Tag Archive | handmade

Lifestyle Lessons: Lolita Tabletop Games

Hello, readers,

To me, there’s something inherently and delightfully old-fashioned about sitting down around a table and playing a face-to-face game. What else feels inherently and delightfully old-fashioned? Why, the lolita lifestyle, of course! There are a lot of very cool modern board games and card games that exist, but not all of them really feel that lolita to me. Games about spelunking (The Cave) or kaiju beating one another up (King of Tokyo) might be a lot of fun to play, but I don’t think that they would remind anyone of lolita-ness.

It turns out I’m not the only one who’s thought of lolita-themed board games. There was even a thread on EGL back in 2009 about making a lolita board game, but it was just a fun sort of thought experiment and they weren’t serious about actually making a physical game. However, there are a lot of games that do exist which are appropriately themed. The following is a compilation of six “lolita” games, three of which are proper, published games available for purchase and three of which are lolita-specific redesigned versions of existing games.

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Parade

This is a card game that you can play with 2-6 players.You can go to boardgamegeek.com to download the rules, read reviews, see images, and generally find a lot more information about Parade. This particular version of Parade is Alice in Wonderland-themed. The art on the cards is really beautiful, and I love that they even include the Dodo. I’ve seen people online complain that they feel that the game has nothing to do with Alice, but I really think that the theme fits. It’s fun to see these characters forming a kooky parade to nowhere. There isn’t any in-game text that you need to read, so everyone can play the game without any sort of reading or language/translation difficulties.

Here’s what a 2-player game of Parade looked like close to the end:

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The bad lighting and the coffee table color are making everything look grossly yellow-orange. This is actually a beautiful game in person.

If you’re interested in getting a feel for this game, you can watch this 20-minute video below. It’s my favorite overview of the game that I’ve seen.

I really like this game. I think it’s easy to understand but harder to learn how to play well. I think this sort of game is normally called “deceptively simple.” It works well as a game with only two or three people. With the ability to seat up to six people, though, I think that this game might be great to bring to smaller meet-ups when everyone could play.

Like with most simple card games, you don’t actually need to buy it to play. If you want to try this game out before/without buying this specific version, it’s possible to stitch together a deck of 66 cards using two different-looking packs of regular cards to create the six suits if you count the Ace as 1, the Jack as 10, and the Queen as 0. There are also some re-themed versions available to print out and play for free. Still, it’s really the Alice in Wonderland theme that makes this game feel lolita-esque to me.

Elevenses

This is a game about setting up tea for 2-4 people. I’ve heard that the game actually drags unpleasantly with four people, though, so I would stick with playing Elevenses with either two or three people. It’s a game that you play with cards, but it feels more like a board game to me because of all the specialized rules about placement and scoring.The game is played in rounds, after which the player(s) with the best tea party earns some sugar cubes, and you play several rounds until one person gets seven sugar cubes total.

The following video is a quick, 7-minute overview of how the game plays. Alternatively, you could look on boardgamegeek for more information.

The art on the box (and the art on the special guest cards that are optional) depicts people from the 1920s. That’s not my favorite aesthetic (and it doesn’t seem very lolita to me), but I do like the art on the regular cards. It’s a small game, but I like how the creators implemented the theme in small details, like calling your hand of cards a “kitchen” and having the grid of face-down cards form your “tablecloth.” Unless you have a very small comm, I don’t really think that this is a game you can just bring to meet-ups willy-nilly because of the small player count. If you have one or two lolita friends that you see outside of meet-ups, though, I think that this would be a very fun little game for you to have.

Piece o’ Cake

In German, this game is called “…aber bitte mit Sahne” (but with whipped cream, please). Oddly enough, those two titles combine to tell you how the game plays and is scored. If you’re interested in seeing how to play, you can watch this very quick video below or check it out on boardgamegeek.com.

I like the idea of using a cake stand with this game to hold the “unmade” cakes, and just to add a bit more dimension to the game. It’s a fairly quick game with a good bit of strategy. My issues with this game are all aesthetic. The cakes look a lot more like pie to me, and I wish that they were thicker so that they actually looked like crazy cakes when assembled. In addition to mostly looking like pie, one of the cakes specifically looks more like pizza to me, especially because the cakes are flat. I know that I’m being petty, but there isn’t much else to talk about with Piece o’ Cake.

Still, it’s a pretty good game about making/collecting and eating cake. That’s delightful! If you’re ever in meetups with 2-5 people, I’m sure that this would be a big hit.

Lolita Uno

This is a game version that I redid. I say that, but I really just spent a couple of days working in Photoshop using pictures from Google Images.

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This was a fun little project that I did when I had some free time, and I paid to get a custom deck printed. Instead of the four primary colors, I used classic, gothic, sweet, and oldschool lolita as the “suits.”

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I’m pleased with my project, and I think the game is a lot of fun. Then again, I like regular Uno a lot, too.

It might be “cheating” a little to include this particular game here, since you can’t buy it or print out a free copy for yourself, unlike the other games on this list. You could always just make your own version, though, using whatever pictures you like. Uno is a really easy game to modify with a theme. I think that using pictures of your comm members might be a cool way to personalize this sort of concept if you want to play it at meets. The regular Uno rules say that you can play with 2-10 people, but you can run out of cards at the higher player counts. You might want to smash together two decks to instead play with 7-14 people.

Cards Against Lolitas

Milky Fawn made this custom deck-expansion for Cards Against Humanity. She talks about it briefly on her blog.

Here’s a video of them testing it out, in case you haven’t seen it already. If you don’t like vulgarity, don’t watch this video. Then again, you shouldn’t be playing any version of Cards Against Humanity if you don’t like vulgarity.

A lot of people found that the cards were funnier when they were mixed up with regular Cards Against Humanity cards. I agree, and I was able to get my housemates to enjoy playing a game with some of the less lolita-specific cards, like “showing knees *gasp!*,” “a DIY project gone unforgivably wrong,” and “farting in a petticoat.”

The whole deck expansion (possibly with some additions) is on Cardcast  if you want to just look through the cards or print them out. MC Melody Doll has her own expansion, too. The last big expansion I found was created by the Milwaukee Lolita Society. I couldn’t actually find their deck on Cardcast, but they have all the cards in a list here. I was able to go through all of these collections and write the more mainstream-friendly ones on extra blank cards to add them to our deck that way. If you go through all of the different lists, you’ll find a lot of overlap, but that’s to be expected.

Cards Against Humanity in general can be played with lots of people at once, although it still might not be the best game to play with your lolita community. I think it all depends on the individual people in your comm and what everyone’s sense of humor is like. I really despise a lot of the actual Cards Against Humanity cards and think that they are unfunny mood-killers, but someone else might think that those same cards are the best in the whole game.

Lolitopoly

This is just super cool. Misirlou of the blog Frou Frous made this. She even has a whole section of her blog dedicated to the resources and instructions you’ll need to print out and assemble your very own copy of Lolitopoly. I had a copy of Monopoly that we never played, so I took it over and turned it into my own copy of Lolitopoly. Since I think most people know how to play Monopoly, this little blurb is going to be a review of this particular print-and-play version.

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The game pieces are so adorable, but they have a bit of trouble standing on their own. I put paperclips on their bases to give them some more weight, but the lolita pawns we were playing with still blew away and fell over when I sneezed during the game. In the printables linked above, there are also some uncolored pieces so you could customize them before or after printing them out.

Here’s what the board looked like halfway through a 2-player game:

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And here’s what it looked like at the end, when I lost horribly:
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Since I was able to take over a normal game of Monopoly to make this version, I spray-painted all the original houses and hotels black and pink to match the design of the board. I don’t actually know what the print-and-play equivalents of these buildings are supposed to be. There were some minor snafus I ran into while assembling my copy. Firstly, I had to bump up the saturation of the $50 bills in Photoshop because the printer was making the color for the $20 bills and the unaltered $50 bills look identical. Secondly, the size of the Lolitopoly board was slightly smaller than the Monopoly board I was covering, so I have a number of seams where I fudged the placement, but that’s not too noticeable. My boyfriend did not like that the $1 bills were smaller than the others, but I didn’t care about that. He was also a bit frustrated that the Brand (original = Property) cards did not have the mortgage values on the back. I affixed all my Brand, Chance, and Luck (original = Community Chest) cards to cardstock, so I’ll probably make that alteration soon. I also want to go in with some light watercolor and color the backs of the Luck and Chance cards.

For the most part, Lolitopoly is identical to Monopoly. There were some changes to the regular game rules that made Lolitopoly absolutely brutal, though. You can actually see all the changes in the pictures below:

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Customs Fees are $200 (the original Luxury Tax is $75), and the Bad Exchange Rate is a flat $200 (but the original Income Tax is either 10% OR $200, which is much more affordable). My boyfriend and I found our $200 payday completely voided several times in the game. The Secondhand Shops (original = Railroads) are only $25 in Lolitopoly, potentially to compensate for the more expensive hazards, but my boyfriend insisted on playing with them costing the original $200, so everything was very expensive in our game. Lastly, look at that ridiculous Chance card. In case the picture is broken when you’re reading this post, it says “Mr. Yan’s New Bride: Should’ve read that contract! Lose $500 during your hasty escape.” I pulled this card, and it was crippling. Thematically, it made an odd kind of sense since I had just pulled a “Pilgrimage to Japan” card, but it was painful.

The theme was very oddly fitting. For about half the game (going around the board, buying Brands, paying Customs Fees and Bad Exchange Rates, and getting a $200 Payday), it really felt like building up a lolita wardrobe and buying more pieces with a part-time salary. (That’s the half of the game that I really loved.) Paying rent after landing on another player’s Brand space and putting houses and hotels on the spaces felt like regular Monopoly, though.

All in all, I think it’s a pretty successful re-theme. Unless you hate Monopoly, I think that this version is worth printing out and playing.

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Well, readers, do any of those games seem fun to you? I tried to pick out games that generally felt lolita-esque. Of course, you could also play several old games like Whist, Cribbage, Old Maid, and Charades, and have a classic 19th-century parlor game night. Additionally, you could add any of the many wonderful gothic or horror-themed board games out there (like Gloom, Mysterium, Letters from Whitechapel, and Fury of Dracula) for a night of gothic lolita gaming. I honestly don’t know what I would recommend for a sweet lolita game night, though. It’s just so far out of my element that I can really only think of playing children’s games like Candyland. (I don’t know that I’d recommend that, though. I love the idea of Candyland, but I’ve never actually had fun playing it.)

Stay playful,

Raven

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Let’s Read the English Gothic & Lolita Bibles: Volume 4

Hello, readers,

I hope you’re excited for this month’s “let’s read.”

Today, we’re reading the fourth volume of the Gothic & Lolita Bible. I couldn’t really identify a theme this time. Volume 1 is princesses, Volume 2 is flowers, Volume 3 is Halloween, and Volume 5 is weddings. What is this one? The only thing I could find in multiple places in this mook is “renaissance du gothic lolita.” And that is what exactly? My best guess as to what it actually means is the beginnings of new school lolita. It’s the Winter 2008 publication, so I guess the dates make sense if that’s the theme they were going for. There’s just so much oldschool style in this mook that I don’t really think their theme worked out, if new school is even what they were going for.

The first few pages are taken up by rules for a contest, and the letters from the editor and from readers.

Pages 10-11: Oh Maiden, Advance with a Sword and a Rose. This piece is written by Arika Takarano of ALI PROJECT, who also modeled for the two photographs included with this feature. Reading this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It is the quintessential spirit of oldschool lolita. I really wish I could reprint the whole thing here, but instead have some excerpts (The text was so tiny that I didn’t think there was a point to including a scan in this post.):

  • “I wonder what made you become Lolita? Is it because you wanted to  wear cute clothes? Because you like lace and frills? Because you wanted to be like someone? Or was it because you wanted to become cute so you’d be popular with the guys? / No, no, that’s impossible, isn’t it? After all, Lolita isn’t something with which you worry about what guys think! I bet your answer is something like this, ‘Before I knew it, I was a Lolita maiden.'”
  • “This is what I think: Gothic and Lolita clothes are a maiden’s armor, which even a knight’s armor cannot compare to. A maiden’s lace is her steel. Her ribbons are chains. Her dress hat is her hemet, and she surreptitiously changes the blood that flows from her wounds into true red rose petals. Thus, the maiden fights. After all, to live is to fight, and to become beautiful is to become stronger.”
  • “Say, I can see wings on your back elegant wings, with the luster of velvet. Please keep flying freely, without fear. Even if someone should hurt you, you will end up landing in the right place. I know this well, because once upon a time, I was like you, too.”

Reading this feature makes me feel dreamy again.

Pages 12-18: The patterns.

Most of these patterns are knitting/crochet patterns for accessories. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I think a winter edition is perfect for knitting patterns, but I just wish there was some other sewing pattern of substance besides the skirt and fur muff/capelet.

Pages 19-21: An interview with the fashionable Arika Takarano of ALI PROJECT. It’s cool that the interview with her shows up so close to her other feature, but I honestly skipped reading it because I’ve never listened to ALI PROJECT.

Pages 22-37: Brand advertisements for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Alice and the Pirates, Angelic Pretty, Atelier Boz, Black Peace Now, h.NAOTO, Innocent World, metamorphose temps de fille, and PUTUMAYO. Two of the Innocent World pages served as a combination advertisement and contest/prizes announcement. The beginning Baby ad pages also served as “princess instructions.”

Five Provisions for Princesses:

  1. She shall have a pure and sublime heart, always.
  2. She shall have a kind heart with which to treat everyone with kindness.
  3. She shall extol beautiful smiles, always.
  4. She shall be mindful of beautiful words and behaviors.
  5. She shall be mindful of clothes to fit the time, place, and occasion.

With the Alice and the Pirates ads comes a description of Princess in the Dark: “A sharp glance, and sometimes an expression of ennui… When the curtain of night falls, the Princess, now free from her followers and alone, gives rest to her smile and begins conversing with her ‘real self.'”

Pages 42-43: Personal faves with Clair Belton. This is a very short, light sort of interview, but I love that they included so many pictures.

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Maybe you recognize her name or art style. Can you guess who she made?

I’m really happy for her that she found success. While her people illustrations aren’t my favorite, her style for non-humans is really cute, and Pusheen is a treasure.

Page 47: Another installment of Needs More Lace! Huzzah!
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This story is super cute. It’s a shame that the dress Ian gets her, which has to be costumey at least, doesn’t look bad at all in the comic. I would actually really love a dress like that (or at least how it’s drawn). Does that mean I have ita taste? Oh noooo!

Pages 50-59: These pages are devoted to step-by-step instructions on how to do various hair styles. My hair is curly and does not straighten well, so I have no use for this information. Also, the pictures and instructions are super tiny, so you need to go find an actual nice quality scan of this G&LB if you’re curious about the information.

Pages 60-69: Street snaps! There were some from the UK, but most were from Japan. There were not photos this time around that I found particularly memorable, but I do love looking through them.

Pages 70-80: Event snaps. Most of the pictures were coord shots, so it was basically a continuation of the previous street snaps.

Pages 81-83: Readers’ snaps.

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More continuous pictures of lolitas, but this section has one of my favorite lolita photos of all time. I absolutely adore the gothic lolita on this page. Firstly, I love her coord and how pared-down it is. Secondly, I wish more people did these sorts of conceptual photo shoots more often.

Pages 84-85: Looking Your Best, Tips and Tricks for Tall and Curvy Girls.IMG_064

I love this piece. In addition to being useful, the art is adorable. The red-headed girl in the maroon skirt looks especially pleased with herself. My favorite thing about this feature is that it sticks with the advise of “if it ‘fits,’ but looks wrong, then it doesn’t fit.” As a plus-sized lolita myself, I really can’t stress that point enough. Lolitas now have so many more options when it comes to custom sizing than were available in 2009. It might be a little harder to build a big, full lolita wardrobe if you have plus-sized measurements, but it can be done. More importantly, it can be done well. Trust me, you’ll be happier wearing clothes that fit well, even if it takes some time to get them.

Pages 94-97: Cause for Celebration photo shoot. The models all look like they’re having a good time, but they’re shooting in Party City. Does anyone else find that super distracting? Is it just me?

Page 98: Social Event Etiquette from Jillian Venters.

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When this volume of the G&LB was published, the Gothic Charm School book had not even been published. (I have a review for that book here.) There were parts of that book which felt very outdated when I read it in 2015 that dealt with the internet, and this feature suffers from a lot of the same problems. The lolita communities I know are based very much online, and they organize their face-to-face meet-ups with Facebook. While I would love to send and receive real invitations for meet-ups instead of getting the invite via Facebook, there are honestly very few people from my comm that I would want to have my address. Perhaps I’m weird, and perhaps most people would not mind lots of local strangers having their addresses, but I just don’t think that mail invitations and thank-you notes are something really viable in the current lolita scene. Readers, how do you feel about this? (Please let me know in the comments!)

pages 110-111: Tote bag tutorial.

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I think that this was a nice idea, but they really failed in design execution. The sweet and gothic bags just look tacky, and the classic one looks dingy and faded. (Seriously, though, what is going on with that tragic gothic bag?) However, these are solid instruction for making a reversible tote bag. You could easily use these same steps to end up with a much nicer tote that could match your wardrobe.

Pages 118-119: The Prose Poem of the Elizabethan Collar. This poem is also somehow the Royal Gothic Lolita Theatre of Nonsense. This story is certainly very strange. It honestly reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with the way more and more elements kept being brought in. Beyond that, the story was just hard to read because of the illustrated purple bubbles made it hard to see the contrast of the text.

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I included a scan partially so you could see the absolutely lovely illustration and partially so you can see the bubble problem. It’s such a pretty touch, but I wish they were more transparent for legibility’s sake. I’m mostly unsure of my feelings towards this story. It’s very weird.

Page 120: G&LB Volume 4 cover-inspired photograph.

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I’m just a sucker for these sorts of things. I love seeing people dressed like illustrations or paintings, and I think this was a really cool cover for this idea. (Thank heavens they didn’t do a shoot based on Volume 3’s cover! Although it’s sure to have looked less horrifying with human proportions…) Even though I don’t like either pink or sweet, I’ve always liked this set. It’s always seemed so silly and fun, but I think it looks quite good in the mix-n-match section at the bottom.

Lastly, here’s the manga. Please click on the last picture in this gallery first and then move towards the left. I tried to keep the original layout as best I could.

How disappointing that the second half of this story is completely monochrome! The previous half was so much more interesting because of all the pink. It would have been very cool if the second half had a different accent color, but to go back to being printed in black and white seems much more the result of a printing budget and not an artistic choice. Such a shame, too. I really like the character design in this part.

And that’s the end of this mook.

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This one is definitely not my favorite of the English G&LBs. They didn’t include any recipes or quizzes, and the patterns were disappointing. I also didn’t like that there wasn’t a real theme. A gifting theme would have been welcome in the winter edition, and probably quite nice/helpful, too. Ah, well.

Check back next month for a “let’s read” of the final volume of the English Gothic & Lolita Bible!

Stay “Looking Your Best,”

Raven

Let’s Read the English Gothic & Lolita Bibles: Volume 3

Hello, readers,

It’s been a while since I posted about getting the full set of the English G&LB, so I apologize that it has taken so long to getting to the “let’s read” posts. If you don’t know what the Gothic & Lolita Bibles are, or if you’re curious as to why I’m not covering volumes 1 and 2, feel free to read my introductory post to this series.

Note: These scans are not the best quality. I did not want to spend hours adjusting and retouching them because that’s not the point of this post. There are sources online where you can find legible scans if you want to read along but don’t have your own copy.

Let me just start out this post by saying that this cover has always creeped me out. When I was first trying to find out about lolita at 15, I got this mook out from the library and was instantly horrified and super embarrassed when I saw its cover because I just thought it was so weird. These were mooks about lolita, right? Then why was the cover so ugly? I’m pretty neutral about this cover now, but it made such an impression on me when I was younger.

Enough about me. Let’s dive into the Halloween themed August 2008 mook! (I won’t be covering every page, just those about which I have something to say.)

I’ll be honest, though, I always skip through all the beginning pages of magazines. This mook starts out with the table of contents, an ad for Angelic Pretty with a list of all their store locations, the staff page, an ad for Japanese “pop fashion” website that’s closed now, letters from the editors, and “Letters from Our Readers.” Despite the fact that this is volume 3, the letters all seem to be in response to volume 1, or even in response the the release of the English language translations in general.

Now we come to the first “real” page, a comic drawn by a Western lolita!

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I really love this comic. Her art style is endearing, she’s in punk lolita, and she’s pining after a spooky Halloween dress (which makes sense, since this is the Halloween edition). Also, it warms my heart to see that this comic is entirely relevant to lolita today, too. Does anyone know if Lilly Higgs did any more lolita comics after the English G&LB shut down?

Pages 10-15: This is one of Mana’s Moi-meme-Moitie photostories, with a page at the end of him talking about various things and a feature of MmM’s Autumn 2007 collection. I am tempted to just call this a regular photoshoot and dismiss the “story” for its lack of continuity, but all the mini stories relate to the setting, which is a “faithful reproduction of a medieval aristocrat’s manor.” Mana seemed to really like this location for the photoshoot. If you like Mana, you’d probably like the “Words from Mana” section. He talks about his impressions from the photoshoot, the various pieces of the MmM collection he wore during the photoshoot, and he gives a general update on the band Moi dix Mois. Also, the super-special feature is “About Parties,” which I found endearing. Out of nowhere, he gives advice: “I think the most essential thing to remember when you attend a party is your modesty and elegance as a lady.” He also talks about a movie he likes, the 1970 Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, and comments on it.

Page 21: Voltaire Music Video Report. This was a really cool little feature. A dark vaudeville/cabaret musician Voltaire invited goths and lolitas to be extras in his music video for “Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend).” That’s really neat. Here’s the music video, too, so you can see everyone in action and actually hear the song.

Pages 22-25: Party Style! “Together with the members of Megamasso… here we reveal our tips for hosting a fashionable party, including essential rules of etiquette we hope Gothic and Lolita fans find useful!” This etiquette guide is actually quite helpful. The text on the actual guide pages of 24 and 25 is so small that there was no point including a scan here. I wish they would have made the (admittedly cute) pictures of the band smaller and spread the information over all four pages.

Pages 26-39: Brand advertisements from Angelic Pretty, Atelier Boz, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Black Peace Now, h.NAOTO, Innocent World, and Putomayo.

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I don’t know about you, but it was surreal for me to see “Radioactive Cupcakes” being advertised. I know this dress is infamous, but I don’t think it looks that bad in the lighter, washed-out colorway. (Then again, a lot of sweet looks the same to me.) The hot pink one looks obnoxious, and the black one looks gross. Hmm… Maybe it actually does look gross even in the ad.

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I don’t know if you can tell in this scan, but the Innocent World ad is terrible quality. The two pictures of the models are wildly different resolutions from the rest of the layout, and they look blurry and pixelated. It’s very obvious in person and such a weird thing.

Pages 40-43: This is an interview with Hirooka Naoto, designer of h.NAOTO. He seemed really guarded during this interview. Maybe it’s because there were no descriptions of his actions while the interview was being held?

Pages 44-47: These are ads for U.S. lolita brands Blasphemina’s Closet, Candy Violet, and Megan Maude. Looking at these clothing ads makes me really sad because none of these labels really does lolita anymore. The last page is a collection of Western brand shoes.

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It’s tempting to say that a lot of these shoe styles are not considered loliable now, but they may not have been put in this group because they were ever loliable at all. This is the Gothic AND Lolita Bible, after all.

Pages 50-53: Hollowed and Haunted. I cannot truly express how beautiful I think this lolita x urban exploration photoshoot is. When I first picked up this mook, this little four-page section took my breath away. This picture may have made me fall in love with lolita fashion, but this photoshoot made me fall in love with the lifestyle.

Pages 56-61: Halloween (and Party) Hair & Makeup


I was not a fan of the Halloween looks or advice. Did anyone else shudder when they saw how bad that blonde wig on Little Red Riding Hood is? I really like the “party” pages, though. I think it’s super interesting to see what the differences are supposed to be between the different styles. (A minor irritation: “gothic lolita” should have gone between “gothic” and “lolita,” not first.) In terms of what I actually think about these looks, “gothic lolita” looks like sweet lolita, “gothic” looks like gothic lolita, and “lolita” looks like classic lolita. Maybe I’ll specifically try out these looks and update this post with a comparison shot later.

Page 63: Twisted Treats for Halloween

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While I’m super excited that this GLB had recipes, I can’t help but be disappointed with the inclusion of decorated cupcakes. I honestly don’t like decorated cupcakes,  but I would like to see more diversity in sweet treats in general. (Radioactive) Cupcakes are everywhere!

Pages 64-69: The Sewing Patterns

Pages 70-71: Novala Takemoto story “bear’s party in the forest.” I never know what to say about his short fiction. I have to believe that something really crucial gets lost in translation if he’s the writer with the most lolita spirit. The ideal of lolita and the text I read from him never evoke or compliment one another. This piece is Alice in Wonderland fanfiction.

Pages 77-83: Street Snaps! I adore seeing oldschool in action.

Pages 87-100: A lot of these pages are filled with event snaps, a lot of them from Western events. That’s cool, but I don’t get any enjoyment from reading these features and the photos are generally more chaotic than the street snaps.

Page 101: Sweets & Treats Quiz

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If you take this quiz, let me know your results in the comments. I got “cupcake,” even when I chose different answers for “I love mixing and matching styles.” I suppose the description of cupcake fits me better than the other two, so at least the quiz is fairly accurate on my end.

Pages 110-117: Readers’ Snaps and Reader Spotlight. I really love these simple outfits. These are much more my style than most modern lolita coords I’ve seen the past couple of years. The middle and right coords of the top row of the page pictured below are my favorites.

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I also really enjoyed the reader spotlight on Angel, but I didn’t want to scan it all. The section ended with a special message from her: “Clothes can be wings or chains. Take pride in the things you love and let them take you to wonderful places.”

Pages 122-128: To close this issue, we have the manga at the end. Please click on the last picture in this gallery first, and then click towards the left. I tried to keep the original reading layout as best as I could.

That’s it. We’ve reached the end of our journey together. I hope you had fun reading with me or reminiscing about this mook. Stay on the lookout for my posts about volumes 4 and 5!

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Stay spooky,

Raven

Dollhouse Diaries: Reveal

Hello, readers,

I hope you had fun reading through my blog as I assembled and painted my very first dollhouse. I’ll confess, I definitely caught the miniature bug. I’ve already begun looking for the next house I want to build, but I probably won’t buy anything new until I move into a new place.

My three roommates also enjoyed watching me put this little house together, even though I completely overtook the coffee table and couch for two weeks. My dollhouse building may have infected them as well. One of my roommates for sure is going to buy her own dollhouse kit once she finds one that’s tiny enough, and my boyfriend’s thinking about getting a model kit of some kind.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my “finished” little house.

Day 13

There is a woman who lives alone in a little house on 13th Street. Her neighbors sometimes hear faint strains of piano music or singing coming from her house. She has a lovely voice.

No one ever sees anyone besides this woman go in or out of the house, but passersby often swear that they hear voices within, talking and laughing. Sometimes, if you’re looking, you can see shadows moving in the upstairs window while the woman is out shopping for groceries. Sometimes the rocking chair on her porch starts to move on its own. That’s not unusual, surely it’s the wind moving the chair. The whistling is the wind, too. Even the sound of foot-tapping must just be your own footsteps echoing back. Still, you can’t quite explain why the woman acts like she’s holding the door open for someone, even though there’s no one there.

And she has such a pretty voice whenever she wishes you a “Good evening.” You can almost forget that you clearly hear someone playing the piano the next room over as she closes and locks the front door.

Let’s take a look at this woman’s little house on 13th Street, shall we?

Here’s her bedroom.

And here’s a better look at her bookshelf.

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She has Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Scarlet Letter, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Through the Looking-Glass, and three copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, plus a few sketchbooks, journals, and photo albums.

(As you can probably tell from the photos above, these little books do not have pages. Their covers are 1 cm tall!)

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Here is the mysterious woman’s ordinary bathroom.

This is her living room, which has more than enough seating for someone who supposedly lives alone and never has visitors.

Lastly, here’s her little music room. Though her neighbors don’t know this, she spends more of her time sitting in the chair against the wall, listening or singing along as others play the piano, rather than sitting on the piano bench.

Hopefully some of you were able to tell from the pictures above, but the two types of lace I used for the bed skirt and the area rug in the conservatory are taken off of a Bodyline dress. This makes the dollhouse a little bit lolita. It also makes it match some of my wardrobe. I’m absurdly happy about this.

Here are some photos of how I have it set up in my room.

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You can also see some of my books in this photo, along with some of my boyfriend’s books.

I would like to get a lazy Susan to display the house on, but I’d rather hold off on that until after I decide if I want to add some landscaping or not.

Here are some more pictures of the 13th Street house, just because I’m so proud of it and I love how it turned out.

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I like to picture this house being on a hill, so that it can look a little imposing, despite its small size.

Obviously, I didn’t add any interior trim. I was unable to find a replacement in time to do anything during the break, and my semester starts tomorrow. I also want to make a little mattress and a blanket for the bed, make some cushions for the seating in the living room, and upholster the two chairs in the conservatory. After that, I probably want to print out and assemble more books to put around the house.

The only thing I’m still debating is whether or not to dress up the cut-away wall.

(Thanks go to my boyfriend for holding up the lace against the house.) While I know the lace against the floor/ceiling divide looks a little weird, I also think it looks darling. I’m just not sure if I should commit to the look and glue it on or not. I may have to ignore the problem for a while and decide when I go back in to add baseboards and crown molding, whenever that may be.

Stay spooky,

Raven

If you missed any part of the construction, you can read all about it by following the links below.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 10Day 11 and 12

Dollhouse Diaries: Day 11 and Day 12

Hello, readers,

This time, there was nothing that kept me from my daily posting other than my own desire to be dramatic and show off a lot of progress. Let’s take a look!

Day 11

Today, I started roofing. I went along and followed the shingling guide from the More Minis blog, since their other guides were so helpful.

I made the templates first.

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It’s weird to see the house, which I’d taken from 2D shapes to a 3D shape when I built it, turned back into 2D.

I also went back over the house and painted the areas I thought would give me the most trouble.

Despite making the templates, I knew that things were not going to fit well in a lot of places. The priority was to get all the raw wood covered so the gaps would not be so noticeable.

While this paint dried, I went back to my templates and drew on the guidelines. I’m excited to say that I learned from my mistake with the fish scale siding. This time, I figured out how far apart I wanted the shingles and then glued together some scrap wood to serve as a ruler from that.

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I went to work hot gluing all the shingles onto the templates. Well, onto the back roof and porch roof templates. Between a late start and an early night, this was all I was able to get done with the house today.

Day 12

To start day two of roofing, I finished attaching shingles to the other templates.

I was about to move on to the painting phase of this project when I noticed that I had made a mistake yesterday with the porch gable roof.

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There’s no way water would slide off nicely with shingles like this!

Whoops! Thankfully, I only made the mistake of laying the shingles down wrong with the smallest sections of the roof, so it didn’t take long to fix.

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The bottom roof looks much better.

Anyway, now I moved on to painting.

I’m really excited about how the speckling effect turned out. That was something I had planned since the beginning of this dollhouse build to try and give the roof texture. I also mixed in some white into the paint so that I didn’t end up with a purely black roof that would flatten out all the detail of the shingles.

I actually added purple speckles as well, but you have to be up close to see that.

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While I was waiting for the roof pieces to dry completely, I went ahead and painted the house foundation. I also installed the front step and started painting the piano, bench, and chair.

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From here, I just had to attach the roof pieces with tacky glue and clamp them down as they dried.

Everything’s coming together! I think the house looks really, really cute with the roof on.

Check back tomorrow for the grand reveal (of what I was able to get done during my winter break).

Stay fabulous,

Raven

Here are the links to the rest of the assembly posts.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 10Reveal