16bitkings Cosplay Catch-Up: Leaping Lizard Cosplay

16bitkings Cosplay Catch-Up: Leaping Lizard Cosplay

Guys! Check out my interview with 16bitkings I hope you like it, and learn a little more about me and my personality through it. 


Space Dandy QT Cosplay Makeup Tutorial

I made a video! Thanks to Michael Sparks who made some awesome voice overs!

Full Length Portrait Tips by Ian B Photography

Full Length Portraits Tips by Photography by Ian B

Check out this stellar posing tutorial from Photography by Ian B.

A friendly PSA for everyone trying to better themselves.

A friendly PSA for all my friends working hard at getting in shape. 😀 I’ve come so far (down a whooping 50lbs). I have to thank everyone here who motivated me, and still continues to do so.

I haven’t been posting much about it here, but I’ve been back at the gym and hitting it hard. Most days I go for over two hours. Tonight is Spin (50 min), Strength training (50 min), and core (30 min). I hope to completely transform myself by the end of this year, and be stronger physically than I have ever been.

So, as I say to myself everyday and now I say to you! Get out there and get it! Make a good choice today to better yourself. This doesn’t have to be food or working out, even just taking 20 minutes to completely disconnect and relax will help you.

I hope you are all well. I’m “going to go get it now.” 😀

DJ KimoSabe of the Wasp Factory Interviews Cosplayer Liz Vickery aka Leaping Lizard Cosplay

Photo credit to: themicroverse on tumblr
Photo credit to: themicroverse on tumblr

Here’s the interview I did a while back. Please feel free to listen. I talk about myself, the cosplay community, and all of the great things it has to offer. 😀


Final Cosplay Lineup for Megacon 2014

Final Cosplay Lineup for Megacon 2014

My MegaCon Convention 2014 line up.

Friday: Melfina from Outlaw Star
Saturday: Kyoko Sakura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Saturday Night: Super Secret Superhero Cosplay!
Sunday: Meru from Legend of Dragoon

Come check out my first radio interview! 3/1/14 @ 11:00 am EST

Come check out my first radio interview! Photo courtesy of UMO Photography

I have exciting news. Tomorrow at 11:00 am EST I’m doing my first radio interview with KAMP Student Radio located at the University of Arizona. I’ll be talking about my upcoming cosplay  plans for Megacon  and Dragoncon . You guys can listen to it here.

I’ll be posting the interview afterward. 😀

Fabric… A simple in-depth guide for cosplayers. :D

This article was featured here! I’m just repeating it here for good measure. 😀 Please check out the amazing website The Word of the Nerd Online.

Where to start when talking about fabrics?

Well, they are necessary for making your own cosplays. 😀


A little background:
First off, Hello everyone! My name is Liz and I’m a cosplayer going by the handle Leaping Lizard Cosplay. I live in the beautiful city of Key West, Florida. The thing about Key West is, it’s a tiny island. You can imagine when it came time for shopping around I had difficulty finding a store with a wide variety of cosplay materials. So, I had to start ordering my fabrics online.

Once I had committed to purchasing fabrics online I though to myself, “Wellllll…. Where does one being in such a process?”

Thus my quest to understand fabrics began!

The next logical step was to figure our what type of fabrics I needed. In the past I would go to my local fabric store and look at their selections and pick the fabric that seemed right for the job. Now, doing things in the digital age, I do not have the ability to physically see or touch the fabric. I cannot hold it in my hands and get a feel for weight, thickness, how it looks or drapes, or its flexibility. You can see the dilemma I am in.

I realized two things. First, I really didn’t know anything about fabrics; second, I had to learn. Then it occurred to me, “What about the clothes I own? What are they made of?” I went to my wardrobe and looked closely at the tags. I noticed that my shirt had two separate things listed on it and percentages. I would come to discover that these were the fibers that made up my fabric.

****Side Note****
When you first start out sewing it can be pretty intimidating. I first started sewing by hand. Then, I started using a machine. My projects at first were simple; buttons, pillows, curtains, and tablecloths. Once I got a feel for my sewing machine, I tackled harder projects and have been slowly expanding my skills. Just like learning Calculus, you first need to learn how to count, then add, then multiply, etc. My point is you don’t turn on the sewing machine and expect it to do magic.

Back to the main subject. FABRICS! 😀

Let’s start with what makes up fabric. Fibers.

synthetic fibers
Fibers are the base materials combined in composite layers to make a fabric. They give a fabric it’s properties such as:

Care: On a t-shirt, this would be what the tag on the collar says for maintaining your fabric. Should it be machine washed, iron settings, dry cleaned?

Durability: This is how well the fabric maintains its stretch. How it shrinks or fades after washing.

Texture: How the fabric feels and maintain it’s shape. Also known as the hand of a fabric.

Weight: Pretty self explanatory. Is the fabric heavy or light?

Fibers classify by 3 categories:

1. Natural:
Natural fibers break down into 3 categories; animal, vegetable, and mineral. For clothing we really only use animal (e.g. silk, wool, hair), and vegetable (e.g. cotton).

  • Pros: Being a renewable resource, natural fibers are 100% biodegradable. Meaning they are eco friendly. 😀 They “breathe”, or allow air to flow; they are easy to dye, and hang loosely.
  • Cons: Natural fibers shrink when washed, but over time they stretch out. Natural fibers also wrinkle and fade.

2. Man-Made: Man-Made Fibers break down into two categories:
Regenerated fibers and Synthetic fibers.

 -Regenerated: For clothing we really look at a subset of these fibers that are called Cellulose Fibers. These fibers are regenerate from Cellulose. Cellulose is an important structural component of a primary cell wall in plants and algae. Examples are Acetate, Acrylic, and Rayon.

-Synthetic: Made from refined petroleum or natural gas. Examples, Lycra, Microfibers, Nylon, Polyester, Spandex, etc.

  • Pros and Cons: Depends really on each fabric. I plan on expanding this section in another article.

3. Blends: A combination of two or more fibers. This could be natural/man-made, or natural/natural, or man-made/man-made blends.

  • Pros: You get the best of both worlds or the pro’s of both fabrics. A great example would be a cotton/spandex blend. For athletes, you get a loose fitting garment that breathes and retains it’s strength and shape over time.
  • Cons: You get the worst of both worlds as well. The point is, it’s best to know what your getting yourself into before you commit to a fabric blend.

Now that I have broken down fibers, we are going to discuss the two types of fabrics made from fibers. 😀 Woven and Knitted.

wonvenknitFLAYWHUHPTXFPBT.MEDIUMKnitted fabrics:
Knits are made from one continuous string of fiber.
As you can see in the image below, knitted structures are made with a series of lengthwise loops called ribs and crosswise stitches called courses. Knits are more flexible to body type and generally form to the body.

***There are different types of knits as well.

Woven fabrics:
Made on looms with a similar structure to laying the top of a cherry pie, (image to right and above) fibers are interwoven to make the fabric. The lengthwise fibers are called the wrap and provide stability and strength to the fabric. The crosswise yarns are called the filler, weft, or woof. The fabric itself is very sturdy when pulled along the crosswise or lengthwise parts of the fabric. When you pull on the diagonal part of the fabric (say the corner or the 45 degree angle between the lengthwise and crosswise fibers) the fabric will stretch. This area is called the bias. Knitted fabrics stretch easily, but woven fabrics are more known for their stability. Depending on the fiber content the looser/tighter the fabric will be.

Now that you understand the different types of fibers that make up fabrics, you can better understand how to utilize them. Plus, some of the terms I defined are also used when reading patterns. I will be writing another post on decoding patterns later. 😀

Liz this is all very interesting…. but let’s get to the real question? So why does this matter at all?

I’m glad you asked (self condescending bold font question above).  -_-….
Well because your sewing machine cares. THAT’S WHY! O_O

There are a plethora of things to learn about sewing machines, you can’t just turn on your machine and start sewing with just any old needle. (There are multipurpose needles that can help, but only so much.)

I’d like to compare owning a sewing machine to owning a fancy Digital SLR camera and leaving it on auto mode.

A sewing machine has different features. It needs different needles for different fabrics (for woven fabrics you need a 2020 needle and depending on the fabric the thickness of the tip matters. For example thick woven fabrics need a 100/10 tip). A sewing machine also needs different feet for sewing different articles on your clothing (Ex. Zipper Foot for sewing on zippers). Much like your camera needs different lenses to shoot portraits versus landscapes. Not to mention you have the thread tension, stitch length, and stitch pattern to worry about. Just like in photography where you care about the dpi, iso, and shutter speed.

Here is a picture of some universal sewing needles for woven fabrics:

I don’t want to overwhelm you all, so let’s just skip this part for a later article post. I promise I will return to this subject later on as part of my continuing blogging about sewing cosplays.

Next, let’s discuss purchasing fabrics.

Keep in mind, if you are working from a pattern, most patterns that you purchase have a list of fabrics recommended for your sewing project.

Purchasing Fabrics:

When you purchase fabrics you order them off of the “bolt.” A bolt is a unit of measurement used as an industry standard for a variety of materials from wood to canvas, typically materials stored in a roll.

Bolts of Multicolored Fabrics
Bolts of Multicolored Fabrics

The length of fabric on a bolt is usually between 40 and 100 yards, but varies depending on the fabric. For example, a bolt of canvas is traditionally 39 yards. The width of a bolt is usually between 45 and 60 inches, but sometimes you can find wider or narrower rolls. Just for good measure, a yard of fabric equals 3 feet, or 36 inches. When deciding how much fabric you will need I always recommend going about 1/2 yard more just in case, and remember any leftovers can be used for future projects. :D

I found an excellent picture breaking down the fabric on a bolt. Take note of this information at the time of purchase, because you will need this information again.

From Sugar Tart Crafts.

Sites I buy fabric from:
Fashion Fabric Club
Denver Fabrics
The Fabric Exchange

****Side Note****
Ordering online is a quick and painless venture, but mistakes can be made. Some may say making mistakes is part of the learning process. The plus side to ordering the wrong fabric is, I now have a stockpile for future projects. So please keep it in mind, not all is lost. :D

So you have your fabrics?! Let’s get started! WAIT!!!!!
Whenever you purchase fabrics, you are always going to have to pre-wash and press them before you ever turn on your sewing machine.

*****Trust me on this one! It will save you heartache!*****

Before you do any sewing make sure to wash and iron your fabrics before cutting/pinning them. Machine wash, hand wash, machine dry, hang dry depending on the type of fabric you are working with. This is a necessary step if you plan on wearing this outfit again in the future.

Gotham Laundry by Zillabean

If you are buying your fabrics online, the site should have the care instructions. If you are buying your fabrics in store, you should be able to get the care instructions off of the bolt. (Remember the picture from Sugar Tart Crafts above?) If not, a quick google search of your fabric type will help you out. Now you have pre-washed your fabrics and pressed them, you are finally ready to begin sewing!

On that note, it’s been a pleasure and I hope you took something away from this. 😀

Thank you guys again for reading! Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments behind. 😀

❤ Liz (Leaping Lizard Cosplay)

Megacon 2014 Progress Materials and Kitties.

So here is the beginning video for my Megacon Cosplay Progress! Sorry for the lag. For some reason iMovie didn’t sync the audio up just right. 
#Megacon #Cosplay #OutlawStar #OnePiece

A day in the life of a cosplayer on a diet.

Hey guys and gals,

I’m working hard at… Working out! Because, I will be doing a cosplay of the beautiful high energy dancer Meru from Legend of Dragoon for Megacon 2014.
As such I’m trying to get toned up for it. 😀

Now before anyone rolls their eyes and automatically gets some sort of negative opinion of me I’d like to say to everyone you should cosplay regardless of body type and rock it. I’m happy with my figure and weight, but I’ve decided that I personally want to tone up my body for personal reasons. This cosplay is helping to motivate me. Meru is a dancer and I would like to look as such. This is my personal goal and challenge. I do not expect anyone to follow my methods. Regardless of how I’m shaped two months from now, I will be wearing this. 😀


I started my weight loss journey last March. It wasn’t for vanity reasons, but rather for my own health. Anyone that knows me, can vow for the fact that I was always sick. I was hospitalized three to four times a year for many years. My weight was always fluctuating, and I just didn’t have the strength or energy to do anything or hang out with anyone.

Here is some progress shots:

At 175 lbs/ 79 kg:


I had to add that last one for a laugh. 😀

Six months after I started my weight loss journey in March 2013. From a wedding in September 2013 128 lbs / 58 kg:

And me currently as of January 2014:


I must reiterate this point! I’m very comfortable with my weight, and more than ecstatic at the results I have attained. Now that I have gotten this far, I thought to myself, “Why stop?!” 😀 So, I joined a facebook event called the 30 day Fitness Challenge. The challenge is to eat healthy and exercise 5 to 6 days a week. You can see more on the challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/events/732596680101292/

This is my progress so far:

I give myself heart stickers for the days I work out. (I like stickers… :D)

As I said previously, the challenge is more than just working out, it’s about eating heathy too. When I started my journey I decided to keep a food diary. After searching around and playing with a couple of apps I decided on MyFitnessPal. Here is today’s diary entry from MyFitnessPal. I highly recommend it to everyone! I’m currently doing a 1200-1400 net calories everyday. That means I take the calories from what I eat and subtract them from how many calories I burned from working out. Here is from today’s food diary entry:


From articles that I have read and my doctor, I learned that on average an adult female needs to consume at least 1200 calories a day (1600-1800 a day for an average adult male) in order for your body to not go into starvation mode. This is food calories not “net food” calories.

If your body goes into starvation mode your body will in turn begin to breakdown muscle to maintain a healthy glucose (sugar) level for your body. This is bad news. You want to keep that muscle because the more muscle you have the more fat you burn! Your body will continually burn stored fat to maintain that healthy muscle throughout the day when you are not working out.

As for workout recommendations, most professionals will agree a higher ratio of lifting weights (anaerobic exercise) and building muscle to cardio (aerobic exercise) will increase your weight loss results faster. That said, both are necessary evils to tone up.

How much can I safely lose a week?
It is healthy to lose about two pounds/about one kilogram a week. Any more is not beneficial. The human body can fluctuate 10+ lbs/5+ kg a day, and because of this I do not measure myself daily. Weight loss isn’t a straight downward path, but a zig-zag slow decline that looks like a fallng stock on Wall Street. I like to weigh in at every two weeks to check on my progress. Plus, obsessing day to day can only discourage you in the long run.  An excellent explanation and video about how to weigh yourself properly can be found by the amazing body builder Scobby. Found here

Now before anyone goes and jumps into any diet or exercise plan I must tell you that I first spoke with my doctor and a nutritionist before starting. I highly recommend that you talk to some professionals before starting a diet and exercise plan. Especially if you are doing one as restrictive as I am.

Let me show you my grub and workout for today! Here is my food diary entry from MyFitnessPal for today:


The site has a more detailed version that breaks down how much you need to consume, in addition to calories, and if you are within acceptable levels. Here is a screenshot of today’s.

*Salt is a hard one for me. Dang you Lean Cuisines! Why are you so high in sodium! o_o

breakdownJust for measure let me break down simply why calories are important. Burning 3,500 calories burns off 1 lb of fat. Now if you want to lose 2 lbs/1 kg a week you will need to burn 7,000 calories. This might seem impossible, but your body naturally burns calories even when you are sleeping. Lucky for us there is never an off switch.

Unless you are dead… :/ But if you are reading this you have a pulse. Unless you are a zombie or a vampire, or some other thing. Then begs the question, why are you reading this if you are a zombie or a vampire…? BACK ON TRACK LIZ!

As I was saying… There is never an off switch. According to the US FDA a normal diet is around 2000 calories a day. If you are just eating 1200 a day… BAM! There’s an 800 calorie loss, and exercising will only add to that total.

On that note… Here is a picture of today’s delicious lunch listed above in the diary. 😀


Some people ask me if I starve myself. -_- As you can see that is not the case. I do not let my body get hungry. I make sure to spread out my meals throughout the day so that I don’t get to that point. Plus most of the time you feel hungry that is your body actually telling you you are thirsty.

The other component to my diet is staying hydrated. A good rule of thumb… Don’t pee Lemonade! Pee clear! 😀

That’s it from me. I hope you all enjoy your Sunday afternoon! 😀

Update! I did it! I lost 50 lbs and wore Meru! 😀 Thanks to everyone who was so supportive!

Meru from Legend of Dragoon Cosplayer: Leaping Lizard Cosplay Photography credit: http://www.shortfusepinups.com/
Meru from Legend of Dragoon Cosplayer: Leaping Lizard Cosplay Photography credit: http://www.shortfusepinups.com/