Lolita Fashion - Dolls - Historic Homes - Art - Sewing - Creative Writing - Film - Literature - All things cute!

Monday 2 October 2017

Future Ideas, Late Victorian Purse, and Straw Curled Hair

Hi everyone, it's October already! I've been pretty absent again on this blog, despite all my plans and ideas. To put it simply, I just don't find writing this particular blog inspiring. I keep trying and trying to open my laptop and hammer out a new post on my projects, interests and life, but this blog (or platform, perhaps?) doesn't aid my creativity. In fact, it becomes a chore, and I shove it to the back of my mind.
So, I'm thinking of retiring this blog and starting a new one. Fear not though, this blog will still be available to view, as I'm not planning on deleting it! I'm just thinking of moving to a new address, probably still on Blogspot. It will become more of an "official" blog for my future endeavors (I've been thinking about my future business ideas a lot recently), and look slightly more professional than the pick-n-mix variety this blog appears to be, with projects all over the place, mixed with book reviews, personal feelings, and travelling, among other, more embarrassing, older posts and rather rubbishy photographs. 
I also think that a new medium will prove to inspire me more. Whilst I believe that I express myself better through writing, I want to try my hand at making YouTube videos based around costuming, sewing, fashion and style (and on another channel, about writing books). I'm quite shy though, so we'll see how that goes! I'd also like to get into film-making, and learn to photograph my creations in a less amateur way, among other things I'm excited to learn. It is currently my gap year, and the beginning of bettering my crafts in order to make profit in the future, so I will have a lot of time to try new things and practice. :)
I'll let you know when I have created my new blog! I shall be thinking about it very soon.

In other news, I'd like to show you something exciting! I got back a few weeks ago from my trip to the New England states in America, and I managed to find something wonderful in a vintage/antique store in Connecticut! 

It's absolutely the most beautiful purse I've ever seen! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. The condition was perfect, as though it was only yesterday that it was embroidered and made, despite being late Victorian. It has exquisite embroidery of a garden scene on black satin, a gold-tinted clasp with a charm and adjustable chain strap length, a lined interior of bright green taffeta (the camera doesn't seem to pick up the hue right!), ribbon embroidery/trim on the interior, a pocket, and a silver pocket mirror hanging from embroidery thread. Words fail me on how much I adore it. I got it for $60, along with a couple of hat pins (one with my initial on it, which must have been fate seeing as it was the only hatpin with letters on it in the store), and two 1950s novelty brooches.

Yesterday I found an interesting hair tutorial, thanks to Liz of the Pragmatic Costumer! I tried it literally within the hour, I was so excited, and it worked like a dream. Despite having naturally wavy hair, my hair does NOT like to curl properly, even using a curling iron, so the ringlets I dreamed of were out of the question. Not now! I know how to achieve the ringlets of historical styles, and am planning lots of hairstyles to try from different eras, with different size straws and placements. Soon I am going to make some late Victorian hair pieces (about 1870-80), so I will experiment with creating a bustle hairdo with my own hair and the assistance of a fake fringe and hair switch.

The hairstyle I tried above was loosely inspired by Regency and 1860s hair, and I added a black feather headband, decorative hair grips, and a fake pearl hair bobble that I had lying around. I felt rather regal! If only I had learned of this hairstyle before I photographed my Regency costume!

Another piece of news is that I finally ordered my Victorian corset from a local maker! It is an 1880 pattern (chosen because I want to make from both the 1870s and 1880s, so I thought a date exactly between the two eras would be fitting), and will be made from pale lavender silk with white accents. So looking forward to seeing it!

That's all from me. :) How are you doing, readers?

Monday 17 July 2017

Chatsworth House

A few weeks ago I visited Chatsworth House with my Mum, as a break and reward for finishing college with good grades (originally I was going to quit college early due to my ill health, but I forced myself to do it, and did a lot of the work at home; somehow it worked out!). We got lost on the way there, so instead of two and a half hours in the car, it took four hours! I was unwell (as always, it seems), so I camped out in the back of the car with blankets, hot water bottles, and cushions, and watched the countryside rolling past as we were surrounded by fog in the Peak District.
By the time we arrived, the shops in the town we were staying in were closed, which was unfortunate as there were a few fabric shops and antique stores that I would have liked to have visited. I'd definitely go again, both for Chatsworth House and the town.

As for Chatsworth itself, it was absolutely gorgeous! I had visited before when I was about eleven, and it was different to how I remembered it, probably because of the huge clothes exhibition. We mainly looked around the house, as by the time we had finished there I was feeling very exhausted; next time, a visit to the gardens is in order!
Speaking of the clothes exhibition, it was wonderful! They had antique, vintage and modern day couture clothing, worn by ancestors of the house. My photos for the clothes didn't turn out well because of the lighting and reflection on the glass cases, as well as how busy it was, but I did get some nice photos of details of the house, such as jewelry and close ups of interiors.

The cute little chap in the illustration is wearing one of the outfits that were on display in a glass case. I think it was worn for a coronation. (my memory is fuzzy and I didn't take pictures of the descriptions of most things for some reason).

17th Century lace

Hair mourning jewelry

Memorial locket containing hair. I love this one! A few days after seeing these pieces at Chatsworth I saw an original Victorian hair mourning brooch for sale at my local vintage shop; I would have had it if it weren't out of my price range at the moment! (so many things I already have to save up for...)

This is one stunner of a gown! I like how it's been displayed at the end of the corridor, in a similar colour room, and with a portrait at the end, also with a similar colour scheme. For one, it's in my favourite colour, and for another, you can see the 18th Century and 1950's design elements. Yes, I can imagine that it would make a nice gown for me to swan around in at the weekends...

I sent my regards to Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire.

So many keys! But which one fits the lock?

Beetle green bed.

Not quite sure who these elegant ladies are - was flagging at the time - but I loved their costumes and the composition in general. 

This snuffbox is also of the Duchess of Devonshire, dated at 1780. 

Thursday 1 June 2017

A Beautiful November in Prague, 2016

Last November I went on a trip to Prague for my 18th birthday with my parents, and I've posted a couple of photos here and there, but not the whole lot! I feel really bad about that, because I had a wonderful time and got to meet a dear friend of mine, which was amazing - but I haven't had the energy to write a full report about what I saw and did!
Unfortunately I didn't even write a diary entry, as I've long since abandoned journal-writing due to how tired I am in the evenings and the fact that I end up terribly behind. So here, I just have some photos, sadly, as I forgot most of the names of some of the places I saw. It will be a bit like my "Details of Florida" post that I did last year, just photos and details of things that intrigued me, without writing much. Please, if you know the names, drop me a comment and I will update!

The Dancing House, which we saw briefly on a long walk from our hotel (The Green Garden, which was lovely!)

I'm not sure what this place was called, though it was very close to our hotel. I love the architecture though!

Charles Bridge, from afar.

I like this shot because it has the Czech flag in it, along the almost-grayscale colours of the building.

Could this be the statue of Charles IV? I'm not sure. (sorry about my ignorance!)

Walking in the Old Town. The flash of orange is beautiful down this street! I loved the architecture here.

The Astronomical Clock is so beautiful and ornate! It was constructed in 1410.

I found the moving figures really interesting, especially the gold-winged angels and the skeleton (Death) pulling on the rope, representing time.

The walk up to Prague Castle just about killed me! But the view was fantastic.

Looking out over a terrace in a cafe at Prague Castle.

Buildings like a beautiful, intricate maze.

Prague Castle was so large and intricate, with so much to explore and see. It's a shame that we couldn't spend more time here, as we had packed a lot of sightseeing into the day as we were only staying for two nights.

St. Vitus's Cathedral. It's stunning, and heavenly inside! Funny, but I've always wondered what the building was on the cover of Malice Mizer's Bara no Seidou, and thought when I was there "this looks very familiar!" Now I know!

There was a reflection of the colourful glass on the wall, which you can kind of see in the photo, but nothing compared to seeing the colours in real life! Stained glass is one of my favourite features.

The Peeing Man statue by David Černý (my brother wanted us to see this)

Making a wish on Charles Bridge.

My final photograph, on Charles Bridge

As well as the wonderful sight seeing, I also got to see a brilliant opera performance of the Czech opera Rusalka! The tickets were very kindly given to my family by my sweet and incredibly generous friend, who sadly couldn't make it to the opera due to ill health. I'm so grateful to her, as I had a fantastic time (though I would have loved for her to come too, of course!). Sadly we had to leave early (again) because we all were incredibly hungry and dehydrated and tired due to all the rushing around sightseeing. If I had more time, I would have certainly stayed for the whole performance, as I thought it was beautiful and wonderfully put together. There was an English and German translation too, and beautiful arias such as "The Song to the Moon"/Měsíčku na nebi and the fun song "Hou, hou, hou" . Have a listen, they're great!

I would absolutely love to go to Czech Republic again, as there is so much that I yet have to see and do! And so much history to learn too. I hope to go again soon in my gap year.