The little lantern of Lumous

The lantern
Acrylic paint (black and gold)

Today I found this cool little lantern for 50 NOK in TGR.  I have a thing for lanterns, I want them hanging from my ceiling, I want them hanging from my belt. You know, for costumes, mostly. This one being made of plastic instead of metal and glass, makes it light and safe. The LED light flickers like a calm candle light. I saw much potential in it.

I wish they came in black, or other more neutral colors, but alas, they only came in these kinds of bright colors. That means that the green really sticks out if not completely covered, and as I learned, it can show if I hold the lamp against a bright light. I can hopefully fix it later by painting the insides with a thick layer of black paint.


This is how it looked originally.


It opens in the bottom, after a bit of prying. The plastic glass panels slipped out easily, and I sanded one side of them to give a frosted effect. Sanding in a circular motion gives a nice finish, without obvious streaks. I sanded until the whole surface reached it’s maximum frostedness. The more frosted, the better, plus then all the panels looked the same without me having to try to match them.

By taking things apart, it’s easier to work on them, now I don’t have to worry about getting paint on the glass.


Illustraing the differense between the clear and the frosted glass. The light gets spread more evenly, and you can’t see the fake candle, or even that I left the inside green.


I lightly sanded all the surfaces where to be pained. Smooth plastic doesn’t like paint.


I gave it two-three layers of black.


Drybrushed on some dark brown (though that was not necessery), then some gold. The result, in my humble opinion, is a great finish. Much better than it looked, with very little work. And it was easy, anyone can do this. All the paints I used are acrylics. I also removed the metal ring for hanging, it didn’t fit, and made a ring of some dark wire I had.


And now, I have a really cool, mysterious, omnious lantern!

My wizard powers grow stronger.

I have a shop on Etsy!

Rana’s Shop of Curiosities

The shop’s actual name is just “Pertrosfoliea”, because I accidental named it that, and you can only change the name once, so I’m afraid to chose something new. I know I want “Rana’s Shop of Curiosities”, but Etsy shop names have to be short and can’t have symbols or even spaces in them. Blarg…

Anywho! I opened a shop! 😀 You’re supposed to have at least 10 items for sale from the beginning, but I don’t have more to sell xD I want to, but I have to make stuff, and that takes me forever. I hope to add one new thing this year at least… hope.

Even though I only have four items in the store I’m setting the prices low. I figure since I have NO experience selling or shipping, and since I want some sells and good reviews for the store:) Also, I’m doing this to have fun, not to get rich.

What do you think? :3
Do you have an Etsy shop or have you bought something from Etsy?


Studying values

I want to get better at drawing, and one area I know I need to get better at is values. I tend to stay away from the very dark and the very bright. It’s a lot easier to concentrate on getting the values right when working in black and white, and I try not to worry about getting the proportions, shapes or details right either. Just values! It’s pretty fun to do.



Mononoke Hime (2/2)

(You might want to read part one first.)

The costume is finished!
And with it I’ve won a prize called “Lost Art” at The Gatherings cosplay competition, and a lokal cosplay competition held by Hamarama Film Festival and Hamar Game Collective!
First time I wore it was at Desucon:Fantasy, and before I even got inside I met the photographer Danarki, who took these two awesome photos:

After Desucon:Fantasy I’ve changed two minor things. I repainted the white parts of the mask, so now it’s darker and more yellowish. The other change is that I’ve used a wig cap so my blond hair doesn’t show like in these photos. I did buy a wig, but found that I prefer not wearing it anyway. I just couldn’t get it to sit right under the mask/hood, and no way I could take my mask on and off while wearing a wig. Here’s a picture from The Gathering, where you see the whole costume completely finished:

The only changes I’ve done to the shoes since the first post is sewing a nice edge on the top, and dying them slightly darker using… coffee. I’m still not really happy with them, but they do do their job. 

The ears are made of craft foam, which I cut to shape and glued to a cardboard base. (To find the right shape I did a lot of testing with normal paper.)

I then put on about two layers of paper mache, while bending the ears more into the shapes I wanted. I rounded the edges by globing on glue. When the papermache was hard I painted them. Then I cut them off of the cardboard, which might have been completely pointless as I later just hot glued them onto pieces of craftfoam instead… I figured that it would be softer and that cardboard could bend and break.

My boyfriend kindly lent me his head to find the right places for the ears. Having no better idea I held them in place with tape. (Yes, on fur that is pretty silly.) I cut the back of the fur where the ears were. 

I attached the ears to a new base, craft foam. Cut the base to follow the shape of the ears. Then I glued the base to the fur. The mask, fur hood and ears are all glued together to one head piece, and I’m really happe with it.
Unfortunately I haven’t taken any pictures of the inside, and I’m too lazy to do so now. I have two elastic bands superglued to the sides of the mask, so that the mask sits right. I glued black fabric from stockings over the eyes, so that my eyes don’t show through, but I can still see. 

Oh, the dress! I am not experienced or confident with sewing. So out of fear I dropped the planning and.. thinking part. I just put the fabric on the floor, then drew on it with chalk. I used a top and a skirt as references. I cut it out, and copied the whole thing to the fabric again.

After cutting that out I just sew them together. As you see in the picture, I cut the bottom edge A LOT, but decided it looked silly, and cut the bottom straighter again. Magically it didn’t end up too short. 
Luckily the white top hides a lot of the top of the dress, because it became very messy and asymmetrical. But concidering my skill level I’m really proud. I fuckings made a dress!
And yes, I should have ironed the fabric… and pre-washed it. 


For the white top and fur cloak I was sensible and made patterns with newspapers.
As for the hood, I found it really hard, and it hurts just thinking about it. All you need to know is that I somehow made it work.


Mononoke Hime (1/2)

I’m going to Desucon: Fantasy, a cosplay convention in Oslo, the 5th of April. The theme will be fantasy, surprisingly. I’m going as San, from Princess Mononoke. I’m making the costume from scratch, so it’s going to be… interesting.

I looked for ages for a fitting wig, and ordered one that might work. It looked a bit brighter, and too reddish, San’s hair is more khaki/mud brown. The wig was cheep (less than 80 NOK) so I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t work. I’m doubtful I’ll get it in time for Desucon:Fantasy, which is a bit sad, but totally my fault for assuming I wouldn’t need one since I have a mask and hood. I might not need it when I’m wearing the mask, but I would like to look right without the mask too.

Lots of reference pictures proved very helpful. Sketching is important too. I noticed that San, aka Princess Mononoke, doesn’t actually have a lot of screen time in the movie named after her. I also noticed that even though she had little screen time, and kept changing her outfit, there were inconsistencies. The rings on her arm bands sometimes have a white core like her hair band, but are most of the time just black. Her tabard is sometimes just overlapping on the side, other times connected by one or two strips. Her necklace has teeth all around when she’s not wearing the cloak. With the cloak it’s typically three or four.  If I made the whole necklace, and had it under the cloak, teeth would stick out, and it wouldn’t look right.

So yeah, there’s no way to make this costume “perfect”, I have to make artistic choices.

I stated by making the dagger. The base is made of layers of old popsicle sticks and cardboard. Then I used paper mache, lots of paper clay and sanded it smooth. I glued red and black ribbon on the handle using a hot glue gun. I learned to love hot glue and paper clay! And then there’s the necklace, just paper clay.


I love the mysterious feel of the round mask, but I went with the cool half mask, just because.
I had no idea how to make a mask. Still don’t, really. I made one, hated it. Made another, pretty happy with it. Believe it or not, but these progress pictures are all of the mask that turned out good. I started with lots of paper mache, then paper clay, and sanded it. Then I hot glued on the three pieces of craft foam. Filled in the edges with glue. I painted everything, discovering that I don’t understand how neither shading nor weathering. Then covered it all with glue for gloss and protection. So glossy. Glue <3

It’s taken me forever to figure out how to make the arm bands, but I think I found an ok solution. I hope. I cut the top off of black ankle stockings. Then hand sewed on the rings. I bought the rings in a hardware store and painted them black, then covered them with glue. After sewing them on I thought the threads around the rings were too visible, and the rings would move around a bit. So I  solved both those problems by adding more glue xD

The shoes… Well I don’t know yet. I bought some old shoes to use as a base, because (obviously) I’m not going to make a shoe from scratch. I made simple shoe covers, but they just don’t look right.


The End.

Continue to Part 2/2 >>