Monday, 6 June 2016

Convention Prep & the Highs and Lows of International Lolita Day

I've not been feeling very inspired to write lately because I've not been in a great place mentally.

I've had that whole "numb" feeling going on for longer than I'd like. I sat and wrote and edited an entire post and never posted it because my heart just wasn't in it. I figured it would be better to leave a long gap in between posts, rather than to use some filler content I didn't feel strongly about. I'm feeling a little more enthused today, though, so I'm taking the moment of inspiration that presented itself to me, and running away with it in case it disappears again!

So, what's been going on lately? Same old, I guess. I've been working a lot on crafting lately, in preparation for my upcoming convention, Hyper Japan. I've even gotten a couple of commissions lately which has been really nice. My days have been spent at my sewing machine working on bloomers (often with Melanie Martinez playing in the background. Yep. I'm such a lolita stereotype), hand stitching accessories, gluing on hair clips, buying supplies, planning my table display... it's been a bizarre rush of all these little details which will hopefully come together in time.

It's been nice to have something to focus on and be passionate about. Still, I sometimes feel a little unsure of myself, and a little directionless. By focusing on this convention, and by extension, my brand, I suppose I've taken something of a risk. I chose not to renew my old work contract, or to pursue a regular 9-5, because for whatever reason, I really just wanted to give this a go. The money I saved from my last job has gone directly into my business. Maybe this convention will go terribly, and I'll go back to job hunting as soon as I return from the convention. But maybe it'll go really well, and I'll want to continue selling at events and fulfilling online orders. I can't possibly know just yet. All I know is that I don't want to have that recurring "what if?" going round in my head in the future, because I chose not to try while I had the chance. I'm trying to block out the negativity from people around me who think I'm merely lazy-- as though working from home actually means sitting around doing nothing all day. You'd have thought the fact my tiny bedroom is bursting with newly made stock (I am seriously running out of space right now) would indicate I've been busy doing something.

Just a little over a month to go, before I set off for the London Olympia to seek my fortune. My destiny awaits...

πŸ’   πŸ’   πŸ’

Saturday was pretty nice. I met up with my friends as usual. We decided to have a picnic to celebrate International Lolita Day. I went for a summery, retro-inspired coordinate based around my handmade cherry skirt. It was an overcast but really warm, and humid day. The weather is so deceptive in its looks.

It wasn't until after stocking up on supermarket foods that we discovered this huge food festival thing happening in the town centre. Luna and I took in the sight of sizzling food on a grill and let out wistful howls. We were so disappointed! 

Still, we managed to have a good time with our decidedly inferior stash, which included some rather chewy, gooey macarons. Aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for the photo-taking that occurred, but so painfully overpriced. The 50p pack of party rings turned out to be much more satisfying!

We accidentally settled ourselves down in what seemed to be a couple-zone that day. One young teenage couple was play-fighting constantly, having pretend arguments and running around after one another. Another couple looked like they were in their late thirties, and spent a few hours making out on a bench. The final couple looked like they were in their forties, and literally mounted one another a few times, giving one another massages and generally being really inappropriate considering it was a completely public park with children running around. We did our best to ignore them but it was tough going!

We ranted about life, had an impassioned conversation about a recent lolita scammer experience, and planned future outings. It was so good to catch up! I couldn't help feeling totally relaxed and content.

We finished our picnic by taking some photos together, as part of the gardens were in full bloom, and looked as though they'd be a nice backdrop. We were right!

Luna wore Lief's Gardenberries print. It's so detailed and intricate, and I love the elegant way she coordinated it.

 Sammi went for a cue and casual AP coordinate, which is definitely her specialty. I was so thrilled to see her wearing the wristcuffs I made her!

I always seem to be the only one without a hat!

Next, we headed off for drinks, where a friend of Luna and James, Will, eventually joined us for conversations that had us laughing for hours. We got on really well, and it seems I've met my match when it comes to over-sharing! Before we knew it, it was 9pm, and Sammi was due to start work at 4 in the morning (she is so hardcore). We made a hasty exit.

I went to bed fairly early that night (after crying for a while because I'd lost my front door keys), but woke up a few hours later, really nauseated and with stomach cramps. I had a fever, and my pyjamas were drenched in sweat. I spent the early hours of the morning alternating between clenching my hands and toes in bed in an attempt to deal with how awful I felt, and the bathroom. I seemed to have food poisoning. What a miserable end to what had been a lovely day. I couldn't help feeling utterly dejected. 

I checked in with my friends at a more social hour and they all seemed to be fine. They suggested it could be the alcohol I drank, as I've had weird reactions to certain drinks in the past (for example, I cannot drink cider as it causes my heart to feel like it's going to beat its way out of my chest). On this occasion, I did notice that my face felt uncomfortably hot while I drank my cocktails. I've done some reading online and apparently, alcohol can aggravate intolerance to food, plus you can be intolerant to alcohol itself. I suppose it could have been the combination of cocktails and "ready to eat" picnic foods from the supermarket that caused me to get so ill. Either way, I'm not going to risk it again, and am just going to go back to teetotal life because honestly, I don't enjoy drinking enough to bother trying to find some sort of workaround. #straightedge #sobriety #highonlife etc etc.

Thankfully, I've been feeling a lot better today, and am more or less back to eating normally now. I've been taking it easy, editing photos (which I find really therapeutic), and catching up with general social media stuff, plus blogging, of course. Maybe my next outing will pass without incident!

πŸ’   πŸ’   πŸ’

As a bonus, here's a proper outfit picture, with me in all my squinty glory.
So, did you do anything for International Lolita Day? I'd love to hear about what you've been up to lately! Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time! 


  1. Argh! Don't get me started on the people who think that working from home makes you "lazy"! I get that all the time and even though I have stated that I have a job many times, some people even seem to forget that I work! People just love to think of me as this little 50's housewife I think. I really hope that Hyper Japan works out for you. Your stuff is so lovely and you really do deserve to do well. If nothing else, at least you are giving it a go. I really wish I could be as brave as you but I would have to learn so much to even get my ideas even looking as half as good as they do in my head.

    I feel so sorry that you went through such a horrible experience after ILD. But it is not as if we need alcohol to have a good time. I have decided to stay away from cocktails for a while because I seem to react to the sugar in them but otherwise I shall still be enjoying the odd glass of wine and fruity cider (in moderation!). I think after going through phases of getting drunk multiple times, the novelty wears off as well, even if you don't have an allergic reaction or hangover. The money could definitely be better spent- on party rings for example!

    1. It's so frustrating, isn't it? It's surprising how prevalent that mentality is, particularly when working from home is something so many people do. I don't see why it matters where exactly you do the work, and why the fact you happen to be in a comfortable environment somehow invalidates what you've been doing in it.
      Thank you so much for the well wishes, Luna!πŸ’– I figured this would be the only chance I'd ever truly have to make a go of it, while I still have the stability/security of living at home. My last job made me realise just how impossible it would be to make a go of this while working full time in a traditional career, so it's now or never!
      What are your ideas? (inbox me about it if you'd rather!) If you have vision and are passionate about whatever it is, I don't see why it isn't something you could work towards. Three years ago, I started off with just a sewing machine, a few "ideas", and some sketches. I couldn't sew in a straight line to save my life, and I knew sweet f.a. about pattern cutting, garment construction, or much of anything sewing-related. It took a lot of time and a steep learning curve, but I am now a bloomers queen and own a cherry skirt I am so proud I was able to make as well as I did. Perhaps Hyper Japan will be a failure, and I'll have to focus on an office career... but the skills I learnt and the triumphs I've had throughout this whole process are something I can take with me, no matter what happens!

      Shit happens. Thankfully, I made a full and swift recovery. Shame my door keys haven't turned up, though. It's not even a big deal as such, but boy do I panic when things I rely on to always be there aren't.
      Whichever way you spin it, those cocktails are so damn unhealthy, haha. If you feel that's best for you, then definitely stick to that. I just don't want you guys to feel like you have to do that to keep me company or anything, because I'm perfectly fine with you continuing without me, while I drink my apple juice or whatever. Still... I agree about the novelty having worn off somewhat. I'm glad I can finally tick it off the bucket list but I'd be lying if I said I would miss it, or what it did to my bank balance, haha!
      Those party rings... I forgot they were a thing until you mentioned wanting to get some! They are so yummy! I'm gonna get some next time I'm at the supermarket to have when I make a cup of tea ☕

    2. I literally just have a list of all my ideas at the moment but I intend to make some sort of scrapbook. When I have made a start on that I will eventually show you! If nothing else, it would be nice to share my ideas with people!

  2. I admire your decision to make your brand your career, go for it and all the best of luck! I'd love to follow your footsteps and do something like that, except that I don't even have an idea, let alone the skill to do it lol. But I hope it works out for you, fingers crossed! :)

    Looks like you had a fantastic ILD (shame about falling so ill after it). I didn't get to celebrate it because I stupidly made other plans for that day and couldn't attend my comm's celebrations (which I now regret, having seen photos on Facebook of how EPIC it must've been). In fact, I haven't celebrated a single ILD yet - but I will do the winter one and won't forget about next year's summer one, for sure! :D

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words! This is something I've wanted to do for years, and never fully dedicated myself to it because I felt silly. But it's now or never at this point, so I'm going for it! Maybe inspiration will suddenly come to you and you'll find yourself working passionately towards your own personal goal at some point :)

      Indeed, I had a lovely time apart from the illness straight after! I'm sorry you were double-booked, but fingers crossed you'll be able to attend an ILD meet in December. I always seem to miss the winter ones so I'm going to try to follow suit!

    2. I don't think you should feel silly. Everyone dreams of being able to do something they enjoy as a job, but not many actually do. All the best of luck. :) And yeah, maybe one day I'll find out what that is and will be able to do the same.

      I managed to put my deposit down for the winter one, so definitely not missing that! And I'll probably put it in my calendar for next year as soon as possible, so that I don't double book again :P