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15% motivation is better than none.

So I wrote the below post back around Otakuthon last year. I never posted it or looked back on it because I feel like I wasn’t read to post it. Between that time and now, it’s been a roller coaster of it feeling like the right time, and it no longer feeling that way. After all the time, the only thing I’ve learned is that sometimes, things might not always feel like the right time.

But only thinking about doing something is the same as not doing it at all.

You can spend all your time wanting to do something or thinking about it, but not doing it because you weren’t ready, but in the end, it doesn’t matter if there’s not at least any proof of trying. In the last 6 months, I’ve felt I have changed and also felt like I made no progress.

I want to start getting into my blog again because, it sounds stupid, but I feel like I need a hobby. Hobby might  not be the right word, but something to put my time into. But what about cosplay, you ask? They kind of intertwine. Ideally, trying to make time to updating my blog is pushing myself to work on cosplay without the time restraint or stress of having to finish things for a convention.

I find that in the past, I get really stressed out to finish things and end up short-cutting and often not actually finishing what I want to finish; I end up pulling all nighters and just being exhausted at conventions to even cosplay. That, or I end up hanging out with friends anyways and don’t put my priority towards my cosplays.

I’m hoping by disciplining myself to just work on things on a regular basis because I want to, will help me work on my time management, and not having to cut doing things properly.

As to not make this post super long winded, I included my original post I wrote last year, unedited. Half of me wants to read through it and delete half of it, but I think it’s good to know what I was thinking then and have some confirmation on the things I thought.

——

Wow, I haven’t written an entire post for 2 years.

Without delving too much into it, I was in a bad place in my life.

I definitely have a wonderful supportive group of close friends. They knew on varying degrees what I was going through. I know I could always go to them if I needed to, but I didn’t want to. There were a multitude of reasons why. Some were justifiable. Some weren’t. However, it was reason enough to not want to out right say anything. Some reasons were pride, not wanting to be a burden, feeling like they wouldn’t know how to handle it, feeling like they wouldn’t understand, feeling like there was no point to talk about it, feeling like I needed to appear strong so they felt like they had a shoulder to fall back on. It was the same reasons for not wanting to talk to my parents about it as well.

Eventually bottling it up just got worse and I would have random bouts of agitation if I got too stressed and ended up developing anxiety and panic attacks. I would occasionally drop hints or say offhanded things implying what was wrong, not in hopes that someone would pick up on it and know what I was talking about, but because it was the only way I knew how to talk about it without outright saying anything. At some point I had just closed off to almost everyone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to do anything.

I had lost my motivation and passion for cosplay, and it wasn’t even so much the cosplay than it was that I had lost my motivation and passion to create. I had eventually gotten in this vicious cycle that I pretty much only went to conventions to see friends, but would then get stressed that they would be too busy cosplaying with other friends to hang out with me. That, in turn, caused me to feel obligated to add a bunch of things to my cosplay plans just to keep myself busy, but instead made me feel overwhelmed and nothing would get done.

For a while I thought if I didn’t open up anymore, it also wouldn’t open up the chance for me to get hurt. Doing that within itself eventually hurt me because I had grown so detached from a lot of people.

I’m not sure where my breaking point to wanting to get better started. I can only relate it to the events leading up to it. Part of it was due to reconnecting with Canadian friends at Otakuthon who now seldom come to American conventions. I had forgotten how happy and cheerful that group was and it felt easy to kind of “throw my problems away,” so to speak. It felt inspiring and it wasn’t something I’ve felt in a very long time; I haven’t been that type of person in a very long time. Not to say that my current friends don’t make me happy already, but I had gotten into a rut in my general lifestyle that the change of pace definitely helped.

I can’t say I don’t still have bad days, and I also can’t say I’m even better. I can’t say that I won’t get back into a rut again. But 15% motivation is better than none.

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Character Profile: Makoto Tachibana

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Name: Makoto Tachibana/ 橘 真琴1604833_579931772097045_1698504873_n
Appearance: Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club
Variation: Splash Free (Ending Theme Song)
Description: Makoto is Haruka’s best friend, and is also a second-year in the same class as Haruka. Unlike Haruka, he is more outgoing and often speaks up for Haruka. He is nice and considerate to others. However, he is weak-hearted and gets scared easily. He developed a fear of the ocean due to a traumatic incident in which an old fisherman, whom Makoto greatly idolized, drowned in a typhoon alongside many others. He is captain of the swim club. His swimming style is backstroke.

Worn at: Colossalcon 2014.

Why I chose this costume:
One of my friends wanted to do a genderbent group Free, in the outfits they wear in the ending theme song. I really wanted to do Makoto because he’s like the big brother in the group and really kind and gentle.

Mechanics of the outfit:
My Haru and I wanted to do a belly dance inspired type of outfit. I really love Indian culture and Indian films, so I wanted to keep something to the idea of that too without straying too far from the original design. The turban/head wrap I did similar to a Square Scarf Turban Tie. It was a long pieces of yellow cotton sateen that I surged the edges on. The top I did similar to a lehenga top. I did blue because in the PV you can see that Makoto does a blue shirt under his green one.

The green shirt is reflected in the hip scarf. The pants are just an off-white chiffon baggy pants with a slit on the side seam. The sash/dupatta was probably the most time consuming part. It’s lined in the underside of red satin. All the fabrics were kundan-choker-worn-by-celebrity-madhuri-dixit-in-devdas-for-the-song-‘kahe-ched-ched-mohe’-btownmasti.com_satin, the striped individually sewn on, and the triangles were painted on. Since there looked like there were lines between the black and white, I satin stitched on those lines.

The jewelry was probably my favorite part. I used Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi in Devdas. Although she plays a courtesan in the film, she was also a dancer. I also didn’t want to go too flashy on the jewelry because in the PV, Haru is basically searching for water and no one has any except Rin, so it hints that they weren’t living so lavishly. The jewelry was bought on ebay. I bought bangles, a necklace, earrings, and a slave bracelet. I really wanted to get a tikka too, but I was afraid it’d be too much with the turban. Plus the wig I used had bangs anyways. I really love Indian jewelry so this was a nice excuse to get a little crazy with it. The shoes my friend had gotten for me when she visited India back in high school. The wig was borrowed from Chinasaur.

Personal Feelings:
Even though the outfit didn’t take too long to make, I still had a lot of fun wearing him. I don’t think I’ve really had that feeling for a long time since I feel like I always have a lot of plans for cons or just end up stressing out over stuff. Definitely want to wear him again more~

 

Semi-End of the Year Update.

It’s been a while since I updated my blog! I’ll use this as my pre-end of the year post since there’s only a few months left. I actually haven’t cosplayed that much this year compared to last year. I was dealing with school and a bunch of personal issues so I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted to. Besides Katsucon, the only other conventions/events I went to was SpringFest, AnimeNEXT, Senshi Matsuri, and BroNYCon. Otakon wasn’t in my original plan to go to and a few other plans for other cons fell through.

I think I’m looking at going to few cons next year, but they’re further away/bigger cons so it’ll balance it out? The only ones I’m confirmed to going to so far are New York Comic Con, Magfest, and Katsucon. I’m interested in going to PAX East and Colossalcon as well. Maybe a Canadian con if I get lucky? That’s usually as far as I plan haha.

So the new ones I’ve done this year (so far) are:

V

Minako Aino, Sailor Moon. (Fruit Maids version)

PB

Princess Bubblegum, Adventure Time. (Bunny suit)

The Adventure Time fanart is drawn by Mookie! It was the first time making a bunny suit and I learned a lot. I wish I had more time to go back and make some changes, but I think it came out pretty okay for the first time! I’ll be re-wearing her for a group at Katsucon so I want to go back and finish some details I didn’t finish the first time around. I had tons of fun wearing Venus as well~ I definitely want to remake the orange dress and shorten the apron. I also re-wore her for Senshi Matsuri where I was a vendor and guest cosplay judge.

I said semi-end of the year because I still have a few other costumes I want to knock out. I’ll definitely be making 1-2 new costumes for New York Comic Con. Nothing too insanely crazy. That’ll be my last convention for the year. I definitely want to finish some simpler things I started/had planned for a while to make up for not making as many things during the year! Hopefully I can start being more active in blogging while I still have the time~

I updated the ‘My Costumes’ and ‘Upcoming Costumes’ section. I only included the costumes I personally made because there wouldn’t be much to write about for the borrowed ones lol. I want to go back and write up a mini bio for each one that I had done for the earlier ones which would include why I chose the character, construction details, gallery, etc. The ‘Upcoming Costumes’ section is new. Not all the ones on there are 100% confirmed, but they are ones I plan to do at some point! I’ll update more as I plan more things. Some include the ones I want to do next year and this year. Hopefully I’ll be better at pacing my time this time around.

Katsucon Report + Rest of the Year Cosplay Plans

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This had originally been my New Year post, but I ended up.. neglecting my blog again.. So I guess this will be my Katsucon report and rest of the year cosplay plan post instead.

Katsucon was fun. I only mild fear that it will turn into a rant post. My boyfriend, a friend, and I drove down Thursday night. We had planned to drive down to Katsucon at noon, but due to unforeseen circumstances and traffic, we didn’t leave the city until 4 pm. The whole day was a boatload of stress to begin with so I’ll just skip all that. We ended up getting there around.. 8-9ish? We finally got into the room. It turns out there had a been another convention booked that day, BBYO, a Jewish convention. Anyways I ended up not sleeping that night to finish some things and it had been the second night (or third?) in a row that I pulled an all-nighter, on top of being sick the week before and the week going into Katsucon. (Don’t ask me what I was sick with, I don’t even know and that is a story in itself.) I got into my costume Friday morning and it just hit me that I couldn’t handle any of it. It might have been the stress, being sick, the lack of sleep, or a combination of all of the above. I ended up crawling in bed and completely blacked out. By black out I mean I literally had several people come in to wake me up and I never woke up. I ended up waking up at 5 pm, borrowed Vickybunnyangel’s Homura since I never had a chance to finish mine and wandered around. Debated pulling another all nighter, ended up falling asleep.

Saturday was my busier day because I was judging the masquerade. My friend, Meri Sheep, lent me her Ren Kougyoku cosplay. Spent a good chunk of my day judging. It was fun though, congratulations to everyone who participated and won! I really enjoyed watching the skits. Afterwards I just meandered around in my kigurumi.

Sunday was okay. Just wore my kigurumi all day. Helped my friend fix his car because the steering wheel had locked. Afterwards I drove back to the city.

That was my Katsucon in a nutshell. Partially because I was pretty sleep deprived all week/weekend so I don’t really remember much of it to begin with. It was more of a wake up call for me. There were a few costumes I hadn’t finished, and some I had finished that I wasn’t feeling well enough to end up wearing (because some were for photoshoots with people). It sucks, but such is life. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a photoshoot with it soon or something.

However my personal thoughts about BBYO? I thought some of it got taken out of proportion. The biggest “hinderence” I guess you could say was that the portion of the convention BBYO rented was where the gazebo was, as many people know is the most popular location to do photoshoots at Katsucon. To make a long story short, there were a lot of accusations and rumors floating around, so it’s hard to say what really happened and what is exaggerated, because politically, both sides are going to say that they did everything they could in their power to run the convention smoothly and to disregard any rumors. Now BBYO didn’t affect me personally and I didn’t have any bad run-ins so I can’t really say anything about it. The only thing I can really say is that it ended up turning into a blame game. Cosplayers complaining about the Jewish kids, and I’m sure some of them were complaining about us too. The one thing I couldn’t stand is that, we are not entitled to the gazebo. The gazebo belongs to Gaylord. It is on Gaylord if they choose to book another event the same weekend as Katsucon because in the end it is them making money. It was nice of them or BBYO to let us have our gazebo. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to hate on them/say racial slurs, because at the end of the day we’re exactly like them. We’re human. Just because we wear costumes does not make us entitled. Now I’m not saying that they’re right either, but being completely unbiased, that is how I feel. I’m not saying we all need to love each other either, because most people don’t have that type of mentality, but I think it’s important to adapt and learn to co-exist with others. You can disagree with me if you want, but that’s just my opinion.

Now on a lighter note, my 2013 cosplay list! I probably won’t be going to as many events/conventions as I did last year because of school and life. I’m taking some courses for a certification at school on top of regular school so I’ll be a bit busier. My freelance job hasn’t really given me too much work for a while so I’ll probably try to find another job or internship on top of that. I’m doing a test run on my shop from Etsy to Storenvy. I personally prefer Etsy because it’s more well-known, but there were some functions of Storenvy that seemed nice. I also don’t want to run two shops at once because I’d rather keep my orders in one place and it might get confusing having two shops. So that’s that. So onto my cosplay list!

May 17th-19th: AnimeCentral
• Bridal Saber, Fate/Extra CCC.
• Hikaru Shidou, Magic Knight Rayearth.
• Kouha Ren, Magi.
• Rei Ayanami, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

June 7th-9th: AnimeNEXT
• Minaki Aino, Sailor Moon.
• Ayane, Dead or Alive 6.

At least those are the absolute definites. Might skip out on Otakon and do another convention instead. New York Comic Con is up in the air. If I go it’ll be to see friends. AnimeUSA is up in the air too. It’ll depend on what I’ll be doing around that time and if I’m staffing. In terms of SpringFest, Castle Point Anime Convention, Sakura Matsuri.. Springfest is highly debatable since I do have a badge for it, CPAC I’ll probably only go if I get into the Artist Alley, Sakura Matsuri.. I would only go on Sunday. But cosplays in terms of those cons is up in the air.

But as of now, AnimeCentral and AnimeNEXT are the definites. I’m hoping I can start doing WIP posts and tutorials and such. Moreso WIP posts because it forces me to do work, in a sense xD

But that’s all I have in terms of updates for now. See you next time!

Long-Awaited Post

So I definitely neglected this blog all year and it sort of makes me sad because I’ve always wanted to have and use a blog haha. I was thinking the other day that one of my New Year’s resolutions would be to use this blog more. And then I thought, why wait until the New Year to make changes, why not do it now? There isn’t much worth talking about now except to summarize my year so that’s most likely what I’ll end up doing.

I also want to be more active and do tutorials and more reviews because I definitely stopped doing reviews for a while. For the rest of this month I’ll be revamping this blog. I think that’s it for now! Thanks for reading~

Tigercon Report!

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Final convention report of the year! I am now fully prepared to hibernate myself until Katsucon. Anywho! My last convention of the year was a great one ^^ I went over to ~AkabaraYashiki/Lunatique Cosplay’s place to visit in general, Tigercon happened to be that weekend xD

On Friday we watched a show her Theatre Art department put on called, “What Once We Felt.” It was fantastic. The outfits were outstanding (I had to point out the red striped fabric inside the ruffle of a dress which I thought was just beautiful) and the acting was phenomenal. The script was so dramatic and intense. It’s a story set in a world without men. To have babies, women would download a pill from the internet.

Then you have the Keepers and Tradepacks, Keepers would be the normal population of people so to speak, and Tradepacks were the abominations. They got sick very easily and would die early in life. The play is told in a series of stories and there were a few parts that were incredibly confusing/vague. Not in a bad way, in that ‘I-need-to-watch-it-again-to-get-it’ type of way. Too bad I won’t be able to watch it a second time xD But it was sooo good. If anyone has the chance to watch this play, I’d strongly recommend it.

Now onto the con report! We left for Tigercon at 11 am. I wore my Umi Ryuuzaki and ~AkabaraYashiki wore her Sakura from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles and her friend cosplayed at Fai D. Flourite from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. ~AkabaraYashiki carried around a black Mokona and I carried around Kyuubey from Madoka Magica. We didn’t have a white Mokona, so we decided to bring him around to see how many people would realize it’s not from the same series xd We both signed up for the Costume Contest for fun. Later I met up with *TheBigTog to do a photoshoot since I was unable to for her for AnimeUSA. It was.. 50 degrees outside and we shot for a good hour. It was good to do a proper shoot for her, but near the end of the shoot, I literally couldn’t move my fingers because they were so cold. T-T But the photos will be well worth it, so it’s okay xD

We went back and I found ~AkabaraYashiki and her friends in the panel where they were teaching Para Para. They picked the PONPONPON song by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu xD I didn’t join at first because I was still freezing, but then ~AkabaraYashiki dragged me off the chair and I ended up dancing as well haha. Later on, I FINALLY met ~sleepycreator xD We did a very quick shoot and then I hung out with ~AkabaraYashiki and friends. By 6, we went early to the main events room for the “fashion show.” I saw ~BalthierFlare‘s dad and said hi xDD Before that was Reni’s Maid Show. It was actually my first time watching Reni. The performance was good. Then we did the fashion show. I won “Best in Show!” I know the con was uber small, but it still meant a lot to me that the judges liked my costume. Some of their comments were they liked the use of trim, the flow of the outfit, and that I used satin xD I wanted to cry lol.

*TheBigTog met up with us afterwards to congratulate me and then we left.  She lent me her coat because I was FREEZING. When we returned to the house I put on ~AkabaraYashiki‘s Valshe wig and we went to the diner to eat in costume xD Seeing myself as a very impromptu Fai makes me want to cosplay him..

That’s it for this con report! I’ll have a few more wig reviews to post and then my end of the year cosplay report~

Circle Lens Seller Review: Geo-Lens House

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One issue I usually have with ordering lenses is red lenses because I need them with prescription. A few months back they were a bit harder to find but nowadays it’s a bit easier to find them with prescription. I asked a friend of mine about them who recommended me to Geo-Lens House, a Facebook group.

I ended up ordering from i.Fairy in Hanabi Red. Just a note that their prescription number is written differently than in America. For example, my prescription is (-4.25. -4.25) but theirs is written as 425.

I ordered from them in April 27th and they didn’t ship until 2 days later. The lenses overall were okay. They’re vibrant but my bigger issue was the size of the lenses and the overall look. Not to sound racist to myself, but my eyes are smaller compared to other people’s eyes, so in some images, the lenses looked like it would engulf my entire eye (that and shadowing in images).

In terms of the overall look, unlike my green or blue lenses, the color does not begin outside the pupil, the color starts a few mm after that, so your own personal eye color WOULD become a factor in this. Brown isn’t so bad, but if you had blue eyes or something, it would be very obvious. You’d see your pupil, then blue eyes, then red ring. That’s probably the best way to describe it, it’s a ring around your eye.

Rating: ★★★☆☆/ 3 out of 5.

Pros:
– Tracking number provided.

Cons:
– Shipping was a bit slow.

Price: $17.00 + $1.81 tax + $11.90 shipping = $30.71
Time for Arrival: 20 days.

Would I order from them again? Maybe, if I really couldn’t find other place or I was ordering more lenses because I realized their shipping is quite high. But you can find them here.

Circle Lens Seller Review: ColorLens4Less

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When I cosplay, I normally strive for accuracy over aesthetics. One of the important pieces of a cosplay that not many people think of or do is eye color. The characters I cosplay tend to have the general blue or green eyes. While I normally wear green or blue in Dolly brand, I wanted to try some new lenses and they were about to expire.

I believe I stumbled upon the website through a cosplay friend who had posted about the site. The blue and green ones that seemed more promising were Blue 2 and Green 2. They also had images people submitted of what the lenses looked like which was pretty helpful, plus the lenses came in prescription.

The shipping time was fairly reasonable and they do provide a tracking number. I do like how the lenses came out. They are not as vibrant as the Dolly brand ones I normally used, but they were more natural looking. I think my only issue is that after a few pictures, the green isn’t as vibrant as I would have liked. They do come out in pictures, but in certain pictures I had taken, they didn’t appear very bright.

Rating: ★★★★☆/4 out of 5

Pros:
– Tracking number provided.
– Lenses looked very natural.

Cons:
– Green lenses aren’t as vibrant as blue lenses.

Price: $19.99 (Blue) + $19.99 (Green) + $4.50 shipping – $2.99 discount = $41.49
Time for Arrival: 13 days.

Would I order from them again? Yes. You can purchase the lenses here.

eBay Wig Review: cosplaydna2009

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I ordered from this seller before and I really liked their wigs so I ordered from them again. This time I ordered a wig for Paddra Nsu-Yeul from Final Fantasy XIII-2 and to revamp my Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho wig.

One thing I learned is that, not all eBay sellers TELL YOU that they provide the tracking number. In my last purchase I ordered 4 wigs. (Two from cosplaydna2009, one from cosplayanimewigs and huangleijing_996.) They ALL provided tracking numbers, but I usually don’t check if it doesn’t say it in the “Updates” e-mail you receive. However I discovered if you go to the eBay Order Details for your purchases, some do provide tracking numbers. In my case, they all did, they just didn’t e-mail me to tell me.

When I saw the Kurama wig, usually the wig is wrapped in a black mesh, which ALWAYS throws me off. It doesn’t help that the lighting in my room is poor so I thought the wig was more of a burgundy color. But I found it to be a beautiful deep red. The fibers are super soft and I absolutely love the quality. While I still like the color of my original wig, I absolutely loved the quality of my new Kurama wig~

Rating: ★★★★★/ 5 out of 5.

Pros: – Tracking number provided. – Came with free wig cap per wig.

Cons:- None.

Price: $25.60 (Silver/Grey) + $22.40 (Red) + free shipping = $48.00
Item Location: China.
Time for Arrival: 11 days.

If you would like to purchase this wig, you can search “153 New Long Dark Red Cosplay Party Wavy Wig,” “088 New Long silver gray Cosplay Party Wig 100cm,” or check out cosplaydna2009’s eBay profile.

AnimeUSA Report

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On the weekend of November 18th, Euphie and I went to AnimeUSA!

Thursday
I took the bus to Euphie’s house. We left her house around 4:30 and drove to the convention center. We weren’t able to get our badges yet so we got into our hotel and wandered around for a bit. We didn’t cosplay that day since we figured we’d get there pretty late. (It’s a 3 hour car ride.) So after moving all our stuff and getting settled in, we went to sleep.

Friday
We woke up early, and I got into Umi. This was the first time wearing her and I was pretty happy with the way she came out. She was a last minute cosplay and I had the blue fabric for her left over from another Umi costume.. So I figured, why not? I didn’t have a 3rd costume anyways. We got our badges and wandered in the Dealer’s room. I saw my friend Carrie at her Athena’s Wink booth and I said hi. Then we went to judge at 2:30. It was a super easy judging compared to Otakon. There were barely any people because we didn’t have our own room, instead we were in a panel room. A lot of people came in mistaking our room for the ‘Mythology to Pokemon’ panel.

Afterwards we wandered around for a bit and I changed into my Tifa wig. We were attending the ball, I lent Euphie my red dress and I had the same one in black. We went as modern Wallmarket Aerith and Tifa ^^. We only stayed there for 20 minutes before we left. Then Euphie got changed into Aerith and I got changed into Magnet Miku, with the wig and headphones lent from Lunatique, as she as my Magnet Luka ^^

We hung around at the Host Club for a bit. Then I helped Euphie out of her wig and hung out with a few other friends before heading in for the night.

Saturday
I changed into Umi again because I was supposed to have an early shoot with TheBigTog. For some reason I was extremely drained and could barely even get out of bed. After I dressed, I went straight to judging. At one point during judging there was no one there, Daniela and I went to get food. I was standing in front of the door and at one point felt someone standing behind me. I turned around and saw a super tall, super accurate Professor Snape. Admittedly, I was EXTREMELY intimidated. I embarrassingly laughed a “I’m sorry,” before moving out of the way. He was extremely in character which I enjoyed, but he was pretty nice xD

After judging, I went back to my room to change into Tifa, then I wandered for a bit. Then I went back stage to the masquerade. Euphie did her song and she was sooo good <33 Then we handed out awards. Afterwards we hung around with some people and such. We even did 360 degree rotation photos. ^^

Sunday
Sunday was a pretty short day. I woke up, put on Kurama and put all my stuff back in Euphie’s car. We met up with Yusuke, Koenma, and Yukina and the proceeded to our photoshoot with TheBigTog. We ended up shooting for 2 hours OTL. Afterwards we left and went home. Then I went home haha.

Some shout outs to new people I saw: ChibiTifa Cosplay, Vintage Aerith Cosplay, Fire Lily Cosplay, Eminence Rain, Jenni, Burloire, and everyone else I saw ❤