Saturday, May 25, 2013

Japanese Dolls and Geishas

Here's another one of my collections, this time featuring my items with traditionally garbed Japanese women. I have a statue, a doll, and a note pad in this collection (see below).

The statue features a lady wearing a kimono doing a traditional Japanese art: Ikebana or flower arranging. I like how delicate this statue is and how it mostly uses soft colors that all blend nicely together.

The next item is the doll. I believe that this doll is a highly simplified version of the Hinamatsuri, Japanese girl's day, Ohime-sama doll as it is in a similar style to other Hinamatsuri dolls and has a tiny fan, like the full sized versions of Ohime-sama have. I love how simple and small this doll is while still being very elegant and detailed.

The last item in this collection is the note pad. It's a very pretty note pad with a geisha featured on the front. The paper inside has a nice delicate pattern using different shades of purple. The outside has lot of metallic gold accents, making it very difficult to get a good image of the cover.

All images are by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lolita on a Budjet: Gothic Lolita

 Gothic Lolita is the first Lolita style I tried and today is one of my favorites.The one thing I dislike about Gothic Lolita is that it lacks bright colors, so I enjoy wearing other styles of Lolita as well. For this Gothic Lolita outfit I chose to do an outfit that's mainly black with white accents to keep the outfit from looking too dark. For those that prefer an all black Gothic or Kuro Lolita, I'll do an outfit later on for that style. This outfit costs $120 plus shipping and handling. Let's go!

The most important part of any Lolita ensemble is, of course, the dress or, in this case the jumper. For this outfit I chose a ruffled jumper that comes with a matching katayusha, or head bow. I love that this jumper's cute yet inexpensive and that it comes with a head bow as well making for even more savings. For a blouse to wear under the jumper, I felt that the ladder race blouse in white would be the best since it allows one to wear the sleeves long or short making it a very versatile blouse. Since it's a white blouse it can also be used with many ensembles or by itself with a pair of jeans if you want a casual but cute look for every day wear. I thought that over the knee socks would look best with this look, but a cute pair of lacy white tights could be substituted for a more mature look or to keep your legs warm in winter. I love how cute all of Bodyline's shoes are and these are no exception! The triple bow shoes in black are very cute and I love the little heart shaped clasps on them. To top it all off, I thought that adding a few cute rings would be nice. My favorite ones are the black crystal rose and bow rings. Now add a petticoat and a pair of bloomers and you're good to go! I hope you enjoy this look and look forward to more in the future! Bodyline! is always adding new items, so there's sure to be more looks in this and other styles in the future.

All of the items in this outfit plus more in this style can be found on the Bodyline website. No pictures due to the fact that I haven't received permission to use Bodyline!'s images. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gothic & Lolita Kodona Blouse

A while back I got a blouse pattern from Miss Carlyfornia out of a Gothic & Lolita Bible she owns. The blouse was part of a Kodona Lolita (Boy style) ensemble that included a frill, ribbon, and belts for the sleeves of the blouse as well as a pair of shorts. Seeing as how I barely fit extra large Japanese size blouses, I doubted I'd fit the shorts pattern so I only copied the blouse pattern. A little while back I took the time to actually make the blouse that was in the instructions since I'd only used the bodice of the blouse to make a puff sleeved sailor collar blouse. This time I altered the pattern to make it slightly longer as well as making the modifications called for in the pattern to give the blouse tails and enough space in the front to make it a button up blouse. Fortunately the alterations all turned out well and I was able to assemble the pattern fairly easily. My main struggles were with the sleeves, as they were in three different sections and I'd sized the middle section a little off, and the collar, which was a style I'd never done before. The buttons were also a little difficult making sure that they were positioned properly, but the part that brought me the most grief was the button holes. This is mainly because I'd never done button holes on a sewing machine before, but also due to the fact that the pieces for button holes decided to stop working for no evident reason partway through several of the button holes. Overall, the blouse turned out really nicely and it fits very well.

I'm wearing my new blouse with a ribbon at the collar and my loliable skirt in the image above. The blouse also works really nicely with my Gothic Lolita Pinafore by Miss Carlyfornia.

All images are by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Metallic Nail Art Tutorial

Please be warned that this post has quite a few images in it. If you have a slow internet connection I suggest you stop the page loading once you can see the text, then load the pictures individually as you come to them.

Time for another  tutorial, this time for nails. This look was inspired by Michelle Phan's Metallic Knight makeup tutorial. Let's get started!

What you'll need:
A sparkly nail polish as well as a base and top coat
Metallic tape in silver or a silver metallic pen (You can find the metallic tape at a crafts store and the pen at an office supply store)
Rhinestones (Tiny ones work best)

First off, you'll want to start with clean nails without any rough edges. I filed my nails so that they're rounded, but you can also do this with squared off nails. You can also use fake nails as this would make application of the decorations a bit easier. Start by applying a base coat on your nails. This helps the polish last longer.

Now apply a sparkly colored nail polish, one coat if it's more opaque or two to three if it's a more translucent polish like mine. I used a jade colored polish here, but you could also use any other jewel tone. I recommend against using a gold or silver polish as this will make the stripes we will be putting on next not show up as well.

Now start cutting off pieces of the metallic tape that are a bit longer than your nail at the angle you wish to place the stripes at. Cut these pieces into thin strips (see image below) and then cut them to fit comfortably on your nail. I found that cutting the ends at angles made the strips fit better on my nails. Be careful while you cut out the strips. The tape had a tendency to slip off of its backing on one side of the scissors while I was cutting mine.

 Arrange the strips of metallic tape and rhinestones on your nails in a striped pattern. Make sure to leave the backings on the tape until you know how you want them to look (see top image below). To attach the metallic tape, just remove the backing and press onto the nails. It helps if you have a layer of polish on that's not quite dry yet so the tape will stick a bit better. Put a dot of polish anywhere you want to put a rhinestone and apply them with a pair of tweezers or with your fingers if you want (see bottom image below). Push the rhinestones into the positions you want them in if you haven't placed them quite right.

Arranging the metallic strips

Adding rhinestones

 Keep repeating this pattern for all of your nails. I decided to only do every other nail with the tape on it and I only did rhinestones on two nails per hand. Mix things up and do a different arrangement on each nail, but it looks best if you keep the metallic tape strips in the same general pattern with the stripes running in the same direction (see image below).

All the stripes run in the same direction.

Make sure to cover everything with a clear topcoat to help it stay on better once you're done. Here's the finished result!

I mentioned above that you can also use a metallic pen in place of the tape, so here's an image with the finished nails using a metallic pen. The metallic pen isn't quite the same effect as the metallic tape, but it still looks nice. If you have a nail art brush you could also use a silver nail polish to paint on the stripes.

I hope you enjoy trying out this tutorial! Michelle Phan's tutorials can be found on YouTube. All images are by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.