Thursday, December 30, 2021

Life Update


Have a picture of Sumikko Gurashi display on the river to brighten the mood!  I took these photos a few days ago.

The last few months have been busy and not too great, and unfortunately it has gotten worse.  Though I am keeping myself positive as much as possible, it can get difficult sometimes.

Need to believe that things will work out for the better.  Today was supposed to be the day that the apartment negotiation was resolved (dissolve the contract) but the seller refused to accept either dissolving contract and paying the scrivener and 3rd part (holding my down payment) fees (our original request) OR the dissolving of contract and each paying our own fees (as detailed in the contract originally) and is now taking me to court to try and get me to pay an additional NT$150k (roughly 4.5 months' average salary in my city) for "compensation" to him due to changing a water pipe in the laundry room.  It is still a functioning pipe and would not make the property unsellable to the next buyer, so that seems unreasonable to me.

Today is Taiwan Teddy's birthday, and almost the new year, so I'd really been hoping it would end nicely today.  It's bad luck to carry on to the next year, but maybe this means that next year can only get better.

Wishing everybody a lovely end of the year and may you all be blessed in the coming year!!

Excuse the crazy face :D I had been practicing eyeliner to try and make my round eyes look longer.  I had not even been planning on going outdoors but there was a Christmas Glaceon at a nearby gym so I went to go get it (failed as I was alone, but got very close!)

During my time away from blogging, I have been working on making more cards and also doing 3D digital art as well as streaming on Twitch, so that has been quite fun!  I will be taking a break from Twitch until things are better for me though.

Here's a closing photo of Violet in her birthday outfit!  After the failed negotiation I was so distracted I forgot to buy a cake for her >_<;; So I will need to make it up for her soon!

Here is also a picture of the model I'm working on.  I've replaced the eyeballs, hair, ears, and lashes with more realistic textures, which means I'm fast approaching uncanny valley if I don't balance the "cartoon" features and "realistic" features correctly!

Thank you for reading!  If you would like, please leave me a comment about something good that has happened to you or that you have done recently?  I'm most pleased with progress I've made in the texturing of the model.  I learned a lot about hair cards and using nodes in the material shader editor!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Halloween Pull-Tab Card

During my time away from social media I've been getting back into making interactive cards.  This card is unfinished, but I really only need to put it on a card base and write PULL or put a pull ribbon on the tab so I thought I'd share it anyway! 

Pull tab extended

The card has two ghosts hidden behind little houses that pop out when you pull on the tab! 
Ghosties hidden!

I did mess up a LOT on this card.  I watch many card-making YouTubers and whenever they mention how long a card like this takes, it seems they usually get it done in around 1 hour.  This is 4+ hours for me and I am STILL not done!  I want a matching background paper (the one I originally bought is orange/white stripe and I don't think it matches) to mount this on, plus the card base of course.

Texture of the black paper

The images are all stamps that I stamped and colored on white cardstock, and the background is yellow construction paper that I tried ink blending on!  I don't have any of the specialty ink-blending brushes, so I used a cosmetic sponge.  It was a bit difficult, but I think the final effect at least is recognizable as a moon in a night sky.

My first time trying ink blending!

Despite the struggles and frustration, I still enjoyed making the card and am pretty happy with how it turned out.  There are mistakes you can see from certain angles, but overall it's still ok!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are doing well!  I hope to be able to make more interactive cards in the future!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Icy Monster Makeup


Belated post!  Unfortunately a lot of life things have been happening and I am not able to do many things right now.  Things are being sorted out, and I can only hope for the best!

Several weeks ago I completed the Velkhana story quest, and have currently been stuck at Namielle.  Velkhana is an ice dragon who is surprisingly small!  I defeated it using Insect Glaive!  My favorite weapon.

For the look, I looked at a lot of "ice queen" looks and then tried to incorporate Velkhana's colors instead.  I set my entire face with highlighter, which was really weird for me, but I guess it looks frosty?  I just think my forehead looks HUGE.

I did a blue and purple cut crease with a silver highlight in the center.  I honestly didn't know what to do with the lips much, so I just added a touch of purple in the center for shading.

I couldn't find white lashes so I just colored on my lashes (after mascara) with while liquid eyeliner. I think it turned out ok?  Velkhana has icicles/spikes coming down from the sides of its face, so I created that with crystals rather than color.

Concept Art - Ice version

Concept Art - Ice Form

Concept Art - Regular version
Concept Art - Regular Form

To be honest, I didn't like the overall look as much, but I do like how the eyes turned out!  The blue shadow didn't photograph well in the top photo, but I think it still looks nice!

Today is also Double Ten Festival!  So after today I suppose we will see whether there is a spike in cases and whether restrictions will tighten up again~

I am also going on a "staycation" in a couple weeks (if restrictions don't tighten) so hopefully I'll have something more interesting to blog about.  Everything being closed really makes life quite boring.

Thank you for sticking around!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Monster Makeup! Ebony Odogaron

Recently I have been progressing in Monster Hunter World Iceborne expansion (yes, I'm probably 2 years late) and have been doing makeup to match the last couple of story quests.
Because it gives me power over the monster.
So far, it is working ^u^

The first one I did was Ebony Odogaron, or as I like to call it, burnt hamburger:

The "lightning" parts for the dragon element were a bit difficult for me to draw.  I referred to a lot of Ebony Odogaron screenshots for the lightning pattern.

Ebony Odogaron and Odogaron
The above picture shows Ebony Odogaron, the subspecies, with Odogaron, the base species.  The texture of Odogaron looks like raw hamburger according to DreamBoss__ (friend on Twitch) so I just called it Hamburger since then.  Of course, the Ebony version just looks burnt!

The idea for this one was easy.  I wanted a black and red smoky eye with the lightning/dragon element bits coming out the side. I wasn't able to incorporate the purple shades of the tail into the look this time, but I think it could have been neat either as the eyeliner or as contour!

However, I normally do not wear smoky eye makeup, and oh boy did I learn just how long it takes to blend out all the colors!!!!!!

Products used:

bh cosmetics -Trendy in Tokyo palette (the website has new packaging, but I like the original one I have better!) for the red shade
-Glam Reflections Smoke for the dark red and black shades and red shimmer

Kate Tokyo -gel liner as a base for the black

NYX cosmetics -epic ink liner in black

essence cosmetics -mascara that I don't really like too much so no link

e.l.f. cosmetics -instant lift brow pencil 

DUO -lash glue as brow gel

I digitally erased some acne spots so I won't list any base products.

Overall it was really fun!  Makeup is a really fun creative outlet for me!  Sometimes it turns out well, like this time, and sometimes... less so, but still enjoy the process!!

Do you ever try experimental looks?  Whether it's makeup, fashion, hair (I'm SO boring with my hair!!), etc. I like to see how others experience "wearable art"!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Cardcaptor Sakura Exhibit Second Edition

Finally Part 2 of the Cardcaptor Sakura Exhibit could open!!!  Find the first opening in two parts here and here for more photos of the interiors from the first visit.  The main part that changed was the art prints, which cannot be photographed.  I did also make a new wig for my teddy bear so I got new photos of her as well!

After the pandemic breakout and lockdown, we were unsure if the exhibit would even re-open.  They were offering refunds for tickets, but it would require you to turn in the ticket holder and Thank You card if you had it.  That did not seem worth it to Doro or me, so we chose to hold onto our gifts and just hope the exhibit would open again!!  Luckily, it did, so I booked a time slot quickly!  There were very few people there and masks are required as usual.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Caring for Velvet Shoes: an adventure with Vivienne Westwood x melissa Cat Paw Pumps

 Recently my apartment had a termite infestation.... and they got into my shoeboxes!!  A pair of my Vivienne Westwood Anglomania x melissa Caw Paw Pumps got their nest material on it which clung to the velvet flocking and even dissolved a part of the velvet.

As these are my first pair of velvet shoes, I contacted customer service to ask how to best clean the shoes and the email I received back said:

Dear [Sparklewolfie],

Thank you for contacting Vivienne Westwood RoW Online Store Customer Service.

We are sorry to inform you but we do not have official information on how to clean the product at the moment.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Customer Care team for any further information.



Vivienne Westwood Online Store Customer Service

Well, that is unfortunate {{{(>_<)}}} 
I am assuming it is because this is a collaboration series and not a purely Vivienne Westwood design.  Instead, I searched online and most sites seem to just be quoting each other.  The provided recipes of baking soda and water or lemon juice and the tips are word-for-word copies.  

Eventually I did find a shop that sold velvet shoes which had similar tips, but wasn't a copy-paste, and had more detail about knowing the TYPE of velvet your shoes are.  Unfortunately, I closed out the window without bookmarking the site and now I cannot find it again, but if I do I will link it here! 

Key tips I remember from the site include how cotton/silk velvet should be taken to a dry cleaner, while polyester/blend velvet can usually be cleaned at home unless the stains are REALLY bad.  They also explain more about the nap of the velvet and recommend brushing off velvet shoes after each wear so nothing has a chance to build up.

So, on to the pictures!  Warning: the damaged shoes image might be a little gross for some people!  The way the termite nest material is built sort of icks me out as well.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Lockdown and Teddy Bear Cosplay Update

Hello everybody!  I am sad to report that the lockdown, which went into effect at Level 3 on May 15 or so, has been extended all the way to June 28 which means I will be unable to attend the second half of the Cardcaptor Sakura exhibit!  Though they do offer ticket refunds, you need to turn in the Thank You card and if you attended the first exhibit, you get half the money back.  There's no way I'm turning in the Thank You card or my ticket holder, so I'm just going to hope the exhibit gets extended!!

I had been working on the new wig for my teddy bear's cosplay, however, so have some progress photos!

It's tedious, repetitive work, but I like the effect!  The "hair" is actually yarn that I tie to the bun cover and then untwist and straighten.

The natural curliness of the yarn does also give some volume, so it's best not to make the back of the wig too thick with too many locks of yarn (my mistake from the first wig) otherwise it becomes very difficult to trim it to look flattering.

For now, I am making a bob-length wig which I will then straighten and trim into the more layered pixie/bob cut that Clear Card art Sakura has!  The hair near the top is made of yarn that I unwind before I tie it on so it looks finer.  I will be looking up some hair-cutting tutorials to see how to get the correct shape for her pixie-style cut!

If the exhibit ends up not being extended, I will find somewhere else to set up a photoshoot with her new wig.  For now, her CureCos account has older cosplay photos!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Art Exhibit of Cardcaptor Sakura Pt. 2

 Are you ready for another photo-heavy post about Cardcaptor Sakura exhibit?

Last post ended on the Siege room, which was probably my favorite!  The room after was Maze and was full of art reproductions of the original illustrations that CLAMP did, but we were not allowed to do any sort of photography, videography, or recording in there.

After the Maze came the Record room!  They had some of the manga as well as some magazines with the magazine gifts displayed.  I forgot to take a photo of that part, unfortunately, but I think it will still be there for the second exhibit so I will do my best to remember to take photos then!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Art Exhibit of Cardcaptor Sakura Pt. 1

Picture-heavy post!  Cardcaptor Sakura is my favorite magical girl anime!  I love the art style of CLAMP, and I really enjoy the fact that Sakura's costumes are designed by Tomoyo (and they imply she makes them, but she's in the 4th grade in the original series so maybe she just has somebody else make them??) instead of created by magic.

Of course I had to go to the exhibit when it came to Taipei!  They had a fun "backstory" to the entire exhibit as well~

The Card Room at the end

Due to COVID restrictions, we had made reservations for our time slot online, and we are released into the exhibit according to reservations.  This also means that there were not many people inside at any one time, which made taking photos so much easier! 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Wa Lolita for Virtual Tea Party

Today I had another virtual tea party with the waifus!  I decided to wear my Wa lolita dress that I bought from Metamorphose in Tokyo as it is comfortable (fully-shirred back) and has lots of interesting things right on the front, which is what the camera mostly picks up anyway.  In the end, the waist ribbon didn't even show on the screen call, but if your camera setup is different, having something interesting on the front is a good thing!

Originally I wasn't going to wear makeup, but then... I just really wanted to!!

I did a simple look today.  Like last time, I used no foundation because my Chromebook camera isn't good enough to pick up skin unevenness~ I'm only wearing a purple-tinted sunscreen (though in future, I may look into a green-tinted one for the rosacea/redness instead)

My hair is curled with the heatless curling method again.  Since I cut the face-framing layers, I've been experimenting with different hair styles to try and come up with some simple go-to looks.  This time, I did half-up twintails at a lower height for a more mature-kawaii look.  Very high twintails are extra youthful and childish, but sometimes it can feel a little much ^^;   If you feel like you are outgrowing the childish look, or if you fear looking like an auntie trying too hard to hold onto teenage years, a slightly lower height may be a good balance!

My sweets for today were a matcha cream puff (SO good!!) and a chocolate Boston cream pie.  I have never had an "authentic" Boston cream pie so I am not sure if this is an accurate one  but the cream seemed a bit much for me.  The matcha cream puff was filled with matcha cream and the matcha chocolate shell paired well with the plain pastry and sweet filling.  It may have been a touch too sweet for me, but with the red tea I had, it toned down the sweetness enough.

Overall it was a lovely way to spend the day with my best friends!  It felt good to put a full Lolita outfit on as well! 

Hope to have some hairstyles put together for a future collection.  Partially, I want to have a post that I can refer back to myself for when I am out of ideas for what to do for easy hairstyles, but I hope it is helpful to others as well!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have been finding little ways to stay in touch with people you care about as well as taking care of yourself!