The Tattood Princess Interview

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1. If someone at commissions you for a costume, how much lead time do you need or want?  I actually don’t make any of my own cosplays! I’m still a beginner at sewing, and the most complicated thing I can make now is a skirt. I’m learning, and I really want to get better so I can make my own ballgowns.

2. What inspired you to start making costumes?  Again, I don’t make my own costumes, but I started cosplaying a couple years ago and really got into in the last year. I’ve always loved dressing up, and last year I started working as a birthday party princess on the weekends. I fell in love with portraying specific characters and decided I wanted to do it more on my own time too.

3. Outside of Cosplay, what are your interests?  Besides cosplay, I love to draw and paint, and I read a lot. Tons of comics, obviously, but also a lot of poetry and classic literature. I have a background in medieval lit, so reading has always been a big part of my life.
4. What is your primary method of funding your projects? I fund my cosplays with the money I make from working as a party princess/artist. I buy a lot of my cosplays second hand, so that helps keep costs down a lot. My wigs are often more expensive than my costumes because I buy my wigs new instead of used.
5. What is your number one anime of all time?  Sailor Moon. I’m actually thinking about doing a Sailor Scout/Eeveelutions crossover cosplay with some friends for Wizard World PDX. I’m not sure we’ll be able to get it all together in time, but it’s definitely something I want to do at some point! I already called dibs on Sailor Flareon.
6. What is your favorite material to work with?  Right now because I’m just starting out, non-stretch cotton, haha. Sorry, I wish I had a more interesting answer!
7. What is your favorite convention globally speaking?  ECCC is my favorite con! I had such an amazing time at ECCC 2018 and I’m already counting down the days until next year. I’ve only been to a couple other cons–least favorite was easily D23 Expo, which was so, so terribly organized. It took over an hour just to get into the convention hall each day! ECCC is so well done and people are so friendly and respectful, it’s just a really great community.
What is your favorite local event?  I love ECCC, as I mentioned, but Rose City Comicon in Portland is also pretty great. I’m still pretty new to the con scene so I’m always looking for new events, especially in the Seattle area!

Arya Snark Cosplay

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1. If someone at commissions you for a costume, how much lead time do you need or want?  1) I actually don’t take commissions for people I don’t know. Personally, my skills as a seamstress aren’t where I would like them to be to sell my work to strangers. I consider each costume I make for myself as practice to enhance my skills. I try to do something new with each costume I make, be it a new type of garment or a making the lines of my costumes cleaner and more precise. I might consider taking commissions once my skills are up to a level where I would feel confident in my abilities as a seamstress, but unfortunately, that’s not going to be any time soon.

2. What inspired you to start making costumes?  2) I need a creative outlet, otherwise I feel like I’m going insane. I went from doing theatre to doing Rocky Horror (where I would have to make some of my costumes) to doing burlesque (where I would modify and enhance pieces I found in thrift shops/on Amazon) and now I’m doing cosplay. My desire to make costumes has always been there. Even as a little kid, I remember watching Grease 2 and wanting so badly to wear the costume that Paulette wore to the bowling alley. Now, as an adult, I can finally make that dream happen if I want to. I also have always wanted to be a princess in a Disney park, but unfortunately, I don’t have the body type and I’m far too tall. But through cosplay, I can be a Disney princess on my own terms.

3. Outside of Cosplay, what are your interests?  3) Disneyland is basically my favorite place in the world. I may or may not have moved to LA from San Francisco to be closer to Disneyland. Honestly, if I’m not downtown buying fabric for my next cosplay, I’m probably at Disneyland. I’m also a big fan of just holing up in my apartment and binge watching something on Netflix. I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert, so I’m happy to spend long periods of time alone with my laptop and my Netflix subscription before I start to feel like I’m going crazy and need human interaction. At which point, I go to Disneyland. It’s a vicious circle.

4. What is your primary method of funding your projects?  4) I have a full-time job at a non-profit organization, so a good portion of my paycheck (after rent and bills and whatnot) goes to my cosplay problem. I’m very fortunate to live in Los Angeles where we have an expansive fashion district downtown. I can get fabrics for much, much less that I would be able to if my only options were Joann’s and various online fabric stores. I tend to estimate how much I’m willing to spend on a certain costume and set that money aside from each paycheck.

5. What is your number one anime of all time?  5) Okay, so I’m one of the only cosplayers who isn’t into anime. No judgments for those who love it. To each their own, but it’s just not for me. I did watch Sailor Moon in fourth grade because that was the thing to do in the 90s, but really, that’s the last anime I watched. I do remember liking Sailor Mars because she was kind of a jerk, and I identified with that on a deep, emotional level, lol

6. What is your favorite material to work with?  6) I love working with faux dupioni. I can get it for about $4.50/yard in downtown LA. It irons beautifully and gives a nice stiffness to bigger ballgowns. When I remade my Lottie (from Disney’s Princess and the Frog) costume, I made it out of faux dupioni instead of the taffeta that i had made it out of the first time. It gave the skirt a nice stiffness and the fabric had a very subtle texture to it that gave the costume some depth. Warning, though. It does fray like crazy, so if you do decide to use it, make sure you serge your edges or at least create a lining for your project!

7. What is your favorite convention globally speaking?  7) I only went to a convention out of state for the first time this year! I was able to go to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and I absolutely loved it. But I’m a fan of any convention where it doesn’t feel like the con is being held on the surface of the sun like it does in LA. I tend to plan cosplays for the LA heat, and it was nice to actually think about incorporating something warm into my costumes for the brisk Seattle weather.

8. What is your favorite local event?  8) I have two favorite local cons: D23 and WonderCon. As I mentioned, I live in LA, so we have plenty of conventions to keep us fueled throughout the year. D23 is the Disney convention that only happens in Anaheim once every two years. It will return in 2019, and honestly, I can’t wait. It doesn’t have much to offer by way of Artist Alley, since Disney is pretty strict about their copyrights, but for a hardcore Disney fan like me, it is Disney nirvana. WonderCon is good for people like me who love big conventions, but would have an absolute meltdown at San Diego ComicCon. Since WonderCon is a sister convention of SDCC, I can get a good feel for what SDCC has to offer without the inevitable panic attack from the hoards of people trying to fit through the con floor.

Cosplay and Social Conventions

I have Asperger’s Syndrome.  People keep telling me they want me to write from my Apserger’s perspective to help other people on the spectrum.  Well I have a lot more than that going on with me, including childhood PTSD (which may have been misdiagnosed ENTIRELY as ADHD) and… as a result I don’t personally see how my particular lens can help anyone else without such a vast brain juice cocktail.  Nevertheless I was determined to give it a shot this year, and one of the few areas I feel equipped to deal with this is describing my convention experiences and lessons from them that I can impart to you.  Starting with Emerald City Comicon 2018.  This is late because I work so much of the week, and I will be doing this topic by topic.  So I will be posting more later, this is just ECCC 2018 topic no 1.  Not everything in here is from personal experience.  So let’s start with cosplay.  Plenty of room for social lessons there.  Cosplay is not consent, after all.

Cosplay and Social conventions. by FandomFoodie
So I saw a woman over the weekend who strongly resemble the Black Canary and outfit and hair and what not, but was not in Cosplay.  (Not the woman in the picture, this is just for Black Canary visual reference.  I don’t even know the name)  This is important, because when we ask you types are on a roll we do not always roll with the punches. 1) we were in the Dealer’s Hall. You do not move people around in the Dealer’s Hall. There is a steady stream and Flow of people constantly moving. And in that dealer’s hall traffic you hop from one current to another. You DO NOT swim against that current like a carp that wants to be a dragon, you do not move people through it, and even if you’re near a blank space to get some quick snap shots. See when someone is just dressed really cool what you should do in any convention situation. With some exceptions where you just don’t do it all. Is you take a singular full body shot and you move on. Instead I asked her to move into a corner just outside the current. And that got my shooting privileges revoked. Remember taking that shot is a privilege that someone else gives you. You are never entitled to take someone’s picture.
Also a social etiquette rule that we should also consider here. Just because some college rules apply to conventions like note taking during a panel and asking for permission use a voice recorder, does not mean that convention rules apply to a costume setting. It’s not just the ACT of dressing up and some kind of outfits that has to be considered.  It’s also the setting where you do it. Costuming is typically an irregular part of society, whereas it is a more regular part of the experience in nerd culture.
And finally, just because it’s crunch time, con is closing, you’re in the zone and you just HAVE to get those last few pics… don’t make a drop in your conduct.  Don’t call out to people, by their outfits or otherwise.  Don’t forget these other points I’ve mentioned, when you’re in …admittedly the heat of the moment.  And whatever else you’ve learned about social structure and courtesy from anywhere else in your life, that still applies.
So, please let me know in the comments what you think.  If you or anyone you know has Aspergers, or any Syndrome similiar in social situations, does this sound relevant?

Steak and Shake

Safe Space by FandomFoodie

(Screwup admission time.  I cannot locate the picture file featuring my meal, or the footage I made walking from Benoroya Hall on 3rd ave & Union in Seattle over one block and my notes on the surrounding attractions between the hall which is 4 blocks from the south entrance of the convention center.  By Union Square.  So sorry.  And frustrated.  VERY Frustrated.  )

Founded in 1938, Steak and Shake still maintains a classic Drive-In Diner feel. Even though the one I ate at, is in a strip mall in downtown. They have unfolding paper toys for all ages to keep the small and loud ones entertained, and photographs in black and white of their vintage past.  They’re advertising features glass glasses for milkshakes, but they are delivered in paper. That feels more like conventional fast food experience to me. Meat tasted like actual steak section of the cow, and these are Steakburgers they are selling so it ought to. Friendly service, and handy accessible location to various events in downtown Seattle.

And before we get into the actual flavor of the steak and shake, something of note about Steak and Shakes that I did not get you before. These premises are on the same block as Wild Ginger (Voted #1 Asian Fusion Eat) but if you go downhill along the same block, you find a Seattle Art Museum. Seattle Art Museum has on the first Thursday and the first Saturday of any given month, free admission.  Both of which are on Emerald City Comicon Weekend.  The tickets are good for seven days, and they can be used at Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park.  So if you need a break from the convention, or in this case Comic-Con, you can enjoy some free culture and art.
 Navigation notes: The official website is; the directions are How to get to Seattle Steak and Shake from Convention Centerbut I recommend just going down Union Street.  Now onto the meal…


The milkshake I had was the limited edition Red Velvet cake shake.  Thusly I wondered how they flavored it.  Then I noticed that the shake felt kind of granular to me, and once I was through that cherry and the cream, I saw they had blended in crumbs of actual red velvet cake into the mixture.  Beyond that, all I can say is that the whip cream was unflavored, and the marashino cherry, aside from having those stem, went down a lot easier than I’m used to. I’m normally not a cherry guy, but at least this one had no pit.  The shakes had an interesting caveat to them.  For the sake of exploring I bought a “plain” Red Velvet shake.  You can buy them at their regular price, or you can pay extra to have additives like the regular milkshake flavors. What is unusual, is that the Oreos don’t cost extra… the Oreos are a sort of freebie.  Throw in literally any of their other typical shake flavors with the cake ingredients, and you have a small upcharge.  This red velvet flavor will be around through Comic-Con but not as far out as Sakuracon.
My entree was their Quacamole burger.  The Guac Burger was actually pretty spicy they mentioned the spicy mayo is available on the side period for dipping fries in. If you ask for no fries and which I did, your order is $0.70 cheaper.  I really couldn’t taste much of the guacamole, course I will through it pretty quickly. And I was glad I could not taste the raw tomato. Normally I’d ask tomatoes like that grilled or removed, but no substitutions when you want to write about the actual product. Two patties, and you can taste the steak in this. They said it’s all made from scratch here and I believe it. The sauce, the burgers, and the guacamole. Definitely made here made fresh, and actually quite prompt for freshly made. Normally I associate this speed of service with just reheating frozen patties. Normally when I have a guacamole burger there’s a huge mess left behind but only a few droplets were left.  Easily cleaned. So I managed to get all of my money’s worth.
Sources: (Maybe a way for attendees to save some time and energy)

Evergreen Handwarmer for ECCC 2018

Evergreen Handwarmer
So, one night I had to duck in from the cold. And this is going to be very relatable come Emerald City Comicon and when it might actually still be snowing. It is snowing here as I dictate this. It is below freezing in Seattle. Winter is extending, and winter is coming. To a place where people actually dress up as white walkers. That’s going to look so freaky in the outdoor shots. But here’s a problem, liquid is one of the words in LCD screens. So when it gets too cold, things like digital cameras stop working as well. This and that, it’s just you deserve a heads up. Don’t be out too long with your camera if you want to keep using it.
But storytime’s over.  This is actually about a drink. If you’re over budget and you need something hot, I’ve already detailed that the convention center in downtown Seattle is surrounded by various Starbucks here:  Just order a Venti Hot Water, 3 or more slices of lime and 8 cane sugar packets. You let it all steep and melt together, and you have the Evergreen Hand Warmer. Does wonders to protect your hands from the cold. And if you’re going to be operating a camera like me, you’re going to need your fingers exposed. So these little things will really come in handy. The actual taste is more like scalding sweet water with a kiss of lime than anything else. But given the ingredients for portions, that’s not surprising. I suppose if you wanted more you could get it in a reusable cup. Or just hold on to those lime wedges and get a hot water refill with more limes. Honestly I like it for both flavor and most importantly warmth, but my dentist will probably disapprove. Lots of sugar and citric acid, period. Although given how many calories you’re going to need to maintain your body heat, you’re definitely going to need the extra calories. I’m not exaggerating. Speaking of maintaining body heat, who’s going to be toughing out the cold in their cosplay this year?  I’m going to be skipping it for Comic-Con this year.  One week out as I write this and we still have some snow on the ground.  See you there, hopefully without chattering teeth.

Fandom Foodie’s Rules for Procuring Tea Leaves

I figured that since I was the one taking initiative on harvesting the family’s Huckleberry leaves years ago after the bush got trimmed, I should apply what I did and what I saw into a procedure for the next time.  I have applied what worked and what didn’t into the following list, and having applied it successfully for years I’ve elected to share it with all of you. This is not limited exclusively to Huckleberry leaves but it won’t work on just anything.  For the benefits of huckleberry leaves, look here:  They’re similar in shape and nutrition to blueberry leaves, but I primarily pursue this tea to keep the diabetes away.  More on that here:

1)      Before any plucking or cutting is to take place, lay a clean surface on the ground to place the trimmings on.  This way contaminates from the ground are kept away from the leaves we will be consuming.

2)      Make sure you only cut in small enough segments to fit on that filter.

3)      If this be a berry plant, you may be liable to come across berries, depending on the time of year and the plant’s health.  Bring a berry tote.  The fruit will not dry so fast and thorough as the leaf.

4)      The wind, FEAR THE WIND.  You will need walls and shelter at all times to keep your crop from blowing away.  Dry them on surfaces that have walls, like in a tub or a bowl.  When the sun gets too low, you’ll need to use something flat, but the surface area needs to be small enough to block the wind with something taller.

5)      There is no set procedure.  This is a first-time thing, so I will make changes later.

6)      Keep a thin layer of leaves in your container to dry, have a second container to hold the collected leaves waiting to be dried and a third for the ones that have been sun-dried.  2 Wide metal bowls for added sun exposure and reflection and a flat surface or two to hold and expose thin layers.

7)      Shortly before Noon, move the leaves on the other side of the house.  The sun will have started to reach that spot by then.

8)      By 8pm, bring them inside.  Even in the summer, it’s just too cold by then.

It and Cherry Blossom fraps.

DSC05585 watermarkedIf you are ordering multiple Frappuccinos, make one of them the new(ish) It frap. It placed an emphasis on Pennywise’s new red and white color scheme, and it is mercifully simple. Especially when you pair it with the much more complex Cherry Blossom frap. The chaste itself gives off the strawberry field before I even when you just have your straw at the very bottom although I had to walk home with mine first as shown in the picture. So it may have had some time. Personally I think it is better for it. But I’ll have to order another one to be sure. Not that I would mind. So the vanilla bean vanilla bean frap glorified is Gathering the actual Bean Moss around the edge of the cup bottom. And my only remaining advice is ask for the freeze-dried strawberries as a topping because it showed in the picture on the secret menu website, but not in the recipe.? How is that? Well the movie came out after sakura con and Comic Con last year. And this spring time after a movie hits you’re going to see a lot more cosplayer stressed after that movie. So if you’re going is Pennywise, any Pennywise the Clown, you can add your experience by drinking Pennywise.
Cherry Blossom Recipe Here:
Years ago at my old account, some of you will remember me sharing my thoughts on the Sakuracino at Sakuracon with you. The original. And I’ve had one each year since.  So, when I discovered a Cherry Blossom Frappuccino, I was intrigued to explore something like we could order all year round. Unlike the Sakuracino which calls for a special syrup added into the whipped cream.  Which is much like the zombie frap that I tasted but didn’t get notes on for all of you. My bad. The Sakuracino changes, constantly adapting and evolving each year. But this lets you switch things up a bit and impress your fellow attendees. Although the recipe is a bit complicated. If you recite it item-by-item instruction by instruction, that is impressive and it sounds crueler than it needs to with regards to the barista. Ugly wood go big or go home on your orders. But now for the actual flavor.  I cannot tell the matcha from the strawberries. At least not after I weights following several big ships. Now I like both, so that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned. But it makes describing it’s a bit of a challenge. The sides are lined with white mocha and matcha mix, and they dissolve into drink very quickly.