Category Archives: Cosplay

Bucket Lists and Dreams – Just Do It

Just recently I looked back at the things I’ve been doing for fun,
and it made me search out the Bucket List I made a few years ago!
What have I done since writing it?

Bucket Lists and Dreams - Just Do It - The Last Krystallos

Eleven years ago, back in 2005, I wrote a list. I realised as I came out of a long period of depression that I just wasn’t happy, we weren’t having fun – and I wanted that to change! The list included some easy, simple ideas, and some bigger, more out of reach dreams. Some of the simple things: meal out with the family, go swimming, paddle along the shore, swim in the sea, kick autumn leaves, play football on the beach, build a sandcastle, have a barbeque, write a poem, build a snowman, do a big jigsaw and more… The bigger things included: fly in a helicopter, romantic evening with Vince, night away with Vince, learn Welsh, paint a dragon, take a family holiday, outline a new story, take a maths GCSE, fly in an aeroplane, do Vertigo, buy a Suburu with rally decals…

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Family Portraits © Lisa Shambrook

We did some – as you, and your family, get older there is often a little more money available and we managed a surprise trip to Edinburgh on an aeroplane. We bundled the children into the car at 4am and took them on a mystery tour ending up at Cardiff airport and spending the day in Scotland! We went up in a helicopter for Bekah’s 16th birthday as Vince had a client who flew a helicopter and he was paid in kind with a ride up in the sky! Beaches were easy and we had barbeques, including getting pushed off the beach by the rising tide and finishing the barbeque at home in the back yard, in the rain! I swam in the Blue Lagoon at Aberieddy, a 90’ deep lagoon, loved it! Vince and I have had some nights away. Ice skating on the Isle of Wight, bought a real Christmas tree, family holidays to Butlins, got a dog, I passed my motorbike test, decorated some amazing cakes, took some awesome family portraits. I began a whole new career as an author and published three books. Vince flew a plane, and I got air sick.

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Helicopter, motorbike, planes, Blue Lagoon and Vertigo © Lisa Shambrook

I even did some things not on the list: I started a business – Amaranth Alchemy. I got my first high heels, got my first Dr Martens too. I didn’t paint, but I did create art and many stories.  I went to the ballet and saw Giselle. We went to Harry Potter Studios, saw Les Miserables in the West End, wrote a book in 30 days doing NaNoWriMo – twice, and I’ve dived from a 10ft diving board and lots more!

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Bucket List and Boots © Lisa Shambrook

Some things will be crossed off the list because they are no longer important to me: I have lost the desire to skydive but my daughter did a couple of weeks ago – and it wasn’t as big a thrill as she’d hoped! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford piano lessons or a piano, I don’t want a rally car anymore, and I don’t feel the need to complete a maths GCSE, I’m at peace with my F grade!

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Theatre, Bekah’s Skydive, wild camping, London © Lisa Shambrook

So what is there now? I’ve flown in that helicopter, I’ve done Vertigo at Oakwood Park, I passed my bike test, and taken the kids on a surprise holiday, and we even slept out in the wild in a tent on Dartmoor when we went wild camping, and began a pottery class.

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Cosplay © Lisa Shambrook

There’s a lot more to come!

My new/current Bucket List contains more dreams
and some I haven’t ticked off my last list.

Build a big, old fashioned sandcastle on the beach.
Go to a Spa.
Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
Ride a gondola in Venice.
Climb the Eiffel Tower.
Go up in a hot air balloon.
Climb mount Snowdon.
Ride a long zip wire.
Rewrite my dragon books and publish.
Paint a dragon!
Stand out in heavy rain and get soaked.
Swim in a tidal swimming pool.
Learn sign language – I did once, but have forgotten it.
Travel with Vince on our motorbikes.
Get a professional massage.
Go on a Norwegian Fjord Cruise.
Drive a rally car – but not own one!
Do NaNoWriMo again.
Have a gardener fix my wild garden so I can redesign it.
Achieve consistent book sales.
Write a best seller.
Visit Canada.
Visit Iceland.
Bathe in hot springs in Iceland.
Walk on a glacier.

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Decorating Cakes © Lisa Shambrook

In my debut novel Beneath the Rainbow, Freya leaves a list behind and her family vow to do the things she’d wanted to do… One of her dreams is one I share – to build a big sandcastle, on the beach complete with turrets and a moat! 

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Author, art and Amaranth Alchemy © Lisa Shambrook

What about you, what’s at the top of your Bucket List?

What have you already ticked off your list?

Get out there and have fun!

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Destination Star Trek 50th Anniversary

I’ve been a Trekkie for a long, long time,
and I always wanted to boldly go to a Star Trek Con!

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Since my teenage years watching Jean-Luc Picard, “Make it so” has been a watchword, a phrase that encapsulates my own dreams, and the spirit of adventure that we all need. So, throughout The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager… (sorry, haven’t seen Enterprise, yet) and eagerly looking forward to the new incarnation, I am right there. Got the movies box set and enjoying the new films and parallel universe, and handing the fandom down to my children too, yes, I’m parenting well!

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© Lisa Shambrook – Caitlin Shambrook – Bekah Shambrook

Birmingham NEC was the destination for the 50th Star Trek Anniversary in Europe and we spent our Saturday amongst a sea of red, gold, and blue. Uniforms of all generations, and wonderful cosplay! Data, the Borg, Klingons, lots of Andorians, and many more aliens.

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© Lisa Shambrook – Bekah Shambrook

My daughters cosplayed as Spock and Jadzia Dax, Vince wore his Enterprise Haynes Manual t-shirt, and I wore sleek black with my DS9 communicator!

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© Lisa Shambrook

We saw Armin Shimerman (Quark – DS9), Walter Koenig (Chekov – TOS), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris – Voyager) and Nicole De Boer (Ezri Dax – DS9) signing photos. Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi – TNG), Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher – TNG), Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher – TNG), George Takei (Sulu – TOS), and William Shatner (Captain Kirk – TOS) were also there. We’d have loved to have seen Brent Spiner (Data – TNG), Michael Dorn (Worf – TNG), John De Lancie (Q – TNG, Voyager), Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker – TNG) and obviously Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard – TNG) but many of these actors had other commitments.

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© Lisa Shambrook

I’d hoped to find exhibits of the ships, Enterprise etc, which would have been cool, but there was a great art exhibition, talks, and lots of mechandise.

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Destination Star Trek Art Gallery

Anyway, we had lots of fun, photo opportunities, great cosplay and the pleasure of being amongst our people! 

Here’s to the next 50 years
to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations,
to boldly go where no one has gone before…

Human 76 – Ghabrie is on her way…

Just over a year ago my family and I stood in the freezing cold in Pembrey Park,
our fingers pale and cold gripping weapons in our hands.
You might ask why?

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We’ve had some fascinating family photoshoots over the last few years and with our son going overseas, to Canada, for two years, we wanted to push the boat out and do something really different. So, we went dystopian for a post-apocalyptic family portrait.

Shambrook Post Apocalyptic Photo Shoot and Ghabrie - Bekah

© Lisa Shambrook – Our family Post-Apocalyptic photoshoot and Bekah/Ghabrie

Human 76 Post Apocalyptic Anthology planning June 2015

© Lisa Shambrook – Planning Ghabrie’s world…

We had no idea what chaos and beauty our photoshoot would bring…

Bekah’s picture gained many comments and my amazing writing community wanted to write about her. The character in the picture became real. Ghabrie arrived in our lives.

We ended up with a group of fourteen talented writers (Michael Wombat, myself, Alex Brightsmith, Denise Callaway, KJ Collard, Alison DeLuca, Michelle Fox, Rebecca Fyfe, Jeff Hollar, Nick Johns, MS Manz, Julia Rios, KR Smith, Steven Paul Watson), creating a book chronicling Ghabrie’s search for her lost sister.

Bekah and I sat down and created a world in a post-apocalyptic landscape, and instructed our authors to write, the only necessity was that their characters had to meet Ghabrie at some point in their story. Ghabrie and her search is the theme that threads through the book, but what you get is a gorgeous vignette of many lives, some struggling and some prospering, in the Post-Blast world.
What leads them to Ghabrie? How do they meet her? Does she affect them? How do their stories impact hers?
You’ll have to read them to find out.

Human 76 Ghabrie Intro Piece

© Lisa Shambrook

An unprecedented set of stories set in the fragments of a fractured world.

This book has turned into a project of passion for myself and all its authors, and you’re getting a full length book of tales that will delight you, shock you, and disturb you (just a little). You’ll need to read Ghabrie’s story, and Glint’s story, and Planck’s story, and Ash and Hum’s story, and – there are so many more! And maybe you’ll find out what happened to Nahria…

Human 76, post-apocalyptic stories,

Human 76 – Coming soon…

We are on the cusp of releasing this book
out into the wild world – so keep your eyes wide open.
I’ll let you know when!

All proceeds from this book will go to Water is Life, a global charity that provides clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education programs to schools and villages in desperate need worldwide. Our book is about those displaced and struggling to survive in a dangerous world and this charity fits perfectly with our stories. So when you buy the book you will be helping those in need.

Also, for a period of two weeks the eBook will be FREE – be ready!

And check out Michael Wombat’s blog post for even more background on how we put this book together…  

And our FACEBOOK page is here! 
So you can keep up to date with everything, release date, offers,
fun stuff, and extras you won’t find anywhere else! 

Pumpkins and All Black for Halloween…

We don’t shy away when it comes to dressing up – you’ve probably noticed, but pumpkins are another thing all together!

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

We’d never carved pumpkins before and trying to decide what to carve took more time than sculpting them!

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

I also made ghost fairy cakes…to take for the treat table.

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Pokemon Pikachu, pumpkin inside a pumpkin and a lone wolf howling © Lisa Shambrook

Bekah opted for Pikachu from Pokemon, and the following day Caitlin spent a long time choosing to carve a howling wolf and I, with no idea, finally decided to carve a pumpkin inside a pumpkin!

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The Grim Reaper, Hybrid Bat, Steampunk Cat and Gothic China Doll © Lisa Shambrook

Outfits, of course, were well-planned and fun, and we were ready to party, or at least hang out as socially as those with social anxieties do.
Note: we don’t all have socialising issues, hubby can be quite the extrovert, especially when disguised as Death!   

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

We missed Dan, and we wonder kind of Halloween celebrations go on in Canada? So if you miss Dan too, like us, here’s a throwback to the Year 2000…and a contrast with now!

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© Lisa Shambrook

…and lastly, my pumpkin won me bubbles and ballons! Yay!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

How are you celebrating?

Families That Cosplay Together – Stay Together…Cardiff Comic Con

Have you ever wanted to release that inner geeky child?

If yes, then Comic Cons are the way to go! 

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Getting ready to play – Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2013 – © Lisa Shambrook

My daughter, Bekah, of Arkhdrauth Cosplay, is a cosplay enthusiast and after her first Comic Con dressed as Thranduil, we were all raring to have a go… So after a few months of preparation and much costume design…we headed off to Cardiff Comic Con.

indiana Jones cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Vince Shambrook – Indiana Jones by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

maleficent cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Bekah Shambrook of Arkhdrauth Cosplay – Maleficent by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

Bekah entered the Community Masquerade and placed First with her magnificent Maleficent cosplay!

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Daniel Shambrook – Ghost Call of Duty by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

Daenerys cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Caitlin Shambrook – Daenerys by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

This was a family affair and we had a great time. The atmosphere at Cardiff was brilliant and the cosplayers fantastic. I also really loved seeing all the families arriving with little cosplayers…start young!

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Cardiff Comic Con – Daenerys and Margery, Ghost and Star Lord, Indiana Jones and The Penguin, Maleficent and Maleficent, two Indys, Daryl Dixon and Lara Croft – © Lisa Shambrook

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Cardiff Comic Con, Maleficent and Star Lord, Daenerys x2 and Margery, Daenerys, Tauriel, Aragorn and Lara Croft, Daryl Dixon and Daenerys, Space Marine and Ghost, Star Lord, Lara Croft and The Terminator – © Lisa Shambrook

The organisers did a great job and special thanks must go to Antti Karppinen of Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative who took the most amazing photographs of almost all of the cosplayers, because he believes that the fans, the cosplayers, are what Comic Con is all about and he wants to recognise the passion and work they put into their costumes! He made a lot of cosplayers very happy with his brilliant photographs!

So, to release the child in you…dress up…honestly, it’ll do you the world of good! 

Have you ever wanted to Cosplay, if so who would you choose?

If you have already – who did you go as? 

Cosplay Heroes – The Fans

My daughter just returned from her first Comic Con: Cardiff Film and Comic Convention at the Motorpoint Arena. She had an amazing time, and one day she’ll take me with her!

It was the culmination of great desire and months of hard, hard work creating her own costume…to go to a Comic Con and not cosplay? No way!

She finally decided on Thranduil from The Hobbit and got down to it. She needed much, including a sword, crown, elf ears, long blond wig and an elven coat. I saw it in many states of array and watched the whole costume come together. I was wide-eyed at the range of her talent, talent she already had and new ones! The silver coat was miraculously hand sewn from scratch, and is gorgeous!

The money, time and dedication that goes into a cosplay costume is legendary, and a lot…then she got to wear it, and she looked stunning!

Bekah - Thranduil by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative Nov 2014

Bekah – Thranduil by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative. Cardiff Film and Comic Con – Nov 2014

She got to take photos with Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor and Radagast The Brown and also sat upon the Iron Throne! She was stopped, too many times to count, by other fans wanting to take pics with her, and she loved the time to meet so many like-minded cosplayers! The costumes were first rate…and this is where the most amazing guy turned up.

Antti Karppinen, a young Finnish photographer, was there with a small set up and took photos of the fans. Seriously, this young man’s talent is fantastic, but his ethos was even better…he wanted to take pictures of the fans because he realised what the Comic Con was all about – without the fans the celebrities wouldn’t be celebrities – and he wanted to give something back.

Please read his story here, you won’t regret it and take a look at the other stunning photos he took! Assasin’s Creed, The Beast, Constantine,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Super Girl, Spiderman, Loki and more…they all rock! Follow him on Facebook too.

His photo was probably the culminating moment of Comic Con, a permanent photographic record of a costume that took hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears, and lots of determination and love! And a photo of my daughter that I can treasure…Now take me next time!