1. 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 – T302

    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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  2. 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 – Friday, August 28th at 12:30pm in the Sasquatch Theatre.
    Women in the Gaming Industry – Friday, August 28th at 2:00pm in the Chicken Theatre.
    Damsels in Distress: Exploring Tropes in Gaming – Monday, 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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  3. 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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  4. 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!

    Leave a comment!
  5. Gravity Falls Cosplay Photos

    April 13, 2015 ♥ 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.

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    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!

    Leave a comment!
  6. Emerald City Comic Con – Vlog!

    March 31, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    This past weekend was Emerald City Comic Con and I had the most amazing time – and, to everybody’s surprise, I also managed to film a video while I was there! I am historically terrible at remembering to film at conventions, so I am quite proud of this feat.

    This con has grown to be my favorite one of the year, and between the cosplay, the time with friends, and the incredible art/comic books I walked away with (I am such a sucker for artist’s alley) all I can say is how thankful I am that I get to start convention season this way, year after year.

    If I got to meet or talk to you at the con, it was wonderful to do so! I hope to meet many more of you at the other conventions I will be attending in 2015. If you want to see a full list of where I will be, you can do so here.

    I was so pleased with my cosplays and will be posting photos of those as soon as I get them back. Be sure to be following my Facebook and Instagram accounts for the most current news on my costumes.

    Life has been fun lately. Not to say that it isn’t fun the rest of the time, but I made some big life changes recently and I’m really enjoying it. Between my new job, to really diving into cosplay, to turning my YouTube channel into a book channel, I’m very happy with how I’ve chosen to spend my time lately. I hope you’ve been enjoying what I’ve been creating as well. <3

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  7. Where I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con ’15!

    March 24, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, Geek Events, Travel by Kristina Horner

    Hey guys! Are any of you going to Emerald City Comic Con here in Seattle? I sure hope so, because it’s going to be AN EXCELLENT WEEKEND! I figured I would post this a bit early, in case you want to know what I’ll be up to and where to find me this weekend.

    First off – I will of course be cosplaying. I have been working my face off, which has been exceptionally challenging in tandem with my new full-time job. Needless to say, after many nearly sleepless nights, I am so, so, so excited to finally show these bad boys off.

    ECCC15Sched

     

    Also, I’m going to be on a super-fun panel on Friday that you won’t want to miss!

    The Couple That Games Together
    Room: Hall J (WSCC 3B)
    Date: Friday, March 27th
    Time: 2:00PM – 2:50PM

    This will be my and Joe’s second time getting to be a part of this panel, and I can’t wait. We’ll be discussing the benefits and challenges of being a couple that games together – be that board games, card games, video games, etc! it’s such a fun and interesting topic to delve into, and people always have so many great questions! We had a great turnout last year and I’m hoping this year is even bigger!

    Other than that, I’ll mostly be hanging out in the various “cosplay” areas of the convention (including the main entrance room by the windows) and trying not to spend all my money in the expo hall/vendor area. I am so pumped for ECCC, and glad it’s always my exciting start to convention season. Imagining walking around with my army of Disney Princesses on Saturday is making me giddy with anticipation.

    If you’re planning on going to Emerald City Comic Con, let me know what you’re most looking forward to seeing! And of course – I hope to see you there.

    Leave a comment!
  8. Barbie and Ken Costume Tutorial

    October 24, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Kristina Makes Things, Outfit of the Day by Kristina Horner

    KEN&BARBIE_TOP

    Generally when I am making costumes, I enlist the help of awesome online tutorials for the more difficult parts of the process. However, while making Barbie and Ken costumes (of the Toy Story 3 variety) for my boyfriend and I this Halloween, I found basically nothing to help me on my journey, so I had to figure it all out myself.

    Toy-Story-3-Barbie-and-Ken

    I decided I would, in turn, help the rest of you out trying to make these costumes yourselves by showing you what I did!

    First, Barbie. Hers is the easy one.

    barbie

    I basically bought every piece of the costume online and assembled it – pretty simple! The pieces you need are:

    1. Stretchy blue one-piece (I bought this one). The picture at this link shows the solid, matte blue one (like she wears in the movie) but the metallic one is what came in the mail. I was a bit disappointed, but luckily this metallic one is what the actual barbie doll version of Barbie wears, so it will do just fine!

    2. A pink belt or any belt that’s got the right buckle, painted pink – if it’s a leather belt, make sure to use leather paint (which you can buy at Joann’s or most other craft stores). I found mine online ages ago, but there are usually extensive belt sections at secondhand stores, so you’ll likely find something.

    3. A pink scrunchie (I bought mine at Claire’s).

    4. Pink pumps (I got mine at Payless Shoe Source).

    5. Striped leg-warmers. Unfortunately this is the difficult part. I commissioned mine from a knitter I know (Bananavenger on Twitter), so that’s always an option – but you can always use these rainbow ones in a pinch.

    That’s it! Barbie is ready! Now on to the slightly more difficult one, Ken.

    Ken_Carson

     

    So! The first thing about Ken’s costume to note is that none of it is stuff you’re likely to find online or at Goodwill. If you do, more power to you. I couldn’t, so I made it all myself.

    I couldn’t find any button down shirts or pants or shorts even remotely the right blues, so I went with a standard white shirt and a pair of white jeans, a size or two too big for my boyfriend so we could get that bunched look when he wears them. To conserve dye, I cut the pants off at the knee before dying. Then I bought two packets of “Dylon” dye in Chine Blue at my local craft store and went to town.

    image (2)

    They both came out a nice light blue color – the shirt was perfect, though the shorts were a bit light. I ended up leaving them as they were, but if you want a nicer blue for the shorts, I would recommend buying a third packet of Dyson dye and doing them again.

    Then, start painting the shirt! I used fabric paint I bought from Joann’s, matching the colors as closely as I could. First I started with the blue spots, making them irregular and funky and covering the front of the shirt entirely. Make sure you place a piece of cardstock or something similar between the layers of shirt so it doesn’t bleed through or stick to itself when the paint dries.

    image (1)

    Let that layer dry, then add the black spots! Another round of drying and you can add the little gold embellishments. It takes forever, so make sure you watch something on TV while you do it.

    image (3)

    Done! And to be honest, it looks much better than anything you’d be able to find online. There’s nothing wrong with using an existing blue cheetah print shirt, but painting it yourself looks so legit!

    Repeat the same steps on the back of the shirt, and make sure to get both the inside and outside of the collar, since you’ll be popping it like you’re at a college frat party.

    As for the shorts – regardless of whether you used pants or shorts, you’ll need to roll up the bottom hem to create that folded over look Ken has. It should stay on its own, but if it’s being difficult, throw a quick little stitch in the sides and it should be fine. You also might want to stitch in the “pleats” at the top, if the belt doesn’t quite hold the shape alone. This is something you’ll want to do while the shorts are being worn (to make sure they still fit after taking them in), so it’s kind of a two person job.

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    Next was the belt. I think what Ken actually wears is technically a leather belt, but finding a solid rectangle belt buckle on a leather belt was near impossible so I just went with this military style canvas belt in beige.

    Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 12.37.43 AMI used fabric paint (the same gold I used on the shirt) to paint the beige fabricy part, then painted the buckle with acrylic paint in black and yellow. Pretty straight forward, and it comes out looking like this:

    image (1) copy

    The shoes were super easy. I found this pair of leather slip-ons at Goodwill (technically Ken wears boat shoes, but this just seemed so much easier to paint and I don’t think anyone will notice).

    image

    Then I purchased a 4oz bottle of “Pale Blue” leather paint from Angelus Direct. I was worried the color might be too bright, but again, it was pretty near perfect. I’ve done shoe painting for costumes before and it usually takes 4-5 coats, but these shoes only took 2. After 2 coats, they looked solid, perfect, amazing. Also, as a tip, I prefer a sponge brush for painting leather.

    image copy 2

    Of course, the finishing touch is the ascot. Or the “regular blue neck scarf”, as I found it to be while researching, since an ascot is actually something entirely different and Barbie lied to you. You can make one yourself by purchasing a bit of silky blue fabric and tying it around your neck – or, if you want to just grab it online, you can buy this ladies neck scarf on Amazon and then just pretend it was always made for a male children’s toy.

    Barbie and Ken Toy Story Costume

    Here’s the final product! Barbie and Ken for Halloween 2014.

    And that’s it! Good luck with your own Barbie and Ken costumes, and send me a picture of your finished product if you used this tutorial! Happy Halloween! (or cosplay or Disneybounding, I suppose!)

    Leave a comment!
  9. October Video Round Up!

    October 15, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Books, Cosplay, Food, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    I’ve been trying my hardest to make it up to you guys lately that I took such a long blogging break by making it really easy to find everything I created in the absence. Between my cosplay news, books I’ve read and videos I’ve posted, I’ve been a busy little bee!

    Today’s blog post will give you a round up of the most noteworthy videos I’ve made in the last month or so, starting with this GeekGirlCon Candyland video I posted yesterday!

     

    I am quite proud of it, and my friends were all such good sports for being involved. I love showcasing the things that make me happy for others, and I think this video did that perfectly.

    Next was this hilariously exciting Snack Exchange video I filmed with Joe – we had organized a collab of sorts with a couple living in Korea named Evan and Rachel. They sent us a big box of Korean snacks in exchange for a box of American foods they missed from home.

     

    We had a BLAST trying everything. Some of it was weird, some was absolutely disgusting… but a lot of it was really great! Thanks again, Evan and Rachel!

    The last video I want to share with you is my FALL BOOK HAUL! I can’t get enough of books and reading lately and this is my newest stack of stuff to read.

    I can’t wait to get through many of these, and October has been a big reading month for me. I’m only 2 books away from hitting my 30 book goal for 2014! You can bet I’m gonna raise that goal next year – 30 was easy!

    I hope you enjoyed my videos, and I’ll be back soon with some more October/Halloween fun!

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  10. GeekGirlCon 2014 WRAP UP!

    October 14, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Cosplay, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    This past weekend was GeekGirlCon up here in Seattle, which is a great little convention centered around being a fun and welcoming community that promotes the role of women in geek culture. While men and boys are welcomed and encouraged to attend, the con itself exists to “celebrate and honor the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide.” I hadn’t been in a couple of years and it was such a treat to see how much it’s grown in that time.

    While I attending a number of amazing panels (Working with WorblaWomen and the Horror Fandom, to name a couple) my favorite part of the weekend was cosplaying. This was my third official cosplaying event and I was so pumped to rewear and old costume and try out a new one.

    On Saturday, my friends and I wore our Candyland costumes. We debuted these at PAX earlier this year, but since then we obtained a gender-swapped Mr. Mint, filling the group out even more.

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    I love these costumes. Not only is Queen Frostine the first costume I made entirely myself, 100%, everything from scratch – but it also brings a certain joy to people’s faces when they realize what we are that I just love. Nearly everyone played Candyland as a child, but very few have seen the characters in any way other than a few inches tall on a game board. Not to mention all the small children who just want to follow us around because they like our “pretty dresses”. Wearing these Candyland costumes is always a delight and GeekGirlCon did not disappoint.

    Now we just need the other characters! Anyone interested?

    300304_doublemaximus_candyland-characters

    Sunday, however – Sunday was the day I had looked forward to with both extreme euphoria and fear. After months of work, my Sailor Moon costume was ready, and I couldn’t wait to show it off at the con surrounded by seven (SEVEN!) other scouts.

    I’ve been watching Sailor Moon since I was a child – I remember waking my mom up to watch it in her bedroom at 7am before I even knew what anime was or how much it would later affect my life. I remember my resurgence of interest when I was 11, when I started doodling Sailor Scouts on my middle school notes and calling dibs on which scouts we were with my friends at lunch time. I never got to be Sailor Moon. This was a big point of contention for me in middle school – I WAS THE BLONDE ONE. I WANTED TO BE SAILOR MOON.

    Sometimes it takes years for justice to be served, I’ve found. Fifteen years, to be exact – because at 26 years old, my cosplay group unanimously decided I was the obvious choice for Sailor Moon. I was giddy, I’m not going to lie. This costume, this group of friends dressing up as the Sailor Scouts… this fulfills a fifteen year old dream for me. So take that, middle school friends. Who’s Sailor Moon now?

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    SailorMoonGroupbySharctank

    Photo by Sharctank

    I had an absolute blast. We found that walking around with a couple of scouts wasn’t too bad – you could still manage to make your way around the con and see things, but if you had more than three (or, god forbid, the whole group) you might as well just stop and pose for pictures. Because that’s all you’d be able to do.

    But we loved it. When you spend as much time on costumes as it takes to make these, you want your picture taken. You want to see people’s faces light up when they see you. Sailor Scouts day at GeekGirlCon was one of my favorite days of all time, top five at least. I had the most fun, and I can’t wait to wear them again sometime. Especially since we have a Neptune and a Uranus, they just couldn’t make it to this particular event!

    I want to give a special shoutout to GeekGirlCon itself for being such an amazing atmosphere in which to wear costumes – the con has very strict rules about asking cosplayers before you take pictures and it enhanced the experience so very much. I had a number of wonderful conversations with people who enjoyed my costumes because of it, as well as chatting with other cosplayers (who were all extremely friendly and nice). I also loved how open everyone at this con was, turning the “Sex Scenes from the Female Gaze” panel into good old fashioned smut story time. Where else could authors share their favorite sex scenes aloud in front of a respectful and mature audience? It was wonderful.

    GeekGirlCon was a fantastic experience, and even though I swore I’d take a break from making costumes until 2015, I’m already mentally breaking that rule by figuring out what’s next.

    Stay tuned to my cosplay page on Facebook to keep up with my costuming adventures!

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