Monday, September 30, 2013

Dragon Lady

Well, actually, just the dragon gloves.  But I think they turned out pretty cool :

I wasn't really planning to make dragon gloves, I was shopping for fur for my 14-year-old's rattie suit, when I spotted this wonderful shiny "black snakeskin" fabric which I couldn't resist.  Since my character is a dragon, that would be my project, if I were to build a suit - which is not my plan, just the gloves!  I'm not much for machine sewing (I don't even have a sewing machine), but I am pretty good with a needle and thread.   I designed the gloves myself, copying roughly from a pair of fleece gloves, and then I created claws and spikes from fimo clay.   Here's an earlier photo, before the fimo additions.

Here's the first paw and tail of my kiddo's rattie suit.  We've now started on the second paw, but we have quite a way to go.  The grey fur is folded up and sitting on the piano, waiting for us to tackle that.  We are designing the suit ourselves as we go along, so it is a bit daunting if I think about all the work ahead of us.  Especially the head.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rattie Fursuit - First Paw and Tail

Now that my son and I have decided to build a rat fursuit, much of our "spare time" is consumed with shopping for and creating parts for his suit.  In the past couple of days, we have made good progress.  We now pretty much have the first paw :

It is built on a latex-dipped gardening glove, with foam to give it the oversized finger shape, and then effectively a pink fleece glove (hand-sewn) pulled over that.  Here is just the glove with foam, before covering with the fleece :

Yes, the two middle fingers are glued together, to achieve the rattie 4 fingered paw.

Now that we know how much work went into the first paw, it will be hard to convince ourselves to move onto the next one.  :-)

Today my son went to Grandma's house to use her sewing machine to sew the tail, and then stuffed it.  I think it turned out even better than I had expected.

Next (after the second paw, hopefully), we will tackle the feet.  Then we will likely switch over to the gray fur, and start working on the body.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The World of Furry and Other Outlets for Creativity

If anyone actually follows my blog, they might notice an absence of garden-related posts recently.  It's not for the lack of stories to tell, of the abundant Italian plum harvest  (I actually had so many I discovered the joy of drying plums), the gold raspberries which are still continuing, and other delights.  I even have some photos to post, but haven't made time for it.  My attention has been turned elsewhere, into the indoor world of the Creative.

My 14 year old and I attended BronyCAN in August.  It was a great experience, to meet a whole group of My Little Pony enthusiasts, many of them young men who relate to the story's messages of friendship and loyalty and magic.  Many of them who are otherwise quite introverted, but who, within the safety of a community of likeminded Bronies, found courage to join enthusiastically in karaoke and other activities.  It was really neat to be part of that.  I was happy to show off my Twilight Sparkle costume, and had a blast making costumes with my son (who was Fluttershy) :

While at the conference, we were exposed to the world of Furry.  I found out that some people choose to dress in fursuits, not just for some miserable (and hot!) job as a mascot at an event or character in an amusement park, but as a fun way of expressing themselves and their inner fursona, in the safety and perhaps anonymity of the suit.  There is apparently a strong fursuit community in the Vancouver area, with the VancouFur convention in the spring, and the smaller Howloween event in the Fall (this year it will be Nov 2).

My son and I were both impressed by this concept, and my son has chosen his character, a yet unnamed rat.  So we have been busily shopping for furs, and reading up on techniques for building a fursuit.  We found some really wonderful grey fur and pink fleece for the hands and feet and nose.  We started sculpting and creating one hand last night.

My fursona would be a dragon.  Probably a very shiny, sparkly green and purple one, with large wings, and which can breathe puffs of black smoke.  But I have no plans to build a dragon suit, at least not at this time.  It will be more than enough to learn and help my son build a rat suit, since we are both perfectionists, and will surely spend many hours on the project.  Then I will need to be driver and assistant for him when he goes to conventions and hopefully other events.  Not to mention, I spend much of my non-working hours thinking about and reading about ceramics, looking for inspiration and collecting up anything which I can use as stampers or shapers of clay.

But while we were shopping for fabrics, I accidentally ran into some "black snakeskin" fabric which was irresistible.  So I ended up bringing it home, and spending a number of hours creating a pattern (using a simple fleece glove as an example), and sewing my dragon gloves.  Here is the first one, partly done :
The photo doesn't do the fabric justice.  It has wonderful iridescent reflections of green and purple and other colors, in a stretchy fabric which has a pretty close feel to a smooth cool snakeskin.   Anyhow, where it is now pinned along the back of the hand and arm, I have decided to put in a row of spikes.  I plan to buy and create them from purple fimo clay.  Also matching claws.  I think it will turn out pretty cool, and I will be happy to wear them to the furry conventions, but still have my hands relatively free to assist my ratty son and take photos and other neat stuff.
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