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MemoryandDream's Journal of Randomness
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memoryanddream
When you buy a PhoenixFire Designs piece, you can be assured that it is completely handmade from scratch by me.

Everything you buy is an original.

Unlike “designer” pieces, there is no factory or third-world sweatshop churning out thousands based on a template. There are no machines stamping out the design.

I personally twist and shape the wire with my bare hands, embellish it with hand-selected gemstones and transform it into wearable art. It is TRULY handcrafted by me for you.

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memoryanddream

Can you do me a quick and easy favor?

15 years ago in 2001 I started making jewelry. It was a hobby at first, but people liked what I did and eventually 10 years ago in 2006, I opened my PhoenixFire Designs etsy shop. I continued to run my business part-time while also managing a normal day job.

Well all that changed five years ago in 2011 when I wound up in the ER. Long story short, I had nearly 3lbs of tumors in my uterus and after months of treatments, I had a hysterectomy at age 34. During this time on medical leave, my day job laid me off. (Nice, right?)

So with the support of my husband and a TON of fear and uncertainty, I decided to try and run my business for real as my only job. It’s been a ton of hard work but it’s been so rewarding. After over a year of recovery, I’m back to good health and I’m happy.

Here’s the favor part. I got nominated for “Best Handcrafted Jewelry” in Tampa Bay. I would LOVE to win, especially given this year marks 10 years of my etsy shop and 5 years since my medical crisis. So can I get a vote? It’s just an email address (they don’t email you anything) and selecting “PhoenixFire Designs” under the “Best Handcrafted Jewelry” category. One vote per EMAIL address (not necessarily per person.) No prize money or anything but it would be an amazing honor to be able to say I won.

Vote PhoenixFire Designs for Best Handcrafted Jewelry in Creative Loafing"s Best of the Bay 2016

VOTE HERE

Thank you for your support!

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memoryanddream

The victims and families of the mass shooting in Orlando last night don’t want your prayers or your thoughts. They want your OUTRAGE that a small percent of gun nuts have successfully lobbied against passing ANY common sense gun laws and have put their profits over the lives of human beings.

RAGE to your elected officials that they won’t stand up to terrorist organizations like the NRA who not only allow these mass shootings but who PROFIT from this fear and horror and death.

RAGE to your elected officials that they won’t listen to the overwhelming majority of the US population that WANTS common sense gun law reform.

And VOTE to change the broken system and elect officials who WILL stand up and do the right thing and work towards a SAFER future for all of us.

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I went to Megacon for the first time this weekend. Previously, I made my Comic Con debut last year, in my first-ever cosplay as a girl Marty McFly to meet Lea Thompson at Tampa Bay Comic Con.

This year, we had even higher stakes as none other than Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd was going to be there!!

Christopher Lloyd at MegaCon 2016, Doc Brown himself!

I bought us tickets for Saturday, bought a 1:30pm photo op with Christopher Lloyd and dusted off the old Marty cosplay outfit. I was psyched!!

A little after 7am early Saturday morning, the alarm went off after about 4.5 hours of sleep. I wanted to make sure we got an early start so we could get there close to the 10am opening of the convention. We got ready and headed out, leaving a little later than I had wanted at around 9am, but given it was only a 90 minute drive, I figured that would still get us there by about 10:30am and probably in the building around 11am.

We set off on I-4 from Tampa to Orlando. Made great time until….we came to a screeching halt somewhere around Auburndale. It was just an absolute mass of cars, literally crawling forward an inch at a time, stopping, then moving forward a tiny bit more. Repeat until you go insane. (We came to a near dead stop somewhere around mile marker 50 or so and had until exit 72 for our exit. All of which was just jammed.)

What should have been an hour and a half turned into over THREE HOURS of absolute maddening traffic. We didn’t even get to the convention center until noon. Where we then further got stuck in a never-ending line to the toll booth trying to park.

The wall of cars converging from multiple roads trying to get into the parking lot for MegaCon.

The wall of cars converging from multiple roads trying to get into the parking lot for MegaCon.

As we sat there the time just kept ticking by. I had a 1:30pm photo op that was booked and paid for! By the time it was nearly 12:30, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I actually threw the car in park, grabbed my stuff and left Love to park the car.

Over a mile run from where I had to leave Love with the car (who was stuck in line trying to park) just to get to the West Concourse to make my 1:30pm photo op.

Over a mile run from where I had to leave Love with the car (who was stuck in line trying to park) just to get to the West Concourse to make my 1:30pm photo op.

I took off, running in 95F heat through acres of parking lot, past other concourses of the convention center trying just to get to the building. After literally over MILE of run/walking (I measured it on google maps later), I ran smack into a line extending the entire length of the West Concourse, OUTSIDE stretching back just to get in the door!!

About 15 more minutes of this line, I finally made it in the building. Only to be faced with ANOTHER LINE that literally WRAPPED around the entire perimeter of the massive room within the convention center! I had prepaid for my ticket but I needed my wristband and the line to get it was several thousand deep! I knew they were expecting over 100,000 people for the weekend but I never expected they would ALL be ahead of me in line!!

At this point, it was 1:15pm. That was the time I was supposed to line up for the photo op and I didn’t even have my wristband yet! I got out of line, found a person who worked there who directed me to a manager. Another guy came up at the same time who ALSO had the same 1:30pm photo op and she escorted us both all the way up front, direct to the ticket taker and got us our wristbands. Success!

Except the photo ops were on the entire other side of the convention center. And it’s a MASSIVE space that was FULL of people. The guy and I (never caught his name) stuck together, weaving in and out of people, dashing like mad fools trying to make our way to the photo section. We arrived literally right at 1:30pm. We were able to get in line and thankfully, Christopher Lloyd was running a few minutes behind.

I was DRENCHED in sweat at that point despite not even having my jacket or vest on and fighting to stop panting from the non-stop running I had done for the past hour. Remember, I bailed out of the car around 12:25pm and it was now 1:30pm and it took that long just to get from the parking lot to the line!

Again, thankfully, the photo op was running behind so I had time to cool off enough to put the rest of my costume on, touch up my makeup and reapply my lipstick. By around 2pm I got in and got my pic with Christopher Lloyd:

Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd and me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Megacon Orlando 2016.

Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd and me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Megacon Orlando 2016.

Mission accomplished!! :D

So much more to the day and so many more lines! Oh, and photos too!Collapse )

Originally published at Given Eyes To See. You can comment here or there.

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memoryanddream

Today is my 39th birthday. (Woah, I know!) I spent the day going to see Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCap!) and generally had a low-key but fun day. Here’s an obligatory birthday day selfie:

20160516_184005-01

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Saturday, April 16, 2016 was Dapper Day at Walt Disney World. This time, it was a Spring Fling in Magic Kingdom! Dapper Day, for those who might not know (such as most of the “regular” park guests for the day, all of whom felt I looked friendly enough to ask LOL) is a day to dress to impress. When Disneyland first opened in 1955, people wore their Sunday best; men in suits and women in dresses, hats, gloves. So Dapper Day is a twice-a-year event dedicated to bringing a little style and class back into the parks. It’s not about being “vintage” specifically nor does it require a certain time period (though many do chose to embrace a mid-century 50’s or 60’s style.)

I went last year for the first time to the Fall Soiree held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That day, I opted for a “provincial town” blue dress Belle Dapper Disneybound. (A Disneybound is when you dress inspired by a character, movie, attraction, etc. without going for a full, 100% accurate cosplay.)

This year, a few months ago I got the idea to do something with one of my favorite attractions, The Haunted Mansion. I found a perfectly Dapper green and black dress which reminded me of the “Maids” and “Butlers” that work the attraction. From there, I spent a lot of time finding and modifying various aspects to complete the look. (Including making a Bat Stanchion Necklace) I’m happy to report it was a total success!

Dapper Day Spring 2016 Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion Green Dress inspired Disneybound Bat Stanchion Necklace

Dapper Day Spring 2016 Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion Green Dress inspired Disneybound Bat Stanchion Necklace

Dapper Day Spring 2016 Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion Green Dress inspired Disneybound Bat Stanchion Necklace

Dapper Day Spring 2016 Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion Green Dress inspired Disneybound Bat Stanchion Necklace

Dapper Day Spring 2016 Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion Green Dress inspired Disneybound Bat Stanchion Necklace

Feel free to check out my entire album including more group shots and other shots with fellow Dapper Darlings here on my facebook page.

I handmade the Haunted Mansion “bat stanchion” necklace I’m wearing for the day and had so many people inquire about it that I will be doing a limited run of them for sale. Follow PhoenixFire Designs to be updated when they will become available. I need to get additional supplies and materials plus get more cast and painted. Update: Pre-orders for my Haunted Mansion Bat Stanchion Black Lace Choker Necklace Here!

Bat stanchion necklace, handmade haunted mansion bat necklace, bat lace choker, black lace necklace, haunted mansion dapper day necklace, dapper day disneybound, haunted mansion maid costume, haunted mansion maid cosplay, dapper day haunted mansion bat necklace, PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.

Handmade Haunted Mansion bat stanchion necklace worn by me for Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Spring 2016 as part of my green dress HM disneybound. Preorder now available through PhoenixFire Designs by overwhelming request!

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Trigger Warning: abusive father bullshit ahead

This one is dark and heavy. There’s also lots of cursing head. Fair warning.

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memoryanddream

It seems that I only write a post once every four years these days. Regardless if that’s accurate or not, I just had to post something today to have a date stamp of February 29th on the blog. ;)

So here’s a gratuitous car selfie in lieu of any actual content:
me-leap-day

Happy Mathematical Construct Day everyone! See you again in four years. :D

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I know I should probably find it “cute” or something, but I just can’t. Every single day, I am “treated” to the…let’s be generous and call it “singing” of the small child in the apartment below me. He (?) sings as loud as he can, shrill and screechy and ungodly out of tune over and over and over again. All day long.

Me listening to the kid sing. If I were in clothes not just PJ"s and did my hair and makeup as opposed to having it pulled back in a bun because I haven"t washed it yet. But you know, same thing.

Me listening to the kid sing. If I were in clothes no PJ’s and did my hair and makeup as opposed to having it pulled back in a bun because I haven’t washed it yet. But you know, same thing.

Yesterday I was woken up around 8:30am to the dulcet sounds of For the First Time In Forever from Frozen. It was a living nightmare.

The approximation of the sounds that come out of this kid’s mouth is something like WHAAAAAAAAAA aaaah wwawawawa MmmmAAAAWWWWW and about as in-tune as bagpipes in a garbage disposal.

noisykids

The “singing” is of a volume and frequency that it travels through the floors and walls from his apartment to mine. I will sit, listening to this Hell for 10 or 15 minutes until I can’t take it any longer and play the I have over 5,000 songs on my pc and speakers louder than you game.

This morning we discovered that Imagine Dragons > his punk ass.

I just love apartment living.

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Marty: All right, Doc, what’s goin’ on, huh? Where are we? “When” are we?

Doc Brown: We’re descending towards Hill Valley, California at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, October 21st, twenty-fifteen.

Marty: Two thousand fifteen?! You mean we’re in the future!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 4:29pm

The Future: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 4:29pm

Welcome to the future!

Back to the Future October 21, 2015: Hoverboards and Nike Mags

Back to the Future October 21, 2015: Hoverboards and Nike Mags

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memoryanddream

I recently found a copy of Starlog Magazine from January 1990 while cleaning. The cover story? An interview with Robert Zemeckis on the filming of Back to the Future: Part II! This is a timely find given that we are nearly at the future – October 21, 2015.

From McFly

It features some great production photos from the film as well as a Q&A with Zemeckis. Since this is a 25 year old issue and I’m sure most BttF fans don’t have a copy laying around to read, I’ve scanned all the pages and uploaded them for reference and review.

From McFly
From McFly
From McFly
From McFly
From McFly

The full gallery (including much larger versions of the scans) can be found here on my G+ account.

As a bonus, here’s the back cover of the issue. It was a full page ad for the Back to the Future fan club. Man, I wish I had gotten in on that! (Only $9.95! ;) )

From McFly

Great Scott! (I know, this is heavy!)

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memoryanddream

I attended my first ever Dapper Day Fall Soiree at Disney’s Hollywood Studios October 3, 2015. It was amazing!

If you’re not familiar with Dapper Day, don’t worry I wasn’t either until a few months ago. It’s an unofficial event that takes place twice a year at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. It was inspired by the notion that when Disneyland first opened in 1955, people dressed up to attend. Men wore suits! Women wore dresses, hats and heels! It was a cause for looking your best; being dapper and smartly dressed.

So for two days a year, people embrace the idea of coming to the parks in your “Sunday Best.” Last Saturday’s Fall Soiree was the most recent such day. Though not required, many people lean towards a mid-century (1950’s or 1960’s) style look and dress. Some people also chose to “Disneybound” which is where you wear clothes inspired by a character, film, movie, etc. That is what I chose to do.

Me in my Dapper Day Belle "provincial town" blue dress 1950"s Disneybound at the Fall Soiree  Disney"s Hollywood Studios October 3, 2015.

Me in my Dapper Day Belle “provincial town” blue dress 1950’s Disneybound at the Fall Soiree Disney’s Hollywood Studios October 3, 2015.

Everyone looked so amazing! And everyone was friendly and happy and having a wonderful time.

Wonderful group from Dapper Day Fall Soiree 2015 at Disney"s Hollywood Studios including  me in my Belle blue dress disneybound.

Wonderful group from Dapper Day Fall Soiree 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios including me in my Belle blue dress disneybound.

There was such a range of creativity in the outfits as well, especially those who chose to incorporate a Disneybound into their Dapper Day fashion.

Disneybounding for Dapper Day including Tiana, Belle (blue dress) and Mulan. Fall Soiree Disney"s Hollywood Studios, October 3, 2015.

Disneybounding for Dapper Day including Tiana, Belle (blue dress) and Mulan. Fall Soiree Disney’s Hollywood Studios, October 3, 2015.

Love and I as we closed out our first (but not last!) Dapper Day at Disney"s Hollywood Studios for the Fall Soiree October 3, 2015.

Love and I as we closed out our first (but not last!) Dapper Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Fall Soiree October 3, 2015.

See about 45 more photos I took in this Dapper Day gallery.

Me in my Dapper Day Belle provincial town blue dress disneybound at the Fall Soiree in Disney"s Hollywood Studios October 3, 2015.

Me in my Dapper Day Belle provincial town blue dress disneybound at the Fall Soiree in Disney’s Hollywood Studios October 3, 2015.

I highly recommend if you get a chance to attend a Dapper Day, do it! A good 50% of the park was Dapper and I assure you that you will not be the only one and everyone will be having a wonderful time.

See you in April for the next one!

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memoryanddream

The brand new PhoenixFire Designs Shop on Handmade on Amazon is now LIVE!!

PhoenixFire Designs Handmade at Amazon shop is now live! Tree of life pendants, wire wrapped jewelry and more coming soon!

PhoenixFire Designs Handmade at Amazon shop is now live! Tree of life pendants, wire wrapped jewelry and more coming soon!

There is currently a limited selection of our signature tree of life pendants and wire wrapped jewelry but there’s more to come!

PhoenixFire Designs on Amazon

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(Warning: There is bugs in this post. Specifically ants. There’s also A LOT of cursing.)

I have had a fucking week from hell and I’m just over it. All I want to do is lay down and fucking cry. I have no one to vent to so I hope you will allow me to share here.

Sunday night around midnight, my husband is going to bed and…there’s a fucking invasion of ants in our master bedroom. Couple weeks ago, the apt below us had a swarm in their master bedroom closet.

I need to point out that I have a hardcore phobia of ants. Like, even trying to talk about it gets me all shaky. So needless to say I had a fucking panic attack that night. They were on the floor, the bed, the curtains my fucking pillow – everywhere. I was hyperventilating and sobbing my eyes out and shaking so hard because I was so freaked out.

Meanwhile, my poor husband is trying to kill them, wipe them up, smoosh them, etc and every time he moved something, there were more.

I wound up doing like 6 loads of laundry (they were in the bedding, extra linens, clothes, etc.) and couldn’t even bring myself to sleep in my own bed because I was so freaked out. I was up until 7:30am before I was finally able to doze off for about 3 hours on my couch.

Of course, my apartment complex is made up of fucking assholes. So Monday they were – big surprise – total fucktards about the whole thing. “Do you eat in your bedroom? was their reply.

First off, no I don’t.

Secondly, who the fuck cares because I’m pretty damned sure the people below us don’t eat in their closet so it’s ridiculous for you to act like I somehow brought this on myself!!!

They were absurdly unsympathetic telling me that *I* had to put out traps because they couldn’t for “liability” reasons. Oh and I needed to move every single piece of furniture away from the walls by the so they could spray Tuesday. They couldn’t help me in any way because, of course, of “liability” reasons. I told the property manager I have permanent neck damage so there’s a very low limit to what I can do, and she was like, oh well that’s what you have to do.

So Monday night my husband and I do our best to make sure you can at least get to the baseboards as best as possible. Furniture doesn’t fucking float so there’s only so much it can be moved since we still need to, oh I don’t know, access the bed! The living room is a disaster with overflow of laundry & linens I haven’t put back away and now furniture and things taken out of the room for access.

Tuesday I sit around all day and….pest control doesn’t show! Who’s surprised?

Oh the pest control company had “an emergency” so they’ll be here Wednesday instead. First thing, before noon, promise.

I get up early Wednesday and…wait. By 12:30pm still no sign. So I call. “Oh they’re supposed to be here sometime today, you’re on the list.” Thanks.

Finally come about 2pm. The guy asks if I have any allergies or sensitivities. Uh, yeah to almost everything. Especially scents. (My husband can’t wear cologne because it gives me migraines. Even his stupid deodorant reeks to me. I buy unscented everything.) Oh well, he says, this stuff is horrible. It even gives ME headaches and I don’t have any sensitivities.

And this is what you want to spray in my BEDROOM??

So after all that, he wound up baiting and setting up traps instead, no spray. He said he’d spray outside heavily (which is the problem in the first place IMO since our whole building is swarming in ants. Like, they are everywhere!!)

Meanwhile, my husband has like 30 huge, puss-filled awful bites all over his arms and legs. I have about 4 on my feet since he was one the one right in the mix of it. Apt complex does not give any shits.

We haven’t seen any more since but I’m so nervous now and worried because we never had them before and the just BAM! a ton all at once. They had to come from somewhere and I’m so afraid they’ll be back.

I’m so done with this place and so very, very tired of their bullshit. I wish I could just pack up and leave tomorrow. Of course if we wanted to leave it would be thousands and thousands of dollars in early termination fees and if we just left without 90 days notice, we could never get a place anywhere else ever again. Not like we have the money to move anyway which is why we’ve been stuck here so long in the first place.

It’s just become nearly unbearable and I’m just so damned depressed lately about everything and so overwhelmed. I feel like just laying down and crying. It’s all I want to do. I have no motivation, no energy, nothing. I’m just so done with it all and I’m tired of being powerless and beat up.

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How I created my first ever cosplay costume: a female Marty McFly made for Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. In this part, I detail how I made my own DIY version of the famous Marty denim jean jacket!

Cacth up on Part I here: Creating My Female Marty McFly Cosplay (Part 1)

Marty McFly"s 1985 two tone denim jacket screenshot for costume reference from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly’s 1985 two tone denim jacket screenshot for costume reference from Back to the Future.


Oh, the jacket. First off, this thing has been the subject of heated debate for years! General consensus is that it’s some form of Georges Marciano Guess jacket. Beyond that is mostly hotly debated. *see footnote

The original Marty McFly screen-used denim jacket was listed as a giveaway in the September 1985 issue of Teen Beat. The contest even made the cover! Sadly, no one knows what ever happened to it, though lots of interested parties have been – and still are! – looking and inquiring for any leads as to the results of the contest, the winner, etc.

September 1985 Teen Beat Cover with Back to the Future Win Michael J. Fox / Marty McFly"s Jacket contest.

September 1985 Teen Beat Cover with Back to the Future Win Michael J. Fox / Marty McFly’s Jacket contest.

via foxymcfox on imgur

There are options out there to buy a replica. Some are better than others. Most are hundreds of dollars. Any of the George Marciano Guess jackets in similar shapes and/or colors that do show up on ebay tend to also go for large sums of money – and still need modifying anyway. I spent a lot of time searching through listings and thrift stores for something I could use for mine. Ultimately though, it came back to the fact I was trying to make a female Marty McFly costume. Which meant any men’s jacket was going to start off far too bulky and boxy for my feminine build.

What I needed was something that had a similar enough style and raw bones that I could modify to look close enough to Marty’s original. I didn’t need it to be 100% screen accurate. I’m not going for a perfect replica but it was important to find something with enough “good bones” to be able to minimize my modifications.

I initially limited my search to vintage Guess jackets but most were distinctly different from the film jacket. Notably, it’s really hard to find a denim jacket where the pockets aren’t up on the chest area. I needed them lower.

Almost all jean or denim jackets for women have pockets up on the chest but for my female Marty McFly cosplay jacket I needed them to be lower in position closer to the waist.

Almost all jean or denim jackets for women have pockets up on the chest but for my female Marty McFly cosplay jacket I needed them to be lower in position closer to the waist.

Ultimately, I found this. It’s a vintage Gap jacket. The pockets were in the right place. It had a good pale denim coloring. And, this jacket featured a nicely defined section on the top which could be colored to match the two-tone style of Marty’s original jacket.

Vintage Gap jacket I used as my starting point in making a replica Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket as part of my female Marty McFly cosplay for Comic Con.

Vintage Gap jacket I used as my starting point in making a replica Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket as part of my female Marty McFly cosplay for Comic Con.

I debated several options for modifying the two-tone color block of Marty’s jacket, including adding fabric panels but I’m not seamstress and I didn’t feel confident not completely screwing it up. I lucked upon Lumiere by Jaquard Metallic Acrylic Paint one day while browsing around an art supply store. It mentioned being able to use on a wide variety of materials – including denim.

I did a section at a time, using a foam brush and a nice, thick coat of paint, making sure I saturated the denim fully to give it a uniform color. I would then let each section dry for 24 hours.

In progress as I modify a denim jacket to be my ladies version of the 1985 Marty McFly two-tone jean jacket.

In progress as I modify a denim jacket to be my ladies version of the 1985 Marty McFly two-tone jean jacket.

Continuing the two tone paint job of my female marty mcfly jean jacket.

Continuing the two tone paint job of my female marty mcfly jean jacket.

I went back to the film for reference shots and noted the inside of the collar is dark blue and got an approximation of the dark blue points on the sleeves. I made a template out of paper to ensure both sleeves were the same size, shape and length of point. This was the hardest part as I had to stuff the sleeves with a towel to make a flat surface to paint. It kept wanting to crinkle or fold.

Making the dark denim sleeve points of my Marty McFly cosplay.

Making the dark denim sleeve points of my Marty McFly cosplay.

In progress women"s version Marty McFly cosplay 1985 denim jacket

In progress women’s version Marty McFly cosplay 1985 denim jacket

After all parts were completed, I followed the directions and heat set it. The fabric was stiff from the paint, but it says that after heat setting, you can wash or dry clean it, so I crossed my fingers and tossed it in the washing machine on gentle with fabric softner. And it totally worked! After washing and drying, the painted parts felt almost completely like the unpainted parts with flexibility again!

Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket screenshot reference from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket screenshot reference from Back to the Future.

I cut the back pockets off a pair of jeans and fabric glued them to give the look of the “flaps” on the pockets. Then I purchased some custom paisely fabric from Spoonflower for the cuffs.

In progress details shot of my ladies Marty McFly cosplay version 1985 denim jacket.

In progress details shot of my ladies Marty McFly cosplay version 1985 denim jacket.

Initially, I tried using “Heat n’ Bond” to fuse it to the denim, but it totally would not stick!! I asked around and Wonder Under was recommended. I bought a yard of it at Joann and tried again. It probably took about two hours to fuse the cuffs together. The shape made it tricky and I wanted to make sure every bit of it would stay firmly in place. Thankfully it worked!

My completed 1985 Marty McFly jean jacket for my female Marty cosplay complete with two tone color scheme and paisley print fabric cuffs.

My completed 1985 Marty McFly jean jacket for my female Marty cosplay complete with two tone color scheme and paisley print fabric cuffs.

Come back for Part III to look at the little tiny details and finishing touches that completed my female Marty McFly cosplay!

to_be_concluded_back_to_the_future

Footnote:
*Some people state that the jacket was available commercially as an off-the-rack item at the time of the filming. They argue that because Michael J. Fox was a late recast for Eric Stoltz six weeks into filming, they didn’t have time to make custom costuming for him. Some claim it was manufactured in Mexico but others say Guess did not have manufacturing in Mexico at the time. Proponents of it being retail claim that versions have popped up on ebay over the years or there’s a “friend of a friend” who remembers having it, or someone says they found one in their mom’s closet or whatever but never any real, tangible proof. Just a lot of hearsay.

Which leads us to the general opinion that it was likely custom made. More specifically, that it was a combination of two retail Guess jackets of the period. Some people have said that crew attached to BttF have confirmed it was custom. Others point to the fact that no legitimate versions have ever surfaced and if it truly were mass produced, we would have seen at least one by now! Plus, there are specific features and finishes on the jacket that are different from anything even close that has shown up furthering the consensus that it was a custom piece.

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memoryanddream

A few months ago I decided I wanted to attend my first ever con: Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. And if I was going to go, I was going to cosplay. Back to the Future is my all-time favorite movie (and movie trilogy) and 2015 is not only the 30th anniversary of it’s theatrical release (originally released July 3, 1985) but in Part II, 2015 is “the future” that they travel to. (October 21, 2015.) So it just made sense that my first ever cosplay should be Marty McFly!

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future)  with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future) with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Of course having an idea to do a female Marty McFly cosplay and actually putting it together is two different things entirely! Because as it turns out, Marty’s 1985 outfit is not only more complex than it initially looks, it’s also full of rare, vintage pieces – all in men’s sizing. And while Michael J. Fox may be small guy, he’s still a guy. And I’m not. ;)

So I needed to find suitable outfit parts that would still look like the original and yet be made for a woman. I was also unwilling to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on this outfit and wanted to do it inexpensively as possible. It quickly became clear that I needed to approach this creatively.

In other words: this was going to take some work.

To start, this is Marty McFly’s famous 1985 complete outfit:

Marty McFly 1985 outfit

Marty McFly 1985 outfit

It’s a LOT of layers.

  • a burgundy tee shirt
  • a white button up with a black windowpane pattern
  • black suspenders
  • custom Guess jacket with those distinctive dark blue accents
  • burnt orange puffer jacket, jeans
  • Nike Bruins red and white sneakers

There’s also a ton of details like three pins on his jacket, his headphones and walkman, his marron Eastpak backpack, etc. I spent a lot of time looking up reference photos and learning all about what the original parts were so that I could find, make or modify compatible female pieces.

For example, the white and black windowpane button up shirt. There was a limited run of a reproduction version a few years ago by Shah Safari. Of course, they were in men’s sizing. And if you could find one on ebay, they were going for $100 and up.

Marty McFly white and black windowpane shirt reference screenshot from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly white and black windowpane shirt reference screenshot from Back to the Future.

Shah Safari reproduction replica Marty McFly shirt, released in 2010 and sold out.

Shah Safari reproduction replica Marty McFly shirt, released in 2010 and sold out.

So I scoured the web and wound up finding this women’s shirt. It cost me about $10 shipped and looked really good. Plus, it had the added benefit of actually FITTING me as a woman!

White and black shirt I used in my female Marty McFly 1985 cosplay costume.

White and black shirt I used in my female Marty McFly 1985 cosplay costume.

Me in my Marty McFly female cosplay in progress. (shirt, suspenders, jeans, watch but no denim jacket or puffer vest here.)

Me in my Marty McFly female cosplay in progress. (shirt, suspenders, jeans, watch but no denim jacket or puffer vest here.)

Next up was the puffer vest. I admit I never wound up finding exactly the right vest. I ordered four separate pieces over several months and settled on a red one. Yes, I know that it’s technically orange in the film. It’s a burnt orange color. Due to the lightning process and coloration of the movie, it looks red. (There’s even a big debate among casual viewers if it’s orange or red!)

The original is by Class-5. They went out of business in the early 80’s, so finding an authentic one is not only nearly impossible, it’s an extremely expensive proposition. Even if I did find one, again, it would be in men’s sizing and thus too large for my size 4 frame.

Marty McFly Class-5 puffer vest from Back to the Future

Marty McFly Class-5 puffer vest from Back to the Future

I wound up settling on a red puffer vest. I also did buy an orange one but it was too neon; much more of a bright safety orange vs the darker burnt orange puff vest original. I also bought a woman’s size one to help give it a little bit of shape. Puffer vests really do nothing for your figure so I opted for one that, while not screen accurate, looked good on me and still gave the impression and look of Marty’s original outfit.

Me testing out some pieces of my in-progress female Marty McFly cosplay.

Me testing out some pieces of my in-progress female Marty McFly cosplay.

Like everything, Marty’s original shoes proved hard to find as well. Through research I found out the originals were Nike Bruins but they don’t seem to make this color combo any longer.

Reference photo showing the white and red Nike Bruins sneakers worn by Michael J. Fox as part of his Marty McFly costume in Back to the Future.

Reference photo showing the white and red Nike Bruins sneakers worn by Michael J. Fox as part of his Marty McFly costume in Back to the Future.

I spent time searching ebay and various websites but the few white-with-red swoosh versions I found were nowhere near the right size. I wear a women’s 6.5 which would mean I’d need a men’s 4.5 (which really is a boy’s size at that point.) I finally had a lucky break when I found a vintage pair of red and white Nikes IN MY SIZE that had a very similar look. They are labeled “ACE ’83” but were really an excellent find.

I couldn"t find women"s size Nike Bruins but I found these vintage red and white Nike Ace "83 pair which were really close. (And my size!)

I couldn’t find women’s size Nike Bruins but I found these vintage red and white Nike Ace ’83 pair which were really close. (And my size!)

Marty McFly also has a very distinctive cassette walkman that he uses in the film. The original is a AIWA HS-P07 (or AIWA HS-P02 MII apparently one version was US and one was international but they both have the same styling.) These very rarely come up for sale and when they do…you guessed it. They sell for hundreds of dollars! I figured getting something with a similar “look” was close enough so I found this for about $10 on ebay instead:

Back to the Future AIWA HS-P07 Marty McFly original style and my $10 version bought for similar look as part of my cosplay.

Back to the Future AIWA HS-P07 Marty McFly original style and my $10 version bought for similar look as part of my cosplay.

Marty wears a distinctively 80’s digital watch. When he’s trying to call Doc Brown from the payphone in Lou’s Cafe in 1955, it beeps. This was the easiest piece to track down because They still make basically the exact same model! Casio Men’s CA53W Calculator Watch. It’s available for about $15 on amazon!

Marty McFly Casio CA53W Calculator Watch

Marty McFly Casio CA53W Calculator Watch

Marty’s backpack seemed like it would be easy, but it turned out it turned into one of those 30 years later challenges. The original is a marron Eastpak. A few years ago, they even re-released it as the Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red but…those are sold out too.

Reference screenshot of Marty McFly"s Eastpak backpack.

Reference screenshot of Marty McFly’s Eastpak backpack.

Eastpak Pak"r Returnity Red backpack - same as Marty McFly in Back to the Future.

Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red backpack – same as Marty McFly in Back to the Future.

I wound up buying a vintage Jansport bag. I took off the logo and added some handmade “pig ears” out of sued leather to give it the look. (The leather diamonds are sometimes referred to as “pig ears.”) Another $10 ebay find.

I made minor modifications to a vintage Jansport backpack to give it the look of Marty"s Eastpak. By getting the maroon color with suede bottom and adding some leather "pig ear" patches, it looked really good for very tiny investment.

I made minor modifications to a vintage Jansport backpack to give it the look of Marty’s Eastpak. By getting the maroon color with suede bottom and adding some leather “pig ear” patches, it looked really good for very tiny investment.

Of course, the biggest challenge was THE JACKET. A one-of-a-kind, made by the studio just for the production, it was my biggest hurdle. And it deserves it’s own post so….to be continued!

bttf to be continued

See Part II: The making of my Marty McFly 1985 Jacket here!

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memoryanddream

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 I did my first ever cosplay: a gender-swap/crossplay of a female Marty McFly (of course from the 1985 movie Back to the Future) and attended Tampa Bay Comic Con. This was also my first ever con too! I had such a fun time.

I also got to meet Lea Thompson, who played Lorraine Baines McFly – aka Marty’s Mom – who, in Back to the Future has the hots for her son, “Calvin Klein.” I had planned my costume months ago, long before I knew she was going to be there, so it was a fantastic opportunity!

First off, pics!

But you’re my….you’re my…

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future)  with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future) with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

I even spotted Doc Brown! Doc, you’re my only hope!

Great Scott! Doc Brown cosplayer with me as a female Marty McFly at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Great Scott! Doc Brown cosplayer with me as a female Marty McFly at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Doc and I proved quite popular and several people came to get photos with us – including Spiderman! ;)

Doctor Emmet L Brown, Marty McFly and...Spiderman? At Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Doctor Emmet L Brown, Marty McFly and…Spiderman? At Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

And of course, with time travel, one needs to be careful not to run into your other self! You might cause a time paradox – the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. (Granted, that’s the worse case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.)

Marty McFly and...Marty McFly together at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Marty McFly and…Marty McFly together at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

There are now two of me here and two of you here! Marty McFly x2 at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2105

There are now two of me here and two of you here! Marty McFly x2 at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2105

Back to the Future was released in theaters exactly 30 years ago this year on July 3, 1985. Plus, in Part II, Doc brings Marty to “the future” which is THIS year: October 21, 2015. So when a few months ago, I decided I wanted to attend my first ever Con, there was only one character that made sense: from my all time favorite movie ever, Marty McFly!

Marty McFly, Doc Brown and...Marty McFly! This is heavy. Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Marty McFly, Doc Brown and…Marty McFly! This is heavy. Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

I’m going to do a separate post all about the process of putting together the costume because while it looks simple enough, there are a LOT of details and converting a 1985 man’s outfit to something a woman could wear 30 years later and trying to get all the details right, was harder than it appears. Look for that soon.

Save the Clock Tower! (Me in my female Marty McFly cosplay showing off a copy of the famous flyer that explains how lightning struck the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm November 12, 1955.)

Save the Clock Tower! (Me in my female Marty McFly cosplay showing off a copy of the famous flyer that explains how lightning struck the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm November 12, 1955.)

But it was SO much fun and it’s hard not to have a good time when people tell you things like, “you are the most legit Marty I’ve seen!” :D If you get a chance to attend a Comic Con, do it! And, have fun with it and cosplay too! Don’t be afraid of being “silly” or “embarrassed.” Everyone there is there because they also love the same things you do and they will appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to your fandom.

I will definitely do more cons in the future. (Or perhaps, the past! ;) )

Want to make your own Marty McFly cosplay? Or just curious what went into my girl Marty costume? Check out how I made my DIY female Marty McFly cosplay costume Part I and Part II (the jacket)

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memoryanddream

It’s a good time to be a Back to the Future fan. Not only is the movie celebrating the 30th anniversary of original theatrical release (on July 3, 1985!), 2015 IS the future! In Part II, they travel to October 21, 2015.

Which means, so like, you’re not kidding me! We are in the future.

October 21, 2015 - The Future (Time Circuits from Back to the Future Part II)

October 21, 2015 – The Future (Time Circuits from Back to the Future Part II)

As part of this celebration there is so much awesome BttF stuff either already out or coming out soon! I’m going to highlight a few items fellow BttF fans might be interested in!

First up, is a new “behind the scenes” book which is already out: We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy I pre-ordered my copy:

Me holding my copy of the new We Don"t Need Roads book

Me holding my copy of the new We Don’t Need Roads book

Coming September 27th, is the new Lego Dimensions game! This is similar in concept to Disney Infinity, but of course the Lego Dimensions is (1) LEGO!!! (which, anyone who’s played any of the Lego games knows what a great sense of humor they have!!) and (2) will feature a Back to the Future Expansion!!!

Squee!!

AND…next year (January 19, 2016) there will be a Doc Brown Expansion! I mean, look at the little steampunk time travel train!!

The day before the future, October 20th has a few really nice items coming out.

First, there’s also a new book coming out: Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover, full color 224 pages I’ve seen some previews and it looks like it’s going to be a nice collector piece for fans. I’ve got mine on pre-order.

AND, Universal is releasing a 30th anniversary blu-ray edition in several versions:

1) If you just want the movies this is the version: Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)

2) If you just want the animated series (never before on dvd!) this is the version: Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series

3) BUT…if you want the creme de la creme, with the complete series, complete animated series, new features, documentaries and even a light-up Flux Capacitor box…well, THIS is the version you want: Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures – Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)

I have already pre-ordered it. This is a limited edition version so I can easily see it selling for a huge markup after the fact.

Nice thing about pre-ordering on Amazon is that if the price goes down between now and release, you automatically get the lowest price. (For example, it was $99 when I ordered it but it’s now $88 so I will get it for that – or lower if it goes down again. Plus, they don’t charge your credit card until it ships.)

Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of Back to the Future goodies!! You can also dress like it’s the future: Back to the Future: Part II: Marty McFly Cap Replica

..wear some Replica Light up Nike Air Mag Sneakers or “fly” with your very own Hoverboard! (But you bojo! Those boards don’t work on water!)

And this is just a bare handful! There are so many wonderful products out there right now, or awesome items coming soon.

Plus on a related note…here’s a sneak peek of something else I’ve been working on the past few months. Full blog entry coming soon but let me just put the words “female Marty McFly cosplay” and “Tampa Bay Comic Con” out there as a teaser:

Teaser shot: me in my female Marty McFly Cosplay costume holding a miniature DeLorean time machine... to be continued.

Teaser shot: me in my female Marty McFly Cosplay costume holding a miniature DeLorean time machine… to be continued.

bttf to be continued

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memoryanddream

You may have heard about the new craze: adult coloring and adult coloring books! I have to say that when I was a child, I LOVED to color. So I was very excited to see more complex and detailed books being published and targeted towards grownups.

Back in March, I ordered Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and had to wait nearly a month for it to come back in stock. My copy finally arrived in April. I’ve been slowly but surely working on pages since. Mostly at night after Love goes to bed, I sit down with my Prismacolor colored pencils and use it as a way to wind down from the day.

I thought I’d show off some of my completed pages; a mini gallery of colored pages to help inspire your own creativity!

The first page I colored was a squirrel. I hadn’t colored with any detail for years so I was a bit rusty.

Squirrel colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Squirrel colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Next I colored the “crow” bird. I got a little more adventurous with this page. I figured it’s an “Enchanted” forest so why not let it be more fantasy?

Colored "crow" bird page from Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Colored “crow” bird page from Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Third, I did the hedgehog.

Hedgehog colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Hedgehog colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Fourth came the castle on a mushroom. This one I got creative with and made half the trees spring and half of them autumn. I even made the grass on the mushroom reflect this color scheme.

Completed colored page of castle on a mushroom from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Completed colored page of castle on a mushroom from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Fifth, I did the bunny. I went for whimsy with the rabbit, making it colorful and more floral based.

Completely coloring page of floral bunny rabbit from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Completely coloring page of floral bunny rabbit from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Sixth came my largest one to date: the leaf sailboat. This one took me a total of three evenings to finish, about a couple hours each evening. I really paid attention to the detail, shading and layering of it.

Coloring in progress shot of the adult coloring book page featuring a leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest coloring book.

Coloring in progress shot of the adult coloring book page featuring a leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest coloring book.

Coloring page in progress of the leaf sailboat page in the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Coloring page in progress of the leaf sailboat page in the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Finished color page of the leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Finished color page of the leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

As you can see, I’m definitely learning and improving as I go! :)

Most pictures took a few hours to color, either all at once, or in the case of the sailboat, a few hours a night for three evenings. When I first started, I was using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 48 Assorted Color Pencils and later decided to upgrade and get some more colors so I upgraded to the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, 72 Colored Pencils.

A lot of people also like to use things like markers or gel pens. I bought Fiskars Gel Pen 48-Piece Value Setfor accent and punch of color details but I haven’t used them yet. I want to add some sparkle to the dragonfly page.

I find it very relaxing and a good way to reduce stress. I’m not alone in this experience! Articles have flooded the internet like this one on Huffington Post which says:

When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

or even a study from San Francisco State University which showed:

Creative activity was found to have both indirect effects and direct effects on performance-related outcomes…The results indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.

In other words, coloring is not just for kids anymore! :D

In addition to Enchanted Forest, there are so many other options!! I have also recently picked up Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book and Creative Haven Entangled Coloring Book. (I haven’t started those yet though!)

My coloring books and colored pencils.

My coloring books and colored pencils.

So have you rediscovered coloring yet? Share your favorite book(s) and some of your own completed coloring pages in the comments!

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memoryanddream

With the Tampa Bay Lightning playing game one of the Stanely Cup Finals tomorrow night here on home ice in Tampa, it reminds me of the last time they made it this far: the 2004 Stanely Cup Finals. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the games (Game 5) to see a Finals game in person.

photo of game 5 Stanley Cup Finals nhl Tampa Bay Lightning 2004 panorama pano pic home ice, inside stadium, arena crowds, whiteout, white out go bolts game

2004 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game Five Tampa Bay Lightning home ice inside stadium panorama photo of the crowds, Tampa, Florida

I went to Game Five with my dear friend Rand. He had tickets to Game Five (guaranteed to see the game) and Game Seven (only goes to 7 if needed) and he offered to take me to one and Love to another, our choice. I picked game 5 because I just had a feeling it was going to 7 and I wanted the two of them to get to go to a game together. It did, they did and Love got to actually see the Lightning win the Cup in a game 7 on home ice. Experiences like that are priceless.

2004 Stanley Cup Finals NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 and Game 7 tickets, Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning.

2004 Stanley Cup Finals NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 and Game 7 tickets, Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning.

Let’s hope Lightning strikes twice and we can bring the Cup home to Tampa again this year! Go Bolts!

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