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

Monday, 29 June 2015

Rufford Old Hall

My father and I went out for a couple of hours to Rufford Old Hall, a small(er) National Trust building, built either in the Tudor or Elizabethan eras. It was another one of those lovely, hot sunny days, so it was a very pleasant, peaceful afternoon, inside and outside!

I desaturated this photo due to the funny lighting inside the hall - otherwise it turns out blurred. This was my favourite carving, being an angel.

Sorry about the strange flare - I'm not sure why that funny blue light is there, except for the fact it was a very bright day.

The cross on this dress and the tassel reminds me of dolly kei fashion.


The wood carvings in this room are astounding!

Louise and Flora, the two little girls that lived here in the 20s - what sweet dresses! They also had three brothers, two of which were depicted on the opposite wall (however I failed to get a photo of them, even though they were wearing the most adorable sailor suits), and the other one was painted on the floor above with his mother. Sadly the eldest brother died in a flying accident, possibly during the war.
I just love the idea of these darling sisters living in this ancient house with their brothers, during the 1920s. I could imagine them being like sweet little princesses, living in their very own palace with a lush garden to play in. The dresses here and in other 20s-onwards photos and paintings all feature very elegant, Lolita-esque clothes.
It was a shame that photos inside the house weren't allowed, as I saw a great many artefacts that I wanted to remember. This one was taken in stealth mode by my dad, who has obviously perfected the art of snapping illicit photos. The other things here I liked were a collection of cow creamers (giving me a good chortle when I remembered Bertie being instructed to sneer at one in the P.G. Wodehouse novels), some newspapers going as far back as the Titanic, a few vintage hats in the dressing room (where I heard one of the guides talking about masters and valets, coincidentally!), a stained glass window that reflected onto the floor in a rainbow of colours, and a Victorian portrait that had a girl exactly as I imagined Lucienne to appear! Shame there were too many people around that I couldn't snap up a quick one of her... Not that I don't appreciate the fragility of the items or rules of the National Trust - those particular things just inspire me.

Taken from a peep-hole upstairs. 

I want this bed!

But, admittedly, I would change the colour of this room if it belonged to me. I see that bright yellow colour a lot in heritage homes - perhaps it was a popular shade at one point.

I played croquet with my dad, even though we had no idea how to play. Seems that croquet is a good sport for me - I actually managed to get the ball through a couple of times! Beats playing football or something any day!

The gardens are stunning here!

In an ideal world, this house would be mine... ;) I think this one is my favourite of all the National Trust buildings I've seen so far.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Country Fair

This fanfiction was actually based on a day out that I had last May, as whilst I was there I was imagining all sorts of mischief and mayhem that Bertie would find himself getting tangled up in! The location that inspired it was Tatten Park in Cheshire, on a day it was hosting a summer country fair, although in this fic I made it set in a Wodehouse location. The memories of watching jousting that day are very fond ones, so of course I had to write a little something with it in mind.

Woodvale Rally

Classical cars, animals and armies (oh my)! I've always loved vintage cars and my dad wanted to see the rally again after many years, so we went to the fair for Father's day. There were so many lovely vehicles to see, and some of the ones from the 1920s and 30s reminded me of Jeeves and Wooster!

And a funeral car...

I would love a sporty two-seater for when I can drive, but I've heard that they're very hard to keep and maintain.
On the subject of cars, my family bought a gorgeous one on Thursday last week, as recently our other two cars have had some disasters - one broke down on the motorway on our way back from Manchester! - so we got a Mercedes Benz for a prestige car dealer! It's the most elegant car we've ever had, so whenever I look out the window I can bask in the beauty, haha.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Art Exhibition and Prom

Here are some of my artworks that I have done in class for the past two years. I've also taken some photos of Wendy's art because I know she won't mind, and it's simply fabulous!

These last three photos are Wendy's work, not mine. My themes were Cells, Distorted Portraits and Fantastic and Strange, and hers were the first two listed, plus Food. 

I've actually got a funny story about this art exhibition for Year 11; the head teacher told me straight after an exam that there was an event on Thursday, but I was tired and heard Tuesday instead. That meant that my entire family was dragged to my school on the wrong day, though thankfully a caretaker let us in anyway and we got a preview of the exhibition. Embarrassingly enough, the head teacher walked into the library at that point and started having conversations with my grandparents. I apologised for getting the wrong day, and he was very nice about it and told us to take our time! 

And the prom! I've written a lot about the prom (which I actually enjoyed despite hating parties) but I won't bore you with it here. I wore my Innocent World dress, Angelic Pretty bag, pink shoes, and a neutral-pink ballerina cardigan that my mum bought me! The thing I enjoyed most was seeing what everyone wore, as every girl and boy I saw were dressed so glamorously and to their personalities! Here are some pictures. 

 I'm such a nincompoop in this photo, and I have no idea what I'm laughing at, but I still like it, haha.

Here I've realised that I was holding my invitation upside-down, so that's why we're both laughing!

Me and my friends, as my dad took from inside the building... Funny, because I never even noticed.

A Long Three Months

I've finished my GCSEs last week, so now it's the summer holidays, and a bally long one at that! Not that I'm complaining - studying all day every day was boring and tiring - but now I've made a list of creative things I want to achieve... After all, I can't just sit around reading Jooster fanfictions all day, can I? (or can I...? hmm).

  • Right now I'm doing several things at once; writing a Jeeves and Wooster fanfiction, doing some sketches, and sewing a jumpsuit for my sister for when we go on holiday to the South of France. I'll post some of those things soon.
  • But top on my list is When the Summer Ends. I haven't touched the thing for practically months, being so busy and distracted and whatnot. So soon I shall print everything I've done so far out, and sit there and edit it until my eyes bleed. I SHALL FINISH IT WHETHER IT KILLS ME OR NOT!! *pounds chest ferociously* I just need to read it and get familiar with the story and characters again, especially the minor ones that will actually play a huge part in the story at one point of another. Though, I have had divine inspiration in my sleep last Saturday, so I'm rather looking forward to getting stuck in! Wish me luck!
  • I also plan on going places and seeing people, such as museums and more National Trust places. I'm also going to London with my mum, and then the Montelimar with my whole family, so I'll probably post photos from those occasions.
  • Sewing, doing little bits of creative writing around When the Summer Ends (including fanfictions, because how can I resist spurning up some Jooster), sketching, and perhaps even doing some more digital art is on my list also.
  • I'm thinking about asking my dad to make me a website for my books, so expect to see me trawling about the internet with lots of updates!

The String of Pearls - Thomas Preskett Prest

This is the best book I've read for quite a long time, I have to say. I picked it up years ago when I was first getting interested in Victorian literature, but at the time it was very complex and hard-going for me, and even though I lasted the duration of the penny dreadful, I only understood about half of it. But this time I loved it! I also realised that it was set in the Georgian period - oops! - although I still continued to imagine the world pretty much the same as in the Tim Burton horror film.
I'll bet that many people are familiar with the story of Sweeney Todd, perhaps from the aforementioned film. It is very popular in Gothic and Steampunk themes on the internet, and has even inspired musicals! (Really, The String of Pearls is the last book I'd expect to see made into a musical, but Tim Burton did it fabulously, and there you go).
Many know that he is a barber on Fleet Street, serial killer of his customers, and then allows Mrs Lovett to dispose of the bodies into meat for pies. But in the original story I saw more angles to the characters, such as Sweeney Todd's greed and lust for money, as well as his despicable, callous nature, and hideous appearance and mannerisms. Some of that was lost in the film, from what I can remember, and I'd say that any fans of the Sweeney Todd world should invest in a reading of the Preskett Prest novel for a deeper understanding.
Speaking of character development, I found that Mrs Lovett wasn't as well-rendered, understandable, or developed as she is in the Tim Burton musical. We only see a meeting between Mrs Lovett and Mr Todd near the very end of the novel, and none of what is exchanged suggests any emotion besides a cool business-like relationship. In a way, this makes me like her less (as in the musical and portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter she was my favourite) as she seems even more psychopathic and inhumane, but at the same time it suggests a lot about her - such as that she cannot feel love or emotion for fellow human beings, as opposed to her love for Todd and Tobias in the musical.
As for Tobias, I loved him a lot in this story edition. I could feel his sadness and desperation to escape from the madhouse, and I was rooting for him through the whole ordeal! Again, there are new dimensions that are not touched upon in the musical.
More characters are introduced and explained that the reader could sympathize and relate to, such as Johanna Oakley, who longed to be reunited with her lover who went missing, leading her to believe that he was killed by Sweeney Todd. She was really brave throughout, and her family situation gave me plenty of shocks and laughs!

The story twists and turns so that the reader hardly feels that some little bits and pieces are unnecessary, but in the end I realised that everything is related to each other in some kind of richly-woven tapestry in Preskett Prest's plot. I felt that the plot was extremely intriguing, so much that I didn't want to put it down, but certain things - such as Sweeney Todd's incredibly suspicious behaviour and speech - made a lot of things so glaringly obvious. Even so, the climax and ending (my absolute favourite part especially where the pie shop is concerned) is absolutely, shockingly terrifying  and optimistic at the same time.
I'll definitely be giving this book a re-read sometime.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Yet More Shopping

Yes, I know I'm bad - but do I care? Not really, haha. Besides, these shoes were just too adorable and coveted to pass on!
For a while now I've been wanting some low-heeled court shoes, preferably in a pastel colour - and now they're mine! The pointed toes and bows are a bonus, as the style and silhouette reminds me of the 50s and Rococo eras put together.

As for the other things, I needed some cute sandals to go on holiday with in the summer (and the fact that they're JuJu Jellies makes things ten times better), cute socks were also in order, and the notebook is going to be my new diary for the summer. Hopefully the beautiful pages will prompt me to write in a more eloquent style in the summer months.