Thursday, October 31, 2013

Out on the Town and a Cancelation...

Bad news first. We've had to cancel our headlining full band set tonight and are having to opt for a middle place spot doing an acoustic set. DAMMIT!!! I was ready to rock some faces off tonight. We've gotta find a drummer, and soon!

So... The costume is a huge, freaking success!!! I mean, people absolutely love it. I've had to take my pic with so many people this afternoon and tonight, it's just totally blown my mind! Here's a pic from earlier of just me, taken by Tonya.

I'm so freaking excited that it looks this good. Really hot, but looks amazing! We went out all afternoon and night and here's another pic with some fellow Star Wars coutumers. These guys are from the Florida Garrison of the 501st and loved my suit.

Here I am, fully covered in my suit, in like 75-78 degree temps and here's Tonya... lol. Showing some skin like she does, getting cat-calls all night!

She did look amazing though. She totally rocked the Ellen Scissor Hands costume. I helped her out some on it, between feverishly working on mine.

About to go change and get ready to play the acoustic set... Wish us luck.

Halloween!!! Got Lady Vader Finished!!!

I can't believe we got it all finished!!! Here's more of the build. Been 'working' from home, ha, so basically just been back and forth from mom and dad's and here working on this costume non-stop...

I knew the armor was going to be the most challenging part of the project and I was right. To make the armor, me and Luke decided to go with Worbla, which is a thermoplastic very similar to Wonderflex.  Neither one of us had never used Worbla before so it was definitely a learning experience. There are a few things I might have done differently if I did it over again, but overall, I was happy with the results. For most of the armor, we used two pieces of Worbla with a piece of craft foam in between. We found this template online, enlarged it on a copy machine and used it as a basis for the chest armor.

Once we had everything fitted to my body, we made the two shoulder pauldrons and cut the two “tear drop” shapes out of the front. To fill in these two tear drop shapes, you could either use putty or do what we did, which was use bondo (aka auto filler).

The decision to use bondo (aka body filler) on top of the Worbla was due to a couple of things – I wanted the armor to be really smooth to the point where it looked like plastic and I didn’t want any imperfections in the shape. Perhaps a ton of gesso primer could have done that, but I didn’t want to take the risk so we decided to do it the hard way and bondo’d everything! We used Evercoat Rage Premium auto filler, which I thought was fairly easy to use although this was our first time using bondo so I could be wrong. :P

The entire 1-2 day process of bondo, sanding, bondo, sanding during a heat wave was pretty tiring and it took a while to get used to the materials. We had to bondo each piece maybe 5-6 times to fill in all those nasty little air bubbles and getting those “tear drop” shapes on the front chest piece was challenging, but I was really happy with the results.

After a few layers of wood glue as primer, it was finally time to paint! Since I was already using car repair materials, I appropriately ended up using auto body paint for the armor. Considering the 1-2 days it took to bondo and prime everything, painting was the fun and “easy” part. I highly recommend using Frog Tape for any of your masking needs – it is way more reliable than the blue tape, especially if you are painting your house!
Masked, painted grey, masked again, painted black.

Trying on the armor!

Once all the armor was assembled using sticky back velcro, I just had to take care of a few smaller pieces like the belt. I knew hooking up LED lights for Vader’s belt boxes was a going to be interesting since conceptually I thought I could do it, but in reality I wasn’t sure. I had never soldered anything or made a real circuit, but my dad is kind of a physics nerd, so I got him in on the project I was pretty excited to see if he/we could do it. We did some some online research, and doing some pen/paper calculations, we were ready to build the first circuit. And... It worked! At that point, we soldered everything together in the two Worbla boxes and taped all the wires down with electrical tape. Since I was running out of time, I had to purchase an unfinished chest box from a 501st guy here in Miami so unfortunately that part didn't light up. :(

Finally it was time to actually start trying everything on… 

Well, that covers everything for the most part! Definitely let me know what you think of the materials or if you have recommendations. Would love to hear your thoughts!
I'll put up some pics tonight from the party/show. And I really hope the A/C is working there, this thing is damn hot!!! I'm gonna loose some weight tonight, fo shizzle.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Costume Actually Coming Along Nicely

I knew the minute I saw this anime Lady Vader art that I wanted to cosplay the costume. However, when I started to show some of my friends, I got a few concerned “Wow, that’s ambitious!” comments, especially from Tonya. I mean, could I actually pull it off? Would I look ridiculous in all that armor? My head was full of questions about how comfortable I would be, whether or not I could even make everything in time, and if I would even look right as this character. But in the end, so far, I've had so much fun and am really proud of myself and mom for helping me with this and we've both learned a few new things along the way. So with that, I wanted to share a brief tutorial and the progress pics I took along my journey of making Lady Vader!
The first thing me and mom made so far is the 2 piece suit, which was made entirely of a matte stretch PVC fabric. The stretch came in handy since the back of the top and back of the leggings were not quilted and the fabric was also just the right thickness that I could quilt it without being super bulky. To quilt all the front pieces (front of top, arms, and front of leggings), we drew chalk lines on the stretch PVC (about 3/4″ apart) and sewed the 3 layers together – the stretch PVC, batting, and a thin layer of stretch mesh spandex on the inside.

Once we made the basic front and back of the top, we added a mock neck and sleeves. As for the leggings, I only quilted these about halfway down since I knew I would be wearing tall boots or shin guards.
The leggings and the full suit!

I made the decision early on to eliminate Vader’s outer cape. I really liked the way the inner cape looked feminine and kind of like a dress so I was very specific in draping it a certain way. Mom, being the seamstress she is, already had this wonderful dress form just for this!
Before and after of the draped inner cape.

So, that's how far I'm along on it now. I plan on getting with Luke tonight to work on the armor and electronics and all the other stuff, like maybe modding up the helmet a bit, if I even wear one with this. So far, so good! Once again, THANKS MOM!!! Only thing is I'm worried about is that I'm kinda bloated, big-time this month. Might need to make it a little more snug than the tape around my waist is showing... Yep, you guessed it. Monthly visitor. Yea. :(

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This Might be an Impossible Task

So, this is the inspiration for my costume...

Found it on the WWW. I have to have this ready in like less than a week... Might not happen. Gonna try though. Gonna have to work my mom and bro to death on it... I'll update later, if I have something to update.

About to head to the Old Folks Home now to work with mom... like all day!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

SO like mostly for my birthday, I got like gift cards and money. I got a few Star Wars things and a few cool Star Wars tees. I mean, I remember as Brendan, turning 25. It seemed like such a big deal. I was kinda bummed. I mean, I was a mid-twenty year old. Now though, the second time around, I guess I'm happy to be this young again, even though I'm a girl now, which I do love, but it's different, a little. Heather and Jess had bought me more stuff at Disney and kept it from me and then just gave it to me on my b-day. Really cool stuff.

Anyway, the other drummer on Saturday, yeah, he sucked big-time! Total waste of time. As soon as he started playing, we were all looking at each other and rolling our eyes. We've gotta find someone, and fast. I think we have a show in like a week and then they really start rolling in, like every 3 or 4 days right up until Christmas. I actually think that the show is on halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, I'm working on a super-sweet costume! I hope I can get it made. Actually, my mom and Luke are helping me make it. It's gonna rock! It's gonna be amazing! I so can't wait to get it finished and wear it out to the show. I might even play live in it, as long as it's not to restricting of my movements!

Anywhoo, about to head to the office and see what they have for me to make and design. Fun times, I'm sure.


Just did the basics... Lipstick, mascara and air dried hair for work today!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why Do I Do This to Myself...

Last night, for the most part after we left my parents house, is a blur. Umm, I guess I drank a little too much, again. I've gotta stop doing that, but, then again, ha, no I don't!

Tonya sent me this pic...

Yeah, I totally don't know that guy or why I was even wearing that hoodie... That's kinda scary. I mean, just look at my face. Totally plastered. DAMN!

And, I guess I took a shower or bath after I got home last night, because... face is all clean, as well as the rest of me...

I think I need to be more careful. Usually things start to come back to me a little bit, but, wow, like hours of my life are missing from my brain. NOT GOOD!

I'll try to fill you guys in on more birthday stuff later. Gotta pee now. lol. Then, I'm gonna go get some food somewhere and see if Tonya wants to go. And tonight, we have that drummer coming in so, sounds like a full day to me!


Friday, October 18, 2013

OH MY Goodie Goodness!!!

A quick birthday post!!! Lookie what my mom and dad got me!!!

A David Gilmour Relic Custom Shop Guitar! I LOVE IT!!! Can't wait to play it! But, now, I have some partying to do, and then some more parties after this one. I'm gonna get so messed up...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

1 Day and Counting...

Had an amazing week!!! Met some totally awesome people and me and Tonya had a great time in the 'Big Apple.' Took tons more pics for the online catalogue and website! These pics are banging! The weather was kinda chilly, but it was nice, too! It's a nice change to have to bundle up a little bit every now and then. But/and for me, even cooler temps seem cold for this Florida gal!

We got back in this morning, actually left late Monday night (yikes!!!) and I just got back from a band meeting about a potential drummer we may have found. The guy was cool and really good, but maybe stylistically was a little different. Plus, he hadn't had much time with the cd and we decided to give him another go on Tuesday after this other guy auditioned for us. He did better and the other guy was good too, but still, something wasn't gelling with me and Josh. We have another guy coming in on Saturday and I'll let you know how that goes.

Deon called me today... That's all I'll say about that.

And, let's not forget what happens in two days!!!

Feel like watching some Jeopardy. Later gaters!

This is Misty, one of the make-up artists here in New York. A cool girl and fun to hang with. Oh, and look, we're getting photobombed!

ON the last night, we maybe drank a little too much... Ha. Taun-taun's just a little tipsy! And, regardless of how sober and/or drunk you are, when you party with this girl, it doesn't matter how good you look, she gets all the action! Luckily, that action goes back to the hotel room with me!!!

Overall, a great trip to New York! Can't wait to go back!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ugg... and Hot Selfie

Well, John, our drummer, got totally wasted before the show on Thursday night. He just about wrecked the entire show, totally screwing up almost all of the new songs. We were gonna do 4 new ones and after the second new one, we knew we couldn't do anymore as a band. We finished about 4 more older songs and then me and Josh did the other two new ones we were gonna play acoustic. Needless to say, we kicked him out of the band. HE threw some punches and broke some stuff... Now the search for a new drummer. God, why did this have to happen now. I wish Tonya played drums! That would be awesome!!! A girl drummer in the band, too! How could we go wrong!

Went out after the show with the girls and we had a great time. We went to the beach and then made a late night Waffle House run! I just love the Patty Melt there!!!

Just got up around 2 and took a shower. I'm so freaking lazy and I'm about to go shopping fo sum food! I'm hungry, so that's probably not a good time to go shopping, but, I'm gonna go anyway!

I have another shoot coming up this week, in New York, I think tentatively leaving late Tuesday night or Wednesday! They said something about tomorrow, but wow, that's really soon. Who knows, I just have to go with the flow I guess. Taun-taun's going with me! Should be super fun and amazing! I love that I'm getting to go to so many cool places just so people can take pics of me! This is like the best gig ever! Pics from the other shoot should be out soon. I can't wait to post some on here!

I took this pic in my utility room earlier today. I had to take some trash out and I saw this set-up when I stepped in there and thought it'd do amazing for a selfie. Got my camera and tripod and took a few. This was the winner! Perfect light coming in the door! I really love this pic, if I do say so myself. I also really love my outfit!

Bye, peeps!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finally got to Spend Some Time with Heather and Jess...

Life's so crazy right now and I'm so busy. I bare;y have time for Tonya now and let alone for our friends. But, I ran into Heather and Jess a few days ago and me and Heather decided to go skateboarding on the 10th, today, while Tonya and Jess were gonna go see an early movie. I had a little time this afternoon after work and before the show today, so we met at a park and went boarding around a bit. It was fun!!! She's so good and completely an adrenaline junkie and has no fear! We got some ice-cream and then I had to go take a shower and get ready and she said that her and Jess and Tonya were coming together to the show tonight. Cool!!!

Here's a pic of her boarding!

Just look at that air!!!

Wish me luck tonight at the show!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Show-Time! in a Few Days.

We have a show lined up for Thursday night at a club downtown. Josh called me just a little while ago and told me but I forgot the name of the place. He woke me up, so... He was on his lunch break and I was still asleep! Lol! He has a real job! Ha! NOT ME!!! Although... I can imagine I have quite a lot of stuff to do in the office today... If I go in. But, it's fun designing stuff, most of the time.

I have an unmastered copy of the cd right now and I'm just going to play along with it and get all the songs and parts in my head cause we have a super long practice scheduled for Wednesday night at Josh's place. I can't wait to play this stuff live. We're not playing all of the new songs, like maybe 3 or 4, but it will be fun. Playing live is so much fun. I love it!

Well, I've got a few things to finish up here... Laters!

Just did my make-up and decided to do a 50s Pin-Up look! How do you peeps like it? I think it looks pretty good!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Last Day in Essex...

Well, it's my last day here and me and Melody and some of her friends are going shopping in London! I can't wait. I've always wanted to go to London.

On the train sitting across from Melody. I'm so ready to get off and spend some pounds!
I bought a ton of stuff. Not so sure how to get it all back! Ha! I'll probably have to ship it to myself in a big box or something. Lots of cool Beatles stuff and Star Wars stuff! I'd stumbled upon this Star Wars shop in London online one time and had to find it while I was here. We headed to the address and turned a corner and BAM!!! There it was! I was in heaven. It's called and it is amazing. Spent about £1000! Paid the taxi driver to just stay with us so that was cool! Here are some pics...

I was in heaven. I bought that Leia costume pictured and a Jedi costume. Gonna have to probably alter both of them, but my mom can do that when I get back. Also bought a cool trooper helmet and lots of other cool stuff.

I also bought some clothes, not that I need any but, ya know, I was in London and the stores were so cool and the stuff was amazing.

Heading back to the SINSTAR office now with all my stuff and then they are taking me back to the airport to head back across the pond. So, I guess I'll write again when I'm back in the USA! And ugg... Monthly Visitor arrived this morning. Perfect timing for being trapped in a plane for like 6 hours. Yea! :(



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Leaving in Two Days... I'm Sad!

I don't want to go home! I mean I do... but I also don't... I just wanna stay here... kinda... Leaving late Friday night... Sad. Single tear. I do miss Tonya though. We've talked a good bit but so far today, I've had little time to so I may lay down in a bit and call her.

I got all the shots finished today and now they're going through them with me to pick the best ones out. They all look so good to me. I mean, I wish they could photoshop out a few things, but for the most part, they look amazing!

Here are a few more pics...

Me and Melody taking a little break between our shoots. I think I was checking NCAA football scores...
If you don't have the ESPN College Football app, you need to get it. It's da bomb!
Sad and crazy... I had just gotten ready to go out tonight and she said it'd be a few hours and was leaving to go get ready herself...

Late dinner with Melody and the SINSTAR gang!

This job is so fun! They make it so fun here. (Not that my shoots back home weren't fun, too.) I love it! Gonna miss this...

Gonna go take some headache medicine and lay down a bit. I think a lot of the peeps are going out in a few hours to celebrate getting finished with the shoots and I feel a freaking headache coming on...