CONvergence 2017

Are you ready for an onslaught of posts? I hope so, because it’s coming. I’m playing catch-up from my hiatus, and it’s gonna be a doozy!

CONvergence was AWESOME, as usual. I was really busy this year, and while everything I did was fun, I’m not sure I’ll pack my schedule so tightly next year.

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Thursday, I dressed as General Hux. The “Generally Angry” ribbons were a huge hit, and people were very excited to tell me why Kylo Ren is a punk-ass bitch.

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Coffee, blacker than Hux’s heart. (Just kidding – I drank it with cream and sugar.)

Thursday night was my first time working in the Mos Icee Cantina party room (hosted by the Minnesota Force). I was in charge of grinding up the ice for sno-cones. I donned a very cute apron, too. It was a lot of fun working in the cantina! We were really busy.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding.

Hux is not putting up with Kylo’s crap.

Friday was the “Ladies of Star Wars” panel, which I think went pretty well. We had a full room, which was awesome!

After the panel, I changed into my Poe Dameron costume and headed to the Star Wars meetup. The photo on the left is all three Poe’s that were there (photo by Annalie Munnings Morgan), and the photo on the right was a shot of the Good Guys (photo by Pari Bailey). We had such a huge group, it was nearly impossible to get everyone in the shot.

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Costumers: Bri Kerschner and Kris Heding.

My friend Bri debuted her Hera Syndulla costume! It turned out awesome!

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Costumers: Kris Heding and Paul Haga.

And I had to try and take out Kylo Ren, of course. (Bless Paul’s heart – he’s always willing to take stupid photos with me.)

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I found a tasty beverage in the bar over at the Sheraton.

Saturday was Rebel, Rebel Princess day, and also masquerade day! I woke up early for orientation, and then headed back a couple of hours later for pre-judging. Then it was back to the hotel room for food and a nap.

Masquerade was really fun, even though I was a nervous wreck. Everyone was so awesome and talented! I didn’t win anything, but that’s okay…I had a lot of fun and the experience was awesome. Lots of cool photos were taken of my time on stage, but the above three are my favorites. Top left was taken by Catherine of the Sea Photography, and the other two were taken by Peter Verrant.

After masquerade, it was time to meet up with friends!


Sunday I had planned on dressing up as Scarlet Witch, but I was just too tired, and we needed to get checked out of the hotel. Before I left CONvergence for the weekend, I found out that the Minnesota Force won an award for “Best Use of Theme” in the party room competition for the Mos Icee Cantina! It’s funny, because we’ve had the same “theme” for many years. Still, it’s nice to win something, right?

I had so much fun, and I can’t wait for next year.

 

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Twin Cities Pride Parade & SaberCon

I meant to post this a while ago, but I’ve been so caught up in last-minute costume stuff for CONvergence that I forgot!

Two weekends ago I attended The Saber Legion‘s SaberCon (two days of it, at least) and it was a lot of fun! I realized I didn’t take any photos, so I apologize for that.

June 25th was the Twin Cities Pride parade, and I walked with the Geek Partnership Society‘s float as part of the Minnesota Force. I’ve never been in the Pride parade before, and I can’t describe how incredible it was. There was so much positive energy and excitement from the crowd! I had an absolute blast, and I hope I get to do it again next year.

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Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Kylo photo-bomb! Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jeff Allen, Tatiana Allen, Jordan West, Jo O’Hanley, Madeline Anderson, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jordan West, Rin MxCruz, Madeline Anderson, Jo O’Hanley, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

Rebel, Rebel Princess Boots

Even though my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume is still a fairly new build, I’m already working on a V2 after wearing it a few times. One of the things I wanted to change was the boots. The ones I bought initially worked just fine, but they weren’t very comfortable. I hardly ever wear shoes with heels, so those boots were awful for walking and standing in. So, I decided to make GLITTER BOOTS!

I ended up buying a cheap pair of white boots off of Amazon. I figured if the process didn’t work, I’d be out $15 and some glitter. I’m always a little skeptical of cheap shoes, so I wasn’t sure what I’d get when they arrived. Thankfully, they were pretty much what I expected:

While I wouldn’t wear these boots on a daily basis (they’re not super high quality), they will definitely work for costumes. In fact, if I ever make a “normal” Senatorial Leia costume, I’ll probably buy these again.

The first thing I did was remove the buckles. The buckles around the ankles weren’t attached at all, so I just slipped those off. The top buckles were easily removed with a seam ripper. I ended up saving the hardware just in case I can use them for another project. Yay, recycling!

The next thing I did was tape off the soles with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape to protect them from painting and glittering. Then, I began the process of painting the boots silver with DecoArt Patent Leather paint. I bought two bottles, and I’m glad I did. It took several coats (I think five?) to get some decent coverage. If I wasn’t covering them in glitter, I probably would have done several more coats just to make sure there was solid coverage (and would probably need three bottles of paint total for that). It also took quite a while for the paint to dry and lose its tackiness, so the painting process took several days since I’d do one coat right after work and then a second coat later in the evening. This is how the boots looked after the painting process:

You can see the very attractive blue tape on the soles. FASHION.

Now, for the fun and messy part: GLITTER!

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I basically followed the same process I used for glittering my blaster. I used regular Mod Podge as my adhesive for the glitter by painting a section with a coat of Mod Podge and then shaking silver glitter onto the section. I patted it down lightly and then shook off the excess glitter. I repeated the process until both boots were covered. When all was said and done, the boots weren’t the only things covered in glitter. So were my desk, my carpet, my clothing, my cats…

I waited until the base coat of Mod Podge dried and then used two coats of Mod Podge Extreme Glitter (mixed with a little of the silver glitter) to seal the glitter. The nice thing about the Extreme Glitter Mod Podge is that the glitter is iridescent, so not only does it sea in the silver glitter, it adds an extra dimension of sparkle.

When the Mod Podge sealing coats dried, I removed the blue tape. The boots were complete!

I wore the boots for the first time at AniMinneapolis for the masquerade. Fearing the worst, I brought along an emergency glitter repair kit with me with a little of the glittery Mod Podge, a small vial of glitter, and a paintbrush. Luckily, I didn’t need to use it for the 8 hours or so I was wearing the boots.

That said, the boots did suffer some damage from wear. It’s interesting how there are tons of tutorials online about how to glitter a pair of shoes, but nobody really shows what happens after you wear them. I think if you glitter a section of a shoe or glitter a pair of flats, there isn’t as much damage. But, these are knee-high boots that are kind of slouch-style, so there are a lot of folds and creases to consider, so I don’t think there’s a surefire way to avoid cracking. Here are photos of the “battle damage” from wearing the boots:

For the piece that actually peeled off of the boot, I just used fabric glue to reattach it. For some of the smaller cracks where the white boot showed through, I used a silver Sharpie as a base instead of messing around with paint again. Then, I just used the same glittering process as above on any areas with cracks. I’m pretty sure the repair process is something I’ll have to do with each wear, and that’s fine. This isn’t a costume I wear all the time so it’s not a huge problem. The plus side is that even if there is cracking, the boots are so glittery that nobody notices. Also, the gown is long enough to cover the majority of the boots, so it’s not totally obvious.

AniMinneapolis 2017

This past weekend I attended AniMinneapolis for the first time. Another first for me was entering the masquerade! I’ve never entered a masquerade before, and I thought, “Why not?” and gave it a go. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working on V3 of the belt and glittering a new pair of boots (tutorials to come later) so I’ve been a little absent from blogging and posting on my Facebook page. Sorry, everyone!

Friday I went as General Hux, which was fun. I tried to make an angry face before I left home.

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Still trying to master the “Are you not using a coaster?!” face. It’s harder than it looks.

Saturday was masquerade day, so I put on my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume and headed to the con for pre-judging! That process was more fun than I expected. It’s fun to talk to people about the creative process! The judges seemed impressed with my makeup and with the fact I hand-sewed most of my gown.

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That’s my pre-masquerade run-through nervous face.

Masquerade was immediately after run-through, and my boyfriend took video of my appearance. Only issue is that my gown is so white that the light just reflected off of me and I look kind of like a blob. That’s okay, you can kind of get the idea.

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The music is part of “The Princess Appears” from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Rebel, Rebel” by David Bowie. My friend Jonathan put it together for me, and I love it. Especially the pew-pew at the end!

I didn’t win anything, but I’m glad I got to compete. Now that I’ve done it once, I might do it again.

Sunday I just dressed normally – well, sort of normal. I wore my twinkling stars skirt from ThinkGeek and I swear I’ve never gotten so many compliments on an item of clothing. I guess if you want a conversation starter, that skirt will do the trick!

FrankieCon IV

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Photo by Phil Betts. From left to right: Mark Fisher, Henry Fisher (Kylo Ren), Kris Heding, Madeline Anderson, and Jordan West.

On March 11th, the Minnesota Force attended FrankieCon IV, a cool little convention at Frankie’s Chicago Style Bar & Restaurant. We talked to people about our group and mingled with people and had a generally awesome time!

I’d love to come back next year for FrankieCon V!

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Photo by Steve Fuchs. Starting the morning right with caf and sass. From left to right: Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, and Kris Heding.

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Batman serves justice in 30 minutes or less. (Batman is Caleb Noble, and one of the most fun people to run into at cons – take my word for it!)

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Photo by WitchDoctorGraphics. From left to right: Madeline Anderson, Kris Heding, Jordan West, and Pari Elizabeth.

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Photo by Pari Bailey. From left to right: Mark Fisher, Pari Elizabeth, Steve Fuchs, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, and Kris Heding.

MarsCon 2017

This past weekend was MarsCon, and it was my first year attending. I had a great time, and will definitely attend next year! The exciting part for me was being able to debut my Kaiya Liin costume and wear my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume again. I also ran a panel for the first time with a few other Minnesota Force members. I think it went well!

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I had every intention of taking photos of my Kaiya Liin costume when I first arrived to MarsCon, but I got distracted and so I didn’t think to do it until right before we left on Friday night. Whoops. By then I think my makeup was a little sad (I know my lipstick was a hot mess) so unfortunately these are the only ones I managed to take. The above photo is with my robe on, and so you can’t really see the rest of my costume.

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I call this one, “The Unflattering Pose.”

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This one is a little better, but I have no idea what my right arm is supposed to be doing. I’m obviously still learning the best poses to do for photos.

On Saturday, I dressed in my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume. Dane and I found the science room and took photos in front of the moon. (“That’s no moon!”)

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I had a few people ask for photos and they were so excited about my costume! It warmed my heart. This one was taken by Kiki Canon.

Our panel, “Star Wars Costumes: Beginner to Advanced” was at 4:00 PM. We had a pretty packed room, which was awesome. My fellow panelists were Philip Glover (dressed as an X-Wing pilot), Todd Murray (dressed as Kylo Ren), and Amanda Fineran (dressed as a Jedi).

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We look somber here, but I swear we were having a good time.

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I didn’t take any photos on Sunday (I was dressed as Poe Dameron) mainly because I wasn’t there very long, and I’ve already got quite a few photos of that cosplay.

All in all it was a good weekend and I got to spend time with wonderful people!

Rebel, Rebel Princess Blaster

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I finished my Rebel, Rebel Princess blaster this weekend!

As you can see in the above photo, the blaster (which is just a Rubie’s Costume Co. prop) was white with orange accents. I received a tip from a friend who also painted one of these blasters and he suggested that I lightly sand the blaster with a fine-grit sandpaper and wash it with dish soap before painting it. Apparently paint doesn’t seem to adhere to the orange areas very well. I also used a little acetone nail polish remover to try and get some of the orange paint off of the blaster. I didn’t get all of it, but sanding it down definitely helped.

Then, I painted the blaster with two coats of DecoArt Americana Gloss Enamels acrylic paint in Shimmering Silver. This paint has really good coverage, which surprised me. I’ve had issues with metallic acrylic paint in the past where they paint on really streaky. Then, I added the glitter by painting a small area with Mod Podge and sprinkling glitter over the painted area and shaking the excess off. I repeated this process until the entire blaster was covered in glitter.

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Looks pretty glittery and fantastic, yeah? Only issue is that glitter pretty much exploded off of the dang thing every time I touched it. I was covered in glitter. The floor was covered in glitter. My cats were covered in glitter. (Not that this is a bad thing, but…)

This was remedied by spraying two coats of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray, and then painting a layer of Mod Podge Extreme Glitter (mixed with a fair amount of the same silver glitter I used on the rest of the blaster). The acrylic spray held the majority of the glitter in place, and the Mod Podge really helped keep the glitter adhered to the blaster (and, by using the Extreme Glitter version, it added some nice iridescent sparkle, too).

When I debuted my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume a couple of weeks ago, I had only sprayed one coat of acrylic spray over the blaster, and it was still exploding glitter everywhere, so hopefully this final process will help seal everything in. I’ll find out this weekend when I wear it at MarsCon.