Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Faora Ul Revamp

A few years ago I created a Faora Ul costume from Man of Steel. For anyone who doesn't know, its a full body armor costume. I had never worked with foam on such a large scale before, but I completed it and was somewhat content with it at the time. Fast forward to the past month. I decided that I wanted to redo that costume now that I have more experience with foam. As part of my Patreon re-launch, I chose Faora to be my cosplay of the month. This go around I had a better understanding of creating the pieces and felt more confident. But I will say that I am glad to be finished with it. It was fun to redo, but my heart (and skill) is with sewing!

Construction Notes:

This costume was broken down into two parts:
1. Sewing pieces
2. Fabrication pieces

Bodysuit: For the bodysuit, I needed something that would look textured. The closest thing I could find was chain mail. While it's not an exact match for the material of Faora's movie bodysuit, it was as close as I could find. I sewed the torso first, then attached the legs and arms. I made the gloves separately also. The cape was a simple rectangle I top stitched and then used Velcro to adhere it to the breastplate

Armor Pieces by section:
  • Breastplate- This was by far the most complicated part of the entire costume. To start, my husband wrapped me in saran wrap and duct tape around my back and chest about down to my rib cage. On top of the duct tape (I used a gray color so I could see where I was marking) I drew my pattern for the base of my breastplate. Then I not-so-carefully cut myself out. I cut a hole in the middle of my favorite tank top. Then I took the pattern and cut it into three sections, back, front left and front right. I traced each piece on 10mm EVA foam. I also needed to cut out smaller odd shapes for the middle of the breastplate, those were cut out of 5mm EVA foam. Then I used a heat gun to not only smooth out the texture of the foam, but to also heat and shape the pieces so they had contour. The more difficult part of this process was attaching the collar. It was a wonky shape to begin with. Once they were shaped, I adhered everything together using Contact Cement. I had to do the collar in increments however. I did the two front pieces, let that cure overnight, did higher up, let that cure overnight, and then did the very back.  I let the adhesive cure overnight, and the next day I sealed the entire thing with 4 layers of white PVC glue and then painted it all a base color of dark metallic silver.
  • Gloves- These were by far my favorite thing to make. After I sewed the gloves together, I used card stock to create the basic shape of the finger joint armor and top of the hand armor. I then traced each finger joint onto 5mm EVA foam. Once each piece was cut out of the foam, I again used the heat gun to shape them. Then I used contact cement to adhere the foam pieces to the appropriate finger directly onto the fabric of the glove. Once all the pieces were on, I let it cure overnight and then sealed with 4 layers of white PVC glue and then painted them also a dark metallic silver.
  • Misc. Pieces- This includes the belt pieces, knee & shin guards, bracers, bicep pieces. The knee and shin guards were cut from 10mm EVA foam, but the rest of the pieces were cut from 5mm foam. Each piece was sketched out on paper and that was used as a template for the foam. The front sides of the belt I used strips of 5mm foam to accent and add detail. For the right bracer, I used a soldering iron to emboss ridges. After everything was cut from foam the pieces were heated and shaped using my heat gun. I used elastic to hold the armor pieces on. All but the thigh guards. Those were adhered directly onto the thighs of my bodysuit. Once everything was attached, cut and shaped, I sealed it all with 4 layers of white PVC glue and painted them a dark metallic silver.
Once everything had at least two base coats of the dark metallic silver, I went back over around the edges, in creases and around corners with a watered down mix of a little bit of dark silver paint, and more black paint in order to do some weathering. I learned my lesson from last time to do all the weathering at the same time and to slowly build on it. I started off with a little bit of darkening and then went over each section a second time to darken it.

I truly enjoyed making this costume. I feel like I know way more about working with foam than I did my first go around and that knowledge really helped. It was challenging at some spots, but I was happy to tackle the challenges. All in all I am happy with the costume but I am also glad that it's finished. Now I can focus on my current project! Check out the News page here on the blog to see what I'm working on now, or visit my Patreon to find out how you can get some cool rewards!

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!

Monday, December 18, 2017

2018 goals

I've been thinking long and hard about my goals for the new year. In the past, I've tried so many different approaches, one year I made very strict goals. Other years I said to hell with making goals, and others I made very broad ones. With 2017 coming to a close in a few weeks I've done a bit more self reflection and thinking about the future and I've decided that I want to separate my goals into three categories.

  1. Personal
  2. Professional
  3. Not-Just-Hobby
So the first two kinda make sense without having to explain but I'm sure you're looking at that third one thinking, what?! Let me explain but I'm going to start by going into all three a little bit.

My personal goals are by far the most difficult and ongoing, but they are attainable. To be very general, I want to accept and love all aspects of myself. There's quite a bit that goes into that, I mean mentally as well as physically. I have had some times where I was really feeling myself and was happy with my appearance, and other times I've felt like I looked like trash. I want always feel like I'm happy with my appearance and that breaks down into a few different avenues. Makeup, skincare, hair care, healthy eating and gym time. All five of these I love, but I slack on all five as well. Makeup is probably the one thing that I am semi consistent with. Gym time is a close second, although due to surgery I haven't been in a number of weeks. Food is my biggest struggle. I know this and I am always battling myself to eat healthy which again lately I have not done much of. My hair has good days and bad days but due to laziness I usually just throw on a wig and call it a day, he he. I need to spend more time taking care of my hair as well as my skin. Then I will embrace them more. I have deep issues with my skin, mainly due to having a lot of scars. I am self conscious because of them. When I felt good about myself, I didn't care if anyone saw my scars, but all it took was one look from a group of people to become self conscious about them again. I wanted to hide. Then I became paranoid about the thought of people looking at my scars and judging me and thinking I looked gross. I don't want to feel like that. I don't want to even have a thought or care about someone looking at me. I need to stop worrying about what other people think about me or how people look at me. These are a lot of things I need to work on, but I truly do think I can make this goal. It just takes time and I am definitely ready to put in the time and effort to make this happen.

Professional goals are a different story. This doesn't pertain to professional as in the job I'm working right now. Come October, we'll be moving so I will end up getting a different job. No, this goal is for a business I am working on. Its a tangible business that I want to keep pretty close to the chest until I get enough progress, but I did get a certificate for this line of business. I know this sounds so cryptic, but without going too far into anything, I want to really push myself with this business and have a decent system of supply and demand, and make sure my production level is high along with quality. I also want to have a booth at a comic con. That's all I can say at this point.I want to market my new business hard, and make sales and be successful. 

The not-just-a-hobby section is for my other creative endeavors. This includes my blog, YouTube, Twitch/Mixer,  cosplay, modeling and Patreon. My blog has been neglected a lot and I'm truly sorry for that. You know when you get yourself into a rut and can't get out. You have no motivation to do anything? That's where I have been with this blog for a long time. I'm sure you've noticed tweaks in the layout, but that is about all that I've done. Come the new year, I want to change that. I want to go back to how I was blogging before I re branded to Nerdy Curve. When things were still Evon Von, I was banging out articles. I want to get back to that so bad. I have some ideas that intertwine with other outlets that I can't wait to get started! That leads into Youtube and twitch/mixer. I haven't live streamed on either platform in a long time, and it's been even longer since I made a video. I will be changing that. I'm creating a schedule for when I need to stream and record. It's a little difficult because I have a family that takes priority over anything, but I am figuring how to work these two things in. My Patreon has been moving along and I'm excited about it. Last month I relaunched my Patreon and I had three patrons! It's crazy!! It was definitely a learning experience and I have a better understanding of what is expected, what I can do and how to execute better. So this next go around, I will be doing things slightly different, but I will definitely be having a lot more fun with it. My costume for this round is Femme Loki. I've started working on the headpiece already and I have to say that I think its all going to turn out awesomely. My Patreon includes my cosplays and modeling, so the three of those are rolled into one. I am getting more comfortable with myself and especially in front of a camera. The more I work on myself the more comfortable I will be. I love the feeling of enjoying taking pictures, they always turn out better when you're enjoying yourself and are comfortable in your own skin. I want to keep that going and bring that confidence and comfort into the photo sets I create. I have set ideas I wanted to use for Zivity but I'd rather use them for Patreon instead!

Even though we have a few weeks until the new year, have you set any goals for yourselves? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you guys!

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Mummy

I finally watched The Mummy (the one with Tom Cruise). *Takes a deep breath* Okay... I hadn't heard much about this movie. The only person that said anything was my mom and she said it was awful. It definitely wasn't good, but it wasn't the worst movie I've ever watched. But I will reiterate, it wasn't good. There are a lot of issues I have with this movie and I'm going to try to break this down and not go off on a tangent. Let's see how well I can do that. I love Egyptian history and mythology, and I was bummed out by how little there was.

The movie starts off with knights (Knights Templar) burying a knight with a Ruby. The burial site which is underground, is found many years later by a construction crew.  They are soon after told to leave the site by Russell Crowe's character, Mr. Jekyll. Yes....Jekyll as in Jekyll  and Hyde. That is a BIG issue i have with this movie, but ill get into  that later. He comes across a wall with inscriptions on it and then begins to monologue. Then the movie flashes back to ancient Egypt. It shows princess Ahmanet sparring as her father, the Pharaoh watches. She was his only child and would inherit his throne, she knew this and thoroughly enjoyed that idea. Then the Pharaoh had a son which meant she would no longer be the heir to her father's kingdom. She got upset, then tried to summon Set to help her kill him so she could still get the power.  This all made sense as the first born male child of a Pharaoh is automatically the heir to the throne. What I don't understand is why she decides to summon the god Set. Why not just kill them herself without him? She basically knew that was what she would have to do anyways. I understand that he is the god of death but it just felt like a kind of weak plot. In order for her ritual to be complete and summon Set in a physical form, she had to kill her father, his son and sacrifice her lover. She kills both her father and his new son, but before she is able to sacrifice her lover, she is caught by the Pharaoh's guards or priests. Because of what she did, the consequence is to be mummified and buried alive. So they bind her up, Put her inside a sarcophagus and set off to bury it.

I hear that this movie is supposed to be a reboot of the not so long ago Mummy franchise (which I really like). But this movie seriously lacked anything having to do with Egypt other than that scene with Ahmanet.  I get that they want to go a different route, change things up a bit, but I didn't care too much for this plot. It felt like it was missing something. Aside from the lack of Egyptian history or mythology or  anything that could reference to  that time in history. With her inside the sarcophagus, they took her really far away from Egypt to bury. Like, they went to Mesopotamia. The next scene is modern day in Iraq and Tom Cruise and another man are on a hill searching for some kind of treasure. They aren't really treasure hunters, they are in the military and are supposed to be somewhere else entirely. Basically they are thieves. Where ever they go they just steal things and sell them on the black market. Here starts one of my issues...what branch of the regular military lets two soldiers just gallivant wherever they want with no repercussions? They were many clicks away from where they were supposed to be but they don't even get in trouble other than a semi mild tongue lashing. They don't get reprimanded they are actually told to help an archaeologist with searching a tomb they unknowingly unearthed when they called in an air strike. They go with this female archaeologist which Tom Cruise's character has history with. He actually stole her map of that area because she was looking for this site they found. Down in the tomb, there is gold and also mercury. There are a series of statues. Normally the statues are facing outwards, watching and protecting the person that is buried, she makes note that all of the statues are facing inwards. As if guarding whoever is buried. He starts having weird visions about Princess Amahnet and hearing her say 'My Chosen' but has no clue what is going on. There are pieces of gold and valuable jewels around the tomb and of course Tom Cruise and his thieving buddy get wide eyed and want to start taking things. The other guy gets at least one thing but before Tom Cruise has a chance to swipe something, the archaeologist lady fusses at him. Almost instantly an army of camel spiders (YUCK) start heading to them, crawling on them and one bites the other guy. Again yuck.

After he gets crazy and starts shooting around the spiders leave and they get out of the tomb. They get a helicopter to take the tomb to an airfield so they can get on an airplane with it and go back to London where she is based out of. There is a sand storm that immediately and suddenly heading their way as soon as they lift the sarcophagus out of the ground. But they all make it on the airplane just in time. The guy that stole from the tomb however starts to look really bad. Almost like a zombie. This is another issue I have. I think it's common folklore that if you steal from a tomb there are consequences. And generally we know that Egyptian tombs did have warnings and curses etc. But there was no ominous warning on this tomb.Nothing significantly 'oh shit maybe we shouldn't take anything' kind of warning. The original "The Mummy" movie had lots of warnings and made sure that the viewers understood the Egyptians had curses, traps and warnings for would be grave/tomb raiders. But all of a sudden guy gets bitten by a camel spider and then is a zombie? Okay. He stabs his commanding officer ON THE PLANE after he's asked what hes doing. He's trying to cut the cording that's keeping the sarcophagus stable on the plane. After he stabs his commanding officer, he turns to Tom Cruise and the other passengers. Tom Cruise shoots him 3 times and hes dead. Then the air lock to the plane comes off the plane crashes (he puts a parachute on the archaeologist, pulls the cord and lets it take her off the plane. But he goes down with the plane. He wakes up in a body bag with a toe tag in the morgue. He can't die because the Mummy, Princess Amahnet chose him, hes going to be the person she sacrifices to complete her ritual and bring Set into physical form. But in order for her to do it, she has to use the special dagger with a ruby in the handle for it to work. He finds this out very cryptically when he sees his buddy, the zombie (the comedic relief I should say) in the morgue. The archaeologist is take into the morgue because they needed help identifying the bodies.They are all shocked to see that he is alive down there.

Next scene they are in the bar and hes pounding shots while she tells him reluctantly that she thinks they have angered the Gods. Another problem I have. All of a sudden she is talking about Gods. There was no talk about her opinions of the gods or goddesses before this.When they were in the tomb would have been a perfect time for some sort of spiel about the gods of ancient Egypt. When she first sees the tomb would have been a great time. When they air lifted the sarcophagus and the sand storm or even the came spiders, any of those time would have been a good time to mention the ancient gods. But now, at a bar all of a sudden she starts feeling like they have 'angered the gods'. Tom Cruise is freaking out because he keeps seeing his dead friend around the bar and asks to be excused and goes into the bathroom and starts freaking out seeing him even more. The 'comedic relief' (that wasn't too funny) explains some more about them being cursed. He and the archaeologist set off to find the sarcophagus crash site. Meanwhile the sarcophagus crashed in a way different location than the plane and the mummy is busy sucking the life out of two police officers that are investigating the area. She takes their life essence (like the original Mummy) and becomes less corpse looking and more human. The people she sucks the life out of become zombies. There is a scene with her and the two zombie police officers that I swear they were going to start doing the Thriller dance. She's trying to get him to come to a specific place because she knows where the dagger she needs is. What she doesn't know, is that the ruby isn't in the handle like it should be. She finds this out when she gets him to come to her, and her zombies hold him down and she was about to stab him. But the ruby is found by Russel Crowe, I mean Mr. Jeckyll's crew.

To prevent giving away a weird plot twist any more of the story (and to keep myself from getting too annoyed) I will just go on to say that things get clouded by Mr Jeckyll and his goons and their desire for the ritual to be complete and having Set physically manifested. I made it through the end of the movie but was not by any means impressed. I was actually pretty surprised as well. Usually Tom Cruise doesn't play in crappy movies. I guess there truly is a first time for everything. Did you watch this movie? What are your thoughts? I don't think i would recommend this to anyone unless they just want to watch it out of curiosity or just want to waste some time.

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Storm Cosplay

Storm is a character I've wanted to cosplay for quite some time now. I hesitated a lot due to planning out the costume. It looks like a simple costume but it's a bit more complex than it seems. I debuted my Storm at Super Megafest this past weekend. I had a great time and I was so proud of this costume!

Costume notes:

1) Headpiece- I started with the Headpiece- as it was the smallest part and seemed to be the easiest. I used Eva foam that is made for gym floor mats. I used my heat gun to smooth the light texture on the front. I also applied extra heat to shape it in a curve to fit to my head. I primed it with pva glue and then painted it all black. To secure it to my hair I hot glued four small hair clips to the inside of the front part.

2) Bracelets- for the bracelets I also used the same Eva foam. I cut strips that were a little bigger than my wrists. I used ansoldering iron in order to get a curved shape to make them look more Ike Bangles. Then I primed them with 3 layers of PVC glue and like 5 layers of gold paint. I didn't join the strips into circles until the cape was done.

3) Bodysuit- the bodysuit was tricky. I started off using a tank top and swimsuit bottoms for a template but decided to try using an actual pattern. I used a Yaya Han pattern for a bunny suit to start with. I made a mock-up using muslin fabric that ended up being WAY too big. I adjusted it a bit and then realized it was basically the same as the version I started. I just needed to cut parts to sew back up. I added a zipper although it's not needed. The fabric was a thick, heavy weight knit with a lot of 4 way stretch. For the gold trim I used a gold metallic 4 way stretch lycra and attached using a zigzag stitch.

4) Cape- this was by far the most confusing part of this costume for me. First, I couldn't find any, I mean ANY back photos of Storm. I couldn't find a decent reference picture for a while. I think I'd been searching for something not that closely related to Storm when i came across a photo of a cosplayer. She was looking over her shoulder and I finally could see the back of the costume! Then several related images also showed the back. I got a good idea of the basic shape which I was able to cut out close to how I wanted. The only issue I wound up having with the cape was attaching it. The fabric I used was a heavier weight fabric which looked good both as the bodysuit and the cape, but it was too heavy to simply attach clips to. Inthe end I had to top stitch it to the back side of my bodysuit.

5) Boots- Luckily I had a pair of black thigh high boots already. I used the remainder of the gold lycra I had and did a top stitch across the perimeter both top and bottom, and left and right. I didn't do a zig zag stitch because my thigh high boots are not stretchy at the top. 

I completed the entire thing with a white wig and my favorite white out contacts. I actually plan on having a photo set of my Storm cosplay but I haven't decided when that will be yet.

**Don't forget to check out the 'news' section of the log, things (Patreon) are going to have some new things going on very soon!**

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Winter 2017 Trends

Fashion Trends for fall/winter 2017 are interesting! there's so many different things going on, I'm honestly excited for the weather to chill  (not so much for the ice and snow that will be eventually coming, but that's a totally different story).

Wasn't it back in the 90's that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wore all denim together and it was so cringe worthy? Well denim is making its rightful comeback and will be trending this winter! I love denim. I love wearing different shades of denim as well. This is definitely a trend I am looking forward to. This denim dress from Y Project show in Hapers Bazaar website is really nice. I like that it shows a lot of leg but covers up top.

Office Wear:
Working in a professional environment can sometimes seem boring and bland. But for some reason this winter suiting, tailored and fitted suits and office attire is set to be trending. This photo from Vogue Paris Website showcases Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, and Calvin Klein

The color red is a big thing this winter too. We all know red is a bold, powerful color. Fendi knows exactly how to showcase ANYTHING in red see here on Harpers Bazaar website

Trench Coats:
So i think trench coats are like leap year, every few years they seem to be back in style more than others. This year trench coats are back and I cannot say how much I am in love with this one from Moschino which is again shown from Harpers Bazaar website.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love anything shiny. This trend caught my eye without hesitation. I'm all for anything sparkly, shiny, vibrant, space aged and silver. This trend is definitely one that I can see myself sporting this winter. This photo from the Elle UK website shows how versatile (and crazy) this trend is/can be...and I LOVE it!

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Worcester Art Museum

Worcester Art Museum | Nerdy Curve Blog

I'm starting to explore my local area more and I am so excited to have visited the Worcester Art Museum recently. It'd been a while since I set foot in an art museum, and I really missed it. I love art. Any kind of art to be honest. I was so excited, Worcester Massachusetts is a very artistic city, so I was sure that there would be a lot of interesting things to see as well as a lot of historical art too. Before we even got to the front door, we saw Worcester Art Museum stickers on the light post at the corner. I got such a huge kick out of this. Such a silly yet awesome thing, but at some point, someone started a tradition to put your sticker on there. What a Worcester things to do!


 They had some of the most beautifully sculpted pieces of jade. So many different colors, the below left piece was probably my favorite one.

 Their Greek Art room was fairly small. This took me by surprise. I thought there would be more pieces of pottery but there was only a few pieces.

I was really looking forward to the Egyptian room. Egyptian history and mythology is one of my favorites!

 There was a special exhibit that was there also. This one really, I mean really freaked me out when I first saw it. The exhibit is the Reusable Universes: Shih Chieh Huang.. They were definitely beautiful, but I was not prepared to see moving pieces of art! On first glance, this gallery was alive! Each piece moving at its own pace, in a very organic way. They all resemble Jellyfish and other deep sea creatures, maybe that's what shocked me at first. When we were inside the gallery I calmed down and took in how intricate each piece was.

Their Pre Colombian room was interesting. It really made me miss my regulatory watching of Ancient Aliens on Friday nights. There was so much to see in this room, this is actually where we started our self guided tour. I love learning about the ancient Mayans and there was so much to look at in relation to their culture. Ancient Aliens spends a lot of time on this era in human history and it was really cool to look at pieces that are from that time and see them up close instead of through a computer screen!

 Overall I had a blast. There are some areas I wish there was more of, but there was still so much to see. Even though we didn't take our complete time, we still spent 2 hours at the museum, which with an eight year old, that is a LONG time to spend at a place like that. But even he had a lot of fun viewing the exhibits and  seeing art and artifacts from so many different periods of time

lotsa love to ya!

I'm Von! I'm a lifestyle blogger based in Massachusetts. I have a passion for nerd culture, food and movies. To find out more about me and this blog, take a look at the About Me page!