A Nerd In The Garden: Spring Gardening Pt. 2 & A New Cosplay

Looks Professional

Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

Last weekend I started a project to expand my raised bed flower garden. I installed the original raised bed quite a few years ago and as things changed I found myself able and motivated to expand it that last 10 inches. You can read about it here. Taking that wall apart and rebuilding it was backbreaking work.

Not to be outdone, this weekend I decided to finish up what I started last weekend. There was one corner on the upper left side that had not been finished. It was super difficult to get the established weeds out of that spot and the little bit of rain we got wasn’t enough to soak the soil and make it any easier to get them out.

There was also a third level of raised bed that had sunk into the soil over the intervening years and I decided to unearth those blocks and raise them up a bit. All of this along with my intention to weed a small area each weekend until I have the whole thing weed free.

Also, I bought a bunch of pansies. Winter pansies to be specific. They should bloom all through the winter. Plus I got to quote the movie Madagascar where King Julian says, “They’re just a bunch of pansies,” until everyone around me was sick of hearing it. The pansies were on sale so I got 10 of them for less than 10 dollars.

Intending to only spend a couple of hours on this finishing up project, I ended up spending half the day on it. The results are so nice though. It looks finished.

Just a bunch of pansies

Just a bunch of pansies

I still have a few of the decorative blocks left over and I’m going to clean them up and finish up the back level next weekend. Because I purchased a rather large amount of them when I made the original purchase years ago I’ve been able to reuse the blocks, moving them from one spot to another and this has saved me quite a bit of money. I did not have to purchase any more of them.

I was planning on using the ones that hadn’t been put into the wall as bases for the rain catchment system I’m putting in this year but that’s not going to happen now. I’ll have to see if I can find a low cost replacement for my rain catchment barrels. That’s my next garden project.

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

I did a lot of research on rain catchment systems and while I can’t afford to have a professional outfit come out and install an underground tank and all that, I do have the budget (thanks to Craigslist) to get a couple of 55 gallon barrels and the downspout kits for them. The important thing about this, well there are several but when putting things next to one’s house one very important thing is weight. A full 55 gallon rain barrel weighs in at around 450 pounds. So you don’t want to set it on a slope or someplace unstable. You want to make your foundation stand sturdy and level from all angles.

Anyway more on that when I get to installing them. I’m also planning to do a year of my first garden recap when I get the vegetable garden cleaned up and ready for winter. I’m about half way through that now. I’ve got a few tomatoes I’m hoping still ripen up a bit before I have to tear the plants out.

At the end of the day, because I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, I sat down and ordered a few small things to plant in the spring so that I have some summer flowers too. Tulips and lilies are gorgeous but they bloom in the spring and I need something to carry my garden through the summer with some flowers. We’ve already established that I never fail to order twice as many bulbs as I want to plant but this time I out did myself.

You see one of the flowers I love the most in my garden is a blue dutch iris. I’ve only got one and I’ve not found them online or in the garden centers by themselves. They always come in a mix and I always get a ton of white and yellow and almost no blue in the mix when I buy them. The white and yellow are gorgeous but my favorite are the blue. Well this catalogue had blue ones on sale by themselves and they were fairly inexpensive: $15.99. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well I did order them but come spring, when they arrive to be planted, they will be coming in a lot of 50 bulbs. Thankfully I have a great spot for them and they are tolerant of partial shade.

Cosplay:

I’ve finally had another idea for a cosplay. Last time I did Mothra on a budget, which you can read about here. This time I think I can make a wearable Biollante Rose Form. I went through several design ideas, starting with a mermaid under dress. While gorgeous and the right shape for the understructure it would be a royal pain to wear to a convention, so I reluctantly discarded that idea. I’m currently working with a wide leg palazzo pant and tank top for the understructure.

My budget is $100.00 and my time limit is 5 months. I have to work my cosplay creating in around my gardening and right now is the ideal time for gardening. We will see how it goes. K.

Looks Professional

Looks Professional

Mothra Cosplay

Mothra Cosplay

Mothra Cosplay Makes The Rounds

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

After much thought, and many second thoughts I must confess, I shared a fairly unflattering photograph of my Mothra cosplay on the Mothra fan page. I should not have been worried. The people that run it are lovely and so are the fans. I chose the photo I did because it is the one with the best lighting and shows off the wings the best of any I’ve had taken so far. I look ridiculous since I’m trying to make the wings as big and visible as possible but that’s the beauty of Cosplayers and fans–they don’t judge, they love the cosplay and appreciate the work that went into it. Anyway it’s been shared on the Mothra page:

https://www.facebook.com/Queenofallkaiju

And on the Gabara page:

https://www.facebook.com/kaijugabara

on Facebook and while I don’t normally do this I’m pleased to share links to their pages. Kaiju fans feel free to check them out.

Thanksgiving Recipes, #Godzilla Review & Some Cosplay

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.

Thanksgiving is this week and due to family obligations I decided to have my Thanksgiving early. I made sage and mushroom dressing (never stuffing) which is always a favorite, cheesy corn (based off my best guess from Jack’s Stack BBQ in Kansas City–if you ever get to KC do give that place a try. The BBQ is absolutely superb and the cheesy corn is so tasty) and I played with my mashed potato recipe, adding 7 o 8 cloves of garlic to the potatoes as they boiled and then a whole container of brie cheese when I mashed them along with the stapes, butter, cream and salt and pepper. They were the absolutely best mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. I tried a new green bean recipe this time: Hoisin green beans with black sesame seeds. They were delicious also. Turkey was the main protein along with gravy to go with the mashed potatoes and dressing. There were also deviled eggs and this time I tried some fresh mozzarella capris hors d’oeuvres to get people started while I carved the turkey. There were rainbow carrots at the market and I got them to make glazed carrots. So a couple of recipes for you, gentle reader:

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.

Garlic Mashed potatoes, cheesy corn, dressing, turkey and other delicious dishes.


Garlic Brie Mashed Potatoes
4-6 large russet potatoes
7-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
heavily salted water for boiling
1 pkg brie, rind trimmed off and cut into cubes
1 stick butter (diet food this is not)
1/2 to 1 cup milk, half and half or cream (whichever you have or want to use)

peel and cut the potatoes into cubes and cook in boiling water with the garlic cloves until fork tender. Drain water, add potatoes and garlic back to pan. Add butter, cream, brie, salt and pepper. Mash with potato ricer. Delicious by themselves or with gravy.

Hoisin Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and prepared for cooking
1 jar of Hoisin sauce
2-3 TBSP of sesame seeds (white or black, I had black so that’s what I used)
1 TBSP butter

In large skillet add butter and green beans. Sauté until beans are tender but not mushy, you still want them a little crunchy. Add hoisin sauce and sesame seeds. Cook for a minute or two and serve.

Glazed Rainbow Carrots

1/2 lb carrots (more if you have more people)
3 TBSP butter
1/2 C Brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Clean and cut the carrots into coins or bite sized pieces or dice, whatever shape you like. In small sauce pan on low heat add carrots, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Put a lit on the pan and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender. Remove lid and raise heat to reduce sauce to a glaze. Yum-yum.

Now on to Godzilla. Fangirl nation did run my review of Godzilla Cataclysm Issue #4 and here is the link I promised. I have to confess that I totally gave in to my inner squeeing fangirl when writing this review. The truth is that I’m really particularly enjoying these comics and I’ve read quite a few comics in my time. I was, and still am, a huge X-Man fan. As any comic book reader will tell you, there are some stories that stand out and Godzilla Cataclysm is one of them.

Cosplay:

Mothra cosplay

Mothra cosplay

Gratuitous pic of Mothra cosplay with Dirk Benedict

Gratuitous pic of Mothra cosplay with Dirk Benedict


I still need to make some minor adjustments to my Mothra cosplay. I’ve also got a new piece for my steampunk cosplay that I’m very excited to try out at the next comic con I can get to. Honestly I don’t know how I could possibly top my Mothra cosplay and I plan to wear it to a lot of cons.

#Mothra #Cosplay Actual Day 17: Completed in time for #RCCC

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

That’s right, gentle reader, I got it done and not a moment too soon. Today we are less than 7 days out from the Rose City Comic Con. I also helped stitch the skirt and cape for our Midna (of Zelda fame) that will be one of our cosplayers and then helped with the Godzilla cosplay (although that one may not make RCCC).

As an aside our Godzilla cosplayer has a conflict with the RCCC on Saturday so our plan to enter the team cosplay contest has been thwarted. Maybe we can do something like that when we get to the Emerald City Comic Con. Wish us luck!

I know last week I said it was day 14 but I went back and counted them up and it’s actually day 17 today. My total hours invested in the project are right at about 70. I splurged on two things this week for the costume, pushing the cost for materials up to $110.00 but several of the things I got are not absolutely necessary for the cosplay.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Perfect example: I picked up a bluetooth speaker (toy of the night when I brought it home) and bought the theme song for Mothra to put somewhere (possibly in the front vest pocket) and play while I’m at the Con. That was $30.00 I hadn’t planned on spending when I calculated the cost of the materials. In fact that little splurge is responsible for me going over my second budget estimate. Totally worth it though.

I finished up painting the vest, which is making up the main body of Mothra, and touching up the wings. Check it out:

Finishing the vest

Finishing the vest

Painting the feet on the vest.

Painting the feet on the vest.

It’s a good thing I tried it on and wore it a bit today. I broke one of the dowels in two places just wearing it. I’ll never get one piece of the dowel out of the sleeve I stitched for it so it’ll have to stay. Thankfully the 12 gauge wire was in place and that’s helping a lot. I have to decide if I want to use the dowels and replace one (for a grand total of $0.39) or go with softer wings. I really like the visual I get with the extra support along the leading edge the dowel gives me so I’ll probably replace it before the con.

I really did not want to go with a big elastic strap to hold the hat on. I was hoping that a few elastic loops and some bobby pins would do the trick. Once again, in the trial the hat wasn’t as secure as I had hoped it would be, and not secure enough for me to be confident of it in a large crowd. Because of that I went ahead and stitched an elastic strap on it and I’m very pleased with the result. It doesn’t go under my chin but rather around the back of my head and I like it much better. This will be secure in a large crowd.

Some bonus pictures from the construction and modeling of the cosplay:

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Folded wings

Folded wings

Mothra will debut at the Rose City Comic Con. I am very excited and pleased. Looking at the pictures it looks even better than I imagined it would when I started it lo these many weeks ago. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 14, Nearing Completion

layout

layout

layout

That’s right gentle reader, it’s almost completed. I almost missed a big part of the hind wing on the left wing when I was trying to finish up the painting today. I had to keep holding up the wing and turn it around in my hands so that I could really look at it. I have most of the touch ups done, although I think I could touch them up forever.

I did use the leather needles to affix the wings to the vest. I spent about an hour futzing with the tension, breaking the thread and damaging the leather before I got it figured out. Fortunately I was able to run my seam right over the same spot where I’d repeatedly broken the thread trying to figure out the proper tension on the machine. Since I bought my machine used it didn’t come with a manual so I have to guess at some things.

Sewing  wings to Leather

Sewing wings to Leather

With leather, it’s not like fabric, once the needle punches through there is a hole there that will not be hidden by fibers like with fabric. So that was a concern. Also it was very awkward trying to fit the vest and wing into the sewing foot. The wings are huge and the vest leather. I spent almost as much time just trying to get everything lined up to stitch as I did trying to get the machine to stitch it.

Tension Issues break the thread

Tension Issues break the thread

I have to confess that when I reached the point where the wings were assembled and the painting all but complete I had a moment of disbelief. It’s really going to be done for the Rose City Comic con. All that’s left is to stitch elastic loops on the underside of the hat so I can attach the hat securely with bobby pins and I think there are a couple of spots to touch up on the wings, small ones. Then I have to finish painting the vest and it’s complete. There’s probably not more than an hour or two left and it’s done.

I can hardly believe that it’s so close to done. I will post a picture of it complete and with the proper under dress and boots when I am finished. Also, I must confess, I splurged and bought the Mothra theme song so that I can play it on occasion when I’m in costume. It’s silly, I know, but why not?

So my total for the budget is right around $85.00 for materials, extra paint, brushes and the song. Not too bad. I’m over my original estimate by $35.00 and under my second estimate by $15.00. Not too bad. I’ve spent around 56 hours of my time designing, constructing, painting and sewing the costume. I can’t quite believe that I made this.

#Mothra #Cosplay Minimalist, Adjusted Budget Holding

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

With the holiday weekend affording an extra day to work on the Mothra cosplay I was hoping to get the paining finished on the wings. Since I have to mix the colors myself from the available fabric paints I have it takes a lot longer than one might expect. They are turning out beautifully but it is taking such a long time to paint them.

I ran out of blue and orange paint so I had to pick up more. This pushed my budget ever closer to the hard limit of $100.00 for materials. True when I started I was hoping to keep it around $50.00 but that starting budget was quite unrealistic and only goes to show how little experience I have with making cosplays. I should have just started with the more reasonable budget of $100.00, and a more seasoned cosplayer probably would have.

Even with a budget of $100.00 I’m still looking for bargains and using coupons to buy my materials. Goodwill, and store coupons are great resources for getting materials and keeping to a reasonable budget. This weekend there were some particularly good coupons for some of the local craft stores due to the holiday. That’s something to keep in mind when considering starting a new cosplay. If you plan it right you can get your materials during a big sale.

Better planning in general would have helped keep the cost down. I didn’t know how much paint the fabric I chose would soak up so that is costing me in additional paint. I’m sure someone who has been doing cosplay for a long time would have chosen different fabric, treated it differently and planned things out better than I have.

We did get a cheap table cloth, a plastic picnic table cloth to put on the table while we paint. It protects the table and makes it less nerve wracking when we paint on the only good sized surface in the house for crafting.

Outside of the Left Wing

Outside of the Left Wing

All that being said, I still love what I’m doing and I love my costume. I’m learning a lot and having fun. My goal now is to get it finished up within the next two weeks. That includes touching up the paint where necessary, affixing the wings to the vest and stitching loops on the hat so that I can use bobby pins to keep it on my head in a crowded convention hall.

There are some flaws to the costume. I pretty much won’t be able to carry anything, so any tchotchkes or memorabilia I may want to pick up will have to be handled by one of my companions. The cosplay is designed to be portable though. I can roll the wings and vest up into a compact bundle to transport. The most difficult piece to transport will be the hat, due to the feathers.

Both Wings

Both Wings

We got our tickets to ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) today and I’ll be wearing it there for certain. I’m still looking to debut it at the RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) in three weeks. We will see how well it travels then. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 13, Oversights and Corrections

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

Well, gentle reader, it is day 13 of the Mothra cosplay construction. I’ve logged around 49 hours of labor on the costume as of today. I really need to step it up because I’m just over a month out from the debut comic con. I was looking for one I could get to sooner than Emerald City and found Rose City. That’s where the costume will be unveiled then: The Rose City Comic Con.

While I was looking at my model and at some of the other cosplays and realized that I had overlooked the underbelly of Mothra. More specifically I had overlooked the legs. With this in mind I roughed out a vague shape for her legs on the front of the vest that is serving as the central structure for the costume. It is a very rough shape and not what the final form will look like. I did not paint in the bend of the joint because once the vest is on, the leg will wrap around my side naturally. It is tempting to be dismayed by how ugly this looks right now but I am confident the final solution will be just fine.

In the process of roughing out the legs I discovered that there are small pockets on the front of the vest (yes I missed them when I first bought the vest). The pockets may not be deep enough to safely hold an ID. I rather suspect they are not and am still searching for a better solution. Right now I’m thinking maybe a small shoulder bag could work if it hangs down far enough to be below the vest.

front of vest

front of vest as underbelly

front of vest as underbelly

All of that aside, I finished painting the inside of the main part of the right wing and painted the red/orange/yellow parts of the hind wing. Since I started on this project I have learned a lot about how to go about this and as a result the inside of the wing is visually superior to the outside. Again it is tempting to be dismayed but I knew I would have to touch up the front side and I know it’ll be just as lovely when I am finished.

If I allowed all of these little missteps and setbacks to overwhelm me, or focused on every imperfection it would be easy to lose sight of the big picture and give up. No it won’t be perfect. Yes I still have a minimum of 4 more Sundays to complete this thing, and that’s if I keep making the kind of progress I made today. But it’s fabulous and I conceived of this, designed it and constructed it myself. I may make more polished cosplays in the future. I may make more elaborate cosplays in the future. But I will never surpass this Mothra for the sheer love I have for it. For me it touches on everything cosplay is about.

Mothra has great sentimental value for me. My grandmother used to watch Godzilla movies with my father, who in turn watched them with me. In crafting this costume I’ve discovered a deeper connection to the character and to the entire genera, which I love. I was thrilled by Pacific Rim, but as much as I love technology, I don’t think those cosplays suit my style. Of course there is always Godzilla, but again for some reason the Big G doesn’t really spark my cosplaying imagination.

I must add that I am delighted one of the other cosplayers in our group is making a Godzilla cosplay. I think it’s fantastic and fabulous, just not for me. I’m still kind of surprised that I chose Mothra.

Anyway, here are this weeks photographs of the progress on (cue dramatic music) The Wings of Mothra:

At the beginning of today

At the beginning of today

Painting the purple fields first

Painting the purple fields first

Several shades of blue

Several shades of blue

Red on the hindwing

Red on the hindwing

Notice, if you will the correction I’ve been making to the blue on the hindwing where I painted over the section where white should be. It’s working and you can now clearly discern the white “stripe” continuing from the forewing to the hindwing. Also I noticed that the hindwing fields had red at the outside edges not a darker orange and have made that correction. The colors are just beautiful and it’s looking like it should to my eye. K.

Minimalist #Mothra #Cosplay on a Budget: Day 12

Painting the orange fields on the inside of the Right wing
Painting the orange fields on the inside of the Right wing

Painting the orange fields on the inside of the Right wing

Looking at my model and at the vest I’m using for the body part of the wings I realized that I needed to paint a chevron on it underneath the design in the middle. I also did not like the way the yellow paint was turning a greenish color on the leather. So I decided to paint an under-layer of white, over which I will paint the yellow. This should brighten up the yellow and make it less muddy and greenish. Over that I’ll paint a light brown to get the tannish color.

Mothra pattern on vest

Mothra pattern on vest

This time I took a close up picture of one of the mistakes I’ve made so you can see what I’m doing to correct it. In this case the lower, or hind wing panel has a couple of spots where I painted blue that should have been yellow or orange. I’m painting over these spots with white before going back over with the yellow.

Mistake in the hind (lower) wing -- blue paint where it doesn't belong

Mistake in the hind (lower) wing — blue paint where it doesn’t belong

Close up of mistake with white paint over the blue.

Close up of mistake with white paint over the blue.

I realized that the hind wings of my model have way more red and less orange than I’m using so I’ll have to correct that as I paint. Reality is bearing out my theory in that the areas I’ve already painted black are not taking on other colors where I accidentally go outside of the lines. I’ll have to remember to paint the darker colors first and finish up with the lighter colors. Sure this may seem like an obvious thing to people who have been doing this for years, or painting for a while but this is my first attempt at anything like this and I’m learning as I go.

One thing I noticed, now that I’m paying attention, is that Mothra gets repainted about as often as Godzilla gets a new suit. It’s really quite fascinating. There are at least 4 different Mothra wing pattern variants that I’ve seen in the last 5 Godzilla movies I’ve watched. I love it!

Mothra toy I'm using for my model

Mothra toy I’m using for my model

I had to do a lot of cooking today so I didn’t get as much time to paint as maybe I could have but I think I made some good progress. Mixing colors and making sure to blend the painted areas takes some time and thought. It is satisfying to see the colors on the wing when I am done.

Truth be told, I’m less than delighted with the 12 gauge wire in the corners of the wings. They pucker the fabric and don’t stay in shape very well. It’s tempting to take them out and work some thermoplastic into the corners. The only reason I haven’t is because right now, since the wings are still separate and not affixed to the vest, I’m able to roll them into tidy bundles for storage. Of course this rolling is what’s warping the wire. It is my hope that once I’m finished and I iron them, the wire will hold its shape and not create folds in the tips of the wings.

The pocket idea for the vest to hold an ID and some cash doesn’t seem to be a good one. I don’t want to have to unsnap my vest to get to stuff. That would be awkward. I’m wondering if I can affix some kind of pouch to the underside that would hang down a bit on my hip. It’s something I’m continuing to give some thought to. Eventually I’ll come up with a solution. When I do, rest assured, I’ll share it with you here.

As for my budget, I’m still holding steady at $80.00. This includes the leather needles for my sewing machine, which I got last week. The nice thing about those is that they are good for more than one use, so I’ll have them for future projects.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 11: Second Thoughts, Third Thoughts and More

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Today is the eleventh day I’ve been working on my Mothra cosplay. I spend between 4 an 6 hours working on it when I do it. Since I work full time I only have Sundays to work on it. At this point I’ve put in a minimum of 44 man-hours (woman-hours in my case) of labor on the costume.

I know that many of the pictures I take each week seem very similar to the ones from the previous week. More than just documenting how to make this costume, I’m chronicling the actual time and effort that goes into making one of these costumes. Progress is often slow and more than once I’ve looked at it and felt that I’ve gotten nothing done, that it’s moving along too slowly. Painting both sides of each wing means that I’m actually repeating a lot of work, but there will be a front side and a back side to the costume and I can think of no way around it.

I had some second thoughts about the costume this last week. Am I painting it right? Will it look ok? What if it looks ridiculous once I’ve got it made? I’ve put so much time and money into it already. Then I look at the pictures I’ve taken and realize that I love what I can envision it as being when it is complete.

Then, while I was putting the pieces of the whole costume together in my mind: The wings, hat, boots, high-low dress I intend to wear underneath; I realized I had overlooked something fairly important. Oh not for the costume, that’ll be awesome (IMHO). No I realized that I had no way to carry ID or cash or anything else in this costume. The wings will get in the way of a purse or bag and there’s no way to wear one under the vest. From a practical standpoint this is a fairly major oversight.

The only thing I can figure is either scrounge up an old fanny pack we have somewhere around here. Then it occurred to me that I could possibly stitch a pocket into the vest. I’ll have to see how that works out because I need to be able to carry a few items with me.

Front of Left wing before black fields complete

Front of Left wing before black fields complete

As for the cosplay itself, this week I finished up the black fields on both wings. Looking at the left wing I felt that some of the fields that are to hold color were a bit too wide so I thinned them out by making the black fields a bit wider. I’m putting the black down first because when I paint the colors they won’t show up as badly on the black if I go out of the lines as the black would over the colors.
Front of left wing, black fields almost complete

Front of left wing, black fields almost complete

This is a learning process for me. It’s my first real cosplay, the first one that I’ve made from scratch. Thus it will have all of the mistakes a first costume has, it’ll have all of the mistakes a novice makes when crafting something like this. It’s easy for such an item to fall out of favor as experience leads to better cosplays down the road but to be honest I cannot imagine topping this cosplay. Not for concept anyway. What I’m glad of is that I still love this cosplay even after weeks of work and knowing that I still have weeks of work left to do on it.

As far as the budget goes, I did go ahead and buy leather needles. I got an assortment for $4.99, which brings my total for materials up to $80.00.

Painting the inside of the sleeve

Painting the inside of the sleeve

Next Sunday I expect to start filling in the bands of color on the wings. Once that’s done I’ll iron them and sew them onto the vest. Speaking of which, I still need to paint the vest a bit more. Worry not, gentle reader, there will be pictures. For now, please enjoy these. K

#Cosplay Sunday #Mothra Day 10 and #Godzilla

This week's progress on the right wing.

Inside of both wings

Inside of both wings

Day 10 of Mothra cosplay went far better than day 9. I can really tell the difference in just how productive I am when I’m into it versus when I’m not motivated. Last week was tough and I didn’t really get all that much done comparatively speaking. This week we were having a good time and there were no motivational issues.

I got the sewing machine out and with about an hour of work finished construction on the left wing. I stitched the top edge of the faux fur that I used for texture on the inside part of the wings. I also completed the sleeve part of the wing. The final bit of sewing will be attaching both wings to the vest and I won’t do that until they are painted and ironed.

Finishing up the left wing

Finishing up the left wing

I did decide to pick up leather needles for my sewing machine. That adds $4.99 to the budget bringing the cost of materials up to $75.00. This is just materials and does not include my time. It’s the time that makes costumes like these so expensive. There’s no way someone could afford to pay me to make this for them. I’ve already put in a minimum of 40 hours in construction alone. Cosplay is a labor of love.

Once construction was complete on the wings I got back to painting. I have surprising amount of painting left to do. Last week I got started on the black parts of the pattern on the left wing. This week I moved to painting the black parts of the pattern on the inside portion of the right wing. Once I get all of the black fields painted I will go back to painting the colors.

Starting work on the inside of the right wing.

Starting work on the inside of the right wing.

If I have one concern at this point, it is getting the shading to match on both wings. I laid out the two wings next to each other because I was convinced that I had not made them symmetrical at all. To my delight they are pretty symmetrical. They vary but in the way that natural things vary. I’m so pleased that I painted the black fields first on the insides of both wings so I could directly compare them in this manner.

This week's progress on the right wing.

This week’s progress on the right wing.


As a bonus my cosplay buddy who is working on a Godzilla cosplay let me take a couple pictures of her progress. This week she was working on the head. She got ears and nostrils and part of the muzzle made out of leather. Remember the leather we took off of an old broken office chair? That’s what she’s using. It looks fantastic and it’s adding a really nice texture to the costume.

She made the main construction with plastic mesh and .5″ foam, which she sculpted to match her model (one of my Godzilla toys). Now she’s putting leather accents on it and then she’ll use felt to complete the skin.

Godzilla's head

Godzilla’s head