1. PAX West 2016 Wrap Up!

    September 10, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Games, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    Hey everyone! Last weekend was PAX West here in Seattle, and while I am totally and completely exhausted, I have decided I need to do a better job of documenting the stuff I’m doing. So here’s a comprehensive overview of the highlights of this awesome gaming convention.

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    COSPLAY BREAKDOWN:

    Cosplay is always a big part of my conventions, and PAX is no exception. I had actually planned to wear costumes every day (it’s a four day convention so I had FOUR different costumes ready) but I only managed to make 3 happen. I seem to forget each time how much energy costume-wearing really takes. Uncomfortable shoes, pin curls and wigs, carrying around props, stopping for pictures… these are all things I love, but I’ve learned that 4 days of anything just starts to feel like how your life is now, so after 3 days of this – I needed a break. The picture above is the very comfortable outfit I opted for on Monday.

    That being said, here’s what I wore on Friday-Sunday!

    FRIDAY:¬†These costumes were from last year, but we had so much fun wearing them that we decided to do it again! Plus Roosterteeth always has a presence at PAX and the were demoing their new RWBY game, so it seemed fitting to bring Blake and Ruby back. Jenn also remade a big portion of her scythe, so a round two was in order. I downplayed this at PAX, but you’ll notice I opted for slightly more comfortable shoes this time… ūüėČ

    ruby rose and blake belladonna costumes cosplay pax rwby

    SATURDAY: This was one of the best cosplay days I’ve ever had. The three of us fell in love with this as a cosplay idea last year at GeekGirlCon when we met the artist (Skirtzzz) in artist’s alley. I’ve always loved Princess Peach but I am not the biggest fan of her basic iconic dress, so seeing such a fun alternative outfit for her instantly grabbed my attention. Luckily Eia and Jenn also loved the outfits, and we vowed to make them for PAX, this year. And we did.

    Fanart Gunner peach daisy rosalina FF-X2 princesses cosplay costume

    People at PAX really seemed to like the costumes, even if they didn’t totally get them. They’re a stretch, believe be. The concept is Mario Princesses wearing FFX-2 dress spheres, in the style of the gunners. I haven’t actually played FFX-2, so I had to have someone explain this to me, but I was relieved when a number of people referred to it as “isn’t that the dress up game?” I’ll take it.

    skirtzzz art peach daisy rosalina cosplay costume

    Here’s a side by side reference of the costume I was recreating. I this this is my favorite costume group we’ve done yet, and personally – I cant wait to see what new art Skirtzzz brings to GeekGirlCon this year! Maybe we’ll be inspired again!

    cosplay inspired by skirtzzz art gunner peach

    SUNDAY: Maybe it was the Pokemon Go craze this summer, but I was finally, finally motivated to do the Misty cosplay I’ve always dreamed of. I have literally had this Togepi plushie sitting on my shelf for years. Funny story – a fan from Germany actually sent me this Togepi because he thought I might need it if I ever dressed up as Misty. Amazing – and he was right!

    misty cosplay good wig arda pumpkin togepi plushie costume halloween

    Eia was in the Pokemon spirit as well, and since we ran out of Indigo League to watch while we were making our costumes and recently started XY, she decided making a Serena costume would be the perfect thing for her Sunday outfit. We had fun representing the old and new of one of our favorite franchises, and Pokemon XY is surprisingly fun. I do miss the old voice actors, though.

    misty from pokemon, serena from pokemon xy, costumes cosplay wigs

     

    BEST GAMES:

    We played a LOT of games at PAX. I mean naturally, since that’s what the convention is all about, but I am actually very impressed with how many games we fit in despite how much time cosplaying tends to eat up at cons.

    Here are a couple of my favorites from the weekend:

    Firewatch: First person mystery adventure game that looks like a lot of fun. Played a demo and liked it so much I bought their adorable camp-themed logo tank top.
    Grimm Ecplise: RWBY game. 4 player online co-op hack-n-slash. I’m not usually into these types of games, but getting to play as Blake really sold it for me.
    Complicated Board Game The Card Game: This game was hilarious. It’s a card game about playing complicated board games. It’s like a combination of Fluxx and Munchkin. To be fair, I don’t actually like either Fluxx or Munchkin all that much, but we had a great demo-er and we had a pretty good time with this one. If you don’t like Fluxx though, proceed with caution, because it’s definitely a constant rules-changing card game.
    JunKing: Another card game, and probably my favorite one from the Indie Mega Booth. You play as a… garbage imp? And you basically rifle through the trash to collect prestigious items to raise your status with your garbage tribe. I think you’re essentially a raccoon. I don’t know. It was fun.
    Star Realms: This game was by no means new, and Joe and I actually already owned a copy, but my friends and I spent a good deal of time at the Star Realms booth – and now I think I have everyone hooked. It’s a great game because it plays 2, but if you combine two decks, it can play up to 4. Great versatility in a game! It’s a competitive deck builder set in space and now that we have all the expansions and whatnot, I imagine we’ll be playing this a lot more.
    Captain Sonar: We happened upon this game by chance in a tabletop free-play room. It’s an 8 player game (four on four) and it’s like if you added a ton of skill and strategy to ‘Battleship’. Very stressful, very fast paced, and a lot of fun.
    Costa Rica: This was a cute little game Eia and Jenn and I stumbled upon, and we had a great time playing it. It’s like if you mixed ‘Hey That’s My Fish!’ (hex piece puzzle game) with ‘Zombie Dice’ or ‘Pass The Pigs’ chance-taking¬†gambling game. It was a fun mix of the two, and collecting cute animals from the rainforest was a plus.

     

    THORNWATCH:

    I had the pleasure of getting to play a demo of the new Thornwatch by none other than one of the creators himself, Rodney Thompson. Plus, the other players in my demo were Jimmy Wong, Kiri Callaghan and Lauren Bond Рfellow creators I know and love dearly! All in all it was an ideal situation for getting to check out an awesome new game, and a big thanks is due to my friend Tara of the GeekyHostess, who set the whole thing up.

    Thornwatch Demo PAX west

    Thornwatch is described as a “graphic novel adventure” and it’s made by Lone Shark Games and Penny Arcade themselves. It played liked a game somewhere between a longer form RPG and a sit-down-and-play board game, which is my favorite kind of game. The coolest part was that so many elements of the game changed depending on which campaign you played – from the pieces of the board used, to which monsters you fought, to actual in game elements like protecting villagers or stopping the enemy from making matches of tokens needed for them to win.

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    Replayability is such an important feature in a game, especially when they¬†are an expensive as full games can be! Thornwatch seems like it can change over and over again, and I seriously look forward to owning this, when it’s out. If Thornwatch sounds like something you’d like, it has a live Kickstarter running right now, which ends on Oct 5. Joe and I already backed for our copy!

     

    PAX was such an awesome time. Getting to run around in costumes, play games with my friends, and take two days off work is an ideal way to spend a weekend, and I can’t wait until next year. Were you at PAX, or have you ever been to a game-centric convention? Tell me about it in the comments!

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  2. ECCC and Spring Update!

    April 6, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay by Kristina Horner

    Hey lovely readers!

    I’ve been miserable about keeping this blog updated, but I’ve had to make some personal sacrifices to prioritize working on my novel, and because of that, other writing needed to be lessened. On that note though, editing has been going well! I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and with a self-set goal of 25,000 words, I am doing quite well. It’s amazing how easy NaNoWriMo feels when you’re only doing half.

    I’ve also been busy making costumes! This weekend is Emerald City Comic Con, and I’ve got a 3 day lineup ready (well, I still have a few finishing touches to add…)

    emerald city comic con, cosplay, cosplay lineup

    I’m also speaking on a couple of panels this weekend, in case you’re going to the con and want to stop by! In fact, I hope you do, because I would love to have a chance to say hello and meet any of you that may happen to be going to the con as well. Here are my panels:

    The Couple Who Games Together: Friday April 8th, 5pm – Sheraton Ballroom A

    The Rise of Booktube in the Northwest: Saturday, April 9th, 1:45pm РT302

    Sorry I’ve been so busy lately, but I can promise you silence on my end means 1 of 2 great things for those who enjoy my work. If I’m quiet, it either means that 1. I am working on my book, or 2. I am working on a cosplay. Or it could mean I am wholly exhausted and watching Netflix or reading a book, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Thanks for sticking with me, and make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you want the most regular updates.

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  3. Vloggerfair and PAX Prime 2015

    August 20, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    I have a busy couple of weekends coming up – and I figured it was time to fill you in on what’s going on and what I’ll be doing!

    First up is Vloggerfair, a fun little YouTube convention happening here in Seattle this weekend – August 22-23.¬†I will be there Saturday the 20th, on both the “Women of YouTube” panel (happening at 3:15pm) as well as hosting another little book swap (happening at 12:30pm) with the lovely Mallory. Are you going? You should go! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and the more people we have there swapping books, the better it will be for everyone!

    Book Swap Kristina HornerIf you find yourself with a free day on Saturday, swing on by and bring a wrapped book! You can get a discount on your ticket price if you use the code “SPACE NEEDLE”.

    Next up will be PAX Prime! That’s happening over August 28-31 and I seriously can’t wait. It’s a jam-packed weekend for me, as I will be doing things for work, cosplaying, and I’m on a number of panels. If you’ll be attending, I’d love to meet you!

    Here are the panels I’ll be speaking on:

    The Couple That Games Together ‚Äď Friday, August 28th at 12:30pm in the Sasquatch Theatre.
    Women in the Gaming Industry РFriday, August 28th at 2:00pm in the Chicken Theatre.
    Damsels in Distress: Exploring Tropes in Gaming РMonday, August 31st at 12:30pm in the Chicken Theatre.
    As I said, I will also be cosplaying! I toned it down a little this year (last year I debuted three new costumes at PAX, whereas this year it’ll only be one). My friends and I will be wearing the costumes we’ve made of the main characters of RWBY.
    TeamRWBY
    I am going to be Blake Belladonna, the quiet, sarcastic, book loving badass (and the second one from the right, for those who don’t know). I usually end up picking the bubbly happy characters, so I’m happy to be doing something outside my norm.
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    PAX is going to be great, and I’m so incredibly happy my job let me cosplay at least one day of this con. Thank goodness for Sunday! That’s the day I’ll be walking around in costume, so keep and eye out for me! I’ll be working the other three days of PAX, but I can’t imagine not cosplaying at all. This is such a great convention for cosplaying and I’m hoping this year will be no exception.
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    The last event¬†in my 3 weekend summer extra extravaganza is Faerieworlds¬†(from Sep 4-6), a three day outdoor music festival/renaissance faire/faerie festival/gathering of awesome people. I can’t wait. It’s probably my favorite event of the year, surprisingly.
    It will be a nice break from the craziness of conventions, and I’m taking a day off work to go to it. By then, I’ll need it.
    Let me know in the comments if you’re planning to attend any of these events and if I’ll see you there! I’m going to get back to my costume making now, since PAX is currently 7 days and I’m not finished. Yikes!
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  4. VidCon 2015 Wrap Up

    August 4, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I just spent a lot of time writing a long blog post with my thoughts on VidCon, but then when I hit “publish” – rather than, you know, my blog post going live… WordPress decided instead to delete it! Isn’t that cute? Isn’t WordPress so quirky and fun tonight?

    I really can’t bring myself to re-gather all of those thoughts, so I guess that’s just gone to the ether, then. Here are the videos I made:

    This first one is a video I filmed over the course of the entire trip. Basically any time I was talking to another YouTuber, I asked them what they were reading. I was very pleased with how it came together, and even more pleased to see literally every person I talked to was reading a different book. Can you believe it?

    This second video is my more all encompassing “VidCon vlog”, and it contains a bit of footage from the panel I moderated (The Growing Community of Booktube), the Team Hypercube “Ultimate Werewolf” gaming meetup, and of course, the first annual VidCon Book Swap.

    Okay. It’s been 2 days since “the great blog post crash” and I think I am finally ready to retype this stuff. I’m going to talk about the Book Swap for a second.

    It was incredible.

    There were things I would change. I would have a megaphone, for one. Or we’d not be doing it in the middle of a construction zone. I’d love to have music playing to signify when we’re just looking at the books and when we’re actually picking them, a la musical chairs. I’d love for it to be indoors, and potentially even on the VidCon schedule. I’d love to work with a sponsor in the future to donate books for those who might not have known about it beforehand, and I’d love an opportunity for participates to donate an additional book to a charity.

    But even without all of these changes/things I learned this year, it was still really incredible. I loved seeing so many people gather in the name of books, get to know new people and share which books they ended up getting. I loved to see books getting new homes, seeing people walking away excited, knowing they could read a book its old owner maybe never read.

    I was such a beautiful meetup and I can’t wait to do it again.

    Regarding my VidCon video — if nothing else, you should watch it to see Joe and I duke it out in giant inflatable balls. You won’t regret it. VidCon was great. I can’t wait for next year.

     

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  5. BEA 15 Haul + Video Diary!

    June 10, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Conventions, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I was a little late on this, but here’s the video I put together about my trip to NYC for Book Expo America! I had a fantastic time, got to spend time with friends new and old, and came home with a sizable stack of ARCs I can’t wait to read. I absolutely adored this event and I can’t wait to go again next year!

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  6. Sanrio/Little Twin Stars Cosplay Photos + Tutorial

    April 19, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    I’m not sure when I got it in my head that a Little Twin Stars cosplay was a thing I had to do, but once it was there it stuck. I was a huge Sanrio fan as a kid (who are we kidding, I still am) and this adorable pair of siblings was always my favorite of the characters. I can’t tell you how much stationary I had in middle school with¬†the Little Twin Stars on it.

    little twin stars sanrio brother and sister

    There are a lot of different variations of these two, but we used this basic image as inspiration.

    SakuraCon 2015 fell the weekend directly after Emerald City Comic Con, so we didn’t really have time to put together anything too complicated. We weren’t going to cosplay at all, but then I remembered this idea. I asked Eia if she’d be down to power through putting this together, and luckily she was totally on board. We figured all we’d need to do was find matching white dresses, find the right color and length wigs, find matching shoes and make our respective props.

    little twin stars sanrio cosplay costumes halloween

    In the end it was actually a little bit more than a “quick costume” but we still managed to pull it together in a little over a week.

    How we did it: Starting from the top down, the wigs we both got lucky enough to find on Amazon Prime. Thank goodness, as we definitely wouldn’t have had time to order from China or anything like that. Both the star wand and star backpack were made by using standard pillow-making method with yellow fabric and batting. I glued mine on a wooden dowel, Eia added straps to her with thick pink ribbon. We got uber mega lucky with the white dresses, as we found these simple, perfect ones that somehow looked great on both our body types at Forever 21. Eia made her pink waist bow with the same ribbon she used for the backpack straps. We both found tights and/or leggings on our own (I believe mine were from Target and hers were from Goodwill) and the white sneakers were from Payless Shoe Source.

    little twin stars cosplay costume halloween sanrio

     

    Surprisingly, not too many people knew what we were dressed as right away, but those who did were instantly delighted. Maybe they were too obscure of Sanrio characters. Maybe people just weren’t thinking that far back into their childhoods. Whatever it was, I really didn’t mind being in a relatively obscure costume, because everyone always got it as soon as we explained it, and it can be sort of fun to see people scratching their heads as you walk by. Especially after being Rapunzel last weekend (one of many, many Rapunzels) it was exciting¬†to be a less immediately obvious character.

    little twin stars sanrio costume cosplay halloween

     

    It was a nice little test at how quickly we can put together costumes we’re still proud of. Even though we spent way less time and money on these costumes than previous ones we’ve made, they weren’t any less fun to wear. The photoshoot wasn’t any less good, the pictures are a lot of fun, and we were super comfortable all day.

    cute sparkly little twin stars sanrio

     

    I think that’s a good lesson to learn early in cosplay honestly — that sometimes it’s really not the amount of money and time spent on a costume that makes it great. You don’t have to break the bank and make yourself crazy every time you go to a con. I will definitely be mixing easier costumes like these into my lineup in the future, for my own mental sanity and because at the end of the day, people are going to¬†enjoy your costumes regardless of how hard they were to make.

    As long as you put your heart into everything you do, it’ll usually turn out great. *thumbs up*

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  7. 2015 Conventions I Will Be At!

    April 18, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    After realizing I never made videos mentioning I would be at Emerald City Comic Con and SakuraCon this year, I decided something needed to be done. Here’s a video outlining every other event I currently plan to be at in 2015 – though if new events pop up, you’ll want to make sure you’re following me on other social media!

    Are you going to any of these events? Do you know of any other cool conventions I might not have heard about? Leave me a comment!

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  8. SakuraCon Video and Haul

    April 13, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I recently went to SakuraCon, Seattle’s biggest local anime convention. It’s kind of crazy… I’ve actually known about SakuraCon since I was middle school, and remember wanting to go back then. Somehow that never happened for me, and continued to not happen until THIS YEAR.

    So, come along with me on my very first anime convention experience, see what I cosplayed as and what I ended up doing and buying there. It was a blast – you won’t regret it.

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  9. Gravity Falls Cosplay Photos

    ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay by Kristina Horner

    Emerald City Comic Con¬†was amazing for a lot of reasons, but a big one for me was this Gravity Falls group cosplay my housemates and I pulled off. It’s always a struggle getting those final outlying characters for the perfect group cosplay, but it’s nice when you have a few built in boys living with you that will do most things you ask with a bit of arm-twisting.

    I had always thought I wanted to be Mabel if I cosplayed anyone from Gravity Falls, but when Eia had to get braces recently, it was like it had been written by the heavens. She was obviously Mabel and I am obviously Wendy. It was stupid to ever think otherwise.

    thumbs up wendy photo gravity falls

     

    wendy cosplay costume gravity falls cartoon

     

    Of course, the costume really doesn’t feel complete until you’ve got the whole group. For as simple as these costumes were to put together, I think they really turned out wonderfully. I think the key to simpler costumes is attention to detail – getting each piece exactly right really brings the whole thing to life. Also having a full human size Waddles doesn’t hurt.

    gravity falls cosplay costume full group

     

    gravity falls costumes cosplay everyone

     

    Gravity Falls costumes cosplay group

     

    People seemed delighted to see us walking around together, and we kept running into Grunkel Stans and other Dippers and Mabels… it was a lot of fun. Even more fun than that was setting up some of these “action shots” highlighting Dipper’s jealousy of Robbie. These were some of my favorite shots of the entire weekend.

    wendy and robbie costumes gravity falls dipper jealous

    wendy robbie and dipper from gravity falls costumes

    Joe isn’t always into costumes to the extent that I am, but I can usually talk him into at least one or two a year. Last year it was Barbie and Ken (which is still one of my favorite costumes ever) and¬†I was happy to find another fun “couple” for us to dress up as. I think he enjoyed it, as well.

    wendy and robbie gravity falls costumes

     

    wendy and robbie gravity falls costumes

     

    Overall, I had a GREAT time. Cosplay is so much more fun with friends, especially when you’re dressing up from a show as fun as this one. And not to toot my own horn here, but how great does bright orange hair look on me? Who would have thought?

    Wendy gravity falls costume cosplay

     

    Almost all the pieces of these costumes we purchased online or at thrift stores. Joe used Heat n Bond to created the read bleeding heart on Robbie’s hoodie, Eia made the shooting star on her sweater out of felt and sewed it on, and Jenn painted spots on a pig kigurumi to make it look more¬†like Waddles. Aside from that and a few other little tweaks, these costumes were fairly easy to put together! Again, the key is finding pieces that look the most like the ones from the show.

    I’d love to see your pictures if you’ve ever made any of these costumes! Link them in the comments, or come back and show me if you decide to make this costume group in the future!

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  10. Emerald City Comic Con Haul!

    April 4, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Favorites, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Emerald City Comic Con was this past¬†weekend, and as it was the first con I had been to since GeekGirlCon last October… I might have gone a little nuts in the Vendor Room/Artist’s Alley. But honestly, what better place to spend your money than in a GIANT room filled with HUNDREDS of amazing, nerdy creators? I can’t think of any.

    I had the best time at this convention, and I can’t wait to read my new comics and hang my new art. Also, this weekend is Sakura Con — which will be similar, but will also likely have a lot of different stuff. So… depending on how much self control I can actually exercise, I might have another one of these videos coming soon. Who knows.

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