Monday, January 22, 2018

365 LLC Day 20-22: Of Ballet, Dream Prints, And Good Books

January 20, 2018

The DMV area is brimming with events for the performing arts and has a pretty well known ballet group. This post is actually just in time to catch a seat for one of the first performances of the year at the Washington Ballet, John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet, starting February 14th to the 18th. The cast looks phenomenal and I’ve been seeing snippets of the performance recently in my feed. The last half of the season will be other styles of performances, eventually ending the season with Peter and the Wolf.

January 21, 2018

My newest and current dream print was an answer to my prayers! I’ve been yearning for another tea cup print similar to Aatp’s Tea Time Nostalgia that fits my more classic aesthetic and doesn’t hit that sweet side like many of the tea time prints circulating recently. 

I also very much wanted to hit myself when I started drawing out the details, it’s so rich in the design, but I got out enough to recognize it. It’s Sakura Tea Time from Baby The Stars Shine Bright, I really wouldn’t mind any colorway.

January 22, 2018

Trying to pick a new book that fits into this category is a bit difficult; I love horror, mystery, and fantasy novels, I love stories written with our fashion interests in mind, especially when it selves into the genres I enjoy. Trying to dig in and find something that fits these categories for this post, without going for So Pretty/ Very Rotten or Dream Dress - I haven’t started either and plan to do a review on both soon- I decided to go with C.J. Malarsky’s Ashwood.

It fits the bill, with a little bit of spooky and fantastical mystery for the stories frilled out protagonist, Willow, goes off urban exploring with her cousin and friends through this old abandoned asylum, never knowing that the darkness that lingers within will follow her home. It’s well written, a good for a quick read that’s perfect if you like taking a soak with a book, I did enjoy the characters and the storyline, it reminded me of when I used to go urband exploring at some of my local haunts with friends. It is a young adult novel, geared towards high school ages, but deals with themes of loneliness and fear which is universal. 

I actually got the book in my goody bag for Rufflecon 2016 and only got around to reading it last winter. Since then I have suggested it to a few friends, one of whom has decided to pick it up, and would recommend to those looking for something quick and fanciful. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

365LLC Days 17-19: Of Travel Dreams, Pretty Pressed Flowers, & Bad Handwriting

January 17, 2018

Some days I have the urge to go running through the far ends of the world and seeing as much as I can, my travel goals were brought on by the stories my father would tell me about the places he would see as a ship captain, other days I want to travel my small corner of the world. It's not easy to choose just one place to visit. These are most likely the tops of my list that involve the fashion.

<3 World Lolita X Japan Lolita event

Promotional pic from event page

I would love to get to go to this event! I remember when Babi~san and Kaie~san told us about it during a panel at Rufflecon and them saying they wished everyone would go. It would be amazing to go. And then also being able to go back to Japan and visiting more locations I've hadn't gotten to see when I went the first time, and revisiting the ones I enjoyed greatly, would be great.

<3 Street Fashion Europe

I always see such lovely pics of this event and just wish I were there. I've also never been anywhere in Europe and 

<3 Paradiso

This is another event I'd love to travel out to due to it's ruffle~y goodness. I like how they've formatted the event so far, it's a newer con for J-fashion and it seems like they're really taking the time to fine tune things. It takes about the same amount of time for me to drive there as it does to get to RI so it doesn't seem too terrible a venture.

<3 Newport

ILD 2015, Chateau Sur Mer

I'd love to be able to get back to Newport, RI on one of my trips back home, I feel as though I never got to spend enough time there despite it being so close to home. The houses are all lovely and I'd love to go on a house hop and take afternoon tea down at the Viking Hotel, it would be a lovely little trek for a day in frills.

These are, of course, only a few of the little adventures in frills I'd like to take and fit into my travel wishlist that I'd like to get to soon.

January 18, 2018

This is one of my favorite things to do, actually, as I'll collect flowers on my walks or errands and stick them into my little notebook, I tend to carry one everywhere, for safe keeping. After getting home, sometimes I'll forget for a day or two which is fine, I'll find the flower in my notes and then hide them away in one of my most recently read books in my bookcase. This allows for the flower to get enough pressure for a long time, having just finished the book recently means I'll probably read it again in about a year, by the time I'll go to reread things I'll have found a perfectly pressed flower.

Here are some of my pressings:

 Here's an actual flower press box, you can easily make one if you have a drill, every piece can be picked up at your local hardware store. The paper lining should be acid free but it doesn't necessarily have to be the same paper you want to keep your pressings on.

Eventually I'll put some of mine in a journal and label them, for now I just like finding them occasionally in my books.

January 19, 2018

Today was especially fun since I decided to run off and get some ink for my calligraphy pen so I figured I'd give it a go after a very long time of not using it. It has been quite some time, I hadn't done anything with my pen since maybe high school, my old ink had dried up quiet a long time ago, getting back into the habit was a bit of an issue. So excuse the terrible handwriting.

I did stop early in the printing because this is the third attempt and I decided to stop so that I could experiment with the pressure of the pen and how much ink to use and so I can take a pic before further destroying the page. Despite all that, this is pretty close to how my normal handwriting with maybe minor difference.

It's time to close this off, I have so much more planned and need to keep going for the day, so I may just brew myself another pot to top myself off and keep me going.

Cheers! XOXO

LBC: What Are The Key Differences From When You First Started Lolita And Now

It has most definitely been a wild ride since first falling down that rabbit hole that is the Lolita fashion. It was not something that was ready to view, in 2007 the internet also didn't have as much Lolita related content as easily accessible as it is now either, and I had only really spotted it a few years before, by chance, when I somehow discovered the magnificent of Mana in a group shot of Malice Mizer. But just like Momoko, I was shot dead and reawaken to the magic of ruffles and lace.

Of course, it took me several years, loads of doubt of it's existence, and 2 extremely kind sellers on ebay selling their Btssb and IW to finally even get that chance to wear it, but it was so worth it and I still feel that splendor when I open up my closet in the morning. The difference between now and then? Though not much has been removed from my wardrobe, changing it up, it has definitely expanded and my style has anchored itself more.

These are some of the things that really stand out to me about my style now versus then:

Blacks & Pinks VS Creams & Florals

When I first started the fashion, it still shocks me with how long it's been, I used to try and get my hands on whatever I could at low prices. I didn't have a lot of money while I was still in college and so I always looked for excellent deals no matter what the style was. This led to a ton of pink or black or black AND pink pieces. 

Now I can say that floral patterns have seemed to have taken over, and I am glad for it. Though pinks may still sneak in with the patterns it is well balanced with roses and lilacs, without as many harsh contrasts as before. And I still do wear my older pieces on a daily basis but I rather enjoy looking like grandma's couch when I go out, whether with friends or on my own, to museums and antiquing.

Sweet~ish(?) VS More Classic

As I mentioned before most of my pieces had been blacks or pinks, or a combination of the 2, and they all tend to have a more sweet appeal to them. I have some of my original dream dresses, like Btssb's Music Salon in black, which is a sweet print, indeed, having all of it's daisies floating around the harps and violins in the print, and I also have Alice Trick~Or~Treat, as well. I tend to wear these prints on more of a daily basis, while out running errands or out for a walk, I still enjoy them and feel comfortable in them, though at first it was really most of what I had. 

Within the last 4 or 5 years my style has really changed up to be more elegant and over the top with not only classic prints but styles too. I really loved my princess sleeve blouse I got while in Japan that I used to wear exclusively with Night Fairy Fantasia - I had bought them together, amongst other things, so it felt special that way - though it hadn't been very popular; I also remember a friend questioning whether it was really Lolita at that point. I'm glad I did go with what I loved and that the community followed and began to release more bell sleeves and ruffled tiers that made my heart sing! And all of the bonnets and huge flowery headdresses just make me so happy. It's hard for me not to go all out sometimes when I'm off at the museums or at a meet up.

Focus Switched

I used to only focus on getting a hold of those main brand pieces, I nearly never looked out for decent blouses, accessories, or socks and shoes, it was a difficult habit to correct. It's still a process but I've finally accumulated quite a bit of the garments I knew I lacked. I could still use quite a few styles in blouses and more patterned socks and tights but my wardrobe has definitely improved in that regard. Another change I've undergone, over the last few years, is switching more things to classic and jewel tones for my wardrobe, getting rid of sweets that are too sweet for my tastes. 

Thankfully, this past megameet had a specific focus of working on their consignment process and I traded a few pieces, that just weren't ever my style no matter what I tried, for blouses and two new main pieces, I also sold things which aloud me to buy a much needed black bell sleeved blouse.

Regular Daily Lolita VS Lifestyler

At the beginning, any time I pulled out a garment for the fashion I didn't mind tucking it away again after a meet or casually hanging with friends. It did pull me but I wasn't nearly as immersed in it, though it did tug at me, it was fine. I could turn around and wear civvies and go back to my combat boots.

Now is a different story when it comes to what I seek to put on my person in the mornings. I strangely don't find any comfort in actual pants of any sorts and feel extremely self conscious. I also find that I really enjoy living the aesthetic, not just wearing the clothes. My hobbies and interests prior to the fashion did line up but I've seemed to have delved deeper, learning more to build on it and enjoying how end results either fit in with my wardrobe or
living space.

I find that I would like to immerse myself even further into this frilly abyss, without a care as to what anyone else thinks and enjoy the decadent things I love.

If you do want to read about other's journey on the path of frilliness, check them out in the links below and see what they've discovered about themselves. This post really made me look at myself, my style, and where I've been and put a few things into perspective.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

That Little Planned Tea Time...

For the 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge #16 the prompt was to plan a special meal and I went with a small afternoon tea, and planned to do it the next day. I was excited about what I had decided to plan, needing a little pick me up recently, though it there were a few things to prep in such a hurry. It was good I had no prior plans and surprisingly all of the ingredient at hand.

Tea is served!

And as luck would have it, I did manage to make everything I had initially planned out for the tea, some of the recipes were new to me, they turned out a success. As the banana bread was already done, things were sped up for making a quick tea sandwich, while running a quick errand I saw a special on grapes, a delicious little addition, and of course the scones.

Dressed for tea

Speaking of scones, recipes usually vary and most of the ones I've tried in the past usually make for quite a large stock pile. This isn't really ideal when you are one lone frilly for the day and don't often eat more then 1 or 2 in a sitting. This one I found is simple and very quick and can be altered to have different extra ingredients, for mine I did use 2 extras and used the 4 tablespoon measurement for both - it would only apply, I believe, when one is a ground ingredient, but that's up to your discretion, in my opinion  - and they turned out delightful.

Quick and easy

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (you can use a little extra to sprinkle on the top
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cold butter
5 tbsp milk
4 tbsp of whatever you want to mix in

<3 Preheat oven to 450.

<3 Mix all of the dry ingredients with what you want to add extra (rose petals, chocolate, etc).

<3 Add the butter and then the milk, if too try add a few drops of extra milk till smooth.

<3 Roll into a ball and flatten to about an 1-1/2" and cut or pull into 4 parts.

<3 Optional: Sprinkle extra sugar over tops and then bake for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

365LLC Days 14-16: Of Adjectives, Pleasant Dreams, And Delicious Meals

Some of these challenges, I've noticed are things that we've all done at some point in our daily lives, creating word association games, wardrobe goals, and coordination prompts. There have been a few I haven't done in a while, like reading Novala and learning how to make lace, reminding me of things I've wanted to get back to or learn. I hope this prompts me to focus and appreciate more of the details within the fashion and lifestyle a bit more.

January 14, 2018

I think the last time I tried to describe my style I really was hilariously vague, though truly accurate. I don't think it's changed much.

<3 Exuberant

<3 Flowery

<3 Unique

<3 Elegant

<3 Intriguing 

January 15, 2018

I actually just got this lovely rose perfume as a gift for my birthday from Sweet Okashi, back in August, and knew that this would be the perfect fragrance to spray on my bed.

January 16, 2018

Planning a special meal can be a real delight if you know what you are doing, how to cook, and have free reign of the kitchen, though in other cases it can be a nice learning experience. I'm still timid about cooking, though I've gotten more chances to do more then just the prep work for recently, I do enjoy trying things.

The first time I did this challenge I prepared an afternoon tea service, with specific plating choices and food, I'm finding I want to plan one for tomorrow. Since it will just be for me I'll go smaller then the last one I put together.

<3 First up will be a simple chocolate chip scone, straight from the oven tomorrow!

<3 I actually have all the ingredients for the Ritz Hotel egg salad tea sandwiches, which are classic. 

<3 I just made some banana bread this past weekend, the recipe I tried out was very good and got approval from all who tried it, a first for me. I know it's not traditional but it will be a nice addition.

<3 Truthfully, I don't believe I'll be able to eat much more, no matter how small I make the portions, so for the dessert I'm going to go easy and just came back from market with a beautiful honeycrisp apple. 

<3 For the actual tea to drink I think it will be a good time to crack out the blueberry tea Sweet gave me for my birthday. I think it will pair lovely with the apple and chocolate.

<3 I'll also bust out the linen Paulina gave me for Christmas last year, which I really liked and only use every so often. My gold gilt tall teapot, with the cherry blossom detail, and pair it with a similar tea cup, both pre-1910 and from Japan. I plan on using some of the pieces I don't often use to plate each, in complementing visuals (if I'm going to go this big I may as well, after all) and will even put out a nice tablecloth for the whole thing.

Well, it's time for dinner for me now...I seem to have worked up an appetite so I'll make my way over to the kitchen and start a pot to go with to warm me up on this evening.

Cheers! XO

Saturday, January 13, 2018

365LLC Day 11-13: Of Lace, Plates, and Planetory Imitations

January 11, 2018

I really enjoyed learning a bit about lace last time I did this challenge and so this year I decided my next project would be to really try out tatting. I've been wanting to try making this style of trim for some of my pieces so I figured I'd share a tutorial that could help me.

January 12, 2018

The only time I really ever get to make dishes and plate them the way I want is around lunch or tea time. I'm not usually big on lunch and don't usually do much more then fruits during the morning because I just don't really take that time, so usually during tea I like to plate my food and enjoy it that way. I just got the cocktail fork so I was excited to use it for the little berries and since I've made a runner for my sewing table I decided to take advantage of the look of it to add to the ambience.

January 13, 2018

Last time I did this one I went with The Illusion Of  Flowering Lady, which I really enjoyed and went back to before doing this challenge, so for this particular post I tried to dig around for another I hadn't read before.

Soleilnuit by Takemoto Novala - The Planetarium and Imitation Girls

I visited the Astronomy Science Center in Akashi. I took the Osaka Express and switched trains at Sanyou. The train made clacking noises and swayed back and forth stopping at every station, going alongside the ocean scenery. I got off at a tiny station called Harumaruzen, and could see the shape of the astronomy tower, which resembled a large clock tower.
At 135 degrees east longitude, the meridian there controls Japan's time zones and also has a star museum. I saw a crystal quartz clock which was right out of a Tezuka Osamu-style future, and an exhibit where you can personally experience Kepler's Law of Planetary Motion using a chip, and took a tour of the models while waiting for the planetarium show. I figured the planetarium's dome must be larger than the rest of the exhibits. The stars were projected onto the ceiling, and it was the real sky, but even realer than real, since it was deeper and more vast. It was a million light years away, and I was attacked by this feeling of desolateness. The Akashi horizon was broken up into rows of silhouettes, and the infiniteness of the night sky made my chest start to hurt. I glanced down and noticed the shape of the projector, which resembled a giant ant. It was at this moment I began to think, "Huh. At this planetarium, the stars that I'm looking at right now aren't real." Usually, I don't really look at the night sky. But the projected starry sky at the planetarium pulled at my heart more than the actual night sky ever had.
I prefer a round piece of glass to a diamond, and a robot more than an actual human. I like Bernard Faucon's mannequin photographs, Oobayashi Nobuhiko's SFX, and Takaratsuka opera. A young lady's essence is a sort of "imitation," and with this one word I can openly express it. When a "female" replica and a "young boy" replica exist simultaneously, it is called a "young girl." A young lady is an imitation of the reality of the world. If you squeeze out all of the artificial cuteness and beauty, you are left with an unbalanced, yet pure, android. The guide's voice informed us that dawn was approaching the planetarium. The starry sky reverted to a white screen; Alice opened her eyes and was forced to part with the vest-wearing rabbits. The clocks which regulate Japan's time at the Astronomy Science Center had second hands that had started to slice away bits of reality.

I really enjoyed this one so much that I had to share it. What's one of your favorite Novala Takemoto essays that you really like?

Friday, January 12, 2018

LBC: Your Plans On Executing Your Top 3 New Years Resolutions For The Fashion

The new year always starts off with so much hope and dreams of accomplishing small or big goals that people set their minds to. It does take a lot of determination to keep up with certain goals and plans, nothing ever really comes easy even if we wish it did, but often times things get left and forgotten; sometimes discarded when things get too tough to do or keep up. Sometimes a plan of attack is what keeps people on target.

This week for the Lolita Blog Carnival we've decided to pick 3 of our main goals and plan out exactly that.

I do have quite a few, some are small, like finally getting that black witchy style high colored blouse, but I want to really plan out the larger ones that will take a good chunk out of my life and are super important to me. These are the top of my list that I shared before in this post here that was also a previous topic for the LBC. 

Lolita Inspired Book
Plan Of Attack:

This is something I'm strangely anxious about for reasons I have yet to explain to myself. I know I'm not a writer, not in any sense of the term, but I truly want to write out this story that I know will intrigued people involved in the fashion and wish for frilly, princessy, dreams, I'm just weary of how to do it well. I do want the reader to be enthralled with the characters and bewitched, and also go "hey I want that and that frilly dress." I've had these ideas and characters rolling around in my head for a year, at the very least. (maybe if I made a pen name I'll feel more comfortable) 

<3 Fill out the characters a bit more in the sheets I've written on them.

<3 Write a little bit every day, even if it's only a scene or a few paragraphs.

<3 Send transcripts to friends to beta read things. 

<3 Outline back important facts and storylines to ensure I don't go too far off tangent.

Wardrobe Overhaul & Post
Plan Of Attack:

Maybe the easiest of the 3 resolutions, which I've already started to put together post pics.

<3 Make a full coord with each main piece on my dress form in a stylized manner to be photographed.

<3 Make each piece as different with pieces I may not usually coordinate it with, trying out different blouses and accessories, and in some cases shoes, to create more looks to wear.

<3 Do 6-8 cords a day to spread out the workload.

<3 Weed out pieces that I feel are not working with these tactics and if uncertain wear the coord and see if it still feels weird.

Reserves and New Prints
Plan of Attack:

TBTP Original Print The Homunculi

This is maybe the most important thing to me out of all of my resolutions. This is the one that I feel will be the most difficult. I have made my indie brands first ever print and it is a very surreal experience for me to see. I am also in the middle of doing my second print, drawing out each little detail in photoshop and attempting to better my drawing skills while using the ones I learnt from the first time. I now need to focus on getting it the print on my shop page and opening it.

<3 Take photos for the series, preferably with models in a setting that fits in with the style.

<3 Plan B: dress it on the mannequin with full coord shots to exhibit coordinate possibilities.

<3 Have the digital print ready for the site in all 3 colorways.

<3 Ensure that I watermark everything with my handy~dandy new watermark logo.

<3 Update all product onto the storenvy with both reservation and witch bonnet commission info.

<3 Continue work in the morning on next print design in photoshop.

Hopefully, the work required of the last one will not take the 8 months that the first one did, everything I learned from the first print about photoshop will hopefully make things go a lot quicker.

What are your plans for executing your New Years goal?

If you're looking to read up on what other frillies have planned to execute their 3 New Years Resolution be sure to give them a read in the links below.