Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!




Christmas has come and passed and I'm still not over that holiday spirit!
This year I went up to see my family for Christmas. Seeing them makes me so happy and I needed to spend time with them. Not only because I love them so much, but because it was also comforting to see them and be there with them. Christmas is my favorite holiday but this year I knew it was going to be hard on me. Last year I had spent this time with Victor.

I got new decorations for my tree since I moved earlier this year and decided to do away with the old ornaments. I'm hoping to get a new tree sometime (I really want one of the snowy looking ones). Blue and white is my favorite color combination because it reminds me of snow and ice.



While I gave many gifts, I also got many in return! To me, seeing the looks on someone's face when they open a gift is what I love about the holidays. My family and friends are always so excited and thankful for gifts from each other.


The gifts I got this year were numerous. I love every gift and it will be going to good use in the future. <3
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as I did and more.
Me and my little sister

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Happy Merry Wintersday to You, Too!


I got something exciting in the mail!

On the counter where the mail is kept, I found an envelope sent from Arenanet to Alucardalina Claire.
Yep, the same Arenanet who created the Guild Wars series! Who knew that they had started sending bans out via snail-mail....

I'm kidding! It was a wonderful and beautiful Wintersday card! It's all thanks to a friend, too. <3 You know who you are.  I'm very grateful. I was supposed to get one last year too but it never came in the mail.


Front of the card <3

The inside! 

It will be standing beside my card from Naveen, the founder of Chronicles of Tyria!

Speaking of which, we started doing a different sort of lorecast type thing by starting a Let's Play. Here's the first two videos. If you're interested in Guild Wars Lore or just the game in general, check it out! <3





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guild Wars 2 Cosplay

The other week I got to go out and take more pictures of my Guild Wars 2 cosplay. The costume itself is actually outdated now as my character has a new armor set in game now. I still had a lot of fun dressing up as her though! ♥ ♥ ♥








A screenshot of my character for reference.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Year of 2013

Another year has come and nearly passed. Since I don't see anymore costumes being done by the end of the year, I decided to go ahead and upload my 'costumes of this year' mash-up.

The costumes pictured are:
Alucardalina Claire: Guild Wars 2
White Mage: Final Fantasy Tactics
Fujiwara no Mokou: Touhou Project
Rikka Takanashi (Swimsuit version): Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Patchouli Knowledge: Touhou Project
TARDIS: Doctor Who
Tsukuyomi Sasami: Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
Rarity (art critic dress): My Little Pony: Friendship is magic
Eirin Yagokoro: Touhou Project

It's been a fun costuming year, but I can't say that my entire year has been fun.
I'm not going to go into it very much, but my best friend died this year. I can at least feel lucky enough that I ever got to know him and that I spent his very last weekend with him and his girlfriend.
Things are rough right now, but I know I'll pull through. These feelings of sadness won't disappear, but I can learn to live to celebrate his life.

I'll miss you, Victor. <3

I had a lot of fun, too, though. I got to see my first Kors K show at AWA 2013 with Victor. I got my first kimono this year. I visited my first local con, and I got into Doctor Who. I spent several weekends playing minigolf and drinking butterbeer and preparing food with people that I really care about. I met some new people that I care so much about and I became Commander Alucardalina Claire in Guild Wars 2. I lead my first WvW battle and people loved my leadership. I even got to meet Zun and get his autograph!


Meeting Zun at AWA 2013

I'll also be visiting Japan sometime soon. I hope to be able to post about the days I will spend there and bring lots of pictures back to share. <3
Another note: I recently changed the website, as some of my visitors may be able to tell. Instead of The Perfect Doodle, it's now AlucardalinaClaire.blogspot.com. I hope this new change will help inspire me to post more.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Patchouli WIP


  My good sewing machine broke recently and it turns out that I'm going to have to get a new one because taking it to any other place than the Tennessee location voids it's warranty. Instead I brought out my old clunker of a machine (which I abandoned thanks to it preferring to eat fabrics rather than sew them) and tried it out in an attempt to make progress on at least something.  I thought that Patchouli, with the really light fabrics I had for her, would be the best thing to try on this machine for now.  It seems that if I'm not sewing through a certain weight of fabric then it's fine.

My Patchouli cosplay will be for Anime Weekened Atlanta where I will be holding the Touhou Trivia Panel for the second year now (This time with a few more copanelists.) I wanted to go all out on this costume since Zun will be attending the convention. Instead of following the canon design absolutely I decided to take some of my own creative liberties with it. The last time I made this costume I ended up not being very happy with it and got rid of it. This time I'll be doing whatever I want for it! This means lots of frills, lace, cameos, and whatever else I want to do with it.

Progress photo
 So far I've managed to make the dress. Every piece of fabric on this is see-through normally, but with the layers I put together it's now rather opaque. I think the funnest part on this dress was something I've never done this way- The waistband. Most of the time I don't really worry about the waist of my costumes because they're usually covered. This one ended up being kind of like my Orin dress' waistband but this one instead buttons up with the bodice and is a lot tighter around my waist (still quite a bit of room left between the dress and my waist, but keeping in mind that it is supposed to be nightwear). Since this all was a striped pattern I had to play with cutting the shapes out on the fabric but it seems to have turned out pretty well.
There is an underskirt underneath the striped fabric. At one point I was afraid that the bottom of the lower tier of the striped fabric was too bare and looked through my laces and found the most perfect lace (one that I hadn't found a use for in years time). There are a bit of 'tinsel-esque' stripes in the fabric and the lace has the same kind of look at the bottom and it just fit perfectly.


I feel like a princess in this dress <3 I really do. It's so sparkly and flowy and cute.

Finished Dress


My other project, which I finished earlier, was her magic book. 
Before
After

As someone who was often a library assistant, I was pained to tear this book apart. I'm happy enough that while I was tearing pages, I left the pictures and words in tact so it's still readable. The edges of the pages went from smooth to jagged and I added a few more pages in it with runes and magic circles. I also yellowed each page with distress ink. On the outside I painted the cover black with a sponge and put metal edges for an older look. I leafed the gold magic circles and runes on and distressed that as well. I may end up putting a few more pages in, but I'm feeling pretty good about it right now.


As for the costume itself, I'm currently working on the overcoat, which I had to lighten from a rather bright, nearly hot pink fabric. It lightened a bit more than I would have liked, but it's technically accurate to the character portrait so I think I'm just going to go with it. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

DreamV

A few days ago, my DreamV yukata came in. I've been wanting a yukata for the summer days ahead and I knew it would be a cute and breezy way to dress that keeps my arms and legs out of the sun (I burn really easily.) DreamV is one of those stores that I like to browse in my spare time because they have a ton of really cute clothes. When I saw that their yukatas were on sale, I knew I had to have one. Most of them seemed to be in two parts, but I wanted something I had to put on like a real kimono. It came with a hair scrunchy, a pair of zori, and a pre-tied obi. I think the price was somewhere between 16-18$, which isn't a bad price at all!

It's as breezy as I thought it would be, but I have to wear the starches down in the fabric a bit first. It seems very well made despite it being really inexpensive.

Sorry about the grainy pictures, these were taken with my phone. Also, you can see Drift keeping me company!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Magnolia Plantation

Last Friday was National Public Gardens Day and I was ready for an offer like this. I've been watching on Magnolia Plantation for a while; really, it's a beautiful place and I've wanted to take pictures there for a long time. For the NPGD they offered to let everyone come into the garden for free with a special pass from Homes & Gardens' website. I took this as a sign and went ahead and brought Komachi out again.

I've been dying to finally get pictures of my Komachi costume so I could take down the wig and use it for what I bought it for: Mitsuru from Persona 3. What I didn't know was that because my bust grew bigger, I (ironically) would not be able to fit it into Komachi again, at least without rigging it up. So I'm throwing that on my cosplays to remake/fix list.

As for the actual gardens, they were absolutely beautiful. A lot of people, when they think of Charleston, think of sandy beaches, fair weather, and palm trees. In truth, there's probably more swamps, bogs, and marshes than any of that. Of course, these are much more beautiful than one might think. The Magnolia adventure is more like a mixture of a large flower and shrub garden with swamps scattered throughout. There's even a bamboo forest with Asian style statues and arched bridges. I will definitely be going back there out of costume sometime (when it isn't so hot).

The employees really didn't mind me being in costume (some even seemed to enjoy it), even lugging my scythe around, which was taken apart in between pictures.  t. Can I take the time to mention that I love my scythe? One of my friends made it for me back before Seishuncon the year I redid the costume.

Also, at one point, an alligator decided to swim to the spot I wanted to take a picture. He just rested there for a while and seemed pretty cool with everyone. I didn't get to take a picture there and you probably wouldn't know it, but the picture of me on the white bridge is actually me watching the alligator sleep.










Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Conventions of 2013 - So Far - And Other Things


Hello again!

I thought it might be time to update the blog again with some of my cosplay and convention adventures. I've been working on cosplay quite a bit lately since I've gotten back into the groove of sewing. I know I'm usually known for my Touhou cosplays, but I've been trying to cosplay some other characters I've had on my to cosplay list and take my Touhou cosplay in smaller portions.

Momocon 2013


So first off, my first convention of the year was Momocon of course! They moved again, but I think I prefer the last hotel. This year's hotel was small and narrow and hard to move through/easy to get lost in. However, this is the first con hotel that has respected our wishes to be placed on a bottom floor (due to my fear of elevators). I don't know that I'll return to Momocon next year due to wanting to move to different conventions, but that'll be decided later on this year anyway.
My costumes for Momocon 2013 were:
Swimsuit Rikka - Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Art Lover/Critic Rarity - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Alucardalina Claire - Guild Wars 2
Eirin - Touhou Project (not pictured)

Rikka: I forgot to check if the hotel had an indoor pool like last year's hotel. They didn't have one, so I braved the cold and went out for pictures outdoors. You can expect me to do more Rikka cosplays as well! I have a dedicated styled wig for her.
Rarity: This kind of costume is really not something I usually wear or make. It's a skintight dress that I made by having my body traced onto fabric and sewing that together. I think it's one of my first few dresses that didn't need any extra things like zipper/buttons/elastic. It's also a very different make-up style that doesn't suit my face outside of the costume @_@. But I loved being this totally different look in a character I love.
Alucardalina: My Guild Wars 1 & 2 character, Alucardalina Claire, is really important to me. When I got the chance to host a Guild Wars lore panel at Momocon, I knew I just had to dress up as my character from the second game. I put a lot of love into this costume and some of the pieces were very difficult to figure out how to make. I enjoy every second of being in this costume and having my character come to life.
Eirin: I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of this costume yet!!! I know I crossed a sort of line with this costume though. I find materials to be very important when making a costume. To get the pattern I wanted, I had to do something drastic: Crushed panne velour/velvet. Half of it was made from amazing quality and the other half, not so much, but I think it all came together in the end and I got that really splotchy look she has on her dress with the different shines and lightings. I paired it with a light white fabric with no sort of pattern or look to it. I guess it reminds me of stocking material? I'm actually very happy with this costume. I'll post pictures when I can.





Procon 2013


Then there was Procon, a convention I learned about the Wednesday before the weekend of the con. This was the week after Momocon as well, so I was already feeling kind of pooped as far as costumes went but this was in my town free to get in. I didn't make another costume for this event at all. I decided to just cosplay Index again, this time with the stuffed cat I got (Sphinx). I had one person recognize me (Unless no one else spoke up but knew). I also entered the costume contest. It was a very silly contest and I wish it were run better, but it was really fun none-the-less. We had to get on the stage and act in character and answer a few questions about our costumes and one random question at the end. I mentioned that I was hungry (in character) while I was talking and an 11 Doctor cosplayer in the front row pulled out a burger from his pocket, which was really funny. The contest had nothing to do with whether you made the costume or not or how good it looked/ how well it was put together. I don't even know that it was based on our acting. To put it simply, I don't know what the qualifications were to win.  The con was really small, the maid cafe was a bake sale, and everything wasn't very well put together, however I met some really cool people there. Everyone who ran it was enthusiastic and loved what they were doing and that's all that matters. Also, the Doctor Who panel was really fun - my favorite part aside from spending the convention with my best friend and her sister, my momma number 2, and my little brother! You can count me in for next year, too.


Nashicon 2013

Last but not least, I took a visit to Nashicon this past weekend. This is a convention I always wanted to go to but never could. They're now taking this convention "seriously" and put it in a convention center and had a plan about it. I couldn't be happier about that and I can only see growth coming their way! I spent most of my time in the game room watching others play games, and playing a little DDR myself. The weather outside was really nice, too, so I spent a lot of time outside in the shade just hanging out. There was a Satori figure in the dealer's room that I was going to get because it had Orin as a cat on it, but it was gone by the time I came back for it. That opened a gateway into a big purchase though. I ended up trying on a furisode at the Kimono USA booth. For those of you who don't know, furisode are really formal kimonos with the really long sleeves that are usually worn by unmarried girls under the age of 25. I fell in love with it, but I realized that I have no place to wear it. Instead, I ended up getting a kimono for daily wear and I'm currently putting together the outfit by shopping for shoes and possibly making my own kanzashi for it. Then you may see me waddling around town in it sometime.

As for my Mokou costume, I was originally putting it together to share it with someone, but as they couldn't go to the con they planned on wearing it to, I left it in it's unfinished condition in order to work on the other costumes. Following my resolution, I decided to pick it up and finish it in time for Nashicon. I'm particularly proud of this costume because I followed through on all the things I wanted it to be. I wanted to have the puffy pants and brownish shirt like the IN art. I hand painted the bows and designed the seals myself. All of the seals on the pants are made from paper. The only fixes I want to make are to get a dedicated wig and having some red boots to go with it. She's a rather serious and tomboyish character and I have a hard time portraying her since I'm usually bubbly characters and bubbly myself. I hope people didn't think I was mean because I always had a straight look or scowl on my face for pictures! 


As a bonus, have a picture of me dressed as Mokou wearing a furisode!
Now on to the other things section!

It's spring and though I'm all sneezy thanks to the pollen and wilting in the warm weather, I've taken advantage of spring cleaning and decided to win the battle with the mess of fabric I've had sitting in storage bins. In the process, I came up with an idea to keep myself organized and motivated. Instead of just putting the fabric for a project together and laying it on top of yet another project, I would simply separate them into ziplock bags and put names in. I can see what I need to do clearly now rather than rummaging through to find the skirt fabric to the shirt I just made. As such, here's a sneak peak of some of the projects I have planned for the future!



Some of these things aren't costumes and some of them are costumes I've had before but have deconstructed in hopes of remaking them again and even better than the first time. Since I've taken this picture, I've already finished making my apron and am now working on a blouse from the pile! 


Also, I finished up a commission for a friend and customer of mine. They wanted a Flandre costume and I made them one!
Then we had a lot of fun at Frankies when we met up; We ended up playing laser tag and minigolf together. I dressed up as Yuuka and they put on their Flandre costume for the first time. I'm glad that we became friends and hope we can spend more time together.

Now that it's becoming warmer and warmer, you can expect to see more swimsuit pictures in the future! And hopefully I can take some pictures of the costumes I don't have any of yet.

I'm off to do other things now before I ramble even more than I already have!