Cosplay Diary: Fire Keeper Vol 1

Welcome Home Ashen One.  

Welcome Home Ashen One.  

When Dark Souls 3 was released a few months ago I instantly had a favorite NPC. Upon entering the Firekeep Shrine I was instantly fascinated by the beautiful Fire Keeper. The girl who trades your souls for character leveling. I lamented on Twitter that I had no reason to make this. Well, that not true. There are plenty of comic and pop culture conventions here in Portland. I just have to make it and go.  So, yesterday afternoon I sat down and wrote down every little thing that needs to be made for my Fire Keeper Cosplay. I am planning to debut her at Rose City Comic Con. So that gives me about 80ish days to get it all done. I figured my best course of action would be to make a little diary of inspiration. I am going to use a pattern for the dress, but everything else Cape, crown, overskirt gauntlets is all me. (I'd also like to fashion pockets and a little purse so that I can keep all my stuff with me.) I'm nevous because her dress is so fancy that it requires a lot of slippery expensive fabrics. But we are gonna forge a head fighting! Today we are gonna go over the basic battle plan.


Let's start with the thing I have for sure narrowed down. The Gauntlets I am planning to just knit them. I think they are leather in the costume but that a no go for me. So I am gonna knit them with Tosh Merino Light in Dachshund. 

Tosh Merino Light in Dachshund  

Tosh Merino Light in Dachshund  

I think the brown and the little flects of gray purple will give a weathered look and match well with the gray of the dress. I'm also knitting them on size 1 needles to give a fine gauge.  I cast on last night and I have pushed these to the front of my knitting. I have limited my knitting to just these. I don't want to push myself to have two many long knitting projects on the needles and then be disappointed.



Butterick B4827

Butterick B4827

For The dress I am thinking of is Butterick B4827. I would make the top dress shorter and shorten the sleeves. I think that will just make wearing the costume comfortable. Since I plan on staying at the convention most of the day, making costumes comfortable is key. I plan on making the dress out of bridal Satin. I think that it weight and drape will be perfect for her dress. I also plan on adding pockets to the dress part, so that I can keep my wallet and my keys and phone on me. Her cowl will be out of dark gray chiffon and lace.





After these pieces things become 100 % DIY no pattern just my sewing and crafting skills. Let's look at the crown. this is the piece that will make or break this costume, it also the piece that fills me with the most dread. I haven't made a whole lot with Craft foam, thankfully it is cheap enough that I think it will be ok to try try again until it is right. I am also planing on using hot glue for some of the details. I feel it will be a lot of trial and error, I'm sure there will be lots of video me swearing and burning/cutting my fingers on our Friday crafting streams but that the fun of it right?



Side view of that awesome cape

Side view of that awesome cape

Next we move on to the cape. Here again I will be making some changes for the comfort of the costume. I would love to have a three tire velvet cape I however would not like to walk around in one. So I plan to make the train length cape out of a double layer of organza. The top two layers out of a lightweight velvet. I am working on finding two big silver buttons and. I plan to also make the cape attach to the shoulders so that I don't have to mess with it all the time.


The beautiful hair of the fire keeper maiden.    

The beautiful hair of the fire keeper maiden.  


Hi, Welcome Back! Say hello to Link.

Welcome Back. it's been a long 10 months. I know I kinda left you all on a downer post. But life has kinda been a downer. I've been sad and a little lost since Macintosh died. That's not really the stuff you want to blog about. So I have been putting off blog. It hasn't been all bad. So lets focus on the adorable little little ray of sunshine, my puppy Link. 

Link from 2 days after he was born to 3 months. 

Link from 2 days after he was born to 3 months. 

It blows my mind that he wasn't even born the last time I posted. He would come into this world on the 12th of September, and into our hearts a few days later when in my grief over Macintosh and worry over Abalard (who chewed off all the long hair on his tail in grief) started looking at dachshund puppies on the Internet.

Link at 5 weeks. We went to meet him and give him a towel with his big brother Abalard's smell. 

Link at 5 weeks. We went to meet him and give him a towel with his big brother Abalard's smell. 

Playing with Abalard. 

Playing with Abalard. 

I thought a few weeks ago, I should start blogging and making videos again. So I've been working on how best to present that all to you. I've divided up the content so you can get/find what your looking forward to. I look forward to brushing off all the cobwebs show you what I've all been up to and finding out what you have been up to. 

So what have you been doing? Read anything interesting? What TV shows are you dying to see what next? 

Craveable Cast On: Vol 3

Spring is in full swing here in Portland. I am in the middle of my seasonal WIP purge. So what better time to look forward to new projects! Here are the 5 patterns that have been catching my eye lately! 

Picture by the Purl Bee

Picture by the Purl Bee

Flying Geese Knit Baby Blanket- The Purl Bee 

I adore this blanket! I love the construction of it I would love to see it doubled for a big squishy couch blanket! I'm thinking maybe in some lovely Malabrigo! 

Photo by Knitbot

Photo by Knitbot

Boothbay by Hannah Fettig 

This lovely sweater from Quince & Co's Hannah Fettig is stunning. I love the shape and the collar. I can picture wearing this while getting tea ready in the morning or on a summer evening after the sun has gone down. I hope i can get this cast on before the summer slump. 

Photo by Cabin Four 

Photo by Cabin Four 

Nordic Wind by Cabinfour  

I am a sucker for gradient knits. I love this one for it's simplicity I think it would so cute paired with simple button front skirt and V-neck Tee. I am at a loss for what yarn I would use. seriously love this pattern. 

photo by Little Skein in the Big Wool

photo by Little Skein in the Big Wool

Pioneer Girl by Susan B Anderson  

This Shawlette screams late summer to me. It would be gorgeous in a burnt orange to transition into fall. Maybe the perfect piece to get me back into the swing of things. 


Photo by MSkiKnits

Photo by MSkiKnits

Sanctuary Shrug By Mel Ski  

I am obsessed with this shrug. It popped into my timeline a few weeks back and I keep checking it constantly to find out when the pattern's exclusivity is over and I can buy it. I have so many lovely shades of fingering weight yarn that would look amazing in this pattern. I also think it would look good with many of the sundresses that I live in during the spring and summer. 


SO that is it for this volume of Craveable Cast On. Be sure to subscribe to the blog for a few changes coming in the upcoming weeks. I am gonna be moving some content to my You Tube channel so be sure to subscribe there so you don't miss anything! Any patterns you are wanting to cast on lately? 



The Cycle Is Complete: Apple is full fledge luxury.

      As someone who once tried to launch a blog called a Fashionista’s Guide To Technology the last 6 months have been hell in my blog reading and podcast listening life. Listening to tech dudes of all stripes ramble on about the fashion industry and it’s clientele has to be how developers feel when they listen to non-developers talk about software and technology. I’ve listened and read the as they wring their hands about the impact of a 10,000 dollar watch on apple retail and how will apple step up it’s retail services in the future to accommodate such fashion items. I hate to spoil the magic of the illusive luxury brand shopping experience but you’ve already had it.  

     It’s a saturday morning. You’ve had breakfast with your family. You hit up the mall where you want to do some shopping. You know what you want. You walk into the crowded store, past the security guard and make your way to the display of what you want. Once you gotten their attention, you let them know what you would like. They check the stock and return from the back with it for you. You pay, they bag, and you leave.  

     So did you buy an iPad or a fancy LV handbag?  The answer is I don’t know.  Unless I knew if you left with a white bag or a brown bag I couldn’t tell you. This is the everyday reality of modern luxury shopping.  It’s not store clerks trying on clothing for you while feeding you cheese, fruit and wine . It’s not the shopping scene from Pretty Women.  This is not the everyday occurrence of luxury shopping. Personal shopping happens but it is not the norm and to think other wise is fantasy. 

     I hate to break it to you but all the reasons that you love apple are a lot of the reasons that someone else loves a luxury house.  Luxury Houses use proprietary and premium materials. So does apple. They all understand the concept of keeping as much as possible in house. LV, Chanel and Hermes all own their own tanneries. LV has it’s own proprietary coated canvas. Think of it as the handbag equivalent of designing the hardware and the software. Luxury fashion house and Apple push design boundaries that become iconic and trickle down thru their respective industries. Swap out a few details from the fictional Miranda Priestly's Cerulean blue sweater speech and you have the story of the iPhone and the way it changed smartphones forever.   

     The biggest reason that apple is right at home with most luxury houses is they know who their customers are, but more importantly who their customers aren’t. Louis Vuitton never has sales. Never. Not even when a bag is being discontinued. The bag is sold at full price until all stock is gone. Any long lingering bags are destroyed. Here is the price of the bag. Here are the sizes and shapes and colors it is sold in. Take it or leave it. Apple is the same way. While apple does have sales. They are unapologetic about how they wield and disregard current technological advances. Here is this years iPhone. We included what we thought were the best choices for our users experience. Buy it, or there is the door. 

Cars Vs Fashion

Slap the word luxury on something and people tend to think it’s market must work in the same way. I am sure that in marketing and other factors that can be true. I think that the luxury end of any market mirrors that market more than each other. So when Cars are Compared to handbags and trench coats it makes me laugh. The biggest difference is modern cars are a semi disposable commodity. The Car industry as a whole has bought into the idea that people will drive cars for X amount of time and then get a new one. You don’t find that mentality at the heart of luxury fashion houses. Rolex knows that it will have far less interactions with it’s clientele than say BMW. I think that if people want to compare an Apple Watch Edition to another luxury market it would be more akin to luxury cars then say luxury accessories. Both apple and the car company have to keep making it compelling for you to want to drop 5 figures on basically same product multiple times in your life.  Rolex, LV and Hermes would like you to do the same, but they operate in a market where that isn’t a given. Once you buy a Speedy from LV they hope that they can tempt you back in for a wallet or a Speedy in different canvas or size. You are less likely to find that in smartphones, cars, and computers. People tend to buy the newer model of what ever was working for them. The newer model of a handbag, is still that same handbag so why buy it again?

Women don’t wear big watches, these watches are huge.


     I’ve seen more than my fare share of this comment being flung around. The fact is it’s bullshit. Don’t believe me? Search for  #ArmParty on Instagram. Say hello to the 42mm and 45mm Michael Kors Chrongraphers watch. This watch is the darling of fast fashion watches of the past few years. You wanna get on the same level as the new Apple Watch Edition? Search for Chanel J12. People have have been going bonkers for this Unisex watch since it’s release in 1999. Most popular size? the 38mm. The same as the smaller apple watch. 


     So how will apple go about selling this 10,000 dollar gold apple watch. Well there are two schools they could follow. The Louis Vuitton Sac Louis route where they have an small well appoint space that is secured by appointment. You get to touch and preen with the Sac Louis. They fawn over you as you make your choice of color.  Then you place your order and the bag will be shipped to the store where you will finish paying for it as described before in our little role playing scene. My money is they take the Hermes route where spending 10,000-80,000 dollars on a Berkin bag is not treated like a grand extravagance. You walk in buy the watch and walk out. 


     I am excited to see Apple coming full circle into being a luxury brand because they do it the right way. They ofter something that is attainable and extravigant. For those that want to be utilitarian and those who want to be fashion minded. I think that tech has always placed utilitarian ideals over the “frivolities” of fashion. Apple is trying to balance both. I think the inclusion of gold in their laptops is another step in that direction. The sheer number of female fashion/lifestyle bloggers I’ve seen swooning and lusting over that macbook way out numbers the cries for ridicule and hate from the male enthusiast press. I think however it will take some time for the tech press and fanboys to get over the idea that apple isn’t just their playground anymore. As someone who loves fashion and technology, I couldn’t be more excited. 


30 Days of Lists: My Jams


To be fair my iPhone is usually playing 1989 all day every day but I've really gotten into the Kpop group orange Caramel lately. And Fleetwood Mac is my favorite sewing music. 


It's March that means that in edition to my regular posting you can see my 30 days of lists as well! Today's prompt: Why I Make Lists. Well as someone who has a lot of trouble focusing making lists is almost like meditation. It gives me a clear view of goals, and situations.  It doesn't matter digital or physical, a day that I spend a bit of my morning making a list is much better than one without that time. Also who doesn't love a stash of pretty note paper. 

At this rate "next time" is never coming

This week marked the end of the Greg Miller and Colin Moriarti era of the Beyond Podcast on IGN. It's the first big shake up at a mainstream gaming podcast in the wake of gamergate. What could have been a big leap forward in the balance of IGN on air talent (IGN had a podcast for all three consoles none of them have a women voice) has predictably been another incident of kick the can down the road. How many more "next times" are left before it becomes women's turn? 


It wasn't so many years ago that sports journalism found it's self in the same place.  . While sport's journalism still has a long way to got (female NFL announcers and halftime talent would be awesome) At least the networks try. When the Ray Rice scandal erupted in August the some of the men of sports journalism stood up. Even while the league failed to grasp the hurt it was causing. Keith Obermann has spent weeks devoting his opening monologue to the cause. Giving a boost to the voices to several female journalists on his show. ESPN even suspended one of it's own megastar journalist for victim blaming. It may have taken a vocal Twitter campaign to make that happen but ESPN listened. ESPN W will be 5 years old this year. Born out of ESPN managements concous effort to market and invest in women writers and covering women athletes. So my question is when does this happen for women in games? 


When do major sites like IGN and Giant Bomb stop kicking the can down the road. When does the industry look at the numbers it's provided and see that an 8% increase in women players  can't be ignored.  When platforms like You Tube and Twitch reach out to women to form by women for women gaming content in the same way they have done for Kinda Funny? When are the numbers enough. When do we see Sillcon Valley's VC/AAA sponsorship pored into a gaming website for women like it did for ESPN W? 


As someone who tried for years to be on-air talent for games media I want to know what it takes? It's not credentials. I have several corporate voice over credits, loads of acting and public speaking experences and I even attended a prestigious photo and film school. "But Spencer," you say "you don't have the journalism cred you need" Look at this article by Mattie Myers who is far more qualified from a journalistic standpoint and also can't get hired for on air jobs.  Most of the men on podcasts and videocasts and streams freely and openly admit to having no training for on camera presence. Yet have been graciously allowed to fail and learn these skills on the company's dime. When does a major games outlet give a women that same opportunity? When do we get more articles about actual harassment and sexism then articles about what a fictional TV show has to say about it. When does IGN allow a women to give her opinion not just read the top 5 news stories? 

As someone who is closer to the end of her "on camera years" then the beginning. I resigned to the fact years ago that it will most likely never happen for me. I just hope that I can kick and scream loud enough to change things for the 20 year old girl who wants to make videos about video games.  If any VC/Platform/AAA studio wants to prove me wrong,  I'll be here with technical know how and a list of women a mile long who deserve a shot in front of and behind the camera.  

Simple Goals Month 2 Week One : 30 Days of Yoga

Hey Everyone, 

Soooo I just looked up at my clock and realized that it was 11:31pm on Monday... and that I hadn't posted my Simple Goals for the week... or Last week cause I was feeling under the weather. SO for the month of February I am planning on doing a 30 days of yoga challenge.  I feel at my best and most creative when I am running and doing yoga. Running is a challenge the days cause my knees have seen better days. But I've got a little mini elliptical and yoga. So here is a quick list of the best 30 days of yoga challenges on You Tube. I am planning to do Yoga With Adriene this month. I hope to try them all out thru the year!  So what's your goal for February? (Can you believe it is February all ready!!!) 

Yoga with Adriene 

Bad Yogi 

Do You Yoga





Simple Goals week 3- Skincare tools

As I get older I find that I need more tools to keep my skin in check… Brushes, sponges, extractors OH MY! Here are my 4 favorites that I am trying to incorporate into my routine this week. 

Clarisonic Mia 2 

This little expensive face brush is such a game changer. For YEARS i debated do I really need it? then once I got it I wondered why I waited so long. The only thing is I have to use it every morning. I see a little bit of improvement if I use it a few times a week. However when I use this thing in the morning every morning the difference is very noticeable.  This week I’m gonna be diligent and make sure I get my Clarisonic on!  Word of warning your skin may not be able to handle everyday so be willing to get experimental when you get your hands on this baby! 

Conair True Sauna 

As a teen suffering from acne my mother used to have me steam my face over a pot of boling water. While serviceable this litle steamer from con air makes that experience so much better. I am in the market to pick up another one after my steamer of almost 6 years died. I am impressed with the small modifications they have made to this great little device. 

Double Ended Extractor 

Unfortunatly my laziness in skincare has made me something of an expert in extracting blackheads. I’ve tried several different loop extractors and this is by far hands down my favorite. It’s sturdy and holds up to my meticulous disinfecting procedure.  while it is almost twice as expensive then your drugstore variety it also will last at least twice as long. I’m going on 2 years now with my little guy. 

Konjac Sponge 

I have tried the very pricey Boscia and this reasonable eco tools one and there is no difference. So save yourself 12 dollars and get this one. It’s a very soft sponge that I use to help make my oil cleanser foam. it really helps get the makeup off my skin at night. A bit of a warning it feels a bit like a slug. It’s slippery and slimy but works oh so well!

ll that is left for next week is a wrap up on how well I've been keeping to this goal and to talk about next month's simple challenge! Hope your January has been as been a great start to a new year. 


Simple Goals week 2 - Skincare Treats.

Hey everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable week. I spent way too much time playing Dragon Age Inquisition.  I did pretty good with my skincare routine this past week. I only resorted to using make-up wipes no moisturizer once! That's a good start. This week I thought I would share some Skincare treats that I liked to use a few times a week. ( not the once or so a month that I do it now) Or in the case of this first one, when I can get my hands on some. 

Bioderma Micellar solution

French ladies have the best skin. So when my very clear skin french friend professed her love for this, I bought it. I fell in love with using it as a toner AND an eye makeup remover. I love that it would make my skin feel super clean but not tight. When I was in LA I would go to little tokyo to a cosmetics store that just so happened to sell it. Now that Iive in the great cold north of Oregon I haven't been able to find it. Or justify the shipping on it.  I hear that Simple skincare is coming out with their own Micellar water and I can't wait to try. 

Queen Helene Mud Pack Masque 

I love Queen Helene products. In the winter I use this Mud Pack Masque. It's smells floral and goes on smooth and tightens and clears my pores with out making my face feel over dry. That something that I find hard for my skin. In the summer and when I was younger I was obsessed with the brand's mint julep mask, I still use it on my t-zone with this on my cheeks. Costing only 3.99 it's a great skin treat with out breaking the bank. 

Lush Ocean Salt 

A long time ago, I used to use almost exclusively lush products... between having them poached by roommates and never using them all up before they spoiled I moved away from the brand. With the introduction of the self-preserving products I have worked this favorite back into my skin care. It makes my skin so soft so clean and perfectly primed for a deep moisturizing overnight treatment. 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask


This overnight moisture boosting masks helps keep my acne at bay. Growing up in small town Indana, Origins was one of the only skincare lines I could get my hands on. I love the smell of their products and how well they work. after a deep scrub with Ocean Salt I will spread a very thin layer of this on let it settle into my skin (10-15 minutes) and wash it off in the morning. My skin feels so plump and awake. Even when I'm dragging on only a few hours of sleep 


Simple Goals January 2015 - Skincare

Hello! I hope you've all had a great start to the new year. This year instead of making specific 2015 year long resolutions I’ve decide to make 12 small simple changes each month. This month is to get my skin care routine nailed down.  As I age (I just turned 32 eek!) my skin is less forgiving to my neglect.  January is going to be about finding a good winter routine for me. This week I want to talk about my basic every routine.  I have been transitioning into having a AM and PM routine to help curb the march of time.  I’ve also found that concentrating on prepping my skin for Make-up application in the AM and Anti-aging treatments in the PM is better then trying to find magical products to do it all.  


In the Morning: 

 Cleanser - Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash - 20.00  

This Cleanser came with my Clarisonic and I am now on my second bottle. It’s light exfoliation is perfect to prep my skin for makeup. 


Moisturize- Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF40

I love Josie Maran’s products, this moisturizer is light and doesn’t clog my pores it also look great in photos under makeup even with the SPF. 

In The Evening 

Cleanser = Josie Maran Cleansing Argan Oil  

As a girl with a very oily t-zone the idea of washing my face with oil made my skin crawl. But this stuff is amazing. It breaks down my make up and deep cleans my skin. I also love the ritual of how you use this cleanser and the self warming property of it. 

Moisturizer -  Josie Maran Argan Oil 

I like to do a deep hydration on my cheeks overnight, during the winter the this 100% argan oil works perfect, it even keeps my t-zone hydrated. 

Day and Night 

Toner- Humphrey’s Lilac Witch Hazel 

I feel like witch hazel has made the most difference in keeping my pores minimized. I love the smell of this lilac version.  


Eye Cream - Say Yes To Grapefruit dark circle correcting eye cream  

This eye cream does make my under eye concealer glide on and that is almost like having perfectly well rested eyes!  I think that it is helping my dark circles as well. (seriously genetics could you work on giving me pale skin and thin under eye skin UGH) 

My goal for this week is to make sure I do it every day this week. both in the AM and PM. I have a bad habit of sleeping in my makeup and that is trashing my skin. Next Monday I’ll talk about some specially treatments I’ve been trying in my routine.