Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Con Report: Anime Central 2014 Part 1

ACEN 2014: Lolita Con Report!

This year, I was very excited to go to Anime Central aka ACEN on May 16-18, 2014 in Rosemont, IL. None of my friends in the past were interested enough into anime & manga culture so I always went alone. Through lolita and the AMKE maid cafe, I made a ton of friends that I ran into during the convention! So happy to hang out and room with awesome folks.

ACEN is listed as the 3rd largest anime convention in the United States. This year they had really good guests, but as usual, they announced them super duper late. I was hoping that they would sponsor a lolita brand again, since Putumayo was making the convention rounds with Harajuku Hearts. However, they managed to book angela, Yoshitoshi ABe, h.NAOTO & sixh.ibi, Wake Up, Girls!, and Nobuo Uematsu & Arnie Roth for A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY concert.

Day 0

My roomies were setting up an artist alley table (btw you should check out cubecrazy2, he does fantastic original illustrations!) and since I didn't have a vendor badge, I couldn't help set up the Midwest Lolita Collective booth, which some Chicago lolitas created to support and promote indie lolita brands from around the world. There is a high-end mall called Fashion Outlets of Chicago, which is a 5 minute walk away from the convention center!!!  This was great news, as it boasted a food court so you won't starve. I got my badge mailed to me so I avoided Line Con ©.

Day 1

Friday was a super exciting day of walking around and visiting my friends working at the Midwest Lolita Collective booth. We had the annual Indie Designer Showcase aka lolita fashion show! I modelled for a Chicago designer and I was pretty happy that I got the qi-lolita outfit. You can view more pictures here!

Wearing Rina Cali, photo credit: http://photographybanzai.com/
My favorite designs of the night were from mossbadger! I love OTT classic...

Makes you think of royalty and Game of Thrones...
Me and my 2 other roomies also attended "A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY" concert. We woke up and got in line at like 5:30am since they were first come, first serve FREE tickets. I was super tired during the concert, but Nobuo-sensei made me energized again when we all gave him a standing ovation after he accompanied the chamber orchestra on keyboard. I definitely want to hear the bigger concert live in Chicago in August!

Snuck a pic of Arnie Roth talking in between songs!

Lolita snaps

A lot of Angelic Pretty, strawberries, and sweet!
First-time lolita wearing F+F, some girls from my comm, & another cutie!
More lolitas! Including real twinning & a fabulous coordinated couple~
Unofficial DDC day! XD

Midwest Lolita Collective

Midwest Lolita Collective booth at its finest~
Volunteer booth girls & designers!
I ended up buying an Innocent World parasol and Lily of the Valley (sakurafairy) sash from the Midwest Lolita Collective booth. Everything that was there on the racks or displayed on the table made me want all the things...

Cosplay

My favorite cosplay goes out to the Saint Oniisan Jesus-kun with his replica laptop!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Gillie shoes REVIEW

I got my first pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes yesterday in the mail! I always have admired the 3 strap gold shoes in coordinates and when this popped up at a reasonable price (for high fashion brand shoes), I couldn't resist putting down a bid on Ebay~

These shoes are gorgeous in "pink metal" which was basically a coppery gold!
They came with 2 shoelaces, but the tan ones matched the gold theme better~
Closeup on the VW logo
Your footprints have never been so classy~
It also came with a cotton shoe bag~
Even the shoebox is classy~


Review

I got this via a reseller in NYC on Ebay that someone linked to me on Facebook. My friends are the best~ (although we encourage each other's shopping addictions... ^_^;) 

Quality: The color in the provided stock picture are true to color, unlike the Melissa webshop listing. One of my friends ordered from the webshop so I'll update this post with a picture of her shoes if there's a difference. (I edited my pictures so the contrast is a bit high) Otherwise, the shoes are very comfortable and they're a pleasant sheen of plastic~

It definitely looks more pink metal in the webshop picture...
Price: The ones on ebay cost a total of $69.47 with priority box (2-3 day) shipping. On the official webshop listing, it costs $65.10 with free shipping AND has 6 color options from size 5-10! Retail price is $217.00, so I saved a ton during this "sale"!

Communication: 10/10 the ebay seller contacted me about payment and replied quickly to my question about a proof photo (I initially bid since the listing came with the option of returning it).

Where to get it: Official Melissa webshop [x],  ebay seller ip246 [x], 6pm [x]

Monday, April 7, 2014

Silversark Fashion Show 2014: Legacy

March was full of fun, especially with Silversark's S/S fashion show, Legacy! I went to Timothy Westbrook's fashion show (saying goodbye to winter with his Ice Princess themed collection) and then Silversark's show (Byzantine and Orthodox themed collection).

Silversark is based in Milwaukee, WI and sells her brand online on Etsy and in store at Embellishments.

From her Facebook page:
Lords & Ladies Lolita, Rococo, Steampunk & Victorian-inspired clothing & accessories. Each piece is custom, hand-crafted, & one-of-a-kind!
She is always open for commissions, so feel free to PM her about pricing. Her items are usually on the high end of indie brand and you should be selective to get something in your particular style.


All the models at the end of the show

Silversark in her Hieronymus Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights dress

Me, Maddie, and Jen after the show

Silly pics~

With the lovely Silversark! She wears lolita fashion and Steampunk!

Closeup on the extraordinary headpiece by Deborah Olson Milliner Extraordinaire

Pic of my outfit after I got home; dress by Silversark

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Kotatsu Tutorial from IKEA Coffee Table

So my long hiatus was due to procrastination as usual. But fear not! I actually made something in one day (?!) and it's my kotatsu! Although it was initially very daunting to complete such a project, it was made just in time for the polar vortex to hit Wisconsin. ^_^;

Maru the Cat loves his kotatsu!

What is a Kotatsu?

Cute kotatsu inspiration from Tumblr

A kotatsu (炬燵) is a coffee table with a special heater attached to the bottom of the tabletop and has a futon blanket draped over it. Originally from Japan and actually a way of saving energy in the winter! Cuddle up in one room and not spend all that money for heating bills for the huge house/apartment? And if you have cats, they love snuggling under the warm table.

Materials


Total Cost

$74 (heater w/shipping) + $30 (table) + $3 (washers and L brackets) = $107
TOTALLY cheaper than getting ripped off by jlist~

Instructions

Kotatsu Instructions
  1. Assemble IKEA Lack coffee table! Cut off 15cm off the table legs before starting so it will be a comfortable height when sitting.
  2. To align your heater in the center of the table, mark out thirds and place tape or draw in pencil lines to fit the heater.
  3. Place the heater in the center on the bottom of the table.
  4. Get your drill out! Drill holes where the L bracket hits the table (can also perform with step 6).
  5. Washers and L brackets bought from Walmart.
  6. Place your L brackets in alignment with the screw holes in the heater and manually tighten the heater screws. Screw in the regular screws into the table.
  7. Turn your new kotatsu right side up on your rug, put a comforter on top, and put the shelf that came with the IKEA table as your tabletop. Plug in the electrical cord and turn it on!
Please be careful and don't leave your kotatsu on & unattended!
NOTE: Another thing to consider is getting a transformer to stay safe with voltage conversion. Japan has a different voltage than the United States so anything plugged in here from Japan gets hotter more quickly! I've been running my kotatsu on the lowest heat setting so far without a transformer, but please consider getting one! 
VCT VT-500J - Japanese Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converts Japan 100 Volts To 110V OR Vice Versa - 500 Watt [link]

More Tutorials

  • Build an American-Style Kotatsu [link]
  • IKEA Hack: Kotatsu [link]
  • Kotatsu: The Heated Small Space Desktop [link]
  • The Kotatsu Project [link]


I hope you are inspired to make your own kotatsu! My instructions are not too detailed so make sure to check the first tutorial link for more in-depth steps.

Originally, I didn't shorten the legs and the default height was too tall so I brought the legs to Home Depot and a very nice employee helped me saw them into the right size. The LACK table legs are hollow and the cut was slightly crooked so I just cut out cardboard squares to make the table level and prevent scratching on the floor. Later, I switched to another comforter so it's a boring blue color now. However, it's super easy to make a duvet out of cute fabric! I ended up getting chair cushions and a floor rug for my room too.

Did you end up making a kotatsu? Please share your pictures of it in the comments!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Years Resolution Lolita Edition

Hello! So this post was supposed to be for Lolita Blog Carnival in the end of December but that passed a while ago. So here's my short post of lolita related new years resolutions!

  • In addition to losing 20 lbs by June for my cousin's wedding, keep up the healthy eating and 150 minutes of exercise each week!
    • ultimately lead to smaller measurements so I can wear more lolita
  • Wear lolita at least 2x per month
  • Blog about a Lolita Blog Carnival topic EVERY MONTH

  • Stick to 1 major lolita purchase each month
    • I need to pay off the bills from my 2013 purchases (went overboard with building a wardrobe fever)
  • Finish my side project of a Lolita Community Directory (worldwide!) 
  • Save up for PMX in November 2014
    • girls from my community are planning this out 11 months in advance
  • Go to ACEN fashion show and tea party this year
    • I cannot believe I missed this last year

Here's to a great 2014!



Metamorphose 2013 Winter Lucky Pack (Dark) Opening!

Hi guys, I really wanted to share this really belated post because this is my first lucky pack purchase EVER!

I was lucky and ordered early enough to pick the color of my blouse (black) to go with my wardrobe and dark LP. I received an email confirmation of my order on Dec. 19th BUT I just received the shipping and tracking confirmation on Jan. 6th (they were closed due to Christmas & New Years).

Metamorphose doesn't skimp on sending out items quickly (it got sent via EMS on Dec. 26th and arrived at my place in Wisconsin, USA on Dec.31st!!!).


I managed to peel off the label to keep the bag!
Everything wrapped in plastic as usual~
Contents! Very pleased with the selection~
I dub thee "dick" socks - from Magical Painting series
   
Candy Star Rabbit navy skirtIdk the real name of this blouse
(but back shirring is very generous!)

     
Duffel bag Crown cameo necklace Swan cameo barrette


Did you get the Meta winter lucky pack? I hope you were lucky in your fukubukuro finds~
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