Category Archives: Creations

SDCC 2017

SDCC was last month, and despite not getting tickets in the first round, I did manage to get a ticket again this year! I debuted a new full cosplay and a new pseudo-cosplay, which was very fun.

Antonio, gem, and I drove down Wednesday after work and had Berkeley Pizza for dinner. It was a short night, because we didn’t get down there early.

Thursday was the first time I wore my Tamatoa (the crab from Moana) cosplay. It was way too hot for it, but I enjoyed wearing it.

We met up with Tram and her friend Christian, and we spent most of the day with them. Maybe they’re good luck, because we got into Hall H for the first time. For reference, usually people line up overnight to get into Hall H. We heard an announcement that Will Smith would be in Hall H, which I just found silly. So what? It’s too late now. Antonio pointed out that maybe they announced it because it wasn’t full. He was exactly right. We walked right into the Netflix panel about Bright and Death Note. Will Smith was on the first half of the panel for Bright, and the whole thing was moderated by Terry Crews. It was pretty cool to be in there with them!

After Hall H, it was time for the Lick King’s Ice Cream Citadel! We got some tasty ice cream and posed with the Lich King! By then I was tired of my Tamatoa costume, so I changed into normal clothes because it was so hot. We had Greek fusion for dinner at Meze, at which we ate the last two years as well.

On Friday I wore my Magikarp Jump cosplay. It wasn’t 100% authentic at all, but it was fun. gem had the idea to use Boomerang for the video. Nice suggestion! We met up with our friends Krista, Kaitlyn, and David. I always run into Krista and Kaitlyn at the coolest places!

This was a day mostly for panels. I saw Robin Hobb: Beyond the Page first followed by Dare to Be Dynamite: Creative Vision with Pierce Brown, an author that gem loves. In the evening we watched a Mega64 panel and the Super Geeked Up Improv show, which was fun, although I wish there was more improv.

My favorite panel was Superstars in Children’s Fiction with Greg Grunberg, Lucas Turnbloom, R. L. Stine, Jarrett J. Krosocka, Jenni Holm, Matt Holm, and Molly Ostertag. We went because we thought it would be fun to see R. L. Stine, but we had no idea that Greg Grunberg, Parkman from Heroes and Wexley from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would be there and is now a children’s fiction author. He was super nice! We chatted with him after the panel, and when I asked to take a photo of him and gem, his son (I think) offered to take one of the three of us.

My favorite part of the panel was when Greg asked R. L. Stine about the future of Goosebumps TV shows or films. R. L. Stine said he couldn’t comment. Greg told him that he’d trade him information about the next Star Wars movies. Too awesome.

gem wore her Woody costume, which was modified since last year. Previously she tried to keep it authenticate. This year it was more interpretive with a dress. I think she rocked it!

On Saturday, Antonio and I snuck in as professionals to skip the line. Yay. gem took some cool photos of me by the water in my Tamatoa costume.

I had to fight Maui of course. Why wasn’t he transforming? “Well, well, well. Little Maui’s having trouble with his look…”

There were a lot of great Moana cosplayers! Thanks to gem for taking so many wonderful photographs 🙂 There are more on my cosplay page.

We went to another tokidoki signing as always where Simone signed my tokidoki x Overwatch notebook. We also chatted with Jaycee, who worked for tokidoki. She remembered us from previous years, and we followed each other on Instagram.

Let’s not talk about waiting in line over an hour for a Star Trek panel but not getting inside. At least I got to chat with some cool people in line!

Kaleigh joined us that night, although we split up for a bit. gem and I hung out while Antonio met with her at the train station. We all met up briefly, but then that evening gem, Antonio, and I went to see the best brothers around, the McElroys! We watched My Brother, My Brother, and Me live in San Diego! It was really fun to see them in person. Too bad we didn’t get to talk to them. I had a question ready to ask, but there weren’t microphones on the balcony where we were sitting unfortunately.

On Sunday I wore a tried-and-true cosplay, Fix-it Felix Jr.! During a panel, I ran into Erin, a Vanelope von Schweetz cosplayer! We took some photos together after the panel. Her car was super amazing!

After chatting with her, we went to a Disneybound panel with Leslie Kay, Kit Leitmeyer, Loni Clark, Neil A. Williams II, and Sara Katz-Scher. It was pretty interesting to hear about how they come up with their outfits.

I ended the convention at the Disney group shoot! It was organized by Robert T Photography, who also took the photo above. You can see more of his photos from the event here on Facebook.

One videographer took video of us for the end of his cosplay music video. I’m in it briefly at the end as I dance around 4:51, but I’m right in front so you can see me clearly, haha!

 

Look how amazing this little Dopey cosplayer was! He seemed to have a great time with the other Disney cosplayers.

Antonio took this photo of me and gem in her Steven Universe cosplay! I think she did a great job with this. A lot of Steven Universe cosplayers carry a ukulele just as a prop, but this cosplayer can actually play it! Yeah!

There are plenty more photos of my Fix-it Felix Jr. cosplay here.

On our way out of San Diego, we stopped at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate for Russian dinner. This is the khachapuri, which was filled with delicious cheese. Oh my god, I definitely need to eat this again. I also had chanakhi (lamb stew) as my entree.

And for dessert, I had sweet vatrushka with sour cherry and farmer’s cheese. Yum!

Until next year, SDCC!

Anela’s birthday at the Alpaca Hacienda

The Alpaca Hacienda

For Anela’s birthday, I arranged a tour of the Alpaca Hacienda in Temecula. She loves alpacas, so I thought it’d be great. When I was first feeling her out about it, the conversation went something like this.

“Have you ever been to an alpaca farm?”

“Nope, ugh, that’d be terrible!” At this point, I felt confused. She wouldn’t enjoy it? Would I need to find a different gift? But then she continued. “I’d never want to leave!” Perfect.

The Alpaca Hacienda

If you didn’t get invited, don’t blame Anela. I organized it, so you can get mad at me. I promise I’ll ignore you and not care.

Anela, gem, Claudia, Tram, and I met early so we could be sure to get to Temecula in time for our tour. Claudia brought some delicious cupcakes. I’ve had banana muffins, but have you ever had a banana chocolate cupcake? I have now, and it was delicious. I also brought some orange juice, water, and homemade egg muffins for everyone.

The Alpaca Hacienda

We gave her gifts and cards too. I like making handmade cards, but this was my first attempt at one with a slide and moving parts. The little alpaca jumps the fence. It took a while to figure out the best way to do it, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.

The Alpaca Hacienda

We reached The Alpaca Hacienda about 10 minutes before our scheduled time, which was pretty perfect. Oh man, look how cute these girls were! Tina, the Ranch Event Coordinator, met us and started our tour with a little presentation about alpacas. She was wonderful. I’d been e-mailing with her since December, so it was nice to meet her. These are all female alpacas in this pen that was right next to where we were having our presentation.

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Next it was time to feed Crown Royal! We learned that alpacas don’t really like to be touched, so the best way to get to pet him is to approach slowly and pet him gently while someone else distracts him with food! Luckily we were each given a bag of delicious (at least according to Crown Royal) food!

The Alpaca Hacienda

Thanks for the photos, gem. Feeding Crown Royal was so much fun! I’ll admit, my hand was pretty slobbery, but it was worth it. And hey, if you’re interested in having your alpaca breed with him, he’s available! I’m not sure why I decided to Google him, but I did.

The Alpaca Hacienda

After feeding Crown Royal, we learned a little about felt. One way felt is made is by applying water, pressure, and rubbing. I got the craft add-on to the tour (because of course we want to craft), so we got to make felt – or hairy soap I suppose. We were given some alpaca hair that we opened, cleaned, and then wrapped around a bar of soap with some water. We massaged it and spread it around the soap before finally using string to finish with some flair. We could use it as soap, and as the soap gets used up, the hair will continue to shrink and tighten around it, becoming felt, or we could use it as decoration. I’m going to keep mine as decoration.

The Alpaca Hacienda

Next it was time to see the males, but we took a detour to pet Dakota. Dakota is a sweet doggy that was all tuckered out. Dakota’s been protecting the alpacas from a coyote! Apparently the coyote has been coming to the ranch regularly.

The Alpaca Hacienda

The Alpaca Hacienda homes a single llama that we got to meet as well. Llamas, unlike alpacas, are quite friendly around people. This one really wanted kisses. He’d press up against our faces. I love him.

The Alpaca Hacienda

Tina was nice enough to take a photo of our whole group with an alpaca and the llama! What a good-looking bunch, eh? I had a ton of fun at the Alpaca Hacienda and definitely recommend it. We ended our afternoon in the gift shop. They had some fun finger puppets, so I bought a couple for gem. There was also a little alpaca wearing a hat. An alpaca with clothes?! I had to send Anela home with it.

I found a tea place that seemed nice on Yelp, so we headed to Snow & Crab after our tour. It was quite the eclectic restaurant – Cajun food, tea, coffee, and shaved ice. We got a round of drinks and enjoyed some conversation. gem ordered hot horchata coffee with boba. It was actually pretty good!

The Alpaca Hacienda

After our little break, we checked out the Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden! It was twenty minutes out of the way but well worth it. These sculptures were amazing. Check out that octopus in the above photo!

The Alpaca Hacienda

Look, gem joined a mariachi band!

The Alpaca Hacienda

I asked another person at the sculpture garden to take our photo. There were so many different kinds of sculptures from small insects, to life-sized people, to large dinosaurs. They were all very cool. Ricardo Breceda, the artist, said they could take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months to create depending on the size.

Ricardo Breceda

Next we headed back to Orange County to meet Daniel for dinner at Gen. It was time for delicious Korean BBQ! I ate so much, which is obviously customary at KBBQ. We were seated between 5:30 and 6:00 – once again perfect timing. Everything went so amazingly smoothly!

The Alpaca Hacienda

After discussing the video Tiny hamster eating a tiny pizza earlier, gem felt inspired to make a tiny taco. It was cute, but I don’t think it’s quite as a cute without a tiny animal eating it!

Next we rounded out the night at the nearby 7 Leaves Cafe for our second tea lounge of the day. You know what I just noticed as I wrote this post thanks to last years post, Happy birthday, Anela? We went to Gen as well as 7 Leaves Cafe last year for her birthday!

Everything we did that day was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know my three new friends! Most importantly, Anela got to have a fun birthday. Happy birthday! I hope you had fun! 🙂

LA Times Festival of Books and Jon Klassen

LA Times Festival of Books

When Collin told me that he noticed Jon Klassen, an author and illustrator I really like, was going to be at the LA Times Festival of Books, I immediately told gem and made plans to attend. Among other works, Klassen authored and illustrated I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat.

LA Times Festival of Books, Jon Klassen

This weekend we headed up to USC to meet him. Klassen was really friendly, and we both enjoyed chatting with him. We showed him some Snapchat art gem made involving his characters and told him about the “I Want My Yoga Shirt Back” flyer gem put up at her yoga studio when she lost her shirt. He complimented her Snapchat art!

LA Times Festival of Books, I Want My Hat Back

Check out my sweet first edition copy now! Awesome. 🙂

LA Times Festival of Books, This Is Not My Hat

We even discussed how he hears his characters’ voices. Klassen said hears them all deadpan and imagines that if there were actors portraying his characters, they’d be the worst actors he could find. I love it! While they do all have different voices when I read the book, they’re all pretty deadpan too actually. I told him how I do voices and even made a puppet show. He asked me to send him a link to the performance!

It was a lot of fun. Besides meeting Jon Klassen, we also got to eat some Filipino food from a food truck and some Thai sweet sticky rice with mango. We played on some outdoor workout equipment and took plenty of photos and various little photo ops. There was even an archaeologist there answering kids’ questions. He had a dinosaur puppet with him that was half controlled by someone in a suit and half controlled by someone outside. The kids wanted to pet it – adorable! On our way out, we even ran into our friend, Katy!

Here’s my performance of I Want My Hat Back. It’s so embarrassing! I love this book so much, and it was a great pleasure getting to meet Jon Klassen!

Christmas Creations

Christmas is a time for giving, and this year I gave a few homemade gifts. I thought I’d share some here!

Christmas card to gemThis is a Christmas card I gave. Yes, there was writing too, but I’m not sharing any. Christmas card for Anela

Here’s another one. I was pretty happy with it.

Christmas card for EdwardOne last card. These took hours each on average. I suppose I’m slow. Bunny for gem

This chubby little bunny was made for gem. I had to learn how to hand sew to make this. It was slow at first but got faster as I learned different stitches.

Bunny for gemThe side angle lets you see his little tail. gem with her bunny

She liked him! I’m really happy with how the bunny turned out. I think he’s pretty adorable, and he’s quite cuddly too.

gem with her bunnyThis is a cute photo. I like the bow tie. It’s attached with a safety pin rather than being sewed on so that it can be moved to become a ribbon on the ear instead! Belly dancer alpaca for Anela

Anela likes alpacas – particularly stuffed alpacas in costumes.

Belly dancer alpaca for AnelaI made this alpaca and then decided to put it in a belly dance costume. Anela with her belly dancer alpaca

Anela recognized it right away, which definitely made me happy!

belly dancer alpaca

It was based off one of the belly dance costumes that she’s worn. Plus I added a bell because… well… I like bells.

Evyerthing I made was well-received, and I had a ton of fun making them. It was strange when I finally finished; I didn’t know what to do with my free time. I spent countless nights in December working until 6 in the morning. Most of my free time the entire month was spent working. I decided to watch Parks and Recreation while working and got through three and a half seasons. I might be slow, and I might not be the most skilled, but I’m diligent!

Kiwi bowl

Kiwi bowl

I had an orange bowl and a watermelon bowl from Color Me Mine, so I recently decided to add to the collection by painting a kiwi bowl.

Kiwi bowl

My photographs don’t show the outside much, but it’s brown, unsurprisingly. It’s actually bigger than my other two bowls, which I guess is kind of sad since kiwis are smaller. But I think it’s cute anyways.

Kiwi bowl

And here is is on its first day of holding food.

They grow up so fast.

Mathematical Adventure Time mug!

Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_Core

Last week was gem’s birthday, and we went to Color Me Mine to celebrate, about which I also posted.

This weekend, I picked up my piece! It’s an Adventure Time mug featuring Finn!

Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_Core

Or is it an Adventure Time mug featuring Jake?

Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_Core

Oh my god, it’s both!

Adventure Time mug painted at Color Me Mine! Idea by reddit user /u/Just-Another-Teenage in a post by /u/Corrupt_Core

Totally mathematical, right?!

Credit where credit’s due. I got the idea from a reddit post by /u/Corrupt_Core who was posting photos of a mug painted for him by his friend /u/Just-Another-Teenage. Thanks for the fantastic idea! I know it’s a bit sloppy in places, but I’m really happy with it.

Happy birthday, gem!

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Happy birthday, gem! We celebrated by painting at Color Me Mine! The woman who worked there even recognized gem because we spent her last birthday there. How cool is that? She even made something based on gem’s design because she liked it so much.

color me mine

Woo, painting party!

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I painted this mug. I hope it looks good when it’s fired. It’s Jake. You knew that, right? I hope so.

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Wait, look at the other side! It’s Jake! Woo!

Full disclosure time! I stole this idea from /u/Corrupt_Core on Reddit.

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We went to the Anaheim Packing District dinner, and this tip jar at the Kroft made me laugh.

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I had a sandwich and the pot pie poutine. So good!

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For dessert, I got a PopBar.

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Eating made me happy and sad at the same time.

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In the end, I was quite sad.

Anyways, happy birthday, gem! Yay!

Birthdays, Restaurant Week, and more

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There were lots of things happening last week! Saturday the 22nd was gem’s birthday. I baked her a turtle cake, which I talked about previously. She and Edward came to my place for cake before we went out to celebrate. gem wasn’t sure what she wanted to do ahead of time, but she decided to go to Color Me Mine.

Horde plate and mug

I painted a Horde (from World of Warcraft) plate to go with my Horde stein. I had actually painted the stein years ago, but it broke during the firing process and I never got around to fixing it. Luckily the people at Color Me Mine this time told me that if I brought it, they’d glue it together for me, which they did!

After painting, we wen to Gen Korean BBQ. We got there just before last call, so we were trying to order a bunch of food. The waiter was nice enough to just pick stuff for us, and he placed a big order. We were all stuffed, but we managed to get through it.

Sunday morning Collin and I went to Newport to eat at Zimzala. It was fairly empty, but that just meant that we got to hear some rocking tunes from Danny Maika and make a lot of requests.

Later that night, I went to Zenko Sushi with Anela and gem for the weekend’s second all-you-can-eat meal. We had a nice time!

By Monday I had gained 4.70 lbs since Friday. That was expected. Unfortunately, I felt a little sick, but I didn’t think much of it. Monday night Duncan treated Collin and me to Chipotle. It was fun eating with them. We brought it back to the house and watched… uh… Twitch Plays Pokemon on the living room TV.

I guess Chipotle was the last straw for my stomach. Something made me pretty sick, and I was up most of the night. I ended up calling out sick Tuesday and Wednesday. On the plus side, I lost all that weight I gained and much more! Tuesday morning I still tried to eat normally, but my stomach rejected everything. Even my mouth rejected normal foods! I chipped a tooth eating a protein bar. I should note that the protein bar isn’t crunchy in any way.

Get well soup

gem recommended I make soup, so I did just that. My stomach didn’t seem to hate it, so I ate it Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and early on Thursday.

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I was still incredibly bummed about Harold Ramis dying as well, so I decided to spend some of my limited waking time watching Ghostbusters. Let’s not dwell on this, because I’ll get depressed.

I was feeling a lot better although not perfect by Thursday. I finished the soup for my lunch that day. Late that night, gem came over because it was my birthday and she had a gift for me. She bought a cast iron skillet! I had been wanting one for a while, so that was pretty cool. We also decided to order pizza. It was a terrible idea since I was getting over food poisoning, but it was also my birthday and I love pizza. Luckily my stomach accepted it without complaint.

Friday I celebrated OC Restaurant Week by going to Marrakesh for Moroccan food with Collin, Duncan, and Mimi. The food was delicious, just like I remembered it. I had a tasty salad, lamb, baklava, and tea. I also had a Lebanese beer and some mixed drink called a Belly Dancer. It was tasty, but I can’t remember what was in it.

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After dinner, we all headed back to our place to hang out, watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and have some wine. There might have been an extraordinary amount of Snapchatting as well.

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On Saturday I went to The Melting Pot with gem and Edward to celebrate my birthday. I’d been there a couple years earlier for my birthday and really liked it. It didn’t let me down! First there was a tasty salad. Next there was a Wisconsin cheese trio with bread, veggies, and apples. For the main course there was a nice broth with chicken, steak, mushroom ravioli, shrimp, and lobster tail. There might have been a glass of wine and dirty martini in there too!

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For dessert we had dark chocolate fondue with marshmallow cream and crumbled Oreos. We dipped Rice Krispy treats, brownies, pound cake, bananas, strawberries, cherries, and cheesecake. The cheesecake dipped in the chocolate was so amazing! Because it was my birthday, they also brought me a chocolate covered strawberry with a candle. The waiter told Edward to sing for me because he wasn’t going to do it. He mentioned something about how it’s too bad nobody had a ukulele. Unfortunately, we didn’t have gem’s ukulele with us.

So that was my week! Being sick was pretty miserable, but I had a nice birthday and enjoyed celebrating gem’s as well.