More Food

Naybe I should have something healthy the next time I post. This is a waffle with icecream, chocolate sauce, icing sugar  and whipped cream that my boyfriend had at Williams, I had a less delightful looking BLT but I definately stole a few bites of the waffle. It was delicious!

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Jan Valentine Guide

Currently darkelements doesn’t have working contact forms due to the site’s redesign, but requests still get through to me. This morning I got a tutorial submission from a  form that has nothing linking to it! I also got messaged on gaia to do a character guide for Jan Valentine from Hellsing, and so I am:

Hat
Well he wears a toque. If you wait for winter to come around then you should have a variety of black winter-hat and toque options for a fairly low price. You could also find them in the summer months by checking thrift stores or going online. If you want to make the hat and can knit then that would be the best option for making. Here is a pattern for a basic knitted mens toque – http://hipknitized.blogspot.com/2009/12/mens-sleek-toque.html If you can’t knit and buying is not an option, then you can experiment with other fabrics to achieve a similar look. This is a basic fleece hat tutorial and should work as a good pattern.

He also has an eye on his hat. There are lots of ways to do this so I’ll go over a bunch of them so you can choose what works best for you.
– If you are knitting you can knit the design into the hat
Create an Applique
– Paint it on with acrylics or fabric paint
– Get a squeeze bottle with a fine tip and fill with fabric paint, then squeeze the paint (like drawing)
– Create with craftfoam and hot glue to the fabric
Use iron on transfer paper to iron the design onto the hat
Screen Print

Piercings
Most people don’t want to go get their faced all pierced for a costume, so this part is a challenge if you don’t have the piercings already. However there are ways to have fake piercings, which have a great secondary use of freaking out your mom.

– One option is buying a fake piercing. You can get them at dollar stores and accessory stores like icing and claires that target a pre-teen audience, and around halloween you can find them at costume and party stores, you can also find them at body art stores. There are also many places online that sell fake piercings, you can look at theatrical and costume websites or sites that focus specifically on fake piercings. I havn’t bought from this site but came across:
http://mypiercing.stores.yahoo.net/fakbodjew.html

This tutorial explains how to use a notebook ring to make a fake piercing and this tutorial uses earrings and wire cutters

Eyes
Contacts. There are tons of colored contacts sites on the intenet and possibly at optometrists near you, so I’ll just list a couple that I found here.
Costal Contacts Yellow
Costal Contacts Crow
9mmSFX Yellow Devil
9mmSFX Crow
Fashion Contacts Yellow Bastard
1 Save on lens Angelus
1 Save on lens Angelic Color
1 Save on lens Crow
1 Save on lens moony
Vamp Fangs Moony
Vamp Fangs Crow

Hair
His hair is fairly simple since it is under a hat and isn’t too crazy. I believe you can get away with using your own hair if it is the same length and color. If you go to a hairdresser and ask for layers it should help with styling layer on, since it makes it easier to do the spiked tips. His official haircolor is black.

Some wig sugguestions are:
Cosworx’s Bob. This wig would require some cutting to get the nice layered spikes he has but is a good length.
Cosworx’s Hanna. This would need to be straightened, and would probably need a bit more work to look like his hair.
Amphigory’s Fae. This wig is longer than needed but is a excellent choice, just needs to be cut and styled.

There are also a ton of black wigs on ebay that will work.

Shirt & Pants
For making his costume I sugguest using sewing pattern McCall’s Civil war pattern #M4745. It has two patterns in it but the one I sugguest is the one below. It has the collar needed and shape, and it is very easy to just make a closed front and add in a zipper (in fact I have done that several times)

Otherwise check thrift stores, online or your local mall for similar looking shirts or jackets. They will probably need some modifications. His pants can also bemade using that pattern.

Gloves
White gloves might be a bit of a challenge but you should be able to find them around winter time, or online.  If you are looking to make them, this site is the go-to website for gloves:
http://www.glove.org/default.php
and in case that isn’t enough for you, I also have links to these two glove tutorials:
http://sew-ing.com/make/gloves.html
http://ladythesta.deviantart.com/art/Lycra-Glove-Sewing-Tutorial-134664983

Guns
Now this is a bit of a challenge to explain since there aren’t any tutorials around for the specific guns.  Apparently the weapon is an FN P90, so that should help with obtaining references, or even papercraft files.

As for how to make it, I have seen a lot of suggestions for buying them. Not the real guns silly! There are airsoft variants of that gun available and you should be able to find it online. However, check your con’s weapons policy since some cons do not allow airsoft weapons, or have strict rules about them. You don’t want to buy something you can’t use!

Another option is to make it out of insulation foam which you can carve and attach wood, plastic, or other scraps to build the shape of the gun. Then finish it off with a good paint job. Since these guns are so large, they should be easy to carve the base of.

And if you can find the papercraft, you should be able to fiberglass over it for a solid replica.

Have any questions, sugguestions or comments? Feel free to post them 🙂


Another Sneak Peak

The tutorial page is getting rid of the 4 featured tutorials, but I am not getting rid of the idea entirely! There will be one featured tutorial that that gives a preview of a couple steps and the tutorial itself, it also has the title and gives credit to the author! These will be updated with new content every time i update the section.

Otherwise the tutorial list is mostly in the same format, however there will be some more organization done so it is easier to find tutorials. One thing I will be doing is grouping similar tutorials under one header, so anything that is “drafting a pattern” will be under that section and anything that is “making a keyblade” will be under that one, for some of the more common tutorials.

I also am phasing out the [1 ] [2 ] [ 3 ] and changing each tutorial to it’s own name, this will allow part 1 / part 2 tutorials to get more love.

and lastly, I ran the w3schools link checker to make sure all the links go somewhere, dead links were changed or removed!


The Start of a Food Blog

What is a food blog? It’s when someone takes the time to write about food in a blog. I love food, I enjoy cooking and ocassionally go out with friends, I have a soft spot for dessert and am on a quest to try more flavors of kitkat. I want to share my food adventures here, hopefully some recipes and reccomendations, but mostly just do more with my love of food!

So back to the thing about kitkats, I’m sure you were confused when I mentioned more flavors of kitkats since the stores pretty much only carry chocolate. But what we are missing out on is a variety of kitkat flavors that are available in Japan. My friend who is living there right now has had tried 45 flavors and counting, and while I don’t think I can catch up I want to try as many as I can since chocolate has gotten boring.

My first was a strawberry kitkat, and I have a very soft spot for strawberries so I loved it! Following that was trying vanilla, which was also delicious. However those are still fairly plain so I have started trying some more unique flavors. My most recent was “Green Tea” which was sweater than expected and was really good! I really want to try some green tea icecream now because the flavor was not what I imagined at all!

also look how cute the packaging is for these! You get two little packets in a box


Hinamori Amu (Shugo Chara) Cosplay Guide

I haven’t done a full costume guide in awhile but I think it’s a pretty useful thing to blog post about, so I decided to go through how to make Hinamori Amu from the anime Shugo Chara.

Hair
Let’s start at the top and work our way down. This character has her hair up in a sort of side-ponytail and there are a couple of ways to do this. But first lets start with those who don’t want to deal with styling their own wigs. Please note these links may become broken in time!

Amu Wig (Styled) – Cosplay Magic ($52.00)
There are also a couple ($50-69) pre-styled wigs on ebay.

For unstyled wigs
This Wig in Pink is a nice base, it has the bangs and general shape but may need to be shortened. ($32)
This wig in Pink is also nice, It might need some straightening and possibly shortened ($31)
This wig is also nice but would take some styling ($28)

The ponytail would be done easiest with a clip-on ponytail. You can either look for a pre-made one on either wig seller websites or ebay (I’d estimate about $10-20?) or you can use this tutorial to make your own.

Another route is to follow this cheaters guide to pigtails for a quick and easy side ponytail. If you aren’t going to be cutting your wig than you can pick up some extra wefts and use those instead.

Lastly, you can pull the hair up into a pigtail. If it makes the wig slightly see through you can add some pink colored felt on the underside to hide it. If your wig has the netting showing or is very see through you may need to add some wefts to the wig there are many many tutorials out there for doing so and even some for making wefts.

Clip
For those that do not want to make the clip, ebay has many search results.

However this is a really easy piece to make. Here is a paperclay tutorial for making the clip.

Additionally you cam make this clip out of any kind of clay. Sculpty can be baked in your oven and would make a strong clip, you can even bake it with a hair tie or clip connected to it so it is easy to attach. There are also many air dry clays such as paperclay, and crayola air dry clay. Another option is crayola model magic, but that tends to crack easily.

If you are not a sculpter you can try cutting a piece out of foamcore or layered craft foam (both can be found at craft stores). It can be attached to a clip easily with hot glue.

For painting, I would suggest gloss acrylic paint, or a matte paint with a spray on gloss used after for sealing and strength.

Shirt
A girl’s dress shirt shouldn’t be too hard to find, I am sure you could get one for cheap at a thrift store or walmart. You could also pick one up on online stores like amazon.com or ebay.com.

However if you would like to make a dress shirt, here are some tutorials and sewing patterns:
How to Make A Dress Shirt (Tutorial)
Butterick 4457
McCalls 6076
McCalls 5138
McCalls 4079
Vogue 8496
Vogue 1033


Tie

Buying is probably the easier choice for this, since you can buy ties at thrift stores, online, and at walmart or the local mall. But here are some tutorials if you want to make it:
Quickie Tie Tutorial
Tie Tutorial
Simple Tie Tutorial

Jacket

Once again, you can probably buy a blazer like this in stores but I’ll go through some patterns for those who want to make it .

McCalls 6087 (Needs Shortening)

Vogue 8333

Simplicity 2446

Armband
Armbands are pretty simple so it shouldn’t be difficult, even for a non-sewer.
1) Cut a rectangle of fabric that will wrap around your arm, then add a seam allowance (the part that will be folded in while sewing or gluing, you can add half an inch for each side.) and enough room at the top and bottom to do a nice hem.

2) Hem your edges. If you can’t sew then you can use glue in place of sewing to hold down your edges.

3) pin the two loose ends together to create your band, it should still fit over your arm while pinned. Make sure that your armband is currently inside out! This means that the bump from the hem is on the outside, and your pinning is on the outside (you will be flipping it inside-out later)

4) Sew together the pinned edges along your seam allowance. Once again you can use glue in place of sewing or fusible interfacing to attach the pieces together.

5) Trim the excess, iron flat and turn rightside out.

Belt
Another item that is easy to buy! Check accessory stores like clair’s and icing, regular stores that carry belts, or hot topic.
This tutorial explains how to make a belt, so if you want to make it yourself you can follow that, and just add grommets in afterwards, you can buy grommets at your local sewing store.

Bag
There is this great tutorial for the bag right here

Skirt
I feel like a broken record at this point, since most of this costume can be bought in stores and altered to fit the outfit, but just in case you didn’t know – this skirt could be found in thrift stores, malls and online. So I’ll just share some pleated skirt tutorials:
one
two
three
four

Legwarmers
Because the fabric of these matches the skirt, it might be better to make them both out of the same fabric.
This is a great tutorial for puffy leg warmers
but if you want something more simple, I suggest this one

Shoes
Finally at the end! I don’t think I have to mention this, but you can find shoes at shoe stores and thrift stores as well as online. You just need a pair of black loafers with a square shape to the toe. Though if you don’t want to be spending money on this, you can try making shoes from scratch or make shoe covers


DarkElements – New Layout

So this has been in my head for awhile and I am finally designing and coding it up! DarkElements has seriously needed a redesign for awhile, and the currently layout was pretty rushed. So I decided to re-do everything over the next little while so that the site can be better overall!

So lets chat about the new design’s first page. First off I went back to the roots and stuck with a darker look to fit with the title ‘DarkElements’ … bright blue didn’t really fit the dark part of that theme!

I made the first page a little more useful. You can get to all the sections from the nav, so you don’t really need a splash page, instead it focuses on what is new with large images for easy navigation. I’ll be sticking to about 2-4 new things on the home page to keep it fairly short.

Sidebar: Cosplay Tutorial
The number one reason (which attracts about 100 visitors a day!) is the cosplay tutorial list. Since I am also running the twitter feed and the *new* facebook feed I figured I would link all three groups together here. On other pages this section will be a mini navigation, so you can view the subsections of pages.

Sidebar: Links
I have shared links with a couple of websites, but who ever visits a link page? I figured it would be more fair to keep them on the main page for now and possibly remove that section from the main link list. Alternatively, I might run a “featured tutorial” where a really good tutorial or website is featured. We’ll see where it goes 🙂

Sidebar: Twitter Feed
Since twitter feeds can just be thrown on websites with a bit of code,  I thought it would be a good idea to include cosplaytutorial on the site, that way recent tutorials that have not been added to the list will be available.

Sidebar: Google
So I have turned to ads, and I worry people will be pissed that I did. However, I have good plans for those ads! I am looking to pay for site hosting for DarkElements that involves a database. A database would then improve the tutorial list tenfold.
1) Easier updates, I could create a CMS that just lets me throw information in and click submit. This would put it in the database, automatically update the page, and automatically sort it. I could update much easier and far more often so the list will always be recent. Currently … I update by hand >_>

2) A proper search feature. I will be able to set it up to be sortable by section, series, character, date etc… as well as allow for keyword searching. Not only will the tutorial list look much cleaner and organised, but it would make it easier to find what you are looking for.

3) Additional pages. I would like to start a section for reference pictures.  I would also like to host user submitted tutorials, product reviews, and even posibly run an online cosplay magazine (free).

unfortunately I don’t have the money to pay for all this without help (I already pay for the domain name out of pocket!) so I figured google ads that pay per click would be a fair way to support the site.  Benefits of google is you can choose what keywords to include, so while Iw ill be including some of the higher paying ads I will mainly focus it on cosplay related advertisements – who knows, it might end up helping someone out!

and as always, any sugguestions or comments for the new site are welcome, it is still being built so feedback is loved!