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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

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Beautiful Makeup Products

Hello, readers,

As I try to get more into makeup and try to find a couple of looks that work for me, I’ve come across some makeup products that are just either incredibly adorable or super pretty. I decided to write this post just to have an excuse to keep looking for beautifully packaged products that I may never purchase or use myself.

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All the links I include are to the brand’s websites. That may or may not be the best place to buy any of these products (if you decide you want them), depending on where you live.

(Blush) Face Color Rose du Ladree – Les Merveilleuses De Laduree

Ugh, this is such a beautiful concept. There are little paper rose petals that are covered in blush pigments, so you’re supposed to dip your brush into the petals. I really love the idea. The glaringly obvious negative is that this blush is really expensive. The pretty pots are also made of plastic, so this isn’t actually super luxurious and elegant. This is by a Japanese brand, and all their products are really beautifully designed. I feel like any of them, but this one especially, would be fantastic for any classic lolita’s vanity.

(Eyeshadow) Chocolate Palettes – Makeup Revolution

This thumbnail comes from this video: https://youtu.be/EViemjTnwa4. The video has a quick run-through of these three palettes, if you want to see the insides.

Makeup Revolution also has a “Salted Caramel” chocolate bar palette that looks more like a light milk chocolate, and a “Pink Fizz” bar that’s strawberry pink. The “Chocolate Vice” palette has black packaging. These are supposed to be duplicates for the more expensive Chocolate Bar Palettes from Too Faced, but I think that the Makeup Revolution packaging is a lot cooler. Also, they have more palette color options. I don’t keep up with the trends in sweet lolita, but I think these would be such a neat item for a sweet-lolita-with-a-chocolate-print-collection’s vanity.

(Lip Balm) Lip Balm Locket Ring – TheParlorApothecary on Etsy

I’m really enamored with this idea. I really wanted to put a lip gloss/balm ring from Anna Sui on this list, but they seem to be far too hard to find. This one from Etsy comes fairly close to the look of those ones, and it’s in stock. Forget leaving this on your vanity, I think that these sorts of rings would look delightful with any gothic lolita coord. Of course, you could try to find ones that would match a sweet or classic coord, but I like that these remind me of poison rings. It seems more inherently gothic to me. Since the lip balm is housed in a little pot, you could keep refilling it as it runs out.

(I know I have a metal allergy, so I thought I would include this little extra note. If you want to make one of these yourself, make sure you use a plastic pot/ring! You don’t want to accidentally get a bad reaction on your lips or ingest something you’re allergic to.)

(Blush) Love Flush – Too Faced

The packaging of these blush compacts makes me really happy. They’re cute little hearts with a heart-shaped mirror and embossed bunnies! I think that these blushes are just darling to look at. There is a big part of me that just wants to be silly and buy all of them because they’re so cute, but I won’t be doing that as they’re $26 each. I still want to, though. I think these would fit so well on a sweet-classic lolita vanity.

(Eyeshadow) Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows – Urban Decay

This is just such a pretty eyeshadow palette. Urban Decay released this to coincide with the release of the first Tim Burton Alice movie, so this is no longer available for purchase. I just had to include it in this list because I think that this palette is so pretty, and Alice in Wonderland has a special place in my heart. I love that this palette has pop-up illustrations, and some of the names of these eyeshadows (the blue shadow is called Alice and the black one is called Jaberwocky) make me quite happy. The brand did come out with a collection for Through the Looking Glass, but I don’t think that the packaging is pretty at all. It also does not remind me of Wonderland, either in the packaging or in the actual colors of the makeup products. (If you’re curious about it though, you can check it out on Urban Decay’s website.)

(Blush) Rose Powder Blush – Milani

This thumbnail is from this video: https://youtu.be/dvu8t5OXe2M.

I actually own two of the blushes from this line: Romantic Rose and Tea Rose. These blushes may be a bit simpler than the other two blushes in this makeup product roundup, but I still think that the 3D embossed rose is super pretty. I think that the roses are actually pretty style-neutral when it comes to lolita substyles, but the gold packaging would probably look best on a sweet-classic or classic lolita vanity.

(Setting Powder) Mystifying Mattifying Pressed Powder – LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs

Honestly, it was hard for me to decide which product from LunatiCK Cosmetics Labs to put on this list. The contour palette is what they’re famous for, I think, but I prefer the packaging on their other products. Their lipsticks are shaped like black bullets, and their eyeshadow palettes are coffin-shaped, covered with fortune telling images, with bat-shaped mirrors inside. Still, I think that their mattifying pressed powder has my favorite packaging. Normally, I wouldn’t like that it looks messy, but I really like that it looks like a Ouija planchette. This would be very cool on a gothic lolita’s vanity.

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Well, readers, what makeup products do you think have the prettiest packaging? Have you ever bought a makeup product or perfume just because you thought it looked darling? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay rosy,

Raven

Handmade Lolita Finds: Unusual Colors, Piano “Trim,” and Border Prints

Hello, readers,

I’ve found more fabrics that I want to share with you. Contrary to what I said in the last installment of this series, these are all fabrics from Fabric.com. It’s unfortunate that you can’t really touch these before you order them, but it’s hard to beat the selection of online retailers. The fabric I’ve ordered off there before has turned out to be nice, but I can’t really say for sure that all my picks because I simply don’t know. The fabrics are all listed as being 100% cotton, so I think it’s safe to assume that they’ll have the texture of quilting cotton.

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Anyway, here’s a cheeky couple of fabrics to start with.

Large_0372906 Large_0386620

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should take this fabric as-is and make an OP out of it. I really don’t think it would translate well like that. However, if you are willing to cut up this fabric and sew the ends of the keyboards together, you have the ability to add piano ruffles. I love piano motifs, and I think piano ruffles or trim give such a nice oldschool flair while still using printed fabric.

There are a lot of piano fabrics for sale, but I looked for ones that were the appropriate size for making ruffles or trim. The keyboard on the left fabric above is about 4 inches wide, and the one on the right is about 3 inches. Anything smaller than that, I don’t think would look nice.

The black keys on this OP are actually made from looped/folded satin ribbon, but that is a lot of work for a delicate feature that is at risk of snagging on everything.

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The next group of fabrics is one that I’m really excited to share with you all. This fabric is begging to be made into lolita dreses and skirts.

Mermaid

Mermaid

Peach

Peach

Large_0348711

Grey

Large_0348710

Cherry

I rotated all the pictures so you could more easily see that the checkerboard is the bottom of the print (as traditionally used in lolita) and the chess pieces fill up the rest of the fabric.

Aren’t these great? Honestly, finding fabric in a loliable print is always exciting. I think that the best part of all these fabrics, though, is that they’re in unusual colors for lolita. That red is gorgeous, and it isn’t too bright; peach and teal are full of untapped potential for lolita; grey is under-utilized. Using these fabrics to make a dress would be such a great way to add some color variety to your wardrobe. Since the print only has three colors, it would probably work well with any black or offwhite/cream (it’s hard to tell) accessories you already have.

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Lastly, we have more border prints!

Large_CW-790

This fabric is absolutely adorable. It’s called “Gnomeville,” and I think that the illustration style works well with lolita. I don’t really know what substyle to categorize this as, (otome-lolita?) but it’s certainly fun and playful. My favorite part of this print are the mushroom houses, and I can see this working as part of a red and white mushroom themed coord, particularly with something like this beret from Sakura Fairy/Lily of the Valley on etsy.

Mushroom Beret – Sakura Fairy

There is also a winter holiday version of this print. I personally don’t like it as much, but maybe you do.
Large_0402128
A coord made with this version of the print would certainly be sweet, especially if you went with the peppermint candies motif.

To end this post, here’s a fabric I just found that would probably be great for otome.

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I really love this illustration style as well, but the color scheme and use of white space make me think otome and not lolita. Honestly, I think this fabric is beautiful. I hope someone reading this loves it, too, and crafts it into a stunning and understated dress.

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I hope you liked looking through all these fabrics. Readers, have you found any particularly loliable fabrics lately? Do you have any experience with the fabrics I posted here? Let me know in the comments! As always, I’d be thrilled to see anything you create if you end up buying a fabric I shared here.

Stay playful,

Raven

Offbrand Lolita Finds: Loliable Blouses (Forever21 and H&M)

Hello, readers,

Here is another installment of Lolita Finds. This time, I’m focusing on offbrand, ready-made blouses.

I have scoured the depths of several mainstream clothing stores looking for loliable blouses, and the only ones I saw that wouldn’t need any modification come from Forever 21 and H&M.

Before getting on to the pictures and links, I feel like I have to speak my mind. I’ve seen a lot of coords using Forever 21 blouses, and I really don’t like most of them. I honestly think that the Forever 21 “Peter Pan” collars are much too small, and they’re not round enough to work with sweet lolita, which is how I see them used a lot. Also, the general aesthetic of Forever 21 and such stores seems to be really boxy. The ideal they seem to be going for is a skinny, flat-chested girl with a very long torso whose clothing just ever-so-magically billows around her. That really doesn’t overlap much with lolita at all. As such, the shape of most Forever 21 et cetera blouses doesn’t work well with lolita.

I think the best way to wear these blouses with lolita is to wear them exclusively under JSKs or tucked into high-waisted skirts. They look really baggy and weird when worn with a regular lolita skirt.

Anyway, now that you know my thoughts and have read my warnings, here are the blouses I found.

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embriodered chiffon

Forever 21 – Embroidered Chiffon Top

$22.90

$22.90

I think that this one would be wonderful for classic. It’s got such an old vibe to it, and looks pretty late-Victorian/Edwardian to me. The neck details on this one are surprisingly nice, and the cuffs are also have a little ruffle. I appreciate that there isn’t some weird skin window in the back like in a lot of Forever 21 blouses, because I find that sort of thing really distracting in a lolita coord. I think that this blouse would work under both JSKs and high-waisted skirts because that lace overlay goes down the front of the whole blouse. This only comes in one color (peach??), so you’d have to make sure it would work with your wardrobe before buying it.

Forever 21 - Classic Ruffled Top

Forever 21 – Classic Ruffled Top

$24.90

$24.90

I think that this is a really nice and fairly style-neutral blouse. The neckline is really plain, but the ruffles and the pintucks make up for that. It’s a shame that the cuffs are also plain, but I still think that this would be a great blouse to wear under JSKs. The ruffles and pintucks end at a weird spot that might look really weird with a high-waisted skirt, depending on if that “stopping point” is visible or not. This blouse only comes in white and, while I think that it leans more towards sweet and classic, I think that this could even be used in gothic lolita.

Forever 21 - Sheer Ruffled Shirt

Forever 21 – Sheer Ruffled Shirt

$22.80

$22.80

This one is also pretty style-neutral. Since this one is sheer, it’s important to make sure you either wear something under it, in the case of a high-waisted skirt, or only wear it under JSKs. Visible bras don’t really go that well with lolita. Anyway, the collar and cuffs on this one are pretty plain, but the ruffle down the front is nice, and the sheer fabric gives a delicate touch that I think looks really nice with lolita. This blouse only comes in black, so I can see it working into more classic and gothic coords, but it could probably work with black colorways of sweet lolita.

H&M - Lace Blouse

H&M – Lace Blouse

$29.95

$29.95

This one has something weird going on with the waist, so I’d still try and only wear this blouse under things, despite it being the least boxy blouse on this list. The neckline and front of the shirt are fairly plain, despite all that lace, but the sleeves are puffed and the fabric actually looks like it’s nicely textured. You really don’t find very many textured offbrand blouses, so I think that’s pretty nice. This blouse only comes in white, and I think that this would work best with sweet lolita.

H&M - Long-sleeved Blouse

H&M – Long-sleeved Blouse

$17.95

$17.95

This last blouse is one that I think would work well with otome or retro-inspired lolita. The cuffs and collar are both really plain, and so is the front. For me, this blouse is really just riding on the big, polka dot print. (Actually, this blouse comes in other colors and another print, but I think that this version is the only one that could work with lolita.) I think that this blouse should only be worn under a JSK because I think that this would just be too much visual information on top if just worn with a high-waisted skirt.

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Now, personally, I do not like Forever 21 or H&M very much, and I do not fit into most of their tops (or I fit, but I look really bad in them). As such, I can’t speak to the quality or feel of any of these blouses. If you are fine with Forever 21 and H&M and don’t have a problem with their clothes, then one of these blouses might be a good addition to your wardrobe.

Readers, what do you think of these blouses? Do you think that they’re loliable? Are there other loliable blouses avaliable for sale in mainstream stores that I missed? Feel free to leave links and such in the comments!

Stay savvy,

Raven

 

Handmade Lolita Finds: Oldschool Sweet and… Punk?

Hello there, readers. This is the first installment of a little series I have planned for this blog where I write about things I’ve come across and discuss how they might be made to work with lolita.

This week, I have some fabric finds to share with you. (Note: All of the fabrics I ever mention in this series will probably be from Jo-Ann because it’s the only widespread fabric store I know of, and I believe that, whenever possible, you should touch the fabric before buying it.)

 

(The cherries on all the fabrics are identical, and it’s only the backgrounds that change.) I think all of these fabrics would be perfect for making something oldschool sweet. At the same time, I really wouldn’t suggest straying from the oldschool aesthetic too much. Sure, feel free to modernize it a little if you decide to use any of these fabrics to make your own clothes, but the size of the prints really do not lend themselves to the modern sweet aesthetic. Also, all these are quilting cotton, but they’re perfectly fine for making a dress or a skirt.

Anyway, I’d make a skirt or short-sleeved, puff-sleeved OP with these fabrics and use multiple (two or three) horizontal rows of white lace, some beading lace with red ribbon and/or little ribbon bows. I’d try and make something like these below:

Images from Avant Gauche

Also, these fabrics are great for making hair accessories of all sorts. Even if you don’t want to make a dress or skirt with these fabrics, they are nice and simple enough to make some versatile hair accessories that can even work with more modern sweet lolita. You can make a head bow with the strawberry print fabric that can match the strawberry-themed items you might already have in your wardrobe, and same goes for the cherry fabric.

 

If you have trouble telling the scale of the prints of these fabrics from the pictures above, I’ll share a trick I use to find examples of Jo-Ann’s fabric being used: go to Etsy. Search for a really generic term, like “cherry fabric,” and you’ll probably find what you’re looking for. For example, this person made an apron with the gingham cherry print, and this person made a 12″ x 14.5″ bag with the black cherry fabric. It’s a super useful tip to find out what a fabric really looks like if you can’t go to a physical store.

 

And now comes punk?

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I know, I know. This is garish. Still, punk lolita is about embracing things that you probably wouldn’t think go together, and this reminds me a lot of a blue version of Meta’s Heart Leopard series. If you’re a brave soul and like punk lolita, this fabric might be an option for you. At the very least, you could make something that’s different from the majority of “tartan JSK + combat boots = punk lolita” coords out there.

The trick with punk lolita is to remember that it’s still lolita, and lolita is about balance. Since this is a really, really busy print (to give you a better sense of scale, this person made a coffee cozy with this fabric), I’d recommend trying to combine Meta’s Heart Leopard series with their retro, leopard poodle skirt. I’d try and add an appliqué right where the Meta leopard is on the poodle skirt to ground everything and also give your skirt or dress (or even lolita biker jacket) a theme for you to work with.

Also, since the print is so busy, I’d try and keep it simple in terms of design. If you want an accent fabric, use plain black. Try and keep any lace you use thick/wide so it breaks up the pattern instead of adding confusion. Of course, if you want to make something with this fabric with tiers and ruffles and contrasting colors, go ahead. Ultimately, you can make and wear whatever you want, but just make sure it fits into the lolita aesthetic if you’re going to call it lolita.

I hope you liked these finds, even if they weren’t really your style. Do you have a different suggestion for how to use these fabrics in lolita? Leave it in the comments below. Do you think that any of these fabrics have absolutely no place in lolita? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll give you a sketch of what I was thinking of when I wrote this post.

Stay sweet,

Raven