I am Kurumasha, aka Shawna, sometimes Sha, but will respond to most names yelled in my general direction. While I loved dressing up in various outfit from the costume trunk as a child, I didn't start making my own costumes until 2002. I'm primarily self-taught with some help from friends and the internet and a lot of trial and error. (Oh so much error. The title of this site is an allusion to the fact that I tend to break at least one needle per project.) Somehow, I've achieved Master level (Anime North has a good explanation of the various divisions), I tend to focus a lot on the tailoring and construction of the fabric portions of my costumes. I'm slowly branching out of my comfort zone and tackling things like wigs and props, but it's a slow process.
I'm also the proud owner/slave of two adorably evil cats (Loki and Luce), who love to help with all my costumes. Because of them, most of what I make is fur-lined whether I want it to be or not.
I've been fairly active in the running and judging of masquerades in Ontario and Quebec, having helped with (the now defunct) AC³, Anime North, Otakuthon, G-Anime, ConBravo!, Ottawa Comic Con, and Ottawa Pop Expo
Quite happily, I claim my long-distance BFF Mai Sheri as my drift partner, piloting the jaeger Needle Panic. We're generally fond of bad ideas and being dorks together on and off stage (and dragging whatever friends don't run fast enough into our shenanigans).
I'm one of those costumers who's drawn by the pretty more often than not. I enjoy creating costumes from series that I love, but I'll often pick an outfit or character that I think i can make, not necessarily my favourite from the source. I also love doing variations, inspired-by, and seldom seen costumes. I like attempting costumes that aren't done that often, rather than being one of the many. (Also means that there's fewer people that I can be compared to -- for good or for ill.) Also, I've costumed characters from series I only have a passing knowledge of because I had a need for that outfit in my life.
I'm also a horrible role-player, so am rarely "in character" while in costume. I can adopt a bit of the character's traits for photos, but as soon as the camera is off of me, I’m back to my normal(ish) self. Also my inability to keep a straight face and remain serious for long tends to have me being very silly while in costume.