Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Eternal ~ Akanishi Jin || Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!

This year has been one with lots of big changes in my life, and as the time to reflect comes around, the overarching feeling I have this year is one of gratefulness. I have so many wonderful people in my life, both old and new, who have supported me through the low points, and helped my celebrate the high points in this past year. I chose this song, "Eternal" by Akanashi Jin, because I feel that it really captures much of the immense gratitude I feel towards everyone who has helped me become who I am.

Many thanks to all of my friends and subscribers who have stuck with me through all these years and offered their encouragement and friendship! For those who managed to stick with me through changing channels, website revamps, and whatnot, thank you so much for your loyalty (and perseverance!). To my new friends who found me after my move, I am so grateful for your support and I hope to continue to share little tidbits of my life and interests with you ^_^

To everyone, I hope you have all had a wonderful year, with much to celebrate and love, and here's to hoping we all continue to be awesome together in the coming new year!!

Wishing you all peace and much love,

Monday, December 17, 2012

[Outfit Post] Feeling Mori for Myself

I love the aesthetic of Mori Girl style, but don't often attempt it myself because I usually just end up looking like a crazy bag lady. But it was one of the first cold days of the year and layers just seemed like a nice idea. I'm pretty sure I still ended up with bag lady style, but it was fun!

Jacket: Macy's
Tunic: Yesstyle
Skirt: street stand in Taiwan
Legwarmers: Sockdreams (modified)
Boots: Sugar Shoes

Monday, December 10, 2012

[Outfit Post] Singin' the Blues

I always love a good music-themed print, and I've been in love with this particular fabric since the first time I saw it. The use of the music staff around the border, with a sprinkling of individual music notes keeps the print from looking too busy or clunky, which I always appreciate. While I thought the skirt was too long when I first got this JSK, I've actually grown to be rather fond of the length!

JSK: Boguta Lolita (Taobao)
Brooch: Metamorphose Temps de Fille
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Stevies Kids

Sunday, November 25, 2012

[Outfit Post] Ballerina Pastel

This Swan Lake print is the perfect combination of my love for frillies and my love for ballet. What makes it even more special is that it has so many different pastel hues on it that can be brought out with different accessories. That way I can wear it so many ways and it can reflect a different mood each time! This was a blue and bright pink day ^_^

Skirt: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Bolero: Bodyline
Brooch: Chocomint
Shoes: Geox

Sunday, November 18, 2012

[Outfit Post] Cinderella @School

The title reminded me of the @Home chain of maid cafes in Tokyo ^_^

Cidnerella Jewelry is one of my favorite of Baby the Stars Shine Bright's use of oval frames in their prints. In fact, ones I like that use this sort of technique are rare since I feel like most of them just seem to me too much like blobs of picture/color plopped on a skirt. I feel like the fact that they are all aligned and connected by the looping pearl chains is what really pulls this particular print together <3 data-blogger-escaped-br="">

Skirt: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Secret Shop
Cardigan: Target

Sunday, November 11, 2012

[Outfit Post] Forest Casual

Browns and sages always evoke a feeling of autumn for me, and now that the weather is finally turning a bit chillier, it's a great time to start ramping up that autumn cheer! All too soon it'll be over and into winter (Bloomingdale's apparently has their Christmas tree displays set up already).

Skirt: Innocent World
Shoes: DreamV / Yumetenbo
Sweatshirt: Target

Monday, November 5, 2012

[Outfit Post] Midwestria ~ Sweetie Belle

Sadly, this was the only Midwestria outfit of mine that I managed to take snaps of before leaving... yay lack of organization!

For the first day of Midwestria, I decided to do a casual Lolita Sweetie Belle outfit.  No wig though, because the only suitable one I had is a bit too small for my current amount of hair.

Skirt: Metamorphose Temps de Fille
Bolero: Bodyline
Shoes: Bodyline
Apron: Taobao
Hairbow/Neckbow: Chocomint

Friday, November 2, 2012

Catching Up & Pointe Shoe Comparison

Long time no update!!  I've been quite busy with life in general, as well as with fun  things like Midwestria!  Hopefully I'll have the few photos I snapped from that edited and uploaded soon, but in the meantime, I will just say that I had a fantastic time and was extremely pleased at how friendly and laid-back the entire convention was.  I loved it, and I really hope I can make it again next year!

With the increasing amount of dancing I've been doing, my pointe shoes were well and dead.  In fact, Maan and I took about a week-long break from our privates because the new pointe shoes I had ordered just weren't arriving.  And then Chicago Dance Supply had their October Wednesdays sale and I thought hey, what better than 50% off pointe shoes??!!  As it turns out, they didn't actually have the exact specifications I had originally wanted, but I tried on a few slight variations in width/shank and now have three different versions of the Grishko 2007 pointe shoe to try out.

My original pair was a size 3 XXXX width with a medium shank.  Once broken in, these were far more comfortable and easier to dance in than the Bloch Serenades I had been wearing previously.  The only slightly complaint was that the box sometimes felt too wide, and my foot would slide forward if I was having a slightly skinnier-foot-day.  That's how I got my bruised toenail, which was a wonderful adventure.  I now use gel caps on my big toes, and have a permanently glued-in piece of gel padding above the big toe area of my left shoe to make it the same length as the second toe on that foot (my two feet are different shapes, yes...).  I tried sticking the Gaynor Minden box liner in there, but that made it too small, so I gave up on that and just padded my big toes.

The current new pair is still a size 3 XXXX width, but now with a soft shank. Obviously these are breaking in much faster than the previous pair, and I have a feeling I'll wear these out in half the time if not sooner.  Even on the second wearing, my feet already feel like they did in the previous pair after a few months... so...  I have the same complaint with these in that the first time my feet kept slipping forward the tiniest bit in the box, but the Gaynor Minden liners made them too too tight.  I'll be interested to see if the narrower pair I got for half-price fits any better (or if I can even get my foot in them at all if I'm having a fat-foot-day...).

The comparison sequence for now has me concluding that if I really need to break in some shoes pronto, soft shanks are fine, but I do still prefer the feel of a medium shank.  Another possibility is that I could use a soft shank on my left foot and a medium shank on my right foot, as they have differing extremes in tendencies to go not-far-enough or too-far over the box.

Monday, September 10, 2012

[Outfit Post] 7/30 ~ 8/25

Finally, some post-pink-hair outfits! ^_^

JSK: Emily Temple Cute
Shoes: Secret Shop

Skirt: Target
Shoes: Converse

T-Shirt: Uniqlo Kids
Skirt: Metamorphose Temps de Fille
Shoes: Converse
Hairclip: Chocomint

T-Shirt/Hairbow/Bracelets: Handmade by me
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Converse
Necklace: Metamorphose Temps de Fille

T-Shirt: Target
Skirt: Metamorphose Temps de Fille
Shoes: Secret Shop
Hairclip: Chocomint

T-Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Secret Shop
Hairbow: Innocent World

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lilac Fairy and Italian Fouette Reprise

Now that I've started doing the Cardio Hiphop and Zumba classes where there's some arm-work with free weights, more of my private sessions are being devoted to pointework rather than being split between Pilates reformer work and pointe exercises.

This means more time for practicing doing things en pointe, and also more time to be learning variations! This past week was the Lilac Fairy Variation from Sleeping Beauty, in which I attempted a reprise of the Italian fouette.

I love this variation because while it's not super complex, it's actually more difficult to pull off looking floaty and calm than one might think. Or maybe I've just been really off balance lately (also true). In any case, it was delightful to learn, even if executed messily.

My favorite rendition of it is probably that by Marianela Nunez (who just overall is such a beautiful dancer):

Instead of her crazy fouette sequence at the end, I tried to do Italian fouettes, although that didn't work out so well by the end of the session when I was too tired. Will definitely keep practicing this one though ^_^

Perhaps next I should learn the Bluebird Variation. Apparently the boys have learned the male part of that, so it could be fun to actually do a little bit of partnering (and it's simple).

Also... NEED NEW POINTE SHOES. Soft shoes too, but those are somewhat less urgent.

Monday, September 3, 2012

[Outfit Post] Midwest Megameet 2012

This year's megameet was once again in Millenium Park, and the weather obliged by being beautiful! Not too hot in our little shaded spot, and not raining so we didn't have to seek shelter like last year ^_^

As I generally save my JSKs and OPs for bigger meetups, since they're a little harder to incorporate into daily outfits, I decided to wear my Meta Twinkle Journey! I adore this print, but since I have the JSK only, I do not indulge in wearing it very often.

Although the weather was reasonably mild for the middle of summer, it was still hot enough to merit a hairstyle that would keep things off my neck as much as possible, so back to my good old trusty pigtail buns! I'm also wearing my rose corsage clips that I made ^_^

The meetup was great fun, and I think the best organized it's ever been so far, with tons of games and prizes! only wish that my camera were in somewhat more stable state so I could've brought it and taken photos T_T

Friday, August 10, 2012

Duck Lake, Because I'm No Swan

Progress with ballet has been steady albeit slow. I think I've crossed the last of the sharp increase period and now am back in slow grinding mode. But I shall press on, and there are definitely concrete improvements (particularly in my pointework).

In fact, I finally managed to do a double pirouette en pointe in my private lesson this week! My teacher has been nudging me to attempt them for the past few lessons now, but I've always either chickened out or just outright failed when I tried. However, on Tuesday I actually did a really nice double! Not even a fake one, it was complete with suspension at the end, and to think it was actually kind of by accident, and on my left side too. Apparently I am a leftie for turns this week!

What's funny is that my turns in soft shoes have been completely disasterific. If I can just figure out what exactly it is that I'm doing so very different when I turn in pointe shoes, maybe my turns will all improve overall. I think being terrified and thus extra careful/concentrated has something to do with it, but I can't identify the physical ramifications of this mindset.

In any case, I've learned three more variations over the past few weeks. About a month ago, I learned the second odalisque solo from Le Corsaire. We did it in one lesson, and that was it, since it's short and fairly simple. It's so cute! (Scroll to 3:57)


Then, about three weeks ago, we started the first solo variation of the pas de trois from Swan Lake Act I. It took I think 3 lessons to finish learning it. I love it because it's a lot of fun to do ^_^ Made me realize I have rather low stamina for these sorts of things though, haha! (Scroll to 2:24)

And during my last lesson, I learned Odette's variation from Swan Lake Act II. It's not a complicated variation, and slow enough for my brain to process in realtime, but it's deceptively easy-looking. I actually find it quite difficult, and I certainly can't do it well. My arms flail all over the place and I have the worst sense of balance for those rond de jambes at the beginning T_T But I'm really pleased to be learning it, since it's one of my favorite variations ^_^ (Scroll to 2:53)


Onwards and upwards! Hopefully we will work at least a little bit more on the Odette variation. My teacher also mentioned that we might revisit Giselle's Act I variation, which I learned the steps to during class (in soft shoes), but never actually attempted in pointe shoes. And here's to trying to do more double pirouettes and hopefully not breaking anything ^_^;;

Monday, August 6, 2012

[Outfit Post] 7/8 ~ 7/26

Apparently outfit snaps are few and far between during the summer. Most of the time I've been either wearing grungy clothes for finishing up the moving process or lounging around in pajamas XD Moving is finally done and over with though, and my room is nice and set up now. Unfortunately, that means now I need to start writing my QP for reals, so I might just be lounging around in pajamas curled up on my bed anyways.

JSK: Innocent World
Bolero: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Headbow: Innocent World
Socks: Target
Shoes: Antaina

OP: Innocent World
Cardigan: Target

JSK: Innocent World
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Geox

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

スカーレット/ Scarlet ~ Iwao Junko (Ayashi no Ceres)

This is a lovely song that I've always wanted to cover. It's "Scarlet" from 'Ayashi no Ceres' (a lovely, if sad, anime by the way) originally sung by Iwao Junko.

I tried actually showing myself singing in this video... not sure if good thing or not yet, but I do know I love my little Flip camera. I just wish it had a wider capture range, or that I had a larger space so I could actually use it to video my dancing.

Speaking of which, I made up some random choreography to fill in the instrumental break. Obviously, I need more space to actually dance in, and so I can put my camera far away enough that I'm not off the screen half the time T_T But I tried...?

Friday, July 6, 2012

[Lolita Challenge] Day 7 – 10 5 people who inspire your Lolita style

Well, originally it was 10, but I honestly just couldn't come up with anything substantial on 10 people, so I went with half that instead.

1. Misako Aoki

Her style shares a large majority of the aesthetics that I love and try to incorporate in my own outfits. Although she tends to use more JSKs and OPs than I prefer to, she's a fantastic inspiration for color coordination, using cute but still subdued accessories, ways to combine motifs, etc. I also love the way she does her hair and makeup, and definitely take a lot of inspiration from her as I slowly learn how to do my own styling better. I absolutely adore that her hairstyles are generally natural-looking and not overly elaborate, which is great for wearing on a daily basis.

2. Oli (lemontree11)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="420"] Image from http://lemontree11blog.blogspot.com/2012/06/fairytale-boutique-grand-opening.html[/caption]

When I first began my foray into Lolita fashion, I signed up on the (I think now defunct) lolita mentor Livejournal community, and was very very fortunate to be paired with Oli as my mentor. Not only does she dress in a lovely style that is really all her own, but she is also a fantastic artist and seamstress. We share a lot of common aesthetics, and she's offered me really great advice about the fashion. I adore her outfits, her artwork, and the dresses she makes, and really enjoy writing her as a penpal!

3. AMO

While she is not really a Lolita, what I take inspiration from is the etherealness of her style. She pulls it off perfectly from the clothes down to the hair and makeup. I look to her for ideas when I need to create a more porcelain-doll type of makeup look. I also adore the fact that she has lavender hair, and wish I were brave enough to do something like that ^_^ When I want to go for a lighter more floaty sort of outfit, I think about the sorts of things AMO uses in her outfits and try to incorporate the features that I especially like.

4. RinRin

First of all, she is an incredibly sweet girl and was really lovely and encouraging to me, offering me all sorts of useful tips and help when I was being an awkward penguin trying to model for Angelic Pretty at ACEN 2012. I like that she has a lot of range in the styles she wears and pulls them all off fantastically. I love watching her makeup videos and taking some ideas from them for when I need dramatic styling. I also like the way she styles her hair, and while it's more elaborate than I can manage on a daily basis, I've definitely borrowed some inspiration for meetup hairstyles!

5. moco

I find myself always feeling a bit wistful when I see girls who are in high school and already have such a well-developed sense of personal style and confidence. I definitely did not have the awareness or the self-esteem at that age. This girl wears a range of styles, but mostly tends towards cutesy styles like Lolita and Fairy Kei. She also changes her hair color a lot (which I think is super cool). I love looking at her photos, just to bask in the adorableness and wish that I could wear the things she wears (still don't have the confidence to really pull them off).

Monday, July 2, 2012

[Outfit Post] 5/30 ~ 6/28

Ever since classes ended and it got ridiculously hot and humid, I've been hibernating in my apartment with 3 fans and a dehumidifier, so I haven't really been dressing up or going out much XD But here's a couple of outfits from the last month or so :-P

JSK/Headbow: Innocent World
Cardigan: Target
Socks: Sockdreams
Shoes: Secret Shop

Skirt/Hairbow: Innocent World
Cutsew: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Tights: Sockdreams
Shoes: Antaina

T-Shirt: Uniqlo
Skirt: Target
Hairbow: Jolie Chose

JSK: Emily Temple Cute
Shoes: Geox

Friday, June 22, 2012

[Lolita Challenge] Day 6 – 10 things you can’t live without in Lolita

Wow... I'm generally not terribly high maintenance, so I don't even know if I really have 10 items, but I guess I'll include things that I enjoy living with if I have them XD

1. A good petticoat (collection) - Since the silhouette is such a key part of any Lolita outfit, having a good petticoat is a definite must. I actually have a collection of petticoats of various shapes, lengths, and fluff-factors allowing me to accomodate casual to full-on, as well as different skirt cuts.

2. False eyelashes - This is a key part of my Lolita makeup routine, since my own eyelashes are sparse, pale, and uncurlably straight as sticks. I skip falsies of some sort only for the most casual of meetups, or if I'll be doing something where I anticipate getting things in my eyes and needing to rub them a lot.

3. Cutsews - I love my Lolita blouses, but I find cutsews really much for versatile in terms of creating my own more wearable style, since I like to wear Lolita on an almost-daily basis. I also find them more breathable and comfortable than blouses for hot summer days, since they are lower cut and don't have collars. Cutsews are also just more affordable for me, so I can get them in a variety of colors for easy coordination.

5. Garters - Most brand OTKs stay up reasonably well on me, but I also have a bunch of socks from places like Sockdreams in just solid cotton for daily wear. However, these don't stay up so well, so garters are indispensable!

6. Parasol - I burn at the drop of a hat, so a parasol is necessary, especially in the summer. Plus, I've found it can be as much as 5 degrees cooler under a parasol, so they're really nice for outdoor meetups.

7. Two-way brooch/clips - I love these because I can wear them in my hair, on my shirt, on my purse, pretty much anywhere. I hate the satin ribbons that came with my Bodyline boleros, so I just cut them off and fasten the boleros with an easy brooch. The dual backing is an awesome invention; more versatility!

8. Flat iron - I generally prefer to use my own hair rather than wear wigs, just because I tend to get terrible wig headaches if I wear them for too long, and I just overheat way too easily. I love my flat iron because I can use it to straighten hair AND to create curls. I like looser/larger curls, which I don't have the right curling iron for, but my flat iron does them beautifully. Also great for giving my bangs just the slightest curve/swoop so they don't look so flat ^_^

9. Boleros/Cardigans - These are just great for layering, or for creating modesty with JSKs that I don't like to wear a blouse/cutsew under (because of conflicting necklines, etc). I also like a light cardigan in the summer because they're thin enough material to not overheat me, but they also help me keep from getting sunburnt.

10. Shirring - The hidden zippers used in a lot of Lolita dresses are the most frustrating things ever. They tend to get caught at the waist, and apparently are prone to breaking (though I have yet to experience this myself). However, with even just partial shirring, I can usually worm my way into the dress without undoing the zipper, or at least just undoing it a little bit (not past the point where it tends to stick). I also think partial shirring is nice because it allows the dress to fit more snugly on a variety of sizes and shapes, so that it's flattering on more people than if the dress was one fixed size.

Friday, June 15, 2012

[Lolita Challenge] Day 5 – 10 items from your wishlist

Ooh! Ooh! This is a fun one ^_^

1. Metamorphose ~ Telephone JSK (Denim)

This is one of my ultimate most-wanted items. Unfortunately, it's quite old and very hard to find, and I'm apparently always too slow to hop on it when it does show up once in a blue moon T_T

2. Angelic Pretty ~ Fancy Melody JSK or SK (Black)

Another old and rare item among my most-wanted. I'd be happy with either the JSK or the skirt.

3. Emily Temple Cute ~ Glitter Constellation JSK (Pink)

Among the slew of constellation prints that have come out recently, I think this is my favorite. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to buy it right now, and given that it's ETC, I'll probably have a hard time finding it second-hand by the time I do have money for it XD

4. Baby the Stars Shine Bright ~ Sleeping Beauty SK (Navy)

I want this to add to my fairytale theme collection.

5. Angelic Pretty ~ Dreamy Dollhouse Salopette (Lavender)

While I'm not particularly fond of toy prints, I do find this one really cute, and especially, I looooove the design of the salopette. I tried stalking mbok/yahoo for awhile, and it popped up a few times but it was always the wrong color or I got outbid T_T

6. Baby the Stars Shine Bright ~ Leatitia Raseine JSK (Mint)

One of the prettiest floral-print dresses, in my opinion. I don't anticipate being able to find it easily though. However, I think my favorite part is really just the design, so I could probably make something similar myself ^_^

7. Angelic Pretty ~ Rose Toilette SK (Mint)

This print is just very delicate-looking, especially in the mint colorway. But it's also one I don't see popping up often, especially in skirt form (skirts seem to be resold less frequently in general).

8. Emily Temple Cute ~ Swan Print JSK (Grey)

One of ETC's newer prints, I'm hoping I'll be able to find it second-hand. Because swans are awesome ^_^

9. Angelic Pretty ~ Tiara Rose SK (Lavender or sax)

I'd prefer the lavender colorway, but sax is pretty too. I love this print, and while I'm not crazy about the JSK design, I would love it as a skirt.

10. Innocent World ~ Alphabet Rose JSK (Pink)

I'm not sure if I prefer the short or the long version, actually, since both are really beautiful in their own ways. Either way, I really love the simplicity of the design combined with the delicateness of the print.