17 Before 2017

The idea of this is something that’s been around for a few years – I honestly have no idea when it started or who even started it – but it seems to come out of the woodwork around this time of year. I’ve managed to catch on early this year, or at least earlier than I might usually, so I actually stand a chance of getting these done!

I’m not going to hold myself to account if I don’t get all 17 items ticked off the list. These are things to aim towards, that range from sewing, to household tasks, to personal affairs and some gaming. It’s not a failing if I don’t get them done, it’d just be nice to be able to tick off these before the new year starts ūüôā

Writing up the list in my bullet journal makes it feel official!

  1. Clear out wardrobe
    This is a 2 parter really. I have lots of old clothes I barely wear any more, for various reasons, and it’s about time I sorted through them and sent them to a charity shop. But I also have a habit of dumping stuff in the back of my wardrobe, mostly shoes and cosplay bits, which could definitely also do with a clear out.
  2. Completely sort spare room
    Our spare room is also my sewing/cosplay room. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, because the room is quite small and most of the space is taken up by a double bed. Every time we have someone to stay, I make sure it’s as tidy as possible (not always that possible), but I’d really love to have it tidy and clean 100% of the year round. Where all of the sewing and cosplay stuff has a place to live, that definitely isn’t the floor, and is all sort of ‘hidden’ away.
  3. Get WordPress up and running
    My blog is currently hosted on Blogger, but I’d like to make a switch to WordPress next year, in order to expand the customisation I can do here. This task is mostly about committing to spending the money on a WordPress plan and making the most of it. I may yet decide to leave this for another year, we’ll see how the next task goes!
  4. Stick to a blog schedule
    Life gets busy and I find it hard to find the time to post up new blogs. Really, the only thing holding me back is taking photos to accompany the text! As of writing this, I currently have 19 drafts in various stages of doneness, but I know at least 3 of them are just waiting for photos. The aim is to have 1 post a week (currently on a Saturday), but I won’t give myself a hard time if that slips now and then!
  5. Sew new clothesI have a stack of patterns that I’ve bought or aquired over the years most of which I still haven’t sewn up. If #1 goes well, I’ll be able to replace some of those clothes with things I actually like wearing. I’m not a big fan of clothes shopping, because I find it hard to find stuff I actually like or stuff that fits, so I’d really like to get into the habit of making my own clothes more often.
  6. Use up fabric stash
    Leading on, somewhat directly from the previous, I have a large(ish) fabric stash that is currently sitting unused. The majority of it is left over from previous cosplays but I inevitably always find myself needing to buy new fabric for my next cosplay. So I need to use it up, hopefully on some clothes for me!
  7. Complete Unity course
    I bought a Unity course on Udemy a few months ago, and though I’ve dabbled with it, I haven’t got very far. I’m not aiming to become a games designer or programmer, but I do have a couple of game ideas that I’d like to work on in my spare time.
  8. Finish FFXIV questline (up to 3.4)
    It took me a year to finish the 2.0 storyline (but that beast is lengthy), then it took about 6 months for me to reach 3.0, which I am currently on. I often get distracted by crafting or other classes, so if I try to make a push with my White Mage, I’m sure to make it to the end of 3.4 (which came out this week), by the end of the year. It helps that the 3.x patch storylines are considerably shorter!
  9. Open an Etsy shop
    This is something I’m a little scared of doing, but I’d like to see how it goes. One day, I’d love to be sewing fulltime as a job, and opening an Etsy store is just one step towards that. I need to plan some good makes and see if I can get my name out there a little. Which does mean I need to come up with a good store name, it’s not as simple as you think!
  10. Stick to a chores scheduleI am pretty good with getting my chores done, but they do sometimes get left for a week longer than they should. Really, all need to do is sit down and make a list of everything I need to do on a regular basis (washing, cleaning the bathroom etc.) and then assign days and stick to it. Simple!
  11. Use exercise bike regularly
    I bought an exercise bike last month in an effort to get a bit fitter and to lose some weight. Though I was pretty good in the first 2 weeks or so, after that I was quite ill and couldn’t really use it. I think half an hour 3 times a week is an acceptable aim. This should probably go on the list I need to make above.
  12. Complete a Duolingo course
    This one isn’t particularly high on the priority list, but at the beginning of the year I was doing pretty well with the French course and then I stopped for a couple of days (for some reason) and never managed to start up again. I also started the German one, because I’m going to Germany in February for the FFXIV Fan Fest. So I’d like to finish either one, or at least make a good start again at doing it every day.
  13. Get wedding photos printed
    It’s over a year after the wedding and we still¬†haven’t got any wedding photos printed, aside from a photobook I created last year! The photobook is great and is basically our wedding photo album, but we got several frames as presents and I’d like to be able to fill them with single photos from the day. I also have a large frame that’s made up of individual frames which I’ve had for years, that I’d like to fill with a range of wedding photos. We just need to find some time to sit down and chose our favourites.
  14. Handmake (some) Christmas presents
    Frankly, this is something I want to do every year, but usually think of it far too late. I don’t know how many presents I’ll be able to make this year (hence to ‘some’), but hopefully this is early enough to start thinking that I will be able to get some made!
  15. Grow nice nails
    I often struggle with my nails and go through periods where they’re really not very strong and seem to stay permanently short. Somehow magically, I managed to grow them nicely for the wedding. Since then? Not so nice and I think I need to give them a bit of help towards growing strong and staying long.
  16. Watch more anime
    Usually it feels like I’m spending so much of my time making cosplay that I don’t have time to watch anime any more. I have a backlog of half watched series or things I want to start, nevermind the new ones that come out every season. I need to get back on watch them, hopefully whilst on the exercise bike!
  17. Finish in progress games
    Basically, I spend too much of my gaming time playing Final Fantasy XIV. I need to give other games a go (whilst I still want to catch up with the quest in XIV, we’ll see how that goes). On the list of games I’ve started and need to finish are: Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XIII (sensing a theme?), Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (a Christmas present last year) and Little Big Planet 3 (on loan from someone at work, so I should really make it a priority!)
    Not to mention the pile of games I haven’t even started yet, for now, I want to concentrate on finishing the started ones.
At the end of the year or the beginning of the next, I’ll update you with what I was able to get done. Here’s hoping it’s all 17 of them!


So hey, I’m back! And this time, with every intention of posting regularly =) I might relax the schedule for the moment, whilst I get back into the swing of things. However, even if it’s not often, it should be regular. Today, this is just going to be a bit of a quick post, to mention my cosplay and convention plans for the rest of the year.

First up, we have EGX, which I’ll be going to on Sunday 27th only in order to support all the ECG peoples (it was also the only day they had tickets for when I decided to go!). I am going to take my camera and hopefully come back with enough video footage for a CMV and hopefully a few photoshoots thrown in as well, but we shall see what happens with that.

Cosplay wise, I’m hoping to make Edea from Bravely Default in her thief job. I say hoping, because it’s less than 3 weeks away and I haven’t started, but then, it should be a fairly simple cosplay to pull together so let’s hope that all goes well! Somewhat annoying, it’s practically impossible to find pictures of the job outfit online! So I cannot promise on the accuracy of the cosplay, although I will spend quite a bit of time staring at it in-game of course.

Then, as always, at the end of October is another MCM, which I will be going to for 3 days for a change – well 2 and a half since I have to work Friday morning! Plans for that are still fluctuating a little, but tentively we’re looking at Jibril from No Game No Life on Friday, Lan Fan from Fullmetal Alchemist on Saturday (with a group) and Edea on Sunday. I’ll announce confirmed plans a little nearer the date =)

And then for the rest of the year? I’m not entirely sure! Hyper Japan and MCM Birmingham are on my horizon, but I honestly don’t know yet whether I really want to go or not. Whether there are more events for me or not, post October, I am hoping to make a good start on the many plans I have for 2016 =)

Sewing Projects

My attitude towards cosplay and sewing has changed within the last year or so. I’m much more pro ‘doing things properly’ than I used to be, you know, taking the time to finish off your seams, that kind of thing. And I think it’s proved – at least for me – by winning a judge’s award last year, for my Midnight Mauve dress which was the first cosplay I really took to heart ‘doing it right’. And just before I go on any further I would like to say, of course there is no real right or wrong way to do cosplay! But I think putting that extra care and attention in really makes all the difference.

Even more recently, I’ve found myself following various sewing or crafting blogs and is giving me loads of ideas of things to make. I’ve still got some cosplay things to do for Kitacon, but I’m going to try to weave in some other non-cosplay sewing. It might be that I don’t have time to do any of these until after the wedding, but a girl can dream! Here’s a few of the ideas I’ve seen lately that I’m planning to make for myself.

Flora dress – By Hand London
This is one of the first things I came across on my sewing blog venture. I love both the lace and the asymmetrical hem so I’ll probably make it much like you see in the photo!

Carolyn pyjamas – Closet Case Files
Because who doesn’t love a comfy pair of pyjamas? Plus, I like the idea of doing something a little different. I’d never need to make pyjamas for cosplay.

Vogue pattern V8766
I really want to introduce more dresses into my wardrobe, and frankly, the lace spoke to me again.

Vogue pattern V8877
Surprise surprise, more lace. I have a thing for lace clearly. I just like the contrast of it against the solid fabric.

Messenger Bag
I saw this after having though about getting a new bag, so why not make it myself? I’m very tempted to make this out of some leatherette I have lying around, but if not, I love the combination of grey and yellow here.

Work in Progress Bags
Something I’ve actually made a start on! I love finding new ways to store my cosplay, and I will eventually find a way that sticks. But I love the idea of being able to hold all the bits and pieces for one specific cosplay together. I have a WIP one of these at the moment which I’ll finish soon. Eventually, I’d like to have enough bags to hold all my work in progress cosplays (so that’s probably about 5 at any given time) and then some smaller ones for smaller projects or travelling.

Hopefully I’ll get some of these done in the next few months, and I’ll of course post up my progress.

Apologies for the lateness of this post as well. To make up for it I’ll do an extra one next week, how about that? =)

Moving into 2015

I’m not much of one for making new year’s resolutions. I feel that if I want to change something in my life, why wait until the new year? It just so happens this year that me finding a good time to start changing things has coincided with the new year as I have finally stopped being quite so busy! So this is what I’m planning to do or achieve this year, some of which are new aspirations and others more recent ideas.

Start writing my game 

When I finished my degree and started looking for a job, I managed to come up with the idea for a game I wanted to write. I even did some very basic code in Java that I took to an interview! But since then, I seem to have been far too busy with work and cosplay and life to do anything more about it. So I’m determined this year to actually make a start on it. I have the main characters, and a rough plot, so I think I’m at a good point to start writing some code as practice =)

Get fit and improve skin
Honestly, this is something most people want in life! I started going to the gym once a week last year, it wasn’t much but more than nothing. Then I got busy again and stopped. So I am going to start doing more exercise again. I don’t even particularly care what exercise it is, as long as I’m doing some! This isn’t an explicit attempt to lose weight, though I do hope that’s an nice side effect. And then, related because it’s my body, I want to clear up my skin a bit more. I’ve started wearing makeup on a daily basis, and I’m pretty sure that’s had an effect, so I want to reverse that!
Incidentally, it would be nice to be a bit thinner and have better skin by my wedding!

In terms of cosplay, this year is a little bit light. I only have 3 plans of things to make up until August, with a potential 4th if I get them done sooner than I expect, which is probably unlikely. After then, who knows. I don’t know what cons I’ll attend so I can’t really plan the cosplays either! I do¬†know that I’ll be attending Kitacon, so essentially that’s what these plans are for.

Finish Midnight Mauve 

What I did of my dress I did very well, but, after talks with the judges, there are a few things I want to redo and then there are things, like the gloves and weapon, that I need to finish. This is probably my top priority as I’m hoping to enter this in Eurocosplay later in the year! I’ll try to get up progress of this as I go.
I’ve wanted to do Fang for a while, finally found a chance in my cosplay calendar to do her. Should be wearing her with my friend, Captain Kurfuffle, as Vanille. I’m also kind of excited to have a cosplay that’s predominantly not sewing! I mean, I love sewing and that’s the core of cosplay for me, but it’s nice to have a break from the sewing machine now and then.
Okay, so obviously I can’t really tell you much about this one, except I’ll be wearing it in a pair with Ickle! I don’t tend to like people announcing secret cosplays, I usually think it would be better to not say anything. But it’s torturing one of our friends that they don’t know what this is!
So that isn’t the end of it. The lovely Yuka has sent me her old Mami cosplay. I started making this myself but never seemed to have the drive to finish it. I need to alter it in a couple of places as she’s a little bit smaller than me, but hey, maybe if I lose some weight it’ll be okay. Definitely looking forward to finally wearing it though!
The 4th cosplay I’ll make if and only if I have the time and get everything else finished first, is XIII-2 Lightning. I’m not great with armour, but I’d like to learn, and I’m probably going to enlist the help of Nesabi who makes damn awesome armour! In return, they’ve asked me to help them out with some sewing.
Last but not least, I want to work more on my photography this year! I still¬†have unedited photos from Kitacon last year. I really need to get on that. And then I want to organise some shoots outside of conventions, cause I tend to be pretty bad at taking photos to be perfectly honest. I still have my steadicam to use as well, so we’ll see where this goes.
And in a vaguely related way, I need to update my Facebook page a bit more! There’s some old stuff I can upload, but I also need to just share more in progress stuff I think.
And that’s all. Though it’s rather a lot….wish me luck!

Next time I won’t leave it so long

Okay, so, a long gap between my last post and this.
Especially since that Toko post has been sat half done in my drafts for ages, waiting for me to upload some pictures.
But still, I’m here now. Life has been busy. It’s going to get a bit more chill now, hopefully.

Onwards to EXPO!

Current plans are
Friday – Lighting (FFXIII)
Saturday – Morning: Lightning (FFXIII), Afternoon: Dragonite (Pokemon)
Sunday – Yeul (FFXIII-2)

Lightning and Dragonite are clearly complete. Post-Expo I will have decent pictures of Lightning to show the world and you’ve seen Dragonite already (below).

Yeul is in progress. Beads were bought today, skirt has been started, boots were bought a while ago, wig was styled about 2 weeks ago.
So good progress. And should be finished in plenty of time for Expo.
Have also entered into the masquerade on Sunday, on my own, scary times =3

I am also intending to buy an SLR camera and continue my experimentation with being a photographer since I loved it so much in May. A few friends have said yes to letting me do photoshoots for them which is a good start =]

Expo and future plans

So in the 2 weeks since I last posted, lots has come and gone.
I spent that week trying to finish my Lightning cosplay; it didn’t happen.¬†The plan was to get the jacket done at the weekend, the sword done two days during the week, and everything else¬†in between.¬†Well, the jacket still wasn’t quite finished on Monday evening, sword was made but not hinged and a single day was not enough to finish everything else.
I got so stressed over it. I did take everything to Expo on Friday, with the intention of finishing whilst I was there, but I decided it wasn’t worth it. I’d still probably have to rush it and I wouldn’t be happy with it.
So instead, I had a relaxing weekend, still wore Lestrade for a bit of Saturday and took some photos instead.

Man, I love being a photographer.

Did some shots of the FFI-IV group on Saturday, which was rather fun. And some of my friend as Auron. All of which you can see here.
Missed the big FF Roundup shoot on Sunday, as I was feeling lazy. But I’ll make sure to attend some more shoots in October.

I think I’ll write up a more detailed¬†breakdown¬†of what Expo was like this time.
Suffice to say, it was interesting to see it from a different side, out of cosplay.

In the future /dramatic voice
As Lightning was not finished, I still need to finish her. But I’m not planning on wearing her until Toko, so I have about 2 months to do it, which should be plenty of time.
Unfortunately, the main sword part of my gunblade snapped so I need to remake that. And come up with a way for it to hold its own weight.

Also aiming to do Yeul for Amecon. Her outfit actually looks fairly easy. I’ve already got some white fabric to use, although I may not have enough. Have the wig as well. Hopefully my mum will have enough beads that I can steal. Craft foam for the head piece and am buying the shoes.

Will likely wear both of those 2 again for October Expo, since I don’t want to make things for Expo, only rewears.
Saying that, I’ve agreed to do Trainer Rikku for next May, but, there’s always Midlands Expo to wear it for =3

Only other recent plan is to to Disney Dressphere Princesses for Ayacon next year, hopefully with a full group. Have said I’d do Snow White, who is a gunner. But if the artist does any more designs, I may have to do Belle if she does one of her =p
And of course, still planning to do Micaiah next year with J, though I’m not sure if that’s for Expo or for Aya.