Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Working with Worbla for a Marvel Black Cat mask

So one thing that I really love about cosplay, and I'm sure a LOT of cosplayers will agree with me, is the chance to learn new skills. I've learnt how to sew, how to style my hair, paint my face and more recently I've started to explore props. Up until now I've been working with craft foam a lot but I decided to take the plunge and invest in some Worbla's finest art.

If you're new to cosplay Worbla is a thermoplastic that can be heated and shaped using a hairdryer. It comes in big sheets that you can cut with scissors and it can be sanded and painted easily. Because of this it is becoming the craft material of choice for people making armour, masks, weapons and other replica cosplay items.

I decided to make something simple and useful for my first Worbla construction. A mask. I've dressed as the Black Cat before, but she is one of my favourite characters so I thought the chance to improve it a bit would be fun, that way I could make a fairly generic mask as a first project.



So I cut two pieces of the Worbla and stuck them together. I then heated them with the hairdryer to stick them togeher. Putting two pieces together means that it was a bit more sturdy and any of the overlapping edges can be sanded away pretty easily.



I then heated the mask again and placed it over my face (once it had cooled enough). Because the plastic is still soft you can press it against your skin and really shape it so that is snug.


I then spray painted the mask with an under coat of grey spray paint to fill gaps and smooth it out.


Then I coated it in matt black spray paint. I 'glued' the mask to my face using spirit gum, it really helped that the shape fit snugly to my face so I actually didn't need a lot of spirit gum.

And here is the finished thing, what do you think?






Here is a picture without the wig too so you can really see the shape of the mask.



Aaaaaaaand finally the shot after the mask removal... It left a horrible amount of gunk on my face that I then had to peel off, sort of felt like I was painlessly peeling pieces of skin off. A very odd sensation indeed.



Do you think you would try making some props out of thermo plastic? I can highly recommend it!



Friday, 5 December 2014

Lates at Life and a costume inspired by Magenta from Rocky Horror

Howdy everyone!

Waaaaay back around Halloween (where did November go?!) I went to a Late event at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. I used to work there and worked a couple of the late events back in the day so I know how much fun they can be and I really wanted to see the exhibition they have going on right now so it was a double bonus of awesome.

Because it was Halloween it was also a dress up event and as I was travelling light visiting home I decided to work on a variation of my Wednesday Addams dress that I featured in this post.

I changed it up by adding a retro style apron to make it into a sort of retro-chic version of Magenta from Rocky Horror (although Rocky Horror is pretty retro...). I used face paint for paleness and I curled my hair, although it was a bit damp so the fullness fell out pretty quickly :(

 We had a good opportunity to look around some of the exhibits (which had changed since I worked there) and we did get to look at the Body Worlds exhibit which was absolutely amazing! Although we were not allowed to take any pictures so sadly I can't share any images. Mind you the Bodyworlds exhibition has been extended so if you're in the North East it is well worth a look.

Being a Biologist I love getting my hand on a microscope.

And my favourite exhibit that I can share was this giant book showing the DNA sequence of the X chromosome. The idea is that each of those giant books is one piece of human DNA and you have all the books in every cell in you body. It really helps you to see how much information is carried in our bodies!

I also got my hands on a chalk board before the place got busy... heh heh... and since I've been obsessing over Sailor Moon Crystal I had to draw Sailor Moon. Not that she's very spooky.


 We also saw a planetarium show, which I can't show you either, but after that we finished there we got to prance around in a smoke machine while listening to some choice tunes.


Oh and here are a few extra shots of the outfit:





Dress: Vintage
Apron: Home made
Boots: Clarks (borrowed from my mother)




Friday, 28 November 2014

The Vivien of Holloway Runaround Sue - For Running Around Durham

I visited my family recently and had a lovely time. Living in the south of England so far away from my family in Durham I occasionally forget how lovely the North East is.

During my visit we all had a walk into Durham and my fantastic mother decided to take some photos!

My parents live about a 10-15 min walk from the very centre of the town and the walk involves a stroll through the wooded park area near the river. I love how green and lush it is despite the fact it was well into Autumn.


For a wander around town I decided to break out my Runaround Sue dress from Vivien of Holloway. Its a dress that I got on eBay in a lucky bid and I don't think the print is available any more - although the Runaround Sue shape is a long term staple of Vivien's stock.

If I'm honest, I'm a little bit in love with this dress. I feel that I would love to have it in every colour under the sun.

I could only take one coat home with me so I had to pick something universal. I went with a black princess coat that I picked up on ebay. It has a superb shawl collar that can be folded up into a hood (useful for the usually terrible weather in the north!) and its so warm. It didn't have a brand on it, but I know it is not vintage at all. Either way, its a current favourite.


Oh I love this view near the river!


We also had a frolic around Durham Cathedral. My mum had this bizarre obsession with the cloisters and the shadows you get there so it was only natural that she wanted to take some pictures there.




 At the Cathedral they are raising money for renovations and to support the cost they have started to make a model of the cathedral out of Lego Bricks.

Which of course is AMAZING!

I was really surprised by how much they've managed to build so far. I decided to donate a brick and got to place it in one of the pillars.



I will leave you know with this image of my husband and I pretending to be Team Rocket. I'm not really sure why. We're nerds...


Dress: Vivien of Holloway
Coat: Unknown
Shoes: Doc Martens


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mary, Mary quite contrary: The Mary skirt from Collectif


So today I want to share my favourite Autumn skirt with you! October, November and December are my favourite months of the year (mostly since I do much better with winter layers than flimsy summer dresses) and I love the fashion that goes along with them.

Now I have a huge obsession with pinafore dresses/skirts (or jumpers as I believe the American's call them). In fact I have even made a couple of my own way back when where I spoke about my desire to own the fantastical Mary skirt from Collectif (read about it here and here). 

So I set aside a little bit of my October pay cheque for a visit to Collectif in London and try on the Mary skirt. To my utter delight, it fit beautifully!

The Mary comes in a few different colours a plain black and a navy and light blue flock. Navy is my go to colour so I decided to go with the navy flock, although I must say I would very much like this skirt in black too (I should stop being greedy...).


I think the style is super flattering to your waist, although I have found that it can emphasise your bust a lot. This can of course be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your destination.

Possibly the greatest thing about this skirt is that it has POCKETS!! I always love it when designers think to put pockets in garments as that are so vastly under appreciated in women's clothing and they are so useful! Give us pockets in everything darn-it!


Also the amount of fabric in this skirt is phenomenal. 


There are also some thoughtful details to ensure a good fit to this skirt. They have multiple button holes so you can get a good fit over the shoulders. This is perfect for me as I have a really short torso. You can also wear it crossed at the back, straight at the back or even strapless. Its so versatile which makes me super happy.


Of course since there is so much extra fabric in the skirt I couldn't resist giving it the spin test and it passed with flying colours. Its super swirly! 


To complete the outfit I work a blue 70s coat and beret style hat. I also had a tartan scarf that I got from a charity shop last winter. There is something glorious about tartan in winter part of me wishes I could wear something tartan in every winter outfit.



Skirt: Collectif
Jumper: Monsoon
Hat: Beret
Scarf: Vintage
Coat: Vintage
Bag: Vintage
Shoes: Dr Martens
Glasses: Glasses Direct

What are your favourite things to wear on a crisp Autumn day?


Monday, 17 November 2014

Wednesday Addams at Beamish

Blimey I am sooooooo far behind on blog posts! I've been so busy I can't even believe it. But I though it was about time I posted some of the photographs from my little excursion to Beamish at Halloween.

Beamish is such a great place! It is full of historical buildings, people in costumes and ways to role play at going shopping in the 1900s. I went on school trips there when I was a kid and I have very fond memories of those visits.

During my trip home for the holidays Beamish was having some special late night openings where you could dress up and visit the attractions in the dark as well as see the place decked out in spooky decorations.

I needed a light and easy costume to wear as I was travelling light so I opted for Wednesday Addams. All I needed was a black dress with a white peter pan style collar and a black wig that I could plait. Some pale makeup and a black lip completed the look.

I was really grateful for the black coat with its big shawl collar, it really kept me warm during the night.





I really enjoyed getting to see the old fashioned town all lit up in the dark. It looked amazing! And riding the trams in the dark through the fields was a awesome mix of scary and fun.

The staff there were brilliant, they really went all out to decorate all of the areas and to play their spooky parts in the different shops and houses.

I loved the printer that photo-bombed our picture (this is me, my dad and my husband)!  

It was such hard work to keep my serious Wednesday Addams face going throughout the night.

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things about Beamish was the old fashioned sweet shoppe. What was really amazing was that they were hand making toffee apples especially for the occasion. They really looked like something out of Snow White all red and shiny like that. Yummy.

And here is my husband dressed like H. P. Lovecraft while eating a toffee apple...


 Mind you, speaking of tasty treats they had some safe to eat creepy crawlies to try. They had worms  and locusts among other things and while my dad crunched his way through various things it took all my courage to try a mealworm (it had a pretty nutty flavour). Ewwww!


aaaaaaaaand..... I couldn't resist taking a moody photo in the grave yard:


 In one of the sections they also had some live owls for you to meet and greet. This one was a 2 year old screeching owl from the tropics, although I have forgotten his name :(

They were so cute!!!


 So the dress I wore was a vintage late 50s early 60s dress with a pleated skirt and peter pan collar. I got it off eBay a few months ago for only £14.00. It is such a versatile dress and it is especially good for costumes. Its definitely one of my favourites, it fits like a dream and I really love the subtle print design to it.




The wig was a long black wig that came of ebay, it was around £12 from China and does actually have a fringe but I pinned that out of the way for Wednesday, although this was not ideal.


Dress: Vintage 50s/60s
Wig: ebay via China
Tights: Atmosphere
Shoes: Doc Martens

Last but not least I couldn't help but want to take a Halloween picture with my black cat Chloe.

Beamish are also doing some Christmas evening special events. I really wish I could go as I enjoyed this one so much, but I live too far away :(

Do you have any exciting plans for Christmas?



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