Commercially Alternative: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

2012 is almost upon us. Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading my blog! 2011 was quite a year and I was blessed in so many ways. I'm a little sad to see it end because 2012 is going to be extremely stressful for me. I'm in my last semester of school. Wow! I never thought it was going to end. My life is going to be filled to the brim with senior classes and projects for the next few months. Then I'm going to enter the scary world of employment! WIsh me luck. 

As per usual for this time of year, I've compiled a little list of my new year's resolutions. I try not to set vague goals such as "improve this" or "do more of that." I find that I am much more successful if I lay out small definite goals that I can check off as completed. 

  • Finish my black scoop neck blouse
    • My big hold up with this one is finding 3/8" black lace. I've found some nice ones in cream and white, but not black. I also have to decide which sleeves to use. Some days I lean towards A and others I'm leaning towards B. If you haven't already, please vote on the poll to the right! 
  • Make a hair corsage 
    • I think it would be nice to have some burgundy roses to match the three tiered skirt. 
  • Sew a hair bow
  • Sew a high waisted skirt
    • I have an idea for what I'm going to do for this that I'm really excited about. So look forward to seeing if it really works!
  • Attend a lolita meetup
  • Blog once a week
  • Get all A's
  • Finish school!
  • Exercise once a day 
  • Practice trumpet once a week (hopefully more once school ends)
What about you? Do you believe in New Year's Resolutions? What are they?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my faith with you all. (Or at least a greatly condensed version) This blog shall remain largely nonreligious. However, my beliefs are a big part of who I am and I think everyone has the right to share what they believe in. If you feel uncomfortable with this in any way, that is perfectly all right. Happy Holidays and I hope I see you next week for some regularly themed content.

I am a Christian. I consider myself nondenominational, but the theology of my local baptist church that I am currently attending really aligns with my own. I believe in the God of the bible and that He created everything. And I believe that He sent His son Jesus into this world. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit all make up the Trinity. They are three parts of the same whole.

Jesus was born to a virgin, Mary, in Bethlehem. He led a sinless life, performed miracles, and taught the word of God. He eventually died on the cross for our sins. He was the ultimate sacrifice, the perfect lamb. Three days later He rose from the dead. I believe all this and more was done such that it fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament. 

Everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God. This means that no amount of good works can ever get anyone into heaven. However, Jesus died so that we may have eternal life. Salvation is God's free gift that is available to everyone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast." (New International Version)

The only thing required for this salvation is to have faith in Jesus and believe in God. God has also promised that once you are saved, you are saved for life. Nothing can take away your salvation.

John 10:28-30 (Jesus is speaking) "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (NIV)

I believe that baptism is not the way to get into heaven. It is following Jesus' example, a symbol of Jesus washing away our sins and being reborn through him. It should be done once God has been excepted into your life. It is a public declaration that you believe that Jesus is your savior and that you will learn to walk in His ways.

Now, I also believe that Christians should live their lives by the following verses. 

Matthew 22:35-40 "One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (NIV)

I try to live my life by this. God is all about love. He loves everyone, just as they are. He forgives all our sins, you just have to ask. He hears all our prayers. I believe he has a plan for all of us, though it's too complex for me to understand. I just have to have faith and trust in him.

Thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! Keep in mind, anything that I consider hateful about my beliefs or anyone else's will be deleted. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sleeve Indecision for Scoop Neck Blouse

Yesterday, I showed my mom the progress on my blouse. She asked my what kind of sleeves I had planned. I told her some short puffed sleeves. She nodded her head and said, "I think it would look really cute with long sleeves." That night all I could think of was, "Oh! It WOULD look cute with long sleeves!" From then on I've been flipping back and forth between the two. 

Therefore, I would really like to hear your opinions. I've drawn out four options. View A shows the sleeve that the pattern paired this top with. View B shows the sleeves that I had planned on going with. View C shows a three quarter length sleeve that, while not really lolita, I think is nice. However, I worry that, paired with the not inherently lolita scoop neck, the blouse will really not look lolita. View D shows long sleeves that I made up after looking at brand blouses and I don't have a pattern for, but I think looks nice and ties in the ruffle at the bottom. So, please, let me know your thoughts in the comments or using the poll on the right.

I apologize for the photos of the sketches. My ancient scanner was not cooperating today. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dramas I Love & a Big Thank You!

First off, thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog! There are a total of 10 followers! ^_^ (although, for some reason, they don't always show up on the main page :/) Again, thank you and I will work hard to continue to improve my blogging.

I am still searching for some 3/8" black lace for my blouse project. As a result, my blouse will have to sit for a bit longer. 

In the meantime, I've decided to compile a list of my favorite dramas. I really haven't seen many, but I love these so much I think everyone should see them. Hopefully, I can watch some more over winter break. If any of you have any drama favorites, please share! 

Secret Garden (romance, comedy, fantasy)

Secret Garden is a 2010 Korean drama. The story revolves around Gil Ra Im, a poor stuntwoman, and Kim Joo Won, a rich and arrogant CEO. Through various things that can only really happen in a drama, the two meet on the set of Gil Ra Im's movie. After the first episode you realize that Kim Joo Won has fallen in love with our heroine. Although, he himself doesn't realize it. Our hero then does everything possible to get close to our girl, but she really doesn't want anything to do with him. This drama is perhaps my all time favorite because, one, the male lead is not a jerk, and, two, the male lead truly loves the female lead. (of course he goes about it in a stupid manner, if he didn't we wouldn't have a drama!) Now, where does the fantasy come into play? At about episode 5 they switch bodies! At first this feels a little disjoint from the rest of the plot. However, this element is quickly worked into the story in a funny and interesting way. We get some good laughs and really delve into Kim Joo Won's backstory.

You're Beautiful (romance, comedy, gender bender)
You're Beautiful, also known as He's Beautiful, is another Korean drama from 2009. The story is about Go Mi Nyu, a nun in training. Her twin brother, Go Mi Nam, has just been accepted into the hit boy band A.N.Jell. However, Go Mi Nam just had a botched plastic surgery procedure on his eye and is stuck in America getting it fixed. Go Mi Nam's manager begs Go Mi Nyu to take his place in the band, disguised as a male, until her brother can come back. As a result, she has to live in the band's dorm with three other men. To be honest, the girl is a little… how should I say… apologetic? I really wish she would stand up for herself more. And the male lead… well… he's pretty much a jerk. But don't let this turn you off from there series! It is so funny and the love square (?) relationship between her and the three band members is an amazing emotional roller coaster.

Nodame Cantabile (comedy, slice of life, romance, music)
Nodame Cantabile is a Japanese drama which aired in 2006. The story focuses on Shinichi Chiaki, a piano player who dreams of becoming a conductor. However, he has a disabling fear of the ocean and airplanes. Hence, he cannot leave Japan to train abroad. The female lead is Megumi Noda, or Nodame. She's a piano student at the university and she dreams of becoming a preschool teacher. Nodame is sloppy, disorganized, and quite frankly really really weird. However, she is a piano prodigy and her music draws in Chiaki. This series really isn't about their romance. Their love just kind of happens on the back burner. The slapstick comedy is way too over the top, but what really drew me to this series was the music. It is amazing and truly inspirational. I really want to get my hands on the soundtrack for this series.  

The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (romance, comedy, gender bender)

Coffee prince aired in 2007 in Korea. The female lead is Go Eun Chan, a poor, hard-working tomboy who constantly is mistaken for a guy. The male lead is Choi Han Kyul, a rich boy who really doesn't do anything except live off his family's money. The two meet a couple of times and Han Kyul mistakes her for a guy. Eventually, after some miscommunications and assumptions, Han Kyul hires Eun Chan to act as his male lover to scare off the blind dates his grandmother sets up for him. Things happen and other characters and love interests are introduced and eventually Han Kyul is in charge of a coffee shop that only hires handsome men and Eun Chan is an employee. I felt the ending left something to be desired, but the tender moments between the two leads made my heart melt over and over again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Scoop Neck Blouse Part 3: Construction

The semester has finally ended. It really is such a relief. I am so ready for a long winter break before the craziness of next semester starts. And with a vacation comes more time to sew!

When we last left our hero, the scoop neck blouse, the pieces were cut out. Now comes the long process of construction. The first part was sewing the darts on the front panels. This went smoothly enough and hopefully will fit well. I had pictures of the dart making process, but since everything was black on black it was a little hard to see anything. The next step was sewing the pin tucks. I had a little trouble with this as the instructions said to "stitch as close as possible to the fold." o_O Honestly, what is that supposed to mean? If I wanted to, I could stitch it so that the stitches are almost falling off the edge. Thus, I decided to stitch 1/8" tucks. There, a nice solid number. I'm a little worried though as there are four tucks on each side and too big tucks can really add up. Everything looked great until I pressed the pin tucks. I discovered that one had somehow managed to drift far far away from the others. :/ So I had to redo that one.

According to the pattern, the loops for the corset back are made out of ribbon. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. As I searched through my collection of brand blouse pictures, I noticed that, indeed, brand blouses use loops made out of the same material as the blouse. So I made a bias cut drawstring and cut it into small sections to form the loops. I'll go through the same method for the corset lacing too.

Next, I sewed the darts on the back panel. It took forever basting each of the loops to the dart. One's slightly crooked, but… I don't think it's too noticeable. 

And finally, I sewed the front and back panels together. I'm going a little out of order right now. I was supposed to sew the lace next to the pin tucks first, but I haven't purchased any yet. ^_^" I'm waiting for a sale. Hopefully, I can get more done so I can get a make up post out later this week.

It's a little hard to tell at this stage (especially without a dress form), but how does it look? Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Short Hair Story

I love short hair with a passion. As you can see in my cartoon self in the banner, I have short hair.

I tried long hair twice in my life. The first time was just a miserable experience when I was in elementary school and I really didn’t know how to even properly do or take care of hair. The second time was in high school and I decided to grow it all out. (It was VERY short and spikey/flippy at the time) I was never happy with it during the growing out process and constantly wanted to cut it off. However, I kept telling myself, “Just wait a little more. It’ll look better when it’s longer.” Eventually, I reached my goal length of slightly past my shoulders. I got a nice haircut with layers and bangs and I loved it! I felt like I finally had hair just like all of the pretty and popular girls did. I remember playing model in front of the mirror and pretending to do the herbal essence commercials with the slow motion hair toss. Nevertheless, the love affair quickly faded. I grew sick of fighting massive tangles every morning. Most days I didn’t have time to straighten my frizzy hair into submission and just opted for a ponytail. That just led to damage, split ends, and a general boredom with my look. I felt like I had no creativity with my long hair. My options were up or down and I looked just like every other girl out there. Moreover, long hair is hot! I honestly don’t know how anyone stands it!

When I got to college, anytime I would see any girl with short hair I would die a little with envy. After weeks of this, I decided I had enough and the long hair had to go. I bought about three hair magazines from the grocery store and got to work finding my new look. I told a few people that I was going to do it. Most really didn’t care or said they couldn’t wait to see it. A few boys told me that I shouldn’t do it because girls look better with long hair. (I believe that only made the feminist part of me want to do it even more!) I found one I loved, but I didn’t want to make any rash decisions. Therefore, I gave the magazine to my mom. She looked through it, went back, looked through it again, and pointed to the one I loved and said, “What do you think of this one?” I immediately cut out the picture and scheduled an appointment with my hair salon.

Well, she didn’t give me the haircut like in the picture. Actually, it was nothing like the picture at all and much shorter than I had planned! It turned out that she was good at long hair, not so much short. Funny thing, I really didn’t care! I was so happy with my short hair even if it wasn’t a good cut. I went out and bought my favorite hair products again from back in my short hair days, with a few updates, and threw out all of my ponytails that night.

Now I love collecting short hair magazines and pictures. There’s a whole stack of them in my closet. Sometimes I’ll cut out a random picture and take it to my stylist and say, “I want this today!” I don’t look like every other girl anymore. I love that I have NEVER seen a girl with any of my hairstyles before. People will come up to me in the store or on the street and tell me how much they love my hair. (Seriously, my hairstylist is a genius! I’m so thankful that I found her.)

I just wish that short hair was seen more in Lolita! Short hair is really a rare sight in this fashion. I’ve scoured the internet and all I’ve found are bobs. There aren’t even wide varieties of bobs. They are the same thick, blunt bangs with the rest chin length straight hair. Very cute and I love it, but I want more variety. Short hair is an amazing way to play with color and different looks. Don’t like your haircut? Wait a couple of months and try something new!

What do you all think? Does short hair have a place in Lolita? Ever have short hair yourself? What do you think of short hair on women in general?