Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Happy November !

Hello Everyone ! 

It's been so, so long since I've blogged properly - both here or anywhere else really ! I always feel the need to blog more when I'm at university though, so now that it's November and I'm back in Leicester I've been itching to get back into the swing of things. I think blogging gives me a bit of an escape from the hectic world of degree-earning haha (that being said it is probably the worst time to commit to writing here all the time; I've literally never been so busy !).

Lots of things have happened since I've last written anything here - some really awesome things, and some less great stuff. When I decided to start blogging regularly again, I realised that in order to make it less of a chore for myself and more fun, I would make each post more personal, and so there are lots of things that I want to write post specifically about in the future ! Some of which are a bit more serious than the usual ramblings of a frill-obsessed internet weeb 

While my love of blogging might have dwindled, I've been as
obsessed with lolita fashion as ever !

If you read any of my posts prior to this one (and thank you for sticking around during my giant hiatus !) you might remember that I was over the moon to have been accepted on to a Game Art & Design degree last September ! I love gaming, and becoming a character or concept artist for a studio has always been one of my biggest goals. So I was really, really excited to begin my journey towards achieving that ! Unfortunately, things didn't go to plan. Around Christmas time I really started to struggle with my mental health (and I guess also physical health as a side-effect of this) and eventually got diagnosed with major depression and generalised anxiety disorder. Earlier this year I've also been receiving help for dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder.

While it's super difficult for me to talk about this, when I became sick and was diagnosed, it hit me exactly how much stigma still exists around mental health and wellbeing - surprisingly, sometimes even to the point where people seem unwilling to even acknowledge problems their own family or friends may be facing ! While I am much better now, I am by no means "cured" of any of the problems I struggled with earlier this year, and I will probably have to keep my mental health in check for the rest of my life. I'm one who will always try to make the best out of a bad situation - and this experience has encouraged me to talk more openly both in my "real" (haha) life and also here on my blog ! I want to challenge the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourage discussions that make people realise it really isn't something that should be hidden away, or feared or brushed under the carpet. 

In happier news, though, I'm still studying at uni ! I've transferred to a Fine Art BA, which is super fun since I get to rekindle my love of textiles, print and installation work. I also decided that to branch out in my interests a little, I would found the Japanese Street Fashion Society ! It's still early days yet, but I am so, so excited for all the opportunities that myself and all the society members will have through joining. So far it's been pretty successful, and I've actually be pretty proud of getting to step completely out of my comfort zone and start something that brings people together.

Some of the cuties who attended our first social  

I also had the opportunity last month to finally meet the lovely Melody Fawn aka Rebecca in person ! She was just as sweet in real life as she always is on the online comm, and it was lovely to spend the day wandering around town, drinking bubble tea and getting to meet friendly members of the public !

So, more or less just a basic life update really ! I really will be blogging lots more from now on, especially as I have so many exciting things in the pipeline (including some super secret projects I'm currently working on eeeek). Thank you for being super patient with me ! Until next time, I hope you're all enjoying the cosy November evenings ! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

30 Day Lolita Challenge : Day 5 aka GIANT wishlist post !

Hello, everyone ! 

I realised when I was writing this post that I've never done a full wishlist post here, or anywhere online ! I know a lot of lolitas have a folder on their facebook page where they keep pictures of all their dream items, or do a post on their tumblrs, but I never have. So, I decided to do a much more concise wishlist - which is also why it took me this long to upload this entry ! This way, I feel as though this is a more accurate portrayal of my current wishlist instead of just 10 items from it. I'm going to refer back to this post every time I manage to tick an item off my list 

1. Angelic Pretty

Holy Night Story JSK in white / Aqua Princess JSK in 
black / Cinema Doll JSK in ivory

Puppet Circus OP in black / Marshmallow Bunny JSK in 
pink / Milky Chan OP in white

Wonder Party JSK in white / Wonder story JSKin red

Saturday, 15 March 2014

30 Day Lolita Challenge : Day 4

Hello, everyone ! 

Ooops, falling behind on the 30 Day Challenge again ; a ; I always forget how busy I end up when I come back to Leicester, where I'm studying at university. Going back home to Liverpool is always such a nice, quiet holiday that when I come back it's almost a bit of a shock haha.

I pretty much love all food, I'm not a fussy eater whatsoever, but I have a lot of dietry restrictions which means that I'm completely vegan and I try to eat a mostly raw, plant-based diet as often as possible. I've decided to do more meal-based things, because I thought that would be more interesting. I'm planning a post soon about becoming a student and having a vegan diet, because students aren't often able to afford expensive things, and people think veganism is too expensive for them - and I'd like to prove this isn't the case 

But, for now : 10 Different Foods I like

1. I'm not sure if this actually counts as a food but I love smoothies ! I make fruit smoothies all of the time, they're so quick and easy to make and you can literally put anything in them. I usually always use one banana as a base, some ice cubes (because I like my smoothies to be thick enough to stand a spoon up in them), whatever nut milk I happen to have, a spoonful of chia seeds and then I throw in as much fruit as I can find ! Smoothies are excellent for first thing in the morning because they're quick to make and you can take them on your way to work or school with you - I've devised so many plans for getting an extra 15 minutes in bed in the morning.

2. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Winter Salad was my absolute staple food this winter. It's so cheap to make and it's really warming and an excellent comfort food, which is what I needed when I was feeling homesick at uni Cinnamon and sweet potato is not a combination I would ever have thought of myself, but it's so delicious I find myself recommending it to everyone !

Warm Sweet Potato Winter Salad
recipe from Deliciously Ella

3. Porridge oats. I love, love, love porridge and I'll eat it for near enough any meal of the day, not just breakfast ! I always top mine with tons of fruit - bananas, blueberries, chopped strawberries - sometimes nut butter, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, agave syrup, dark chocolate. The porridge possibilities are endless. Also, porridge oats can be used for so many different recipes - my sister often makes me cakes using porridge oats, I make my own muesli by binding oats with agave syrup and then baking them with lots of fruit, and overnight oats topped with different fruits, seeds and nuts is one of my favourite breakfasts ever.

Overnight Oats from the amazing Oh She Glows

4. I have a severe peanut allergy, so I steered clear of nut butter for years, but recently I've become obsessed with it ! Almond butter is probably my favourite, but cashew, walnut and hazelnut are also amazing. I recently tried dark chocolate and hazelnut butter, which tastes just like Nutella but has a million health benefits ! Nut butter on wholemeal toast with chopped bananas is my favourite.

5. As are bananas by themselves ! I must honestly eat at least 4 bananas a day, they're just so good either by themselves or in literally anything.

6. I can't believe it's taken me until now to include this on my list but avocados are also one of my favourite foods. I love them in salads, in wraps, on sandwiches, just by themselves, and even in smoothies to give them a creamier texture. You can make all kinds of amazing dips just from mashing up avocado with chillies or lemon.

7. Hummus is another of my very vegan obsessions ! I pretty much have it as a side with everything I eat now. One of my favourite things to cook when I'm feeling lazy is brown rice with spinach and sweet potato and I always have a huge dollop of hummus with it - it tastes amazing ! But it's also great for as a dip with sticks of veg, or on toast or as a butter substitute on sandwiches.

Hummus and veggie wrap from
Seeds 'n' Smiles

8. What would a list of my favourite vegan food be without falafel ? I eat SO much falafel - I buy packets of mix that you make up into whatever size you want and fry, so it's easy to make burgers if you want, or little balls to put in wraps. Stick it on top of a salad or just have it with some hummus ! I love quick and versatile food, and falafel definitely ticks all those boxes.

9. These sweet potato brownies were something I tried recently and absolutely loved. You make them using raw cacao powder and medjool dates - which are delicious and taste like toffee - basically just mix it all up in a food processor and then bake it. They're so sweet and gooey, just as good as real brownies only with all the goodness of their healthy ingredients.

10. Finally, my biggest guilty pleasure - Oreos. I can only begin to express how pleased I was to discover that these are vegan ! Every so often, I'll buy a pack and cosy myself up in my room with my favourite movies or books, make a cup of tea and devour the whole pack.

Okay, that was definitely the easiest one of these challenges I've done so far haha. Usually I have to sit and think about my answers properly, I managed to bang all these out in about 10 minutes ! I love food way too much. If anyone is thinking about becoming vegan, I hope this was helpful and showed you that vegan food can be quick, versatile and exciting - along with completely delicious.

Next Challenge : 10 Items From Your Wishlist

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

30 Day Lolita Challenge : Day 3

Hello, everyone ! 

Today's lolita challenge question was so difficult I almost couldn't think of 10 things to write down ! I really, really struggled just simply because there is virtually nothing I dislike, let alone hate, about lolita ! In the end I felt all the things that I did write down where a bit petty haha. Also, this one is a bit text heavy, so I apologize if it's a bit of a chore to read.

Let's begin - day 3 of the 30 Day Lolita Challenge : 10 Things You Hate in Lolita

1. First off, I hate living in student accommodation and trying to find space for my collection ! There's very little storage space here which means I've had to really cut down on the pieces I've been able to bring with me. I can't wait to move into a real house over the summer and have lots of room to put my coords together and showcase all my favourite pieces !

2. Of course - and we all knew this was going to come up - I hugely dislike the "bad connotations" which come along with lolita. I think this is actually a very sensitive subject, and probably the one myself and other lolitas feel most strongly about. Lots of people are under the impression, incorrectly, that the fashion has something to do with age play. Of course, to anybody who happens to be interested in age play (lolita-wearer or otherwise) or anything related, I'm not out to shame you ! However, I think it's just something that we have to explain away so often it's a pretty big peeve. I usually avoid even using the name "lolita" whenever anyone unfamiliar with the fashion asks me about what I'm wearing, because that just opens up a whole new world of awkward questions.

Angelic Pretty hasn't really been doing anyone
any favours lately, it seems (although those wrist cuffs
are adorable)

3. I'm super sorry if anyone loves this dress, but I absolutely detest Meta's Leopard Heart print. I guess maybe it could be successfully worked into a punk coord, but it just really doesn't appeal to me whatsoever, but then I'm not a big fan of leopard print. I'm afraid I'm of the opinion that it has no place in lolita fashion !

4. I really hate the vast majority of the stock photos on brand websites. A lot of the time I think they make the dresses look like they're an odd cut, or just generally don't do them justice whatsoever. I suppose this can't be helped - looking at a dress over the internet will be nothing like looking at all the wonderful details in real life - but there's been more than one occasion where I've been put off buying a dress from the brand's site because the stock photos have been terrible, only to see someone wear it in real life and fall in love with it !

5. I guess I'm really clutching at straws here but I hate wearing lolita on windy days ! Especially if I'm wearing a wig, I end up with hair all over the place, and a million layers to try and control. England in general is not a great place for wearing lolita, especially in the winter time, it near enough is always windy and rainy and no matter how long you spend getting ready, going out in these sorts of conditions will always result in your hair/wig being an unmanageable tangle and your beautifully applied make-up all over your face.

6. While it's wonderful that the online community has given me endless opportunity to meet other lolitas from all over the world, a lot of the time I hate that I can't meet them all in person, attend all the faraway meet ups that I want to and visit the friends that I have in other countries. 

7. I really hate pages (although admittedly they aren't always negative) such as Behind the Bows and Lolita Confessions. I see a lot of lolitas who are big in the online community such as Peachie and Lor get messages over and over again from people who are interested in starting out in lolita but are worried that the girls in their local comm will be horrid to them because of things they've seen online. I've never had any negativity from any lolita I've ever met, be it online or in real life, and it's really upsetting to think that there are people being put off wearing the fashion because of people on the internet with nothing nice to say, who do not represent any of the lovely, wonderful people I have met.

8. I hate, hate, hate customs fees ! They are honestly the worst. Whenever I find an item that I want at a bargain price on the comm sales or Closet Child or anywhere else that ships from outside of the UK, I always get hit with a giant customs charge. This often completely cancels out any savings I have made on the item, or makes it so that I actually ended up paying more than usual for it ! I ordered a few packages the other month, and each of them got additional charges added to them once they went through UK customs - I ended up paying almost £60 just in charges alone ! I was not happy at all, to say the least.

9. While I love compiling wishlists of dresses or other pieces that I would really love to one day own, I often hate when they crop up on sales pages when I can't afford to buy them. It almost goes without saying that when I have money in my bank account, these pieces will be nowhere to be found !

 Two dresses that cropped up on the comm sales recently -
right when I can't afford either of them 

10. Finally, I hate the idea that just because lolita has basic rules to be adhered to (very easily, in fact !) people think it's too difficult or restrictive of a fashion to become involved in. I see girls at cons, on Tumblr and here on their personal blogs all the time really pushing for exciting new ways to wear lolita whilst still keeping it within the guidelines of the fashion. I think it's important to remember that that's all the "rules" are anyway - guidelines - and that there is really no restriction on how creative you want to be with your coordinates 

So, I really struggled with that haha. I think that's gonna be the hardest question in the whole challenge. What do you hate about the fashion you are most interested in ? Is there anything or, like me, do you just love it all ?

Next Challenge : 10 Different Foods You Like.

Monday, 10 March 2014

30 Day Lolita Challenge : Day 2

Hello everyone !

I missed two days of the Lolita Challenge because I spent all weekend at the launch of a project myself and two fellow artists have been working on for the past 18 months : the Queen of the Track zine ! Of course, we launched it on International Women's Day, and I'll be writing a separate post about the zine itself, the events at the workshops that we ran and also the launch party, but for now, please visit the our blog and facebook page for more information.

Back onto the Lolita Challenge ! I loved writing todays.. there are so many things I love about this fashion.

Day 2 of the 20 Day Lolita Challenge question is : 10 Things you Love in Lolita !

1. I love rabbit print dresses ! I have so many prints with rabbits on, or are rabbit themed. Probably my favourite of these is my BTSSB Milk-Chan and Snow Strawberry JSK, it's just so adorable. This also extends to accessories, bags, coats, every day items that have nothing to do with lolita whatsoever.. I love rabbits a whole bunch haha.

Juliette et Justine's Cadre du Lapin JSK

2. One of the first things that first made me fall in love with lolita was the attention to detail, on every piece not just JSKs and OPs. The very first blouse I ever bought was from Innocent World, and I knew that it would be as excellent in terms of quality as every other brand piece I'd ever bought but I was honestly blown away to find that it had as much detailing in as any other item I had. Everything from the detailing on the ends of waist ties, to lace with teddy bears on, to hidden bows that you never spot on stock photos but you discover upon opening your much anticipated order.

3. Another of my favorite things within the lolita community is indie brands and handmade items ! I love the opportunity the fashion gives the people who wear it to take up other things they may have an interest in, such as DIY crafts, knitting, jewellery making, dress making.. the list goes on ! Also, I think having a one-of-a-kind handmade item in any coord makes it that little bit more unique and special, not to mention the excitement when you find something that finishes your outfit off perfectly. I feel like a lot of indie brands are also really good at pushing for new boundaries within the fashion, and exploring it in a way brands might not be.

4. Of course, I love the community within lolita ! ~giant mushy paragraph warning~ I suffer quite badly with anxiety problems, triggered by various other health endeavors, and the community has defiantly helped me to deal with and, in some ways, overcome a lot of my feelings of anxiousness. Two years ago, I was defiantly not the kind of person who would be excited about meetups, or want to get involved in organising projects, but getting involved with people in the community has almost transformed me completely. Every person I have met who is active in the community, be it in real life or online, has always been so kind, warm, helpful and friendly, I've never been made to feel more like I was welcome. I used to only wear lolita in the confines of my bedroom, and heading out to meetups in a full coord was simply out of the question ! Now, I'm excited every time I hear of one in my area, and I hope to be even more active and involved within the community in the future.

5. Boots ! I love when people incorporate boots into their coord, I think they just give a totally different feel than other kinds of shoes like Tea Parties or RHS. I'm a sucker for big stompy boots anyway, but pairing up a frilly dress with a huge pair of boots is just too good of a juxtaposition to overlook. Also, here in the North of England, the winters are particually unforgiving, so not only do boots look wonderful with lolita, but they provide some much needed warmth in the colder months.

6. Kind of in the same vein as indie brands/handmade items, I also love how customisable lolita is. Of course, there's the basic rules and each sub-style but the way people take the opportunity to push these in new ways is really exciting. I especially love when people fuse lolita together with a different style altoghter, such as mori kei or cult party kei, the results of this are always super interesting and often give way for new trends within lolita itself. I love seeing peoples individual takes on the fashion !

The wonderful SugarPlumHime in a Cult Party
olita mixed coord

7. Of course, I love the way wearing lolita makes me feel. I dabble in lots of different styles and fashions, but lolita has to be my favourite of them all.. there's something about putting on my favourite coord and just instantly feeling magical.

8. Similarly, I love chatting about lolita - hence my blog in the first place - with anyone, from people who 1000% know their stuff, to young girls who are just starting out, to strangers in the street who show an interest in what I'm wearing. The latter is probably my favourite though; I love when people come up to me brimming with interest about my dresses or wigs or even shoes. I know lots of people get worried when they are first starting out about going out in public, but honestly all I've ever received is compliments, and you would be surprised how genuinely interested people will be. In the wise words of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, "I just wear my fashion with pride and confidence, I think that's the most important thing".

People will be more supportive of you in lolita thank you think ! 

9. I really, really love coords that use very pale colours such as off-white, creams, pastel pinks and lilac. I've never really put together a more pale coord outfit before - most of mine always end up being very dark or obnoxiously pink - but I'm planning on doing so in the future !

10. My biggest guilty pleasure in lolita is guro lolita. However, please don't think of all the trite images surrounding this sub-style that inevitably crop up - red on white and eyepatches everywhere ! I'm more interested in the idea of "broken dolls", and I've been trying to get my perfect guro coord together for months.. think, old Victorian medical equipment, band-aids and also printed dresses, which I have never seen used in guro lolita (but please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong !) I love the idea of fusing sweet and guro together. Hopefully, in the next few months, my perfect guro coord will be completed and we can see if the fusing of two very different substyles would really work ///evil cackling and lighting flashes///

There were so many other things I wanted to mention in this list, keeping it to ten things was so difficult ! I think I might have gone off on a few tangents there but I could honestly talk about lolita forever 

Next Challenge : 10 Things You Hate in Lolita