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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Thunder and Misunderstandings

You know when you go to bed, it's a fine evening and not a cloud in sight - only to be abruptly woken up by thunder a few hours later? I got up staggering like a drunk, to pull the cords on our computers and the tv - too tired to be afraid - but once I got back to bed...
I don't fear a lot of things, but...that thunder. I learned even as a kid that it's not the sound that should be scary, but the light. And the flashes of light in this thunderstorm was so strong they lit up our whole apartment every time. It was frightening, and hard to ignore.
Towards the end there were only flashes and no sound... Just an eerie silence after each flashing light.

And then there was rain.

Yesterday I pondered a bit on how easy it is to misunderstand each other. A friend of mine ranted on about how people tend to take things personally - and lash out personally as a sort of petty 'revenge', even if the statement wasn't personal to begin with. I think it's kind of sad.
Most of the time we don't do things to be mean, we don't say things to be mean - often an offensive statement is usually more of a statement of concern, something we wish others to learn from so they don't make unnecessary mistakes. But that doesn't work well with the most primitive part of the brain (more active in some people) who instantly defend themselves aggressively without thinking - taking every little thing as a personal offense.

I mean... I never do things to be mean. There's always a bigger meaning to the things that might sound offensive, and most often it's a worry that drives it. I want people to be happy. You know the old question people can never seem to answer; "What's the meaning of life?"
I have my answer, and I wonder why it was so difficult to see: "Happiness".
In my happiness harsch words and enemies have no place, I wish to live out every day the best I can, and be happy. I don't bother myself with quarrels. I wish more people would do that, because that would mean less wounded prides.
It's not so difficult to just stop the feeling of resentment and pause for a moment, and ask yourself the questions: "Was that meant to be offensive? Was it directed at me? Do this person have a reason to worry about me? If I was that person...what would I think? Why would I say such a thing?"

And if it's still not clear...ask. Ask that person: How did you mean?

It's not hard. :) And every person that meant no offense will asnswer.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Reminder in an unexpected place

These first, two weeks of University life have been packed with information and fun. :) I'm enjoying this more than I thought I would, and although some of the pdf's we have received could have been quite a lot more pedagogical, everything have been FUN! <3
I never really looked forward to school much - sure, there were lots of fun when I studied to comic artist, but there were also a lot of hassle involved - but right now? I'm so happy. I don't mind one bit that i have to travel for 1-2 hours to and from school everyday, since the lessons are exactly what I wanted. :) There's been nothing boring, and the only tedious thing has been decrypting the pdfs... We even got our essay-assignment yesterday - and it sounds awesome!
Our group will be doing a small essay on how Bash works and an online tutorial on how to get started using it. :) And we have a bit over two weeks to make the first draft. I have a suspicion that's more time than we'll need, so I expect us to finish the assignment long before we're supposed to. ^.^

And this weekend? I'll be relaxing, of course, sewing a bit and...studying Python... *blushes* I can't help myself. *laughs* I think I will probably live, breathe and sleep programming these three years.

Oh yes, I almost forgot explaining the title. Even if things are really looking out now, there will probably come a time when I think 'I can't do this!'. You know the feeling. But... I logged onto Msn and saw something I wrote many years ago as a status (I haven't used Msn in years) - "Nothing is Impossible".

That's very true. :) It isn't impossible, it's just hard. And hard things can be overcome.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tired wednesday

Was up just after five today like all days I start school early. :) All morning was spent trying to work out Lisp (a programming language) basics - almost anyway - and after lunch we proceeded to collect the harddrives that'll be our workstations during these three years. So now mine have a brand new Windows 7 and Ubuntu (which is a Linux operating system for you who don't know).
When I got home though, it was a bit like letting the air out of a hot air balloon. I'm so...tired... >.< A cup of tea and dinner helped a little, but I'm still tired. I hope my brain will adjust to this new highspeed learning soon.

On a related note - I reserved a mini-laptop for myself today. :) Sadly, it isn't pink. But they refused to fix a pink even though they come in that colour... *sigh* But there's no arguing with the low price, fairly high standard considering the price, it being light weight and thin - perfect for school - and free shipping...
So yeah. I decided it wasn't worth paying almost twice as much for a bigger, heavier model just because of the colour. It'll be black, but I'll be sure to put LOTS of stickers on it. ;)

And probably get rid of Windows and all the crappy extra stuff they put into this poor baby. Who wants to use a laptop purely for facebook and youtube? O.o Not me. So yeah. I guess it comes installed so I'll have to clear that mess out. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Programming basics

I'm not going to bore you with any details, since I admit myself that it's utter jibberish if you don't know anything about it, but I've spent the past few days studying the basics of UNIX and getting to know Emacs. :) It's been really fun! <3
I knew this would suit me well and I dare say I was right. I suppose a lot of people would get frustrated if they weren't allowed graphics and couldn't click themselves forward with a mouse, but I find it soothing somehow. :) I hope it will continue in the same fashion through these three years, though I don't doubt there will be moments when I ask myself why I'm doing this to myself... *laughs*

I've put up my bunnies on Etsy now. :)

Strawberry Teaparty on Etsy

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Got home from my second day at University slightly confused...but I'm hoping that will clear out soon. :) We're finally getting on with the lessons after lots and lots of information, and I can't wait! :D It's so exciting!
There was a lot of talk about the computer rooms, and apparently they're using the Solaris operative system. That'll be interesting, I've never worked with that before. :) We shall see tomorrow.

Going home I had a lot of time before my next bus, so I thought 'why not go down to the festival? That'd be fun!' ...only the festival wasn't on yet. Damn. Apparently they start a bit tonight, with the festival not on with all the fun until tomorrow. Oh well. :3

I've designed a bunny I'm planning to sell on Etsy. :) The plan is to make several and stick different things in their paws. :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Baking bread

Lately I've picked up the habit of baking my own bread. I've never been a big fan of homemade bread, since, well, they tend to turn very heavy and dry once they're not hot anymore. Also, considering the prices of the ingredients, it was usually cheaper that way too.
But it's not like that anymore, and well - since I'm the only one (per se...but usually not by practice) who eats bread, it would quickly go bad if I'm not fast enough. So. I've started baking. Little by little my technique has gotten better, but today! Today I actually managed to make it perfectly! <3
I couldn't help myself, I took a couple of photos since I got so delighted! <3

Doesn't it look just lovely? <3 And it tastes sooo much better than the white bread you find in the store... The inside is all soft and fluffy, and the outside has a nice crust. It just couldn't have turned out any better! :D

Cleaning days

While I fully admit I've always been a little bit of a clutter, I don't think I've ever been so bad. At least not on my own. But with two of us here - and my other half being a pretty hopeless dustbunny - the apartment have been a bit messy most of the time.
Well, that is until the other day... After watching 'How Clean is Your House', we both got horrified at how filthy it can become if you neglect cleaning, and how much bacteria that can live where you least expect it (like on your toothbrush or on the kitchen sponge) that changed quickly... In the past few days we've been vacuum cleaning, swabbing, rubbing, cleaning windows... And it's beginning to get absolutely spotless. :) Ha, I even removed the hose and handle to the shower and submerged in a bath of hot water, soap and vinager for a few hours. When I picked it up? As new and sparkling white. :D

I also decided we have waaaay too many cups and mugs... Both tea cups and coffee mugs were crowding in the cupboards, so I rearranged a bit.

I also learned something interesting. Did you know that not only can you bleach your hair with chamomile tea, but you can also remove hair dye with it? :) Strong but kind to the hair. I like that. My hair gets a golden tone in summer but turns darker and boring in the winter, so I was looking for a way to help it.

If you'd like to learn more about about Chamomile and it's uses as medicine, I found a good link here: Health Club - Chamomile

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Flower's Kiss Candy

I don't really eat much sweets (although I do love to look at cute sweets...), but this post is actually going to be about my favourite sweet; Flower's Kiss Candy.
While western candy is sickly sweet with very synthetic taste, Flower's Kiss Candy is something entirely different - as are all the Japanese sweets I've tried that weren't Hello Kitty. (The Hello Kitty sweets taste nothing at all - and small wonder considering they're almost entirely made of sugar without any aromas.) 
Did you ever taste a flower as a kid? I used to go down to my mother's huge Lilac bushes, and I'd peel away the petals and eat the inside of the flower. It tasted so summer. Not like honey sweet, but something different.
Flower's Kiss Candy taste just like that. It tastes like the kisses of flowers, and I love them. <3 Such a refreshing candy, without being too sweet - and that they have such a cute name helps of course! Whenever I go to Stockholm I always buy Flower's Kiss Candy at Sun Ai. <3 That and daifuku with sweet red bean paste.
Pocky is cute but...I don't eat it much. I like the strawberry chunk or blueberry Pocky best.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Crochet and boxed lunches

Today nervousness over food really kicked in, so after browsing around the net I managed to put together some easy and fast recipes, and chucked them to the fridge with the two largest magnets I could find... I actually did find some pretty good inspiration!
Most of it from this lovely site; JustBento
I mean, let's face it. I just won't have much time to cook, so I have to rely on my other half to do so - which can be a bit of a problem since she doesn't cook... *cough* Soooo, what do? Simple, easy recipes that don't need much cooking, with very clear ste-by-step explanations.
Phew! Took me a couple of hours to do that!
But hopefully it'll mean i won't need to buy food, which would really be so much better considering I'm not exactly a rich woman.

On another note I tried my hands on crochetting cherries today. :)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sugar bisquits

Today I decided to test out this recipe of Sugar Bisquits, which I found at The Free Recipe Hub. Ever since I read the Little White Horse I've been wanting to try some, since she described such sweet, decorative bisquits in it. The recipe I found looks very similar to the shortbread cookies I tried making a while back - if you remember? The ones with raspberry jam inside, powdered with icing sugar?
I am planning to make cute little bisquits with icing and coloured white chocolate for school, since I know I'm going to need encouragement when the days are long. Being away from home for over 12 hours will take it's toll, so why not bring cookies, cupcakes or bisquits with me to cheer me up? <3
The only really sad thing about those long days is that I will neither have time nor energy to make cute bento-boxes for school, so they will be very simplistic. Shaped onigiri (I have several cute moulds - My Melody, Hello Kitty, a bear, a heart, a square, a star a triangle and then of course the classic, bigger triangular shape), shaped eggs (the egg moulds are so cute) since I have several egg moulds as well - bunnies, stars, hearts... - and double sandwhiches. I know.... I know... I collect too much cute things! ^.^; But I just can't help myself sometimes!
What I really need though is more ideas for filling. Since I don't really like bitter or sour things, I usually fill my onigiris with either omelet, cucumber and mayonnaise or crabfish, cucumber and mayonnaise. And sometimes when I can afford it, I like a little bit of smoked salmon. But with bento every day now for three years I'm going to have to get creative... And it needs to be something that won't go bad if it's not kept in the fridge.

Hm. I mean... Rice balls, boiled eggs and sandwhiches work well enough, and all kinds of salads, fruits and - of course - omelet. Maybe some smoked sausage? ^.^; Picnic food really... I wonder if I could make sandwhich rolls with tuna?

Argh! >.<; Help!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Drawers and piano music

It's a lovely morning here. <3 It's not exactly sunny, but it's a pleasant temperature, with a gentle breeze. I've already been awake a couple of hours (woke up at half past five, but I didn't get up until slightly later), and spent the time perfecting my drawers-pattern.
I think that usually when you find patterns, the drawers are too snug and too long. But if you cut too much, they will start riding up and it will be really uncomfortable. So after many different versions through the year, I've finally perfected my pattern. It's the perfect length, so no peeking out from the skirts, and wide enough to create the perfect ruffling, and comfortable to both pull on and wear. And of course - the backside won't slide down, and the elastic won't pinch in the wrong place.

So now I'm having breakfast and listen to 'Piano for Lovers' (a lovely CD <3), very pleased with myself. *giggles* I have plans on throwing out all my old, worn drawers and make a whole bunch of new ones. It feels a bit sad when you toss something you loved a lot... I mean, ruffles and lace are still pretty, but it's like all clothes - they get worn and eventually tear.
But! That's all right. <3 I can always make new ones. :)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Riots in London

Fourth day of the riot in London, and as I have a lot of friends who are currently afraid to leave their homes, I have to touch the subject...
For you who haven't heard, there was an incident a while back with a man that was killed by a police. A friendly demonstration was supposed to take place against this, but somehow people unrelated to the demonstration showed up, using the demonstration as an excuse to start a riot.
At the moment, they've arrested over 450 people - ages ranging from 11 to 46 last time I checked - and it's still spreading. Houses and cars are being put to flame, shops plundered, people abused - mainly police.
The most scary thing of it all, is that the main part of the rioting people are children, some as young as seven years old. I don't think they realise the impact this will have on their futures, and it seems that their parents don't care what they're doing...which I find even scarier.
The police are currently pleading to the parents to take their children off the streets.

I feel confident saying that this no longer have anything to do with that man who was shot by the police. This is children acting like children do, egging each other on. It's a game for them. See who can do worst, who can bring home the most expensive loot, before they're caught.
They don't care that they're making people lose their jobs, they don't care they're ruining stores, they don't give a thought to the people who lost their home to the flames, all their things. They don't give a damn as to the people who lost their cars to fire.

They don't care, because nobody's taught them too. They're too young to understand what they're doing. That this isn't a game. That it's a crime and people won't stand for it. Every single person rioting will have their due, their punishment. Black hoods won't help, when their friends rat them out - they're goners. And believe me, they will rat.
They will rat when the police tell them that they won't be able to get a job, loan, insurance or car license because they're in the police register for rioting, pillaging, arson, violence against the police, vandalism.... The list grows long. It will and have ruin their lives, and the less they tell the worst it'll get. Children don't understand that there are consequences for their actions until it's waved in front of their noses, especially if there's not been any parents there to teach them.

So yes. We haven't seen the last of this, even if the rioting should die down soon.

This is an extreme case of parenting gone wrong, ignited by a small core and sent berserk. Another proof that us humans are doing something wrong when we distance ourselves from each other, and stop caring. In and out.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Drawing manga

Once upon a time, I'd admire every manga artist I saw... I bought many of the books from the HTDM-series - and they still stand on my bookshelves as a nostalgic memory - but time have past. With the years I gained knowledge, not only through my academies but also by realising there's good mang artists - and bad ones. Then there's the third type... The 'first glance' type.
The 'first glance' type is very difficult for beginners to recognise. It's the artist that have subtle flaws, invisible to the untrained eye. They can often be easily recognised as the people who have fans that will rage at anyone who dares to give any constructive critisism.
Beginners are also easily recognised the same way since they always mistake critism for jealousy. ^.^ So don't bother with them. I don't. :) And as a teacher I've seen my fair share. Once they stop the tough act they can start to improve, but not until they do.

Anyway! Back to the 'first glance' cases. :) I've noticed a lot of the artists in the HTDM-books are 'first glance' artists. The thing about these artists, is that they lack understanding of what they draw. Their knowledge about anatomy is lacking - usually because they learned to draw by using circles and boxes to gain shape - and the knowledge about human physics is also very slim.
Common mistakes are too long upper bodies, misshapen or misplaces breasts, jelly spines and impossible poses - such as the popular 'twist the spine until it breaks so we can see both breasts and bottom' pose. :)

Because the 'first glance' cases usually learned to draw backwards, by using circles or boxes or drawing off other artists' work, I generally press the matter of anatomy to my students. I don't allow excuses such as 'it's only a cartoon, it doesn't have to be realistic...' because I know that if you slack of...and don't study anatomy...your drawings will never evolve from 'first glance' to 'professional'.
I don't think any artist should settle and say they're 'good enough already', because there is no end to this road of the artist. You can never stop learning, or you will decline. :) But no matter how good you think you are, and no matter how much praise you get...
Never, ever lay off the basics, because it will show. ;)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Summer rain

Woke up to a cloudy sky, and a cool breeze. It was way too early to be awake, but... I still dressed and went out for my morning walk, catching the rain once I got safely back home. It hasn't been this cool outside since May, and it's rather comfortable. :) I don't really mind the drizzle, the rain is warm.
It was nice.

I made the base sculp for a Weighed Companion Cube jewellry box yesterday, once I gave up on sculpting hands for the day. They just don't turn out feminine enough... I'm not sure what to do. I think I will try posing the fingers like the hands on old paintings like this one.

The clay isn't exactly making things easy for me, but I will persist! I will make it!

Friday, 5 August 2011

When a dog passes away

Today, at two o'clock, one of my friends will fall into eternal slumber. A huge S:t Bernad, and my friend since almost three years. It's always so hard when a pet passes away...even if it's not your own. She's old, nine years, but still... Every time you lose a pet, it hurts.
She's been ill for a few weeks... Cancer. And at the end she couldn't use one of her legs because of it... But she was always so happy and cuddly. A trickster who's greatest joy in the world was trying to make me fall down. *laugh* She'd lean against my legs with all of her 84 kilos and most of the time I couldn't keep standing. When she managed to push me over into a big snow heap she barked and pranced and was delighted.
Such a silly, sweet dog. I will miss her... 


Wow, it's been a long time since I actually baked Cinnamon-rolls, so yesterday I did! They turned out huge! *giggles* I hadn't really calculated that they'd grow so much... They are like the palm of my hand. o.o I wonder what I did different from what I usually do...?

Oh, and our balcony is a flowery paradise at the moment. <3 My beloved grabbed the camera and took some pictures that I'd like to share with you! Aren't they lovely?

It seems like today will be the ideal day to enjoy a cup of tea on the balcony. :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The great misunderstanding

I don't want my blog to turn into a debate, so I'm just going to keep this short. Since the gay festival 'Pride' is now running, I thought I wanted to dedicate this post to a very common misunderstanding between gay and straight people.
If you read my earlier post, you know that I'm not blaming anyone for anything - those who dislike gay people probably have reasons. Whether it be religion, fear, lack of knownledge or a closed mind. I would like, however, to clear out one misunderstanding that I think is very common.

Most straight people who think about gay people, tend to define homosexuality as 'people who like to have sex with someone of the same gender'. This is the misunderstanding, because that definition is false. The definition should be 'people who have feelings toward someone with the same gender'. People have sex with someone they don't love every day, and a lot of gay people live unhappily in straight relationships for several reasons - because it wasn't acceptable when they were young, because of their family, because of denial.
Also, this misunderstanding usually ends up twisted - the straight person trying to protect themselves as if the gay person would have sex with anyone of the same gender.
That's also false. I mean, come on. Would a straight person want to have sex with anyone of the opposite gender? No. You look for someone who's pretty or someone you fall in love with. Gay people are no different. We just happen to fall in love with someone of the same gender rather than opposite, it has nothing to do with sex.
And if you look at it from that perspective... That this is all about love and not sex, I think that a lot of worrying, fearful people would relax. You don't fall in love with anyone you see. Love and sex are not synonymes. Though it may be hard to understand, that's how it is. Movies (even pornography) are very misleading, focusing on the wrong aspects most of the time.
Love is all there is. Feelings quite the same as everyone else. And can just as easily be hurt. But we're not that different at all. :)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The importance of love and acceptance

A lot of people tend to say that 'anime and manga are just cartoons, don't look too deep in the philosophy of them'. But I don't agree. I think that anime and manga - by large - play a more important role than people might expect.
I've heard a lot of complaining about how many main characters are orphans, and I don't understand those complains either. It's common and quite accepted that stories that are supposed to make the main character grow start by the main character being cut loose from most ties of the past. Whether by them breaking lose, family dying or disappearing - or lack of a parent to begin with. I think it's important since those stories really throw the character right into a determination that makes it grow.
And it can symbolise being thrown out into a large and very unforgiving world.

What I think is most important though, is that most series (I don't count ecchi, since I very much dislike this genre) have a very clear sensmorale; love and acceptance will find a way, and it will change the world and how we think. It's so easy to hate, but very hard to accept things we don't understand, and it can feel impossible to love everyone.
But I think that a large step on the way is trying to understand why someone acted a certain way. What shaped that person into being who they were? Look underneath the underneath as Kakashi once said (a character from the popular series Naruto).
I mean... We can take something all of us can relate to as example: the local drunk. A person who sits on a bench drinking, seemingly doing nothing at all. What do people do? They avoid, and speak ill of this person when it can't hear. And when it seeks contact we shy away, with strained politeness and rush on.
We don't stop and wonder: Why did this person resort to drinking in the first place?
People very seldom do things without a reason - no matter how petty it may seem - so there must be something.

There was this man I used to see every day as I walked to the bus. Every day, he sat on the same bench, alone. So one day, when I had a couple of lollipops, I went up to him and gave him a lollipop. I don't think the happiness on his face can be described with words. He looked so relieved not to have to sit there alone. So I sat down and talked to him, and learned that he'd been thrown out by his wife, but he loved her. So he came here every day, and sat on the bench near her house, hoping that she would change her mind some day. He was very sad and lonely, and thanked me for listening to his story.
I never saw him again.
I don't know if somehow me listening to his story made him able to go on, or if something happened to him. Maybe he summoned to courage to ring the doorbell, maybe his wife took him back I don't know. But it was one of those things I will not easily forget.

I don't think that I would have bothered trying to make contact if I hadn't learned to accept people the way they are - no matter what they look like or where they come from - and accept the fact that every person have their own past that shaped their here and now. Sure, some people may just be very bad at making choices in their lives, but most people don't just end up in that position. They all have stories of their own.

I also know how hard it is to be that person who is pushed away, left out, ignored, badmouthed behind your back...the person who's always out of luck, who always loses everything that means something.
That unlucky person who always end up lonely and sad.
I know how that feels, and I know how it feels when nobody - not even family - bothers to try to help, listen to your story and understand you. When your very existence is being questioned, and you wonder why you were put down on this earth in the first place since nobody seems to need you.

It's the hardest thing. To not have a place or a reason to exist. And when you finally find it, you hold onto it so desperately. You care for it, nurture it as if every day was the last - because you know it is so fragile. Trust comes hard, and is easily damaged.

I think that if I hadn't started watching anime I'd probably still be that bitter, lonely person. But I'm not. I changed because I had to. There was no other choice. And hearing all those stories, all those reasons to fight... I learned that it's okay to be me. And once I accepted that there was no reason to it all, that children are simply cruel to each other - and most people who are mean don't realise how much what they do hurt, neither do they really mean to hurt - then I was able to create my first bonds.

And I will always treasure them, since I know how important it is to have people you can trust and love - and who knows they can depend on you as well.

If you never watched any anime at all, you should try it. :) Pick some series that are very popular (and that isn't 'ecchi' - they're easily recognised because there's always pantyshots and large, bouncing breasts in them) and watch some of it to see what I mean.
I would personally recommend reading the Naruto manga (the anime is good as well, but it has a lot of filler episodes so it's much longer) and read Full Metal Alchemist or watch the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood-series (not the one without 'Brotherhood' because it's...really...weird and only loosely follow the manga) and Rurouni Kenshin.

A warm day

The sun is already high in the sky this early morning, and not a single cloud is in sight. I have a feeling that this will be a very warm day... But that is good in a way, although I'm not too fond of heat, because maybe our tomatoe plants will take the chance of the sun to grow. :) They've been very late this year... But they smell wonderful. <3

Two weeks of freedom, then it will be hard work at University. While I know that it will be three exhausting years - with all the commuting I'll be doing - I'm looking forward to it. :) I've also decided I don't give a damn what anyone thinks about my style of fashion. I'll just whip their asses (excuse me...) if they give me problems. I seem to have forgotten that I'm quite far from a weak little flower - I was reminded of that the other day.
That said...the dress for school is coming along nicely. :) I just have to narrow the shoulders a bit, since my shoulders are too narrow for the Japanese patterns. My only concern at the moment is that I have to find time and energy to sew a couple of drawers since my favourite pair are worn out. It's hard to find a good length and combine it with a fabric that is soft to the skin, but thick enough so it won't bunch up.

Ah, the worries of a Lolita... I was going to bake some tea pastries yesterday, but realised we were out of eggs. So maybe I will do that today instead. :)

And the doll is coming along! :D Some joints need attacking, the arms left to cut - hands and feet need to be made - and make holes for the strings of course! And when all that is done...painting.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Morbid dolls

I think people have been fascinated by death for centuries. And it's everywhere - dolls, movies, music videos, litterature... I started thinking about it because I found a seller on Etsy that made Victorian boudair dolls that had skeleton heads. Why do people find it so fascinating? Skulls have turned up in so many different places, and they always represent something forbidden - and humans love forbidden things...

Not many can have missed the romantisation of vampires for example - Anne Rice being a good example of this - and zombies are so popular they have more or less become standard in horror games and movies. If you want to make something frightening - use death, whether in the form of zombies (Dawn of the Dead, Living Dead and I am Legend for example) or vampires or even necromancers.
Everyone that reads fantasy have encountered them in some form.

Then there is the Goth style. Skulls as decoration, dark colours - most popular being black and bloody red. Even Lolita have this style, called 'Gothic Lolita'. All the rules that come with Lolita applies to Gothic Lolita as well, so some popular elements that exist in Goth (such as net stockings and revealing corsets and cleavages) don't exist in Gothic Lolita. But even so... Zombie dolls or otherwise morbid dolls are very common. Wallets shaped like coffins and gothic crosses.
For example, there's the Living Dead Dolls

or torn and battered stuffed toys with visible stitches and often bandages or button-eyes.

I can, somehow, understand why it is so popular. Death in itself is a very frightening thing, and still...people are drawn to it. I imagine it is a sort of thrill, not unrelated to the thrill of doing something that's forbidden. And there seems to be no clear line where it goes into something that's not acceptable - each on his or hers own tolerance. Anyone who has seen - like I have - Braindead by Peter Jackson know what I mean. We all have different tolerance level.
What's fun? What's scary? What is simply too much?

It seems when it comes to art statements, pretty much anything goes. And isn't that what is so wonderful about art?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Lolita underthings

With Lolita, the most important things are those that cannot be seen. I am, of course, talking about underthings. As an essential part of our clothes, they make us feel comfortable and - in the case of petticoats - shape our dresses and skirts to that lovely bell shape.
I suppose the most common underthings for Lolita is a petticoat and drawers, but this is by no means the only underthings there are! If you are like me, you don't want too much elastics and waistlines to press against your stomach - so wearing drawers, skirt and petticoat would be really uncomfortable. But! They are necessary. So what to do?

There are much inspiration to be found in 19th century fashion (if we chose to ignore the tightlacing of corsets) which will help us. One example is the camiknicker (also known by the more modern word 'teddy' or 'bodysuit' or sometimes called 'Combination' when talking about historical clothes). It is - for us - a camisole with the drawers attached to it as a single garment. Modern versions have elastic by the waist, but there is no reason to have it for us since we don't wear it to be sexy. It is a very pretty, luxurious garment if done right, and can be richly decorated with lace and embroidery.

(An old photograph of a lady wearing a camiknicker with richly decorated drawers combined with a camisole.)

Then there is, of course, the slip dress. Although I am not very fond of the word (I prefer to call it 'under dress'), the slip dress is perfect for many dresses and a good alternative to the standard petticoat. For some dresses - such as most empire cut baby doll dresses - I actually recommend wearing a slip dress to! A slip dress is quite simply this - a dress (usually white) to wear underneath your usual dress. To protect the skin, and to protect the dress should you sweat.
A slip dress is very similar to the camiknicker, with the exception that instead of drawers, you have a petticoat attached instead. The slip dress can range from a simple, plain dress to a very elaborate one with an actual layered skirt - just keep in mind if you layer your skirt that the shoulder straps are not too thin, or the pressure on your shoulders will be uncomfortable.
I, myself, prefer a slip dress that have small sleeves rather than shoulder straps, with a buttoned up front. The buttons must be small and flat, else you risk them being visible when you wear your dress over it.

Lastly, there is the camisole and bloomers/drawers combination, where the two are separate garments. Wearing nothing but a bra underneath a dress or blouse and skirt ensemble is not recommended, especially not if you risk sweating on a hot day. The camisoles can be very pretty - ranging from an actual camisole with shoulder straps and embroidered front, to a small, plain blouse with buttoned up front (keep in mind to make the sleeves snug or they will make your actual blouse look bumpy at the sleeves). Drawers and bloomers can be any variation of decoration, just as long as you're careful so they won't peek out beneath the skirt.
The difference between bloomers and drawers is that bloomers are the shorter version, while drawers can range anywhere from just above the knee down to your ankles.
Bloomers must be worn with caution, since they are in the danger zone for Lolita - they reveal too much skin. Sometimes, though, it may be necessary to wear bloomers - for a baby doll empire dress for example - but be careful! Drawers are usually more comfortable as well, and don't ride up like bloomers tend to do. I recommend only wearing bloomers with pantyhoses (not the transparent kind!!), since even if you wear over-the-knee socks it's very risque.
Please keep in mind that 'cute' isn't a synonyme to 'Lolita'. Bloomers may be very cute, but they are to be used with great care in combination with Lolita.

Well, that's it for me today. :) I hope it inspired you!