It’s no secret that Ross and I like our animated shows. I mean, come on, we met dressed as My Little Ponies, as evidenced by the following slightly blurry photo of us from Gen Con 2013:
Not only do we share a mutual love for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but we also both really enjoy Steven Universe (in case you hadn’t noticed, hah) — in fact, if it weren’t for Ross stumbling onto the show while I was busy one weekend, we probably never would’ve ended up becoming such huge fans.
Ross and I are both pretty big anime fans, too, although Ross might be more into it lately than I am. Plus, I like my old-school anime a little more, while Ross watches more recent stuff. (More recent than Sailor Moon and Cowboy Bebop, anyway.)
So, it’s only natural that when Ross stumbled across Star vs. The Forces of Evil, we’d both end up obsessed, right? I mean, it’s silly, upbeat, with a great storyline that really pulls you in, which is starting to become more of a thing in animated shows lately. How could we not love it?
A couple of weeks ago, I rambled about how I was so incredibly excited that I was finally going to have a pair of Sailor Moon boots to call my own. The boots showed up on Monday, and I excitedly went to try them on, only to find out…
…that my calves were a little too muscular for these boots. Curse you, muscular calves! (Well, not really, I like my calves.)
I ended up messaging the seller (Catzia) telling her the boots didn’t fit my calves, and I asked if I could exchange them for a larger size in hopes that they might fit my legs better. She said she’d be happy to exchange them, but before doing that, I should try to stretch the boots out using a hair dryer to see if I could get them stretched out enough to fit. And it worked! They were snug, but I could zip them up all the way!
While I was waiting to hear back from Catzia, I found a number of “how to stretch shoes” tutorials out there. When I came across the hair dryer method, I figured it’d work for the boots (but didn’t want to try it until I’d heard back from Catzia) – but most of these methods focused on making the foot area of a shoe wider, not necessarily the calves. And they all focused on leather shoes, and not vinyl boots.
Enter The Crafty Nerd, armed with a hair dryer and a pair of epic Sailor Moon boots.
I swear, I had a real post written up for yesterday. It was only missing some photos, ones I had to take as I do the tutorial I’m hoping to share with you all soon (probably next week at this point, though). I got it all written Wednesday night. I was going to take the photos on Thursday, and post it on Friday, and keep up my posting streak of one post a week. I had this.
And then my brain intervened, and said “oh we’re not going to do that, we’re not going to do anything but knit when you’re not at work, knit and feel miserable.”
Thursday ended up being a pretty rough day, and Friday wasn’t much better. So here I am on Saturday morning, at 7 am, not wanting to break my posting streak. So, instead of a tutorial, or cosplay planning, I’m going to share some of the good things that happened this week. Because this week wasn’t just full of my brain being ridiculous like it tends to be at times. There were some cool little things that happened that made me smile.
First off, I got my Sailor Moon boots in the mail this week. There was a little bit of frustration with them at first – they didn’t come close to fitting my calves – but the owner of the Etsy shop I bought them from told me how to stretch them so they’d fit, and it worked! (Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to take this picture.) They look so fantastic, and I can’t wait for Gen Con so I can wear them around the convention on Saturday.
I also finally got a Peridot decal to go with the Lapis decal on the back of my new car! (who is also named Lapis – that’s a story for another time though) A friend of mine from work, Jake, makes vinyl decals, and when I couldn’t get the original decals I’d bought for Old Lapis because the seller’s Etsy store was on (seemingly permanent) vacation, I sketched up some stuff in Illustrator and had Jake make me some decals. They came out really well!
And it’s not exactly a nerdy thing, but I can’t help but show off one of my kitties, Hannah, who was trying to make me feel better last night when I hit a rough patch:
Isn’t she beautiful? She curled up next to my feet after this and slept there all night. (And then decided to use me as a landing pad early this morning when she jumped out of the window above the bed, oof.) She doesn’t often snuggle with Ross and I, especially not in the summer, so it was an extra special treat to get Hannah snuggles last night.
Here’s hoping next week will be better. At the very least, I’ll have more than enough time to get that tutorial I’ve been working on finished by Thursday or Friday.
This has been hanging on my craft room door since last Halloween, reminding me that this is going to be probably my one big cosplay for Gen Con this year. I’ve actually been a little afraid to ramble about the costume on the blog, because every time I say “oh hey I am SO GOING TO COSPLAY AS THIS” on the blog, it never happens. (Like Toothless. And Rose Quartz.)
This one is actually going to happen, though. I mean, I’m too close to having a completed costume for this to just say “eh, maybe next year”. I’m remembering how I felt at Halloween when I put on this costume, when my inner sixteen-year-old let out a near-constant fangirl squeal every time I looked in a mirror. I saw myself and said “I am Sailor Moon.”
For me, this is huge. I’ve done a bunch of Sailor Moon costumes over the years. I made one by hand during my senior year of high school (and I do mean by hand, I lost sewing machine privileges during the middle of that project and some parts were held together by staples). I found a pre-made Sailor Moon costume at a Spencer’s back during my sophomore year of college — it was a child’s XL, I had to cut the bodysuit out to make it fit and wore it all over a white t-shirt. I made a Sailor Jupiter costume for I-CON 2006 that turned out really impressively, and I wish I’d hung onto it because it was the best hand-sewn costume I’d made up to that point.
This year, I’m going to have a costume that’s well put together, that I won’t have to worry about falling apart because of my iffy hand-sewing skills. It won’t have staples in it. It won’t be a cobbled together collection of whatever I can find that’s “close enough” to certain costume pieces that I can’t make on my own or afford to buy somewhere.
There are three pieces I still need to get for my costume — one I just bought and am waiting for it to be shipped, one I’m pestering a friend for on Tuesday, and the third I think I could get away without if I need to.
The first thing, and something I’ve never actually had for a Sailor Moon costume before: the boots.
I found these boots on Etsy, in the shop Catzia’s Collectibles. This shop is full of beautiful Sailor Moon cosplay accessories, and I can’t wait to get the boots and see how they feel. I’ll definitely want to break them in before Gen Con, so I don’t accidentally destroy my feet like I’ve done with just about every costume I’ve worn that involves heels. (I wonder if I could get away with wearing these under jeans for work, haha.) I’m ridiculously excited about these boots, you guys. I’ve done Sailor Moon costumes with plain red heels, with black flats, even with a pair of grey and black Mary Janes with Sailor Moon socks. I’m gonna have actual boots for this costume. Sixteen-year-old me could cry happy tears right now.
The next is the wig.
I’ve told you about my wonderful wig-making neighbor before — and Oriana is hopefully going to start work on my very own Sailor Moon wig soon, which has me ridiculously excited. (You need to see her Queen Beryl – I’m really hoping she brings that to Gen Con, it’s such a fantastic costume! At the very least, maybe we can throw on costumes and do a photoshoot in our neighborhood. I’m pretty sure most of our neighbors won’t even bat an eye.)
The last thing I need is the wand.
There are lots of places I could get a Sailor Moon wand. I’m kind of kicking myself for selling my old Cutie Moon Rod years ago, and I miss my old Crescent Moon Wand (which had an untimely demise due to a friend accidentally stepping on it, it’s my fault for leaving it on the floor). I could hope to win an auction on eBay for an older Sailor Moon wand like the one I had in high school, or I could spend a stupid amount of money on a Proplica wand. (And if I did buy a Proplica wand, I’d be terrified to bring it to Gen Con because what if something happened to it? Then I’d be out $100, and I’d be a very sad Crafty Nerd.) The pictured wand is one I might get, if I do decide to go with a wand. It looks pretty close to the original wand. While it’s a little expensive for something that’s not an official Sailor Moon item, it’s still better than worrying about breaking a Proplica wand on accident or going with modifying a bootleg toy to look a little more official.
You guys. This costume is actually happening. I am actually going to wear a Sailor Moon costume to a convention and not be slightly embarrassed by it because it’s not perfect. Because this costume is going to be just about perfect. And I can’t wait to wear it.
Goodness, quilt pattern making is hard. I never realized just how hard until I started work on the Sailor Moon quilt.
First off, trying to figure out how much fabric I needed for this quilt has been… an adventure, to say the least. I started off with very uneven amounts of old Sailor Moon fabric, and thought to myself, “okay, I’ll try out making a pattern where the main squares have a moon pattern in them, and then alternate them with 9-block squares!” I roughed out a pattern based on 12-inch quilt squares, made up of 9 pieces, and figured I’d at least have enough Sailor Moon fabric to make that pattern work.
It was a great idea, and I was super excited – however, I’d actually ordered the fabric I was going to use for the quilt before I actually built the pattern. Which was not the smartest idea I’ve ever had. However, I cut my existing fabric into squares while I waited for the fat quarters I’d ordered from Spoonflower to come, and did some research to figure out how many 4.5 inch squares I could get out of a fat quarter. Turns out, you can theoretically get sixteen 4.5 inch squares from a fat quarter!
If the fat quarter is appropriately sized, anyway.
For those of you who’ve never ordered from Spoonflower before, they custom print your chosen design on whatever fabric you choose at the time you order it. Which is pretty darn cool, I think – but with the fat quarters, they’re not exactly a standard size – and on top of that, the printing was a little off, size-wise, resulting in some quilt squares that have a white border on one edge. (I’m sure it’ll be hidden when I start piecing things together, but still, it’s annoying.)
I did, however, make a quilt pattern. And I think it’ll look pretty cool, once made – but I’m not even sure I want to make it with this fabric, given all the ridiculousness with different amounts of different fabric patterns and all. I might end up doing the disappearing 9-patch pattern I’ve seen around the internet, though – I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, and with a couple solid fat quarters, I should easily be able to make it. What I will do with that pattern, instead, is polish it up into a nice PDF and possibly post it here for people to test out, if I’ve got any followers who are nerdy quilters who’d want to beta test a pattern for me…
And you know what’s really sad? I finally got the solid colored fat quarters I needed to help break up the crazy patterns, and I still haven’t cut them up yet. I’ve had them for a few weeks now and haven’t touched them. Maybe when I’m on vacation, I’ll finally tackle this quilt in earnest…
Or at least I will be, once Spoonflower ships out my latest fabric order.
So, there’s a bit of a story behind this latest crafting endeavor. Maybe two stories, actually, that converge into one – but they both focus on my favorite anime ever, Sailor Moon. The first story is from about… gosh, ten years ago. (It really doesn’t feel like that long ago!) A close friend of mine, Katie, bought me some Sailor Moon fabric for my birthday – at least I think it was for my birthday, it’s been so long ago that I’m not entirely sure. I ended up using some of it for craft projects, a little of it for some Gamma Sigma Sigma shirts (yes, I was in a sorority, but not your typical one!), and then stashed the rest away because I couldn’t think of a good project to use it in, and I didn’t want to use it all up.
Fast forward about ten years, and look what’s still lingering in my fabric stash…
Now, recently I’ve had a resurgence of Sailor Moon fangirling – mostly because I got hit with the best idea for a Halloween costume ever. I remembered seeing a Sailor Moon costume at my local costume shop about a year and a half ago, and while I didn’t have the chance to look at it too much when I’d seen it, I figured if it was a decent costume I’d snag it and maybe make some modifications to it after Halloween to make it fit for cosplaying. Shortly before Halloween, I went over to Campus Costumes to go seek out that Sailor Moon costume – it was a long shot, as it’d been a while since I’d seen it, but maybe I’d be lucky, right?
Well, after a half hour of searching, one of the store clerks asked what I was looking for, and I told him. And he said “Well, we’ve got one in rentals – I don’t think they ever sold very well, so we only hung onto one. I bet if you ask the owner, she’ll sell it to you, though.” And he walked me over to the rental costumes, and there it was – a store-bought Sailor Moon costume that actually looked halfway decent. I brought it to the counter, trying to suppress the squeeing of my inner 17-year-old (who tried and was marginally successful at making her own Sailor Moon costume), and politely asked if I could maybe buy the costume. I’d been looking for it forever, I told her, and I’ve been a huge Sailor Moon fan since forever, and I’ll totally pay the $60 price tag on the front, if you’ll please sell it to me. I’ll admit, I probably got rambly.
She took one look at the costume, said “eh, I can probably order another one… For $60, it’s yours.”
And I walked out the door with a Sailor Moon costume that actually looked GOOD.
Then I had another dilemma: the wig. There was no way in hell I’d be able to get a cheap store-bought wig to look remotely close to Sailor Moon’s trademark odango. I flailed around with the cheap yellow wig I’d bought for about a half hour, unsuccessfully trying to get it into pigtails or even just some buns, when it hit me: I knew someone who might have a Sailor Moon wig I could borrow. And they lived right across the street.
Yes, I asked my neighbor if they still had a Sailor Moon wig, and if so, could I borrow it. And the answer to both questions was yes. (I have some of the best neighbors ever, I swear. I’m not even going to get into the fangirl flailiness that happened when I went across the street and saw all the Sailor Moon posters hung up at my neighbor’s house, haha.)
So I totally dressed up as Sailor Moon this Halloween, and loved every second of it.
So that finally brings me to this nerdy craft project I’m going to start, which will probably be the first of many Sailor Moon themed craft projects I’ll be working on until convention season starts next year. You all know I’ve been obsessed with making quilts since the beginning of the year, and when I came across that little stash of old Sailor Moon fabric I’d been hanging onto, it hit me: I should make it into a quilt. And with the help of some awesome artists on Spoonflower who made some delightful Sailor Moon themed fabric, and a handy sale on fat quarters, my Sailor Moon quilt will be a reality. (Once I get the fabric, anyway.)
My first challenge will be to make a pattern that’ll work well with the fabric I’ve got – I’ve never actually designed a quilt before, but it shouldn’t be hard. (The hard part’ll probably be putting it all together correctly!) I might just design a couple of squares that I can then put together to make the quilt, or find some existing patterns that I could take parts from and reuse as I need to. I’m actually really excited about having a nerdy project to work on – it’s been entirely too long since I made a nerdy craft project. The closest I’ve come recently is making a pair of socks with some yarn that’s Twilight Sparkle colored, but that almost feels like it doesn’t count, because it’s socks…
I’ll be posting pictures and rambling about my progress on the quilt from time to time – hopefully it’ll encourage me to start posting regularly again, too.
Oh, cosplay. It’s my favorite part of every convention – and Gen Con had loads of fantastic cosplayers this year. I love the wide variety of costumes from all corners of geekdom that end up on display during Gen Con, from movies and books to video games and comics. Seeing all the creativity on display made me one happy crafty nerd, and gave me lots of ideas for future costumes!
Speaking of costuming, I only came up with mine a few months before Gen Con, to be completely honest – I know I’d mentioned dressing as Rose Quartz for Gen Con, but I realized that maybe I should hold off until next year so I can do the costume justice. Instead, I put together a couple of fun costumes from my costume closet – I only needed to snag a few items from Amazon to complete them!
Thursday: Hogwarts Students
Thursday, Ross and I put our Hogwarts robes to good use and dressed up as a pair of Hogwarts students – we had a couple of people chide us for skipping classes, hahah.
Friday: Ëlinyr Andaleh
On Friday, I pulled out some costume pieces I haven’t used in a while, as well as my elf ears, and Ëlinyr made her first non-Kishar outing! I actually had quite a few people stop me for my picture, which was surprising, given that I was pretty much one of many random elves running around Gen Con. I didn’t mind it, though – and I really enjoyed wearing this costume. Almost as much as I enjoyed my Saturday costume…
Saturday: Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicles
While only maybe four people recognized who I was, I had the most fun with this costume. (Plus, two of the people who recognized me were Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss, so I think this one was a win.) The folks at The Tinker’s Packs booth really liked my costume, too!
Now, onto all the other fantastic costumes I saw at Gen Con!
(If I took a picture of you and you want a higher resolution copy of the picture, I’m happy to share it with you! Just comment with what costume you were wearing, and I’ll make sure to get you the high quality version of your picture!)
A fantastic looking Jareth.
This whole family cosplayed as Steven Universe characters!
Awesome Star Wars cosplayers.
Finn! I’m so happy I saw a Finn, he’s my favorite from the new trilogy.
Awesome Borderlands cosplay!
This Stevonnie was adorable,.
Ross says this guy’s from Cromartie High School, so I’ll take his word for it.
A victorian Luigi from Luigi’s Mansion!
I love her ghost trap.
A tiny Rey! Now, if only I’d seen a Poe…
It was really awesome to see someone cosplaying as Daria.
Rick, Morty, and a Gazorpazorp!
This lady was dressed as Starry Night – I loved her costume.
Disney princesses, ready for battle.
I found THREE Waldos! Does that mean I win?
Pan and The Great Sayiaman – I love how they posed.
A very elegant Belle and Queen Amidala.
Pearl and Rose! I love that they got into a fusion dance pose for this picture.
This Wario costume, complete with cart, was one of the coolest costumes I saw at Gen Con.
Okay, so J’s just dressed in steampunk, but I thought he looked awesome, so here he is.
This Mario and Peach couple is adorable!
Tiny Pearl! She’s so cute.
These guys did a great job with their Sailor Moon costumes!
Miss Gen Con 50!
I especially like her bouquet.
Lapis! She also made her Pumpkin, and he doubles as a purse, which is awesome.
Professor McGonagall and Mad Eye Moody. Thankfully, neither of them chided me for skipping classes. 😛
Another one of Rose and Onion, with Steve and Greg this time too! Greg was handing out Mr. Greg business cards. 😀
A couple of Hogwarts students, ready for adventure.
I’ve been a huge fan of wearing costumes, ever since I was a kid – the more elaborate, the better. Halloween was always my favorite time of year, because it meant dressing up – granted, Halloween in the mid- to late 80’s typically involved those costumes that came in a box, with the weird masks and vinyl jumpsuit things…
Once I got a little older, I discovered the world of more exciting costumes. I’d try and find something better and fancier than the previous one, because dangit, I wanted to pretend I was someone else for the day. And once I got old enough to handle a sewing machine with some skill, I started making my own costumes. They may not have been amazing, but I sure as heck felt awesome in them. Case in point: my first ever costume, a handmade Princess Toadstool costume from 1997.
Granted, my sewing skills were still pretty limited at this point, so the only part of the costume that involved any sewing was the skirt – but my thrift store skills were epic even at the tender age of fifteen, and I managed to get everything else I needed to put together that costume – gloves, pretty red heels, and a floofy petticoat. Sure, the crown and brooch were made out of construction paper, and my wig was a cheap one from Spencer’s that smelled horrible, but dangit, I was Princess Toadstool, and I was happy.
And no, I’m not talking about Pokemon here, heheh.
One of the things I’ve noticed as an emphatic collector of things that relate to my most loved fandoms is that my collections tend to evolve, especially the longer I end up in the fandom. When I’m building my collection, I tend to buy anything and everything relating to my favorite show or game. Sailor Moon hairbrushes? Sure, I’ll buy six! Twilight Sparkle toothbrush holder? This would be amazing in my bathroom! Princess Peach change purse? Doubt I’ll ever use it, but Princess Peach stuff is so freaking rare that I’ll buy anything I see with her face on it! Toothless coin bank? You’re coming home with me, buddy. Anything with a scooter on it? I MUST HAVE IT. And so on.
But after a while, I get overwhelmed with the largeness of my collection. At one point, I must have had about fifty little brushable My Little Ponies. And my Sailor Moon collection, back in its heyday, was absolutely ridiculous. I had such silly things like a Sailor Moon birthday party set – cups, plates, etcetera – still in its original packaging. And six Sailor Moon hair brushes. I’ve got a couple pictures below of the Sailor Moon collection, circa 2005, along with other assorted anime goodies – forgive the quality, the photos were taken on a digital camera that was old in 2005…
There are some of those hairbrushes I was talking about…
Another hairbrush! I still have most of those plushies.
There’s the birthday party set. I don’t think I ever used it…
And some mini Sailor Moon dolls. I still have Luna!
I also used to own a Princess Toadstool cookie jar. (Oh, the stories I could tell about wanting that silly cookie jar, and my excitement when I finally got it…)
And don’t even get me started on the My Little Pony collection…
I’m sure many of you have already heard that Viz has released a new version of the Sailor Moon dub, far better and more accurate than the DiC version from the mid-’90s. Well, the DiC version was the one I grew up on – and while it’s what sparked my nearly two decade long love of Sailor Moon, it was incredibly cringe-worthy.
So, when I found out that Viz had redubbed the English version, and remastered all the original Japanese music, I had to give it a watch. I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like it, considering how very used I am to the old dub voices, but I had to watch. For science. (And, conveniently enough, it’s on Hulu!) And as I started watching, I caught myself posting my reactions to Twitter – and then realized it might just be better to collect them all here, to share with everyone! So, here’s my in-the-moment reactions to the first episode of the new Sailor Moon dub!
Hello all! I hope your Monday went well – mine was a bit of a mixed bag. Ah well. I’ve got a fresh batch of crafty picks for everyone this week!
Case of the Mondays Cross-Stitch Kit
Speaking of Mondays… this would be a hilarious addition to anyone’s cubicle, haha. It’s in a handy dandy kit, put together by Purple Hippo Stitches, and also part of their Tax Day Sale! I’m half done with my own set, and plan on sticking mine in my cube once it’s done. It’s really simple, and an easy intro to cross-stitching if you’ve never done it before.
I love playing video games. It’s one of the first nerdy things I’ve ever done – play games on my Atari when I was 5 years old. I especially love retro video games – the older, the better. After a friend of mine posted about the Sailor Moon games that came out for the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom back in the height of Sailor Moon’s popularity, I figured I might as well see if I could find some of my old favorites to play with. And I wasn’t disappointed!
Here we’ve got the Sailor Moon S puzzle game! I have no idea what the actual official name of it is, as I can’t read Japanese much more than identifying the kanji that stand for Sailor Moon, but this is my favorite of all the puzzle games that were released for the Super Nintendo.
Most Sailor Moon fans of a certain age on the internet will definitely recognize these sprites – they were on Lycentia’s Sailor Moon Graphics Site! She’d lovingly pulled all the sprites from all the Sailor Moon Super Nintendo games, and animated some of them too. This is the character select screen – you can play as pretty much any character in the series up to the S season. I picked Jupiter, as she’s one of my long time favorites.
Not many people out there know about punch embroidery. To tell the truth, I’d never heard of it until I met my mother-in-law – she makes beautiful punch embroidery pillows, with the help of my father-in-law. (Kathy does the punch embroidery, and Mike sews the pillows.) When Kathy found out I could sew, I was pulled in to help sew the pillows – but I was way more interested in learning how to punch embroider. So, during the first Thanksgiving I spent with Bryan’s family, she taught me how to punch embroider – my first punch embroidery work was Frosty the Snowman, but I quickly came up with ideas I could use to nerd up the craft, so to speak.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to do punch-embroidery. Finding the tools are hard, and the yarn is even harder to find, but once you get the hang of it, it’s addicting and projects can be finished up pretty quickly. It involves simple cotton muslin fabric, thin yarn, an embroidery hoop, and a punch needle – it’s relatively inexpensive to get started with. One of the really neat characteristics of punch embroidery is the neat 3D texture and feel you can get on your projects – the punch needle can be adjusted to different lengths, which makes your design really stand out. You can make almost anything into a punch embroidery image, but coloring book images and line drawings are a lot easier to do, as are cartoon images. Which is where my ideas came in – I started out with making some Sailor Moon pillows, back in 2008.
The Sailor Moon pillows were pretty popular on the Sailor Moon community on Livejournal – I made quite a few of them for people there! I also had some Sailor Moon fabric, too, and that probably made them even more popular, haha. It was lots of fun finding images to turn into pillows, and I loved seeing how things came together as I punched my way to pretty pictures. I also did some Christmas stockings, and some patches for jackets, and even some designs for bags as well. From there, I went and did other nerdy things – including a Doctor Who design (which I’ve been working on for years, haha), and a couple of My Little Pony designs.
If you’ve ever wanted to do punch embroidery, it’s not too hard to pick up – you can purchase materials online, and I plan on making a tutorial video sometime soon – until then, you can check out the following links for supplies and tutorials: