Guest Post: Steff von Schweetz’s Why You Lost The Costume Contest

Instead of reiterating everything here, I’ll just say that this piece is something everyone who competes in the cosplay community NEEDS to read.

“While people have different motives to enter a costume contest/masquerade at a convention, one thing is for sure: it sucks to lose.

You may often wonder why you lost. You may be quick to blame others in your group. You might think the judges are biased or weren’t skilled enough to properly judge you. You might feel you got shafted because first place doesn’t look that special. But as someone who has ten years of judging and competing experience, I’m going to bring some hard truth and say that it’s probably your own fault that you lost. Let’s look at this critically.”

To continue reading Steff von Schweetz’s piece, follow the link here. Everything in this article is hands-down correct, from both a competitor’s and judge’s standpoint. It’s a great reality check and learning tool for anyone in the competition side of the community! ❤

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Starlit Creations Review

First and foremost, yes, these ladies are friends of mine. However, I really am a fan of supporting businesses and giving reviews so you know what you’re potentially buying. Seeing as how they run a small business with a lot of items for cosplayers, I figured it was time to sit down and do their review.

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Sailor Moon Classic combo from Starlit Creations

Starlit Creations has been around for some time now, and I’ve purchased cosplay accessories, costumes, jewelry, and other goodies from them over the years. I’m going to choose a few items from their store and review them, then do an overall review based off my experiences. 😀

The ladies have two stores, so I’ll start off with their one that they primarily sell patches in. The first store is Starnigh Industries and I’ll review a couple of items! 😀

The first item is their embroidered hand towels, much like this one here. We have several from them, including Firefly-themed ones, Black Widow, and the Punisher. We use them as basic hand towels for the bathrooms, and they wash super well without any issues on the patches. All have held up for a few years now without a single problem and I wholeheartedly support buying them as a geeky thing to add into your house. ❤

The second item is their embroidered baby bibs, like this cute one here! I’ve purchased quite a few of these for friends, including Harry Potter-themed ones and Avengers-themed ones. They attach via Velcro and are washable, with the only major thing being that they are decently sized, so if you are buying them for a baby under 7 lbs., they may potentially be a wee bit too big. However, babies do grow quickly and anything that’s too big will eventually fit. 😀

The second store is the one with cosplay items and some jewelry! It’s called Starlit Creations and again, I’ll review a couple of items from there too!

Their Ginzuishou necklace located here is one of the first items I actually purchased from their store! It’s an easy cosplay accessory to Princess Serenity that holds up over time since it’s a hard plastic/acrylic. Affordable and long-lasting is always a win-win!

While I haven’t done a full Sailor Mercury cosplay, I’ve seen some of their older brooches and worn the Mercury earrings before! So this pre-made set here is another one I’ll review! The brooches stand up over time and are relatively customizable, depending on how you want them to shine and look. They apply pin-backs to each one and they are super sturdy (mine withstood dancing to Sera My, so…. there ya go) and the earrings are easy to wear. They can come for either pierced or non-pierced ears depending on your preference. ❤

Overall, for your accessory needs to just geeky likes, I suggest ordering from Starlit Creations. Both ladies work hard and really do want to help make your costuming experiences easier. They’re also quite understandable should something go wrong with the products as long as you let them know the issue. They really do appreciate feedback as it helps them develop items better or just new ones overall! So, check them out at their Facebook page here, their patches/embroidery shop here, and their cosplay accessories shop here!

 

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Beetlejuice Make-up Tutorial

This make-up tutorial is pretty awesome! Created by KnastyKnucklesFX, this is to help create an amazing Beetlejuice look!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Interview with Dee Kay

It’s time for another interview, this time with Dee Kay! She’s a newer cosplayer from Colorado, who enjoys making costumes by being thrifty!

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Dee Kay as Black Canary from DC Comics

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Mine is Dee Cay/Kay and I chose it because it’s close to my name and I like that it sounds like “decay”, lol!

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been really cosplaying for about a year and it was my friends who owned Club Cosplay that got me into it.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Thrifted clothes! I’m all about thrifty crafting and I have found some amazing pieces to use in cosplays at thrift stores.

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Dee Kay as Eli from Love Live!, photo by Nlightened Designs

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Mt. Lady from Boku no Hero Academia! I’m doing a group shoot at Colorado Springs Comic Con.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Creating things you love, like the cosplayer, Jinglebooboo. She does amazing work (way more talented than me) and she absolutely loves each character she creates.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I feel it’s friendly and nerdy, lol!

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I’ve been hearing a lot about predatory photographers. I would really love to see that not happen again.

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Dee Kay as Morrigan from Darkstalkers, photo by Steve Howarth

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Just do it! You have to start somewhere, so just dive right in.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Obviously San Diego Comic Con is one for me, but I loved GalaxyFest and some of the smaller, more intimate cons.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Cammy from Street Fighter is the first costume I’ve made and I’m excited to unveil her after I get all of her put together finally!

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Dee Kay as Samus from Metroid, photo by Kristi Kai

Thanks for the interview, Dee Kay! You can check out her Instagram here, her Twitter here, and her Facebook page here!

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Herostime.com Hela Costume Review

For Denver Comic Con this year, I pulled the financial trigger and purchased the newest version of Hela from Thor Ragnarok from Herostime.com! It was a bit pricy at $236 including shipping, but the costume was the full bodysuit, boots to my size, and the cape. It took a little over a month to receive, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. 😀

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Yunie as Hela from Thor Ragnarok, costume by Herostime.com

First and foremost, the costume is actually pretty high quality fabric selections. The bodysuit is textured heavy-duty spandex, with the green etchings being vinyl. There’s black vinyl edging on the shoulders, with zippers in the back of the costume and on the sleeves. The cape is green suede and attaches to the bodysuit via a snap and Velcro strips that they sent covers for when not being used. It’s lined with an olive green satin lining as well. The boots are pleather with the vinyl etchings as well and are all handmade on platforms with zippers on the back. While the costume is quite warm, it fit exceptionally well (I ordered a size Medium; I always order a size up cause it’s easier to take stuff in). The only changes I made? I added some foam to the shoulder pieces to make them pop out more and I reinforced the large snap for the bodysuit and cape.

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Yunie as Hela from Thor Ragnarok, costume by Herostime.com

Do I think the costume was worth the price? Oh, most definitely. I could make this costume, but the fabric, patterning out everything, especially the detailed etchings, would have taken up a lot of time and money. I honestly felt that it was a wise purchase in that sense. I absolutely love the costume and I plan to wear the heck out of it because, well, I look pretty dang awesome and it’s surprisingly comfortable, even if warm, especially when you can remove pieces to cool off. Once again, I definitely recommend Herostime.com for costumes, but make sure to give yourself time for it to be made and sent. ❤

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Yunie as Hela from Thor Ragnarok, costume by Herostime.com and photo by Denver Comic Con

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Satin Stitching and Applique Tutorial

 

This tutorial was created by BATCosplay and instructs you how to create your own applique and satin stitch them onto fabric for your costume! It’s a bit of a process, but the results are amazing! 😀

Hope this helps! 😀

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Denver Comic Con 2018 Review

Once again, my husband and I attended Denver Comic Con this year, which says a lot, as we were pretty unsure about possibly returning after last year’s convention. We got our tickets early, and upon the announcement of Frank Miller attending, I pre-ordered his autograph as DCC stated that was the only way to receive it. That last part is important later on, but we’ll get there.

We had no issues getting into the Hilton Garden Inn again, which has easily become my favorite hotel for the convention. They’re always friendly, efficient, and their little restaurant has good food (and is cheaper than eating at the con). So, once we got to our room, I quickly changed into my new Poison Ivy and headed to the con.

Once to the con, they had two entrances this year for regular pass holders, an extra one for ADA and Speed Pass holders, and another for Exhibitors and Vendors. I was very happy to see we increased the entrances so people wouldn’t be walking around in the heat as much as last year. They had a much bigger security check area, but the Argus Security did the pathetic bag checks again, where stuff easily got snuck in. They also did the wand detectors, but while some would do a thorough check, others would not. Props that weren’t supposed to make it in did, as did clothing choices that Denver Comic Con had not permitted. Argus chose not to police it, though, so DCC stayed hands-off as well.

To redeem your tickets this year, you could either download an app (which seemed to work quite well), show your card, or show your ID. We got in very quickly, and had a harder time finding a lanyard to display our badges, lol! We made our way around, mainly figuring out the layout for this year, then headed up to the Exhibition Halls to check out Celebrity Summit and the Merchandise and Artists area’s layout.

Celebrity Summit was away from everything again, but they were strict about the No Photography rule, until the last day. Then no one seemed to care what was going on, including control of the lines. Every guest area was labeled and the lines and photo ops were set up decent again, so at least there wasn’t too many issues throughout the weekend.

The Merchandise and Artists area was laid out immensely better than last year. It was a lot easier to navigate and locate specific vendors you were looking for. The Food Court was also easy to find, as was the Kids’ area, however, the latter caused a lot of traffic jams because of the line system put out in the middle of the aisle. Saturday made it impossible for Volunteers to control.

After getting some of the autographs we wanted, my husband and I started meeting up with friends and grabbing photos. The Cosplay Summit was in the same location as last year, so once again, the lighting wasn’t all that great. But since more of the convention center was opened up, we’d just go find a better area to take photos. I signed up for the Cosplay Catwalk upon a visit down to this area, as a friend just recently took over the Cosplay portion of the con and honestly, I wanted her to have what she needed to be successful. So, strutting around on stage was added unexpectedly to the agenda for Saturday, lol! Some other things occurred that were neat on Friday, but I’m not allowed to discuss it until the video debuts. ;D

After all of that, we returned to the hotel and got changed out, wandered a little bit more around the con, met our group for the annual Bayou Bob’s dinner, and my girls and crashed out. The boys went out about the town, but turned in early when they realized most people weren’t partying Friday night, lol!

Saturday we got up, saw my friends off, and had breakfast before getting into costume. My husband wore his Captain Mal again, while I debuted Hela. We met up with a friend, got into the con easily, and meandered about. We did photos off and on, realized the Exhibition Hall was super crowded, so we traveled about halfway through before giving up and letting all of us go back and eat food in the hotel room. We also needed the air conditioning to all cool off for a bit, plus give me a break from my boots. After our break, we returned and continued just exploring until I had to go line up for the Cosplay Catwalk.

My husband and friends went off to eat while I hung out with people in line and chilled. We were going on after the actual contestants for the Cosplay Contest did their thing and entertain the audience while they waited for judging. Most of the people in line hadn’t done walk-ons before, but the staff for the cosplay contest were really good about explaining everything and getting us all lined up to go on stage. It was actually a lot of fun to just go on and ham it up for a minute, then chill in the audience and cheer everyone else on. The judges took a bit of time judging, but the MCs for the contest were entertaining. After they did the awards (which had a nice variety and I was actually quite impressed), the contest ended and all of us left. I went back to the hotel, changed, and chilled with friends for the rest of the evening. The boys checked out the Hard Rock After-Party and I’m hoping to do it next year! 😀

Sunday was the usual getting everything ready for checking out of the hotel. I got into Elektra, and we headed to valet and stored everything in our car, then went to the con. We got there decently early, as I had been given the Frank Miller signing times and told to bring the proof of payment to get it redeemed for his autograph. I arrived to a huge line and discovered that it didn’t matter if you paid or not, everyone was in the same line. I was livid, but waited, and got cut off right before redemption. So, since we now had to stay longer than planned, we made the best of it. We got a few more autographs that we hadn’t been able to get and finished checking out the Dealer’s area and bought some items there as well. We also grabbed food, and just chilled in the Food Court, before grabbing some quick pictures and heading back to the line.

At least the line was moving this time, but no Volunteers were marking where the end was. People cut others in line, were taking photos of Miller without permission, and basically the rules for the weekend just went out the window. After my autograph, we went and got our vehicle and headed home.

So, overall? I enjoyed the con a LOT more than last year. I felt things flowed together better and I know they made a lot of staff changes, which showed. The convention staff itself did awesome. Argus on the other hand still needs to get its act together. I snuck in stuff. Other people snuck in stuff. It all comes down to everyone is needing to be on their A game if we’re keeping these rules and security checkpoints… Otherwise, what’s the point of it all?

We’ll be back next year and I’m definitely looking forward to what Denver Comic Con 2019 brings! 😀

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