Progress No. 1, Vol. 8

This weeks WIP post will include stuff for this week and last week, since I missed posting last week's due to pre-AWA craziness. Actually most of this post will be for last week's stuff; I haven't actually gotten much done since AWA--I've spent most of this week catching up on sleep so far. =P

So, let's start with art--that's the big one, so let's get it over with. I did finish the Zodiacs... all of them. It was exhausting, but I was glad I had them all finished for AWA. That's about it for art though. I'm starting new sets this evening though, as soon as I finish putting together this post, so there should be some cool, exciting, new stuff starting next week. =D
The big time sink last week, outside of finishing the zodiacs and getting all the badges cut out and laminated for AWA, was the Anime Tarot Deck. I wanted to include pictures of the booklet we were putting together for the deck with last week's WIP post, which was why the post got put off so late that it didn't happen. It took us literally all day Wednesday to finish tweaking the formatting so the book would print properly, printing it, cutting out all the pages, arranging the pages in order, folding the book, adding the cover which also had to be cut out, and stapling it. Random bit of trivia: the insides of this book are one of the only things on my art tables that I have printed from home. Usually we take it to another place to print; we did have the cover printed elsewhere.

Uncut pages
Assembled Book
Finished Deck

The next spiffy thing I finished (mostly) last week was my Fluttershy costume. The dress in the photo is a little wrinkled and the wings are a little squished from the trip home, but that's nothing a little trip through the wash then ironing and a pile of heavy books won't fix. Fluttershy's butterfly cutie mark is still missing from the dress; I will have that added by Halloween, since I'll probably be re-wearing it for our annual party.

Finally, I started a new plushie kitty during AWA. It's going to be another Kisa-colored one. =D

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AWA 2011 Recap: Part II (Sat & Sun)

Continued from yesterday...

Saturday, I was much more conscious than Friday. Aside from working on the commission Friday, I also made a pattern for my Fluttershy wings, and cut them out of yellow foammie. I spent Saturday morning assembling my wings. I opened my Euphemia-turned-Fluttershy wig for the first time that morning, and it was horrendously frizzy. XD This is something I could have probably prevented had I given myself more time to work on the costume *before* the convention. I donned my Fluttershy costume, minus ears and cutie mark--my dress had white butterflies printed on it, so I figured for this convention, it'd be ok. For AUSA, I'll add some pink and blue foammie butterflies to the dress for the cutie mark. For ears, I decided to stop by Yaya Han's booth in the dealer's room and get her resin ears. I felt the weight--her ears are light weight, but they're still heavier than foammie ears would have been--along with the elastic band that would hold them on might help reduce the "poof" on the top of the wig. It worked, mostly; the wig was still very poofy, but less so after I added the ears. I spent most of Saturday hanging out at my table sketching and crocheting, although that didn't last too long--I tore off my thumb nail accidentally and it really hurt, especially when trying to crochet.

The greatest highlight for me from Saturday at AWA was the My Little Pony photoshoot that afternoon. My cousin was dressed as Pinkie Pie, so we both went. It was awesome being part of such a large group of cosplayers for once--as opposed to being dressed as something so obscure that most people won't recognize it. XD It was tons of fun. My cousin and I are now plotting to put together a pony group of some kind for Animazement. I working on getting my husband to cosplay Twilight Sparkle. I think it'd totally fit his personality--he's a college professor, is bookish, and, when given a choice for rp or mmo games, he picks spell-caster classes. After a flurry of texting and harassing people, we got a Rarity and Apple Jack, and we got my husband to agree to do Twilight Sparkle if we could get my other cousin (Pinkie Pie's brother) to do Rainbow Dash. Mwhahaha I think this could work out. The cousin we want to dress as Rainbow Dash is a first-rate Brony, so there's a fair chance he'll agree.
Ty got lots pictures of the Pony Photoshoot. I will post them on my Tumblr as soon as he uploads them off his camera.

I had so much fun at the photoshoot and hanging out with the other ponies, that I'm pushing forward the MLP badge set I have plans to work on, so I'll do them as soon as I get this year's Halloween badges finished. I'm also going to do a set of MLP bookmarks featuring human versions of the main 6 ponies at least, and probably several of the others--I'm thinking Derpy, Trixie, maybe Dr. Hooves, Apple Bloom... There's just so many possibilities. XD Yes I'm a bit of a fan. I still think FMA: Brotherhood is better though. =P

Back on topic... My husband, Ty, and my friend went to see the new Trigun movie Saturday night; they said it was great, and I kind of wish I'd been able to go see it, but... that'd have left my table unattended, which would not have been a good thing. After the movie, my husband brought back stuffed-crust pizza, which was awesome. There's nothing like greasy pizza when you're really hungry (I think I ate lunch at 11ish and it was 9ish by the time the pizza came). <3

Another cool Saturday highlight: Todd Haberkorn actually came by my table in Artist Alley to say hi and thanks for the badges I'd made for Team Haberkorn. That was epicly awesomely nice of him. I, of course, sat there shyly and smiled and talked a little bit--seriously Fluttershy is such an appropriate character for me to cosplay because that's how I behave around other people, especially people I don't know very well. XD It was still exciting that he actually dropped by to see me.

Sunday, we all dressed up in our Avatar: The Last Airbender costumes--my husband as Zuko, my cousin as Ty Lee, my friend as Azula, and me as Mai. Zuko and Mai are by far the most awesome couple ever--at least that's my thoughts on that subject. They lay claim to one of my most favorite scenes in A:tLA:

Zuko: You're beautiful when you hate the world.
Mai: I don't hate you.
Zuko: I don't hate you, either.
Me: *squee* They're so adorable.

I went to my first (and only) AWA panel Sunday afternoon. I went to see Catherine Jones of God Save the Queen Fashions give a presentation on wig-styling. I enjoyed the talk and learned stuff, which is always a good thing.

Sunday was otherwise a quiet day. I got to talk to some more awesome Team Haberkorn people. I also talked to a guy who had almost the same taste in anime that I do, which was really cool, and on top of that, it turns out he's from Asheville, which is where I grew up. So, we laughed about going to conventions to meet people who live near you--along with lots of people who don't. Neither of my AA neighbors were from NC. One was from Colorado, and the other was from New York, although he used to be from NC.

So, that's about it for convention highlights. We packed up at about 3ish. Thankfully the return trip wasn't nearly as eventful as the trip to Atlanta. All in all, it was a great con. I had a lot of fun. =) I'm definitely considering going back next year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

AWA 2011 Recap: Part I (Thu & Fri)

I spent this past weekend at Anime Weekend Atlanta, which is, big surprise, in Atlanta, GA. I've spent most of the last month working on finishing up my new zodiac set for this convention along with preparing the Anime Tarot set as a deck of cards. Most of last week was spent preparing for the convention, along the lines of cutting out and laminating badges and bookmarks and finishing writing, printing, cutting out, assembling and packaging the booklet for the Anime Tarot deck. I also put together a last-minute Fluttershy costume from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. With all that going on, is it really any surprise that I wasn't ready when my cousin showed up at my house at 6:00pm Thursday evening to leave for the convention?

This is what was supposed to happen: I would finish laminating badges in the morning, and then I would finish up my friend's boot-covers for her Azula costume. I would still have several hours to pack up everything. I would have the van packed with our stuff (our being me, my husband, and Ty), and as soon as my cousin got in, we'd load the van up with her stuff and head out of town to meet my husband near Charlotte where he works (we live in the Raleigh, NC area).

What actually happened: My cousin called at 5ish to let me know she'd be here in about an hour. I had barely 1/3 of the laminating finished--that had turned into a much more tedious process than I'd planned. I decided that maybe I could get the boot-covers finished in 30 minutes, and then pack everything in the remaining 30 minutes. Heh... that was a good joke. After 50 minutes, I gave up on the boot covers; I'd made a couple of mistakes in my haste that were fixable, but not within the frame of time I had to work with, so I called my friend and asked her to pack a pair of boots that would work as an alternative since the boot-covers were not happening for AWA. That left... 5 minutes to pack by the time I got off the phone. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. My cousin got here, and we spent the next hour collecting things, packing them, and then loading them into the car.

So, at around 7:00pm, we pulled away from my driveway and left to meet my husband. We stopped for fast-food to-go for dinner, and about 2.5 hours later, we met up with my husband. The next stop was to pick up my friend (the one cosplaying Azula whose boot-covers I screwed up). Her house was about an hour away from where my husband worked, but it was on the way to Atlanta, so that wasn't too bad. What was bad was 10 minutes down the road we came across a nasty accident that blocked the road entirely and police were directing traffic to turn around. After a super-long detour, we finally picked up my friend at a little after midnight. Thankfully the rest of the drive to Atlanta was less eventful, but because of the delays, we didn't pull into the hotel until 4:00am--the original ETA had been 1:00-1:30am. Seriously, there's a reason our group's nicknamed Team Sidequest. We don't necessarily go looking for trouble (although sometimes we do); it just tends to find us.

The drive there was long and tiring. We got checked in and everything hauled up to our room by 4:45 and crashed. I was up at 7:00. You remember how I mentioned that I was only 1/3 of the way through laminating everything; well, I had to get up Friday morning to finish the laminating before I needed to head downstairs to check into Artist Alley. Ok, I suppose I could have slept late and just dealt with starting late, but I guess I'm really stubborn about making the most out of the time I had there. If I wanted to spend my weekend sleeping, I could have just stayed at home. =P

Given that I only had about 2 hours of sleep, I don't remember a lot from Friday. XD A lot of it blurs together. We got the table set up. I meant to get a picture of it, but I kind of forgot... XD I had all of my art stuff out, minus the individual prints and badges for the tarot card set. My cousin had a bunch of her really adorable polymer cake charms out, too, and Ty even had a couple of little beaded "tassels" that he made. I didn't leave the table much Friday. I did go with my friend to watch the first two episodes of Ouran High School Host Club live action Friday evening. It was epic and horrible, all at the same time. I want to find more of it to watch.

I spent most of the day working on one commission--lineart of Starscream and Megatron. I've never been a big Transformer (or any kind of mecha) fan, and if you're familiar with my gallery, you'll know I don't draw much of that. It was still a good challenge--it took me a lot longer than a normal drawing would have, but it was definitely good practice. Friday night we all went to bed pretty much as soon as the Artist Alley closed. It's dinner time now, and I'm not going to count on getting back to the computer tonight, so, I'll post the recap for Saturday and Sunday tomorrow. I got a photograph of the Transformer commission, so I'll post that tomorrow too.