Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Aurora's Chambers~ Dividing Space

I've recently had bouts of insomnia and extreme energy surges and rather than doing homework or something productive, I've taken to cleaning and organizing my living space!!

My main focus is to be cheap because I don't have much money to spend and I don't want to end up with a lot of storage units that I'd have to move if/when I move out of this space.

Today, I'd like to share some of the things I've done recently. I apologize in advance for the sporatic photos. I made these after taking my nighttime medication, which causes side effects such impairment of motor skills and slight short-term memory loss.

This post is going to be on dividers that I made from scraps of thick board; the same as I used in this earring frame.

Materials:
Thick board, foam board, tag board, or cardboard
Cutter
Ruler

Directions:
1) Measure and Cut
Measure out how long and wide your divider pieces need to be and cut them to size. The decide where you want the dividers to intersect and cut a slit halfway into the depth of the divider. You will do this to both intersecting pieces so they will interlock.
This is how the cut pieces should look:
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This is how they interlock:
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2) Repeat
Make as many dividers as you need. I don't really remember what I was doing at this point, and probably just didn't measure properly so my spaces are rather wonky:
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That's it!!
If you don't want to bother with the cutting and you have enough items to fill a drawer, you can actually just place the cardboard dividers between sections like this:
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I fold my shirts this way so I can easily see what each shirt is. The green lines represent where I have placed dividers. The "files" of shirts actually do not fall over if you remove a few shirts, so it's quite handy! After rearranging my closet like so, I realized that I have a disproportionately large number of black tank tops and camisoles... Good reason to go shopping for summer, right?

In my previous closet post I had been keeping my clothes under the bed and sewing supplies in the closet for some reason. Not very handy. Since spring has arrived, I've done a complete overhaul and used the shoe boxes I was previously using as dividers to store my winter clothing in out-of-the-way cabinets and begun using these scrap board dividers instead. I now also have more room to hang up my clothes!

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As you can see, my dresses and tights are hung up. The four mushrooms are pens... don't ask why they are in the closet!! I have no desk space due to my sewing machine, serger, and laptop taking up the entire table and my printer taking up the end table! Hopefully I'll be able to figure out a more effective method of organizing my desk supplies soon.

The other side of my closet has stayed pretty much the same with the exception of moving my bras and underwear (the two boxes) from under the bed to the closet. I'm also hanging up my non-Lolita skirts in the top portion with my blouses.
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The space under my bed is now home to my sewing and crafting supplies!!! There is a small section of winter clothing that didn't fit into the cabinet, but I put them in the very back so they would not get in the way.
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As you can see, the items I will use most often are now arranged in front and the items I will not need as much are put in the back. This system has been working out fairly well for me.

Now, I just need to finish coming up with ways to arrange my shoes, accessories, and miscellaneous junk such as files and folders and textbooks!

Thanks for reading! And if you have any tips or stories about your own organization methods, please share in the comments below!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aurora's Chambers~ Earring Frame

Earrings, earrings, everywhere! I love earrings, but am sadly I am part Wolverine and if I don't continue to wear earrings, the piercings heal so I re-pierce them every time I want to wear earrings. This has led to me tossing my earrings into a box and forgetting about them, which is really sad!

Last night I had a burst of manic energy and decided to put together an earring frame so that my earrings are in plain sight and hopefully will have me wear them more!

Space is incredibly limited, so I chose to make a hanging earring frame in order to conserve surface space. Now my earrings are hanging on the back of my door so I can choose some to wear right as I leave for the day!

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This is very quick and easy to make, so I took photos of the progress to show you.

Materials:
Frame base - you can use a picture frame, cardboard, tag board, foam board, or anything sturdy enough to hold its shape
Decorative fabric
Netting fabric
Ribbon to hang it with
Any other decorations you want (buttons, lace, ribbon, etc.)

Directions:
This is so simple you probably don't even need directions!

1)Cut
Cut the frame to the size and shape you want. If you are using some type of paper board, I recommend that you leave the thickness of an inch to two inches so it doesn't become weak.
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The back looks a bit messy, haha!
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The front is nice though!

2)Glue
Glue your decorative fabric to cover the frame. Then glue the netting fabric for holding the earrings up.
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3) Hang
Glue or sew ribbon to the back and hang it up. I made a wire hook to hang it over the back of my door. Put your earrings in and you are done!
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There you go! Super easy earring organizer! I plan to make an organizer for necklaces and bracelets to hang beneath this one, so stay tuned for that!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Style Love

Lolita style is really whimsical and lovely, but may not be appropriate for everyday wear. Sometimes you need to expand into a different style! My current "other style" is pretty much just "hobo." I previously mentioned planning a wardrobe overhaul, so this week's Lolita Blog Carnival topic is perfect!

The Non-Lolita style I've fallen in love with is a mix or girly and rock styles. I found a bunch of inspiring outfits from a Japanese street snap website and organised them into a Photobucket Story. It's my first time to use this feature, so I hope it works correctly!

ABCLolita's Story

I probably won't go so far as to dye my hair or wear heavy makeup, but I really like the mix of dark and pastel colors, studs and floral prints, and may even venture into the foreign land of "pants." It's really been so long since I've worn real pants... let alone shorts!! Hopefully I can find some cute ones to suit daily wear :) It's difficult to find clothes in my size because I'm rather large, especially in the bum and thigh area O_Q

What non-Lolita style have you fallen in love with? I know some Lolitas wear gyaru fashion, too (especially with the serious increase of gyaru influence in Lolita fashion in recent years), but I want to know what other styles you are all interested in!

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Other Participating Blogs:
Derpland
Kira Kira Shoujo
Masquerade Doll
Hello Kitty Loves Disney
Lace a la Mode
Sweet and Simple

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Out of Character

This is just a fun little topic or experiment that I thought would be fun to try. It was inspired by the current Fashion Design project we are doing in school where our teacher assigned each of us a character/personality, and we had to design two outfits fitting the character's lifestyle.

My character is a lazy bum who lies around on soft pillows all day and doesn't take care of herself at all, but when she leaves the house she is very put-together and basically looks completely different from her in-house self. It was really quite interesting to try and put together a look for her, and I really hope it turns out well! We will eventually have to actually model these outfits, so even though they are out of character, we will need to pretend to be these characters! (Sort of like cosplay??) The point is that we cannot always design something we personally like/want to wear. To be a designer, you need to know your client and have a flexible view.

So my little project/game I'd like to try here is to have everybody make a list of things you don't do/would never wear/totally not your style, and then try to come up with an outfit (and maybe actually wear it if you're daring!)

My list of "things I would never consider adding to my own wardrobe" is:
*anything too revealing (cleavage, stomach, thighs, backless)
*mainstream "logo" American brands (A&F, American Eagle, Holister/Halister/Hollestir/you know what I mean)
*tight one-piece dresses/anything form-fitting
*bustiers with visible under-wire (it just looks like lingerie to me!)
*engineer boots (sorry to anybody who likes them!)
*sporty wear
*jeans (I'm a fashion train wreck, I know)
*halter tops without a cover-up (I have linebacker shoulders!)
*short shorts
*tailored suit/set
*skinny heels - I cannot walk in them!
*clutches - straps, please!

Wow I didn't realize my list would be so long :( I feel like I'm overly picky now!

Here are two outfits I put together of clothes/shoes I'd never wear:
What I'd Never Wear

The stuff in the middle is supposed to be able to coordinate with both outfits ;)
I'd rock all the jewelry, but cannot see myself actually wearing the clothes without something over/under everything!!

What I'd Never Wear

The (tight! white! printed!) jeans here are definitely something I would NOT be comfortable wearing! I tried to make this more punk even with the girly floral bits here and there. Again, I'd rock the jewelry. Anything else? Uh....

What are some things you could never see yourself wearing? Would you ever want to try it out just to see if you're pleasantly surprised? Or are you more comfortable just staying where you are right now? Please let me know! I like to know how other people see their own "no-no" styles

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Preparing for Summer!

Every year before summer:
I'm going to protect my skin from the sun!
I'm going to wear cute clothes every day!
I'm going to be social and hang out!
This summer will be great!

Every summer:
Too lazy for sunblock
Oops forgot a hat
And sunglasses
Too lazy to coordinate and outfit
Or change out of my pajamas
Or get out of bed
Too lazy to leave the house
It's internet time
Where did the summer go and why is it time for school already?

So, why should this year be any different? I will tell you why. I AM MAKING A LIST OF THINGS TO DO! And I will cross things off this list when I do them. I am also going to actually prepare myself for summer and hopefully make it awesome like I always plan for it to be! Unfortunately, a lot of them require money, so I will also be saving up hopefully!

Summer 2013 Goals:
1) Protect skin every day
I am currently using these:
 photo 6868790_320x385_zps05baffde.jpg  photo 100112_l_zps38e3df9f.jpg
I like the Neutrogena dry-touch sunblock because it feels light and absorbs quickly and has no smell.
The Shu Umera mousse UV cream is just really fun to put on! It has a bit of color so is sort of like a BB cream. I actually just got the actual Shu Umera BB mouse yesteray in the limited edition bottle for actual makeup days. I can't wait to try it out because mousse texture feels really light and good!
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2) Wardrobe overhaul
I'm planning on saving up around NT$6000 to go on a mad shopping spree for basics such as leggings and tank tops as well as cute floral and summery tops. Currently my non-Lolita wardrobe is a mish-mash of things that don't coordinate so I end up wearing a T-shirt and skirt most days and feel like a hobo. I really believe that if you LOOK good you will FEEL good. And goodness knows I could do with some more positive feelings!
My current style keywords are:
sheer, floral, lace, asymmetrical, girly, soft
And also
rock, distressed, tough
I have sort of diverse tastes :x
Floral Rock

The floral top with a cross seems to have a great balance of floral rock!

3) DIY wardrobe updates
While I will definitely be donating some clothes, I would really like to try and Frankenstein together some old clothes and fabric scraps into "new" and interesting articles of clothing. Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos here! They may not be Lolita-related, but if you save money on "earthling" clothes, you have more for Lolita, right??? (Logic!)


4) Take more time for hobbies
I'd specifically like to work on my pop-up skills. I can make a pretty good variety of pop-ups, but am not very creative when it comes to decorating them. Hopefully I'll get good enough that I can either sell my cards/books or just do a little giveaway here!

5) Go to Thailand
Some classmates and I may be taking a short vacay to Thailand. I've never been anywhere other than the USA and Taiwan, so I think that'd be really lovely! It will cost around NT$30,000 to NT$40,000 so that's quite a bit of money...

Those are my only real plans so far. Of course there are other things that will pop up hopefully! I'm excited for summer and hope I don't get academic probation at school.

What are your plans for the summer? Or do you just wing it and do whatever you feel like as the whim strikes?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Then and Now

I consider myself to have two "beginning" points in Lolita fashion. The first was as an "outsider" simply getting a general gist of the fashion, and the second was when I really decided to research and learn about Lolita so I could wear it!

My views have definitely changed over the years, though maybe not as much as some other people :) So I break up this week's Lolita Blog Carnival into three points!

First Hear About EGL
I was 14 when I first heard about EGL from a friend. I researched a lot into Mana-sama and Elegant Gothic Lolita. I had no idea about any other styles and while I was a big fan of Goth fashion, I wasn't sure I wanted to look like Mana-sama on a daily basis. Still, I loved the dolly look with a twist of darkness!
My keywords back then: Goth, dark colors, heavy makeup, tight curls, platform Mary Jane shoes
 photo glb3mana4ta7_zps11d1a946.jpg
This is pretty much what I thought every Lolita in the world looked like. Maybe with some white lace sometimes.
(Click to enlarge)

Real Research
I once again stumbled back into the world of Lolita Fashion when I was about 15 or 16 and getting started on T-shirt surgery. There was a tutorial for a cutsew posted on the livejournal community t_shirt_surgery. It linked BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT and Angelic Pretty as reference websites. When I browsed the sites, I fell in love!! By searching for the keywords "lolita fashion" and the brand names, I found the other styles of Lolita fashion. I began to research every single day to find more information. I joined EGL when Miss Megan Maude was still the admin, there was no separate sales community, and lolita_wank was still functional. Very quickly, I got sucked into the world of Sew_Loli and learned about internet drama through a sewing contest that ended poorly on there. That aside, I became very interested in learning to sew my own clothing (hey, that's not much harder than T-shirt reconstruction, right???? Hint: wrong). My first skirt was quite a disaster. No photos because I'll cry ;_;
I also learned about Lolita brands OTHER than BABY and Angelic Pretty. I decided that Sweet Lolita was more my cup of tea. I also found other Lolitas in Minnesota through the Lolita penpal community (pretty sure it's defunct now) and made a few livejournal friends.
I was one of those tremendously overexcited newbies who thought everything could be Lolita-fied. Luckily, I didn't post about it all over communities like some people did ;) So I at least wasn't an ANNOYING overexcited newbie.
My keywords back then: Sweet Lolita!!!! Ruffles on everything!!!! Lolify all the things!!!! Don't be ita!!!! Google tutorials for everything!!!! Candy!!!! Pink!!!! Strawberries!!!! Nana Kitade!!!!
(I told you I was super excited)
My favorite brand: BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT
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Now
Things have changed quite a lot since then! Deco Lolita is now called "Over the top Sweet Lolita" and Sweet Lolita is normally referred to as "old school Sweet Lolita" (so sad!)
We have a separate community for sales.
We have new mods and admin.
I learned how to gather properly.
There is not nearly as much gossip and drama as there used to be (just a lot more trolling)
There is a lot more scamming
Taobao.com appeared!
All the indie brands ever!
Everything must be a print! (Not everything, of course, but prints are so much more common now than they used to be!)
I now also love Classic and Sweet Lolita and a slightly sweet take on Classic Lolita (think Innocent World rather than Mary Magdalene)
I can actually sew entire garments :P With proper lining and construction and other such fancies!
Wigs and unnatural hair
False nails/lashes
Heavier makeup
Printed tights
Ric-rac and pom-poms are acceptable trims
Brands re-release prints
My keywords now: Elegance, proper construction, attention to detail, fluffy petticoat, matching accessories/hair/makeup, natural style (no wigs or exaggerated makeup)
My favorite brands: BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT, Innocent World, Putumayo
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Growing up!

I haven't really been in Lolita fashion for that long I suppose, so maybe my views haven't changed that much. The style is always changing and evolving though. I'm happy for some of the changes (more indie brands, more Brand availability overseas, cheaper alternatives) and not as happy with some (gyaru influences with false everything, Deco Lolita), but I believe everybody should take the parts that they like and run with it! Besides, maybe trying something that I think I don't like will actually make me like it. Maybe next time you will see me in a Deco Lolita coordinate!!

How do you feel you have changed from when you began in Lolita fashion to now? Please share in the comments! I'm really curious about this :D Growing is such an interesting process.

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Other blogs participating in this week's Carousel:
Lace A La Mode
Hello Batty
Hello Kitty Loves Disney

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I went home this weekend to celebrate Mother's Day with my grandma, my mom, and to pay respects to my deceased grandmother whom I have never met. Her ashes are kept by where my great aunt (who raised my mother) is also kept, so we visited them both at once.

Their final resting place is called 金山靈骨塔/Jingshan Ling Gu Ta. This was my third trip there, and I took a video this time! I didn't take photos of the interior because I didn't want to disturb anybody, but I did go online to find some photos and put them in. The room the photo shows is not the room my grandmother, great aunt, and great uncle are in, but it was the closest one I could find.

Despite its remote location, there were quite a few people there today to pay their respects!


I attended my great aunt's funeral when she passed, which was the first cremation funeral I have ever been to. The tower where they are now is really clean and bright and feels really good inside. The road up the mountain there is quite steep and feels a little unsafe due to narrow road and lack of safety railings in the mountains, but at least there were safety railings by the seaside road???

At lunch I took my mom out to eat at a vegan organic buffet :) It was super crowded despite being a very small restaurant in a hidden alley! I wish I had taken photos :P



The music from the video is really pretty (I think) and from a website called Free Music Archive where you can find some really interesting and lovely music!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

From Pocky with Love

Random snapshot of heart-shaped Pocky!
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I bought this at the grocery store just out of curiosity.
Normally these "shaped" foods don't really end up looking like anything the box/packaging shows, but it wasn't too pricey for a try, so I figured, why not?

And the result?
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It actually took a lot of tries to get a bite that had a recognizable heart shape (not that I'm complaining~ this flavor is yummy!) but after repeated testing, I'd say you have a 50% chance of getting a recognizable heart bite :D

OK that's really all I had to say XD