Geeky Christmas Crafts

Last year, I decided that I would make personalized Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews (or as I like to call them, niphews). That didn’t happen so this year, I made it happen! I am an aunt of 12 and one of the ways that I show my love is by giving gifts. I am “that” aunt so I try to make sure that I give them something that they will like.

For the older kids, I decided to design mugs with things that they geek about! Each kid is a fan of various games, sports teams, and franchises. In the end, I had Wolf Children, Superman, Minecraft, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Seattle Seahawks to work with. I took about a week to plan, research, and design each mug.  I was able to work on them after work while listening to music.

(So art. Much draw)

Drawing on the mugs took a lot of work but the one that I am probably most proud of is the Minecraft mug because I had to make so many lines! Drawing a straight line is nearly impossible for me! I wanted to include the pixelated elements from the game so I had to scour the internet for a good pattern. Thankfully, I was able to follow a template to draw the Diamond Pickaxe.

For the little ones, I went with pillows. One is a huge Minnie Mouse fan and the other loves Thomas the Train. Although the last time I made a pillow was in 2004 for home ec, I felt like I was competent enough to replicate my B+ project.

To be honest, I was worried that I would mess up everything and/or the kids would not like them. With every stitch and with every line, I was worried about the finished product being trash. But as I worked on each piece, I was able to focus on that particular child and their awesome qualities! I felt like I was at the Build-A-Bear workshop adding my soul to each gift.

Over the years, I have learned that gift-giving does not have to be extravagant. You don’t have to gift the latest toy or the most expensive item in the store. It does not matter if you made the gift or if you purchased it, you took time to put a smile on someone else’s face. When it comes to my nieces and nephews, I try to make that happen as much as possible. 🙂

My Geeky Tattoos: Part 1

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Ever since I saw my brother-in-law’s Superman tattoo as a kid, I decided that I wanted one one day.  But being that I was scared of needles, I could only admire tattoos from afar. Fast forward to 2017 and I currently have 3 tattoos with 5 more planned. My favorite one is inspired by my favorite anime/TV show/anything, Dragon Ball Z.

(People don’t believe me. Then I show them my socks. This actually happened at work last week.)

My rule for tattoos is that I have to wait at least a year before I actually get it done. During that time, I ponder over my design and tweak it if needed. This is exactly what I did with my DBZ tattoo. I knew that I had to have a Dragon Ball-inspired one but I was having trouble designing it. I had already decided that I didn’t want character face. But what else would I get? A dragon ball? A scouter? Gohan’s glasses? A senzu bean? I had no clue. Then it dawned on me one day after shopping. I had gone to a department store to look for items for my apartment. I found a few cute pictures frames and polka dot sunglasses. I also got a set of plaques that had inspirational words on them. One of those words was “hope” which is my favorite word. As someone who has faced many struggles in life, there were times where I could only hold onto hope; just like Mirai(Future) Trunks.

(I even had purple hair for a couple of years!)

Death is nothing in the present Dragon Ball storyline. A character dies, everyone is sad for an arc, and then they get wished back. Hooray. But in Mirai Trunks’ world, Piccolo is dead which means no Kami and no Dragon Balls. As the Z-fighters are obliterated one by one, the chances of the world surviving the Androids’ massacre is slim to none. His beloved master, Gohan, is no match for Android 17 and Android 18 and dies just like the others. Even in the midst of all of the unspeakable things happening in his world, he still has hope that his world can be saved. Depending on which version of the anime and manga you viewed, Trunks or Bulma wrote “HOPE!!” on the side of Trunks’ time machine before he headed to the past in an effort t0 save the future.

(Hope <3)

In the lower right hand corner of the tattoo it reads “Hebrews 6:19″ which is one of my favorite Bible verses. It reads: ” We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”

People get tattoos for different reasons. For me, my tattoos tell a part of my story. There are days when I look at this tattoo as a reminder everything will work out in the end.  <3

Do you have any geeky tattoos? Tell me about it below!

How I Choose Cosplay Characters

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I’ll be honest. One of the hardest things about cosplay is choosing a character. I’ve had some characters on my list for years and I haven’t done as much as write a shopping list for some. My first cosplay was supposed to be teenage Bulma from my favorite series Dragon Ball. It was my intention to make her costume from the cover of volume 10 of the original Dragon Ball manga. But…the only thing I still have for that costume is the pants…5 years later. (I’m pretty sure that they don’t fit anymore.) I plan on cosplaying forever so I’m sure that I will eventually finish it! (Why I love Cosplay)

My thrift store finds for my junior high Hanji cosplay! I only spent $3.00!

One cosplay I am currently working on is Hanji from Attack on Titan; specifically, her incarnation from the junior high series. (The anime is awesome but the manga is better! Trust me!) She is my favorite Attack on Titan character because she’s awesome and I relate to her in several ways. (Although I’m currently not fighting titans.) I can’t wait to finish this one!

I don’t really have a formula to choose characters. I see a character and then I add them to my list. However, I DO have criteria for investing time in and going through with a cosplay. Here are five things that help me choose a cosplay character.

  1. Convention/Event Rules– Sure, you’ve had your heart set on your Cammy cosplay for months now but if you’re going to a con where the buttocks have to be covered, you’re out of luck. Anime Fest is one con that does not allow exposed butt cheeks . Men can’t be shirtless either. While this may seem unfair, cons must adhere to the rules of their venues and the law. Laws against “indecent exposure” vary from state to state. I have not had issues with dress code with any of my costumes. I just make sure that I am aware of the dress code so that I am not disappointed.

    Me as Kuranosuke from “Princess Jellyfish”
  1. Craftsmanship/Skill Level– I have never tried building armor so I have never chosen a character who has armor. Sure, I’ve done lots of crazy things to complete a cosplay because I like to challenge myself. But if I don’t feel that I am capable of executing a cosplay properly, I won’t do it. I don’t want to waste time on something that I am not ready for. I would rather take time learning how to do something properly. I am currently improving my sewing machine skills. I think that I am an okay-ish seamstress.

(my poor fingers)

  1. Likability– I don’t necessarily chose characters that I have a connection to. I may find a character cool or funny. For example, I have loved Human Luna’s design ever since I saw the Sailor Moon S movie as a child so I knew that I would cosplay her one day. I decided to cosplay as Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish because I love his outfits and I think he is Being a longtime fan or expert is not a criteria for choosing a character. Cosplay is about having fun and connecting with others.

    Human Luna cosplay from the Sailor Moon S movie
  2. Cost– If a character makes it past the list stage, I start hunting for items online and in stores. This includes wigs, fabric, shoes, accessories, weapons, and even thread. I write down the prices of these items so that I can estimate the total cost of the cosplay. (I also search for items in my closet and around the house). I always make sure that I find ALL of the items at a reasonable price BEFORE I start the cosplay and make purchases.
  1. Time– Is the con in 5 weeks? Or is it in 5 months? Time is a huge factor in deciding on a cosplay. But if you have 5 weeks, you can easily pull off a new cosplay. Establishing a line up early is a good practice so that I know how to manage my time and reach my goal. But I’m not a super human. I’ve worked on cosplay at 3 am….the day of the con. It happens. But I finish before I pull out the parking lot!
    ("Twas the night before the con...")

    (Twas the night before the con…”)

As stated before, I am not  a guru. The list above is based on my experiences over the past 3 years. Following this criteria has helped me finish my cosplays on time without breaking the bank! But do what works best for you and as always, have fun!

How do you choose cosplays? Leave a comment below!




An Update: What I’ve Been Doing For the Past Month!

This post contains links to my products on Teespring. This post also contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to RageOn!

Hello everyone! I haven’t posted anything in a month but I have a good excuse! HelloChica89 has been a busy bee for about 30 days straight. I’ve been busy doing marketing research, working on my business plan, and a bunch of other things. First, I’ve been working nonstop on my upcoming ebook The Comprehensive Guide to Geek Conventions. This has been an idea of mine for a while now and I finally took the initiative to get started! I am currently about 40% done! I am also working on a cosplay ebook that is still in its infancy. It’s called To Be the Very Best: Tips to Enhance Your Cosplay Experience. But I may change that title. I’m not sure yet.

As someone who enjoys cosplay, I also enjoy fashion. After being in the education world for 5 years, it’s been a blessing to be back to my first love.  As a high school student, I wanted to be a fashion designer and open my own boutique one day. I wrote about my desires and dreams in my senior paper and I just knew that it would happen in a few years. More than anything, I wanted to attend The Art Institute of Dallas. I was taking design and art classes in school and watching every fashion show on tv. I devoured issues of  Teen Vogue and Seventeen to get inspiration and to keep up with the latest trends. My amazing school counselor got a welcome packet from the school filled with tons of information AND DVDs of the latest fashion shows featuring the students’ designs. I just knew that I needed to be there. But, I could not afford to go. I was not a resident of Texas and there was no way for me to get a scholarship. I would have to pay out of pocket. So I did the next best thing; I became a business major.(This did not last long because I found out that I had to take calculus. True story. I am horrible at math.)

(I changed majors like…)

So, I’ve decided to test out the design waters using Teespring and RageOn!. For the past month I’ve been learning how to use the sites, playing around with designs and just learn how to market my products. I was surprised that I was able to execute my ideas so easily! I’m a fan of pop culture so it’s only natural that my designs would reflect that fact. Here are a few of the designs that I’ve come up with so far! You can see more on the shop page!

“One Wish” tank in coral from Teespring
“Anime Music” from Teespring
“Moonlight gamer” from Teespring
“One Wish” tee from Teespring in black because I live for black shirts. 🙂

Here are a couple of the RageOn! designs. I drew inspiration from anything I could. Including my old cheat codes from Animal Crossing on the Gamecube. 😀

Gamer Code Women’s Tee
Moon Goddess Women’s Tee
Recording Queen Women’s Tee

Lastly, I’ve been brainstorming and planning BRAND NEW BLOG POSTS! Some of my planned posts include my geeky tattoos, my cosplay ideas,the importance of crafting, and even my favorite card game: Solitaire. I am so excited to get these posts out to your soon!

Writing, designing, planning. I’ve been a busy bee. Creating is fun but learning about the business side of blogging is also interesting. I have other things on the way that I can’t talk about just yet but I am so ready to present them on my blog! Working on My Geek Parade and working as a reading specialist is tough but I can’t help but say that I love it. This blog is my baby and I can’t wait to see how far it goes. To my readers, thanks for listening. <3




NO NEED TO FEAR!: How to Budget for Your Geek Convention

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So you’ve finally decided to attend a con! Congratulations! Attending a con is a great experience that you never want to forget.  But to make it memorable, you have to spend money. Let me repeat that: YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEND MONEY AT THE CON.

(You right now.)

 But if you plan ahead, you won’t have to survive on hot dogs and cereal the month after the con! Here is a list of things that I learned after attending my first one. Yep, I went in with eyes wide open and left with a very empty bank account. After that fiasco, I made sure that I was better prepared the next time!

(Happy and Broke 2: Convention Aftermath)

  1. Start planning at least 5 months in advance: This gives you time to research the con, figure out how much money you will need, and save.  Use this time to decide how many days you will attend the con and take off from work. I always ask for days off as SOON as I know that I want to attend a con.
  2. Registration: Why are you attending this con? This is something that you should ask yourself before your register. If you only want to game, get a gaming badge. Concert? Just pay for the concert. But if you are looking to enjoy the entire con experience, buy a pass for the appropriate days. Most cons have single day or weekend badges. Larger cons typically have premium badges that offer extra perks. For example, Tokyo in Tulsa’s Sakura Club offers cool swag such as a bag, t-shirt, first dibs in artist alley and in the vendor room, first row access to all events and so much more! But if you cannot afford a premium pass, PREREGISTER! If badges aren’t mailed, get there early to pick up your badge!
  3. Transportation: How are you getting there? If you live close by, you obviously want to drive each day. However, you still need to pay for gas and a parking pass. This amount will vary but consider these costs when preparing your budget.  Search the website for parking procedures. If you can’t find it there, contact a staff member for help! If you’re going to fly, try to buy your ticket as soon as you get your days off from work approved! This should be done as soon as possible. You also want to schedule the flight so that layovers won’t destroy your con time. So if you are dying to ask Nozawa Masako a question at her panel on Friday at 5pm, do not schedule your arrival for Friday at 3. You’re cutting it close. Nozawa-san will not wait for you.


  4. Hotel/Lodging: Many cons have partnerships with certain hotels and will offer discounts if you book with that particular hotel! Or, you could stay with a friend or relative at their home and drive in each day! There’s no wrong way to do it! I’ve done both! 😊 But be sure you know how many days you need and book ahead! Sometimes you have to book through the link on the con’s website to get the discount. Pay attention and be aware. If you are going with friends, you can easily split up the cost of the room! 😊 Don’t forget about parking! If you’re driving, you’ll have to park so make sure you put back money for parking! Depending on where you are, this may be $10 or more! Check the website! Anime Expo, for example, clearly displays parking information on their site.
  5. Call your bank ahead of time! I learned this the hard way! Prior to attending an out-of-town con, I made sure to pay all of my “first of the month” bills before I left. I had just gotten paid so there was nothing to worry about! Right? Wrong! At the con later that day, my card was declined while trying to purchase Princess Jellyfish on DVD! I freaked out because I immediately thought that my account had been hacked! But when I checked my bank account, my money was there. Then it dawned on me: I forgot to let my bank know that I was going to be out of town. My bank has many security features in place. One is  freezing your account if too much money comes out too quickly or if you leave town. I quickly called to notify them and they were able to increase my spending limit for the weekend. Try and do this the day before you leave so that you do not hold up the line.
  6. FOOD! Eating is important! You are a human. You must have water and food to survive. The last thing you want is to get sick and have to go home! If you are staying at a hotel for 3 days, you will need  to set aside at least $100 for food. MOST CONS DO NOT ALLOW OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK!  Some have free water but some do not. Make sure you are prepared.

    (Nom nom)

  7. Merchandise: Budget at least $200-$300 for merchandise. I am so serious. A big part of conventions is purchasing things. Bands have tons of cool merch available.  Artist alley and the vendor rooms are full of manga, Blu-ray/DVDs, t-shirts, wigs, games, and other unique items. You are going to want to buy it. Now should you buy every single thing you want? Absolutely not. Take a moment to walk around and make a list of things that you want to purchase. If you still want it the next day, go ahead and buy it!  Now, if there are only a few copies of something left, get it!  (Note: Avoid mystery bags. You are NOT getting $50 worth of merchandise for $20. Trust me. I’ve messed up like 3 times. T_T)

    (Me each time I open a mystery bag full of trash.)

  8. Autographs: Guests often have autograph policies and prices. To be honest, the most I’ve ever spent was $5 to take a picture with a guest. To me that was reasonable. However, there are some some guest who charge way more than $5. Prices can range from free to hundreds of dollars. Some guests only sign their merchandise. So before you bring that Haruko wall scroll for Kari Wahlgren to sign, make sure she is able to sign it! ( I actually have a wall scroll that I want Kari Wahlgern to sign ^_^) Big cons sometimes have the guest sign one poster/item to keep the line moving. FIND OUT WHO YOU WANT AUTOGRAPHS FROM BEFORE YOU LEAVE SO THAT YOU AREN’T DISAPPOINTED.
    Cash: As stated in 10 Tips to Survive Your First Con, you need to have cash on you. With so many people attending the con, the ATMs will run out of money. Also, debit readers can malfunction and some vendors only take cash.  A good rule of thumb is to have at least half of your spending money in cash.
  10. Emergency Money: Anything can happen while you are away. Flat tires, torn cosplays, illnesses. Make sure to include a “con emergency fund” in your budget.  You want to make sure that you have at least $60 set aside for this.

For my visual people, here is a chart showing my con budget:

Expense Price Total
Food $10 per meal x 2 meals per day=$20 per day  



$60 for 3-day con + $20 for extras like water and snacks=$80



Badge Approx. $180 for a premium badge $180.00
Lodging Hotel= approx. $100 per night

Plus tax

Approx. $325 divided between 2 other friends = $109
Parking Approx. $10 per day Approx.  $30
Transportation Gas money= It depends! About $50 divided between 2 others= ~$17
Merchandise Vendors, Artist Alley, and Extras= $200

Autographs= $20 (I have yet to spend more than $5 for autograph sessions)

Emergency $60
 Total  $696

Obviously, money does not buy happiness. But conventions make me happy and conventions cost money. If you take time to plan and budget accordingly, you can have a great time without killing your bank account.  The price that I pay to attend cons is nothing compared to the experiences that I gain in just 3 short days. I get to hang with my friends, cosplay, and buy cool stuff. Don’t let the cost to hold you back. Make a plan and stick to it! 🙂

The Wonderful Wonder Woman: My Commentary Woman (2017)
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Contains spoilers for Wonder Woman(2017) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

A few weeks ago, I got the pleasure to see the Patty Jenkins directed film, Wonder Woman. Now, Wonder Woman has been my SECOND favorite superhero for as long as I can remember. (Batman is my favorite 😃). I’ve read countless comics, I’ve seen every animated film that she’s featured in and I’ve collected many pieces of merchandise over the years.  She’s not just a member of the Justice League but she is a member of the DC trinity; one of the leaders. She stands right alongside the other two heavy-hitters: Batman and Superman. Yet, aside from Lynda Carter’s fantastic portrayal in the 70’s, there has been no live action Diana Prince. Think about it, Batman has had a number of big screen, live action movies AND countless animated incarnations. According to the Internet Movie Data Base, there are over 25 of them.   Superman has  8 live action films and many great series of his own (Lois and Clark ya’ll ❤) . In comparison, Wonder Woman has one TV movie, one TV series, and one animated film. How is it that such an iconic character has had to share so much screen time with her brothers in arms? Many times, she is shown as the backbone and voice of reason for the trio. Most recently, she showed the boys what they needed to do in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice . Even with the odds stacked against the crew, Wonder Woman merely smirked and continued her assault on Doomsday. (Raise your hand if you got goosebumps.) So when a live action film was announced, I was beyond ecstatic. My girl was FINALLY going to be on the big screen! She has been an icon since her debut in 1941  so I knew that she was going to shatter the glass ceiling. Sablich

(No biggie!)

Wonder Woman tells the story of Princess Diana of Themyscira, the Daughter of Hippolyta. Formed from clay by her mother’s hands and given life by Zeus, this woman was a wonder from birth. Yes, she is an icon and she has a countless number of fans around the world. We’ve seen and/or read her story numerous times.  I already knew that the film was going to be great so I could not help but sit on the edge of my seat.  I kept my eyes wide and my ears open so that I would not miss a thing. I was merely enjoying the film when a crucial moment graced the screen: No Man’s Land. Diana wanted Steve to take her to the heart of the war because she was determined to end it. Unfortunately, the soldiers who had been posted there had made little progress against the Germans’ fancy weaponry. Steve, in an attempt to protect Diana, tried explaining to her that there was no way to advance. But Diana boldly declared that SHE would advance. The woman of wonder courageously breached the barriers of No Man’s Land to go toe to toe with every machine, every bullet, and every man that had been holding the town of Veld hostage.  I. cried. like. a. baby. I had to ask my sister for tissues. No matter how much I wiped my eyes, the tears kept coming. I could not ignore the extended metaphor that was playing before my eyes. It’s hard to believe that this pivotal moment was almost cut from the film! As mentioned before, this is the first Wonder Woman feature film. Most of major super hero movies feature women as part of a team or as a love interest. But on June 2, 2017, Wonder Woman unabashedly entered the “No Man’s Land” of super hero films. As a young, black woman, I have encountered “No Man’s Land” many times. During my freshman year of college, my speech professor told our class that he was surprised that two of his former black students were excellent speakers. I walked out of class with tears in my eyes that day. I wanted to scream at him and give him a piece of my mind. But after speaking with my mom, I went back with courage and grace to show him exactly why I was excellent. I made an “A” on my final and an “A” in the class.

(Pictured: The metaphorical tiara I wore during each speech)

But as with any project, there are critics. There are some who see this film as a tool to promote feminist agenda. The term “feminism” has a negative connotation these days and the media isn’t helping. Of course, there are those who claim the title and depict themselves as members of a “man-haters” club. Is Wonder Woman a feminist movie? Yes, yes it is. Real feminism is not bashing men every 5 seconds. Real feminism is being true to yourself without adhering to society’s standards. Real feminism fights for the equality for all people. And real feminism is exhibited beautifully through Gadot’s interpretation of Diana. She demonstrates her strength without asking for a pat on the back and without emasculating her male comrades. Diana Prince is a sheet of titanium and she is a snowflake.  She unapologetically scrapes the floor with anyone who threatens the common good but she also loves dancing in Steve’s arms. Diana courageously brandishes a sword and she squeals at the sight of a baby. She literally goes head to head with machine guns and weeps for the people affected by horrors of the war.  She can be the bull AND the china shop and she is not afraid to be either one. This is feminism.


Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman and the public agrees. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has grossed over $700 million USD worldwide . I was unaware of Gadot before Batman v Superman but let me tell you, she has immortalized Diana of Themyscira. Not only did she save the world, but she saved herself from the confines of her role as a traditional Princess. Even as a child, she ruled with grace and determination. During this journey, Diana made gains and suffered losses. She experienced the bliss and loss of her first love. It was through this journey that she became Wonder Woman. With the success of this film, I hope that Hollywood can see how important films like these are. At some point, everyone faces a “No Man’s Land”. People of all ages, colors, and creeds can relate to this woman’s journey to make a difference. Did Wonder Woman break the glass ceiling? No, she annihilated that thing.


Because I am a music head, I could not help but make a playlist while working on this post. Here is a link to my playlist that I simply titled “Wonder”. It includes “To Be Human” by Sia and Labrinth from the Wonder Woman soundtrack and other songs that I feel embody the character. Enjoy! <3




How I Painted Connie’s Sword

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One of my favorite characters to cosplay is definitely Connie Maheswaran from Steven Universe. She’s smart, funny, and a KNIGHT!  Like many SU fans, I fell in love with her character after the episode “Sworn to the Sword” in which she is trained by Pearl. Not only is the animation beautiful but the inclusion of the song “Do It For Her” is nothing short of genius.  In this episode, Connie declares herself Steven’s knight. She states that although she is human, she can protect him. This episode also has a few anime Easter eggs. Scott

(Steven Universe be like: )

In this post, I will describe how I painted a toy sword to match the one that Connie uses during training. I am NOT an expert. This is only my third sword and it isn’t perfect.  I am simply describing what I did.

  1. First, I gathered my materials. Masking tape (thin and wide), paint, brushes of varying sizes, a paper plate, and a toy sword. I chose the X-Shot Foam Sword.  (This sword can be purchased at Walmart in-store or the Toys “R” Us website.)
  2. Second, I grabbed the masking tape and started wrapping the yellow plastic portion of the sword. (If I had left it uncovered, the paint would chip easily. I figured this out from experience. :p) I made sure to place the tape as neat a possible and to smooth it out as much as I could. I ended up using two layers of tape.
    Photo of my freshly taped sword

    (All finished!)

  3. Third, I mixed the paint. I needed gray, so I mixed black and white. I kept mixing until it looked just right.  I made sure that I had enough paint so that I wouldn’t have to mix it again. I didn’t want to have a bunch of different shades on the handle.
    I had to add a LOT of white.
  4. Next, I started painting! I just held the black part of the handle and went to town. I used brushes of different sizes so that I could paint every nook and cranny without messing up too much. I ended up using three coats of paint. I allowed it to dry for a few minutes.
    Semi painted sword
  5. Next, I needed to paint the black portion of the handle. To do this, I flipped the sword upside down and held the blade at the base. This way I could have control and not touch the sorta-dry portion of sword. I should’ve waited for it to dry completely but I’m a rebel. Johnson


  6. Then, I really let it dry. Like overnight. I propped it up and left it to dry. 
  7. Lastly, I transformed into Connie!
    Connie the Knight <3
    Like I said before, I’m not an expert. In fact, I’ve only been cosplaying for 3 years.  But I think that for someone who isn’t the best painter in the world, I did a pretty good job! I want to keep working at my skills so I can make more complex weapons and props! Like Connie, I’ll continue to strive for excellence! <3

10 Tips To Survive Your First Con

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Hooray! You’re finally off to your first [insert geekdom] convention! While cons are a ton of fun, there are things that you MUST know so that you have an enjoyable experience. Sure, you could just go and figure things out as you go. Or you could read this article to give you a heads up. Here are 10 tips to help you survive your first con! Guglielmo

(Obligatory symbol of good luck)

  1. SAVE UP!  Be prepared to spend money at cons. $50 may seem like enough money but it’s not. I’m serious. First of all, you need to eat. That’s most important. But since cons are often held at convention centers and/or hotels, you have to buy convention and/or hotel food: this is expensive.  (More on this later!) Sure, you may think you can limit yourself to one Miroku pin, but you may come across a spectacular Sherlock print in artist alley. And a cool Detective Conan keychain…and that Princess Peach hoody…and that wig you need for your next cosplay. So yeah. MONEY.IS.IMPORTANT. (NO NEED TO FEAR: How To Budget for Your Geek Convention). Attending a con is a special event. Make sure you enjoy it!
  2. STAY HYDRATED! Simple. You’re going to be running around a con center full of excitement. Have fun but don’t forget to drink water. Not all cons allow outside food and drinks so be prepared to buy water. However, most of the cons I’ve been to had free water.
  3. EAT! Same as above. Make sure you eat at least 2 meals per day. You can eat a granola bar and/or fruit for breakfast. Just make sure you EAT TWO MEALS. This is important. If you are staying an entire weekend, be prepared to purchase 6-7 meals.  Round the price of each meal to about $10. So set aside at least $70 for food. You never know if you’ll need to buy an extra bottle of water. Or maybe you just want a big breakfast one day.
  4. REST! It’s okay to take breaks during the con. This is the perfect time to charge your phone and your body. Play with your 3DS or PSP. Talk with your friends. Scroll through your social media feeds. Read that new comic that you just bought. You have time to enjoy the con so allow yourself to rest. I know that you are excited but don’t exert yourself. I personally love people watching and playing Animal Crossing during this time!
  5. EMERGENCY KIT! Make sure you have a repair kit for your cosplays! Face it, things happen. My first cosplay featured lots of faux pearls. Although the dress was complete, there was a possibility that they could fall off. And of course, I lost 3 string of pearls. Thankfully, I was able to fix it without having to run to a store! 🙂 I made extra strings of pearls beforehand and had white thread so I could fix my dress with ease. Some things to include in your kit would be thread, needles, tacky glue, extra fabric, and double sided tape. Include anything that could possibly break, rip, or tear on your costume. Freeman-Woolpert

    (“Here they come to save the daaaay!”)

  6. CASH. It’s 2017 but cash is still king. Yes, many vendors have debit card readers but some do not. In my case, the debit reader broke while I was trying to get an autograph from Johnny Yong Bosch! I ran to the ATM downstairs but lo and behold, it was out of money! Thankfully, I was able to get my autograph from Vash the Stampede the next day. With so many people in the venue, the ATM machines often run out of money or break down so be prepared!

    (“FONDNESS AND TRANQUILITY!” just doesn’t have a ring to it.)
  7.  RESPECT! Please use common courtesy when interacting with others. You’re excited, I know. But running into people and pushing them to get to a panel is just plain rude and dangerous. Many venues will throw out con-goers who are being obnoxious. Also, please respect the guests. Screaming “I LOVE YOU!” in their ear is not respectful. Wait your turn in the autograph line and thank them for their time. And please, for the love of chicken nuggets, do not hug them without asking. No groping, no kissing. If you want a hug, just ask. The worst they can say is no. Please, just use common sense.

    (Me with Christopher Sabat. He called me a doll. 🙂 )
  8. BATHE! Please remember to bathe everyday. Not only do you need to be clean, but being stinky is rude to other con-goers. If you’re a sweaty person, bring deodorant and/or body spray. I’m speaking from experience. I’ve been next to people who had BO so bad that I almost threw up. This just ruins the experience for everyone.
  9. PICTURES. Make sure you ask people for their picture before you take it. I turn in to a pile of goo when I see my favorite characters out and about (this On Melancholy Hill Noodle cosplay was FIIIIRE) but ask that person before you take pics of them.  If someone asks for your picture, you have every right to decline but please be courteous when doing so. I personally always say yes. Then I turn around and ask for their picture. In my Robot Chicken Skeletor voice “IT’S COMMON COURTESY!”
  10. HAVE FUN!!! Seriously. Do your thing. But please be safe, be smart, be kind, and be courteous and you’ll have a great time!

Why I Love Cosplay

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Cosplay. According to an article from Yahoo Movies,  the term was coined in 1984 by Nobuyuki Takahashi. For me, cosplay is not just putting on a costume.  Just like stamp collecting and playing football, it’s a serious hobby.  I consider myself an artist and cosplay is art. My love of cosplay began with finding the now defunct The site contained a massive archive of cosplays from various fandoms. Users could upload photos of their cosplays and interact with other members. Dreaming about and looking at cosplays online was just fine. Being a painfully shy kid,  I couldn’t even leave comments on any photos. But I could easily admire their creativity behind the safety of my computer screen. In this article, I will be listing the 5 reasons why I love cosplay! sureash Kumar

(Much safe. Very okay.)

  1. Late Nights. I do my best thinking at night so it’s natural that I enjoy working late into the night. At night, there are no expectation or interruptions. Most normal humans are in bed. I get lost in my thoughts while playing good music and using my hands. The busyness of daytime is plagued with phone calls and other adulting obligations. But the night is quiet and serene and it brings me the peace that I need to work. Staying up until 2 am to work on my art is the perfect way to end the night. So I often end up waking up from my floor at 6 am. (How I Painted Connie’s Sword)
  2. (Finished Jellyfish dress for Kuranosuke back in 2014)

    Creating. Sometimes I purchase pieces to alter. Sometimes I make things from scratch. Either way, I am creating something. When I decide to cosplay a character, I try my best to make the costume as accurate as possible. For example, when I cosplayed as Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish, I purchased a white dress, hemmed it, and strung beads to the ends which took FOREVER! But, I enjoyed every second of it; even when the beads would slide off and I wanted to rip my eyeballs out. When purchasing a dress for my Human Luna cosplay was out of the question, I decided to make it myself. And I almost lost my everloving mind. I didn’t own a sewing machine at the time so I made the entire thing using a handheld sewing machine. Yep.

10 seconds after “Rini” and I ran into each other.

3. Cons. Attending cons gives me a break from the monotony of everyday life.( 10 Tips To Survive Your First Con) When I walk into those double doors, I am transported to another world for 3 days. Raves, gaming, music, panels, artist alley, dealers, concerts: It’s all there. Not only do I enjoy myself but I get to hang out with complete strangers. But like I’ve said many times, these are “my people”.  You don’t know each other’s names but you know that you belong together. The day that I debuted my Human Luna, I was greeted by a squealing Rini cosplayer and we instantly took a picture! I am a naturally shy person but when I am at cons, I become invincible!

4. Confidence. I’ve always been a shy person.  It’s in my nature. Making small talk or even asking for help at store takes a lot of prep work on my end. I can’t even order a meal without rehearsing it in my head! But when I am in cosplay, my confidence goes through the roof. I have no problem posing for pics and asking others for theirs. I once ran into a girl who loves the singer Hyde of L’arc~en~Ciel and Vamps just as much as I do. We found out that we had the same favorite L’arc song: The 4th Avenue Cafe ( the doomed ending song to Rurouni Kenshin).  We talked for almost 30 minutes. This is the same girl who has trouble talking on the phone. :p Wood

(Me when the phone rings)

5. Playing pretend. Cue MGMT Pretending to be a character for a few hours is one of the greatest stress relievers. I can just be me and have fun. I don’t care if I’m being judged because I know I look cool. ( I mean my confidence just explodes ya’ll.)

Creating. Late nights. Cons. Confidence.Playing Pretend. These are all of the reasons that I love cosplay and I always will.  Cosplay is an art form that allows me to escape from the real world for just a few moments. But not only do I get to have fun but I get to interact with people who enjoy this art form just as much as I do. I get a chance to tell others how great they are and to let them know that they are amazing at what they do. Never in my life did I imagine that someone as undomesticated as me would find joy in sewing!



Beauty and the Beast 2017: My Analysis and Review

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If you haven’t seen this movie yet, turn back now. This post contains spoilers!!! (Pulls piano out of pocket Dun dun dun dun!) Duff

(Pictured: Not me.)

It’s been a month but I must say that I am still intrigued by the live action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (known as BATB on Tumblr). The more I think about it, the more I realize how clever this version is. Let me start by saying that I am definitely a fan of the original 1991 classic. It’s my family’s 2nd favorite Disney movie that we still quote to this day. In fact, we bought our tickets early and saw the film together. I couldn’t contain my excitement as the day got closer. But a few thoughts plagued the back of my mind. Namely “Pls don’t mess up the songs.” “Don’t ruin the characters.” “Don’t change the story too much.” “Pls keep it pure like the Cinderella adaptation.” I’ll admit that I initially wasn’t too keen on Emma Watson’s casting as Belle. It’s not that I doubted her acting chops, it just that she didn’t seem like “Belle” to me. (Silly, I know, but this is the only way to explain it. :P) Also, I didn’t like the Beast’s design. He didn’t look ‘real’ enough for me (you know what I mean). I kept telling myself that I had only seen trailers and that I would need to see the movie as a whole to get a clear picture. Disney wouldn’t ruin one of their classics. It had to be great.

I was right. This movie blew me away. Let me tell you why. This live action adaptation cleverly takes elements from the original 1991 classic and reworks them into an even more chilling story. The moral of this tale is to not judge a book by its cover.  Of course, we know that Gaston was a misogynistic, arrogant (favorite colorful word). I knew these things going into the theater. But 2017 Gaston hides this which is what makes him seem more sinister than this animated counterpart. Not only does 2017 Gaston use manners while going through the village, his physically abusive nature towards Lefou is absent. In fact, the two appear to be best friends rather than man and errand boy.

(I'm 100% sure that Gaston wore this as a sleepshirt.) Klute

(I’m 100% sure that Gaston wore this as a sleep shirt)

As the movie progresses, I notice how the titular “Beauty and the Beast” not only applies to Belle and Beast (or Adam according to the internet) but to Lefou and Gaston… Hear me out.  Belle takes her father’s place in the Beast’s dungeon and becomes his prisoner. After he saves her life, she saves his when the wolves who tried to kill her overpower him. It is through his physical healing process that they form a mutual respect for each other that gradually turns into love.

On the other hand, Lefou faithfully follows Gaston and actually has a crush on him in this version.  While the two appear to be bros, their relationship is not a healthy one. LeFou’s blind loyalty to Gaston puts him in compromising situations in which Gaston can manipulate him. After Maurice refuses to give Belle’s hand to Gaston, he leaves Maurice to die in the woods. Maurice survives and accuses Gaston of murder at the tavern. A menacing stare from Gaston causes LeFou to unwillingly lie for Gaston. Initially the prisoner, Belle is free to go after Beast’s change of heart. But LeFou is confident in his friendship with Gaston and feels obligated to stay out of fear. His admiration for everyone’s hero gradually turns into disgust. In fact, 2017 LeFou dejectedly sings that they are hunting the wrong beast during the “Mob Song” scene. At this point in the film, Gaston has fully unleashed his true colors and his rage prevents him from thinking rationally. He has Maurice and Belle locked up and threatens to do the same to LeFou if he questions him again. Earlier in the film, LeFou is able to talk sense into Gaston. Not anymore. Injured during the raid on the castle, LeFou calls for Gaston’s help to which Gaston tells him that he’s on his own. It is then that LeFou accepts that Gaston is not his friend and that he needs to move on. Palla

(LeFou everytime Gaston does something morally compromising.)

In the final scene of the film, the titular “Beauty and the Beast” theme song plays. Belle, Beast (now human), and the rest of the cast happily dance on the ballroom floor. In a clever piece of editing, LeFou switches partners and ends up with Stanley  just as Madame Garderobe beautifully sings the line “Beauty and the Beast”. Belle is free and her Beast has transformed. LeFou is free and his beast is no more. Tanriover


I love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Although there were changes made, it still has a fairy tale feel. Love transformed one beast and envy created the other. The story was strong and the songs were nicely executed. Even the new songs fit the narrative perfectly (Evermore is still on repeat). Like most Disney films, audiences can enjoy BATB at face value or dig deeper to explore the themes presented throughout. I do believe that this film will be a topic of discussion for years to come. Thanks, Disney. ❤