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Sunday, 29 January 2012

A soft little fawn

Some of you may remember that I have - at repeated occassions - tried to make soft toys, but the results have been quite varied I'm afraid. So far I've had ridiculous problems just drafting the patterns, which has been both silly and frustrating.

Well, now I'm having another go at it, and unless I really mess up somewhere, this project is looking quite good. :) I decided to make a fawn, since I don't think the fawn toys out there look very pretty. They look too...manufactured, which makes them lose quite a lot of charm along the way. she is. Full of pins at the moment since I haven't sewn everything together yet'll get an idea what she will look like when finished.The body turned out great, but I'm not entirely convinced that her head is fine. I will probably tilt her nose down slightly more.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Valentine approaching and webshop overhaul

I've been so up and about, thinking about school that I'd completely forgotten that Valentine's Day is getting closer! Also, I haven't updated my webshop in months! It's really high time for some change, something new. Maybe I should dedicate this weekend to the webshop, what do you think? :)

So after I've finished today's school work, I'm going to give the webshop a haul over and a new header. And then I'll sit down and start making new things for it... I really have neglected it, haven't I? I'm such a bad mother. ^.^; I even noticed they added some new features I didn't know about... *hides*

Well, right now it has a new background (albeit temporary. I'm going to make my own eventually.) and I've expanded the menu as I've noticed some people thought it was empty. ^.^; I'm considering making a wall paper with the logotype caméo, don't you think that would look lovely? <3 I'm going to make a new header too, it's had that one for too long now.

Yesterday a friend heard me wrong and asked what I'm going to bake...I've been thinking about it. :) Maybe mini cutie pies?

(Picture and idea from this blog. <3 )

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cold weather and spring

It seems like winter arrived late, though I had hoped after it's no-show over Christmas that it wouldn't show at all, it arrived a few days ago. With it, a little bit of snow - and icy winds. Granted, the temperature isn't so bad, it's barely freezing, but the wind is absolutely dreadful.

I must admit that I don't have any good ideas when it comes to countering wind, short of wearing a wind breaker or a raincoat - the former lacks quite a lot of charm, and the latter is too cold. Wearing layers and layers of clothes usually won't do, since the wind passes right through it anyway... Anyone got any good ideas?! I hate (such a strong word...) freezing and I hate sweating... If I could decide we'd have temperatures ranging between 10-25 degrees celsius. That'd be just perfect... <3

Spring looks quite distant at the moment, but it's not far away at all. We cleared our apartment of Christmas decorations the other day, and took out all our spring decorations. So now our apartment is lively with pastel rainbow colours, porcelain bunnies and lots of decorative cakes and pastries. You know them? They're usually porcelain or felt and look both adorable and tasty. <3
So that's pretty much the theme right now, and it's so cute! <3 I also filled one of the pretty glass bowls with candy (dangerous, I know! XD) and it fits perfectly with the brightcoloured flowers and glass cupcakes on the tv table. :)

I must admit I'm really tired today...I've been up since five because I had an early lecture. x.x

Monday, 23 January 2012

A requested symbol guide - how to read Japanese crochet patterns

The following guide is from a book called "Asashi Baby", which has an excellent guide on how to read the symbols in Japanese crochet patterns. The symbols here might differ slightly from pattern to pattern, but they generally look the same. :) Each symbol on the pattern represent one of these, so you can actually count the numbers on the diagrams.
These work well with the beret pattern in my previous post, and may work as instructions for it. You get a little bonus too - a tiny pattern on how to make a flower. :)

Of course, this goes without saying: these pictures are not mine, and I encourage you to buy the book if you want a book with lots of gorgeous crochet patterns for babies. :) It's a real treasure for baby clothing.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Winter wardrobe and freebie beret pattern

Being a lolita in winter when it's very troublesome - especially if you need to move in and out from the cold a lot. This is especially true  if you're in school, and even more so if you need to wait for a bus or a train or travel short distances. When it's too tedious to remove all the warm clothing just for being on a bus for ten minutes, and you end up sweaty instead... It's a real hassle, mind you!
So, unfortunately, this winter it's been hard for me to dress the way I want, at least on school days. I mean...I can't very well change my leggings and bloomers once I get to school and change back when I'm going home! So I've ended up in pants. *cries*

That little bit of complaining aside, let's focus on the best part: When you can dress up. <3 I know I've spoken of it before, but I simply must press matters a little bit. There are, after all, a few pieces of clothing that a lolita really ought to have in her winter wardrobe.
Of course, the most obvious thing is a nice, warm coat. Wearing a jacket is a bit so-so, but it can work on warmer days. Secondly, a warm pair of drawers is a must! The usual kind won't do - especially not if you plan on sitting down, because without warm drawers you will risk unpleasant ailments such as urinary tract infection...and that's not recommended.
Thirdly, leggings, of course. Warm ones to keep that pesky wind under control.

And lastsly, a purely cosmetic must: the beret. The beret has been around for roughly four hundred years, and it never gets old. Having a cute knitted or crochetted beret with a pom pom, or a factory made of wool, perfects any Lolita outfit splendidly. <3 The designs are similar - but the decorations doesn't need to! The latest beret I've made (and am still working on) will have small beads sewn in, and a bow at the front. <3 They're SO easy to make! I thought I'd share the pattern for this one with you, I found it for free myself.

The pattern below is from a Japanese magazine, and follow the Japanese crochet symbol standard. If you have troubles deciphering the symbols, poke me and I will help you. :)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Cupcake day!

We all know them, the adorable pastry that all Lolita's adore: the cupcake. Even more so with frosting and decoration, such as sugar paste and sprinkles. <3 I did a batch of these lovely Vanilla Cupcakes from Joy of Baking. (Which is, I may add, one of the perfect places to find adorable recipes for tea parties and picnics!)
Of all the recipes I've tried on cupcakes and muffins, this was the one with the best, tastiest result. The cupcakes are light, fluffy and not too sweet but not too bland. I think you could easily combine these with any other flavours. 

I used to think there was no distinct difference between cupcakes and muffins, but apparently that's not true. Cupcakes are pastries while muffins count as bread (even if they often have fruit or berries). Cupcakes in turn are also more often decorated with frosting and filled with goodies - doesn't the thought of vanilla custard filled cupcakes just make you go yum? <3

I actually did buy some sugar paste a while back (pink, what else?) so I thought...why not decorate these sweeties with pink butterflies and heart shaped sprinkles? The only problem with doing that, though, is transportation... I can't possibly bring such cupcakes to school, so during this morning's lecture (computer networks and distribution systems) I had to make do without frosting.
It was maybe not the healthiest breakfast, but it was good anyway!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

What is existence?

I think that's a very hard question to answer. If you live, but don't do anything meaningful with your life, do you still exist? If nobody sees you, do you exist? If you don't ackomplish anything, do you exist? If you don't marry and have children, do you exist?

I think that a lot of people fear this without ever having put it into words. The fear of sticking out, the fear of not being 'the perfect mom' or not having the lastest fashion. It's a fear that puts pressure on people unconsciously. I do believe, though, that this fear is unnecessary. Most people fear needlessly.
The fear of not existing has become something twisted today. What matter does it make if you don't have children? You're still you! And what does it matter if you don't have the newest fashion? If not having, not owning makes you get pushed out of the group you count yourself to, then I say it's a very shallow group that's not worth the trouble.

Fear of not existing gets truly frightening the moment you have no one. And I mean truly no one. Not just 'no one sees me right now', such as many teenagers or people who crave a lot of attention to fill their void do. I mean truly, bitterly alone. When there isn't anyone you can call or talk to, when all you see are people's backs, when your best friend is yourself and nobody ever tries to get to know you. When there's nothing in your life that has a value, nothing you want to hold on to. That's when the fear gets truly frightening.
As long as you have something, anything, then you exist and you do not need to worry about what people think at all, if you do, then you ought to sit down and ask yourself why.

I think that the Invisible People can benefit greatly from internet. It is a place where you can find others just like you, not like it was when I was a kid and internet was still far from what it is today. The longer you belong to the Invisible People...the more it will hurt. But even though nobody exist. Because sooner or later your time will come too. I know, because it happened to me. Sooner or later, you'll meet that chance encounter that lasts a lifetime, and that's when things turn around. :)

I promise. <3

So let's let go of all these fears of not being good enough, and look for the people who live in this fear - and help them out. Don't become a victim. Nobody benefits from that. Become strong.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

School starts again

Soon, vacation is over and school will start again on monday. I wonder what it will be like now? It can hardly get more stressful than the autumn was. *touches wood* So what are we doing now? :) Well, we'll constructing our own programming languages with Ruby as a base (is it just me, or does that seem like a weird choice...?), then we'll study networking and finally math.
I really, really don't look forward to the last bit. It's not that I'm bad at math, I've always found it easy. But whenever I was supposed to do a test on it in college, I panicked and couldn't even read the tests. So that's what I'm really worried about. ^.^;; I can't afford flunking the math exam.

Worries aside...five days left. What am I going to spend them doing? o.o; It's rainy and gray weather so taking a stroll is out of the question... I've been reading loads of manga. XD I just couldn't help myself. I picked up HxH and InuYasha again...and anyone who likes shounen manga knows that those are addicting - and loooooooong.

Also...did you know that Nine-Tails that is inside of Naruto is named "Kurama"? Much like the demon from Yu Yu Hakusho. Coincidence? I think not...

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A big disappointment

I'm warning you beforehand - this is indeed a rantpost, about the "remake" of HunterxHunter.

When I heard that there would be a remake of the HxH anime - a series I love very much, both manga and anime-wise - I was thinking 'oh? This late? Why? There was nothing wrong with the anime'. That it also coincides with the latest hiatus being lifted rose my suspicions... You see, the biggest problem with HxH has been the repeated hiatuses, and the last one...I don't think I'm exaggerating if it lasted two-three years. Until now, that is. 19 new chapters have been released as I write this, and the new aime.

I wondered why they'd make a remake of the anime, and saw that the official reason was that they wanted it to be closer to the manga. I thought that smelled like a fishy reason given the timing, it sounds more like they want to find a new audience since the old one has been declining due to the hiatus.
So I decided to watch it and see, and the first thing that struck me is that it's very badly drawn compared to the first version, suggesting the budget was smaller. Also, pretty much all the cast have been changed to less known voice actors, which further speaks for a smaller budget. That they would not be able to afford the stars they had in the first anime - like Junko Takeuchi (most famous for voicing Naruto).
That in itself was a put off for me, but I decided to give it a chance. They have tried (except for the first episode) to be faitful to the manga designwise. Most of the time. They did however make two big, BIG mistakes with the anime, that makes in unwatchable for me.

First mistake
They've ruined Killua and Hisoka.
Killua is supposed to be a complicated character with darkness within, who is the brain behind the Gon/Killua team. He's supposed to be Gon't backup, to make difficult choices and protects Gon, while trying to cope with his painful past and dangerous family. They've gone and reduced him to a child, made his appearance more childish and also - which ticks me off more - made him stupid. They have also chosen to try to make Gon appear cooler to appeal to a younger audience so as to make Gon the favourite character right away (apparently Killua was too popular), which I think is a very big mistake since Gon is supposed to start from very little and grow.
Hisoka has been turned into a nice uncle, who only attack when provoced instead of the lunatic pedo-clown he really is. His voice actor also doesn't suit him at all, he sounds way too nice. He also treats Gon like a son, which seems really bizarre if you've read the manga or watched the old anime.

Second mistake
One word: censorship. The entire thing has been heavily censored to make the anime available to a younger audience. All the blood, gore and death that was in the manga has been removed. Even gross scenes such as when Killua pulls out a living heart from a villain's body has been censored to the point that you can't tell what's going on unless you know already. I was getting suspicious from the start, when they'd changed the scene where Hisoka cuts a mans arms off - they changed it into an illusion with flowers, so as to make they audience think the man only thought his arms were gone and that it was a trick. What?
I find it hugely disappointing that they chose to censor away all of this since HxH is a very brutal manga and as such not at all suitable for children. If they're going to keep censoring away all blood, all gore and all deaths then I would hardly call it 'following the manga'.

I believe, that this is nothing but a vain try to collect a younger audience and make money from something that once drew in millions. HxH alone once sold in 55 000 000 copies, but I'm afraid that if they expected a renaissance they will be sorely disappointed. I don't think anyone who loved the old anime or read the manga will ever approve of this butchery, that's why their audience isn't the old readers - but new ones.

That isn't older than ten, and think that Beyblade is the best thing ever.

Rant out. Now for a picture from the original to make you cheer up again. <3 Killua and Gon.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year world!

This year passed by so fast, I can hardly wrap my head around that it's already 2012! 2011 was such a tumultous year, so very much happened. I wonder what 2012 will bring, besides my - gasp! - 28th birthday. That's another thing that's hard to wrap your head around... :s I hope it will be long yet before I look the part. The day I don't look young anymore will be a very sad day, as I'll have to lay aside the sweet Lolita look...

But! :) That's not a problem yet. I hope you had a great New Years with friends, and that you didn't drink too much alcohol, and that the fireworks were pretty. :) I'm not a bit fan of the sound from most fireworks, but I do love the wheels and "waterfalls". They're very pretty. <3

I'll probably post more during the day, as it's a very lovely day today. :) I'm going to be stubborn and try take photos! *laugh*