Fashion Friday: Katniss Everdeen Costume

Okay, okay, okay. I know. No more posting except for on Wednesdays. But it’s October Break and I don’t have Spanish again until next Thursday and I’m getting super psyched for Halloween, so here we go: I’ve been getting a ton of hits lately on my Hunger Games Movie Reaction post by people wanting to dress up like Katniss Everdeen for Halloween (I went as her to the midnight showing of the movie last March), so I figured I’d do a quick post to help y’all out, with where I got all my costume pieces and all that. I purchased my entire costume over the course of about an hour, flitting in out of these fantastically high-end, expensive, costume-oriented stores like Meijer and Target. All in all, it came out to about $75, which is a huge bargain when you consider that I can also wear all of it (minus my Mockingjay Pin) just in every day life, as well.

(By the way, a huuuge thanks to Emma of Nose in a Book for tagging my post in her post. Thank God my roommate isn’t home right now, because I started freaking out really bad.)

Anyway, here we go: How to dress like Katniss Everdeen of the wonderful, beautiful, amazing Hunger Games trilogy.

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To start, here are some pictures of my costume:

Also, check out Detroit Metromix. You can see some great photos of fans dressed up for the midnight showing, including me and a girl dressed as Effie Trinket, and me and another girl dressed as Prim. (Now, for all you creepers out there, please take note that NO, I do not live anywhere near that movie theatre, so you can think twice about stalking me through it. Kibosh on your plans.)

Next up, the Clothes:

Black V-Neck:

Target, $8.00*

Black Jacket:

Target, $34.99

Green Cargo Pants:

JC Penney, $11*

Brown Combat Boots with Buckles:

Meijer, $35.00*

Lastly, the Accessories:

Scholastic’s Gold Mockingjay Pin:

ebay, $9.99**

Katniss’s Braid:

If you’ve got time, here’s a fancy Youtube tutorial so you can do your hair EXACTLY like they did in the movie.

Or, if you’re lazy like I am, here’s how I did it:

Step 1: The day before you want to wear your Katniss costume, don’t brush your hair after showering. Instead, twist it back until it’s wound as tightly as possible into a bun, and have it dry that way. If you have any sort of curling products, like curling cream, use it before putting your hair up. Make sure you have your part to one side. If the bun begins to fall out at any point in the day, take down your hair and twist it back again. Keep it in over night, and the next morning. The main thing is that you want it to be as curly and messy as possible by the time you want to put your braid in. (Note that this only works if you have straight, fine hair, like I do… if you’ve naturally got curls, just skip this step, you lucky human being you.)

Step 2: Once you’re ready to put your braid in, finger-comb your hair until it’s manageable although still poofy and messy, and then spritz it with hairspray (the weakest hairspray you can find–you don’t want extra hold on this; you just want it to maintain its body).

Step 3: Katniss’s braid comes down her shoulder on the side closest to her part, so go to the opposite side and pick up the hair closest to your face through the hair above your ear, and do a couple loops of a regular braid with it, pulling it back as you go. Make sure to leave some hair out on either side of your face–Katniss has side bangs.

Step 4: Grab the next clump of hair, now directly behind your ear, and add that to one portion of your braid, and then continue doing this as you loop it back around your scalp, angling it horizontally down, towards the nape of your neck. (Technically, this is not the proper way to do Katniss’s braid–she has a Dutch braid, which is basically an inverted French braid–but remember: this is Katniss Hair for lazy people. This is a much simpler way of getting a similar look.)

Step 5: Once you reach the back of your other ear, take your remaining hair and add a part of it to each of your three clumps of hair. Then do a regular braid down, and tie it off at the bottom with a thin hairband the same color as your hair.

Step 6: Bask in all your Katniss Everdeen-impersonating glory.

Nails and Makeup:

I don’t think I should have to tell you not to wear any jewelry other than your Mockingjay Pin, but nails and makeup are another thing. In the book, Katniss has flames painted on her nails. In the movie? Not so much. I ended up choosing just to do a simple clear polish.

As for makeup, go for minimal and natural: I wore some dull (i.e. not glittery) gold eyeshadow over my eyelid, a thin line of black eyeliner above my eye and in the outer corner of my bottom lash line, along with some natural-looking mascara (so it lengthened and thickened my lashes without looking like I was coating them in tar). I also had on light pink-tinted lip balm (it gives you an air of very Katniss-like innocence), concealer, foundation, and a little bit of blush on my cheeks, but all in all, wearing makeup with this costume isn’t necessary. I just really enjoy putting it on. But if you don’t, then you don’t need to.

If you’re interested, here are links to the products I used:

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Well, that is basically EVERYTHING I can think of to cover the Katniss Everdeen costume. If you can get your hands on a hunting bow or an orange backpack, those are obviously some useful props to have as well, but don’t sweat it if you can’t. The braid alone should make it pretty obvious who you’re dressing as.

If you’d like to send me pictures of your costume once October 31st itself rolls around, feel free to email them to me at: jbyerswriting@aol.com.

Good luck, may the odds be ever in your favor, and happy early Halloween! Talk to you on Wednesday!

~Julia

*Not the exact product I bought, but the closest I could find. (Also, as far as the cargo pants go: If you can find a pair of legitimate cargo pants instead of cropped ones, please let me know, because between looking in March and looking now, I haven’t been able to find any.)

**This isn’t the version of the Mockingjay Pin used in the movie–at the time, the bronzier-looking movie pins were way more expensive than the original ones Scholastic produced to promote the books. However, at this point, you can get a movie-version pin for about the same as a book-version, from places like ebay, Amazon, and Hot Topic.

***I honestly do not recommend this eyeliner, because it runs and smears like crazy, but for some reason I keep going back to it. Anyone got suggestions for another twisty-crayon-style eyeliner that’s cheap but doesn’t smear as bad?

Wordy Wednesday (“Nisus and Scylla”)

After going to see The Hunger Games a second time, I must amend my previous statement: While I still maintain that it left out a lot of the subplot stuff from the novel, the movie in itself was really good, and I’m glad I got to see it again because now I’m sort of in love with it. 🙂

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a short story I wrote for mythology class last semester called “Nisus and Scylla” — it’s a retelling of the classic Greek myth. 🙂

 

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Six months. It had been six months since the Cretans first arrived in the port of Megara, and six months since Scylla first laid eyes on King Minos as he leapt off the side of his ship, straight into the frothing blue ocean waves. Six months since he and his men surged towards her kingdom’s walls, and her people screamed and hid in their homes, and the Megaran soldiers sealed shut the gates.

Six months since the war began. Six months since Scylla had last been free.

Scylla hadn’t loved King Minos at first. No, definitely not. At first, he appeared to her a foreigner; frightening and exotic. But over time, frightening gave way for intriguing, and exotic became something unique to behold rather than to evade. Being shut up in the small kingdom with the Megarans for those six months had made them seem drab in comparison and only fostered her growing feelings for the invading king.

But what to do about these feelings? Scylla wondered. The Cretans had made no progress in the breeching of Megara’s walls and Scylla’s father King Nisus didn’t seem the least bit worried about them.

Sighing, Scylla leaned back against the tall stone pillar from the base of which she watched King Minos. It reached up from the walkway atop the outermost siege wall as if whatever ancient Megaran who had built it wished to reach the heavens with his creation. What freedom must there to be had up there in the sky?

Freedom. It had been six months since Scylla last was free.

She tilted her head and held her slender fingers against the sun, squinting in the direction of the invaders’ camp beyond the walls. Once again, King Minos and his men could be seen making and breaking and making and breaking their plans to bring down the siege walls. He seemed so intelligent, shouting out orders to the soldiers and drawing diagrams in the damp sand along the shore, but none of it would help him.

As the daughter of the great King Nisus, Scylla was privy to the knowledge that the Cretans failed to conquer the kingdom simply because of a magic purple lock of hair that grew from her father’s scalp. If it were to be lopped off, whoever possessed it would take Megara without folly, but for as long as King Nisus still had it on his head, he would never lose his throne.

It will be difficult, Scylla reasoned, to gain King Minos’s affection while locked up here in Father’s kingdom. She already was as close as she could get while the gates were closed, huddled atop the massive walls where the archers often stood during battles. She shivered despite the sun.

Because Minos cannot reach me in here, I must find a way to reach him beyond the walls… but how can I gain his trust? The king of Crete is not likely to receive the princess of Megara well if I should invade his camp, she thought to herself. And once again, I’ve led myself back to Father’s hair. She bit her lip.

For weeks Scylla had considered the various ways she could gain the trust of King Minos, and always she came back to King Nisus’s magic purple hair. King Minos would be delighted to have the chopped hair, because it would mean a near-spontaneous victory over the Megarans. But she couldn’t take the hair from her own father, could she? The man who had raised her?

But Scylla was drunk with love, and no matter which way she looked at her problem, the only obvious answer seemed to be to take her father’s hair.

Okay, she decided, getting to her feet and brushing the sand dust from her elaborate gown. She glanced once more down upon the Cretans and felt her fingers weave themselves into knots as she thought of what she was about to do. Okay, I’m going to finally do it. Tonight, I will steal into Father’s bedchamber and cut his hair.

 

Midnight came all too soon for Princess Scylla, but she had made up her mind, and so – when the fires burned low and the kingdom was quiet – she took a knife from the kitchens and scurried up the stairwells to her father’s room, careful not to alert the servants to her presence.

Scylla was a ghost as she practically flew up and down the halls, around corners and through passageways. Her heart thudded with fear, so loudly she was afraid it would alert her father to her presence before she could even reach him, but the sound was only in her ears, and despite her fear, Scylla felt freer in those moments than she had since the gates first clanged shut six months before. There was a certain wildness in the feel of the cool, damp air rushing against her cheeks and the clamminess of her palms.

Six months. Freedom. A life after this with King Minos, as he will surely be pleased with my offering.

These were the thoughts that kept her from stopping and turning back. These were the thoughts that made the uneasiness dissipate.

Finally, the princess reached her father’s chamber, and she pushed the door against its hinges, as gently and slowly as she could. As she slipped through the doorway, the softly burning candles in the bedroom caught her in their light, throwing her sleek black shadow across the grand bed of King Nisus, and Scylla stopped, horrorstruck. Her blood pounded in her ears. Her knees knocked together beneath her splendid dress.

But the old king did not stir.

With her last ounce of courage, Scylla pulled the knife from where she’d hidden it amongst her skirts and held it, shaking, to the glittering lock of purple hair that splayed out across her father’s pillow. One sharp snip and the hair fell free.

She stepped hurriedly back, half expecting guards to rush in and bind her hands, to put her to death for her treachery, but no alarms sounded and no one took notice as she slipped back out of the room and away from her home.

Still dark. It was still dark as she raced up the steps to the walkway along the top of the walls and ran for her favorite stone pillar. She quickly tied a length of ribbon she had brought from her chambermaid’s sewing things and lassoed it around the pillar. With frightened fingers, she tied the noosed end into knots, and without testing it to see if it should hold, she took the other in her hands and slid her feet over the barrier, so that they dangled over the edge of the wall, over the beach. With her back to her kingdom, to her home, she pushed off.

The night was silent as she fell from the siege wall, ribbon tangled in her hands and the whistling wind tangled in her hair. The ribbon ran out a length before the ground, and when she let go the beach raced up to meet her.

Scylla lay there for a moment, coughing the sand from her throat. Well that was an unpleasant landing. But when she stood, she found she was not injured, and the confiscated purple hair was still safe where she’d hidden it.

Remembering her mission, she took one last glance back at her kingdom walls, and then darted away towards the camp of the Cretans.

She disappeared into the night.

 

“What did you do?”

Scylla could not understand why King Minos’s handsome face was flushed with rage.

“I brought you the key to winning the war against my father, my love!” she exclaimed, giving him her most radiant smile. While that smile could win over the heart of any man back within the safe walls of Megara, it had a vastly lateral effect on the foreign king. With an anger so fierce and indifferent Scylla could not understand it, he lashed out at her. Her cheek stung from the blow.

“Do not call me your love, you filthy vermin,” he spat. Her smile faded. “This is treachery, and I will not win a war by treachery! I’ll win it by skill and determination. How else should it be known that I am the better king?”

“But my love –” she began, but then bit back her words. “King Minos, you could not win without my help. The purple hair is magic. While my father possessed it, no one could take his kingdom. Surely you must be grateful.”

“Grateful for a spineless fool who cheats and then thinks she deserves a reward?” he growled. His dark eyes flashed and Scylla involuntarily took a step away. She knocked into the cloth side of the tent and a whimper escaped from her lips as Minos approached her again.

She had never felt so trapped.

“Get out of my sight, you arrogant princess of Megara.” He said it with contempt. “I will win this war my own way.”

“Well it’s too late,” Scylla was in tears, “because I’ve already given the magic hair to you. No matter how difficult you try to win the war by your own cunning, it will now be impossible. It’ll appear as sheer dumb luck.”

“Fine then.” King Minos turned to where his advisor stood cowering in the corner. The poor old man looked nearly as afraid as Scylla felt. “We take the kingdom at dawn and then leave to go back to Crete at sunset.”

Crete, Scylla thought to herself wistfully. The exoticness of it all still haunted her. How lovely it would be to travel to that faraway place. “Please, sire!” she found herself bursting out. “Please, take me with you! I love you!”

The glint in Minos’s eye was murderous. He looked down upon her like she was a poorly behaved dog that he wished to beat. “There is no room for love in war.”

 

Scylla was crying. She knew she should keep quiet, if she should be able to sneak aboard King Minos’s ship, but she could not help herself, and the tears came and came.

She loved him. She loved him so. For six months, she had been trapped and she had loved him, and for what? The handsome king scorned her. Hated her.

But Scylla would rather his hate than his indifference, which she was sure to receive if she remained in Megara.

With light footsteps, she journeyed across the sand and, wiping her tears with her trembling hand, grasped onto the side of the ship. She meant to pull herself onboard and to sneak into some nook or cranny where she could hide until they were too far out to sea to send her back to her father’s now burning kingdom, but it wasn’t to be.

“I see you there.” King Minos spoke in a deadly calm cadence as he stared down at the princess, clinging to the side of his vessel. “Get off before I have a soldier slice you off with his sword. I promise it will be the one we used to kill your father.”

That hit her then. Father? Scylla thought. Father is dead? I didn’t think that would happen… I didn’t think they would do that… Surely they could have allowed him to live on as a beggar, at least!

But in her heart, she knew they never would have. Leaving the old king alive would have shown weakness on their part.

The Cretans never would have taken the kingdom if it weren’t for her treachery… Oh! She truly was unworthy of Minos’s affections! She had been so blinded by love that she had caused the death of her own father!

The weeping commenced again, and unable to stand it any longer, King Minos shook his head and left her there to cling to the side of the ship. “If she’s still there when we reach Crete,” he shouted to his men, “feed her to the palace hounds!”

She continued to snivel. “Father, oh father!” she whimpered.

Scylla was so lost in her misery that she was unaware of the great eagle swooping down towards her until his talons clenched around her shoulders and ripped her from the side of the ship, and then they were flying up, up, and up. Down below, the soldiers shouted and pointed, but now Scylla and the eagle were too high up to be properly seen.

She was numb, then. Locked away. Unsure what to do or how she’d gotten to where she was. All she was aware of was the way the setting sun flashed in her eyes, temporarily blinding her, and then, as the eagle’s wings flapped and they swooped away from the sun, the way she could just make out a stilted purple feather that grew twisted among the shining brown and grey plumage.

A purple feather that was shorter than its neighbors, stunted like a lock of hair fresh chopped.

The realization came into her mind all at once. The gods most have made him this eagle when they saw him dying by the Cretans’ hands! They had saved him!

“Oh father!” she shrieked with joy… but the eagle that once was a king was not there to rescue her. With a sound like laughter emanating from his beak, he opened his talons and released his daughter to the air.

She was so far up in the sky, she could see to the edge of the sea.

I am going to die, Scylla thought as she fell. I deserve to die, because I sinned. I sinned greatly.

“But princess Scylla,” the wind seemed to be saying, smiling, whispering to her as she fell like a rock, “you sinned only because of love, and one may be forgiven for mistakes made in the heat of affection.”

Involuntarily, Scylla felt her arms lift up, then, battle against the air rushing all around her. She would not die. She flapped her arms like wings, attempting to gain air resistance and slow her fall. The water grew closer and closer. And then something miraculous happened. The more Scylla flapped, the more her arms worked, until she was genuinely gliding along the blue waves on feathered wings. Looking down at her reflection in the last rays of sunset, she saw that she had become a bird also.

Panic first seized her heart, but then the wind caught under her wings and lifted her up, up, up, and she found herself soaring. It was breathtaking, up there in the sky. Such freedom.

One glance back at the eagle that was King Nisus told Scylla that he would never abandon his quest for revenge; he would always chase her, no matter if she was a human or a bird. But in that moment, she did not care.

For six months, Scylla had been trapped. For six months, she had not been free.

But at least now she would always be free, for forever more.

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What sorts of things would you all like to see in future Wordy Wednedsays? More short stories? Poetry, novel excerpts, songs? Let me know in the comments!

Also: I’m going to be on vacation this weekend (spring break whoohoo!!), so I might not be able to post until next week. My apologies if that happens!

Love you guys!!

 

~Julia

Hunger Games Movie Reaction

I’m a bundle of mixed feelings.

Part of me REALLY, SUPER LOVED the Hunger Games movie. The other part of me was extremely disappointed.

Now don’t go calling the Peacekeepers on me or anything, because I truly did think that there were some awesome parts of the movie, but there were also some other parts that were close to my heart and were left out of the film, and that bothered me. (Such as 99% of the ending, such as *spoilers* Katniss having to mess with Peeta’s tourniquet, and then admitting to him right before they get back to 12 that she only faked loving him in order to win the games).

However, for all that was lost in the translation from book to film, there were some great added scenes in the movie that I adored, especially the ones with Seneca Crane (although his amazing beard occasionally distracted me from what was actually going on, throughout that 😉 ).

The movie did make me cry, but not when *spoilers* Rue died. It was when I saw her father in District 11, reacting to her death.

The movie did make me laugh, but it was less for Peeta’s self-deprecating humor from the novel — which really only presented itself in one scene, during his pre-Games interview — as much as the dynamic between Effie and Haymitch (which is very humorous, let me tell you).

Honestly, I thought Haymitch was not nearly drunk enough throughout the film, the emotional scenes didn’t play out well because they didn’t vamp up the emotion but instead jumped from Low Emotion straight to High Emotion, and the ending was just plain messed up — and not in a “we ran out of time to do the ending properly” kind of messed up way, but like they thought the book ending wasn’t important enough to portray… which is what, above all else, really, truly bothered me.

I’m not mad… overall, it was still a good movie. And I’m not exactly disappointed, either… it’s more like I’m, well, grieving. All these months anticipating this movie, and picturing it in my head, and in the end it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be.

Which is, I guess when you think about it, to be expected.

So the Hunger Games movie wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Oh well. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a good movie, most of the acting was superb (although don’t get me started on Liam Hemsworth’s Gale, which was extremely shaky in the scene that he’s introduced, out in the woods), and the setting was spot-on and beautiful in the way that only a fully-contrived universe can be.

… Which basically leaves me back at square one: I don’t know what to think. Part of me loves the movie, part of me has no choice but to be disappointed. But either way, I’m glad that I got to see the midnight screening of it, and I’m glad that I’m getting to see it again this weekend — maybe then I’ll be able to think through what I think of it more and make a decision on it.

My reaction? A solid film, one of the best book-to-movie adaptions I’ve seen, and definitely worth the money to go out and see it (even if it’s only so you can swoon over Josh Hutcherson)… But be prepared to lose some of the depth from the novel, especially dealing with the subplot-character-relationships. I’m excited, now, to see how they’ll handle the second movie. 🙂

I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

A couple of shots of me in my Katniss costume before I left for the movie. 🙂

UPDATE: How to Make a Katniss Costume

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Horoscope”)

Random Facts About Today:

  1. The weather’s supposed to be in the 80s today, which will break the last record by like 10 degrees (which is what happened yesterday, too — the last record had been set in the early 1900s; this weather is CRAZY).
  2. Exactly one month from today, I’ll be eighteen. 😀
  3. TWO DAYS TO THE HUNGER GAMES!!!!!

I’ve been obsessively watching this clip (and all the others, too, but mostly this one):

 

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is going to be a short one, but I don’t think a piece has to be long to be significant. This is a poem called “Horoscope” that I wrote the night before I left for the Writer’s Digest Conference this year — I hope it conveys some of the emotions I was feeling that night, thinking about the past year and what the future might bring.

The style is inspired by e.e. cummings.

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i am so scared
terrified
so scared that i cant breathe
that everythings changing
for better or for worse
counting down the seconds
til midnight ten nine eight
i cant breathe
i cant breathe
i cant breathe
tell me my future
but leave out the part
where i find out
what kind of person i am

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~Julia

New Year’s Resolutions

So this has basically been my inner monologue for the past twenty four hours:

I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2011. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it. It’s impossible. No way it’s already the end of the year. I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year. The end of 2011? No way. 2011 just began! It’s impossible. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it. It is NOT the end of 2011!

… And around and around in circles I’ve gone.

Well, this seemed like as good a time as any to talk about the Oh-So-Important ritual of creating New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not gonna lie: I get totally hyped over making my resolutions each year. But what gets me even more hyped is looking back  at my completely forgotten about and abandoned resolutions from last year, realizing how much I suck at life, and deciding to do better this next year.

Which, you know, usually lasts about a week and then my short term memory cuts out and I forget again. (Although, seeing as “get in shape” has been on my resolutions list for the past four years running, that selective memory brownout might be on purpose.)

Nonetheless, though, I’ve already sat down this week and written out a list of resolutions for 2012 that are hopefully easier done than said, rather than the other way around like they usually are (I repeat: getting in shape). And now, without further ado, my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions list:

  1. Blog twice a week
  2. Write a novel
  3. Do my best to get a literary agent
  4. Do my best to get a talent agent
  5. Make new friends
  6. Enjoy college, no matter where I end up
  7. Get all As for my last two semesters of high school
  8. Start posting covers of songs on Youtube
  9. ENJOY LIFE, even if it’s not going my way
  10. Help someone who I don’t have to – be selfless
  11. Change the world
  12. Find happiness.

I’m also halfway tempted to add “don’t die” onto there, in reference to the apparent apocalypse, but then I feel like that’s just testing fate.

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? Doing anything fun to ring in the New Year? Are there any books or movies you’re particularly excited about in 2012? (HUNGER GAMES MOVIE AND NEW GALLAGHER GIRLS BOOK OH MY GOSH!!!!!)

Although I’m sad to see 2011 go, I’m even gladder to see where 2012 will go. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally start exercising! (Wouldn’t that be a miracle?)

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S GUYS!! Next time I talk to you, it’s going to be 2012! The year I turn 18, graduate, go to college, and hopefully don’t die in the apocalypse. 🙂

~Julia