Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of art (and roses and batwings!)

Recently I've had quite a few new followers, so thank you very much! I hope you enjoy your stay at the Ballroom.

Last month, I participated in a couple of art contests on Deviantart, so this is essentially an art post. The two contests had to do with very different fandoms, but the common thread was Halloween (but of course).

The first contest was related to Avatar: the Last Airbender. In fact, it was hosted by the Ursa x Ozai (or, Urzai) fanclub on Devianart, of which your host is a proud a moderator/co-founder. I love Urzai at any age (or timeframe, or universe, or....), but most especially teenage Urzai. So for the Urzai + Halloween contest, naturally I had to combine it somehow with gothic-and-lolita.

In Night's Arms

Isn't Ursa adorable in her loli? While I admit that I couldn't decide what sort of sleeves and so forth  to give her, that isn't the only reason for the conflicting features of her coordinate. You see, I decided that I liked the effect of having having bits of different outfits combined. It's as though you can see two separate sides of her, or two interpretations of her "fate," or...I can't really explain.
You may recognize the reference to the "red string of fate," a bit of Japanese folklore that I'm not nearly as familiar with as I'd like to be. But it seemed fitting: sort of ominous and romantic at the same time, which is very fitting for Urzai.
Speaking of ominous, yes, Prince Ozai does indeed have batwings. And claws. (And fangs, though you can's see them...) A form in which I can never pass up a chance to draw him. In fact, the first time I drew him in this incarnation, he singlehandly inspired an entire race of batwinged, fire-affiliated spirits that have haunted my stories ever since. <3

Do any of my readers, by any chance, like Visual Kei? How about roses? The band Versailles? Their vocalist? Speaking of that last one...the second contest's theme was "Kamijo + Halloween" (hosted by The Kamijo Fanclub on Deviantart). I drew inspiration from Versailles' song Zombie, as it's very Halloween-sounding (albeit rather atypical compared to the band's usual sound).

Graveyard Prince

I never knew it would prove so useful to know how to draw someone sitting with their legs crossed! (That seems to be the preferred pose of Kamijo-sama, so I ended up incorporating it into the piece.) Those boots of his actually weren't quite as hard to draw as they looked, thankfully. Which is a good thing, as those are Quite Some Boots.

I love using bits of red (especially for roses and blood--they're both so romantic! Yes, I'm serious) in an otherwise greyscale piece of art. One of my favorite things about this picture, though, is the splash of gold and blue for his hair and eyes. It's so startling in the context of a spooky haunting scene, you know? And odd as this may seem, it makes me think of a "rose that blooms even in the shadow of the grave"--which seems like an idea Versailles would like very much, even though I'm not doing a very good job explaining it, I fear. I guess it's because golden  hair makes you think "prince on a white horse" sooner than "gothic vampire." (Although Kamijo tries to be both--and succeeds, in my opinion--and of course, nothing says that gothic folks can't be blonde. I'm proof of that. If I count as blonde.)

The text is from Zombie; it says (roughly translated) "By the master's orders, beat the bones! Sing along with the song of the bats!"

If you'd like to view these pieces on Deviantart, please step right this way (er, click right this way?):
In Night's Arms
Graveyard Prince

I've been wanting to produce more finished art, especially art featuring my characters (most of whom are gothic or lolita -esque in some way or other). So if I complete any more pieces along the lines of these, I'll try to remember to post them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Of recent coordinates and A Proper Petticoat

My dear readers, I have just come from experiencing true cupcake poof at a new level. You'll recall the petticoat I was planning to make (albeit of tulle, not lovely never-apparently-dying organza or chiffon), which I loosely based off of this article and this EGL post?

Well, it is (essentially) finished! And it stands up on its own hem! If asked to stand like this, my old petticoat would gently melt into a circular puddle of black floof. (I apologize for the sun washing things out.)

Eh?!? Is it alive? Seeing as it is a gothic lolita's petticoat, I can't answer that for sure one way or the other. But the poof comes from 8 and 1/2 yards of stiff tulle being gathered as tightly as they'll go. Sure it'll die eventually, but at least I'll be poofy until I can make my organza or chiffon petti.

And now, worn pics, "before and after" style. The "before" is actually one of the recent coords I wanted to show you. A couple weeks ago, I felt like dressing up for a NaNoWriMo write-in my sister and I attended. (Write-ins/WriteIns are sort of like meetups, where a group of amateur authors comes together to work on our novels for National Novel Writing Month. They have write-ins all over the world, as NaNoWriMo has become a global event.)

I was partly inspired by the headpiece I made for Halloween--I wanted to wear it again! This is my first truly kuro gothic coordinate, which is big news because I consider my style primarily kuro gothic when it comes to lolita (or goth)...but haven't been able to realize said style very often, until now.
Also, new boots! They were purchased during the sale that Payless Shoe Source had in October. I still want to collect or even DIY copious amounts of loli-style laceup boots, but I like these to start with. Despite their seeming modernity, they give me that "antique doll feeling" when I'm wearing them, which for me is important in footwear.

Outfit rundown:
~headpiece, necklace, armwarmers and skirt: handmade
~blouse: Target (I think)
~boots: Payless Shoe Source
Perhaps I'll even make this coord my debut on Daily Lolita, if I'm feeling bold...

And now, the "after"! This isn't a complete coord--I just wanted to try out the petticoat and finally see my skirt poof to its full potential (oh, did it ever), so I put on the skirt and petti over my regular clothes.

Zounds! I'm a living (undead?) cupcake!

Now, for the other coordinate, which I wore for Thanksgiving yesterday, and which is much more goth than lolita.

(I apologize for the picture quality. It was very dark, so I tried somewhat unsuccessfully to lighten it with Gimp2. The bow has a netting/veil attached, though you can't really see it.)
Seeing as my primary "style inspiration phrase" for both lolita and goth can be summed up as "dark fairy princess," I was rather proud of this coord because I felt that it captured a certain haunting, fay quality that I'm always looking for. It helped that I have a new set of four eyeshadows (from Target, so nothing too special) to play with, one of them a shimmery white.  I used that one liberally along with black eyeliner and was quite pleased with the result.

And another rundown, just because.
~Tshirt: Target
~skirt: thrifted
~necklace: handmade
~headpiece: either Hot Topic or Icing
~knitted overcoat: hand-me-down (probably either a thriftstore, Target, or somewhere similar)

In other news, I have ordered a gigantic red bow with white lace from The Funeral Parlor, Etsy shop of akumaxkami (of Les Fleures Noirs). I know, it doesn't seem very like me--until one realizes just how fond of red the lady of this Ballroom is. In addition, DuskRose is also very fond of experimenting, and she would very much like to have a few Classic outfits in her wardrobe--while never forgetting, of course, that the darker side of Faerie is her true home. (I seem to have wandered into third person, just now. Ah, well. It happens.)

At any rate, I admire and feel myself drawn to the elegance and understated romance of Classic. While I'll
always be a gothic lolita first, I feel a certain kinship with the classic substyle, from what I know of it. And the bow, while more sweet lolita on its own, might work nicely, if unusually, in a Classic coord. I shall have to experiment.

So yes, expect pictures of said headpiece when it arrives! (And do investigate akumaxkami's Etsy.)

Also (in the second piece of "other news"), I have reached the goal of 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo! Having started late, I didn't even think I would finish, much less with a week to spare! Well, I shall have to see how much farther in Ayava's journey I can get before the month ends. (For the curious, take a look at my novel synopsis and excerpt over on the NaNoWriMo website. They'll be under the Novel Info tab, half way down my profile page.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Of a friend in need

This will be a shorter and rather more serious post, as the title might suggest. Akumaxkami of Les Fleurs Noires, one of my favorite gothic lolita blogs, would very much like you to visit her Etsy account, The Funeral Parlour, and see if anything catches your fancy. She has a somewhat pressing predicament, and there's a time limit: nine days, to be exact. If you'd like to know more, I'll direct you to her post here.

If possible, please do consider whether you'd like to or be able to purchase anything from Akumaxkami. If not, she asks that you encourage others to visit her Etsy account.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this, my dear readers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Of black roses where she slumbers

Well darlings, I hope you had a lovely Halloween. For those of you who have blogs, I've enjoyed reading all of your Halloween-related posts. Mine wasn't perfect, but it turned out rather nicely, all told. But more on that in a bit.

Also, I do apologize for the lateness of this post. I've been very much spirited away by the arrival of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), a mad, starry-eyed endeavor in which thousands of writers worldwide attempt to write a full novel (50,000 words) in the thirty days of November. That's 1667 words per day. And yes, you can start late and still have a wonderful time--the important thing is starting to write a story.

Doubtless you shall hear more dreamy ramblings on this subject in the future, as I travel along with my protagonist Ayava in his quest to discover what he must sacrifice to keep his world from falling into chaos. To learn more about his story, visit my profile over at NaNoWriMo.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

The week leading up to Halloween was, I must admit, quite stressful. Sewing on a deadline is something I can do (I've watched my mother do it for years), but balancing that and classwork is Not Fun.

At any rate, I'm sure you recall my plan to transform a few thrift store finds into a (antiquely romantic but non-lolita) Sleeping Beauty costume, as inspired by Lareine's song Kyokutou no Koibito ? Well, I realized that it would be very easy to make those two skirts I had into a lolita skirt, and found that I could not resist the enchanted call of loli!

The two layers of my skirt, spread out to their full width. Unfortunately they wouldn't quite fit on the sewing table, so do pardon that.

And now, an "in construction" snapshot of my blouse. I had just taken a trip to the fabric store, so that's my newly acquired trim you see there.

I had a bit of a time figuring out how I would take it on and off, but in the end I cut off the strip of fabric that had the buttons attached to it, then took some spare fabric from one of the skirts and sewed in an extra wide panel, over which to put corset lacing. The idea was for the extra fabric in the center panel to fold under the sides of the blouse, but still be able to expand and allow me to slip out of the blouse. Well, wriggle out of it. It works pretty well, but next time I shall consider either a zipper or shirring for my beloved corset-laced style of blouse.

It took a lot of work, but on Halloween night, the transformation was worth it. I think I achieved the ghostly, whimsically melancholy look I was aiming for, and that's a big milestone for someone who's not even sure how to style her own hair.

I had a full-length outfit picture, but it's on my other camera, and I didn't want to delay this post any further. So I shall have to content you with this photo (and stay tuned for a full length ambient shot at the end!).

I like to think you can see the influence from Yoh's art, as well as this exquisite rendering of a slumbering maiden, by Matayosi. My costume wasn't perfect, but I'm very happy with the result considering the time and materials I had.

I won't overload you with pictures, but here's a detail shot of the corsage and necklace, both of which I made from materials I had stashed away. (A stash is something every sewing or crafting loli should have. I'm still working on mine, but it's getting there.)

(I used flash, so it's a bit more bright and shiny than usual.)

You'll recall that I've been wittering on about black roses ("twined in her hair," as my costume's inspiration-song says), and well, these didn't turn out too badly, if I may say so. Lately I've become intrigued by corsages, and I wanted to put this scrap of lace to good use in making one.  I stitched one of those snap open barrette/clip thingies to the back, and braided the ribbons into my front braids, to give the "twined in her hair" effect.

The necklace is actually a remake of one I made this spring, but lost soon after I made it. Although it took only a few minutes to make, I hadn't had the heart to remake it until now, but I'm so glad I did!

Perhaps next time I should go ahead an take a detail shot of the blouse's trim. My hair seems to be in the way. Erm, yes.

Having been away at college for two years, I had missed being with my family for Halloween. We don't decorate much (I will change that in the future, mark you) but we've started carving pumpkins. I'm afraid I don't have a picture for you, but they looked lovely out in the front garden and on the gateposts.

I walked around for a while with my sisters and a couple of children from down the street as they trick-or-treated. I didn't carry a bag this time, but it was fun seeing everyone in costume. I saw the most adorable Draculaura, in the same group as a Mad Hatter. Very fitting that I should meet the latter while in loli! As to the former though---for those who aren't aware, Mattel is producing a new line of charmingly spooky Monster High dolls, presented as the highschool-age children of famous monsters. All of them are darling, but Dracula's daughter ("Draculaura") is my favorite of the bunch!

And now, I leave you with one in-character shot. After coming home, I grabbed a knitting needle to be my spindle. You can't see it very well, but the "spindle" is a deep blood red--one of my favorite colors, and wonderfully spooky against all the white (or so I think).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...