Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rapunzel's Lookbook~ Animal Ears!

While animal ears are often considered too "cosplay" for Lolita, that hasn't stopped Brands from making animal ear headdresses. I personally prefer not to wear animal ears, even though they are so cute! But yesterday I was playing with my hair to make animal ear hairstyles~ I have actually worn some of them out before :P

The photos may not be so great because I was only messing around, but here are some of the hairstyles I've done:
Lamb Ears
Pretty self-explanatory from looking at the picture. Make two half-pigtails and pull the hair only partially through the hairbinder to create a loop.

Deer Horns (ok so they're not ears, but it's similar!)
Make two half pigtails. Twist them tightly and fold in half. Secure with another hair binder.
Please note that they won't stand very straight if you make them too tall! Use bobby pins to secure the angle.
Here is an old photo from when I actually wore these as a part of an outfit:

Bunny Ears
This look is very similar to the Deer Horns, but are taller. I definitely thing that they need a hair accessory to prevent them from looking too "theme-y"
Here, you can see how they peek out from behind the hair ribbon
A side view to show the height (this was after the meetup, so it is sort of an ugly photo!)
It is done the same way as Deer Horns, but make them taller and after folding the twisted pigtail down, wrap it around the base of the ear to make a wider, more stable base. Secure it with bobby pins.

Bear Ears - small
I think this is sort of cute and fun! I would want to try it again with hair wax or some other type of styling product in order to keep the hair smooth, though.
It is done like Lamb Ears with the "ears" then fanned out and pinned down on either side to creat half-circles.

Bear Ears - large
This one is a little more complex.
Put your hair into high pigtails. Make a hole between the binder and your scalp. Pull the pigtails from BACK to FRONT. Tie a hairbinder to the END of the pigtail (this keeps the frizzies to a minimum). Now roll your hair from FRONT to BACK, which will creat a tube on your head. Secure it with bobby pins. Fan out the tube into a half-circle and secure with bobby pins.
There is another method I am thinking of trying for these ;)

If the instructions are difficult to understand, I did take in-progress photos and can make a separate, more detailed post for any of these.

Do you like animal ears in Lolita, or do you think they look too cosplay? I think animal accessories, such as usamimi, are really cute! They are sweet for themed outfits (like a bunny-theme outfit with bunny ears). Hopefully using hairstyles will find a nice balance between cosplay and fashion!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Belle's Library~ BABY Mook

BABY came out with a collective mook in July, but I didn't buy it despite the fact that BABY is my favorite brand and my first step into the Lolita world.
Cover. Photo from online sale (Amazon JP)

On Saturday, I went to 東區, literally translated as "East District," a fun, fashionable place to go with lots of shopping and eating to do should you ever be in the Taipei area. After eating, we went to Mag Freak, a chain of magazine shop that carries imported magazines and mooks, mostly from Japan.

Normally you are lucky to find back issues of the Gothic and Lolita Bible or a copy or two of Gosu Rori. So imagine my surprise when I saw a whole stack of BABY's catalog mook! I couldn't resist buying it! It's more expensive than it would have been online, but seeing it in person is more exciting ;)

Pochette page (from Amazon JP)

Of course, I was also attracted to the gift with purchase - the BABY heart pochette! I saw 小米(XiaoMi)'s pochette at the MiraMar meetup and it is really quite small, but handy for carrying your phone and small cosmetics such as a lipstick or small compact for touch-ups. Normally, the gift with purchase in these types of magazines are eco totes or small makeup pouches made of fabric. The pleather pochette for BABY's mook seemsto be a better deal to me!

The mook itself is rather thin at 62 pages, but I really enjoy it!

Closeup of the pochette page (from Amazon JP)

I took some photos of the real pochette~

Here is the front of the mook:
The shape will be warped from the thickness of the pochette, but it flattens out after a day or so of being weighed down under a stack of GLBs ;)

The pochette is protected in plastic, a layer of cardboard, and then another plastic with the BABY logo printed.

I recommend cutting out the page it is glued to along the cutting line before removing the pochette. The sticky lines will stick to the facing page of the mook! I cut out the page, which was printed with BABY's Swan Lake print, and saved it for scrapbooking.

This is the inner layer of plastic

The pochette!

The Brand Logo is inscribed on the pochette. It is a little difficult to photograph due to it being black-on-black, but I hope you can see it!

In the opening. You can see that it is quite small. I can only put a phone and wallet or lipstick and compact. Even phone + camera is too much! But I think I will use this pochette for makeup at meetups.

The handle was quite bent from being rolled up, but I hung it from my doorknob with just my phone inside and the handle straightened out within a day, no worries!

I didn't take photos of the insides because I am not sure how the copyright works for magazine scans.

Inside, it has:
BABY's magic closet - some ad-type photoshoots like you see in the GLBs
New Items on the stage - photos of latest items like you see in the GLBs
BABY's Dreamy World - some fun photoshoot drawing combos that are very cute!
ALICE and the PIRATES - some photoshoots of AatP clothing
Headdress a la Mode - two pages on headdresses
Dolls Make Lesson - three makeup tutorials spread out over 4 pages. Pink Princess is the only one with step-by-step. Snow White and Brown Make both show the final look with closeups on the eye, cheek, and lip with notes on how to do it along with Base Make and Point!
Dear, My Sweet Friend - all about Usakumya!!! Baby's famous mascot! I love this two-page spread!
BABY LOVERS - I think this is notes from fans and evens and things BABY has done? It's all in Japanese so I am not sure...
My Favorite BABY - a two-page spread on the models' favorite BABY dresses as they model them I think? In any case, it shows five models, Misako Aoki, Midori Fukasawa, Azusa, Yui Minakata, and SELEN.
SWEET&CUTE COLLABORATION ARCHIVE - as the name implies, a collection of collaborations!
All the past Popular Item Archive - pretty self-explanatory; it shows popular items from 1997 to the present
Textile Chronicle A collection of print swatches! It's so nice to see the detail in all the prints!
Interview to Designers - This would be neat if I could read Japanese
We Love BABY! - fan and event photos
Un Parti du The de Lolita - Paris tea party and Magical Mystery Tea Party in Japan
Special Pochette - The pochette and some descriptions of it (see the scans above!)

If you are interested in buying this mook, here are some places to find it online!
Amazon JP
CD Japan

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I May Not Be A Greek Sailor, But I Can Pretend

One thing I love about Taiwan is the sheer abundance of food from other countries. While not every restaurant is actually run by foreigners from their respective countries, most of the restaurants at least hold some resemblance to the foods from the countries they are trying to represent. (Unlike certain fast-food "Chinese" restaurants in the U.S.A. ;D If you are in the U.S., you know what I mean!)

On August 5th we had a mini-meetup with a theme: Sailor Lolita! I made a dress in three days for this meetup because I had no sailor-theme anything :( The dress isn't perfect, but I actually quite like it!

The restaurant we met up at was Greek-themed. I am no expert on Greek cuisine, but I am pretty sure this was not as authentic as you can get. However, it was still delicious!

First up, a group shot of us:
Group Censored
It is probably difficult to see everybody's outfits :P Click on the photo to make it larger!

I chose to make my dress in a Pink X White colorway rather than Navy Blue X White or Navy Blue X Red X White because I wanted to make a dress that could match more things in my wardrobe as well as not look too "AHOY, SAILOR!" for daily wear. Or maybe it is just because I really like the color pink v_v

More photos follow:

I ordered a vegetarian gyro. It came in a DIY-style setup and was quite delicious!
There was grilled peppers and apples, lettuce, onions, potato wedges, and a yummy yogurt-based dip! It all got wrapped up in the pita bread. I love getting hands-on with my food, so this was awesome!

Originally I had been planning on doing low, looped braded pigtails with two hair ribbons, but my hair is too long and it looked silly! So I ended up doing a LeiFang style with looped pigtails higher up on the sides of my head:

Commercial Break!
This is a gif of LeiFang for those of you who don't play Dead or Alive series:
/Commercial Break

And of course, every Sailor Lolita needs a salutation pose!
Aye, aye, Cap'n!

I'm thinking of making a couple more detachable ribbons to go on this dress. The sailor collor is entirely removable so that the dress can be worn in a less theme-y coordinate. I do love Sailor Lolita style, but versatility is even better ;) Detachable collars, waist ties, ribbons, belts, etc. make it easy to dress up or down depending on the situation!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sales Post +1

The Everything For US$30 Shipped Sale is LIVE! Head on over to see what second-hand new things you'd like to add to your wardrobe!

Due to the new rule about replicas on EGL and related communities, I was unable to list my altered Little Bear Cafe Set, so I am listing it here. The set includes a skirt (altered by me), the waist ties, and a half-bonnet.
More pictures below the cut.

Click on the photos to make them larger!
Side Zip
Side Pocket
Partial Elastic in the back
Fits waist sizes 25-32 inches (approximately)
It could go larger but would probably not be comfortable

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bamboo, Bamboo, Growing Up!

Yesterday I braved the thundestorms to go apartment-hunting with my mother. I found a very small, but quite nice place very close to school. It will save me quite a bit on transportation costs! The rent is about half my monthly income ;_; but I am excited to be finally moving out to live on my own!

I do have to downsize, though. So that means a closet cleanout sale is going to be coming up! I'm thinking of doing a flat US$30-including-shipping on everything. I also need to clean out my fabric stash!

Sorry for the lack of interesting posts as of late. I'm queing up a sales post, a hair tutorial post (would you prefer many hair tutorials in one or all of them together? They are similar-related styles, so I was thinking of doing it all at once), and a meetup post from a Sailor Lolita meetup last week.

There will probably be an abundance of Aurora's Chambers series posts (home decor) as well as Cinderella Solutions series (for home-cleaning on the cheap) when I move in.

I am also thinking of going through all the English Gothic and Lolita Bibles I own (volumes 2-5) and doing all the sewing projects so other Lolitas can see what the result is like. I have done the BABY skirt as well as the Bat Mini Top Hat. Would that be something interesting?

Thanks for sticking with me ;) And for those of you doing the Lolita Runway Challenge, I hope to see photos in a few weeks! I need to get mine done before I move :P

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Real? BABY and Angelic Pretty Nail Stickers

I am not sure if these are real, but they are too cute!


I saw this image posted on the Lolita facebook group. They are nail art stickers for BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT and Angelic Pretty. How cute would these be if they were real?

As much as I love nail art, it takes quite some time to do elaborate pieces and to replicate a print like this would be near impossible.

Brands to seem to be making more non-clothing/fashion items. Some classic brands such as Innocent World and Victorian Maiden have done things such as mirrors, brushes, etc. in the past.

Lettersets and postcards are common Brand items, as well as stickers that come with mooks.

More recently, BABY came out with washi tape, or paper tape (I believe the English translation labeled it as "masking tape"). Follow the cut for more images!

Rose Bouquet paper tape

Usakumya paper tape

I love love love paper tape! It's super cute and is a lovely way to make your everyday notes cuter! I also like to use it on cards and in my scrapbooks. While US$6 may be a steep price for paper tape, regular paper tape with other cute patterns are readily available at stationery stores.

Here are some pins from BABY :P I remember when pins were the "coolest" thing in high school and everybody had pins with witty sayings or cartoon characters all over their bags. These pins are much sweeter, though!

Do you like Brand stationery/one-time-use items? Some people may find them too precious to use for fear of "ruining" them, but I think I'd really love to own some Brand stationery or nail stickers! Besides, if you take photos of them, you can have the photos forever!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Taste of Taiwan~ MiraMar!

On July 29 we had a very casual meetup at one of Taipei's famous places, Miramar Entertainment Park! I would like to share some photos from there.

The most famous part of Miramar is definitely the huge, 70-meter tall Ferris wheel!

The buildings are like giant malls with full of everything from fancy, name brand stores to cheap eats. We ate at a curry place with Indian chefs (very Lolita, I know)

This is my extra spicy spinach curry with naan bread. There may or may not be a print inspired by this dish coming out soon from brands :o Macarons are so last season.

The utensils came in a paper package with a warning to be careful because they are sharp. Well, my dish didn't require a knife, so I actually just had two spoons and a fork in mine :P

In addition to the food, there are some beautiful shops we visited. My favorite was a ceramics store that had gorgeous tea sets and tea trays!

This is a photo of my favorite tea tray:
I wish these weren't so expensive! Though recently on Pinterest (yes, I have fallen into the abyss that is Pinterest) that you can make your own by gluing together candlesticks and plates. I may have to try this!

We also went to Rose House, my favorite afternoon tea shop.

And there is a whole section of shops for children and babies! We went to a shop called "Toy World." I looked for Pokemon goods, but didn't find the Pokemon I wanted. Instead, I took a photo with a dinosaur
The epitome of lifestyle Lolita.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you can get a chance to visit Miramar if you are ever in Taipei! The MRT station it is closest to is Jiannan Road Station, right across the street. It is very easy to find!

The Ferris wheel is popular for Valentine's Day. It costs NT$250 to NT$300 depending on when you go, but I would suggest that if you want to ride it to go within the next couple of years. With all the building going on, soon the view will not be as great as the buildings climb higher and higher.

Do you find Ferris wheels to be romantic? I have never been on such a large Ferris wheel! The only one I have ever ridden is the teeny tiny one in Mall of America in Minnesota, USA. Visit that one if you ever get the chance, too! The height of the Miramar Ferris wheel actually scared me a little bit... Perhaps if I find a significant other by Valentine's Day, I will give it a try ^^;