Posts Tagged ‘costumes’

Adventures in Leather Costumery (or, a comedy of construction errors)

Let’s start with the obligatory finished-product shot:

The finished product

The finished product

So this all started when I’d been thinking about picking up a new hobby (ostensibly to make some leather bits for my own costume this year) and Patricia mentioned an idea she had for a monstrumologist costume. What she came up with was something that could do bandolier duty, but go with the awesome khaki safari jacket and pith helmet at the same time. After a little digging, I came up with an old fashioned Sam Browne belt, onto which we could always strap other accouterments.

Sam Browne belt

Old school Czech military uniform, looking super dapper.

It’s a belt, two-tongued buckle, over-the-shoulder strap, and a little hardware. Can’t be that hard, right? (Famous
last words)

Here’s how it all came together…

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Halloween 2013!!!!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post about Halloween! As you probably already know, it’s my favorite holiday! I love planning and making a costume, dressing up, and running around like a crazy person after dark. Candy’s nice too. Unfortunately after becoming an adult, Halloween has lost some of its appeal. An adult running around like a crazy person in a costume after dark is generally considered creepy for whatever reason, so I’ve had to restrict myself to halloween parties and greeting our nonexistent trick-or-treaters. Here is what I wore this year!

Princess Bubblegum in science mode!!

Princess Bubblegum in science mode!!

If you don’t know who Princess Bubblegum is, you should probably be watching more Adventure Time. Princess Bubblegum is ruler of the Candy Kingdom, and also an accomplished scientist. Possibly mad scientist. Sometimes she creates zombie hordes by accident:

Who else am I supposed to be with pink hair? Plus, I already owned a lab coat (remember how I’m a master of science? It’s weird that I keep having to remind you). All I needed to do was make the crown, get some safety goggles, carry around a clipboard with SCIENCE written on it, and make a name badge for myself. Here’s a close up:

Handy when people inevitably didn't know who I was

Handy when people inevitably didn’t know who I was

Not that I didn’t have other options. Target had a particularly good hat selection this year:





Steven went to work in his costume, so opted for something it wouldn’t be uncomfortable to wear all day over something totally awesome:

He is handy with the white duct tape and scissors, though

He is handy with the white duct tape and scissors, though

I already can’t wait for next year!!!

BronyCon: Day 3

The last day of BronyCon!! I already knew we were probably going to leave before the official end at 7pm because of the 9 hour drive back, but our day ended up being even shorter than I anticipated. I think we were both kind of tired.

But, don’t worry, I still had plenty of time for science observation:

There was also a moment, right before the writer’s panel started, where I can only guess that I was starting to assimilate:

Security pony? Really? In my defense, they were wearing shirts with the show’s royal guards on them:

In Equestria, there’s apparently a strict only-blue-hair guard hiring policy

But they did end up having to guard us from something after all!!

I was too busy evacuating the area in a calm manner, but Steven stopped to take some pictures

Some blurry pictures, but you get the idea

Along with everyone else

BurnyCon: My Little Pyro: Fire is Magic

But eventually they got everyone to evacuate outside. We didn’t know how long we would have to wait or what the schedule would be like when/if the con started up again. So we decided to start our journey a little earlier than expected. Luckily, it wasn’t as terrible as the drive up, but it wasn’t entirely without incident:

It’s a legitimate fear. Do you tip them? How much? Why do they exist still? I will probably never understand. New Jersey is a strange, strange place, you guys.

Also, an awful place. Did I mention that?

But, we made it home okay, at like 9pm instead of 2am like I had been anticipating. What a fun trip!! Although…

Just a hunch, but I think Klimpaloons rock at karaoke

Previously: BronyCon Day 2

BronyCon: Day 2

Day 2 of our trip was the first day of the convention!!! Super exciting!! At first, some of my wariness from the night before lingered:

But luckily it was short-lived:

It was super easy and fun to be a scientist! First, because I am one, no matter what lies Dr. Dodds tells you, and second because I was totally dressed for it:

Daring Do, like Indiana Jones, is probably at least nominally a scientist, right?

So I spent the rest of the trip giving Live Science coverage! Which, like most science, consisted of extrapolating from limited data and guessing at statistics. Science!!!!

Steven also looked super awesome because he found a way to also dye his mustache rainbow colors!

Sorry, ladies, he’s taken

All you have to do is paint it with washable Elmer’s school glue, wait for that to dry, and then paint it with washable kids’ paint! The glue layer gives the paint something to cling to, but since they’re both washable, it came right off at the end of the day with just water. It hardened to a prickly consistency Steven likened to a “rainbow Christmas wreath”, but as long as he was a little careful how he ate lunch, it stayed on great!

Here is a full costume shot:

Yeah, applique butt tattoo!!

Here’s the front of the convention center before they opened the doors:

And another:

The big red truck was pretty cool. The side of it had rotating ads and art, and it played My Little Pony music, both from the show and fan made.

Taken later in the day, when I needed a break from the polite but persistent crowds

I’ve seen every episode of this show at least twice, but I was still way out of my depth. At one point, everyone started singing along to a song I had never even heard before. I guess it was one of the many fan made character theme songs, and somehow everyone but me knew all of the words. It’s okay, as a scientist, I’m used to be an outside observer. Here are some science facts I discovered:

I even think this estimate might be a little too conservative, but when you take into account guys in college, Steven was probably one of the oldest fans there! Weird! A lot of the high school guys had brought their parents, so I always had somewhat baffled sitting companions on the outside steps.

Then, at lunch, I remembered the first rule of science:

I mean, I DO have an MS degree.


The afternoon went much better after that, especially since the last presentation of the day was from a clinical psychologist about his giant ongoing Brony Study!!! Click the link if you want to take the survey (for bronies and non-bronies alike) and further amazing pony and fandom science!

Give me a chi square value at the beginning of anything and my heart will just melt a little.

Sorry it’s not a better picture; we were sitting about halfway back, by a speaker for maximum listening comprehension

It was an interesting, though perhaps too wordy PowerPoint presentation about brony demographics and motivations as compared with the general population. Both scientists were wearing lab coats, and whenever the audience would clap for something, they’d look vaguely annoyed, like “Stop interrupting me, class, I’m trying to teach you something.” It was definitely my favorite thing we saw. Is that sad? NO THAT IS SCIENCE


Next: BronyCon Day 3
Previously: BronyCon Day 1

BronyCon: Costumes

Along with 3750 other people, we’re going to BronyCon this weekend!!!

In case you’re not from the Internet, bronies are older-than-the-intended-demographic (usually 20-something male) fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Here is an article from The Washington Post explaining the brony phenomenon!! It’s the one with the least amount of baffled condescension I could find. Also, there’s a library in it!

At some point–I’m not sure when this happened–Steven went from watching this show with me to becoming an enthusiastic member of the brony community. At one point a few weeks ago he told me he was “worried I’ll run out of fanfiction to read”. Middle School Patricia screamed “HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???” but 25-year-old Patricia just said, “Well, clears you should write some of your own”. Yeah, it’s a little bit strange–that so many guys would give this show a chance. I’m not surprised that they like it once they watch it; it’s hilarious and clever and self-aware without compromising its message. I’m also ecstatic that so many bronies feel comfortable owning it, because I think it represents a really great change in gender dynamics. If girls can like monster trucks and superhero movies, there’s no reason guys can’t like adorable ponies learning about the magic of friendship. But if your preconceived notions of masculinity make you uncomfortable with this, whatever, haters gonna hate, that’s not what I’m talking about today.

What I’m talking about is costumes!!!! When Steven first brought up the idea of going to this convention, I was a little skeptical. I’ve never been to a convention, and it’s in New Jersey. But then I remember conventions=costumes and FINALLY A CHANCE TO USE MY SKILLZ!!!! It is basically validation of all the time I waste playing around with fabric and modge podge and reading tutorials about freezer paper stenciling. “Some day this will be useful,” I lied to myself. SURPRISE, TODAY IS THAT DAY!

Steven decided to go as Rainbow Dash:

Because she is 20% cooler

She’s an athlete, the fastest flyer in Ponyville and the only pegasus to ever perform the Sonic Rainboom. Since we live only a few minutes from UNC, it was pretty easy to find him a t-shirt and workout shorts in that color blue. And of course yesterday he did this:

Of course he picks when we’re leaving Carrboro to finally join its ranks of wacky-looking folk

I decided to go as Daring Do, an Indiana Jones parody from Rainbow Dash’s favorite book series:

I mean, mostly for the hat, yeah

Luckily, I already have some explorer cargo pants and hiking boots! Sorry, I’m not dyeing my hair gray and black.

We’re assembling the rest of these costumes kind of quickly through trial and error! Stay tuned.

How to Have the Best Wedding Ever!

I got married!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the secret to having the best wedding ever (since I am clears an expert now): Don’t even bother being confined by a wedding checklist developed by an industry designed to trick you into needlessly parting with your money! You should really just think about what you want, what you would want if you had never had the traditional wedding crammed down your throat since you were six, and then just do whatever that is! I’m not against spending money, just against spending it on things you don’t care about. Like anything that isn’t cupcakes. Here are some examples:

The Ceremony
Ceremonies are boring, so my first idea was not having one at all! Skip straight to the party!! That idea made my mom sad, though, and Steven also wanted at least a little ceremony, so we decided to plan the most low key, fun, personal one possible. And we decided to only invite our immediate families, because they’re the ones that care the most anyway, right? Plus, having such a small, small ceremony gave us a lot more freedom when deciding location, timing, and even how the ceremony would go.

The next most important decision was who should marry us? Of course the answer is Rachel Kinney!!!!!!

Exhibit A: Rachel Kinney

She did such a great job! She’s in divinity school right now, so it was not that weird of a request, plus she was the one who set us up on our first date so it was pretty much perfect! We talked about how it should go beforehand; I think my exact instructions to her were “You say something, and then I’ll say something, and then Steven will say something, rings, MARRIED!” And that’s pretty much how it went. It was so awesome to have such a personalized ceremony, which basically just meant telling funny stories about each other! Instead of the usual “lawfully wedded wife” business, we got “Do you Steven take Patricia as your wife, best friend, and perpetual partner in crime?”

Spoiler Alert: he said yes

As you can see, the park we had it at was really pretty (and renting the nearby shelter was only $25 for the day, proving that venue costs don’t have to totally suck), and since the ceremony–even with giving every single person present a chance to say something–was mega short, there was lots of time to play on the equipment!!

Rachel is a spider monkey!!!

Wheeeeee!!!!! Who cares if my dress gets dirty? It was $60!!!

Also, the park has a tank.

A wedding tank

The Dress

As a bride, I know I am supposed to be absolutely obsessed with my clothes/hair/shoes/whatever. But the only thing I am really all about are the shoes:

Because, come on, I basically win at life

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Harry Potter Costumes!

Steven and I had an entire dinner-long discussion about what costumes to wear to the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie! Since this is potentially my last chance to dress as a Harry Potter character in a public place and not have people look at me like I’m a freak, I really wanted to do something cool. Of course, I also had limited time and resources, so here’s what I came up with:

Moaning Myrtle!

I was super happy with this costume because I assembled it for pretty much the cost of a toilet seat! The tie and white shirt are both Steven’s, and the sweater vest was $2 on clearance at target. It looked very different when I bought it, but I was able to cut off the sleeves and ridic neckline. The cloak I already owned from my highschool RenFest years, and the skirt (not pictured) I made myself out of some grayish fabric and a shoelace! Exciting!!!

Clearly there was only one character to choose for Steven, given his hair situation:

Sirius Black!!! Unfortunately he didn't make Crazy Gary Oldman faces the whole time

This costume was even easier since it was essentially just poster board and some extra large women’s pajamas I got on clearance and then cut up and resewed messily in places to give them a “just escaped from prison” look.

Megan went with us too! She dressed as “Harry and Hermione’s love child” which we named Herry Harmione Potter. Her wand really lit up when you flicked it which was super cool!

I like this picture because my hand looks like I might be turning into a ghost!!

For some reason we thought taking pictures AFTER the movie at 4 in the morning was a really great idea, which led to this picture that I now am at a loss to explain:

Possibly I decided that was some kind of ghost gang sign

Yay for homemade costumes!!

Wedding Planning: I Don’t Know Why It Gets a Bad Rap

Okay, I do. I can see how it would be way stressful if you were planning something big and fancy with lots of important details and things you can’t control like the weather. But if it rains on my wedding, the ten of us at the ceremony will just stand under umbrellas. Since I was planning on wearing flip-flops anyway I don’t envision myself freaking out.

The most trying decision I will probably have to make is what costume to wear to the amazing Halloween party we are having in celebration at my house afterwards. For guests, costumes are optional (but awesome!) but Steven and I of course will take any excuse to dress up and we’re thinking of matching somehow. Here are some ideas I’ve already had:

1. Pirates
Dressing as pirates would have some precedent, since it was “how we met” (here is why that has to be in quotes), and is always fun. Plus, Steven suggested we could up the ante by dressing as STEAMPUNK pirates, which would be even more exciting.

I am a fan of tradition. Especially pirate tradition.

2. Princess Bride
My favorite costumes are literary characters being, you know, a librarian. Plus, Steven seems really into wearing one of those puffy shirts.

Of course, if I could get a ridic crown it would be my top choice

However, I’m not sure I am as into any of Buttercup’s dresses. Or just the idea of wearing a big fancy dress in general. How am I supposed to hop around playing Rock Band in that? Yeah, Rock Band requires hopping. You haven’t seen how great I am at it.

3. Paper Bag Princess
This is something I thought of recently, based one of my favorite books ever, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.

I don't know why feminism is not all over this book

Basically, Elizabeth’s beautiful clothes and jewels and castle are all burned down by a dragon, who prince-naps Prince Ronald, who she’s going to marry. So she puts on the only thing she can find, a paper bag, and goes off to save him. She outwits the dragon with her cleverness, but then decides, when her prince is like “ELIZABETH, WHAT are you WEARING?” that he is a jerk and she doesn’t need him anyway. Now that I think about it, Elizabeth the Paper Bag Princess has maybe been my secret role model all my life. Anyway, I could TOTALLY make an awesome dress out of paper bags. A bunch of people have done it out of newspaper and paper bags are more durable! Steven could be the dragon! I outwit him all the time, and we all know Steven is all about dragons! It would be perfect. This is maybe my favorite choice so far.

My mom told me that when she told a few people about my wedding plans they said, “You must be so disappointed!” I think she responded, as I would have, “How could I be disappointed with SHEER AWESOME?” Those people are just being Prince Ronald and are no fun. I’m going to steal some paper bags from the grocery store next week and practice!

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