Commercially Alternative: 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Readers! I hope it has been as good a year for all of you as it has been for me. 

So much has happened in 2012 I can scarce believe it. I graduated with my bachelor's degree back in early May and have been working since late May. God was so so so good to me to get me a wonderful job straight out of college.

Last year I made some New Year's Resolutions. Let's see which I accomplished and make some new ones!

2012
  • Finish my black scoop neck blouse
    • That… was a big no. ^^" I didn't do any of it this year. I hadn't even realized how bad it's been.
  • Make a hair corsage
    • Bought the supplies, but never made it
  • Sew a hair bow
    • No again…
  • Sew a high waisted skirt
    • I realized I needed a little more knowledge and skill before I tackle this one.
  • Attend a lolita meetup
    • Yes! Yes I did! It was such a wonderful experience. All the attendees were darling and I saw such wonderful outfits.
  • Blog once a week
    • Not quite, but I have been getting better.
  • Get all A's
    • So close! Four A's and a B and I graduated Cum Laude. I'll take it!
  • Finish school
    • Woo hoo! Complete success!
  • Exercise once a day
    • Bwahahaha! *sniff* Haha! Did I say that?
  • Practice trumpet once a week
    • Complete! I even joined my local community college's night concert band. It's so wonderful to get back into music.
2013
  • Exercise at least twice a week
    • Let's try to be a little more reasonable this year
  • Practice trumpet at least twice a week
    • Once a week was quite easy last year, so adding in an extra session shouldn't be too painful or difficult.
  • Get better at my job
    • I hate open ended resolutions like this. I prefer resolutions that you can say complete or not at the end. However, I'm still quite useless there and can't do much completely on my own.
  • Complete my Renaissance Festival outfit
    • I've completed the skirt. So look forward to a post on that in the new year. I'm going to use my old chemise. The next step is completing the bodice, which is on it's way as I've already created a mock up for fitting.
  • Finish my black scoop neck blouse
    • Let's see if I can get this one done by the end of the year.
  • Blog at least once every other week.
  • Complete at least one lolita related garment other than the blouse
    • TBD
Did any of you create New Year's resolutions last year? How did you do? What are you resolutions for this year?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. 



I am so thankful and so in awe to have a God that loves us so much. To come among us, live as a human and experience the trials and wonders of humanity, and then ultimately sacrifice himself to save us from our sins and bridge our separation from God. How amazing is that? 

Recently, our pastor challenged us to create some goals  to allow our relationship with God to grow and not remain stagnant in the coming year. They're like spiritual new year's resolutions. Here are the three I came up with.

1. Read the bible for understanding.

I don't believe in blindly following a religion. I think one should really know what it is you are believing. I think a religion should be able to stand up to study or questioning. I've read the bible on my own before. However, that's a lot to take in! ^^" Recently I've discovered bibletrack.org. There is a daily bible reading with explanation on what is happening and what the bible is saying. It has audio track for you to listen to as you follow along in the post for optimal learning. Now, I don't just want to listen to any ol' person explain the bible. Many religions have the bible, but believe vastly different things. So I've researched the paster who writes this and read his churches statement of faith and it seems that his beliefs align with my own. 

2. What does it mean to worship God? How can I worship God in my daily life?

When my pastor was challenging us with these goals, one of his own was about worshiping God somehow everyday. And it got me thinking, what does it mean to worship God? Is it going to church and singing his praises? Is it volunteering your time to help those in need? Or is it finding time at the end of the day to thank God for all your blessings? Something else or all of the above? So I hope to ponder that this following year and to find time each day to please God. Now, no matter how many good works you do, that is not the path to salvation. "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 (Ephesians 2:8-9). But because I'm saved, because I've accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I want to please Him.

3. Gain fellowship with other Christians.

Most of my friends are Agnostic, Atheist, Catholic, you name it, but like… two? believe somewhat what I believe. So… it would be nice to have some more Christian friends. Someone to talk with about spiritual things rather than debating alternative views (as much as I love a good debate). Just like lolitas gathering to share a common hobby, one needs friends of religious like mindedness too. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: Underrated Colors

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival is underrated colors. What colors do you feel are rarely used in lolita and should be used more? Every style in lolita has a go-to color such as black for gothic, pink for sweet, and burgundy for classic. While I adore pretty much every burgundy dress, there is a color I would like to see more of… green.

I think green is a wonderful choice for classic. There are so many types of greens that can be used; bright emerald green, deep forest green, a light sage green, or anything in between. This color also compliments my skin tone the best and makes my own green eyes pop! 

Green does exist in the lolita world and brands release various pieces from time to time. However, I really just don't see it commonly worn in the community. Usually green shows up in the form of a mint colorway, a plaid, or a floral. Here are a few examples from Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, and Innocent World. I felt these were interesting and demonstrated a good range of color possibilities.






For fun, I decided to photoshop a few dresses from four different brands and see how they would look in a green color way. Please excuse my amateur photo editing skills. ^_^" My favorite of the bunch is the Victorian Maiden dress.









What color would you like to see in lolita more? You can see what other lolitas have to say by clicking the links below.





Friday, December 14, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: My Favorite Dress

Finally back to blogging! Whew. It's been a little longer than planned. Fortunately, I have been sewing all this time. *gaspeth!* It hasn't been lolita related, but it's been wonderful to get back to it. Apparently, I really needed the practice because I had initially lost the ability to sew straight lines! Not good. But I'm now getting back into the swing of things and should have finished products to post soon.

This weeks prompt for the Lolita Blog Carnival is your favorite dress. I really wanted to participate in this one even though I'm pretty sick this week. So it will be short. 

I've talked about my favorite classic lolita dresses and skirts in this post here. Therefore, I decided to post my favorite gothic lolita dress by Moi Meme Moitie.



I have always loved this dress. Sadly, these are the only two pictures of this dress I have. So if anyone has stock photos of this dress… *nudge nudge* ^_^ (Or even the name of this dress would be really helpful!) 



I'm not sure why I love this dress. I'm usually a fan of well tailored dresses and not any sort of shirred number. However, this one just speaks to me. I love the old school white and black; especially the majority of the dress being white. I feel it can be worn so many ways. You can either stick with the white and black theme, or accent it with bright pops of color in your accessories. It can be more casual with a simple black bow headband in your hair or more opulent with a bonnet and loads of silver gothic themed jewelry. 

You can see what other bloggers in the Lolita Blog Carnival favorite dresses are by clicking the links below!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Lifestyle Lolita Hobbies: Reading


Growing up, I can’t say I considered reading to be a hobby. It was just something everyone did. How could one not? It still surprises me greatly when I discover that someone doesn’t read books for enjoyment.

I love reading. When I read, I feel like I’m actually experiencing the story; the sights, the smells, everything! I’m so excited, now that I’ve graduated, to read for fun once more, instead of stuffy textbooks and math proofs. Now that the weather is cooling off, nothing sounds better than curling up in a big comforter with something warm to drink and a book in my hands.


And books can fit any lolita’s taste. Maybe a gothic romance? Or a sugary sweet fairy tale? An old, well read classic perhaps? Or, how about, a good sci-fi adventure just because! (I've linked to a couple of books that popped into my head when I thought of each theme)

I just recently bought a Kindle to start my reading journey wherever I am. Nothing tickles me more than the thought of entire books right in my purse! My current lineup of books includes Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Grimm Fairytales, Sherlock Holmes, and the Bible. Yay for finally having a Bible on hand with search functionality during religious debates with my friends! (I do love a good religious debate ^_^) Surprisingly, all of these were free thanks to Project Gutenberg.




Friday, November 9, 2012

Lifestyle Lolita Hobbies: Crochet

This week we are continuing the series of lifestyle lolita hobbies I participate in. Yay! This hobby is my newest skill I've picked up, crochet.

I was really surprised at how easy it is to learn crochet. I was taught a couple of months ago by some friends of mine. After quite a bit of confusion in the beginning and some youtube tutorials, I was quickly getting the hang of it. I bought the book, I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting. It has some great pictures and clear instructions. I haven't tried any of the provided patterns yet though.



I especially love how portable crochet is. All you need is your ball of yarn and a hook!

You can make a lot of lovely things with crochet. A lovely crochet shawl or bolero can be the perfect touch to any lolita coord. (Or mori girl!) Here are a few free patterns on ravelry.com! (You will need an account to look at the actual pattern) There are so many free patterns available with this resource for both knitting and crochet.


http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/romantic-bolero
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/small-talk-shawl
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pax
Here are my projects. The first is a scarf. It was the very first thing I made (other than practice squares). I hadn't quite got the hang of it yet. The second half looks so much better than the first since I was learning as I went. I have issues with keeping my tension consistent, too. ^_^ Quite often my stitches are far too tight. So it's a little lumpy. (okay, it's really lumpy) I still have to wash it and weave in the loose ends. The second is a rather ambitious project that I might never complete, a blanket! I'm a fan of quick projects and I'm finding myself getting bored with doing the same thing over and over again without much progress. XD Oh well, we'll see.






And… for something a little nerdy… a Sackboy pattern! (by nerdigurumi.com) 

http://nerdigurumi.com/2010/03/little-big-planet-sackboy-with-pattern.html

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: My Lolita Playlist

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme is "My Lolita Playlist." I can't say I have anything particularly "lolita." Whatever that might mean. XD However, a few of the artists in my library do give me a slight lolita feel should the need arise. 

Evanescence



This is my favorite band of all time. I fell in love with the very first song I heard, "Bring me Back to Life." It is such a rare thing to love an entire album of any artist. However, I can listen to Evanescence's CDs all the way through without skipping. Despite listening to their songs over and over throughout the years, I don't lose interest in their songs. I must admit, I was a little disappointed in their latest album, but I will not give up hope and remain loyal yet! Their music definitely gets me into a gothic lolita mood.

Mannheim Steamroller



I listen to Mannheim Steamroller every Christmas as my dad and I put up the tree. It is a tradition we have kept for many years since I was a child. It's music brings to mind many charming memories. Sometimes during the year, when Christmas is nowhere in sight, I play these songs on my iPod. It always puts me in the mood to sit be a warm fire, a cup of eggnog in my hands, wearing a cranberry red lolita dress with a fur trimmed capelet. 

Exo



Okay, this band really doesn't have any sort of lolita feel to them at all. However, I am quite enamored with them as of late. Their songs are catchy and enjoyable, their dance moves are well done, and they are so PRETTY! *sigh* I picked their Chinese version to share as they don't get as many views as Exo-K even though they are just as amazing!


Kai... always losing his shirt...

Tao and Kris. Just look at those faces! @_@
Exo-K

Exo-M

Bonus

And… just for fun… something nerdy!



Lolita Blog Carnival


And here's the list of other lolita blogger's playlists. I hope you enjoy them! (Will be updated as blogs post)



Friday, October 26, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: My Style Outside Lolita

The Blog Carnival continues! This week’s prompt is “my style outside Lolita.” Now, I don’t really have “style” outside of Lolita. Mostly my clothes are generally comfortable and affordable. I had plans to do a complete overhaul of my wardrobe after I got out of school. However, whenever I go into a store my soul aches with the sad state that the current fashion trend is in. I really can’t find anything that I like. Thank you, Lolita, for not allowing me to go absolutely crazy with fashion frustration.

Thus, for this week’s theme I’ve made up some sample collages of outfits I would wear for certain situations.

Work



This type of outfit is what I wear eight hours a day, five days a week. It’s my work outfit. I’m an engineer for a large company. Therefore, practicality is important. I need to be able work with dusty/dirty tools or machines and not worry about ruining an outfit. I also need to be able to sit at a desk all day comfortably. And no cutesy shoes for me. I need to be able to stay on my feet without pain and close-toed shoes are important for lab work. As a female engineer, I also need to be taken seriously. That means no skintight clothing and no cleavage hanging out. I need to show on first impression that I am smart and can do this job just as well as any male. However, that doesn’t mean I have to give up my bright girly colors! I like Aeropostale polos because they are really affordable, super long to fit my long torso, and slightly curvy instead the boxy polos of other brands.

Play



This part of my closet is left over from my college days when I needed to get ready fast when I slept in and run to the bus so I could make it to class on time. It’s mainly Aeropostale graphic t-shirts as they are long, affordable, and quite comfy or super nerdy/geeky t-shirts. I would really like things that are more fashionable for my days off. However, current trends seem to be against me. (Well, I’m against them, anyway. XP) I always try to pair it with a cute pair of flats, though.

Special Occasion



This is my favorite dress that I own. I bought it from Ann Taylor for an amazing deal. I had gone to their clearance rack and they had this dress in a size too big and a size too small. It was wonderfully constructed and fully lined. I wish all clothes were as well tailored and high quality as this. I was about to leave in despair, but I began talking to the sales woman and she suggested that we look and see if another store had it in my size. I didn’t have much hope since it was on a clearance rack to begin with. However, this wonderful woman found it in a store a whole state away and had them ship it to me! (I don’t even think they charged me for shipping, but I could be wrong) It fit like a dream, but, unfortunately, I haven’t had an occasion to wear it. Therefore, it sits in my closet, ready should the opportunity arise. 

Lolita Blog Carnival

Are you interested in what others wear when not in Lolita? Check out these blogs! (Will be updated as more blogs post.) 

Click here for the Facebook group!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lifestyle Lolita Hobbies: Cross-stitch

I'd like to take the next few weeks to discuss some hobbies that con provide a little more lolita aesthetic to your life. There is no set list of hobbies that are "lolita" as it really depends on the individual. These are just hobbies that I participate in and have experience. I would love for all of you to share your hobbies, too! First up is cross-stitch.

Not mine: Source

Cross-stitch is a type of embroidery where one stitches X's on special cross-stitch fabric to form a picture. It's simple to do and very easy to learn. Just pick up a beginner's book, actually read through it, and you're on your way. My mom bought me this book, Teach Me to Stitch, back in elementary school. It has very clear instructions with helpful pictures and lots of cutesy little kid patterns to practice with.


Cross stitch is a fairly inexpensive hobby to pick up. The supplies list includes a pattern, fabric, hoop, floss (the technical term for embroidery thread), cross-stitch needle, masking tape, and scissors. Patterns come in books and the pattern will tell you what colors to buy and how large the finished product will be. You can even buy kits that include the pattern, fabric, and all the colors you need. I have never tried this method, so I cannot attest to its quality.

Fabric comes in many sizes and types. Here is a little article to give you an idea of cross-stitch fabric. Basically, if you are a beginner, buy Aida. It will be easiest to work with and count stitches and it will be cheaper. Though, the finished project won't look as refined as the holes are quite large. Never get linen unless it's evenweave. If your fabric does not say it's evenweave you will NOT be happy with your results as all the squares will not be the same size or they will be rectangles instead of squares. Blech.

Source

The only expensive part of cross-stitch is when you need to frame your work (unless it's a pillow, blanket, etc.) Make sure you get it on sale at Michaels and Joann's. 

Cross-stitch really requires minimum concentration. It's perfect for doing with a bunch of friends while gossiping or sitting at home and listening to music or watching TV. It's also the perfect hobby to do while wearing your frills as there is absolutely no mess. Just be careful with your scissors! I love sitting with my project, imagining I'm a princess in a castle wasting time between saving princes and fighting dragons. 

Here's my latest project. I think it will be the perfect way to loli-fy my room a bit more once it's washed and framed. They were made using one stand of floss for a more water color effect. 




Friday, October 19, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: Favorite Makeup Tips


Once again, I am writing for the Lolita Blog Carnival. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this project, it is a group of Lolita bloggers. We vote on a topic and then write about it on the same day. This will be my second week participating and I am really enjoying myself. There’s nothing like having a homework assignment with a hard due date to finally get me writing again! And it’s really amazing to see everyone’s creative and individual ideas on the same subject. Last week’s topic was 3 Prints I Would Like to See and everyone came up with such awesome ideas! It’s so wonderful to see people come up with things I would have never thought of myself.

This week’s theme is Favorite Makeup Tips. I really love watching tutorials and learning new skills about makeup. Therefore, I’m really looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say on the matter. As for myself, I’ve never been very creative with makeup. My mom took me to Estee Lauder when I turned 16 and they gave me a makeover and showed me an easy everyday look. I’ve pretty much stuck with that same look for my everyday wear all the way until now that I’m twenty-ish, varying color and/or intensity depending on the situation. 

However, I have learned one thing...

Lasting Eyes with Eye Primers

For quite a few years, I battled with my eye makeup. It just never lasted or looked good. Within a few hours, it would smudge, gather in the creases, or just disappear all together. My super oily skin didn’t help matters any either. Then I spoke with the Lancome sales woman at Macy’s and she had the answer, eye primer. It helps my eye shadow last for hours and I get very little creasing. The product takes forever to run out, too! I’ve been using my current pot everyday for well over a year now and there is still a ton left. It is well worth the money (especially if you purchase it during a special sale — see below) 

Remember: Use clean hands when using this product. Since the product lasts for so long, using dirty fingers will allow bacteria to enter. That’s not a good thing to have sitting around for months on end that you keep applying to your face. Ew!

To apply: put a little bit on your fingertips. The product is tacky so you should rub it between your fingertips to warm it and allow a smooth application. Put some on your eyelids and blend in all over where you are going to put your eye shadow. For best results, seal with a little powder. Alternatively, just start applying your eye shadow (like I do). 




Did you know…

Did you know that makeup brands have how-to videos on their websites? So if you ever want to learn a new technique, just google Lancome, Estee Lauder, MAC, Cover Girl, and more!





Favorite Video Tutorials

I absolutely adore Iiraliina's blog and youtube videos. She is so talented and lovely to boot!





Lolita Blog Carnival

For more makeup tips, here's a list of the other blogs participating in this week's themes. Please, check them out! (Will be updated as more blogs post)

Click here for the Facebook group!

Sweet and Simple

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: 3 Prints I Would Like to See


Hello, everyone! I'm so happy to be back. I really want to get into the habit of blogging and sewing on a regular basis. I don't have any sewing projects to share with you yet. However, I was fortunate enough to be able to join the Lolita Blog Carnival! I'm so excited to be able to participate in this amazing project. This is such a wonderful idea for lolita inspiration and to connect lolita blogs that might otherwise remain unfound and unread by many. 


This week's theme is 3 prints I would like to see. Now, I'm not really a fan of prints. (gaspeth!) I like them when I see them and I can remember many times thinking that I would love to have a certain print in my closet. However, when I go to clean out and organize the giant pile of lolita pictures stored on my computer, prints are usually the first to go. I just don't fall in love with them the way I do an exquisitely detailed and versatile solid or floral. So this theme proved to be quite a challenge for me. I hope you all enjoy my questionable tastes. ^_^



Dragons

By Zilleniose on Deviantart

Sweet isn't my style, but if Baby or Angelic Pretty put out a sugary sweet print covered in adorable chibi dragons? I would make it mine. This adorable Toothless was found on Deviantart by Zilleniose.


Twisted and Cute

By ~t-i-l-d on Deviantart

I love things that are slightly twisted and creepy yet very pretty. When I saw this picture on Deviantart by ~t-i-l-d, I knew it was the perfect example. So anything cute, twisted, and a little dark and I'm all on board.


Odin Sphere


Odin Sphere is a lovely 2D game for the PS2. You play through 5 different characters, hearing a different side of the story each time. I really enjoyed this one, however, I never finished as it was getting a little tedious to play and I was only borrowing the game. ^_^" The levels are an interesting setup as the worlds are complete circles. You can travel in one direction and soon wind up in the exact same spot you started at.

Now, can you imagine, a Juliette et Justine painting dress with these circular levels as the skirt? (Especially the forest and fairy levels) I sure can and they would instantly have my money if they did.


I've included a little video so you can see the different characters and a little gameplay of Odin Sphere.


video

Here's a list of the other blogs participating in this week's themes. Please, check them out! (Will be updated as more blogs post)

Click here for the Facebook group!