CALENDAR GIRL?


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Between working a lot to save up for my trip to Japan next month… social media time, even cosplaying time, has slowed down quite a bit. BUT, as you can see from that photo above, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!

ONE OF MY COSPLAY PHOTOS HAS BEEN CHOSEN FOR THE:
2017 WOMEN VS COSPLAY CALENDAR!

It’s a page a day style so I’ll be featured with tons of other great female cosplayers!
Please, check out the kickstarter and if you need a spiffy new calendar consider getting this one or even the MEN VS COSPLAY version~ ❤

This is the Full Photo of what was selected~

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RORY MERCURY [Photo by: Lost Dumplings Photography]

Check out the KICKSTARTER HERE!

Much Love,
Sam ❤

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TRAVEL : Prep


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LOOK! A Wild Post that isn’t about Cosplay has Appeared!

As much as I consider myself an adventurer, there are certain situations where I prefer being prepared for in advance instead of spontaneously jumping into the action. Traveling has always been one of those situations. Don’t get me wrong though. I totally understand when things don’t go to plan and “winging it” is a phrase I often say, but I know myself, and when I’m in a new place without having done little to no research, I find myself out of my element and prone to stressing out (flashback to my first time in Europe when I was 17-years-old and experienced my first bout of culture-shock).

I’ve since learned that being a little prepared goes a long way in keeping my peace of mind. (My first time travelling solo is a clear testament of this.)

With my trip to Japan closing in quickly, I’ve found myself stressing out a little bit as I’ve been slacking on the studying I had originally wanted to have completed by now.

I’ve decided that from now until my departure, to at least learn how to read Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji and some basic phrases for emergency situations. Now I don’t expect to have a superior understanding of the language by the time I leave, but I’m at least hoping to be able to read maps/signs or even a menu without pictures haha. It might be a very ambitious goal and if all else fails, Translation apps will be my best friend.

Outside of learning some basic Japanese, I’ve invested in a new DSLR camera, and I’ve taken it upon myself to learn the in-and-outs of this new toy of mine. Going to Japan and Korea has been a long time dream and I would like to document as much as I can~ I know, I know. Some people are annoyed by all the photo taking, and as usual— don’t get me wrong, I get it! It’s just I think Photography is a new hobby I’ve taken up and experimenting with it in Japan would be a pretty amazing experience! I think it’ll be fun to be on the other side of the camera for once 🙂 And don’t worry, I won’t live my trip only through the lens!

Anyway, I think that’s it for today, I’m going to get back to perfecting my Hiragana and making some flash cards. What an exciting Saturday night XD studying for fun haha~

I hope everyone is well! Any plans for the rest of your weekend? Did you ever experience culture shock? Or are you the kind of traveller who jumps straight into the unknown like a Gryffindor?

ALSO, if you’ve ever been to Japan or Korea, PLEASE chat with me~ I love to get some opinions and suggestions of what to see and do in the short time I’ll be there! To be honest, this trip of mine is pretty much just a giant food adventure. We all know how much I love food haha~

Much Love,
Sam ❤

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Getting Serious About Cosplay


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You can watch me stress out over cosplay sometimes on SnapChat (samiisabelle). 

Now when I talk about “getting serious” I don’t mean trying to make a career out of cosplay (don’t get me wrong, you could totally work towards a career in cosplay if that’s what you want). What I mean is putting in a bit more effort in my projects instead of just pulling things out of my closet or HOT GLUEING EVERYTHING (but don’t be mistaken. I still use hot glue for a lot of things XD).

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Lady Loki (Montreal Comicon 2014)

I think the first cosplay I put any real effort into was my Lady Loki. I learned how to put together some scale maille for a top, I fumbled my way through making some (really heavy) horns, and although I didn’t have enough time to learn how to use my sewing machine I learned shortcuts (with that stitch-witch hemming tape thingy) to put together a cape and “skirt”.

After that, I decided I wasn’t going to leave everything off for the week (or maybe two) before the convention to get my stuff done. Or at least try to anyway.

My big project after Loki and one of my pride and joys would be my Leafeon Gijinka Armour. After coming up with my concept art, I scoured all of youtube, read tons of tutorials, and then dove into the world that is Worbla.

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Leafeon Gijinka (Pokemon): On the Left 1st paint job (Atomic Lollipop 2015). On the right 2nd paint job (Otakuthon 2015). (Photo: HM Cosplay Photography)          

I worked on that armour on and off for a month or so, and even though the first paint job I did wasn’t as nice as I wanted it to be for the convention, I loved it. After that con, I went over the previous paint job, added a bit more detail, and experienced my first cosplay photo-shoot at Otakuthon.

The cosplays following Leafeon is me just going through the motions experimenting with any and all materials I can get my hands on. I sewed my first dress for Rory Mercury. I’m learning new techniques in my prop making. I’ve learned how to budget my projects. And while I haven’t perfected my time-managing skills in regards to project decisions/convention dates, I get things done.

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Thor (Jane Foster) Progress Shots (2016)

There’s just this amazing feeling of watching something, scraps of foam or fabric become something more. I don’t know… I think getting serious about cosplay is about trying new things, and learning from all the mistakes you make along the way.

Sometimes I wonder if I embraced cosplay because it’s easier to see the end result compared to my writing where trying to get to the end of my story is like trying to put out the fires of hell with an ice cube… XD that’s a thought for another time though.

Here’s a little preview of my current project~

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Bellossom Progress Shots (2016)

Otakuthon is this weekend (Aug 5 – 7) in Montreal and I’ll be attending on Saturday as Rory Mercury (because she’s one of my waifus and I had a lot of fun being her) and Sunday as Bellossom.

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Catch me as Rory Mercury on Saturday if you’re going to Otakuthon!        (Photo: Lost Dumplings Photography – Anime North 2016)

Until next time~
Much Love,
Sam ❤

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Bringing Two Loves Together… maybe?


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I’ve been away from the blogging world for too long and I’ve been meaning to come back for a while~ Sigh … I’d start typing away on a blog post only to put it on the back burner like almost every other writing project I’ve taken on (outside of school). And to be honest, lately, most of my creative energy has been put into Cosplay and the community I’ve suddenly become a part of.

With some contemplation, I’ve decided: why not try and mix my two loves (or obsessions) together? Cosplay and Writing in to one project sounds pretty easy… I hope? So with some effort, I’ve drafted a few posts, mostly work logs/behind the scenes stuff of my past and current projects.

I’m thinking with the amount of “work-in-progress” photos that I have sitting around on my hard drive, I can post something hopefully once every other week or so~ I don’t know. No promises over here because I can’t seem to keep any blogging promises. Ever.

Now to some long-time followers (if you’re still here haha), you may be wondering, “Why cosplay?” To which I’ll say, “Why not?”

It’s just one of those things where I fell into it fast and hard in typical Sam-Obsessed fashion.

There’s just this energy I get when making something for cosplay, and watching a project come-together… it’s just turned into something I love. As some may know, I used to be an Arts student (I left because I hated the grading system on something so subjective) and I think it’s the old non-practicing artist in me that fell in love with the crafting aspect. There’s also the plus-side of this collaborative aspect I’ve found in cosplay and the community that just fascinates me; it’s something I never really found when I was in the fine arts.

Since I’ve put in a little more effort in my cosplay work, I’ve found myself collaborating with other creators to bring something fun and amazing together. With the photographers, videographers, and other cosplayers I’ve worked with we’re actually bringing these characters some life. I’m just amazed and in love with the fact that I’ve found like-minded people and I think life-long friends along this journey.

And this is the journey that I want to share. I’m not telling you to go out there and join the cosplay community (unless of course you’re totally down!) but I’m hoping that my passion for this hobby of mine can inspire you to find something you’ll passionate about to share~ with all the bad and the sad stuff in the media right now, I think some passion is a nice direction to go in, no?

I hope it won’t bore you too much. But, I do understand cosplay is an acquired taste~ I hope you still stick around! I’ll have some non-cosplay stuff pop in every once in a while (probably ranting and raving over anime since I’ve been going on a binge lately~ who knows!).

The collage above is what I’ve worked on since I’ve put some more effort to my craft! All but one of the cosplays pictured are from 2016~

Ignoring pink-haired and out-of-cosplay self~ I’ll list the characters from Top Left to Bottom Right:

(GenderBend) Vincent ValentineFinal Fantasy VII [Photographer: Alex O’Neill Cosplay Photography]
Rory MercuryGATE: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri [Photographer: HM Cosplay Photography]
(GenderBend) Winter Soldier/Bucky BarnesMarvel Comics [Photographer: Flux Studio]
(GenderBend) Varus Heartseeker SkinLeague of Legends [Photographer: Lost Dumplings Photography]
(New) Thor/Jane Foster Marvel Comics [Photographer: Lost Dumplings Photography]
Leafeon (Original design Gijinka) – Pokemon [Photographer: HM Cosplay Photography]
Terra (Teen Titans) – DC Comics [Photographer: My Mother XD]

Until the next post~

Much Love,
Sam

p.s: I’ve gathered from my list that I like taking male characters and making them females haha.

Catch Me On ❤
Facebook: SamIsabelle Cosplay
Instagram: samiisabelle
WorldCosplay: samisabellec
CosplayAmino: samisabelle

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Ireland


It’s been almost a year since my mini trip abroad and I’m itching to get on the first plane out of here to experience it again, although, not quite for the same reasons as last year (unfortunately, responsibilities to school and work are the only things stopping me).

This time last year I was a bit in a bad way struggling with “real world” things and the typical twenty-something troubles like “where am I going in life / making terrible decisions / making crappy friends”. That’s why I essentially ran away to Ireland for a week and I fell in love. But not to be mistaken for one of those “chick-flick” falling in love with someone abroad type things— no. I fell in love with Ireland and I left my heart there.

Do you know why I left my heart abroad? Because Ireland offered me a sense of freedom that I felt I couldn’t get back home. However, it wasn’t only freedom from my worries~ it was freedom from my own negativity. This freedom and endless sea of positivity that I found in Ireland is why a piece of my heart will always rest there. It’s an experience that can never be taken away from me and it’s something I can always look back on when I’m feeling particularly lost.

Ireland taught me to find this freedom wherever I am and that once I find it, to always keep in sight. I won’t always hold on to it, but I will never lose it.

I didn’t do much drinking while in Ireland (in fact I can count on one hand how many drinks I had while I was there), but I didn’t mind that so much because drinking authentic irish beer wasn’t why I went in the first place. I might have mentioned this in one of the previous posts, but I went to Ireland because it was the exact opposite of home. It’s not a huge bustling city (at least, not what I witnessed), and the beautiful green space almost everywhere called to me.

I landed and based myself in Dublin but I spent most of my trip trekking; I guess you could say I fell for some “tourist traps” but I went to the ones that offered the most green. 🙂

Here’s are a few of my favourite moments:

I remember having a cup of coffee by the harbour at Doolin (on my second day in Ireland) and thinking it was a great start to the morning despite dealing with a bit of jet-lag. It was supposed to be cloudy and in Dublin it had been drizzling since the afternoon before, but once we left the city centre, it was all bright skies and sunshine.

My stroll at the Cliffs of Moher was amazing. There’s no view like that at home (not that I know of anyway) and it took my breath away. I remember sitting at the edge at one point just taking in everything around me in a state of awe. As much as the baby cliffs (at the Burren) were nice to see, the cliffs at Moher offered more green. I can still remember the earthy smells! Tt was also a pretty warm day and with the long trek, the open space offered a nice refreshing breeze. I wish I was able to express what I was feeling then and there better but as cliche as this sounds, there are no other words that could describe what it was like there. My time at the cliffs was definitely one of my favourites during my stay in Ireland.

Trekking in County Antrim, where the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is, was also a trek to remember. For one it was really hot that day (I didn’t even need a sweater— that selfie I used as a feature photo in part one was taken then) and the view there is just as amazing as what Moher has to offer. The water there was so clear and such an amazing blue/green it was a sight to behold. I even crossed the rope bridge which for me and my fear of heights is quite the feat.

I even went to the Giant’s Causeway which is a very interesting place! Definitely a tourist-y thing to do but if you ever go, I do recommend listening to the history and stories the place has to offer. It’s a very crowded area though (or it was on the day I went) so don’t expect it to be as peaceful as the other places mentioned above.

Lastly~!

My trek at Glendalough in Wicklow was really great as well. It reminded me a bit of home because the hiking route had the same atmosphere as one of the mountains I hike. It was a calm rainy day but it was a nice kind of quiet that helped me with clearing my mind. I remember finding a spot by the lake and just sitting there with my journal and being able to write page after page after page— something I hadn’t been able to do then because I suffered from creative blocks.

Next time: I’ll talk about my side trips to Paris, Edinburgh, and London.
I hope you enjoyed some of the photos 🙂 if you want to see more photos let me know~
I’m pretty sure I can dig up a few more of my favourites!

Sam.

p.s: Can we just admire all the green wide open spaces and fresh air Ireland has to offer? ❤

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Picture it & Write: Neverland


“Peter!” she shrieks. “Sharing his name doesn’t make you Peter Pan! You can’t fly you asshole!”

He leaps into the air anyway, pushing off the edge of the roof they were lounging on. With shaking hands and unsteady legs Wynona scrabbles for her phone and trips over their messy pile of beer bottles.

She’s too scared to look over the edge and see her friend’s body splattered on the ground where she imagines his blood, guts, and brain matter is out for everyone to see. Her vision clouds and the numbers on her phone blurs. She never presses the dial button though. A familiar loud laugh stops her.

“Wynnie, I’m fine.” Peter’s ghost says. The asshole is already haunting her. He’s still grinning, his dead eyes are still somehow full of life and sparkling with mischief.

She stares at him wondering if the shock of his death sent her over the edge as well. It must have because she’s officially crazy. There’s a thud; her knees give way and she’s shaking.

“W-what?”

Peter is lounging on a cloud. A cloud. Laughing like he hasn’t any care in the world.

He stretches his arm out, hand palm up and open in offering. “Let’s go.”

“Go?”

The cloud floats closer and Peter leans down to reach her.

“To Neverland, Wynnie.”

She’s dreaming. She knows it. At least, she thinks she does…

Wynona reaches for his hand anyway.

“To Neverland.”

This is my entry to this week’s Picture it & Write from Ermiliablog~! Been while since I’ve done one but I’m glad to be back. :)

JOIN IN ON THE FUN :D~
Until next time
Sam

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I Left My Heart Abroad


Trekking in Ireland

I never thought I’d say this about being home but it’s slightly bittersweet. My tiny trip abroad was good to me. A little too good maybe. But before I get into those post-trip feels I want to start at the beginning; let’s rewind to June when this idea was first born.

My trip was a spur of the moment plan that came to me after enduring a horrible week. I wasn’t running away exactly… more like going away for a very short time so I can breathe and think things through properly. And as you may or may not already know, once I get an idea in my head I obsess over it until I deem it a hopeless case. Well… I obsessed over this crazy idea for about two weeks. Two long weeks full of planning, crunching numbers, and tons of research; it was all I spoke about, thought about, dreamt about, and I swear I could practically taste freedom on my tongue. If it was possible to eat these ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I most likely would have.

Researching involved hours in front of a computer (even browsing on my phone when I was in the car or the bus) and browsing through the travel books at work. Mapping out the best location for hostels/B&Bs, public transportation schedules, and alternative plans b through z was a long venture and Google Maps became my best friend along the way.

I probably annoyed my mother with the gigantic novel-sized texts I sent her way about these hostels, tours, prices, and savings for days on end; I very nearly went crazy. Ironic really… stressing out over the planning process for a trip that’s supposed to de-stress you… Either way, things started looking up by the end of that second week.

The next thing I know, my flight is booked. It’s official. I’m going to Ireland. Mid-June until August 1st I dedicated all my free time to work work work trying to save up tons of money to pay everything off and still have enough cash left over for food and spending in my pocket. If you’re a long time follower here, you may have noticed I didn’t update much (although, you could have just assumed it was another one of my regular breaks from the web)… Well work was why I disappeared… I worked seven days a week for nearly two months but it was worth it.

During this intense work period I was asked two questions by friends, family, and co-workers. 1. Why are you working so much/motivated to take on all these hours? To which I answered: I’m going on a trip. Upon elaborating, they asked me 2. You’re going by yourself?!

How does one decide to go traveling solo? Especially as a solo female traveler people tend to caution you “It’s dangerous/you shouldn’t go alone” before you even tell them where you’re going.

Deciding on traveling solo was an easy decision for me to make. I wasn’t going to stop myself from going on a trip because my friends couldn’t come with me. When I first thought of going to Ireland, I even contemplated and researched tour companies like Contiki, TopDeck, and EF College Break Tours so I wouldn’t have to go “alone”. I almost settled on a tour with one of them but decided against it in the end.

I remember being with a tour group for 10 days when I was in high school and as much as I enjoyed it, there were plenty of things I could have gone without seeing and places I wish I had gone to see or stayed longer in instead. Since this mini trip was for me, I came to the decision that I should just plan it to go the way I want it to be. And by plan, I mean make a list of all the things I want to see and then find the best and cheapest way to get to there (Try not to make your plans set in stone because stuff happens… and sometimes you just can’t do something about it– you’ll save yourself the disappointment this way).

After committing myself to this solo trip, the next question I got a lot was: Aren’t you worried/scared?

To be honest. I was a little worried because I’m prone to getting myself into odd situations but scared… not really. I’m used to exploring my city on my own so I figured it shouldn’t be too different. Besides, every place I chose to visit on this trip, (Ireland, England, Scotland, and France) I could get around in easily because I can speak, read, and write in english and in french.

“What is there to be scare of?” I’d ask them. In return my friends would ask me if I ever watched those “Hostel” movies (or whatever they’re called). When my answer was no, they told me not too haha.

Do people normally feel scared before their first solo trip? I imagine if someone was too scared to go abroad by themselves they just wouldn’t go without a friend. Although, I would definitely recommend going on at least ONE trip by yourself if you can. It’s something to be experienced. I don’t know if I’ll be able to describe what I felt exactly but I’ll try my best in my next post.

I’ll leave you with that for now.

Until Next Time~
Sam
P.S: I know I say this all the time but I missed you guys! It’s good to be back! I hope you’re all doing well! I’ll try to catch up on everything that’s been going on in my feed soon! 😀

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