just plain sara: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beyonce Covers Ebony Magazine

I know I'm late with this but I just had to post these pics of Beyonce looking "Sasha Fierce" on the upcoming issue of Ebony magazine. I always loved Beyonce with the big, curly and bouncy hair - makes for a refreshing change, although she looks great however she wears her hair. I love how Ebony covers are always on point. I haven't seen them make anyone look bad yet... Exhibit A & Exhibit B.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Henson arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'Eagle Eye' at the Mann's Grauman Chinese Theatre on September 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
First of all I have to congratulate Ms. Henson on a phenomenal year, especially the last couple of months. She will always be known as an "Academy-nominated" actress. The rising star has shone on both the big screen and the red carpet and it's about time she got the attention she deserves. I picked this red carpet style to spotlight because I recently bought a slightly shorter version of this dress online and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Taraji wore it late last year. The ruffles and v-shaped slit at the front make this dress another fail-safe staple for any party girl's wardrobe. See below for tips on how to steal this look.

Steal Taraji's Style

Above: Ruffle-Sleeve Sheath Dress, $49.50, www.alloy.com
Heels: Nine West Rocha, $59.99, www.piperlime.com
Clutch: Faceted Square Clutch, $16.80, www.forever21.com
Bangles: Gold Metal Bangle Set, $40, www.topshop.com

This is Alloy.com's cheaper (and very good quality) alternative to Taraji's Black Halo ruffle dress which is currently selling for $345 at Saks Fifth Avenue. I have this dress and whenver I wear it people compliment me. It is VERY flattering on women with curves and the material is stretchy. It fits like a Herve Leger dress - which is saying something! Pair this dress with statement jewelry and killer heels for a show-stopping look!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kids' Comic Art Classes in NJ

There's a flyer at Comic Fusion which caught my attention. I think this is such a great idea to get kids started in drawing:

Instructor Charles David Viera
Mr. Viera is an artist and former colorist for Defiant Comics. He has also taught at Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design in New York and the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey.

Date: Eight Tuesdays, 2/24 - 4/14
Time: 5:45 PM - 6:45 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 8 - 10
Cost: $108 includes materials

Students learn to draw their favorite comic and cartoon characters and create their own characters with many of the techniques used by the pros. Creating facial expressions and other storytelling techniques are also included in this fun class. Students work with pencil and ink.

Date: Eight Tuesdays, 2/24 - 4/14
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Arboretum
Ages: 11 - 15
Cost: $120 includes materials

Students improve their drawing and story telling skills while recreating there favorite cartoon, comic book and anime characters. Using the same penciling and inking techniques as the pros, each student creates their own characters and stories that are compiled into a printed comic book.

Photoshoot Preparations

Today I'm meeting with a photographer for the first time to discuss doing an entire series of superhero photos for him and I to share in our portfolios. If you aren't familiar, that's called a Trade For Print (TFP) usually; sometimes, Trade For something else like CD just to be specific. He's not paying me to model and I'm not paying him for the pictures. We can use the shots in our portfolios or whatever we discuss. For me, I have his permission to use them as part of my publicity for the charity work and store appearances that I do. I've contacted a make-up artist too for a similar trade on days when I have an event and hopefully her schedule will allow for it.

Since I honestly have no idea what I'm doing in regard to modeling, I'm looking to this photographer Rob Gardner (Boonton, NJ) to guide me throughout the process. For today's prep he asked me to bring fabric samples in because he's interested in doing more than just a stark white backdrop so he's going to examine the colors and come up with different backgrounds. We're going to plan out colors and even scenarios for action shots utilizing his friend as a stand-in street thug.

I remember my college days going through the Fine Arts building and seeing the fashion students' exhibits. They had cards with their sketches and swatches of fabric so I created my own version of that with any of the materials from my suits that I could get my from my bottomless pit of leftover fabric. I used Hallmark blank greeting cards to put through my printer; set my printer to "Best" quality in the properties; created a MS Publisher document with photo, name of suit, list of fabrics; taped the fabric to the card because staples would screw up the fact that I've double-sided these. Since I did double-side the cards, I could have fit up to 8 costumes but I only did my 6 favorites.

If you don't make your costumes yourself, ask the designer to send swatches either in advance or with your finished product; sometimes this is a nominal fee like $3-5 usually just to cover postage if it's in advance.

Here's an example of what the design cards look like:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jayne hat auctioned!

The California Browncoats have details on the sale of one of the actual on-screen Jayne hats from Firefly. Almost $5,000 was raised for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation and was donated by the man himself, Mr. Adam Baldwin.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Dreamation Gaming Con coverage

Ron and I had the opportunity to spend half of Saturday at a nearby gaming con called Dreamation. Everything from Monopoly to Arkham Horrors and LARPing was experienced. We've got several different interviews posted at YouTube -- and some NYCC coverage as well.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Say We?... Yay or Nay

Estelle arrives for the Brit Awards 2009 at Earls Court on February 18, 2009 in London, England.

What do we think? I'm on the proverbial fence. While on the one hand I adore the shape of this dress, puffy sleeves and all, on the other I think there may be a little too much "detail" on there. She looks like a christmas tree that was decorated by a bunch of hyperactive toddlers coming off a sugar high. I will let it slide this time. Afterall she is wearing fab heels. YAY!!

2009 Costume Focus

As one of my fellow Heroes pointed out on the League of Heroes, sometimes our wish lists get so out of control we lose focus on what costumes we really need to make for the year. In reality, I don't "need" to make any but I'm addicted and trying to maintain a balance with the growth of my super wardrobe and my checkbook.

That being said, I'm still hoping to find the necessary patterns or items for modification in order to get a suitable Golden Age Miss Masque. My convention schedule is pretty light this year as I'm more inclined to be at local events. Since Dragon*Con is the only reason I'd need the Miss Masque for the Golden Age gathering, it all hinges on whether or not I can get all the funds together for it.

Keeping up with the steampunk community is another reason that my wardrobe is expanding. While I'm taking it VERY slowly, every little addition helps but requires mods of some sort, even if just a repainting or adding clockwork gears. Since I've gotten a love for the steamy side of things and the constant love of comics, I'm going to try and craft a steampunk Green Lantern for myself and then a traditional but original GL for my dearest. I'm going to need a lot of help on those! People have convincedme that the portable "ring charger battery" device should be a back-mounted pack rather than a dainty arm band device. I have no construction skills so we'll see what I come up with after I get some cash to visit the local hobby shop.

Finally, I'm one step into the process for bringing Athena Voltaire to life. That's right, Steve, I said it! Everyone was trying to convince that making the jacket would be "so easy" and well, I just don't think so. I found something suitable but not nearly perfect on ebay. It's a start. An adventurer/aviatrix is waiting to be born.

Prepping for FCBD '09

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Artistic AYA Happy Hour

On Friday, February 13th, while NYC designers vie for the attention of masses, Artistic AYA will celebrate DC’s burgeoning fashion forward set during a private happy hour. If you're ahead of the curve, you'll already be aware of the emerging designer talent in the District. If not, be sure to be part of the pack this Friday. Visit www.artisticaya.com for more information

What: Shop and view Artistic AYA’s new pieces, rare sale selection, and bespoke options. Enjoy brownies and bubbles while sampling high-art craftsmanship and multi-culti edge.
Why: Because Artistic AYA is DC’s best kept fashion secret.
When: Friday, February 13 from 6-8PM
Where: Personal Residence 1322B 10th Street NW

Please RSVP to ayanna@artisticaya.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama Covers VOGUE

It's finally here! Michelle Obama's VOGUE photos (some of them anyway) have been released for early review. The First Lady apparently wore all J. Crew items from their upcoming Fall line - but don't bother rushing to their site, these clothes are not even in stores yet. J. Crew's head stylist assisted on the shoot and Mrs. Obama was very involved in the final style choices. You can read the full article here, but the issue won't hit stands until Tuesday, February 17th. Some are saying the cover isn't all that fabulous but I think it is down-to-earth and appropiate for the times. We all know if she was decked out in couture, folks would have something to say about how "insensitive" it is of her to flaunt her wealth. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NYCC: video recaps

I separated Gaming, Artwork, Costuming and Experiences into their own videos. Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Interviews from NYCC

First is with Joseph Michael Linser, comic book creator; second with Amber Benson, actress/writer/director.

More video footage to come of costumes at the Con!

NYCC news coverage

Toon Zone News
Anime Jutsu - tons of nice photos here from Sat & Sun
New York Daily News - nice slide show here

Edit - added 17-Feb-09

Just found io9's coverage. Here's a link to their superhero section but they have many different sections with photos.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NYCC Day 3

It's 10pm and I'm still uploading photos. They haven't even been edited in any way. I have a couple of videos to work on. That will be for tomorrow when I skip pilates - yeah, all weekend on my feet 2 days of which were heels - I can skip a workout.

I got to choke hold Amanda Conner again; got interviewed; watched my friends eat the dirty water hot dogs on a dare; and best of all met & interviewed Amber Benson who I believe is one of the most beautiful women on the planet and sweet as can be in person.

I'm so tired!

NYCC Day 2

After not sleeping at all Friday night, by 5pm Saturday when the Marvel costume contest ended, I was literally wiped out. I could no longer see out of the firey contacts and my feet were so beyond done with the 4" heels. We didn't stick around and got home where I fell asleep at 8pm on the couch.

It was a truly amazing day where I did in fact, get to meet up with Iceman and Spider-man!

The best part about this con - ok to be honest there were 3 "best parts" - I got to meet Seth Green, and Amber Benson; but I also knew people this time so even all the times I was separated from my party I was surrounded by people I consider friends like Belle Chere, Jerry, AddieCat and of course Jill the Nerdy Bird.

I don't have much to report in the way of news coverage; to be honest, once I met Seth Green on Saturday (and never believing I'd get to meet Amber Benson) the con was over and I was happy. I didn't care about panels, signings or anything else.

You know what my new desktop wallpaper is. Now if I only I could meet the elusive creature known by the name of Troy Hickman......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

NYCC Day 2 - Firestar is ready

I'm all ready for today. I got about 45-55 minutes of sleep even though we home at a very reasonable 8:30 pm. I'm just too nervous about the potential people that I want to meet and interview.

Yesterday, I was happy to discover the theatrical contact lenses booth. I never wanted to order online because I had questions, not to mention the con prices are much better. I'm so glad I stopped by there and splurged on a treat for today's Firestar costume. I have fire contacts in. Sure, might not be comic book accurate but they look cool.

Because of the mask being the way, I actually have to use a strip of toupee tape under the front of the wig to keep it in place. I think more people will recognize me today and not confuse me for a manga or goth character. Although, now that I think about it, I guess since Rumor was created and designed by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, I guess she is rather goth.

See you there! Oh and it's supposed to be in the 40s today! Funny to think that's good news.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pics - Day 01

I'm wiped out and Monk is on, so I don't have time to write. Here's a couple pics from today.

I call this second one, "Cheesecake Guardian" instead of Twilight Guardian showing some skin, or at least attempting to.

Heading to Comic Con!

Yes, I will be at New York Comic Con today through Sunday!

Today see me as Troy Hickman's Twilight Guardian and the Umbrella Academy's Rumor.

Saturday I'll be debuting my Marvel Firestar costume from Spider-man and His Amazing Friends.

Sunday is for DC's Power Girl.

See you there!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Dr. Horrible costume leads

This Dr. Horrible website now has it's own "Costumes" section! Check it out to see their recommendations for the mad scientist lab coat, the goggles and more. It appears to be the "official" fan site while the actual official Whedon site is http://drhorrible.com/

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Firestar's accessories

Miss Lion is ready to accompany Angelica to New York Comic-Con next weekend! Say it with me, "FIRESTAR!"

Lantern Corps Tee mod

The Green Lantern and GL Corps comics are currently DC's best mainstream line and they have been for over a year. Sometimes when spin-offs occur things just get bad. Adding to the spectrum does not always make for good storytelling (anyone else remember Rainbow Superman?). However in the case of the Lanterns, their new color energies have given a boost to the already dominate series.

The Rage/Red Lanterns are worse than the Sinestro Corps (Yellow/Fear); the Star Sapphires/Violet Lanterns believe that with enough love any criminal can be rehabilitated (they may be foolish but they're hot); and the Blue Lanterns can take Hope and charge the Green Lanterns with more energy as they try to establish Universal peace.

The Red Lantern Corps T-shirts hit the market and are pretty cool: bright red with a simple logo very similar to most the GL shirts you see. Sinestro Corps shirts are a mustard gold which aren't too bad considering they could have been sunshine yellow. The Star Sapphires just came out and I expected the shirts to be pink like the costumes in the comics. Don't argue with me - they are hot pink not violet! So because they are called Violet Lanterns, the Tees are actually deep purple and don't at all resemble their comic book counterparts. The Blue ones coming out in April are called "indigo" but are really bright blue - however in the comics, they are colored as bright blue.

I took the sleeves from my Umbrella Academy shirt and repurposed them to VL Tee. Then I marked up where I wanted to cut so that I could create a design that felt like a comic book costume. I was going for the John Stewart "pointed" look but alas, I feel I fell short and created something more like "cheerleader."

What started out solid purple, now looks like this: