Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: My Favorite Lolita Brand

What's in a brand? What makes a brand make you tick? For each frilly there is a different brand that has a grip on their lace edged heart and I am no different.When I look at my favorite brands I like my heart actually clenches and I get the urge to put on some of my favorite frills. It's a call very difficult to resist and I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels this.

My favorite brand? It would have to be Baby the Stars Shines Bright and Alice and the Pirates, I just can't seem to get enough of their styles and cuts and their mix of classic and sweet looks. It really does make me feel like this:



Well that and Triple Fortune bonnets, let's be very honest. They make me happy and I love the moment of unwrapping a new piece from them and feels wonderful to put them on and enjoy them. I hope you have a brand or a piece that makes you feel the same way.

365 LLC: Day 31: Browse Through The Latest Wardrobe Posts On EGL

It's been a whole month since starting this.

Wardrobe posts! I do love looking over wardrobe posts and taking a peek in everyone else's closets and getting to see how people organize their clothes and accessories. It's not only nice to look over all the lovely things but gets me pumped to put on pieces I have and appreciate them a little more. I attempted to make one of my own but I got to organizing everything just last week and realized I had a lot to iron.

I usually iron what I am going to wear for the day early in the morning. Unless it's not in need of ironing, before I work out and hang it up but I've learned my blouses need a little more love then I've been giving them before putting them away after washing.

I couldn't highlight a few, I say just go and take a look, so many people worked so hard on their posts and they looked so good, it's very impressive. So hope on over and check out all the lovely frills right over here.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

365 LLC: Day 30: Tidy Your Closet


This actually works as I've been trying to organize it over the last week and hanging and arranging things so that it's easier to deal with. As I wear my frills daily it does need to be organized almost on a weekly basis. This time though I also organized my wigs, shoes, hats, petticoats, and parasols as well. Lastly, I have my drawers of socks, blouses and bloomers, and head accessories next (wish me luck!).




It doesn't look like much but I managed to get a lot done.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

365 LLC: Day 28: Learn How To Prepare A New Entree


I choose to try a simple fish dish that I would pair with asparagus or flowering chives with some toasted bread (usually we have rice) and compliment the main dish very well. I found a fish recipe small enough for 2 and decided to choose sole meuniere, it takes only 10 minutes to prep and not very long to cook depending on what you do for the full meal and wanted to give it a try. Here is the recipe I used:

Ingredients

1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 fresh sole fillets (about 3-4 ounces each)
3tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest 
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 200F.

Pat each fillet drew with a paper towel and then sprinkle salt on each side.

Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat until it starts to brown and coat the 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully without breaking them and cook for another 2 minutes.

While the second side cooks, add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan.

Carefully, plate put the fish filets and pour the sauce over them.  Sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and pepper and serve with the veggies and toasted Italian bread.

I hope you give it a try and that you really like it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

365 LLC: Day 27: Look Up The Performance Schedule For Your Local Orchestra


I had mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to check out the orchestra and it seems that it was good to do so. The DC area has such a wide variety of musical performances that it's delightfully surprising. I haven't been in a long time, I don't think since college, but it's something I would like to get back into going to.

I am very excited about Yo Yo Ma in April and I have always wanted to see him in concert and this would be a dream come true! There are so many excellent musicians playing and many more wonderful pieces being played and I can't wait to see them.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

365LLC: Day 26: Photograph Your Newest Lolita Purchase

My last purchase was Black Cat, Witch, and the Apple Tree jsk II from Alice and the Pirates in cream and it's one of my dream dresses. It's honestly even more amazing as I had hoped it would be in person and I can't wait to wear it out. These are just a few detail pics of the print itself.








I hope to buy another piece soon but lately I've been making so many new pieces that I haven't had a chance to focus on any wishlist pieces and this purchase was around Christmas time actually so it's been a while. What was your last purchase?

Monday, January 25, 2016

365 LLC: Day 25: Spare Some Time For An Indulgent Wash


 This weekend has been long and filled to the brim with tea, sewing, and snow so it is a lovely idea to take a soak after the dryness. I usually take a soak every other Sunday after we shop for food for the week but I was too involved with my sewing projects (2 dresses and a new muff for the shop!)

I don't usually go all out like this but I had recently made rose water - some of which went into a rose cookie recipe that is to die for - and as it has excellent cleansing properties I figured it would be great to use a smidge and some roses in the tub. I used lavender epsom salt and rose petals (roses are dried culinary roses by the by) and rose water and I have some simple chai and rose cookies to enjoy as I go through a GLB or read The Lady in Black. My bath smells great to be honest and I highly recommend doing something similar on a stressful or harse weather type of day.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

365 LLC: Day 24: Wear Something With Lace


Though today was a day of snow, sewing, and tea and nothing else I threw on some lacy frills like I do just about everyday. I haven't worn that headdress a lot but I'm trying new things.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

365LLC: Day 23: Learn About A Renegade Princess


Princesses, lovely, dainty, and timid all throughout history...I don't think so! There are many who would like to bury that history and destroy facts about fierce women who risked life and limb for what they believed was right. There are 2 ladies that I would like to point out had very amazing and courageous lives that I only wish I could be even a little like.

The first I will introduce is the pirate, Princess Awilda, of Scandinavia, who was - according to legend - locked away in a tower, guarded by 2 poisonous snakes, with the promise that if someone could overcome all the traps and "rescue" the Princess they could have her hand in marriage. Awilda was not having any of that apparently because she soon escaped, dressed as a man, and decided that she would become a pirate. (SHE STOLE HER OWN SHIP! HOW MUCH MORE PIRATE CAN YOU GET?!)


After a few years of being a badass and actually being elected Captain by a band of pirates they, for some reason, returned home to cause trouble I guess. So much trouble that the King, her father, sent out the very warrior she was supposed to marry to take care of the pirate problem. No one realized knew at the time that the pirates were led by the Princess and it wasn't even until she revealed herself that anyone knew at all. According to the story, she had been so impressed by the warrior, this time, that she pretty much told him who she was and said she would marry him. It seems like she was quite the character doesn't it?

The second princess I would like to talk about, Pinyang, only amassed an army of 70,000 men to overthrow Emperor Yang (596-618) of China, because he was a tyrant who poisoned his own father to attain the thrown and ordered the execution of Pinyang's father. This was a seriously tough lady! As a matter of fact, upon learning of the execution order of her father she told her husband that they had to run away separately so as not to be conspicuous through a war torn China.


On her own she sold off her families fortunes and feed the villagers asking for able bodied men and women to join her army, if they didn't join for the food, she pay them, and if that didn't work she'd fight them and make them submit. Basically, this woman didn't take no for an answer and if you still tried to say no well...let's just say that wasn't a very wise option.

Every village she arrived at her warriors would help and feed, gaining more supporters and more fighters for her cause. Eventually she met up again with her husband and they marched on back to the Emperor who was so terrified that he turned tail and ran for his life. Thus she gained the thrown for her father and beginning the Tang Dynasty.

 I highly recommend devouring anything you can find about these ladies and if you happen to read about another bad-ass princess I'd love to hear about it.

Lolita 52 Challenge: My Wardrobe Turnover

This weeks topic for the Lolita 52 Challenge is my wardrobe turnover which means this post will be extremely short. A turnover is the same as a turnover rate in things like work in which if a company has a high turnover rate it means that people leave and new staff are brought in, in terms of Lolita wardrobes it's about what you buy and then sell off.

There haven't been very many instances for me, though I know some like to keep their wardrobes fresh or are experimenting with different styles that they find they don't like as much, and both of these styles of wardrobe upkeep are absolutely fine. I like what I have in my wardrobe and like having a wide variety to wear as I do wear it daily so it's good for me to have variety. I don't like selling off my pieces and if I do it's for one of very few reasons.

1) Poor fit - I have a fairly small waist but my bust is on the bigger size so I do have to be careful with pieces that have collars and no shirring. I've only had to sell 1 piece do to sizing issues.

2) Really not my style - I have only had 2 pieces that I felt aren't my style and I didn't want to rework it to suit me so off to someone it does  and loves it it goes.

The only other time I really get rid of clothing is actually in non-Lolita I have only a small drawer of clothing and I don't like buying regular clothes. If I get more I donate the older pieces to make room for the newer things. All of my older blouses that weren't quite right for Lolita have also been phased out.

So there it is, I'm going to go brew another pot of tea on this fine snowy day and snow while I watch my cats loose their cool over snowflakes flying past the window.

What about you what's your turnover rate?

Friday, January 22, 2016

365LLC: Day 22: Share A Favorite Book That Other Lolitas Might Like

These past few months have honestly been a whirlwind and fluttering of pages for me, I have indulged in reading at least 40 new books in the last 3 or 4 months alone. There were some mighty good ones and then there were some that made me wish I had gouged my eyes out. Luckily there were free due to my free book apps and things like BookBub.

What I have discovered is that I really do prefer older books from what I've read of newer stories. I love Frankenstein and Dracula, can't beat the classics, and Dorian Grey and one of my all time favorites, The Canterville Ghost. I could read and reread these books, pretty much everything up to and around Sherlock Holmes and anything Tolkien, without hesitation so it was really hard to choose one book but I decided to go with something that not every Lolita who loves classic literature might know and was a little more contemporary.



This book has been a favorite of mine since a friend pretty much through her copy at me in high school. It's a fairly quick read so I've ended up reading this book so many times that the copy I have has actually begun to fall apart! It's a gilded age mystery and the story unfolds right at the discovery of the 4th murder of a maid, however, there is more to it than a simple maid uniform.

It turns out that it's one of the summer socialites whom arrive every summer from New York to enjoy in the coast and the finest parties the rich have to offer and when she is identified by another cottager things get tumultuous quickly. There is something bigger going on then the socialites are letting on and the detective on the case has only the help of the very same woman who identified the body, everyone else is tight lipped and closing ranks, setting up an odd partnership.

It's really a fun little story and I really loved it because of the setting - being the mansions of Newport, RI, I could see what was described easily - and the clothing described within the pages. I think that it's a nice little pick me up and other Lolita will enjoy it too. If you see it, which it should be fairly cheap as it's a fairly old book, I highly suggest giving it a try.

LBC: Dream Dress Coord


I had been planning on taking pics but in all honesty I wore a completely different coord today and haven't had time to take a pic due to the weather. The snow outside is piling up surprisingly fast, I hadn't even known it was going to snow, or be a blizzard, until yesterday so I've been bustling about trying to prepare.

My dream dress as everyone probably knows by now is Night Fairy Fantasia from Aatp and I can honestly say it still catches my eye. This is from a Christmas party I had gone to with my RI comm frillies, I miss everyone so much! I hardly ever play around with this coord because I don't often wear it, with exception to really special meets I guess, but I'm going to start to try something new.

Everything is Aatp except the petticoat and bloomers and wig, oh my! (and jewelry and gloves which were either vintage or antique).


If you want to check out other lovely frillies and their dream dress coord you can find theirs in the links below.





Thursday, January 21, 2016

365 LLC: Day 21: Doodle Your Current Dream Print

 I'm not much of an artist but I chose one of my top wishlist items that I don't have YET! I would love Tea Time Nostalgia in any color (preferably the mint or wine) but for now I just have pretty pics to look at.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

365LLC: Day 20: Look Up The Performance Schedule For Your Local Ballet

I really do love ballet, even before Lolita and frilly attire I always thought ballet was powerful and beautiful though I've not seen as many show's as I'd like (2). I was just thinking, due to this prompt, that I would love to see a ballet version of the Coraline story or turn the poem La Belle Sans Dame Merci into a ballet because that could be pretty awesome, but I digress.

The Washington Ballet has enough shows to capture my attention. Stephen Miller's Hamlet, Carmina Burana, Bowie & Queen (I think I need to see this one in particular), Coppelia, and The Little Mermaid are a few of the productions that will be happening this year and they all look colorful and engaging. Knowing that this is here I think I'm going to take a gander at orchestras and quartets too.

Do you also find ballet engaging?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

365LLC: Day 18: Learn How To Press Flowers

This is one of my favorite things! The 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge has been wonderful so far and has prompted a few things I've not thought to do and a good bit of things I'm bonkers for. I really hope I can keep up with it, I've felt very productive on blogging and have even my sewing pieces, if I can keep this up 2016 will turn out well.

I love doing flower pressings and it's actually very easy, especially with the proper tools, though it can be done in non-traditional ways too. I never had a flower pressing box even though my mother has one tucked away somewhere in her house so I've simply used books instead. It takes a bit longer but I sandwich the flower I want to press, while having arranged the petals the best I can, in one of the pages of a book I won't read for a while. Since I don't have elastics of any sort hanging around I add more books to weigh  it down and let it sit for a few days or so.

What flower press boxes look like

Eventually I'll have put all the books back in the book case and let myself forget I ever did a flower pressing. It won't harm the book unless you try pressing a bud or something that is rather bulbous but other than that the only thing you have to be mindful of is whether or not it can be pressed flat at all, some flowers can't be.

After a while, usually a month or so I'll probably start reading that book again and discover the pretty pressing tucked away between the pages. I think it's nice to find them like this so I don't have a book of pressings just yet, though I think I may do that eventually and label them with names and meanings and maybe even botanical attributes. I couldn't find any to picture for this post as it seems I may not have brought any over from RI though I'm sure there is one hiding somewhere.

I hope you also take this into consideration to do and enjoy it, maybe go out with a few friends on a nice summer day. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

LLC365: Day 17: Make A Travel Wishlist


This particular topic made me almost default back to my plan for Japan but I didn't want to be redundant. You can read up on that here though if you'd like. I've always had a few places I've wanted to go explore, South Korea, Egypt, Hungary and Transylvania, being the top of that list, but I decided to choose to go on another unexpected adventure.

A few friends of mine have a dream to one day travel and visit England and possibly the whole of the UK and do some sight seeing, visit some antique shops, and take time for some afternoon tea at some of the best tea rooms the country has to offer.

I've always wanted to visit England and doing so in frills is part of that goal. I'm always seeing so many lovely lolitas traveling around to their favorite foreign locations in their best, it's really inspiring. I've only traveled back to RI with all my coords for RC and I had discovered that packing all those ruffles should be considered carefully (I have yet to try space saving vacuum bags yet).

For places I'd like to ruffle about though I would definitely have to go visit Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey as 2 of my top touristy choices. I would love to see as much as I can possibly fit into a 2 week period but it would be a combination of my wishlist and my 2 friends. I'm sure that we'd be in for a wild adventure and share some of the same interests in places we want to visit.

What about your travel wishlist? Have you ever visited a foreign country in Lolita?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

365 LLC: Day 16: Plan A Special Meal


This is a little difficult for me as I am not aloud to cook very much in my house so special meals are a bit difficult for me. If I were to plan any special meal though, honestly, it would be an afternoon tea, it's simply what I can do best and without issue or objections from anyone else.

  • I would go with an easy cucumber tea sandwich and maybe an egg salad tea salad (The Ritz Hotel recipe) and walnut tea sandwiches.
  • My scones would be rose petal drop scones and cranberry scones.
  • I would have a bon bon, a madeleine, macaron, and a small petitfor.
  • For fruit I would garnish my trays with seasonal berries to keep it clean.
  • For tea I would like to blend a rooibos with vanilla, almond, and caramel.
I would of course be using my cake stand and prettiest cups, my new creamer and sugar bowl, and my really pretty 1890s gold and rose tea pot. I would also of course use my cute little pink depression glass dessert plates, which makes me think that a pink and green theme would be best throughout the dishware, I would also use my pretty doilies and Victorian cloth placemats and napkins.

I think that I'll actually attempt this next week when one of my friends comes buy, I'll posts pictures if I get to do this. ^_^





Friday, January 15, 2016

365LLC: Day 15: Spray Your Linens With A Fresh Fragrance Before You Sleep


Off to bed! I don't really have anything special but I choose a clean scent. Having a peaceful sleep is really important for th mind and body. It goes so far as to even have an effect on your skin and without proper sleep can cause imbalances and breakouts (says the woman going to sleep at 2 in the morning). Let's see if dreams are pleasant.


Good night!

LBC: Predict 5 New Trends For 2016

It's a new year and we are only 2 weeks in and we survived 2015! Wooooo! There were so many wonderful and yet bittersweet things that went down last year and I'm curious to see how 2016 will turn out.

Since it's a new year it will be nice to make a few predictions for the fashion.

❤The Old-School Awakens❤

I have seen it, recently, on my feed and at meets that there have been more old school looks present. It's becoming a bigger thing the more coords I see, and it's lovely! I'm talking more old school coordinating and your more prominant black with white lace coords. I didn't like the hate on it because I thought it was weird and unreasonable. I think it's a breathe of fresh air.

❤Classic Will Keep Strong❤

I'm in love with the classic/sweet aesthetic and the fact that classic is very prominent in the comms makes me happy. I do think the "phase" will continue.

❤More Tea Length Dress Or Longer Petticoat❤

Because with classic lolita there is also tea length skirts and long lace-edged petticoats and many have already taken to this facet. I think it will only get stronger this year and we shall see many even in sweet and gothic lolita styles (which I feel as though there haven't been as many as there can be).

❤Indie Shops And Taobao Brands Will Have Bigger Pull❤

I said this last year and I'll say it again: Indie designers and Taobao will push out some fabulous pieces this year and be stronger than ever before. They know what we want, they know the quality that we want, and they are working hard to give it to us.

❤An Uprising Of Kadona And Ouji❤

There have been a lot of adorable and elegant princes pop up over the last few months and I've been seeing more flock to the style (and the princes). It's an interesting part of the fashion and I think the style is fun and more accessable in some ways that the rest of lolita fashion isn't.


🎀 Darkly Darling 🎀
🎀Gravelvet🎀

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: Favorite Thing I Like To Put On My Head

There is a great deal in Lolita fashion that one can wear atop their head and each frilly has an item they are quite partial to. I, too, have one and if you read my blog you know what it is without a doubt.

Bonnets

Short and simple answer, I love bonnets of many varieties and styles, I just can't get enough of them, with about 6 or 7 in my possession at the moment. I plan for more! I am currently making another Witch's Bonnet for my Black Cat jsk but I'm planning on making more for future cords and as for purchasing I am on the hunt for another 3F bonnet.

The one item I love putting on my head is definitely my 3F bonnet and I have plans for more!
 


365LLC: Day 14: Determine 5 Words That Describe Your Lolita Style


I suppose.....

Quirky

Unusual

Sweet~ish

Classic~ish

Varied

Maybe not the best choice of words but I think it fits. I don't really stick to a style (this occurs sometimes in a single coord) so it's difficult.













Wednesday, January 13, 2016

365LLC: Day13: Read An Essay By Novala Takemoto


I chose The Illusion of a Flowering Young Lady to read I feel as though it ends rather abruptly. What do you think?


The Illusion of a Flowering Young Lady
by Novala Takemoto


Fantasy and fairy tale do not have to be confused. The two things aren't the least bit similar; they are disparate as heaven and hell, as saints and vulgarity, and as far as we are concerned we must exterminate the fairytale from the necessary fantasy. Both things have the same general meaning, because they are unrealistic visions and daydreams, but when it comes to translating them, isn't there quite a distinction between "It's like a fairytale" and the whole fantasy genre? Of course that would be the definition. However, when people refer to fantasy, they are too often referring to fairytale, and this is a big problem. We therefore must make a clear separation of what is fantasy and what is fairytale.
A saint's dream is very different from a fool's, and they both express dreamlike qualities, although a daydream is completely different on an atomic level. The dreamlike immanence of a fairytale has the energy of stale humanism which has been colored with reality. "If I have a dream I cannot be defeated!" "No matter what, I will follow my dreams!" A fairytale seeks out the warmth and gentleness in a dream.
In a faded pastel world, where it's absurd to believe that the hearts of children are pure, a clown is shedding tears over the lack of imagination, and it is this which we must scorn. When a fantasy "dream" crosses over the boundaries of reality, conflict ensues. When we are tired of reality, we revive ourselves with fantasy. Yet fantasy and reality are not enemies, but more like accessories. A fairytale is a dream in the shape of reality, and a fantasy is reality in the shape of a dream. To put it another way, a dream is independence from the stiff possession of a worldview. A dream is like losing oneself in a labyrinth, with a resolution to never return. Edogawa Ranpo, Izumi Kyouka, Kafka, Delvaux, Bellmer, Ooshima Yumiko...this is everyone, all the writers who chose to live in fantasy, who couldn't define fairytale. If we're translating fantasy into "illusion," wouldn't fairytale also allow itself to be translated into "illusion"?
Ooshima Yumiko's work "Planet of Cotton" (Wata no Kuniboshi), about chibineko (tiny cats) who reconstructed the world with a single glance, is what shoujo manga has come to. The instant a system for fairytales was written, it led to the foundation of Edogawa Ranpo's "A Strange Tale of Panorama Island," about a strong-willed hidden utopia. Because of poetry, the whole world has made a transition towards gimmicky asestheticism. The fairytale containing Ooshima's cat protagonist had equal workmanship but a different style, what I think is a mixing of already established fantasy without the same qualifications. Hello Kitty and Miffy can become either fairy tale or fantasy. The choice is yours. But if you find Hello Kitty insanely beautiful, and despite the harsh, Andy Warhol-style guerilla manufacturing techniques you still scream out "Kawaii," then Hello Kitty has probably become your fantasy.
As for me, I think Rika dolls are adorable, I think the dolls of Yotsuya Simon are adorable, I find the Tenniel illustrations of Alice in Wonderland adorable, and I also think that Joel Peter Witkin photographs of cadavers are adorable. When a young lady follows someone into suicide by her own volition, it seems like a dream. But she cannot wake up twice, this flowering maiden who has come to an end.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

365 LLC: Day 12: Eat Your Meals On The Nicest Dishes You Own


So I cheated my pics a little bit and forgot lunch and dinner but I did have a snack with my tea, between finishing one sewing project and making another! I never have tea without setting up my little tea nook, I guess I'll call it, with doilies and cute vintage or antique pieces but today I was feeling puckish and treated myself to some ice cream.



I am lucky enough that my family gives me their depression glasses or find them and give them to me as presents. That sundae glass has been in my nana's possession for I don't know how long and the plate my mother scored for me before RC last year so that I could use it in my afternoon tea panel.


Both spoons and the tea cup are pieces I recently got from the antique store I like to visit. I couldn't resist the rose and leaf detailing on the teaspoon I'll have to take better pics sometime to show both sides. Those crackers are Gosomi crackers, by the way, if you ever see them I suggest trying them they're thin and light and are a good combo of sweet and salty, like coconut milk crackers (also worth a try!).

Cheers!

Monday, January 11, 2016

365LLC: Day 11: Learn How Lace Is Made

This is something I've been researching a lot lately simply due to being curious. I find that I really like the idea of chemical lace and burning out the bits that I don't want but knit lace is also really nice especially when it comes to making doilies for tea cups and tea pots.

There is really a lot more to the world of lacemaking it really makes me appreciate all the detail in the lace on dresses.