Wednesday, December 13, 2006

love/hate ebay but love my new sewing machine

Last week I received my brand new Brother 270D Disney sewing machine. It sounds like a toy for an aspiring fashion designer but alas, it is a real machine with real computerized parts. After almost breaking it, I figured out how to work the automated embroidery. I gotta say, this is very cool stuff.

I purchased it from ebay, a site I rarely use. Why? Because it seems that when I do, my information gets stolen and unauthorized access to my account occurs. At least ebay does what it can to correct the problem by notifying me, removing the non-sense listed as "sell" items under my account, etc. However, in order to do that, I had to go through an internet maze of changing passwords to three websites, follow the emailed ebay instructions which don't give links only say "go to [this page] where you find a link called [this] which will tell you what to do." Bullshit. It's a net navigation nightmare.

Luckily, I didn't have much trouble with the purchase I was making of the sewing machine. The seller even obtained another machine just for me since the one listed sold before the very stupid ebay inter-email system would allow me to send her a message, get her reply, and attempt repeatedly to reply back to her just so I could say, "yes, I'm interested and I want it."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Next Superhero - ARC

I'm busy helping my dear friend ARC with his costume concept and searching the internet for places where he can shop for all the things he needs. If you want to learn more about this next great superhero then you'll simply have to join us over on the KK boards where we pitch ideas and talk about our favorite super-things.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quick Tips on Where to Shop

Stores
1. If you have decided to stay with modern/tactical, then find out where your local police & fire shop. Look up "uniforms" in your yellow pages and see if there's a shop near you.
2. If you are going old school (like Golden Age of comics), you'll have to visit a dance supply store for spandex. Capes you can get in a few basic colors from store bought costumes or have one made. Or, remember Edna Mode's wise piece of advice, "No capes!"
3. Accessories: just about anywhere from a mega-mart to the Mall. I say stick with sports shops for things like knee/elbow pads and maybe gloves. Perhaps EMS (Eastern Mountain) which we have in our local malls. Maybe Foot Locker, Dick's, or Sports Authority. I was very lucky at Home Depot where I struck gold with gloves, knee pads and a plain canvas belt that I can add to later. Each thing was under $20.
4. Sunglasses - Sunglass Hut is the best for seeing a whole bunch of stuff at one visit but you'll be looking at desginer prices too. Find the right model then do an internet search for knock-offs - I mean, "replicas."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Welcome to Hero Fashions!

For pre-made Halloween type of costumes just check buycostumes.com or anniescostumes which will even have children's and pet sizes.

X-Men

Cyclops
    * The visor can't be found. I searched for weeks every day before Halloween and could not find one in an adult size. [Edit]: Found the visor at MPM Costumes.
    * Red Quartz glasses -- the actual ones worn in the film were limited edition and will run you as much as $600 (Oakley Juliets on ebay), however, you can get red lens sunglasses at places like Hot Topic. Because the Oakleys were limited in quantity, you can even find just the replacement lenses in ruby will cost a fortune. The Oakley frames are even called "X-Metal" but can be found in other varieties like black or charcoal. Wear with caution! You will be unable to read traffic lights, brake lights etc - anything where you need to differentiate between red & green.
    * Motorcycle jacket from the movies - found a replica at pdcollection.com which uses ebay as a storefront.
If the link breaks go to their main site. At the time of posting, the link goes directly to an actual item for sale on ebay.

Wolverine
    * Motorcycle jacket from the movies - found at the same ebay store as the Cyclops jacket, pdcollection.com
    * Claws - for other than plastic Halloween claws, check out real costume makers like Xtreme Design FX.


Sabertooth (and other fanged creatures):
* Fangs - better than those plastic glow-in-the-dark ones in vending machines.

The Matrix
* Sunglasses - there are tons of places that have knock-offs or replicas of the many glasses worn in the three movies. Here's a place that has them at pretty cheap prices compared to what the real designer versions go for.

Golden & Silver Age Comics
If your hero or villain requires a fair amount of shiny spandex, start with a dance leotard.

Anime
BlackCerenity specializes in anime costumes but this is the place where I got my Rogue costume (classic green & yellow).

General Costume Effects:
* Xtreme Design FX - prosthetics, latex, masks, custom costumes, chest logos, capes & cowls, adamantium claws and other fantastic stuff. Judging by their customer list expect to pay top dollar but you can easily see the quality of their work in the gallery. If all you need is an excellent chest logo to attach to your own suit, it might not be so bad.
* Contact Lenses - be very careful about considering special fx lenses. The FDA has warned consumers that they should never wear lenses that aren't custom made for your own eyes. There are tons of choices on the market for quality lenses but you should see an eye doctor first to get your eyes properly measured. The best thing to do is look up the lenses online just to see which ones you want but then take the information to a local optometrist. You can find quality lenses in every design/pattern from vampire looks to cat eyes to smiley faces (I'm not kidding). For the best gallery online check out Lensquest.
_________________
Just because you're fighting evil doesn't mean you can't look good while doing it. ~Amber, TechSupport Stylist