12 Dec 2017

Lucky Packs How To

The lucky pack season is almost upon us now, which seems like a perfect time to reflect on my lucky pack experiences so far and what have I learnt from them.


8 Dec 2017

5 Things I Would Tell a Beginner Not To Do

The Internet is full of advice for Lolita newbies. Heck, not to shamelessly plug my own stuff, but I have written several posts with advice aimed at newcomers, both here and on WunderWelt Libre. However, in the spirit of trying to be positive and encouraging, most advice usually focuses on what to do – and yet sometimes what not to do is just as important. So here are five things that I would like to tell all Lolita beginners not to do.


5 Dec 2017

Winter ILD 2017



This Saturday once again Lolitas across the world have gathered, either physically at meet ups or metaphorically online, to celebrate the Winter International Lolita Day. I hope that you have been able to do something for the occasion, big or small, in group or alone, for the full day or just a portion of it. I was lucky enough to be absolutely swarmed with ILD meetup invites from across the various comms I am part of (and beyond), but remained loyal to my local Leeds comm.

| BtSSB Secret AIR MAIL from Sweet Kitty JSK | Innocent World lucky pack
blouse | vintage jacket | Sheena's Bella Bows mini-hat | Mufish tights | Innocent
World shoes | Innocent World brooch | Milkribbon brooch | Tea Party
Club pin | Twinkle Kitty Boutique and Tea Party Club rings |

Selfie at the beginning of the day, when my hair was still
fresh. Although it held ok through the day.

The only closeup of some of my rings, when I was brainstorming
accessories the night before. Ended up not using the necklace.

Even though there was no official theme, since this ends up being our Christmas meet too, I decided to be as festive as I possibly could have and went with a toy soldier/nutcracker theme. I wanted to wear this Baby dress because: a) it’s on the list of dresses to wear before the end of the year; b) it has a fully shirred back, so great for festive eating; and c) because its main accent colour is red which is a very festive colour indeed. Very quickly I was able to pick the remaining matching pieces, whipped up my favourite hairstyle and added some sparkle to the makeup (which you sadly can’t see on the photo) and off I went!

On the day it turned out that plenty of people had issues with public transport and many people were delayed. Luckily, the venue, The Queens Hotel, is literally adjacent to the Leedss train station, so very little walking in the cold involved and it really would be an achievement to get lost looking for it. Everyone has had some kind of either festive or winter theme in their outfits going on and I love seeing what other people do for bigger occasions like this!

There were about 20 of us on the day, which is about standard for meets like ILD, but at the same time it was comfortable enough that you could chat to everyone, as well as meet new people. The room was also laid out in a way that kept us together, making it easier to socialise.

Very classy private room.

That fit us all comfortably and had a few good lighting spots!

While the main thing was standard afternoon tea (albeit that chocolate mousse was the best chocolate mousse I ever had in my life!), our wonderful organiser added her own touch to the event to make it more fun. At first, to make sure that we all felt welcome and had a chance to get to know everyone, we had to stand up, introduce ourselves and say how long it took us to get ready that morning. Most people averaged somewhere in the region of two hours, although there were a few who got ready in an hour or less (who got a round of applause) and a few people who stretched it to longer (e.g. I said that I started curling my hair the night before, so if we counted that, it’d be closer to twelvve hours). It’s such a great way to break the ice: a simple question that everyone can relate to, but that’s also not the standard “and talk about what you’re wearing” – something light that everyone can laugh at or take seriously if they want to.

Compulsory food photo. That mousse though!
 
The second major thing was a five-part quiz. I feel like I cheated by joining a team who really knew their Lolita trivia, because some of the questions were absolute news to me. Each part was its own little sub-category, like anagrams spelling out brand names or “Lolita fuckery” meaning the weirdest, most obscure bits of trivia formed into true-or-false questions. One part involved two of our comm members, who are notorious for not knowing any print names, not even the ones that they own, and each team had to get them to guess the print name they had drawn out in an Articulate style game. There was no point in explaining what the prints looked like, all we had to do was get our randomly selected contestant to say the words in the print – and some people got abstract! Although it was the joining words like “of” that were very tricky to explain, we managed to get most simple print names down – only some weird-ass Baby print with a sentence of a name and Vampire Requiem, which through the explainer’s invention turned into Walrus Requiem, were genuinely too difficult to get. And our lovely print-name-challenged comm members each received a cute Christmas glass so that they wouldn’t feel too picked on. In the end the team I was on and another team ended up in a draw, so we continued with that game sudden death style – and sadly lost. But it was still loads of fun. And our host actually made the quiz available online, so if you fancy giving it a go, you can find it here.

I had to take my jacket off, the quiz was intense and required
a lot of focus to explain print name words properly to score
us points. :P

And lastly were Secret Santa and raffle. If you have read about Winter ILD 2016, then you will already be familiar with our style of Secret Santa. For new readers, this is how it worked. Everyone participating had brought a gift. The first person had to pick a gift from the array and open it in front of everyone. Every person after that could either pick a new gift and unwrap that OR steal a gift from those already opened – and stealing had to be respected, no arguing or resisting. The person who had their present stolen then got to pick and open a new one from those that were left. And so on until all gifts were distributed. Last year I was lucky in that no-one had even tried to steal mine. This year I was one of the last people to draw and since I didn’t fancy stealing anything, I picked a new one – which turned out to be Lush bath bombs that I was quite happy with. And then the very last person came right up to me and took those away from me. But! That turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The last remaining unopened present was actually from my present stealer – a beautiful necklace that she had on preorder on her Etsy store page. And it matched my ILD coord so perfectly that I simply had to put it on. I am far, far happier with that necklace than I was with the bath bombs, so I’m grateful for fate looking after me like this! (Psst, there are still some available and cheap too, get youself one, support indie brands!)

So many mysterious gifts...!

...and the best one ended up mine!

As for the raffle, there were quite a few interesting prizes, including a very WTF pink canotier with a panda head on it. (By the way, I know that there was a panda print from Taobao not that long ago, but I feel like it does come in pink, so I hope that the two will meet one day.) The grand prize was this beautifully displayed Baby JSK, which I have just managed to find out is the Starry Sky of Mother Goose print. Unfortunately, very few of us in attendance stood a chance of fitting it thanks to a complete lack of shirring, and the person who ended up snagging it won’t fit it either, so I hope that they manage to find something to do with it. I modestly came home with a brown velveteen headbow from Cutie Creator – the same one I already own in green that I wore to the Christmas Markets in Manchester. Never too many headbows in my world and I only have one brown one, so I’m sure this will be useful.

The grand prize, displayed in the most subtle way possible.
 
At the end there were the usual last minute outfit shots, selfies and general vanity before we all dispersed on our way back home. I think everyone had a tiring week and just wanted to change into something comfy, myself included. But for last 2017 Leeds comm meet, this definitely was great and as always I enjoyed spending time with these lovely people. I have one more actual, official meet left this year, although I will be wearing Lolita on my own at least once before, which I’ll try to get a photo of to document here.

Did you do anything for the ILD weekend? How long did it take you to get dressed, if you dressed up in your frills? Any more meets still left for you this year or has your comm winded down now?

1 Dec 2017

Creating a Christmas Coord

It’s now the month of Christmas and I’m not going to lie, I’m very excited. Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday and always has been. But in a similar spirit to Lolita fashion and Halloween, not all of us can justify buying a once-a-year kind of dress with a Christmas print. As much as I adore some of them, I know that I’d feel weird getting one, unless I found one for insanely cheap or unless it was a versatile enough print to wear at other times of the year (Marchen Die Prinzessin's The Nutcracker is my ideal here). How could you get that Christmas fantasy outfit without spending too much? Read on to find out!



28 Nov 2017

Manchester Christmas Markets


When it comes to Christmas markets, the Manchester one is one of the best and biggest, certainly in “our” area if not even the country. I missed it last year and didn’t want to skip it again, so I got my Mum involved, found us cheap train tickets and off we went!

| Bodyline L262 JSK | Axes Femme cutsew | Metamorphose
Dressy OTKs | Cutie Creator headbow | offbrand boots, boot
toppers and ear muffs | Bodyline L460 coat | DreamV bag |
BtSSB Parasol |




My goal for the day was to look festive, but still be comfortable, warm and not have to worry about anything getting ruined (you never know when someone’s had too much glühwein and might accidentally spill it on you), so I went for the old and trusted Bodyline. I wanted to wear red shoes, but unfortunately the weather forecast for Manchester was rains and snow, so I needed to wear something more practical at the expense of matching. Though I still felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

What’s great about the Manchester Christmas Markets is that there literally are several scattered across various locations in the city centre. They sort of form a trail, although if you don’t have a map and don’t know the area too well you wouldn’t always know where to go for the next area. Luckily, the maps were available to download for free and there were a few people here and there offering free information, which made things a lot easier.


As you’d expect, everything looked Christmas card festive and there were loads of stalls selling pretty much everything, from food to decorations and potential gifts. Many sellers had stalls in several market locations, so if one was too crowded or you had left before deciding you actually wanted something chances were that you could still get it without having to go back.


Since we went on Saturday and got there around 2pm, we hit some of the busiest times going. I’m not a fan of crowded places, I find crowds incredibly annoying, although I still managed to enjoy the markets. For anyone wanting to visit, but who really cannot deal with crowds, the website offers some information on quieter times to visit. Very useful for individuals and families who, for whatever reason, need to avoid busy, loud places and times, I thought that was a nice way to be inclusive.


Although my favourite part has to be the mugs. The Christmas Markets are running a scheme where all stalls selling drinks have to do so in actual glasses and mugs. These incur an additional deposit cost of £1 per glass and £2.50 for mugs, but it was far more environmentally friendly and meant that the markets were mostly free of rubbish which otherwise would’ve been everywhere. Afterwards you could return your mugs and get the deposit back or keep them as a souvenir (although I think this applied only to the mugs, not to the glasses). I absolutely love the idea and between Mum and I we got both designs: black with a snowman, which was for alcoholic drinks, and white with Santa Claus for non-alcoholic beverages. They’ll be great to use during the Christmas season and a seriously nice souvenir for any lover of hot drinks!

Photo from the Christmas Markets website because our mugs
are in the dishwasher.
While I kind of want to go again at a quieter time, to have time to enjoy it without being annoyed at the crowds, we have visited everything and enjoyed the whole experience thoroughly enough to not really have the need to. I’m also stocked up on Spekulaas, which I love with all my heart (and stomach) and will do my best to make them last, so I genuinely should be doing other things to satisfy my need for festive cheer. There will be other markets to come and next weekend is the Winter ILD, so this should be enough. December looks as busy for me and as filled with Lolita as November has been, so while my introverted self cannot wait for the Christmas break to have some lazy rest, I am very excited for all that’s still to come.

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet? Have you been getting ready and in the mood? Any plans for ILD next Saturday? I’d love to hear all about it! 

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