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Saturday, 21 February 2015

My Own Sewing Corner!

My parents converted a little space in our living rooms for me to have a place to sew! I'm really happy, as I'm really into sewing at the moment. Hopefully I'll have more time to sew soon.

Oh, and here's a sneak peak of my Elizabeth Rose Lolita skirt!

It's not quite complete as we need to clear out the drawers for patterns and fabrics, etc, and it's not exactly Lolita styled - but I do think it has a retro feel somehow with the colours - yet I love it.

By the way, I saw the third episode of the Great British Sewing Bee programme, which is 50s week, and I'm in love with these 50s dresses! This gives me a lot of inspiration.

In the Navy

~You can sail the seven seas~

Finally, I've decided to take some Pullip photos again, this time with my latest addition to the doll family, Audrey!

My family and I went to the Maritime Museum at Liverpool's Albert dock. The museum was more of a serious place to be, as it was all about World Wars, Titanic and slavery, so I guess I wanted my photo edits to be less bright and cheery to match those dreadful things.

I was actually planning on taking some photos of her at the docks, but it was soooo bitterly cold that none of my family could stand it. We went to both museums on the dock as well, as my father wanted to see his martial arts teacher at the Chinese display.

Oh, and happy belated Chinese New Year!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Baby the Stars Shine Bright x Barbie at Laforet

Did anyone else get a huge surprise on the Baby website recently? I was really stunned to see a collaboration like this, especially with the glamorous, almost sexy image Barbie represents (at least recently, but maybe not so much in the 50s). To see her decked from head to (almost) toe in ruffles and frills is really refreshing, especially for us Lolita girls!

I would have loved to own this as a young girl, as I was such a Barbie fan back then - until I shaved all their heads for some reason long forgotten - and to be honest I'd still be proud to have it in my doll collection now.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dunham Massey

Finally, the National Trust is open again! I was at a complete loose end without some massive beautiful manor and garden to walk around and imagine I live there, so now it has opened on the 14th February I'm happy again.

Dunham Massey was a manor house owned by the aristocracy that was turned into a semi-hospital for injured and ill soldiers during World War One. Live actors perform there, acting out the parts of soldiers with shell shock (very disturbing, needless to say) and nurses. I had an amazing time seeing the house and hospital, as well as the garden with the new snowdrops - which smell gorgeous, by the way. The house actually reminds me a lot of Jeeves and Wooster for some reason!

The Lake

One of the Lady's bedrooms - green.

Their property

Courtyard to the kitchen.

Main entrance.

Creepy winter trees.

From the garden.

Sargent and nurse Mabel having an argument.

More nurses in the dining area for soldiers.

Brain surgery in the hallway...

The tools... 

Fire screen with real taxidermy butterflies and birds.

The other main bedroom.

It actually reminds me of Dracula!

I want to live in this room!

The family silver and gold. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo by Miyuki Miyabe

18114976Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo by Miyuki Miyabe is described by goodreads as:
"In old Edo, the past was never forgotten. It lived alongside the present, in dark corners, and in the shadows. In these tales, award-winning author Miyuki Miyabe explores the ghosts of Japan, and the spaces of the living world they inhabit. Written with a journalistic eye and a fantasist’s heart Apparitions bring the restless dead, and those who encounter them, to life."
As the blurb can most likely tell you, the book is full of intrigue and suspense, so much that I couldn't put it down for a minute! It ranges from mildly creepy ghost stories to extreme horror, yet all of the stories are captivating, making you want to read more and more. All of the scenes are elaborately described in an eloquent style, enabling the reader to get a clear picture of old Japanese life, even if they know hardly anything of the history or culture back then. It even taught me an awful lot about the belief in ghosts and superstition in those times (my guess is that it's extremely well-researched), such as the 49 day wait for the spirit of a departed one to leave the earth.

A lot of the stories were written about the masters and mistresses of the shops, as well as their working class workers that lead fairly miserable lives. The stories reek of death and despair, and touches heavily upon the themes of domestic servitude, apprenticeship and squalor. 

My favourite short story was called "A Woman's Head" as it was the most intense story of all, in my opinion. There were many more that I loved, but this one stood out to me as it was from a young boy's point of view, as opposed to an adult's.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Don't Deliver Us from Evil

Paraffin, chlorobenzene, cyclohexane;

three glimmering bottles all in a row, temptation beyond compare.
“Which one flares up the quickest, with the cleanest flame?” asked the fool teacher, innocent
to all hisses and murmurs from within the huddle.
Testing each one with studious bated breath,
carefully setting fibres alight,
Cyclohexane was found to be pyromaniac’s delight.

Flames danced in one girl’s apathetic eyes;
she was hollow to the rest of the world,
her fire extinguished years ago,
leaving two coals for menial expression.
Sparks soon would fly.

Fire positively roared in her companion’s ice grey orbs!
Standing sumptuously close behind,
monstrous, adolescent lust gripped her by the heart, the intestines,
travelling the length of the spine, sending goosebumps down arms and legs;
A shivering, flickering ecstasy.
Licking her lips as she contemplated with passion
the embers burning bright from the Bunsen burner,
she made up her mind for good.

“We’ll use that one,” she breathed,
lips caressing her attentive ear with tickling, teasing intimacy.
Shuddering passionately as she wrapped rapturous arms around her waist,
holding her tiny, womanly soft body close,
until she relaxed with the promise of malice
against her breast.

Screaming, hollering, whooping with identical joy
through the maze-like corridors of the Hell all children must endure.
Like lambs they frolicked, wrecking chaos wherever their hearts contented.
Brown bottles shaken up and smashed,
the chemicals were beyond furious
as they rained down like the finest champagne in celebration
of all the evil of the world.
Like ballerinas they skipped, hand in hand down the halls,
igniting everything they desired and loathed
with blazing matches like streamers.
Destruction and desperation flared after them,
with the Devil hot on their heels.

Agonised yells echoed from the already dilapidated building
flaring a flickering amber in the background.
Alarm bells soon followed, howling like dying wolves in the late afternoon.

But they were already together on top of that hill, miles away from
that little science experiment, their paradise.
Satisfied, they watched on as smoldering beams crashed down on the remaining few stragglers,
sending them out of their lives forever.
Nobody should survive the wrath of cyclohexane,
instrument in the final curtain call.

Wailing sirens came from the distance,
determined to separate those two figures making love on the hilltop.
Two bare bodies, innocent with youth yet corrupted by forbidden love,
in each other’s arms and without a pulse on the hilltop.