Category: Reviews

Poshmark: A Closet Cosplay Review

Poshmark: A Closet Cosplay Review

Bombshell Cheetah

I decided I wanted an easy, COMFORTABLE, walking around cosplay, so I assembled another closet costume. As a foil to last year’s DC Bombshells Wonder Woman, I dressed as Cheetah this year. As you can see, it’s not perfectly matched, but I feel it is a good representation of the character.



First, a list of items, top to toe:

  • Pith Helmet, $20.75,
  • Goggles, $25, purchased at Con
  • Necklace, $5, made from parts purchased at Michael’s
  • Shirt, $6 + $6.95 S&H Poshmark
  • Bra, $22, purchased at Kohl’s and covered with animal print fabric
  • Gloves, $10 + $6.95 S&H Poshmark
  • Sash, $5 made from fabric purchased at JoAnn’s
  • Skirt $8 + $6.95 Poshmark
  • Socks, $3 clearance at Target
  • Boots, $25 + 6.95 S&H Poshmark

Adding everything up, it is $157.55, which yes, is kind of expensive for a closet cosplay, but I can justify it by saying I can still wear a lot of this every day or for other costumes. As a side note, Cheetah normally does not have a bag or any sort of purse, and I needed something to keep my stuff in, so I got a pouch. I’ve been having some issues incorporating it smoothly. You can see I have a regular belt underneath my sash to keep the pouch on, but everything keeps sliding around. Still working on a solution there. I did not include a rope, knife or binoculars, partly as a personal choice and partly because I didn’t want to deal with peace-bonding anything.


If you are not familiar, Poshmark is a new and used clothing web site where people can buy and sell what they are not using in their closet. Originally it appears to have been for designer brands, but everyone sells everything there now. Normally I like shopping at thrift stores. You can find some fun and unexpected things there. But I was looking for some very particular things, so it was much nicer to be able to shop from home and use the filters to find clothing in my size.

In a nutshell, a seller puts up an item in their store with all of the specifics. You purchase via PayPal or ccard. Poshmark holds the payment. The seller then has 7 days to ship it. If they do not ship it within that time frame you can cancel your order. They do not get paid until you confirm that you have received the item in good order. All shipping is $6.95 (unless you bundle, or there is a sale on shipping). I appreciate this policy because there is a certain amount of security in knowing you can get your money back easily. It’s easier to deal with in that respect than some place like eBay or Etsy.  I attempted to buy those boots from one seller, but they never replied or shipped them. So I cancelled – it was just the click of a button – and found another pair from another seller on the same site.

That brings me to another point: some sellers treat Poshmark like it is their job. Others post and then forget about it and don’t log back in for weeks or months at a time. At least you have some protection for your payment. My gloves arrived wrapped in tissue paper with a thank you note. The boots were jammed into a manila envelope. One particularly curious thing about the site is that you can leave “love notes” for sellers who do a good job, but the public cannot see bad reviews. It appears that the trick is to check the number of sales vs the number of “love notes,” and if those numbers don’t add up then they may not be great.

Poshmark has also morphed into a social community, which frankly I don’t really have time for, but it’s cool if you are into that sort of thing.

In conclusion:


  • Ease of use, convenience
  • Secure payment


  • Sometimes inconsistent sellers
  • Shipping costs can add up
  • Unable to see negative reviews

I have some clothing for sale on Poshmark myself, @enchantingerica, and will be adding more soon. I haven’t sold a darned thing yet.

Note: Steve Madden boots are crazy uncomfortable! I was actually limping for several days after the first con I wore them to. I added insoles later, and that helped, but seriously, if you buy them go a 1/2 size up and add insoles.

Lindemann: Skills in Pills – I just need to talk about this album – NSFW

Lindemann came in the mail today.
Lindemann came in the mail today.

WARNING: Every link in this post is NSFW.

So anyone reading this who knows me well is aware that Rammstein is my most favoritest band in the whole world. Since they don’t have anything in the pipeline at the moment (except for the tour DVD – on order!) of course I have to check out everything that their members produce.

I was not sure what to expect when I first heard the Lindemann project was happening. I have listened to Emigrate, which is OK but kind of mainstream, and also Eisbrecher, which I do rather like. Both lack that special Rammstein magic though. No offense, it’s just when all six of them get together it’s special.

I was particularly apprehensive when I learned that Till that would be singing in English. The German is part of the magic and authenticity of the band. It is also part of the plausible deniability, because Rammstein lyrics can be pretty messed up sometimes. I saw the video for Praise Abort, which is beyond messed up and completely grotesque. At first I was sure I was not going to pick up Skills in Pills because it was just too much, even for me. Just imagine all the most offensive things you can think of, and then multiply by ten, and then put it in a blender. But then I found that the song was stuck in my head. In spite of the grotesqueness of the imagery it was hooked into my brain. So I broke down and ordered the album.

Just the other day Paul alerted me to the fact that the video for Fish On had been released. At first I was scared, and a little horrified, but if you are a viewer who started watching it and then stopped because you were afraid of what was going to happen next I am here to assure you that it is OK, what you think is going to happen does not happen. I mean, it’s still crazy, but it’s not that bad.

So anyway, the album came today and I have been listening to it, and man is it good. I love this music. The lyrics are extremely sexual and/or drug related, and unfortunately that plausible deniability is gone. They even included a book of liner notes with all of the lyrics. And there is a photo for each song. It is disturbing and grotesque and wonderful.

I don’t want to downplay the importance of Peter Tägtgren in the creation of Lindemann, but I don’t listen to as much death metal as Paul does so I’m not as well versed in his work. But maybe I will be soon.

So buy it. Or don’t buy it. I don’t know what your sensibilities are. I’m just saying, you’ve been warned.

Sharknado 3: A Serious Discussion on Modern Cinema

Haha, no. But also, yes. Spoilers galore ahead.

I’ve had a little time to digest last night’s premiere of Sharknado 3: Oh, Hell No! and read some reviews and thought pieces on the phenomenon. I have also been thinking about the reactions of people who have not seen the first two movies, but out of curiosity were finally ready to see what all the fuss is about. I have come to a few conclusions that actually surprised me.

First, I think the self-awareness of the franchise has somewhat changed the feel of the story. The original was what it was, with no real expectations of greatness, beyond any other movie by The Asylum. #3 was super campy and self-aware. But also, who cares? I mean, really. At the end of the day it is a movie about a guy who fights sharks in a tornado. And if the franchise eventually fails? Again, who cares? They haven’t invested much money in it, and nothing lasts forever. I and my husband, admittedly, may care more than some people as we participated in the crowdfunding of Sharknado 2, and named one of the sharks in the movie “Mrs. Bitey.”

Did you think I was kidding? This is a real thing!
Did you think I was kidding? This is a real thing! Look for the red circle.

I have read some comments, and also heard from my friends who are new to Sharknado, that they were a bit confused by some things in the third installment (beyond the basic concept). I didn’t realize until then that there is actually some real continuity to the ongoing saga. I was happy to see Nova return and had wondered why she was not in Sharknado 2. April has upgraded her hand to something more sophisticated and has almost become a likeable character. There are a lot of scenes that are self referential, like Fin filleting a shark in mid air, the baby being essentially born out of the shark, for example. I never thought I would say this, but it really does help to see all of the movies in order.

A lot of the popular appeal is its silliness, and the ridiculous number of celebrity cameos. But probably even more so is how The Asylum and SyFy have integrated it with social media. Twitter is the place to be on Sharknado night. In fact, I suck at Twitter, but I Tweet for Sharknado.

But, the thing that took me a little while to realize was that Sharknado 3 was really for fans of The Asylum. There was a lot of stuff in there just for us. Some casual viewers may not have noticed that SyFy was running all of their insane shark movies all this week: Megashark, Mechashark, Megashark vs. Mechashark, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Malibu Shark Attack, and the premiere of Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, just to name a few. There is a whole subculture of fandom that is devoted to these movies. SyFy typically runs them during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. They are for people who enjoy absurdist theatre. Plain and simple. Some of these are franchises on their own, and sometimes those franchises are crossed over just so that Debbie Gibson and Tiffany can have a catfight at a barbeque. Did you notice, that when GRR Martin was eaten by a shark, he was at the time watching Three-Headed Shark Attack? Did you realize that when Lukas tells the soldier “at least it isn’t zombies,” that the soldier is in fact played by Kellita Smith from Z-Nation? My husband, a fan of Z-Nation, also mentioned that the show did a spoof of Sharknado that featured a zombienado, and in that episode one of the characters says “at least it’s not sharks!” Secretly, this movie was for us. I love that.

I have given this a lot of thought and this is what I want to see in the future:

  • An explanation as to why Fin is at the center of the Sharknado issue, preferably involving a multi-generational pirate curse. Think Ginger Snaps Back (but with pirates).
  • The return of Vivica A. Fox, possibly as a cyborg, or possibly in a prequel related to the pirate curse as mentioned above.
  • Sharks colonizing space. I have not yet been able to find Raptor Planet on DVD, but you know, like that per the description.

None of these ideas is ridiculous. You know it’s true.

My only real criticism is that, in spite of it being a really good mascara, the Benefit They’re Real mascara product placement was a little out of control. And I would not use it as ammo because that stuff is expensive.

What do you think? Don’t think too hard.


Zombie Felties Update

Zombie Pirate rises from his adorable coffin
Zombie Pirate rises from his adorable coffin

It’s that time of year again, and I’ve been sewing up an adorable army of the undead. Last year I reviewed the book Zombie Felties and made the Classic Zombie. That pattern had a difficulty rating of 2 skulls. This year I made a Pirate Zombie (pictured above) at a rating of 3 skulls, and the Zombie Kitty at a rating of 1 skull.

Zombie Pirate and Book
Zombie Pirate and Book

I actually felt that the Pirate was a bit easier to construct than the Classic. I concede that may be because I had a little more experience in making them at that point, but I also noticed there were fewer beads involved in the Pirate’s construction, and I think all the little bandages on the Classic made it a little fussier. I did not have the right size red bead for the Pirate’s eye, but I did have on hand some red sequins and a red seed bead. I’m pretty happy with the results. That was my only real substitution, apart from the hook, which is just a piece of bent wire. Super easy.

The Kitty was appropriately 1 skull because it was very easy to put together. The photo in the book does not reflect this, but there is a drawing on the following page that depicts the eyeball collar decoration as being bloodshot. I used a fine-point sharpie to add the red squiggles to the white bead. I did not use pale green felt as directed in the book, because I couldn’t find any. I think the gray works just fine.

Zombie Kitty
Zombie Kitty

Speaking of the actual felt material, there is one consistent piece of advice I would give for making any of these: try to find eco felt. It is made from recycled plastic bottles and it is more firm than regular felt. I wouldn’t use it for anything really cuddly, but for decorative purposes it makes life a lot easier. The Zombie Felties projects involve lots of teeny-tiny pieces of fabric, and with lots of handling the felt can start to come apart. Eco felt will not fall apart when cut into tiny pieces.

Since it is nearly Halloween I expect my next project will be a costume. I hope I can find some spare time!

Steampunk Softies – Craft Project and Book Review

Steampunk Softies
Steampunk Softies

Well, of course I had to pick up this book when I saw it in the store! Those craft retailers know the trends, and our weaknesses. Steampunk Softies is a new book by Sarah Skeate and Nicola Tedman. Many of you may be familiar with Sarah Skeate from her book Zombie Felties, which I also reviewed here. This book contains eight different characters/patterns, and includes very detailed instructions. The authors also include tips for how to modify some of the materials to make them look more authentic.
The first thing that you have to accept is that you will never, ever find the exact elements to perfectly recreate these dolls. And they tell you upfront in the introduction that you will have to make substitutions. This was actually a great exercise in creativity and making the doll your own. I was skeptical at first, but ultimately this was a lot of fun. I really had to look at craft items in a new way to achieve the look I wanted.
I chose to make Marveletta O’Houlihan. This decision was based mostly on the fact that she appeared to be the easiest doll to make. The materials and equipment list was very daunting, and to be honest I balked at it a bit. There are 37 individual items listed, including 4 different kinds of adhesive. Personally, I think E-6000 is the only adhesive I need, and it was the only thing I used. As a craft hoarder, I used this project as a personal challenge to purchase as little as possible and to just use what I had on hand. I’m sure you could easily spend $50 trying to assemble everything you needed. I say this because you can’t buy single bugle beads or 4 square inches of fabric at a time. So if you do one of these projects, try to work with what you’ve already got.

Constructing Marveletta
Constructing Marveletta

The body is assembled first, then the head piece is sewn on, and the collar covers the seam where they meet up. For the main body you are supposed to use a suiting fabric with a narrow pinstripe. The only appropriate fabric I had was brown, and I sewed pin stripes onto it, which they also recommend in the book if you can’t find what you need in the store. They are helpful with recommending substitutions here. For the hair they recommend a stretch woolen fabric. I did not have anything of that sort in my fabric collection, but I did have a fuzzy sweater with a hole in it that I planned to throw away. Lucky break there. I found working with the stretchy sweater really difficult, especially because the pattern has a lot of unusual curves that just didn’t keep their detail. But that’s just what I chose; another type of fabric may work better. I used muslin for the face and that worked out just fine. The face detail is drawn on with a marker, so I recommend that you do a test with the fabric and marker you choose before you do it for real on the final product. You have to hand-sew the stretchy hair fabric around the face in a kidney-shape with a blind stitch and that was probably the most difficult part of the whole project.

Opera Glasses
Opera Glasses

The next bit is the one that can either be really frustrating or really fantastic. Here you have to assemble her opera glasses and handbag. The body of the glasses is supposed to be a funnel-shaped metal blind pull weight, or similarly shaped bead. The handle is part of a handle to a tea strainer. Obviously I’m not going to go around town looking for a single blind pull weight, and if I hacksawed our tea strainer my husband would be a bit miffed because it is actually in active use at our house. Besides, those things are kind of expensive, at least too expensive to buy just so you can cut them apart. This is the point where I had to muster my creative energies and figure out how to make this work. My secret weapon: Sara Cura. Whenever I get to the Twin Cities area I stop by a little bellydance shop called Sara Cura, which is located in Dinkytown. The proprietor frequents estate sales for vintage jewelry and buys it in lots. These lots often contain broken and mismatched jewelry, which she sells in little bags for $4. Finally, this has paid off for me. I constructed the glasses from two funnel-shaped beads (purchased especially for this project), and two pearlescent beads from a broken necklace. For the handle I dug out an old bangle bracelet that I didn’t like, cut it and straightened it. I liked the texture of it and thought it would work here. All of this had to be glued together.
The handbag consists of beads and a charm I already had in my stash, and it is connected to the opera glasses with a chain from another broken necklace. The handbag is supposed to be attached to the body with a round-end safety pin, but I couldn’t find any. Instead I used a dangle earring finding. Her hair jewelry is an earring that had no mate.

Marveletta - both versionsMarveletta – both versions
Marveletta close up
Marveletta close up

As far as my review of the book, the instructions were very detailed and there are lots of drawings and photos to help you figure it out. I think that the patterns could be very adaptable to different kinds of dolls for whatever occasion. This could be a lot of fun for  a craft hoarder, but if you have not amassed a ridiculous amount of oddball craft items over the years it could be particularly difficult or expensive to pull this together. Ultimately, the only things I purchased especially for the project were plastic pellets (for fill) and the funnel-shaped beads. With the massive supply list at the beginning I did go into this project thinking that there was no way it was practical. But it really forced me to use my brain, and that’s always a good thing. I genuinely feel inspired by the project and I look forward to doing another in my spare time.

Zombie Felties – Craft Project and Book Review

Zombie Felties Book
Zombie Felties

A few weeks ago I was in Barnes & Noble, wandering toward the photography section, when I spied an interesting new craft book on an end cap display: Zombie Felties by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate. I had recently pared down my list of hobbies but since I still sew I rationalized the purchased. Plus: ZOMBIES! How could I resist? Luckily, Dawn’s birthday was coming up so I got to delve into one of the projects right away.

The felties turn out really small, which is OK except that means the felt pieces are also really, really small and somewhat hard to cut out and handle. I was able to manage, although the bandages were a bit of a challenge. I suppose you could enlarge the pattern when photocopying it so that can be fixed if you find the small size too difficult to work with. They are pretty adorable in their tiny form though. The instructions are easy to follow and they even give a brief lesson on types of stitches in the front of the book.

If you get this book you should be prepared to make substitutions on the projects. The authors list specific colors of felt and types of beads. I was surprised by my inability to locate white bugle beads and various colors of sequins. And there are only about 8 colors of felt to be found anywhere. This zombie was supposed to have a dark gray body and a light gray head, but I used the only color of gray available. If you don’t already have a craft stash you will find yourself with a LOT of leftovers. You just can’t buy a single black sequin anywhere!

Classic Zombie in a Coffin
Classic Zombie in a Coffin

All together it was pretty easy. I’d say it took about 2 hours but I was interrupted a few times so the actual time was less, I’m sure. And he’s just cute as a button! To complete the theme the authors have a template for a coffin in the end of the book. I made a color photocopy on cardstock and Paul glued it together for me. I am pretty happy with how the whole thing turned out so I’d have to say I would recommend this book if you are looking for a special gift for your zombie-loving friend.

I am also working on another super-secret project that I will reveal at a later date, once I have more spare time.

Update – additional Zombie Felties projects here.