Adventures in Cosplay–The Beginning

As you may have noticed if you follow me on instagram, twitter or Facebook, I’ve gotten into cosplay. It really was only a matter of time. Halloween has been one of my favourite holidays for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved dressing up in costumes. When I started seeing all these people on the internet in these amazing costumes, most of which made themselves, I knew I wanted to do it too. And when I got a sewing machine a couple of Christmases ago, well, that was that. I started off just sewing some simple things for my daughter, to get back into sewing. Then last February (or was it March?) I was playing American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns and decided I would dress up as Alice for that year’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. It seemed like a simple enough costume to do and I really love this version of Alice. I ordered the pattern and fabric and set to work once it all arrived. And then I learned my first lesson in making sure I have enough time to finish my costume, especially when my skills are quite up to snuff. I ended up catching the worst cold I had ever had in my life, it lasted for weeks. I was tired and had no drive to finish my costume. I ended up going with no costume to the convention. I still had a lot of fun, but there was a little bit of disappointment I didn’t finish my costume. However, I didn’t finish that costume until this year, but more on that in another post.

My Alice costume isn’t the first time I’ve made a costume though. Way back in 2005 I was really into InuYasha (it really helped that it was on YTV at the time) and decided to make my own InuYasha costume. Admittedly, I was a bit over my head, especially for my first costume. I spent way too much on fabric, though it looked like I imagined it would. It was itchy fabric too, so not a good choice for a costume. I couldn’t find any decent white wigs for cheap (seeing as I spent too much on the fabric) so I had to improvise with crappy white Halloween hairspray and a light pink wig my mom already had. I made his ears out of some cheap Halloween cat ears, peeled off the black fake fur (after I tried to spray it white, it didn’t really work) and covered them with pink and white felt. I had spent so much time sewing the pants and top that I never had the chance to finish the white shirt. Actually, somewhere in a box there’s a bag with the fabric cut out and pattern pieces still pinned on.


Me as InuYasha, 2005

This year’s Calgary Expo was the first time I have ever dressed up at a convention. It was fun. And I cosplayed all three days I went. I had been looking for something easy to throw together as a second costume (Alice was the first) and decided on one of my favourite Doctor Who companions Amy Pond (Donna is my all-time fave, by the way. Love the red-heads.). I loved Amy from the first time I saw her on the show and have always wanted to dress-up as her. Amy has a lot of great outfit choices and it would be pretty easy to buy clothes that were similar to ones she wore. The bonus of doing a costume like this? You can wear each piece casually! More bang for your buck, or something like that. I picked Amy’s outfit from Asylum of the Daleks because I really loved the episode and thought Amy’s outfit was awesome.


Amy Pond in Asylum of the Daleks and me as Amy at Calgary Expo 2014

The wig is from Arda Wigs – it’s a Matilda Pumpkin (love this colour so much); I picked up the pants and jacket from Winners, the belt is from Wal-Mart, dress is from H&M, and the bracelet and earrings are from Aldo; the boots are by Wild Diva and were ordered from These boots have become my go-to footwear ever since.

I had ordered a Star Trek (2009) uniform dress to be another costume option (I think the dresses are super cute and sexy) but realized a couple of days before the con it didn’t fit. Which is fine, there’s always next year to fit into it (it’s only a little bit too small). So I took a look through my Doctor Who picture folder to see what I could do with what I had on hand. I saw a picture of Amy in Day of the Moon and knew what my other costume was going to be. I already owned a red plaid shirt and denim capris so it was cheap and easy!

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Amy Pond in Day of the Moon and me as Amy on my way to Calgary Expo 2014

And on the third day of Calgary Expo, I finally wore my finished Alice: Madness Returns. The feeling I got from wearing something I had made was awesome! It was great to finally get to wear the costume I had started last year. It’s become my new favourite hobby. I’ve already made a long list of costumes I want to do and not just for me, but for hubby and the kiddo too. The weekend spent cosplaying at Calgary Expo was a lot of fun! I’m going to cosplay every year and maybe try going to some other conventions in Alberta, like Edmonton Expo.


Morning of the third day of Calgary Expo

I’ve been thinking of creating a Facebook page for my cosplay, to keep my personal page from getting all cluttered with cosplay stuff. And I’ll share progress photos and ideas and whatever, all related to cosplay. I don’t have any delusions about having a ton of followers, I’m fine with little to none. I mean, it’s nice but I don’t expect to become a popular cosplayer by any means. It’s not about the likes, it’s about having fun and sharing something I love to do. I’m going to use the page as a place to keep all of my projects in one place. So I was thinking of calling my page Sparkling Hallow Cosplay, with or without the space between sparkling hallow. It’s one of the few usernames I’ve been using for years and I’ve always liked how it sounds. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. And next time I’ll share my Alice costume. Also, I’m going to take more pics in my costumes over the summer so I have better ones to share. Maybe I’ll teach hubby how to use my nice camera properly 😉



Feeling down, but not out…

The end of September and most of October I found to be difficult. I didn’t really talk to anyone or do much of anything, other than work on Christmas presents. I was feeling pretty low. Work was getting unbearable, the worst it had ever been. The impending take over by the new company and not having any information about what was going to happen was really stressing everyone out and lead to everyone pretty much treating each other like shit. Not a very fun environment to be in. I started to push people away. I avoided talking whenever I could, it just seemed easier. Kara started acting out a lot. She stopped listening, started throwing the worst temper-tantrums she has ever had and cried over any little thing. I think it might of been just a part of the transition to school, and having to wake up early. We made sure she got enough sleep. Still haven’t figured out exactly what was wrong, but she is much happier now. Part of that might have to do with me being happier too. I got invited out for lunch with some girl friends a couple of weeks back and my entire mood just brightened up. Even when you’re a pretty big introvert, like myself, you should never count out a talk with your friends, it does the mind and soul some good. Thanksgiving was really good too. Kara asked if we could give her cousins Alyssa and Madison the owl hats I had crocheted for them that weekend. So we did and they loved them. And now it seems like nearly everyone wants me to make them one. Oh boy. I’m not sure if I will, but they definitely have to wait until after Christmas, I have enough to do and my hands are going to want a rest.

Now that the takeover has officially happened, the mood at work has eased up a lot, at least from what I’ve noticed. And it is quite a relief.

Now that I’m feeling better,  I’ve made plans to do things for pretty much every weekend in November and I am looking forward to every single one. Friday is date night for hubby and I. We’re going to see Thor: The Dark World and we’re really looking forward to seeing it. It looks super good. And next weekend I’ve got a Lia Sophia party with some friends and a Just for Laughs show. I’ve got a week off of work starting Saturday and I am really looking forward to it. I plan on getting most of my Christmas presents all done. We got Kara’s Christmas shopping all done, so that’s a big thing off of our list for Christmas. It’s a pretty good feeling.

I now this post wasn’t written super well and was a little all over but I felt I needed to just get this out. Thanks for bearing with me through this post and I promise some crafty goodness in the next one, and photos! Happy Thorsday every one Winking smile

School days are just beginning

I’m finding it a little bit hard to believe Kara has been going to school for three weeks already. I am really glad however, to have school started. Ever since she finished preschool at the end of June, she has been asking when kindergarten starts. I’m really happy she was so excited to go to school and I’m even happier that she has maintained her excitement. The night before her first day of school, she just bounced around and talked our ears off about going to kindergarten. It was cute and annoying all at once. I was surprised she actually went to sleep with her being so excited.

All ready for her first day

Kara’s already made friends with a little girl. In her second week, when I came to pick her up, she came running up to me and asked if she could play at the playground with this girl. Since then, she has asked pretty much everyday. I’m am thankful she made a new friend so quickly. I was a little worried because she kept talking about her preschool friends, especially her bestie Ava. Now Kara won’t line up unless S is there. It’s cute.

Just like the previous two years of preschool, most of the time Stephen or I ask Kara what she did at school that day, we get the classic “I don’t know”. It’s still very annoying however, if we ask her a few hours later, we’ll actually get an answer. She’s getting better about it, or at least I think she is. Who knows, perhaps she’s just good at it now and next week she won’t answer again. She’s like that. Anyways, through these little conversations, I’ve learned she loves when they go to the gym and that the centres she likes and does the most are reading and drawing. She’s a girl after my own heart. I really loved gym class when I was younger. It was so much fun and it wasn’t competitive or about fitness tests. This kid really loves arts and crafts too.

The snail she made out of clay
on her first day

Getting Kara into the school routine has been a little difficult. She has no problems with her morning routine, it is pretty much the same as the one from preschool, just earlier. After school is another story. She doesn’t like to empty her lunch kit, she just likes to whine about it. She is getting better about putting her backpack on the hook. Getting Kara ready for bed is usually a bit of a fight, but it is a little better when it’s a school night, just because she loves going to school. If her aunt or someone is over though, then she doesn’t want to go to bed because she doesn’t want to miss anything and I totally understand, but bedtime is bedtime.

On our way home from the first day

Being silly while waiting to line up

I know school is going to be great for her and I can’t wait for her to learn so many things and have fun doing it. My heart just swells when I think about it. And geez, now I’m tearing up just thinking about it. I can’t help it, I’m just so proud. I hope her excitement school continues, not only through kindergarten, but through most of her school years.


Happy first day of Fall!

Egg-cellent experiments

Sorry for the eggy pun, I couldn’t resist. So if you couldn’t guess, today’s post is about the egg experiments I did with Kara in April. I’m not really sure how I stumbled on to the experiment, but I think it was via craftgawker. It is where I find lots of craft inspiration and sometimes there is fun stuff like this.

The first experiment, which can be found here, was to dissolve the egg with vinegar.


After we left it for 48 hours, it looked like this:


Kara thought it was weird feeling and rubbery.


We compared the egg to a normal egg, it was a little bigger (left). The egg was slightly translucent so we could see the yolk inside. Kara thought it was pretty cool.

Next, we took the egg and put it in a glass of corn syrup, as described here. I only had the dark stuff but the result was the same.


Here’s our egg at the start and here’s what it looked like after:


It shrunk to be just a little bit bigger than the yolk and shrivelled.

The next step was to reverse the process. Here’s the instructions. Kara and I decided to dye the water purple.


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Our egg turned a gorgeous, rich purple. It was so pretty we were kind of sad to see it go.


Bye, bye awesome egg.

Days gone by

Half of the year has come and gone (and then some) and I’ve only blogged once this year. It’s not like I had nothing to blog about, there was plenty. I just never sat down and did it. Which is kind of lame.

But let’s not dwell on what I didn’t do and focus instead on what I did do. Well, where to start? The last time I blogged was February 15, so I’ll start there.


In March, we went bowling and Kara finally tried all by herself. And did pretty good. More importantly, she had an awesome time!


At Easter we went up to Mom’s for a couple days and coloured and hunted for eggs.

In April, Kara and I did an experiment with an egg, which was totally cool. But I’m saving that for the next post.


I stitched up Hawkeye from the Avengers for my sister’s birthday, though it was a wee bit late. I need to work on getting my embroidery in the frame properly i.e. put backing board in behind.


I also embroidered this tea towel for her too. I found the pattern here on Flickr.

Stephen and I went to Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and had a blast the entire weekend.

Kara turned 5 and it’s kind of crazy to think my little baby girl will be heading off to kindergarten at the beginning of September. When did she get so big? And if that wasn’t enough to make me feel old, my baby brother graduated in May.


In June, I really got into crochet and started crocheting granny squares. I’m going to make them into a blanket for Kara. She’s pretty stoked for that. And it’s a good thing she has some patience, because I’m not the fastest at crochet and I have to stop when my hands start to hurt. I also stitched up a family of birdies for mom. It was a late mother’s day present (things were a little late this year).



I also picked up something new and fun for my photography hobby. I bought myself a film camera! A Diana F+ from Lomography. It’s a pretty fun plastic camera.


Kara at Laurie's Birthday

This is one of my fave photos I’ve taken so far. I was experimenting with double exposures and this is the what happened. It’s fun and exciting not knowing what your photos are going to turn out like.

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Happy New Year and Happy Chinese New Year! Yep, I have ‘t written a post since just before Christmas. Wow, looks like my goal to post more cleary hasn’t worked. I did try to post last week but it failed when I hit publish and I lost the whole thing. It being right before bed meant I didn’t redo it. Sleep is important, no matter how little I actually get. The post itself was more of a photo dump, so it probably failed because of the amount of photos.

I hope everyone’s year is going well. Things seem to be alright so far. Hubby’s getting over a nasty cold/flu thing. Thankfully neither Kara or I have gotten it. It’s nice that sickness doesn’t usually spread through the whole house as much as it does with most people.

I got a sewing machine for Christmas and it’s easily one of my fave gifts. I’ve made Kara a pair of capris and redashioned one of my old tops into a top for her. She thought it was the coolest thing to have clothes made for her. I have other projects I want to sew and you can bet there will be posts about them.

Kara modeling her refashioned shirt

We made Valentine’s for her preschool class, which took a while but she did enjoy making them. Hubby and I have never really celebrated the holiday but we do with Kara because she enjoys it.
Hopefully there will be more of a post this weekend, and there might be a few spelling and grammar mistakes in this post. It is 1:52 a.m. and I’m on my break at work.

Update: I fixed the picture sizes so now they’re actually viewabl. I don’t think I’ll be posting that late again. I don’t remember being able to change sizes in the tinydesk app, I’ll have to check that out before I use it again.

Posted using Tinydesk blog app


The excitement is really gearing up in our house for Christmas. Each day, when Kara does her advent calendar, she excitedly, adorably counts how many days there are left until Christmas.

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Last Friday I picked up a gingerbread train kit from work for us to build together. Turns out it was a great idea, Kara and I had a blast. This is definitely something we’ll be doing every year. Kara thought it was pretty neat to build something she got to eat.

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Oh, and we had a blue steel moment which was too cute!

On Monday we went to Airdrie’s Festival of Lights. It wasn’t too cold and we had the wagon this year so there were no grumpy complaints of being tired from munchkin. Visiting the lights is a tradition of ours, we try and go every year, unless it happens to be particularly cold that year.


We grabbed some hot chocolate to warm up with in the warm up tent. I started to blow off her’s so it’d be cool enough to drink. About ten minutes of blowing later I ask her to see if it’s cool enough and she tells me no, she wants it cold. I should have figured. She always wants it cold, she should really just drink chocolate milk. I think she only asks for it to feel a little grown up when we’re out drinking coffee. It’s cute, if a wee bit annoying. But I love her to death so it doesn’t matter.

Today I started making peanut butter cups using the simple, yet delicious recipe from radmegan. This is my second year making them and they always go over well. However, I’ve only finished the base chocolate, so I should go and do the filling and top pretty soon here. Or right now.

Well, I’m off to go finish those. xoxo