Wednesday, January 31, 2018

365LLC Day 29 - 31: Of 5 Year Old Postage, Closet Cleaning, & Wardrobe Posts

January 29, 2018

Got some pretty cute stationary for Christmas this year so I thought it fun to put it to use for this prompt. I also pulled out my ink and quill to get some work in but what I've written to myself here I'll get back to in 5 years.

January 30, 2018

This is a long thing coming and I've been slowly working through the process while working on my own wardrobe post. Usually I try to tidy it up at least once a week as I wear my things so often. Sometimes by the second week in my top rack is covered with dangerously stacked tower of hats and bonnets as I tend to put them up there instead of their hat boxes. Here is the before:

And the after:

The W is from the Charming Wonderland tea party.

While working through and trying to organize I couldn't decide on how I wanted it to turn out. My mind kept wandering back to old videos where frillies would showcase their wardrobes I just can't seem to remember who's vids there were and they are probably lost somewhere in livejournal land. 

January 31, 2018

Every year I happily hop over to egl, brew myself a pot of tea, and check out all the lovely wardrobe posts made on both my friends pages and even the ones that flock back to LJ just for the tradition of sharing them in masse there. This year is no different and I shall share a brief snippet of my favorite ones, with links to their posts below.

Taken from Hennrie's wardrobe post

Hennrie's Wardrobe

The way they have a simple but clean photo set up and the fact that everything is neatly arranged and ironed really caught my eye. I also really liked how cohesive their wardrobe is, all the colors are dark and their style seems to stay within classic and gothic aesthetics.

Taken from San's wardrobe post

San's Wardrobe

I am in love with this person's wardrobe post, there was just so much work put into it, they made cords for all 4 Hogwarts houses. Be warned, it is a large post with many cuts.

Taken from Chichiri's wardrobe post

Chichiri's Wardrobe

I just really enjoyed some of the things this person had in their post.

Doing this prompt really just made me want to run to lacemarket and shop for pieces I've been really looking for. It did also give me a little pick me up from the bad news from today. It's sad to learn that not only is Usagiyouhinten is closing but so is Tokyo Rebel's physical store as well as the Btssb's physical and online stores for NY. This really hit me hard as I've made special trips up to the store, usually on or around my birthday or at the very least shopped from them online a few times a year. It's just a heavy blow to me right now.

So off to the cupboard for me, I need to refresh my pot of tea that I've been guzzling down for the day, maybe I'll go with something more floral.

Cheers! XOXO

Sunday, January 28, 2018

LLC Day 26 - 28: Of New Purchases, Orchestra Schedules, & New Entrees

January 26, 2018

I'd love to but I can't with my newest purchase, for one reason only, I wont be getting it until later as it was a reservation. I can't even show a stock photo of it since the colorway that I fancied and fetched isn't up on their website for ANY of the other cuts either. So it will remain a secret until it is safe in my arms. To distract you I shall go with my last purchase(s) that I got in a swap at the miniMegameet that took place only a few weeks ago.

I did get four new blouses and a pair of socks too.

The black one is actually a bell sleeve blouse - I mentioned at least 5 times that I needed some for my wardrobe - and the rest were excellent for my daily wear. I didn't exactly buy most of these though, with the exception of the black blouse and socks, I traded for all of these garments but I say this still counts for this challenge.

January 27, 2018

There is quite a bit to choose from for orchestras in the area, though I do have to travel a bit whether north or south, it's exciting to see the options. I had difficulties choosing between the Annapolis orchestra and the DC National orchestra to look into schedules so I glanced at both, and neither schedule disappointed. 

I think it would be nice to plan a meet for one of the performances, it's been a while since I've been to the orchestra and it would be nice to get dressed in our finest and enjoy such pieces live. Leila Josefowicz is someone I've wanted to see play in person. 

January 28, 2018

As the saying goes, 'no time like the present' and so I'll toss myself headfirst into this rabbit hole. (send help)

This year I dug through some Victorian era dinner menus and dug up a meat dish that I think I could do with little issue.

Chicken with Mushrooms

  • One chicken
  • Twelve mushrooms
  • Half a pint of brown stock
  • One small onion
  • Half a glass of sherry
  • Quarter of a pound of fat bacon
  • One ounce of butter
  • Half an ounce of flour
  • Bunch of sweet herbs
  • One bay leaf
  • Pepper and salt

Truss up the chicken for roasting, cover the breast with bacon cut into thin slices and roast for forty minutes. 
While it's roasting put the butter in a saucepan, when brown, add the sliced onion. Draw the onions to one side of the pan, and add, and brown the flour making a rue. 
Add the stock, sweet herbs and mushrooms (don't forget to remove the stems), season with salt and pepper according to your best judgement. 
Simmer slowly for fifteen minutes, then add the sherry.
Place the chicken on a dish, pour away all the fat from the dripping tray and add any gravy to the sauce. 
Add the mushrooms around the chicken in the dish for garnish, remove any remaining fat from the sauce and strain around the dish.
Any remaining sauce can be used as a gravy, placed in a separate server or tureen.

Here's hoping that when I attempt this - possibly over the next week - it goes well, I've only recently been really trying to learn how to cook more than soups and small things. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And with that I'm off to put the kettle on for one last pot of tea before the days end.

Cheers! XOXO

Friday, January 26, 2018

LBC: Create A Coord Based On A Friend

I am going to be honest with everyone, this is actually an older picture by a few weeks and the jsk is no longer mine. It is a friends though so in one way I’m not doing this entirely wrong. This weeks topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival is to create a coord based on a friend and I am still doing just that. I had put this coordinate together for two reasons; I was going to share the pic in order to show what I was bringing to the swap meet and, if I still had the garment in question in my possession, going to add it in my pictures for my wardrobe post.

While putting it together though I found it felt a lot like my friend C, it simply seemed a lot like an outfit she would wear. Shortly after posting it to my fb page she commented and said she’d be interested in a trade for one of the garments in her lot she was bringing, it just worked well for the both of us. 

Every time I thought of this topic trying to think of something and someone for it I kept coming back to this, so maybe it just had to be. This is what the coordinate was:

Well that’s all she wrote for today, I’m shipping myself off to dreamland for the night, hope everyone has pleasant dreams as well. And don’t forget to check out everyone else’s post for this week’s topic, for the Lolita Blog Carnival, below.

Cheers! XOXO

Thursday, January 25, 2018

365 LLC Days 23 - 25: Of Renegade Princesses, Lace Trimmings, & An Indulgent Wash

I apologise for how long this one is I was suddenly inspired to read into things, that I remembered by chance because of this prompt, and run away on a mystical journey with a historical fiction...  

January 23, 2018

Renegade princesses happen to be one of my favorite things to read and research about, so much so that I choose two the last time I did this prompt, Princess Awilda and Princess Pinyang both had incredible stories. I didn't want to repeat with the same women so I scored through to find one new one for this topic.

While prepping for renegade princess research I recalled a story about a princess who went against the grain of the Christian kingdom she was marrying into and publicly kept hold of her faith to the Norse gods, it was a vague memory that I had to dig for. It was the story of Sigrid Sorrada, or Sigrid the Haughty, a princess who’s beauty and mind were both bewitching and beguiling, which did me in and caught my eye. She was said to be so beautiful that at the death of her first husband, Erik the Victorious, she ensured that she would not be pestered by unwanted suitors vying for her attention by setting them at ease with a feast and, once they fell asleep, setting the hall on fire and slaying any of the suitors who attempted to escape.

It was also true that she held to her beliefs and would not stand to have her ways offended or asked to convert. One man, Olaf Tryggvasen, King of Norway, who sought her hand insulted her after her refusal, both in marriage and in conversion, and then slapped her with a glove, Sigrid promised he would regret his act against her; according to history, he did live to regret in a massive battle at sea that she was apparently responsible for gathering the army to face him. Let’s just say Olaf did have a very important meet and greet with the fates and water sprites.

The book in question is The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt in case you are curious, it quickly wrapping me into the folds of Nordic history and myth with it's story telling, with a warning that it can be accurate in it's telling of pillaging and everything that it entails (consider this a warning of it's graphic content). I pulled out the book last night and I meant to only glance over and ended up devouring half. The book seems to only touch upon basic facts of Sigrid’s life so far, such as her first marriage being to Erik the Victorious and then Sweyn Forkbeard, and her the saying that she was “the mother of Kings” and her love for her religion.

The book is of the historical fiction variety, the info I’ve imparted is as good as legend, there isn’t much that remains of the truth of Sigrid the Haughty. The information that we do have, though intriguing and possible, has said to probably be several women with similar names, unfortunately. The one thing is that the names spread through this time period and area are all of similar sounds and spelling, though that’s not much to go on. The bits I’ve imparted here are the pieces that are the closest related to the legend of Sigrid that I can find.

January 24, 2018

Today was certainly an interesting day of lace and adventure and misadventures involving two military bases and a lot of lace. I ended up with the car down in DC, something I absolutely dread because the gps gets easily confused due to buildings and so many forks in the road, and decided to throw caution to the wind! I google house museums in the area and discovered the Robert E. Lee house museum was 10 minutes from the overlook I parked in my sudden bout of insanity. It's actually his wife's family home that he barely lived in and it's in Arlington cemetery...which happens to be somehow accessible via two military bases (thank you gps for the weirdest most guarded run around). Let's just say this civilian caused a bit of confusion for several MPs.

This is what I wore:

I did say I wore lace, I went with this IW jsk and bolero because of all it's lovely lace trim, the jsk even has lace printed on the hem.

This will certainly be a day for the memory books...

January 25, 2018

Bath time is probably my most favorite indulgent past time. I like to scrub and wash away all of the grossness of the day then prep the tub for a soak, melting away any frustrations and relax with a book. When deciding what to add I found a little pumpkin bath bomb I forgot I had tucked away for a rainy day. It's vanilla and cinnamon with a touch of berry that blended well together, to this I did add some lavender bubble bath mix and a handful of roses, all together it was wonderful!

Now that I've drawn myself a bath, it's time to soak and relax for the rest of the evening and hopefully finish that second half of The Unbroken Line of the Moon.

Cheers! XOXO

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.

This last post made me want to curl up with another book and I've just found one that may fulfill tomorrow's prompt. I think I'll pour myself one more cup while I pour through the story.

Cheers! XOXO

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.