16 November 2017

My Home Convention

I live in the middle of no where between nothing and even less... so I was pleased to find that there is a Furry Convention so close to me at only about an hours drive! Even better news is that it is moving even closer and is growing! 
For the first two years of its existence CanFURence, Canada's Capital Furry Convention, has made its home at the Alt Hotel on Slater Street in downtown Ottawa. 2017 it's second year, has seen the convention outgrow that venue, and next years CanFURence will see the convention take up new residence in the Brookstreet Hotel (link)
some 24 km to the west in Kanata. While still considered part of Ottawa, Kanata or Ottawa West, offers a more relaxed venue with much more room, better parking, and a more varied array of amenities. 





Although the On-The-Street interaction with the public may not be the same as downtown, the area has the appeal of no city driving or intense traffic, and the increased space will provide the ability to offer a wider range of activities to the convention attendees. With the increasing numbers of fursuiters safety in the downtown traffic has to be a concern and I feel that even with the decrease in public interaction the decision to move from the downtown area is a good one albeit a difficult one.
I wish the CanFURence Staff the best of luck at the new venue and continued growth, asking all Furries to take a look at a new and upcoming convention in Ottawa, and come support their cause if at all possible and have a wonderful Furry adventure! 

14 November 2017

A Closer Convention!


CanFURence 2017 was a BLAST !!!  And form my point of view is now my "local" Furry Convention as it is only about a 50 minute drive from my front door. 






My new Canadian friends were a lot of fun to be around and more than welcoming to this old Sea Wolf GreyMuzzle.









The Fur Walk led by R.K.Niner was a blast and even though the wind chill was frigid that day we all had a great time with several group photo ops, the one in front of Parliament was certainly a special one.





I will most certainly be a regular for CanFURence in the future. This was only the second year for the convention which began at the ALT hotel in downtown Ottawa. Next year it is scheduled for the Brookstreet Hotel, in Kanata... which is about another 6 miles closer to me and with the added benefit that I can get there with NO city driving at all!  YAY! 

07 November 2017

Sandals Completed Now Nearing The Finish




The finish line is still a couple weeks away but the last week has seen rapid progress.  As I am in a holding pattern for finishing the outer soles I have pressed forward and completed the Sandals that will protect them when walking around outside or in less than favorable conditions. 



The nylon strap and buckles are a no brainer but the hardware to fasten the straps to the gym mat took some deliberation at the hardware store. 
I finally came up with the ideas of using T-Nuts after seeing someone that had used rivets... which of course work OK but not easily replaceable or removable, large fender washers worked well over the Nylon strap. 
As I am attending CanFURence this weekend in Otterwa, I will delve through the dealers den to see if I can acquire a set of the silicone paw pads... I think that is the way I will opt to go over using Pig Skin. 

05 November 2017

Progress Made


I am really quite proud of my self control during the construction of these Foot-Paws and not racing through the process which is unfortunately what I usually do. The careful thought given is proving to produce a much nicer finished product which is now at a point where the end is in sight even though it will be several weeks yet before they are finished.  Some features I have incorporated into these are unique to the use of the inner boots which are the liners from my old "Down-Hill" ski boots. This allowed me to create a "rear entry" paw which is much easier to get on and off without tugging and pulling on any of the fabric or foam. Elastic on the front of the Jean upper which holds the zipper keeps everything fitted snugly on my legs and feet without being too tight. Nylon and elastic straps over and snapped to the inner boot carry the weight of the soles and rest of the paw directly to the inner boot and not just hanging from the foam. saving for a small amount of hot glue around the inner sole that holds the fur in place there, it is more or less removable to be cleaned. I am still planning on the interchangeable outer soles and have purchased the appropriate 
Neodymium Magnets needed for the endeavor.  These are "Natural" magnets are much stronger than any of the ceramic magnets that are cheaper and available anywhere.  In most areas you would need to order these on-line, although there are a few hardware stores or hobby shops out there that might have some in stock... they are certainly not the most common of magnets to be found on the shelf. 

My newest addition to shop equipment has all ready seen much thankful use.  After two years of gathering sewing projects up and transporting them back and forth to my Mom-in-laws place to use her sewing machine, I have finally purchased one of my own for my shop. Why didn't I do this months ago? It saves so much time and it's always set up with the heavier upholstery thread that I use for my Fursuit endeavors. It's first use was to sew Relic's VFW Life Member patch onto his vest.

28 October 2017

Triple Soles

Still aiming at interchangeable outer soles for my final build of Relic's foot-paws. If for any reason it becomes evident that it will not work as I intend, the construction is still such that I can simply attach a regular sole and move on. 



I finally have the straps affixed to the inner shoes that will carry the weight of the sole instead of having it fastened directly to the foam alone. I used some heavy duty snaps and 1-inch elastic to connect the inner sole to the inner shoes... I had to use small machine screws and lock nuts to fasten the snaps to the shoes as they were too thick for the post on the snap itself. just have to trim off the excess screw length inside the shoe before wearing them, no big deal. I have been able to keep the construction together in a way that most everything is removable / replacable. The inner shoe can be removed easily, even the inner sole will be removable with minor glue cutting around the bottom edge of the fur once it is on, and of course with a small fortune of Neodymium magnets embedded in the two parts of the soles the outer soles will also be removable / interchangeable. 


















So at this point they are structurally complete and ready for patterning for the fur. I have to find a proper mid-sole material to attach to the bottom of the inner sole then I can fur them and work on creating the outer soles which one set will have fur and pads strictly for indoor use and the other set will be a flat nonslip sole for use indoor or outdoor.

20 October 2017

Partial Sleeves Alterations Finished


Well, since I was up at 3:10 this morning I was able to get the second Partial Sleeve finished. I had decided to add the light Tan in the way I had originally had Relic designed (although it was white at that point). 



I altered the sleeves first to make sure they line up or are symmetrical in placement, I would rather deal with extra sewing on just the sleeves rather than a full suit.  Now that I have the look that I was hoping for I can move on to the alteration on the suit... but that will have to wait 'til after CanFURence. 


Now that these are done and are confirmed correct, I can use these as a guide for altering the suit when the time comes. 

19 October 2017

Relic's Vest

Now has his name on it.  Finally broke out the magnifiers and shears and cut out the embroidered letters and got them sewn onto the back.  




















I like the looks of the Blue Glitter Vinyl but in all reality I am still going to get another set or two made in full embroidery, for now this will work. Strangely, the glitter shows up far better in artificial lighting than it does in actual sunlight... 

14 October 2017

Embroidery

It took most of the Summer to get my embroidery finished.



















Now that it is ready and all of the letters have been cut out I have finally pinned them in place on my vest. 

I am still uncertain if I will sew them on using the machine or by hand... they would be easier to remove later if I hand sew them, but at $35 I figure I can have more made if I need them. I will probably use the machine. 

Relic is registered to attend CanFURence in November and I am pleased that my vest will be finished for that. 


01 October 2017

Out With Some White

And In With Some Tan!
Nearly two hours after starting my seam ripping I have finally managed to get the area of White fur I am replacing out of the suit.  



The fine stitches of the machine are much harder to get out than my hand sewn stitches. 



I suppose there is no turning back now, although I will save the piece I cut out and could actually place it back in if I really feel it necessary to do so. 







Now that the new Tan color is pinned into place I need to get my time lined up to get to the sewing machine to get it sewn in permanently.













I can hardly wait to be able to turn it right side out to see the finished upgrade and get the seams combed out.

28 September 2017

Still Furry But A Swing From The Usual

For the most part my posts are generally centered around the progression of my fursuit. I am going to sway from that, although you could still consider this to be about a fursuit (of a sort). 

 I guess you could consider me a furry "Lifestyler" and I am perfectly OK with that.  I have no problems admitting who or what I am. I am proud to be a furry! 
As far as the Vibe goes it started with the tail... and now I am working on the Interior "fursuit".
The dash was finished in June and now that I have picked up more of my "Snep" fur, I will be moving on to the doors and seats... although the seats will get a solid Black rather than the spots. 

24 September 2017

Continuing Tweaks

As if finally finishing my fursuit wasn't enough... in only one year I am now going to change something on it that will require ripping out some seams and replacing some of the white fur with a third color a tan with brown tips.

As usually happens with me I seem to have placed the Patterns that I made when I created the fursuit someplace where they would be safe, so I had to make a couple new ones by tracing the parts on the suit.







Once that was done cutting the tan fur and basting the pieces together took only about 45 minutes.















A final sanity check with the new fur laying in place over the white that it will replace.












Everything appears to line up correctly and I am happy with the "new look". Now when I am certain of some down time I will pull some seams and cut the white out where needed to begin sewing the new tan fur in place. 

17 September 2017

An Update From Timber

Relic B. Furry
Updates from Timber

There has been a flood of activities for Relic over the last year and as Relic now approaches his first birthday on September 22nd, he is eager to give a report of his activities thus far. Continuing additions and alterations to Relic have changed his appearance significantly and has helped define his character even further.

We accomplished the first of what we hope to be many trips to Anthrocon in 2017 and made many new friends while there. There were over 7300 Furries in attendance in 2017 with a total of nearly 2300 fursuiters involved. Anthrocon's Charity was Hope Haven Farm Animal Sanctuary which we were able to donate a grand total of over $37,000 ! The wonderful City of Pittsburgh, PA. continues to be a most inviting city for our sub-culture to flourish in and takes an active role in having a wonderfully “Furry” time with our attendees. The city enjoys our presence, our contributions to local charities and the lucrative boost to their local economy over the 4 or 5 day period that reaches upwards of $7 million dollars each year. Relic is very happy to have been a part of this wonderful and awe inspiring event this year. No other convention held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center makes such an impact or impression to the local people of Pittsburgh.

Relic is now turning his attention to the second achievement which has always been in the sights since the beginning of his creation. Having lost a very close friend to cancer at the age of 19, we have always looked for a way to help others in such a desperate time in their lives. We are currently in correspondence with St. Jude Children’s hospital in hopes of becoming a “Partner” and volunteer to visit Children’s wards to bring laughter and a moment of happiness to children (and parents) that are most drastically in need of a small break from reality, a laugh or smile even if for just a moment, is Relic’s goal.

Relic will continue to attend any conventions that are close enough to be economically possible in order to learn from our fellow “furries” and broaden our impact within the community. At the current time we are looking to attend CanFURence in Ottawa, Canada in November 2017, and with luck FurnalEquinox in Toronto in February 2018. We will always have Anthrocon (held near the last weekend of June or first weekend in July) in our sites as an annual attendee as it is the largest Furry convention in the world.  

04 September 2017

Buyer Be Wise

A little "General Advice" for the upstart fursuiters that want to make their own suit! I have done so myself (which is what this blog is mostly all about) and it is a lot of tough work but also very rewarding to see as it takes shape.  Fursuit makers will know this all ready (or at least they should) and most would agree that your choice of Faux Fur is nearly limitless! A wonderful situation from the design standpoint but this can also make your decisions for your purchase a bit daunting, and can lead to indecision, and worse yet the purchase of what you didn't really want... DON'T RUSH.

To help "cut the clutter" you should really look at the material closely. Most Faux Furs are made from Acrylic fibers, but not all Acrylic fibers make good Faux Furs. The top-of-the-line fibers to look for are Kanecaron and Tissavel. They are the best performers for texture, softness and resiliency which are all the traits you are looking for when buying your fur.

So many people place price first by saying they cannot afford the good fabric, if that is the case (putting it bluntly but truthfully) you really must rethink whether or not you can actually afford to bother with a fursuit at this moment. Step back and save up some more money, you do not want to put your time and effort into a suit that falls apart in a years time because of poor quality fabric, how much money have you really saved at that point?  I have heard some people will look simply at the price and say since it is priced low it is not a good choice. That can hold some truth but not always, texture and pile also contribute to the cost of the material to a certain degree so will affect pricing as well. I do have to admit that for the most part it does seem that the better material does usually start out at around the $27 USD per yard price range and goes up from there (at the time this is written). Lets face it, you don't want to bother with that $17 / yd material that has fibers falling out in your hand like a Husky that is shedding in June.    

Shopping on-line brings you all the choices you can imagine, but it will deny you perhaps the most vital sense you need to invoke when you shop for Faux Fur... Touch! Not to say you shouldn't shop on line, but you need to be aware that to do so wisely will take some time and patience. You can choose your style, pile & color on-line with little problem, but before you buy you really need to be able to feel and handle the material. Most reputable shops will send swatches of material to you if you request them, some may charge a nominal fee, but it is worth it if what you plan on creating is to last and look as good as it can for as long as possible. 

You should not rule out your local chain stores like Joann Fabrics! One key to locating the right Faux Fur here is to know when their shipments are arriving. Faux Fur materials (the good ones) move rather quickly so be prepared to pay them a quick visit when the trucks arrive!

30 August 2017

Dual Use Foot-Paws

After finding the perfect base for Relic’s next set of foot-paws I am now getting close to making the patterns for the fur.
They started off with me dismantling my old ski boots as I fit them into the trash.  As I pulled the liners from the boots I suddenly realized that they would be the perfect base for my New set of foot-paws, they have my arch support and are fitted to my feet.
















They have a rear entry design so adding a zipper for closure is a snap!  






I wanted to make this pair have more pronounced features so decided on much thicker foam to start with doubling up Three inch foam for a good 6 inches to start with. 














Sculpting moved along with few issues, I have gotten rather adept at the process.





The sculpting nearly finished I am starting to turn my attention to the soles and also Patterning for the fur.  I am going to have inter-changeable soles (one set indoor one outdoor). I will need to decide on the method of applying the soles as needed but will likely use either Magnets or Velcro, or a combination of the two. 



I will also be sewing the fur covering so it will be removable for cleaning and will likely have a base covering of plain white cotton material like a bed sheet covering the entire foot. This will all be determined on the fly as I work on them but is the way I am leaning. 

So as they are now I need to start working on the “Sole-searching” to get them figured out.

26 August 2017

Relic's New Paws

Not that they will be much longer than the ones he has now but the toes are going to be much taller and a little wider so they will be more pronounced.  
Still much sculpting to do but working with 6 inches of foam allows for a much more pronounced toe... unlike the 3 inch that are on the current foot-paws.

25 August 2017

Sculpting Is Next

The bases for my new foot-paws are nearly finished so I am turning my attention to getting ready to start sculpting the foam into the shape of Relic's paws. I will opt this time for a more toony look but will strive to keep then as compact as possible. I simply don't care for large feet that force you to waddle like a duck.

24 August 2017

First Of The Two Bindings Done

This actually went along quite easily... this almost looks like I know what I am doing!  lol





I spent more on the Zipper than I normally would have but I wanted to make sure it was a good quality zipper and not some cheap piece of plastic... 














Of course they don't stock the length zipper I needed... so had to buy one 4 inches longer than needed... oh well. It works and keeps the fit snug! 

Now on to the second one!

Bindings Of A New Sort








I have the first of the two bindings finished to the point of installing the zipper. 











I will have to trim material as I fit the zipper to ensure the binding will tighten the liner to my leg.  Once the zipper is sewn in I will permanently affix the binding to the liner.  So far, So good! 

The Perfect Base

I think I have stumbled upon the perfect base to use as Relic's next pair of Foot-Paws!  



I was picking apart my old Ski Boots the other day (the plastic had all become brittle and was breaking off easily) to reduce them to fit in the trash, and as I pulled out the first of the two liners I realized that they were actually "rear entry" liners and I immediately thought to myself that they would make great Foot-Paws!











I am pleased that I have found a way to extend the use of at least part of my old ski boots as they were so expensive to begin with. REDUCE-REUSE-RECYCLE!

After freeing the liner from the second one and standing them together I was convinced that I was going to make use of them for exactly that! 




The design of the liners obviously gives an easy way of putting the Paws on and taking them off. I will create an upper section from a heavy material like that of jeans to encircle the uppers that will have a heavy duty zipper for a closure up the back. By using a heavy material on the uppers I can avoid having to deal with a zipper in the fur and just use Velcro or magnets to hold the fur in place once they are zipped up. Any way to avoid wear and tear on fur is a huge plus as far as repairs are concerned.  

07 August 2017

Sporting The New Vest

Relic was able to sport his new leather vest with his Navy Medals at Thompson Park last May and I am finally catching up on the photos after returning from Anthrocon. 




I think the use of a vest is a good way to display my medals and it works equally well in suit or regular street clothes... its a win-win!  






Only one fault wearing the vest covers up Relic's Anchor... so he doesn't wear it all the time.




























Many thanks again to Linda Morrison for the awesome pictures. I would never get the photo's I like if you didn't have the eye for them! 



22 July 2017

Embroidery

I have decided to embroider Relic's name to put on his leather vest.


The R is the largest of the letters and is now finished. I need to get the "e"  done so I can cut out the first two letters and get them ready to sew onto the vest. The should look really good on the Black vest! I think this turned out quite well considering I have never done embroidery before.