Tag Archives: japan

EGGS! GET YOUR EGGS HERE! R2-D2?

12 Apr

Star Wars Eggs? Yes Please.

My cousin from Australia/Hong Kong is studying abroad at my mum & father’s house. I went home for the weekend to see her, Merika, and the rents (slang for parent).

I ended up doing the stereotypical things when most “children” go home: had my dad look at my car with me, went shopping for a spring dress with my mum, helped my younger cousing study for the SATs and ACTs (mmm, math)… and went to Jo-ann’s with Merika to buy some cloth & flowers for the upcoming Penn State Belly Dance Club’s Hafla.

The best part though, was buying all the materials to dye eggs; a fun activity “meant for my younger cousin” (really Merika and me). Sadly, by the time we finished all the errands Saturday night, we were too tired to make the eggs! Haha! But I did end up making this one instead on Friday (a bit of Saturday).

Photo Credits Here

In high school my friend Angie showed us seed bead eggs. They were so pretty, my other two friends Booboo, Lolo, decided to hop on the train. Booboo’s mom, Lisa, was excited that her daughter & friends were about to take on a tedious craft- meaning no more running around screaming. I think she actually drove us to the store, and paid for some of the materials! Haha! It’s actually quite simple to make, all you need is:

*A hollow Egg

*Glue

*Paper plate

*Seed beads

*Tooth pick

*Time

First, you need a hallow egg. You can either make two small holes on each end and blow out the yoke, or you can use a syringe to hollow it out. You can buy one on Amazon for 6$- well worth it (I’d pay 25$ for this little tool, it’s so useful in making a single egg or dozens!).

Next, you can either look at a photo of the design you want, OR you can lightly sketch in pencil on the egg.

Afterwards, you put some glue on a paper plate. You then “paint” with the tooth pick a very light layer of glue on one end of the egg. You then can pick up some beads with the same tooth pick, and place them on top. Make sure they lay flat, ie that you can see all of the centers/holes of the beads.

TIP: You will want to make a “honey comb” pattern with the beads as this fills in the blanks best. This might skew lines a bit.

TIP: You will want to start on an end of the egg, as this will cause the whole chunk of beads to stop shifting as much.

Then, you just keep beading away! I like to pick up multiple beads at once with my tooth pick, put them on the egg, and then push them around into place. The glue dries clear, so why not? (other than you might add more glue than needed?). I used this technique and made my egg in prolly ½ the time Angie and Lolo did.

Booboo on the other hand used a different technique after a few hours- she just dumped a whole bunch of glue and beads into a bowl and rolled the egg around. Haha, done. She then made ballon/string/glue baskets with Merika- that was a hot mess.

The R2-D2 is the 3rd egg I have done (one was a PSU paw print, the other was a set of crosses). It took me about 6-8 hours(?), I’m sure with a simpler design I could get it down to less. My first egg, the paw print, I think took me 2-3 days since I was putting one bead on at a time for most of the time. It was also a simpler design.

The other eggs I made did look “more filled in” as we used “expensive” Japanese seed beads from a Hobby Lobby, they were all even in size. The ones that I used for R2-D2 were from walmart, and the sizes varied (why some shapes are skewed).

TIP: So instead of buying the $1.50 beads, go for the $3.00 beads and you’ll prolly like the look better- unless it’s just the backside anyways!

I was hopping of making a Totoro, the Triforce, Companion Cube, DOMO 😀 The list is endless.

Thanks for Reading!

Cheers,

Ayla

P.S. Like Cute things? Check out THE EGG SONG. mmmmm, hot springs eggs! Just like Japan?

English version of the Original Korean Site: http://www.iloveegg.com/eng_index.htm

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WDC Highlights: The Cherry Blossoms Festival & Art Of Video Games Exhibit

7 Apr

MMMMMM… Cherry Blossom & Video Games

Irish-Domo likes Cherry Blossoms too

                This past weekend we had a little “Antipode” meeting in DC for the 100 year anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms & to see the new “Art of Video Games” exhibit in the American Art Museum Smithsonian.

Some friends, Merika Lo, Reni aka Cooking Mama 1, and I met up for Dim-sum Saturday morning at the 7 corners intersection. Next we hoped on the subway to downtown for the blooms first, but sadly “the peak” was a little less than 2 weeks ago- and it rained since then. There were a few here and there, but we did see tons of tourists next to the bright pink & white dog wood trees taking photos. (hehehehe) A few years ago when Termariel and I went to Japan, we did get to see some starting to bloom in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Termariel in Tokyo (left) and Kyoto (right)

Japan can still be super chilly in mid-March. Surprisingly in Akihabira (Tokyo) they were more in bloom than at Nijō Castle (二条城, Nijō-jō). One, if not the, favorite animal of  Termariel  is the elephant, and she was ESTATIC to see this guy. If I get to go back to Japan, I hope to go around the time of the Cherry Blossoms blooms again. I heard, if you plan it right, you can start in the south, and slowly work your way North to hit all the “peak days”. I’d love to photograph the blooms, as well as Cosplay in the blooms- Including Kimonos, Anime Costumes, Video Game Costumes, and maybe even a Sakura Belly Dance Costume. The gardens Yes, Ayla DID have blue hair ^_^                                         & cities in Japan all very picturesque.


We wanted to wear our Kimonos this past weekend, but the weather called for rain & we also were given heads up about the blooms being gone.

We did see many girls wearing fake sakura/cherry blossoms & pins. Turns out we go the last 3 pins from the ranger station- they had over 74,000 !_! Merika did find this little guy though 

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The American Art Museum/Smithsonian in Chinatown is now holding the “The Art of Video Game” Exhibit. It’s an interesting take how the “art” is not just the game but also the story & interaction the player creates with the game.

It was SUPER busy there (it opened mid-March), but it’s running all the way to September (I’m going to go back). 😀 They had times lines displaying games from each era and how the games & concepts have evolved through out the years.

If you want to be part of the exhibit or support the museum, you can donate 10$ (or more) and get your name placed on their “Extra Credit!” list.

Of course I had to represent as soon as I heard about it last year.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Ayla

Kanzashi & Dice Jewelry

13 Mar

Disclaimer: Taken from iPhone…

According to Wiki: “Kanzashi (簪) are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Some believe they may also have been used for defence in an emergency.

In the English-speaking world, the term “kanzashi” is sometimes applied to the folded cloth flowers that traditionally adorned tsumami kanzashi, or to the technique used to make those flowers.”

I actually found out about them at Otakon a few years ago in their artist ally (by another Penn State Alumni)- ever since I always wanted to make a 3-D cherry blossom belly dance costume.

With a deep bright pink (more like a fuchsia) base color, paring a brown chiffon underskirt would pop. I’d have a matching brown “Branch” running across one of the cups, along my stomach, and to my hips to create the belt; I think it could be made (without looking campy). They would have to be small, but white and lighter pink Kanzashi could be placed all along the costume (with crystals & gems as the center pieces!). Bhuz.com had an interesting discussion about Silk Flowers on Belly dance costumes- but I like Kanzashi more!

I thought about having the famous Turkish Costume Maker, Bella, make me one, but that would run- oh about 1000-1500 USD. O_O

This past weekend Ty-Ty & I decided to try an experiment, with using Cut-Out-And-Keep Tutorial

Her’s looks super nice… I accidentally made some of mine backwards… eh. So I will have to make more before I post my creations. >_< Patience is what I need to learn.  ^_^;;

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Also on a cool note, Sam has decided to try experimenting with Chain Mail and die/dice Jewelry Tyler & I wanted him to be crafty with us. Unless it involved some power tools, Sam wasn’t really biting. I mentioned I had a bunch of Dice (at home) and that I wanted to make a huge necklace to go with it- I bought the Costume inCairo2 years ago, with it already having D8’s on it. I needed to add in D20’s, D4’s, etc to make it complete! He had some extra dice lying around, and after a trip to Michaels, Home Depot, and the Pizza Parlor he came up with the earrings in a few mins.

When I got home from Connecticut he sent me a photo of his 1st necklace.


This is Sam’s first necklace that he made… AND DIDN’T COPY ANY ONE! O_O Just looked at standard Victorian Jewelry, but didn’t copy a single piece. Why can’t I make something that shiny!? I showed him a few techniques I picked up from Father Dunn’s when I did some website/Jewelry repair work for him- BUT HE TOOK THEM AND SPRINTED WITH IT!

I think he should open a store on ETSY- or become my personal smith. 😀 I’m sure all the LARP girls will want this.

Thanks for Reading.

Cheers,

AYLA

Final Fantasy Distant Worlds in Boston!

13 Mar

So this past weekend was full of fun adventure! Kanzashi, Final Fantasy, Die Jewlery- Oh my!

It started last week when my friend Tyler posted on “the facebook” about missing out on concert in Boston. Low and behold, “Final Fantasy Distant Worlds” was coming for the first time to Boston! I logged on to the website and found out they were advertising “obstructed view” seats only. (wahhhhh waaaaaaah). That means we would miss seeing the orchestra/ choir, AND the big screen! (They show artwork, cut scenes, and recorded play to match the timing of the music- brilliant!) I knew that sometime the week before a show, Donation Members or handicap access seats will open up. Luckily some did; Orchestra Seats too!

It was SUPER nice in theBostonSymphony Hall- they had an actual Pipe Organ! This meant of course they HAD to play “Dancing Mad” from FF VI (4 on the SNES). I saw the show inBaltimoreduring Otakon/ Artie’s Week long Turkish intensive- but the song selection was way different.

They even had a “sing-a-long” to “One Winged Angel“.

I let Sam-Sam and Ty-Ty sit in front of me, together, since I got to see the show once inBaltimore. Interestingly enough I sat beside a gentleman who’s wife was in the “Forca”, the choir accompanying “The Video Game Orchestra”. He gave me some tidbits of info behind the group (such as they record music for video games often!), but I won’t spill any more beans.

Now I want to re-play some Final Fantasy games- even though I haven’t played XIII (and XIII-2) ! GASP! I was told they both are decent games, and super pretty.

A show idea for Antipode, that we’ve thought about it Final Fantasy characters. More of a Mog, Chocobo, Tonberry King, or Cactuar type show instead of a specific character or class (thinking about it still). Sam suggested one of us do Chocolina from FF XIII.

Photo of: Moogle, Tonberry, Moogle, Cactuar, and 3 chocobos.

Chocolina from Final Fantasy XIII

He’s serious in starting to do costume masquerades/contests, which would lead into commissions. I think I need to do more sit-ups- not to lose weight- but to make sure my core is strong enough to hold that costume up! haha!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Ayla

Aside

Happy Domo Day To You!

27 Feb

Today as Redditors say, it’s my cake day!

My friend Omar (from the 6th of October City- Cario, Egypt) gave me one of the best things for my “Domo Day”… a New avatar. I like to call it my “domo day”- because the one thing that can away cheer me up… is a hug from a domo. What is a domo you say?

LOOK AT HIS CUTE STUBBY LEGS! XD

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/index.html   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domo_(NHK)

Domo is the mascot for the Japanese Television station NHK, kind of like CBS has an Eye or NBC has a Peacock. He’s featured in 30 second shorts, usually about TV or causing trouble. He also makes me think of Pokemon or Chobits as he only says his name “DOMO” to the other characters (Rabbits, Bats, Ferret, Foxes, Etc)- they seem to understand him completely. I’m not quite sure why I appreciate this screaming boxy brown shark (as my mom calls him), but he always cheers me when I have a bad day. I’m not quite sure when my obsession with domo came about, when I was in Japan 2.5 years ago I remember wanting to buy “ALL THE THINGS” related to domo (and Totoro- haha!). But years ago when I was a freshman in college- my friends Sam & Ty in college were looking to buy Domo Hoddies, and that is when I came to know the domo. Sounds like a cult!

From Intervention 2011 

Intervention (Internet + Convention) is a convention held in the Baltimore/DC area usually held in September. We were invited as guests and did panels on “Steampunk Pasteries”, “Cosplay 101”, “Super Mario Belly Dance World”, and “Internet Meme’s”. For Internet Meme’s we all dressed as different viral videos/ meme’s and, you guessed it, belly danced to meme music. Numa Numa, Female Night Elf from WOW, This is Sparta, Taking the Hobbits to Isenguard, Harry Potter Puppet Pals… maybe even a Rick Roll.

I was lucky and got to dress not in one, but TWO domo costumes. Sadly, this is the best picture of my Domo costume that I have (his eyes are missing by this point and replaced by FSM!). I’ll add another one when I see my photographer friend in a few weeks!

In the mean time, you can look at what my sister gave me for my “domo day” last year…

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Ayla