SMASH! 2014 – Day 1

The second cosplay convention I attended this year was SMASH! which was held on the 9th and 10th of August at Rosehill Gardens. It was my first time staying overnight at a rental apartment with friends so that was fun to experience (besides not getting enough sleep haha). My eyes look even smaller when I have eyebags since I already have aegyo sal so my eyes look even smaller donn

The highlight of the convention this year was meeting Reika! :blood She’s a popular cosplayer from Japan, who has been a guest at many conventions around the world and this was her first time visiting Australia! She was interviewed by a local newspaper if you want to know more about her.

I really admire her, she looks amazing in her cosplays – she sews and does all the makeup herself, and I like the way she poses and looks in character in her photoshoots. I wish oneday I could reach that level but I don’t think it’ll ever go past a hobby stage for me. I think I already spend too much on it so I’m trying to limit myself next year, I miss spending on other things haha.

My friends and I cosplayed from Uta no Prince-sama.
Photo by Chris

I’m so glad we were able to get a group photo with her since people mainly got photos with her if you caught her wandering around or were in a group she likes and hung around after her autograph sessions :hearteye2 She’s really cute in person despite the type of characters she chooses to cosplay. Her voice sounds really nice!

I got my Ren postcard signed by her which was given to me a while back by a friend and she also gave me her coscard :deer The first thing I did when I entered the convention was to grab an autograph wristband and to buy a photobook from her stall haha. I currently have 3 photobooks of her.

     

B and I bought her some small treats from Happy Lab and our friends signed an board to give to her.

    

In addition to doing a group cosplay, we also performed a group skit! Basically there were 2 groups – the senpai/senior group – Quartet Night who danced Poison Kiss (warning: auto-play), and STARISH who did the ending song Maji Love 2000%  (warning: auto-play). I was in the latter group, as Syo Kurusu. We practised since April earlier year and as someone who doesn’t dance, it took me a while to get it all lol. I’m really uncoordinated despite doing gymnastics when I was younger. Thanks to my friends for being patient with me flopping around :chuuu

The only problem we experienced during the skit was that the stage was way smaller than we expected, so there were some mistakes during our skit. But everyone tried their best and had fun which is what matters the most! At least we know for next time :XD

We ended up getting Best Runner-Up skit but we missed the awards ceremony since we left earlier to line up for Reika’s autograph session and we were surprised that we even got anything since we just entered for fun. It was a nice surprise! :eheh

    

It was really nice being a part of a group cosplay, it’s my first time participating at one in a convention :hearteye2 I think it’s always cool to see a cast of characters being cosplayed because it’s like a completed set. I hope I have another chance next year to join my friends cosplaying again from the same series.

Photo by: Mukuroma

And that’s all for day 1! It was just mainly about Reika, posing for photos and practising the dance :happy2

Caffe Cherry Beans

Recently stumbled across Caffe Cherry Beans with friends and it’s become our new cafe hangout. Nice atmosphere, interior design and delicious drinks and foods are the criteria for me to find somewhere to relax and chat with friends. There’s also the bonus of free wifi which isn’t slow! The only downside is that it’s a bit small so it’s cramped hanging out with more than 6 friends :huuu

Here are some snapshots of what I’ve tried so far wakuwaku Their pumpkin soup was more on the spice side, I prefer a more creamy texture but wasn’t too bad.

I really like their matcha drinks because it doesn’t have an overpowering green tea taste. Sometimes I prefer having matcha drinks more milky and creamy. Their green tea latte was pleasantly light and doesn’t make you feel too full.

    

On the other hand, their frappes are very filling! I’ve dried the dark chocolate and green tea flavour. After trying green tea frappes at various Korean cafes, I can easily say my favourite place to drink it at is at this cafe.

    

Looking through my photos, isn’t their choice of tableware nice? I like how have little ornaments on the tables like a mini pot of flowers which give the table (and your photos!) a nice touch. I’ve noticed recently how jar mugs have become popular and I feel like buying some myself now haha.

     

A quick thanks to my friend for letting me borrow his Fujifilm X-Pro1 to take most of these photos. I’ve been using the SD Card Camera Reader to transfer the photos and edit the photos onto my iPad. It’s such a convenience to editing photos on the iPad and having high quality photos.

June Snaps

I swear time flies by really quickly, and then when I notice, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged lol. I can’t believe it’s July already! Here are some snaps to finish off June.

I finally got my AmiAmi may order last week! Only 2 items since my June and July orders cost more and I’m saving up for a new camera at the moment. The Masamune Date plushie is a collaboration between GIFT and Algernon Product. Masamune is one of my favourite characters and I love all the super cute plushies GIFT makes, so I immediately preordered it when it became available. The crescent on his helmet got slightly bent, which was a bit disappointing, but I guess it’s a bit hard to package it since it sticks out. He still looks so fierce in his chibi form :blood

     

The other item I got was Shingeki no Mint in grape flavour, which has 6 packets of mints in tins. I was hoping to get Armin but unfortunately I didn’t and got hilarious images on them instead. It smells like it’ll be sweet like grape bubblegum but there’s a kick of citrus in it? which is good to have after eating a meal.

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On the 29th of June I got my hair cut, I think it’s been a bit over 6 months since I’ve cut my hair. I usually get my hair cut every 3~4 months, but because I permed my hair I wasn’t sure what cut to get so I just let my hair grow until I got sick of it lol.

This is the hairstyle I used as reference. I really like the hair catalogue of AFLOAT, I think they have cute and simple styles which you can style at home yourself if you don’t want to get an airy perm. I’m always a fan of short hairstyle with layers :eheh

ll351b7f32ad5eba48316416801bc469e2[1]     Sneaky shot a friend took haha

Surprisingly it took 1.5 hours to cut my hair, including hair washing it twice, I thought it would only take 40mins but I guess there was a lot of hair to thin out. Thanks to my hairdresser for all her hard work!

I currently go to blu:/ creativity which I highly recommend! They have nice and friendly service and I really like the atmosphere of the place.

14575481144_8fdd455275_o[1]     14390645549_0aefca2e3e_o[1]

Before and after shot! My head feels so free now :bunny Now I need buy more haircut products and try to figure out how to style short hair again. The great thing about having a perm that I only needed to comb my hair and spray some leave inconditioner to quickly style it.

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N2 is a gelato bar which always has really interesting gelato flavours and combinations from regular flavours such as cheesecake to pork floss. And another cool thing is that they use liquid nitrogen in the process of making it!

Last week they had kimchi served with roasted rice gelato so my friends and I decided to try it for fun. The kimchi wasn’t spicy at all and the gelato took away the taste of the kimchi so it was like eating crunchy gelato. A lot of my friends complained about the kimchi aftertaste which they had later on in the night though haha.

     

Do you like Ikea food? I’m not really found of their food meal wise, I prefer eating their desserts and soda more. I usually just order their kids meal because I don’t really like the other meals they serve. I had their seafood meal before and it was sort of like I was eating rubber lol.  Their cream cake with marzipan is my favourite, I love the sweetness and texture of it. And it’s nice getting free soda refills after you pay $2 for the glass.

Weekly Snaps

Cafe of the week has been Starbucks! My friends and I been here twice this week already lol. Tom n Toms has slowly become more noisy and full of students taking up the tables studying so we need to find somewhere to chill out at.

I always love eating blueberry bagels with cream cheese puuu

As a part of the Cool Yule Winter festival, Darling Quarter has a frozen forest diorama. It’s pretty at night with flower lights and the area is made to look like it has been snowing. It doesn’t snow in Sydney so I think it’s kinda cool how they’ve made snow related events around the city.

I also got another strap, this time of Syo Kurosu from the otome series Uta no Price-sama. This year of the mobile straps! Despite only having one iPhone case that has a holder for them, I keep buying them lol.. But they’re too cute to resist.

Chanoma is another cafe I like to hang out because of all their matcha menu items. I’m especially fond of their matcha soft serve and matcha float drink.

I tried this apple and cream cheese bread from Fujipan. I like how they made it look like an apple! Super cute and tasty :teehee

National Burger Day

Two Wednesdays ago (28th May) my friends and I went to Chur Burger for National Burger Day. They were giving out free burgers with salad and chips and sides to celebrate it. It was my first time hearing about the event, and I’ve never been to that burger joint though I’ve passed it a few times, so I thought them a try. And who can say no to free food? :bunny

The event page said they were only giving away 800 burgers, but by Tuesday night over 4000 clicked attending so we decided to get there at 10am just in case. I’m so used to lining up for things way earlier (like the Tom Hiddleston signing event :sobbb ), so an hour earlier was nothing lol. Turns out we were heaps early, we ended up being like 5th in line haha.

The only criteria to get the free burger was to post a “yummy face” face and to post it onto social media with certain hashtags. And by 10:30am the line had started to grow so we got to choose what we wanted and they have us coloured bands corresponding to which meal we wanted. I really want to commend them for being really organised, like they had security guards and a barrier up by the time we went there, and ordering was efficient so things went smoothly puuu

I chose to get the Zoosh beef burger meal. It was a beef burger with grilled cheese, spiced tomato salsa with peri mayo sauce, and the salad has black quinoa with watermelon, dried olives, feta and balsamic dressing. It was my first time trying quinoa and I found it has an interesting texture, will definitely keep my eye out to try future dishes of it. The burger was pretty good too, though the mayo was a bit too spicy for my taste.
 One thing that surprised me about the event was that they closed the store so you got to dine in. I assumed they would be given as takeout so it was nice to eat inside since it was pretty windy that morning.

Always take photos before eating

And this was the line when we left around 11:50am. The store is at the top (right) and the line when down the whole block.

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Even though I probably lined up a bit too early, the food was worth the wait! :teehee

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Concert!!

I’ve been a fan of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu before she debuted as a singer so to have the opportunity to see her perform live in Sydney was a dream come true! :blood She’s super cute upclose and I had a fantastic time watching her and her dancers perform live. It’s really amazing to see how energetic the backup dancers are.

My friends and I waiting in line! Didn’t like my makeup that day lol :B

Her concert was held on the 23rd of March, but earlier in the morning she had a recording on Sunrise (warning: autoplay) which I went to. I got to see her performing Fashion Monster. It wasn’t really anything special but I went so I could see her upclose lol. I think I stayed for around an hour and a half. While she was in Sydney, she had a really nice ashy rose brown hair shade which I really want to dye my hair next wakuwaku

Kyary on Sunrise! Photo taken by mcluzar

Since they only posted the day before that she was going to be on the show, and I only realised late at night, I didn’t have time to make a nice sign so I quickly wrote “Hello Kyary” on my old art book while I was waiting for her to appear. And sadly it made it on tv hahaha. If  there’s ever a next time I’ll try to prepare something nicer! :ohnoes

For the concert, three of my friends and I dressed up as puddings from one of her cms! We tried to make the puddings hats out of air drying clay, but we found it really hard to shape so we ended up sewing it using felt lol. My friend helped me make the cream and lettering from silicone.

My pudding hat

For the rest of the outfit, my friend dyed tees yellow and we put yellow frill lacing on the sleeves,  I cut out the brown collars and glued them on and we had frilly yellow shorts underneath. My friend also made pudding buttons to wear at the front of our outfits. I didn’t manage to get nice photos of our outfits since we were rushing on the day to complete it, but 3 of us managed to end up on tv so here’s a screenshot. It was really random coz they were just waiting there and then asked if they could film us as we were walking to line up lol.

whyyyy

We lined up from 3pm even though it only started at 7pm but I’m so glad we lined up earlier! We were in the first lot of people that they let in. Straight away after walking in I saw the goods store and I immediately bought a tee ($40) and an inflatable Pamyurin ($10). I think it’s cool how they use local sellers to print the tees onto. They were unisex sized and the smallest was S so it’s pretty big on me. Her mascot Pamyurin is super cute so there was no question about buying it :chuuu There was also someone dressed up as Pamyurin and they look cheki/polaroids of people with it. A cute souvenir!

 

The concert was held at UNSW’s Roundhouse and I think it was at max capacity of around 2100 people. It was amazing watching all the people pile into the place. It was also crazy hot inside, I think they didn’t have any aircon incase it interfered with the sound? So I’m glad my tee was really thin and that I was wearing shorts. Luckily I had a nice view from the balcony during the concert coz my friend gave me his spot (Thanks A!). I enjoyed the tracklist which they had, especially Invader Invader and Candy Candy.  Her costumes were also cute, I like how she wore koala ears during the encore.

I guess one thing that surprised me was the lack of people waving glowsticks? I’m used to seeing waves of them and people enthusiastically waving them to the beat but maybe it’s not a thing here. Like there was hardly anyone, especially in the section I was in, I think it was only me and 3 of my other friends :shock

I really hope I have another chance to see her live and that she’ll come back to Australia :deer

iPhone Camera Apps

Some people have been asking which apps I use to edit my photos, so I thought I would post about them!

Camera apps are important to me because I always like touching up my photos after I take them. No matter what camera I use to take photo with, I think they can always use a bit of adjustment. I’m not really fond of using too much filters, I don’t want my photos to look too harsh or faded, I just want to enhance or bring about a tone/mood to the image. Decorating them with stickers/stamps aren’t that important to me, but sometimes I think it looks cute or they add a personal touch.

These have been listed by how often I use them.

Afterlight
Cost: AU$1.29
iPhone | Site

I used to use Picfx and the filters on Instagram to edit my photos, but I after using Afterlight I haven’t been using any other apps. I really like how it’s easy to navigate through and quickly preview all the filters. They’ve got a whole lot of filters – 59! - but each filter has a thumbnail of the intended effect and after a while of using it, you’ll figure out what type of look you’re going for so it’s easy to choose. Relic, Atlas, Coral and Magnolia are some of my favourites to use, but it depends on the image.

They’ve also got other editing tools such as

  • adjusting brightness, clarity, contrast etc
  • adding film effects
  • cropping or rotating the image
  • frames/borders

I don’t really use frames but sometimes I think it’s nice to add focus onto the subject. You can choose to make the frame solid, patterned (pay to unlock) or opaque as you like by adjusting the opacity.

It’s definitely worth to pay for this for the amount of tools that you get! It makes editing my photos a pleasant experience. Here’s a photo that I’ve editing using this app. There’s more on my instagram account if you want to see more examples. 90% of my photos nowadays are editing using Afterlight.

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LINE Camera
Cost: Free 
iPhone | Android | Site

I mainly use this app for the stickers, but their Delicious filter is a favourite of mine. I find it’s usually perfect for editing food photos! There’s free sticker sets, but I mainly used the paid ones. I guess I tend to get carried away, I’ve bought 20 sets already haha… :gloom I like stickers related to food, have phrases/words, and characters with cute faces/expressions.

Unfortunately the iPhone version has recently raised the prices in the LINE stores, so each set costs around AU$2.49 each. From memory it used to cost AU$1.99. I don’t think the android app has had an price increase. I probably won’t be buying more sticker sets unless they release more food related ones :huuu

I also like this app because they have a collage/combining photos feature. You can add up to 9 photos and can choose a square or rectangle format. It’s easy to change the layout of the frame, say if you want one photo to be larger than to other, and you can change the background’s colour or use a pattern preset. It’s very customisable. I used to use to Diptic for this feature, but now that LINE Camera has it, I don’t need to anymore.

Edited by adjusting the brightness level and using the delicious filter.
Stamps: Delicious Kitchen and Yummy Food+

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Rakuga Cute / 樂画Cute
Cost: Free
iPhone | Site

This is another app where I went crazy buying the collections, I think there’s only one I haven’t bought because I’m not sure I’ld use things from it lol :ugh2 I really like this app because it reminds me of purikura!

The difference with in-app purchases in Rakuga Cute compared to LINE Camera is that these contain different pens, stamps, rolling stamps and one-touch (borders) items, hence the term collection, while you’ll have to buy them separately on LINE Camera. Each collection costs around AU$3.79 and a lot of deco tools included – I would say roughly 40 stamps, 40 pens and 9+ one touch frames. While it’s more worth it to pay for and use this app to decorate photos, there’s just so many to browse and choose from, so I tend to use this app when I have more time to decorate.

It’s very easy to resize the stamps and there’s so many cute ones, I always have a hard time deciding which ones to use. The collections in this app are more related to fashion and beauty, so they have a very girly feel. I mainly like this app for their rolling and alphabet stamps.

The app also has a small range of filters and a collage feature. They’ve got a range of useful tips and tutorials under there “How to Use” section. I don’t tend to use them though since I used to use Papelook for collages but I haven’t used that in a while.

Another good thing about this app is that you can save it in high definition. If only they had an iPad version, then I would be decorating photos taken from my dslr :XD

I’ve recently started to use this app again since I’ve gotten back into decorating my photos, so here’s how I used to decorate my photos back in 2012. I guess I tend to go overboard using stamps and stickers :eheh

Left photo was also edited using Papelook

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InstaPicframe Pro
Cost: Free | AU$2.49
iPhone (Free) | iPhone (Paid) | Android | Site
*I paid for this a while back so I’m not sure if there’s a difference between the free or paid version.

I find this app useful when I want to post a portrait or landscape photo on Instagram in a square format but I don’t want to crop it. I also like using it to add a border so I can decorate it.

The interface isn’t that nice (I think the colour scheme could do with an update) but it’s simple to use use and gets the job done. You can also make collages with more images and there’s a range of frames and layouts such as the images in a star shape, but I usually only use it with 1 or 2 images so I can get the thick border.

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So these are the apps which I use at the moment, I’m always on the look out for camera apps to test out though.