Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Personal? Personal.

It's been a hectic few days (they all seem that way lately), but good things have happened. All that sewing appears to have paid off. Just because I've been indulging in my crafty side lately, I've been spending quite a bit of time browsing Hancock and talking to the staff, I may have found a solution to my joblessness. I submitted my application today, and got a phone call within three hours.

I have an interview tomorrow.

It's only a small job, but hey. Job's a job's a job (I also may have an interview pending with a newspaper, we'll see how it goes! I sent them portfolio samples this afternoon) and I can really use a job.

Either way, this means there will likely be more sewing photo-posts in the near future. I have another skirt in that aqua kitsch fabric half-completed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Digital Photography: Facing the Camera

Now and again, drama comes up in the lolita community about "over-shooping" or "over-processing" photos to look more appealing or visually pleasing. Everybody has a different tolerance level when it comes to digital retouching, and some people have incredibly strong opinions on the topic.

As a general rule, I like to avoid using Photoshop as much as possible. I prefer to cover any blemishes, even out skin tones and enhance other features through make-up rather than digital retouching. This is just my personal mode of operation, but I feel that it's a pretty sound one.

I have two reasons for this philosophy:
  1. I can't control the photos that other people take of me, so I can't hide a shiny nose or zit from their lens unless it's under my make-up.
  2. Editing photos is easier the closer to "perfect" the subject looks, which means concealing a blemish before the photos have been taken makes processing easier.
So, while I plan to talk a bit in the future about retouching photos to conceal unwanted elements, I thought it would be prudent to cover make-up in a general sense first.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photo of the Day: On Being Invisible (Plus Zippers)

My best invisible zipper to date! Also, love the kitschy fabric. Not really a typical
"lolita" material, but I really love it all the same.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Photo of the Day: IT'S FINISHED!

So my first ever JSK is completed, and I call it a success. The bodice is a smidge long, but the hem is even (HELL YEAH!) and it's sturdy in terms of how it was put together. I still want to do a few more floral broaches for when I don't wear a bolero, but it's otherwise complete.

I tried out some nude lipstick today to go with it, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think that it makes my nose look big without my mouth having any color (if that makes sense?). I mean, I have a big enough schnoz already, I don't need to push that fact...

More photos are on Daily Lolita.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I know, I know ...

I'm still not done. But. It's almost there!

Today, there are no photos of it, as the bodice requires a bit of hand-stitching around the waist, zip and shirring before I show it off. Instead, you get ...

A fabric rose!

The bodice was looking mighty bland, so I told a friend I was going to add a bow. She said that might be a bit much, that she liked the fabric on its own merit. She suggested a small corsage to wear at the strap, instead. Thus, a fabric rose. I'm planning on making at least one more for my hair, and a few smaller ones out of the green ribbon as additional accents.

Fingers crossed that I finish this project tomorrow!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Photo of the Day: Are We There Yet?

As promised, today is a continuation of yesterday's photo, (care of my cell phone). This image is what the pieces I showed yesterday have become! I'm really picky about lace and ribbon matching, so I was ecstatic to have these two work out so well.

I have seriously been bent over the machine since about noon. I went to get the things I needed to finish the dress (and ended up with some bargain fabrics for other projects), and then dove right back into work. I just need to finish a few little details on the bodice (hand sewing time) and hem the skirt/add lace. Then it'll be done! I found the perfect green ribbon for the corset lacing and the sash I wanted to do.

For decoration, I've decided to make two corsages out of the leftover fabric. I have several loooong strips of material and plenty of lace, so I'm going to make ribbon-rose style flowers, with ribbon leaves to match. One for my hair, one for the dress' bodice.

Hopefully tomorrow's photo will be better quality (and a finished product!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Photo of the Day: Make It Sew, Number One

Last night, I was hit with an urge to do something crafty. As a result, I've been sewing all day.

Because I'm not a very good seamstress, I rarely make dresses, especially if I don't have a pattern. However, I went for a really simple JSK design today, since I have already made a skirt out of this fabric and decided to get a bit daring. Tomorrow, I need to go get elastic for the shirring panel I created and to draw in the neckline. I also need to buy a zipper, some more thread, and ribbon to go with the print. Then I can finish up the dress!

... tomorrow's photo and possibly the day after's will likely have something to do with this project. I'm a bit fixated on it at the moment and was practically glued to the machine until I realized that I couldn't go any further without hitting a fabric store.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How many lolitas can you fit . . .

Lolitas cram into a purikura booth at PMX 2009. At least two more lolitas snuck in after this photo!
(And there's another out of view! So nine?)
 Most people are familiar with photo booths. You see them at carnivals, amusement parks, and even in malls. The idea behind them is simple: put in money, get instant photos. It's a fun, quick way to capture memories with friends, and share them around.

Because of a resurgence in nostalgia-based consumerism, these photo booths are once again popping up in malls and public spaces, which brings us to today's topic: purikura booths. These sparkly, graphic-coated machines are becoming more visible of late, and though they've been around a while, it looks like lolitas are still flocking to them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Photo of the Day: The Devil's Own Luck

click for larger view on deviantart
I really love vintage inspirations in lolita. Pulling retro hairstyles and accessories in really makes me happy, regardless of what era is involved.

Today, I was goofing around with my hair a bit. It's in an awkward growing out phase, so I tend to wear wigs when I wear lolita. I recently gave victory rolls a shot, and had some success, however! While I was practicing today, they started to resemble horns rather than great, curls of hair, so I said "well, hell with it!" and went with it. I put on a retro-inspired coordinate, did up my make-up, and took a few photos.

I hope you like the results! Sorry if you've seen this multiple times today (on DeviantART and LJ). Other photos can be found on Daily Lolita.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sources of Inspiration: Fairy Tales

Remember, your Fairy Godmother can give you riches and beauty,
but if you piss her off, she can also make you look like an ass (or a goat).

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful maiden ...

So begins many a fairy tale, and many a lolita's story. There are a lot of parallels between this fashion and the folk stories which still captivate children today. A lot of folk and fairy tales involve transformation, adventure, and magic. I've always felt that lolita has more than a little bit of each of those three.

Besides those factors, princesses (and common girls raised up to become princesses) have always been a popular topic in legend, and lolitas frequently seem to identify with them quite well. When I'm trying to come up with new ideas, I often turn to the volumes of fairy tales I keep on my bookshelves for inspiration. 

Photo of the Day: Sugar and Spice

One of the first photos I ever took with the D80,
the day after I got it.
Things are constantly changing. It doesn't matter what you're talking about, but the world is constantly in flux. Lolita changes in terms of what's "in" and what's "out" and what's "ita". Technology changes so quickly that if you buy a laptop today, it'll be obsolete in absolutely under a month.

So sometimes, when things don't change, I'm more impressed. The two girls in the above photo have been friends of mine for over three years and, in spite of geographic changes, economic changes, graduations, and a number of other new experiences and alterations to our persons, we're still friends. It amazes me, and makes me really happy, because I am so proud to know such wonderful, fun-loving girls.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Photo(s) of the Day: Heaven and Hell

I should have taken photos of the food I ate yesterday, but it was so quickly consumed that I didn't think of it until later. Instead, you get cupcakes. Delicious, delicious cupcakes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Photo of the Day: Personal Stalker

click to view larger on flickr
(because this thumbnail just doesn't do him justice)

Ever have a period of time where the whole world seems to run in 16x fast-forward? Everything seems to blur together, and no matter how quickly you move, the world stays ahead of you by about ten steps.

I've felt like that lately. The last few weeks have been absolutely insane!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Photo of the Day: Afterchristmas Aftermath

I've been using that phrase a lot the last week or so. My brother blew into town with his wife and not-quite-five-year-old son on the 27th. I thought I'd have time to update on a daily basis still, but I forgot what life with an ex-toddler is like. Busy. Very busy. And loud, too.

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