Today is my 39th birthday. (Woah, I know!) I spent the day going to see Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCap!) and generally had a low-key but fun day. Here’s an obligatory birthday day selfie:
Saturday, April 16, 2016 was Dapper Day at Walt Disney World. This time, it was a Spring Fling in Magic Kingdom! Dapper Day, for those who might not know (such as most of the “regular” park guests for the day, all of whom felt I looked friendly enough to ask LOL) is a day to dress to impress. When Disneyland first opened in 1955, people wore their Sunday best; men in suits and women in dresses, hats, gloves. So Dapper Day is a twice-a-year event dedicated to bringing a little style and class back into the parks. It’s not about being “vintage” specifically nor does it require a certain time period (though many do chose to embrace a mid-century 50’s or 60’s style.)
I went last year for the first time to the Fall Soiree held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That day, I opted for a “provincial town” blue dress Belle Dapper Disneybound. (A Disneybound is when you dress inspired by a character, movie, attraction, etc. without going for a full, 100% accurate cosplay.)
This year, a few months ago I got the idea to do something with one of my favorite attractions, The Haunted Mansion. I found a perfectly Dapper green and black dress which reminded me of the “Maids” and “Butlers” that work the attraction. From there, I spent a lot of time finding and modifying various aspects to complete the look. (Including making a Bat Stanchion Necklace) I’m happy to report it was a total success!
Feel free to check out my entire album including more group shots and other shots with fellow Dapper Darlings here on my facebook page.
I handmade the Haunted Mansion “bat stanchion” necklace I’m wearing for the day and had so many people inquire about it that I will be doing a limited run of them for sale. Follow PhoenixFire Designs to be updated when they will become available. I need to get additional supplies and materials plus get more cast and painted. Update: Pre-orders for my Haunted Mansion Bat Stanchion Black Lace Choker Necklace Here!
Trigger Warning: abusive father bullshit ahead
This one is dark and heavy. There’s also lots of cursing head. Fair warning.
It seems that I only write a post once every four years these days. Regardless if that’s accurate or not, I just had to post something today to have a date stamp of February 29th on the blog.
Happy Mathematical Construct Day everyone! See you again in four years.
I know I should probably find it “cute” or something, but I just can’t. Every single day, I am “treated” to the…let’s be generous and call it “singing” of the small child in the apartment below me. He (?) sings as loud as he can, shrill and screechy and ungodly out of tune over and over and over again. All day long.
Yesterday I was woken up around 8:30am to the dulcet sounds of For the First Time In Forever from Frozen. It was a living nightmare.
The approximation of the sounds that come out of this kid’s mouth is something like WHAAAAAAAAAA aaaah wwawawawa MmmmAAAAWWWWW and about as in-tune as bagpipes in a garbage disposal.
The “singing” is of a volume and frequency that it travels through the floors and walls from his apartment to mine. I will sit, listening to this Hell for 10 or 15 minutes until I can’t take it any longer and play the I have over 5,000 songs on my pc and speakers louder than you game.
This morning we discovered that Imagine Dragons > his punk ass.
I just love apartment living.
Marty: All right, Doc, what’s goin’ on, huh? Where are we? “When” are we?
Doc Brown: We’re descending towards Hill Valley, California at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, October 21st, twenty-fifteen.
Marty: Two thousand fifteen?! You mean we’re in the future!
Welcome to the future!
I recently found a copy of Starlog Magazine from January 1990 while cleaning. The cover story? An interview with Robert Zemeckis on the filming of Back to the Future: Part II! This is a timely find given that we are nearly at the future – October 21, 2015.
It features some great production photos from the film as well as a Q&A with Zemeckis. Since this is a 25 year old issue and I’m sure most BttF fans don’t have a copy laying around to read, I’ve scanned all the pages and uploaded them for reference and review.
The full gallery (including much larger versions of the scans) can be found here on my G+ account.
As a bonus, here’s the back cover of the issue. It was a full page ad for the Back to the Future fan club. Man, I wish I had gotten in on that! (Only $9.95! )
Great Scott! (I know, this is heavy!)
The brand new PhoenixFire Designs Shop on Handmade on Amazon is now LIVE!!
There is currently a limited selection of our signature tree of life pendants and wire wrapped jewelry but there’s more to come!
(Warning: There is bugs in this post. Specifically ants. There’s also A LOT of cursing.)
I have had a fucking week from hell and I’m just over it. All I want to do is lay down and fucking cry. I have no one to vent to so I hope you will allow me to share here.
Sunday night around midnight, my husband is going to bed and…there’s a fucking invasion of ants in our master bedroom. Couple weeks ago, the apt below us had a swarm in their master bedroom closet.
I need to point out that I have a hardcore phobia of ants. Like, even trying to talk about it gets me all shaky. So needless to say I had a fucking panic attack that night. They were on the floor, the bed, the curtains my fucking pillow – everywhere. I was hyperventilating and sobbing my eyes out and shaking so hard because I was so freaked out.
Meanwhile, my poor husband is trying to kill them, wipe them up, smoosh them, etc and every time he moved something, there were more.
I wound up doing like 6 loads of laundry (they were in the bedding, extra linens, clothes, etc.) and couldn’t even bring myself to sleep in my own bed because I was so freaked out. I was up until 7:30am before I was finally able to doze off for about 3 hours on my couch.
Of course, my apartment complex is made up of fucking assholes. So Monday they were – big surprise – total fucktards about the whole thing. “Do you eat in your bedroom? was their reply.
First off, no I don’t.
Secondly, who the fuck cares because I’m pretty damned sure the people below us don’t eat in their closet so it’s ridiculous for you to act like I somehow brought this on myself!!!
They were absurdly unsympathetic telling me that *I* had to put out traps because they couldn’t for “liability” reasons. Oh and I needed to move every single piece of furniture away from the walls by the so they could spray Tuesday. They couldn’t help me in any way because, of course, of “liability” reasons. I told the property manager I have permanent neck damage so there’s a very low limit to what I can do, and she was like, oh well that’s what you have to do.
So Monday night my husband and I do our best to make sure you can at least get to the baseboards as best as possible. Furniture doesn’t fucking float so there’s only so much it can be moved since we still need to, oh I don’t know, access the bed! The living room is a disaster with overflow of laundry & linens I haven’t put back away and now furniture and things taken out of the room for access.
Tuesday I sit around all day and….pest control doesn’t show! Who’s surprised?
Oh the pest control company had “an emergency” so they’ll be here Wednesday instead. First thing, before noon, promise.
I get up early Wednesday and…wait. By 12:30pm still no sign. So I call. “Oh they’re supposed to be here sometime today, you’re on the list.” Thanks.
Finally come about 2pm. The guy asks if I have any allergies or sensitivities. Uh, yeah to almost everything. Especially scents. (My husband can’t wear cologne because it gives me migraines. Even his stupid deodorant reeks to me. I buy unscented everything.) Oh well, he says, this stuff is horrible. It even gives ME headaches and I don’t have any sensitivities.
And this is what you want to spray in my BEDROOM??
So after all that, he wound up baiting and setting up traps instead, no spray. He said he’d spray outside heavily (which is the problem in the first place IMO since our whole building is swarming in ants. Like, they are everywhere!!)
Meanwhile, my husband has like 30 huge, puss-filled awful bites all over his arms and legs. I have about 4 on my feet since he was one the one right in the mix of it. Apt complex does not give any shits.
We haven’t seen any more since but I’m so nervous now and worried because we never had them before and the just BAM! a ton all at once. They had to come from somewhere and I’m so afraid they’ll be back.
I’m so done with this place and so very, very tired of their bullshit. I wish I could just pack up and leave tomorrow. Of course if we wanted to leave it would be thousands and thousands of dollars in early termination fees and if we just left without 90 days notice, we could never get a place anywhere else ever again. Not like we have the money to move anyway which is why we’ve been stuck here so long in the first place.
It’s just become nearly unbearable and I’m just so damned depressed lately about everything and so overwhelmed. I feel like just laying down and crying. It’s all I want to do. I have no motivation, no energy, nothing. I’m just so done with it all and I’m tired of being powerless and beat up.
A few months ago I decided I wanted to attend my first ever con: Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. And if I was going to go, I was going to cosplay. Back to the Future is my all-time favorite movie (and movie trilogy) and 2015 is not only the 30th anniversary of it’s theatrical release (originally released July 3, 1985) but in Part II, 2015 is “the future” that they travel to. (October 21, 2015.) So it just made sense that my first ever cosplay should be Marty McFly!
Of course having an idea to do a female Marty McFly cosplay and actually putting it together is two different things entirely! Because as it turns out, Marty’s 1985 outfit is not only more complex than it initially looks, it’s also full of rare, vintage pieces – all in men’s sizing. And while Michael J. Fox may be small guy, he’s still a guy. And I’m not.
So I needed to find suitable outfit parts that would still look like the original and yet be made for a woman. I was also unwilling to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on this outfit and wanted to do it inexpensively as possible. It quickly became clear that I needed to approach this creatively.
In other words: this was going to take some work.
To start, this is Marty McFly’s famous 1985 complete outfit:
It’s a LOT of layers.
- a burgundy tee shirt
- a white button up with a black windowpane pattern
- black suspenders
- custom Guess jacket with those distinctive dark blue accents
- burnt orange puffer jacket, jeans
- Nike Bruins red and white sneakers
There’s also a ton of details like three pins on his jacket, his headphones and walkman, his marron Eastpak backpack, etc. I spent a lot of time looking up reference photos and learning all about what the original parts were so that I could find, make or modify compatible female pieces.
For example, the white and black windowpane button up shirt. There was a limited run of a reproduction version a few years ago by Shah Safari. Of course, they were in men’s sizing. And if you could find one on ebay, they were going for $100 and up.
So I scoured the web and wound up finding this women’s shirt. It cost me about $10 shipped and looked really good. Plus, it had the added benefit of actually FITTING me as a woman!
Next up was the puffer vest. I admit I never wound up finding exactly the right vest. I ordered four separate pieces over several months and settled on a red one. Yes, I know that it’s technically orange in the film. It’s a burnt orange color. Due to the lightning process and coloration of the movie, it looks red. (There’s even a big debate among casual viewers if it’s orange or red!)
The original is by Class-5. They went out of business in the early 80’s, so finding an authentic one is not only nearly impossible, it’s an extremely expensive proposition. Even if I did find one, again, it would be in men’s sizing and thus too large for my size 4 frame.
I wound up settling on a red puffer vest. I also did buy an orange one but it was too neon; much more of a bright safety orange vs the darker burnt orange puff vest original. I also bought a woman’s size one to help give it a little bit of shape. Puffer vests really do nothing for your figure so I opted for one that, while not screen accurate, looked good on me and still gave the impression and look of Marty’s original outfit.
Like everything, Marty’s original shoes proved hard to find as well. Through research I found out the originals were Nike Bruins but they don’t seem to make this color combo any longer.
I spent time searching ebay and various websites but the few white-with-red swoosh versions I found were nowhere near the right size. I wear a women’s 6.5 which would mean I’d need a men’s 4.5 (which really is a boy’s size at that point.) I finally had a lucky break when I found a vintage pair of red and white Nikes IN MY SIZE that had a very similar look. They are labeled “ACE ’83” but were really an excellent find.
Marty McFly also has a very distinctive cassette walkman that he uses in the film. The original is a AIWA HS-P07 (or AIWA HS-P02 MII apparently one version was US and one was international but they both have the same styling.) These very rarely come up for sale and when they do…you guessed it. They sell for hundreds of dollars! I figured getting something with a similar “look” was close enough so I found this for about $10 on ebay instead:
Marty wears a distinctively 80’s digital watch. When he’s trying to call Doc Brown from the payphone in Lou’s Cafe in 1955, it beeps. This was the easiest piece to track down because They still make basically the exact same model! Casio Men’s CA53W Calculator Watch. It’s available for about $15 on amazon!
Marty’s backpack seemed like it would be easy, but it turned out it turned into one of those 30 years later challenges. The original is a marron Eastpak. A few years ago, they even re-released it as the Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red but…those are sold out too.
I wound up buying a vintage Jansport bag. I took off the logo and added some handmade “pig ears” out of sued leather to give it the look. (The leather diamonds are sometimes referred to as “pig ears.”) Another $10 ebay find.
Of course, the biggest challenge was THE JACKET. A one-of-a-kind, made by the studio just for the production, it was my biggest hurdle. And it deserves it’s own post so….to be continued!
See Part II: The making of my Marty McFly 1985 Jacket here!
Saturday, August 1st, 2015 I did my first ever cosplay: a gender-swap/crossplay of a female Marty McFly (of course from the 1985 movie Back to the Future) and attended Tampa Bay Comic Con. This was also my first ever con too! I had such a fun time.
I also got to meet Lea Thompson, who played Lorraine Baines McFly – aka Marty’s Mom – who, in Back to the Future has the hots for her son, “Calvin Klein.” I had planned my costume months ago, long before I knew she was going to be there, so it was a fantastic opportunity!
First off, pics!
But you’re my….you’re my…
I even spotted Doc Brown! Doc, you’re my only hope!
Doc and I proved quite popular and several people came to get photos with us – including Spiderman!
And of course, with time travel, one needs to be careful not to run into your other self! You might cause a time paradox – the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. (Granted, that’s the worse case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.)
Back to the Future was released in theaters exactly 30 years ago this year on July 3, 1985. Plus, in Part II, Doc brings Marty to “the future” which is THIS year: October 21, 2015. So when a few months ago, I decided I wanted to attend my first ever Con, there was only one character that made sense: from my all time favorite movie ever, Marty McFly!
I’m going to do a separate post all about the process of putting together the costume because while it looks simple enough, there are a LOT of details and converting a 1985 man’s outfit to something a woman could wear 30 years later and trying to get all the details right, was harder than it appears. Look for that soon.
But it was SO much fun and it’s hard not to have a good time when people tell you things like, “you are the most legit Marty I’ve seen!” If you get a chance to attend a Comic Con, do it! And, have fun with it and cosplay too! Don’t be afraid of being “silly” or “embarrassed.” Everyone there is there because they also love the same things you do and they will appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to your fandom.
I will definitely do more cons in the future. (Or perhaps, the past! )
It’s a good time to be a Back to the Future fan. Not only is the movie celebrating the 30th anniversary of original theatrical release (on July 3, 1985!), 2015 IS the future! In Part II, they travel to October 21, 2015.
Which means, so like, you’re not kidding me! We are in the future.
As part of this celebration there is so much awesome BttF stuff either already out or coming out soon! I’m going to highlight a few items fellow BttF fans might be interested in!
First up, is a new “behind the scenes” book which is already out: We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy I pre-ordered my copy:
Coming September 27th, is the new Lego Dimensions game! This is similar in concept to Disney Infinity, but of course the Lego Dimensions is (1) LEGO!!! (which, anyone who’s played any of the Lego games knows what a great sense of humor they have!!) and (2) will feature a Back to the Future Expansion!!!
AND…next year (January 19, 2016) there will be a Doc Brown Expansion! I mean, look at the little steampunk time travel train!!
The day before the future, October 20th has a few really nice items coming out.
First, there’s also a new book coming out: Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover, full color 224 pages I’ve seen some previews and it looks like it’s going to be a nice collector piece for fans. I’ve got mine on pre-order.
AND, Universal is releasing a 30th anniversary blu-ray edition in several versions:
1) If you just want the movies this is the version: Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)
2) If you just want the animated series (never before on dvd!) this is the version: Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series
3) BUT…if you want the creme de la creme, with the complete series, complete animated series, new features, documentaries and even a light-up Flux Capacitor box…well, THIS is the version you want: Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures – Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)
I have already pre-ordered it. This is a limited edition version so I can easily see it selling for a huge markup after the fact.
Nice thing about pre-ordering on Amazon is that if the price goes down between now and release, you automatically get the lowest price. (For example, it was $99 when I ordered it but it’s now $88 so I will get it for that – or lower if it goes down again. Plus, they don’t charge your credit card until it ships.)
Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of Back to the Future goodies!! You can also dress like it’s the future: Back to the Future: Part II: Marty McFly Cap Replica
And this is just a bare handful! There are so many wonderful products out there right now, or awesome items coming soon.
Plus on a related note…here’s a sneak peek of something else I’ve been working on the past few months. Full blog entry coming soon but let me just put the words “female Marty McFly cosplay” and “Tampa Bay Comic Con” out there as a teaser:
You may have heard about the new craze: adult coloring and adult coloring books! I have to say that when I was a child, I LOVED to color. So I was very excited to see more complex and detailed books being published and targeted towards grownups.
Back in March, I ordered Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and had to wait nearly a month for it to come back in stock. My copy finally arrived in April. I’ve been slowly but surely working on pages since. Mostly at night after Love goes to bed, I sit down with my Prismacolor colored pencils and use it as a way to wind down from the day.
I thought I’d show off some of my completed pages; a mini gallery of colored pages to help inspire your own creativity!
The first page I colored was a squirrel. I hadn’t colored with any detail for years so I was a bit rusty.
Next I colored the “crow” bird. I got a little more adventurous with this page. I figured it’s an “Enchanted” forest so why not let it be more fantasy?
Third, I did the hedgehog.
Fourth came the castle on a mushroom. This one I got creative with and made half the trees spring and half of them autumn. I even made the grass on the mushroom reflect this color scheme.
Fifth, I did the bunny. I went for whimsy with the rabbit, making it colorful and more floral based.
Sixth came my largest one to date: the leaf sailboat. This one took me a total of three evenings to finish, about a couple hours each evening. I really paid attention to the detail, shading and layering of it.
As you can see, I’m definitely learning and improving as I go!
Most pictures took a few hours to color, either all at once, or in the case of the sailboat, a few hours a night for three evenings. When I first started, I was using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 48 Assorted Color Pencils and later decided to upgrade and get some more colors so I upgraded to the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, 72 Colored Pencils.
A lot of people also like to use things like markers or gel pens. I bought Fiskars Gel Pen 48-Piece Value Setfor accent and punch of color details but I haven’t used them yet. I want to add some sparkle to the dragonfly page.
I find it very relaxing and a good way to reduce stress. I’m not alone in this experience! Articles have flooded the internet like this one on Huffington Post which says:
When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”
or even a study from San Francisco State University which showed:
Creative activity was found to have both indirect effects and direct effects on performance-related outcomes…The results indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.
In other words, coloring is not just for kids anymore!
In addition to Enchanted Forest, there are so many other options!! I have also recently picked up Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book and Creative Haven Entangled Coloring Book. (I haven’t started those yet though!)
So have you rediscovered coloring yet? Share your favorite book(s) and some of your own completed coloring pages in the comments!