Wednesday, January 17, 2018

That Little Planned Tea Time...

For the 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge #16 the prompt was to plan a special meal and I went with a small afternoon tea, and planned to do it the next day. I was excited about what I had decided to plan, needing a little pick me up recently, though it there were a few things to prep in such a hurry. It was good I had no prior plans and surprisingly all of the ingredient at hand.

Tea is served!

And as luck would have it, I did manage to make everything I had initially planned out for the tea, some of the recipes were new to me, they turned out a success. As the banana bread was already done, things were sped up for making a quick tea sandwich, while running a quick errand I saw a special on grapes, a delicious little addition, and of course the scones.

Dressed for tea

Speaking of scones, recipes usually vary and most of the ones I've tried in the past usually make for quite a large stock pile. This isn't really ideal when you are one lone frilly for the day and don't often eat more then 1 or 2 in a sitting. This one I found is simple and very quick and can be altered to have different extra ingredients, for mine I did use 2 extras and used the 4 tablespoon measurement for both - it would only apply, I believe, when one is a ground ingredient, but that's up to your discretion, in my opinion  - and they turned out delightful.

Quick and easy

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (you can use a little extra to sprinkle on the top
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cold butter
5 tbsp milk
4 tbsp of whatever you want to mix in

<3 Preheat oven to 450.

<3 Mix all of the dry ingredients with what you want to add extra (rose petals, chocolate, etc).

<3 Add the butter and then the milk, if too try add a few drops of extra milk till smooth.

<3 Roll into a ball and flatten to about an 1-1/2" and cut or pull into 4 parts.

<3 Optional: Sprinkle extra sugar over tops and then bake for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

365LLC Days 14-16: Of Adjectives, Pleasant Dreams, And Delicious Meals

Some of these challenges, I've noticed are things that we've all done at some point in our daily lives, creating word association games, wardrobe goals, and coordination prompts. There have been a few I haven't done in a while, like reading Novala and learning how to make lace, reminding me of things I've wanted to get back to or learn. I hope this prompts me to focus and appreciate more of the details within the fashion and lifestyle a bit more.

January 14, 2018

I think the last time I tried to describe my style I really was hilariously vague, though truly accurate. I don't think it's changed much.

<3 Exuberant

<3 Flowery

<3 Unique

<3 Elegant

<3 Intriguing 

January 15, 2018

I actually just got this lovely rose perfume as a gift for my birthday from Sweet Okashi, back in August, and knew that this would be the perfect fragrance to spray on my bed.

January 16, 2018

Planning a special meal can be a real delight if you know what you are doing, how to cook, and have free reign of the kitchen, though in other cases it can be a nice learning experience. I'm still timid about cooking, though I've gotten more chances to do more then just the prep work for recently, I do enjoy trying things.

The first time I did this challenge I prepared an afternoon tea service, with specific plating choices and food, I'm finding I want to plan one for tomorrow. Since it will just be for me I'll go smaller then the last one I put together.

<3 First up will be a simple chocolate chip scone, straight from the oven tomorrow!

<3 I actually have all the ingredients for the Ritz Hotel egg salad tea sandwiches, which are classic. 

<3 I just made some banana bread this past weekend, the recipe I tried out was very good and got approval from all who tried it, a first for me. I know it's not traditional but it will be a nice addition.

<3 Truthfully, I don't believe I'll be able to eat much more, no matter how small I make the portions, so for the dessert I'm going to go easy and just came back from market with a beautiful honeycrisp apple. 

<3 For the actual tea to drink I think it will be a good time to crack out the blueberry tea Sweet gave me for my birthday. I think it will pair lovely with the apple and chocolate.

<3 I'll also bust out the linen Paulina gave me for Christmas last year, which I really liked and only use every so often. My gold gilt tall teapot, with the cherry blossom detail, and pair it with a similar tea cup, both pre-1910 and from Japan. I plan on using some of the pieces I don't often use to plate each, in complementing visuals (if I'm going to go this big I may as well, after all) and will even put out a nice tablecloth for the whole thing.

Well, it's time for dinner for me now...I seem to have worked up an appetite so I'll make my way over to the kitchen and start a pot to go with to warm me up on this evening.

Cheers! XO

Saturday, January 13, 2018

365LLC Day 11-13: Of Lace, Plates, and Planetory Imitations

January 11, 2018

I really enjoyed learning a bit about lace last time I did this challenge and so this year I decided my next project would be to really try out tatting. I've been wanting to try making this style of trim for some of my pieces so I figured I'd share a tutorial that could help me.

January 12, 2018

The only time I really ever get to make dishes and plate them the way I want is around lunch or tea time. I'm not usually big on lunch and don't usually do much more then fruits during the morning because I just don't really take that time, so usually during tea I like to plate my food and enjoy it that way. I just got the cocktail fork so I was excited to use it for the little berries and since I've made a runner for my sewing table I decided to take advantage of the look of it to add to the ambience.

January 13, 2018

Last time I did this one I went with The Illusion Of  Flowering Lady, which I really enjoyed and went back to before doing this challenge, so for this particular post I tried to dig around for another I hadn't read before.

Soleilnuit by Takemoto Novala - The Planetarium and Imitation Girls

I visited the Astronomy Science Center in Akashi. I took the Osaka Express and switched trains at Sanyou. The train made clacking noises and swayed back and forth stopping at every station, going alongside the ocean scenery. I got off at a tiny station called Harumaruzen, and could see the shape of the astronomy tower, which resembled a large clock tower.
At 135 degrees east longitude, the meridian there controls Japan's time zones and also has a star museum. I saw a crystal quartz clock which was right out of a Tezuka Osamu-style future, and an exhibit where you can personally experience Kepler's Law of Planetary Motion using a chip, and took a tour of the models while waiting for the planetarium show. I figured the planetarium's dome must be larger than the rest of the exhibits. The stars were projected onto the ceiling, and it was the real sky, but even realer than real, since it was deeper and more vast. It was a million light years away, and I was attacked by this feeling of desolateness. The Akashi horizon was broken up into rows of silhouettes, and the infiniteness of the night sky made my chest start to hurt. I glanced down and noticed the shape of the projector, which resembled a giant ant. It was at this moment I began to think, "Huh. At this planetarium, the stars that I'm looking at right now aren't real." Usually, I don't really look at the night sky. But the projected starry sky at the planetarium pulled at my heart more than the actual night sky ever had.
I prefer a round piece of glass to a diamond, and a robot more than an actual human. I like Bernard Faucon's mannequin photographs, Oobayashi Nobuhiko's SFX, and Takaratsuka opera. A young lady's essence is a sort of "imitation," and with this one word I can openly express it. When a "female" replica and a "young boy" replica exist simultaneously, it is called a "young girl." A young lady is an imitation of the reality of the world. If you squeeze out all of the artificial cuteness and beauty, you are left with an unbalanced, yet pure, android. The guide's voice informed us that dawn was approaching the planetarium. The starry sky reverted to a white screen; Alice opened her eyes and was forced to part with the vest-wearing rabbits. The clocks which regulate Japan's time at the Astronomy Science Center had second hands that had started to slice away bits of reality.

I really enjoyed this one so much that I had to share it. What's one of your favorite Novala Takemoto essays that you really like?

Friday, January 12, 2018

LBC: Your Plans On Executing Your Top 3 New Years Resolutions For The Fashion

The new year always starts off with so much hope and dreams of accomplishing small or big goals that people set their minds to. It does take a lot of determination to keep up with certain goals and plans, nothing ever really comes easy even if we wish it did, but often times things get left and forgotten; sometimes discarded when things get too tough to do or keep up. Sometimes a plan of attack is what keeps people on target.

This week for the Lolita Blog Carnival we've decided to pick 3 of our main goals and plan out exactly that.

I do have quite a few, some are small, like finally getting that black witchy style high colored blouse, but I want to really plan out the larger ones that will take a good chunk out of my life and are super important to me. These are the top of my list that I shared before in this post here that was also a previous topic for the LBC. 

Lolita Inspired Book
Plan Of Attack:

This is something I'm strangely anxious about for reasons I have yet to explain to myself. I know I'm not a writer, not in any sense of the term, but I truly want to write out this story that I know will intrigued people involved in the fashion and wish for frilly, princessy, dreams, I'm just weary of how to do it well. I do want the reader to be enthralled with the characters and bewitched, and also go "hey I want that and that frilly dress." I've had these ideas and characters rolling around in my head for a year, at the very least. (maybe if I made a pen name I'll feel more comfortable) 

<3 Fill out the characters a bit more in the sheets I've written on them.

<3 Write a little bit every day, even if it's only a scene or a few paragraphs.

<3 Send transcripts to friends to beta read things. 

<3 Outline back important facts and storylines to ensure I don't go too far off tangent.

Wardrobe Overhaul & Post
Plan Of Attack:

Maybe the easiest of the 3 resolutions, which I've already started to put together post pics.

<3 Make a full coord with each main piece on my dress form in a stylized manner to be photographed.

<3 Make each piece as different with pieces I may not usually coordinate it with, trying out different blouses and accessories, and in some cases shoes, to create more looks to wear.

<3 Do 6-8 cords a day to spread out the workload.

<3 Weed out pieces that I feel are not working with these tactics and if uncertain wear the coord and see if it still feels weird.

Reserves and New Prints
Plan of Attack:

TBTP Original Print The Homunculi

This is maybe the most important thing to me out of all of my resolutions. This is the one that I feel will be the most difficult. I have made my indie brands first ever print and it is a very surreal experience for me to see. I am also in the middle of doing my second print, drawing out each little detail in photoshop and attempting to better my drawing skills while using the ones I learnt from the first time. I now need to focus on getting it the print on my shop page and opening it.

<3 Take photos for the series, preferably with models in a setting that fits in with the style.

<3 Plan B: dress it on the mannequin with full coord shots to exhibit coordinate possibilities.

<3 Have the digital print ready for the site in all 3 colorways.

<3 Ensure that I watermark everything with my handy~dandy new watermark logo.

<3 Update all product onto the storenvy with both reservation and witch bonnet commission info.

<3 Continue work in the morning on next print design in photoshop.

Hopefully, the work required of the last one will not take the 8 months that the first one did, everything I learned from the first print about photoshop will hopefully make things go a lot quicker.

What are your plans for executing your New Years goal?

If you're looking to read up on what other frillies have planned to execute their 3 New Years Resolution be sure to give them a read in the links below.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

365LLC Days 8-10: Of Local Lolita Haunts, Fairytale Coords, And Lolita Shops

These have been my adventures from the last few days, I haven't quite figured out exactly how I want to publish these posts so please pardon the strange scheduling of them. I hope you look forward to future ones and if you care to take part in it look up the ones on the facebook page of Lace A La Mode. 

January 8, 2016

This was serendipitously timed for me as I have been, sadly, stuck within my apartment and haven't been able to go very far because of an old injury that's put me out of commission since it's been acting up. So, I've been in need of an excursion out and about and wanted to head to one of my favorite haunts.

I enjoy traipsing through this antique village that hosts a myriad of different sellers. Some have their own shop while smaller sellers sell through one of the 2 larger buildings. I park at one end of the street and make my way down to the other, visiting each in turn and sometimes pick up a little bit of happiness, greeting each shop owner and having a good chat. 

As I usually park at the top of the street, I generally enjoy ending at the little park at the bottom that has a lovely little historic house with a tiny cottage style library at the base of it's little hill. It's very cute and it makes for a nice end to a trip. I definitely have that planned for tomorrow even with the cold.

 Excuse the derp face.

January 9, 2018

Last time that I did this one I went with The Weird Witch and the Willow~Herb and thoroughly enjoyed playing around with making a coord for it. I like working with the more obscure fairytales, both ones I know and learning new ones. This year, The Seven Wives of Bluebeard is the fairy tale which I decided to go with, I went with the seventh wife taking inspiration from one of the pictures in a book from 1911 that was a compilation of stories like Sleeping Beauty and The Juniper Tree.

The story goes that the seventh wife was left on her own for a few weeks, she was given a key to all the doors and chests in the manor, the only caveat was she could not enter one forbidden room in the basement. She held a party with her sister and all of their friends but during the party she decided to trek down into the basement because she finally couldn't take it anymore. When she opened the door she was terrified of what she discovered, all of his previous wives, indeed dead, chained to the walls. She dropped the key in a puddle of blood in her terror but could not clean it to hide the fact that she had seen that which she was not supposed to, as it was a magic key. I'll leave the rest to you to either imagine the ending or find it and read it.

I very nearly pulled out my bridal veil mask for this but after seeing the little bit of artwork I did something a little different. I went with a floral hair pin and a simple headchain to mimic the pearls that are sometimes seen wrapped in the hair of some regency era hairstyles. The key bracelet is actually something I had gotten from the Charming Wonderland meet that I went to and saw it by chance while pulling things from my jewelry drawer.

January 10, 2018

I can't tell you how much I'm laughing at this one. I had decided to attempt a photoshop hack job for a quick giggle and instead I'm rolling at how dumb I look, but overall pleased at how well I did without a pen stylus for it. I also didn't take a pic of myself yesterday when I had actually put on make up so instead you get the derp bare face one I took of what I wore for Day 8.

This is Shinjuku's Marui 0101's Btssb's store. I had visited them a few years ago now but I had only gone as far as being blinded by the Aatp shop in front of the escalators. At that time Night Fairy Fantasia was being released and all it took was to have the series set in front of me to loose sight of everything else on that floor. So when I get back to Japan I'd actually like to investigate more before loosing my marbles and wallet.

So that's it for the last 3 days, I've done a little dreaming of fairytales, a decent amount of much needed shopping at a favorite local haunt, and transported myself to a store I really want to visit. I'm going to sign off here and start the rest of my day (Wardrobe post month and all that) and I hope your day is going swimmingly so far.

So grab yourself a clean cup for yourself as it's time to grab a pot and brew a new leaf to warm me as well.

Cheers XO

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year And New Crazy Attempts & The 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge #1-7

Every year I have a desire to blog more, get my thoughts down and take the time to enjoy the little nuances of the things I experience. This year isn't going to be different with wanting to accomplish that, I've simply have made small adjustments in order to accomplish this goal. I've been waking up earlier, working on posts earlier, and jotting down things that I'd like to write about; hopefully, I will settle myself into things and find a good pace or sense of organization. 

These posts will go back to making daily #365lifestylelolitachallenge posts from the blog Lace a la Mode. Last year, I clearly failed the challenge as I fell out of blogging, I had busied myself with my indie brand and kind of let my blogging go to the wayside. I did not, however, abandon my lifestyle goals and views. I do live the aesthetic and endeavor to live by my princess~y whims as best I can, 

My wardrobe is still very much an unruly kingdom of frills and color, jumping into all of the styles of the fashion. I am taking part of the traditional January wardrobe posts and feel like taking that extra time to build separate coordinates for each main piece will give me a sense of direction and new inspiration for different looks. It will be tedious but I feel as though it will really help.

I did manage to meet a lot of my goals from the last time I posted on this topic, finding many dream dresses, new shoes, and better petticoats and more blouses. I still need to work on the sock and patterned tights situation because I want more options. This year's goals will be similar with a few changes, the ones below are ones I have already decided on.

<3 More bell sleeves and long sleeves in various colors.

<3 More jewelry.

<3 Remove pinks that can't be worked well into that classic~sweet aesthetic. Certain pieces are just not working for me as much as I first believed.

<3 Hunt those dream dress pieces left to find.

I have not exhausted the list of museums in my area as of yet, though I have been to many as it's a favorite hobby of mine. The newest conquest for this museum hopper will be:

Poe Baltimore ~ In Maryland
Poe Museum ~ In Virginia
William Paca House And Garden ~ This place is close
enough to one of my favorite tea rooms so it will be a great trip to plan.

I've actually written down a whole list for just Maryland that I never knew of before for house museums. Trips will certainly be intriguing this year.

This year I will go with my friend Rynn, she has some pretty fabulous pieces she's looking for so it will be easy to memorize them. one item is definitely Aatp's Black Cat, Witch, and the Apple Tree OP in I think blue and this one dress I can not, for the life of me, figure out what the heck the name is. All I know, from memory, is that it's a white dress with red fabric flowers that are hand~stitched on. I've been pouring through Rufflecon 2016 and 2017 photos just to find a pic with no luck.

 It's fairly common for me to do an up~do reminiscent of various historical hairstyles. I tend to favor easy ones and have found a new one that I think I could manage with my hair and suits my style.

 I put my hair up the other day when I saw the one labeled E so I'll shortly do a video or simply post pics in a follow up post.

I was just finishing up rereading The Woman in Black and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I tend to pour through books very quickly so this is the perfect time to look up my next one. I just got A Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan. It's a Gilded Age mystery, which are my favorite type of stories, and it looks extremely promising.

 I'll make a secondary post to review it because I do think it's going to be smashing. It seems to take the main character, a governess to a wealthy family in Boston, to try and unravel the mystery behind the murder thought to be perpetrated by her employer's son, who was thought dead. So it seems as though there will be a few good twists and turns in this story filled with societal intrigue and elegant descriptions of 1860's Boston, Mass.

 I really enjoy this one as last time I had it turned to Le Temps Des Cathedrales from the French musical Notre Dame De Paris - I HIGHLY recommend this show if you haven't had a listen- which woke me with wonderfully dulcet notes and vocals.

This time I've switched it up to Where Do We Go from Lindsey Stirling.

Tripe Fortune - Flower Fairies
This dress has extremely sentimental value for me, it's not just a beautiful piece for me, it makes my heart sore whenever I even simply look at it. It's something I will forever cherish.

This post has now turned into a mini novel so I shall stop here. I will start posting them daily, I wasn't able to prior and have only just started to get myself together. I hope you do look forward to more blog posts for both typical blog posts, LBC posts, and the 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge.

So grab yourself a clean cup for yourself as it's time to grab a pot and brew a new leaf to warm me as well.

Cheers XO

Friday, January 5, 2018

LBC: What Do You Believe Is Essential To Running A Well Balanced Comm

When we think of our local and online comms we see a network of different people that all enjoy one niche fashion. It's pretty amazing when you learn about all the comms and little groups are dedicated to different parts of the fashion. There are sewing groups, discussion groups, and of course there are update groups for different brands. They all are really neat and interesting when it comes down to it. One thing we are thinking about for this weeks Lolita Blog Carnival topic is what we believe is essential to running a well balanced comm.

This meet was hosted by two of it's comm's local mods, helped by an online mod, and attended by another 2. 

Active Moderators Within The Community

It's pretty important for a community to have a hands on moderator or mod team to help keep up the group. It can't just be someone to step in to police the group when things turn sour, it requires someone or a group of people who are able to be actively involved, taking turns to host events when there is a lag in activity or spark a new conversation or discussion about the fashion.

Multiple Mods

These aren't absolutely necessary but it is nice to see that people you may be familiar with, even if it's mostly through the internet, actually exist and participate in the scene. It also helps knowing there are people who know the fashion, care about it, and know the people that congregate in frills. Whether large or small things seem to run smoother when there is more then one mod to turn to.
 It also helps when one mod can't be present at one meet another may be. This is not saying that single mods are not great, there have been many comms that do run wonderfully with just one, it just gives both members and mods more options and the ability to spread things out.

The Internet Is For Frills

One of the best things about this particular fashion is the fact that we have access, usually via the internet, to coordinate many different styles of meets, from small intimate ones to large events, between groups of people. With this particular tool the fashion community is able to keep up with not just latest fashion news and coord shots. It creates a network for people to gather and cross post between different comm pages, depending on event size and proximity, when someone is hosting a meet of any type. It also makes it a simple contact point for communications for when people don't know each other well or don't have everyone's phone number.

This would be awesome if planning meets was a tea party of it's own for mods (to me anyway)

Mods Coordinating Between Meets

Something I've been seeing in my local comm, that I find I quite like, is that one of the mods collects info from people who are planning to host a meet. They don't need to much, just a date (or timeframe if that is all that is available at the time), time, and location, and they put it in a spreadsheet with the hosts name. The rest of the month is free but it does ensure that there isn't much overlap, as ours seems to be a fairly active comm. And with them asking every few months if anyone is planning anything it makes things run much smoother.

Photo credit Kristen Koppy

Promoting A Safe Space

No matter who you are in the community the most important aspect is to create a safe and kind space. This is not only the mods job but everyone who is a member of the comm which I think many groups do so with ease.

Really, what I believe helps run a well balanced community, both online and off, is a communicative comm, both members and moderators, everyone plays a part to make a space enjoyable and safe. And if you want to learn what other people thought was essential for this weeks topic feel free to check them out in the links below!