Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crazy Cosplaying: Adventures into Dying Clothes

Hello, everyone! The other day I dyed one of my tops in order to get it to look closer to the picture above of Bella's top from the movie The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. This is the second time I've dyed an article of clothing, so my confidence was there but a bit shaky. I found the original top at Good Will, and it was only for a couple of dollars due to some damage to the stitching. I thought it would be a good project for me to try out for the first time. So, I bought Rit fabric dye because I've heard that this was the best for the price. On the bottle it has a couple of ways of dying your fabrics. You can dye them in the washing machine or in the sink. I did neither and went the old fashion way: a bucket. So this is how I dye a top with Rit dye with a bucket.

First have the item that you want freshly washed and dried, and you need to make sure that if you are doing a top, unbutton all of the buttons. This is how it looked like before:

It was a light blue/teal color. It's a bit hard to tell in these pictures. Next you need a large bucket and three gallons of hot water. The instructions on the bottle say that if you are dying cotton (which I am), you need a cup of salt.

Mix all of that together until the salt dissolves. It shouldn't take too long with all the hot water. Once it's dissolved, add the dye. The bottle told me to add half a bottle for 3lbs of fabric. So, I added half the bottle of Rit dye. After stirring so all the dye is evenly distributed, add clothing item, and keep stirring for thirty minutes to an hour.

After dying is complete, rinse until the water runs clear. Then wash and dry the fabric/garment. As you can see, while the dye will dye the fabric, it will not dye the thread. You can also see better what the color was before to what it is now by looking at the close-up above and see the contrast between the stitching and the fabric. So, if you are dying clothes, make sure you choose a a color that won't be a heavy contrast with the original thread (unless that's the look you're going for). Also be careful with what your are stirring with. My spatula is now permanently blue, but it's just going to be my dying stir-stick from now on anyway.I think that this dye job came out well and looks closer to what I'm going for. I also have to repair the pin tucking and sew a belt to the back, but that is for another day. I hope this helps anyone who is looking to dye some fabric. I hope to see you next time!

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China Glaze in Foie Gras: Cosplay Review

Hello, everyone! The next step I've taken towards my cosplay project is a minor detail, sometimes overlooked but can make an outfit! For the past couple of weeks, I've been using strength gel for my weak fingernails in order to get super Shadowhunter nails like Isabelle as seen in the photo above. A couple of days ago, I used China Glaze nail polish in Foie Gras to get the look. I put on two coats of paint and a top coat, and for the most part, it has stayed on. It has been chipping at the edges, but I can't really blame it after doing some ridiculous cleaning and notoriously biting the tips. I wish the color was a bit more purple, but it is what I had on hand that was the closest. I don't know if you can still get the color at your local beauty supply store, since this color was originally released as part of the China Glaze Hunger Games Collection. I would recommend China Glaze for your nail polish needs, though because I haven't met a China Glaze nail polish that didn't do my nails justice. Take a look at the pictures down below and let me know what you think. See you next time!

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: Book Review

So, I've just finished up with the City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, and I have a lot of feelings rumbling within my crying heart. This book may be may favorite one in the series. Right out of the starting gate, Clare hits us with one emotional crisis after another. Then, the way she ends it seems like that's the end. No more Jace or Clary or Simon but then a miracle happens, and Clare decides to write three more books. All of this makes me extremely excited. I have two more books to read and review before the last one comes out, and then I'm sure I'm going to be reviewing all of Clare's other Shadowhunter books she has in the works (if Goodreads is anything to believe). Now, back to the review. Ms. Clare doesn't hold back on any of the action in this book, including a few battles and a war between Valentine and his league of demons against the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Revelations happen between the main characters, and there is a death that will break your heart. In some cases, I had to take a break from this book due to the emotional stress. So, it's really no wonder why I give this 5 out of 5 Morgenstern Rings.

That's all for now, but I've got three posts ready. They are a couple of cosplay reviews and an adventure into dying clothes (complete with now ruined blue spatula). They just need to be typed.  But I hope to see you next time and keep on reading. Up next is City of Fallen Angels!

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare: Book Review

Here it is, another book review! City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the second book of the Mortal Instruments series, and let's face it, the Mortal Instruments series is like an expensive bottle of wine: they only get better as time goes on. Clare further fleshes out her world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders in City of Ashes with beautiful but fierce fairies, an Inquisitor with a score to settle, and a family smack-down between Valentine, Clary, and Jace. Now without giving anything away, you should absolutely read this book. It was near impossible for me to put it down, and the epilogue will have you in tears. I remember when I first read this, I was so upset that I would have to wait a full year before finding out what happened next. That's the effect these books have on people. Immersing yourself into a world that seems so similar to your own yet so unfamiliar at the same time makes it approachable yet exciting. That's exactly what this book does. Clare loves to play on our emotions, and this book does that. If you are into action, forbidden romance, and family drama, I say, "Keep reading the Mortal Instruments, and be ready to sacrifice your social life to reading!" Although, if you're like me, that's pretty much your life since high school. Anyway, I would give this 5 out of 5 Mortal Swords.

Next up on the list is the City of Glass. Hope to see you next time. I'm going to be starting a first-time sewing project soon, and I'll be telling all of you all about it. I hope to learn some things and hopefully teach all of you through my mistakes (trust me, there will be a lot). See you next time!
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Friday, July 26, 2013

City of Bones Merchandise: Clary and Simon's T-Shirts by Brooklyn Industries AND COUPON!

Hello, everyone! So, I'm not here with a review of any kind, but I do have a discount if you really love The Mortal Instruments and want to cosplay as Clary or Simon. At Brooklyn Industries (click to go to website), you can get Clary's and Simon's t-shirts that were worn in the upcoming movie City of Bones. And some lovely people from The Mortal Minute (click for awesome sauce) got us this coupon for five dollars off of each shirt! I ordered from the website earlier today, and the website was a little glitchy; however, after a quick call to the store they fixed it right up and are sending Clary's shirt straight to me. Also, you have to add the code while still in your shopping cart. I got panicky when I got to the end and didn't see a place to put the code. I will probably do a review on the t-shirt and let you all know how I feel about it. Also, feel free to subscribe to my blog for more book and cosplay reviews. I promise that there will be more than just The Mortal Instruments. But the movie comes out in less than a month, and I'm way too excited for the movie. With that in mind, I'm almost done with my re-reading of the City of Ashes book, and I'm sure that City of Glass will follow it. That's it for now. Please subscribe to get more of my crazy adventures as a reader, cosplayer, and wannabe author. Clickity-clack those links to get even more Mortal Instruments awesomeness, and I will see you all next time!
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

City of Bones Merchandise Nyx Parallel Words Makeup Collection: Cosplay Review

Hello, everyone! Today is going to be a review of Parallel Worlds Makeup Collection by Nyx inspired by The Mortal Instruments City of Bones. I've had this for a while and have been wanting to do a review for it, but it turns out that I am horrible at taking makeup photos. Seriously, to all the beauty gurus out there that do your own make up, take pictures, and do tutorials, you are doing an amazingly difficult job. So, keep that in mind when you are viewing the pictures down below (seriously, I tried my best). Now the makeup collection comes with a smokey eye shadow palette, a matte lip creme, a black mascara, black liquid liner, a powder blush, a jumbo eye pencil, and a two-look look book. I'll start with the palette. I was very surprised with the color payout. It's not as vibrant as a MAC eye shadow, but it's definitely workable in an everyday routine. The matte lip creme is a bit... weird. I put it on an it just looked and felt artificial. It did come out matte, which surprised me, but it's not something that I would use everyday. I liked the mascara and blush, but there wasn't anything that really impressed me about them. It's nice to have them in a makeup kit, though. The liquid eyeliner has a brush that is really tiny, and it makes it a bit difficult to put product on. I actually prefer this though because I'm absolutely horrible with liquid eyeliner, and this makes it easier for me to not make mistakes. My favorite thing about this kit has to be the jumbo eye pencil. I've been in love with Nyx's jumbo eye pencils for almost half a decade, and I'm so glad that they decided to pit it in the kit. I also like the color they chose. Gold is a good neutral to put in everyday looks. The look book is a bit non-cannon. They have a daytime look for Clary, which looks nothing like what they used in the movie. I'll give them a little leeway considering that had to do a daytime look with a really dark shadow palette. The night look is also the "Isabel-inspired look." The fangirl in me nearly died when I noticed they misspelled her name; however it is a very nice night look. I don't know how Izzy's makeup looks in scenes like the nightclub scene, so I can't say for sure if it's true to the movie. On their own, I really like the looks. I wear Clary's look quite often since I would rather be blogging than clubbing, but I like the night look too. Let's talk about price. The kit sells for $24.99 and when bought separately the items total up to $33.94; you are getting a deal. In my case, I got mine a littler cheaper because someone decided to take all of the cute little knobs off the top and stole them from Ulta, and they gave me a discount for my trouble.  I would recommend getting this kit if you're a superfan of The Mortal Instruments or really love Nyx makeup for a good price. I may or may not use this for my cosplay that's coming up, but it's still good for everyday use. Now for pictures!

Swatches of the Smokey Palette with Flash

Swatches of Palette without Flash

All Makeup from Makeup Collection

Swatches of Blush, Liner, Lip Creme, and Jumbo Eye Pencil

Look Book

Bag in the Box

Actual Box

Side of Actual Box

Top of Cute Box where Jewel Knob Should Be :(
So, I tried to take some pictures of both of the looks, but they are horrible. They look very good in real life. I hope that you all try it out and find the same results I did. That's it for now. I hope to wake up at a decent time tomorrow and start on a new book to review. Since I just finished up City of Bones, I'll probably be doing City of Ashes unless all of you say otherwise in the comments below. See you next time!
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Monday, July 22, 2013

City of Bones Hot Topic Merchandise Isabelle Lightwood's Serpent Cuff and Ruby Necklace: Cosplay Review!

Hello, everyone! I'm finally going to do the review for my two Izzy cosplay pieces from Hot Topic. I got the serpent cuff and ruby necklace. Now, first off I have to describe how they are in the book. According to the Shadow Hunter's Wiki, Izzy's bracelet/whip is described as being silvery gold (although I've went through the City of Bones and only saw it depicted as gold), and a glamour is used to make it seem like a bracelet while not being used as a whip. (You can read the full description here.) Her necklace is described as "a thick silver chain, on which hung a dark red pendant the size of a baby's fist." (City of Bones) As you can see from the Hot Topic stock photos, the cuff is clearly silver, and while gem is bright red in the picture, it is noticeably darker in real life. Now, here are a couple of pictures that were taken during the Book Expo of America of props that were used in the movie.

And here is a picture of Izzy wearing the bracelet on set.

Now, as for the accuracy to the movie, they are pretty spot on. The pendent from the movie looks a bit larger than the one Hot Topic has, but I think that the smaller size is better for everyday use. Hot Topic's cuff looks a bit thicker, and the waves are more more horizontal than the diagonal waves on the movie prop. Also, the snake head on the movie prop is thinner, and the scales go further down the head while the scales stop before reaching the snake's eyes on the Hot Topic version. Quality wise, both are surprisingly good. The chain for the necklace seems a bit wimpy, but the pendent is durable and intricate. The cuff is also durable in that it doesn't want to bend to make it fit tighter or looser on your arm. It takes an ample amount of pressure before it feels like it's bending, and I personally don't want to put enough pressure on it to break it. It fits a bit weird on my arm, and I have had to get used to the feeling of it being there. That may just be because my arm is ridiculously tiny, so I have to push it up further on my arm than Izzy does on her arm. I do suggest getting both of these, but I recommend trying the bracelet on at your local Hot Topic. I'll add some pictures of the two that I have down below. I hope this helps, and I hope you have enjoyed this review! I'll see you next time!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Book Review

Finally! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones review is here! I'm so glad to be doing this. First off: a disclaimer. I am a super fan of this series. So, I may be a little biased. Now, let me just say that this book is pretty darn amazing. You have love, war, and betrayal, and things are just getting started. There are several reasons to why this book is awesome. Firstly, the main character, Clary, is your typical fifteen-year-old thrust upon a supernatural world filled with demons and the Shadowhunters that fight them. She doesn't just wait for things to happen around her; she takes action, which is a breath of fresh air if you're an avid reader of Young Adult fiction. Secondly, her love interest Jace isn't what a lot of readers are use to. He's arrogant, condescending, and a bit of jerk all wrapped up in a delicious package of tall, blonde, and sexy, and he knows it. He laughs in the face of danger (literally), and he is so intrigued by new-girl Clary. Then there's Simon, Izzy, Alex, Magnus, and a whole slew of characters that you can't help but become invested in, and a twist ending that will blow your mind. It's a pretty easy read once you get all of the names straight, and I had a blast re-reading it for the review. Now, the only downside I've found is that you will want to spend all of your money buying the next few books. I give this five out of five Mortal Cups.

That's it for now! Up next is another cosplay review. This time, it will be Isabelle's jewelry from Hot Topic. I'll also be showing the accuracy between the jewelry on sale, the jewelry in the book, and the jewelry from the movie. I'll catch you later! See you next time!
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

City of Bones Hot Topic Merchandise Morgenstern Family Ring: Cosplay Review!

Alright, shadowhunters! I'm really excited! After many phone calls about my pre-order of City of Bones Merchandise and a cancellation, Hot Topic sent one of my items: the Morgenstern Family Ring! The picture above is the stock photo of the item from the Hot Topic website. Last night, the FedEx man cam with a package, and I would have never had guessed it was for me! Inside the package was a small plastic box decorated with runes and the dual city landscape fans have come to know through the movie posters that have been plastered just about everywhere. On the back of the box, it shows a grainy shadowy picture of what I could only guess is Jace's fist wearing the Morgenstern Ring. From the picture, you can tell that the item inside closely resembles the one actually worn in the movie. Now let's talk about the actual ring. The ring itself is quite large, which makes sense considering it is supposed to be a man's ring. The website says that it is a size 7, but it feels like at least a 9 to me. Now, I don't know how men's sizes work, but ladies, it is quite large. It has an antique look with a metal feel, which makes sense because it was made in China. I'm actually quite surprise how durable it is. I've squeezed it in my hand, and it doesn't bend or mold accordingly and seems quite sturdy; however, the necklace that Hot Topic gives you seems like it will break if the wind blows too hard. Despite customer service, I really do like this ring and would recommend it to my fellow shadowhunters. You need to hurry if you want your own, though because according to the Hot Topic website, they are "almost gone." Also, for a short time, Hot Topic is having a sale online for jewelry including The Mortal Instruments merchandise. Buy one piece of jewelry and get the second half off. Other Mortal Instruments jewelry include the Parabatai necklaces, Isabelle's serpent cuff, angelic rune necklace and ear studs, Jace's rune necklace, and Isabelle's ruby necklace. Now a lot of these items are "almost gone" so visit a store or buy them online if you know for sure you will want them.

Click this link to see Hot Topics Mortal Instruments merchandise.

So there you go! Hope you found this review helpful and the photos not terribly crappy. I have a few more pieces coming soon, and I'll review those too. See you next time! 

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