Tag Archives: costuming

Gallifrey One 2012

I just got home from my first ever (it won’t be the last!) trip to Gallifrey One.  It was a completely fabulous trip!  I flew into LAX on a Thurs morning – a very early Thurs morning.  I had to get up at 1:20am in order to catch my shuttle!

Once at the hotel, I met up with Wench Posse friends Glynnis, Suzette, and Nell.  I hadn’t met any of them before, so it was great to finally meet face to face – and they are just as fun and amazing in person as they are online.  They made excellent room-mates!

After settling into the hotel, we took a bus to the Santa Monica pier.  It was lovely to see the beach and the sunshine!

Above is the view from the Santa Monica pier’s Ferris Wheel.  We also rode a carousel.  Nell claimed the rabbit.

Santa Monica is the end of the Route 66.  After filming the fake version in Revelation video I did the costumes for, it was kind of cool to be at the real thing!

Friday, we skipped the morning/afternoon events at Gallifrey and went to LA’s fashion district instead.  We are all costumers, after all!  Unbelievable.  Simply unbelievable amounts of fabric and trim!  Good thing I saved room in my luggage, because I filled one of my suitcases mostly with stuff I bought.

Fabric…fabric…everywhere!  I’m thinking next time I go, I’m spending a lot more time here.  To get to the district, we had the hotel call us a cab…but our ‘cab’ turned out to be a limo!  Hurrah for awesome concierges!

Besides the district, we visited the FIDM museum, and saw an exhibit of the costumes from Oscar-nominated films.  My favorite dress was from The War Horse:

In the photograph it doesn’t look like much, but it has the most lovely embroidery around the neck.  I completely adored it.  Also on exhibit was pieces of famous movie costumes – Fred Astaire’s tap shoes was one especially cool item.  There was a small room of extant historical gowns as well.  They have one of Queen Victoria’s mourning dresses, and wow.  I knew she was short, but I was not at all prepared for how short!  Teeny-tiny!

Saturday was the first day to spend all day at Gallifrey.  I wore my Idris costume, Nell and Glynnis wore their Clockwork Droid costumes, and Suzette (who didn’t bring costumes this year) was our minion, offering everything from corset-lacing, to bag-holding, to foot massages!  Minions are excellent things to have.  🙂

There were many, many excellent costumes there.  Torchwood:

Lots of Elevens, large and small:

Lifesize Daleks wandering the halls and interacting with people:

Novice Hame:

Cybermen:

Vampires from Venice:

Girl in the Fireplace costumes:

A giant adipose:

A weeping angel:

The panels I went to were fabulous.  Mainly, I went to anything with the actors I liked in them, so there were lots of Mark Sheppard ones!  😉 Daphne Ashbrook (Eight’s companion performed “I Don’t Need No Doctor” with backups by Eight (Paul McGann) and the film’s director!

One thing that was very cool about these celebrity panels, was how much they were enjoyed by the celebrities themselves.  All of them had grown up fans of Doctor Who, and most had been dying for a chance to act on the show.    When the call finally came, they didn’t even care what the part was!  The genuine love they all have for Doctor Who just shone out from them, and that was truly amazing.  It wasn’t just actors doing their jobs, it was us and them, united equally as fans.  I’ve never experienced that before, and it was awesome.

My favorite guest was, of course, Mark Sheppard, because I have loved every single role of his I’ve seen.  His dad, W. Morgan Sheppard is also wonderful, and the interaction between the two of them was heartwarming and quite funny at times.  They obviously have a terrific relationship.

I had my picture taken with Mark Sheppard and Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler).

Sunday, I wore my steampunk Tenth Doctor costume, Nell wore her female Fifth Doctor, and Glynnis wore her Vampires of Venice outfit.

Nell and I had our picture taken together at the actual Eighth Doctor TARDIS console.

The console is very cool:

Check out my ribbons!  By the end of the con, I had 25, far more than I’ve ever managed to collect at any other con…which is a testament to how truly welcoming and friendly Gallifrey is.  My favorite ribbon is the one (collected while I was wearing Idris) that says “Bitey Mad Lady”.  🙂

One of my very favorite costume I saw there was this Flesh outfit.  She was spot-on perfect – the makeup was film quality!

The other favorite was the Cassandra team.  There were two ‘moisturizers’, and when one of them saw me in the crowd of photo-takers, he called me over to get a pic with them – he especially wanted me to help moisturize!  That was fun.

Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy) was there signing copies of her new book, so I got one and chatted with her for a bit.  She’s super nice, funny, and very down to earth.  And gorgeous!  So very gorgeous, even when she’s just in normal clothes and makeup!

Altogether, it was the best con I’ve ever been to, and I really, really want to go back.  Next year is the big 50th anniversary, and they are promising MAJOR guests from recent years of the show.  Dare I hope for Tennant?  I’d be happy with Alex Kingston!

For more info on my costumes, and making-of photos, see my costuming blog:

http://www.freewebs.com/dragonflydesignsbyalisa/homefaq.htm

The Wench Posse: too much RAWK for one hand!

Next blog: after Gallifrey was over, I spent a day at Universal Studios.

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Steamcon III

Last weekend Jon and I went to Seattle for the annual steampunk con Steamcon.  We were in a fabulous new hotel, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, which I hope will be the con’s home for many years to come.  It was brilliantly easy to navigate, unlike last year.  I didn’t get lost once!

So, on to the pictures!

Friday, I wore my new Steampunk River Song outfit.  River Song is a character from Doctor Who, and I enjoyed wearing this outfit a LOT.  Not only is she my favorite female character on the series, but I just love this steampunk version. Steamcon III built some awesome sets to play around with!

You can read about the making-of this costume here.  Most people didn’t know who I was, but for the few who recognized me…it was pure SQUEE.  My favorite was when two teen girls ran up to me all excited: “Are you River Song?????”  When I said I was and gave them the badge ribbon I had printed (it says “Hello Sweetie”) they said it was the best ribbon yet, and it totally ‘made their con’.  So cool!

I saw the Tenth Doctor at Steamcon as well, and I badly wanted to get a picture with him, but I only ran into him twice and both times he was rushing in the opposite direction with his arms full of supplies, so I couldn’t stop him for a photo.  😦   I loved wearing this so much that I also wore it Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon, I changed into my Victorian Bathing Costume for the Tea Costume Contest.  I knew going in that I wouldn’t win (my outfit didn’t match any of the three catagories) but I thought it would be fun to enter regardless.   It turned out they only got four entries, so they went out into the hotel and rounded up a few likely folks to pad out the competition.  There were a bunch of jellyfish, a fish with flippers, a mermaid, and my personal favorite: the deep sea diver.  Meet Jilynn:

She’s one of the ladies who reads my costuming blog, so it was fabulous to get to meet her at the con.  She made her entire costume.  The helmet is made from a globe!  The finned boot spats, the specimen jars, the breathing apparatus…all made from found objects.  And she told me she’d never done anything like this before!  I was Very Impressed.  And pleased when she won one of the awards.  Congrats, Jilynn!

This is one of the things I love about steampunk….the pure creativity.

Oh, and here’s a couple pics of my Bathing Costume.

I didn’t have the time or desire to make something really fantastic, so I just went silly, colorful, and multicultural.  I’m glad I don’t have to actually swim in this thing!

After the contest, I changed into my Chinese Cabaret Costume.  When I walked out onto the floor, it was amazing.  Steampunkers really, really like the multicultural costuming right now.  It was honestly like I’d turned into a minor celebrity of some sort!  People instantly started stopping me every few feet for pictures.

Click here for a short video of the sleeves in action!

I ended up being asked by a professional photographer to do a photoshoot.  So I walked up and down the grand staircase a half dozen times while he took shots from various angles.   Later, I did a second professional shoot as well.  I like celebrity in small doses like this!  🙂

One thing that really amazed me was the fervency of the ribbon collectors.  After I’d handed out a few, word started spreading and soon I had people running up and saying they’d heard I had ribbons.  I made two different ones: “Hello Sweetie” for my blog followers and Doctor Who fans who recognized me as River Song, and “Dragonfly Designs by Alisa” for everyone else.  Giving out ribbons is going to be a regular thing for me now…I need to think of some good ones for Gallifrey and Costume Con!

Sunday I wore my Ottoman Steampunk, largely because Steamcon was holding a “Wayfarer’s Brunch” with a multicultural theme.

After the corseting of the previous days, it was nice to wear something really cozy for the final day!  The vest is embroidered with beetlewings, and is definitely one of my favorite things I’ve made.  I won “Best Female Costume” with this at the Wayfarer’s Brunch, and was called up to the mike to speak a little about my costume and its inspiration.  That was fun too!  There were some really fab multicultural outfits at the brunch, here is just a few:

Jon and I pretty much only saw each other at lunch, dinner, and bedtime; the rest of the time we wanted to see completely different panels and events.   We did meet up to take pictures, though….

And I finally got him out of the white tennis shoes he always wears with his steampunk outfit, and into what he calls “old man shoes”.  Much better!

One of the highlights of the con for me was having my silhouette cut by the artist from Paper Shadows.  I wished I had been able to watch it being done, but of course I had to face away from her and sit still.  It turned out so fabulous!  I can’t even tell you how gorgeous and amazing her work is.  She just picks up a sheet of paper and uses tiny scissors to snip and cut…no patterns, no preparatory sketching, nothing but freehand art.  I liked mine so much I also am having her make it into a piece of jewelry.  Of course, that meant she had to take it with her, so I won’t be able to show you pictures for a couple of weeks, when she mails the original silhouette, plus the pendant, back to me.  I can’t wait.  I went back later to watch her cut someone else’s:

Steamcon is really so much fun.  I love the panels (I got to handle actual extant corsets and bustles!) and meet authors and artists.  I met fans of my blog (which was a surreal and delightful experience – it’s incredible to me that people are so interested in what I do. Teya, you totally made my day with your enthusiasm!)  And best of all, I got to see the most amazing costumes and meet the most talented people.  Here are just a few of my favorites I saw (when I had my camera – several escaped me because I didn’t have my camera available!)

Who doesn’t want a mechanical raven?

Yes, I know, not technically steampunk.  But her 18th century outfit is gorgeous, and she has a ship on her head.  I love it.

Beautiful bustle, beautiful colors.

So simple, so gorgeous. I want one!

Great detail.  I love monochromatic costumes with lots of detail!

Another great bustle and color combo!

If you don’t want to paint your Nerf gun, you just match your outfit to Nerf colors…

This family is a perfect example of why I love steampunk. It’s so awesome to see parents and teens enthusiastic about the same thing!

This lady’s outfit was so ornate.  And you can’t really see in this pic, but she had these amazing contact lenses.  This was hands-down my favorite costume, until I saw the female aviator costume:

I am such a sucker for wings that work!  So cool!

This is only a teeny sampling of the costumes I saw.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I’m already plotting my costumes for 2012.  The theme is “Victorian Monsters” which is SO MY THING.

Steampunk Librarians!

So my little gang of “Coolbrarians” had so much fun at the Abney Park concert last month, that we decided to have a ‘Steampunk Fun Day” – and wear our costumes while working!

It was fun watching the patrons trying to figure us out!

Notice the weapon on my thigh holster?  During the photo-taking, it kept getting stolen by Charlene….

….because everyone loves feeling badass!

I’m not sure exactly what was going on here….

….but you can definitely tell fun was had by all!  Plus, we ended  up on American Libraries magazine website – and possibly we’ll be in the print edition as well.  We’re also going to be printed in the Washington Library Association’s July edition of Alki.  We’re officially famous now!

Awesome Website – Necromance

Rarely have I been so completely riveted by a website as I was by this one.  Seriously, it was like a trip to a museum, and is perfect for anyone with the slightest bend toward natural history, goth, steampunk, or pirates. (Um yeah, am I the only one who hits all four of those….?)

Are you curious yet?

Where else can you find exquisite lace parasols, skull buttons, coffin flasks, brass keys, edible insects, feathers, preserved genuine spiders’ webs, fans, metal birds’ feet, bones of all varieties (including a mink penis bone!), x-rays of all sorts of critters, bat and butterfly wings, tiny glass vials, shells, vintage medical instruments, kitty cat postcards, and Hitler’s postage stamps?

Where else can you find this?

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It’s an absinthe labeled business card holder! So perfect for those of the Steampunk variety!  I want one!

Or this:

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That is a genuine mouse paw, preserved in a locket.  I’m fairly certain I don’t want one, but I find it…interesting.  And who knows?  Perhaps someday there will be a costume which requires a mouse foot.  I don’t put it beyond the realm of possibility, since only a few short years ago I was scouring the internet for a preserved chicken foot.  (For a “Jack Sparrow” costume, in case you wanted to know, and yes, this website does sell preserved chicken feet – where were they when I needed them?)

How about this?

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A skeleton marionette!  Now honestly, who doesn’t want one of these?  I could so take one of these to faire as an accessory to my pirate garb….

Other things I want are the scarab poison ring (actually been looking for one of these, so I’m definitely buying it), and assorted skull beads.  I’m always looking for skull beads for my pirate costuming, and these guys have awesome ones.  I also love some of the bone jewelry, the skull pill box, the glass vials, and the feathers.  There’s also an “eye” bracelet that would be so awesome with something… either pirate or steampunk….

Go here.  Go now.  Prepare to be amazed, intrigued, and sometimes, just a tiny bit grossed out.

Me and Cool Stuff not Related to Me.

Okay, so I was doing pretty good at this blog thing for a little while there.  I was posting regularly at least!  My only excuse for failing lately with the regular posting is that I was costuming like a crazed thing.  Yup.  And for all that, I actually only completely two costumes: Elizabeth Bennet, Zombie Slayer and a steampunk outfit.  We won’t discuss the projects still laying about in various stages of completion…at least not here.  The fire has burned through, I’m in a relatively sane, quiet phase of my costuming (which means no deadlines for finishing anything until Halloween).  If you want pictures, etc, they are on my other blog.

This not to say that I’m sane, however.  What fun would that be?  It’s just that my mad-doctor focus has shifted back to my doll-making and writing.  Where it properly should be, perhaps, giving that those are the things which actually bring in some funding for the costuming.  It’s a vicious circle.  Sigh.

The dollmaking will be spoken of later, when there are pictures.  The writing, well, okay, let’s talk about that.  I’m about 13,000 words into my new novel.  It’s set in a mad, poisonous Elizabethan court in a city much like Venice (except that the water in the canals is not exactly…normal).  There are two girls, one a Queen trying to keep her throne, and the other a girl just trying to hold onto her mother’s life.  There’s a serpent/dragon, and Six Very Dangerous Men and at least Six Very Dangerous Women.  To help myself keep on track, I’m posting it chapter by chapter on Goodreads.com, right here.  You can check it out, if you wish – I adore comments, suggestions, and all feedback.  I’m trying to put at least one new chapter up a week, as I write it.  Slightly scary proposition, since I could easily write myself into a corner I can’t get out of, but it worked out okay last time…and it was fun.  And it kept me focussed, since there’s nothing like a message in my inbox, begging for a new chapter, to inspire me to write another ten pages instead of just sitting down to watch t.v.

And in the wider world of Cool Things, my deeply beloved author Scott Lynch is back from his mysterious disappearance, and is regularly blogging on his livejournal account once more.  He says he’s deep in revisions of the next Locke Lamora book, so I can finally breathe once more.  And better still, he’s posted author notes to the first chapter of Red Seas Under Red Skies, AND a first chapter of his upcoming novel, The Republic of Thieves. Right here.  I’m so conflicted.  So far I haven’t read it, because I’m one of those people who don’t read advance chapters.  Ever.  I’d rather wait and sit down with the entire book – it just feels so much more special.  But part of me just wants to make an exception.  Because it’s Scott Lynch.

BUT.  And here’s where it gets so cool I just might be about to pee myself, Scott Lynch is also writing a different, non-Lamora novel, and he’s posting it chapter by chapter on his website. For free.  Because he loves us, (and maybe he’s just a little sorry he vanished for so long?).  Go here.  Go now.  I have yet to read it, because I’m savoring the anticipation just a little bit.

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What else?  The glory of that has temporarily blocked all blood to my memory…

Oh yes.  Bloglovin’.  Ever had that feeling that you read too many blogs?  And while you keep checking your favorites over and over hoping they’ve blogged something new, other blogs just keep slipping through the tracks and you don’t remember to check them for 6 months?  Been there, done that, will never do it again: I’ve discovered Bloglovin’.  Thanks to a reader of my site who apparently has my very own blog saved to that site (the incoming address showed up, and I got curious), I’ve discovered how awesome this site is.  You simply save all the addresses of the blogs you like to this site, and it checks them for you.  As soon as one of those blogs updates, Bloglovin’ shows a link to it on your personal Bloglovin’ page.  You only have to visit one page for all your blogging needs!  And if there’s a particular blog entry you like and want to save, simply click the little red heart next to it, and Bloglovin’ saves that entry for you on a separate page.  So you will be able to find it easily and visit it whenever you wish.

Before I found this site, I was using MyYahoo to keep track of my favorite blogs, but it lists the last five posts for every blog you follow, no matter how long it’s been since the blog updated.  Bloglovin’ shows only the new posts, so you don’t have to remember if you’ve read a particular entry or not.  My most genuine thanks to the reader of this blog who inadvertantly led me to Bloglovin’!!!

And finally, here is what’s stuck inside my brain this week:

Too much eye make-up, dude, but the song’s friggin’ addictive!

My New Blog – Fabric Time Traveler

Rather than overwhelm this ‘random’ blog with costuming research and pictures of gorgeous gowns, I’m spinning off a new, more specific blog.  Don’t worry, I’m still keeping this one active, but if you share my interest in history and costuming, you might enjoy visiting my new one:

http://fabrictimetraveler.wordpress.com/

It’s very new – I just posted my first entry this morning – but there’s lots of gorgeous things to follow!

Because I haven’t posted in awhile…

…I’m going to give you a glut of goodness.  (Well, it’s a glut if you’re a fan-geek oddball like me!  🙂 )

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Yay for Easter and the new Doctor Who episode “Planet of the Dead”.  I seriously did not want to go out or celebrate Easter in any other way, I just wanted to curl up with my computer and watch my Doctor.  As with the last episode, though, it was a bittersweet pleasure.  I’m still devastated that David Tennant is leaving.

Rammstein.  I found this group because I’m researching the Columbine School Shooting.  While I was reading the shooters’ journals and writing, I also checked into their favorite films and music.  I was surprised to discover what excellent taste they had – they and I are pretty much liking the same groups and films.  Does this mean they’re more normal than I imagined, or that I’m more weird?  Not sure, but now I’m obsessing over Rammstein’s music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iguzO3OfaPk

The fact that they sing in German only adds to the allure, as I love the sound of spoken German.  Must be genetic memory; I have a heck of a lot of German ancestry.

And I sold my first artist doll/figurine overseas!  Yes, the “Steampunk Penguin” is now steampunking it over in Sweden.

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Simplicity has just released three new awesome patterns:

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How fabulous would this be for steampunk?  I’ve always wanted a driving costume…in different colors, though, I think.

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And I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Simplicity doing a fairly accurate Tudor era pattern.   A little tweaking, this could be perfect!

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With underthings to match!  Yay for corsets and bumrolls!

Lastly, I spent an hour sorting my closet, and for a lark I counted my shoes.

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Anyone care to hazard a guess?

Not counting my cosplay and costume shoes (such as my black vinyl lace-up over the knee boots with 5″ heels! Hehehe!) I own sixty-three pairs.

Sixty-three pairs of ordinary, everyday shoes.

Yeah, that just about says it all, doesn’t it?