Monday, 31 December 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: December 2018

2018 was a whirl. For me I honestly felt like couldn't catch my breath since June right up until after I stopped working my old job in mid-December (and even after that I had dance rehearsal and a lolita meet and other social things). But the blogging world just keeps on going, and here are some of the lolita-focused posts I enjoyed reading this last month.

The Grand Embassy in Madrid from Cupcakes and Unicorns
Do I need to mention again that I love reading all about events that I could never go to? Because I do, so this was great (and also her outfit is fabulous!).

In which she is a sweet shop witch… from Make Lovely
I always really, really enjoy when people take a theme and twist it in an unexpected direction - who else thinks "Honeydukes" when going to a Harry Potter themed meet? I love the creativity and the super cute outfit!

ILD coordinate – Julian from Sanakanin
First things first. I have severe, severe, coat envy right now. I want a dozen please. And second things next - I really love how this post

Review: St. Peter's Cross Lace OTKs (Re-release Version) and M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip from Rose Sanctuary
I really love reading detailed reviews, even when they're about products I don't care for ^__^

Living green! from Miss Filigree
This was a very interesting read about whether or not lolita could be considered "green" in terms of fashion. I'll admit, environmental impact is not something I like to think about because it makes me depressed but I still enjoyed this post.

Angelic Pretty Paris' Christmas Tea Party 2018 with Maki & Asüka and Mme Honda from Marinette in Wonderland
Another event report! I swear, every time I read something like this the more determined I am that I will eventually go to an official Angelic Pretty event. Some day!

So that's some of what I read this month and here's to more great lolita blogging in 2019!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Or happy Tuesday, if you're not celebrating ^__^

I've had a great holiday season so far...doing nothing! I actually have spent a lot of today cleaning, playing games, and getting in some dance practise. Best way to spend Christmas, in my opinion.

But of course, James and I celebrated in our own way with a festive photoshoot! The entire shoot can be viewed on either his Facebook page or my Facebook page, but I wanted to share my absolute favourite shot here as well.

I hope you have a very happy Christmas day and generally an excellent holiday season ^__^

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Sydney Lolita Christmas Meet: Fairytales and Fantasy

On Sunday the 2nd of December, the Sydney Lolita Community held a Christmas meet with the theme “Fairytales and Fantasy”.

Event illustration by Yumiyumyum Illustration

The Sydney Community is actually in a weird place at the moment; we now have two Facebook groups (with a lot of overlap in members) and there’s a lot of controversy around the mods of the original community. This event was hosted by one of the mods of the new community. I don’t really know what went down and I’m not taking any sides, but I fully intend to stay part of both communities online (and attend the occasional meet organised by either) unless something happens to make me distance myself from one half.

But drama aside, basically as soon as this meet was announced I bought a ticket, because I totally wanted to go to another big meet after the RinRin High Tea earlier this year! The organisers kept announcing more and more good things – raffle prizes, comm members acting as photographers, activities, a vending corner, and finally the fact that the two designers of Peppermint Fox would be attending. And I thought I was excited when the meet was first announced!

My excitement peaked, however, when I was discussing my transport options with James, and mentioned somewhat offhandedly that one option was him coming with me and we stay at the hotel the event was at the night before. And he said he wanted to come! After making sure he was definitely sure I booked his ticket immediately and instantly became at least twice a excited for the whole thing.

As the meet came closer, outfit planning intensified. I decided to go with a Sugarplum Fairy theme with my wedding dress and my Fancy Fairy wings. I though it was a perfect idea, being both Christmas-y and literally a fairy so it fit right into the fairytale theme. In the end, after going through a few different ideas, James decided he wanted to go as my accompanying military bugle boy. He ended up wearing his wedding vest and matching shorts, with a new shirt from Lyris Design and a heavily modified hat. He also grew a beard! In the almost eight years we've been together, he'd never had facial hair and I was surprised how much I loved it. It has gone now, leaving the smooth, kissable face I'm used to, but still...I now know that I actually kinda like beards ^__^

Ahem. Enough rambling about my husband, on to the meet!

On December 1st we packed up our things and in the evening we drove to the Stamford Hotel Sydney Airport. We checked in to our room and rode the elevator to the 10th floor. On opening our door the first thing I said is "I didn't book this!" because we had been upgraded to a suite! We'd booked the cheapest room type and instead got a two room suite! Needless to say, we were pretty pleased about that ^__^

So we settled in, changing into the provided robes and immediately ordering room service. We also checked to see what movies were on and were way too amused about the "All Day Adult" offerings...

Once our room service arrived (and was promptly devoured) we were in full relax mode. James took a bath while I had a shower - simultaneously because the bathroom was massive and had them as two separate things - and then it was sleep time.

Unfortunately neither of us slept too well, so waking up in the morning was a bit of a slog. King beds are just really uncomfortably huge! But the siren call of the breakfast buffet was enough to get me going! If I've never mentioned it before, I will now - hotel breakfast buffets are literally one of my favourite things. And the one at the Stamford was really quite nice! I didn't have room to try their pancakes though #sad.

After breakfast we headed back up to our room to get ready. James had decided the night before that he wanted his nails done if possible, so I made some calls but there was no way we could book a manicure in that late. So we had a bit of time to relax before we had to get ready.

It was really fun getting ready together! I did my make-up while James ironed his outfit (I didn't bother with mine!), then I did his make-up as well. We got dressed and tried to take some selfies together, but the light in the room was pretty bad. I did, however, take this artsy shot of James's accessories!

Then we made sure we had everything packed and left our gorgeous suite behind. We went to the reception desk and checked out, and requested to store our luggage until the meet was over. While we were doing this several lolitas entered the lobby and went upstairs to the event room including Nikarra who I'd met at the RinRin meet and was able to introduce to James. Then it was time to go up and enjoy the meet!

Serra, the organiser, met us at the door and explained a bit of what was going to happen. Four tables had been set up, each with differently themed decorations, and as we knew from posts in the Facebook event there was going to be a range of activities in the day. We went to the least occupied table and claimed some seats. We barely had time to settle before someone (who after introductions later turned out to be Yumi, the wonderful illustrator of the event banner) bustled over to James and gave him a wooden "ask me for photos" badge, which I attached to his lapel.

The room filled up, we started talking to some people (including Ashy, who sat with us and it turns out she was the best-dressed from the RinRin meet!) and then the meet officially started. Our first activity was designed to encourage mingling and creativity - at each place setting there was an angel to colour in and add to the photo corner, but each table only had a few pencils so in order to finish everything you had to go and talk to people on other tables. I had a lot of fun with this, and was very impressed with James's angel - it's his first meet and he's already showing me up, lol!

Once the angels where complete you had to roll them up, staple on a ribbon bow, and add them to the photo corner.

The photo corner was quite cute, but unfortunately as with nearly all indoor locations the light was poor, and it was also a bit small. But still, it was so nice to have it set up and a lovely idea to decorate it with something all the attendees did. We could also take our angels home at the end but James and I didn't - we'd only throw them away but I wanted someone else to do that or I'd feel bad!

Photo by Mai or Yumi

After decorating time, it was the half hour for the coordinate photographers, Mai and Yumi, to do their thing. James and I took the opportunity to get a couple of photos together ^__^

Photo by Mai or Yumi

James was there in the capacity as "volunteer ad hoc photographer" so throughout the day he snapped shots here and there. He also took some coord photos for me...though in return I forgot to grab any of him until we got home! I'll share coord rundowns for both of us (so exciting to write that!) in my usual coordinate post at the end of the month. But I'm very glad the other girls were taking photos so we could easily get one together.

Also, since you've now seen them in a picture I wanted to mention that I was really chuffed because I got a lot of compliments on my wings ^__^ I hadn't actually worn them before and found they were really easy to wear just tucked into the back of my JSK, and despite the fact that I bumped into a lot of doorways with them they didn't take a bit of damage. Go wings!

With the photo time officially over (though of course cameras stayed in action all meet) it was time for the next activity - Divinity Treasureboxes. This was a typical Lolita Valentines kind of activity - we each got a jar containing two names. We made and added a name tag to our jars, and put them back on the display. Then we wrote notes for the two people whose names were in there - I thought this was a great twist on the typical Valentines idea as not only did it make sure no-one was left out, it was another opportunity to get to know people.

What's hilarious though is that I managed to pick a jar with my own name in I switched names with James! I ended up writing him a note anyway as well so yeah ^__^

After the official note writing time was over (though people kept going - including me! - for the rest of the meet) it was lunchtime! James and I were some of the last people to the buffet but there was still plenty of good food out there. I got a big plateful and when I was done eating I made James say "where's my wife?" by deciding not to go and try the desert buffet! In my defence, though things looked nice nothing appealed to me all that much so I preferred to stay seated rather than wrangling my wings through the room.

While people were finishing up eating, the raffle was drawn! Always possibly the most exciting part of a large meet. I won a gift card in the end, which was for a greater value than the money James and I had spent on tickets, but there were some really great prizes I would have loved to have won instead...oh well!

My gift card came with this cute illustration.

And then the second most exciting thing happened...the shopping hour! We had five sellers; Serra with The Decora Factory (of course) who was also remote vending for Japanese accessory brand Mystic. Yumi was debuting a new line of brooches with accompanying art prints and stickers, which James and I both loved. Of course, Peppermint Fox were there with their lovely brooches. The last vendor was Taiwanese brand Figlia, and she had so much cute stuff that I had to resist buying!

A shot of the Figlia corner, since I didn't buy anything from her...

Having James there was both good and bad. He stopped me from making purchases I probably would have regretted...but we did end up going to Yumi and saying "we want (nearly) one of everything!" First of all though, I barrelled straight to PepFox, because they had a brooch I wanted and they only had one of it. I even got James to take off my wings so I could manoeuvre better! But I got my brooch, and then bought both prints and all but one brooch from Yumi (some for James, some for me) and sat back down, satisfied.

The rest of the meet passed in the usual fashion; chatting, drifting, drinking tea. Serra also distributed gift baggies! It was nice. I feel like there was a pretty good balance between activities and free time. And it was so nice to have James with me! He's better at socialising than I am ^__^

Well, I drank tea. James on the other hand...
Photo by Mai or Yumi

Now, I'm not sure of when specifically in the meet we spoke with certain people but I just wanted to mention that we met some really lovely girls and guys this day. New friends include Ashy (who carried a, hell yeah!), Tiana (who was cute in sweet lolita and gave us Tokyo travel tips), Yumi (who reads my blog! Guys! Someone I admire reads my blog!) and her boyfriend Sam, Ashlee (who lives between me and Newcastle...whoo for semi-locals), and Veronica and Sam (who are a gorgeous couple from literally the next suburb over from us! Super locals!). It really was great for me to have James there as it made socialising a lot less terrifying, and it was so good to get to know some people in the community better or meet them for the first time.

Then, in what felt like just the right amount of time, the meet came to an end. I was driving us home, so I ducked into the ladies to change...and was shortly followed by a lot of other lolitas removing some or all of their outfits! Then it was downstairs to pick up our luggage, then into the car park. We got a bit lost getting out of the immediate area due to the hotel exit forcing us to go the wrong way, but resolved that pretty quickly. We grabbed some drinks and snack for the drive on the way and made it home in good time.

At home, I grabbed some cute photos of James in our backyard to show off his outfit then it was time for a well deserved shower and cup of tea. We sat on the couch and looked through our gift bags, purchases, and jarfuls of notes.

One lovely thing is that Serra customised the gift bags for people with dietary requirements, like James, so they included snacks they could eat. It was the usual assortment of postcards, business cards and vouchers, which is always nice.

But what was most lovely was getting to finish off the day by reading the notes we had been left! Funnily enough, we both ended up with seven notes each! Some people had obviously put in the effort to prepare a note for literally everyone, which was sweet, but we also both got some nice personalised notes - in particular James got one from Yumi addressed to both of us, and I got one from Ashy to both of us! It was really nice ^__^

So all in all this was a nice meet. My favourite part of it (in case it wasn't obvious) was that James was with me but it was also great to meet new people and get to know others better, and as always it's fun to frill up and go out!

As a final thing to finish on, here's a quick photo of our haul. Technically the prints and the brooches except for the lute and the PepFox one are James's, but hey, we're married! James also bought some perfect frames for the prints - we just need to decided where to put them!

Have you celebrated the holiday season in any lolita ways this year?

Sunday, 16 December 2018

A berry sweet capsule wardrobe

Hurr hurr I like puns ^__^

Anyhoo, enough on my terrible sense of humour. I've been slowly working on this capsule for month and only just now got around to finishing it. It took me so long, in fact, that the CGL thread where a pink/red/sax sweet wardrobe was recommended is long gone. Sorry random anon! I did put this together with you in mind!

I had a heap of fun with this wardrobe. I was trying to channel something circa 2010 - not oldschool and not OTT but just (to me) typically simple sweet lolita. I ran with a bit of a bunny berry theme, as you can see.

It was a really fun challenge to put together a three colour (plus neutral) capsule wardrobe. I think I manage it pretty well - I didn't feel like there were any items that didn't pull their weight, and I also didn't feel that anything was missing. Well, except for a few more pairs of shoes, but I know that I have a thing for wanting way more shoes than is necessary!

As usual, I put together some sample coordinate for this wardrobe...enjoy ^__^

Angelic Pretty's Cherry Berry Bunny was the cornerstone main piece to this wardrobe. Not only is it the most distinctive print, it features all three of the requested colours in a way that makes it super easy to coord.

Every other main piece in the wardrobe, like this cute BTSSB gingham-ish affair, will work easily with two of the colours and of course the neutral. Something I really enjoyed in these coordinates is how having the red cutsew and red bolero being slightly different shades of red gives quite a different vibe.

I had to include a Karami JSK for a 2010-ish wardrobe! And I enjoyed styling it in both somewhat typically oldschool-ish ways and a bot more modern as well, though it's not a dress that you can ever really pull away from older kinds of styling. I particularly love the two coords on the left, especially the all-sax one.

I only included one OP and one skirt in this capsule, but to make up for that I wanted to try coording the onepiece with each colour in the wardrobe. I think I did a pretty good job and I actually really love the coordinate with the blue ^__^

Last of all we have Meta's Cherry Gingham print, which I think is a really cute, retro kind of print - especially in this skirt cut! And no, I'm not biased towards that cutsew just because I happen to own, not at all...

I had a lot of fun with this wardrobe! Not really something I'd wear myself, but an aesthetic that I very much enjoyed playing around with. I will say though...I kind of want a big Usakumya now...

Friday, 7 December 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: Create a lolita prompt challenge

In case it wasn’t obvious from this blog – I love lolita blogging challenges. I mean, it’s the reason why I participate in the LBC!

At the moment I’m working my way through a challenge I came up with, Around Your Wardrobe in 30 Coordinates, which was designed with the idea of exploring all the coordination options you may have in your wardrobe. Before that I completed the Lolita 52, which is about your experience with lolita more generally. Then there’s still more challenges I haven’t turned my blogging eye towards; the Lifestyle Lolita 365, the 10 Day Lolita Challenge, and I’m sure I’m missing some more. What I’m trying to say is that there are already a lot of different prompt challenges out there and I really wanted to try and come up with something that didn’t re-tread the same topics.

So, after a while of wracking my brain, I thought – let’s make this a coordinate challenge (because hey, I’m me and I’d rather play with clothes) that’s all about you. This is a smaller challenge, with only five prompts in total, all determined by you…and when you were born!

The Lolita Birthday Challenge

Create a coordinate inspired by your:
1. Birth stone
2. Birth flower
3. Western zodiac sign
4. Chinese zodiac year
5. Pantone colorstrology

I’m actually excited to do this challenge myself! And I will…once I finish off Around Your Wardrobe in 30 Coordinates. So, for future reference I need to create coords for:
1. Opal
2. Marigold
3. Libra
4. Horse
5. Cerulean

This is going to be…interesting! Being me, I’m most likely going to do flatlays from my own wardrobe rather than collages. So it’s going to be a very real challenge (Marigolds are yellow and orange! Cerulean is blue! I don’t have things in these colours!) but honestly that's what's going to make it so fun. I'm also keen to maybe try my hand at some of the challenges by fellow bloggers have come up with. I think I'm going to have a lot of inspiration for this blog very soon.

I am so excited that this prompt was chosen for LBC this week, and if you want to try this challenge of mine please drop me a comment here so I can check out your posts ^__^

Friday, 30 November 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: November 2018

As usual, here are some of the highlights from my reading list this month. Let's just ignore the fact that this month is November and just enjoy reading some lolita content, shall we?

In which she’s back again… from Make Lovely
Oh my goodness, guyyyyyys! One of my all time favourite lolita bloggers is back! I am super excited and totally may or may not have read a whole lot of her old posts in my glee...

AP's Fancy Box: camera comparison from Rufflecloud's Adventures
As something of a camera nerd, this was interesting to see. Both the camera and the settings used make a massive different in the photos you take, and given that this hobby of ours is so very visual it's handy to know this.

What gives, grey? Larmes influence on J-fashion from Miss Filigree
New (to me) blog alert! This post was really interesting for me, even though I don't really know anything about larme ^__^

Lolita Memoíres vol. III release party from Sanakanin
I love pretty meet up posts...not much more to say, but I enjoyed reading this post.

Little Halloween Tea Time For Me! from The Bloody Tea Party
I'm not massively into Halloween, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying reading about other people enjoying their holiday!

Ouji Trends: Alice and the Pirates Then and Now from Buttcape
As I'm not really into ouji (yet) I'd never really paid much attention to the trends within it, so this was very informative for me. I have to say that I'm a sucker for the earlier, punkier stuff rather than the newer pastel-y styles, but I do appreciate the available variety.

My First Time Vending at MCM London Comic Con! from Teacake Time Machine
One thing I love about reading blogs is getting to experience and gain an insight into things I don't foresee myself ever doing...such as wending at a big convention!

Sailor Moon Pop-up Exhibit and Shop from ABC Lolita
Oh man...Sailor Moon stuff is the cutest! This is more of a Sailor Moon post than a lolita one, but it's so cute how could I not share?

I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I did. Now it is time to gird our loins against the onslaught of the festive season...Christmas coords are coming!

Monday, 26 November 2018

Taobao 2018 - the accessories edition

This year I am participating in the Seagull Secret Santa on CGL, and decided that for part of my gift to my match I wanted to pick up some accessories from Sweet Dreamer. Then, of course, since I had an open order I just had to add in a few things for myself...and a few more...and maybe a few more...

In the end this was a wholly jewellery and accessories order, which is great because they're the pieces I need most at the moment. Most items are badly needed wardrobe staples, and some are entirely frivolous! I ordered from a handful of different stores, so I'll show you everything and link to each shop.

As usual, I ordered with TaobaoTrends, and they were fine. I had a bit of an issue paying for the order at first (I added money to my account, but then could use it!) but that resolved itself in a day. not quite sure what happened, but whatever. Ultimately, my order came in while I was at work on 20 November. They were sensible with packing, and put most items inside the hat I ordered to save space but they did bend the hat a bit to fit it in the box, so there's that.

Let's start with the items from Sweet Dreamer, since getting a couple of things for my Secret Santa from there was the original purpose of the order. For my match I bought a pair of wristcuffs (which I own myself and love) and a gorgeous velvet barrette bow. For myself I grabbed some sweet-themed necklaces, one strawberry and one biscuit. No pictures of the gifts, since I'm leaving them in their packaging, but oh my goodness the necklaces are adorable! Like seriously, how ridiculously cute are they? The pendants seems pretty sturdy as well, though the chains are quite thin.

Then I ordered a few items from Sweet Heart Square, another store I really like and buy from basically every time I do a Taobao order! I did get one thing for my match here, the floral barrette (they said they're into larme and it seemed appropriate...and hey, if not, there's more to the gift) which again is not pictured. Then I also picked up a pearl and cherry bracelet (plus earrings) for myself, and a pair of mint-and-brown bow clips. I have these same bow clips in I think four different colours now, I really love them! I think the mint is a bit too dark to match well with Teddy Chocolatier though, but oh well. The bracelet is also quite small, like previous ones I've bought from here, but it's still cute so I don't mind.

All the stores from here are ones I hadn't bought from before, so this was exciting! First I grabbed a mint green beret (because I will never have enough berets) and a black and red choker necklace from Kuma P Handmade. The beret is pretty standard, though a bit thicker and tighter than my other ones. But the choker is adorable! Like seriously, how cute is it? And yes, of course it's berry themed...

The next store was Azusa Handmade House, where mostly I bought a lot of rings (they were like a dollar each, don't judge me!) as well as a bracelet and a straw hat. The hat was mostly bought so I could do more country style looks with my new Meta dress and I really wanted to get one decorated with green flowers, but I made the sensible decision to go with the more versatile (and cheaper) option with just an off white ribbon. Which is still super adorable and certainly will be more versatile. Both the bracelet and the rings are cute but not massively noteworthy. But I'm so glad I got them! Look at me, expanding my wardrobe options ^__^

After that I bought yet more cute jewellery! This store (the name of which is translating to Don't come to a piece of meat? which is just confusing) really tempted me, and I wanted to grab so many more things, but in the end I forced myself to be realistic about it and only got two bracelet sets and one necklace. Though admittedly the cat paw bracelet set doesn't match anything I own but it's a cat paw! How could I not? The other bracelets were a good basic set and the necklace is a rainbow! A rainbow! Probably not going to use it for lolita too much, but in case you didn't know...I really like rainbows! The chain clasp bit at the back is broken though, so it's straight into my mending pile.

Then the accessories that I chose from Ribbon Cake were kind of silly. I mean, yes the ring and donut clips will match things of mine, and I suppose the lollipop necklace might as well, but they just feel a bit silly! But they were cheap and are cute so I'm not complaining ^__^ I'm actually kind of stupidly in love with the lollipop necklace, and the donuts are really spongy!

My Little Song tempted me into buying another couple of cute necklaces for the sweeter side of my wardrobe, and they are both very cute and feel quite sturdy. I realised when I was opening everything that I kind of doubled up with this strawberry necklace and the Sweet Dreamer one but I don't mind! They're still different enough, and I actually really especially love the beaded chain on these necklaces.

And from the last store, Sharon's Rose, I got a more classic style floral necklace. I did want to get a rose necklace too but it went out of stock. I guess this really goes to prove something that I'm realising about myself as I'm wearing lolita more often - I'm really more into sweet than classic! (though I do love both).  But I'm not sure if I wasn't thinking clearly, or made a mistake, because I didn't think I ordered it in this colour...and I also thought it was a bracelet. I honestly don't know what I did, lol! Oh well, it's still pretty and it's very different from anything else I own so it's fine.

On top of everything else, I'm not sure where they came from but also included were a shell necklace and a little notepad. I love cute freebies!

All in all I'm very happy with my new wardrobe additions. I've practically doubled my selection of necklaces and rings with this order, which is something I did want to do this year. So I'm a happy Roli right about now ^__^

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Life is turning upside down in the best possible way

First of all, don't panic! Unlike my last life update this is a good post, and I'm not taking the blog on hiatus ^__^

There are two big things happening in my life right now that I wanted to briefly tell you about. The first is that after three and a half years I'm quitting my office job to try my hand at writing full time. It's a massive step but I needed to give it a shot.

James and I giving it a test period to see how much novel writing I can actually do if I hit it from nine to five and also whether I can pick up a decent amount of bread-and-butter freelance writing work. Though since I do like variety, my current plan is devote four days a week to writing and the other one to working on other creative projects such as getting back in to modelling, perhaps actually taking a course to be a certified make up artist, making this blog better, and maybe taking up contributing to Wunderwelt Libre and any other sites that suit my niche interests.

See, my job was good. I liked the people, the office was nice, the work was engaging but not too stressful most of the time and I was paid pretty well. But (and whether this is my anxiety/depression or just who I am) it sapped 95% of my energy and left me with so little left to do any of the things I wanted to do. Over time I got more tired, gained more weight, and lost so much motivation. Whether it was this job in particular, the commute for it, or simply regular office jobs as a thing, it just really sucked the life out of me. Something had to change. And I started feeling so much better even after handing in my notice so I knew it was the right choice. I'm wrapping things up well and training a replacement, but after 14 December I'll be leaving my job and not going back.

So James and I will both be working as freelance creatives for a bit! I'm very excited ^__^ I'm having a couple of weeks off to just relax and recharge first, then I'll be up and at it with the new year. I can go back to having a slightly more nocturnal sleeping pattern, have an extra three plus hours in my day where I'm not stuck on a train or waiting for a train, see James more, have a social life without it wearing me out, have time to exercise, and just try really hard to see if I can have the dedication to make this work because it's my ideal lifestyle.

As for the second big update, with the end of the regular work life in sight, I saw a casting call online and applied, thinking "yes, this would be fun to do next year when I have a life again". And to my surprise and joy I was accepted and I'm really happy to say that I am Eli and Mari in the new Love Live dance group!

Oh my goodness though, it was a sudden start! I was messaging the member who had posted the call on Thursday, she said welcome aboard and by the way we have rehearsal on Sunday and a photoshoot the week after! So I panicked a little, scrambled to order costumes and wigs, and on 18 November went on my way to my first rehearsal with a bare minimum of dance practise under my belt. But it was fun (if tiring) and I am so excited to be a part of this group. I'd actually been thinking about how fun it would be to be in an idol group after first watching Love Live and it's taking a while to sink in that I actually am now!

So my plan of getting back into fitness after I quit work got accelerated since I have now started practising my little heart out. I love dancing but am not naturally very well coordinated so I need to practise a lot! We're planning our performance debut in March 2019, so we have time, but I still want to do my very best and improve as fast as I can.

I may or may not post some of the Love Live stuff to this blog, as I imagine there will be a lot of it and I like keeping this blog primarily lolita. But if you're interested to see more you can follow our Instagram that I linked above, or my Facebook page because I can guarantee there will be a lot o content in both those places!

Joining this group is really good for me. It's pushing me outside of my comfort zone socially, fitness-wise, and also in terms of cosplay. I would never have chosen to cosplay any of the Love Live girls until I was significantly more slim, but now I suddenly am (three costumes bought and counting!). I'll admit, I am kind of terrified, but overall this is a really great thing for me.

So that's what's new with me! It won't really affect this blog but it affects me so I wanted to update my readers regardless. Is there anything new in your life at the moment?

PS I am tentatively planning to make lolita my writing clothes because dressing up = motivation but we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

AYWI30C #9: As gothic as you can go

When I got up to this prompt in the challenge I started inwardly cursing myself. I don't do gothic! Why did I include this?

I mean, I included it because I really wanted Around Your Wardrobe in 30 Coordinates to be about fully stretching the options of your lolita collection. And it served its purpose because much as I did struggle with this, I think I pulled together a passable gothic lolita outfit.

First of all...apologies for the photo quality! I fixed what I could in photoshop but photographing all black indoors is a challenge. Also, never again will I do a flatlay where the main pieces are both chiffon because it was nigh impossible to make they lie nicely flat!

Ahem. I also have three further comments to make. I would probably use some lace tights (or perhaps even fishnets, actually yes, most likely fishnets) if wearing this but they look awful in flatlay form so I included my most appropriate OTKS instead. I also could not find my black handbag, which isn't particularly gothic anyway! Oh's still as gothic as I can go! And lastly...that's glitter on the socks, not dirt...though I have no idea how they got glittery!

Something I did love in this outfit was using my Rogue Aerie jewellery. They're absolutely perfect for gothic looks, nice and opulent. I also like the idea of gothic looks that don't rely on overt symbolism to define them as gothic, so I preferred using these pieces rather than nabbing a cross necklace from our model wardrobe.

I also got a kick (hurr hurr) out of pulling out my Demonia velvet boots for this look. I adore these boots, though I still don't think I've worn them at all! But they add a wonderful Victorian flair to any look and I think they're a truly beautiful footwear option.

Last of all, to tie in with the jewellery I used both red and black flowers along with a rectangle headdress for the hair - a bit oldschool, which to my mind suits the gothic vibe.

I mean, as I often say, I don't think I ever really do gothic all that well. But as much as a struggled with this, it was fun to see how much of a gothic lolita look I could put together from my lolita wardrobe.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

AYWI30C #8: As classic as you can go

As soon as I started thinking about the coordinate I'd put together for this topic I knew I wanted the base of it to be Innocent World's Anniversary Rose and my long sleeved IW blouse (it has floral lace!). From there I just wanted to make it as typically classic as I could, which informed all my other decisions.

My favourite part of this outfit actually ended up being the fur hat thing! I'm not even sure what this is called, it belonged to my fashionista of a great aunt back in the day and I really love it. To me, classic lolita (and to a lesser extend gothic) is the best style for incorporating actual vintage pieces. And of course, because I'm me, I added some flower clips as well.

Then in the interests of having some cohesiveness I added my Axes Femme boots with the faux fur trim. The furs don't exactly match, but given the distance between them I figured it would work out okay.

My accessories for this look were quite minimal - other than the headwear just a few bracelets and a small necklace. I also enjoyed that the majority of this outfit is all Innocent World - more than any other brand (in my not-exhaustive experience) I find that Innocent World always works best with more Innocent World.

Speaking of the accessory choices I just wanted to highlight the necklace I chose. It's not a particularity high-quality piece, but it exemplifies the fact that I'm really trying to expand my jewellery collection and I'm proud of how far I've already come in that regard. Is it weird to be proud of buying things?

So there you have a coordinate that is a classic as I can go. I feel it's very perennially classic lolita; simple, a bit mismatched, feminine and vintage, elegant but still a little cute.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: Create A Coord Inspired By Your Favorite Sailor Moon Character

Oh my goodness, this theme was made for me. The Sailor Moon series has meant a lot to me over the years and has been an inspiration in so many ways. But my favourite senshi? Well, that's always been...

That's right! Ever since I first saw the anime as a kid I've most strongly identified with Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury. A bit shy and very smart, she was me. Even though I've gotten less shy (and less smart) as I've gotten older and no longer identify with her as much, she's still my fave.

As far as creating an outfit inspired by her, I ran with the idea of putting together a coordinate I imagine she might wear.

I think of this a slightly old-school coordination style with modern items. Dream Marine was the perfect print for her and for the rest of the styling I went with simple, unassuming items. This is not a flashy coord, which I feel suits her studious personality. The basic black shoes and bag make it feel more like something she'd just wear, rather than in being a specifically coordinated outfit.

And now I really want to make lolita coordinates for all the sailor scouts...ooops...

Read more from other bloggers:

Monday, 5 November 2018

Coordinates from September - October 2018

The first part of September swept by in a bit of a blur. After we got back from New Zealand we had a bit of settling in to do, and it wasn't until towards the end of the month that I actually got my lolita wardrobe organised and properly accessible. But when I did...I was back!

Literally the day that I reorganised my clothing I wore lolita for the first time in what felt like forever. I called James over to look at how prettily I'd arranged my racks, and said "hey, would you care if I wore lolita while assisting on your photoshoot this afternoon?" (because it's not the most practical of clothing to move lights and furniture around in, so I like to be considerate and check) and his gratifying reply was "I insist that you do!"

So I did ^__^

JSK & Headbow: Rococo Soul Jam Paradise
Bolero: Handmade
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Baby the Stars Shine Bright

I was so ridiculously happy to be wearing lolita again. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed it, and how the lack of it was just one more factor in me feeling not-quite-settled in our new house. It was such an instant mood boost to wear something cute and fluffy again! I also got lots of compliments (including from the cashier with cute round glasses at the chemist we ducked into before the shoot) and James and I went out with the friends we were shooting with for a drink afterwards. All in all a great day and an outfit that I really enjoyed.

Also click here if you want to see what we shot that day, since it's quite a contrast to how I looked! It's Facebook-friendly but not quite safe for work, FYI.

And then, just like the start of September the start of October vanished into the abyss...because I got sick. Again. Bronchitis followed by a lung infection this time. Sigh. I took six days off work in a row, I was that sick. Grateful I could do that (and not have to do anything like move house or travel internationally) but I was so frustrated to be sick again. I was the sickest I've been since I met James to be honest, and it sucked.

But after getting my birthday haul in I decided I had to wear one of my new dresses before my birthday month ended, so in mid-October I once again got dressed up (in Teddy Chocolatier this time) to help out on another photoshoot. I ended up sweating horribly for part of the day, then getting rained on but hey, I looked cute!

JSK & Shoes: Metamorphose
Bolero: Handmade
Bag: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Everything else: Offbrand & taobao

Last of all I wore a lolita Hufflepuff outfit for Halloween at work! I felt very cute and got many compliments, even from strangers on the way to the train ^__^

Skirt: Victorian Maiden
Blouse: The Floral Notebook
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand

So I didn't wear lolita that much over the past two months, but that's okay. I enjoyed it when I did wear it, and I feel like I'm starting to get a bit more...I don't know...personal style? I'm just feeling more and more comfortable in lolita, and feel more "me" in it. Which is awesome and leaves me feeling pretty good about it all ^__^