Monday, August 19, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Shiro Cosmetics Lingered in Twilight and For Generations Eye Shadow

I finally got it. I finally got the brilliantly stickered eye shadow I've been wanting for months. The concept of For Generations might even beat Nic Cage. But that's because the Armstrong Family joke has never gotten old for me. It is YEARS old now but it has never gotten old. I also got Lingered in Twilight because I've really been needing something like a really dark green to expand my smokey eye options and this kinda fit that (and looked super pretty on the site).
For Generations is a bright pink, a little lighter than hot pink but still punch to the face bright. And it is filled with lots of multicolored sparkles.

Lingered in Twilight is best likened to fish scales. Dark greenish blue and when the light its it just right it is brilliantly sparkly.

Now for swatches (all of which are done on my forearm over a stripe of eye shadow base). I wanted to compare FG with my collection of pinks since I kind of have a lot of pinks now (for how often I wear them). The top is in direct sunlight the bottom is indirect sunlight. Mew, Clefairy and Eye Contact are all other Shiro shades. Altair is Aromaleigh and Suffocation is Evil Shades. If there is one thing I really like about Shiro it is that I can own three different middle pinks from them and they are all different. The closest to For Generations is Eye Contact but it is slightly more cool toned hot pink and has a shimmer as opposed to sparkles. They are still different.

So basically, pretty sticker art, gorgeous colors and as usual they apply and wear like a dream. c:

Also someone remind me when suggestions for the next February Color of the Month comes up. Losing the Girl To My Superior Officer Once Again with a dejected Havoc sticker needs to happen.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Kracie Naive Peach Face Wash

I got to go to Mitsuwa! While I was in San Diego for Comic Con International. It was a blast and I wish we had a Mitsuwa here. While they had quite a selection of Japanese beauty products they were rather expensive and none of them sang out to me like the Korean ones have. But I really needed face wash so I grabbed one of the cheapest ones. In peach of course since I like peach.

It isn't very peach scented though which makes me sad. It works well as a cleanser but has nothing to make me want to drop $10 to get another tube of it.

Lame. Back to getting Korean face washes off eBay I guess.

Price: $10
Packaging: 3/5
Works but not really very interesting to look at.
Quality: 3/5
Cleans well, smells like soap, no peachy scent at all. :/
Value: 3/5
An alright cleanser for an alright price.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Morgana Cryptoria Dragonscale, Ginger Spice, Burnt Orange, Charleston and Asylum lipstick swatches

Look who's back! Though I'll be completely out of contact due to SDCC and the like for the rest of July. But! I should have some lovely new stuff to review once I get back since I plan on replenishing my stash of Asian beauty products. Not much lolita wearing has been going on due to the heat and humidity and my medical treatments making my legs gross and not so pretty but I'll be doing some during m trip so hopefully I'll remember to take pics and can have an OotF in August. :D

But onward to make-up!
Asylum is a pretty brownish grey with a pronounced green undertone/glow. It's very hard to photograph and get the green but it is there. For such a strange color (green) it actually applies remarkably well. But then again this is a MC lipstick so that's to be expected.

Charleston is a brown. I was hoping it would have a bit more of a red tint to it, it's almost there but not quite. It's a very dramatic color either way and not bad. Just very brown.
Dragonscale is very like Hydrangea, but the pink is a much more electric pink and instead of green sparkles it has a pronounced green shift. I adore it, while I ordered it hoping for something closer to hydrangea (there was no photo, just a short description) I really don't mind how it is different. Still beginning to run out of Hydrangea though. ToT

And now for our oranges. I absolutely love orange lipsticks, they're like red lipstick but blend in with my yellow toned skin better. I got Burnt Orange and Ginger Spice in the hopes they would be like 24k Pumpkin and Pumpkin Eater which are my two favorite lipsticks in the history of ever. They are similar but nowhere near being dupes.

I never thought of 24k Pumpkin as a dark lipstick until I compared these two! 24k Pumpkin has a darker, background and gold shift with it's gold sparkles where as Burnt Orange has a very straight up orange background with its gold sparkles. I really do like Burnt Orange though.

What you can't tell here is that Pumpkin Eater has a pronounced metallic quality to it. Not glitter or a shit it is just a metallic red orange. Ginger Spice is a reddish orange with copper sparkles. Ginger Spice is also a brighter/less dark color. A lovely color but it does was me out a tad.

All of the lipsticks were easy to apply as usual and came looking very swanky in professional looking tubes (excepting Asylum which came in a slim balm tube but it's a slim lipstick so expected). I'm happy with my purchase though the hunt for replacements for Pumpkin Eater, 24k Pumpkin and now Hydrangea continues! Hopefully Morgana Cryptoria will do a blast from the past thing during a future Halloween or something. :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Alba Botanica Rainforest Lush Facial Cream

Another "It was in the clearance bin and I'm out of face lotion so why not". This one is a lighter cream than the rosemary one which soaks in immediately. It also has a pump so it is easier to control how much I get. I like this one better than the Rosemary Light Night Cream, since we're starting to get humid this doesn't make my face feel like an oil slick but also actually moisturizes my skin. my skin seems a smidge happier using this as opposed to the Light Night Cream too: fewer zits!

The major downside is the smell, it is very strong. It is a pleasant smell for me but it is super strong and only just bearable. I would not buy this again because of how strong the smell is. It's something like Brazil nuts or some sort of tropical fruit.

Price: $5/
Packaging: 4/5
The packaging is super cute and doles out well. It could be cuter though!
Quality: 4/5
It leaves my face a bit dewy if it's a rainy day but otherwise the only drawback is how strong the scent is.
Value: 5/5
A face lotion my face actually seems to like for $5? Heck. Yes.
Overall: 4.33/5

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Loli Report: Grand Prix of the Americas (Circuit of the Americas MotoGP Outing)

I feel like since I did a big trip report for my super amazing Laguna Seca camping trip I should do one for Circuit of the Americas too. But I didn't camp (I didn't find out about camping until the week before so I hadn't asked for Friday off and almost $200 is too much for one night). Also since there isn't a whole ton of information available for CotA hopefully this will help someone else out since the CotA website is probably the most unhelpful thing available.

I stalked ticket sales, waiting for them to go live. I was worried they would be like the F1 tickets and would sell out rather quickly. Please note that the CotA website is only really good for purchasing tickets. They went live, I bought a General Admission ticket and called it a day. They didn't mention what was going on with parking so I figured they were doing something like the shuttles I'd heard about for F1. Since they didn't mention camping AT ALL on their website I actually drove down to CotA the Monday after the F1 race and looked and asked around (I was in town for a lolita meet up). No one had noticed or heard of any camping. I was less than pleased but I live kinda sorta in driving distance so I just planned to commute Saturday and Sunday and not try for Friday at all.

A week before I really was not liking the idea of that commute (I'd have to get up super early so I could be at the track at a good time) so I hunted around their website looking to see if maybe last minute they added some near tack camping. No dice there but I did learn they weren't doing shuttles so supposedly I'd need to rush order $60 in parking passes so I could get to the track which they said wouldn't allow people to just walk up either. Having been to maaaany NASCAR races I knew the drill for how to handle this since in my exploration I got a feel for the area and CotA is in a very rural place. There was a 99% chance of someone who owned land near the track seeing the money making opportunity of a sign saying Parking $10 and doing that. If not then surely CotA would have a cash lot. That didn't solve my camping issue though so thinking about those rural folks I figured maybe someone would be just crazy enough to open their field to tent campers so I hit up craigslist. Yes this sounds hella shady. So shady. But I'm adventurous and have a car so if I made plans that didn't work out then I could get out of their easily.

That's where I found the official near track camping. On Craigslist.

The site is called RVNightly but also handles tent camping people too and near track cabins. It was $180 for the whole weekend and wasn't even track side or track view or anything. They still had spots open a week before but with a ton of cavity fillings draining my wallet and having not asked for Friday off $180 for one night was just too ridiculous. So I decided to pass. I figured I'd toss a sleeping bag and cooler full of food in my trunk and if I really felt like it I could sleep in a Walmart parking lot.

I didn't end up waking up super early since I'd had to close the library the night before and walk a friend of a friend's dogs. But it was Saturday so it would be practices and qualifying and chill and mainly a chance for me to scope out good spots for Sunday. I got dressed, tossed my cooler, sleeping bag and day bag in my trunk then hit the road. I think I got to the track itself at about 1pm in the end. The google map directions worked beautifully and the drive wasn't too terrible and whaddya know there was $10 parking (the one that said Last Chance/Best Deal is not lying, after that it is CotA's $30 unpaved cash lot). It was about a half mile from the track and in a field but this is a race so walking should be expected.

I took my sweet time circling the track, watching whoever was on the track at different points to see which location would provide the best view. There were a number of solid places actually, the track seems like it'd be a blast to take a spin around and the background as far as the eye can see is Texas blue sky and lush greenery. They also serve full on cocktails and if you get a top shelf/premium cocktail it came in a collectible glass. Legit glass. I also ran into half the group of friends I'd made at Laguna, we chatted for a short bit then went on our way. It was a chill track with lots of conveniently located restrooms and full bars. And there was no line for the ladies room unlike the super long line for the men's room! Ha!

It was a good day, I had a spot scoped out and got to soak up some race track. I also did my shopping, none of the tshirts had a design I liked so I went for a sticker for my car and a lapel pin.

I got loads of compliments on my hat and lots of people said I was crazy for wearing heels to the track (some of the gals were super made up and wearing 5" heels, those are the crazy women I have respect for) but it was a fairly fab day. I finished it off by dropping by Whole Foods (we don't have one in podunk) since I needed matcha and rice flour for dango and cakes. I also got a sushi tray since I was hungry and it sounded good.

I didn't end up sleeping in the Walmart parking lot since I was utterly beat so a hot shower and a warm soft bed sounded like heaven.

The big day! I got up early and got pretty and then hit the road at about 7-8am. It's a two hour drive and I wanted to get there by 11am so I figured that would leave enough wiggle room for traffic and walking. I also stopped for some green tea chiffon cake since Austin is awesome and has Asian bakeries and I love chiffon cake.

CotA has a solid no outside food or drink policy, I understand, they want to sell concessions. No offense but none of the concessions really called out to me (cocktails not included). For Sunday I wrapped up some summer sausage, bread, cheese and a slice of that chiffon cake in a cotton scarf and put that on the seat of the camp chair I borrowed, then gently closed up the chair and tied it shut/made a strap with another scarf. They actually do check your bags and such for contraband so I got a bit creative, y'know? I am a woman of simple wants when it's super hot out and I'm outside all day. If there had been a fruit and cheese plate I would have bought it. I also brought an umbrella since there was a risk of rain and I was already a little crispy from all the sun the day before.

I was happy to have a few spots mapped out for race viewing and started the day at the bar with the tables under a tent. It was looking like it could start raining at any second and more than anything I desired a rum and Coke. Which the bartender neglected to tell me would be a rum and Pepsi until he made the drink. That's blasphemy. But I sat with my cocktail and watched a round of qualifying before deciding to go stake out my spot under the giant camera boom that I knew would be super popular. It's at the exit of a delightfully long chicane and led right into a tight turn and had a view of the back straight. A great spot. I was even able to find my Laguna friends again and we ended up using my chair and umbrella to mark our little camp. The sun came out just in time for the races to start and I had an absolute blast. The racing was really fierce and the track was beautiful.

I got lots of compliments on my Corvette jsk, as per usual and there was definitely a friendly air to the crowd. I made friendly with an Italian from Houston while waiting in a line and then when I was heading home two older Spaniards stopped me for pictures and hugs. While there wasn't quite the same friend making atmosphere that sharing a campground like Laguna Seca has it was a blast.

All in all I had a good time and will definitely go see any Moto events they have at the track. I just wish they had track side camping. But Laguna Seca probably just spoiled me on that. I really wish their website was more helpful though.

The Takeaway:
-General Admission Tickets are the best deal.
-$10 parking exists if you're willing to walk a little, the one with the last chance sign means it
-Turn 7 and between turns 14 and 15 are my favorite spots though there are lots of awesome spots.
-Nice facilities.
-Terrible advance planning/information on website

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Outfits of the Fortnight v.17

CotA Day 1
I wanted to be fancy on Sunday but I still wanted to wear both this shirt and this skirt (not necessarily together) at some point to the track which left Saturday for both of those. It was a comfortably outfit but my arms got a little toasty. And those are the same heels I wore the entirety of my camping trip at Laguna Seca! :D They're officially my MotoGP shoes.
Hat: Handmade
Scarf: Vintage
Shirt: Laguna Seca Red Bull Grand Prix 2012
Skirt: Handmade
Socks: Putumayo
Shoes: Offbrand

CotA Day 2

My original plan was to wear a kimono I have been working on for the big Sunday race. It's this super pretty transparent tsumugi kimono that I've been painting moto racing scenes on. There's still a lot I wanted to do with it and I was still absolutely exhausted from the day before so I decided against it. It was going to be a long day, maybe rain and I was already tired. So I went with my Vette jsk which got a ton of compliments~! And long sleeves since my arms were a bit toasted already.
Blouse: Offbrand
JSK: Handmade
Leggings: Offbrand
Shoes: Offbrand

Monday, May 13, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Botanics Complexion Refining Light Night Cream

I bought this solely because it was in the clearance bin and had rosemary on the packaging. I LOVE rosemary. It's my herb. So even though I normally avoid anti-acne/refining moisturizers because they irritate my sensitive skin.

It doesn't irritate my skin at all, it doesn't seem to do anything beneficial but it doesn't cause problems either so it wasn't a waste of my $7. I just wish it was in a tube instead of a jar I'm sticking my fingers in, I always end up with too much. I don't know how that refining is working out since I still have zits and the pores on my nose are still a bit big.

Price: $7
Packaging: 2/5
It closes and looks nice on the counter but a tube would help control how much product I get which would be nice.
Quality: 3/5
It neither harms nor helps, just moisturizes. Which goes against what it advertises but honestly finding something like that for my sensitive skin is tricky.
Value: 3/5
It works alright but not great and it doesn't smell obscenely like rosemary which is what I was hoping for.
Overall: 2.66/5

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Outfits of the Fortnight #16 National Library Week edition~!

So one of my coworkers suggested that since we work in a library and we had a company wide spirit day coming up we should encourage everyone to dress as a favorite fictional character on both the spirit day and the day before (because not everyone works on the spirit day). I couldn't choose between three ideas (Dr. Layon, Dr. Iwamine and Jane Eyre) so I decided to just dress up the whole darn week. There were some other coords I totes would have done but my boss was firmly no masks, stage make-up or wigs (the wigs part killed me).

Dr. Layon (Zoids New Century)
Don't judge me for how much I still like Dr. Layon, over the years my love of Harry Champ has waned (he is a bit creepy with how much he doesn't take a hint) but Dr. Layon is still my favorite character from that show. Also finding good pics of him online is nigh impossible. I actually rewatched the series to plan the outfit. :x

Jane Eyre
I had to do at least ONE literary character and since I already have the dress I figured why the heck not.

Nanaki Kazuaki (Hatoful Boyfriend)
As my interns can attest, I talk about my Bird Game all the damn time. Because I used to play it on lunch break so it was fresh on my mind when I would come back to work. I had to do at least one outfit from it. Also I was coming in on my day off for a meeting so I wanted something chill and comfortable and our favorite narcoleptic math teacher has a mighty comfy outfit. I wish I could've worn a wig. I have the perfect blonde wig for this.

Cait Sith (FF7)
It looked better with the black blazer on, not sure why I forgot to put it back on. Likely had something to do with still being a little out of it from having my mouth worked on earlier that day.

Dr. Iwamine (Hatoful Boyfriend)

Ahahaha I forgot to take a pic. I was still barely functioning from the dental work from the day before (my coworker decided to plan to take both evenings off without mentioning it to me so my plan to get the work done Thursday when I could normally call out so I could just sleep for a solid day didn't work out). I'd just redo the coord but I borrowed the lab coat from one of my interns and have already returned it. :x

Monday, April 29, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara

Given how much I like Maybelline's Falsies mascara I thought I'd give this one a go since it is in the same Volum' Express line and references rockets (I am that dork).

The brush is different than the Falsies one, this one has all sorts of short spikes instead of a more traditional bristle brush.

It applies easily but doesn't really plump and lengthen my lashes quite like the Falsies does. It does well to lengthen though and if I didn't have Falsies then it would be my favorite (it also clumps less than Falsies but I'm willing to take some clumps with my giant lashes so y'know). And also since I accidentally bought brownish black instead of my normal blacker than space it lends a very natural look.

Price: $7
Packaging: 4.5/5
It fits well in my hand and make-up bag, is cute and the applicator works well though isn't the very best.
Quality: 4.5/5
It doesn't flake, it applies easy and it stays once applied until I wipe my face with make-up removing cloth at night. Like I said elsewhere, if it weren't for The Falsies it would be my favorite.
Value: 5/5
It is a really good mascara for less than $10 and it is easy to find coupons every so often so the cost can easily be closer to $5.
Overall: 4.66/5

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Outfits of the Fortnight v.15

This is more of a highlights for the past month and a half or so that I've been AWOL.
Y'all have seen this one before but it is one of my favorites!
Blouse: Offbrand
Socks: Offbrand
Shoes: Offbrand

I really like this Boz JSK. I wear it a looooot.
Starclips: Handmade
Blouse: Offbrand
JSK: Offbrand
Socks: Sockdreams (O'Rayons)
Shoes: Offbrand

At the first sign of Spring weather in March I broke out the seasonal appropriate lolita. The weather has been crazy but as of last week has been absolutely glorious.
Blouse: Offrband
JSK: Bodyline
Socks: AatP
Shoes: Offbrand

Barely a few days after that great spring weather we had an overnight freeze and were back to cold weather. I'm just happy I kept an eye on my weather app so I knew to drag my sensitive flowers inside before going to bed! (Also I told you I like this JSK a lot. It's also uber work appropriate so it gets a lot of wear.)
Blouse: Offbrand
JSK: Boz
Tights: Offbrand
Socks: Offbrand
Shoes: Offbrand

The JSK I got from the swap at Anime Matsuri. It took in beautifully, I'm soooo happy I bought it. I also got the socks at AMat too! As soon as I saw them I grabbed them and practically threw bills at the girls running he BtSBB booth. Now all I need is that Clara JSK right? (I'm silly. Though I actually like the other version better which makes it hard to actually commit to being EITHER.)
Blouse: Offbrand
JSK: Handmade by someone else?
Socks: BtSSB
Shoes: Offbrand

Monday, April 15, 2013

Make-Up Monday: Victorian Disco Cosmetics

There is no picture for this since... I never received my product.

I ordered during last year's Memorial Day sale. My order was only resolved the end of March.

May 2012
So I ordered during the Memorial Day sale and then the owner got sick. Hey, it happens. I figured she would fill the orders or whatever when she was doing better.

August 2012
I hadn't heard anything so I looked online and noticed that on her facebook page she was offering to give refunds to those who wanted them. I really wanted the eye shadows I'd ordered instead and didn't mind waiting a bit longer so I didn't email her about a refund.

October 2012
I emailed asking what was going on. I got one response back saying she would look into things.

Januaryish 2013
I emailed again asking what was up but got no response back.

March 2013
The intern who had suggested Victorian Disco to me was telling me about the order from them she had just ordered and received within that month. Naturally I was not a happy camper as I hadn't heard back from the owner in months for an order placed almost a year ago. So I emailed her again asking when exactly my order would be filled. She got back to me, said most of what I had ordered she no longer had stock of and offered to let me either substitute or get a refund. I chose a refund since the ones which had spurred the order in the first place weren't available any more and apparently no more would ever be made.

I am a very understanding person, especially when it comes to illness or something else completely out of a person's control messing things up. If she had kept up communication (she didn't, her facebook page went untouched for a long time in there and her website went down) I wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem.

What gets me is that she obviously didn't go through the order backlog once she was better. You wouldn't even have to fill the orders, she could have gone though and refunded them all and this wouldn't be a negative review. It's the fact I had to keep pushing to get a resolution.

So, uh, I guess if you like a gamble and don't actually have your heart set on any of the shadows you order then you could take a go but otherwise I would advise y'all to not.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sorry for Disappearing... Things At Fox Hill Are Rough.

I'd been doing so good too, making sure to have things in the queue to post even when I was gone for a month last July. Part of it was that I just wasn't buying make-up so I didn't have anything for Make-Up Monday and then Anime Matsuri was suddenly less than a month away and I was still behind on a lot of cosplay stuff I needed for that. I figured after AMat I could play catch up, after all I would have a kimono post to put up (I had a really cute kitsuke for Friday of AMat) and maybe a costume post too. I got back from AMat to an apartment I hadn't had the time to clean before leaving and I was utterly exhausted for a full week after. And I forgot to take pictures of ANY of my coords at the convention. I had a great time but I was exhausted. Then I had hardcore mouth pain and I realized with terror that one of my wisdom teeth had decided to come in. It seemed to be coming in straight but I still figured a trip to the dentist was warranted.

The wisdom teeth have to come out. I also have 10 cavities (4 are really early).

I have my first of three appointments to start filling them this Thursday. We're doing the three wost first, all of which are on the upper left side which is also where my most problematic wisdom tooth is. I'm grateful part of my benefits include dental insurance but even so it was $60 just to get my mouth inspected and cleaned. If all goes as planned then I'll be out about $800 once we have the cavities done so the wisdom teeth will have to wait until next year. The top two HAVE to come out since apparently they've got cavities too and the right one is only partially erupted so at serious risk for rotting in my face. The bottom two are leaning against the roots of their neighbor teeth (as they always have) so Dentist-sensei says they will likely cause problems down the line (like slowly killing the roots of those teeth so the teeth will die... peachy) and if I'm already getting the tops out I should just get it all done in one go. Considering he had to refer me to an oral surgeon if I get the bottoms taken care of I figure this must be legit since he could've done the tops (and gotten paid for that).

So, what does this mean for the blog?

Well my discretionary income has just tanked so Make-Up Monday will now be bi-weekly and even then maybe not regular (I have... four reviews to write I think and only will probably buy a new face wash in the coming months since I'm almost out).

I still have my lolita and kimono so I'm going to try and keep up and have something up every Thursday. I also have a serious backlog of lolita projects so maybe you'll see some of that too.

At AMat a friend convinced me to cosplay EDI (from Mass Effect 3) despite never having played the game so I'm working on that right now in addition to painting a special kimono for the Red Bull Grand Prix at CotA. Expect progress updates on those next week.

I may be mostly gone for May. I was asked to completely reorganize a church's music library including making a database for it and they'd like me to do it in May. This will be in addition to my normal full time job so I won't have much free time leading up to A-Kon.

All in all I'm not doing so great, mostly I'm terrified about this mouth that has betrayed me. Cavities I've learned to deal with. I've even had to get my mouth numbed to have one filled before. I'm not looking forward to getting them filled but I've got my Big Girl Pants on and even though I want to cry I know I can force myself to be brave and just grip the arm rest and try and think of other things until it is over. The surgery is worse. I have a phobia of surgery. It's why I didn't get my wisdom teeth taken out sooner (was hoping they'd just chill in there and not do anything). It's why I didn't have my elbow reconstructed when I broke it (it was 50/50 whether surgery would be beneficial, I'd likely have lost more range of motion due to immobilizing it so it could heal but it would be held together with more than scar tissue). Now they're going to surgery my face. I'm petrified.

The worst part is that I have to be the one to force myself to do this. I know I need to do this. I have to do this. Before I could be weak and my mom would be the strong one. She'd schedule my appointments and drive me there and then the rest of the day I could be pitiful on the couch. Now I have to find the dentist/doctor, make the appointment, fill out all the forms and pay the bill. I have to drive myself to and from and while I'll still be laying on the couch being pitiful no one will be there to take care of me (and I've got work a few hours after my first set of fillings).

The scariest part (after the abject terror that is thinking of my face being flayed open to retrieve the teeth) is thinking about the after care. Maybe that's the saddest part really. I'm going to have to get some sort of substantial anesthesia for the wisdom teeth so I'll have to have someone drive me to and from and then if I'm anything like my brother I'll be laid up for close to a week. And I don't have family any more so who am I supposed to impose upon? My best friend is several states over and the people I feel most comfortable asking after that are on the other side of the state. I have one set of local friends but they've got lives and a kid and I know I'd be a burden. When I tweeted my frustrations a friend kind of near by offered to come over to take care of me but I don't have a guest room and I'd feel like a jerk asking him to sleep on the couch. I know I will need someone to take care of me, I've been laid low by sickness before and I'd prefer to avoid being physically unable to get out of bed without someone to help me again. I'm just realizing that the family that I have made now is almost entirely not local so when major issues occur I'm nearly completely on my own. This will be the first time where it's up to me to take care of myself even when I'm weak for a long time.

I had thought that registering my car and buying insurance for it was my big step into being an adult. That having a permanent address that wasn't my parents' and changing all the addresses and filling out all the insurance enrollment forms was the final step. That I had become An Adult. I have a retirement account. Maybe that was the marker for when I became An Adult and this will be the test to renew my Adult Card.

Either way, I realized on the drive back that this is the other side of all the fun and excitement of being able to buy alcohol and owning a car. I tried to focus on the lush green fields I was driving past, tried to focus on how pretty this rural farm land was as I drove back to my Podunk city but my mind was busy trying to hammer out the logistics of this nightmare. I could take solace in that I have savings but I'm scared because I'll have to raid maybe half of it to get the fillings done with in May. The tires on my car have racked up a lot of miles so they'll probably need to be replaced within a year or two but the wisdom tooth surgery will eat up most of my discretionary income for this winter (and maybe the remainder of my savings). I tried to think of who I could ask to care for me but it was on that drive when I realized that would likely be the biggest hurdle.

I'm trying to take comfort in the beauty of spring, for it has definitely sprung, but I'm exhausted and almost in tears because I'm scared and nervous.

I take as many walks as I can, even when I'm not visiting the botanical gardens (I had to go to the big city for my leg lasering appointment) I walk around the neighborhood and by the river. I walk to the small grocery that's nearby and bask in the warm but not hot weather and all the little patches of wildflowers. I can forget my terror for brief spans of moments. I throw myself into working on EDI or painting that MotoGP kimono. I try to ignore how bone tired I am because I don't have a reason to be so exhausted so why am I so exhausted? I bargain with myself that if I can just put up half the laundry or clean the bathtub then I'll bake something yummy as a reward but I've been having long spells where even cooking a cup of instant ramen seems like too much work and too much of a wait before hunger grumbles turn into stabbing pain. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel but finding there isn't anything left to scrape. And then something inside me asks what I'm even pushing on for anyways. I have a long road of pain and exhaustion ahead of me, why do I keep struggling on?

But I'm going to get the three worst of the cavities filled on Thursday. It's National Library Week and work has encouraged us to dress inspired by our favorite fictional characters so I'm raiding my closet for that (I'm dressed up as Dr. Layon from Zoids today!). My moon flower vines are still alive and other things are flowering.

The drills will hurt in ways no pain medication can numb (the sound, it's always been the sound and to a certain degree the pressure) but it should only be a hellish hour then on Saturday and Sunday I'll be at Circuit of the Americas surrounded by moto and flowers and on another misadventure.

The Princess of Fox Hill has been laid low and will be laid far lower but she will do her best not to give up.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kitsuke of the Month: February 2013

Only wore a kimono once this month but it seemed to be good luck since that package from Shinei with that gorgeous Taisho era kimono showed up the same day!
I went for Valentine's colors, sorta. I figured this would be the most optimal time to wear that pink obi which is what I worked this whole outfit around. The only kimono I have that goes with it is my grey hitoe but it was just the right weight since honestly our February has been half omg cold and half ridiculously warm. The han eri is a navy blue with cream and aqua accents which mirror the cream and aqua in the obi and the obijime is aqua to bring more of that out. I still lack an aqua obiage so I just used my black and grey scarf.

I also managed to do an otaiko musubi all by my lonesome too, it only took an hour an a half *cries*. But I am steadily improving in terms of being able to put things on. This is very clearly another case of practice being key.

What did I do while kimono'd up? Errands, dropped off the rent check and groceries specifically. I managed to catch the drum part of the musubi on something in the check out line so there was a brief rush to get everything on the conveyor belt so I could shove my obi back into a drum. But I was able to so not big deal. The bagger asked why I was wearing a kimono and I've found my default answer is that it would just sit in my closet so why not wear it grocery shopping/wherever? I got asked the same thing by the exterminator (I moved my grocery day in hopes of not being home for inspection since it's just weird) and I gave him the same answer. Then I did all sorts of fancy cooking and tied back my obi sleeves/put on an apron to be totes domestic and have a lovely dinner prepared for a friend that was coming over.

I didn't quite have dinner done by the time she got here but she was just tickled pink to see me in a kimono and making dinner. I had taken my apron off by then since I was just waiting for the lamb burgers to finish cooking and then assembling everything (and putting in a second loaf of bread once the dough finished rising). We had lamb burgers with tomatoes and fresh from my garden lettuce on home baked wheat bread and roasted asparagus. It was totes delish.

I'm getting more comfortable with fluttering about daily life in a kimono, it tires me out about as much as my Transformers costumes actually but that's just because I'm not used to so much weight and structural bits being situated on my waist/ribcage so those muscles tire quicker.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Outfits of the Fortnight v.14

This got delayed a week since I started laser hair treatments on my gams so I was stuck in pants for almost the whole week leading up and a lot of the week of the treatment. And I didn't want just one piddly outfit.

We had some hardcore spring weather out of nowhere so I ditched socks right before I had to let my legs get all gross. Once they were gross but post laser'd I hid them from the world under pants and long skirts. I happy to be able to wear socks and leggings again. :D
All Offbrand.

I really do love that Atelier Boz jsk, so comphy and easy to coord. Another spring themed outfit with pastels and greys. And yes my hair had decided to be fab though it still feels so short!
Blouse: Offbrand
JSK: Atelier Boz
Socks: Offbrand
Shoes: Offbrand

Valentine's day, I wasn't feeling all that fab and just threw on the red shoes and haori to attempt to be kind of festive for work.
Haori: Vintage
Everything else: Offbrand

We had a cold snap so I got to pull out the Commish coat again, yay!
Star clip: Handmade
Coat: Handmade
Shoes: Vintage
Skirt: HMHM
Everything else: Offbrand
Still cold. Mana bless thermal leggings.
JSK: Atelier Boz
Everything else: Offbrand

And back to warm weather. Doesn't feel like February at all. :x
Scarf: Vintage
Everything Else: Offbrand

And bonus:
Mardi Gras outfit. Since I knew some of the people at the party would be smoking I opted to not do lolita. I also got whistled at a few steps from my front door which was quite strange since I felt covered up. Then again I've got good gams. *shrugs*

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tutorial: Organza Petticoat

Happy Valentine's Day (I'm a Legumentine's gal myself but I'm a Hato-nerd so y'know)! Let's talk underthings~. Lolita underthings as in petticoats.

I remembered reading once that organza petticoats were supposed to retain their fluff better than tulle/net ones and also not be as itchy. I had been fighting with a ball of net I called a petti and was tired of it so I experimented with organza and this is what I got. The first organza petticoat I made was my blue one, I made it a few years ago and while it has lost some of it's poof after averaging once a week wear over it's whole life it is still pretty solid. I saw this organza on clearance and fell in love with the color so I figured why not give my blue petti a break and make another one. I've also made a cupcake petti using a similar method and will note the lengths needed to make one in parenthesis.

For this project you will need:
3 1/3yd organza (5 1/4 for cupcake)
1 package of bias tape (2x the width of your organza) (2 for cupcake)
4"xYour waist measurement+3" of cotton or other sturdy but not bulky fabric

This explains juuuust about everything. It's a very simple design but one I thought very hard on since organza frays like a mofo and I knew the key to a long lasting organza petti would be to minimizing that. About sizing, I have a 26" waist and this works very well for me but because of the pleating it could probably go up to 32" without major modifications.

Step 1
Buy 3 1/3yds organza (if using the base measurements, if not just add up your panels), wash and iron it. Remember to either have your iron on a low setting or place a cloth over the organza so you don't melt/burn it.

Step 2
Cut your fabric into panels as shown in the diagram.

Step 3
Pin the selvage/short sides together. The selvage won't unravel which is why you want that for the seams. With one of the base skirt's seams, start and end the seam about twelve inches from the edge like the diagram above. The length of unsewn seam needs to be symmetrical.

Step 4
Iron your seams open. Remember what I said about ironing organza? Yeah, this is what happens if you aren't careful. When ironing the partially not stitched seam, iron the unstitched ends folded back like the rest of the seam.
Step 5
Fold both the base skirt tube and the ruffle tube in half (hotdog style), sandwiching the seams inside and matching them up. Pin the raw edges together and go ahead and run a quick stitch there. It will just makes things way easier and is worth the five minutes it takes (trust me, I've tried skipping, it just causes frustration).

Your back opening will look like this. This is why you're shooting to make the unstitched lengths of that seam symmetrical.

Step 6
Now the time consuming part, pleat the ruffle along the rough/unraveling edge so it is the same width as your base skirt. I like to mark the to be ruffled fabric into four equal sections and figure out what a 1/4th of my needed length is then do each section at a time. It helps to keep it even. Pin your pleats then sew them down with a straight stitch. The organza likes to slip so be careful or else the ruffle tube will be slightly larger than you want. That won't be the end of the world but still, aim for a perfect fit.

Step 7
Now pin your bias tape/ribbon casing over that raw edge. This will keep it from unravelling and also add some body to the petti. Once you have it pinned on then sew it down. It doesn't have to be pretty so don't worry about fighting that bias tape/organza duo of evil.

Step 8
Now for the weird part. We're going to fit the ruffle onto the petticoat skirt. You want the bottom of the ruffle pointing to the waistband/top when you're sewing it on, not folded over or anything but just like the diagram. Pin it on.

Step 9
Chances are it won't be a perfect fit. Luckily it's a petticoat so one of those two pleating options will solve the problem without many issues. Be ready to enact one of those while sewing the ruffle on, the organza is a beast and will change dimensions so one of those pleats will likely be needed.

Step 10
Pleat the skirt. With ruffle attached you're almost done! Pleat the skirt just like the ruffle but this time down to your waist measurement. I make mine 1/2" too short  so there isn't bulk where it would otherwise likely overlap. Your call on that. I also do a box pleat on the front and then have the direction to either side matching it. Again, your call.

Step 11
Iron your 4" strip of fabric into bias tape, just admittedly big bias tape. And yes iron, it will look 20x nicer and be easier. Again, I've tried to be lazy with this before and the 5 minutes it takes to iron it is sooo worth it. You can also fold in the short edges and iron them down too since it'll make finishing those easier.

Step 12
Pin your waistband to the pleated end of your petticoat, making sure there is at least a one inch tab of extra on each end of the unsewn seam which is like your petticoat's fly. I aim the center of my waistband tape at that center front box pleat to make sure there's enough tab on each side of the petti-fly.

Step 13
Button placement. Figure out where you want to put your buttons then sew the buttonholes first. In case your buttonholes are a little off, since adjusting the placement of buttons is way easier than buttonhole placement. I used two buttons since my tabs were a little long.

And you're done! It's really that easier. You could make it with elastic in the waist but I worry that it'd bulk up the waist area and that it might get tangled in the rough edge of the organza which would also occupy the waistband. This kind of petti can be machine washed (machine dry low for best results). It will lose a bit of poof over time but it holds onto a good bit.