Dusty nest

Aug. 8th, 2010 07:38 pm
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So I'm back in Austin for a few days. It's good to be home. Here, I'm FREE.
Yesterday I attended Stephanie's Last-Weekend-in-Austin thing. We went to Sago's, which advertises itself as 'modern' Mexican food. Now I've lived in Texas all my life and my mom is Mexican, so I figured I've eaten every possible Mexican plate ever. But holy crap, that place surprised me! Maybe it's just because I've been up in Canada for months now, but that food was delicious; I don't think I've ever tasted Mexican food quite like that. Hell, I wanted to eat the rice for dessert, it was that yummy.
Sorry, I digressed. Less talk about food, more about people. So yeah, a fair number of people showed up, some I kinda knew. We had dinner and drinks and then headed over to karaoke. This time I had been forewarned by Stephanie to BMOB, which I did. I think that improved my rhythm, but not my singing. Now that I think about it, with both Cat and Stephanie up in Dallas now, I may never go to karaoke again, ha ha ha. After karaoke we got dessert and that was it for the night. It was a fun evening of hanging out.

Today hasn't been quite so fun. My single mission while I'm home this week is to finish my cosplay stuff for Dragon*Con. If I don't finish it in the next 5 days, I won't have another chance. So it's crunch time. And the list of stuff to do is long, so that's already a bit stressful. It doesn't help that my house is still a disaster zone from the pre-San Japan cosplay cramming. Trying to work on cosplay amidst that mess was really pissing me off. I was cursing at inanimate objects and throwing crap; I was not a happy camper. The prop that I'm commissioning for D*C is very difficult. I haven't made any headway on it yet. I'm not sure I can do it in time but I've gotta try. I hate when I have to break my word on cosplay commitments.
Right now I've got to back off and chill out, or else my frustration's just gonna make my task that much harder. I think I'll get pizza for dinner tonight. I haven't had any in weeks, so I won't feel (too) guilty about eating all those delicious carbs. MMmm. I'll put on my fat pants and just relax tonight.
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Three requests to commission the same prop within the space of two hours? What's this all of a sudden? Normally I'd take it as flattery, but right now I'm not in the mood. I mean, I have a certain bit of cosplay skill but it's taken me years to get it. If I'm going to commit my hard-earned experience and sacrifice the wee bit of spare time I have to myself, it's not going to be to make a fine prop at a dirt-cheap price for a newb with zero cosplays to their name. I've got a career; I don't make props for money. I make them to improve my abilities and to help contribute to other people's cosplay. If I were going to start mass-producing them, I'd sell them for well into the triple digits, just to compensate me for the sheer drudgery of it. And that would put them well outside of these kids' meager grasp. I know why these kids are asking me to make the prop, because I said the prop cost only $50 in materials. I said that to show that you can make quality props for a decent price, if you put enough TIME into it. What something costs to make and what it sells for are two very different numbers. I'm not about to start selling my work to complete strangers for at-cost or cheaper. Hell, I might as well start giving away my organs if I'm going to be that generous.
That's something that's always irritated me about the whole commissioning thing. All the people that I'd be delighted to help, cosplayers I admire or that I see could use that little extra boost to be awesome, they're experienced and capable enough that they don't need to ask for commissions. But the kids who have no idea of the costs in money or time that go into cosplay, they're banging down my door continuously. If that makes me an elitist, whatever. Both my spare time and cosplay opportunities are very scarce right now, which makes requests like these especially insulting.
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I'm back up here, starting my fourth month. Coming back is kinda like putting on a pair of pants that didn't completely dry. It's a good fit, but it's cold, wet, uncomfortable, and might leave you chapped afterwards. (I don't know where I was going with that analogy; it sounded good in my head.) I guess I'm saying that I've accepted this job for what it is. I don't like it, but I'm okay with it.
But you better believe that the first thing I did when I got into the office was submit my vacation request for Dragon*Con. In writing, with an emailed copy of the scanned request form, which I'm going to follow-up on on a regular basis. Eleven weeks in advance (6 are required). I'm not leaving an inch for my boss to wriggle out of this one. Hell, I'll hike out of here and hitch-hike to Fort McMurray if I have to. I'm doing this.
I was still in too much of a grumpy mood last week to work on any of my cosplays but I did accept a commission; in circumstances such as these it's easier to get more excited about someone else's cosplay than your own. It's a prop with a ton of detail. The client says it's up to me how much detail I want to include. So I guess I only have my anal-retentiveness to blame if I get in over my head.
I don't know exactly what I'll be wearing to D*C. I'll finish up K'nuckles for it, of course. It'd be nice to have another costume to wear too. I don't know what to pick, since EVERYTHING is fair game there. And I plan on driving so there's no (practical) limit to what I can bring. Hm. Maybe I'll check the forums and see if there's some group going on that I'm interested in. That'd be cool. Oh yeah, I need to hunt down a room too.
It's a ways off, but now is the best time to start planning!

Quick bit

Jun. 8th, 2009 05:42 pm
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So this weekend, Liz spent reading all three books and movie-watching of Twilight. Good: It gave me plenty of free-time to work on cosplay. Bad: Every conversation since last Friday has revolved around sparkle-pires. I count that as a wash. So I made good progress on Wybie, getting that good, content feeling from just working for hours straight. Aaaand yesterday I spent a few hours with Jenny and Beauty working on our joint cosplay. I got fitted for a beard and then was appointed ironing bitch for the remainder of the evening. That costume workshop at the University is fucking awesome. Yeah, it's all about the soft stuff there, but still I was in awe of how much creative potential that room possessed. I wants it!
Today I finally sent off the gunblade commission and have breathed a sigh of relief. Once I finish a commission, I want to get rid of it; it's not comfortable having around. Like having someone else's baby at your place, the whole time you're wondering, "When are they going to come pick this thing up? It was fun at first, but now it's time to go. Where are it's parents?" Also today, I finally managed to schedule an appointment with the couple's counsellor. That was a bit of an ordeal itself, considering I've been trying to get this done since this time last week. I'm nervous about the whole thing, but more than that I'm eager for things to improve.
So yeah, that's what's up.
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Next year I'll be scaling way back on how much money I spend on cosplay. But I don't want to give it up entirely because I need SOMETHING to do with my spare time. It just occurred to me how I can do cosplay without spending (my) money.
Go back to doing commissions!
It seems obvious, but it didn't click in my head until just now. By commissioning, I can remain active and keep learning, without spending money I should be saving. I do like commissioning because the jobs are usually short enough that I don't get bored before I finish.
So I guess this means I'm open to commission requests. Check my cosplay.com gallery to see what kind of work I do. My specialty is armor and props; fabric and wigs . . . sorry, I can't help you with that. Feel free to comment about commissions you're considering and I'll get back to you if it catches my interest.


Aug. 30th, 2007 01:33 am
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Tonight was my normal pre-con all-night marathon. Thanks to Star's idea of making a to-do LIST, I was making progress much faster than normal. I was kicking ass, honestly. And then the commission broke )
That knocked the wind out of my sails. I feel really rotten about it since I already missed the deadline once and it was sooo close to being done this time. There's no time to fix it, so I've lost my enthusiasm and momentum for the evening. The other three costumes I'm working on are coming along well, but I'm old and I tire quickly, so I'm going to go to bed now. I'll get up early tomorrow and give it one last big shove. Then it's AFest time!
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The Trinity Blood job is done. I'm not happy with the results, but . . . we're out of time, so it's over. My fault; I underestimated the depths of detail within the TB madness! The client was happy, but I wasn't satisfied. Oh well.
Now I've got three evenings (which adds up to six hours total) to finish up my Slade costume. I think I'll take the seatbelt out of my car to make his belt. The rest won't be so easy though.
Heh heh heh. Since I'll be going to the con IMMEDIATELY after getting off work, I was thinking about wearing my costume underneath my clothes (like Superman!) to save time. That should make work more fun. I'll be giggling all day because in the back of my head I'll be in supervillain mode. "Is that a poorly guarded bank over there? *RIIIIP!* Gimme all your money!" "I can park in the handicapped zone! *RIIIIP!* Nobody tells Slade where to park! Rawr!" etc.
Oh, and speaking of commissions, that Blood+ job just bumped it up a notch. Her boyfriend wants to make a full-size coffin for that character whose name I don't know yet. Big enough so they can fit a real cello in it. Ho ho ho! And she mentioned that they were gonna spend big bucks on their cosplay this year. Oh yeah, this sounds like a job where I can go all-out for once. Making a prop that has to do more than just look good. Ahhh . . .
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The community water heater of this apartment complex. I don't dare take a shower between 5 and 9 pm unless I want one as warm as spit. But sometimes I forget and end up as unhappy as a cold wet cat. I guess I got spoiled, having my own water heater at my last apartment, so I guess it's my fault. 9_9
SlimFast. It tastes like crap. I bought it thinking, "Hey, if it keeps me from eating one fast food meal, it'll be worth it." I drink it and think, "That's it? That's my meal? That tasted like blech." Pricey blech.

My new speakers. For the past couple months, only one speaker had been working. With my new ones it's like, "Hey! There's the other half of the song! And I've got a woofer too! The music sounds so . . . big! Wooo!"
Jello cups.
Pizzicato Five! (This isn't a new thing, but I spontaneously felt like re-confirming my allegiance.)
Seeing my first commission in action. (Getting paid would be nice too, but for now I'm content with this.) I would've liked more time to work on it, but . . . Well, I hope she gets good use out of it.

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Got my first "real" commission. It's a big gun, tee hee. That's pretty convienent. I had been looking for an excuse to make a prop gun, I've just been itching to make a prop with some firepower. I had been kinda sorta thinking of making Alita's Tuned Rifle just for fun, though also maybe to dangle as a carrot in front of some female Gunnm cosplayers to encourage them to cosplay that version.
Anyways, a roomie from Otakon wants the Harkonnen cannon from Hellsing. Needs it by November. At first I was all, "Uh oh. One month? I'm the tortoise, not the hare." But now that I've been studying it, this bear of a prop is turning into a little kitten.
At work today, things were kinda slow, so I started some sketches of the prop, thinking of how I'd do this part, that effect, etc. On the way home, I stopped by Home Depot to pick up some parts for the Harkonnen. I kept thinking to myself, "Okay, you've got AnimeFest this weekend and three costumes to work on. You CANNOT start working on this cannon until after AnimeFest. It's okay to stock up on supplies, but you CANNOT work on it until after AnimeFest. Understand?" Then when I got home, I said, "Well, it's okay just to do some sketches and take some measurements, that's not 'working' on it." But a few hours later I'm sawing and gluing, caught up in the novelty of a new prop, all my ultimatums out the window. Tomorrow though, I'll work on my costumes, I swear.
It was funny. At Home Depot, the girl at the cash register couldn't quite scan the barcode on the side of the pipe (which will be the Harkonnen barrel). So she says, "Give me it." She takes it and stands it up between her legs so that she can read the UPC while she types it into the computer. I looked at her for a few seconds and couldn't help but think, "Oh yeah, this is gonna be one sexy prop." She wasn't even trying, but holding the pipe/barrel like that, was very phallic. Heh heh heh.

Easy boys . . . it's just a figurine

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