Review: Horrorball

Hello readers,

I can’t be the only person crazy enough to look for reviews before buying a T-shirt, can I?

Horrorball is a new alternative/occult clothing brand based in the UK specializing in casual wear like T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts. (Also, phone cases, mugs, beach towels, and other miscellaneous accessories.) In general, they give me a bit of a Killstar vibe. Some of their designs are just too aggressive for my tastes, but there are some that I really love. You can get most of their designs on any of their products, too, which is neat.

La Luna

Why am I not a vampire yet?

Ghost Buddy

Just look at that cute little ghost friend. It’s beyond adorable!

I tried and tried to find some reviews on Horrorball, but I couldn’t find any. I decided to risk it and ordered their Ghost Buddy T-shirt in black because I loved it too much to not have it.

Shipping

Shipping is always the least exciting part of ordering anything from overseas. According to Horrorball, “We use USPS for standard deliveries to US. Each package prepared in London and shipped (overnight FedEx) to our fulfilment office in Philadelphia, PA. Usually it takes 4-10 business days.” I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, just on the other side of the state from their fulfillment office, so I assumed that shipping would be quick once my shirt made it state-side.

Shipping for one shirt cost me £5.00 GBP.

I placed my order (in the very early hours, EST) on May 31, 2017.

It was “Accepted at USPS Origin Facility” in Los Angeles, California on June 9, 2017 and shipped out later that same day.

It arrived at my house on June 12, 2017.

All in all, it was eight business days between when I placed my order and when it got to me, which was within the time frame they listed on their site.

They shipped using a poly-mailer that was unexpectedly blue. The poly-mailer held up well to shipping and arrived without any holes, tears, or scrapes.

Inside the poly-mailer, there was my packing slip (a little crumpled) and my T-shirt. I was really surprised and pleased to see that the T-shirt was in a large resealable zipper bag. I’m quite used to merchandise just being thrown into poly-mailers, and it was really nice to see that my little Ghost Buddy was so well protected on its journey.

Also, now I have a large zipper bag.

T-Shirt

So cute! [Also, cat hair already managed to get on the shirt! My cat is a fiend.]

The Ghost Buddy shirt I got is screen-printed on an American Apparel shirt. It’s very soft, and there are no side-seams. The neckband is made of ribbing fabric and lays flat. I’ve had shirts made with American Apparel shirts before, and they’ve all been fantastic and durable.

I love that the ghost doodle looks like it was made using a tablet, from the varying line thickness to the softness of the actual lines.

Soft line quality

The brand name has some intricate lines in the Os, and there the print is really crisp.

The “fuzzy” areas of the logo are my camera not being in focus there. Look at the middle O for the example.

Based on how thin and delicate these pentagram lines are and how small the detail overall is inside the O, I’d say that Horrorball’s screen prints are very good. I wouldn’t hesitate to trust the pictures on their website now, even the ones with teeny details in the print. They also do sublimation prints, but I don’t currently have any experience with those.

I washed the T-shirt in cold water and dried it with “regular” heat in my dryer. I turned the shirt inside out to protect the print during the wash.

The shirt does not appear to have been made with pre-shrunk cotton, as it did shrink in the dryer. (The tag says “Machine dry low,” but my dryer’s settings are high heat, regular heat, and no heat.)

Before going into the wash, the the XL shirt measured:

  • 24 inches across the chest, measured right under the armpits and going across the ghost’s eyes
  • 25 inches across the bottom hem
  • 30.5 inches from the middle of the collar to the hem, measured along the center back of the shirt

After the wash, the XL shirt measured:

  • 23 inches across the chest, measured right under the armpits and going across the ghost’s eyes
  • 24 inches across the bottom hem
  • 29 inches from the middle of the collar to the hem, measured along the center back of the shirt

The shrinking width-wise is not that drastic, but you should still keep that in mind if you’re between sizes or generally on the upper-end of their sizing. I do miss the 1.5 inches of length that the shirt lost, though, because it was very long before and I liked that.

All their shirts are male/unisex sizes. I knew from experience that my size would be an XL, which is good because their sizing chart for shirts is pretty sparse. If you’re familiar with how you fit in US men’s T-shirt sizes, you should be set.

Horrorball has a lovely, spooky aesthetic, but it’s a bit too spooky to me that I wear the largest size available from a T-shirt brand…

Worn Photos

Here are some pictures of me in my XL Ghost Buddy T-shirt. It fits loosely, which is how I like my T-shirts to fit. I plan on adding some DIY embellishments soon.

My current measurements are:

Bust: 44.25 inches (112.5 cm)

Waist: 34 in (86 cm)

Hips: 44.25 inches (112.5 cm)

Height: 5 ft, 3 in (160 cm)

Horrorball Ghost Buddy

It was windy AND humid outside. My bangs gave up.

Ghost Buddy in motion. Nyooooom.

I hope this review is helpful for anyone considering ordering from Horrorball.

I’m very pleased with my shirt. I’m going to place another order with them at some point soon to get a La Luna shirt, and maybe a Love Potion one as well… I’m excited to see where this brand goes in the future. Their Twitter is here: @itshorrorball, and their Instagram is here: @itshorrorball.

Since I think we should all give credit wherever credit is due, I found Horrorball from one of Jake Munro‘s vlogs. Check it out! (Horrorball shows up at 16:18.)

Stay spooky,
Raven

My 10 Un-Gothic Lolita Confessions

Hello readers,

One of my favorite series of tag videos on Youtube is “My 10 Un-Goth Confessions.” I’ve included videos from some of my favorite goth Youtubers below so you can see what I’m talking about if you’ve never run across this tag before.

I felt inspired to share some un-gothic lolita confessions with you all as I refocus my priorities and really try to live a heavy-on-the-gothic lolita lifestyle.

  1. I love beautiful clothes and being fancy (or overdressed, depending on your point of view), but I will spend all day, every day in my pajamas unless I absolutely have to leave the house.
  2. I’ve never been to a convention, and I’m more likely to go to a board game con than an anime/lolita one.
  3. I’m terrible at accessorizing. Most of the time, I just don’t wear any accessories or jewelry because I forget or don’t think they’re necessary. I guess that’s better than wearing something awful.
  4. Despite wanting to look like a doll, I’ve never taken the plunge and worn circle lenses or false eyelashes. At least, not yet…
  5. I don’t own a single lolita (or even loliable) purse, bag, or wallet. Somehow, there just always seems to be more exciting things to spend my money on.
  6. I’m quite bad at keeping up with trends in lolita. Are underskirts still a thing???
  7. I won’t buy clothes with religious symbols (crosses, pentacles, etc.) unless it’s in a very specific context like a cross on a cathedral print. I just don’t feel comfortable wearing out-of-context religious/occult symbols at all, so I miss out on so many pretty things.
  8. I’ve never been into visual-kei music, and I’ve never really liked Mana-sama. (Maybe this isn’t actually a big deal, but I always feel unworthy to call myself a gothic lolita when I admit that.)
  9. I drink my tea out of mugs, not cups.
  10. Even though I have a fairly active local lolita community, I hardly ever do anything with them. Part of me wants to go to meets more often, but I just prefer smaller get-togethers with friends over larger meets with acquaintances/strangers. I’ve also never been to a goth night at a club, so I guess I’m just meh at socializing in general.

One of the things I hear the most in ungoth confession videos is how hard it is to come up with things that are “ungoth” when you think about it. Individuals make the subculture, and not the other way around, and you should never give up something you enjoy because it doesn’t fit a stereotype (or *gasp* a norm). All that aside, I still think it’s really fun to bask and revel in clichés.

For me, trying to think of things that were both “ungoth” and also “not lolita” was tricky. I kept thinking of something perfect and totally-not-lolita and then realize it was kind of gothy (or the other way around)… Oh, well.

Anyway, here are some videos because I think these sorts of things are much more fun in a video than a text post!

It’s Black Friday – October 1, 2014

I’ve been following Black Friday’s channel for such a long time. This video is back from when she lived in New Zealand, and it’s probably my favorite ungoth confessions video ever because the effort she goes through to set up an ambience and rack up some extra goth points before she gets started.

Macabre Goddess – September 9, 2016

I only found Blaze recently, but I thought her ungoth confessions were very funny and honest. (Spoilers(?): As you can tell from the thumbnail, her favorite pony from My Little Pony is Rarity, who’s my favorite as well.) It’s very much worth it to hang around and watch them to the end, because I laughed ridiculously hard at her final confession.

Toxic Tears – December 5, 2014

The thing I love most about Toxic Tears is how over-the-top excited she gets about things that make her happy. You wouldn’t necessarily get that from this video, but sometimes she just bubbles over with joy about the simplest things (like cute birds). Plus, there’s a bit about J-fashion in this video!

Readers, do you have any un-goth or un-lolita confessions you want to share? Comment below and link to your post or video!

Stay honest,

Raven

Lifestyle Lolita Finds: IKEA

Hello, readers,

The house renovations are going so slowly that I needed a motivational pick-me-up. Therefore, I went to IKEA and picked up some pretty and functional furniture to put in my still-very-unpretty house. It’s hard for me to find things I like at IKEA, since lots of their products are minimalist with clean lines, and I want everything in my life to be covered in decadent swirls. Still, I found some things that I think will work nicely in the house, and I also saw plenty of little things that would be great for any lifestyle lolita looking for home-wares.

First things, first, let’s start with what I think is the single most popular IKEA item for goths and lolitas: the glorious UNG DRILL mirror/frame. Jayne Jezebel already did a post on The Dark Victorian (from 2010!) about how popular this mirror/frame was. She even included several lolita brand ads that feature the frame, which is just neat to see. A little over six years later, and this frame is still the best and most reliable source for cheap Baroque/Rococo goodness. (Talk about an oxymoron…)

The mirror only comes in black, and the picture frame only comes in off-white. To me, that’s not really a big deal as both versions look better spray painted. The frames are both made of plastic, so they give off a (somewhat plasticky) satin sheen if left alone. It doesn’t look bad, but my two frames looked so much better after I spray painted them a matte black. You could even spray paint them both gold to look more period appropriate if that’s your style.

I also found two other frames at my local IKEA I haven’t see people talking about before, the KVILL frames.

They’re fairly big frames for how small an image they’ll display (5 x 7″). You can mount these on the wall, and they also have a little kick-out foot so you can stand them up on a desk or table. These only come in the same off-white color that the UNG DRILL frame comes in, which is not my style at all. Even if you like the color, I would recommend spray painting these. I’m not really sure if it’s the mold or the scale, but these frames definitely look much more plasticky than the larger UNG DRILL frames, despite being made of the same material. I think the round version is my favorite, but I may end up picking up the rectangular version as well.

The last frame on my little list is actually a segway into an entire line, the SKURAR.

skurar-frame-white__0371534_pe551591_s4

This lacy frame is also a 5 x 7″, and it also has a little stand/foot so you can set it on a table. The color is a nice off-white that isn’t beige-y at all, unlike the other two styles of frame I talked about above. The really cool thing about this frame and the whole SKURAR line is that it’s made of steel.

Metal lace! I think that is just so fantastic. The rest of the line has some really neat things, too, which is great since the UNG DRILL and KVILL lines are just frames.

SKURAR has a magnetic notice board with hooks, hanging planters, plant pots, a picture ledge (i.e., lacy shelf), a clock, and various “candle holders” and “candle dishes.”

I really adore this series. My impulse is normally to paint most everything black, but I actually love how these look in white. I got the large lantern/candle holder, but I’m using it to hold all my large/cooking utensils in my kitchen.

SKURAR

Just imagine that my cooking utensils are any color other than this hideous yellow-green…

I’m really tempted to get the whole set. I know I’m going to get the smaller lantern to hold my makeup brushes.

Most of the items in this line seem so easy to re-purpose, too. Various people on the internet have done cool things with SKURAR. This person on IKEA Hackers made a tiered cake stand out of the two candle dishes, which I think looks fantastic.

This other person made a regular cake stand out of one of the candle dishes and an IKEA candlestick holder and wrote a little tutorial on her blog.

I think these would make nice little serving trays without any modification needed.

Speaking of serving trays, I’ll just end this post by mentioning a couple of dinnerware options IKEA has.

The pink set of these dishes isn’t for me, but I thought I would mention it as I don’t know how hard/easy it is to find pastel dinnerware. The black dishes, however, look so cool to me. I wish that the DINERA line was glossy instead of a satin sheen, but that’s only so they would coordinate better with my existing all-white dishes.

I don’t need to buy more dishes, but these are black… and I want them… and they’re black.

Readers, did I miss anything from IKEA that looks lifestyle-appropriate? How many copies of the UNG DRILL frame or mirror do you own? I have one of each, but I want so many more.

Stay lacy,

Raven

Alpaca Love

Hello, readers,

Here’s a quick little post just to break the silence some.

Do you remember the delightful Japanese alpaca plushies called Arpakasso that took over the internet a few years ago? They have such cute little faces that they just melt my heart. In case you aren’t very familiar with アルパカッソ, here is a video from one of the best stuffed alpacas chefs in the world.

I just love all the different sizes. Señor Arpakasso is my favorite, though.

Anyway, the main point of this post is to share this little board game I just discovered. If you love Arpakasso, then you should really check it out.

Alpaca Pacapaca!

From the game manual:

An alpaca contest will be held. Breeders from across the country will compete to see who has the most beautiful alpaca. Scoring is determined by fashion sense and length of neck. To be victorious, please grow a beautiful alpaca! Let’s grow a more beautiful opponent than our opponent! Negotiate with other players to collect accessories.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a kawaii lolita extravaganza to me.

This board game, also Japanese, clearly takes a great deal of inspiration from Arpakasso. It’s for 2-6 players, but it apparently is best at 4 players. It’s light, it’s quick, and it’s absolutely adorable. Nettersplays did a fantastic review of the game that she posted on Youtube. She also goes over the rules and shows you how to play.

I don’t know what the availability of this game is like in Japan, but if you’re outside Japan you can order the game from the Boardgamegeek store. They also have a small section of their catalog called “Games from Asia” where you can find many more of these sorts of beautiful games that come in tiny boxes.

Even though our collection of board games keeps growing, I still really want this game. I think it would be the perfect thing to bring to a meetup, and it’s so small that you could even play it while having tea. If you’re looking for a way to instill your day with a touch of the lolita lifestyle, you could maybe play this game during a lunch break at work or school.

I hope you all enjoyed this little dose of alpaca-themed cuteness.

Stay warm and fuzzy,

Raven