Friday, 31 December 2010

Things I would like to see in 2011

A majority of these things are unlikely to happen but in an ideal world I would like to see the following in 2011-

Innocent World becoming more accessible for international fans- There are a lot of brands that I would love to have better access to but at the top of my list is Innocent World. Their classical pieces are beautiful and I was recently coveting one of their bags. I was really excited to hear Innocent World was selling stuff at an event I attended but I was left disappointed after discovering just one skirt and a very small selection of accessories.

Metamorphose attending Hyper Japan next October- I was really excited to be able to actually physically buy brand items instead of ordering online so that I could see what I was getting first. All of my favourite brands attended this last year except for Metamorphose. I appreciate they don’t have the same appeal as Baby or AP, but I think Meta could do with attending next year. I have found that some brand items which do not look good online can look a whole lot better when you see them in person and I firmly believe this is the case with a lot of Meta items.

Angelic Pretty prints that do not look identical- Since starting this blog one of my least favourite tasks, is reviewing the latest AP print. After a while the prints start to blend and they all look the same. AP is just one of those brands who can churn out anything and still see it sell out but it lacks originality. I would love for AP to come out with something surprising but I accept this probably will not happen.

Less teddy bear prints- I have nothing against teddy bear prints but there has not been a single print this year featuring teddy bears which I have looked at and have instantly wanted to buy.

To finally get one of the dresses from my wish list- I want to be more careful with my money but I can’t help it- I really want to get one of my dream pieces!

Bodyline’s website becoming more reliable- I do not want a repeat of the sale madness I suffered. Bodyline’s website is appalling at the best of times but the sale in September showed just how unreliable the browser was. The Japanese website is faster. I am so jealous! Also, I want Bodyline to renew their security certificate which was expired the last time I tried to order. I went ahead and ordered anyway but for other people this could be a concern.

A Baby and Pullip collaboration- I loved the AP collaboration dolls but imagine if they were wearing iconic Baby or Alice and the Pirates items? I think they would look amazing!

More vertical stripes- I have seen some great pieces which use vertical lines very well and I am now convinced that there should be more.

More affordable bags- I am a huge fan of bags but what I do not like is the brand prices. If I desire a brand bag, I tend to look at tote bags because I know they are in my price range. I got a really huge shock when I saw a Taobao bag selling for under £20 which was almost identical to a brand bag. The quality was apparently just as good according to reviews. If a good quality replica can be sold for this price, it really hammers home the point that brand could be selling their bags cheaper. Yes, I know it is brand and you expect to pay more but I am left wondering if it is worth it. It looks like I will be sticking to tote bags for now.

To attend lots of brilliant meets and generally improve myself- I had a lot of fun in 2010 and in 2011 I want to meet even more people and experience a lot more. I also want to get to know the friends I have made better. I hope to put myself out there more and to put extra effort in to my outfits. Also I would love to get a Lolita valentine but at the moment I don’t think I have done enough to merit getting one. And I would love to make valentines for others too. There are lots of people I want to make these for but I never got around to doing it. I want that to change!

If I am really lucky maybe at least one of my wishes will come true.

EDIT- And because I totally forgot to mention it before- HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Angelic Pretty's French Cafe

This is probably going to be my last print review of 2010! Here is the latest from Angelic Pretty (and once again please excuse the picture I have used. You can view this picture on the Japanese AP website) and it is inspired by France. French themes seem to have been popular recently in both mainstream and lolita fashion. I have spotted Eiffel Towers everywhere in shops and it doesn't seem that long ago that I was reviewing AP's Fantastic Dolly. So AP have now done a print inspired by French Cafe culture.

After Holy Night Story I predicted that Angelic Pretty would soon be back to the sugary pastels, so the colours used here were a pleasant surprise (but it is not Spring yet which will inevitably see the pastels return en masse). I think this set has an Emily Temple Cute feel to it, especially in blue and red.

The OP (shown in pink in the picture) has a line of lace running across the bodice which has ribbon threaded through. I am not sure what this lace is called but I heard it being called ladder lace somewhere so that is what I will call it! I think ladder lace is very pretty and on this dress we have one simple line of it with some red ribbon threaded through. There is a tiny bow sat upon this line of lace which I think is pointless. I dislike the bodice because there are 2 lines running up it (which is more visible on the red and blue dresses) and it sort of looks divided in to two parts. It doesn't work well with the print and there is a bit of a harsh break. It doesn't flow very well. There is a large bow on the waist which would probably look better if it was disguising the break in the bodice instead. The skirt part looks very puffed up as if it can hold a large petticoat. All of the dresses look as though they can be puffed up a lot but this dress looks like it can puff out the most.

My favourite dress is the one shown in red, the most simple of the dresses. Unlike the OP shown in pink, there is no awkward break in the print on the bodice. There is a large bow on the bodice. The bow looks a little too big but I think this dress needs this bow because otherwise the dress would be too plain. The top half appears to fit well and once again the skirt is roomy.

Finally, there is the dress shown in blue. Like the pink OP, this dress has a line of ladder lace and the small bow. Usually I don't like bib style details on the bodice but on this dress it is a bit less obvious. Bibs can look young and childish and whilst I still dislike the bib used, I think it is an improvement. The straps are a little too thin in my opinion. Once again, the skirt is spacious.

On first glance I thought the black item in the picture was another dress but it is a skirt with an apron. I suppose this is very appropriate for a cafe theme. Sadly I think if I wore this I would be too aware of the fact I was wearing an apron. This apron almost fits the theme a bit too well. The other skirt is too casual and short for my personal taste.

The socks are simple with just a few pictures dotted around the bottom part. What I don't like is the stripes around the foot area. There are no stripes featured in the print. The stripes are only going to get hidden by shoes so it was a bit pointless including them. I still think they are cute though.

As you would expect with a cafe theme, the print features cute little cakes, biscuits and crockery. I like the strawberry jam pot the most. The strangest part of the print is probably the egg cup because the rest of the items have a sweet theme.

The set is very pretty and I love the dress shown in red. I think the set works best with the red or blue colour. I am a little bit bored of cafe themes right now. AP only recently released Little Bear's Cafe but I think French Cafe is better. This series has a lot of strong points with just a few details here and there that I am a bit unsure of. Would I buy it? Probably not, but I still like it.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Outfit Post 18th December 2010

I finally got around to uploading some photos! I said I would post some images from my lolita meet on the 18th but sadly it got cancelled. I was really unprepared and the transport was bad so I ended up taking a few photos in the back garden before taking shelter.

As you can see my coat from Bodyline was keeping me very warm and toasty. I think this coat had just the right sort of thickness. I was warm but not boiling hot. And now for a picture of a snow soaked me sat in the kitchen!

I may be smiling but you can see I am not impressed. I almost decided not to post this photo because my hair looks so bad! I am wearing my favourite Bodyline skirt. I do have the matching bag (not shown) and the bow but I chose a different bow because it was incredibly hard to shape it. It sticks out at an odd angle. So I used a pink bow that came with a dress I got from GLP in Camden. Also, I am wearing a necklace which my friend Saija made for me!

I was also wearing the luna nails I made but I had to remove them because somehow I managed to trap a nerve under one of my real nails. So sadly, they have since been destroyed but I hope to make another set.

Hopefully 2011 will see me attending even more meets and I would love to keep improving this blog. Fingers crossed!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I have a hectic few days ahead of me so before I get carried away by the festivities, I just wanted to wish a Happy Christmas to all my blog followers and visitors! I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come around. I wont be around for a few days so I hope everybody has a great time. Have fun!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Luna's Lucky Pack Diary Part 1

I thought I would share my personal lucky pack experiences with everybody so that those who had never ordered a lucky pack can get some insight to the experience. If you are new to my blog, I basically tried to order the Metamorphose one which have since sold out. So here is a run-down on what happened.

Friday the 17th Dec-

After saving my spare money for the last couple of months, I had just about enough to purchase a lucky pack. Considering how unreliable I am with money, I was proud of myself. I was getting a little impatient because Meta gave the release date a bit earlier last Winter and even wondered if they were doing one. I watched on as some of my dream pieces got sold which is one of the hardest things to have to do. Just when I was considering giving up and buying something else, I checked the Meta blog on Friday and realised they had finally been announced! After weeks of blog stalking, it was announced the big day would be the 20th of December- in other words, there was not a lot of time to prepare.

After checking the details, it occurs to me that Meta had not specified AM or PM after the time given. I find a world clock and to my horror I discover I would either be purchasing the pack at 3.30pm Sunday (good) or 3.30am on the Monday (not so good). I prayed that I would get off lightly and order it mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Saturday the 18th Dec-

Another friend claims I am mad wanting to buy a lucky pack from Meta and says "What if you get Dark Secret?". I explain my plan to purchase a light coloured pack which should not include any Dark Secret.

Sunday the 19th Dec-

The big day dawns. The nerves by this point are really kicking in. My husband James purchases ginger drinks in an attempt to settle my growing stomach upset (probably caused by stress).

Hovering around the Meta site to see if now is the crucial time. It is not. I let out a lot of strong words which I probably should not repeat. I look at James and demand that he sets his alarm clock for 3am.

Monday the 20th Dec-

James suggests that it is probably better to stay up all night instead of going to sleep just for an hour or two. The alarm clock is set in the living room just in case. We sit and watch Christmas special repeats on BBC3. We are completely freezing and I could fall asleep at any moment. I start to wonder if this is a good idea but I stick to the plan.

I load up the computer and start lurking around the Meta site half an hour before they are released. I pray that the computer does not crash at the vital moment.

3.30am (lucky pack time!)-
I watch the clock counting down those last vital seconds. My mouse is hovering over the refresh button. Suddenly I spring in to action. There are 75 dark coloured packs and 35 light coloured packs. Despite the difference in availability, I stick to my original plan and go for the light coloured pack. To save time I fill in the details and got James to watch me type so I wouldn't waste time checking for mistakes. I regret not signing up to become a Meta member beforehand and so decide to register at the same time. I say that I am paying with paypal and finish filling in details. The order looks to be complete but James asks why I was not sent to Paypal to pay for the pack. Everything seems okay. Or so we thought.

After the first ordering attempt I start feeling incredibly sick so we crash out on the living room floor instead of properly going to bed. We think everything is okay. Then James' ipod flashes and James gets an email.

"Erm... it is saying we ticked a box we were meant to leave clear. They have cancelled our order and we need to do it again" says James, looking nervous.

Panic ensues.

I start screaming at James, asking why this computer is taking so long to ****ing load.

We make it back on to the Meta page, which by this stage I am sick to death of seeing. All the details are re-entered. Thankfully the light pack is still in stock (although the exact quantity is replaced with "in stock" in Japanese). We are taken to the paypal page and pay in full. Everything this time appears to be correct. I get so stressed I felt like I was about to throw up everywhere.

Monday the 20th Dec-
There have been no more cancellations during the night and no refunded payments. It looks as though the ordeal is finally over. I can finally calm down again after getting less than 4 hours sleep. I go on EGL and ask about when people usually get the 2nd confirmation email and am relieved by the response I get.

And that is pretty much the stage I am up to right now. The pack has been paid for and there has been no refunding. I was unprepared for just how stressed I would feel. I spent a lot of Monday walking about like a zombie because I was suffering from almost flu-like symptoms. My next task is getting the email from Meta regarding the tracking and send date. Hopefully there will be no problems with the notoriously dodgy post (I actually had to report somebody last year). Trust me, if they lose my lucky pack they will definitely feel my wrath! I have to say that lucky packs are not for the faint hearted. If you are not too bothered by lucky packs then it is safe to say that you shouldn't get one. Lucky packs take dedication and sleep deprivation!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Lucky Pack adventure continues!

My loli meet yesterday got cancelled because we have had lots of snow and the transport was messed up! Anyway, you can expect a proper update from me soon but today I am feeling a little distracted.

So if you have not heard already, Meta's lucky packs have been announced. Sadly, they have not specified AM or PM which means I will either be buying it at 3.30pm today or 3.30am in the morning. I know which one I prefer! I will be writing up a diary of my experience so stay tuned and wish me luck!

I want an LP soooooooo bad!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dance of the Black Cats by AatP

Today I will be talking about the new series by Alice and the Pirates. This series is called Kuroneko no Dance or Dance of the Black Cats. So far I have seen two dresses, a skirt and a necklace.

Here is the first dress. Some people have been calling this a One-Piece but Baby has called it a JSK so I will be calling it JSK version one.
Initially, I was very impressed with this design but I have since decided I prefer the 2nd JSK. One of the first things you notice is that this dress falls off the shoulders. It is similar to one of the Twinkle Journey JSKs Meta did. I think the design works a little bit better on the Alice and the Pirates one. There is a bit more puffiness in the sleeves and more stretch room which will help lolitas with wider shoulders. I also feel this design looks a little less awkward than the Twinkle Journey one. However, it will still cause a lot of problems if you wanted to wear a blouse underneath and I know there are a few lolitas out there who don't like bare shoulders. I also noticed there is a bit of looseness on the bodice. This could cause fitting problems on some, especially if the person wearing it has a small bust because there will be loose material hanging. I do like the way the lace has been used, especially around the top of the bodice. There is a row of rose lace and then some gathered lace underneath. It suits the off-the shoulder style. There is also rose lace running along the two thin shoulder straps. The gathering in the skirt suits the bendy keyboard on the print and I think this is one part of the design that triumphs over the 2nd JSK.

Then we have the 2nd version of the JSK.
I love the slight heart shape of the bodice but the lace looks a little untidy. The bodice on this one fits a little better and the corset part really helps. The ribbon on the corset does not look too shiny. The corset is actually in two parts so it ties up at both the front and the back. I am guessing this helps to accommodate somebody with a bit more weight on their waist. I would have preferred it if this corset only tied up at the back so it looks a bit neater but it is great that this dress fits a lot of sizes. The waist on this dress goes up to a surprising 90cm. The stock photos appear to show that you can remove the corset if you so desired. I think rose buttons would look better because the ones used look a bit out of place. I prefer this JSK to the first one but my main reason for this is that I think this 2nd design would be easier to wear.

And then there is the skirt. I think it would look better with a little less gathering. It doesn't show off the print as well as the dresses. The waist band might have looked better if it was a solid colour instead of the print. The print tricks the eye in to thinking the waist band is uneven.

Here is part of the print close up. I think it is great that the keyboard bends instead of going in a straight line. Prints using horizontal lines can make you appear larger but by using a bendy keyboard, it doesn't look so bad and as I said before, it works really well with the gathering on the skirt. I like the bronze/brown colour of the instruments and in my opinion it looks stunning on the bordeaux colour. The green and black colourways look good but for me, the bordeaux colour looks the most special. At first I didn't get the cat reference in the name but if you look at the keyboard, it has some muddy paw prints on it. I feel a bit indifferent to cat prints so I like having a cat print that doesn't actually have a cat on it! The flowers are also a nice touch.

I was very tempted to get some of this series (fingers crossed, I will get some money over Christmas). The 2nd JSK is top of my list but I wouldn't mind getting the skirt. I do really like this series but the 1st JSK's design looks hard to wear. Overall, a good series but a few details let it down.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Strawberry Nails Forever...

They are finally finished! The strawberries alone took me 2 and a half hours. I felt like a zombie after completing these.

The strawberries are a little on the large side (I wanted them to stand out and get noticed!) and a few got a little dented because certain family members decided to pick them up before I cooked them (*cough* Ros and James) but I still like them! I felt the strawberries were enough of a statement so these nails don't have any mini gems on them but the pink nail polish had a slight hint of glitter.

The plan is to wear these with my Bodyline dress with the strawberries. I am not sure when I am next going to wear this dress but at least my nails are sorted.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Border print skirts

I was browsing Closet Child the other day and clicked on the Metamorphose tag to see what was available. The first thing I saw was the words "March of the duck" and I gasped with anticipation. Then I took a look at the picture underneath and this is what I saw.

Yes, it is a March of the Duck skirt but made entirely of the square part of the pattern. I admit that I really want March of the Duck because I love the ducks. However, I can't stand the square part of the print (one friend compared it to graph paper you use in maths lessons) and here we have a skirt made entirely of the worst part of the print! The whole reason for me wanting this print is because I love the ducks and nothing else. The really strange thing is that this skirt was sold in less than a day whereas more popular prints have lasted on the site for at least a couple of days. I suppose it could make a nice underskirt but I wonder if anybody has worn this skirt by itself?

I appreciate we are living in hard economic times but border print skirts don't work with a lot of prints. I approve of the way that Meta is not wasting material but why a skirt? Due to the square/duck ratio, Meta must have had a lot of squares left over once the ducks had run out. Meta could have used this to make extra head bows or maybe a simple tote bag that people could customise.

However, I don't think all border print skirts look bad. One girl on EGL got this in her Meta lucky pack (and I apologise for using your photo).

This is from the Swan Lake print Meta did. It is very simple but for a 10,000 yen lucky pack, I would have loved to have got this, especially seeing as a lot of people got that leopard print skirt. It is not on the same level as the main part of the print but personally, I like it. Compare this skirt to the March of the Duck skirt above. I know which one I would choose.

Friday, 10 December 2010

The start of my deco nail adventure

I totally forgot to mention my nails!

A few weeks ago I purchased some Polymer clay. My original intention was to make some earrings from a tutorial I found but instead I have found myself making some deco nails!

As it stands, I have only finished one set of nails (a second set is almost complete). I have made these luna inspired nails for a lolita meet I am attending next Saturday.

As you can see they are a bit on the large side but I still love them! I am hoping that when it comes to taking them off I can try and save them so I can wear them again. I am feeling a little worried about how I am going to go about everyday tasks but since when have deco nails been practical? The outfit I am wearing has a lot of stars on it so I am making a bit of a running theme. It was originally meant to be horse themed but I found out that I don't have enough horsey items.

It is the second set of nails I am making which have caused a lot of problems. Polymer clay is so easy to use compared to acrylics but it can be incredibly tedious. I have not used moulds or anything and I have tried to make sure that the shapes are the same size. So the ones going on the thumbs have to be the same size etc. For this second pair of nails I have made some very plump strawberries. I was working with 3 different clay colours and just for that one set of nails I spent 2 and a half hours sculpting the clay. I could have made it a bit easier by leaving out the yellow seeds but I thought they looked cuter with seeds in. So I was working with these tiny bits of yellow clay so small I couldn't pick them up. I had to use a cocktail stick to push the yellow bits into the holes I had made. When I have finished these nails and post a picture it will probably make more sense why I got so stressed out.

Despite how long I have spent on 2 pairs of nails I will only wear a few times, I am very pleased with the results. Considering this is my first time decorating nails, I am really pleased with the results. The luna nails look a lot better in person and I can't wait to wear them. I am going to continue with the clay but I plan to buy a couple of ready made pieces like mini waffles and cookies to make things that little bit easier. is the best place to buy deco bits. Eventually I want to move on to acrylics but this probably wont be for a while yet.

However, there is one problem. The harsh Winter weather has totally sapped the moisture out of my hands so they have gone all cracked and sore. England has suffered from a bad cold spell and even my gloves couldn't save my poor hands. I have one week to get my hands in a better state so I can show off my nails worn. Hopefully they will be less red by the meet!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Meta's Melody Poodle

Before I start reviewing the latest Meta print I thought I would mention an event they are holding today. There is a special sale going on for Honey Picnic exclusively on the English website. I was undecided about Honey Picnic. I didn't find anything that I dislike about it but it was hardly on my wish list either. However, the 10000 yen price is very tempting. That is less than £100 and is very cheap. If this sale is not successful I can't help but wonder if I will be getting Honey Picnic in the lucky pack I intend to buy. Or are Meta doing this special sale instead of lucky packs? (I hope not. I passed on a skirt I wanted because I have been saving for a lucky pack)

Anyway! Back on to today's post! Metamorphose have a new set up for reserve called Melody Poodle so I am reviewing the dresses.

This is the High Waisted Pinafore dress. The problem is that with such a busy print, you can't really see all the bows and details this dress has at first. I thought at first it was just because I am using the black colourway picture but I have seen the pink version as well and although it looks a little better, I found I was having the same problem. Metamorphose have included the original dress sketch and judging by this sketch, this dress probably looks better when you see it in person. I dislike the use of lace on the shoulder straps because it is a bit too much. This dress has a lot of bows on it but a majority of the bows are small and they blend in so it doesn't detract attention away from the print. the scalloping at the bottom also looks pretty. Personally, I don't think the black version does this dress design justice. If I was going to pick black for this set, I would try one of the other dresses.

It was this second dress that grabbed my attention. This time the picture shows the Salmon Cream colour (interesting colour name there!) and I think it goes brilliantly with the brown parts. This dress looks a bit more classic than the other two dresses. I would even wear this dress outside of lolita. Sadly, it was not meant to be... the waist is slightly too small for me >.<>

And the last dress is the tiered pinafore dress. I think this design works better than the other pinafore dress but why are there two sets of straps? I would prefer one pair of wider straps instead of two sets of thin straps. This dress also has less bows (not that you can see them here...). Although there are less bows these ones are bigger. Given the choice, I think I would rather have less bows even if they are bigger. I dislike how every tier has a line of ruffle on it. It looks fine on the back but I can't help wondering how it will look on the pink and Salmon Cream.

And here is a print close-up. It is a very busy print and there is a lot going on. I don't usually like poodles but the ones on this print look fine. I like the use of roses and bows and I think the chair is appealing. My favourite part is the butterflies. I didn't even notice them at first glance. I don't really understand what butterflies have to do with the theme but I am glad they got included. I think the print works best in the Salmon Cream colour and the worst with the black. The colours make a huge difference with this print. The Salmon Cream looks classic and the pink looks more sweet.

My opinion on this series is a bit divided. It is all down to the details Meta have used. Given the choice I would pick the third dress or the second dress if I could remove the tulle. I would choose the recent chess print Meta did over this print but if I got this print I would still be happy.

Monday, 6 December 2010

New Angelic Pretty Pullip dolls.

I know AP and Pullip have worked together before but I believe these dolls are new. Check them out!

I was alerted to these on the blog Wonderland For Dolls and by a friend on MAF and I just had to post them. I think these dolls are better than the first AP/Pullip collaboration. I simply love Pullip in Starry Night Theatre, especially the socks and the little wand. My second favourite is the Sugary Carnival one on the left (I believe this one is Byul?). I think the wig detail is amazing. She looks like an ice cream! The only part I am unsure on is the bag she is carrying. I don't think this detail came out very well. Finally there is the Dal one. I have always preferred Dal because I like her pouty face. I don't like her outfit as much as the other two but her little bunny bag is cute.

There is also a Little Pullip and Little Dal being released this time. I love Marionette Girl! I would love to own the dress but I am always 1 inch too big and the version I fit in never seems to be on sale *sniff*. I do like Pullip in Marionette Girl but some parts look a bit strange. I don't think the crown looks that good. I would have liked to have seen the headband with the card suits on it instead. The way it ties around the neck looks a bit awkward, especially when you compare it to the Dal beside her. The wig looks a bit straggly too. Dal looks so cute in her bunny coat! It really suits Dal. It looks like her outfit has been put together a bit better. I think Dal wins out of the two little dolls.

I have never really known what I think of these sort of dolls. I know some lolitas go mad for them. Whilst I do want to get one I don't want to carry one around with me at meets. I think I would be too scared of getting them dirty. I liked it when Pullip collaborated with the Rozen Maiden anime (a guilty pleasure of mine) and I want to get the Dal Hina Ichigo doll because I love Hina Ichigo's character. But Volks have also collaborated with Rozen Maiden and although they cost approximately £1000 their version is really beautiful. But Pullip is a more affordable option and I think I would buy a Pullip. I want Hina Ichigo but also a non-anime related one. For the non-anime one, I would love the Starry Night Theatre Pullip above!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Happy International Lolita Day!!!!

Today is International Lolita Day! It makes me want to put on my favourite clothes and pose with a giant lollipop! I was meant to be attending a meet today but it got moved back a few weeks. I hope that everybody going to meets has a good time today. If you are in the UK I hope you are able to brave the snow (I live in one of the few places in the UK which was not completely covered by snow this week. We only had 1cm). Have a great day everybody!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Baby X AatP X Kuragehime

Baby and Alice and the Pirates are collaborating with Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess). Apparently Kuragehime is an anime and manga. I have not heard of this before so I may have to go and check this out. Today I am focusing on the three dresses.

I am going to start with my favourite dress from the collaboration. This is the Alice and the Pirates one.
I love the use of vertical stripes here. Vertical stripes are very good for making your figure appear slimmer. The waist is nipped in to help create a curvier hourglass figure. I find the overall shape of this dress very appealing. I also think this is a good use of monochrome. It is a really understated dress but somehow it manages to stick out and shine. On the back there is some black bustle detail which helps to break up the stripes. The shirring is cleverly disguised. It sort of blends in and you don't notice it. I am not really bothered about the corsage and pearls but the dress looks a bit too plain when you remove them. These are detachable so you have more options. It wouldn't be too hard to pin the corsage in your hair (and it would save you needing to buy the matching round headdress). I would then pin on a different corsage in a bright colour so it stands out.

Next up is my least favourite dress. Wow Baby, are you sure you used enough bows? Add on the pearls and lace and you have a very crowded dress. The end result is a dress which looks like a costume you would give a little girl to wear to a party. If this is what Jellyfish Princesses have to wear, I am going to have to give this a miss. Also the fabric looks very bumpy which makes it look cheaper. If you showed me this dress without letting me know it is Baby, I would have guessed it was made by an Ebay seller.

Baby have also released this dress. Is it just me or does this look like something Bodyline released? It looks similar to something I have seen before. That had polka dots and a scalloped hem too. I appreciate the use of scalloping. Jellyfish and scallops... it kind of carries on the sea theme. This dress is an improvement of the other one but it is a bit boring. It doesn't amaze me. It is very basic. For collaboration pieces I expect something a bit more special.

I think Alice and the Pirates have trumped Baby here. I would love to get hold of the stripy dress. The Baby dresses? I would maybe consider the polka dot one but I would avoid the bow overload dress.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Taming the Beast: Lolita Hair Tutorial Review Part 3- An annoying hair bow

Oh dear... I had a few problems with the latest tutorial in my series. My head has a double crown and to do this tutorial I had to try to brush my hair backwards. But my hair kept falling forwards and back into its parting! >_<

Today I am reviewing this tutorial-

Here is a photo of part of the progress

My hair was pinging out all over the place and as you can see the visible hair band has fallen out of place. Believe it or not, I did finally manage to complete this look and the bow looked okay. I reached for my camera and I realise I had moved it. I managed to find the camera about 10 minutes later but the style had already fallen out! I guess I suit styles which sit on the side more. So I have reviewed this tutorial as best as I can here.

How easy was the tutorial to follow?

I think you can already see how successful my attempt was! If you are able to brush your hair back into a high ponytail without any problems, then you will probably do a better than I did! The girl in the video makes it look so easy and it probably is easy. It just doesn't suit my hair. At first I thought the tutorial was only in the Asian girl's language but there is a translation running along the top. It would be helpful if the text was a bit bigger. The video makes it easy to see exactly what is going on and the translation is not too fast. It wouldn't be too hard to do this bow on the side of your head if you have the same problems as me. I may have a go at doing it on the side to see if the end result is better.

How Long did it take?

When you first do this tutorial, you will probably need to pause the video in places. It is a bit fiddly. I managed to finish my bow after spending about half an hour of trying to fix my mistakes.

How long did it stay in place?

10 MEASLY MINUTES! That was with lots of extra strength hair spray, pins and a little wax. I really hope you can do better than me.

Was the end result as expected?

Short answer- no. This style will vary a lot from person to person.

How to cheat

I came up with the idea of using extra hair bands so the hair is forced to split in to the two bow pieces you need. So after putting in the first hair tie and taking the piece out for the bow middle, I would add in an extra 2 hair bands close to the first band before putting the second hair band in. Or you could totally boycott this tutorial completely and buy a ready made hair bow. Lady Gaga has made these popular and you can find ready made ones in lots of different places. By just searching "lady gaga hair bow" on Ebay, I managed to find lots of bows. Some wig shops will have these and some large chain shops have them too. Or you could buy a hair extension and make your own.

Would you try this tutorial again?

No. I think this tutorial is perhaps a bit too much hassle when it is so easy to cheat (see above). Even Lady Gaga uses wigs! Even if Lady Gaga didn't use a wig to make her hair bow, the end result is very different which suggests that she used a different method. Whilst the tutorial's end result looks very sophisticated, I will be sticking to fake hair.

Rating out of 10- 4/10
It got a 4 because this tutorial will work better on some girls more than others.

I hope this review was helpful and I wish everybody success in following this style!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Good news for H Naoto fans in the US

I had to update my last post because H Naoto have now released an American website!

The information was not that clear. It looks as though they only ship to the US. If they do ship elsewhere I would love to know so I can update this post.

They are holding an opening contest where you can win a T-Shirt and a signed postcard but you need to spend $50 to be entered.

I can't say I am a massive fan of H Naoto but I did like some of the items, especially the Hangry and Angry stuff. My favourite of the two is Angry. I was expecting the prices to be fairly high but it must work out cheaper than ordering from the Japanese site. Plus some of the items feature in a monthly specials bit with reduced prices. I felt that some of the prices were more reasonable than others.

So, if you are a punk fan go take a look!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Lolita Secret Santas

Sadly I have left it a bit late for me to take part in any Secret Santas, but I know other girls are doing these. I have been a bit busy lately! If you would like to take part in a lolita secret santa, I know members are holding one (the deadline for gift sending is the 12th of December. You will need to check if they are still letting people join so be quick). There may be others around that you can join or maybe there is a Secret Santa going on in your workplace.

I don't really know any lolitas well enough to swap presents with. I hope that by next year, this will have changed. However, I have been thinking about the sort of presents I would like to give others so I decided to make a wish list.

Please note that I live in the UK so these items may not be available in your country. I have tried to include international friendly items too. Remember you will need to add shipping costs if you can't visit the actual store. Pictures have been taken from shop websites.

£0-£5 price range-

1. Cinders Bath Ballistic £1.95
2. Humming Cat Letter Set £4.20
3. Jelly Belly Toasted Marshmallow Scented Candle £4.99
4. Bodyline keychains (range from $1-6. The one in the picture costs $2) Add some to your regular order or do a group order so you are not hit by huge shipping charges.

Other ideas-
-Claire's Accessories Gift Voucher (any amount starting from £5, foreign countries should check minimum amount in store)
-Mini jewels or stickers for deco nails
- Hair accessories

£5.01-£10 range-
1. False Eyelashes- the ones in the picture cost about £6 by Eylure. Not suitable for sensitive eyes.
2. Cute Plush Pirate Bunny Plush Doll $15
3.Cute Plush Kira Kira Rainbow Bunny Necklace $12
4. 6%DokiDoki Marshmallow Hair Clips 945yen
5. Kera Magazine Back Issues (around £10)- try Ebay, Egl Sales Community and other auction sites. In England you can visit the Japan Centre or order here

Other Ideas-
Secret Shop Socks (try Egl Sales Community)

£10.01-£15 range-

1. Bodyline skirt (one pictured costs $19) Many styles start from $19, some punk styles start from even less
2. Imogen Rose perfume prices start at £10 for a solid perfume

Most Secret Santas have a low price limit but here are some more expensive items I found randomly whilst searching for inspiration-

1. Elizabethan Ring £19.99
2. Toxic Candies Designer Toy $50
3. H Naoto keychain 2800yen or the American shop
4. Fuwa Fuwa Mousse Chan paper clay kits (around $32) from various locations (try
5. Ghostlove Screaming Violins Choker $35

I always get a great buzz when I know somebody really loves the present I gave them. I hope my nearest and dearest will get a nice surprise at Christmas. I have finally finished my Christmas shopping. Sorry, if this post is a little too late for you!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

I am joining the Lucky Pack rush next month

Before I started wearing lolita, I researched lolita for a few years. I generally stood back and admired the fashion and came across some great people. But on the blogs I kept hearing about this thing called Lucky Packs. After researching them a little bit I was really keen to get my hands on one. I was lusting after the bargains.

But what I am not looking forward to is the stress that comes with it. The waiting for the Japanese clock to count down to midnight, hoping the site doesn't crash and waiting for the confirmation email to come through... it sounds like hell!

I have decided I am still going to go ahead and try to get one. If anybody has any advice on how to combat lucky pack stress I would love to hear it.

I am really torn between Meta and Baby. I want a Meta one but don't want anything from the Dark Secret series. Baby seems to be the safer option but before Dark Secret, I had my heart set on the Meta one. If I get Dark Secret, it will be difficult to re-sell. I can't get Angelic Pretty because I can only fit into certain pieces and would hate it if I got a dream print I couldn't wear. I am so confused! At least I have a bit of time to make up my mind, but if anybody has an opinion on this I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Taming the Beast: Lolita Hair Tutorial Review Part 2- Sloppy Buns

I promised I would do this today and here it is! Part 2 of my hair tutorial review series! Today's hair is sloppy buns. There are so many different places where this hair tutorial has been done so I am just going to include a link to this one-

I really like Miss Lumpy! This post has some other great ideas for long hair.

The main reason why this post took longer is because I have had my hair cut. I only had 2 inches off but those 2 inches were enough to stop me doing another tutorial which suits longer hair.

No face shots today because my skin looks dreadful! I have not added any bows or accessories so you can see what it looked like underneath.

How easy was the tutorial to follow?

Well, this is pretty straight forward. The style is quite casual and it doesn't really matter how neat you are which makes things even easier. It would be quite hard to get this wrong. The problem? I never realised quite how bouncy my hair was! It was determined to ping out of place so if you have heavier hair will require strong hair ties. You will also notice I have some loose strands which you can see clearly in the first picture. For this sort of style, a few loose strands wont matter unless you like your hair to look tidy.

How long did it take?

A few minutes maximum. I got one of my buns around the wrong way the first time so I redid it.

How long did it stay in place?

When I had finished the styling I knew right away this would not last. More and more loose strands came out. About 45 minutes afterwards, so much hair had come loose that I had to redo it. To combat this problem, add some bobby pins. Try to keep the pins hidden or attach an accessory over the top to cover them up.

Was the end result as expected?

My hair looked a bit too smooth in my opinion. It would probably look good if you curl or backbrush your hair before putting it in buns. Another problem was that my freshly cut ends were sticking out and they look really obvious. Again, I would suggest using bobby pins to hide the ends. Also, my hair was determined to form a stiff loop shape instead of looking floppy. I suppose it doesn't look too bad but I would have loved my hair to look more like Miss Lumpy's hair.

Would I try it again?

I think I would. Although heavy hair will not last long with this style, which is disappointing. This look would be something I would wear around the house. If I went out wearing this I would be constantly checking and fixing it.

Rating out of 10- 6/10 It would be higher but it simply doesn't suit my thick heavy hair. I am sure all my readers can do better! :)

I really want this hat

It is such a shame I can never afford brand! (at least not at retail price!) I am not too keen on the matching jacket but I love the hat. Not that I have anything to match this with...

I can't help thinking that if Meta really wanted to do a military series, they should have taken inspiration from AP. I am getting so paranoid about getting Dark Secret in a lucky pack that I am probably getting the Baby lucky pack now. It is a shame because I would have loved a Meta one if I got something like Nostalgic Chess.

Monday, 22 November 2010

HELLo Kitty?

Neo Magazine recently alerted me to this really odd website. It is basically a hate site for all the strange Hello Kitty items you can find. I quite enjoy Hello Kitty but I found this site amusing. It is worth having a look at just to see all the weird items that have been released and made by fans.

WARNING!!! This site does contain some adult content and is not suitable for work!

I don't quite understand the sheer level of Hello Kitty hatred going on here. The people here must have a lot of spare time on their hands. This site is meant to be funny so I wouldn't take it too seriously!

I should be posting a new hair post tomorrow. It took me a while because I needed to find a suitable style. I have run out of hair spray and have just had my hair cut so I needed to factor this in. Plus I am also going to start work on my next Bodyline design contest entry. I wont say what design I am planning but it is a theme close to my heart :) Sorry, I promise there will be a proper post at some point tomorrow!

Friday, 19 November 2010

An update on Bodyline and the roses.

Do you remember me posting a coat I did for the Bodyline Design Contest? If you have forgotten you can still view the coat here-

I never heard back from Bodyline but it would appear Bodyline have at least taken some of my suggestions. Obviously I am sad that I wont be getting a free coat (well, at least not yet...) but I would like to think that my coat inspired two of Bodyline's new coat designs. I think I have been incredibly lucky because Bodyline have blatantly ripped off other people's designs after telling them their design did not get accepted. These two coats are not obvious copies but use a lot of the details I used.

The main part of my own coat design was the use of 3D rose corsages. On my design there is is a row of roses on the bottom hem. Bodyline have chosen to use a rose by the collar area. I actually think this is a great idea. I would never have come up with the collar idea. One of the main issues with my design was the roses getting crushed when you sit down. This is a lot more practical and it looks very cute.

The second coat has rose shaped buttons and rose lace. On my design I included pictures of buttons and lace as an example. In my opinion Bodyline's lace choices have improved recently. Yes, they still use cheap lace in places but I think they are making more effort to use better lace. The one thing I will say about Bodyline's choice of design here is that this is too over the top and the pink in my opinion, is a little too bright.

Who knows... it may turn out that Bodyline were planning rose coats anyway but I would like to think that I at least influenced them a little :)

I have not been put off submitting further designs to Bodyline. There is no way I would have been able to make my coat on my own and this was the easiest way to get my design out there and possibly made. If you have the skills to make your own items then I would make them yourself. Bodyline obviously have the right to change your design and you may not be happy with the end result or they may use your design after telling you that it was not chosen. I have a plan to do a skirt design. If I finish it, I will post it on here too!

Just a quick note to say that I will be doing another post for my hair series soon. I have just been a bit busy and I had my hair cut earlier today. I purposely kept my hair as plain as possible so I had a blank canvas for my future lolita hairstyles! By the way, do feel free to suggest tutorials to me. Just send me a message and give me a link to the tutorial. I will happily give them a go but for now, please try not to make them too overly complicated.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Baby's Creamy Quartet

Today I am reviewing Creamy Quartet and Usakumya has made another appearance. This set seems to have 2 dresses, a skirt, a headbow and a bonnet. The items are viewable on the reserves page.

Something that struck me whilst looking at the close-ups is the fabric doesn't look very soft. In some pictures it looks a bit cheap and like it has a strange feel to it. Also, in some places the print looks as though it has faded in the wash. I know this is meant to be a soft whimsical print but some of the print details fade into the background a lot.
So first up is the Judy JSK. This dress has a very interesting detail on the front. The bow can be removed and underneath there is a heart shaped piece of fabric. The heart can also be removed. So you can get three looks. I think this looks better with the bow on top but the heart shape does look cute. I do not like it when the heart is totally removed. It is slightly too low cut for my liking so you will need a pretty blouse to match this because a large patch of your blouse will be on show. The lace has cute strawberries running along it. Strawberries are one of my favourite items on clothing. I want to see more pieces which use this lace please! The rest of the dress has been left simple. I guess the multiple bodice choices are the main feature here.

Then we have the Sophie JSK. This one has more shirring in it. There are less details on the bodice. What you see in the photo is what you get. It doesn't look as though this dress has the strawberry lace on it which for me is a bit of a let down. It has been replaced with heart shaped lace and I think the strawberries look so much better. But my main dislike here is the straps. They appear to have taken on the appearance of rectangle headdresses and I don't think it works. It looks like you can undo the straps if you need to. I would be tempted to tuck these inside the dress and wear this strapless. I don't think this JSK works as well as the Judy one.

Here is half of the print close up-
And the other half with Usakumya on it-

My favourite is the blue bear blowing the trumpet but it sticks out a bit in the print. You have all this pink, cream and red, and then you have this tiny patch of blue sticking out. It looks out of place. They should have made one of the other animals blue too so it fits the colour scheme more. This set can be purchased in a blue colourway which will probably even this problem out a little.

I didn't include a picture of the headbow because I feel it is pointless. It looks so similar to a lot of other headbows that I don't see the point of buying this one. It would be so easy to find another bow that matches. If you already have a bow with strawberries on it, check to see if it matches this set before purchasing the bow. I know some people like to have the whole set head to toe but this bow is nothing special. The bonnet is a bit more creative and even comes with a pom pom to imitate that rabbit tail look.

And finally, there was an announcement about a Usakumya hand puppet.
It looks really sweet. This is a must-have item if you are a fan of Usakumya. It is purely a novelty item but I can imagine a sweet lolita walking around with this on her hand. This puppet may not be as practical but I would choose this over the Usakumya bags.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Yay! I have lots of lovely new jewellery!

I am so lucky to have friends like mine.

A few months ago whilst I was still getting this blog up, a friend asked me if I would like some jewellery. I made a jewellery inspiration post for Saija so she would get some sort of idea of the sort of pieces lolitas like. Well, a few days ago I got my jewellery package. I even got given a letter written on duck paper! If I ever get given something with a duck on it, you can guarantee I will be happy! :)

I shall be keeping this letter safe (I had forgotten how nice it feels to receive letters. I hope letter sending never dies out). Firstly, I got a pair of pink bead earrings and a dangly charm on a keyring. I am not sure what sort of animal it is, but it looks cute! I felt it was slightly too heavy to dangle off my phone so I will probably be attaching it to one of my bags. I also like the cute little bow on it.

I didn't realise how dark this picture came out. Here are a few of the earrings I got and a necklace which I can match with the pink earrings. Again, the large charm on the necklace is very sweet. Maybe I should dye my hair purple too...

Then I got this bracelet and another pair of earrings. I think butterflies look beautiful so I was really happy with these items. Plus I now have a bracelet with my loli name on it. I predict that this bracelet may be my most worn item.

Another dodgy photo! (It looked better when I took it!) Here are my favourites out of the lot. A starry necklace and not one, but two pairs of matching earrings. Saija said she was inspired by a post I did on Angelic Pretty's Melty Moon items. These go well with a luna theme.

It is very clear that a lot of thought has gone into these items. Not only do they have features that I personally find very appealing, but every item also has at least one other item you can match it with. I will never have to worry about if my items match. The jewellery was well made and the letter was a lovely personal touch. It was very kind of my friend to spend the time to make me these items and also make and send them for free. Overall, I am very pleased and I am looking forward to wearing my items. I am amazed at how many new pairs of earrings I have! Thank you so much Saija!

Here is a link to my friend's jewellery photo folder-

And an album for the stuff she makes and swaps at Swap-bot-

Please go and check these links out! :)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Taming the Beast: Lolita Hair Tutorial Review Part 1- Puffy Pigtails

So, here I go with my first entry for my hair experiment. I am starting with a hairstyle I have seen on a lot of girls. I thought a tutorial on Violet LeBeaux looked the easiest to follow. This is not the only place where you can find this sort of tutorial.

Note- I left out the hime pouf part because it was not to my personal taste.

Here is how it turned out (with pictures taken in the bathroom because it has better lighting!)

It doesn't quite look the same without the pouf but I think that for a beginner the result was not too bad.

How easy was the tutorial to follow?

It certainly looked easy when Violet did it. Violet's tutorials are quite straight-forward and I did find the instructions to be very clear. My main concern is the part where you use bobby pins to pin the pigtails higher up on your head. It looks as though Violet used less pins than me but I had to use extra to support the weight. Whilst I could have left out this stage, I decided I would put the effort in and pin up my hair. It took me a while to get the pigtails looking even and I had to start over a few times to get a better shape.

How long did it take?

After curling my hair and taking a few attempts to give my pigtails a desirable shape, about 50 minutes had passed. This time will probably get shorter with more practice. A majority of the time was spent re-pinning my pigtails.

How long did it stay in place?

I was not expecting this hairstyle to stay in place for very long but with all the pins and hairspray I used, I was proved wrong. My hair stayed in the same shape for 5 and a half hours which would have been longer, but I needed to take it out to go to bed.

Was the end result as expected?

I don't think my pigtails look as cute as Violet's. Even after a bit of restyling, the pigtails were not exactly even and I should have curled my hair a bit better. I am confident this style gets better with practice.

Would I try it again?

Yes but this is not a style I would do if I was in a hurry just in case I needed to re-do some steps.

How to cheat

If you pin your hair up into 2 buns then you could use some hair extensions/falls and clip them over the buns. This would give a thicker and more exaggerated appearance. The main issue would be getting extensions which are similar in colour to your natural hair. If you wanted, you could use a different colour to your natural hair for different results. Check to see if your extensions can be curled and backbrush them to make them look like the style shown in the tutorial. You may find some extensions wont work as well with this style and thicker styles would probably work better. Please note this is only a suggestion and I have not tried this on myself!

Rating out of 10- 7.5/10

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Announcing a new series- Taming the Beast: Lolita Hair Tutorial Review

I totally forgot to announce I was doing this series! I decided to start posting about lolita hair but I wanted to do it in a way that looked fresh and was suitable for my skills. Instead of making my own tutorials I will be reviewing tutorials made by other people. I am currently wearing my first style for this project which I will try to post before the end of the week. My interest is seeing just how easy these tutorials are to follow. If you are new to lolita or the thought of all that styling terrifies you, then I hope to help you! I plan to show everybody my progress and hopefully my hair will improve in the process.

So why do I make such a good guinea pig to test these tutorials on? Because my hair is really unruly and I will test these tutorials to the max! Any style that can stay in place on my head is a winner.

Here are some things that make my hair the perfect challenge-

1. My hair is incredibly thick and heavy. Gravity always ends up ruining my hair.
2. It has a life of its own and refuses to be styled unless I have a bottle of maximum hold hairspray to hand
3. It tangles easily and looks messy
4. Growing up, I was never interested in hair and make-up. I was not a tomboy but at the same time I was never girly. So I am a total novice at doing my hair. This will help to test how easy tutorial instructions are.
5. I love fidgeting
6. Living in England means that I have lovely strong wind and rain to compete with, especially now Winter is coming

So I am really interested to see how my hair turns out. All of the styles will be done by me without any help and I will be going about my daily life as normal. I plan to have a lot of fun.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

AatP Carousel Applique

I don't usually pay much attention to velveteen series. Brands seem to think "Winter is coming... I know! Let's do a velveteen series! It is Christmassy!" and then you see lots of velveteen items coming out in a short space of time. Despite this, I decided to review at least one series. Metmorphose seem to like adding lace and bows, AP like to do appliques... so what has Alice and the Pirates decided to do?

Well like AP, they have gone down the applique route but with a little less sugar. It looks like this is going to be a small series with 2 dresses, a headbow and a bag. My heart sank when I saw the first dress.
I thought about how pretty it looked. When you are using this sort of fabric I think simpler details work best because the fabric is a statement in itself. I liked the lace and the two bows at the top, the waist ribbon blended in and I liked the shape. So why did I fall out of love with this dress?

Because the mini pom poms have come back to haunt me! They are not as obvious on this dress and I think this is an improvement on some other ways they have been used. It helps that there is a layer of lace to help them blend in a little. I think I could put up with the pom poms on this dress but that doesn't mean my opinion on them has changed!

I don't like the other dress as much. The material looks more gathered and it looks a bit odd. In this picture it almost looks pleated. I don't think the top looks as flattering as the other dress. This dress also features the pom poms on it.

Alice and the Pirates have chosen a very festive green and red and there is also black. I think the applique looks a bit sweeter than their usual stuff. It is not on the same level as Angelic Pretty but it is still sweet. I like this applique a lot and I think it is one of the best I have seen.

Here is the bag which I think has the best use of the pom poms I have seen so far. The applique works well with the tartan. At first I thought the tartan was going to clash with the velvet, but somehow it works. It is an interesting clash of sweet with punk but I like it. I wouldn't mind having this bag. The only issue is that it would be hard to match with other items.

At the moment, I think the first dress looks the best and the red is my favourite colour. I would like to see how the black looks as well. I can't say I have been converted to velveteen by this series but I want the bag.
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