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Blog

Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

Filtering by Tag: convention

4 Months Worth of Ketchup

Michael MacWolff

So you all know the drill, I’m bad at writing up blog posts to you go months without an update on here. I hope those of you interested in my projects all follow me on Instagram at this point (@mikeydoescosplay) cause that seems to be the only place I’m actually consistent…

But I’m here now and I want to share what I’ve been doing with all of you… for the past 4 months lol


First off, I’ve been to Matsuricon since last I checked in, which was awesome! I had 2 (and 1/2) new cosplays, which it’s been a very long time since I’ve done more than 1 new thing at a con, but I had the time and motivation so I made it happen!

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First up is Shigure Rangetsu from Tales of Berseria! I promised my friend Trickssi I’d cosplay this for/with her… at least a few years ago at this point so I finally made it happen! I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out, the costume itself was super obnoxious to put together between the silly pleated & paneled pants with the V-crothch that the Tales of series love so much (which consequently means they don’t stay up without the belt part cause that’ not how pants work in real life) , the weird sandal things, and the wig with its random braided rat tail and giant swoopy lock in the front. Despite having a bunch of weird bits it’s actually pretty comfortable, and of course my giant Morgrim more than makes up for all the agrivation. I did discover I have no easy way of carrying anything while I’m wearing it, so my plan for next time is to build a pocket into Morgrim to stash my stuff.

I don’t have a ton of photos in this as of yet, I’d like to do an actual photoshoot with Trickssi at some point with her as Rokurou, so you can expect some… eventually. But in the meantime here’s a couple.

Here’s the group from the Tales of gathering, which is the only one I’ve seen thus far. Thanks  bridgey_cos  for posting it!

Here’s the group from the Tales of gathering, which is the only one I’ve seen thus far. Thanks bridgey_cos for posting it!

And of course the only photo that matters.

And of course the only photo that matters.

Second up is the other totally new cosplay I did for Matsuri, and I did primarily for my con fam because we all share a deep love for NieR Gestalt/Replicant. While this wasn’t the cosplay I was initially planning on, I’m super pumped about it cause I don’t do a whole lot of designing and I got to play with it a bit since it’s a genderbend. I wasn’t sure I liked it as I was making it, but when all of the pieces came together I fell in love.

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I absolutely adore Kaine and so cosplaying her was amazing. It’s actually pretty comfy too, besides the shoes (I changed into boots after we got these shots), and the leg wrappings do tend to fall down but otherwise it’s actually pretty nice to wear. And of course as Kaine I get to run around doing stupid shit lilke this…

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And the best part was having my good friend Salem there as our precious cinnamon bun, Emil.

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We even found another Kaine there (not that I have any photos of us, oops)! I’m really looking forward to having the whole Wolf Pack doing NieR cosplays together <3

Last up is a not-entirely-new-but-mostly-revamped cosplay. It’s one that I made a long while ago and very much wanted to update and redesign a bit. I’m referring to Nanaki/Red XIII from FF7. With the new hype over the fact that we have an actual release date for the remake (I’ll believe it when I’m actively playing it), I figured now was the time!

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This is the only full-body photo I have from Matsuri, with this amazing Aerith cosplayer, but I do have some shots so you can see all of the details. First, here’s the old look:

Great big thanks to my dear  Rion  for this photo.

Great big thanks to my dear Rion for this photo.

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The hoodie, shorts, and wrist-warmers are the same, though I re-dyed the shorts because I’ve worn them enough at this point that the orange was fading. The shoes are new, but I didn’t do any work there lol. The biggest differnce is the hat with the spikes, which does a better job for hearkening to Nanaki’s design, and fits the overall punk aesthetic I was going for. The tail being a belt is another new detail, different from the actual stuffed tail I had before. Lastly we have the feathers and earring, the earring mirroring his beaded locks of hair that hang to either side of his face. I wanted it to be asymmetrical, which is why the feathers are together on the one side, and there’s only one earring. I thought that would fit better with the overall aesthetic than making those details symmetrical like his original design.

That’s all the new stuff I’ve done for myself lately but I have had a number of commissions I’ve been working on recently. If you’re on instagram you’ve seen them come together, but I’ll put together another new blog post (I promise it won’t be 4 month this time…) with all of that stuff.

Ohayo (gozaimasu) 2019

Michael MacWolff

Hello again, my dears! I’m back from one of the best Ohayocons I’ve been to in a long time, and I want to tell you all about it! If you’re wondering about the post name (although most of you weebs probably already know this) “ohayo gozaimasu” means “good morning” in Japanese, which is relevant for this con in particular because I stayed up much later into the wee hours of the morning than is customary (there’s a reason #GrandpaMike is a thing between my friends and I).

Friday

Actually, the story really starts on Thursday when some time in the afternoon/evening, our furnace decided to die… for the second time in a week. It was late enough that we didn’t have heat for the night, so Jordan, Donner and I grabbed lots of blankets and sleeping bags and snuggled in the living room in front of the fireplace, which we kept lit as long as we could manage with the wood we had.
So Friday morning was not exactly a great start to the weekend, since it was cold, I had to wait around for the repair guy to fix our furnace before I could go anywhere, and I was out about $200 before I’d even left for the con.

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Once that was all dealt with and the car was packed, it was finally time to head out… to Akron. So this Ohayocon was special because it was my good friend Speck’s con debut! The main reason she cae with me is because we won free badges from an Ohayocon event at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in which our team was the first to correctly complete the scavenger hunt (we weren’t the first ones back but the teams ahead of us didn’t get some of the answers right). So with a free badge she decided it would be a great opportunity to check out this whole con thing that I’d been telling her about all these years. The third free badge, which unfortunately couldn’t be used by our last team member as he’s currently in France, went to sunsetsirises after winning having a little giveaway event on my fb/instagram/twitter.

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When we finally got down to C-bus on friday afternoon, I got into Newt Scamander, which is the first time I’ve actually worn this cosplay! You all might be surprised, given my penchant for magical creatures, but I usually dress in an OC cryptozoologist chatracter who everyone just assumes is Newt because we are basically the same person. Both Hufflepuffs, both like dressing in vests and wearing bowties, and of course our shared love of magical critters, and huge collections thereof. But since I managed to snag the Newt cosplay on ThinkGeek when it was on supersale (seriously I paid $30 for the coat, bowtie & vest and it would’ve cost more than $30 just for the coat materials so SCORE), I decided it was time to actually cosplay him for real, instead of just being his spiritual doppleganger. Unfortunately, since' I’m not proportioned like a normal human being, the vest didn’t fit properly… it also didn’t have real pockets which annoyed me but that happens all the time so I got over it. So naturally I spent the few days before the con constructing a new one since I already had appropriate fabric for it that who even remembers what I originally bought it for because that’s the story with 80% of the fabric in my collection.

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I patterned the vest myself because like I said, I’m not proportioned like a normal person (torso is too long & skinny so big vests can fit 12 of me in them and small vests stop at my navel -_-). I made real welt pockets because I am that extra, and because Newt carries some sort of pocket watch or something like that which needed someplace to sit. And of course I lined it with adorable dinosaur fabric because that seemed appropriate (headcanon: accepted). I was a dummy and forgot to make a facing for the side with the buttonholes so I had to jankily fix that after I’d already done the buttonholes themselves so you didn’t see a weird white edge along that side, oops. But ultimately it came out looking good. (standby for Sunday photos to see the whole thing cause that selfie is the only one I got on Friday since I wasn’t wearing him for long).

We went to the formal lessons, taught by the wonderful Trickssi and got some refreshers for use at the fantasy ball later, and stopped by the Fate photoshoot that afternoon before going back to the room. I had every intention of going to the Fate shoot except our room hosts didn’t get there until later and I was not about to try to put on a white satin dress, petticoat, and hoops in the heckin parking lot cause we all know I would have dropped it and been reaaaaaal mad at life. This is the only photo I actually took at the Fate shoot since we didn’t stay long (though I did ogle a lot of the other cosplayers there).

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This was an awesome Mashu Alter that I chatted with for a hot second because he looked amazing and I couldn’t figure out who he was cosplaying from behind, but the lance and armor were beautiful and the shield was a dead giveaway once I saw it up close.
(Also, you may want to take note of that Achilles in the background because you’ll be seeing him again later).

After perusing the Fate folks for a bit, we went back to the room to change, grabbed dinner, and headed to the drag show!! I wasn’t aware that friday’s show was actually a Drag Race competition, hosted by the magnanimous Oriana Perone and we arrived in time to see the dance battle that took the contestants from 8 to 4, and was definitely a good moment to catch. The 4 remaining did a cute Mad Libs version of The Princess and the Pea, where they lived “prickly ever after” and was hilarious on the whole. But the most impressive performance was next as the bottom two contestants (one of whom was that Achilles in the background up above) Lip Synched for their lives. You can watch the video here because I cannot adequately describe how incredible it was, but needless to say, no one got eliminated. The final round was a makeover competition between the final 4 in which they each had a model and had to create their own Sailor Scout and come up with their “special move.” The winner was an amazing Haruhi (Ouran) cosplayer who presented “Sailor Fab,” and the “one-Kiss Kill.” If I can find them on some social media platform I will link you all to them because they had the perfect combination of attitude, dance moves, and cute face to have been deserving of the win.

After the drag show we went to the Fantasy Ball, also hosted by Trickssi ,and had a lovely time dancing and even made a new friend! Highlights from the ball include me still not figuring out the Tokyo Polka despite my efforts, since they were just finishing teaching it when we arrived at the lessons but one of these times I’m gonna get it! Also, I almost couldn’t get back off the floor during the Cha-Cha slide after the “how low can you go” part. Lastly I almost got whiplash when I heard the opening chord to one of the songs and was like “BASTION MUSIC???!?”

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

After the ball was over, we headed back to the room and celebrated Christmas with my roomies, changed again, and headed over to the EDM dance party for the night after stopping at the hotel bar. I was super into the music and going pretty hard so I’m glad Specks made me stretch my legs after the rave. We also ran into that same Achilles cosplayer and the winning model from the final drag race competition on the way back to the hotel room, so I stopped and complimented them both on their fabulousness from earlier (they were both exceedingly attractive so that provided some extra motivation for me to stop and say something since I’m often too awkward to talk to people).

Saturday

Saturday morning was a bit rough since we closed out the rave and as such didn’t make it to bed until after 2, and my wonderful inability to sleep in meant I was awake at 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep. But it wasn’t all bad cause I got bearkfast at the hotel and had plenty of time to shave and do my makeup for Fran before we headed over to the con to check out the leatherworking panel that morning.

Saturday was fun and pretty chill for most of the day. We hung out for a while, got coffee, ran into some other Fate cosplayers, I finally got to see Genki since she didn’t make it over to the con Friday night.

We ran into this awesome Cu &amp; Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

I was also delighted to run into  Holy.Grail  in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

I was also delighted to run into Holy.Grail in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

After spending most of the afternoon hanging out in Fran, it was time to go change (she’s super comfortable but I was ready to not have to wear a wig any more), and I put on my Witchsona for the Saturday night drag show.

The show was absolutely phenomenal, all of the performers were amazing, and the outfits were amazing, and everything was just awesome. It was particularly great to see the Haruhi cosplayer who’d won the drag race the previous night get to perform and hot damn I’m pretty sure they paid for their whole con with all of the money the audience was giving them. Oriana was also a star in her Daimonds/Titanium mashup, that the whole audience lost their mind when she came out in her sheer cloak that had lights in it which looked like a galaxy. Also the shimmery silver number underneath the galaxy cloak was just as impressive! All in all it was one of the best drag shows I’ve been to.

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I love this outfit so freaking much and I can’t help but slip into diva mode when I’m wearing it. I walk differenty, carry myself differently, it’s great. My favorite thing was that I had 3 separate people comment on how fabulous I was, and two of them even asked for photos! I wasn’t expecting that at all since I wasn’t cosplaying a known character so it was definitely a nice confidence boost.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

After dinner with the Wolf Pack we went back to the room and changed yet again for the Saturday night rave. I wasn’t feeling the music quite as much because the beat was really inconsistent, and also super fast most of the time so I had a harder time dancing to it than Friday night’s DJ. Fortunately that problem solved itself almost immediately because I was waylaid by to exceedingly attractive young men who cam and started dancing with me. As you may have guessed, that same Achilles cosplayer (whose name I finally learned was John) was one of them since we kept running into each other all con, and the second was the winning model (not the Haruhi cosplayer but the one that was done up to be Sailor Fab, whose name I also learned, was Andrew) from the Drag Race the previous night. Specks also made friends with an adorable 10th Doctor cosplayer so she had a dance partner too since I was a little preoccupied. After the rave we chatted with John for a while (since Andrew left to go to a friend’s panel) and finally went back to the room to call it a night. Well, that was the intention anyway but when we got back to the room I realized that the one occupied spot in the other bed wasn’t actually Salem, but her Majima pillow, so I figured she & Genki were still hanging out over at the con center. Since I’d been spending most of my time with Specks and not as much with them I figured I’d go hang out for a while. There was also some ulterior motive that I might here from the two boys again, which to my delight I did. So after hanging out with Genki & Salem for a bit I chatted with Andrew, who was shortly joined by John, and we ended up having a big ol cuddle party on one of the couches in the convention center. Honestly it was a highlight of my convention because they were both very sweet and genuine (and a-fucking-dorable) and we just chatted and snuggled together for a few hours getting to know each other. By the time 5:30ish rolled around I finally decided I needed to go lay down in a real bed, since as much as I was enjoying snuggling with the boys, I totally would have fallen asleep and woken up so sore I wouldn’t have been able to move.

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys

Sunday

I actually managed to sleep in a bit Sunday (compared to usual at least, cause I was till up by 9) and we got the car packed up and got some brunch with my good friend Nick, who lives down in Columbus these days. We ate some delicious tacos at Condado, then hung out at the convention center for a while before taking off. We did hit up the Potterverse shoot, since we were in Newt and Umbridge that day. It was a pretty small shoot but it was lots of fun. We also met up with our Doctor friend from the previous night, who was no longer dressed as the Doctor (I believe he said something about “Cells at Work?” I’m not familiar with whatever it was so that might not be correct). He did get one of our only photos of the two of us dressed together (though we haven’t seen any from the Potterverse shoot yet, so there should be more floating around at some point).

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

I did manage to connect with Andrew again for a bit on Sunday morning before we left (John was already gone by then), which was nice. And that was pretty much my con! We did have a long trip home because we had to detour down to Dayton for work-related stuff, and we drove together so I had to drop Specks off at home before I could head home myself. Thankfully the roads were clear after the snowstorm we got hit with on Saturday so it was a fairly uneventful drive home.

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When I did finally get home, I left the packing for Monday morning, and cuddled with my own boys. I also promptly fell asleep on Jordan’s lap while he watched Aliens. It was definitely a fun and exhausting weekend and I’m already missing my con friends, new and old, but I’m not missing going back to a normal sleep schedule XD

Now that I have my first convention of the year under my belt, it’s back to work! I’m going to be finishing that Silas armor soon (hopefully) and I have a couple of other projects lined up, both personal and commissions. I do, however, have my commissions open again so if you’re interested in ordering anything from me now is the time so start that conversation!

Matsuri 2018

Michael MacWolff

Hello everyone, welcome back! Now that Matsuri's over I have a little breathing room again so I actually have time to put together a post-con post! Matsuri was a blast overall and I'm already pumped for my next convention in a couple of months!!

Friday

I went down early on Friday, hoping to avoid as much traffic as possible and snag a good parking spot. With the imminent republican dinner and he-who-shall-not-be-named coming that evening I wanted to avoid as much hassle as possible. It mostly worked out except that the parking garage I wanted to be in was flat out closed, much to my dismay. I still managed to get a decent enough sppot in the outdoor lot and resolved to move my car saturday morning since I knew I'd be awake early cause that's just what I do.

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I all of friday in Mordred, mostly in the traditional casual outfit. Likely the coolest thing I did all weekend was meet Erica Lindbeck, Mordred's VA (and 12 other characters I also love). I went with my friend Genki and I had her sign my sword and bought a Mordred print she had at her table too. She was awesome and very sweet. She gave me lots of compliments on the sword, especially after I told her I'd made it myself. I got a couple photos with her and as I was leaving, I heard my name.
"Mike."
I turned back around not at all prepared for what was coming next.
"Are you the one... who is my master?"

I'm dead I'm dead I died I'm dead.

My wig is falling off and I'm not looking at the camera, but at Least Erica Lindbeck looks great and is weilding Clarent Blood Arthur so that's all that actually matters.

My wig is falling off and I'm not looking at the camera, but at Least Erica Lindbeck looks great and is weilding Clarent Blood Arthur so that's all that actually matters.

After meeting Erica, Genki and I met our other friends to do our usual Wolf Pack dinner at Max & Erma's. It was still pretty early so we immediately got a table.... and were just about the only people in the restaurant at the time. Not gonna complain.

After dinner I went back to the room and changed into Mordred's formal outfit for the formal ball, hosted by Trickssi! As always, the music selection was lovely and the dancing was fun. I met Nekoyasha09 dressed as Semiramis, who I found out was going to be in my big cosplay group the following day... small world.

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After the dance was over I hooked back up with my wolf pack and hung out until people were ready to call it a night.

Saturday

Saturday morning, as promised, I woke up too early for my own good, and used the unfortunate consequence of my internal clock to nab a fantastic space in the garage right in between the con center and the hotel. Booyah.

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Saturday was primarily reserved for Fire Emblem shenanigans so I put on my fake tits, did some contouring, and finally took my debuting steps in Vaida's stupidly tall stiletto boots.

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I am super happy with how this cosplay turned out and even though no one recognized me who wasn't a member of our group, I still had a blast! Since I was up and out early, it was a bit before I found anyone else in my group but eventually we assembled the Fire Emblem: 420 Blaze It Sword crew.

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I honestly don't know who our photog was because I'd not met him before, but you can be sure I'll have his info and will bombard you with photos as soon as I have them. The shoot was ridiculous and fun, just as I was hoping.

After walking around in stilletto boots for hours, my feet wanted to die, so I went back to the room to chill out for a while before transitioning into my last cosplay for the weekend.

And that last hurrah was in a cosplay I've not worn in quite some time. Daru Chai and I busted out our Soul Eater pair from... I honestly don't even remember how many years ago now, and we hit the con floor.

Photo courtesy of  Daru Chai Cosplay

Photo courtesy of Daru Chai Cosplay

Magically we ran into some other Soul Eater cosplayers and joined them for a little photoshoot. We were one of 3 pairs of Steins/Medusas and had a Maka and a couple of Souls. We definitely hammed it up as much as possible before I had to take off.

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I'll be getting some more of these back too since someone was taking photos for us.
After the shoot (or at least part of the shoot), I ran off and met my sister for dinner, and yes, I was still dressed as Stein.

Photo courtesy of  vespamary

Photo courtesy of vespamary

We went to this lovely little place called The Table and had some awesome meats, cheeses, fried green tomatoes, and cocktails. Our libations included an Old Fashioned we shared in memory of Grandma B.

As soon as I got back to the convention center I was immediately whisked away by Madster,  Heckin.Sleepy, and a small crew of others who were on a mission to find hot dogs. So we went questing together and I had a drink with everyone while people devouered some delicious-looking dogs. After we were sated, we headed back so I could send Heckin.Sleepy home with his new props (while we discussed some new possibilities for commissions).

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He didn't end up wearing Nero at the con, so I don't have any photos of the lot together, but hopefully I'll have those to share some time soon as well. By the time we got back, I was just about dead, but I did manage to find some of my pack and hang out for a bit before trotting off to bed.

Sunday

Sunday was a lazier day than usual since I didn't bring any lounge-y cosplay to wear. I was initially thinking I could wear Mordred again on Sunday if I was motivated enough to do so but needless to say I was not. Thankfully I got to hang with my pack for a while and pick up a few things from the artist alley before I headed home. And we got a pack selfie since we totally forgot to do that on Friday when we were all together.

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And that was that. I came home to my boys and got in lots of cuddle time and some Bob's Burgers before I passed out from the exhausting, but fun, weekend.

Now it's back to work, and I have plenty to do with a full armor commission and several other props that need to get done between now and Youmacon. You'll get to see my progress on those here soon, or you can keep up with it as it happens on my Instagram, which I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with.