Black Canary Cosplay (In Progress)

The Black Canary is one of the oldest female ye-olde-comic-book superheroes to actually kick ass (plus be a total MILF). She doesn’t get quite as much love as a lot of the other super-ladies, but she’s a martial artist, drives a sweet motorcycle, and . . . yep, she’s pretty cool. This is me starting off on cosplaying her properly.

So here’s the base model! Leotard, fishnets, and boots. Currently we’re missing a cropped shiny black jacket, gloves, (higher) boots, a choker, a mask, makeup, hair control, and sanity. These will all be acquired. Except sanity. Sanity is for pansies.


These boots will hopefully be replaced by taller rubber platforms, and I’ll make some yellow stripe-dealies for them. Same for her gloves, which I (again!) have not yet gotten. Curses. To the thrift stores!


I’m wearing a black wet-look leotard over a black bathing suit. Originally I was just going to have at it with the leotard, but when it arrived I tried it on and immediately noticed that I looked like a stripper who’d grown three sizes overnight. You can see the original lines of the leotard here, and it’s bloody scanty. I’m going to sew it to the bathing suit so 1. it won’t move around, and 2. so I’ll look more superhero, and less superhooker. (Although y’know what, I bet superhooker would be an interesting character. Maybe she could attack evildoers with a hook. You never know).


Ninja moves! Ninjas totally do this.


So this was supposed to be a double-punch, but it’s painfully clear that my arms just kind of gave it up and went freeform on me halfway through. Let’s all just pretend it’s imposing, shall we?


Smirking is the deadliest weapon of all, ask anyone.


And there we go! I’ll update as I get more and more things for her. I have found the perfect jacket on The Ebay, but I’m delaying getting it in the hopes that thrift store trolling might produce shiny results. I may have to bite the ol’ bullet soon.

So, what do you think? Hopefully I’m terribly intimidating and any evildoers reading this are currently taking off to go turn themselves in. I can’t wait until she’s finished; I’m really looking forward to it. I’m also revamping my Emma Frost cosplay—-she’s going to get a big cape and a staff/scepter, you guys!—-so this should be fun.

And I promise not to punch anybody, not even in the name of justice.


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Supernatural Cosplay! (Watch out demons—-we’ve got pointy things).


Yep. I’ve been wanting to do a lady Sam Winchester cosplay for a long time, and my good buddy Dean was happy to cosplay the dashingly handsome Dean Winchester. Our lovely friend Clara stepped in to cosplay an adorable lady Castiel, and I think everyone can agree that she absolutely rocked the angelic confusion. TEAM FREE WILL!

We haven’t figured out where Will is, as of yet, but we’ll certainly free him when we find him.


I made my demon-killing knife (tutorial here: ), Clara made her angel sword, and Dean made Dean’s necklace, which was sadly still drying at the time of these pictures and was replaced with a small vial of fairy dust. Which actually worked out pretty darn snazzily (magical attributes notwithstanding). And, seeing as Dean Winchester was once abducted by fairies—-no such things as aliens, people—-it seemed oddly appropriate.


Here’s the actual necklace, on me. Dean carved it out of air-dry clay, and, despite worries of horn snappage, it held solid right through a convention. Hell. Yes. But not actual hell. We’re trying to avoid talking about that.

If you’re wondering what the heck a Supernatural is and considering the dark forces of Google, let me enlighten you (glory be, halleluyer). Supernatural is a TV show about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who ride around the US of A in an extremely cool car while doing things like killing demons and stopping apocalypses. They’ve got a few friends who help from time to time, the primary one being an angel called Castiel who wears a trench coat and is frequently confused by technology, human behaviour, and pop culture references.


In the above picture we have Sam Winchester on the left, Dean Winchester in the middle, and Castiel on the right—-all in more or less the outfits we’re copying for our cosplays (also Dean Winchester usually looks a lot less Jersey Shore, I promise. This is just the best outfit photo I could find. Sorry about that, Dean).

And back to us, here adorable lady Castiel demands total authority and control over the irritatingly independent humans.


And then everybody laughed. Except me, because I had a neck cramp damage from a previous battle.


Lady Castiel versus lady Sam Winchester! Any bets? (Sam, you just left your entire chest open—-NOT a good battle tactic).


And here we all are at the end of the day, laughing as lady Castiel/Clara (Clarastiel?) tries to hold her Quizzical Look Of Quizzicality. Or maybe she’s wondering why she puts up with us oafs at all. You never can tell with angels.


I hope you enjoyed the pictures! We certainly had a lot of fun taking them. This was Clara’s first cosplay, and she was AWESOME. She got her Castiel-confusion look down absolutely pat and was ridiculously adorable. Dean, of course, was a sexy beast (and that’s Dean Winchester all over). And most of the time I escaped having my hair totally obscure my face, which I count as a seriously in-character win.

Watch out, minions of hell. We’re comin’ for you.

. . . although some of us may just pause to tuck back our hair first.

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Tutorial: Supernatural’s Demon-Killing Knife/Ruby’s Knife

Okay, so this post is going to be picture-heavy (in the ‘lots of pictures’ sense, as opposed to the ‘small amount of weighty pictures’ sense). Aaaaaand the photos are mostly mildly crummy iPOD photos, because my iPOD is so darn transportable and I was spending a lot of time hunkered down in the barn being covered in tiny shavings.

I have now escaped the tiny-shaving-oclypse, but it was touch and go there for a bit.

I’d been wanting to make this knife for a while, ever since I decided to do a lady Sam Winchester cosplay (if you’re not familiar with Sam, he’s from the show ‘Supernatural’—- which is basically about a couple of brothers named Sam and Dean Winchester, occasionally aided by an angel named Castiel, travelling around the country in a cool car fighting the forces of evil. They have a distinctive knife that’s capable of killing demons). The tricky part was figuring out how to make a decently realistic replica that could ALSO be allowed into conventions. I decided to make mine all out of wood, and it ended up working out very well.

Here’s the demon-killing knife from the show:


Despite the tiny picture, you can see it’s serrated, pointy as hell, ancient rune’d, and with a little handguard. The hilt looks like it might just be horn, but it’s hard to tell. I decided to call it old stained wood, because I formally refused to ninja into a neighbor’s field and try to nick a horn off a bull (it just wouldn’t be fun—-for either of us). The hilt also kinda flares out at the base, which ended up being one of the trickier things to carve.


The finished knife! (Surprise surprise, people-folks, it turns out looking SNAZZY. Which you probably guessed by the fact that I’m doing a tutorial on it rather than pretending it was all a bad dream, so it’s not really a surprise, but darn it I’m excited). Anyway, in this picture, we’re mostly looking at what the knife’s sitting on, which is my initial sketch of approximate length and shape of both the hilt part and the blade part. This is the thing I took out to the barn/workshop for guiding purposes.


Here in the vise is the stick I selected for the hilt part. There’s a big knot where it curves outward, which I thought would be a good jumping-off point for the flared base.


And here’s the completed hilt part! I cut it to size, took all the bumps off, sanded it down on the grinder, filed it with wood files, and then finished it off with sandpaper. You can see a few scorch marks from the grinder—-I left them because I thought they’d add to the old look I was going for.


I found a scrap softwood board (much easier to carve down) for the blade part. Here it is sitting in the vise, with the outline of the blade sketched onto it. I cut this initially with a saw, then ground it to the sketched outline. Most of the sharpening was done with files and sandpaper.


Here be the rough version! It looks kinda blade-y, but not perfect yet. I still need to take off the sides, sand it all, and carve in the serrations. You can see that I left part of the original board on the left side—-this is so I can stick that sucker in the vise and hold it securely in place for filing/sanding/brain surgery. If you’re ever working with wood, remember to do this. The last thing you need is the rough clamp of the vise damaging part of your actual prop.


And here she is, all sanded, nice, and detached from the bit of board. Also I totally screwed up the serration, not gonna lie. Look at it, it looks like I did good and then some really vindictive hamsters took tiny little chomps out of my blade. Not cool, hamsters. Not cool at all. (If you’re worrying at this point, cease. I ended up deepening the serrations and adding another one in front of the current ones, so we still have five but we’re lacking the whole Hamsters Of Evil vibe).


This is the handguard, all cut and sanded and stuff. If at this point you’re saying, ‘But Anne, the handguard in Supernatural is totally rectangular’, then, well . . . you’re very right. Oops. In my defence, it really looked round in the pictures I was going from. Cue the awkward laughter.


And all the pieces together, looking pretty awesome except for the whole strange-assed serrations thing and the fact that the handguard isn’t supposed to be round. At least the hilt is good. Except that it’s maybe supposed to be horn.

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Next, painting. The silver knife blade is a base of FolkArt’s ‘Silver Anniversary’ acrylic with Delta Ceramcoat’s ‘GLEAMS Metallic Silver’ acrylic overtop. The latter is a truly excellent paint that I strongly recommend getting, if you’re interested in making things look like new metal. It’s a little too shiny for old metal. I use it a lot (it’s the paint on my Mjolnir as well), and it’s quick-drying, fills in cracks and unevenness, and gives things a protective plastic-y coating. For the ancient script on the knife and the blade outline thing it’s got goin’ on, I actually used kohl eyeliner, dabbed it to make it look old and worn, and then sealed in with a clear nail polish. The eyeliner was great to work with because if I screwed up a line, I could quickly erase it and begin again. Which is something I personally require.

The hilt is all Apple Barrel’s ‘Dark Chocolate’ acrylic. I diluted a few drops in water as an all-over wash, tinting the pale wood a more aged caramel color. Then I went over it with little patches of slightly diluted and non-diluted paint, to sort of mottle it and make it look even older.


Here we are with just a little patch of bare wood remaining! You’ll also notice that the handguard is now rectangular. I actually glued the parts together (with a wood glue), then looked at the pictures again and went OH GODS IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ROUND, took it all apart, fixed the handguard, and then glued and clamped it all again. So, uh, ‘look at them pictures twice’ would be the moral here.


The knife! Together! Looking knife-y! Also the serrations have now been fixed, muahahaha, I feel all capable and shiznit. The blade part couldn’t be clamped to the handguard/hilt part without messing up the point, so I just glued it and left it sitting upright to dry overnight. Seemed to work!


BAM. DONE. I painted the hilt all over with polyurethane to seal it, then painted it again with Mod Podge matte spray to stop it being so gosh-darned shiny. Please ignore my supervillain face here (if I try anything, Tiny Background Thor will stop me). I’m so pleased with how this knife turned out. It looks very similar to the original, isn’t dangerous and is therefore convention-takeable, and it has a pretty good weight to it versus the usual plastic knife replicas. It took me a day to carve all the pieces and assemble them, with an hour or so of work (the rest being waiting for it to dry between gluing/paint coats) over the next few days for painting, writing, and sealing.

End result: I LOVE this knife.

Platonically, mind you. Platonically.

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And finally, here it is in its native environment with me as lady Sam Winchester and my friend Dean as . . . Dean Winchester. Double dose of Dean, folks. Oh yeah. If you’re swooning (or humming ‘Eye Of The Tiger’), nobody will blame you. Promise.

I really hope I can post the rest of this series of photos on here soon! I think we look decidedly badass, despite the fact that Dean’s necklace hadn’t been finished yet and thus he’s wearing a vial of fairy dust (which is actually a remarkably fine substitute. Fairy dust, people. Tell your friends). We also had an ADORABLE lady Castiel, who had the whole I-am-a-confused-angel-and-humans-are-strange look down pat.

Back to the knife, it also won first place in a props competition at a recent convention, which made me feel decidedly legit (as the cool kids say).

Anyway, I hope this inspired you to make your own Totally Legit cosplay knife, if a Totally Legit cosplay knife is something you feel you need in your life. The knife-shaped gap in my own life has now been filled. Awwwww yeahhhh, victory is SWEET.

Let the cosplay demon-slaying begin!

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Sheep Junk and Other Things I’ve Been Into

Sorry for the lack of posting recently.

I totally have a reason.

Y’know why I’ve been absent? Care to speculate? (Before you guess, I wasn’t sucked into an alternate dimension, kidnaped by aliens, initiated into a funny-smelling nudist cult, or taken by manatees to live as one of their own).

The reason is much more commonplace.

It is sheep.

You may remember my mentioning that I own sheep. Actually I co-own sheep with my brother, but still, SHEEP. And this is the time of year that the sheep are gearing up to forcefully eject tiny sheeps from their hinder ends, also known as lambing season, also known as stare-at-perplexed-sheep-and-wonder-if-they’re-getting-down-to-business season. Sheep are inscrutable, man. As opposed to goats, who just let it all hang out at every available opportunity, sheep are terribly private and mysterious.

This is a giant pain in the butt.

It is during this time of year that crawling around the barnyard gazing up into sheep junk is both acceptable and even encouraged. Nobody asks what you’re doing, because they know already, but, if they did, the answer would be ‘I’M CHECKING FOR MUCUS!’, hollered in one’s best hillbilly manner. Talk of swollen vulvas runs thick and fast (hehehe). There is baaing. There are funny looks, both from humans to sheep and from sheep to humans. Over it all, our two goats preside with sardonic and dickish amusement.

The end result is that I’m viewing more sheep vadge than the most dedicated sheep gynecologist—-and, despite being a good part Scottish, I’m not taking advantage of it.

So we’re all getting our lambing pens built up and strewing shavings to and fro, which has prevented me from throwing costumes on myself and taking pictures. Not for long, mind you. We’re planning a whole day of picture-taking in the near future, and I intend to be all over it like sharks on a sinking cruise liner (but without the leaping and biting . . . or, y’know, more controlled leaping and biting).

Things that are interesting and that have happened or are going to happen soon or darn it they’re interesting okay so let’s just go with that for a description:

1. Every year we theme our lamb names. This year’s theme is ‘The Expendables‘. Lambs named Hale Caesar? We got ‘em. Martial-arts-using, SmartCar-destroying, heavy-weapons-firing lambs? Yep. This is happening. Mark your calendars, people. Shiznit’s getting real.

2. I ripped a bunch of studs off a cheap studded belt and tacked them onto some shorts (that used to be pants, because darn it I’m thrifty). It’s metal. No word on if they’re going to revolt and stab me, but, if they do, I’ll keep y’all posted.

3. Buffy The Vampire Slayer cosplay. I think I can pull her off decently well, so I thought I’d have a crack at it. Thing was, I didn’t know what to do for a costume. Then she wore red leathery/latexy pants in the season three finale (which I’m only up to, so no spoilers if you value your lives). I totally own those exact pants. BAM. Life is good.

4. On the subject of pants, I had a small Spring Purging Of Pants where I put all my pants that were too big/small/creepy in a bag to be donated. A week later I woke up with a start in the middle of the night with one thought in my mind, ‘I have absolutely just donated my lady Sam Winchester cosplay pants’. Because they’re kinda too big for me. And yep, I had. But luckily the bag hadn’t been tossed into a donation thingy yet, so now I have them back and I’m eternally grateful. Thank you, pants Gods. You’re on my side this week.

5. I painted a $1 plastic cap gun completely silver for my Emma Peel (pretty much the first catsuit-wearing butt-kicking TV action heroine ever—-go check out ‘The Avengers’ [not THAT Avengers, the 1965 TV show Avengers] to see her in action) cosplay. It came out really well and pictures may be posted. I cannot wait to cosplay her! AIEEEEE.

6. I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf. Anything called ‘loaf’ doesn’t sound so hot, but in reality it’s AMAZING and you should go make it. I’ve made it four times and every time it’s been fantastic. Go loaf yourself immediately. Recipe over here, at Dessert Girl:

So I’ve been doing sheep (aw yeah, uh-huh, obligatory euphemism baby). What have you reader-people been up to? Is it fun? Is it more exciting than vulva-gazing? IS it vulva-gazing? (Actually, if it is, don’t tell me. A winky face will be more than adequate).

What’re you delightful folks up/down to?


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