Friday, December 26, 2008

Online superhero generators

I can't draw well at all and I tend to rely on the City of Heroes character creator interface inside the video game to muck about with costume ideas; however there are some online creators that are free and fun. I like the UGO hero machine but it actually doesn't have the one thing I'm looking for which is a basic bodice like Wonder Woman.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 2008 Baby Names

I'm happy to say that some of our traditional though slightly boring American names have dropped in standing from the Top Baby Names lists though they still appear. See for yourself, the influence of comics and pop culture on the new 2008 lists for Boys & Girls (Logan appears on both). Apparently the name Isabella may be due to the popularity of "Bella" from Twilight and Britney Spears may be responsible for the upsurge of both "Jayden" and "James" which is the first & middle names of one of her sons. It's fun and exciting to see "Luke" and "Grayson" on the Boys' list! I actually know a little boy named Grayson (the Robin in my Wonder Woman Day pictures) and he is named after Dick Grayson.

While I first the name "Brooklyn" used for a baby girl on General Hospital many moons ago, it's one of the sons of David & Victoria Beckham which probably explains its popularity on the Girls' & Boys' lists; not to mention "Peyton" which is on the Boys' list though I've heard it for girls too long before I knew who Peyton Manning is.

"Sarah" probably doesn't have a single thing to do with the Terminator as it is a classic, but we can always say that her kick-butt attitude is a driving force for any young girl to grow up and aspire to; since "Connor" is on the Boys' list... well, we can piece those together as a significant correlation.

There are plenty of others obviously, given the many decades of comics and television we can pull from. "Micah" for example was a character on Heroes though he barely appeared in volume three. See what others can you find.

Top 50 Baby Boys' and Girls' Names of 2008

By the editors of

We've rounded up the hottest baby boy and girl names of 2008. See what names our readers love -- and get inspired.

Top 50 Girls' Names of 2008

1. Isabella

2. Ava

3. Emily

4. Elizabeth

5. Abigail

6. Madison

7. Emma

8. Addison

9. Madeline

10. Olivia

11. Chloe

12. Hannah

13. Sarah

14. Sophia

15. Avery

16. Riley

17. Jessica

18. Hailey

19. Ashley

20. Samantha

21. Makayla

22. Arianna

23. Mia

24. Mackenzie

25. Nicole

26. Dylan

27. Logan

28. Aaliyah

29. Zoe

30. Alyssa

31. Ella

32. Rachel

33. Brianna

34. Kaylee

35. Hayden

36. Michelle

37. Lauren

38. Jennifer

39. Leah

40. Bailey

41. Brooklyn

42. Allison

43. Isabel

44. Teagan

45. Alexis

46. Taylor

47. Amanda

48. Layla

49. Rebecca

50. Megan

Top 50 Boys' Names of 2008

1. Aidan

2. Jayden

3. Jacob

4. Michael

5. Ethan

6. Caden

7. James

8. Caleb

9. Andrew

10. Matthew

11. Ryan

12. Joshua

13. Avery

14. Grayson

15. Riley

16. Jordan

17. Peyton

18. Christopher

19. Daniel

20. William

21. John

22. Alexander

23. Dylan

24. Logan

25. Nicholas

26. Zachary

27. Anthony

28. Aaron

29. Hayden

30. Cameron

31. Bailey

32. David

33. Brooklyn

34. Elijah

35. Taylor

36. Connor

37. Brayden

38. Noah

39. Tyler

40. Joseph

41. Micah

42. Robert

43. Benjamin

44. Jackson

45. Kendall

46. Jack

47. Gavin

48. Luke

49. Tristan

50. Brandon

Baby Name Finder: Search 1,000s of Names Here

This list is based on the names receiving the most traffic on between Jan 1 and Dec 10, 2008. Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Firestar wip - 99% complete

I am just about complete with my Firestar costume which I'll be wearing to NYCC '09! I am working on the mask right now. This suit has a collar which matches the illustration above which differs from the costume usually seen in the cartoon, Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends. Once again, I'll say how much I love this wig. It's New Look brand and I have been very pleased with all of their wigs (only need to trim the bangs on them when they arrive but they're good right out of the box).

My gloves are little bit too short and that's because I'm using some of the fabric to cover the mask so that they match.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Firestar wip pics

Ok, I found the camera and here are some close ups of how I created the signature flame designs on Firestar. I decided to go with two layers: a spandex layer and the accessories layer. The spandex layer was tricky.

I had traced the flame pattern from the boot cuffs I bought onto the orange spandex including the portion that would be the lower leg. I put in a basting stitch just to hold the yellow to the orange about an inch below the flames (top picture). I tried stitching from there but all the curves of the flames were not cooperating so I had rip out the stitches, glue down the flames and wait a day to stitch over it; this did cause a lot of jamming which I was expecting. You can't stitch successfully through glue but I wanted stitches not just glue. The reasons are because 1: I didn't have the neatest cut edges and 2: the dried glue is visible through the fabric so I wanted to try to cover it with wide zig-zag embroidery stitches. I also wanted to do two lines of embroidery stitching, one in orange (2nd picture) and one in metallic gold (3rd picture) to outline the flames.

I was worried that the height of the boot toppers would cover the spandex layer but it came out just right. Since the cuffs aren't attached to the boots, I can lower them to the right height. (bottom picture)

League of Heroes honors

I couldn't wait to share the news. The community members at the League of Heroes (LoH) were nominating members at the 2008 MVP and my name got brought up. I was surprised and in awe quite frankly that I was mentioned in the same forum as other folks who really know what they're doing. I'm an experimenter. I just wing it and see what works. I ask a lot of questions along the way but essentially, I'm not trained in any of this. I do love to search for the best tutorials and online shopping deals which can help other people putting together costumes too. 'Lo and behold, the community members think I'm doing a good job at that and awarded me the MVP honors!

Meanwhile, back in the Wonder Cave, I've gotten a considerable amount done on my Firestar costume. I wanted to post some progress pictures but I can't find the camera. We took Caico to see Santa last night so I suspect the camera is in Ron's coat or in his car.