This weekend, I did some fun things. It’s halfway my last week here in Leeds and I’m in the middle of packing so no photos yet but I hope you enjoy the video!
Hallo hallo, long time no blog!! Well, I’m freeeeeee [pretty much] from university now, so, time to catch up!
Every summer and winter, lolitas all over the world celebrate International Lolita Day, which falls on the first weekend of June and first weekend of December. I think the official day is on a saturday for some reason but a lot of people also have meet ups and celebrations on the sunday. Which was the case for us, Lolitas of Leeds, because we held a SUPER GIANT MEGA MEET on Sunday the 8th of June.
When I say super giant mega meet I mean it was the BIGGEST LOLITA MEET UP IN LEEDS so far, and there were 40 people there. BOOYA!
The lovely Michaela and I conspired together to host a nice afternoon tea party with a lot of fun and games and also PRIZES. (⁎⁍̴̛͂▿⁍̴̛͂⁎)*✲ﾟ*｡⋆♡ It was so much fun! Of course since it was a tea party there was tea, sandwiches, even cake and a special cocktail. I didn’t get to drink it but it was called “pomi loli” and looked very nice. There were vegetarian and vegan sandwiches as well, and scones, and for those who didn’t eat scones there was vegan chocolate cake! Thank you to Michaela for making the food requests for the lolis with allergies or other dietary restrictions. ♡
We did bingo!! Maybe it’s something British, maybe I’m just not too familiar with bingo, but there were all these funny names for the numbers, like “22″ is “two little ducks” and “88″ is “two fat ladies”. But then some other were really boring (“12″ was “a dozen” and then “24″ was “two dozen” etc… okay??) or just really random or weird. Although, this made it more hilarious! “ヽ(´▽｀)ノ”
After bingo it was time for the MEGA QUIZ!! ((┌|o^▽^o|┘))♪ There were 50 questions in this mega pop quiz. Round one was a picture round with various things related to Lolita. Round two was “guess the print” with special guest Hannah. The twist on this round was that Hannah doesn’t know the names of prints so she often describes them in a really funny, often more honest way. It’s always hilarious to see what she comes up with! But it also made the round quite hard! ꉂ (ᵔ̴̶̤᷄ꇴ ॣᵔ̴̶̤᷅⌯))л̵ʱªʱª⁎*.＊
Round three was my round, mythical creatures! Some questions were a bit tricky but I was really proud of the Bows of Steel group who got all the answers! ∗˚೫˳(●ᴖ͙̏ᴗॢᴖ͙̋●)˳೫˚∗ Round four was Michaela’s round full of Yorkshire facts… I would have sucked at that round to be honest! Haha. Good thing I wasn’t playing. Did you know athletes from Yorkshire won 12 medals in the 2012 olympics? Yeahhh!! The fifth and last round was General Lolita Knowledge, for which Michaela and I did 5 questions each. It was a fierce competition because a lot of people did really well! In the end I hope everyone enjoyed the quiz.
I’m not going to post everyone’s outfit pictures because there were so many people BUT I will say that everybody did their best and looked fabulous and it made me sooooo happy!! (♡ᵉ̷͈ัॢωᵉ̷͈ัॢ )‧₊°♡ Special thanks to Kimberley from A Shot In The Dark who took so many lovely pictures for us! ♡ ♡ ♡
Here’s some group photos:
After the official meet was over, a few of us went to the Belgrave, which has a lovely roof terrace. I had some of the handcooked chips, they were lovely. And then when I got home, I made a video. This is my second try at making a short video about stuff I’m doing, nothing fancy, and it took me three days to find an editing program that didn’t completely die on me. I need to work on what I wanna say, but I do wanna continue making videos. In the end I think it’s fun! Let me know what you think?
JSK, headbow ☆ Angelic Pretty
Blouse ☆ H&M
Bolero ☆ Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes ☆ Forever 21
Socks, wristcuffs ☆ Angelic Pretty
Accessories ☆ Angelic Pretty & offbrand
I think this was a really amazing meet up and it leaves me with many good memories before I have to leave, but I don’t wanna talk about that, so, thanks for reading! ( •ॢ◡-ॢ)-♡
I thought it would be fun to share my instagram pictures in one place. I know it’s a bit image heavy because I took a trip to the Netherlands and Belgium and was really happy to be using instagram again, haha, so maybe that’s a sign I should do these posts a bit more often and a bit more staggered
Wellllppp that’s it!! ♡ I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year! If you have instagram too, follow me if you want !! ♡
Hey, blog. Long time no see. I apologise in advance that this is a long read.
I figured at some point I would take the time to explain what has been happening with me. In case anybody cared… but mostly for myself. I used to write a diary when I was young, and then I used to write a virtual diary when I was a little older, and I would always take the time on this stupid day, to write something. Many people do. We like to reflect back on a year. What was good, what was bad, what do we want out of the shiny promise of a new year?
You write diaries so you can look back on things that happened later on, and that is exactly why I keep this blog. I started it in the new year, full of new promises and good intentions. “I will definitely be better at my blog in 2013!” I thought. I had already been preparing for a few weeks before really starting it, I was excited. Of course after a few weeks it still fell apart. I’ve never been good at keeping my blog the way I want to – so why would I think this year would be any different?! But, it’s my thing that I do and probably will keep doing just because I like it. Maybe 2014 will be better. Maybe not. Who knows.
2013 has been a really weird year. It started weird, because L and I were going through a thing. However, I thought we worked through the thing. I was doing much better in Nov-Dec 2012 than previous years, so I felt like we could handle the thing. I was also going to the student counseling and actually managed to feel a lot better by the time the second semester came around.
The end of the school year was actually fine. We had worked out the thing. That was the second time we almost broke up – but it gave us new life in a way. We worked harder at our relationship and felt really quite good by the end of the academic term. I went to the Netherlands and back to see my friends [and a baby!]. Slam Dunk is worth a mention just because I saw Andrew McMahon live FINALLY and it was beautiful.
Summer 2013 was pretty great. We went to London, saw Anti-Flag, I felt good about myself. Japan Expo with my friends was quite great, there were so many memorable moments again. Every year keeps being better than the last. Even if I felt really really stupid when I missed my train and had to buy a whole new ticket to avoid being stuck in Paris… the memories of that trip are still great. My twin-twin and I modeled in a fashion show together and had a great time being twins for the rest of the trip. One of my favourite things was being Mike & Sulley when we went to Disneyland for her birthday.
Frock On!, the big Lolita event in London, was also magical. I walked in two fashion shows and had the most amazing hairdo I’ve ever had in my life. There were so many friends, old and new, and I felt really really great being in such an amazing community!
After Frock On! I went to the Netherlands to visit a festival with my sister, this was really nice. However, it marked the end of the summer and soon after the magical island-getaway it was back to the academic year. I did start a new job, which has been great and still continues to be something I like doing.
Over summer, Lobster had moved into the 4-room student house I live in. I thought we were making a life for ourselves but in the time that I was going away to Paris, London and little islands, and by the time academia forced its routine on us, we got less into a life and more into a routine. It wasn’t the most healthy routine.
All my weekends were as good as filled with really awesome social events, all of which I would gladly share at some point [but since I have no free weekends, I wonder when that will happen ] and I didn’t really notice how unhealthy the routine was becoming.
It also started to get darker and darker, and then our relationship also ended. And by saying that it ended, I mean that I got dumped.
It wasn’t pretty. It happened over the course of a few very emotional and very confusing days, but it comes down to this: I was dumped over Facebook chat. And I only say that because I hope to paint a picture of how stupid things had become. Who breaks up with another person over chat? And not even via personal phones, but over Facebook? It continued over phone conversation, while I was in my friend’s kitchen, sitting on the floor crying after I’d spend a fun morning together with my friends taking photos in Lolita… Needless to say my day was ruined. And my week. And my month.
I don’t want to get into details because that is useless. It was done, it is still done. But this whole thing, it catapulted me into a state of mind I hadn’t had in a long time. Yes, I get real bad moods sometimes. Well, I can just say that in the last two months, I’ve been forced to really take care of those bad moods because I was so scared I was going to be beaten by them. It’s been a weird battle.
Luckily, I have a great network of supportive people surrounding me, and I’m grateful for that. When I opened up on December 9th, the date of my mother’s birthday, that I really wasn’t feeling well emotionally, I was really touched by all the sweet and supportive messages I received. Really, from the bottom of my heart: thank you for that.
Right now I’m in the Netherlands, and my immediate family have all gone on holidays to different places in the world. I’ve spent today mostly inside, just taking it slow. Taking it easy. Rethinking things. Thinking of my mother and of a time when she wasn’t resting in a bookcase.
Which takes me to this day. December 31.
This day is a special day. But not just because it’s a holiday. For me this is not just a day to reflect on a year and whether it has been good or bad. It is the day my mother died. And every year it is another year since that happened. At this point in my life I have had more without-you-years than with-you-years. It’s sad. I would always write about how much I miss, what has happened, but mostly that I haven’t forgotten, and never will. December 31 is a stupid day.
In 1997, my grandmother was staying over at our house. My grandmother was Vietnamese and spent a few months a year in Vietnam, a few months in Paris, a few months traveling around. She would also spend quite some time in the rainy and cold weather of Rotterdam. Every day she would watch the weather and complain that in Vietnam, it was about three times as hot – in the shade!
Since I was the youngest and I had a bunk bed, my room also had another bed which was my grandmother’s when she came to stay with us. This year, she was even staying with us for New Year’s. In fact, this was the year that my French family all came to visit us in the Netherlands instead of us spending Christmas in France, like we had done for all of my life before that year. The reason was that my mother was in the hospital. The good news was that she wasn’t in the Intensive Care anymore. She had a nice room to herself. I remember that we went to visit on the 30th and I had said “Oh, you have such a good view up here, you’ll have a great view of the fireworks.” I mean, I was just turned ten years old. I think I was kinda jealous. Right now I’m just trying really hard not to think how hard that must have sucked to spend the holidays in a hospital in a room by yourself.
The morning of December 31st, my father woke both my grandmother and me up, and I don’t really remember much, but I remember that my grandmother was leaning against my bunkbed while she was crying. It had happened really early in the morning. I’ve been told she was sleeping and couldn’t have felt anything and it happened really fast. It was a blood clot in the brain. To be honest, I’ve forgotten the technical details because the outcome doesn’t change.
This little calendar thing will forever be ‘stuck’ on December 31st.
Even if our little family has moved on in all sorts of ways. Even if we eventually come to terms with things. Even if we will enjoy life in other ways. December 31st will always suck.
In one of the years after 1997, I wrote in my diary how much I hated that the cheer started so early in the morning. I hated the fireworks. I hated that she wasn’t even allowed to enjoy the ‘amazing view’ from the stupid hospital – even if my ten year old self had tried to remedy that by making everyone have sparklers at the cremation.
Maybe I didn’t understand much when I was ten years old. Or eleven or twelve or thirteen or fourteen. But this year, I understand more about myself. I have spent a lot of time trying to hide things away because I didn’t know how to cope. I have spent a lot of time trying to run away from places that made me miserable and trying to move on from people who made me upset. But as I get older, I realise it doesn’t matter where you go; as long as you don’t work on yourself, you’ll never be happy. So, in a way it’s fitting that I have ended up alone by the end of this year, I’m being forced to make myself better. I’m working on it.
I’m not going to say that 2013 was amazing, or that it was horrible. It had ups, and it had downs. I’m not going to make any promises about 2014 because I feel very ambivalent about everything right now.
The only thing I really want to happen, is that I finish my degree and accomplish something without running away for once in my life.
Not much has changed in so many years, they still start the fireworks early in the morning, the little kids run around the streets, there’s too much noise, and I don’t like it.
I don’t like December 31, and I never will. No matter where I celebrate or who I celebrate with, there will always be a part of me that won’t understand. It’s unfair when people die, and it leaves a lot of scars. I’m working on myself, but those are scars I will always bear.
The phoenix on my side is my ode to my mother, the woman who gave me life and who I will always remember and continue to love. It’s been sixteen years, but not a day goes by that I am not changed by this, and not a day will come where I’m over it – but that is okay.
I have no idea what will happen in 2014 and right now I really don’t care, I don’t want to think about it. I just hope that I’ll get through my sadness and that people will understand. Thanks for reading. I wish you all the best in the new year.
see more of her awesome art at gemmacorrell.com
1. ThoughtBubble was awesome
2. I bought some of her pins! But I wanted to buy eeeeveryyythiiiing!!!
3. Yes, I have been quiet and yes, I have news. I’ll come back. I just wanted to share this, it’s so cute.
Whoooooops, I realise my last post was two months ago! （◎ー◎；） I have been SO BUSY! Well, at least I have the “it was summer”-excuse. And I think it’s a valid excuse because my summer was really good!
My summer was so adventurous and filled with fun people and fun memories [and many fun photos that I really want to share!!] that I am really sad it is over! But on the other hand I am also reaaaaally excited about the academic year starting again. I am starting my third [and final] year at the University of Leeds. I’m taking lots of interesting modules and also have to write a dissertation. SCARY!!!
But, it’ll be fine, I hope. I have a lot of positive energy right now and some good intentions that I hope will become habits. On my list of things-I-would-like-to-keep-up is obviously this blog! And I thought instead of making really big posts once every month that drag me down, I should probably make shorter ones and update a bit more often. So, here I am, let’s just go for it!
So, catching up from April. I received an AP buy, a very simple skirt in my favourite colour, mintgreen. It is called Party Doll and it has a beautiful velveteen bow that sort of makes it look like a present! The fabric and tulle is so soft and lovely! (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)
Someone I follow on Tumblr was offering it for a very low price and it was just sooo perfect! My favourite colour, a cute skirt for casual wear, my favourite brand, how could I say no!?!? So I said yes, of course!! Buying via someplace that isn’t an ‘established’ way was a bit worrying to me, but she did have feedback and it was in the EU and she was very friendly in her messages – so I paid and hoped for the best. Luckily everything went well! Of course it was secondhand and there are a few flaws, but honestly, I don’t even care. This quickly grew to be one of my favourite things to wear in spring and summer, hahaha.
On a grey april day Lobster and I went for lunch at the Smoothie Company. This is a cute little place really close to campus that is a bit further hidden than the other cafés right opposite the Parkinson building. However, if you are in Leeds and craving a smoothie, you definitely need to check this place out!
Reason number one: The smoothies are yummy!! Fresh fruit and all sorts of options you might want! [I had something super awesome with cinnamon! Lobster had something with mango because you can't go wrong with mango.]
Reason number two: They also do food, it’s very reasonably priced, actually pretty cheap compared to other places in the neighbourhood, and it’s taaaasty! [A bagel with peanut butter and banana pictured here, super yummy. I have recently tasted their soup and it's awesome soup! - that's like "awesome sauce", but with soup, just sayin'.]
They will toast bagels and sandwiches for you at no extra cost. [I am looking at you, Bakery 164...]
You can also choose to sit outside. The staff is super friendly, and they have good ethics regarding fresh products using local ingredients. Yay!
And it’s really super duper super super super close to campus!
Well, that was my random post for today, hope to catch up some more soon! o (◡‿◡✿)
Let me introduce to you: the 6%dokidoki Perfect Book! It’s a mook [magazine-book] published by 6%dokidoki, of which I am a big fan. I got this thing ages ago and it’s hardly news anymore, but if you’re one of the people who hasn’t gotten this mook yet: get ittttt~!
A bit of info: the mook has English and Japanese text and has a lot of 6%dokidoki info! Backstory, interview, and lots and lots of pictures! It’s very thick, sturdy and is nicely produced with many bright coloured pages to feast your eyes on, AND IT COMES WITH THIS COOL BAG!!! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
I use this bag to hold all my things that don’t fit in my tiny Lolita bags. And it does the trick! It’s big, bold, beautiful and holds a lot of crap! YAY! Just what I need! The print features many popular dokidoki items such as the star clips and doki rings, among bright coloured toys… well, it’s an explosion of happiness! (⊙ヮ⊙)
It has two handles [big enough to go over your shoulder if you want it to] and closes with a zipper, and it’s pretty waterproof I believe.
Some of my favourite pages! The pony for the My Little Pony project, the Blythe, other collaborations and our queen Kyary~! As you can see, every single page in this book is an explosion of colours! But who would’ve thought otherwise? (⌒▽⌒)☆
Aaaand below are the pages that my friends and I are on! I never published my adventures for 2012 yet [should I...? haha] but we met with Yuka & Vani when they came to Paris!! We had the greatest time! Such good memories and I’m sooooo grateful that they published this picture in the mook! I put little arrows but you can see better in the bigger picture ^_~
I’m so happy and grateful to be pictured along with all these other really cool dokidokers from around the world! （*´▽｀*）
Here’s a cool video, interview with Sebastian and a look at the shoot for the mook! Enjooooy~!
Well, if you’re a dokidoker then you really need this mook! To be honest there’s a lot of Japanese content that I can’t really read but it’s still totally worth it. And HAVE YOU SEEN THAT BAG *o* I’m still soooo in love! (●♡∀♡)
Well, you asked, I over-delivered. This is quite long and detailed, but I hope it answers everything and if you still have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
My first tattoo is a ‘secret’, it’s not really a big deal I just like to keep it as much to myself as possible. I got it when I was 18. As you may or may not know I have a history with self injury and depression and this tattoo is important to me because it means that I make my own choices and I make my own life. The past is something that shouldn’t have a hold over me and the future is something I can still influence!
I don’t like to show people this tattoo because it’s so personal but I guess I don’t mind talking about the meaning of it. It’s also a very simple thing, its appearance won’t say much when you look at it but it is of personal significance with a bit of backstory, so it makes sense to me. I got that one done when I still lived in Rotterdam and it was done by Moose, in his shop that was then still attached to the skate shop, only took half an hour or so haha.
My second tattoo - which some people think is my first tattoo because it’s the first one I really showed to anyone - was done also in Rotterdam, by a French dude named Lionel from Out of Step. Lionel travels around a lot and I waited for him to come to the 25 to Life shop just around my 19th birthday. This one really means a LOT to me. It’s a phoenix in red – I did not want a traditional phoenix like in the Vietnamese art, but I knew when I saw Lionel’s work that he could design something original that fit with the source but also my personal character.
Phoenix are important in Vietnamese mythology and in my family. We had a lot of dragon and phoenix imagery around the house where I grew up. In a marriage, the dragon symbolises the husband, the phoenix the wife. When my mother died, an urn was made especially with the phoenix imagery on it. I think the phoenix is a very powerful image and it was always obvious that I would pick that symbol for the tattoo dedicated to my mother. For me it means that even though my mother is no longer physically in my life, she still lives on in me. In Western mythology, the phoenix gets reborn from the ashes. Literally this means her genes are passed on in me, but in a broader sense also the things she showed and taught me. I chose red because of the traditional colours, but also because I think it compliments my skin well, I love red tattoos.
Lionel also added some other personal things in there when I told him this whole story of my mother and our family, and the beauty of custom tattoos is that they are unique and so this is really mine and fits me really well. I’m incredibly proud of this tattoo because even if I don’t explain this whole novel of meaning to people, I get compliments on it – and I think tattoos should mostly look good rather than have such complex meaning haha. Yes, it’s not a style everybody wants on themselves but I’ve never had a bad reaction. Lionel not only does great work but is also just an awesome guy and I really recommend him. I thought it was really fitting that he was French and we spoke French through the whole process [as my mother was also French and taught me the language].
[side note: when going to find the link for his blog, I found out Lionel has recently tattooed one of my heroes, Chris #2 from Anti-Flag, and it made me all happy inside to read about it, so in case you're interested here is the link. I must also say major props to getting tattooed before playing a punk rock show! hardcore, my man.]
Rising from the ashes is also very close to a life motto of mine: everything is a life lesson. I rarely get where I want to be on the first try. First I stumble, I might fall, but in the end, I get there. And then I realise that I have grown so much because of the path I took, that I learned a valuable lesson.
Then I have the muffin on my arm, it’s a drawing of the little creatures that I’ve thought up and have been drawing since years. [They’re called mmmmuffins.] My friend and I got that tattoo done [also in Rotterdam, at Inkstitution - but by then I didn’t live there anymore, we were on holiday!] to represent our time at art school, our love for photography and our friendship. Oh and it just looks cute. I gave it a camera and a bow to basically represent myself, haha, so kind of a vain tattoo, but now that we have it together that’s not so bad. A lot of people think it’s a cupcake but it’s a muffin but ok, that’s still cool. ヽ(´▽｀；)/♪
It was a lot of fun that day because we got tattooed by the loveliest woman named Kristel! She was soooo sweet and loved our matching Lolita outfits and wanted to take pictures with us. She was even capable at calming down my friend, who gets really really nervous before and during the process, so I was impressed. Having an artist who is not only good at the tattooing but also the other aspects of their job is really important to me! Being a tiny girl doesn’t mean I necessarily need to be tattooed by other girls, just friendly fun people! So far, so good, I have to say, I’m really happy my tattoo memories are very good ones!
It was my first visible-in-normal-clothes tattoo and first time with another person, and probably the only one that I have drawn myself. [I’m actually of the opinion that tattoo artists are best at that, which they are, and self-drawn things are rarely good but I still like this haha! It's personal on multiple levels!]
My ACTUAL cupcakes were done by Miss Pudding, with the same friend, we travelled to France for the occasion Basically I knew Pudding was a tattoo artist, and we wanted these cutesy cupcakes that would totally suit her style, and I’d met Pudding a couple of times at French events and she’s just so sweet! So it was an easy choice who to ask for this tattoo. We arranged to do it just before I moved to the United Kingdom. This time they weren’t exactly matching tattoos, but, close enough!
For me they have the meaning of me loving cupcakes, and commemorating the time I spent with the Belgian Cupcakes! Again, a lovely lady doing lovely work, I have such great memories of getting these tattoos done. The whole process is just memorable to me, not just the tattoo itself, which is really nice. To have a tattoo that represents something Lolita, done by someone who I’ve gotten to meet through the fashion, it just adds to it! (⌒▽⌒)☆
So far all the tattoos were just linework because I really like the way that looked. I spent a while thinking I never wanted any full-coloured tattoos because of how I think it looks on me/my body. I have now changed my opinion, however, I also still really like my linework things and will keep them that way because they weren’t meant to be coloured in. When I saw Pudding’s work on my friend – she got her cupcakes coloured in – I got a little bit hesitant for a second because it just looked really good! Haha. But it’s been two years now and I’ve grown so used to what they look like, I’m happy with it.
My scissors are a copy of Heather Gabel’s art for Alkaline Trio because I just fucking love Alkaline Trio and Heather’s art. Scissors are a big deal there. I didn’t just want the heartskull because that’s not for me but the scissors resonate with me. I specifically wanted these black and white and red all over ;D
I always wanted the vintage seam stocking lines because I love seamed stockings but like actual vintage ladies am too poor to keep buying quality seamed stockings and spend all day trying to keep the line straight… so I just went with the idea of the tattoo. However, getting just lines is boring and I already had the cupcakes there. Having broken up lines is another personal favourite thing of mine since it reminds me of drawings I used to draw with that style, and it also reminds me of hand stitching. With the idea of having the broken up lines, the scissors suddenly made a lot of sense. I toyed with the idea of having bows, but having just bows didn’t ‘feel right’ for me.
I always have an idea in my head for a tattoo and I just know, or feel, if it’s okay or not. Sometimes it needs a little bit of change before it clicks. When the scissors and the cut lines came together as being one tattoo, it clicked! Alkaline Trio have covered the song by the Cure called Cut Here [video] and the beauty of all of this is that The Cure is my bestie’s favourite band, and the song is about missing someone, and she’s the one I always miss [and her birthday is in June] and well, all of this coming together was perfect for me even though she hates the tattoo I’ve been trying for us to get tattoos together for ages but it still hasn’t happened so I had to go ahead and do it myself. Hahahaha. （⌒▽⌒） I can see why it looks like the scissors are cutting my cupcakes in half or something but that’s ok – that means we can share!
At the same session I got the AFI bunny but not as an exact copy. I basically got two fangirl tattoos in one go, although it’s not too obvious that this one is for AFI. Fans will see it, but I didn’t want to just colour the entire bunny in black like the album art it’s taken from [Decemberunderground]. I also didn’t want the outline on its own as I’d seen examples of that and it just didn’t work for me.
Then suddenly everything made sense in my head: I wanted a white bunny. White tattoos are hard to do so I left Ruth to do her own thing but I’m incredibly happy. I think it looks so much better than if I had just put outlines, or all black! She did such a great job bringing this little guy to life!
White bunnies have meaning to me for various reasons. 1] AFI: not only is this the album art, but AFI references rabbits quite a lot. 2] This also ties in with AFI. Both Davey [AFI lead singer] and myself have the sign of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. If you read about what Rabbit’s supposed character traits are, I would say, I am a Rabbit through and through! [But I am also a Cat in the Vietnamese zodiac, which is also very very true!] ^_~ 3] The white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is always late, and I am totally always late. 4] It also had to be in my shoulder because my inner Matrix fangirl just needed that to happen.
Aaaaand lastly [for now, huuhuu ♪(´ε｀ )] there’s my Aurora tattoo which sadly still needs to be finished. ;o
Aurora is meaningful to me because she’s one of my favourite princesses, obviously, but as a princess by herself she’s not the most inspiring one. Well, I mean, she spends half of the movie in a trance and then asleep, so, pretty whatever. However, right now she represents my love of the princesses in general until I somehow get more tattoos of my other favourites, haha. （＾ω＾）
My sister’s middle name is Aurora, and I thought it fitting to honour her with a beautiful princess image from one of my favourite movies! Yay! I absolutely love art nouveau and Alphonse Mucha so when I found the Disney princess homages done by Enrique Pita to honour Mucha’s work, I thought that was so perfect! Obviously I had the dress done in blue because it’s the best colour, and I kind of find it hilarious how the battle over blue vs pink is such a theme in the movie, as it’s also very much a theme in my life (*≧▽≦)ﾉｼ)) To make it fit better as a tattoo the frame was copied so it’s on both sides, and the text was removed because I’m not a fan of text tattoos at all.
My latest work has all been by Ruth at Oddfellows here in Leeds, she’s absolutely amazing and is very accommodating to all my (vegan) tattoo questions and ideas. The other artists do amazing work as well, I really really recommend them if you’re in Leeds!
Welp, that’s it, thanks for the question! Don’t be shy to ask some more!
Once upon a time on a day in April when it was sunny enough, Lobster and I ventured into the ‘woods’ along what is known as the Ridge. It’s not really a forest but it’s a nice area with trees. It’s pleasant for walks and contemplation, and it serves as a shortcut from Woodhouse (my area) to Headingley (another student area).
I planned to sell this dress that had been in my wardrobe for quite some years, but that I had not worn more than twice, and that I suddenly got an idea for a coordination for. I thought the bonnet that I wore at the Tealey Run [see here!] would match quite well, so I wanted to try out this coordination one last time before moving on to sell the dress.
A disclaimer of sorts: yes, this dress is a replica. I am actually against replicas since buying this dress and realising it isn’t worth it, so I’m just going to use this space to explain. I know it seems really stupid because there are so many photos of me wearing it, but this is just motivation for myself to get the original dress and make even better outfits. I hope that makes a little bit of sense, and I also hope the Lolita gods forgive me (;*△*;)
If you know what a replica is and don’t care, you can skip the text hahaha.
In the Lolita world, the topic of replicas can cause quite the debate. I just want to say something because I feel I have to, but I hope I don’t offend anyone personally. In the end, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I just wanted to explain myself. It might also be interesting for those who don’t personally wear Lolita but are interested in it or trying to understand more about it.
Replicas of popular Lolita dresses have been a thing since around 2008. It has become bigger over the years, and right now it’s hard to think of the fashion without thinking of replicas.
In a nutshell, what happened is that some brands were very exclusive in their production, only making a limited number of dresses in only one size. Obviously, this increased demand drastically and trying to get a certain item is still a battle for some of us
One of the consequences is that secondhand items can be sold for the original price, or even higher, if the item is very rare and/or popular. On one hand this is good, because it means less of a loss when you decide to let an item go.
On the other hand, it’s unfair to the lolitas who now have to pay three times the price just because they missed out, and it creates room for scalpers who buy items at original value only to directly resell at the ‘demand value’, which is ridiculous and hurts both the brand and the buyer.
So when independent seamstresses popped up with a means to recreate those very wanted dresses, in custom sizes, in unlimited numbers, that seemed like a great idea from one point of view: everyone could get the items they wanted! It doesn’t matter if you are too tall or too short, etc, to fit into the one size, because the seamstresses can just use your personal measurements. The price is also less than brand prices, which makes it even more attractive. Then there’s the added bonus that doing ‘risky’ things in Lolita could now be a thing, since many of us were quite scared to go clubbing or ice skating in an expensive brand dress, for example.
However, from a different point of view, replicas are not such a good thing: it is art theft and it takes business away from the original brands. For the lolitas who do a lot of buying new and then selling on, replicas can cause a loss since the buyer can now choose between buying the original secondhand, or buying a replica. If a cheaper replica is available and demand for the original is less, that means that the original will go for less. Which is good for the buyer but bad for the seller. However, there are many sides to this, and rare items going for outlandish prices is still very much a thing, replicas or not!
In Victorian times, the ladies came out with their parasols to sit along the ridge and listen and watch live music in the gazebo. ｡◕‿◕｡
In the beginning, I didn’t have a very outspoken opinion about replicas. When the print replicas first came out, it seemed like a nice idea to finally be able to get your hands on a sold out piece from years ago that nobody would ever sell secondhand. (The sizing argument doesn’t really apply to me because I fit into most of the standard sizes, it was purely the rarity and price options that I considered. The ‘not being scared to go out’ argument doesn’t apply to me either, I will wear brand to most occasions without problem, and if I really have to wear Lolita to something risky then I will wear off-brand or handmade.)
Unfortunately, more and more replicas started to come out even before the brands put out their own items, meaning that the “I haven’t been able to get it because it’s sold out” argument lost its value because there were now people buying replicas before the people buying brand. And the price of items… well. Of course there are exceptions, but secondhand brand can be really reasonable and replicas aren’t exactly the cheapest option. They are about the same price as general secondhand brand, I think. There are cheaper options, such as off-brand or handmade. Over the years, I have managed to build up quite a collection of both brand and off-brand items and still be able to eat, and generally live my life. (´ω｀★)
The reason I bought this replica is because the original item was sold out and incredibly hard to get secondhand, and for some stupid reason I thought a replica would be the only way for me to own this dress. I have however also got two versions of the original dress in a different colourway and I figured out that I preferred the quality of the original piece so much more. Yes, I had to pay an arm and a leg to get those original items but I don’t regret it. What happened with the replica is that I bought it, then felt bad about it, and then never wore it. (⊙︿⊙✿) So, that feels more like a waste of money than buying the original does, but I digress. [note: in the mean time I have passed on this dress to a friend of mine who isn't in 'the Lolita world'; I feel less bad about buying it now that I know it has a good home now and makes someone happy.]
Since buying the replica I started to think of more and more reasons to not support replicas. The most important one being that I am against art theft, no matter what. I have been for a long time, so it doesn’t sit right with me. Even though this particular dress is quite simple in theory and isn’t a specific print… if you are a fan of something, you should support the original! The original designers, brand or not, are the people who make this fashion available to us! So I firmly believe that we should support them.
For people who are just starting out, I know it all seems very complex and daunting to get the right items and get your Lolita look, but trust me, it does not have to cost you all your savings. Actually, it is so much easier to get brand items now than it was even five years ago! And remember, Lolita does NOT equal brand! There are so many ways to do Lolita on a budget! But that is not what my post is about… haha. If there’s interest, I might write about that some other time. For now I’ll recommend this article by FYeahLolita on replicas.
In short: if something doesn’t fit, you can get creative. Lolita is totally a fashion that lends itself to creativity! You can find pieces that work for you by altering brand, making your own or getting something commissioned. If something is too expensive, there are PLENTY of cheaper options! Replicas are NOT cheaper than brand, because secondhand brand is sometimes cheaper than a replica! And okay, yes, I am a big Angelic Pretty fangirl, but Lolita is so much more than just one brand and one style. The creativity is one of the things that drew me towards this fashion in the first place.
If you love something, it is always better to support the original. Replicas hurt the fashion, so I hope I have made it clear enough why it’s not a good idea to support them.
Personally, I will not be supporting replicas anymore and I hope others can understand why. I too understand that there are many individuals who each have their own reasons for buying and owning replicas but this will hopefully the only time I will post about it on my blog. I take pride in supporting the original designers, ‘official’ Japanese brand or not, so I hope this inspires others to do the same. Thank you for reading this.
A few silly outtakes hahaha. (*≧▽≦)ﾉｼ))
One piece ☆ replica of Marionette Girl by Angelic Pretty
bonnet ☆ Metamorphose Temps de Fille
bag ☆ Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
tights ☆ eBay
socks ☆ Tutu Anna
shoes ☆ Montreal
wig ☆ Lockshop
I realise this is quite the loooong post, but in the end I was quite satisfied with the results of these photos! Hope you like them too. (⊙△⊙✿) And hopefully I’ll get to do this again sometime without the whole spiel about replicas, hahaha.
As a little in-between, here’s a review of sorts for the piercing shop, Crazy Factory [website].
I think most people with piercings know about this shop already, but in case you don’t: it’s super useful! You can buy almost any jewellery you like, in any quantity you wish, for ‘factory’ prices [hence the name]. No more paying 20 euros for one barbell or something ridiculous like that. However, you have to be cautious as these items don’t come standardly sterilised [there's a separate section for sterilised piercings!] so it’s best if you use these pieces of jewellery on skin that has already healed.
I have ordered from this website many times before, when I lived in the Netherlands and when I lived in Belgium, and now while I live in the UK. The website is pretty straightforward. You choose your item and the quantity, size, colour, etc. With plugs and tunnels you have to beware you probably want two! (^_−)☆
I like that I can change the currency, so I can look at prices in either euros or pounds. When you checkout, there are several payment options, and shipping is free above a certain value, which is great. You can also keep a wishlist, which is useful, because sometimes I like to go ‘windowshopping’ but not actually buy anything yet… so I can keep adding stuff to my wishlist until I am completely sure I want things or until I hit the amount that qualifies for free shipping. Handydandy~!
You also get points, which you can use when you shop, as a sort of credit. You get them through their emails and through orders, so I used my old points on this order for a discount and then directly got new points because I made an order. I’m not complaining because I’ll come back for sure! (＾▽＾)
This time I had to order because my little vertical labret had healed and I was so sick of the jewellery that was used initially which was wayyyyy too long. So I ordered a new banana at 8mm [I think they pierced with 12mm?! but luckily I asked the piercer what size I should get after it was healed, and they recommended 8mm] in several colours. [link] And I also got some other small bits and pieces. I got stuff in blue and turquoise because I wanted everything to match – my septum, tongue, lip, etc.
The good thing about Crazy Factory is that you can buy loose things, such as rubber rings for tunnels, screwy tops or barbells… You can find almost anything but not the coloured balls! So I had to buy the whole thing, barbell + ends, even if I only really needed the ends to be coloured. Ah well. The good thing about me being a hoarder and ordering five billion of something is that when I have a mishap [aka I lose the end of a piece of jewellery randomly, it has happened before ] I have a little box with several spare bits and pieces… haha!
I ordered new tunnels/tubes as well, since I was a bit bored with my old ones and I really like the look of those clean, thin, steel ones. [link] However the ones I had [link] had rubber rings on the end, which I kept losing, so I thought double flared ends would probably be best for me. The thing I like about double flared ends is that tunnels either have those rings or they have screw-on backs, which I don’t like as dirt can get stuck or the screw-part might hurt your skin when you change jewellery. The thing I don’t like about double flared ends is that obviously you have to somehow manage to get the wide bit through the hole! [This can be a pain, it depends, really.] Anyhoooooo, you never know until you try, right? So I ordered and hoped for the best.
I received everything in neat little bags within a week, it still felt a bit long since I was so anxious to get that long stick out of my face!
As you can see, everything is in nice shades of blue. I ordered silicone and surgical steel tunnels in two sizes, as I also got an expander [link] since I’m planning to go a size [or two?] up! Heeeeee, exciting! ʘ‿ʘ
Purple silicone. I LOVE THESE! Soooo comfortable, they fit super snug, and they are amazing for sleeping and for situations in which you might be scared to have more sturdy jewellery. Aka concert moshpits or the like. But definitely sleeping.
But I also loooooove the look of the surgical steel ones. I’m a bit sad that these don’t come in another colour, haha, I know there are tunnels with a thicker edge that do, but not these thin ones. ⊙︿⊙ And they’re a bit wide, they don’t fit as snugly as the silicone ones. I never really understand this, why is it so hard to understand that an earlobe is really not that wide?! I guess they have to fit a range of customers but meh. Anyway, in the closeup it might not look so appealing but I really like when I wear these. Suddenly I got a lot more “Oh hey, you have stretched earlobes!”-comments, haha.
And finally, the new banana!!! Needless to say I am verrrrryyyyy pleased! The 8mm fits perfectly!!
Now after a few months of wearing these things I can say the colour on some pieces has worn off, and not on others, which is probably to do with contact but since everything is just steel underneath I don’t really care that much.
I do really like the blue colour though. I like the way it matches with my hair now As you can tell I hadn’t [and still haven't] changed the ring in my septum, even though the shop here is nice enough to change your jewellery for you if you bring your own. It’s always a bit tricky not buying these things in a physical shop because 1] you can’t see if you like the style/colour as much in person 2] you don’t always know if it fits and 3] you might not always have the tools ready to put things in by yourself. I know I have a bunch of things that are pretty useless because of one or more of these reasons, but oh well.
All in all, I was very happy with this order and I’m even happier with my vertical labret now that I have fitting jewellery in it! (｡･ω･｡)ﾉ♡