just plain sara: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Wonder Woman Pics

Check out my new Wonder Woman pics by Trevor Harmon of Harmony Photo. They're all in my Myspace album "Harmony Photo LLC".

Spiderman Art Auction (source: Newsarama)

Just got the 411 from the Hero Initiative of some interesting news:

Artist Josh Medors has been struggling with cancer for awhile, with groups like the Hero Initiative and BOOM! Studios helping whenever it could. But this story is even more amazing: Josh’s condition has brought a new artist into the fold — his 10-year-old son, Garth. Garth’s favorite artist is David Finch, and so when his father was able to obtain a printed blue line of Spider-Man, Garth began what hopefully will be a long stretch of inking.


So the story continues: Garth’s first instinct: to put the art online to benefit his father’s cause. “This is the first time Garth has showed any interest in art,” Josh wrote the Hero Initiative. “After Garth finished inking the piece he came to me and said ‘Mom I want to put it up for auction to help Dad fight his cancer.’” You can check it out here — but if there’s a Right Reason for art… this is it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

HALO armor - tips from the 405th

MDA results

Our little nerdy team raised $1,070 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association! Not too shabby considering the grand total raised was $110,000! Thanks to Jill, the real Nerdy Bird, for organizing our team and doing all the promotions she does to help the cause.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Please consider donating


Blue Lotus costume finished

I was happy to unload one of my practice pieces to a friend in Tech Support who happened to be in need of a new supersuit. It just so happened that her character Blue Lotus wears light blue and white which is what I had used when drafting a design for Rogue. With an official Tech Support patch added to the chest and a new blue cloak, Blue Lotus is ready to go. I can't wait to get pictures from her modeling the entire ensemble.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Animal Totem Fashions - Catwoman Strikes!

A couple of days ago, Trend de la Creme highlighted the trend of ravens & crows being used in today's fashion. Today's article has feline inspirations featured:


If any of those runway models knew their cat-eared knit caps were really inspired by the manga Chobits look, they'd run to wash the nerd germs off their scrawny bodies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

FBCC Winner!

While I'm extremely happy to have won the Facebook virtual comic con costume contest, I think the only reason I did is because there were only 7 entries. I am really blown away that Firestar has gotten such recognition for being a lovable character and for the effort I put into the costume.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beyonce Covers Vogue Magazine

Isn't this wonderful? Vogue has put Beyonce on the April 2009 issue of Vogue magazine making it two black women to be featured consecutively on the cover (last month was Michelle Obama). Look out for Bey on the cover of the iconic magazine's annual 'shape' issue looking nothing short of fabulous. The headline you'll notice reads, "Real Women Have Curves" - does this mean that Vogue is making a conscious effort to include more realistic images of women amongst its pages? I doubt it. But this is a nice gesture. Be sure to pick up your copy when it comes out next month.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Caico likes to help

I forgot to include this image with the Rogue post.

X-Men's Rogue v. 2.0

My very first superhero costume was a Rogue suit which I had commissioned. It was okay but I had hoped for better. It wasn't exactly the right shades of green or yellow that I wanted and the color blocking was done in a way that looked like it been pieced together with scraps or at best, used as little yardage as possible. I use a lot of fabric for a suit my size because I would rather have larger pieces cut on the fold than a bunch of seams from small pieces stitched together; just my preference for the best looking suit possible.

The jacket - I spent the past couple of years slowly gathering the items to make the Rogue suit that I wanted. I got very lucky in finding what I feel is the perfect brown jacket at Burlington Coat Factory for only $17 and it's made from polyurethane not leather or cotton. I made my own X patches for the shoulders and attached them with a combination of gorilla glue and instant vinyl glue.

The wig came from one of my shopping binges online at Best Wig Outlet. It's by Sepia, called "Ebony."

The boots are faux leather and I picked them up a long time ago at Famous Footwear. I happen to prefer the more practical brown knee highs which I can wear in normal everyday life rather than the thigh-high plastic yellow boots with green strappy things.

The gloves were an amazing find at a thrift store in their vintage room! They were only $4 because they were considered "lightly soiled." I knew patience would pay off by shopping for pieces over time and waiting for just the right thing. I hate making gloves!

The belt is just something from my closet. This particular buckle design is just two layers of foamies; one in black, one in red - giving it the embossed "X" look. The backing is a strip of black spandex for the belt to weave through. I've just ordered a nice fancy X buckle from TheWrapofCons but I'll need to paint it.

When it came to making the bodysuit, I started with the Kwik Sew #3052 activewear pattern which has been the staple base for all my full length suits. I had transferred it to muslin for my size and marked up my color blocking. Then I transferred those pattern pieces to paper (because that's what I had and was out of muslin) in order to get all the pieces I needed for this design. Let me express how much I hate sewing on curves! I have a couple of spots that are little too pinched or gathered but it's actually pretty good overall.

Fabric - The spandex is Milliskin Shiny Tricot 4-way Stretch which I ordered through SpandexHouse.com and it arrived THE NEXT DAY. I think the color codes I ordered were #46 (green) and #11 (yellow).

The collar's stitching is actually a bit of a mess for getting that black bias tape in place. Luckily most of the problem stitching is on the inside. I also decided to put the zipper in the front which has two functions, one practical and one for kicks: the practical element is that a front zipper is easier to get out of; the other reason is because it can be unzipped enough for a sexier look.

I also ran into some problems that worked themselves out when I embroidered the chest logo directly onto the suit; the other option would be to make a patch and glue it on like I did for the jacket. By putting the spandex through the embroidery, it began to make folds as it progressed but it's not even noticeable in the final product. I also decided to make a full X logo using a black background and yellow "X" and circled edge; oftentimes Rogue's logo is really just the black spaces and no "X" at all. I went for something cleaner looking plus adding an original touch.

This suit will debut at Free Comic Book Day at Comic Fusion in Flemington, NJ (May 2nd)!

Wild Pig Comics - March 28

I'll be at Wild Pig Comics in Kenilworth, NJ from noon-5pm on the 28th (Saturday). The whole weekend is their spring 50% off EVERYTHING sale!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Best Watchmen Cosplay

Though I love the character, I have to admit that I'm as sick of seeing costumed Rorshach's running around as I am of TDK Jokers. That being said, I have seen plenty of pictures of movie version Silk Spectres and only one that was really good and looked like it fit the young woman. However, there has been a really amazing amount of well-done Sally Jupiter cosplays which to me seems like the harder persona to create because of the 1940s hairstyle and makeup. And a couple have pulled off Dr. Manhattan in a suit but they can't hold a candle to Robin (aka ISUSuperman) who flawlessly stripped down and painted himself up better than the CGI version (and yes, that's all real and not a muscle suit):

Robin's Myspace & Blog

For other masterpieces check out Kelldar's and Ruby Rocket's versions of Silk Spectres.

DaddyKnightOwl definitely meets the gold standard when it comes to Nite Owl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Check out Power Girl's new look

When I spent some time talking to Amanda Conner in NYCC, she confided in me with the new look she was bringing to Power Girl. I thought it was fan-freaking-tastic! And how could it not be with Amanda at the helm? I promised I wouldn't say anything about the new design of PG until DC was ready to release the info and now that PG is featured in Previews, it's definitely safe to show her off:

Barbie Turns 50

Another psycho government official feels that Barbie is such a bad influence on girls that sales of Barbie dolls should be outlawed in West Virginia. How 'bout parenting your children, Asshole? How about not buying the product if you don't like it?

I can't even explain my rage about this argument which comes up way to often. Barbie is a fine toy and if she were real, she's an inspiration for girls of all ages. She has had every profession; she's been "all American" in her RV and donned every military uniform. She has a flashy Corvette and mansion but is down to Earth with her little sister and friends.

So, Mr. Jeff Eldrige (D), you can bite me.

Just like the idiots who felt that Mattel's Black Canary version (see below) of Barbie was "whore Barbie" when in reality she was wearing the Canary's traditional superhero crimefighting attire from DC Comics. The shallow, close-minded people need to be stopped. They need to parent their children. They need to teach girls that at a certain age, you can wear high heels and be sexy if you want to but you can also wear jeans and sneakers without worrying if you fit in. What is it with this lazy parenting where everything you disagree with or dislike needs to be legislated?

Barbie is turning 50 on March 9th. CELEBRATE HER!

< Black Canary Barbie
< by Alex Ross, famed comics artist
Would you think she's feable and frail and a bad influence on girls? I sure wouldn't.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Perfect Smokey Eye...

I don't know about you guys but I find it so hard to recreate the smokey-eyed look that so many models and celebrities wear in magazines and the red carpet. I always thought that because I have darker skin I had to use more eye shadow but I have been using the wrong technique! The video above shows make-up artist Johnny Lavoy applying the perfect smokey eye to Ethopian-born model Gelila Bekele. I find it particularly useful since Gelila has a similar skin tone to myself. I think dark charcoal and burgundy are much more flattering colors for this look - say "no" to standard black.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New concept designs

I really did try to maintain some focus with this year's costume making. That lasted about 5 minutes. Today alone I came up with two different Green Lantern uniforms (originals) and then saw a classic oldie version of Star Sapphire that is so adorable I want to add it to my "To Do" list. (Above: the steampunk v. 1.0 GL, roller derby GL, spandex goodness GL; Below: Star Sapphire)

However, I refrained somewhat when I was ordering fabric today for a customer and limited myself to just 3 yards of green spandex. I should have enough yellow left over to join it with the green to finally make my own Rogue costume (the one I had was one I had commissioned and later sold). Not that the world needs another Rogue, because it seriously does NOT; however it may be like Harley Quinn just for fun and photoshoots and shop appearances but not for conventions where there are dozens.

Since my plans for yesterday and today got mucked up due to the blizzard, I spent both at the sewing machine instead of at work. I created a test piece for a customer's commission (to be revealed only when it's finished). It's a nice classic style so I used most of the design to finally create that original/generic X-Men uniform that I've been wanting to do forever. It's just simple black with a yellow center piece, leotard style. It's not quite finished and naturally, just as I was about to begin, I ran out of black thread so it's done with grey, black and yellow thread. All it needs is some reinforcing when I get more black thread and to have the elastic around the leg holes installed.

Over the weekend I worked on new Firestar gloves made from red PVC and a Harley prop "Bang" gun:
It's a replica .44 revolver that shot rubber ammo bullets until I filled the barrel with gorilla glue and a dowel. I was going to embroider the "bang!" but I didn't like the way it came out so it's just white cotton backed with interfacing and detailed with a black fabric marker. I also made it double-sided because it always bothers me when you can only read one side of a banner or flag.

Monday, March 2, 2009

DVB: The Victoria Beckham Collection

Everyone's favorite Spice Girl has officially made her mark on the fashion world. While she was always one to watch on the red carpet and had previously collaborated on collections with other established fashion labels, now the icon has stepped out on her own. The Victoria Beckham Collection debuted with just a modest 10 dresses at New York Fashion week in January of this year. Available in sizes 2 - 10, the collection featured only form-fitting looks that paid an obvious tribute to one of Victoria's favorite designers, Roland Mouret. The collection received positive reviews and the fashion diva is back with twenty-three brand new looks for Fall. Check them out here or see below for six of my favorite looks. To learn more about Victoria's line visit www.victoriabeckhamcollection.com. U.S residents can find her clothes at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, naturally. U.K folks should visit Selfridges & Co and Harrods. As you've probably guessed, these items are not cheap. Expect to pay between $900 - $5000. However, you will not be disappointed. These dresses are finely crafted and will excentuate your most flattering attributes. Men may not be able to take their eyes off you... you have been warned.
Above and below are six looks from The Victoria Beckham Collection's latest line.