Anne Boleyn upgrades!

Charmedseed’s Anne Boleyn-style initial necklaces come in lots of colors and styles. You have your choice of pearls (Swarovski or freshwater) and metals (brass, copper, silvertone, or sterling silver… and coming soon, gold-plated!). Every necklace includes an extender chain so you can adjust the length to fit any ensemble effortlessly!


Copper J with Swarovski crystals.

Request a custom order at Etsy and have something made just for you!

Vote Now!

Please vote for me for Accessories Designer of the Year at the RAWards! I could go on to LA to compete for the national title and some great business-growing opportunities!

There’s ONE WEEK to vote and you can vote once a day!

Just visit my RAW Artist profile page! Voting is completely FREE!

Heroes of Cosplay, Episodes 3 & 4

I have to consolidate my comments of the last two episodes as I had the CRAPPIEST WEEK EVER last week and I nearly died.  Okay, that was an exaggeration – but only barely.  (FYI, during the day I masquerade as an elementary computer technology teacher… that’s right, I herd kids all day!  On computers even!)

Episode 3 was a great comeback after the conflict of Episode 2 – at least in social media.  Watching the struggles with props and costume-laden travel was again painfully real – not some of my favorite memories.  I hope they might be a warning tale to new cosplayers, haha!

Not only that, but watching the conflict and struggles between friends and coworkers when working together and “against” each other.  I like to believe cosplayers are never really working against each other.  I’ve done competitions with and against friends, as well as entirely alone and on my own.  Each one has it’s own challenges and perks.

OMG the PROPS.  It was heartbreaking when Rebecca’s little car didn’t make the trip.  It’s happened to nearly everyone.  The challenges of traveling with costumes LITERALLY follow cosplayers everywhere.

What struck me the most about #3 was how much dedication, passion, and love for their characters each of the cosplayers had.  This has always been a major motivational point for me, so I identified with that aspect in a powerful way.

Episode 4 was more tough stuff.  First, the fun stuff – OMFG Guillermo del Toro!  I have no aspirations to work in costuming or Hollywood, but that was a really awesome opportunity!  And Monika’s interview at Blizzard was another great opportunity.  I loved seeing the potential for people to be using their experience in cosplay to create careers and achieve dreams.  It’s absolutely possible.

I was both hurting for and proud of Rebecca.  To hear such a backhanded refusal to work together from someone you admire – and an unfair assumption, to boot – is heartbreaking.  It made me sad to hear Monika say what she did; it reminds me of when I was much younger.  I admit to having similar and unfortunate attitudes in years past, though I don’t think I would have phrased them so bluntly.  I’ve learned since then that everyone has skill, potential, and is worth working with.

But for Rebecca to come back, talking to Holly like she did, she got the best advice: do what you love, do it with people who love you, and have fun.  I expect to see her go forward and enjoy herself more than anyone else thanks to that attitude.

And one last bit… take care of your body and health when in cosplay!

I admit it…

I’ve been a miserable blogger.  So what do I do?  Start another blog!

Actually, it’s for a reason.  I’ve been diagnosed with labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection that causes hearing loss and debilitating vertigo.  I’ve been missing work frequently and am preparing to take a leave of absence in order to address the symptoms, hopefully start therapy, and get a good foothold in managing the disease.  Like a lot of chronic illnesses, labyrinthitis is never really cured, but can be managed successfully.

If you’re at all interested in following this completely different aspect of my existence, please join me over at Icarus Falling.  Thanks.

Sandy Hook Elementary School

There is so little to say right now other than how horrified and hurting we all are.  As a teacher, I want to remind everyone that those staff that were involved… I can guarantee you they did everything possible to take care of their students, their children.  They may not be our children by birth, but we love them as much, if somewhat differently.

Please love a teacher today.  Events like these hurt us in such a personal way.  If you are a parent and you remove your child from school today, please give their teacher a hug.  They’ll need it.

Please remember, love, support, and pray for the children, families, staff, and community of Newtown, CT.

The wedding crafts!

It’s been nearly five months that Nick and I have been married, and it’s been just lovely!  We had a marvelous summer, really enjoyed seeing our family and spending lots of time relaxing.

While looking through photos today, I realized that there was so much DIY at the wedding, and I would love to share them!  Please enjoy!

Our programs, created with just Microsoft Word!  I went with a ‘hotdog’ fold rather than a ‘hamburger’ fold for a different approach.
Our beautiful baby’s breath bouquets, lovingly made by my mother.  I was banned from working on these after messing up the first one.  =p
66The men of the wedding party wore navy calla lilies wrapped in printed paper and copper wire. 113The collection of vases, bottles, and votive holders that made up many of our table-toppers.  The large vases are actually just PVC pipe mod-podged with paper!
I’m particularly proud of our little Han and Leia cake toppers, painted by me!
Our welcome table with more accessories, our custom pencils, and our sign-in book from Shutterfly.
My handmade earrings, showing the touch of teal throughout the wedding.
Our own special Reistling, bottled by my parents especially for the event!  I made the label.

A friend in need…

If you were around the anime con scene in the 90s and 00s, you probably met Kevin Lillard.  He probably took your picture, if you were a cosplayer.  If you had a website back then, you probably watched A Fan’s View like a hawk for days after a convention.  Kevin was a fixture in the community for years.  He is a genuinely wonderful person and a joy to be around.  Nothing buoyed my spirit at a con more than seeing Kevin walking toward me in full photographers regalia.

Kevin was a newspaper writer and photographer as well, in his daily life.  As newspapers have begun to fail, he was one of the many journalists who were laid off.  And it’s taken its toll.

When you live in your car in an abandoned parking lot along a major interstate highway, you see interesting traffic from time to time. Around 8 a.m., eastbound sirens announced the approach of police traffic,led by a plain white box van with a large door on the left side, followed closely by an armed personnel carrier. It took a moment before I recognized the two vehicles, which I had seen on the streets during my now-ended career a s a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. I saw those same two vehicles downtown a couple of years ago when covering a so-called bomb threat involving a man who had left a backpack next to what was then the police department’s downtown district headquarters. The white box van carries the police department’s tactical robot so the small convoy must have been headed to a SWAT call out.

I’m in he same position of life as the street person whose backpack led to that fuss of years ago. Out of work and out of money, I’ve been living in my car for the last month, spending days at a nearby library, sending out mostly ignored online job applications. Already there’s no money to buy food and the last things to eat were some peanuts from a vending machine at the Anderson newspaper where I had my last job interview. I spent my last change to make a 50-cent call at a pay phone hoping to speak to a recruiter and reached only voice mail. The car where I’ve been living started running out of fuel on the way to the library and I barely got there. With no money there will be no fuel and no way to go from place to place. Even if there is another job offer there will be no way to get there,with no money and no fuel. Unless there’s some sort of miracle,this is the end of any hopes I had. All of the prayers have been answered with messages of failure. This is where we have learned what God really wants.”

This heart wrenching post came from Kevin’s Facebook today and sparked a movement to help save one of our dearest friends in the cosplay community.  If you have anything to spare, please give Kevin a hand by donating via PayPal, courtesy of ACP or sharing any resources for support you may have in the Indiana area by filling out this GoogleDocs form, courtesy of Soni.

Our community is amazing!

Cosplay on Facebook!

I have finally joined the rest of the planet in the 21st century and created a Facebook page for costuming.  I would be delighted to link up with other cosplay pages on FB, so come on over!  See you there!