mandag den 3. november 2014

LBC: Coord Based on a Halloween Creature and a big I'm Sorry!!!

I. Am. Back, gals and guys! And I'm so sorry for being away for so long!
Everything has been hectic! The Halloween party I planned went great, and I got my costume done (I'm gonna add a picture to the post when I get to that. I was Wednesday Addams for an evening! I love that family so much!)
Also, my project this semester is coming along just fine. I'm not gonna bore you out of here by saying too much, but it's about Johann Friedrich Struensee whom you might remember from the movie "A Royal Affair". That is such a fascinating time in danish history, and not just because of the drool worthy fashion.

To close the door on Halloween properly, I'm gonna share this coord that I made, right before Halloween came and went. Last week's Lolita Blog Carnival topic was to create a coord based around a Halloween Story or Creature, and it came to me pretty quickly. Probably because of my current fascination with feathers in Lolita fashion. 
I decided to base my Halloween coordinate around the harpy! They are winged women in Greek mythology, who snatch people away on Zeus' command. They have also been described as wind spirits. In later times, they've been seen as vicious monsters, half bird and half woman.
I chose BtSSB's Cogwheel of Time JSK as the centerpiece because of the cut and length. The layering makes it kind of fluffy, which I think matches the bird theme well. I chose various feather accessories, for obvious reasons, and the fang earrings to bring in the predatory reputation of the harpy creature. The boots and the blouse add a touch of femininity and elegance, but I still think the boots are both practical and badass looking. The gold detailing make them look sharp and streamlined, and bring out the gold accessories.
I think this coordinate is quite original. We don't all have to be witches and vampires next year, even if the sirene calls (another good Halloween theme) of their elegance is hard to resist!

I hope you had deliciously spooky Halloween nights, and that you're all as excited for the upcoming Christmas as I am! If not, you may have to be, because in my mind, November is just the boring pre-Christmas month, and we need to get started!

Want more inspiration for next year's Halloween (oh my! Just 362 days left!) check out the links below!

søndag den 19. oktober 2014

Delicious Pumpkin Pie!

Actually yummy!
Hello you guys!
It's been a while! I went on holiday at my grandparents' house this fall break, and I was supposed to go to a meet up that I was meaning to share with you guys, but sadly, it was cancelled (I really wanted to spend some time with my family, and that day was the only chance.. Oops)

However, I'm back home, and yesterday I decided that it was finally time to carve my pumpkin, which of course leaves one with a lot of pulp that you need to figure out what to do with. I decided that it would be the perfect idea to turn it into a delicious pumpkin pie that I could give to my neighbors as a big "Thank you!" for taking care of my kitty all week! It turned out really good, so I decided that "Hey! Maybe I could share the recipe with you guys!"

So, here you go!

The crust:
250 grams of regular flour
110 grams of salted butter
1 tablespoon of sugar
6 tablespoons of lukewarm water
(if you want to use storebought pie dough, skip this step)

Mix the flour and the butter until it turns kind of "crummy" in texture. Then add the sugar and the water, and mix until the dough is.. well, dough-y. Put it in the fridge to sit for about 20 minutes! Pre-bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

The filling:
350 grams of pumpkin pulp
2,5-3 dL of brown sugar
1/2 dL of regular sugar
50 grams of white chocolate
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
A quarter of a teaspoon of crushed cloves
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 and a half dL of skim milk
1,8 dL of skyr or cream (depending on if you want a light or more heavy version)
You can add in some hazelnuts if you want to.

Blend the pumpkin pulp, brown sugar, regular sugar, spices, hazelnuts and white chocolate until creamy and lump-free. Transfer to a pot and bring it to a boil while stirring. Then put in the cream and milk, and bring it to a boil again. Remove from the stove, and whisk the eggs briefly, before stirring them in the still hot pie filling. Pour it onto the pie crust, and slap everything in the oven for about 25 minutes at 185 degrees celsius. Enjoy the smell of christmas come early while it bakes! When you take it out, it should be firm enough that you can poke a knife in there, and have it come out clean. Let it cool a bit before you take a piece!

Enjoy, and have a Happy Halloween!

fredag den 3. oktober 2014

LBC: How Your Style Has Evolved

Okay, you guys! I've tracked down as many bad and good photos I could, to document my Lolita style evolution, in honor of this week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme!
You're in for a rocky ride. Don't say I didn't warn you! I'm gonna take you as far back in time as I've been able to. Which would be around 3½ years back in time, for starters. The timeline is from left to right, for each year.

I have no pictures of my first half a year or so in Lolita. Those dissapeared along with the first Lolita message board I was on. We'll have to make do with the earliest pictures I could find. The first one is from when I'd acquired my second Lolita first (and my first serious addition to my collection). It's taken at my second or third meet up, in the early summer of 2011. Not too bad for a sweet Lolita coordinate, actually. But I really needed some work in the make up and hair department. The second one is from a Lolita fashion show I participated in at the anime convention, J-Popcon. My style was kind of all over the place, that year. Except for OTT sweet Lolita, which was too sugary for me.


 Now we enter 2012. As you can tell from the badly cropped photos, I didn't really bother with actual outfit photos, except for the ones taken at meet ups. I continued down my path of Gothic Lolita with Bad Make Up and Hair. Because hats are of course a good excuse to not try and do something about that (nope)
The second outfit was my first time wearing Lolita with a wig. I decided that wigs were not for me, because it washed me out completely. I felt uncomfortable about the way I looked all day, which was actually unusual for me, in Lolita. The third photo is unfortunate. I refuse to believe that my petticoat was that sad!
From the fourth to the fifth photo, was a dramatical change. There's half a year of a US trip and a massive weight loss between them, and I actually became inspired to try and put my hair up in (tiny) bunny ears!

We're edging closer to a style that I kind of recognize as my own. The first photo is kind of the last time I've worn Gothic Lolita. From then on, it was a slow transition over a less-than-sweet Sweet Lolita, to Classic Lolita. My make up skills slowly evolved a bit, but I still stayed away from fake eyelashes or anything of the sort, which of course is not a necessity in Lolita, but none the less, a part of my current style. I don't know how it happened, but I feel like something went down in 2013 that took my style up a notch. 
Now prepare for a massive photo spam..

This has been my 2014 so far, and if anything, I think I can truly say that even just this year, I've come a long way (even if my bad quality outfit photos don't show me clearly)
These days, I'm in love with a very princess-like Classic style, and I have never been happier with the way I look. I'm slowly selling my old Gothic Lolita wardrobe, and I'm not looking back. I don't think the only change is that now I use false lashes and wigs and such, even if to me, they're the cherry on top. I've simply just learned to coordinate, with a little room for experimentation.

Back in the day, I had no idea where Lolita was gonna take me, and today, I'm still not sure where I'm going. It's an exciting journey!
I hope you guys will follow me, as I continue into 2015, and how many years there may come!

Wanna see more Lolita-volutions? Check out the other participants below!
The Literary Lolita
New Vogue Children
A Heart's Sound

onsdag den 1. oktober 2014

Halloween, Costume Lolita and Themed Outfits

Picture from Wikipedia
The Halloween month is here, and what would be more appropriate than having a chat about the topic "costumes" and Lolita fashion? Those two concepts have been in conflict for as long as most of us have lived our frilly lives, and to many, the line we walk between the two is still thin. 
We may all agree that Lolita is not a costume. 
But what about bunny ears? Themed coordinates? Wearing Lolita on All Hallows' Eve?
What makes a Lolita outfit a costume?

Follow me, as I dive deep into the deep, dark well that is the discussion of costumes and Lolita.

Actual "Lolita Costume"
And the girl in jeans shouted "Little Bo Peep, where are your sheep?!"
And the Lolita shuddered in secondhand embarassment, for little did the girl in jeans know: Lolita is not a costume at all!
But what defines a costume? What makes Lolita so different from wearing a Little Bo Peep costume, when it comes down to it? Some people think that it is all a matter of not taking the outfit too far into OTT territory, lest it becomes "costume-y". Some people believe it's all about the quality of the materials. Others swear by the elements of the outfit, for instance lace gloves or bunny ears. The viewpoints are many and varied, and no completely consensus has been reached about when we reach "costume Lolita", and when something is just plain "ita". 
(I've even seen the two expressions used interchangeably)
To clarify, I disagree with all of these statements entirely. "Costume Lolita" is a thing, and so is "ita Lolita". They are, however, very different, in my opinion. In this post I'm only gonna talk about the term "costume Lolita".

First, what defines a costume?
I looked it up in the Cambridge Dictionary online, and there, it is defined like this: A set of clothes suitable for a particular historical period or activity, or a set of clothes worn to look like someone or something else. To clarify, what is given as examples of "activities" are things like dancing or swimming.

Lolita does not fit any of these labels. Lolita is a fashion, not a costume. The quality of materials, choice of accessories or amount of stuff worn on your head, is irrelevant. It is the purpose of the clothes that is key, and even the most shiny satin Milanoo piece is therefore not a costume.
Ita, but not a costume. 

Adorable bunny-themed outfits by Angelic Pretty
But, what about themed outfits, then? Aren't they costumes?
No, they are not. Not even if you wear your BtSSB cat ears and take fashion que's from the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. You see "Steal Her Look!" articles in mainstream fashion magazines all the time and nobody's calling that "costuming". 
I think what confuses people about this is that there are certain elements of Lolita fashion that suddenly become appropriate at certain events or certain holidays. People become unable to withstand the allure of bunny ears around easter, and that's when the arguments pop up about whether or not those are Lolita or costume articles. They are certainly not costume articles if you're not in costume, but the discussion about whether or not they are Lolita appropriate is a different topic entirely. 
Personally, I go with a "Yes!" if they are good quality and part of a themed outfit. 

BtSSB's halloween "Merrymaking in the Ghost Town" print.
But what if I wear my outfit for Halloween?
That depends! Is your outfit just themed around a certain character, or are you actually dressing up AS a character?
Or are you just taking advantage of the occassion to go out and enjoy yourself with a lot fewer stares than usual, to melt into the crowd of actual costume-wearing happy folk and fly under the radar?
Wearing Lolita on Halloween does not make it a costume. Some people worry that it is "disrespectful" to the fashion to wear it on Halloween, or to similar events. In my opinion, it is everything but disrespectful! Themed outfit or not, Lolita-fied costume or not, Halloween gives us an occassion to go all out without sticking out too much! Wear your most oppulent gothic Hime Lolita dress and put a mini-version of the Flying Dutchman on your head. 
As an adoring fan of the Halloween month, it's just twice the sugar and no bees to take my fashion one step further on Halloween.

These are just my opinions!
Are you gonna dress up for Halloween? If so, what are you gonna do?
Let me know in the comments below, and have a really spooky Halloween!

søndag den 28. september 2014

LBC: Your Usual Lolita Make Up

Goodmorning my lovely ones! I'm sorry about my quietness as of late. I promise to be back soon. I've had a very busy time, with my mom getting married, LARP'ing and P&P roleplay nights, meet-ups galore, and getting back to my studies. This month has been the longest month ever, but hey, October is upon us, which means Halloween, and plenty of new Lolita themes to talk about!
But first: A belated Lolita Blog Carnival post.

This week's theme is one I went back and forth about whether or not I should participate in. My camera sucks, and it probably is gonna suck for a while still, until I get the cash moneys to buy a new one. But then I thought "Well, why not? It's fun! Let me show the world my usual Lolita make up!"

There you go! Me sans make up, before the transformation. Are you guys the "put clothes on first" or "put clothes on after make up" types? I tend to be the first, because I'm kind of paranoid about getting make up on my dress while pulling it over my head.

Here you've got my make up arsenal! 
(I love my pretty pink "Doctor's make up kit" of brushes. They were about 5 dollars on ebay, and are soft like baby kittens.) 

Of course I always put on my circle lenses first (I use "Barbie Girl" circle lenses from Jihoshop), and put on some nice smelling moisturizer. Then I start out with concealer, on my problem spots. I swear by Rimmel London's "Hide the Blemish" concealer. It's easy to use, gives good coverage and also doubles as my highlighter. For foundation I usually use Maybelline's liquid "Dream satin" foundation. I find that it's simply very easy to manage, and blends in with my skin quickly. I finish the "canvas layer" of my make up with the powder from Maybelline's "Dream" series too, which I put on using the big brush. Using a brush instead of the sponge gives a nicer, lighter coverage, I find.

A closer look at the next important stuff. The blush is one I bought in Wallmart back when I was in the US. I don't remember the brand, but there's a "CG" on the lid. It's a nice, kind of peachy pink. I use plenty, all the way from behind my eye along the bottom of my cheekbone. After that, I use 5 different shades of pink for my eye. I start out with a shimmery layer of light pink all over my eyelid (the one you see in the Rimmel London box), move on to a slightly darker shade of pink all over my double eyelid, and gradually shade towards the outer corner of my eye with the dark one in the Rimmel box. Then I use the two shades of brown in my "Body Shop" eyeshadow box at the outer corner of my upper and lower eyelid, blend, and finish up with a light shade of pink shimmer below and across my entire eyelid once more. I find that using a bit of pink shimmer below my eye gives a dreamy effect. In the end, I use the white eyeshadow on my "Rimmel" palette or a more stark white I've got, to highlight the inner corner of my eye, and along a third of my lower lash line.

That's when I move on to my falsies. This is my (almost entirely used up) arsenal of extremely false-looking false eyelashes. They're very nice quality, and also a cheap ebay find. They cost about a dollar, but are very sturdy and lovely. I find that most pairs I can use two or three times, (if I have the patience to clean them). They're my go-to lashes.
I finish up with eyeliner, a pretty bubblegum pink lipstick by "Coolcos", and a coat or two of Rimmel's "Scandaleyes" mascara. I'm looking for a better choice of mascara, though. One that gives more volume and seperates the lashes. What would you recommend?

 And this is the finished look! I'm very fond of it, myself. It really has become my "usual" Lolita make up, as it matches most of my outfits. If you want a better picture, I used the same make up in my photoshoot this summer.

Want more make up inspiration? Check out the posts below!

torsdag den 18. september 2014

LBC: 3 Things You'd Tell Your Young Lolita Self

Me ca. 2011, about a year into my Lolita life. 
I love when the Lolita Blog Carnival topics bring up a sense of nostalgia or deeper reflection over the fashion. You can say a lot about how Lolita is just a pretty fashion, but it takes effort, and whether we like it and recognize it or not, there is probably deeper reasons about why we started dressing the way we do. I know that "3 Things You'd Tell Your Young Lolita Self" doesn't necessarily have to be 'deep and mentor-like advice about the Lolita Force', but I can't help it: Stuff like this just hits me in the philosophical spot. Bear with me.
Here are the 3 things I'd tell my young Lolita self if I had a time machine, from the deep stuff to the basics that would just have made me look a billion times better.

1. Do not buy replicas!
Granted, there are one or two replicas I might actually, at some point, in the far future, get to tailoring to fit my current body type, but wow, do I have a closet of replicas now that I just do not wear anymore! Some of them have moved on, but had I just dealt with it, made more of an effort with my excersize earlier on to lose some weight, or just bought some pieces with full back shirring, I would've had a much bigger closet of beautiful, better quality, better fitting and much loved pieces now. I picked the easy way out, and I thought I had some pretty good excuses: Replicas can go in the washing machine, and I'm a tall girl, and nothing is gonna change that. Many brand pieces are gonna be high waisted on me, but that's OK! It looks cute! And underskirts are actually a thing if the length starts bothering me at some point!I missed out on a lot of really cute releases because of this, that cost hundreds of dollars more on the secondhand market today.

2. Experiment more with make up and hair!
Lolita was the beginning of my journey towards becoming a girly-girl. Before Lolita, I just threw on whatever and headed out the door. I did start experimenting with make up when I started Lolita, but I never went out of my way and did something big and eye catching. A bit of eyeshadow, mascara and powder, a headbow on my head and out the door. Today I could've been much more of a "kawaii make up guru-chan" (never typing that out again) than I am, and I would have had some much more flattering photos to look back on!

3. Keep going strong! Lolita is gonna be with you for a long time!
I don't really have a number 3, so this is just gonna be words of encouragement. I actually did pretty well, as boring as that sounds. My ita phase was more of a learning process than me obsessing over lacemonsters, and I had long since shed my cat ears. Looking back, I know what worked for me, and that's what I share with every new Lolita that is confused about where to start when they first drop in on the Lolita Fashion Mentoring group on Facebook, or EGL. Research, research and more research, and trial and error. Those are the only things that moves you forward. I was aware that you need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you put on false eyelashes, wigs and bunny ears and try to rock it. Start out small, figure out what works for you, and what makes a good Lolita coordinate. If you're passionate about something, take your time to learn. You don't become an expert over night. 
Time and time again, I doubted if Lolita was actually for me. I was just finding my feet. I looked up Steampunk and Goth and other fashions, but Lolita stuck with me, and I returned to my favorite blogs and EGL to read some more. I was a sponge back then, and I still am. 

Lolita is evolving, and so are we, as it's wearers. 
I'm wondering what 3 points of advice I'd give myself today, if I look back in a 5 years time?
(Wow, that became very deep, very fast!)

What 3 pieces of advice would you want to give your young Lolita self, if you could? 
Also, if you're new to Lolita and want some pointers, I'm open to questions this week!

Check out the blogs below if you want more Lolita nostalgia.

fredag den 12. september 2014

BREAKING: Novala Takemoto's First Solo Collection, Lecture and Tickets to the Fashion Show!

Hello everyone! This just in!
I was contacted by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and asked to please give some exposure to some really exciting news! Novala Takemoto's first solo fashion collection, appropriately named "Novalar's", will be debuting at the SGMS: Mechademia Conference, and you can buy tickets to this incredible event!

Here's a little of the information I was given about what you can expect:

On September 26, Novala Takemoto will be giving a public lecture on the development of Lolita Fashion at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This event will take place at 7:00pm.

On September 27, during SGMS: Mechademia Conference's annual fashion show, Full Fashion Panic, Novala Takemoto will debut the "Novalar's" collection, which was in the message I received described as the "next generation of Lolita". Oh, and Novala will be playing a piece of Nana Kitade's music on the guitar during the runway show! (How cool is that!?)

Tickets can be purchased in advance here and are $15 per person, or at the door at the day of the event for $20. This ticket covers both of the events. 

Some information for those of you who're unfamiliar with Novala Takemoto's work and his influence on the Lolita community:

Novala Takemoto is a musician and author who has written many influential essays on Lolita fashion, which made him practically the patron saint of the Lifestyle Lolita. His essays are published online, and can be found here, translated into english. And of course he wrote Kamikaze Girls, a novel that was turned into the movie that continues to be THE defining piece of media of the Lolita world, and which, like his essays, continues to be an inspiration for any Lifestyle Lolita (and a good laugh for the rest of us, who can nod in recognition as Momoko continues to struggle to stay "maidenly" )
I can only say: Check it all out!
The essays and the movie were a personal source of empowerment for me when I first got into Lolita, and I return to all of it time and time again, both in nostalgia, but also because both his essays and the story of Momoko and the yanki Ichiko continues to charm me. It's genuinely beautiful.

His most recent work includes the novel, "Emily", which could turn out to be the next "Kamikaze Girls". I haven't had the chance to read it myself, yet, but of course I'll have to! Especially since it's done in collaboration with Kira Imai, the great Lolita artist, who did the cover art!

He's also coorporated with punk Lolita icon Nana Kitade to form "Nananova", a punk/electric duo, in which Novala Takemoto plays the guitar and ms. Kitade is chanting and DJ'ing. You can hear an example of their magic right here!

Novala has also done plenty of work which has gotten him featured in both the english and japanese Gothic Lolita Bibles wearing his trademark androgynous clothing style, and he's collaborated with Baby, The Stars Shine Bright on the clothing line titled "Pour Lolita".

The "Novalar's" line will, however, be his first solo clothing line, and I'm so sad that I cannot be there, but I hope that some of my american readers can! Oh, and please post some pictures of the event below! I'd love to know that you got the chance to go (and I'm so very curious!)

So, will any of you guys be going? Hurry and get your tickets!

(A heartfelt thank you to Frenchy Lunning of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for contacting me and letting me bring these exciting news!)

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