Tips for First Time Con Attendees!

I was approached to construct a list of tips for first-time attendees for conventions by While they’re more focused on one for LVL Up Expo, I made one that can be applied to various conventions!

1. Secure your tickets for the con prior to the con, whether for the weekend or just one day. Why? You’ll save money! 😀
2. If you’re staying the whole weekend, I find it easier to stay at a hotel for the venue. The con itself will have listings for hotels, but sometimes you can find better deals within walking distance. For a con like LVL Up Expo, you can even use a site Las Vegas travel deals for flight and hotel packages!
3. Make sure to make a list for your packing, especially if you’re bringing costumes! You don’t want to get to the con and realize something important was left at home!
4. Pack at least a day before your flight/trip, that way, should something else come up that you need to take, you can easily pack it without stressing out! 😀
5. Once you get to your destination, check in and get settled. Take a few moments to relax and meet up with friends. I like to fly out a day before the con, just to take some time to chill and get a feel for the area.
6. Make sure to get lots of sleep! Being rested, fed, and hydrated are always super important! And please keep your hygiene in mind!
7. Plan out what exhibits, panels, and guests you most want to see and make a schedule for yourself. If you’re more focused on cosplay, check out the photoshoots scheduled or ask about them with the con organizers! 😀 You always want to get some shots of the cosplay you worked your butt off on!
8. Do not be afraid to make new friends! You never know, they can be some of best friends for the future and good travel buddies! (I’m looking at you, Etaru!)
9. HAVE FUN. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Even if you find yourself not necessarily enjoying the con or it’s a slow day there, check out the area you’re in! 😀
10. Make sure to plan some time the day before you leave to pack up. Remember those lists? They help make sure things don’t get left behind either!

What tips do you guys have for new convention attendees? Please comment below with them! 😀

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Princess Leia from Star Wars Wig Tutorial

This tutorial was created by Jedimanda and like she says in the video, it’s super easy to follow! She teaches how to style a Princess Leia wig, and even links on her YouTube page for the video where to purchase everything!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Club Cosplay Denver Review…. 2!

Club Cosplay Denver has done quite a few events since the first one around Denver Comic Con 2016, and unfortunately, I never got to attend any of the others. I had continued to hear some awesome stuff about the event, so when one was announced on a day I had off… I had to go!

This time, on April 15th, my fiancé and I just decided to show and buy tickets, which were $10 a person (not bad at all) and proceeded inside of the Alchemy Arts and Event Center. This place was EXCEPTIONALLY small in comparison to other locations Club Cosplay has been held at, but hey, it’s how it goes. They had a center stage set up, with some couches around the dance floor and bar area, but it was a decent place for the size. We arrived after everything had started, but the music was a nice selection with several DJs. They had dancers again, who were doing their best to get everyone involved, as were the emcees for the show.

Now, to purchase drinks, you had to buy tickets (4 for $20), which wasn’t the worst idea. However, while they checked ID at the door, they didn’t check ID for alcoholic drinks. While that won’t hurt my feelings, that’s super bad with the way liquor laws work.

There was about… 70 people there, most of which were involved in the event itself. There was at least 8 photographers off and on running around, getting photos and video. The dancers were working their butts off, and they had a guest performer who had a beautiful voice… But screwed up Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. The emcees were both working the crowd and doing well, but the actual guests primarily just interacted with each other, photographers, and event staff.

While I had planned to stick around and watch the costume contest… I chose to leave. It was just very lackluster in comparison to the first one from DCC. We ended up trolling a local bar in costume instead, but it was a decent way to end the evening.

Overall, I still feel the event is a great idea, and the organization struck me as it had gotten better. The performers were still good and the drink prices were better, but there is always a safer way to distribute alcohol (I work security, so I think about these things ; P). The major let down for me was just the event venue itself, with how small it was. The guests being less than interactive didn’t help either. However, I still plan on going to at least one more Club Cosplay event before I can really say I have a final verdict on it all. I missed quite a few, so I can’t judge just based off of the two times I’ve gone. There’s always room for improvements!

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Interview with Steff Von Schweetz

It’s time for another interview, this time with Steff Von Schweetz! She’s a well-known cosplayer from Nevada, who loves playing with fabric to bring characters to life!


Steff Von Schweetz as Vileplume from Pokemon, photo by Flash Photo

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I go by Steff Von Schweetz, which is actually a recent rebranding from my previous cosplay handle, Anti Ai-chan. The previous one was hard to pronounce and no one understood what it meant; so two years ago I decided to rebrand. Steff is my real name but I didn’t feel comfortable putting my last name out on the Internet. I chose Von Schweetz since Vanellope (Wreck-It Ralph) is my favorite Disney character and we have a lot in common.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started cosplaying back in 2003! I’ve always been a fan of dressing up on Halloween and school spirit days. My mom used to make my costumes from scratch; so I could be whomever I wanted. When I discovered that anime conventions existed, along with cosplay, I knew I wanted to try it. Nearly 14 years later and I have yet to stop dressing like a fictional character.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I am very much a fabric person! While I don’t mind working with foam and plastic or even jewelry, there’s just something about working with various fabrics that gets me excited! Haha, I never thought I’d have a favorite fabric either, but I love working with suedes and suiting. I find the textures on suede give a lot of depth to the overall look of a garment while suiting tends to have very rich colors and the blacks are so nice a dark.


Steff Von Schweetz as Winter Soldier from Captain America, photo by Ron Gejon

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I have a costume on my list that has a lot of scaling on it. I’ve actually had the scales now for nearly a year, along with the rest of the fabric for the costume, but haven’t started it. It’s made me nervous because I have no idea what I’m doing with it! So while I’m nervous to start it, I’m also excited to push myself. Hopefully this summer it will get done. Someone please hold me to it!

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Again, because I’ve become a huge fabric nerd over the years, I enjoy when people layer textiles and textures together to make something visually stimulating. I love watching Enayla Cosplay! The level of detailing is insane and her use of fabric is out of this world.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think the cosplay community could use some help. Maybe a wakeup call? I think there’s a lot of negativity and drama that is unneeded and can be sifted out if we all put in some time and effort. I do try to be as positive as I can within the scene though. One person at a time can make all the difference.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Like I mentioned before, there seems to be an uprise in drama and negativity across the board. I think, since cosplay has become more mainstream and trendy there’s been a bit of a switch in how people within the community see each other. There’s always been a healthy amount of competition but now it’s all about gaining followers and growing in popularity. There is nothing wrong with wanting either of those things, but I see more and more people getting into cosplay for just popularity reasons and not with the craft or community in mind. While I obviously can’t speak for anyone but myself, I think a lot of people who have been with the community for several years are frustrated with that kind of mentality. I don’t have an answer to get past the issues that have come up within the community but I think we should all remember that at the end of the day, we are all just nerds in costume.


Steff Von Schweetz as Sonic from One Punch Man, photo by Mangabomb

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Just go for it. It doesn’t matter if you buy it online or make it yourself; it doesn’t matter if you have a social media following already. If it’s something you’re interested in, you should just jump in. If you like it, you can worry about how to sew or improve of things later. If you want to make social media pages dedicated to the hobby, you can do it later. But you’ll never know if you don’t give it a go.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I love Anime LA. It’s a convention I’ve attended multiple times and always come out of it feeling great. The staff is always friendly and Chaz is the sweetest man on the planet and always wants what’s best for his attendees. I love the ribbons you can obtain and I more so love that it started as a way for attendees to meet new people. They provide chairs and beanbags for people to sit on so security won’t hassle them about being on the floor. I hope ALA continues to grow and improve.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
As I mentioned previous, Vanellope is my favorite Disney character; so, when I decided to cosplay her standard I wanted to get in as many details as possible. I purchased the artbook for the movie and it gave me the insight that her sweater is supposed to come across as dirty. So when I got the sweatshirt fleece, I did a number of dye baths to get a teal I liked and then did a quick wash in black dye to get some gritty tones into the fabric.


Steff Von Schweetz as Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph

Thanks for the interview, Steff Von Schweetz! You can check out her Facebook page here, her Instagram here, and her Twitter here!

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Daenerys from Game of Thrones Make-Up Tutorial

This tutorial was created by Carli Bybel, and is pretty easy to follow, especially if you’re a make-up junkie! ;D

Hope this helps! 😀

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Cosplay Melee Episode 1 Review

Ok, guys, after the Heroes of Cosplay mess, I was less than thrilled to hear about another SyFy show about cosplayers coming to the airwaves. I had friends posting they’d be on it, and that it was more like the show Face Off, but I was still very anxious about it.

Holy poop, I was wrong. The show features 4 cosplayers per episode and they construct props for a prompt. One cosplayer gets eliminated, then the final three make a full costume from the prompt. The judges are varied… One’s a super fan, another is a cosplay model, and the last is a studio creator.

I was blown away by the constructive criticism from the judges being actually useful, followed by the actual pieces made by each cosplayer. The fact the winner is congratulated by the other contestants made me ecstatic and tear up. THAT is what I’ve experienced at competitions that has kept me in this community so long. The appreciation and love from others. THAT is what should be shown on television.

While I don’t want to go into a ton of details, as I don’t want to spoil for anyone who has yet to watch the episode… DO IT. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Thanks SyFy, for doing the community right this time. I’ll be looking forward to episode 2!

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Guest Post: Cosplay Time Management by Maridah

This post was originally done on Maridah’s website and blog here! I highly suggest checking out her work and giving her some love! You can see the original post here!

Time management for cosplayers can be a huge challenge. Here’s my tips for staying on track, even if you don’t have a lot of time to work on cosplay.


I’ve balanced full time jobs with cosplay, running a small business, and taking on side jobs with varying levels of success over the years. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about how to be more efficient! These are steps that have helped me stay on track.


Organize your Work Area

Having your supplies and tools accessible will improve your efficiency when working on a project. By cutting down on the time spent looking for things you need, you put more time back into your construction.


Invest in Tools

Having the right tools is important not just for the quality of your costume, but also the speed at which you finish it. If you find yourself routinely making bias tape or ruffles, having tools such as a ruffler foot or a bias tape maker will improve your workflow. Owning rotary cutters can speed up cutting out patterns.


Take Breaks

Take short breaks regularly while working. This will help you avoid burn out and improve focus. (Just don’t take a break doing something that is a time sink!) Give yourself 10 minutes every so often to disconnect from your project. You’ll produce better results by avoiding overworking.


Calendar Out Projects

Using a monthly calendar to chart out deadlines for costumes will allow you to visualize just how much work needs to be done. It also can help you rationalize a realistic timeframe for making something. Writing out notes and estimates on how long you think you need to complete a project will help you make better choices on how many costumes you obligate yourself into to making.


Time Scheduling

Commit to a time block to work on tasks. Sticking to a schedule every week makes projects more manageable. If you set aside 2 hours each night for 5 days a week to work on cosplay, you may be surprised at what you can get done. This is especially critical for those of us who work full time jobs but have an active interest in this hobby.


Use Apps that Help with Planning

There are a number of organizational applications available for smart phones, computers and tablets. Making use of calendars, project planners, and list applications can help you stay on track. The application Cosplanner is one app that is geared towards cosplayers specifically, and contains a number of features that are extremely useful.



Be honest with yourself about what projects are more important to you. Taking on too many costume plans can sabotage all your projects. Many cosplayers will opt into making too many costumes and end up not finishing or not being satisfied with what they make. It is important to consider what projects matter more to you, or you may bite off more than you can chew.


Outline your Goals

Visualize what matters to you, and write those goals down. Make choices on what you work on next with your goals in mind. For example, if you want improve your skill with Worbla, pick a costume with armor to move up your project list. Maybe you want to cosplay something that challenges your sewing skills, helps you break out of your comfort zone, could win best in show at an event, or helps you get more traction online. Any goal is a valid one, so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself when outlying your goals.


Avoid Time Sinks

Imgur or Wikipedia might be really engrossing but allowing hours to slip away online can sabotage your progress. Identifying time sinks that do not benefit you is important. Cutting out behavior that wastes time helps you work towards your goals.


Balancing life with cosplay construction isn’t easy if you work long hours or have a demanding schedule. You won’t be a superstar at scheduling and time management every week, but if you pace yourself and prioritize it is possible to do more with what time you have.


Best of luck on your projects! ❤
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