Friday, December 16, 2011

Of cloaks at last

Happy Loli Day to all of you! I've had flu for a while, but knowing it was ILD did lend a festive air to that particular sick day.

I'll be out of town for a while after this, but I may have time to update so I'll try to do that. We're going where the winter is colder than in California (though it does get chilly here, don't get me wrong) so this year, instead of looking for a winter coat, I fulfilled a long held dream and made a cloak! I showed you fabric pictures before, but here are some worn pics.

It isn't perfect, but I love this cloak. It's so gorgeous and warm. In fact I'm wearing it right now, "because I can."

Recently I've also put a lot of my time into crocheting accessories to (I hope) sell at the next swap meet. These aren't quite finished, but I thought I'd show you what I have so far.

~Two different chokers (they're supposed to involve beading lace, but I haven't added the ribbon yet)

~Wrist cuffs (from two different sets) and a headpiece.

It is a bit tedious but I like how they're turning out. Sometimes I've been crocheting while watching anime, or documentaries about space. I am such a space nerd. Did you know that our lovely moon was formed by another planet the size of Mars crashing into the Earth? It was awesome.

...Alright, I'm done now. Have a happy winter holiday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Of cloaks and knitted white roses

This weekend I was able to take a few pictures, not to mention venture forth to the fabric store, so let me elaborate on a few crafting plans, shall I?

So first, here is half a finished pair of my easier-to-knit alternative to knee length socks (which I love, mind you), for which I'm avoiding the term 'legwarmers' because it might be harder for me to argue they have true loli potential, which I personally feel they do. OH! And they're going to laceup, hence the rectangular (non tube-ish) shape.

The lighting was not good, so I edited a bit. I'm not familiar with this editing program, so I hope it's not too hard to see! That's supposed to be a window in the center, with chandeliers and rose vines on the sides...

For my winter coat this year, as a cheaper and so much more nerdily fantastical alternative, I'm making a cloak. I have always wanted one, ever since I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings at twelve. Here's my fabric for the outer layer (black with swirlies and points) and the lining (snuggly red fleece).

I used the lining as a backdrop for the clasp (as you can see). I love white gems, and I'm probably influenced in this by the Elves.

Also, I picked up a package of black and white fleur-de-lis appliques that I have been eying for the longest time.

I also acquired a handy little book about embroidery, which I've discovered I love like some people love knitting or crochet or...or flower-making... Anyway, it's "my" craft, if you know what I mean, the one that really feels "right." I think it's because it's a bit like drawing.
Thanks so much for reading, my dancers--I've got to run at the moment though, so I'll see you again soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Of legends cloaked in moon and shadow

Terribly sorry, I didn't realize my polyvore account simultaneously publishes to my blog. o.O

Anyway, I was creating a few sets yesterday to spice up my posting in lieu of pictures. I used my characters as inspiration, which made it really fun.
Rivarwe Doom-raven

Rivarwe is the Reaper to one of my races, and also the Dreamweaver. She's very much a spiritual mentor too, quite dreamy, perkygoth-y and wise.

Dark poet and the Raven King

The Raven King is a mystic legend in my world--at one point he managed to save most of the galaxy (this is fantasy-with-outer-space, you see), but to do so he had to give up his wings. He's from my race of Anwi, which are a bit like Elves with white (or black in this case) swan wings. "Dark Poet" --or, Yetue, as that's her name--is his beloved, who would have gladly joined him in sacrificing her wings as well, but circumstances prevented it. They rule the West Anwi together in a twilit land separate from the main part of my world.

Ah yes, and that top picture (the cloaked praying figure) is Rivarwe again--I had to include her since the above-mentioned king is her oldest disciple.

I hope you're all having a pleasant Thursday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Of being picture-less (sadly), accessory plans, and late Autumn's grey charm

Lovelies, once again my computer is broken, so let me see what I can post for you in the mean time.  I really meant to take pictures of what I could, crafting-wise,  this weekend--but I promise to catch up on that next weekend.

I've become known around campus as "that girl who knits"--since kneehigh socks take so long for me to finish, I've decided to start making legwarmers. Now, mine are the kind that lace up (since I don't have boots that do that, yet) and have lace patterns of chandeliers, windows and rose vines, and whatever else I can figure out how to 'draw' with my knitting. So 'legwarmers' might be a bit misleading, but anyway I think they'll be great for the cold season ahead, with kneelength skirts presenting their usual chilly problem.

I'm finally read to start making accessories to sell, probably just at swapmeets and so forth at first. But I'll be posting pictures here, so if you'd like to buy one, do let me know.

Well, since I'm boringly pictureless, let's hear from you, dear Ballroom dancers! What are your favorite things about Autumn, or favorite ways to enjoy it? When I was in Kentucky, I loved the look of the black almost-bare branches against the soft grey sky. In fact I have an entire faerie clan based on that image, in my books (the crow fae). Another fun thing is, of course, all the new varieties of coffee and tea and whatnot that come out around this time of year!

So. Do tell. *stirs tea and waits*

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Of that Spooky Day's happenings and a few woes, and a haunted ballroom

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone had a lovely one. (Also, happy first day of NaNoWriMo/National Novel Writing Month!)

I'm terribly sorry to have such a long absence. My computer decided to break down, randomly, and while we think we finally know what's wrong and how to fix it, for a while longer I'll have to make use of my college's computer lab, as I am now.  And then there were midterms, which are thankfully over now.

But! I have exciting things to tell and show you, when I finally have access to a camera and a computer at the same time. Those include the Death (of the Endless) costume I finished, my sister's Halloween party in the park, the headpieces we made as prizes for the party (I never formally took pictures of all the finished pieces, so hopefully I can find some!), my first coordinate with the red x black bat jumperskirt (on Halloween), and a few ramblings about going trick-or-treating last night with some friends, and the anime club's costume party/contest, in which I won third place despite only two people recognizing me (you know, I think the scythe really helped).

Well, I really must get on to writing, so I hope everyone has a good All Saints' Day! In lieu of pictures, I'll leave you with a Halloween-friendly poem (well, song), written by my character Taralyn.

His soaring windows glimmer clear!
Stars fill the chandelier--
Crystal shadows daze the seer!
In purple, indigo and crimson gowned
They waltz, around, around...
Like a music box dancer--
(Oooh, ooh)
Give the Myst'ry her answer!
(Oooh, ooh)
My Silhouette of shade
In midnight's cloak arrayed
Said “Come, the Moon is fading.”

My Shadow Prince of raven hair
Held one black rose from his garden fair
And bowed--
“My own blood dyed this flower.”
“Dear prince, are you the dreamer in my haunted tower?”
“If I am, will you dance till Faerie chimes the midnight hour?”

Take a chance, come join the dance!
Let Dreamscape wilds hide a lost romance...
At the midnight ball, stars haunt us all--
Shall moonlight call your enchanted glance?
The Raven haunts you with sombre decree--
Don't fear his wings, for the Raven is me.
I am Never More to the Sun gone away--
Dusk Star, Butterfly—stay.

Bell chimes rock the dancing floor--
We slip away by secret door
Like starfoam on a distant shore.
“Dear Dusk, my dreaming never wish could stay--
They fade away, away...
For your prince is enchanted--
(Oooh, ooh)
By these faerie balls haunted.”
(Oooh, ooh)

Surprising butterflies,
My prince of starlit eyes
Said “Hark! My roses, rising.”

Briar roses criss crossed the sky--
“Sweet shade, I'll find where in Time you lie!”
Once glance--
“Will you wing, my sorrow chancing?”
“I'll tell the darling Dreamer of our midnight dancing.”
He twirled me by the roses, stardust Moon romancing.

Take a chance, come join the dance!
Let Dreamscape wilds hide a lost romance...
At the midnight ball, stars haunt us all--
Shall moonlight call your enchanted glance?
The Raven haunts you with sombre decree--
Don't fear his wings, for the Raven is me.
I am Never More to the Sun gone away--
Dusk Star, Butterfly—stay.

When I cross the gate, will the organ boom?
Will the rain fall soft in my twilight gloom?

Black-clad romantic, on Tokyo ways he goes--
In his eyes, stars slumber, for they hold such rue.
In a rainbow-hued fantasia, he has brought me to the Rose
Shadow he you?

Take a chance, come join the dance!
Let Dreamscape wilds hide a lost romance...
At the midnight ball, stars haunt us all--
Shall moonlight call your enchanted glance?
The Raven haunts you with sombre decree--
Don't fear his wings, for the Raven is me.
I am Never More to the Sun gone away--
Dusk Star, Butterfly—stay.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Of masquerades and one cloaked in shadow

Happy October, my lovelies! May the spooky whimsy of Halloween find you even if your country doesn't celebrate it as a whole.

This weekend there was a lovely meetup at the LACMA art museum, which is currently hosting a Tim Burton themed exhibit. Very regrettably, my online ticket order didn't go through, and I found out too late. But my sister and I got to say hello at least to a few of the other lolis, and it was sorta fun walking around the museum in our finery. It was also fun playing Spot the Tim Burton Inspired Outfits, as quite a few people had lovely gothy or at least stripey clothing on.

Not to mention I discovered I'm really, really in love with traditional Japanese art. (If you're in LA and visit the LACMA, do see the Japanese Pavilion gallery! The building's circular, with a ramp that spirals around, and opens onto platforms where you can view a few paintings on each 'floor'--the floors really look more like balconies, because you can look out past the paintings to other floors. Also the walls are made to look like Japanese sliding screens, so the light is rather soft and mysterious.)

Here are some pictures from the meetup on our group's page at I don't know if non-members can view photos, but it's worth a try hopefully. 

After that, we went and explored the Halloween section of Target. I picked up a gorgeous black velvet hooded cloak (pretty good quality for a costume!), which I'll use for--among other things--my Death costume. After years of beloved but fairly obscure costumes, I want non-Sandman fans to at least be able to tell I'm some sort of Reaper. Plus I just need a cloak and scythe. You know the feeling?

My sister was absolutely entranced with the selection of masquerade masks we found at Target, and I don't blame her. Take a look at these~

Haha, I didn't realize I would be visible.

Also, I found these shoes~
 It's a bit hard to see, but they're Victorian-style! At Target!

And while we're at it, an outfit snap~

The actual shoes I wore for this coordinate are black mary-janes with a bit of a heel. I love them. And they're brand new. Sadly no pics of them, though.

Speaking of Death, the day before the ill-fated meetup I went to a thrift store and put together most of an outfit in which to emulate our favorite supernatural perkygoth in a few weeks' time.  Moar pic spam! *throws confetti*

This isn't for my costume, but it has skulls and roses on it! I approve.

I'll layer the above two skirts in some sort of hopefully awesome and Death-looking way.

This tee shirt is way too big, but as you can see it's gorgeous, so I'll remake it somehow, maybe by cutting apart and then lacing up the sides.

That's all my news for now, except that I've decided to start making accessories to sell. I'll probably start with local customers, but if you see anything you MUST have, do let me know! Seriously. (Nothing will be priced above...well certainly not over 15 US dollars, at least while I'm still starting out.)

Also, I enjoyed reading everyone's lace-themed posts for Sophistique Noir's October theme. I wanted to participate, but I was a bit low on energy when the actual day came.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Of another choker (black and red this time!)

I've moved into my dorm at last, so maybe I can update more often, yes? Anyway, I appreciate each and every one of you, even when I go a while between posts.

Last week I had a sudden crafting urge, so on looking through my box of stuff and things, I made this choker.


I've had a shortage of chokers for...well, my whole life, basically. I love them.

I can't wait to show you pictures of my dorm decor. I'm not finished decorating the walls and so forth, but it's nicely gothic and fanciful so far. Unfortunately I don't have a camera, so I'll try to bring one from home and snap some quick photos next weekend.

Until then, please accept this drawing of my characters Taralyn (a goth girl), Umeko (a gothic lolita) and Etsu (a wearer of boystyle Aristo).
They're working on a Doctor Who meme I filled out recently (my version is here on deviantart if you're interested), because I had no one in real life to tag, so...I tagged them. I assure you, what Tara, Ume and Etsu lack in nonfictionality they make up for in enthusiasm! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of shiny things and Polyvore!

First of all, Happy Halloween! Because for those of us in the States, that season is distinctively approaching, with its air of spooky whimsy. And for those of my dancers in a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween, I send my love and a massive platter of chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting and bat sprinkles. (When virtual goodies are all you've got, make them extravagant.)

Happily I've discovered a source for post material when I'm out of ideas: Polyvore. Last night I started making 'costume sets' to represent various characters, partly to celebrate the arrival of spooky season.  But this one in particular is inspired by a character of my own, a goth girl whose style is very loli-esque.

Black Butterfly~

Her name's Taralyn Brennan, and she's from the US but recently moved with her family to Tokyo. She chose black butterflies as a personal symbol, hence the title. She's a romantic and a dreamer, but can be subject to bouts of extremely giggle-inducing silliness.

Since she's one of my main characters, I'm kind of excited to have Taralyn as the theme in the Ballroom's first Polyvore set--not least because she named the Ballroom, essentially. In the books-in-progress, she has recurring dreams about a ballroom (that turns out to be real, naturally), and she wrote (in-universe of course) the song lyrics over there to the right. That ballroom is the one I visualize when thinking of this blog as an actual place.

Thanks for reading, and stay ruffly and spooky till next time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Of much crafting and one goth loli who's all grown up

Ah my lovely roses, it's so very good to be back. Did you know it was my birthday yesterday? I'm officially allowed in goth clubs now (21 years old, that is), although I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to visit them, just yet. Anyway, somewhat by chance I chatted for several hours at Starbucks with a couple of my Japanophile friends, one of them a fellow lolita. Thanks again, if you two are reading this--you made it a wonderful birthday.

So, as to recent craftiness--
Rather than give up on making Wonderful Things for three weeks, this trip I decided to bring my crafting supplies in a box and keep it with me in the car (we had a few 12 hour driving days and many more partial days). I will be doing that on (car)trips from now on.

I've been dying for a choker or five. Here's my first so far, which I love. (Also, I'm obsessed with beading lace, which is what I think you call that lace with ribbon threaded through).

I bought that charm in January. I'm happy I can finally wear it!

Another of my oldschool loves is wristcuffs. These turned out with...slightly uneven lengths, but they'll do. They'll do quite nicely, in fact.

No worn pics yet, because I haven't created an attaching method for them... Probably I'll go the loop-and-button route, 'cause you can do that with one hand.

Also I finished a headdress that's been sitting in my crochet bag for a while now. Behold, more beading lace~

I've decided to give ankle socks a go, as they take less time and potentially wasted effort. I love the idea of socks lacing up like boots (plus it makes them a bit more adjustable) and so I experimented with it here.

I started to add a crochet panel because the gap on top of the foot turned out way too wide for me to lace up in the way I'd planned. But I made several other mistakes on this one (I was figuring out the stitch pattern as I went) so I think I'll start afresh and let this sock be a prototype.

You know what's really exciting? I made little knit roses on this sock, along with thorny vines. The roses are a modified "popcorn" stitch. I'll tell you how if you like. (I heightened the contrast to make it show up better.)

But this sock's main purpose was that I wanted to figure out a way to make a chandelier design with the stitches (I'll do some two-color versions too), so this is my first try at that.

The chandeliers are made of yarnovers (the holes) and purl stitches, so they don't show up very vividly. I have an idea for a more visible pattern for next time, though.

Ah yes, the coffin purse.

This has been relegated to crafting/jewelry box duty, because I need something much stiffer for the walls of a purse. But I love it anyway.

Did I show you the lace for my red x black dress before? Anyway, here it is... I'll get around to sewing it on the dress soon, I promise.

And this is an outfit snap from yesterday~

Although I'm repeating myself, your Ballroom host is quite glad to be back among all the lovely dark dancers who visit her. Do have some more tea before you go--it's my rose chocolate blend. (I wish it would materialize in real life as well as cyberspace!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Of shimmery black ruffles and thorny windows

In my absence, I've accomplished a few loli-related crafty things, which I'm excited to show you. I've also been decluttering the kitchen counters and various other areas of the house. It's difficult at times (I'm not naturally organized), but strangely enjoyable and very worth it.

Returning to craftiness, I give you my first attempt at embroidery. I'm really quite proud of it.

(This is embroidered on the lower right side of the bodice.) There are roses too, but they're embroidered in red so it's harder to see them.

I'm getting closer to finishing the coffin purse, but it's being recalcitrant at the moment so I'll show you pics when it's done.

But! I have another exciting project to reveal! It's been sooo hot lately, I can hardly wear anything but skirts. But I don't have many, so I made myself another one.

...and back. The spiderweb fabric from my first skirt returns, you'll notice. I wanted to use what I had left after being inspired by the jumperskirt OpiateVampire made out of this material.

Granted, satin and taffeta might not be summer-friendly, but...but they're so pretty. You know, it's fun finally having a stash to delve into, which is what I did for this skirt. Also the waist is elastic, so I don't have to worry about blending in a zipper. I need a bigger stash though! Don't we all.

I'm crocheting a lace edging for the waist of my red x black JSK, so look forward to seeing the finished dress! (Give or take a few other embellishments.) 

Also, starting late this month I'll be out of town for about three weeks, and I probably won't be able to post, or at least not very much. In any case, keep goth-ing and loli-ing till next time. Yes those are real verbs. At least now.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Of a fairytale meetup

Last Saturday was the long-awaited fairytale potluck and swap meet meetup, organized by Oli of Lemon Tree and Mandie of Geek + Glam = Love. It was fun! As usual I was terribly shy at first, but I made some wonderful new acquaintances. Also, I recognize more and more lolitas now, but I'm also starting to get recognized! Quite exciting.

There were so many gorgeous coordinates there. Let me share a few pictures my sister took (she was the camera-bearer).

As always, if you see yourself in one of these and want me to add your LJ name or take the picture down, please let me know!

I loved this girl's makeup (on the right). I believe she said she had dressed as a goblin for the theme. The lolita on the left put to beautiful use one of my favorite color schemes, silver and white.

One of our co-organizers, Mandie. She looked fantastic. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of Oli, but she was a very charming unicorn for the theme.

This lovely couple were dressed as the Beast and the fairy who cast a spell on him. My sister especially loved this idea.

We met this lolita right at the end. Isn't her son adorable? It's always fun seeing those with families come to meetups. It's like a glimpse into my own future, you know.

Also, you finally get to see a coordinate with this dress. I was planning to go as Ori hime from the Tanabata legend, but I ran out of time to make a crown of tinsel stars and paper wishes (out of construction paper).

So, here's one last picture of the four of us (now including my sister), graciously taken by the husband of the lolita in blue.

There were several other lolitas I regret not having a picture of--and to those lolitas, thanks for conversing with this shy loli, and I hope to see you next time!

Also, unless otherwise inspired, I believe I'll leave the rest of the 30 day challenge to the other bloggers who have taken it up. Good luck to all of you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Of red bats and digital art

I've still been celebrating Sophistique Noir's Red and Black Week, even though I didn't get to post yesterday.

Anyway, I'm proud to announce the functional completion of my red x black jumperskirt!

I say functional because I plan to add some trim, such as lace around the waist (haha, no one will ever know that the top of the skirt meets unevenly in back), and I'm going to practice embroidery on a section of the bodice.

Yesterday I used Red and Black Week as inspiration to mostly finish coloring the foreground of this picture. (Click for larger.)

I don't know much about digital coloring yet, but I'm really happy with it so far! That's my character Castal, having a "I come back to you as Gandalf the White" moment.

He's kind of hard to sum up, but that makes it even more fun trying to figure out a short description for him. I call him my "Italian punk opera nerd" and in his own words he's a "Rennaissance zombie punk." I did some research and it turns out he's closer to horror punk than anything (I think). He's usually more smiley than fierce, but this is a pivotal plot point. Love you, Castal. <3

And last but not least, I'm wearing these earrings today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Of a darkly dramatic color combination

Welcome (midweek) to Red and Black Week! And also, welcome and thank you to my new followers!
The above-mentioned week's icon, from Sophistique Noir~

I meant to do a catch up post yesterday, but in the course of anime-watching I got myself traumatized by accidentally wandering into what calls a Cosmic Horror Story. I was not impressed.

Anyway, on to lovelier thoughts. On Sunday I didn't manage to pull an outfit together, but I did start on another red-and-black project I've had in mind.

A coffin purse! Here's the outside half-completed...

And the lining.~

Yesterday I only got a mirror shot of my outfit, but most of the red/black details were in the upper half of the outfit, and I really am getting fond of mirror shots (at least to show details like earrings.)

...But next time maybe I'll clean the mirror first.
Today my coordinate is Fire Nation -inspired (referring to the show Avatar: the Last Airbender). At least that's what the red and gold top always makes me think of, so I ran with it.

Since I added the vest to add more black, this outfit makes me think of Mai in particular--an added bonus, since I love her and she's been called the Avatar equivalent of a goth girl (I think).

Also, another mirror shot.~

Happy belated International Lolita Day to all of you, by the way! I didn't do much, but I did wear a lolita skirt and worked on my writing (which seems a rather lolita pasttime especially considering my genre). But anyway, I've had fun reading about all of your loliday celebrations, and red/black posts!
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