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Monday, 29 November 2010

The burden of pride

I have been taught by life that no one can carry my burdens but me alone, and that I can never expect anyone else to ever carry it for me. It's my shackles alone, no matter what it is. This philosophy also includes solving ones own problems without being a bother to others. Without relying on others. To always stand alone and carry it all, no matter how heavy it is.
To never be a nuisance to others. To never ask for help.
It's a sort of pride you know, one of the Sins. A pride so etched into the very being that asking for help becomes a very painful thing to do. When being powerless is like a knife in the back.When gifts are painful to receive when you have nothing to give back in return.
When other peoples kindness brings tears of frustration to you, since you don't know how to repay them properly.

It's a painful thing, pride. But if it wasn't for pride, the will to strive on would weaken and we would become burdens of other people. Beings to be carried.

I still don't know. Is pride a good thing, or a bad thing? Or is it just one of those things that makes us human. Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Wrath, Lust, Pride... The seven deadly sins. Far more than just the simple things you first think about - Greed is far more than just the want for money or power, the will to keep things and people we love is also a kind of greed. Wrath is not only pure aggression, but can also be the reaction when you are treated injustly. Envy - not only the jealousy of what others have but you don't, but also the disappointment you feel when things do not go your way, when all other people seem to live happily while you are not...

They are far more than at first glance, and we all carry them with us, some more strongly influenced by others. But we all have them, in one way or another.

My strongest sin is Pride. My weakest sin is Envy. Which is yours?

 (Pride from 7 deadly sins )

Thursday, 25 November 2010

End of the World and pink pastries

Yesterday the big pre-Catalysm patch arrived, and not much of Azeroth is the same. I thought it would bother me, but I must admit I like the changes so far! Lots and lots of new, exciting quests, areas completely transformed they feel new.
It's a new adventure, which I am looking forward to!

On another note, I have been making more pastries! <3

The snow is a hand deep outside and it is still snowing, so it is with a clean conscious I'm sitting inside with a cup of hot chocolate. <3 Ahh, I love winter sometimes. <3

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

We did it Coco! We did it!

We did it Coco.
What Blizzard created 1994, we ended yesterday. The man once called Arthas Menethil...corrupted by Nersul...and eventually the Lich King, was killed by our hands yesterday evening.
It's an epic feeling only a fellow Wow-player (or former Wow-player) can understand. And now I could finally see the cutscene I've been avoiding. It was EPIC! <3

14 minutes and 14 seconds. A truly epic battle. <3

Monday, 22 November 2010

Reliving the story of Edward

When I tell people my profession - my true profession, what I went to university to be - is being a comic artist, not many really understand what that means. Older people often jump to the conclusion that I draw comics for children, or the silly little comic strips you find in newspapers.

But that is very far from the truth of it all. I take my inspiration from places where children should never venture, and my favourite 'comics' are no comics at all, but rather graphic novels. Stories with depth and feeling. With character that come alive as you read.
When people understand that...they ask what my favourite manga is. I've read hundred of mangas, spent countless hours reading - but only one manga has kept me up all night. And that was the legendary 'Full Metal Alchemist'. A story I started reading long before it finally ended come June this year.
For those of you not familiar with it, it's the tale of two brothers; Edward and Alphonse Elric. The story in itself is too complex to just tell briefly, but in short: Their mother died when they were young, and their father was absent. The boys knew and practiced alchemy, and came to the drastic conclusion to use alchemy to try bring their mother back - through human transmutation, something that is taboo for a reason.
Of course...the transmutation didn't work out. Alphonse lost his entire body, and Edward his left leg. In desperate attempt to save his brother, he sealed Alphonse's soul into an armor, sacrificing his right arm in the process - the rule of equal value.

Crippled and scarred for life by the incident, Edward choses the cruel path of becoming a State Alchemist and gets advanced prostetics - called Automail - to replace his lost limbs as he and Alphonse go onto the hopeless path of trying to find a way to restore their bodies.
A path filled with sacrifice and pain.

It is a tragic story...but, it feels like a tale that needs to be told. When you read, you get the feeling that these people really existed, and their story is being told so others will learn from what happened to them.

An anime was made for this manga, which completely butchered both characters and story. And then...

They made Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood.

As I watch this new anime, true to the manga, I get reminded why I loved the manga so much.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Crochet slips and Oath of Fealty.

Have you ever read the Deeds of Paksenarrion written by author Elizabeth Moon? At first a trilogy about a young woman becoming a soldier, and eventually chosen by a saint to become a paladin, I truly love these books. Read them, and would easily re-read them, because it is such a well written tale. I much recommend all of the books.
Anyway, this year - after not having produced any further books in the Paksenarrion series since the 80s - Elizabeth Moon gave out a continuation: Oath of Fealty. This book is every bit as good as the previous triology of Paksenarrion, though it is not focusing on her, she is ever present as a paladin of Gird.
Because work doesn't always permit me to sit down and read, I have been listening to Oath of Fealty as an audio book, and today it ended. And I want more. I can't wait until the next book is released! For anyone that loves fantasy - or even likes it - this is truly a must read. <3

I have also tried my hand on crochetting a pair of indoor slips. I have never crochetted anything like this before, but I'm pleased to say they turned out better than I expected!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Felt bunnies and grandmother cat

The other day a friend of ours called, and told us she'd brought her old cat to the vet because she needed mouth surgery, and poor old grandmother cat was really out of it afterwards - and she had to go to work and didn't want to leave her alone lest she'd fall down the stairs or something.
So...we ventured over and made all the cats company, keeping a close eye on grandmother cat - also known as Sindy. When we arrived she was lying underneath the bed looking miserable. T_T We stayed for nearly three hours until our friend's husband got back from work, and I took the time to get some work done. 7 new pink and white tiaras, something the cats found fascinating! Not only for the movement as I worked, but for the glittering and little sun kittens displayed on the floor.
We were surrounded by cats before we knew it! XD

Yesterday evening I spent making a cute little bunny brooch out of felt, and now I'm making strawberries! <3

Random interesting fact: Did you know that tofu has estrogen in it? o.o Might explain why Japanese are less aggressive than most. Then again, they do other weird things instead...

Monday, 15 November 2010

For the love of roses

Today is another cold, wet day, and my beloved is still out in the rain on her way home. So I've begun preparing a hot bath for her - with rose scented foam bath. <3 It smells lovely, and the scent of sweet roses is wrapping our apartment in it's warm, comfortable arms.
I love roses. <3 And when it comes to beauty, bath and soap products there is only one brand for me - Crabtree & Evelyn. Nowhere else can I find such lovely fragrances. I love them so much. <3And the favourite scent? Roses of course!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Happy Birthday H!

Today is the birthday of my best friend! Happy birthday, honey! <3
To celebrate this grand occassion I've designed a pin cushion that is now available both on the webshop and on Etsy - and the first handsewn pincushion is of course H's birthday gift from me. <3 Just because we love her so much!! <3

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Pouring rain

I am the kind of person who is in love with beauty. I love all kinds of knick-nackets, beads, shiny things, painted china, dolls, stuffed toys... I love it all. Despite turning 27 this spring, I do not feel that old at all! My favourite games is still Hello Kitty - Dream Carnival, and that's fine. <3 I'm sure I'm not the only adult who loves sweet things.
But when you love sweet things, and want to lead a quiet life surrounded by beauty and happiness - it's so easy for inspiration to get injured when things go wrong, people are mean - or the weather is awful, as it is today. The rain has been pouring down for hours, washing away almost all the snow...
It's frustrating to be low on inspiration, especially since I know I have loads of things to do.

I need something pretty to cheer me up. Do you know what I could do?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A beautiful winter day and a sky full of stars

Today has been one of those beautiful winter days you always hope for Christmas. A fine blanket of snow covering the ground, and tiny snowflakes slowly falling from the sky now and then. Just a little breeze, and not too cold, with patches of sunlight coming through.
It makes one believe that there can only be wonderful days to come.
Tonight will be a cold night, with not a cloud in sight, every star in the sky is twinkling back at us. How I love the stars, they are so pretty...
And tonight my beloved finally figured out how to fold those sweet stars I was talking about, so tomorrow we will be starting on stars in other colours. Currently they are white and gold, but we are planning to make them in other colours - silver, red, deep blue with stars... I'm sure they will look lovely on the fair. :)

(Bild tagen från Poetry in Twilight

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Folded Christmas stars

Many years ago my mother taught me how to fold small, oregami stars to hang in the Christmas tree as ornaments. I remember her painstakingly folding hundreds of stars to a Christmas fair the school arranged, just to raise money for the school.
I remember thinking it was so sweet of her to do so, and the patience she had with me - a seven-year-old - as she tried to teach me to make them. I don't know how, but she actually managed. But years have gone by and I haven't folded a single star - until now.
I was wrecking my brain trying to come up with some Christmas ornaments to sell on the Christmas fair, and it struck me. They are truly pretty and can come in so many variations! <3

And while I was at it... I made candy canes...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Snow, beads and cup cake bags

Today I woke up to a white world, and it is still snowing. <3 The ground is covered with winter's white blanket, and it's so pretty. I will need to dress really warm for my walk today!

I sorted my beads today, because they were really a mess! Lots of small little plastic bags and no order at all. It was impossible to find anything quickly! So today I took out bigger zipper bags and sorted them by colour. Next time I need beads I can just sift through the colour I need instead of digging through the whole lot! XD
I have been sketching on what to do with the last materials I have, so I'm prepared for the Christmas Fair when it comes. I have decided to make cup cake bags. That is, bags actually shaped like cup cakes with pink icing! <3 They are going to be adorable.
While I'm at it I'm also going to make heart shaped bags with laced bows on them. I want people to go 'oh, must have! <3' when they see them. <3

Monday, 8 November 2010

Christmas Fair and a mysterious helper

Christmas will be here soon, with less than 2 months to go the market street is buzzing with activity. Of course, this is something I have been thinking about before... To participate in a Christmas fair seems like a wonderful idea!
So, I contacted a friend and asked her if she wants to go too, so it looks like this will be fun! <3 All I need to do know is sew, sew, sew. And of course, buy some materials.
The latter I thought would be impossible given recent events, but the sincerely kindness of strangers now makes it possible. I still do not know if Strawberry Teaparty will survive, but I won't let it go without a fight!

As I was reading my guestbooks I realised that...someone had tried to contact me, to offer me a gift. The problem is...somewhere in the e-mail provided something has been misspelled, because it only bounces back at me. I hope, sincerely hope, that the person who contacted me will try again...

Mysterious helper, who are you?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

New slogan and new logotype

Because of the resent events, Strawberry Teaparty has matured and evolved. While taking a trip up north, I have been working on a new logotype and a new slogan, since I have not been pleased with the ones I've tried out. Varying different ways of trying to tell people that I have something that suit most people, but first of all Lolita, it got a bit tricky.
Today, however, during my morning walk I finally came to a decision. I will change the current stripline from 'Cute Fashion for Everyone', to 'Ageless Fashion'.
Because, essentially, that is what Lolita is, isn't it? Taking our inspiration from as far back as the 19th century, and not locking ourselves up to a certain agegroup - young or old, it doesn't matter - the fashion is indeed ageless.
Besides this, I have worked out a new logotype after the feedback I got from the EGL-community on Livejournal (thank you, all of you. You were being most helpful!) which I will post as soon as I get home and can scan it. I will rework it digitally as well. Ah, it's at times like this I wish I could understand how Illustrator is supposed to work...

The current products on the webshop will also be rearranged and some items will disappear. I feel I must have a theme which works well, and right now some things are not very good representants of what I really want with my store.
A lot of new items will show up in the nearest days, since this trip has been very inspirational indeed! <3 I believe that a lot of the Sweet and Classic Lolitas out there will be overjoyed to see this new change.

Oh, and don't miss our sale! For all you from Sweden: Sale on

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A frosty morning and lovely friends

This week has been very trying indeed, but this awful experience has been turned into something good because of all my friends and all the support I have received from friends and strangers alike. I appreciate all you have done for me, and all your kind words. <3 It's precious, and I will in no way belittle your importance for me.
One person alone is not strong, but with backup even the smallest person can climb a mountain.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. <3

This morning is cold with glittering frost covering the world outside. The sun is shining, making every leaf and strand of grass look like it has been painted with liquid diamond. The nature's beauty is indeed stunning. <3

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Christmas in jeopardy, help!

Yesterday, I got the worst news possible... After not having known how to check up on my customers paying history, I got a link from my webshop provider. What I learned there was a frightening truth... The people I sent things to, are nothing short of thieves.
They scoure the internet for people they can trick, people with small businesses who may not yet know how to check the customers history before the ship - which I didn't, so I am a victim here - and then they make large, successive orders. Much like organised criminals. After one has received their goods, the others order quickly after.
And they have no intentions to pay, whatsoever.
These four people have together 80 depts being collected. 80. (För er svenskar: 80 betalningsanmärkningar.) They don't have any consciense... They don't care what happens to the person they tricked into sending them things. I'm not the first one, and I'm sure I won't be the last.
I have contacted the local newspaper, and hopefully they will contact me and make an article about this. I am determined that no one else will walk into this trap. I want people like this to be put to justice. It's a crime scene few know about.

As it is right now, I'm selling whatever I can for far less than what it's worth just to raise the money for food and the bills for november. It's a sad, sad situation.

If you know anyone, or you yourself want anything sewn, knitted, beaded, drawn...just contact me. I need every penny I can raise right now.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Missing patterns and waffles

My collection of Gosu Rori magazines have been standing in a stand for years, being pieces of a prized collection. I do no longer use them all that much since I draw my own patterns, but they are nice for inspiration. My collection of Gothic Lolita Bibles work in very much the same way, though they are not as many anymore since I had to sell a few when the economical chrisis hit.
But enough about that. :) I was flipping through Gosu Rori number 5 yesterday, and I realised something I haven't before - the pattern descriptions for nr 19 and 20 is missing! And they seem to be missing from the pattern sheet as well... Curious, very curious... I gather it must be some kind of mistake, but if so I think others should have noticed too. :O

Waffles. <3

8-10 waffles

100 g butter
4 dl flour (1,7 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 dl milk (2,1 cups)
2-3 eggs (2 if large)

Enjoy with strawberry or raspberry or apple jam and whipped cream. <3

Monday, 1 November 2010

Strawberry Teaparty - my love and dream

I have always loved beautiful things. Whether it be the frosty crystals of snow, beads on a string, or a lovely fabric. So Lolita came natural to me. I don't worry about what people think, rather I don't feel comfortable unless I'm wearing something pretty.

So starting up a small business in these times when work is scarce felt like the right thing to do. I still believe it it, but I am starting to feel disappointed in the customers I wanted to put my trust in. I want to believe that all people want to do the right thing, that they pay their bills and are considerate to others. But... During the last few weeks I've sent out four big orders, with great expectations that finally - FINALLY- we'll have money for Christmas presents and a decent Christmas holiday table.
No money yet. Not even a single crown, and it makes me so upset I want to cry. I can't understand how anyone can set up my expectations so high, take my trust in their hands, and then just don't pay me for the hard work I've done.

If they don't start paying soon I will be forced to collect the depth, but that's a large procedure and it will probably mean no money for Christmas - and what's even worse - I have to pay the moms without having gotten it in the first place! I'm starting to slowly panic over here.

If any of my customers read this: Please, please, please, I beg you on my knees, please just pay your bills. This is just a too hard blow for me to take. I have a family. I have a home. I have bills to pay too, and if I don't get the money I will suffer for it. So please, just pay the bills...