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WIWT: Halloween Edition!

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with the macabre.  Skeletons, taxidermy, Edward Gorey, and of course, Tim Burton have fascinated and inspired me.  I guess that’s why my favorite holiday has always been Halloween!  So for this year’s Halloween, I did a slightly different take on a Día de los Muertos costume…

Day of the Dead 1

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday, celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, where gatherings are held to remember family & friends who have died.  It’s a beautiful tradition that includes building altars for loved ones.  Shrines are often decorated with sugar skulls, which are meant to represent the departed souls.  And while sugar skull makeup is more of a rare occurrence in Mexico, it’s become quite popular in American pop culture.  As a Mexican-American gal myself, I guess you could say my costume is a blend of both my cultures!

I love sugar skull makeup but for my costume, I opted to go with a more traditional skeleton look.  I found a fantastic tutorial on YouTube by Promise Phan that was the perfect guide.  Promise makes the application process simple, so even if you’re a makeup novice (like me) you’ll be able to do it.  All you need is white and black makeup, and some black eyeshadow for shading!Day of the Dead 2

I found my top and skirt at a local shop that specializes in traditional Mexican clothing.  I was thrilled to snag this beautiful orange skirt, that is actually a child’s baile folklórico skirt!

Folklorico Skirt

For my hair, I paid homage to my hero Frida Kahlo, and created a flower crown around my head.  I used craft flowers (from a party store) and then bobby-pinned them into my braids.

Flowers

To complete my skeletal look, I hand-painted my tights with leg bones.  Here’s the DIY I used on how to make your own skeleton tights!

Skeleton Tights

I had a lot of fun creating this look and I especially enjoyed not smiling in pictures!  Ha!  The best part?  Having Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones as my Halloween date.  😉

Halloween 2013

Hope you had a spooktacular Halloween!  (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

 

Geek Fashion Show at Comikaze 2013

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Comikaze-Expo-2013

November 1st-3rd is Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo!  Are you heading to the convention?  Do you like geek fashion?  Come to our Geek Fashion Show at the Comikaze Expo!  The über talented Lauren Majestic of Castle Corsetry invited me to be a part of the show and I couldn’t be more excited.  I will be walking the runway in a skirt from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Go Follow Rabbits!  The show will celebrate independent fashion designers who are geeks just like us!  It’s going to be a lot of fun and I have a feeling I’m going to want every outfit that walks down the runway.

 

GEEK FASHION SHOW at COMIKAZE EXPO

WHEN: Friday, November 1st

TIME: 6:00pm

WHERE:  Hot Topic Mainstage

ABOUT THE SHOW:  Some very talented designers are going to be showcasing their original looks during the first ever Geek Fashion Show at Comikaze, sponsored by Espionage Cosmetics (Booth #1133) and Castle Corsetry (Booth #731). This event will feature beautiful models and fantastic fashions, including Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model) as our hostess. The houses showcasing have put TONS of time and effort into their collections, and this looks to be a one of a kind event.

 

I hope to see you there!  ヽ(^。^)丿 (If you haven’t bought tix yet, you can get them here!)

How-To: Zombie Head in a Jar

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Zombie 1

Halloween is almost upon us, so I wanted to make a spooky decoration for the frightening holiday.  I’ve seen a few versions of this craft online, but I gave it a zombie twist to celebrate the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead!  I was particularly inspired by The Governor‘s zombie head aquarium that was revealed in Season 3.

The Governor

Displaying a severed zombie head in your home is perfect for Halloween or if you just want to freak out your friends & family!  So to make your own “walker” in a jar, here’s what you’ll need:

MATERIALS:

Jar 

Printer

Cardstock or Heavy Paper

Laminator (optional)

Hair

Scissors

Plastic or Paper Bags

First you’ll need a jar.  Truthfully, it can be any size you want.  If you want to go more realistic, use a larger jar that’s the size of your head (about 5 gallons).  Or if you want a really strange effect, you can use a more narrow-shaped jar.  I got mine from Cost Plus but retail stores like Target or even thrift stores are a good place to look.

Glass Jar

Next, you’ll need to find your zombie image.  If you don’t have any walkers in your neck of the woods, you can find one online!  I found this zombie and it’s basically a flattened rendering of a 3D head. ( CLICK HERE to download the full size image.)  This is what I’d call a fresh faced zombie—he’s not 100% rotten but he’s on his way!  You can find more images like this by searching for a “3D face texture map”.

Zombie Texture

I recommend using cardstock or heavy paper to print out your zombie.  Ideally you’ll want the paper to be large enough to fill ¾ of the circumference of the jar.  This will give the head more of a 3D effect when it’s in the jar.  For my jar, I used an 11×17 piece of cardstock, and trimmed it down to about 7×17 to fit inside the jar.

You’ll also want to make sure your image is scaled to a realistic head size.  You can figure this out by measuring the distance between the eyes of your zombie.  Eyes are generally between 1-2 inches apart for most people.

Once everything is set up, print out your zombie.

Zombie Print Out

Then cut out around the shape of your zombie’s face.  Because of the shape of my jar, I also cut out 3 small v shapes at the top of his head.  This step is optional but I’ll explain more later.

cut out zombie

To make the paper more durable, I laminated the cardstock.

Lamination

Now roll up the face and slip it into the jar.  Move the paper around to achieve the effect you want.

Folding Paper in Jar

This is where those v’s will come in handy.  Once the paper is inside the jar, bend the center v so that the forehead of your zombie slightly protrudes.  This will give it more a 3 dimensional look.

Folding V

Then stuff the jar with plastic or paper bags so that the picture remains flattened against the inside of the glass.

Plastic Bags

For a more hair-raising effect, you can use a wig or even human hair if you dare.  Place the hair in the jar and adjust it however you like.  The messier it looks, the better.  For those hard to reach places, use a screwdriver to move the hair around.

Screwdriver

Close the lid…and you’re done!  This creepy décor will have your friends and family wondering what’s gotten into your head.

Front & Side Profile

✄ Happy crafting!  ✄

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

 

Breaking Bad Finale Party at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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Let's cook.

Let’s cook.

Heisenberg lookalikes walked around the cemetery as Aaron Paul happily took photos with fans in front of that famous RV.  The DJ spun Motown hits and classic rock tunes.  As the sun began to set, I looked out at the sea of fans who sat anxiously on their blankets and lawn chairs.  There was excitement in the air but it was tinged with a bit of sadness—though it had nothing to do with the tombstones lurking in the distance. For many fans, like myself, we were sad that our beloved Breaking Bad was finally coming to an end.  It was time to say goodbye—goodbye to the characters we had grown to love (and hate) over the past 5 seasons.

Hollywood Forever

So on Sunday September 29th, I, along with hundreds of other fans flocked to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to bid farewell to Breaking Bad and watch the final episode of the series.  Aaron Paul and Cinespia hosted the special event, with tickets sales benefitting the Kind Campaign, an anti-bullying non-profit founded by Lauren Paul, Aaron Paul’s wife.  The event sold out in just 32 seconds and had people selling extra tickets on Craigslist and eBay for $700-$1000.  In fact if it hadn’t been the kindness & generosity of my dear friend Aimee (who gave me her tix), I wouldn’t have been able to attend!  As Bryan Cranston later joked about the cemetery screening, “people are dying to get in here!”

When we first arrived at the cemetery, I couldn’t believe the line of people that wrapped around the block.  People had been waiting for hours before the gates opened at 6:30pm.  I later found out that a group of people at the very front of the line had camped out all night for their precious spot!   While we waited in the bike line, I spotted this awesome group of cosplayers.

Walt, Hank, Jesse, and the Pink Teddy Bear!

Walt, Hank, Jesse, and the Pink Teddy Bear!

Whether they were dressed as Hank or the Pink Teddy Bear,**  I loved seeing all the fans cosplaying as their favorite characters.  My boyfriend even brought out his Heisenberg costume for the night!

Heisenberg

“I am the one who bikes.”

Once inside, we immediately made our way to the show’s famous “Krystal Ship” RV, which was parked for photo ops.  As we got closer to the line, I gasped with delight—it was Aaron Paul himself posing for pictures with fans!  He seemed very gracious and happily posed for several photos.  He then thanked everyone, said goodbye, and as he quickly tried to exit, a swarm of fans and photographers followed him.

Aaron Paul and Fan

 

Fan Mob

Move out of the way, yo!

A few minutes later, I spotted two other familiar faces…Skinny Pete and Badger!

Badger, Skinny Pete, and Fans

I was really excited to meet Charles Baker, who plays Skinny Pete.  He and Badger bring a great energy and comedic sensibility to the show.  Baker is also a talented pianist and accomplished theatre actor.  There’s a fantastic article in the Hollywood Reporter on how different he is from the character he portrays.

Skinny Pete

If you’re wondering why I’m wearing a blue wig, it was my homage to the “Blue Sky” on the show.  I didn’t have enough time to put together a costume so I threw on the wig and turned a plastic baggy into a hair bow.  I also didn’t have any blue rock candy on hand so I filled the baggy with blue jello mix.  The consistency looked nothing like rock crystals but at least the color looked accurate!

99.1% pure. Jello, that is.

99.1% pure.  Jello, that is.

Larry Hankin, who played Old Joe the junkyard owner, was also there for the screening & party.  When he saw my boyfriend he exclaimed, “Hey, it’s Bryan!”

Heisenberg & Junkyard Owner

At around 8pm, a screening of the pilot episode was about to begin.  Suddenly, an RV (just like the Krystal Ship) drove up to the side of the stage and parked.  With smoke billowing from it’s top, the RV door opened and out came Aaron Paul, RJ Mitte (Walt Jr.) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring)!  All wearing yellow hazmat suits, they took the stage to thunderous applause.  Aaron Paul thanked everyone for supporting Breaking Bad and the Kind Campaign.  Then he perfectly commenced the screening by saying, “yeah bitch.  Yeah science.  Yeah Breaking Bad.  Let’s do this!”

Aaron Paul

I hadn’t seen the pilot episode in years so it was really interesting to see how much the show has evolved and how far these characters have fallen.  At around 9:30pm, Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan (the show’s creator) took to the stage to introduce the final episode of Breaking Bad.  Paul then welcomed Bryan Cranston, who had just flown in from Boston!

Bryan Cranston

Cranston thanked everyone for attending the screening and for supporting the Kind Campaign—which raised $1.8 million dollars for the event.  “With 1.8 million you can take a helluva a trip to Belize!” Cranston joked, in reference to the “Buried” episode from Season 5.**

Vince, Bryan, Aaron

It’s clear that both on and offscreen, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have incredible chemistry.  (No pun intended.)  Cranston shared that Paul is, “a man who always understands the blessings in life and how lucky we are.”  Regarding Paul’s work ethic on set, Cranston said, “he is a person who is always willing to do the extra work.  Always willing to be there for you and to give 100%, even when he’s off camera.”  Cranston then looked at Paul and said, “as good as you are an actor, you’re an even better person.  I love you.”  Cranston and Paul hugged as the audience cheered wildly.

Then the final episode of Breaking Bad began!  I won’t share any spoilers for those of you who aren’t caught up on the season yet.  I will say that watching the finale with hundreds of other Breaking Bad fans was a fantastic communal experience.  We all cheered, gasped, and got weepy at the same key moments in the episode.  And as the final credits began to roll, we leapt to our feet for a standing ovation.  The show’s finale truly delivered and after 5 epic seasons, Breaking Bad ended exactly as it should have.  Bravo!

Breaking Bad Cast

The night ended with a Q&A session led by Jimmy Kimmel, featuring Cranston, Paul, Vince Gilligan, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Bob Odenkirk (Saul), and Jonathan Banks (Mike).  All the actors expressed how lucky they are to have been a part of such a special show.  “This is as good as it gets,”  Jonathan Banks remarked.  Cranston spoke about the experience of working with the same cast and crew over the course of 6 years.  Spending 13-14 hours a day on set, “you can’t help but get intimate with these people.  These are family members to us.”

Since a lot of the Breaking Bad cast and crew were in the audience, Jimmy Kimmel invited them all onstage.  Before long, the small stage was packed with people hugging and chatting.  I even spotted Tuco and one of the Salamanca twins, Luis Moncada, who I worked with years ago on an independent film!  I got a chance to say hello and it was pretty cool seeing him surrounded by fans and signing autographs.  Congrats, Luis!

Blast from the past!  Me & Luis on set in 2008.

Blast from the past! Me & Luis on set in 2008.

 

And with that, the night was over!  At least for some of us.  The cast and crew headed to the after party, which was already in full swing at another part of the cemetery.  All in all, it was a night I’ll never forget.  It was fitting that my Breaking Bad journey ended at the cemetery that night.  I would have liked for the show to continue and I will miss spending my Sunday nights with Walter White, Jesse, and the gang.  I could go on and on about how sorry I am to see this amazing show end but instead…I’ll just shut up and let it die in peace.

Final Shot

 

**The Pink Teddy Bear is a recurring motif in Breaking Bad.  It first appeared floating in the White’s pool in Season 2, Episode 1.

**As a euphemism for killing Hank, Saul asks Walt, “have you given any thought to sending him on a trip to Belize?”.

Coverage: “Fake Geeks, Go Away?”

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My latest video Fake Geeks, Go Away? has gotten some press!  It’s a topic that I’m very passionate about so I’m really happy to see all the discussion it’s created.  Thanks to Kotaku, io9, The Mary Sue, Geeks Are Sexy, FANgirl Blog, and all of you who have shared the video!

Kotaku: Questioning Male Cosplayer’s Geek Cred To Prove A Point

io9:  Investigative Journalist Uncovers the Fake Geek Boys on Comic Con

The Mary Sue:  Interviewer Swaps Usual Convention Questions To Find the Real Fake Geeks

Geeks Are Sexy:  A Satirical Report by Cosplayer Jennifer Landa

FANgirl Blog:  Jennifer Landa’s Fake Geek Takedown