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Monday, June 30, 2014

Concerning My "Hobbit 3" Cosplay Plans

I know many of you have been asking about my cosplay plans for the final Hobbit movie, The Battle of the Five Armies, and now I want to let ya'll know what was going on with that. So here goes. :D

As some of you know, I decided to keep the details of my Hobbit 3 cosplay plans a secret until the release of the trailer for le movie. But concerning that, well, we still haven't heard anything official about it or anything about when it will release.

Which means...

I'm going to scrap my original plan. I'm laying everything on the line for ya'll, right here and now. Whatever that the trailer isn't here - I'm so done with waiting, and keeping you waiting, if you have been waiting. Hah. xD

Oh - did I mention I need your help? Yes, yes I do. So please stick around and I would be ever so grateful if you left a comment afterwards. :D

Soooooooooo...

The truth of the matter - my costume for The Battle of the Five Armies - is that...

I've got several options. Yep, that's what it all boils down to. :P

I honestly just can't decide between them, which is why I need help. I think it'll be so neat to get some input, especially since nothing is really sticking out as the obvious choice right now. So, browse my options, (or, hey, even if there's a completely different idea you have for me, I'd love to hear that, too!) then give your opinion. Got it? Got it. Let's do this thing. B|

Option #1 - Arwen's Coronation Gown (RotK)


(While I would really prefer to dress up as a character from The Hobbit movies, Arwen is still from Middle-earth, so it's justifiable, right? Sure. ;))

Firstly, this was actually the original dress I wanted to make when I first got the idea of cosplaying for the premiere of An Unexpected Journey. I scrapped the idea, however, when I realized how hard it would be to find fabric that color, in a nice material, for not extremely expensive - and, to my untrained eye, it looked like a really complicated dress to make. However, the idea stuck with me, and resurfaced about a month ago when...

(Secondly) I've already found the perfect fabric for it! :D

I was at Walmart (because I'm a cheap-o cosplayer - hah xD), just browsing through their fabrics, not looking for anything in particular... when I came across this fabric:

Pale lime-green, crepe-back satin - I'll have the crepe (non-shiney) side showing for the dress.
I'd been drooling over this stuff for ages -- and it's on clearance for 3 bucks a yard. Compared to 7. Say whaaaaat!? And that's when I about died from happiness... xD While, no, it's not silk velvet, it is absolutely gorgeoussssss... the color is extremely accurate and it has an incredible drape that's still very "elven princess," I think. ;D

So, needless to say, yes, I bought it -- all 6 yards left. :D

So. That's that. Since I've got the main fabric for it already, I'll still make it sometime. even if I don't end up making the dress for the BOFA premiere - though, for what purpose, I'm quite not sure yet. ;)


Option #2 - Galadriel's White Council Dress (AUJ)


So, Galadriel's dress would be super easy to make, considering Simplicity has a pattern for it that's actually pretty accurate, and white fabric is crazy easy to find. Even if I made the silver cloak as well, that'd be fairly easy to find fabric for as well.

Now... this is gonna sound strange, but its simplicity is almost a con for me. xD I kinda want a challenge, ya know? I actually really enjoy stretching my abilities.

But still -- this dress would be super pretty, though maybe a little bit wedding-dress-ish... Okay, yeah, I must say I'm not too extremely keen to make this one, but it's still an option. ;)


Option #3 - Fem Thranduil


*Bursts into giggles.*

Okay, no, seriously, guys. Would this just be great, or what. xD

This is my most off-the-wall idea, but I think it'd be 1) hilarious, 2) way too much fun to make/wear, and 3) most definitely be a challenge!

Okay, even I can admit it might be a little bit odd -- but still. Yeah. Definitely an option.


Option 4 - Tauriel 2.0


Probably the option I'm leaning away from the most, making another Tauriel costume (or simply wearing my old one again) is basically my fail-safe. If nothing else works, this is what I'll do. :)

If I made a new one, I'd probably make her "spider dress" (the one in the picture), which is my second favorite outfit of hers. It'd be challenging for sure; a bit tricky to find fabric that would work, but I'm sure I could find something, if I searched hard and long enough. And, like I said, it's my second favorite dress of hers, so it'd be fun to wear, too.

Or, I could just wear my old "archer dress"... which works, but c'mon -- I want to make a new costume! I have to have something to keep me busy during the time between now and December, right? ;D


Option 5 - A Costume from BOFA

So, when (if xD) the trailer releases, there will probably be some glimpses of new costumes, and maybe I'll end up falling in love with one and end up making that. ;) But, until the trailer releases, this is still a big question mark with not a whole lot of significance. So for now, I'll go ahead with the planning of my costume, and just see what happens concerning the trailer when I come to it.

Speaking of the trailer... you'll hear my official "announcement" of my Battle of the Five Armies cosplay after it releases -- which better be soon, or I might burst. XD

Welp, that's that, guys! Thanks for sticking with me and my craziness. ;)

And yeah... don't forget to comment with your opinions on le costume... ;D I look forward to hearing ya'lls ideas!!! :D

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Guide to Making Your Own Tauriel Costume


I've been wanting to make a tutorial for those wanting to cosplay Tauriel for a very long time now, and yesterday I got the final push to do so when Simplicity *finally* released an actual pattern for one of Tauriel's costumes! (More on that later...)

Any and all questions are welcome (and encouraged!) in the comments, and I promise to answer them to the best of my ability! :)

So, without further ado, here's A Guide to Making Your Own Tauriel Cosplay! :D

Step 1: Choose Your Dress

Which of Tauriel's dresses do you want to make? I'm only going to feature the two main dresses (with their variations) in Desolation of Smaug here.

Costume 1 (Variation 1) - Spider Dress
This is the dress that Simplicity has a sewing pattern for.


Costume 1 (Variation 2) - Spider Dress
This simply has a different leather bodice than the first (and she threw on a scarf).


Costume 2 (Variation 1) - Archer Dress
I can give the most help on this one, as this is the dress of hers that I made.


Costume 2 (Variation 2) - Archer Dress
This is just the first dress, with the addition of a green "hoodie" type thing.


Step 2: Buy the Pattern OR Make a Mock-up

This is where it starts getting tricky, depending which route you want to go.

If you're looking for an easy out, I advise you to buy the pattern for the first variation of her "spider dress" and make that.

The pattern is Simplicity 1347:



From what I've seen of it, the pattern isn't half bad. I would advise you to keep the edge of the skirt straight instead of ripped up (what's with that, anyway? o_O), but otherwise it's quite nice, really. It also comes with patterns for the arm bracers and corset/belt.

Now, if you want to do a different dress, or simply don't like this pattern, I'd advise making a mock-up of the costume you want to make.
You can use a pattern to help you figure out sizing, sleeves, that sort of thing, as a basis -- elaborating and deviating in the places you want to change. Just keep messing around with it until you like what you see. Then you can use this mock-up as your pattern for the real costume!

Here's a couple drawings I made to help me with making my mock-up for Tauriel's archer dress (costume 2 - variation 1).


Variation 1 - Princess seam bodice.

Variation 2 - Two-piece bodice.

Split Skirt Diagram


Step 3: Buy Fabric

This can be hard. You'll probably need to do some research before finding *the* fabric. Don't be afraid to look in odd places to find it, too -- the leather I used for my bodice is upholstery (used for furniture, etc.) vinyl, and I got the material for my dress at a thrift store!

If you can't find what you're looking for in any stores near you, I recommend trying Fabric.com or Amazon.com. Both have great prices and a huge selection of fabrics! And from Fabric.com, you can even order a swatch of the material before you commit to buying several yards, in case you don't end up liking it.

Types of Fabric:

The spider dress fabric is crinkle taffeta, or something similar, with a bit of a satin finish.

After much debate from only seeing the online pictures of the archer dress, I had the opportunity to see the dress in person in New Zealand, and I discovered it actually is made of emerald suade! The second variation of the dress is hunter green, burlap-style hoodie, which extends into a split skirt. The top of the first variation is used underneath this.

For my archer dress, I used polyester, which looked nice and worked well, but isn't extremely screen-accurate. Simple cotton broadcloth would work as well, but it isn't very drape-y.

Basically, if you're going for Variation 1 of the archer dress, go with suede for the dress. If you're making Variation 2, use a thick, burlap-y material for the overdress (hoodie + skirt), then suede for the shirt underneath the leather bodice.

Amounts to Buy:

For both styles of Tauriel's dress, you'll need about 3 yards of 60 inch wide fabric, OR about 5 yards of 45 inch wide fabric. (I used 60" so I can't be sure about how much you'll need exactly of 45" fabric, but I'm sure you'd be safe with 5-6 yards.) If you're planning on putting in a lining, you'll be needing more than this, though. I skipped having a lining in my dress though, because, frankly, I hate them. xD

The bodice and bracers will require 1 yard of 60 inch wide fabric. If you go with 45 inch wide fabric, you might want to get 1.5 yards, just to be safe. I bought 2 yards of 60", and it was wayyyyy more than necessary -- but the material is really neat, so I've enjoyed using the leftovers for other projects. :)

Some quick tips about leather for the bracers and bodice:

Like I said, I used upholstery vinyl that I ordered from Amazon. (It was this stuff in case you were wondering, which I ended up darkening with black shoe polish.) I highly recommend upholstery leather for armor -- it has the same thickness as real leather at a fraction of the cost, and is 900% easier to work with.

If you don't want to go the upholstery leather route, you can also get apparel-grade vinyl/leather instead. If you want it to be thicker, just attach it to craft foam. I've never done this, personally, but there are tons of tutorials for it all over the internet -- a quick Google search will bring up exactly what you're looking for. :)

And then, of course, if you're really ambitious, you can go with real leather, of course. While I'm sure this would look fabulous, don't count on me for help... ;)

(sorry, couldn't resist xD)
Back to business.

Step 4: Accessorize!

Okay, yeah, not gonna lie, this is one of my favorite parts about cosplaying -- adding all the fun details that make the costume awesome. :D

Boots:

Again, time to do some shopping and Googling. It might take you some time to find the perfect shoes to compliment your Tauriel costume. Here's Tauriel's actual boots:


Two things that are a must to keep the costume as accurate as possible (without going crazy): Knee high, heel less than 1 inch, dark brown, and no prominent buckles or zippers or studs or anything like that that elves just wouldn't have on their footwear. ;)

As for where to find boots such as this, I recommend Amazon. They've got a huge boot selection, and you can find a good pair for a pretty decent price (Be prepared to pay bout $30-$35).

Here's a few possible options I found with a quick search...




And, in case you wondered, these are the boots I bought for my costume. They're not totally screen accurate, but I love them anyway. ;)


Necklace:

You might have missed this aspect of Tauriel's costume, but yes -- Tauriel has a gorgeous, silver necklace that you can see quite clearly in the scene in Desolation of her reporting to Thranduil.

Gorgeous, right???
You can buy the official version from WETA Workshop for $179 here.

But if you're wanting a cheaper option, you can find several versions on eBay for much cheaper. These are a few of my favorite reproductions...






Elf Ears:

The most fun addition to this costume, in my opinion, is the pointy ears!

I HIGHLY recommend Aradani Studio's latex ear tips. Their prosthetics are high quality, durable, lightweight, and inexpensive! They even have a set now that are modeled after Tauriel's ears!
(These are the kind I bought.)









Hairstyle:


Firstly, I have found SO many awesome tutorials for Tauriel's gorgeous braided hairstyle! I'll link some of the best YouTube tutorials here.




Now, the question of a wig. Whether you want to buy one and deal with all the craziness that comes with wigs is 100% up to you. I, personally, am not a fan of wigs, mostly because I haven't the patience or the resources to afford them.

If you want to go this route, you'll want to get a high quality, lace front wig so that it will look the best it can. A wig like this will run at about $50-$90, so definitely not cheap. If you don't want to fork over that much money, just go with no wig. I promise you, this is the best way to go if you're low on cash. Don't try to get a cheap-o, non-lace front wig from China. It will look so much better to just use your own hair, and style it accordingly. :)


Bracers:

Use the same material that you made your leather bodice from, and if you're using Simplicity's pattern, then you're all set to go, as that as a pattern for the bracers. But if you're free-handing everything, this tutorial on eHow will you get you started in making your bracers... "How to Make Leather Arm Bracers."


Bow/Daggers:

If you're planning on wearing your costume to the midnight premiere of The Battle of the Five Armies, you'll probably want to skip Tauriel's weapons. With that said, if you want to make her bow, this guy on YouTube has an excellent tutorial for making her bow out of PVC pipe. (Which you can buy at Lowe's, etc, for about 5 bucks!) I actually started doing this, but never finished it. Finishing it is on my to-do list currently. ;)

If you want to buy her bow, WETA Workshop has the official licensed prop available to buy -- for $300 bucks. :P


Now her daggers.

You can buy officially licensed versions of these also from WETA, for $179.


Or the officially licensed pair made by United Cutlery from BUDK.com for $219.



And then, of course, there's always the option of making these. I, unfortunately, haven't found any good tutorials for this, but if you do, let me know in the comments so I can link it here! :)

A Bit More Help...

I hope I was able to help you out in your journey of making a Tauriel costume! Again, any and all questions are more than welcome in the comments, and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

You can check out my Tauriel Cosplay Pinterest board which has loads of helpful reference pictures, tips, and inspiration!


You can also get some inspiration from my journal of making my Tauriel cosplay, where I've ordered everything in chronological order for your viewing convenience. :D

Welp -- I suppose this is the end. I hope I could be of help, and best of luck to you in making your costume!

Namárië!

Beth - An Elven Princess

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Journey Out West

The past week-ish has been very busy for me. Why, you ask? Because (most of) my family and I flew out West for our summer vacation! :D

No, not the cowboys-and-ranches type of West. Noo, I'm talking about the right-next-to-Canada type West. Like, the North-West, not the South-West... maybe? You get what I'm saying. ;)

To put it simply, I'm in Washington {state} currently. And this is where I shall be for the next 2 months of the summer! :)

The view from my room of the lake in our backyard. (:
I must be honest with you -- I'm not 100% completely thrilled to leave behind my Southern life for 2 months. But I'm also not stupid enough to wallow in homesickness and self-pity for the entire time and miss an opportunity to do some neat stuff and enjoy a very neat place.

So, here we go -- "I think I'm quite ready for another adventure!" ;)  Allow me to tell ya 'bout the place.

A loooong time ago, we used to live up here, actually, due to my dad's job. (He works for Delta Airlines, btw, which is how we can afford to fly -- we get free flights, basically. xD) We ended up keeping the house we had bought, and rent it out during the times we're gone. But we still come up here every so often. This was actually where I made the mock-ups for my Tauriel cosplay last year! :D

We live on a lake (which connects to a river that we like to take our rowboat down), and are across the street from the ocean. Literally:

Panorama from our 2nd floor porch.
Now, about the travelling...

The flight out here was actually pretty decent. We were able to get on without too much stress because of over-sold flights or anything, so that was great. "We" being my mom, my little sister Danielle, and moi. Our dad would join us the next day due to work. My two older sisters, Alissa and Crystal, are staying in the South most of the summer because of teaching and an internship -- in case you wondered. ;)

The flight to WA is 5 hours, so to keep busy I listened to music while I re-read Soul Surfer for the third time -- yes, it's that good. ;) (The movie adaption of Bethany Hamilton's story is amazing as well!! She is so awesome and inspirational:)

P.S. that funny looking square electronic is my phone, btw. ;D I think it's adorable. xD
Now, don't get me started on the plane's archaic entertainment system, but they happened to show Muppets: Most Wanted as the in-flight movie, so Danielle and I ended up watching.  I had two reason for doing so:

1) Tom Hiddleston's cameo. Which ended up being a total of 5 seconds. *face palm.* ;D
2) And the fact that 5 hour flights get long. ;D


Oh. And one last thing. Selfies courtesy of Danielle's ipod. xD

Aren't we precious? ;)
So attractive. Be jealous.
So, Saturday was the plane trip... Sunday we decided to skip church and try to recuperate and sleep off the jet lag a bit. My mom went to pick up my dad at the airport... Monday I did some major unpacking, and we went grocery shopping and to get le wi-fi set up... Tuesday we got our holds in from the amazing library here. Hehe. :D

Check out my book selections. ;D
While the library here is quite small, it's in a huge system with other libraries, so we can basically order any book or movie we want rom the other libraries and get it within a week.

Needless to say, it. is. HEAVEN. xD

So far, I've finished The Selection, and I'm now reading Left Behind, which is seriously so intriguing! I had read the teen versions a few years ago and liked them, so now I wanted to read the "adult" versions, of course. It is definitely what I call good Christian fiction. :D

Any book recommendations?? I'd love to get some from ya'll. Let me know in le comments! :D

And that's what's been going on lately! :D I had better end this blog post before it gets too incredibly long... but you can expect some more updates soon about my life out here in Washington! (:

OH -- and also the low-down on my cosplay plans for The Battle of the Five Armies. It's coming. :D

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The First Anniversary of My Adventures

I can hardly believe it's been exactly 1 year to the day that I began this blog. In some ways, it feels like just yesterday -- in others, it feels like a lifetime. And it's just crazy to think how much has happened in those 12 months...

This blog, The Adventures of An Elven Princess, has grown so much over the past year. The stats are currently as follows...

~ 19,356 pageviews ~

~ 29 followers ~

~ 281 comments ~

~ (and this makes) 53 posts ~

But those are just the numbers. They don't measure the joy I have received from this blog/blogging -- from sharing my adventures and thoughts, to meeting other bloggers (and a few non-bloggers as well!) through our similar interests. And yes, I count you internet peeps as my friends.

Skeptics, don't even try to tell me "but they're not real" -- they are oh so real. You wouldn't be saying that if you knew the people I do. ;)

But really, guys; you all have been such an incredible blessing to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship and sweet support in my little ventures. :)

Here's to many more years sharing my adventures with all you lovely people! ^_^

~ Beth - An Elven Princess ~

Monday, June 9, 2014

Music Spotlight: 5 Happy {Christian} Songs

A few days ago I was going through my (rather extensive) "Christian" playlist on Spotify, and re-discovered a bunch of songs that I love that never fail to make me happy. So, I figured I would share some of those with y'all!


So here's my top 5 happiness-inducing Christian songs. ;)

Francesca Battistelli - Write Your Story




The Afters - Every Good Thing




Jamie Grace - Hold Me




Plumb - One Drop




Jason Gray - Remind Me Who I Am


Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Sleeping Beauty Retelling: "Maleficent"

You've probably heard of the Disney retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent. Welp, last Friday, the day it came out, a group of friends and I went to see it just for fun!


(I'll keep my thoughts here spoiler-free, in case you haven't seen it yet. ;) )

Firstly, it was a great movie. I really enjoyed it. The plot was intriguing and a great twist on the Sleeping Beauty storyline, while still staying true in the main respects to the original.

It had a nice balance of drama, action, and humor -- though, I must admit, from the trailers I was expecting it to be much darker than it actually was. The levity of it took me a bit by surprise; but, I mean, I shouldn't have expected it to be LOTR-esque, considering it is only rated PG...

Which leads me to my last point: it was 100% free of anything "bad," except for some non-gory violence, of course.

Now, as for the characters...

I loved Maleficent. She had a really great depth to her character, and I adore how Disney twisted her past to explain her actions. And Angelina Jolie portrayed her magnificently (heh). ;)

Aurora was plain ditsy. I'm sorry. xD Ok, she had a few good moments, but in general... yeah. She got on my nerves. ;D

Prince Philip... I won't say much but... after the movie, another girl from the group, Emily, and I both said he reminded us of "One Direction."  No joke. xD

Maleficent's crow, whose name in the movie is Diaval, was awesome. He was one of my favorite characters, if not my favorite. I won't say anything else, because -- spoilers, duh. ;)

King Stefan -- I can't say anything. You'll have to just see the movie. Too many spoilers there... xD

Oh, and "the three good fairies" were extremely silly, odd, even annoying at times... but not too awful, and it makes sense in regard to the story, so I can forgive that. ;)

All in all, great movie. I will definitely want to own it on DVD when it comes out. It's not, like, a must-see, but it's still a great movie that I can definitely recommend. :D

So if you've seen it, tell me whatcha thought of it... favorite character, any thing you didn't like, thoughts on the retold story, etc. Oh, and whether you really liked Diaval as well...? ;D