Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Some Inspiration

I keep a big folder full of bonnet pictures, pictures of both Lolita bonnets and historical bonnets. I would just like to share some pictures of vintage fashion plates featuring bonnets with you now.

Even though I don't make historically accurate bonnets, or have much interest in making a bonnet that is historically accurate, I still love seeing how they were worn, and especially how they were decorated! I love the use of feathers and ruffles, and I like to use those two features in my own bonnets.

I have been working on a few commissioned bonnets for a while now, and haven't had much time to work on bonnets for the sheer joy of sewing bonnets! And because of that, I realized I only have one left in my shop! I would have had two left, but I decided I wanted to keep the burgundy one. I have since begun to sew up a few more buckram frames and begun the very first steps in making an all black full bonnet. I plan on making it into a very Gothic bonnet, using lace with crosses on it and black roses, but who knows, I might change plans half way through it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Corsages & A Sale on Birdcage Necklaces

There are two new items up in the shop, both fancy hair corsages. I made these over the past week or so and am just getting to putting them up now. It's really the picture taking that makes me put off putting things in the shop! I'm just not that great at taking pictures of accessories and things, I can never make a dynamic display. I really thing I should work on that.

First up is a burlesque hair corsage with a large red ostrich feather in it. This corsage is on a comb, instead of a barrette like my other corsages. I am, personally, not a fan of the comb, my hair just can not keep them in, but I know some people like them, and something like this seems better suited for a comb, because it really looks best in a updo.

Also up is a corsage that borders on headdress. Inspired by a black BtSSB headdress that I own, only made with a more classical style in mind. This one was actually really close to going on a ribbon, to tie around your head, like the BtSSB headdress that inspired it, until I realized that I have never worn the BtSSB one because of that. On a ribbon it just doesn't stay where you put it, so like my other corsages, this one is on a barrette base, so that it will stay where you put it.

I've also put all my birdcage necklaces on sale. There are 4 of them in the shop that were 19.00, marked down to 15.00. Why the price change? Well, to sell them XD But seriously, I've been trying to find the right price for birdcage necklaces for a while now. They go for an all-over amount of prices on Etsy, I've seen a lot of people try to sell similar pieces for 40+ dollars.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Little Lolita Dolly

I have had a craving to make dolls for a few months now! Every time I see a really great cloth doll or art doll my fingers get itching to try it myself. The kind I usually like, and am familiar with (although I haven't made anything in years!) is the kind that involves clay, but despite my itchy fingers I've been a bit too lazy to bust out some clay. But, while browsing around the other day I was lead, once again to tanpopo0118's DeviantArt page. Now, I've been to her gallery before and admired her work, but this time it really inspired me to bust out some material scraps and get to sewing! So, inspired by her little Lolita dolls with painted faces and real hair, I made my own sort-of-version of her dolls. I ended up going with a blobby chibi body because that looks more like the big eyed, big headed, Lolitas that I like to draw. In comparison to her dolls, mine looks like a really lame copy XD But, really, I wasn't trying to copy her dolls, and I hope it doesn't look like I was.

She has a stray thread on her face!

Some changes I will do when I next attempt to make little Lolita dolls? Because oh yes I do plan on it! First, I will pick a different fabric. This little girl is about 3" inches tall, so I made her out of felt, which is a pain to paint, and impossible to paint smoothly on. So, next time, I'll probably try flannel. Next time I'll also nix the mohair hair. I haven't used mohair since I got into BJDs several years ago and I forgot how much of a pain it is! It gets everywhere and sticks to the felt like crazy, next time I will probably use felt, embroidery floss, or maybe even hair wefts like tanpopo0118. I'll also probably make her a bit bigger and make her some simple clothes out of something that isn't lace scraps! But overall, I'm pretty happy with this little dolly, mostly because it felt really good to finally get around to making a doll!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barbie Spanktacular Bonnet

This is a bonnet I've been working on, on and off, for a few weeks now. I had some of this totally Barbie ball gown material kicking around and had been just itching to use it in a bonnet. I decided to do a whole lot of experimenting and tried a much longer style of bonnet, so the brim looks much fuller when worn.

 I found it really hard to get a picture of just how iridescent the fabric used on the brim was! It has a lot of gold and green interference and has a bumpy texture, pretty much exactly like a bunch of Barbie dresses I had growing from the 80's.

 The corsages on the sides are pretty small for me, and they are both pretty much the same, there is a big iridescent bow hiding under the corsages!

A close up of some of the bows and flowers along the brim. The decorations are all detachable so you can add as many or as few as you want, or move them around as you see fit. For this bonnet, I did use faux flowers of a lesser quality than I normally use, but because they are clustered up so much with the ribbons it doesn't really look bad or cheap or anything. I have found that to make the most out of not-so-amazing faux flowers you really have to go all out with them!

The back of the bonnet. Okay, not much to see her besides my tangled wig! This is a half bonnet after all!

This bonnet is up for sale for a cheap price in my shop, due to the thinner gauge wire used and general experimentation of the design.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Miss Lumpy's Giveaway and a 10% Off Discount

A week or so ago Miss Lumpy contacted me to let me know she was planning on doing a giveaway and asked if I was willing to give a discount for my Etsy shop to the winner. I figured I could do better than that, and so instead decided to host a 10% off sale in honor of her giveaway, as well as give one lucky person the chance to get a $15 off gift certificate through my shop.

So, please, check out Miss Lumpy's giveaway post for more details on how to get the 10% off your purchase and how to enter her contest. The 10% sale includes anything in my Etsy shop, excluding commissions, and will last until July 1st.

That being said, my shop is in dire need of an update! I have a bunch of stuff I need to get around to taking pictures of and posting on Etsy. Including a ton of sweet and deco accessories left over from convention vending.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Attempt At A Straw Bonnet

When I first became interested in making my own bonnets I stumbled across quite a few tutorials on how to make a bonnet out of a straw hat. While I liked how easy that seemed, I really wanted my bonnets to be a bit more sturdy and made the old-fashioned way. Plus, I didn't like the idea that under the fabric was a straw base, it just didn't seem authentic enough, I guess. But recently I have become a bit more interested in Classic Lolita and so I had been toying with the idea of making a straw bonnet without all the fabric covering it up.  Just a simple bonnet that really focuses on the country look of the straw.

Yesterday I finally got a hold of some reasonable priced straw hats, ones I wouldn't feel bad about chopping up and potentially having to throw away. I realized I didn't have any bias tape, so I used used some ribbon I had laying around. This lead to a kind of puffy looking trim, but it doesn't bother me so much and I'll be keeping this one for myself.

Instead of overloading it with roses and lace I made one simple corsage out of very realistic roses that look a bit like dried roses. I have had a few people assume this kind of fake rose was a real dried rose! There are a few tiny dusty pink roses in the corsage as well, but they are kind of hiding in these photos. I chose red because a few of my newest dresses are red, and if I am hoping the straw bonnet makes them look a little more Classic.
This is one of my new dresses. Well, new to me, as it is an Angelic Pretty dress from 2004! It's very sweet, but the red is dark enough that I am hoping to be able to make a couple Classic coordinates with it. Or at the very least, old school Sweet Lolita, which is pretty close to today's Classic Lolita.

If you're interested in attempting your own straw bonnet, here is a good tutorial for doing just that. This is the one I first found that eventually inspired me to make this one.

Since I have two more straw hats left, and these are fun to make, I might be selling them in my Etsy shop someday. They will be much, much cheaper than my normal bonnets. Probably around 30 dollars since materials cost is only a bit over $10. I am now a little interested in making a straw bonnet from braided straw now! But that's something completely new I would have to learn.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wonderland Tarot

I have always been interested in Tarot cards, and ever since I was 13 I've been learning them. I say that I have been learning them because, honestly, I can never get the hang of memorizing them. Doing actual readings is kind of an on-again off-again hobby, so I've pretty much always need to have a book on hand to check up what they mean. Despite that, I've always loved the cards themselves, especially the Rider-Waite style, and I've been collecting decks in that style ever since.I was randomly googling for something, I honestly don't even remember what, and ended up on the Amazon page for the Wonderland tarot deck. Now, this is a deck I've known about, and lusted after, for years. While I am not a big Alice fan, like I said, I am a big Rider-Waite fan as well as a fan of the illustrations Sir John Tenniel did for Alice in Wonderland, and a deck, done in an illustration style to match Sir John Tenniel with a the Rider-Waite symbols is just too perfect. But, sadly, this deck is long out of print and typically goes for over $100. A little too much for me. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the sellers on the Amazon page selling a deck for $50. I hemmed and hawed for about 10 minutes before popping it in my cart and buying it, wondering if it was even going to be worth it. Well, they came today, and yes they are so worth it.
Like the Rider-Waite deck, each of the cards are uniquely illustrated. Even the minor arcana! Something I was very pleased to see, as too often decks get away with cheating and just doing a playing card-esque style of just having the number of suits arranged fancily on the card. Besides the beautiful illustrations, the deck was brand new. It was opened, but the cards were all in order and pristine, leading me to assume that they had never been read before. It looked like they had hardly been taken out of the box.
The above is not a reading, simply a few of my favorite cards in the deck, both old favorites who's imagery I love, like Temperance, the Fool, and the 8 of swords, and cards from the Wonderland deck that I just particularly liked.

This deck has inspired me to try my hand at creating some tarot/Alice themed jewelry pieces. Maybe I will find one of those itty bitty novelty decks that you can usually find hanging around the counter of most book stores and try my hand at making some charms out of them. Maybe the good old fashioned domino pendant approach?