just plain sara: 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Almost ready to debut the new 52 Wonder Woman

I'm honestly not sure if I can finish up in time for the annual Women of Wonder Day celebration which is in three days, but I've been trying to make upgrades to my Wonder Woman suit so that it's inspired by the current "new 52" look.

Typically, I'm not fan of Wonder Woman in pants but as a Wonder Woman in New Jersey in October, I can say appreciate the option for costuming. I just don't think it will be recognizable to most people on the street. In fact, I don't think any of them would look at the "pants" version and know who she is.

I had wanted to upgrade my bodice to make it longer. So when I began working on it, I decided to just make the silver accents and save my original bodice as is. I also began toying with alternating fabrics and then the new 52 came out and her bodice has blocked pieces giving it a texture the traditional suit didn't have. Back in September, I finally had something I could consider done.

I hate making accessories and this was no exception. Everything I did required a failed attempt then a final attempt. The tiara is made from a soft headband with Wonderflex glued to it. Sprayed in a chrome spray paint finish and mounted with two stars: one a flat Wonderflex red star and one a glittery foam sticky star.

The choker is made from a foam sheet and glued to metallic spandex that I had leftover. The armbands are also strips of foam and glued to metallic spandex strips. In fact, all the fabric from this project is from my leftover scraps. I have a hard time getting anything to stick to those foam sheets and I use the glue by that brand that says it's for the foam! Needless to say, I have no idea if the fabric will stay when I go to put these things on.

Like the costume, none of the accessories look the same from page to page so I just made up my own designs and have them in silver to show a link to the new 52.

Since my original red and white boots are completely worn out and starting to get holes and lose soles, I had bought a new pair for this year. I was going to get rid of the old ones but I'm going to recycle them instead. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll take that old pair and try spraying the red with black Plastidip so that they resemble Diana's new black and white boots.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Dex-Starr accessory

I was part of the Classy Lantern Corps as the designated Red Lantern of Rage. The best part was my Dex-Starr accessory. I asked my mother to knit me a scarf that would look like a skinned cat, Cruella DeVille style. Two days and three skeins of fun fur for striped scarves later, I had a bad ass Dex-Starr skin. I added eyes and the ring for the “tail.”

I joined Jill Pantozzi (blue), Ashley Neuhaus (black), Melissa Kay (star sapphire), Ali Coluccio (indigo), Beth Kaboth (green), Lisa-Michelle McMullan (orange), and Josie Kavadoy (yellow).

Jill was responsible for all of the logo necklaces which were made by a company called Sandbox.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wonder Woman Day through the years

I created a post at AmberUnmasked showing just a few photo highlights of the past years' Superhero Weekends & Wonder Woman Days.

This year the event kicks off with a new official name globally, WOMEN OF WONDER DAY still headquartered in Portland, OR but at NJ's Comic Fusion our Superhero Weekend continues as a two-day event October 29-30, 2011.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tutorial: Ms. Marvel / Carol Danvers

Costume Tutorial: Ms. Marvel / Carol Danvers (Marvel Avengers) 
Date: Completed September 9, 2011.
Debut: October 1, 2011 at Superheroes for Hayley fundraiser

The steps on how I made this made this from leftovers and repurposed items is at AmberUnmasked.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Superheroes for Hayley recap

A flood of spandex-clad heroes from DC, Marvel and Dark Horse descended upon Flemington, NJ October 1, 2011 to help raise money for Hayley’s family.

The event was organized by Flemington’s Hometown Club who has also put together other fundraisers during the year for Hayley’s family. Hayley is 13 now. She was released from a Philadelphia hospital for treatments for malignant pinoblastoma.

We were supported not only by members of the 501st and Rebel Legion but also the Capital City Jedi Knights who gave demonstrations all day long to the local padawan learners. They learned proper fighting techniques for lightsabers on the soggy field in front of the Dutch Market.

The Dutch Market might have seemed like an odd choice for venue but once hungry heroes explored inside, they were in fresh baked heaven surrounded by Amish pastries. Spandex was covered in powered sugar by the end of the day.

Generous costumers came from West Virginia, north Pennsylvania, south Jersey and New York City to donate their time and talents for the day. The craftsmanship of the costumes and the variety of personalities in them makes for a great social networking experience in honest-to-goodness real life instead of online.

The East Coast X-Men seemed to be led by Jubilee (Jackie) rather than Cyclops. She “blasted” Batman among others with her pockets full of gold tinsel. There were a few professional photographers that absolutely loved her. The X-Men and the Avengers playfully sparred all day leaving the Justice League to go about its own business.

Speaking of photographers, many thanks to Black Lab Studios for being the official photographers for the day. They had a portable printer so that anyone making a donation could get a snapshot with any hero and have it printed within minutes. We’ll be doing this for Superhero Weekend too at Comic Fusion on Oct 29-30. Tyrus Flynn and Dawen Huang spent the day snapping pro pics with their fancy looking cameras too. There should be lots of amazing shots hitting facebook soon.

We owe thanks to all the merchants of the strip mall: the Dollar Store and the Pet Store that allowed us use of their bathrooms for changing. Some of us still opted for the parking lot but bathrooms are so appreciated!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nancy Upton's "Extra Wiggle Room" on the American Apparel plus-size contest

Quick update from Nancy Upton who had entered a modeling contest with American Apparel, WON based on votes, then told they would not award her the prize for winning.

The American Apparel company was launching XL sizes and were looking for a plus sized model. Nancy was upset about the contest description's wording. Words like "bootylicious" and "needing extra wiggle room" offended her. She entered the contest with over the top pictures of herself covered in food while she was in full beautiful makeup and wardrobe at lovely sets. The responses were overwhelming when she had won. But then AA rescinded or rather denied her The Next Big Thing.

After a huge backlash, AA reached out to Nancy and she was invited to the company.
She has graciously offered to fly Shannon and me out to LA to visit American Apparel and get a look at what it’s really like being inside the company.
I agreed, as long as I could write about what I saw. She said that would be fine.
You can follow the updates about what happens next at American Apparel when Nancy arrives on her blog which now calls EXTRA WIGGLE ROOM.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

messing around with a new Wonder Woman design

Since WordPress constantly pisses me off with its slow performance in the admin panel and its repeated "500 Internal Server Error" bull, I'm slapping up a few of images of my new bodice here. I'm not going to take the time for a full blown set of instructions on this one right now.

I said I'd never make this version, commonly known as the Jim Lee WW or WW600 or New U WW unless someone else contributed to the cost. Well I was bored one day and in the end, it only cost me $6 in a zipper and bias tape because everything else you see in the bodice was leftover from other projects.

UPDATED: http://www.amberunmasked.com/costume-dcnu-52-wonder-woman-variation/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Harley Quinn & Rumor costume for sale

I have reluctantly posted my HARLEY QUINN costume on etsy. Please read through all of the details about the suit's design, what is included or not included, and it's condition.

I've also relisted my Neon Harley suit that was made as a test for this outfit.

I've just added my UMBRELLA ACADEMY RUMOR costume as well.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sign up for the Superhero Charity Weekend at Comic Fusion Oct 29-30

(908) 788-0599
ComicFusion.com - shop's main site
Art auction gallery - http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150348187395087.397387.745845086
General informaion - http://www.amberunmasked.com/the-all-new-women-of-wonder-day-for-domestic-violence-awareness-oct-30/

Superhero Weekend is a 2-day celebration at Comic Fusion in Flemington, NJ. Oct 29-30, 2011. Activities include the comic art auction, raffles, exclusive purchases, photo opportunities with costumed heroes, and a chance to meet some of our artists.

Sign up to be on our Costumed Character List! We do have some specific guidelines. We ask for the characters to be friendly for all ages - non-violent, non-scary. No horror movie characters, no zombies, no machetes, etc.

The 501st will be there at least one day that we're aware of. They're always a huge hit!

There is a lot behind the stores accessible from Main Street and also Bloomfield Ave. There's usually plenty of street parking. Most spaces are technically 2 or 3 hour spots but they are rarely chalked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baltimore Comic Con Costume Winners

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces Costume Contest Winners

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - August 24, 2011 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is happy to announce the winners of the 3rd annual Costume Contest. The contest took place this past Saturday, August 20, 2011and saw a myriad of incredible and creative costumes. With approximately 200 entries and costumes ranging from classic super-heroes to video game characters, this was by far the best and most successful contest thus far.

The grand prize winner for Best Over-all Costume, and the recipient of the $1,000 cash prize, was Robert Day for his Optimus Prime costume.

Winners for this year's contest include:

Over-13 Category
Best Male Superhero: Wade Brown - MODOK
Best Male Non-Superhero: Vincent Posbic - Master Chief from HALO
Best Female Superhero: Lisa Hissinbothan - Storm
Best Female Non-Superhero: Devin Houser - Joker
Best Group (majority of member over 13): Jay Buechle & Leigh Alexander - Bengali & Cheetara from ThunderCats

Under-13 Category
Best Male Superhero: Michael P. - Two-Face
Best Male Non-Superhero: Jeffery S. - Link from Legend of Zelda
Best Female Superhero: Maria H. - Hitgirl
Best Female Non-Superhero: Ashley L. - Zombie from Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (tie) & R. Hill - The Corpse Bride
Best Group (majority of member under 13): RJ, Peter, and Jayden J. - Luke Skywalker and Mandalorians

Save the Date! Baltimore Comic-Con 2012!
That's right! Mark your calendars now for next year's Baltimore Comic-Con, which will take place the weekend of September 8-9, 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center, and we'll see YOU in Baltimore!

About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con just celebrated its 12th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con was held August 20-21, 2011. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 6 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.

Sign up to be a hero for Hayley - casting call

I'm helping rally some costumers to appear at a fundraiser for 12-year-old Hayley. I made a Facebook event specifically for costumers only so that we can see who can definitely appear and as which character. This isn't for RSVP'ing to the event in general.

OCTOBER 1, 2011

Hayley has malignant pinoblastoma (brain tumor).

*** I don't want to confuse anyone with the costuming roll call for our Superhero Weekend at the comic shop which is a different charity event at the end of October.***

The 501st (Star Wars Empire) contact I have is reaching out to the Event Organizer about having their Garrison formally invited. Someone is also helping to see if we can arrange for one of the 1966 Batmobiles to be there for photo opportunities.

October the weather can be anything from 50-70, sunny or miserable. You just never know. If you have to change your "assignment" at the last minute because of it, that's understandable.

* Ms. Marvel - Amber
* Symbiote Spidey - Peter
* Xavier Student - Janine
* Static Shock - Gregorio
* undecided - Diana
* Supergirl (blue) - Jessica
* Gambit or Superboy - William
* Inspector Gadget or Jay Garrick Flash - Andrew
* Nick Fury - Ray
* Wonder Woman - Carolann

* Dr. Bruce Banner - Jesse
* Cyclops - Christopher
* Batgirl - Cassie
* Captain America - Rafael Captain Pedragon (needs a ride from Hoboken)
* Storm - Maki Roll
* TDK version Batman - Gareth

Bill Losey
(732) 873-1056
HomeTown Club USA
PO Box 7292
Somerset, NJ 08875

PLEASE INVITE YOUR COSTUMING FRIENDS. *There will be a bouncy house!

19 Commerce Street, Flemington, NJ
(908) 806-8476

Monday, August 15, 2011

Deciding on my costumes for Baltimore Comic Con

I'm almost certain that I'll wear my Dark & Strange Alice Liddell outfit on Sunday Aug 21 for the Baltimore Comic Con. I can't decide what to wear for Saturday though. I've narrowed it down to three: Rogue, Black Widow and Ace. What do you think? Post your votes. I don't have to pack until Wednesday.

I'll be at the booth of Jake Warrenfeltz most of the time. I hope to circulate a lot more than last year because I think I will know about 80% of the artists at the show and I want to say hello to all of them. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ep 27 of GameDames talks about Cosplay Girls and the "Sexy" debate

The latest episode of the Game Dames podcast features Jill "the Nerdy Bird" as a special guest talking about her San Diego panel Oh You Sexy Geek and her experiences in costume this year at Comic Con International.

‎"We're putting ourselves out there to enjoy the costume and show off the craftsmanship; we're not there to pose for you sexually," Jill Pantozzi explains about an incident where someone tried to photograph her cosplay group's asses.

The Oh You Sexy Geek panel had at least seven panelists plus an impromptu speaker, Seth Green who was in the front row supporting his wife who was on the panel; apparently Seth was given a considerable amount of time to chime in. This led to the ladies of the panel not having as much mic time as expected. The only male panelist actually scheduled was Chris Gore (FilmThreat.com) who didn't even arrive until five minutes before it was over at which point his opening remark caused controversy and seemingly insulted most of the audience. (Full disclosure: Seth and Chris are two of my celebrity crushes.)

The "Sexy Geek" controversy easily spirals. From accusations of pandering to sexualizing female comic/gaming characters to addressing the large issue of women in the media/commercials. Somehow, this has become a bigger issue than DC's relaunch of all their titles. DC has been accused of sexist practices, not hiring women, failing to publicize titles/works that do have female creators and eliminating female characters from solo titles.

Is there a way to be a Sexy Geek and still be part of a supportive community that includes female creators, fans and characters without singling them out as the token sexy female?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tutorial: Cyclone as debuted at SDCC

Today Jill Pantozzi debuted her CYCLONE AND FRANKIE costume for the legions of fans at one of her Comic Con International panels.

I created a tutorial of sorts, more like a "how not to do this" blog on AmberUnmasked. I documented BOTH attempts at the dress plus the monkey's outfit. (*as always be warned, the direct page linked is safe but other content on my site might be considered nsfw).

A fun look at what it's like to turn into Slave Leia (@VictoriaCosplay)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY did a fun feature on my friend VICTORIA "COSPLAY GIRL" in their San Diego Comic Con International coverage. They shot a gallery of 17 images of Victoria transforming from east coast preschool teacher into Return of the Jedi's Princess Leia.

You can follow along Victoria's other costuming adventures at her facebook fan page and her twitter feed.

photo by Seraphim Images

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Odd Things To Do With an Old Wedding Dress - superhero cape

Sometimes my internet searches turn up the most interesting things. I discovered a website called MyExWifesWeddingDress and Dress Use #48 shows an ex-husband that used it as a cape for his superhero persona. This humorous ex was joined by fellow costumers appearing as the Hulk and others.

Vogue shows Super Hero inspiration in the Fall Fashion lineup

I don't know that I agree with VOGUE that this fall season is any different in featuring cloaks and capes; in cold weather, we tend to turn to those pieces of our wardrobe. However, it is nice they claim to be seeing the influence of comic books in modern haute couture, real or imaginary. 

You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (maybe you never wanted to) or crawl around on all fours like a feline femme fatale (marginally more appealing), but that is no reason to cast a cold eye on the superhero-infused styles set to alight in stores this fall. (Which means, in the alternative-reality universe we actually inhabit, that they are arriving on racks right now.)

Animal prints come and go so any given season one can say Catwoman is an influence. Red is always a popular fall and winter color. As I said, even my off-the-rack shopping mother wears different capes in our New Jersey winters; capes and cloaks are a staple. Tall boots to the knee or over them are always a fall/winter feature on the fashion landscape as well.

Could you say X-MEN movies made it acceptable for non-bikers to wear full leather? Hmmm, maybe. But I don't see people running around in cowls. Did emo-ridden Bella from TWILIGHT make wearing flannel acceptable? I hope people don't believe that. I've been surrounded by flannel and denim since I was born. 

Let's not forget the power of spandex/lycra leggings! They come and go in popularity and are best when worn under tunics. They can be worn with high heels, boots or sandals. Maybe we owe the popularity of leggings to Superman and his blue tights; but I don't think it's anything "new" for 2011's Fall lineup.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some items listed on etsy

I just listed two costumes on etsy. I'm hoping the PayPal works because I have it routing to someone else's account since I can't use it (FUCK PAYPAL). However, I am extremely desperate for money and need to start selling off my suits.

Please read the descriptions carefully.

The first two are pretty simple and only worn once. A generic X-Men suit that would be fit for Rogue, Kitty or Jean Grey, pretty much any Xavier Institute student. Bodysuit only - not the buckle, belt, leggings, etc.

The second is my classic Star Sapphire / Carol Ferris. It's the suit & headpiece only, not the gloves, mask or ring.

I AM NOT TAKING COMMISSIONS. I am only selling off what I have already made in the sizes specified.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Would you consider dressing up as the "pants" version of Wonder Woman just for a good gag/alternate outfit one day at a con for the people who are familiar with you?

Only if someone else paid for the materials. It's no as bad w/o the jacket but I wouldn't spend my own money on it. I would love it if the pants were blue & she kept her old boots. Right now, I'm trying to save to make the Adam Hughes white gown version. It's like 12 yards of silk for that.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

Friday, July 1, 2011

And for Canada Day....SASQUATCH!

This incredible, award-winning SASQUATCH costume was made and worn by my  brother in costuming from The Superhero Costuming Forum, ALLEN HANSARD! I had to use this pic from his gallery so you can get the idea of the scale. 

Favorite American cosplays

To celebrate the July 4th holiday, I pulled out some pics of my favorite costumers and costume designs representing the stars and stripes.


(and she designed the costume with her dad!)




photo by Kathy Napalinga
photo by Bryan Humphrey


Monday, June 27, 2011

Entertainment Weekly's 10 sexiest male comic-movie costumes

Not to be unfair, EW also came up with a list of sexiest men's superhero costumes from the movies. Sadly, bat-nipples are on the list. I'm rather impressed to see Blade and Thor make the cut.

Entertainment Weekly's 10 sexiest female comic-movie costumes

I am happy to see a couple surprises in the EW list of sexy female costumes from superhero movies, but there are some I quite honestly find cringeworthy. No surprise the prosethic-covered-not-at-all-like-the-comics Mystique was on the list. It's always been one on my "what-were-they-thinking" list. Then I heard the tale from someone who worked on the film explain Bryan Singer's hissy fit wherein he threw everything off the table and yelled, "I WANT HER NUDE!" The concept designers went back to work and came up with this:

Friday, June 24, 2011

When do we get to see some new awesome Amber photo shoots :)?

Hopefully very soon. A new one was just approved.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

was that in like PVC or tights / hose? Also whats Comic Fusion

Comic Fusion is the comic shop where I work in NJ. Are you asking about fabrics because you have a fetish? I'm not about to encourage this conversaton.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

Hey whats the hottest weather you have worn tights in and where were you?

I can't remember specifically but one year I dressed up at Comic Fusion for every car show in town and that's during July & August. I'm sure it would have been in that time frame. Masks while sweating are particularly annoying.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

I recently found your web site and through it Guns of Shadow Valley. I will be writing a review of the web comic on my own blog (Slap Bookleather) and would like to include a note about you. Would you mind if I put up a link?

I'm ok with it but I think you should ask Dave & Jim too. Since my work is a range from PG-13 to adult, they might not want the association with me.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

Hi Amber, what do you think of shoot a bondage-cosplay set?

Not my thing. I have very strong opinions on the subject. My modelmayhem inbox is 90% "photographers" whose portfolios consist of only bondage despite how there's nothing in my own port or profile to indicate I ever would consent to it. I consider it my role as a journalist to present it as a valid form of entertainment and educate people but on my own deeply personal level that should not reflect upon my fellow models, I think the idea of a woman being treated that way is vile. I don't see a single empowering thing about it unless the photoshoot tells the story about her escaping (like the way Princess Leia eventually kills Jabba). I'll never discourage my modeling friends if that's what they want to do but I'll usually chime in that they'll need an escort with them unless they have absolute trust in the photographer.

NOTE: Questions that are mass spammed to everyone, rude or have nothing to do with me get DELETED.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wizard World Philly Costumes

I wrote up a couple different recaps about the convention that took place last weekend. Here are the links (remember navigating off those articles may lead to nsfw content):


Convention Recap

Tons more pics on facebook.com/amberunmasked too.