Monday, April 30, 2012

First Haru Matsuri!!!

This past sunday, I went up to Boston's Copley Square for their first annual Haru Matsuri and it was pretty intense. There was barely any room to walk and you got jostled around by people trying to get past you.

From my experience, it was more hectic than a Tokyu Hands in Japan. And going into that store on a normal day was like going into Best Buy on black Friday the night after thanksgiving dinner. Crazy. But in a fun kind of neat and shiny way when you first get a new gadget.

Originally it was planned to go as a big RI Loli group up to meet up with the Boston Loli's, however, plans changed when my boyfriend decided he wanted to go to and then do some grocery shopping all in one trip. I was glad to have been able to share the day with him. He tried to go out of his way just to get me some Okonomiyaki which I've been trying to get some since hearing about it. (When in Japan, couldn't get any!) I figured now was a good time since it was listed in the booths, but alas, we got there and they sold out of food tickets.

Now, I don't mean we got there later in the day and they sold out, I mean we got there around 11:30~ish and they were sold out. The festival was meant to start at only 11:00. There was even a raffle for 2 business class seats to Japan, we couldn't even find the booth to get a ticket and they sold before 1:00...I believe they learned they have interest in this festival and they're going to need more and a bigger space. ^______________________________________________________^

Despite no food and no raffle tickets we did get to walk around a little, the stage was big and they did a few really cute shows to boot. A class of little kids did some hip hop 0.o They were too cute and short...I love kids, I really do, they're just so squishable sometimes, and seeing kids have fun at something like this is definitely neat (way better than sitting inside all day with an ipod). A bunch of kid's played a few Japanese fishing games (Kingyo Sukui I believe it's called) or ran around in little colorful kimono they got to try on, which was nice.

One of our Loli's did bring her daughter, she was all dressed up and was decked out in Hello Kitty. I believe her style of clothes could have been a bit Otome. (E the little Lolita~in~Training ^_^) I didn't get a pic of her though...

The second set of dancers were a group of students from Japan who came to Boston for an English language program. They did a dance called the "Fishermen's Dance" or "Soran Bushi" which was very well done and interesting. They wore kimonos too and no shoes and wore big smiles, you could tell they liked to dance, and they were quite good at it.

I did briefly run into the RI/Boston Lolitas for a bit which was nice. Not everyone was dressed in Loli and I shocked them by being dressed in my normi things. No wig, no dress, and no bows...>.<; it was a strange day for me in that moment.

Here are some pics:


The stage when we got there. You're only seeing 1/5th of the crowd...O.o


Face Painting!!!


I believe this was a high school group and they sang songs from AKB48.


The Japanese students who danced for us in their beautiful kimono. They were really nice.


A little booth was doing a fundraisor selling these little guys to raise support for those still in need in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. Their booth had many pictures of what Sendai and surrounding areas look like today.



Well, that was my weekend, time to start the week with something else...now I need a good thermo for my tea...

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Bonnets

Bonnets have not always been an obsession for me, that is, until recently. It went from 'eh, bonnets are okay, don't think I'd want to wear them.' to 'I want this bonnet. I need to make a bonnet. This bonnet is beautiful!'

The bonnet infection went fairly quickly to my brain, especially since seeing Misako Aoki and her adorable face in this floppy one.



I'm still not really a fan of the floppy bonnets, however, I have an inky feeling that these types will best suit my face and head.
Maybe a little floppy for my tastes, however, I think it may work with my face. Since this actually is in the fabric my new jsk is made of I may consider getting it.

Another floppy bonnet, yet this one still has an elegant quality to it that doesn't make me think of baby bonnets.


This style and color makes me want to make one for my rose fragrant memories jsk. I would rather replace the lace with a sort of ruffle though, much like this:


Or this:


I also love, to a ridiculous amount. the Chantilly brand bonnets and their diamond patterns.


This shape, size, and type of bonnet will most likely be my next bonnet project, with the add~on of a ruffled inner brim:

I think bonnets in Lolita add an exciting, elegant, feature to coordinates that shouldn't be overlooked. Yes, it is hard to find the proper bonnet for a face, I know cause mine kind of looks silly with it, but it can be down and look lovely.

My first bonnet...we're still not very good friends...I look silly.

Bonnets are only one accessory in Lolita and I think everyone should experiment and find at least one that best suits them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sewing (With) Everything I've Got!

So I had run away from blogging for a bit. Not for any particular reason, really, my boyfriend likes to come home from work and take over the computer with a vengeance really...not a joke, gamer boyfriends tend to take up whatever console has the newest toy on it.

I don't mind in the least, I just have to work on posts for mornings, which has it's perks. I just need to be less lazy and more proactive. I do have an ipad but posting on that thing is like pulling teeth, the newer format likes to erase what you've had saved ~.~; and there is no blogger app for the ipad....

Okay, so I'm done complaining about the ipad's love for messing up my posts!

Lately I've been sewing up a storm, it's been a lovely medium of not knowing exactly what I am going to do and how I will execute things without a pattern to follow. I've been working on two jumperskirts, a bonnet, and a blouse. I'm fairly impressed with myself, I've never done anything besides alter blouses I own that are too big, and this blouse I'm altering without patterns...I think I should really take a drafting class...

Here is a few pics I've been trying to take to show my progress:


With waist ties. I did the underside with the same fabric as the ruffle.

What would be a new sewing crafting for you? What's your favorite project you've ever made?


The bodice will be blank for now until I can figure out what I want exactly for the design(most likely a bib style)




Did this yesterday after starting this post. Yay trips to fabric stores! Thanks mom ^_^


First Blouse. I have had problems starting this particular project, I've made sleeves for other dresses and all, I just seem to over worry when I think darts...


That fear, however, didn't stop me from deciding 'let's run away from the pattern and alter it!' OwO...

Pleats and darts were not in the original pattern...yes, basically I'm making my work harder and making my fear of messing up my first blouse palpable...

And this little bonnet. There is no pattern...I did my first bonnet with a pattern, why I didn't just use it again is honestly beyond me. Apparently I don't like doing the easy thing. I suppose I wanted a different style than what I had.
Note: You could probably use a pattern for the bonnet brim and alter the crown part to be a half bonnet. (Yes, I am kicking myself for not doing it the easy way. However, I do feel like I did an okay job drafting the brim with just a ruler and measurements.)

This is just an update from where I've been these past few days, I do have more to post, for now this is it. Expect a photoshoot with my derpy face in a beautiful coord! OOp

Grab a cup and chill out in a bonnet under your parasol, what better way to spend a day?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Day The Dress Came In!

Sounds like a black and white movie title, doesn't it,? lol

But you heard me right Loli's and Lolimen of all ages, I just received my Baby The Stars Shine Bright Fragrant Rose Memories Camelot Jumperskirt in the mail today!

Well, technically it went to my mom's house first, I still haven't changed my personal address due to a sudden move and now my boyfriend and I are moving again. So, for safety reasons, it's easier to receive mail at my old address and it gives me an excuse to visit more often. ^_^

So, without further ado, this is a review of the new Fragrant Rose Memories Camelot jumperskirt from Baby The Stars Shine Bright.



I reserved it through Tokyo Rebel in New York a few days after it went up for reserve on their page. I was very nervous about doing the reserve on the actual Baby website because I've never even did a reserve before so I thought I'd start small and put myself in a low pressure environment where I could easily ask what I needed to do, without being too much of a hassle.

The staff was really polite and kind, they answered all my inquiries and were very patient with me. I definitely believe I owe a big thank you to them, they were awesome in their customer service.

Originally I wanted the sepia in the Camelot jsk and by the time Tokyo Rebel had the reserves up there was a mass of Lolita, somewhere or everywhere, who decided they ALL wanted the sepia colorway. Lucky for me, while waiting to see if the New York based fashion store of dreams would get the reserve, I was already debating if I liked the mint better. I really do enjoy mint colorways and it was the only other one that was really making me reconsider sepia, I wasn't sure how it would look though so I kept stalking the internet to see if there was another picture out there with the mint colorway being used. Nada.

To top it all off, by the time the Tokyo Rebel staff were able to put up the reserve, it looked like mint was going to be only a dream, but I got really lucky and snatched one of the last ones with their help!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAY


Please excuse my enthusiam...

So the dress arrives (a few days ago), I had scored the all of Baby's and Tokyo Rebel's blogs to see if the dress had popped up in their stores towards the end of the month, after pain~staking hours of not knowing what to expect.

It felt like Christmas.

The box arrived and, I have to say, I was happier with it then I thought I would be.



The box didn't come this way, I opened it as soon as it got in...I know I'm not the only one who couldn't wait to open up a new dress when they get them.


The staff wrapped it with giftwrap, it really did feel like I was opening up a gift to me.

My first Baby The Stars Shine Bright bag, yes this is a pretty epic moment for me. The dress was folded up neatly inside and, though it is now, there was not a wrinkle to be seen on the bag.


The dress! Wrapped up carefully for delivery, they took care to fold and tape the bottom of the bag so nothing could get in that way. The color of the dress is hard to see in this picture, it's a little darker and the print holds a nice contrast to the mint.

You can see here that the bottom layer of lace and ruffle are very frothy and delicate. There are layers of this lovely matterial at the bottom of this dress, it  looks even better with a petticoat.

The mint and the light moss green work even better together in person than I thought, this was one of my worries about this colorway and, I have to say, I am very satisfied with the actual mix of the two.

The lining of the dress is throughout and is a nice mint sateen, it is silky smooth and I love how it feels.

The lace trim at the wide scalloped hem is perfectly attached with no errors in the stitch. The perfect seams of this particular hem are very nice to see.


Underneath all the frothy lace and ruffle you can see only three rows that have been serged for all those layers. The actually are straight, unlike what you can see in my photo, and everything is just perfect. No flaws.

When I had seen the first few of these jumperskirts put up on Baby's blogs this was my major worry. The straps. In many of the pics, the store blog didn't even bother to show the under side of the straps and let the whole thing  just dangle around, limp and on a hanger (like here f^_^;), it made the straps look like they were only ribbon. I was in a panic thinking that was the only thing holding up the dress. I am relieved, however, to find that the ribbon is double sided with the actual fabric and strong enough to withstand adjustments.

The underside of the waist ties are also double sided, the outer side the print while the inner the sateen, it's rather nice. The buttons as you can see are gold and sparkly, nothing really changed about that from the originally advertised design.

Quickly I put it on my dress form to show you what the color lookes like in natural light.
 
Quality: 5:5 The materials used are lovely and the piece is sewn well.
Print: 5:5 Better then I could've imagined, there is nothing lost from light and the colors are bright.
Customer Service: 5:5 Although I went through Tokyo Rebel, they were very quick in every email and went out of their way to help me get the colorway I wanted.
Shipping: 5:5 I wasn't certain how long it was supposed to take with a reserve but everything was well handled and arrived around the time everyone else was receiving theirs.

I am very happy to have received my new jumperskirt and first time reserve item from Baby, I can't wait to really coordinate it and see wear it out.

Thank you for looking, pour yourself a cup, and enjoy the tea party.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Little Tea

Just wanted to share a few pictures from the last tea meet I went to last night.

This is some of the local Loli, we're missing a small amount I believe, but this wasn't so bad.


Here is the lovely Kitty, before almost any meet she and I almost always end up on the phone talking about coordinates to wear. Yesterday she was trying to convince me that I was a sweet due to the items I have in my Loli with pink in them.She and Mic are convinced I'm a closet sweet and I'm convinced Mic is a closet sweet. The Debate will continue...

Speaking of Mic, this is Mic avoiding comment! The lovely sweet next to him is a Michiru striking a pose, she is our resident Pink Lady I think. I can count on her to have some pink in almost any coord and she is not afraid to show it. (as seen here)

Despite our teapot looking bigger here, Mic's was huge!

Our resident sweets ^_^ they are just too cute and I would love to see them do some twinning. The girl on the end, Lorie was a new face to me and long time friend of Michiru.(3 new faces in all today!!!) It was very lovely to finally meet her after talking to her a bunch of times on the fb page.

This is just a really nice picture over all, they just look so cute, and their smiles are the best in this picture. SweetOkashi is in a fully hand~made coordinate, and I swear she has the skills to go very far if she so chooses to. Truly talented and I wish I had the drive to do as much as she does.

Another face! I swear you'd think Lolita's were falling out of the sky! Candice is a lovely individual who also shares an interest in more self~defense type of things, which I find awesome. She's actually Kitty's friend from school. Magically, they both know this girl:

This is the girl that I was randomly tackled by twice and her name is Nana. She's really nice and although she doesn't have any Lolita she wanted to at least meet everyone and ask where everyone got theirs. It also turns out that she is in a school club with Kitty and Candice and they all go to the school that is seriously a few buildings down from my apartment.


Honestly, each group pic we take I feel it just looks better and better. It hasn't been too long since we started to have meets in RI, but we have definitly grown as a group, friends, and Lolita.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sewing And Forethought...

I love to sew, I'm not the best at it, but nearly every day I am highly aware of my sewing machine parked in my sewing area and look through something I want to try, or learn a new technique. I'm always looking to learn something new and I know I am no where near perfect for my sewing projects, but I like to try.

Recently I've been getting better at drafting patterns. There is so much one can do if they learn a little about pattern drafting, and if you sew Lolita, it's a wonderful skill to hone. A few of my first Lolita attempts did have pieces of patterns, which gave me the basic ideas for the cuts of important pieces, but even early on I was constantly being challenged either due to lack of fabric or pattern differences.

By that I mean the patterns weren't always exact to the specs I wanted to make the pattern Loliable, so I had to alter things. There really isn't any exact patterns for a Lolita dress unforetunately...I know, however, these sort of obstacles don't stop me but push me to work harder and learn a great deal of things. This particular piece I elongated the bodice, drafted a solid waist line, and widened the skirts bottom circle to fit the 3 yards of fabric I had.



Second dress I made. 3 yards...
and a whole lot of tweaking.

You can kind of see the heart shape I try to get with the bodice fabric. Absolutely not in the pattern.


A little heart connotier I made, by hand in about a half hour.

I love going to my table and just putzing around, checking out every little thing I have at my fingertips. This usually pushes me to start a project or continue something I've been working on.

My one MAJOR problem....I never check to make sure I have all the material I need...fail...epic fail...

I always seem to end up short something, I don't usually plan my projects out entirely. If I'm at my table, I see or think of something I want to do, mainly a new jsk, I quickly pick out the fabric I already have in stock and start cutting things out. I don't always know what exactly I want to do, I picture in my head the cut, and then after I've finished doing that I start to think lace or ribbons.

This is usually where the fail occurs. I never have the lace in stock, or the trims I might think of, whatever it is, I usually think of it after cutting and I get no where fast. It's not a very productive trait, and I mean to amend that fault, but temptations to start are never ending!

Right now, I'm doing a little work on what I can of my clock jsk, this is the post here: http://thebloodyteaparty.blogspot.com/2012/02/coord-ideas-clockwork.html

I've done a little more on it...like I said, I ran into some problems with not having things on hand...this time fabric...I definitely need to take a trip to the fabric store I just need a car or a lift from someone. Walking would definitely be pushing it, despite how small Rhode Island is and how everything is kind of close by, the fabric store is not...

Anywho, I will endeavor to adjust accordingly, hopefully learn to develop a project a little more before I begin. At least pick out the lace...^_^

What are some sewing or crafting projects you are working on?

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's COOKIE~TIME!!!

This past week I made cookies!!!

Yes, I am that excited, mainly because it felt somewhat productive, although I love to bake it is not something I do too often. I tried out a very interesting recipe one that I would like to alter and try in different ways soon.

It is strawberry oatmeal cookies, and the recipe I tried was very easy, like I said, I'm not too happy with it myself, but I still enjoyed it. They're supposed to be a healthy choice of cookie, they taste really good, but they were more bread like rahter than cookie. I am thinking of trying it out as a bread and adding bananas and blueberries, but I want to check out a few banana bread recipes to see the difference. Who knows...

Here's the recipe:


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries                   
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract






First, wash your strawberries. Delicious looking right? This recipe will most likely take a whole carton. Try to get carts with big strawberries, less bitter, more sweet.





Now cut 2 cups worth. Cut them finely, but I learned that may be a little overboard. Once you are finished chopping add 1/4 cup sugar to them and set aside.








Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon to a bowl and blend.












Add either rolled oats to the mix. (I added french vanilla granola...I regret nothing)










In a seperate bowl, add 3/4 cups packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar to softened butter. Stir until smooth and peaky.
  •                    








Add the egg, milk, and vanilla to the sugar mixture.











Now add the strawberry mixture and sugar mixture to the flour mix. It should end up looking like this and yummy.










Plop generous spoonfuls onto a non~stick cookie sheet and stick in your oven. They should take about 8 to 10 minutes, but I left them in a little longer because of the texture.











This is how mine came out...








Well, I hope you enjoyed this post, and the cookies, they really are good and I hope you try them yourself. Another good idea for these cookies would be to add white chocolate to them, the possibilities are endless! If you try them out let me know what you thought. A fruity strawberry tea would go very well with this...maybe served cold...enjoy ^_^